Week in review

Quote of the week

“Wealth may be unequal, but time is not. In fact, time is quite egalitarian and moves at the same pace for everyone. All of us have a youth – and many of us traded it for a better life in the future. While the masses enviously look at wealth and plan their progressive taxes, they don’t see the sleepless nights in libraries, the nerve-racking deadlines, and the insane hours – while others were partying and having a good time. Look at a rich person today, and you’ll see someone very well off. Look at the same person in their 20s, and you’ll see someone struggling with a lifestyle much less exciting than his peers. Though not immediately apparent, a redistribution of wealth is also a redistribution of time and youth.” – Vedran Vuk

Subprime goes to college

by Steve Eisman

“Until recently, I thought that there would never again be an opportunity to be involved with an industry as socially destructive and morally bankrupt as the subprime mortgage industry. I was wrong. The for-profit education industry has proven equal to the task.

“The for-profit industry has grown at an extreme and unusual rate, driven by easy access to government sponsored debt in the form of Title IV student loans, where the credit is guaranteed by the government. Thus, the government, the students and the taxpayer bear all the risk, and the for-profit industry reaps all the rewards. This is similar to the subprime mortgage sector in that the subprime originators bore far less risk than the investors in their mortgage paper.” more… [Note the strong statist bias in the article. The author does not even mention that his analysis regarding student debt might apply to not-for-profit universities and colleges.]

Big Oil Is Still Boss

by Bill Boyarsky

“A lot of pundits want President Barack Obama to turn terrible tempered in his handling of the Gulf of Mexico disaster. These critics ignore the real issue—the death grip the oil industry has on Washington and the state capitals of oil-producing states.” more…

Once a government pet, BP now a capitalist tool

by Timothy P. Carney

“As BP’s Deepwater Horizon oil rig was sinking on April 22, Sen. John Kerry, D-Mass., was on the phone with allies in his push for climate legislation, telling them he would soon roll out the Senate climate bill with the support of the utility industry and three oil companies — including BP, according to the Washington Post.

“Kerry never got to have his photo op with BP chief executive Tony Hayward and other regulation-friendly corporate chieftains. Within days, Republican co-sponsor Lindsey Graham, R-S.C., repudiated the bill following a spat about immigration, and Democrats went back to the drawing board.” more…

Rebellion or Truth in Advertising? The 17th Amendment Repeal Movement

by Jeff Wright

“It must be remembered that the People formed the states, which in turn formed the Union through the contract of the Constitution, implemented through the Federal government, but at the initial and continued direction of the people and states through Congress. It was not the other way around. The People delegated powers to the states, which in turn delegated very limited powers to the Federal government, in order to protect and defend the people and the union of states. It was not there to protect a national government. There was no national government created. The subtleties of time and usurpation have both subverted and inverted that.” more…


Politics and Such

  • 50 statistics about the US economy that are almost too crazy to believe.
  • More sanctions are coming to Iran.
  • NATO allies posed to slash military budgets.
  • Some central banks are decreasing Euro holdings while simultaneously increasing their gold holdings.
  • Bernanke puzzled by gold rally. Is he an idiot or does he just play one on TV?
  • NY Times does a piece on the family life of the Pauls.
  • Some minor rather nobody publishing house puts a warning label on the Constitution. Glenn Beck gets worked up about it. Feels like a distraction to me. Don’t click…


And now the numbers…

DOW Jones Industrials – 10,211.07 (+279.10/2.81%)
S&P 500 – 1,091.60 (+26.72/2.51%)
VIX – 28.79 (-6.69/-18.86%)
CSI 300 (China) – 2,758.866 (+14.475/0.53%)
BSE 500 (India) – 6,827.46 (-17.99/-0.26%)
MICEX (Russia) – 1,336.09 (+2.60/0.19%)
BOVESPA (Brazil) – 63,605.379 (+1,929.629/3.13%)
RICI – 2,922.09 (+78.89/2.77%)
Gold/oz – 1,230.20 (+12.50/1.03%)
Silver/oz – 18.231 (+0.932/5.39%)
Copper/lb – 290.40 (+8.45/3.00%)
Oil/bbl (Brent) – 74.35 (+2.26/3.13%)
Wheat/bu (CBT) – 457.00 (+21.25/4.88%)
Corn/bu – 371.00 (+31.00/9.12%)
EUR-USD – 1.2112 (+0.0145/1.21%)
USD-JPY – 91.648 (-0.25/-0.27%)
USD-BRL – 1.8106 (-0.0548/-2.94%)
3 Month Treasury – 0.07 (-0.05/-41.67%)
2 Year Treasury – 0.73 (UNCHG)
10 Year Treasury – 3.23 (+0.03/0.94%)
30 Year Treasury – 4.15 (+0.02/0.48%)
3 Month LIBOR – 0.54 (UNCHG)
U.S. Public Debt (official) – 13,041,405,343,973.40 (-14,844,622,426.70/-0.11%)
Baltic Dry Index (BDIY:IND) – 3,288.00 (-556.00/-14.46%)

I learned something this week. Article V of the Constitution says: “no State, without its Consent, shall be deprived of its equal Suffrage in the Senate”. One crystal clear implication (IMO anyway) is that any state that did not ratify the 17th Amendment is not bound by it. Utah is the only state that explicitly denied it. Several other states never went one way or the other. Of course 3/4 of all states did ratify it. Funny thing, representation in the Senate was one of the most contentious parts of the Constitutional Convention in 1787.

For what it’s worth I view the 17th Amendment (direct election of Senators), the 16th Amendment (income tax), and the institution of the Federal Reserve as the three most pernicious acts of Congress in the history of the country. Coincidentally they all occurred in 1913. All of this is worth learning about if you don’t know about it.

I think I’ve railed on the income tax before, but I’d like to make the following observation: Are you being taxed 25% or are you being permitted to keep 75%? Is there really a difference? If not then who owns whom? The income tax is nothing more than collective slavery.

Anyone know where to get weekly (or daily, but not just monthly) gold, silver, oil, copper, and S&P 500 prices for the last century? One catch, it has to be for free…

So we’re back from New Mexico. And it was a great trip. Saw lots of family and friends. Lots of gong fu. Even went to Phoenix for some training. Saw some friends there too! Ten days goes by pretty fast.

Anyway, it’s been back to work. Deadline is looming for a project I’ve been working on for about 6 months now. The happy part is that it feels like it’s wrapping up well.

Baby Girl is getting to be so mobile. She crawled over both of my legs today. Walking is coming so soon. Another funny thing, she got two more teeth and has been biting Little Wife and I. In fact she crawled up to me the other night and bit my ankle. I just had to laugh.

Okay, well it’s time to go for now. Have a nice weekend!

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