Week in review

Quote of the week

“[T]here is no room in the entire nation less likely to host any kind of deliberation than the Senate chamber. It has been reduced over time to a staging area where the most self-important people on the planet give self-serving, inconsequential, aide-written speeches that no one listens to and which can be changed after-the-fact before they enter the official record. Can anyone alive remember the last time two or more people actually deliberated anything in the Chamber?” – Sven Wilson

The Golden State’s War on Itself

by Joel Kotkin

“What went so wrong? The answer lies in a change in the nature of progressive politics in California. During the second half of the twentieth century, the state shifted from an older progressivism, which emphasized infrastructure investment and business growth, to a newer version, which views the private sector much the way the Huns viewed a city—as something to be sacked and plundered. The result is two separate California realities: a lucrative one for the wealthy and for government workers, who are largely insulated from economic decline; and a grim one for the private-sector middle and working classes, who are fleeing the state.” more… [This is a very nice article – of medium length.]

From Political Exchange to State Vampirism: The GSEs

by Marc Eisner

“One might be surprised that the administration is using the GSEs to promote the same kind of credit policies that contributed to the housing bubble—on second thought, who would be surprised, since the clownish and melodramatic explanations of the collapse are the ones that have prevailed politically.” more… [GSEs = Fannie Mae and Freddie Mac]

Our Economics Knowledge Deficit

by Lawrence W. Reed

“Even a cursory examination of textbooks used in high school economics courses reveals a dismal level of understanding or outright bias by the text authors themselves. Students are sometimes reading that citizens are under-taxed, that government spending creates new wealth and that politicians are better long-term planners than private entrepreneurs. It is not uncommon for texts to portray free-market competition and private property in a suspicious light while presenting government intervention with little or no critical scrutiny. “Economics is immensely important. Without it we miss an understanding of much of what makes us the unique, thinking creatures we are. Economics is the study of human action in a world of limited resources and unlimited wants — a lively topic that cannot be reduced to lifeless graphs and mind-numbing equations that occupy the pretentious planner’s time.” more…


Politics and Such


And now the numbers…

DOW Jones Industrials – 10,303.15 (-350.41/-3.29%)
S&P 500 – 1,079.25 (-42.39/-3.78%)
VIX – 26.24 (+4.50/20.70%)
CSI 300 (China) – 2,855.547 (-42.112/-1.45%)
BSE 500 (India) – 7,349.17 (+44.55/0.61%)
MICEX (Russia) – 1,371.46 (-31.62/-2.25%)
BOVESPA (Brazil) – 66,264.43 (-1,830.328/-2.69%)
RICI – 3,148.50 (-99.02/-3.05%)
Gold/oz – 1,216.60 (+11.30/0.94%)
Silver/oz – 18.165 (-0.307/-1.66%)
Copper/lb – 327.25 (-7.05/-2.11%)
Oil/bbl (Brent) – 75.11 (-5.05/-6.30%)
Wheat/bu (CBT) – 734.25 (-21.00/-2.78%)
Corn/bu – 427.25 (+7.25/1.73%)
EUR-USD – 1.2764 (-0.0516/-3.89%)
USD-JPY – 86.136 (+0.626/0.73%)
USD-HKD – 7.772 (+0.0098/0.13%)
NZD-USD – 0.7064 (-0.027/-3.68%)
USD-BRL – 1.772 (+0.0112/0.64%)
3 Month Treasury – 0.15 (+0.01/7.14%)
2 Year Treasury – 0.53 (+0.02/3.92%)
10 Year Treasury – 2.67 (-0.15/-5.32%)
30 Year Treasury – 3.86 (-0.13/-3.26%)
3 Month LIBOR – 0.37 (-0.04/-9.76%)
U.S. Public Debt (official) – 13,317,048,837,517.10 (+6,161,485,851.30/0.05%)
Baltic Dry Index (BDIY:IND) – 2,468.00 (+438.00/21.58%)

Looks like I’m late… But I’ve got some good reasons.

Mom came into town Thursday and we all went to Niagara Falls. That was really cool, and I would highly recommend the experience.

We got home late last night, and today we had a birthday party for Baby Girl. Officially she’ll be one-year old tomorrow. Some old guy and his puppy crashed our party. At first I thought he was with someone. He just walked up and I started talking to him, but then I realized he was just hanging around. He ended up having a hot dog and some potato salad. Heh.

Baby Girl had a good party though. She had a big cup cake with purple frosting. We had a dog theme, dogs being her favorite thing in the world right now. So we really had to run to get ready for that this morning. This is the first chance I’ve had. Whew! What a day.

So that’s it for now. It’s dinner time. I hope everyone had a good weekend, and that your week is productive.

Also, in case you’re wondering how you might sign up for this newsletter were you not already getting it, you can send an email to me (kungfucraig at gmail dot com) requesting I put you on the list.

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