Week in review

Quote of the week

“The first panacea for a mismanaged nation is inflation of the currency; the second is war. Both bring a temporary prosperity; both bring a permanent ruin. But both are the refuge of political and economic opportunists.” – Ernest Hemingway

Leviathan’s Greatest Deception: Exposing the False Promise of Life “at the Expense of the State”

by George Hawley

“In my estimation, the average man does not want everything handed to him; he does, however, want his living standard to follow a consistent upward trajectory. He is not against working for it, but he wants his lifestyle to change like a ratchet—only moving in one direction. Provided he goes to work and continues to follow societal norms, he should be as wealthy tomorrow as he is today, if not more so. Because economic slumps, wars, natural disasters, and other vagaries of fate are not his fault, most of us believe that he should not suffer for them. We desire what Thomas Sowell (1999) described as ‘cosmic justice.’ The state promises to forever banish these insecurities and provide justice to the world, and most of us believe this promise.” more…

Where the Constitution Still Means Something

by Kevin Brekke

“In mid-2008, U.S. federal authorities accused the Switzerland-based bank of advising certain American clients to evade taxes owed the IRS and abetted to that end. UBS eventually admitted to this, and in Feb. 2009 agreed to pay a US$780 million fine as part of a deferred prosecution agreement with U.S. officials. Also included in the agreement was the U.S. demand for the names and account information of 52,000 UBS customers claimed to be in violation of the U.S. tax code.

“However, paying a fine is one thing. Demanding that UBS release information in violation of Swiss constitutional law is quite another.” more…

Tea & Crackers

by Matt Taibbi

“It’s taken three trips to Kentucky, but I’m finally getting my Tea Party epiphany exactly where you’d expect: at a Sarah Palin rally. The red-hot mama of American exceptionalism has flown in to speak at something called the National Quartet Convention in Louisville, a gospel-music hoedown in a giant convention center filled with thousands of elderly white Southerners. Palin — who earlier this morning held a closed-door fundraiser for Rand Paul, the Tea Party champion running for the U.S. Senate — is railing against a GOP establishment that has just seen Tea Partiers oust entrenched Republican hacks in Delaware and New York. The dingbat revolution, it seems, is nigh.” more… [There are some interesting points in there. Mainly this article is a nice reminder of how diverse the political landscape really is. Also that the oligarchs might be controlling this by now. Also an interview with Doug Casey on the same subject.]

Regulars

Politics and Such

  • The U.S. government wants a back door into all electronic means of communication.
  • In Maryland a judge has ruled that filming a traffic stop is not “illegal wiretapping”.
  • Computer virus targets hardware controllers. First virus able to infect a computer and produce real world effects. Feeling is it was created by some world government.
  • Remember the “stocks for the long-run” mantra?

Miscellany

  • Medibid: a marketplace for self-pay medical patients.

And now the numbers…

DOW Jones Industrials – 10,829.68 (-30.58/-0.28%)
S&P 500 – 1,146.24 (-2.43/-0.21%)
VIX – 22.50 (+0.79/3.64%)
CSI 300 (China) – 2,935.574 (+78.098/2.73%)
BSE 500 (India) – 8,135.23 (+144.05/1.80%)
MICEX (Russia) – 1,455.63 (+19.57/1.36%)
BOVESPA (Brazil) – 70,229.352 (+2,032.875/2.98%)
Nikkei 225 (Japan) – 9,404.23 (-67.44/-0.71%)
RICI (Commodities) – 3,359.15 (+32.00/0.96%)
Gold/oz – 1,317.80 (+19.70/1.52%)
Silver/oz – 22.06 (+0.661/3.09%)
Copper/lb – 369.05 (+7.25/2.00%)
Oil/bbl (Brent) – 83.75 (+4.88/6.19%)
Wheat/bu (CBT) – 655.00 (-65.00/-9.03%)
Corn/bu – 465.75 (-56.00/-10.73%)
EUR-USD – 1.3791 (+0.0306/2.27%)
USD-JPY – 83.218 (-0.987/-1.17%)
USD-HKD – 7.7578 (+0.0012/0.02%)
USD-BRL – 1.6898 (-0.0141/-0.83%)
NZD-USD – 0.7445 (+0.0094/1.28%)
3 Month Treasury – 0.15 (UNCHG)
2 Year Treasury – 0.41 (-0.025/-5.75%)
10 Year Treasury – 2.51 (-0.115/-4.38%)
30 Year Treasury – 3.71 (-0.095/-2.50%)
3 Month LIBOR – 0.29 (UNCHG)
U.S. Public Debt (official) – 13,561,623,030,891.80 (+48,363,188,758.80/0.36%)
Baltic Dry Index (BDIY:IND) – 2,452.00 (+8.00/0.33%)

Okay, so we’re a little thin this week. Actually, very thin. And I’ll admit it. I’m in a news slump. Plus I’ve been really busy, so the combination of the “little motivation” with “little time” has conspired to create a sub-par product this week.

We traveled to Albuquerque a week ago. On our way out of town I left my sunglasses at TGI Friday’s at Detroit Metro. I thought I would never recover them, but persistence paid off. I made several phone calls, left messages, and waded though a couple levels corporate bureaucracy. The fact the restaurant was beyond the security checkpoint in the airport certainly complicated matters. Anyway, I did finally get a hold of the manager of the restaurant. He had my sunglasses, and met me outside of the airport with them yesterday. Good stuff.

Baby Girl started swimming lessons again, which we just got back from. She loves the water so much. And the post-swimming nap is a thing of legend.

Otherwise, not too much going on. Have some linear algebra stuff to do this weekend, grocery store, kung fu. Maybe Little Wife and I will get to watch a movie or something. Homemade pasta and homemade chicken pesto for dinner tonight methinks. But overall nothing too exciting. Just like I like it.

Have a nice weekend!

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