Quote of the week
“During the bubble, everyone said, `This time, it’s different. The market can keep going up and up.’ Of course, they were wrong. And on the way down, they used the same excuse, ‘This time it’s different. If you don’t bail us out, the world economy will come to a halt.’ It’s the same story on the way up and the way down. In both cases, the story was BS.” – Vedran Vuk
by Jeremy Warner
“There are two main ways in which policymakers are insidiously interfering with the usual rules of supply and demand for raw materials, and myriad different smaller ones. We’ll leave aside the smaller ones, such as China’s attempt to leverage its monopoly of rare earth metals for geo-political purposes, and concentrate instead on the two biggies.
“One is the policy of ultra-cheap money in advanced economies to fight the economic crisis; and the other, more commodity-specific one, is massive public subsidy for the production of bio-fuels. Food is being elbowed out by pursuit of ‘clean fuel’.” more…
by Chris Mayer
“Don’t pay attention to that thing called the Consumer Price Index, or CPI. It is running at about 2%. It is an engineered figure and not to be trusted. Oskar Morgenstern, who along with John von Neumann contributed so much to game theory, once described it as a ‘mere index of doubtful validity,’ as Grant relayed.” more…
by Janice Kephart
“To date, discussion of the porous Southwest border has largely left out New Mexico. That is about to change if Senators Jeff Bingaman (D-N.M.), Chairman of the Senate Committee on Energy & Natural Resources, and Tom Udall (D-N.M.) are able to pass an otherwise innocuous bill that changes which laws apply to a stretch of federal land on the New Mexico border. The bottom line is, if S. 1689, the ‘Organ Mountains-Desert Peaks Wilderness Act,’ becomes law, New Mexico will likely become the next staging ground for drug cartel and illegal alien smuggling activity, tracking what happened in Arizona. Why? The bill would change the designation of Department of Interior lands, managed by the Bureau of Land Management, from ‘public lands’ to ‘wilderness,’ severely curtailing the Border Patrol’s ability to conduct preventative, ongoing, and necessary operations due to the stringent nature of wilderness laws that are now four decades old. New Mexico would suffer the same results as those documented by the Center in the ‘Hidden Cameras on the Arizona Border’ three-part series showing the waste, destruction, and unsafe circumstances that borderlands suffer when wilderness laws (and poor federal government policy) create a vacuum of law enforcement presence.” more…
by Johh David Dyche
“[A] real return to the federalist system and limited national government found in America’s original constitutional design may also require structural reform. The Founding Fathers in their incomparable wisdom were extremely distrustful of direct, small ‘d,’ democracy. The Constitution therefore contains several limiting, small ‘r,’ republican mechanisms.
“Those that remain, like the Electoral College, deserve spirited defense. Some lost long ago, like indirect election of senators, merit consideration for revival.” more…
- The Bain Report
- I don’t see any failed banks this week.
- Amazon Best Sellers: #1 – Life by Keith Richards; #2 – Broke by Glenn Beck; #3 – Decision Points by George W. Bush. So three books by three people who in all likelihood did not actually write them. Nice.
- Failure Friday (If you’re not clicking on this link then you are totally missing out on all the fun.)
- This Week in Government Failure
Politics and Such
- Boondoggle in Detroit: The Train to Nowhere (video 5:48)
- Germany criticizes Federal Reserve, says QE amounts to currency manipulation.
- Housing prices could be in another leg down.
- Nine key ballot initiatives (in a number of states) to watch November 2nd.
- President of Columbia says a rethink of drug laws would be in order if California legalizes marijuana.
- Supreme Court will hear the case wherein Bloomberg has requested information about bank bailouts from Federal Reserve.
- Transparency International releases 2010 Corruption Index. Note what 3 of the worst 4 have in common. The United States is #22.
- JP Morgan and HSBC accused of manipulating silver market.
- The Social Network is pro-capitalism. So says Mises. I should go see the movie.
- IBM patents software that helps predict and diagnose the damage of earthquakes.
- Silky Celery Root Soup — I made this Tuesday night. It’s pretty good. The parsley is absolutely required though.
- Crows (the birds) use tools – teach their offspring to use them too.
- The early history of dairy farming and lactose tolerance.
- Five best countries in which to escape America‘s decline – if you are so inclined.
- BPA linked to male infertility.
And now the numbers…
DOW Jones Industrials – 11,118.49 (-14.07/-0.13%)
S&P 500 – 1,183.26 (+0.18/0.02%)
VIX – 21.20 (+2.42/12.89%)
CSI 300 (China) – 3,379.983 (+1.328/0.04%)
BSE 500 (India) – 8,036.88 (-82.18/-1.01%)
MICEX (Russia) – 1,523.39 (+4.09/0.27%)
BOVESPA (Brazil) – 70,673.297 (+1,143.57/1.64%)
Nikkei 225 (Japan) – 9,202.45 (-224.26/-2.38%)
RICI (Commodities) – 3,520.16 (+43.47/1.25%)
Gold/oz – 1,357.60 (+32.50/2.45%)
Silver/oz – 24.564 (+1.446/6.25%)
Copper/lb – 373.35 (-6.35/-1.67%)
Oil/bbl (Brent) – 83.15 (+0.19/0.23%)
Wheat/bu (CBT) – 717.25 (+46.50/6.93%)
Corn/bu – 582.00 (+22.00/3.93%)
Rough Rice (CBOT) – 14.725 (+0.21/1.45%)
EUR-USD – 1.3947 (-0.0007/-0.05%)
USD-JPY – 80.40 (-0.979/-1.20%)
USD-HKD – 7.7508 (-0.0103/-0.13%)
USD-BRL – 1.699 (-0.0067/-0.39%)
NZD-USD – 0.7665 (+0.0197/2.64%)
3 Month Treasury – 0.11 (-0.01/-8.33%)
2 Year Treasury – 0.34 (-0.01/-2.86%)
10 Year Treasury – 2.60 (+0.05/1.96%)
30 Year Treasury – 3.98 (+0.05/1.27%)
3 Month LIBOR – 0.29 (UNCHG)
U.S. Public Debt (official) – 13,658,812,457,389.50 (-9,170,868,588.80/-0.07%)
Baltic Dry Index (BDIY:IND) – 2,678.00 (-49.00/-1.80%)
We’ve got a new logo! Have a look here. I’ll be rolling it out in various places over the next few months.
Otherwise, it’s been another busy week, but I seemed to have found a number of pretty good articles. I’d definitely recommend the article that discusses the history of dairy. Very interesting stuff. I’m not overly enthused about the lead articles, but they do point to some important trends.
First, the money printing chickens will come home to roost, and it ain’t going to be pretty.
Next, the United States Government behaves psychopathically.
And finally, if America as an entity is to survive as it exists today, certain fundamental changes need to be imposed. As far as I am concerned all of these have to do with decentralizing political power. I may write about this at length someday, but I have not yet collected my thoughts, so you are spared the abuse, for now.
For those of you who live in California who are reading this, I’d like to hear what you think of Proposition 19.
I ran into a very good blog this week. It’s called Activist Post. Check it out here. I think if I were running a daily blog it would look a lot like that.
On the home front, Little Wife is working two night shifts, with the second one currently taking place. Also sadly, she works two night shifts the day before Thanksgiving and on Thanksgiving day. Looks like Thanksgiving shall be postponed until Saturday at our house.
Meanwhile Baby Girl has managed to fall asleep two nights in a row at 8PM. That’s a record I think.
As for me, I found some Bell’s Winter White Ale at Whole Foods today, and am quite enjoying it. The current one is empty, so I’m going to go find a new one. Have a nice weekend.