Week in review

Economics and National Security

Lecture by Mr. James G. Rickards

This video is long, about two hours. It’s a somewhat statist perspective on debt, inflation, and the consequences thereof. We’ll leave it at that. See it here.

Econ-101 with Dr. Ron Paul

by Dean Zarras

“[I]f [Paul] plays his cards right. That’s a big ‘if’ for sure, but here’s how it could go down: For the first time in the Internet age, in our 24-hour, live-blogging, YouTubing news history, Austrian and Keynesian economics will do battle with live actors and unscripted parts. And for the first time in generations, millions of potential voters (and just possibly including those who get their news from the “big three” networks), will hear a perspective that might as well have invaded from another planet.

“And it might even make a lot of sense to them.” more… [Of particular interest, this appeared in Forbes.]

What’s So Great About Texas?

by The Burning Platform

“Ever since the Census data came out I’ve been wondering what’s so great about Texas. It gained 4.3 million people in the last decade, by far the biggest increase. It is hot in Texas. It borders the failed state of Mexico. It has Houston. George Bush resides there. It has the Dallas Cowboys. I don’t get it.” more… [Article outlines census results and impact on reapportionment. This article observes that states with no income tax have experienced the highest population growth in the last 10 years.]

16 Shocking Facts About the Student Loan Debt Bubble and the Great College Education Scam

by End of The American Dream

“As you read this, there are over 18 million students enrolled at the nearly 5,000 colleges and universities currently in operation across the United States. Many of these institutions of higher learning are now charging $20,000, $30,000 or even $40,000 a year for tuition and fees. That does not even count living expenses. Today it is 400% more expensive to go to college in the United States than it was just 30 years ago. Most of these 18 million students have been told over and over that a “higher education” is the key to getting a good job and living the American Dream. They have been told not to worry about how much it costs and that there is plenty of financial aid (mostly made up of loans) available. Now our economy is facing the biggest student loan debt bubble in the history of the world, and when our new college graduates enter the “real world” they are finding out that the good jobs they were promised are very few and far between. As millions of Americans wake up and start realizing that the tens of thousands of dollars that they have poured into their college educations was mostly a waste, will the great college education scam finally be exposed?” more…

Down Argentine Way

by Ron Holland

“There are many ominous parallels between Argentina and the U.S. and the question often asked is can America avoid the economic consequences that Argentina suffered from a fascist government combined with government debt and currency collapse? I believe the answer is likely NO!” more…


And now the numbers…

DOW Jones Industrials – 11,573.49 (+81.58/0.71%)
S&P 500 – 1,256.77 (+12.86/1.03%)
VIX – 16.47 (+0.36/2.23%)
CSI 300 (China) – 3,157.711 (-67.95/-2.11%)
BSE 500 (India) – 7,769.40 (+36.94/0.48%)
MICEX (Russia) – 1,684.52 (+17.68/1.06%)
BOVESPA (Brazil) – 68,485.961 (+504.742/0.74%)
Nikkei 225 (Japan) – 10,272.96 (-30.87/-0.30%)
RICI (Commodities) – 3,851.22 (+99.87/2.66%)
Gold/oz – 1,380.50 (+1.30/0.09%)
Silver/oz – 29.328 (+0.195/0.67%)
Copper/lb – 425.85 (+9.95/2.39%)
Oil/bbl (Brent) – 94.50 (+2.83/3.09%)
Wheat/bu (CBT) – 783.00 (+26.25/3.47%)
Corn/bu – 614.00 (+17.50/2.93%)
Rough Rice (CBOT) – 13.695 (-0.29/-2.07%)
EUR-USD – 1.3129 (-0.0059/-0.45%)
USD-JPY – 83.03 (-0.9523/-1.13%)
USD-HKD – 7.7797 (+0.0025/0.03%)
USD-BRL – 1.6913 (-0.023/-1.34%)
NZD-USD – 0.7478 (+0.0116/1.58%)
3 Month Treasury – 0.13 (+0.03/30.00%)
2 Year Treasury – 0.66 (+0.05/8.20%)
10 Year Treasury – 3.39 (+0.06/1.80%)
30 Year Treasury – 4.47 (+0.03/0.68%)
3 Month LIBOR – 0.30 (UNCHG)
U.S. Public Debt (official) – 13,858,529,371,601.10 (-20,307,979,549.50/-0.15%)
Baltic Dry Index (BDIY:IND) – 1,795.00 (-204.00/-10.21%)


Well originally I had hoped to publish on Thursday evening, but then events conspired to delay me. And then it was Christmas Eve and Christmas Day and not wanting to “work” I decided to let it slide till today.

Anyway, Christmas was very nice. I hope everyone else’s was Merry as well. We are now in the best week of the year. Unfortunately I have to work this week. Just like almost everyone else…

I usually use this time of year to really take stock of everything that has happened over the previous year or longer and reflect on what went well, what might be improved, what should never be repeated, and where things are headed. Then in January I try to hit the ground running. Around mid-summer I’ll do the whole exercise again.

One decision I have made is to trim down and refocus my newsletter. In particular I am going to cut the random news section. The quote of the week will be optional. There will be anywhere from 3-7 opinion pieces included, just as before. The numbers will stay and likely expand. And I will make a good-faith effort to communicate more of my own thoughts. Especially after I graduate this will become a bigger focus. That’s the trade – I’m hoping to read less and write more.

So, back to the fun stuff – Christmas. We (Santa – not sure how I feel about Santa) got Baby Girl a Cozy Coupe – a toy car she can sit in. Since Wonderful Wife had to work Christmas Day we woke up at 5AM to open presents. We woke up Baby Girl and brought her out. She was slow to come to, but when she finally did she saw her car and pretty much jumped out of her mom’s arms and ran over to giggling the whole way. That was very cool to see.

She absolutely loves these cars. When she was at her aunt’s house she had to play in their car. When she goes to her friend’s house she wants to play in her car. At the grocery store she loves to ride in the cart that looks like a car. Now she has her own and just cannot get enough of it. It’s awesome.

Meanwhile, we had some great posole — cooked by Wonderful Wife — and red chile — cooked by me. That red chile recipe is really coming along.

Otherwise it’s onto 2011. Happy New Year!

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