Week in Review

Quote of the week

“Please don’t say `we’ when referring to the people in Washington. Don’t include me in that list.” – Dr. Edwin Vieira

Operation Fast and Spurious

by W. James Antle, III

“An initiative of the Bureau of Alcohol, Tobacco, Firearms and Explosives (ATF), Fast and Furious was a gun-running sting operation that has gone badly awry, letting hundreds of weapons flow into the hands of Mexican drug cartels and leaving at least one federal agent dead.” more… [So Hilary was right, the guns in Mexico were coming from the United States. Unfortunately ATF agents were the facilitators.  The important question is “why”? Was this simply a misguided policy or was it purposefully aimed at damaging our Constitution? After all, the gun banners were using all of this as an excuse for gun registries and other controls. So, malicious or merely incompetent?]

How the Euro Became Europe’s Greatest Threat

by SPIEGEL Staff

“In the past 14 months, politicians in the euro-zone nations have adopted one bailout package after the next, convening for hectic summit meetings, wrangling over lazy compromises and building up risks of gigantic dimensions.

“For just as long, they have been avoiding an important conclusion, namely that things cannot continue this way. The old euro no longer exists in its intended form, and the European Monetary Union isn’t working. We need a Plan B.” more…

Whose Vision is Right? Rand’s or Rubio’s?

by The Burning Platform

“The MSM tries to paint the Tea Party with one brush. It is completely false. You have the Palin, Bachmann, Rubio faction that thinks you can balance the budget, fight wars, reduce taxes, and force Christian fundamentalism on all Americans. These people are delusional and clueless.

“Rand Paul and Ron Paul are the leaders of the real Tea Party. It’s about the Constitution and following what it says. Get our troops out of other countries. Protect our own borders. Close departments and agencies that have no business operating and do more harm than good. Downsize government to the point where existing levels of revenue can pay for it. Do away with all subsidies and tax breaks for corporations, special interests and individuals.” more…

“Why do I need to Internationalise? I like it where I am.”

by Jeff Thomas

“We have been predicting for many years that, as The Great Unraveling takes shape, one of the bi-products will be increased violence, particularly in population centres. This will be inevitable as the problems will be greatest wherever the population is concentrated. Cities invariably have more people on the dole, more people who are unemployed, more people who live hand to mouth and, most importantly, an existing acceptance of a higher level of crime.” more…


Other Stuff

And now the numbers…

DOW Jones Industrials – 11,934.58 (-69.78/-0.58%)
S&P 500 – 1,268.45 (-3.05/-0.24%)
VIX – 21.10 (-0.75/-3.43%)
CSI 300 (China) – 3,027.47 (+135.313/4.68%)
BSE 500 (India) – 7,061.30 (+50.41/0.72%)
MICEX (Russia) – 1,633.99 (-11.83/-0.72%)
BOVESPA (Brazil) – 61,016.719 (-43.261/-0.07%)
Nikkei 225 (Japan) – 9,678.71 (+327.31/3.50%)
RICI (Commodities) – 3,842.10 (-112.60/-2.85%)
Oil/bbl (Brent) – 105.12 (-8.09/-7.15%)
Corn/bu – 632.00 (-28.00/-4.24%)
Wheat/bu (CBT) – 661.00 (-47.00/-6.64%)
Rough Rice (CBOT) – 14.505 (-0.42/-2.81%)
Copper/lb – 411.55 (-0.55/-0.13%)
Gold/oz – 1,500.90 (-38.20/-2.48%)
Silver/oz – 34.65 (-1.098/-3.07%)
EUR-USD – 1.4188 (-0.0118/-0.82%)
USD-JPY – 80.4258 (+0.3803/0.48%)
USD-BRL – 1.6048 (+0.007/0.44%)
NZD-USD – 0.8118 (-0.001/-0.12%)
3 Month Treasury – 0.01 (-0.02/-66.67%)
2 Year Treasury – 0.33 (-0.04/-10.81%)
10 Year Treasury – 2.86 (-0.08/-2.72%)
30 Year Treasury – 4.18 (-0.02/-0.48%)
3 Month LIBOR – 0.25 (UNCHG)
U.S. Public Debt (official) – 14,344,503,407,708.90 (-67,878,441.00/-0.00%)
Baltic Dry Index (BDIY:IND) – 1,424.00 (+1.00/0.07%)

I am late once again. There is definitely a pattern developing. Friday’s just seem to get away from me. As for yesterday, I was so close, but just didn’t quite get it together. Actually I had everything but this blurb written when Baby Girl woke up from her nap. Mainly because I found that article about the E.U. above that just begged to be read. It’s pretty long, but it gives a solid view of the forces in play with respect to the European debt crises. The take home is that it’s not going away anytime soon and that all “solutions” are painful.

It is interesting that the Fed and the ECB are coming under pressure simultaneously. Clearly they collude so I suppose it’s not so surprising, but it’s interesting nonetheless. Consider what some of the bigger “solutions” to the problems could be:  1) closer political union in Europe; 2) monetary union with the United States and North America generally; 3) an international currency. There are of course others. For now the Europeans seem content to muddle along. Bail out here. Bail out there. Turns out Germany is on the hook for a lot of this. Check out the article for more.

When the Euro unravels war appears a likely outcome. National identities appear strong and there is definitely a perception that some countries are getting something for nothing (Greece), while others are having to make sacrifices on their behalf (Germany). I suppose time will tell, but really given that Europe was perpetually at war for centuries, and has not seen a major conflict since the 1940s, how long can this peace last?

As for me, went swimming with Baby Girl yesterday. She really loves the water. She kicked around on her little alligator kick board, although I had to hold her up. When we got home she crashed out for hours. Mom was working all day yesterday and today. Today it’s off to the playground when she wakes up and then a little house cleaning.

I broke out the physics book this weekend and was playing with calculating trajectories. I’ve decided to delve into numerical computing a bit. To that end I also started reading up on how the fundamental functions are calculated (exp, sin, cos, etc.) and it bears very little resemblance to the formulas you learn in calculus. This is of course due to the imprecision of floating point arithmetic  and the desire to make calculations as accurate as possible. For a guy that’s been primarily focused on data architecture and  business logic it’s definitely new territory.

Well that’s all for this week. I hope everyone had a great weekend!

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