Monthly Archives: August 2010

Archive of posts published in the specified Month

Why the drop in home sales is a good thing.

It is not Obama’s fault that home sales are dropping, though it is his fault that they did not drop sooner.  Why is it bad that the sales of home and home prices are dropping? Yes, it eats up bank…

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The Death of Judgment

After a long day of helping my daughter move into her apartment in Bloomington, Indiana, before classes start we went for a late bite at Applebee’s.  Apparently Indiana has a new law that EVERYONE gets carded if you order a…

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Muslim Diversity

I have to confess that much of the rhetoric from the right on Muslims in America has crossed a line that I find uncomfortable.  Much of this is centered around the controversies of the mosque proposed a few blocks away…

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Explaining Huge Deficits with Low Interest Rates

We are living in interesting times.  While the professional economists are trying to figure out what happened we have all become economists of sorts just to try and understand the events that greet us every day. With huge deficits many…

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Demon Fodder

Issues like the GZ Mosque provide excellent fodder for the talking heads of the right and the left because it provides them with demons, and they both prefer demons to solutions. Demons get people worked up and when their blood…

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Who Built the Bonfire?

From StumblingOnTruth Keep the Casinos Open by Clifford S. Asness, Ph.D. Excerpt: Stepping back, nowadays the popular narrative is that this economic crisis was caused by Wall Street and derivatives. It was not. It was a real estate bubble caused…

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Kill the Bill

I spent the afternoon reviewing my company’s health insurance policy with some very capable administrators and the presentation was mostly about how the new health insurance law would impact our coverage and what we were allowed to offer, how it…

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Getting Distracted

There is a real problem with the border in Arizona.  And there is a real problem with the Mosque near Ground Zero.  But these are distractions from the greater issue of an economy out of control and a government that…

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Playing the Wrong Game

I have positioned my blog as beyond left and right, though I realize many readers may judge it otherwise. But Scott Rasmussen perhaps captures this better in this article about him by John Fund in the Wall Street Journal, America’s…

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Financial Observations 08 20 2010

IBM, Johnson and Johnson,  and McDonalds are issuing debt with rates comparable to US government debt and at lower rates than that offered by many foreign governments. What does this mean?  That bond buyers consider blue chip corporations as safe…

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Does Our Housing Policy Foster Unemployment?

By pushing more people into housing through incentives the Federal government may be aggravating the unemployment problem. In good markets housing is illiquid. In a real estate depression a house is like a heavy anchor.  The inability to be mobile…

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Risk and Principle

In a world of uncertainty it is more important to know the odds than to know the facts. In a business bet, if you have a thirty percent chance of winning one hundred dollars or a seventy percent chance of…

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How Over Reaction Makes Real Problems Worse

Immediately after 9/11 the media estimated a death toll of 40,000.  It came closer to 3,000. After Katrina hit we heard stories of the National Guard needing 25,000 body bags.  The real need was closer to 1,000. These were epic…

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Changing Parties is Not Enough

from my article in American Thinker We need more than a change in parties 6/25/10 excerpt We need to do more than just reduce taxes on business. We need to create some comfort and consistency that they will remain low. …

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Delaying a Recovery in Employment

Economists are realizing that each successive recession and recovery takes longer to regain the employment level before the contraction. The depth of the recession may have something to do with this and the perception of the recession may also have…

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The Arbiter of Wealth and Poverty

In The American Spectator (online version) Boston University Professor Angelo Codevilla writes “America’s Ruling Class- And the Perils of Revolution” (July – August 2010 issue).  I recommend reading the entire article  (about 22 pages printed). While many advocating government solutions…

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Financial vs Tangible Assets

The Reagan revolution drove assets from tangibles to the financial sector. Obama is reversing the direction. From my article in American Thinker on 7/6/10. In Praise of Financial Inequality excerpt Financial assets are an investment in the future; tangible assets…

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When Theory Replaces Judgment

Just as the core theory of equity indexing was that diversification could substitute for exhaustive ( and perhaps unreliable) analysis of the underlying companies, the core theory of structured finance was that by combining large piles of individual credits into…

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Random Thoughts on Economics

‘Sound currency’ is like ‘ world peace.’  We all agree we want it, especially when we do not have it.  Yet either we can never agree how to get it, or we are never willing to make the sacrifice it…

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