Monthly Archives: May 2011

Archive of posts published in the specified Month

Random Thoughts 05 31 2011

I hear a lot of ads advising investors to put gold in their IRAs or 401ks.  Seems like a terrible idea.  The big benefit if retirement accounts is to defer income. Gold generates no income, and actually incurs storage and…

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The Cabinet War

I just finished reading Dance of the Furies- Europe and the Outbreak of World War I by Michael Neiberg.  It is an excellent companion to another book he wrote about WWI:  Fighting the Great War.  Michael is a history professor…

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How Not to Grow the Economy

Economist Scott Grannis in Calafia Beach Pundit (a recommended daily read) writes “Why The Recovery Continues to be Subpar”  (May 27,2011): excerpt: Monetary “stimulus” that involves very low short-term interest rates and lots of bond purchases can’t create growth out…

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The Biggest Obstacle to a Palestinian State

During the turmoil that gave birth to the state of Israel in 1947 and 1948 over 700,000 Jews were ejected from the Arab states from Libya to Iraq.  Jews had lived in those countries for thousands of years. All of…

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The Moral Equivalency of Thomas Friedman

I confess that I do not count myself among the Thomas Friedman sycophants.  I have read some of his books and I just find him trying so hard to be “intellectually balanced” that he often ignores the obvious and the…

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Falling Through the Financial Cracks

When those who point fingers seek blame for the financial crisis of 2008 (we are yet to have an official historical name for this disaster) the common refrain is deregulation of the financial industry, but some examination seems to be…

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Pragmatism

Pragmatism, a philosophy  devised by William James, John Dewey, and others, is anti-principle.  Pragmatism says that principles are snares and delusions.  Pragmatists teach explicitly that contradictions are inevitable and that it is folly to try to define a consistent set…

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Inconvenient Truths in the Middle East

In the course of the Middle East controversy there are a few points that while obvious seem worthy of repeating. There is only one Jewish state in the world.  One.  It is surrounded by dozens of Islamic states where freedom…

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Why Terrorism Works

Written by Alan Dershowitz post 911, Why Terrorism Works, gives a simple answer: because we reward it. Terrorism has earned the Palestinians recognition and legitimization.  Our response to terrorism has centered on fallacies that perpetuate the problem.  We have believed…

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The Limits of Money, The Virtues of Wealth

Money will not purchase happiness for the man who has no concept of what he wants: money will not give him a code of values, if he’s evaded the knowledge of what to value, and it will not provide him…

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Intelligence is Not Enough

I have found that the claim to intellectual brilliance may the weakest, maybe the most dangerous reason to select a political leader. I recall Oprah Winfrey announcing that we should not vote for Obama because he is black but because…

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Forming Opinion

Many are the works of genius that would have been incinerated if a roll of opinion had been called. I am sure you have had the experience of making up your own mind and then discovering, on the evening news…

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Deregulating Glass-Steagall

The Glass-Steagall Act was passed in 1933 in response the Crash of 1929.  It built a wall of separation between investment banking and commercial banking. It sought to isolate the purpose of providing loans for mortgages and small businesses from…

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Who Controls the Narrative

The Pubic Hair on the Coke Can I remember the Clarence Thomas hearings in 1991 as a pivotal point in my thinking about politics.  While liberals criticized his experience or qualification, the hearing themselves became a media farce with innuendos…

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Random Political Thought 05 14 2011

Newt and Mitt are the old Republican Party.  There are those Republican that think that we need less government and then there are those that think we still need lots of government power; it just needs to be in their…

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Do Regulations Increase the Risk of Catastrophic Failure?

The implications of complexity in financial markets are more pointed than for most other industries: In the financial markets, some participants have a self- interest in gaming the system.  Traders do not act as uninvolved parties.  They are ready to…

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A Victim of Our Own Success

Monetary policy seeks to promote economic growth through the proper management of the currency. The trick is to create enough money to provide growth without losing control of inflation. This is no small task. We are a nation addicted to…

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More than Mere Tactics

At an industry meeting last week at the Broadmoor in Colorado Springs, CO, the first speaker on Monday, May 2,  was General Stanley McChrystal.  Given the killing of Bin Laden the day before he changed his topic from one of…

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Leadership Without Brains or Balls

Tom Coburn of Oklahoma, Mike Crapo of Idaho, and Saxby Chambliss of Georgia are proposing an automatic tax increase with spending cuts if deficit reductions do not materialize.  This is government without either brains or balls.  Unable to reach any…

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You Want Jobs with That?

268,00 new jobs were added last month. 62,000 of  those jobs, almost 1/4, were from McDonald’s. McDonald’s was one of several large companies to receive a waiver from the new health insurance requirements. Being careful not to draw too tight…

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