While some have proclaimed the 36,000 enrollment in The Affordable Care Act "a good start," the online marketplaces that Obamacare has become more infamous for have been plagued with problems in the brief two weeks since launch. Politico provides 25 of the most telling and colorful comments made about the "glitches" the online exchanges have faced...
That CNN's news coverage has been nothing but comedy-(and cringe-)worthy for the past several years, should not be news to anyone by now: perhaps there is no better testament to a society in which a network that breaks news based on fake twitter rumors is still held in high regard. However, in the spirit of reverse psychology memes, does the fact that Jon Stewart is now constantly poking fun at CNN's "news-slaughter", mean that it may be, paradoxically, time to start taking CNN - "the most busted name in news" seriously again? (...that's obviously rhetorical).
Mitt Romney's net worth of $250 million is well-known by virtually everyone in America: after all, it was the primary campaign offensive used by the Obama team against his presidential challenger in an election run largely down wealth, and social class lines, and whom "Democrats targeted in ads and speeches as being out of touch with most Americans." What many may not know is that staunch democrat Al Gore's own personal wealth, has soared from virtually nothing in 1999 to a staggering $200 million according to an analysis conducted by Bloomberg.
Presenting Dave Collum's now ubiquitous and all-encompassing annual review of markets and much, much more. From Baptists, Bankers, and Bootleggers to Capitalism, Corporate Debt, Government Corruption, and the Constitution, Dave provides a one-stop-shop summary of everything relevant this year (and how it will affect next year and beyond).
Average Fox News Viewer is 65 … Other Corporate News Networks Aren’t Far Behind
Sick of the official and very serious theater that passes for America'a presidential election? Then enjoy the following less than serious theater courtesy of the comic duo of Bill O'Reilly and Jon Stewart, whose "Rumble 2012" was the best 90 minute lampoon of America's hypnotic fascination with whose (skewed?) ratings did what first thing in the morning, whose non-sex tape was released over the weekend, who misspoke in the past 12 hours, but most importantly how no matter who is in charge on November 7, nothing will actually change. Finally, what better way to start your Sunday than with a laugh at some politicians' expense?
"Yellow journalism" – which seems almost the only kind we have these days dominates our newsflow, but the truth is out there. As with everything else though, it's subject to Pareto's Law. So, 80% of what's out there is crap, and 80% of what's left is merely okay. But that remaining 4% of quality, uncensored, free information flow is extremely valuable. The terminal corruption of the major news corporations and the lack of interest in seeking the truth among the general population augurs very poorly for the prospects of the US and the current world order. This creates speculative opportunities, but prospects for mainstream investments are not good. Western civilization is truly in decline and far down the slippery slope.
Sometimes you just have to laugh, and with the ongoing debacle of Liebor - it's even more true as now the Swiss hedge fund community is dragged into the miasma - or else you'll cry. As the conspiracy theories morph into conspiracy fact, who better to explain that LIBOR is not the "mythical half wild-bore, half lion that was rumored to have killed Achilles' brother Jimmy" but is the "benchmark for all money-lending on errr, let's say Earth", than The Daily Show's Jon Stewart. From the concrete evidence that banks deliberately manipulated the world's most important interest rate - for the good of themselves. As Jon says, "never trust anything that rhymes with wankers". How did they do it? and what will the fallout be?
I know, totally unrelated two topics.
This is neither here nor there, but is, for all intents and purposes, the best take down of the utter and complete hypocrisy that now reigns supreme in the GOP primary process. Thank you Jon Stewart for doing the thinking that so many other Americans seem utterly incapable of any longer.
A few days ago we presented a roster of the top contributors to Mitt Romney's 2012 presidential campaign as reported by OpenSecrets. Today we have done the same for two other candidates, representing two previous election cycles: 2008 and 2004. The first table shows Romney's key contributors to date. The other two are the blacklined candidates. We are confident everyone can guess who they are, but just in case they are presented unredacted below the chart. It is ironic that nothing really changes at the end of the day in terms of whose bidding is ultimately performed by the president, whoever it may be. We have highlighted those Romney donors who are identical to previous campaign cycles.
"I hold a deeply held view of Ron Paul as an honorable, genuine and trustworthy American statesman. In fact, I cannot really think of anyone else in the tepid cesspool of American politics today whom I could even remotely categorize as a statesman as opposed to a run of the mill politician (or ideologue as Mr. Lucas puts it). Mr. Lucas moves on to explain that to an ideologue it is current ideas that matter, while to a statesman it is certain principles that matter. He states that an ideologue’s view of the world and its inhabitants is political, while to a statesman it is historical. These simple sentences are what I believe inherently separate Ron Paul at his very core from everyone else currently running for president. This is merely what separates the man’s character from the others. This is reason enough to consider him, but not reason enough to vote for him. His ideas about liberty, war and economics also separate him from the pack and it is his strongly held principles on these subjects that in my view make him the only one capable and with enough conviction to help heal this country’s wounds, get us back on the right and moral path and foster real change as opposed to a campaign slogan."
Newspaper Chaired By Private Equity Head Shockingly Endorses Mitt Romney For President; Ron Paul On Jay LenoSubmitted by Tyler Durden on 12/18/2011 00:43 -0500
A few hours ago the Des Moines Register threw its support behind the Bain Capital founder, and the man now known to have actively destroyed any trace of his public "service" before his 2007 Massachusettes office handover (with a pending response to a Reuters FOIA, which will disclose just what it was that Romney was so tenuously shredding). Because according to the Iowan newspaper, Mitt Romney "is the best to lead" America, although into what, is not quite clear - perhaps the biggest Fed funded LBO (with a Bain Capital $1 mezz piece) of all time, that of America? We don't know. And neither does the Register's editorial board. What they do know are hollow adjectives, such as "sobriety", "wisdom" and "judgment" which somehow are applicable to Romney, if not so much "betting" and "shredding." Those looking for a late night laugh can read the OpEd below (link to tomorrow's front page here). And ironically, while likely set to provide a very short-term boost to Romney's chances, it is the baseless ongoing accusations against Ron Paul that will likely solidify the groundswell behind the Texan, with such desperate platitudes as "Ron Paul's libertarian ideology would lead to economic chaos and isolationism, neither of which this nation can afford." Because what America certainly needs is more of that old ideology of doing everything just the same and hoping for the best, because if there is anything Romney's would be predecessors have taught us is that hope apparently is a credible strategy. But perhaps most relevant is the reminder that the Des Moines Register is a Gannett company whose Chairman just happens to be one Marjorie Magner, whose bio reads: 'Ms. Magner, 61, is Managing Partner of Brysam Global Partners, a private equity firm investing in financial services firms with a focus on consumer opportunities in emerging markets founded in January 2007. She was Chairman and CEO of Citigroup's Global Consumer Group from 2003 to 2005. She served in various roles at Citigroup, and a predecessor company, CitiFinancial (previously Commercial Credit), since 1987. Ms. Magner currently serves as a director of Accenture Ltd. and Ally Financial Inc. and served as a director of The Charles Schwab Corporation from February 2006 to May 2008. Ms. Magner has broad business experience and financial expertise from the various senior management roles she held with Citigroup."
So the ESM is going to be implemented ahead of schedule. Or at least that is the current plan, although it seems that Finland is insisting that it retains unanimous voting and most (all?) countries still need to ratify it. The ECB will oversee the ESM and EFSF, which is good as they have more market experience than the EFSF head, but does mean they will be reluctant to print which is what the market really wants. The ESM will have an effective lending capacity of €500 billion. That document states that the lending capacity of €500 billion includes any capacity being used by the EFSF. The EU statement confirms that. So between EFSF and ESM, the combined lending capacity is €500 billion. “The ESM will use an appropriate funding strategy so as to ensure access to broad funding sources”. So the ESM has paid in capital but it will continue to try and raise money based on guarantees and commitments. I know this is a detail that people want to ignore in the rush to proclaim “paid in capital” but the reality is that the ESM is not so dissimilar from the EFSF... On a side note, Europeans seem to love night clubs much more than Americans. Maybe that is why they make all these announcements at 5 am? They are used to "table service" shutting down around that time and having to make a decision of what to do next. I can count how many good decisions I've made at 4 am after an all-nighter on one hand. Why will this be any different. It feels to me like at the end they shrugged their shoulders and decided to settle because it wasn't going to get any better and they didn't feel like saying the night had been a waste.