“Economics is haunted by more fallacies than any other study known to man.” – Henry Hazlitt, Economics In One Lesson. The great Henry Hazlitt’s wise words came to mind while reading a recent New York Times post by George Mason economist Tyler Cowen who strangely observed that “The world just hasn’t had that much warfare lately, at least not by historical standards,” and “Counterintuitive though it may sound, the greater peacefulness of the world may make the attainment of higher rates of economic growth less urgent and thus less likely.” As Forbes' John Tamny lambasts, "They’re ultimately only words, but Cowen’s about war theoretically boosting animal spirits are pretty disturbing ones..."
Moments ago, president Obama announced what was informally known for days but only today was officially disclose to the public: namely that he’s sending up to 300 American troops to Iraq in the wake of escalating chaos in that nation. Actually: correction, make that "military advisors." Please don't call them troops because otherwise the US public may realize that Obama has just become only the third president in as many decades to launch his own private Iraq war. As Politico succinctly summarizes, "It’s a politically uncomfortable move for a president who won election in large part due to his opposition to the Iraq War and who has touted the withdrawal of U.S. combat forces from Iraq in 2011 as one of the key achievements of his presidency."
Moments ago Kevin McCarthy of California was elected majority leader by House Republicans, according to Riva Litman, spokeswoman for Republican Conference Chairman Cathy McMorris Rodgers. He fills the spot lost by Eric Cantor following his shocking loss to a tea-party activist two weeks ago. McCarthy win is not surprising: it was largely expected. What however, is notable is that with a self-declared net worth of between only $76K and $266K, albeit is substantial jump from the he $16K he revealed in 2008, he is by far the poorest member of the GOP leadership group.
No Wonder Impeachment Was “Off the Table”: Democrats Approved Mass Surveillance and Torture … and the Subsequent Cover-UpSubmitted by George Washington on 06/09/2014 18:52 -0400
No, It Was NOT All Bush and Cheney's Fault ... Even Back THEN
You’ve got to give young Andrew Demeter a lot of credit. Given the chance to meet a powerful Congresswoman, most people would melt into a sad puddle of unjustified reverence and pathetic groveling. Not this young man. When he was given the opportunity to ask Nancy Pelosi a question, he confronted her on the NSA’s unconstitutional spy practices and why she hasn’t done anything to stop it, considering she claims to be so “liberal.”
The American people are increasingly waking up to the fact that nothing ever seems to change in Washington D.C. no matter which political party is in power. In fact, as you will see later on in this article, an all-time high 53 percent of all Americans believe that neither party "represents the American people". The mainstream media would have us believe that the Republicans and the Democrats are constantly fighting like cats and dogs, but the truth is that the Republicans want to take us to the same place that the Democrats want to take us - just a little more slowly perhaps. In the final analysis, it is hard to be optimistic about a political solution to any of our major problems in the near future. Most of our politicians are deeply corrupt, the American people are incredibly angry and are deeply divided, and the vast majority of campaigns for federal office are won by the candidate that raises the most money.
Read Seymour Hersh’s devastating account of Obama’s Red Lines and Rat Lines and weep for the Republic. It is no more.
If you are not Professor Paul Krugman you probably agree that Washington has left no stone unturned on the Keynesian stimulus front since the crisis of September 2008. By the time the “taper” is over later this year (?) the Fed’s balance sheet will exceed $4.7 trillion - $4 trillion in new central bank liabilities in six years. All conjured out of thin air. Professor Krugman proposing to “do something”... In short, Krugman wants to double-down on the lunacy we have already accomplished. Unfortunately, we are presently nigh onto “peak debt”; there is no “escape velocity” because the Fed’s credit channel is broken and done. Going forward, the American people will once again be required to live within their means, spending no more than they produce. By contrast, Professor Krugman’s destructive recipes are entirely the product of a countrafactual economic universe that does not actually exist. He wants us to borrow and print even more because our macro-economic bathtub is not yet full. And that part is true. It doesn’t even exist.
With Russia warning of "boomerangs" and China threatening "unforeseeable consequences" it appears gridlock in Washington is (coincidentally) enabling the US to sit out the first round of shenanigans responses over this weekend's Crimea referendum.
*KERRY SAYS `WE NEED AID FOR UKRAINE AND WE NEED IT NOW'
But as AP reports, Congress won't be able to authorize aid to Ukraine until after March 24 amid disagreements among several Republican. Simply put, No Aid For You...
The clean debt ceiling bill has just passed the House where it got the required majority in a 221 to 201 final vote, with just 28 Republicans voting Yea (and 199 voting Nay) - a vote that has made history with the fewest number of votes from a majority on a bill that passed the House since 1991. It also means means that with a Senate passage assured, the US can now spend away until March 15, 2015. The final breakdown:
- GOP: Yea - 28; Nay -199
- DEM: Yea - 193; Nay -2
- Total: Yea - 221; Nay - 201
Considering that the vast majority of Republicans voted against John Boehner's latest "plan" to do the Democrats' work for them, and pass a clean debt ceiling, perhaps it is time to look for a speaker who represents the interests of more than just a tiny fraction of the party... and the Democrats of course.
"Markets were over-priced coming into 2014," warns Sam Zell (noting that he does not believe in the Fed's wealth effect perspective on market-growth helping buying and selling decisions in the real economy), but while he sees a benign outlook for residential real estate, among his biggest concerns are "half-assed" Obamacare's "deleterious effect on the USA" and its "need to be radically changed." Supportive of Carl Icahn and his 'capitalist activism', Zell adds rather frankly that he believes Tom Perkins was correct about the "the 1%... for political convenience," and reminds Bloomberg TV's Betty Liu that "the politics of envy, the politics of class warfare are what has separated America from many parts of the rest of the world," until now.
The rise in equities does not mean stocks "buy" more commodities in the real world - they buy less.
Bipartisan Budget Deal Reached; No Extension Of Unemployment Benefits Means Unemployment Rate Set To... PlungeSubmitted by Tyler Durden on 12/10/2013 19:01 -0400
Moments ago, news hit that democrat negotiators Patty Murray, and republican Paul Ryan reached a bipartisan deal to ease the automatic budget cuts by $60b. The deal calls for auctioning of govt airwaves, increased premiums for pensions backed by PBGC, a congressional aide told Bloomberg’s Heidi Przybyla. A press conference will be held at 6pm to unveil the bipartisan budget agreement, according to e-mailed statement. As a result, a January 15 government shutdown will be avoided. The agreement would require federal workers to contribute more to their pensions, increase premiums on companies whose pension plans are insured by the federal government and increase security fees paid by airline travelers.
And as a result of the implicit $5 billion a month fiscal boost, a near-term modest taper is now even more likely.
The only way to keep the status quo from imploding is to banish common-sense.
With A Final 285-144 Vote, Mission "Raise The Debt Ceiling" Is Accomplished: See You All Again In FebruarySubmitted by Tyler Durden on 10/16/2013 22:19 -0400
And so, in the proverbial 11th hour, or technically 10th hour and 10th minute before the midnight of the X-Date, the House gets the necessary 216 votes to pass the Senate bill to raise the debt ceiling, and in a final 285-144 tally, in which 87 Republicans voted yea to 144 GOP noes as all 198 Democrats vote yea, has agreed to restore funding. Next up: the BLS random number generator starts cranking again and informing everyone in just how sorry a state the economy finds itself, which of course is bullish for stocks because it means that the taper is indefinitely delayed, potentially until June 2014. Also next up, as the emergency Treasury measures are netted out against the new debt limit, it means that once the new Daily Treasury Statement hits, the total US Federal debt will be just at, or over $17 trillion. Rejoice.