Showing posts from December 29, 2015

One Little Tweet From Bernie Sanders Sums Up Everything Wrong with Big Banks and Government

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[No additional comment required. *RON*]

By geebeebeeDaily Kos, 28 December 2015

Rubin, Summers, Paulson….think of what those names have done for the American economy, and two of them worked under Democrats. Is this the path we want to continue on -- Former Goldman Sachs employees running our banking and treasury system?

Watch Robert Rubin and Henry Paulson, who were big contributors to our 2007 meltdown, laughing it up over income inequality:

Forbes Welcome

Click here to view The Nothingness That Is Forbes.

I was going to post a story here called What The NRA’s Wayne Lapierre Gets Paid To Defend Guns.

But when I got to the Forbes web site it would not let me read the story without turning off my ad blocker.

Which I would not do, so welcome to the nothingness that is Forbes.

Private planes delay flights to West Palm Beach

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[You can hear the sound of guillotine blades being hauled up. See also: "Affluenza" Teen Detained Near Mexican Beach Town With His Mother. *RON*]

By Ian Mohr, Page Six, 27 December 2015
Upper crust New Yorkers who didn’t have the luxury of flying private to Palm Beach, Fla., over the weekend were delayed because of their more extravagant counterparts.

Spies getting on a La Guardia Jet Blue flight to West Palm Beach on Christmas Day told Page Six, “Listen to this one! The flight was supposed to leave at 2:47 p.m. Now they are saying we are going to take off at 6:45 p.m. or later because there are too many private planes in West Palm trying to land.”

Our spy sniffed.

“Since when do private planes get priority over big commercial carriers? They are making a huge group of people wait four hours because the ultra rich have to land their private planes. This is outrageous!”

Michael Burry, Real-Life Market Genius From The Big Short, Thinks Another Financial Crisis Is Looming

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["It seems the world is headed toward negative real interest rates on a global scale. This is toxic. Interest rates are used to price risk, and so in the current environment, the risk-pricing mechanism is broken. That is not healthy for an economy." *RON*]

By Jessica Pressler, New York Magazine, 28 December 2015
If The Big Short, Adam McKay’s adaptation of Michael Lewis’s book about the 2008 financial crisis and the subject of last month’s Vulture cover story, got you all worked up over the holidays, you’re probably wondering what Michael Burry, the economic soothsayer portrayed by Christian Bale who’s always just a few steps ahead of everyone else, is up to these days. In an email, which readers of the book will recognize as his preferred method of communication, the real-life head of Scion Asset Management answered some of our panicked questions about the state of the financial system, his ominous-sounding water trade, and what, if a…

These are the 11 countries with the safest banks in the world

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[An older article I'd put away and promptly forgot about. Canada came in #1. Luxembourg looks like a nice place! *RON*]
Ben Moshinsky, Business Insider, 8 October 2015

The World Economic Forum's recently-released Global Competitiveness Survey offers a bundle of indicators to show the health of a country's institutions.

One of those is the perceived safeness of banks.

WEF used its executive opinion survey to ask "in general, how do you perceive the soundness of banks?"

Obama signs ban on microbead pollution

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[In its usual "me too" fashion, Canada had introduced a bipartisan bill, also scheduled to take microbeads off the shelf by 2018. I'm not sure what the fate of the bill was because of the election. *RON*]
By Garret Ellison, Michigan Live, 28 December 2015

Say goodbye to the beads.

On Monday, Dec. 28, President Barack Obama signed into law a ban on tiny plastic particles used in personal cosmetic products that scientists say are polluting U.S. lakes, rivers and the oceans.

The bipartisan "Microbead-Free Waters Act of 2015," (H.R. 1321), passed by the U.S. House on Dec. 7, "prohibits the manufacture and introduction into interstate commerce of rinse-off cosmetics containing intentionally-added plastic microbeads."

The tiny plastic beads, about the size of a pen-tip, have been shown to filter through municipal wastewater treatment plants after consumers rinse them down the drain while using soaps, toothpaste and oth…

Is Assortative Mating Responsible for Rising Income Inequality?

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[George Mason University economist Tyler Cowen suggests that it might be. Evolutionary psychology skirts close to Social Darwinism. *RON*]
Ronald Bailey, Reason, 28 December 2015

Income inequality in the United States has been rising. Various explanations have been proposed ranging from the hollowing out of the middle class as middle-skilled jobs are automated away to tax policies that favor the already rich. In his Sunday New York Timesarticle, "The Marriages of Power Couples Reinforce Income Inequality," George Mason University economist Tyler Cowen suggests that rising income inequality is being exacerbated by the fact that highly educated people are increasingly likely to marry one another. As evidence, Cowen cites an interesting study published in 2014 that looked what would have happened to income inequality if marriage matches were still being made across the educational and income levels as they stood in 1960. From the Cowen'…

Saudis unveil radical austerity program

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[Maybe the princes won't be able to afford that third Bentley! Actually, if they're hurting, can you imagine how Russia is doing? Or Venezuela? What will the geopolitical fallout look like? *RON*]
Simeon Kerr, CNBC News, 29 December 2015

Saudi Arabia on Monday unveiled spending cuts in its 2016 budget, subsidy reforms and a call for privatizations to rein in a yawning deficit caused by the prolonged period of low oil prices.

The Gulf kingdom has kept oil production at high levels in an attempt to force out higher-cost producers, such as shale, and retain its market share. But this year's deficit ballooned to 367 billion Saudi riyals ($97.9 billion,) or 15 per cent of gross domestic product, as oil revenues fell 23 per cent to Sr444.5 billion.

Seeking to ward off future fiscal crises, the ministry of finance confirmed wide-ranging economic reforms, including plans to "privatize a range of sectors and economic activities".