Sunday, December 11, 2011

Articles worth a read, December 2011



Merry Xmas, will be back again next year

12/13 America: Income inequality
12/13 Burr: Sucks up to Corruption
12/13 Rich: Do not create jobs

12/12 Jobs: Come from demand, stupid
12/12 Burr on Gingrich: Too funny
12/12 Michael Moore: Obama in Wall Street pockets

12/09 Wall Street: Common sense sighted
12/09 Companies: Making > profits, paying < taxes
12/09 Coming financial debacle: No place to hide

12/08 Medical costs: $250 M on penis pumps?
12/08 Rich undertaxed: Pisses me off the most
12/08 Obama: About damn time

12/07 The rich say: Tax the poor
12/07 Fight: Beck vs. Gingrich
12/07 Romney: What's he hiding?

12/06 Tax Increases I: Will not harm economic growth
12/06 Tax Increases II: Will not harm economic growth
12/06 Tax Cuts I: Do NOT lead to economic growth

12/05 Tax Cuts II: Do NOT lead to economic growth
12/05 Financial crises: 2007 - 11 Timeline
12/05 Yet another: Republican Crook

12/02 Republicans: And racism
12/02 Republicans: Are just effing stupid
12/02 Jobs come from: Demand

12/01 School free lunch: Soaring
12/01 Arrests: We need these in USA
12/01 Newt: Lies, lies, more lies 

NOVEMBER

Thursday, December 8, 2011

Indiana finds money

Strange, but true.  An internal auditor in the State of Indiana was tracing a $25,200 check through the state's accounting system,  and just plain bumped into $320 Million that was just lying around,  unnoticed.   Found money.

Wonder if Republicans can find that $1.5 Trillion they pissed away on wars?  Maybe if they looked in the couch cushions up on Capital Hill ....

@SenatorBurr - Will Republicans cause the next major financial market plunge?

News out near the market close indicates that Euro stress tests require Banks there to raise an additional $150 Billion in capital.  They have until Jan 20 to inform their respective country regulators as to how they will meet the target.   And they'll have until June 30th next year to make it happen.

To meet these requirements,  they could attempt to issue new securities.  But given that their stocks have been trashed,  and their survival is in question,  I doubt that route will be available to many.  More than likely,  they will be forced to sell assets.   That has me scratching my head though in trying to figure out what this means in assets being dumped on the market over the next six months.   It all depends on capital ratio targets,  and which of the assets they'll be selling.  I keep reading that Euro banks are in sorry shape because they are leveraged 40 to 1.  Presumably they are being required to bring that ratio down appreciably to meet new Basel requirements.   But,  to what levels,  and when?   That's what will determine the extent of the asset sales necessary.

Here's my matrix on asset sales needed to achieve given leverage ratios.  And this assumes that the sales are being made to only meet the $150 B stress test requirements.  There may be additional sales needed for Basel requirements,  but likely the stress tests assumed also bringing ratios in line for Basel.  I hope.



I hope this is a situation where we're only going to see somewhere between $1.80 - $3 Trillion in assets hitting the market.  Not sure where the hell we're going to find that kind of capital to soak up the supply.   I can't even begin to imagine the pressure on the markets if significantly more than $3 Trillion must be shed over the next 6 months.

Wish I had a better handle on this issue.  More importantly,  wish I knew what kind of potential pools of capital were out there to absorb this selling.   Must keep in mind too all the sovereign debt hitting the markets in the coming year given the deficit spending that is happening worldwide.

I just don't see how the world financial markets are going to make it through 2012 without getting really clocked.   When supply exceeds demand,  price must come down.

Then again,  US banks are flush with excess deposits,  and don't have enough outlets to put that money to use.  As a result, they have Trillions sitting at the FED,  earning next to nothing.  If Ben were to push that money into the arms of assets being shed off the balance sheets of Euro banks,  at favorable prices ... that could help tremendously,  both Europe,  and US Banks.  AND,  if Ben could also come in with Q3 to put another $500 B to $1 T in capital out there ... the world might slide by this major Euro Bank asset dump.

I can hear the uproar from the idiot Republicans in Congress though.  Those clueless clowns are blind to the risks these assets dumps have to the net worth of American households.  They'll stand in Ben's way,  the world mkts will plummet,  and Americans will see Trillions more of their savings go up in smoke.  Watch it happen.  And remember that I warned you about the idiocy of Republicans challenging the actions of our Federal Reserve Board.

I hope Ben has a plan to cushion the coming Euro Bank asset dump.   And I hope he has the strength to strong-arm Republican opposition.   If not,  get liquid,  get short,  or you're going to kiss your capital good-bye.

@SenatorBurr REPUBLICANS = FISCALLY IRRESPONSIBLE

Just got finished reading a very interesting article on Minyanville.  Take a look at Table 1 in that article.  It shows,  on a timeline,  the total of Household + Corporate + Government Debt Outstanding, as a percentage of national GDP.

Regan+Bush Administrations - It spiked from 151 to 200%.
Clinton Administration - Remained flat.
Bush Administration - It spiked from 200 to 270%.

Republicans are fiscally responsible?  One word.  BULLSHIT.

@GOPLeader - That effing Eric Cantor wound up costing Americans $2.4 Trillion

The Fed Flow of Funds report got released today.   You can flip to page 106 to see the accounting for the net worth of Americans.  We lost $2.4 Trillion in wealth from June 30th thru Sept 30,  2011.  

What happened?  That little worthless,  piece of shit,  good for nothing, Eric Cantor,  acted like a fucking child and started a food fight on Capital Hill.   That asshole threatened to shut down our government over extending our nation's debt ceiling.  Investors across the country saw Eric's childish crap unfolding in Washington DC and headed for the exit on their investments,  across the board.   The value of our equity holdings fell by $1.5 Trillion.  Another Trillion got wiped off the map in the value of our pension/retirement savings.

Fuck you very much Eric, you sniveling weasel.

A special shout out thank you to all the Republican idiots in Richmond, Virginia who sent that scumbag Cantor to Washington.  I hope your investments performed significantly worse than average. 

Karma.

Question for the Obama Haters


I have a question for all the Obama haters out there,  especially all the ultra right-wing tea party members running around the country crying about President Obama being a socialist ...

In the previous post,  I laid out America's Individual Income tax return.  Take note of the fact that when you divide Income Tax by Taxable Income,  the average Federal Income tax rate of Americans is 20.6%.

A socialist is someone who takes from the rich,  and gives to the poor?  Done in excess,  that's socialism.  Right?

If President Obama is a socialist,  how is it then that the Top 400 earning Americans had taxable income of $227 Million each (latest info - 2008),  yet paid only 18.1% in income taxes .... less than the 20.6% average paid by other Americans?   How is it that a full 1/3rd of these very wealthy actually paid less than 15%?   This is socialism? Socialism is where the rich pay less than everyone else?

Are you sure you're not being brainwashed by the very people benefiting the most from the ultra low income tax rates on the extremely wealthy? Rupert Murdoch,  the owner of FOX,  is a billionaire.  Rush Limbaugh makes 10s of millions annually.   Haven't you allowed yourselves to be duped by these rich nut jobs?  Yes, the ultra rich have convinced you to fight their battles.  They've convinced you that our President is a socialist in his attempts to restructure America's income tax rates.  You're fighting for the rich,  allowing them to win the war.

Hell no, our President is not a socialist.  But we live in a communist country.  In communism,  the workers work their fingers to the bone to provide a lavish lifestyle to a very select group of party members.   In America,  citizens making between $200 K and $1 M a year are paying tax rates averaging 22 - 25%.  Middle class,  and upper middle class America are getting screwed,  to support the lavish lifestyles of the ultra wealthy, who pay far less in taxes.  And it's our Republican Party who stand in the way of bringing fairness back to our income tax structure.  Republicans absolutely insist that we keep the current tax structure in place,  a tax structure that operates just like communism.  The workers pay.  A small, select group of wealthy win.

Our President is a socialist?  Hardly.  But our Republican Party are a bunch of 'effing communists.   It's time to bring fairness back to our income tax structure.  It's time to raise taxes on the ultra wealthy,  IN A BIG WAY.

America's Income Tax Return

Americans pay $1.1 Trillion in Federal Income Taxes.  Ever curious how that number was determined?  Well,  this is a roll-up of America's 2009 Individual Income tax returns:

Note - Expressed in $ Billions.  i.e. Total Salaries and Wages are $5.9 Trillion, Taxable Interest equals $223 Billion:




Wednesday, December 7, 2011

Over regulation? Really? Really, Senator?

Republicans are on this giant kick of harping about government regulations stifling American corporations.

Funny thing though.  How is it that while we're supposedly over-regulated,  Corporate Profits hit record after record,  and taxes are at historical lows?   Wouldn't an over-regulated society lead to profit erosion,  and income tax explosion to the upside?   Then,  team those facts with the fact that corporate cash on the balance sheet also is sitting at all-time highs.  And corporations are in a position to complain?  Oh, please.  Wake the 'eff up.   Over regulation is just one giant reach for any issue that will stick.   And this issue isn't sticking.

Strange.  The Republican arguments just don't hold water.   But,  what else is new?

Why we need tight regulation of our financial markets

I initially posted this on my financial and trading blog, back in April 2009. Re-reading it this evening, I am simply SHOCKED that Republicans like Richard Burr even attempt to make an argument that we must roll back Dodd-Frank regulations over the financial industry. My take after re-reading this post ... SCREW RICHARD BURR AND HIS STUPIDITY. WE NEED SIGNIFICANTLY MORE FINANCIAL REGULATION OVER THE WALL STREET CLOWNS:


Michael Osinski was a computer programmer on Wall Street. He wrote software that Investment Banks used in managing their trades of mortgage backed securities. Michael recently wrote a riveting story in New York Magazine. It's a must read.

Two things struck me in thinking about this article. The first was just how interesting it was to follow Michael's career progress as he continued to develop and migrate this software to handle ever increasing levels of complexity for the development and trading in these securities.

The more shocking aspect of the article though had to do with his descriptions of the multi-million dollar traders who controlled this market. Here's an exert from his article that is most shocking:

"The world around me, though, had become bizarre. At the time, I had an odd sensation that mortgage traders felt they had to outdo the loutish behavior in Liar’s Poker. The more money they made, the more juvenile they became. What do you expect from 30-year-old megamillionaires whose overwhelming aspiration was something vaguely called Hugeness? They had wrestling matches on the floor. Food-eating contests. Like little kids, they scrambled to hide the evidence when the head of fixed income paid his rare visits to the floor.

Now that I was spending more time on the floor, I wondered why the men’s room always stank. Then one afternoon at three, when I was in there taking a leak, I discovered the hideous truth. Traders had a contest. Coming in at eight, they never left their desks all day, eating and drinking while working. Then, at three o’clock, they marched into the men’s room and stood at the wall opposite the urinals. Dropping their pants, they bet $100 on who could train his stream the longest on the urinals across the lavatory. As their hydraulic pressure waned, the three traders waddled, pants at their ankles, across the floor, desperately trying to keep their pee on target. This is what $2 million of bonus can do to grown men."

These are the people who Alan Greenspan (Republican Chairman of the Federal Reserve Board) expected to be able to execute a program of self-regulation of our financial markets? These are the people who our representatives and regulators in Washington DC believe always act in a legal, above-board manner?

Who in the hell are we kidding? These people lie, cheat and steal daily in an effort to take your money and make it theirs. These people exist all over Wall Street. Accept the fact that Wall Street is dominated by juvenile crooks. Once you accept the reality of who occupies the trading turrets of Wall Street, it then becomes an easy step into the realm of accepting the need for very tight regulation of our securities markets, and all of its participants.

President Obama is a winner

I've heard our President called just about every name in the book.   He's a socialist,  stooge, weakling,  idiot,  dolt,  pathetic .... you name it,  I've heard it, read it,  and sometimes,  even spoke or typed it myself.

But there's only one front that counts in my book.  And on that front,  President Obama is a winner:

Return on the S&P 500 during eight years of George W Bush .... -39.6%
Return on the S&P 500 during three years of Barack Obama ...... +52.4%

President Barack Obama's administration has been a raging success.  And I have the money in the bank to prove it.

Obama's war on religion?

Seen this Rick Perry commercial?   Obama's war on religion?  I missed that one.  Did it cost anything near the $1.5 Trillion Republicans spent on the wars waged on Islam?  Just curious.

Rick,  I have faith too,  faith that you'll flame out soon enough that few Americans will even recall that you were in the race.  You sealed your fate when threatening to hang Ben Bernanke - the only person in Washington who managed to apply common sense and prevent the '08 financial crises from becoming a full blown depression.

Rick Perry is toast.

My head's going to explode?

I've been up since 3:30 am.  My head is spinning.  It's not from the 4th cup of coffee either.  I'm drinking Caffeine-free this morning.  It's spinning from all the political and economic activity swirling around us today.

Europe - What a bunch of clueless morons over in Europe.  I've been hard on the inept political leadership we have in our country.  But, wow.  Our Congress looks like a genius pool next to the clowns over in Europe.  Europe's answer to their economic issues will lead them further down a rat hole of higher unemployment, continual erosion in economic activity,  and a death spiral in budgetary performance.  European stupidity will wind up rubbing off on the World Economy.  The World's financial markets are going lower, on the back of idiocy out of Europe.

President Obama - He's finally coming out swinging and weighing in heavy on the very issue that disturbs me the most - income inequality,  under-taxation of the ultra wealthy.  It's about damn time.   And I'm getting a good chuckle out of the reaction-o-meter spinning out of control on CNBC.  All the rich bankers, traders and money managers are livid that they're under the microscope.  Hell yeah,  let 'em feel the heat.  And make 'em whip out their checkbooks and cut bigger checks for income taxes.  I am just damn tired of paying an all-in Federal Income Tax bill of 22 - 25% of my income,  while the 400 highest earning Americans, making $286 M a year,  pay an average of 18%.  Even worse,  over 30% of the 400 highest earning Americans pay less that 15%.   How in the hell did we get in a situation where the richest among us pay less than the middle class?  And why is my Republican party standing there like morons,  protecting the rich,  and insisting that we can't raise income taxes on the wealthy to bring fairness back to our tax structure?

My neighborhood - I live smack in the middle of a Republican stronghold.  I can't go anywhere without bumping into radical, ubber right wing neighbors who think of President Obama as being an raging socialist and total disaster.   Well, OK.  They're entitled to their opinions.  But, Republicans are the better alternative?  Oh please.  Get an 'effing clue.  Republicans destroyed our economy.  They have no viable alternatives to get us out of the mess they created.   And their credibility is Zippo.  But my neighbors' naivety in really understanding the issues blows my mind.  Instead of trying to educate them,  which is an exercise in futility,  I'm in avoidance mode.  I won't be talking with neighbors much in the coming year,  and perhaps eternity. But I'll be handing out plenty of Obama 2012 stickers as XMas presents.  So they won't be talking to me either.  Good.  Less conflict.  Lower blood pressure.

Class warfare? - Oh STFU.  The rich pay less taxes than the middle class.  While I get caught in AMT,  year after year after year and wind up paying 25% tax on my capital gains,  Warren Buffet and Bill Gates can sale the same damn stock and pay only 15%.  WTF?  It's not class warfare,  it's just simple, plain, effing fairness.  And if President Obama makes the case that we need fairness in our tax code,  then by god,  he's my man.

Gingrich - He's got the Republican nomination sewed up.  Romney doesn't stand a chance. White, Christian, Southerners will not vote for a Mormon.  It's just not going to happen.  And I have to chuckle at all my neighbors who think Obama a disaster,  yet are now forced to support a lying scumbag like Gingrich.   This man bounced checks,  was sued to force payment of his child support,  has had more affairs and wives than my Ti BA-35 calculator can compute, and I've only scratched the surface.  Newt lacks a single, moral fiber in his body.  He's an arrogant, disgusting, vile person.  And people think he's a better alternative than President Obama?  My god, we're a nation gone insane.

That's just a small taste of the issues crossing my mind.  I'll be grateful if I make it through the day without my head exploding.

Sunday, December 4, 2011

@WhiteHouse - If you want my vote, I need to see Financial Executives in orange jumpsuits


President Obama - I'm a registered Republican who voted for you in 2008.   I voted for you because worthless politicians in my Republican party did stupid shit that destroyed our economy.   While you're making some progress,  it's simply not enough.  And worst of all,  I am just effing tired of reading about all the financial executives who made tens and hundreds of millions,  while driving our economy over a cliff with the worthless games they played in the mortgage market.  You want my vote in 2012?   OK then,  I need to start seeing a bunch of rich, white bankers marching around in orange jumpsuits.  Until that happens,  get lost.

Can you tell that I'm watching the 60 minutes piece this evening on all the rich bankers who screwed America,  with ZERO fear of prosecution?

Friday, December 2, 2011

@SenatorBurr - You're full of crap, Senator


I've always been mad at my worthless Republican Senator,  Richard Burr.  The man's been in Washington DC for more than 15 years.  What has he accomplished?  Nothing of substance.  Absolutely nothing.  But,  he spends inordinate time pointing fingers everywhere but in the mirror.

I'm especially upset my with worthless Senator today,  after reading this letter.  Did you read the key piece tucked at the very end of the letter?:

"Last night, the Senate voted on a bill that would extend the temporary payroll tax holiday enacted last year.  This was an attempt to reduce long term retirement savings for short term stimulative gain; it did not work the way we hoped, and it is time to pursue other alternatives."

It did not work?  Oh please.  It did work.  It is working.  It continues to work.  And the evidence is right in front of your nose, Senator.  This payroll tax cut puts money in the pockets of average Americans, Americans who are in dire need of help in this terrible economy.   This money gets spent.  It stimulates DEMAND.  Increased demand leads to jobs.  Look at the data Senator.
  • In eight YEARS of Republican control of Washington during the Bush administration,  only 1.1 Million new jobs were created.
  • In only eleven MONTHS after the Obama payroll tax cuts were passed,  1.4 million jobs have been created.
  • 1.1 Million by Republicans in eight years,  1.4 Million by Democrats in 11 months!
If Republican politicians had their way,  they'd be shoveling even more money into the pockets of the extremely wealthy.   That money would not get spent.  It'd be stashed in a bank or sunk into an investment.  Our world is already awash in liquidity and capital Senator.  We don't need any more damn capital sloshing around in the system.  We need demand.  We need to put money into the hands of people who will spend that money on products.  It is DEMAND that will create jobs,  not SAVINGS and INVESTMENTS.  Payroll tax cuts go to people who need the money,  and therefore will spend it quickly,  increasing DEMAND,  creating jobs.  Get a clue you worthless idiot.

North Carolina deserves better than an idiot serving us in the United States Senate.   Get off your tail Senator,  and get these tax cuts extended.  Pay for them by taxing the very wealthy.   Get it done Senator,  so our nation can continue to create jobs for those in dire need.

North Carolina deserves better than our idiot Senator,  Richard Burr.

Why Republican politicians are losers

Repost from June 2009:

My Republican Party is a party of losers. We are losers because we choose losers to lead our party. And one of the biggest losers of all is Newt Gingrich.

Newt was our party's keynote speaker a couple of nights ago at a fundraising dinner for the Republican House and Senate campaign committees. We're supposedly a party of self-reliance and personal responsibility. Newt Gingrich:
  • Bounced 22 checks.
  • Was a draft dodger.
  • Showed up at his wife's hospital bed (after cancer surgery) seeking agreements in divorce talks.
  • Had to be taken to court and forced to support his children.
  • Used his political power and influence to get his wife a job.
  • Was caught having sex with the wife of his campaign aide.
  • Had affairs with his Congressional aides.
This man is scum. He's bad news. He's trouble. And he's viewed as the leader of the Republican Party? What the hell is wrong with us that we look to such morally corrupt people to lead our Party? How in the world can we talk about personal responsibility and self-reliance when we have a scumbag like Newt Gingrich carrying our banner?

I have to ask again, are my fellow Republicans insane?

ENOUGH. I've had more than enough of the lunacy going on within the Republican Party. We absolutely must throw out of office every Republican who served since 2000. Within the group of Republican politicians in Washington DC now, I don't hear a single voice crying out about the necessity of getting rid of Newt Gingrich. So, let's clean house. Let's get rid of every Republican who saddles up next to Newt. And that's just about every Republican in office now, including North Carolina Senator Richard Burr.

Senator Richard Burr needs to go. We need to vote this man out of office. North Carolina deserves better.

Thursday, December 1, 2011

Articles worth a read, November 2011


11/30 China: Boosts growth
11/30 Bernanke: Saves the world, again
11/30 Economy: Improving, dramatically

11/29 Rich: Whining to The President
11/29 Rich: Complain about the poor
11/29 Bush Tax Cuts: Fail

11/23 SuperWealthy: Job Creators? Nope
11/23 US Taxes: Among lowest in world
11/23 UK: Addresses Corp Greed

11/22 Rich people: Don't pay income tax
11/22 Frum: Republicans are insane
11/22 Basel: History and Rules

11/21 Euro Banks: $2.5 T Asset Sales
11/21 Endgame: Coming to EU, rapidly
11/21 Government fiddles: World burns

11/20 Income inequality: Kills economic growth
11/20 Bush economy: Based entirely on debt
11/20 $46 Trillion: 10 years of spending (Pg 54)

11/19 Reason: Case against Gingrich
11/19 No kidding: Keith has a point
11/19 Really, no kidding: Barry's point even better

11/18 Newt Gingrich: LIAR
11/18 Newt Gingrich: Hypocritical LIAR
11/18 Cain: Dumbest of the dummies? 

11/17 Bernanke: Goes to war with China
11/17 Burr: Says Obama toast
11/17 Burr: 36 - 35, We don't like Burr

11/16 Newt Gingrich: Fat, Loser
11/16 Coburn: 1%,  takes, takes, takes
11/16 Europe: Print, or die

11/15 HealthCare: Americans want mandatory
11/15 Stimulus: Does not work
11/15 TheFly: Good vs. Evil

11/14 Mark Cuban: Tax rates? Meaningless
11/14 Congress: Insider trading rampant
11/14 Republicans: Finally, bend

11/13 US Economy: Overview
11/13 Euro Central Bank: Fires politicians
11/13 Government: Crushes the people

11/12 War: So begins the next Republican War?
11/12 Cramer: Slams Republicans
11/12 Wall Street to Republicans: You got nothing