Tuesday, September 17, 2013

The Richest Households Live Near The Capitol

That three of the five richest States per capita are located around Capitol Hill should not surprise anyone who has spent any time living in the DC area.  When you walk around DC or drive around the metro area - which includes northern Virginia and the part of Maryland encircled by the DC "beltway" - you can just feel taxpayer largesse oozing from everywhere.  Just like New York City and northern New Jersey have a lot of obvious mafia wealth everywhere, DC has even more wealth connected to the Government, politicians and YOUR tax money.  It really is a truly appalling sight.

As they say, a picture says 1000 words:

This is just another sign that the U.S. is in economic and political collapse.  I really hope no one really wonders how someone like the perverted Mormon, Harry Reid, can enter the Senate with barely a pot to piss in and amass wealth estimated to be at least $10 million during his time there.  I know after taxes and living expenses that Senators don't make a lot of money - legitimately, that is.


  1. Reid has 2 sons who are lobbiests, and I bet get taken care of. Wasn't that one of the Obama campaign pledges-get rid of lobbys-except the ones benefiting him

  2. michael schumacherTuesday, 17 September, 2013

    That Maryland is the top is just fuel to argument. Take a stroll in the 'burbs around Baltimore and one would find that it is not unlike New Orleans....oh wait Louisiana in bottom three....;-)
    Spook-ville (Virginia to others) always done well....as in the above example it is one's perspective that is most important.

  3. I am a Mormon and reid is a disgrace to all Mormons. Most of the Mormons I know and talk to think he should be excommunicated but so far the leadership has been looking the other way. Pretty sad commentary on them and the church.

    1. Thanks. That's why I qualified it with "perverted" to differentiate him and his ilk from the Mormons who ascribe to true spirituality

    2. Here's a picture of the Mormon leadership looking the other way except it looks like they sold you Mormons out.


  4. Greg Palast on Larry Summers and the Financial Crisis

    Apparently even the culture of hypocrisy has its limits.

    I just finished reading This Town by Mark Leibovich. In 1974 roughly 3% of Congressmen stayed in the District as lobbyists after serving their terms. Today that number is approximately 50% of Senators and 43% of Congressmen who stay in the Beltway to become highly paid lobbyists, fueled by corporate money, cashing in on connections and influence often for the same causes which they fought against while in the Congress.

    “In poor countries, officials receive explicit bribes; in D.C. they get the sophisticated, implicit, unspoken promise to work for large corporations”

    Nassim Taleb, The Bed of Procrustes

    We have seen the meteoric rise of 'full service firms' that contain former high profile figures of both the Republicans and the Democrats in a partnership of cynicism, raw power, and greed. Right or left, they offer a one stop shop that can fix any problem, fashion and implement any loophole, and promote aggressive war and excuse genocide with a straight face if there is enough money to be made in it.

    The story in the book is how broadly the politicians are co-opted by the promise of salaries in the tens of millions, even while they are still legislating. It envelopes the journalist community and the media, and it has gotten completely out of hand.


  5. Dave - completely off topic... but what are your thoughts on metal prices and the shares in the upcoming months? I know there is a key Fed meeting tomorrow but it seems it is just one reason (excuse) after another to hit the prices, and I'm sure tomorrow will be no different, and when prices should go up it doesn't. I can't believe how much money I am down on precious metals because I got in at significantly higher prices and it is really bothering (depressing) me like no other to be down so much money. It is a staggering amount considering most of my assets are in this sector and I'm losing my patience. I'm so tired of hearing hyped predictions because none have been correct, but I trust your opinion more than anyone else because you aren't trying to sell me something.

    1. Going higher. Look at a 14 year chart of gold if you have one. This correction is a "blip" that isn't much different the other two previous "blips." It's just lasted longer and the manipulation has become more desperate and blatant - just like the corruption of our system and our Government.

      Obama can go fuck himself.

      Hang in there and you will be rewarded. We got spoiled with gold going up every year for 12 years in a row. Just from a pure probability standpoint it was due for a down year.

      When has the Dow ever gone up every year for 12 years in a row?

    2. Is Bernanke about to destroy the gold investment market?

      Below shows that he timed it just right. Previous gold bull-markets have ended when the gold to monetary base ratio reached 4.8. When Jim Rogers pulled out it was 5.1. However, for us we are nowhere close to reaching this point. At the time of writing the ratio is at its lowest level in the period studied at 0.4.


  6. What's happening to the price of gold? In theory it should be going up but so far it's by far the worst investment I've ever made. So much for having a safe haven!!!

    1. Perhaps you should have spent more time investigating and understanding the asset you chose to store value. All "gold" is not created equally, which will be apparent soon enough.

      A theory is a contemplative and rational type of abstract or generalized thinking... Just because it makes sense for gold to increase during a time of printing the reserve currency, other market forces are also at work. Trying to understand the dynamics of this complex environment can cause a person to go crazy. If you've done your due diligence, and have positioned yourself accordingly, then you should weather the coming storm in great shape. If however, you're planning to ride the coat-tails of an increasing "gold" price due to financial speculation, then I think you may find yourself shirtless, so to speak.

  7. Reid got back in because Republicans fixed the race for him. They set it up for Sue Lowden (who could beat Reid) to lose to Sharon Angle (who Reid could beat and did). The powerful Republicans felt that they and Nevada would have far greater powers with Reid than with a freshman republican in office. I found this out on some tea-party, ronald-reagan picture-waving web-sites after the last election.

  8. The Totally Unfair And Bitterly Uneven 'Recovery,' In 12 Charts


  9. The question is ; if there is a simple solution to end all of this runaway thievery then why doesn't it just happen ?
    It seems reasonable to assume that the switch would be the calling in of physical silver.
    Within a very short period of time an accounting would occur to reveal the true owners of the said metal and all others with paper ownership would be ignored.

    Oh , wait a minute , we can't do that ! We have to keep going along with the dream that the U.S. dollar has got real value behind it.
    Keep the American dream alive , because you have to be asleep to believe it !

  10. The True Size of the Shadow Banking System Revealed (Spoiler: Humongous)
    The shadow banking system is vastly bigger than regulators had thought, say econophysicists who have developed a powerful new way to measure its hidden impact

    These kinds of power laws are ubiquitous in the real world. They describe everything from the size distribution of cities, websites and even casualties in war.

    That’s not really surprising. A power law is always the result when things grow according to a process known as preferential attachment, or in common parlance, the rich-get-richer effect.

    In economic terms, big businesses grow faster than smaller ones, perhaps because people are more likely to work with big established companies. Whatever the reason, it is a well observed effect.

    Except in the financial sector. Fiaschi and co say that this power law accurately governs the distribution of small and medium-sized companies in the financial world. But when it comes to the largest financial companies, the law breaks down.

    For example, the UK’s Royal Bank Of Scotland is the 12th largest firm on the planet with assets of $2.13 trillion.

    If the size of these firms followed a power law, the largest would be ten times bigger than the 10th on the list. But that isn’t the case. But world’s largest, Fannie Mae, has assets worth $3.2 trillion, just 50% larger than the Royal Bank of Scotland.

    Why the discrepancy? Fiaschi and co hypothesise that the difference is equal to the size of the shadow banking system, which is not captured in the balance sheets of the largest financial firms.

    And if that’s the case, it’s straightforward to calculate its size. The value of the shadow banking system is simply the difference between the value of the largest financial firms and their projected size according to the power law.

    By this measure, the shadow banking system is significantly bigger than previously thought. Fiaschi and co estimate that in 2007, the year before the financial crisis, it was worth around $90 trillion. This fell to about $70 trillion in 2008 but has since risen sharply to be worth around $100 trillion in 2012.


  11. Listen.........

    William R. Simonson & The Reality Gap

    Published on Sep 17, 2013
    At present Americans have given their consent to a system that is clearly and firmly working against the best interests of the nation.

    I spent a few days looking at "Obama-care" and from what I can tell it will it will harm many or most of the people that are under the false impression this initiative will be good for them. Ironically, A few major lobby groups representing labor are just seeing this fact now! This kind of policy is simply illustrative of many of the deleterious public policy initiatives that have come before it.

    William R. Simonson & The Reality Gap

    US policy is working against the self-interest of all but few Americans... Listen to congress and you will see how out of tune they are with the concerns of the everyman. Listen to the every man too and you will be confronted by even more delusion. When you don't have an overview and most of the information that comes your way is a blatant lie what do you expect? Reason cannot emerge from a foundation based on lies. Lies allow people the comfort that our society and our economy will sustain itself indefinitely.

    So here we have it;

    Not only do Americans fail to realize their future prospects but the idea of finding truth is horrific an abhorrent prospect.

    The question we have to ask is where we are going, not where we are...
    We have seen some transitions

    A nation that once Encouraged consumerism
    Found that consumerism is not sustainable
    So now consumers are fully shifted to digital entertainment
    When the American Dream cannot be funded
    Have your society as borrow as much as possible

    When the stress cracks start to show
    Change the laws to selective interest

    Control the information flow
    Collect all Information about your citizenry

    These symptoms mask Layers of delusion...

    Yet, There are good reasons why there are many layers of delusion in place.


  12. JPMorgan Gobbles Lion’s Share From Federal Home Loan Banks – a Program Meant to Aid Small Housing Lenders
    On June 24 of this year, Senator Elizabeth Warren was incensed. She wrote to the Federal Housing Finance Agency (FHFA), the federal regulator of the Federal Home Loan Banks as well as Freddie Mac and Fannie Mae. Warren had just learned that Sallie Mae, a Fortune 500 company engaged in making private student loans, had obtained an $8.5 billion line of credit from a Federal Home Loan Bank. Sallie Mae had been borrowing on its line of credit at 0.23 percent, then making student loans at 25-40 times that rate according to Warren.

    Warren reminded the federal regulator that “Congress established the Federal Home Loan Bank System to serve as a reliable source of funding to local banks and other community lenders that offer families home mortgages.” Warren cited a report from the Consumer Financial Protection Bureau showing that significant levels of student debt pose a barrier to Americans trying to buy their first homes.

    With housing stalling and mortgage credit still tight for many borrowers, Wall Street On Parade decided to delve into the financial filings of each of the 12 Federal Home Loan Banks and see who else might be getting a windfall from a program set up to help local lenders compete with the big boys. According to the Federal Home Loan Bank of Boston, the system’s mission is as follows: “By supporting community-based financial institutions, the Federal Home Loan Bank System helps to strengthen communities. The System directly benefits consumers by helping to ensure competition in the housing-finance market.” Got that – competition.

    The mission, like so much else that Wall Street touches, seems to have run off the tracks. As of June 30, 2013, three of the giant, global, Wall Street banks are the largest borrowers from the Federal Home Loan Banks, with JPMorgan way out in front with borrowings of $61.840 billion. And it’s not borrowing from just one FHLBank, it’s borrowing from three and grabbing 65.8 percent of all advances from the FHLBank of Cincinnati, which services Kentucky, Ohio, and Tennessee.


  13. FYI
    "Please tell me how you're money is safe in banks again." Shouldn't that be: "Please tell me how your money is safe in banks again."?

  14. SWIFT Suspension? EU Parliament Furious about NSA Bank Spying

    By Gregor-Peter Schmitz in Brussels

    The recent revelations regarding the degree to which the US intelligence agency NSA monitors bank data in the European Union has infuriated many in Europe. "Now that we know what we have long been suspecting, we have to protest loudly and clearly," Jan Philipp Albrecht, a legal expert for the Green Party in the European Parliament, told SPIEGEL ONLINE. He is demanding a suspension of the SWIFT agreement, which governs the transfer of some bank data from the EU to anti-terror authorities in the United States.

    On Monday, SPIEGEL reported that the NSA monitors a significant share of international money transfers, including bank and credit card transactions. The information comes from documents in the possession of whistleblower Edward Snowden that SPIEGEL has been able to see. "Follow the Money" is the name of the NSA branch that handles the surveillance. Information obtained by "Follow the Money" then flows into a financial database known as Tracfin. In 2011, Tracfin had 180 million datasets -- 84 percent of which are comprised of credit card data.

    But data from the SWIFT network, headquartered in Brussels, also ends up on Tracfin. SWIFT, which handles international transfers among thousands of banks, is identified by the NSA as a "target" according to the Snowden documents. They also show that the NSA monitors SWIFT on several different levels, with the NSA department for "tailored access operations" also being involved. Among other methods, the documents note that the NSA has the ability to read "SWIFT printer traffic from numerous banks."

    Manfred Weber, a German conservative in the European Parliament, echoed the demand. "Washington must make it clear where it stands." He said that the focus should be placed on consumer protection. "That would make companies and politicians in America listen up," Weber said in comments made in Washington.

  15. 400 Richest Americans Worth More Than GDP of Canada or Mexico

    The 400 richest Americans are now worth a combined $2 trillion, according to Forbes. That sets a record, Forbes said, and marks a jump from last year's total of $1.7 trillion. The average net worth of a Forbes 400 member is now $5 billion—also the highest ever. And the costs of being part of the 400 Club rose to $1.3 billion. But it's the $2 trillion number that remains the most interesting. The 400 richest are now worth more than the GDPs of many nations—and they are worth more than most governments spend or tax. - See more at:


    how sustainable is this or maybe how stupid are those countries with resource wealth they give away?