Friday, April 27, 2012

Yes Virginia, There IS A Free Lunch In The U.S...

I've been collecting some articles that I've wanted to post and comment on this week but didn't have time.  Instead, I'll post them for everyone to read and form their own conclusions.

First, Meredith Whitney buckled under the intense criticism of her assessment last year that many municipalities would go bankrupt.  I guess since that particular shit didn't hit the fan within a standard 3 month/one-quarter time frame, Ms. Whitney's confidence crumbled.  Well, last week this item hit the newswire, and I'm sure it wasn't reported on CNBC/Bloomberg/WSJ/Barron's:  LINK  Ms. Whitney was right, now she has to grow some "brass."

Second, the Government "one-upped" itself.  Currently it pays unemployed workers, who qualify for benefits, to not work.  One can get paid not to work for up to three years now.  May as well let Mexican workers sneak in to the country and be vilified for doing the jobs that those who are getting paid not to do those jobs taken by the "illegals" would otherwise have to take if they weren't getting the Government welfare payments (unemployment benefits are indeed "welfare").  So now the Obama Administration is implementing a program that lets employers hire jobless benefits workers as temps AND enables these workers to continue receiving welfare.  In other words, the Taxpayer is going to pay for temporary workers to work at no cost to employers who take them on:  LINK  Whoever said there's no such thing as a free lunch has never met Barack Obama or the U.S. Government.

Speaking of free lunches, Michelle Obama's luxurious travel schedule has been a point of irritation for me since Obama was inaugurated.  Talk about milking the system.  The Taxpayers are constantly paying for her, her friends and all the security involved while she takes vacations normally taken by wealthy trust fund heiresses and nouveau riche trophy wives.  It's beyond appalling.  In January she was in Aspen for a long holiday weekend courtesy of the Taxpayer.  I doubt she even knew what Aspen was before Barack Hussein was anointed El Hefe.

Today, someone sent me this snapshot of an ad someone placed in the Panama City (FLA) News Herald back in February:

Have a great weekend!


  1. She classifies these expenditures as slavery reparations. Someone needs to point out to her what her fate would have been if her ancestors would have been left in Africa. She would still be as heinously ugly as but would be walking around with bags of food on her head, not sashaying through boutiques in Aspen!

  2. editor's note: I post all comments except malicious personal attacks on me, which occurred in the first year I had this blog, and repetitive "troll" comments that slam the metals/miners without providing data or facts to back up the assertions.

    Many comments do not necessarily reflect my own personal feelings or views.

  3. Very interesting articles, thank you Dave! Talking of free lunches, in Switzerland there is now an initiative on the table where it is asked - hold on tight - that EVERYBODY should be eligible for a minimum income, working or not...

    Have a great weekend Dave and all

    CHeers - Al

    1. CHK: I wonder how strict the Swiss work requirement rules are? If they are not too strict, then people could literally earn as much doing no work as working. Still, its hard to see the majority of hard working Swiss voting for something like this.

    2. Hi RAI, at this point it is an initiative only (and already heavily criticized) and they will need to collect 100'000 signatures until the fall 2013. If the whole thing was actually a legal request, a possible popular vote could then follow. The goal would be that everybody (adults) would get a base salary of 2500 CHF (Swiss Francs) and a forth of that for children. If you work, and say already make 6000, then the employer would only need to pay you 3500 per month. They'd expect costs in the order of 200 billion CHF which they would like to raise through additional new taxes on goods and services, as well as higher taxation of higher income salaries... As for requirement rules to work, if you're not Swiss or from the European community, it's hard to get a job. Also, generally price levels in Switzerland are very high, especially in the bigger cities where most jobs are (Zürich, Basel, Bern, Geneva), where 2500 will not be enough to meet monthly needs. Generally, the Swiss workers have a much higher level of security than in the US and Canada (where I'm at right now, but moving back to CH very soon now), as an example, if you're fired, you still get pay checks for three months, and then, if you're out of job, you have unemployment insurance of I believe ~70% of whatever you made before for up to ~40 weeks. If you want some more infos on the initiative, (google-)translate the following link:



  4. TFMR Podcast #18 - The Return of Ranting Andy

    ...there's complete despondency in the miners...and the comment regarding ypf has been an ongoing thing from the 1920's.

    "the YPF nationalization issue and looking at the
    history this seems pretty far fetched to valuing mining assets in
    Argentina at zero. This issue on oil has gone back and forth for 70
    years." notice the Rockefellers...

  5. (Quinn in Littleton)

    A la Fight Club - His name was William Flynn, his name was William Flynn...

    This is exactly what the country needs Dave, more principled Americans putting their money where their mouth is and speaking the truth.

    Nice post man!


    1. Thanks, Quinn! Good to see local readers! My parents live over by Grant Ranch.

    2. (Quinn)

      Thanks Dave. I have read you blog every day for about 18 months. You might recall last year when I asked if you ever did speaking engagements locally? You also did a post on Another and FOA once after I asked you what we should be looking for prior to the "reset". Grant Ranch is a great place, I had many friends that lived there in high school (late 90's).

      Keep up the good fight Dave!

      P.S. I know you are a music fan, hope you make it out to the Roger Waters concert next week. It is a can't miss show!

    3. Thanks Quinn. I'll have to see what day Waters is playing. I'm waiting for JJ Grey and MoFro to come around again.

      Go Broncos/Rockies/Nuggs

  6. When President Obummer ordered up a 15 helicopter escort to Camp David in his first term we could see these folks saw the White House like winning the lottery. Unbelievable. As a matter of fact he said "I won." Now we know what he meant.

    And that is the best newspaper ad I have ever seen that totally embarrasses these jokers and exposes such taxpayer waste. We need to think of this ad every time Washington politics say we need more IRS agents.

    Keep posting Dave. Thanks!

  7. GDP Miss Far Bigger Than Announced; Real GDP is 0% Using More Reasonable Deflator

    Once again the BEA has used "deflaters" that will strain the credibility of the public, especially if they buy gasoline. To correct the "nominal" data into "real" numbers the BEA assumed that the annualized inflation rate during 1Q-2012 was 1.54%. As a reminder, lower "deflaters" cause the reported "real" growth rates to increase -- and once again very low seasonally adjusted BEA inflation "deflaters" have been the headline number's best friend. If the raw "nominal" numbers were instead "deflated" by using the seasonally corrected CPI-U calculated by the Bureau of Labor Statistics (BLS) for the same time period, nearly the entire headline growth rate vanishes -- and the resulting growth rate would have been a minuscule 0.08% with "real final sales" contracting.

    ..imagine if they used a true gauge of the average consumers inflation!

  8. Charles de Gaulle, Monetary Crisis Ghost of 1965

    French President Charles de Gaulle warned in 1965 that the International Monetary System based on the United State dollar was a danger to the world. The danger he warned about 47 years ago is now too large to manage.

  9. I was tempted to disagree with you, Dave, on how many Americans would rather work than be unemployed, but something I heard today changed my mind.

    I was at a Subway sandwich shop today and I overheard the owner complaining that one teenager had come in for a job but wanted $12 an hour to work, which is more than the owner's spouse, who is an engineer, earns.

    We hear about the unemployment number (8% or 20%, take your pick) and we feel sorry so many are still looking for jobs, but if workers won't take something that pays even minimum wage just to pay the bills until a good paying job comes around, then something is wrong in our country.

    Someone once said "your grandparents had a different name for flipping burgers, they called it opportunity" as in an opportunity to start earning money, paying bills and becoming an adult, something that seems sadly missing in America today.

    1. Disagreements are always welcome. But glad you see what the problem is: Americans grow up now with an extreme sense of entitlement. It's embedded in the culture.

    2. Not exactly...the mind fuck on entitlements is that the average workers overhead has not come down commensurately with their wages...the entitlement culture are the scum bag money managers owning worthless bonds in their portfolios that were saved so their fee income was maintained, the real estate owners who were enabled to maintain valuations as a function of debt rollover when true price discovery would have been met by a collapse (even with all the tax subsidies they get), the insurance companies who extract more premiums when a collapse would have forced a write down and thus lower premiums to consumers, and lets not forget the PE game of balance sheet corruption via div recaps that went straight into their pockets without recourse for company collapse and job devastation. Factor in dollar devaluation on the cost of traveling and living expenses and you call someone looking for a living wage feeling entitled? I mean after a while who the fuck do all you guys think you are? Masters of reality? lolol...if the real world ever met you face to face, you'd shit your pants faster than a junkie with the munchies unwraps a candy bar...why do you think working families need food stamps? why do you think people can't afford health insurance? why is income disparity the highest its been since the 20's? add in corporate subsidies of all kinds ie corporate farms, energy, medical, offshore banking, etc... yes I know some state unions have pensioners that extract unrealistic annuities from the populace but that was a political setup to create a divide and conquer conversation...what's missing in America today is a rule of law and a system that works for all Americans. Everything is gamed and concentrated....until it stops don't expect things to get better but worse. The entitlement starts and is embedded from the top.

  10. Dr. Flynn - when do you expect to be audited?

  11. Hey! Dave in Denver!

    I don't think that you and JMR777 really disagree. He lies.

    Only if the store owner's engineer wife works for FoxConn in China would she except less that $12 per hour! Imagine paying back her student loans on that paycheck! Only on Fantasy Island would she sell her expensive degree for slave wages.

    JMR777 is just a troll, but don't take it personally. Remember, 'Jebus Is Coming, Look Busy'

    The Other Dave in SF (where all of the swans are PINK and we're F***ing proud of it!)

    1. The Subway owner is a fine lady who works six days a week, it is her husband who is the engeneer. I can't stop someone from calling me a liar, but can you tolerate being called uninformed?

  12. McEwen, Crofton Debate Gold Standard Feasibility

    April 27 (Bloomberg) -- Rob McEwen, chief executive officer of McEwen Mining Inc., and Michael Crofton, CEO of Philadelphia Trust, talk about the potential benefits and challenges of returning to the gold standard in the U.S. They speak with Trish Regan on Bloomberg Television's "Street Smart." (Source: Bloomberg)

  13. Full Show: Big Money, Big Media, Big Trouble
    April 27, 2012

    How big money and big media have coupled to create a ‘Disney World’ of

  14. Take a bite out of this and think about every time you hear that gold miners might have to bear an exorbitant windfall tax for being successful yet this stuff is ok...after a while I wonder why the mining executives don't just start a private exchange in a tax friendly country to list their companies with full transparency. I wish these mining executives would grow some...

    How Apple Sidesteps Billions in Global Taxes
    Braeburn Capital, an Apple subsidiary in Reno, Nev., manages and invests the company’s cash. Nevada has a corporate tax rate of zero, as opposed to the 8.84 percent levied in California, where Apple has its headquarters.

  15. CNBC Anchor and CFR Member Erin Burnett Pushes Her Bankster Master’s Agenda: What if We BANNED Cash?

  16. CISPA – The New Big Brother Bill and Why You Should Hate it

    My Take: The articles below speak for themselves. After popular revulsion was able to thwart the prior Constitution demolishing internet spy bills, our “representatives” in Congress have regrouped and passed something far worse in the House with a vote now set for the Senate. As I have maintained for quite a long time, I believe much of Congress is cognizant of their criminal behavior and more importantly they view themselves as better than “we the people” and are now openly manifesting their fear and disgust for the citizenry by passing authoritarian bill after authoritarian bill to protect themselves from the people they supposedly represent.

  17. Occupy the regulatory system!

    In its heyday, the tea party turned to elections to enact change, rallying supporters to primary incumbents and helping the GOP retake the House. Occupy Wall Street, by contrast, has largely eschewed the traditional political process. Instead, as protesters have moved off the streets, a small minority of Occupiers has waded deep into the weeds of the federal regulations, legal decisions and banking practices that make up the actual architecture of Wall Street. And they’re drawing on the technical expertise of the financial industry’s own refugees, exiles and dissidents to do so.

    Many of the Occupy wonks once worked on Wall Street, and some of them still do. They’re former derivatives traders, risk analysts, compliance officers and hedge fund quants. They hail from Morgan Stanley, Deutsche Bank, Bear Stearns, D.E. Shaw, Merrill Lynch and JPMorgan Chase — and at least one is a former Securities and Exchange Commission regulator. They’re more likely to use a flowchart than protest signs to fight big banks. But they identify with the movement’s animating belief that America’s financial heavyweights wield too much power, and that its political leaders are too eager to do their bidding.

    Occupy the SEC aims to be a counterweight to this deep-pocketed lobbying push. Over the past six months, the Occupiers have slogged through the 300-plus pages of the Volcker Rule to figure out how the regulation would work in practice and whether it would — or could — come anywhere close to what its authors had intended.

    Even among the Occupy’s wonky set, some remain highly skeptical that any iteration of Dodd-Frank can make a meaningful difference. “I don’t believe you can appeal to Washington to reform the system. The grip of lobbyists on Washington is so great,” says Carne Ross, a former British diplomat who now lives in New York. “And given the pressures that exist in the industry, the banks are just going to innovate some kind of financial product that cannot be foreseen, and that won’t be affected by a piece of legislation like Dodd-Frank.”

    Ross has helped establish another Occupy offshoot that is aiming to create an alternative banking system — a national “people’s bank” owned by its customers and employees that’s “accessible to everyone, including the poorest,” he says. Like Occupy the SEC, the Occupy Bank group emerged from an ad hoc gathering last fall as the movement was gaining broader appeal. Ross left a sign-up sheet on a table in Zuccotti Park for those interested in discussing bank reform, and Occupiers showed up in droves for the first meeting in his Union Square office.

  18. Ritholz: What Intentionally-Misleading CRAP

    I expect left-laden garbage out of people on this side of the argument but this one, which Barry picked up after Krugman wrote on it, has severely damaged Barry's good name, such as it was.

    And it was all self-inflicted.