by stjeanluc - December 25th, 2016 8:40 pm
Brownback wants Trump to emulate what he did in Kansas because it worked so well:
By RICHARD RUBIN and WILL CONNORS
Sam Brownback, the Kansas governor whose tax cuts brought him political turmoil, recurring budget holes and sparse evidence of economic success, has a message for President-elect Donald Trump: Do what I did.
In 2013, Mr. Brownback set out to create a lean, business-friendly government in his state that other Republicans could replicate. He now faces a $350 million deficit when the Kansas legislature convenes in January and projections of a larger one in 2018. The state’s economy is flat and his party is fractured…
I think I would want to stick to what actually does work!
by stjeanluc - December 19th, 2016 8:53 pm
Courtesy of Jean Luc
Wow, this looks more and more like the dying years of the Roman Republic (before it became an empire). The triumvir changing the laws to allow themselves the freedom to take any office they wanted and rule outside the laws:
Newt Gingrich said Monday that President-elect Donald Trump could simply pardon members of his administration who may break anti-nepotism laws, adding that Trump's business ties require "a whole new approach" to addressing potential conflicts of interest in the presidency.
“In the case of the president, he has a broad ability to organize the White House the way he wants to. He also has, frankly, the power of the pardon,” Gingrich told WAMU’s Diane Rehm on Monday morning. “It is a totally open power, and he could simply say, ‘Look, I want them to be my advisers. I pardon them if anyone finds them to have behaved against the rules. Period.' Technically, under the Constitution, he has that level of authority.”
Gingrich was referring to a federal anti-nepotism law that could prevent Ivanka Trump and Jared Kushner, Trump’s daughter and son-in-law, respectively, from serving in his administration. Previously, Gingrich suggested Trump may need a waiver from Congress to have Kushner work in his administration.
What's next – proscription?
by stjeanluc - October 7th, 2016 2:29 pm
Good article on investing success:
There is a reason no Berkshire Hathaway investor chides Buffett when the company has a bad quarter. It’s because Buffett has so thoroughly convinced his investors that it’s pointless to try to navigate around 90-day intervals. He’s done that by writing incredibly lucid letters to investors for the last 50 years, communicating in easy-to-understand language at annual meetings, and speaking on TV in ways that someone with no investing experience can grasp.
Yes, Buffett runs an amazing investment company. But he also runs an amazing investor company. One of the most underappreciated part of his success is realizing that the former couldn’t happen without the latter.
by stjeanluc - September 30th, 2016 7:32 pm
A thought from Jean-Luc:
Every day that goes by brings more shady deals from Trump's past – now Cuba, more stuff about his foundation, his taxes! No wonder he doesn't want to release his taxes either – who the heck knows is buried in there.
In the meantime, Trump gets up at 5:00 AM to tweet about Alicia Machado! What a despicable coward little man-child!
Atrios sums up my feelings:
I admit I find it hard to keep up the sense of humor about things these days. We laughed a lot during the Bush years, didn't we, my fellow pony aficionados. Trump should just make me laugh and laugh and laugh and laugh. But with Bush we could sorta pretend that people voted for him because they didn't quite see him for what he was. There's no doing that with Trump. Trump is Trump. He won't win, but a lot of people… a lot of people… are going to vote for him.
by stjeanluc - September 28th, 2016 12:52 pm
Good riddance – cleaned up a lot of frauds there:
In early 2009, the seven largest publicly traded college operators were worth a combined $51 billion. Today, they’ve been all but wiped out.
When Barack Obama took office, America’s seven largest publicly traded college operators were worth a combined $51 billion, with more than 815,000 students enrolled at campuses spread across the country. The schools were flooded with with people seeking shelter from the recession, returning to school to pick up new skills.
Almost eight years later, the industry has been decimated. The seven largest listed operators are worth just over $6 billion, and the most valuable company in the sector has spent the last two years desperately trying to become a non-profit. Two of the largest companies in 2009 are now bankrupt, and two more are in the process of being taken private.
That's one place where the free market only added ways to defraud desperate people and the government.
Watch this too:
by stjeanluc - September 13th, 2016 11:39 am
"When you let the free market take over, the little people get screwed and bankers get rich. Chile tried privatizing retirement plans and surprise, surprise, fund manager ate the profits… Pretty sure the results would be the same here…" ~ Jean-Luc
Among free-market fans, Chile's privatized pension plan has long been held up as a model for us to follow. The problem, as the Financial Times notes today, is that it's performed pretty dismally. Daniel Gross suggests that it was all well-intentioned, but for some reason just didn't work out:
underplayed story. It wasn't corrupt — just turned out to be something of a disaster. https://t.co/n20qXlv5Qs
— Daniel Gross (@grossdm) September 12, 2016
— Justin Elliott (@JustinElliott) September 12, 2016
by stjeanluc - July 27th, 2016 1:08 pm
Looks like we are down to about 10 companies for our consumer goods:
Just like banks, airlines and cable companies!
Explore the full-size version of the above graphic in all its glory.
If today’s infographic looks familiar, that’s because it originates from a well-circulated report that Oxfam International puts together to show consolidation in the mass consumer goods industry.
We are sharing it because we believe it is important for you to be aware of who is supplying the different brands and goods served on your dinner table.
by stjeanluc - July 14th, 2016 1:50 pm
Courtesy of Jean-Luc
We are getting much more energy efficient – no wonder Saudis are selling as much as they can! Who wants to be the one with trillions of dollars of oil in the ground unwanted:
by stjeanluc - June 24th, 2016 11:23 am
I have mixed feelings about Brexit today. Clearly the European institution need reforming. The addition of so many countries in the last 20 years has created a top heavy administration. The Euro adds more complexities to the equation as the ECB policies cannot fit every country's problem. On the other hand, a unified Europe has advantages as well – some countries have benefited from the integration.
For Britain, it's hard to say what the final price will be. My guess is that Scotland might now vote for independence as they supported staying in Europe overwhelmingly. Northern Ireland might be tempted to leave as well so possibly RIP UK in the long run. I was talking to some French people and they were saying that now there might be no incentive for France to stop immigrants from crossing over to the UK like they do now and simply allow for travel there and let the UK deal with them. The end game is not clear to anyone at the moment.
What bothers me the most was that some of the undertone of the Leave campaign had a certain xenophobic message that leaves a bad taste. I understand the frustration of people with the European structure but that undertone is what leads to the killing of the MP we saw there. Most of the congratulation messages coming in right now in Europe come from far right parties that also have that xenophobic undertone.
BTW, Trump seemed to be happy, but I wonder how he will feel if Scotland leaves the UK and applies to the EU again. His golf courses will be in the EU again!
by stjeanluc - March 4th, 2016 12:48 pm
Although we try to stay focused on finding and managing promising trade ideas, the comments in the comment section sometimes take a political turn (for access, try PSW — click here!). So today, Jean Luc writes,
The GOP debate last night was just unreal – are these people running to be president of the US or to lead a college fraternity! Comparing tool size? The only guy that looks semi-sane is Kasich. The other guys are just like 3 jackals right now.
And something else – if Trump is the candidate, that little Romney speech yesterday is probably already being made into a commercial. And all these little snippets from the debate will also make some nice ads! If you are a conservative, you have to be scared now.
Phil writes back,
I was expecting them to start throwing poop at each other – it was the only low they hadn't sunk to. Rubio and Trump were actually trading penis comments! Meanwhile, I almost fell off my chair when he talked about other people using "shameful" language. Bill Maher nailed it this weekend.
Maher's video is pretty hilarious, but I can't embed it. Click on:
"Something has certainly changed in American political discourse." ~ Bill Maher.