Michael Snyder makes arguments appealing to both right and left against our free trade relationship with China. Some of these arguments are better than others, but as a whole, he makes good points on each side. - Ilene
There are very few things that the top politicians in both political parties agree on these days, but one of the things that that they do agree on is that free trade with China is a good thing. George W. Bush, Dick Cheney, John McCain, Barack Obama, Nancy Pelosi and Harry Reid have all fully supported our trade relationship with China. In this day and age, virtually anyone who even dares to question how fair our "free trade" is with China is immediately labeled as a "protectionist" and is dismissed as a loon. But when you sit down and really analyze it, there are a whole lot of very good reasons why both conservatives and liberals should be fundamentally against our unfair trade relationship with China. But you won’t hear these reasons being talked about on CNN, MSNBC or Fox News. You won’t hear many members of Congress get up and give speeches about how trade with China is bleeding our economy dry. Both major political parties have completely and totally bought into "the benefits" of globalism and free trade and there isn’t even much of a national debate about our trade policies anymore.
But there should be a national debate. Unfortunately, most conservatives are just going to accept whatever their leaders tell them to believe. Conservatives have been convinced that to be against unfair trade is to be "anti-business" and no conservative ever wants to be anti-business.
Similarly, most liberals blindly follow whatever Obama, Pelosi and Reid tell them to believe. Millions of hard working Democrat voters have lost their jobs due to our nightmarish trade relationship with China, but they are still convinced that Obama is their savior and that they must not ever say anything that he does is wrong.…
Dec. 16 (Bloomberg) — U.S. Senators John McCain and Maria Cantwell proposed reinstating the Depression-era Glass-Steagall Act that split commercial and investment banking to rein in Wall Street firms in response to the financial crisis.
“Under our proposal, too-big-to-fail banks would be forced to return to the business of conventional banking, leaving the task of risk taking or management to others,” McCain, an Arizona Republican, said at a Washington news conference. A former bank regulator said splitting up companies is “crazy.”
I will reiterate what I said back in the summer and fall of 2008: I am absolutely convinced that McCain’s endorsement of the TARP bailout bill, and his refusal to stand up and take a strong position in favor of the common man, is why he lost the election.
Reinstating Glass-Steagall would be a near-total reversal of his previous position. It would be recognition of the facts: Banks that are allowed to gamble in the financial markets inherently are gambling with the sovereign credit of The United States, and inevitably transfer their losses to the taxpayer while keeping ALL of the profits for their overpriced staff and executives.
This is often said to be of "benefit" to the public because these banks are public companies. This is a flat lie: Goldman typically bonuses out roughly half of their gross profits, with only a minuscule piece being paid in dividends to shareholders. Other banks have similar compensation policies.
There is no "free market" way to prevent such distribution. You can only prevent it by prohibiting lending and/or depository institutions from speculating in any form or fashion in the markets.
For those firms that wish to speculate they should be free to – with their own funds (that of their shareholders or bondholders) but they must be accountable to the last penny for each dollar at risk, and unable to transfer that risk to the taxpayer.
Wall Street will, of course, fight any such law tooth and nail, because speculating with other people’s money and being able to force the taxpayer to eat all risks of loss is the time-honored fashion by which these institutions steal hundreds of billions of dollars from…
Rep. Joe Wilson (R-SC) shouts as U.S. President Barack Obama addresses a joint session of the U.S. Congress on Sept. 9, 2009
Those words cut in politics. When directed at the President of the United States, during a prime time address to the nation no less, they cut deep.
So when Rep. Joe Wilson, a little known Republican and Army reserve veteran from South Carolina shouted them at the nation’s commander-in-chief on the night of Sept. 9, heads snapped. The House Chamber took a collective gasp. Nancy Pelosi, sitting behind Obama, tensed and scowled as if she had just witnessed a crime, her disgust unhidden.
Even Obama, who had just dismissed conservative claims that illegal immigrants would be able to take advantage of health-care reform, was taken aback. He looked to his left, adjusted his arm, part nervous twitch, part macho posturing, and shot back at Wilson, "That’s not true." And there, for a moment, the nation watched two men, elected to lead, call each other the worst thing in politics — dishonorable deceivers.
At the moment Wilson exploded, the outburst seemed like an assault on the President. Soon afterwards, it was clear that it had been a gift. Wilson had, in an emotional expression, proven Obama’s point: the summer of town halls had been less a discussion than a circus, a forum where misinformation was vindicated by passion, where disrespect was elevated as a virtue. Now the circus had come inside Congress.
The President’s seemingly simple statement, that "the reforms I am proposing would not apply to those who are here illegally," is not hard to check. In the Senate Finance Committee working framework for a health plan, which Obama’s speech seemed most to mimic, there is the line: "No illegal immigrants will benefit from the health care tax credits." Similarly, the major health care reform bill to pass out of committee in the House, H.R. 3200, contains a Section 246, which is called, "NO FEDERAL PAYMENT FOR UNDOCUMENTED ALIENS." Some Republicans have claimed that these protections are too weak, since they do not require stringent eligibility checks that would prevent illegal immigrants from gaming the system.
It did not take long for the condemnations to rain down on Wilson. Republican Sen. John McCain went on CNN to…
Picture sleepless nights at ‘Sultan’ Erdogan’s palace in Ankara. Imagine him livid when he learns the Syrian Arab Army (SAA), backed by Russian air power, started a preemptive Battle of Aleppo – through the Bayirbucak region - cutting off Ankara’s top weaponizing corridor and Jihadi highway. Residents inspect damage after airstrikes by pro-Syrian government forces in Anadan city, about 10 kilometers away from the towns o...
A quick post before the Superbowl begins. Friday's action was very disappointing if you were in the bullish camp; poor jobs data contributing to the malaise. However, investors can view this as another buying opportunity, with the Nasdaq clocking the 10% percentile of historic weak prices dating back to 1971, and the Russell 2000 making fast work of a push back to 958. Again, it's not about investing everything at once, but perhaps using the coming year(?) to build long term positions. I would be happier to see a 40-60% trim from highs - keep an eye on my bottom watch table, but this is the kind of action which helps reset the bulls count.
The S&P registered a clear break of rising trend. Volume was lighter, so it wasn't necessarily a panic sell. And while it could be viewed as a breakown, the glass half full crew would see this as a drop back...
Last week, I discussed the boost the market received as the BOJ made an unexpected move into negative interest rate territory combined with end of the month buying by portfolio managers. I wrote:
“However, the announcement by the Bank of Japan (BOJ) to implement negative interest rates in a desperate last attempt to boost economic growth in Japan was only the catalyst that ignited the bulls. The “fuel” for the buying came from the end of the month portfolio buying by fund managers.”
But more importantly, was the push higher by stocks that I have been discussing with you over the last couple of weeks. ...
Throughout the past 30 days of wild volatility, here’s what I didn’t do.
Panic. Worry. Sell.
In fact, the best I did was add to a couple of positions yesterday. The world was already in an uncertain state for the past 3+ years. It’s just that with the market rising, we pushed the issue to the back of our mind and ignored it.
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A number of systemic, structural forces are intersecting in 2016. One is the rise of non-state, non-central-bank-issued crypto-currencies.
We all know money is created and distributed by governments and central banks. The reason is simple: control the money and you control everything.
The invention of the blockchain and crypto-currencies such as Bitcoin have opened the door to non-state, non-central-bank currencies--money that is global and independent of any state or central bank, or indeed, any bank, as crypto-currencies are structurally peer-to-peer, meaning they don't require a bank to function: people can exchange crypto-currencies to pay for goods and services without a bank acting as a clearinghouse for all these transactions.
Last year, the S&P 500 large caps closed 2015 essentially flat on a total return basis, while the NASDAQ 100 showed a little better performance at +8.3% and the Russell 2000 small caps fell -5.9%. Overall, stocks disappointed even in the face of modest expectations, especially the small caps as market leadership was mostly limited to a handful of large and mega-cap darlings.
Notably, the full year chart for the S&P 500 looks very much like 2011. It got off to a good start, drifted sideways for...
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Baxter Int. (BAX) is splitting off its BioSciences division into a new company called Baxalta. Shares of Baxalta will be given as a tax-free dividend, in the ratio of one to one, to BAX holders on record on June 17, 2015. That means, if you want to receive the Baxalta dividend, you need to buy the stock this week (on or before June 12).
Back in December, I wrote a post on my blog where I compared the performances of various ETFs related to the oil industry. I was looking for the best possible proxy to match the moves of oil prices if you didn't want to play with futures. At the time, I concluded that for medium term trades, USO and the leveraged ETFs UCO and SCO were the most promising. Longer term, broader ETFs like OIH and XLE might make better investment if oil prices do recover to more profitable prices since ETF linked to futures like USO, UCO and SCO do suffer from decay. It also seemed that DIG and DUG could be promising if OIH could recover as it should with the price of oil, but that they don't make a good proxy for the price of oil itself.
This is a non-trading topic, but I wanted to post it during trading hours so as many eyes can see it as possible. Feel free to contact me directly at firstname.lastname@example.org with any questions.
Last fall there was some discussion on the PSW board regarding setting up a YouCaring donation page for a PSW member, Shadowfax. Since then, we have been looking into ways to help get him additional medical services and to pay down his medical debts. After following those leads, we are ready to move ahead with the YouCaring site. (Link is posted below.) Any help you can give will be greatly appreciated; not only to help aid in his medical bill debt, but to also show what a great community this group is.
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