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…
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.
The S&P 500 oscillated a bit during its opening hour, hitting its -0.23% intraday low in the first 30 minutes of trading. The index then rose in a couple of waves to its 0.71% closing gain, fractionally off its 0.74% intraday high. This was a big week for the 500, surging 4.12% and nearly erasing its October loss, which now stands at -0.39%. It is now only 2.33% from its record close on September 18th.
The yield on the 10-year Note closed at 2.29%, unchanged from yesterday's close and up 7 bps from last Friday's close.
Here is a 15-minute chart of the week.
On the daily chart below we see that volume was relatively light -- the first daily gain with volume below its 50-day moving average since September 26th. Today's closing price is just a hair below its 50-day day moving average.
If you're following Valeant's proposed takeover (or merger) of Allergan and the lawsuit by Allergan against Valeant and notorious hedge fund manager William Ackman, for insider trading this is a must-read article.
Linette Lopez describes the roles played by key Wall Street hedge fund owners--Jim Chanos, John Paulson, and Mason Morfit, a major shareholder in Valeant. Linette goes through the con...
There is lots of action in Southwest Airlines Co. November expiry call options today ahead of the air carrier’s third-quarter earnings report prior to the opening bell on Thursday. Among the large block trades initiated throughout the trading session, there appears to be at least one options market participant establishing a call spread in far out of the money options. It looks like the trader purchased a 4,000-lot Nov 37/39 call spread at a net premium of $0.40 apiece. The trade makes money if shares in Southwest rally 9.0% over the current price of $34.32 to exceed the effective breakeven point at $37.40, with maximum potential profits of $1.60 per contract available in the event that shares jump more than 13% to $39.00 by expiration. In September, the stock tou...
Last week brought even more stock market weakness and volatility as the selloff became self-perpetuating, with nobody mid-day on Wednesday wanting to be the last guy left holding equities. Hedge funds and other weak holders exacerbated the situation. But the extreme volatility and panic selling finally led some bulls (along with many corporate insiders) to summon a little backbone and buy into weakness, and the market finished the week on a high note, with continued momentum likely into the first part of this week.
Despite concerns about global economic growth and a persistent lack of inflation, especially given all the global quantitative easing, fundamentals for U.S. stocks still look good, and I believe this overdue correction ultimately will shape up to be a great buying opportunity -- i.e., th...
Now that bitcoin has subsided from speculative bubble to functioning currency (see the price chart below), it’s safe for non-speculators to explore the whole “cryptocurrency” thing. So…is bitcoin or one of its growing list of competitors a useful addition to the average person’s array of bank accounts and credit cards — or is it a replacement for most of those things? And how does one make this transition?
With his usual excellent timing, London-based financial writer/actor/stand-up comic Dominic Frisby has just released Bitcoin: The Future of Money? in which he explains all this in terms most readers will have no tr...
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Well PSW Subscribers....I am still here, barely. From my last post a few months ago to now, nothing has changed much, but there are a few bargins out there that as investors, should be put on the watch list (again) and if so desired....buy a small amount.
First, the media is on a tear against biotechs/pharma, ripping companies for their drug prices. Gilead's HepC drug, Sovaldi, is priced at $84K for the 12-week treatment. Pundits were screaming bloody murder that it was a total rip off, but when one investigates the other drugs out there, and the consequences of not taking Sovaldi vs. another drug combinations, then things become clearer. For instance, Olysio (JNJ) is about $66,000 for a 12-week treatment, but is approved for fewer types of patients AND...
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