Why are American taxpayers forced to subsidize the billionaire Koch brothers’ massive campaign contributions to Republican Party politicians, the Tea Party movement, and policies that ensure greater subsidies to the Kochs, while cutting more public services to the taxpayers who fund the Kochs’ business and political activities?
Follow the money, Washington reporters like to say. The money in this case comes from taxpayers, present and future, who are the source of every penny of dues paid to public employee unions, who in turn spend much of that money on politics, almost all of it for Democrats. In effect, public employee unions are a mechanism by which every taxpayer is forced to fund the Democratic Party.
Okay, fine, you’re serious about not wanting taxpayer dollars going to finance partisan political campaigns. But before we start talking about public sector unions, let’s test this: if think-tank jockeys like Barone are genuinely concerned with saving taxpayers’ money, would they extend this concern to the fake private sector (i.e.: the publicly-funded private sector)? Would they be in favor of demanding that publicly subsidized billionaires like Charles and David Koch stop funneling money to fund corrupt Republicans and Tea Party campaigns as long as they keep sucking billions in taxpayer subsidies?
Fair is fair, right?
The Kochs could start by giving up the $1 billion their biofuels division is scheduled to receive in 2011 alone. That’s $1 billion in savings from just one of many massive taxpayer subsidies the Kochs profit from. Not only will that help balance the budget, but taxpayers will no longer be forced to watch helplessly as their hard-earned money is used to fund radical right-wing Tea Party Republicans or is spent on causes that deny Americans the same universal health care that every other First World country offers its citizens.
This talk about Koch Industries being a huge beneficiary of taxpayer money might come as a surprise—especially to all the gullible Tea Party libertarians who believe the Kochs actually…
The Fed has announced that it’s extending the maturity of most of its alphabet soup of lending programs from the end of the year until February 2010. Here is the opening paragraph of their statement:
The Federal Reserve on Thursday announced extensions of and modifications to a number of its liquidity programs. Conditions in financial markets have improved in recent months, but market functioning in many areas remains impaired and seems likely to be strained for some time. As a consequence, to promote financial stability and support the flow of credit to households and businesses, the Federal Reserve is extending a number of facilities through early 2010. At the same time, in light of the improvement in financial conditions and reduced usage of some facilities, the Federal Reserve is trimming the size and changing the terms of some facilities.
You can check out the entire press release to see what’s happening to your favorite program.
At this point in time the financial markets are hooked on central bank support throughout the world. They have improved only in the sense that counterparties trade with one and other on the presumption of sovereign support. Until that support is withdrawn it seems to me relatively impossible to assess the true functionality of the markets.
I found this article that was published a couple of days ago by MarketWatch pertinent:
Who says the credit crunch is over?
Not banks that operate in the euro zone, evidently. The European Central Bank issued a pretty simple proposition: borrow whatever you want, for one year at 1%.
The answer to that historic first was — yes, please!
Over 442 billion euros, or over $600 billion, was lent. That was more than the loosely-pegged 300 billion euro consensus, though short of some whispers that up to 1 trillion euros would have been allocated.
And who could blame the banks?
True, they can borrow for even more cheaply than 1%. Three-month and six-month inter-bank lending rates in the euro zone are running over a quarter-point lower than that.
And whatever the hawkish noises from ECB members like Axel Weber, interest rates aren’t going up anytime soon with the euro-zone economy stuttering as it is.
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 Bureau of Labor Statistics released the September CPI data this morning. Year-over-year unadjusted Headline CPI came in at 1.66%, down from the previous month's 1.99%. Year-over-year Core CPI (ex Food and Energy) came in at 1.72% (rounded to 1.7%), little changed from the previous month's 1.70%. The non-seasonally adjusted month-over-month Headline number was up 0.08%, and the Core number was up 0.23%. On a seasonally-adjusted basis, the all items index was up 0.1%.
The CPI for Urban Wage Earners and Clerical Workers (CPI-W), which is used to calculate Social Security cost-of-living-adjustments, rose 0.1%, which was enough to ensure that the 2015 COLA will be 1.7%.
Here is the introduction from the BLS summary, which leads with the seasonally adjusted data monthly data:
The Consumer Price Index for All Urban Consumers (CPI-U) increased 0...
A day after a Reuters headline blast proclaimed that, in a stunning turn of events, the ECB which has barely started buying covered bond (of countries like Germany today for example, because the record low yielding Bunds clearly need help from the ECB) will also buy corporate bonds, sending the stock market soaring the most in 2014, it has now backtracked for the second time, and following a report from the FT yesterday which denied the report, the second denial came straight from Reuters itself which hours ago said that the ECB "has no concrete plans to buy corporate b...
IBM, Coca-Cola and McDonalds are three of America’s largest corporations and most well-known brands. They are true multinationals in every sense of the word and they dominate their industries both at home and abroad. They are numbers 23, 58 and 106 on the Fortune 500 list, respectively. Together, they make up 12 percent of the Dow Jones Industrial Average’s total weighting.
And all three are plagued by the same problem – they’re shrinking. More than this, their shrinkage is finally being recognized on The Street, now that investors are peeling back all of the layers of buybac...
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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What do falling energy prices mean for the US consumer? Sober Look writes a brief yet thorough overview of the consequences of the correction in the price of crude oil. There are good aspects, particularly for the consumer, bad aspects, and out-right ugly possibilities. For more on this subject, read James Hamilton's How will Saudi Arabia respond to lower oil prices? In previous eras, Saudi Arabia would tighten the supply to help increase prices, but in this "game of chicken," the rules m...
Shares in Apple (Ticker: AAPL) are near their highs of the session in the final hour of trading on Wednesday, adding to the muted gains seen earlier in the day, following the release of the September FOMC meeting minutes and after activist investor and Apple shareholder Carl Icahn tweeted, “Tmrw we’ll be sending an open letter to @tim_cook. Believe it will be interesting.” Icahn’s tweet hit the ether at 2:33 pm ET and was met with a spike in volume in Apple shares. The stock is currently up 2.0% on the day at $100.75 as of 3:15 pm ET.
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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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