Posts Tagged ‘Socialism’

Covert Operations

Covert Operations

Billionaire New York philanthropist David Koch attends the Americans for Prosperity Foundation fourth annual Defending the American Dream summit in Washington on August 27, 2010. UPI/Alexis C. Glenn Photo via Newscom

The billionaire brothers who are waging a war against Obama.

By Jane Mayer, The New Yorker 

Excerpts:

DiZerega, who has lost touch with Charles [Koch], eventually abandoned right-wing views, and became a political-science professor. He credits Charles with opening his mind to political philosophy, which set him on the path to academia; Charles is one of three people to whom he dedicated his first book. But diZerega believes that the Koch brothers have followed a wayward intellectual trajectory, transferring their father’s paranoia about Soviet Communism to a distrust of the U.S. government, and seeing its expansion, beginning with the New Deal, as a tyrannical threat to freedom. In an essay, posted on Beliefnet, diZerega writes, “As state socialism failed . . . the target for many within these organizations shifted to any kind of regulation at all. ‘Socialism’ kept being defined downwards.”

Members of the John Birch Society developed an interest in a school of Austrian economists who promoted free-market ideals. Charles and David Koch were particularly influenced by the work of Friedrich von Hayek, the author of “The Road to Serfdom” (1944), which argued that centralized government planning led, inexorably, to totalitarianism. Hayek’s belief in unfettered capitalism has proved inspirational to many conservatives, and to anti-Soviet dissidents; lately, Tea Party supporters have championed his work. In June, the talk-radio host Glenn Beck, who has supported the Tea Party rebellion, promoted “The Road to Serfdom” on his show; the paperback soon became a No. 1 best-seller on Amazon. (Beck appears to be a fan of the Kochs; in the midst of a recent on-air parody of Al Gore, Beck said, without explanation, “I want to thank Charles Koch for this information.” Beck declined to elaborate on the relationship.)

[...]

As their fortunes grew, Charles and David Koch became the primary underwriters of hard-line libertarian politics in America. Charles’s goal, as Doherty described it, was to tear the government “out at the root.” The brothers’ first major public step came in 1979, when Charles persuaded David, then thirty-nine, to run for public office. They had become supporters of the Libertarian Party, and were backing its Presidential candidate, Ed Clark, who was running against Ronald Reagan from the right. Frustrated by the legal limits on campaign donations, they contrived to place David on the ticket, in the Vice-Presidential slot; upon becoming a candidate, he could lavish…
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Krugman Finds His Nut(s)?

Krugman Finds His Nut(s)?

Courtesy of Karl Denninger at The Market Ticker

Grey squirrel eating nuts in park

As in "a blind squirrel finds one – once in a while."

(With apologies to the person who posted it on TF under that title before I got to Tickering this – heh, I had to go get my teeth cleaned, so give me a break already! :) )

But in fact Krugman hasn’t found his nut(s), although he should check.  He’s groping around down there…. perhaps he could come up with something if he’d just take the next logical step from here:

The point is that these bank executives are not free agents who are earning big bucks in fair competition; they run companies that are essentially wards of the state. There’s good reason to feel outraged at the growing appearance that we’re running a system of lemon socialism, in which losses are public but gains are private.

No Paul, that’s not reality either.  Your liberal mind just can’t get its tiny little wings around what really happened, so let me help you.

You can start with my Ticker entitled "The Audacity of Synthetics", in which I explain to the proletariat what any self-respecting "economist" (or "economic reporter") should already know about, but which I’ve yet to hear you opine upon:

But this leaves open the question of whether it is fair, just, or even legal to create a synthetic security that at it’s core comes into existence because someone believes that the reference is going to detonate, and then sell off pieces of that security to investors without prominently disclosing the source of the funding of the cash flow, that they proffered the criteria for inclusion in the reference and that the INTENT of their funding was to profit from an EXPECTED detonation of the reference securities.

It also leaves open the question of laying off that risk on an insurance company (whether in a regulated subsidiary or not) without similarly disclosing the above to them up front!  That is, is it fair, just (or even legal) to buy fire insurance on a property when you have been told that someone expects a fire in that structure based on what they believe is credible analysis (e.g. a look at the


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THE NANNY STATE

THE NANNY STATE

Courtesy of James Quinn at The Burning Platform

“We hold these truths to be self-evident, that all men are created equal, that they are endowed by their Creator with certain unalienable rights, that among these are life, liberty and the pursuit of happiness. That to secure these rights, governments are instituted among men, deriving their just powers from the consent of the governed. That whenever any form of government becomes destructive to these ends, it is the right of the people to alter or to abolish it, and to institute new government, laying its foundation on such principles and organizing its powers in such form, as to them shall seem most likely to effect their safety and happiness.”

Declaration of Independence

http://www.freedomsphoenix.com/Uploads/Graphics/173-0503231254-Nanny-State.gif 

“The reason this country continues its drift toward socialism and big nanny government is because too many people vote in the expectation of getting something for nothing, not because they have a concern for what is good for the country.” 
                                                                                                                          Lyn Nofziger

When I decided to tackle the national healthcare issue, I thought a good start would be examining the Declaration of Independence and the Constitution to see what they had to say about the right to healthcare. I hunted and searched the various documents which created our country. I found that according to the Declaration of Independence, we have the right to life, liberty and the pursuit of happiness. The Fourteenth Amendment states, No State shall make or enforce any law which shall abridge the privileges or immunities of citizens of the United States; nor shall any State deprive any person of life, liberty, or property, without due process of law; nor deny to any person within its jurisdiction the equal protection of the laws.

http://bsnotebook.files.wordpress.com/2008/02/nanny_state_sign.jpgI did not find the right to healthcare in the Bill of Rights. I also did not find the right to an Ivy League education, the right to a well paying job, the right to a fully paid for pension, the right to drive a BMW X5, the right to a beautiful wife, the right to reside in a 6,000 sq ft McMansion, or the right to get into Heaven.

I did discover that government derives their JUST powers from the consent of the people. I also found that if those who govern use their powers in a destructive manner, the governed have the…
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Capitalism, Socialism or Fascism?

Washington argues that when metastatic cancer takes over the body, identifying the type of cancer is more of an interesting dinner party conversation than a cure (metaphorically) – Ilene 

Capitalism, Socialism or Fascism?

socialismCourtesy of Washington’s Blog

What is the current American economy: capitalism, socialism or fascism?

Socialism

Initially, it is important to note that it is not just people on the streets who are calling the Bush and Obama administration’s approach to the economic crisis "socialism". Economists and financial experts say the same thing.

For example, Nouriel Roubini writes in a recent essay:

This is a crisis of solvency, not just liquidity, but true deleveraging has not begun yet because the losses of financial institutions have been socialised and put on government balance sheets. This limits the ability of banks to lend, households to spend and companies to invest…

The releveraging of the public sector through its build-up of large fiscal deficits risks crowding out a recovery in private sector spending.

Roubini has previously written:

We’re essentially continuing a system where profits are privatized and…losses socialized.

Nassim Nicholas Taleb says the same thing:

After finishing The Black Swan, I realized there was a cancer. The cancer was a huge buildup of risk-taking based on the lack of understanding of reality. The second problem is the hidden risk with new financial products. And the third is the interdependence among financial institutions.

[Interviewer]: But aren’t those the very problems we’re supposed to be fixing?

NT: They’re all still here. Today we still have the same amount of debt, but it belongs to governments. Normally debt would get destroyed and turn to air. Debt is a mistake between lender and borrower, and both should suffer. But the government is socializing all these losses by transforming them into liabilities for your children and grandchildren and great-grandchildren. What is the effect? The doctor has shown up and relieved the patient’s symptoms – and transformed the tumour into a metastatic tumour. We still have the same disease. We still have too much debt, too many big banks, too much state sponsorship of risk-taking. And now we have six million more Americans who are unemployed – a lot more than that if you count hidden unemployment.

[Interviewer]: Are you saying the U.S. shouldn’t have done all those


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In Defense of Capitalism: a True Love Story

Vitaliy writes a heartfelt essay on Michael Moore’s Capitalism: A Love Story.  I didn’t see the movie but trust his impressions are accurate. Even so, I disagree with part of his argument.  Vitaliy states that: "the fact that corruption and bribery are the rare exception in the US, not the rule (as in Russia), is never mentioned." I think we have a sort of capitalism laced with crime, and a system that cannot rid itself of corruption, to me, does not make for a true love story. – Ilene 

Now that I’ve tossed in my two cents, here’s Vitaliy N. Katsenelson introduction. 

My writing is a byproduct of my investment process, I think through writing. I don’t do movie reviews and don’t watch Michael Moore’s movies.   But when a Denver Post reporter invited me to a private showing of Moore’s latest flick last Monday Capitalism: A Love Story, I decided to check it out since it had to do with Capitalism.  It stirred up a lot of memories and I recently finished reading Atlas Shrugged which had a great impact on me.  A combination of all those things motivated me to write this.  I hope you enjoy it.   

In Defense of Capitalism: a True Love Story

Courtesy of Vitaliy N. Katsenelson at Contrarian Edge

In the 1980s, in Soviet Russia, a few times a year, my class walked to a movie theater, where we were shown a documentary.  Attendance was mandatory.  The documentaries were different but the themes were the same: to the accompaniment of patriotic music, we learned about the righteousness of socialism, the greatness of Mother Russia, and the intelligence and foresight of our great leaders.  To demonstrate how good we had it, we were shown images of “decaying” American capitalism.  Of course, capitalism did not get the benefit of patriotic music as we were shown the poverty-stricken homeless, the KKK burning crosses and lynching blacks, and Russia-hating capitalists being poisoned by hamburgers (of course, later I learned this part about hamburgers was not a complete lie). 
 
Past weekend Americans voluntarily spent a few million dollars to see a documentary by Michael Moore – Capitalism: the Love Story.  But don’t kid yourself, this piece of work is not a documentary, it lacks objectivity and has no intention of seeking the truth.  It is anti-American and anti-capitalist propaganda.  Mr. Moore is a talented propagandist; in…
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Why the Dow is Hitting 10,000 Even When Consumers Can’t Buy And Business Cries “Socialism”

Many may be asking this question, as the market surges higher and the news (looking out past gov’t influenced near term numbers) looks so bleak…

Why the Dow is Hitting 10,000 Even When Consumers Can’t Buy And Business Cries "Socialism"

 Courtesy of Robert Reich at Robert Reich’s Blog

[IMG_0516.JPG]So how can the Dow be flirting with 10,000 when consumers, who make up 70 percent of the economy, have had to cut way back on buying because they have no money? Jobs continue to disappear. One out of six Americans is either unemployed or underemployed. Homes can no longer function as piggy banks because they’re worth almost a third less than they were two years ago. And for the first time in more than a decade, Americans are now having to pay down their debts and start to save.

Even more curious, how can the Dow be so far up when every business and Wall Street executive I come across tells me government is crushing the economy with its huge deficits, and its supposed “takeover” of health care, autos, housing, energy, and finance? Their anguished cries of “socialism” are almost drowning out all their cheering over the surging Dow.

The explanation is simple. The great consumer retreat from the market is being offset by government’s advance into the market. Consumer debt is way down from its peak in 2006; government debt is way up. Consumer spending is down, government spending is up. Why have new housing starts begun? Because the Fed is buying up Fannie and Freddie’s paper, and government-owned Fannie and Freddie are now just about the only mortgage games remaining in play.

Why are health care stocks booming? Because the government is about to expand coverage to tens of millions more Americans, and the White House has assured Big Pharma and health insurers that their profits will soar. Why are auto sales up? Because the cash-for-clunkers program has been subsidizing new car sales. Why is the financial sector surging? Because the Fed is keeping interest rates near zero, and the rest of the government is still guaranteeing any bank too big to fail will be bailed out. Why are federal contractors doing so well? Because the stimulus has kicked in.

In other words, the Dow is up despite the biggest consumer retreat from the market since the Great Depression because of the very thing so…
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Roubini and Taleb: Government’s Socialization of Losses Is Destroying the Real Economy

Roubini and Taleb: Government’s Socialization of Losses Is Destroying the Real Economy

Courtesy of Washington’s Blog

In an essay last month, Nouriel Roubini wrote:

This is a crisis of solvency, not just liquidity, but true deleveraging has not begun yet because the losses of financial institutions have been socialised and put on government balance sheets. This limits the ability of banks to lend, households to spend and companies to invest…

The releveraging of the public sector through its build-up of large fiscal deficits risks crowding out a recovery in private sector spending.

Nouriel RoubiniRoubini has previously written:

We’re essentially continuing a system where profits are privatized and…losses socialized.

Now Nassim Nicholas Taleb is saying the same thing:

After finishing The Black Swan, I realized there was a cancer. The cancer was a huge buildup of risk-taking based on the lack of understanding of reality. The second problem is the hidden risk with new financial products. And the third is the interdependence among financial institutions.

[Interviewer]: But aren’t those the very problems we’re supposed to be fixing?

NT: They’re all still here. Today we still have the same amount of debt, but it belongs to governments. Normally debt would get destroyed and turn to air. Debt is a mistake between lender and borrower, and both should suffer. But the government is socializing all these losses by transforming them into liabilities for your children and grandchildren and great-grandchildren. What is the effect? The doctor has shown up and relieved the patient’s symptoms – and transformed the tumour into a metastatic tumour. We still have the same disease. We still have too much debt, too many big banks, too much state sponsorship of risk-taking. And now we have six million more Americans who are unemployed – a lot more than that if you count hidden unemployment.

[Interviewer]: Are you saying the U.S. shouldn’t have done all those bailouts? What was the alternative?

NT: Blood, sweat and tears. A lot of the growth of the past few years was fake growth from debt. So swallow the losses, be dignified and move on. Suck it up. I gather you’re not too impressed with the folks in Washington who are handling this crisis.

Ben Bernanke saved nothing! He shouldn’t be allowed in Washington. He’s like a doctor who misses the metastatic tumour and


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Zero Hedge

Trump Slams "Foolish" Fed, Ready To Intervene In Huawei Case

Courtesy of ZeroHedge. View original post here.

Update: President Trump went on tell Reuters that he needs flexibility amid the trade battle with China:

“You have to understand, we’re fighting some trade battles and we’re winning. But I need accommodation too,” he said.

And stated that it would be a mistake if the Fed boosts rates next week: "I think that would be foolish, but what can I say?"...



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Phil's Favorites

Blue Wave with Cheri Jacobus (Q&A II, Updated)

By Ilene at Phil's Stock World

Cheri Jacobus is a widely known political consultant, pundit, writer and outspoken former Republican and frequent guest on CNN, MSNBC, FOX News, CBS.com, CNBC and C-Span. Cheri shared her thoughts on the political landscape with us in our August interview, and now, post-2018 election, we’re following up.

Updated 12-10-18

Ilene: What do you think about Michael Cohen's claim that the Trump Organization's discussions with high-level Russian officials about a deal for Trump Tower Moscow ...



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Members' Corner

Blue Wave with Cheri Jacobus (Q&A II, Updated)

By Ilene at Phil's Stock World

Cheri Jacobus is a widely known political consultant, pundit, writer and outspoken former Republican and frequent guest on CNN, MSNBC, FOX News, CBS.com, CNBC and C-Span. Cheri shared her thoughts on the political landscape with us in our August interview, and now, post-2018 election, we’re following up.

Updated 12-10-18

Ilene: What do you think about Michael Cohen's claim that the Trump Organization's discussions with high-level Russian officials about a deal for Trump Tower Moscow ...



more from Our Members

Kimble Charting Solutions

Bear Market Omen? The 'Average Stock' Is Breaking Down

Courtesy of Chris Kimble.

The stock market has been in a corrective sideways move for the better part of 2018. Is it ready to decline even lower?

Well if the “average stock” is any indication, then investors should be concerned.

The “monthly” chart below is of the Value Line Geometric Index (INDEXNYSEGIS: VALUG), which plots the price of an average stock in today’s market. We can see that a bearish wedge pattern has developed in a similar fashion to 2007 and 1999.

It’s notable that in each of the past two breakdowns (1) and (2), the price broke below wedge support and its 10-month moving average.

It appears to be doing the same thing today. Careful here!

Value Line Geometric Chart – Bearish Wedges

...



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Insider Scoop

A Peek Into The Markets: US Stock Futures Surge Ahead Of Producer Price Index

Courtesy of Benzinga.

Related SPY A Peek Into The Markets: US Stock Futures Signal Lower Start On Wall Street Assessing This Week's Technical Damage To...

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Digital Currencies

How low will Bitcoin now go? The history of price bubbles provides some clues

 

How low will Bitcoin now go? The history of price bubbles provides some clues

The Bitcoin bubble is perhaps the most extreme speculative bubble since the late 19th century. Shutterstock

Courtesy of Lee Smales, University of Western Australia

Nearly 170 years before the invention of Bitcoin, the journalist Charles Mackay noted the way whole communities could “fix their minds upon one object and go mad in its pursuit”. Millions of people, he wrote, “become simultaneously impressed with one delusion, and run after it, till their attention is caught by some new folly more captivating than the first”.

His book ...



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Chart School

Weekly Market Recap Dec 09, 2018

Courtesy of Blain.

Bears are certainly showing the type of strength we haven’t seen in a long time.   A week ago at this time futures were surging on news of a “truce” for 90 days between China and the U.S. in their trade spat.  But the charts were still not saying lovely things despite a major rally the week prior.   And by Tuesday, darkness had descended back on the indexes, with another gut punch Friday.    A lot of emphasis was put on a long term Treasury yield dropping below a shorter term Treasury.

On Monday, the yield on five year government debt slid below the yield on three year debt, a phenomenon which has p...



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Mapping The Market

Trump: "I Won't Be Here" When It Blows Up

By Jean-Luc

Maybe we should simply try him for treason right now:

Trump on Coming Debt Crisis: ‘I Won’t Be Here’ When It Blows Up

The president thinks the balancing of the nation’s books is going to, ultimately, be a future president’s problem.

By Asawin Suebsaeng and Lachlan Markay, Daily Beast

The friction came to a head in early 2017 when senior officials offered Trump charts and graphics laying out the numbers and showing a “hockey stick” spike in the nationa...



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Biotech

World's first gene-edited babies? Premature, dangerous and irresponsible

Reminder: Pharmboy and Ilene are available to chat with Members, comments are found below each post.

 

World's first gene-edited babies? Premature, dangerous and irresponsible

Vchal/Shutterstock

By Joyce Harper, UCL

A scientist in China claims to have produced the world’s first genome-edited babies by altering their DNA to increase their resistance to HIV. Aside from the lack of verifiable evidence for this non peer-revie...



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ValueWalk

Vilas Fund Up 55% In Q3; 3Q18 Letter: A Bull Market In Bearish Forecasts

By Jacob Wolinsky. Originally published at ValueWalk.

The Vilas Fund, LP letter for the third quarter ended September 30, 2018; titled, “A Bull Market in Bearish Forecasts.”

Ever since the financial crisis, there has been a huge fascination with predictions of the next “big crash” right around the next corner. Whether it is Greece, Italy, Chinese debt, the “overvalued” stock market, the Shiller Ratio, Puerto Rico, underfunded pensions in Illinois and New Jersey, the Fed (both for QE a few years ago and now for removing QE), rising interest rates, Federal budget deficits, peaking profit margins, etc...



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OpTrader

Swing trading portfolio - week of September 11th, 2017

Reminder: OpTrader is available to chat with Members, comments are found below each post.

 

This post is for all our live virtual trade ideas and daily comments. Please click on "comments" below to follow our live discussion. All of our current  trades are listed in the spreadsheet below, with entry price (1/2 in and All in), and exit prices (1/3 out, 2/3 out, and All out).

We also indicate our stop, which is most of the time the "5 day moving average". All trades, unless indicated, are front-month ATM options. 

Please feel free to participate in the discussion and ask any questions you might have about this virtual portfolio, by clicking on the "comments" link right below.

To learn more about the swing trading virtual portfolio (strategy, performance, FAQ, etc.), please click here ...



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Promotions

Free eBook - "My Top Strategies for 2017"

 

 

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Phil has a chapter in a newly-released eBook that we think you’ll enjoy.

In My Top Strategies for 2017, Phil's chapter is Secret Santa’s Inflation Hedges for 2017.

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About Phil:

Philip R. Davis is a founder Phil's Stock World, a stock and options trading site that teaches the art of options trading to newcomers and devises advanced strategies for expert traders...

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