“Soft despotism is a term coined by Alexis de Tocqueville describing the state into which a country overrun by "a network of small complicated rules" might degrade. Soft despotism is different from despotism (also called 'hard despotism') in the sense that it is not obvious to the people."

Friday, January 11, 2013

It is symptomatic of the national condition of the United States that the worst humiliation ever suffered by it as a nation, and by a US president personally, passed almost without comment in the 20 November announcement at a summit meeting in Phnom Penh that 14 Asian nations, comprising half the world’s population, would form a Regional Comprehensive Economic Partnership excluding the United States.


What does the United States have to offer Asians?
It is hard to fathom just what President Obama had in mind when he arrived in Asia bearing a Trans-Pacific Partnership designed to keep China out. What does the United States have to offer Asians?

•    It is borrowing $600 billion a year from the rest of the world to finance a $1.2 trillion government debt, most prominently from Japan (China has been a net seller of Treasury securities during the past year).
•    It is a taker of capital rather than a provider of capital.
•    It is a major import market but rapidly diminishing in relative importance as intra-Asian trade expands far more rapidly than trade with the United States.
•    And America’s strength as an innovator and incubator of entrepreneurs has diminished drastically since the 2008 crisis, no thanks to the Obama administration, which imposed a steep task on start-up businesses in the form of its healthcare program.

Washington might want to pivot towards Asia. At Phnom Penh, though, Asian leaders in effect invited Obama to pivot the full 360 degrees and go home. 
Post-US world born in Phnom Penh
by David P. Goldman
It is symptomatic of the national condition of the United States that the worst humiliation ever suffered by it as a nation, and by a US president personally, passed almost without comment last week. I refer to the 20 November announcement at a summit meeting in Phnom Penh that 14 Asian nations, comprising half the world’s population, would form a Regional Comprehensive Economic Partnership excluding the United States.
President Obama attended the summit to sell a US-based Trans-Pacific Partnership (TPP) excluding China. He didn’t. The American led partnership became a party to which no-one came. 

Instead, the Association of Southeast Asian Nations (ASEAN), plus China, India, Japan, South Korea, Australia and New Zealand, will form a club and leave out the United States. As 3 billion Asians become prosperous, interest fades in the prospective contribution of 300 million Americans – especially when those Americans decline to take risks on new technologies. 

America’s great economic strength, namely its capacity to innovate, exists mainly in memory four years after the 2008 economic crisis. 

A minor issue in the election campaign, the Trans-Pacific Partnership was the object of enormous hype on the policy circuit. enthused on 23 October:
“This agreement is a core part of the Asia pivot that has occupied the activities of think tanks and policymakers in Washington but remained hidden by the tinsel and confetti of the election. But more than any other policy, the trends the TPP represents could restructure American foreign relations, and potentially the economy itself.”

As it happened, this grand, game-changing vision mattered only to the sad, strange people who concoct policy in the bowels of the Obama administration. America’s relative importance is fading.

To put these matters in context: 

The exports of Asian countries have risen more than 20% from their peak before the 2008 economic crisis, while Europe’s exports have fallen by more than 20%. American exports have risen marginally (by about 4%) from their pre-2008 peak.

China’s exports to Asia, meanwhile, have jumped 50% since their pre-crisis peak, while exports to the United States have risen by about 15%. At US$90 billion, Chinese exports to Asia are three times the country’s exports to the United States. 

After months and dire (and entirely wrong) predictions that China’s economy faces a hard landing, it is evident that China will have no hard landing, nor indeed any landing at all. 
Domestic consumption as well as exports to Asia are both running nearly 20% ahead of last year’s levels, compensating for weakness in certain export markets and the construction sector. Exports to the moribund American economy are stagnant. 

In 2002, China imported five times as much from Asia as it did from the United States. Now it imports 10 times as much from Asia as from the US. 

Following the trade patterns, Asian currencies began trading more closely with China’s renminbi than with the American dollar. Arvind Subramanian and Martin Kessler wrote in an October 2012 study for the Peterson Institute:
“A country’s rise to economic dominance tends to be accompanied by its currency becoming a reference point, with other currencies tracking it implicitly or explicitly. For a sample comprising emerging market economies, we show that in the last two years, the renminbi (RMB/yuan) has increasingly become a reference currency which we define as one which exhibits a high degree of co-movement (CMC) with other currencies. 

In East Asia, there is already a RMB bloc, because the RMB has become the dominant reference currency, eclipsing the dollar, which is a historic development. In this region, 7 currencies out of 10 co-move more closely with the RMB than with the dollar, with the average value of the CMC relative to the RMB being 40% greater than that for the dollar. We find that co-movements with a reference currency, especially for the RMB, are associated with trade integration. 

We draw some lessons for the prospects for the RMB bloc to move beyond Asia based on a comparison of the RMB’s situation today and that of the Japanese yen in the early 1990’s. If trade were the sole driver, a more global RMB bloc could emerge by the mid-2030’s but complementary reforms of the financial and external sector could considerably expedite the process.”

All of this is well known and exhaustively discussed. The question is what, if anything, the United States will do about it?

Where does the United States have a competitive advantage? Apart from commercial aircraft, power-generating equipment, and agriculture, it has few areas of real industrial pre-eminence. Cheap natural gas helps low-value-added industries such as fertilizer, but the US is lagging in the industrial space.

Four years ago, when Francesco Sisci and I proposed a Sino-American monetary agreement as an anchor for trade • integra•tion, the US still dominated the nuclear power plant industry. With the sale of the Westinghouse nuclear power business to Toshiba, and Toshiba’s joint ventures with China to build power plants locally, that advantage has evaporated. 

The problem is that Americans have stopped investing in the sort of high-tech, high-value-added industries that produce the manufactures that Asia requires. Manufacturers’ capital goods orders are 38% below the 1999 peak after taking inflation into account. And venture capital allocations for high-tech manufacturing have dried up. 

Without innovation and investment, all the trade agreements that the Washington policy circuit can devise won’t help. Neither, it should be added, will an adjustment in exchange 

Washington might want to pivot towards Asia. At Phnom Penh, though, Asian leaders in effect invited Obama to pivot the full 360 degrees and go home.                            

Source: Asia Times Online, 27.11.2012


  1. An observation:

    The US worker is losing ground and is being increasingly subsidized by governmental transfer payments. Such is also true in some European countries. This has happened as the US became a net importer.

    World trade has increased and will continue to do so. The US has a choice, it can become an exporter or remain an importer.

    Can real income in the US private sector increase without US export innovation?

    1. No.

      Four years ago, when Francesco Sisci and I proposed a Sino-American monetary agreement as an anchor for trade integration, the US still dominated the nuclear power plant industry. With the sale of the Westinghouse nuclear power business to Toshiba, and Toshiba’s joint ventures with China to build power plants locally, that advantage has evaporated.

      We certainly seem to be losing. We should be building those nuclear power plants here that they are now going to be building over there with our technology.

      But instead we fool around with solar panels and windmills.

    2. While they fool around with Fukushima.

    3. Siting is important, indeed.

  2. For those of us fighting for our traditional rights, the US 2nd Amendment is a rare source of light in the ever darkening world.

    If politicians really believe that our society is full of incompetent adolescents who can't be trusted with weapons, let them explain why we should trust them or the police, who also come from the same society and grew up in this culture.

    While various governments try to limit gun ownership so as to protect the people from lunatics and criminals, what they really protect is their own power. Everywhere the guns are banned, gun-related crime increases. If lunatics want to kill, they can use cars (NYC, Chapel Hill NC), swords (Japan), knives (China), or home-made bombs (world over). They can throw acid (Pakistan, UK), or fire bombs (France). Often times the only way to stop a raging maniac on a killing spree is a bullet to the head fired by an armed citizen.

    Do not believe for a moment that progressives and other leftists hate guns. What they hate is guns in the hands of those who will not march in lockstep with their ideology.

    from Pravda, via American Thinker

    My stray cat has accommodated to his new bed without a complaining meow, is sound asleep in it, with one paw hanging out, and is the picture of contentment.

  3. Bob, what you are looking at, with all those tents, is base camp. Article here:

    2 Billion Pixel Image

  4. We'll all sit home with our 3 D printers making Smartphones, Defibrillators, Stents, Cars, Cats (D-10's) and such.

    We'll put them Asians outta business.

    1. Yup, every American home will become an industrial plant, we'll make aircraft carriers, (after we've sold the current ones to pay the debt) submarines, Marines, garbage trucks, vibrators, beer cans filled with beer, our own clothes again, no need for sewing machines, shoes, birth control pills, electrons for energy, protons for balance, hell anything you want, right at home, no commuting necessary. They don't stand a chance.

  5. Obama supporters shocked, angry at new tax increases

    Sometimes, watching a Democrat learn something is wonderful, like seeing the family dog finally sit and stay at your command.

    “_Alex™” sounded bummed. “Obama I did not vote for you so you can take away alot of money from my checks.” Christian Dixon seemed crestfallen. “I’m starting to regret voting for Obama.” But “Dave” got his dander up over the tax hike: “Obama is the biggest f***ing liar in the world. Why the f*** did I vote for him”?

    Of course, dozens of posters on DemocraticUnderground sought to blame it all (as usual) on President George W. Bush. “Your taxes went up because the leaders need to dig us out of this criminal deficit hole we are in which has been caused because taxes were too low during the Bush years. Everyone has to help by spreading the wealth around a little. Power to the correct people!” posted “Orinoco.”

    But in fact, it was Mr. Obama who enacted the “holiday,” and, to be clear, the tax cut that he pushed throughout the campaign — remember? 98 percent of Americans will get a cut under his plan? — was really the extension of the Bush tax suts.

    Thus, it was Mr. Obama who raised taxes on millions of Americans, not Mr. Bush.

    How many Americans? The nonpartisan Tax Policy Center in Washington put the total at 77.1 percent of all wage earners. In fact, “More than 80 percent of households with incomes between $50,000 and $200,000 would pay higher taxes. Among the households facing higher taxes, the average increase would be $1,635, the policy center said,” according to a Bloomberg News article.

    Hilariously, the tax burden will rise more for someone making $30,000 a year (1.7 percent) than it does for someone earning $500,000 annually (1.3 percent).

    A whole new wave of Obama supporters still don’t even know:

    They’ll get their first 2013 paychecks on the 15th of the month. So when you’re shooting the breeze in the lunchroom with your grumbling co-workers on the 16th, just ask them, “Who’d you vote for in November?” When they say Mr. Obama, just tell them: “Well, you got what you voted for. You did know he was going to raise taxes, right?”

    The looks on their faces will be priceless.

  6. A trade agreement doesn't mean anything without enforcement mechanisms. I wouldn't worry too much about that thing they signed (RCEP.)

    We have a couple of good base agreements with S. Korea, Australia, and Singapore. If we can add in, say, New Zealand, and a couple more, maybe, Malaysia, and another . . . . well, that could keep us busy for awhile.

    We might need to rethink our objectives in this whole FTA thing, anyway, with Median Incomes steadily sliding into the toilet.

    Are we, as the old joke goes, just "buying a bigger truck?"

  7. Family took refuge in a lake to escape the Aussie bushfires

    Be sure to click on the picture gallery.

    I forget where you are, Sam, way out west Perth way, or nearer to this holocaust?

  8. I used to live in Perth. For 13 years. I'm now in Adelaide. 5 years now here. Those pictures are from Tasmania. Pretty much the whole state there has been burning for the past couple weeks. New South Wales (Sydney) has been burning pretty good for the past week now, also. It's probably the 2nd worst next to Tasmania now. 92' in Adelaide today.

    I remember reading a story about a guy in Perth defending his home near Perth last year. He had his scuba gear standing up next to the edge of the pool all ready to go to jump in the pool should the worst come. Fire line came right up to the edge of his house and the wind changed direction or the firefighters stopped it (can't remember which) pretty much at the last minute and he was able to stay dry.

  9. Has Islam Shaped Your World View Too?

    Obama's CIA nominee Brennan: Islam "helped to shape my own world view"

    What a great crew Barky is assembling for the continuing downward spiral of our once great country.

    1. Hey Islam has shaped and changed my World View Too!

      I'm more convinced than ever they're fucking fanatics devoted to screwing us over completely.

      ...from the inside.
      With plenty of help from Hillary/Obama Inc.

  10. I had a professor that lived on Tasmania for years. Became a member of Parliment.
    Great guy, but also great early contributor to the Green Movement following the Santa Barbara Oil Blowout around 1970.
    Small plane pilot, he'd take photographers out for that, also for forestry on Tasmania.
    A Biker, also, but too old for that now.
    - Norman Sanders

  11. Mortgage lender rules released

    In the wake of the national housing collapse that helped bring on the Great Recession, federal regulators for the first time are laying out rules aimed at ensuring that borrowers can afford to pay their mortgages.

    The long-anticipated rules being unveiled Thursday by the Consumer Financial Protection Bureau impose a range of obligations and restrictions on lenders, including bans on the risky "interest-only" and "no documentation" loans that helped inflate the housing bubble.

    Lenders will be required to verify and inspect borrowers' financial records. They generally will be prohibited from saddling borrowers with loan payments totaling 43 percent of the person's annual income.

    CFPB Director Richard Cordray, in remarks prepared for an event Thursday, called the rules "the true essence of responsible lending."

    The rules, which take effect next year, aim to "make sure that people who work hard to buy their own home can be assured of not only greater consumer protections but also reasonable access to credit," he said.

    Analysts say that skittishness by lenders has severely held back the U.S. housing market, despite 30-year mortgage rates that are scraping along at historical lows. The low rates have sparked a surge in refinancings but have not restored the market overall to health.

    Mr. Cordray noted that in the years leading up to the 2008 financial crisis, consumers could easily obtain mortgages that they could not afford to repay. In contrast, borrowers complain that in subsequent years banks tightened lending so much that few could qualify for a home loan.


  12. New Study Finds CRA 'Clearly' Did Lead To Risky Lending

    Democrats and the media insist the Community Reinvestment Act, the anti-redlining law beefed up by President Clinton, had nothing to do with the subprime mortgage crisis and recession.

    But a new study by the respected National Bureau of Economic Research finds, "Yes, it did. We find that adherence to that act led to riskier lending by banks."

    Added NBER: "There is a clear pattern of increased defaults for loans made by these banks in quarters around the (CRA) exam. Moreover, the effects are larger for loans made within CRA tracts," or predominantly low-income and minority areas.

    To satisfy CRA examiners, "flexible" lending by large banks rose an average 5% and those loans defaulted about 15% more often, the 43-page study found.

    The strongest link between CRA lending and defaults took place in the runup to the crisis — 2004 to 2006 — when banks rapidly sold CRA mortgages for securitization by Fannie Mae and Freddie Mac and Wall Street.


    Other large banks have reported serious delinquency rates on CRA home loans. Bank of America's 2009 10-K states: "Our CRA portfolio comprised 6% of the total residential mortgage balances, but 17% of nonperforming residential mortgage loans."

    Under Clinton's revised CRA, moreover, banks for the first time earned CRA credit for purchasing subprime securities.

    A wave of these securitizations began in 1997, which also happens to mark the start of the housing bubble.

  13. But our local useful idiot will still blame The Shrub.

    ...even tho every time a pub tried to get some controls in place during the Bush years, he'd be shouted down by Barney, Ted, or some other Democrat clown/crook.

    1. Stem?

      Blame Shrub?

      That's the root of it.


      We are in the midst of a constitutional crisis, unseen since the Civil War. The 2nd Amendment was written to protect the individual citizen from the abusive powers of a tyrannical government. Freedom to hunt and personal self-defense are additional benefits to our country. With the erosion of civilian ownership of firearms, citizens will increasingly become slaves to the government.

      January 11, 2013
      Obama Provoking a Constitutional Crisis
      Lee DeCovnick

  14. And that’s the point. Hagel himself doesn’t matter. He won’t make foreign policy. Obama will run it out of the White House even more tightly than he did in the first term. Hagel’s importance is the message his nomination sends about where Obama wants to go. The lessons are being duly drawn. Iran’s official media have already cheered the choice of what they call this “anti-Israel” nominee. And they fully understand what his nomination signals regarding administration resolve about stopping them from going nuclear.

    I got to get some sleep, the cat is.

  15. Doug, all makes sense, your professor, and the green movement. Tasmania is still very much that way. There's a green party in the Fed government. From Tasmania. The green movement is still very much huge there and, to a degree, in the Fed government.

    1. Norman now says the Greens protect everything but the environment, complaining about all the weird social causes they have taken up, just like the Obama Regieme here:
      Gay Marriage
      Transexual rights, that sort of thing, I assume.
      Wish I still had the link to that article in an Aussie paper.

    2. Found it!
      ...and damned if the first thing he mentioned wasn't gay rights or anything, But Deuce's Obsession:


      Founding fathers turn on urban Greens

      Check it out, farmer Bob, maybe Deuce is really a Tasmanian Greenie posing as a South American Ex-Pat!

  16. Supporters of Hagel are axe grinders -

    Lt. Col. Bob Maginnis (USA-Ret.), now senior fellow for national security at the Family Research Council (FRC), says that Hagel does not have the experience needed to run a vast and complex operation like the U.S. Department of Defense:

    "You have a budget of $660 billion a year. It's a place that should be run by people who have spent their entire life learning these processes, and unfortunately, Mr. Hagel hasn't spent much more than two years in the Army; 45 years ago," Maginnis points out. "That does not qualify him to run the most complex armed forces in the world today."


    In summation, Hagel's hurtful words are only exceeded by his actions:

    ● October 2000: he was one of only four senators who refused to sign a Senate letter in support of Israel.

    ● In July 2001, he was one of only two senators to vote against extending the original Iranian sanctions bill.

    ● November 2001: he was one of only 11 senators who refused to sign a letter urging President Bush not to meet with the late Yasser Arafat until his forces ended the violence against Israel.

    ● June 2004, he refused to sign a letter urging President Bush to highlight Iran's nuclear program at the G-8 summit and was one of only two senators in to vote against renewal of the Libya-Iran sanctions act.

    ● December 2005: he was one of only 27 senators who refused to sign a letter to President Bush urging him to pressure the Palestinian Authority (PA) to ban terrorist groups from participating in Palestinian legislative elections.

    ● In July 2006, at the outbreak of the Lebanon war, Hagel argued against giving Israel the time to break Hezbollah, urging instead an immediate ceasefire.

    ● In August 2006, he was one of only 12 Senators who refused to formally call upon the European Union to designate Hezbollah as a terrorist organization.

    It should be quite obvious to people without an axe to grind. In word and deed, Chuck Hagel is the wrong man for secretary of defense.

  17. I get it, Hagel is not qualified to be run the Pentagon because one lifer, a big fuckingdeal retired light colonel, double dipping as a lobbyist for the Family Research Council, a real necessity at the government tit, perilously close to the asshole, thinks Hagel is not qualified, especially in light of the colonel’s life accomplishments.

    The idiot colonel thinks that the Pentagon is so big and complex, it should only be run by insiders (perhaps like him) that spent their entire life at the previously noted tit.

    The lifer seems to have joined “the troubled” that Hagel only spent two years in the army 45 years ago doing the shit work actually fighting and getting wounded. The light colonel, probably with a uniform in his closet, bedeckled with every pretty little ribbon for every military fart since his eagle scout days has a problem with a real US soldier, combat draftee and so disparages him.

    Then the very light colonel, bullet-points 7 reasons, all related to Israel, as to why Hagel, an accomplished ex US Senator should not run the US Pentagon. Hagel is unqualified because his Israeli credentials do not pass the Israeli lobby smell test.

    Thanks for explaining that to me..

    1. Hagel aint qualified for alot of reasons that have nothing to do with Israel.

      Personally? I hope he is confirmed, along with Kerry and the CIA guy...

      Might as well expose Obama and company as the jihadists loving bastards as they are...

      Once all support for Israel is withdrawn? Israel will be forced not to worry about American constraints and Interests.

      Dont be surprised if America loses respect in the world by tossing into the shitter almost every single traditional ally it USED to have.

      From Poland, England, Israel to Columbia, South Korea and Taiwan, America is pissing on them.

      So dont be surprised when they look elsewhere for help...

  18. By the way, The Family Research Council is run by Gary Bauer, the ex-candidate whose political aspirations were cut short because, on camera, he fell off the back of a stage grasping for the curtains. An unfortunate metaphor for sure.

  19. You can hear more on Col.Bob at

  20. In summation, Hagel's hurtful words are only exceeded by his actions:

    ● October 2000: he was one of only four senators who refused to sign a Senate letter in support of Israel.

    ● In July 2001, he was one of only two senators to vote against extending the original Iranian sanctions bill.

    ● November 2001: he was one of only 11 senators who refused to sign a letter urging President Bush not to meet with the late Yasser Arafat until his forces ended the violence against Israel.

    ● June 2004, he refused to sign a letter urging President Bush to highlight Iran's nuclear program at the G-8 summit and was one of only two senators in to vote against renewal of the Libya-Iran sanctions act.

    ● December 2005: he was one of only 27 senators who refused to sign a letter to President Bush urging him to pressure the Palestinian Authority (PA) to ban terrorist groups from participating in Palestinian legislative elections.

    ● In July 2006, at the outbreak of the Lebanon war, Hagel argued against giving Israel the time to break Hezbollah, urging instead an immediate ceasefire.

    ● In August 2006, he was one of only 12 Senators who refused to formally call upon the European Union to designate Hezbollah as a terrorist organization.

    It should be quite obvious to people without an axe to grind. In word and deed, Chuck Hagel is the wrong man for secretary of defense.

    He's your guy. He isn't mine. Go for it. If you don't think Hezbollah is a terrorist organization, go for it. If you don't like sanctions against Iran, regardless that everyone else does, go for it. If you want Iran with nukes, go for it. You liked Yassar, go for it. If you didn't want the PA to ban terrorist organizations, go for it. If you don't like Jews, which you obviously don't, just like Hagel, go for it. You obviously are going for it.


    Lew's signature is a reason to keep cursive in our schools.

    It looks like the 'writing' on top of a Hostess Cupcake.

    1. You'll like Brenner too. It's a great day.

    2. .

      You act as if his actions or in this case non-actions had any real effect.

      Foreign Policy falls within the purview of the executive not that of Congress.


  21. I don't know a thing about the Family Research Council, have never heard of them, nor Col. Bob.

    I generally just read the message, not worrying so much about the messenger.

    On the other hand, thinking about messengers, we know Ahmadinejad and the mullahs like Hagel, and the MB, sitting in the White House, the New Black Panther Party is probably supportive, along with the American Communist Party, and Reverend Wright, and Brenner, who has been positively influenced by Islam, and, why Bibi is opposed, so that is also important. I get your drift, and I like you, but not the company you are currently keeping.

    For me, I like folks like Lincoln and Bibi!!

  22. Don't miss my Doug Fri Jan 11, 08:42:00 AM EST
    reply to Sam, Bob!

  23. Then you ought to move to Israel, boobie.

    1. Some of us might have to, especially when folks like you start murdering us again with your hit lists...

      Rat, a serious question, do you wear a white hood when shooting Jews? or do you wear ski masks?

      Some of us understand that Rat and his type will define "real" Americans and will have no problem with a "final solution" of same.

  24. ...the anti Israel Lobby circles the Globe, in unison with the Muzzies.

    Read about that on an English Website 8 years ago.

    Charlie's something.

  25. "The concerns of two such experienced and respected figures in the green movement will intensify the values debate that was kicked off by the actions of NSW Greens figures Fiona Byrne, a suburban mayor in Sydney who stood unsuccessfully at last month's state election, and senator-elect Lee Rhiannon in backing the campaign for boycotts, divestment and sanctions against Israel over its treatment of the Palestinians."


    My treatment of the Palis would be to nuke their fucking worthless, terrorist asses.

    Raise your kids to hate, whata great way to go.

    ...kinda like Rev Wright and BHO, come to think of it.

  26. Not Charlie:

    Hurry up Harry!

    Attack of the Zionist Peppers

    With a savage, bloody civil war in neighbouring Syria spilling over the border, it’s good to know that Lebanese security forces are focusing on what really matters: the Zionist infiltration of greengrocers’ shelves.

    Al Bawaba and Daily Star Lebanon report that a New Year’s Day attempt by Israel to establish a vegetable-based* beachhead in the coastal city of Sidon was foiled thanks to an eagle-eyed shopper’s inspection of some mixed peppers:

    When military intelligence and police arrived to the supermarket, one of the largest retailers in the country, they reportedly discovered “13 similar bags that have the word ‘Israel’ printed on the sale tag,” the newspaper reported.

    Police experts pointed out that the international bar code for the Israeli items was scratched with a pen and a new code was handwritten on the bag.

    “The Lebanese military judiciary is now investigating how the products passed through the customs department at the port or the airport.

    According to the article, laws dating from 1955 outlaw any sort of commercial activity with Israel. I guess ‘salaad’ between the two nations will have to wait.

    (*Yes, peppers are a fruit. Botanically. But they’re vegetables, culinarily.)

  27. Israeli Fruit bad,
    Commerce Bad,
    Meterology Bad,
    Modern World, Bad.

    Yep, that's Islam, and modern Progressives.

  28. I think Doug is right about the breakup of the family, nuclear and extended, as being the primary cause of many black problems in America, and white problems too. This book I'm reading The Biology of Transcendence goes into this deeply and I seem to see it more clearly than I did before reading it. I think it identities the problem, the solution offered is a little fantastical. I want to talk about that, and will, if I ever get some sleep. It is very interesting. There is a lot too in it about human development, and how important family is to that, and in ways one might not expect, and how long a family support system is needed, even into one's twenties. The traditional extended family was rooted (good term) in land ownership, and of course blacks didn't have that, and in agriculture. Blacks who were freed by Deuce's bastard Lincoln literally walked the roads of the south by the thousands, not having anywhere to go. A lot migrated north, because of the possibility of jobs there, due to industrialism. As time has gone on whites too have mostly lost any connection with the land, the nation now being something like 90 plus percent urban and 10 percent rural, whereas it was nearly exactly reversed earlier, so this process is now having the same effect on whites.

    If this Col Bob whoever is trying to help the American family through the FRC, then bless him, whatever other sins he may have committed. It may be impossible to do given our current way of life. But if he is trying, bless him.

    1. Carolla mainly focuses on the lack of fathers.
      His father was lacking, but Football Coaches shaped his values, from a very early age through High School, as religious teachers did for Bill Bennett and Rudy Giuliani, Bennett having no father, and Giuliani's dad being a Mafia Guy.

  29. whatever other sins he may have committed

    such as being an officer

  30. "Mr Sanders was elected to the Tasmanian parliament in 1980 and resigned in 1982 to make way for the future senator Brown, giving him his start in politics.

    Mr Sanders said Senator Hanson-Young, 29, a former campaign manager for human rights group Amnesty International, who challenged Christine Milne for the Greens deputy leadership after the federal election in August, personified the contemporary Greens. "That Sarah Hanson-Young, she's on television and radio all the time, but I've never heard her talking about the environment," Mr Sanders said, speaking from his home near Byron Bay in northern NSW.

    "All those social issues they're on about, that's what the ALP's for. Even the Liberal Party can handle some of them. The Greens have lost the plot, and who's looking after the environment?"

  31. Speaking of the break down of traditional values:


    Steubenville Rape Case

    Heard about this on Adam Carolla and Doctor Drew Podcast.

    Drew was amazed and concerned about the perps lack of recognition of the humanity of the victim, and what it says about where we are as a society.

    Adam and Drew Show (Episode 7)


    Steubenville sounds like a high school version of Penn State: 19 Coaches!

    Everything You Need to Know About Steubenville High's Football 'Rape Crew'

    "The rape was just an excuse, I think," said the 27-year-old Hubbard, who is No. 2 on the Big Red’s career rushing list.

    "What else are you going to tell your parents when you come home drunk like that and after a night like that?” said Hubbard, who is one of the team’s 19 coaches. "She had to make up something. Now people are trying to blow up our football program because of it."

  32. I'd transport that Ohio State Football Hero to Palestine before I nuked it.

    "She's deader than OJ's wife"

    "She's deader than KG Anthony"

    "We're trying to help a dead girl"

    Very nice.

  33. The Head Football Coach refused to bench the players!

    Patterno Lives!

  34. Mark Knopfler & Chet Atkins - Instrumental Medley

    Mark Knopfler and Chet Atkins play "I'll see you in my dreams" and Imagine live at Secret Policeman's Third Ball 1987.

  35. The Trade Numbers came out this morning. Exports were up, but Imports were up by a bit more.

    Trade Balance

  36. A well-crafted Trade Deal in the Pacific should help our manufacturing (despite what the eggheads on the tape were saying,) and shouldn't hurt our "wages" in the U.S. We'll see.

    An example being, Korea is now finding it cheaper to import Toyotas made in the U.S. than to import the same Toyotas from Japan. The reason for this, of course, is the high tariffs between Korea, and Japan.

    I've heard nothing that this latest piece of paper between Japan, China, India, Korea, et al have changed this dynamic any at all. And, I don't suspect that it will.

  37. .

    The most troubling aspect of the post was the relative rise of the RMB as reference currency vs the USD.

    The only thing keeping us afloat is that the dollar is the reserve currency for the world. There are a lot of reasons to assume it will maintain its place; however, there are also a lot of counterveiling reasons. A lot can change in the next twenty years.

    This is the start of my dump Bernanke campaign.


    1. So, Quirk, in your opinion, are higher interest rates needed? Tighter money? Austerity?

    2. Smaller Government, moron.
      After 30 years, Japan's real estate is back where it was 30 years ago.

      The new Prime Minister is pulling a Bernanke,
      More of what's kept them in stasis for 30 years.

    3. Bernanke and the Fed have little to nothing to do with the size of Government. Who's the moron here?

    4. .

      Yes, on the higher rates which implies tighter money. Austerity? I like to think of it as a return to sanity.

      QE, like TARP, was needed as an interim measure to get us over the hump in 2008/2009. Since then, it has been nothing more than a massive giveaway to Wall Street and the banks to the detriment of the average citizen and the widening of the income gap. It has done nothing to advance the twin mandates for the FED, stabilizing interest rates (I ascribe the lower rates to the fact that demand has not risen and to the fact that the government numbers hide the true costs being paid by the consumer) and secondly promoting full employment for which their actions have done nothing.

      I was a big backer of Bernanke up until a couple years ago when the results of his actions started to become manifest.

      It would take me a few long posts to describe the problems I see that have been caused by both the QE's (Bernanke), TARP (Geitner), and the Stimulus Program (Obama). While they may have been necessary initially they should have been cut off as soon as they proved incapable of moving the needle any more.

      Bernanke has shot his wad and now he is just throwing money out there.


    5. "While they may have been necessary initially they should have been cut off as soon as they proved incapable of moving the needle any more."


      But baseline budgeting means the needle is forevever bent, until disaster, or change, changes that outcome.

      Does Ash even know what baseline budgeting is?

      (hint-Rufus/useful idiot loves it)

    6. QE, like TARP, should have refunded the taxpayers, not the Wall Street Crooks.

      ...but BHO and our useful idiot love to shovel money to the Wall Street Fraudsters.

    7. A quick google gives me info on baseline budgeting but I fail to see how that relates to our discussion about the FED.

      I do agree that QE and TARP monies have primarily been stuck at that banks. The FED, though, doesn't have many other means of getting money into the system than through the banks. That is one reason why, I think, Bernanke has bee trying hard to get the politicians to act. The Fed cannot shovel money into peoples hands only the Gov can. I think both Quirk and Doug are railing at the wrong monster. It isn't the FED but rather the elected representatives that are failing.

    8. By the way, TARP and QE are two fundamentally different operations run by two completely different institutions are they not? TARP was run by Treasury and funded through the Federal government while QE's are FED operations not funded by the Federal government, right?

    9. .

      I'm the last one to say the government hasn't played it's part in this fiasco but that doesn't mean the FED doesn't share in the blame.

      The system is awash in money yet Joe paycheck still isn't getting his share. Under FED rules the banks are not only getting money for nothing they are getting paid for borrowing it by the FED. In this latest round of QE, the FED is buying up toxic assets on the banks books. It's a scam, bankers taking care of bankers.

      And what has all this accomplished when applied to the FED's mandate? Zip. Einstein's description of insanity applies to the FED also.


    10. They've been buying up all that crap, I think, to keep things solvent and, primarily, to keep interest rates down. That is about all they can do. If they should reverse that course you'd see interest rates rise and, I believe, some big institutions cratering. It is a cock-up to be sure but I don't think the FED is the prime culprit. It is the pols and those electing them. The FED is just kicking the can down the road, desparately in my view, hoping the pols will come around. I think the chance for long term success is low but if they reverse course then failure would likely be in the near term. The vast majority, the government too, could not survive greater debt payments through interest rate rises. Budgets everywhere would burst. The rich would do ok though but inflation, a fixed income (pensioners) and those in debt will implode.

    11. .

      If you re-read my first post you will see that I identified who was most responsible for QE, TARP, and Stimulus. My reference to TARP was merely a camparison of two screwed-up programs. If you are interested in the straight scoop on TARP, go to the link I put a few days back with Rolling Stones article on it. The same scams involved in TARP are pretty much mirrored in QE, not identical but equivalant.

      Perhaps you have forgotten those shots of Bernanke and Paulson, and then Bernanke and Geitner sitting before Congress telling us of the disaster awaiting us if we didn't give them a blank check to pump the system.

      I bought the bullshit in the beginning but then it got old. The FED is a system of bankers, set up by bankers, for bankers. Is it any wonder that their solutions look out for the banker first? Bernanke is a typical trickle-down guy. He figures if those at the top make our everyone at the bottom will be able to dip his beak. Evidently, it doesn't always works that way.

      You're talk about fixed income, the elderly and pensioners, being hurt as if you think they are not hurt right now. They get zero on their savings and still suffer from inflation (not the inflation the government talks about but real day to day inflation).

      I could go on but it's not worth the trouble. We have discussed all of these issues before. Just a few, the FED

      1. Is not accomplishing its mandates.
      2. It is supposed to be regulating the banks; however, it obviously didn't do a good job before 2008
      3. And it's not doing a good job now as viewed by the LIBOR, USB, Goldman Sacks, and other scandals that have been prosecuted recently.
      4. It has fought audits by Congress claiming it would jeapordize it's independance
      5. Yet, only a naif would consider the FED truly independant (the Chairman and Vice-Chairman are appointed by the president as are seven of the twelve voting members. The head of the NY Federal Reserve is also a permanent voting member.)
      6. The FED is adding more risk to the system rather than removing it.
      7. They have fought reserve requirements for banks to the degree that other central banks looking to minimize risk have pushed.
      8. They have bailed out foreign banks.
      9. They passed new rules that allow banks to collect interest on the reserves they have on deposit with the FED. So on the one hand they demand that the banks increase reserves to reduce risk. Then they lend money to the banks at zero interest, which in turn the banks deposit at the FED to cover reserve requirements and then the FED paus them interest.
      10. Remeber the stress test and the lies we were fed about the banks finances?

      These were just off the top of my head and I could go on but my wife is calling me to walk the dogs before traffic gets bad.

      I have seen Bernanke on numerous occasions in testimony on the hill say that his biggest regret is that the people who got us into this mess didn't have to pay any price. I am not questioning his integrity only his sense. He has been following a course he has championed for decades. However, to date, none of it has worked. He will continue on because he has so much invested in this course and because he doesn't know what else to do.

      In 2006 or 2007, Greenspan was on capital hill responding to questions on what caused the housing balloon to pop. He couldn't bring himself to admit that he played a part in it but he said (parphrasing) "I was stunned that the things that had been working for 40 years no longer applied."

      I suspect Bernanke will one day be in the same boat as Greenspan, sitting and shaking his head and saying, "It should have worked."


    12. I am unaware of the role the FED plays in regulating banks.

      Aside from regulation what would you have the FED do differently? It seems that you are arguing they are too easy on giving out the money. Would you reverse that course and do you think the consequences would be managable? i.e. at what level should interest rates rise to?

  38. Quirk said...

    "The only thing keeping us afloat is that the dollar is the reserve currency for the world. "


    The biggest thing going in the Economic World these days.

    Another American Treasure that may well be gone by the end of BHO's second term.


  39. Renewable energy and natural gas provider Sempra US Gas & Power announced Wednesday that it had completed construction of Mesquite Solar 1, the first 150-megawatt phase of the company’s Mesquite Solar complex location in Arlington, Arizona.

    “We are pleased to continue the momentum of our solar program with the completion of Mesquite Solar 1 and will now focus on the development of the remaining 4,000-acre complex,” said Jeffrey W. Martin, president and chief executive officer of Sempra US Gas & Power.

    Mesquite Solar 1 is currently operational and subsequently ranks amongst the largest solar farms currently operational in the US.

    Located on 4,000 acres 40 miles west of Phoenix, Mesquite Solar 1 is currently has a capacity of 150 megawatts (MW) in phase 1, but will eventually measure in at 700 MW further down the line. Construction began in mid-2011 and has since created an estimated 300

    Clean Technica (


    Non-Outsourceable Jobs

  40. .

    Trade agreements are fine if you have something to trade. The authors point out that there are numerous industries were we have lost leadership. There are plenty of reasons for this, most of them associated with money.

    There is little we can do about macro-trends like globalization but we have already seen that even trends like globalization can have a cyclical aspect both in a global and individual state sense. Overall there have been reports that the trend has slowed due to nationalistic concerns and with regard to the US we have seen that as the wage gap narrows between countries, other factors (some favoring the US) have become more important.

    However, some of the decline of our manufacturing sector as a contributor to GPD is self-inflicted. One example, is the buy in to the elites dogma that manufacturing is unimportant and that the real role for the US is to be the financial facilitator to the world. Over the past two decades or more, the best and brightest have been going into the finacial services industry primarily because that is where the money is. I saw an article recently that said that average wages for the bankers on Wall Street at around $360k are about 3 1/2 times that of the average American.

    Ironically, those entering the field were told these were also the safe jobs. Hard to say which is worse, being replaced by a low-wage worker in China or by a computer in India.


  41. And, if you look at the MEDIAN worker, it's more like 10 Times.

    1. When the bottom 80% of Americans are making 5% of the income, the last thing you want to do is let the think tank statisticians trick you into thinking in terms of "average" incomes.

      That top 1% that's making 43% of the Money skews the "average" figures all to hell.

    2. "When the bottom 80% of Americans are making 5% of the income,"

      Prove it with a link, Mr. Useful Idiot.

    3. You work for a change, asshole.

    4. No, you back up your BULLSHIT with facts, Moron.

    5. Why? You never do. You just sling shit around, all over the walls, and ceiling, and then when someone puts up a little sanity you start screaming for links, which I suspect you never click on, anyway. Fuck off.

    6. I'm tired of your shit, Doug. You can blow me. Piss off.

    7. And take the ignorant fucking alfalfa farmer with you.

    8. wow, fuck fuck fuck

      Backed up with ZERO FACTS.

      Mississippi MORON.

    9. "When the bottom 80% of Americans are making 5% of the income,"

      Simple assertion.

      Simply NOT TRUE.

      What can I do about YOUR BS?

      ...besides call you on it.

    10. Then, YOU prove it wrong, asshole. BUT, you Can't. Because it's correct. Like I said, "Blow me - you and Bob, both."

    11. I would like to see support for your statement rufus. It rings true to me but...

      ...hard to prove a negative as well though in this case one can try to research the numbers.

    12. Don't try logic on an asshole Ash.
      Asses don't run on logic.
      They run on shit.

  42. In 1968, when I was in Korea, where I spent most of my off time in the Library, the financial capital of the World was shifting from London to New York.
    Now it's shifting from NYC to China/Asia/The Petro Arabs.

    Not quite as benign as 69.
    ('69 Replacing '68 for poetic reasons)

    1. (was supposed to be a response to Q's America as the World Currency)

      The useful idiot interviened.

  43. There is a new transmission line up and running between San Diego and the Imperial Valley in California. The 117-mile 500-kv transition line, “Sunrise Powerlink” is transmitting energy from the now operational Ocotillo Wind project to residents and businesses in Southern California. The 265 megawatt (MW) wind power project consists of 94 turbines with an additional 18 turbines to be installed in the spring. The project is owned by Pattern Energy, and the energy produced is being sold to San Diego Gas & Electric (SDG&E) via a 20 year power purchase agreement.

    “The Ocotillo Wind project is a shining example of achieving local, state and national energy goals, while being the first renewable project to connect to the Sunrise Powerlink,” said Mike Garland, CEO of Pattern Energy. “Nearly 70% of the project was ‘made in America,’ producing local construction jobs, manufacturing jobs at the Southern California factory where the towers were built and additional jobs in factories around the United States where the turbines and other components were made. The Ocotillo site has the strongest winds in the
    . . . .

    More Non-Outsourceable Jobs

    1. California obtained 17.6% of its electricity from Non-Large Hydro Renewables, Yesterday.

      California ISO

    2. Nuclear, Hydro, IMPORTS AND THERMAL 82 Percent,

      Renewables 18 percent.

      California is Bankrupt.


    3. Oh, Really? Then why are they projecting a BALANCED BUDGET for the coming fiscal year?

  44. This comment has been removed by the author.

  45. BTW, our own debt is stabilizing.

    We are, at present, the "light brown" line.


  46. Replies
    1. Notice the pie chart. The Bottom 80% Owns 5% of the Financial Wealth.

    2. UC Santa Cruz, which has employed Communist Murderer Angela Davis as a Distinguished Professor for decades, is employed as the source for Rufus's "FACTS"

      I'm overwhelmed.

    3. Doug, that's the best you can do? Sad!

    4. The Rufian limbic leaves have dropped their protective covering from his R-system.

      Hence the continual pleading for someone to 'blow me'.

      But, the good news is:

      When the higher incorporates the lower into its service, the nature of the lower is transformed into that of the higher.

      Meister Eckhart

      Which abides like a dying star, winking beyond itself, as a continuing possibility.

      Eckhart sounds nearly Hegelian here.

      And I think Hegel knew something about his intellectual roots.

      My report on the problems caused by the breakup of the family will be delayed. Just woke up, and busy the rest of the day. Sorry.

    5. There is wealth and income inequality, and everyone knows it. It is also true that a small group pays nearly all taxes. Everybody knows that too. Some people are much more creative, and work harder than others. Everybody knows that. A lot of people never do squat, nor want to. Everybody knows that. A lot of people spend and gamble, some people save, and everybody knows that. I think the numbers cited are exaggerated, but I don't know by how much. And I don't think anybody else does either. One question is, why should there be wealth and income equality in the first place, and what exactly is that? And is it possible to obtain that, or even desirable? Mugabe now owns all of Zimbabwe, for what it is worth, which isn't much, except on paper, and the Castro boys own all of Cuba, all in the name of equality, and so it goes, down the line. A healthy country has a healthy middle class, and I can't see that the democrats have contributed much to it. They have contributed to a 'healthy' entrenched lower class, both white and black. Which I am going to report on. These things are a matter of balance. That is what the tax argument is about. How far can you push it in robbing a working or investing or both Peter to give to Paul? And should you?

  47. Inside the Disaster at IBM: The Day Bill Gates Overthrew Big Blue'You think you can sneak around behind my back,' Jim Cannavino, the head of IBM's personal-computer business, told Bill Gates, the chairman of Microsoft Corp. 'But let me tell you, anytime you try to do business with one of my big customers, even before you're out the door they're calling me to tell me what you've said' Through clenched teeth, Mr. Cannavino muttered a phrase that would become his refrain: 'I wouldn't want to be in your shoes. I wouldn't want to have to compete with the IBM company.'

    It was the fall of 1989, and Mr Cannavino had been assigned the job of saving IBM's personal-computer business, which, company officials were beginning to realize, had compiled a nearly perfect record of strategic mistakes for the previous five years under Mr Cannavino's predecessors.

    What follows is an inside look at the struggle between Mr Gates and Mr Cannavino at a critical time in the sudden, sad decline of International Business Machines Corp.; the moment when the balance of power in the computer industry changed, in an embarrassingly public showdown, while the nation's top software executives looked on agape...

    What a difference twenty years makes.

    1. Back then Microsoft gave zero dollars to Washington DC.
      Bill Clinton's "Justice" sued them to shit.

      Now, Microsoft, like IBM, has lawyered up.

      Microsoft used to drive innovation... Apple does now, since they have always supported the DC Masters.

  48. The innumerate among us kept wailing, and gnashing their teeth when California had a $20 Billion Deficit. They always overlooked the fact that they were dealing with an approx $2 Trillion Economy.

    20,000,000,000/2,000,000,000,000 = 0.01 (1%)

    1% of GDP

    1. SACRAMENTO, Jan 10 (Reuters) - California's budget deficit is gone after years of financial troubles, Governor Jerry Brown said on Thursday, proposing a plan that raises spending on education and healthcare, boosting total expenditures by 5 percent.

      Brown vowed to push back at legislators eager to raise spending quickly, restoring the billions of dollars to social services and other state functions that were cut in lean years.

      "I am determined to avoid the fiscal mess that the last few governors had to deal with," Brown told reporters as he introduced the budget for the 2013-14 fiscal year beginning in July.

      The state expects $98.5 billion in revenues and transfers and plans spending $97.7 billion, according to the proposal published on the state Department of Finance website.

      That leaves a surplus of $851 million for the year, in addition to a projected $785 million surplus for the current fiscal year, which ends in June, allowing the state to put $1 billion toward a rainy day fund.

      Goodbye Deficit - Hello Surplus

    2. Oh, and they Are one of the states that are raising their Medicaid Limits up to Obamacare Standards, which means Everyone in California will have access to Real Healthcare.

      All states should be so "bankrupt."

    3. Bankrupt California cities slash public services to fund six-figure ... - RT
      Aug 4, 2012 – As some California cities face bankruptcy, public services are being ...
      The City Officials (council) are so stupid that I almost feel sorry for them.
      The Biggest Reason Why California Is Bankrupt - Conor Friedersdorf ...
      Aug 24, 2012 – The Biggest Reason Why California Is Bankrupt ... and prison payrolls, the second largest, jumped by a nearly identical amount -- from 48,896 ...

      California Cities Go Bankrupt, But Bullet Train Barrels On - Forbes
      Jul 12, 2012 – City after city is now facing up to the grim reality that as goes San Bernardino, so goes almost any town you can name in California. Teachers ...

      A nearly bankrupt state plays with trains » News -- GOPUSA
      Jul 7, 2012 – Pingback: California - A nearly bankrupt state plays with trains - ALIPAC. copakeman Comment by copakeman. July 7, 2012 @ 11:44 am ...

      California Goes Bankrupt -
      Jul 20, 2012 – One California city after another becomes insolvent as the state's economic crisis worsens.
      California Bankrupt?
      Jun 21, 2010 – Just recently, the state of California handed pink slips to nearly 22,000 teachers ... It would be a lot like bankruptcy, except instead of following a ...

      Unemployment Benefits for Illegal Aliens in Nearly Bankrupt California
      Dec 13, 2012 – Unemployment Benefits for Illegal Aliens in Nearly Bankrupt California. They say illegal aliens do the work Americans won't do. Why won't ...

      Three California Cities Bankrupt: 'This Is The Tip of the Iceberg ...
      Jul 13, 2012 – From the blog Daily Ticker: Follow The Daily Ticker on Facebook! San Bernardino, Calif., is the latest municipality to seek bankruptcy protection ...

      San Bernardino Bankruptcy: Third CA City In Less Than Two Weeks ...
      Jul 11, 2012 – I would suspect that, if the truth were to come out(and, eventually it will)almost all large cities in CA are teetering on the edge of bankruptcy at ...

      Calpers Bankruptcy Strategy Pits Retirees vs. All Others ...
      Dec 12, 2012 – The California Public Employees' Retirement System is trying to rewrite the rules for bankrupt cities, claiming that until it gets paid, almost no ...

      etc forever

      A lot depends on your citations.

    4. Oh, and they'll Continue to be a Donor State, which means they'll send the U.S. Government $1.00 for every $0.78 they get back.

      This will allow states like Idaho, Mississippi, and Arizona to Get Back More Than They Send In.

      and, you can buy a joint, too. :)

  49. As the Economic Policy Institute has reported, the richest 10 percent of Americans received an unconscionable 100 percent of the average income growth in the years 2000 to 2007, the most recent extended period of economic expansion. -Bob Herbert


    "...Should any political party attempt to abolish social security, unemployment insurance, and eliminate labor laws and farm programs, you would not hear of that party again in our political history. There is a tiny splinter group, of course, that believes you can do these things. Among them are H.L. Hunt...and a few other Texas oil millionaires, and an occasional politician or businessman from other areas. Their number is negligible and they are stupid." -- President Dwight D. Eisenhower, in a letter to his brother Edgar, Nov. 8, 1954

    "Estimated ratio this year of the U.S. defense budget to that of the rest of the world combined: 1:1" -- Harper's Index, April 2006

    U.S. military spending in 2010 was $698 billion, the highest on earth (China was second with $119 billion, the United Kingdom, third with $59.6 billion)." -- AP story (citing Stockholm International Peace Research Institute) in Seattle Times, April 11, 2011

    Since 2000, U.S. defense spending has gone up 81% -- not counting the Iraq and Afghanistan wars. -- Bill Maher on "Real Time with Bill Maher" April 2011

    More Numbers

  50. Doug, you and I can be proud, we are asked to join the illustrious William Blake, among others, in being told to "blow me" by Rufus.

    1. Ash too, I believe, joins our selective group. Wasn't there something about 'a parking lot'?

  51. Microsoft’s Lost Decade

    Once upon a time, Microsoft dominated the tech industry; indeed, it was the wealthiest corporation in the world. But since 2000, as Apple, Google, and Facebook whizzed by, it has fallen flat in every arena it entered: e-books, music, search, social networking, etc., etc. Talking to former and current Microsoft executives, Kurt Eichenwald finds the fingers pointing at C.E.O. Steve Ballmer, Bill Gates’s successor, as the man who led them astray.

  52. If you think about it, the only way to prevent the aggregation of wealth at the top is to discourage the size of corporations.

  53. Home building is a perfect example: There is no economic need for wall street listed mega-corps home builders.

  54. The problem is the only entity that can stop them is the government and invariably the government doesn’t understand the consequences of it action.

  55. Let’s consider that on the next post.

  56. Matt Taibbi gives some background to former Citigroup chairman Sandy Weill changing his mind on TBTF.

    Anyway, one has to wonder if Weill’s nagging poverty had anything to do with his change of heart. A few years ago, when he was still blasting Reed, he probably thought Citi would bounce back. Citi was trading between $3-$4 back then (pre-split). How could things get any worse? He couldn't have imagined that two and a half years later, the stock would actually be lower. Could the shock of that ugly truth have played a role in his "good thing" idea?

    It was strange that Squawk Box didn’t wonder about this question. As my friend put it: “I was floored that Sorkin and the other talking heads didn’t ask Weill about his Citi shares. This is the money business, and they didn’t ask the guy about money? Now we’re shy?”

    Who knows if Weill managed to cash out earlier, or hedged somehow. But it’s certainly fair to wonder if maybe he didn’t, and what actually changed his mind about Too Big to Fail is that it transformed him from a God into the proud owner of $43 million lousy dollars, practically a regular person (if you exclude his prior earnings, of course).

    As Scott Glenn’s "Roger the drug dealer" character icily complains in Training Day when Denzel and his corrupt LAPD pals dig up his ill-gotten nest egg: "Fucking vampires want my pension!" All those years of hard work stealing the world's money, and it's gone in the snap of a finger!

    Poor Sandy’s pension is gone. No wonder he’s rethinking things.