Business/Economy (Bloggers & Personal)

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  • Geithner Admits “Finance Has Never Been My Strong Point”

    05/19/2012 12:47:20 PM PDT · by John Semmens · 11 replies
    Semi-News/Semi-Satire ^ | 19 May 2012 | John Semmens
    In an interview for PBS News Hour, US Treasury Secretary Timothy Geithner confessed to being “severely confused” by matters of finance. “A few years ago I was being mocked for messing up my taxes,” Geithner complained. “But, really now, who can figure out the tax code? It’s such a mixed up pile of contradictory rules and instructions that I’d be surprised if anybody got it right.” “This deficit stuff, what’s that all about?” Geithner wondered. “How can the government be short of money? I’ve been to the mint and it seems we can print as much as we need. If...
  • Early Freeper Graduates From College Today

    05/18/2012 7:16:32 PM PDT · by muawiyah · 5 replies
    personal experience ~ I was there and saw it happen | may 18, 2012 | muawiyah
    Remember "March for Justice," broadcast live on Halloween 1998? My sons and I went to the March for Justice and we brought along several of their friends. All of them are today reliable Republican voters. One of the young men is of Thai heritage and he was mightily impressed with the Freepers that day. When he was about 12 he started a two year stint as a child monk in Bangkok ~ by the time he was a senior in high school he had some problems getting the grades needed to graduate so I elected to help him ~ to...
  • Alcohol Regulation Study: No Advantage To Tighter Restrictions

    05/18/2012 2:02:54 PM PDT · by MichCapCon · 5 replies
    Capitol Confidential ^ | 5/17/2012 | Michael LaFaive
    Michigan’s alcohol regulatory system contributes to higher costs for the public without providing discernible public health and safety advantages, according to a study released Monday by the Mackinac Center for Public Policy. “It is clear from Center of Disease Control data on alcohol-attributable deaths, for instance, that when it comes to health and safety, states with heavy state alcohol control regimes do not outperform states with lighter controls, such as license states, as opponents of deregulation might have us believe,” said Michael LaFaive, director of fiscal policy at the Mackinac Center and co-author of the study. “They are virtually indistinguishable,...
  • This just in: Jerry Brown guessed wrong. Again. Tack another billion or so on that deficit.

    05/18/2012 1:16:23 PM PDT · by Mark Landsbaum · 7 replies
    We wrote for the weekend (see our column Sunday morning when it goes up here) that Gov. Jerry Brown is a bad guesser. The ink wasn’t even dry yet – in fact the Sunday paper hasn’t even been printed yet – and we learn that Brown guessed wrong again. Back in January Brown guessed that the state budget would be $9.2 billion in the red. Wrong. Monday Brown revised his estimate. Then he said it would be $15.7 billion in the red. Wrong. Today the independent Legislative Analyst affirmed that Jerry’s wrong again. It will be $17 billion plus some...
  • Energy Debates Heat Up As High Electric Rates Continue

    05/18/2012 12:47:51 PM PDT · by MichCapCon · 2 replies
    Michigan Capitol Confidential ^ | 5/16/2012 | Jack Spencer
    Residents and businesses in Michigan are wrestling with the highest electric rates in the region — and with the best way to fix that situation. As is often the case in Michigan, a more competitive market versus a monopoly market is central to the debate, as is mandating an increase in the amount of renewable energy the state uses. According to the U.S. Energy Information Administration, Michigan's electric rates at the beginning of the year were 10 percent above the national average and had increased 8 percent over the previous year. With this reality as a backdrop, the state's energy...
  • Looks Like Subsidized A123 Execs Want to Cash In

    05/18/2012 11:39:25 AM PDT · by jazusamo
    National Legal & Policy Center ^ | May 18, 2012 | Paul Chesser
    As taxpayer-backed electric car battery-maker A123 Systems reported a $125 million 1st quarter loss this week and its stock price dipped to near its 52-week low, the executives that were just awarded big raises and parachutes look like they want to cash in and sell the company. Officials with the Massachusetts-based manufacturer, which received a $249.1 million grant from theDepartment of Energy but this week said the ability for the company to continue is a “going concern,” also announced they retained an outside adviser for “evaluation of strategic alternatives.” Translation: they’re looking to sell. If they are successful, A123...
  • California unemployment has improved to Eurozone levels! We’re in the Great Distression.

    05/18/2012 10:30:19 AM PDT · by Mark Landsbaum · 2 replies
    We were lamenting just the other day, yesterday in fact, that California’s 11.0 percent unemployment rate was identical to Ghana’s, that sub-Saharan economic stalwart. Today we awoke to the good news. California’s unemployment rate has plunged to (drum roll please) 10.9 percent! That’s as good as the unemployment rate in the euro zone, where people out of work also account for 10.9 percent of the working population, a new high for those folks...
  • Consequences of Collapse: Access to Critical Medicines Is Disappearing in Greece

    05/18/2012 10:18:58 AM PDT · by Kartographer · 27 replies
    Family Preppers ^ | 5/18/12 | Mac Slavo
    For patients and pharmacists in financially stricken Greece, even finding aspirin has turned into a headache. Mina Mavrou, who runs a pharmacy in a middle-class Athens suburb, spends hours each day pleading with drugmakers, wholesalers and colleagues to hunt down medicines for clients. Life-saving drugs such as Sanofi (SAN)’s blood-thinner Clexane and GlaxoSmithKline Plc (GSK)’s asthma inhaler Flixotide often appear as lines of crimson data on pharmacists’ computer screens, meaning the products aren’t in stock or that pharmacists can’t order as many units as they need. “When we see red, we want to cry,” Mavrou said. “The situation is worsening...
  • Vanity: Is Facebook getting ripped off with IPO?

    05/18/2012 8:13:34 AM PDT · by C19fan · 35 replies
    May 18, 2012 | Me
    I am watching the news before heading off to work and of course all the talk is about Facebook's IPO. Even one of the guys on CNBC was wearing a hoodie. There is all this talk about how tech IPOs have seen a "pop" in price of their new stock on average of 30%-40% on the first day of trading which would place Facebook as worth $50 on day 1 (35% over the IPO price of $38.) Why are Tech IPOs then systematically underpriced? If the Facebook IPO is so oversubscribed then why does Zuckerberg not say to whoever is...
  • The REAL Reason Obama/Holder Going After JP Morgan...?

    05/17/2012 2:26:14 PM PDT · by Reaganite Republican · 14 replies
    Reaganite Republican ^ | May 18, 2012 | Reaganite Republican
    Just in case you were wondering why Dear Leader has turned on supporter Jamie Diamond,  threatening investigations and new legislation when JP Morgan lost less than 1% of their own money in a bad trade... George Soros quadrupled his gold exposure in the first quarter, according to his latest 13-F filed with the SEC, increasing his position of 85,000 GLD shares during Q4 2011 to 320,000 shares by the end of March. That’s still a far cry from the 4.67M shares Soros held at the end of 2010. He dumped almost all of it in the following three months-. when gold still traded between...
  • Chevy Volt Pep Rally Masquerades as Electric Vehicle Symposium

    05/17/2012 10:41:48 AM PDT · by jazusamo · 6 replies
    National Legal & Policy Center ^ | May 17, 2012 | Mark Modica
    The Department of Transportation and NHTSA have announced that a "technical symposium" will be held on May 18th "to discuss safety considerations for electric vehicles powered by lithium-ion (Li-ion) batteries." In addition to NHTSA's presentations, the Department of Energy, automotive manufacturers and battery makers will participate. Given the bias of the participants, the symposium sounds like it is going to be less informational and more infomercial. The press release for the gathering states, "Electric vehicles show great promise as an innovative and fuel-efficient option for American drivers. Significant research and other activities related to the safety of these vehicles are...
  • House Panel Tackling State Dept., Foreign Ops Bill This Morning

    05/17/2012 9:27:32 AM PDT · by Steve Peacock · 2 replies
    U.S. Trade & Aid Monitor ^ | May 17, 2012 | Steve Peacock
    The House Appropriations Committee this morning is marking up the FY2013 State, Foreign Operations, and Other Programs bill. Some cuts are proposed, and yet much stays the same. The so-called Drug War, to cite one example, will continue unabated, as the following committee statement indicates: The Committee recommendation restores reductions proposed in the request for key countries in Latin America. The Committee believes it is critical to continue robust support for counternarcotics and law enforcement efforts, as well as assistance for rule of law and judicial reform activities in Mexico, Colombia, Central America, and the Caribbean to fight drug trafficking...
  • Freddie Mac: Mortgage Rates Drop (Again) – Thank Greece, Portugal and Spain!

    According to Freddie Mac, mortgage rates in the U.S. fell to a record for a third straight week. The average rate for a 30-year fixed loan dropped to 3.79 percent in the week ended today from 3.83 percent. Fannie Mae 30 year current coupons (the rate on Fannie Mae MBS) fell as well, but not to the lowest point in recent months.\ As Europe continues to experience a financial crisis, investors continue to invest in our Treasury market (driving down yields). 30 year mortgage rates follow the 10 year Treasury yield. Greece, Portugal and Spain continue to experience problems with...
  • Do They Understand Where the Money Comes From?

    05/17/2012 8:09:57 AM PDT · by Guido2012 · 9 replies
    Set Our Children Free ^ | 5/14/2012 | Tony Caruso
    Does Governor Moonbeam and his clueless California Democrat legislature understand where the money comes from? Or is it just that they can’t get past their core Socialist philosophy to find their way out of this mess?
  • New Study: High Corporate Taxes Stifle Small Businesses

    05/17/2012 7:32:47 AM PDT · by 92nina · 6 replies
    ATR ^ | 2012-05-16 | Hugh Johnson
    It’s generally best to speak to experts when making broad claims about national policy. For instance, if we want to analyze U.S. corporate tax policy it’s probably best to take the word of a few tax attorneys than, say, a constitutional law scholar. A new study by Jonathan Sallet and Robert Rizzi, partner attorneys in the tax practice of O’Melveny & Myers LLP, highlight the constricting nature of corporate tax rates. ATR has previously highlighted the job-killing nature of high corporate taxes and the anti-growth effects of maintaining the highest corporate tax rate in the industrialized world. Published by the...
  • 'Naked Short Selling'

    05/17/2012 7:00:16 AM PDT · by The Working Man · 55 replies
    Investor Village ^ | 16 May 12 | Matt Taibbi
    <p>It doesn’t happen often, but sometimes God smiles on us. Last week, he smiled on investigative reporters everywhere, when the lawyers for Goldman, Sachs slipped on one whopper of a legal banana peel, inadvertently delivering some of the bank’s darker secrets into the hands of the public.</p>
  • Firm Run by ex-USAID Official, Exxon Engineer Gets US-Funded Libyan Industry Contract

    05/16/2012 7:47:26 AM PDT · by Steve Peacock · 1 replies
    U.S. Trade & Aid Monitor ^ | May 16, 2012 | Steve Peacock
    A company jointly led by a former Exxon researcher and a one-time U.S. government official recently secured a contract to assess potential U.S. investments into Libyan industry, specifically the power-generation sector. The U.S. Trade & Development Agency (USTDA), an independent White House entity, selected Energy Markets Group (EMG) to carry out a “definitional mission,” or DM, to Libya. EMG will travel to Libya, evaluate that industry segment, and craft a report for USTDA either recommending or rejecting possible “investments” of additional funds to boost Libyan modernization efforts. EMG’s president is Ahmad Ghamarian, formerly an Exxon Research and Engineering Company staffer....
  • Federal 'Stimulus' Spent $34.5 Million In Michigan For Only 183 Total Jobs

    05/16/2012 5:34:25 AM PDT · by MichCapCon · 5 replies
    Michigan Capitol Confidential ^ | 5/14/2012 | Anne Schieber
    If jobs are any measure, 14 Michigan "green" companies that were awarded $34.5 million in taxpayer funded grants and loans aren't generating much heat. According to the Michigan Economic Development Corp., the companies have reported a total of 183 jobs. While a final report will not be issued until June, calls and emails to the companies indicate the total number will not be much higher. The state awarded the grants and loans in 2009 and 2010 under its Clean Energy Advanced Manufacturing Program. The money came from federal stimulus funding under the American Recovery and Reinvestment Act. The federal government...
  • Analysis: Local Governments Wrong to Call Foul On Property Tax Reform

    05/15/2012 8:53:59 PM PDT · by MichCapCon · 5 replies
    Michigan Capitol Confidential ^ | 5/13/2012 | James Hohman
    Local governments are crying poverty over a proposal that would make the state more attractive for businesses — a plan to phase out the state’s tax on business equipment. They’re also raising the alarm that they’ll have to raise taxes on local property owners to make up for lost revenue if the bill passes. School districts, counties, cities and townships should be applauding the state’s approach instead of fighting it. Local governments complain that the revenue from the tax will not be replaced, meaning less revenue for strained their budgets. But the specific proposal actually replaces property tax revenue for...
  • Leftist RINO's Praise Ohomo over Gay "Marriage"

    05/15/2012 8:37:41 PM PDT · by publius321 · 2 replies
    The exorbitant cost of being a "Big Tent" Party