Tuesday, July 26, 2016

Observations on the 2016 Democratic National Convention

The Democratic National Convention is in Philadelphia at the Wells Fargo Center.
WFC is one of the Big Five Banks, and profited from government largesse in the wake of the 2008 Financial Crisis.

The DNC has a double wall encircling the Wells Fargo Center.
The Democratic Party is pro-amnesty for illegal immigrants, and attacks Trump for his proposal to build a wall on the Mexican border.

Security at the convention is armed.
The Democratic Party is pro gun control and avowedly wants to disarm Americans.

Attendees to the convention must show ID to gain entrance.
The Democratic Party is opposed to showing ID to vote.

The 2016 Democratic Party platform is here.

Still assuming 8%

AG Loretta Lynch formerly served on the board of the New York Federal Reserve, 2003 to 2006.
Tim Geithner, now of Warburg Pincus, was President of the New York Federal Reserve from 2003 to 2009. That period of time also known as the run up to and including the Great Crash of 2008.

From there he sashayed into Pres. Obama's Cabinet as Treasury Secretary.

When you look at the projected annual rate of return by Chicago-area public pension funds, one can understand why Moody's was compelled to downgrade all levels of government in Illinois.
The lowest one is 7.5%. 7.5%!
The CTA is at 8.25%! There's a footnote stating the CTA lowered their annual rate of return projections in 2013 - from 8.5%.

The City of Chicago details where the funding for public pensions comes from:

Patrick Jenkins in the July 26 Financial Times notes:

Wednesday, July 20, 2016

In The Wake of the Turkish Coup Attempt

In the Financial Times ongoing coverage of Erdogan's post coup attempt clean up they note:

The pilots followed (illegal) orders in November 2015, and now in a rank act of political expediency they are classified as plotters. Grim outlook, indeed.

As a refresher on that shoot down of the Russian Su-24, from the Financial Times 3 December 2015:

A commenter on the coup attempt article observed:

A vote for Clinton is a vote for the status quo

The Republican Convention is entering Day 3 in Cleveland.

Flashback from The Hill, June 3 2016, Susan Sarandon on Hillary Clinton:
Actress Susan Sarandon says Hillary Clinton's foreign policy makes her a greater national security risk than Donald Trump, adding it's "inevitable" the White House hopeful will be indicted... [S]he did not learn a thing from Iraq. She is an interventionist. She's done horrible things, horrible things, and very callously[.]... Trump's ideas are too implausible to be dangerous.
Another way of putting it:
HRC is a warmonger. See Libya, Syria, Iraq, Russia (via Ukraine), and Iran.
HRC agrees with torture as a policy of state. See countries listed above.
HRC prefers secret treaties over open negotiations. See TPP et al.

From the International Business Times regarding Clinton and the TPP,6 June 2016:
The State Department originally said it estimated the request would be completed by April 2016. Last week the agency said it had completed the search process for the correspondence but also said it was delaying the completion of the request until late November 2016 — weeks after the presidential election. The delay was issued in the same week the Obama administration filed a court motion to try to kill a lawsuit aimed at forcing the federal government to more quickly comply with open records requests for Clinton-era State Department documents.Clinton’s shifting positions on the TPP have been a source of controversy during the campaign: She repeatedly promoted the deal as secretary of state but then in 2015 said, "I did not work on TPP[.]
And for those who say "if you don't vote you can't complain:"
I used to have that position too.
But I learned a few things and evolved my position.

To wit:
There's massive, coordinated election fraud across the country.

Governments at all levels extract money from you with the threat of force. You are certainly entitled to complain about an entity that does that to you.

And finally - the only ones who can't complain are the ones who voted for the people in office. The entire concept of "not wasting my vote" is an anathema. Don't vote for someone just because you think your vote will be wasted on a 3rd party candidate. This is the very reason we're stuck in a two-party combine machine.

Thursday, June 30, 2016

Après Brexit le déluge

Any libertarian nihilist is always happy to see Big made smaller.
Take, for example, Brexit.
The EU will go from 28 to 27 countries.
London's financial services will lose some clout, maybe jobs, maybe business as the ECB tries again to mandate all EUR-denominated derivatives clearing be done in an EZ jurisdiction.
Devolving business from the Center of the Universe's Financial Engineering is a great thing.
Consolidated government takes a hit.
More places offering financial engineering services, more competition, lower prices, reducing prestige, less money for lobbying.

June 23 2016 Brits voted to Leave the EU.
Parts of the United Kingdom distinctly voted to Remain: Scotland, Northern Ireland.
June 24 2016 the results were announced. PM Cameron announced his resignation, probably in October. The Conservatives begin holding their elections to select final 2 candidates July 5, culminating September 9.
In the week since the vote Labour has also shown its deep divisions, with ranking party members calling for Jeremy Corbyn to step down, claiming his lackluster support for Remain doomed the cause. Even PM Cameron said he should resign.
Corbyn is one of the few high ranking politicians who's in sympathy with the British people. It's the pro-Remain politicos who should step down (such as Cameron is doing).

For their part, EU officials and other national heads of state are calling for immediate invocation of Article 50 which triggers the exit process.

Concurrently, it is continental markets and banks suffering from Brexit, as opposed to their British counterparts.
FT: ECB takes Brexit in its stride despite complacency concerns
June 30 2016
Vitor Constancio, ECB President Draghi's deputy, said on June 29 that Britain was "not a major economic area."
Ed. note: It's comments like these that cause people to scorn technocrats (they are not "experts," but technocrats).
Yet Fed President Yellen and BOE Governor Carney skipped the ECB conference to mind the markets. Because of a non-major economic area.

Same article notes Italian banks fell sharply again after PM Renzi couldn't persuade the EU to allow Rome to bailout of its lenders.

FT Brexit: Haunted Europe
June 26 2016
Tony Barber writes "The UK vote throws into doubt the EU's survival as support for expansion wanes."
Weeks before the Brexit vote European Council President Donald Tusk warned his colleagues that European citizens did not share the enthusiasm of some of their leaders for a "utopia of Europe without nation states."

Not getting, or ignoring, the memo Spain's Foreign Minister Garcia-Margallo wrote an article in El Pais titled "Whatever happens, more Europe."

The same Spain that won't let an independent Scotland join the EU (don't look now but Catalonia has promised to have its own independence referendum by 2017).

Charles Grant of the Centre for European Reform said "From now on, the narrative will be one of disintegration, not integration...But centrist politicians who run nearly every EU member state will henceforth be on the defensive against the populist forces who oppose them and the EU."
Ed. note: centrist politicians according to whom?

FT City of London has lost its voice with Brexit, says Lord Hill
June 26 2016
Alex Barker writes "City of London should brace itself for a new era where its rule book reflects Franco-German interests unchecked by 'the British voice', according to Britain's Lord Hill, the outgoing EU commissioner in charge of financial services.

"[S]enior EU officials believe the UK's passporting rights are effectively 'dead' post-Brexit because other countries led by France will ensure any future form of passport will offer far less privileged access to a eurozone market with protectionist rules. Banks have already begun to take action to shift operations out of the UK, approaching euro area regulators to secure licenses."
Ed. note: But will those jobs move to Paris, where the cost of labor is much higher than London?

Tuesday, June 21, 2016

Captain Spaulding on Brexit

Captain Spaulding, on his way to a party was asked by BBC what his position was on the June 23 Brexit vote:

Sunday, June 12, 2016

Different means not the same

Last week my friend and I went to the coffee bar in the building.
She ordered a Latté.
I ordered a Café au Lait.
The server airily told us they were the same.
They are not the same.
Not according to the world.
Not according to Starbucks.
Not according to coffee drinkers.
And not according to the coffee bar's MENU.
And the coffee bar menu also has cafe au lait CHEAPER than latte.

Saturday, May 28, 2016

FT's Simon Kuper accidentally makes a reveal

Simon Kuper has a column in the Weekend FT: The new French royalty.

And on his way to making superb snarky commentary on French politics he drops this bombshell:
Does Kuper know he provided more evidence for the False Flag party?

Separately, he really does have some great snarky takes on political elites:

Monday, May 23, 2016

When track & field had style

No accusations of performance-enhancing methods leveled against these women of the University of Texas track team.
(Sports Illustrated, April 1964)