My early Sunday morning reads

• How Paul Ryan captured the G.O.P. (New Yorker)
• One One-Hundredth of a Second Faster: Building Better Olympic Athletes (Wired)
• The Man Who Saved AIG (Barron’s)
• Ian Fraser: Banking industry must rebuild from new foundations (The Herald Scotlandsee also A Bipartisan Proposal for More Equity in Big Banks (Economix)
• The Business Model Underlying Solar Power (NYT Magazine)
• Obama Administration Needs to Tap, Not Stiff-Arm, Wall Street Whistleblowers (Rolling Stonesee also Clock Is Ticking on Crisis Charges (WSJ)
• The Federal Reserve’s Maturity Extension Program and Treasury debt management (Econbrowser)
• Education persists (Johan Fouriesee also Selling out public schools (Salon)
• Goldman Sachs Leads Split With Obama, As GE Jilts Him Too (Bloomberg)
• Why climate change doesn’t spark moral outrage, and how it could (Grist)

What are you commenting on?


The Charms of a Hated Rally

Source: Barron’s

Category: Financial Press

Please use the comments to demonstrate your own ignorance, unfamiliarity with empirical data and lack of respect for scientific knowledge. Be sure to create straw men and argue against things I have neither said nor implied. If you could repeat previously discredited memes or steer the conversation into irrelevant, off topic discussions, it would be appreciated. Lastly, kindly forgo all civility in your discourse . . . you are, after all, anonymous.

28 Responses to “10 Sunday Reads”

  1. Mike in Nola says:

    The switch in Wall Street contributions away from Obama would almost lead you to think that he had enforced the law and put a bunch of the perps in jail where they belong. Instead, they are so greedy that they are mad about token talk about maybe making them pay taxes like the rest of us.

    Not to worry, they will come back to the fold if Obama wins so that they can help consummate the Grand Bargain where they complete the gutting of Social Security and Medicare in exchange for a token tax increase and token defense cuts which will keep the pigs in clover. Obama doesn’t want to jeopardize his corner office somewhere in Manhattan after his term ends.

    It would almost be better for the middle class if Romney won because he’s so obvious that the Senate Dems would have something to rally against.
    Remember this in the new year.

  2. Global Eyes says:

    There is nothing unusual about a sitting President selecting a new VP choice prior to the campaign.
    There is something unusual about a Governor commenting on the opposing party’s VP choice.
    That’s why I’m making Gov. Dan Malloy of Connecticut a longshot to become Obama’s new VP choice.

  3. Arequipa01 says:

    A ridiculous comment from LlamaLand:

    The article on Sungevity is quite interesting and contains two items which caught my attention.

    1) It mentions failures within the solar sector- I read that as a very positive thing.

    2) In reviewing Kennedy’s background there is mention of his activities in Indonesia. Specifically:

    “A year later, he was detained for three days by Indonesian intelligence. He suspected that a courier reported him for trying to ship water samples abroad — water samples that would demonstrate the environmental abuses at the enormous Grasberg gold mine in Irian Jaya.”

    I wish the author of this profile could have made certain to identify the company behind the problems at Irian Jaya- Freeport McMoran. Why ole Jim Bob keeps getting a whitewash I’ll never understand.

  4. rd says:

    On Obama tapping, instead of stiff-arming, whistleblowers.

    There is a fundamental assumption there that Obama and his Administration would want to do anything of the sort.

    It is useful to bad-mouth Wall St on the campaign trail, but meanwhile back in the office there is just hand-wringing and moaning about the difficulty of prosecution of white collar crimes. Howe3ver, based on that premise, the Mafia would never have been penetrated because that would have had all of those terribly difficult problems of penetrating their Omerta Code of Silence which is enforced much more strictly than anyhting on Wall Street.

  5. Jim67545 says:

    I marvel at Paul Ryan’s ability to knit together several pieces of misinformation, outright lies and such into each sentence to make what sounds like a reasonable coherent whole. It comes so fast and furious that one does not know where to start in picking it apart. Truly a very skilled and very dangerous spokesman for the dark side.

  6. Jim67545 says:

    From Seeking Alpha:
    Sunday, August 12, 4:30 AM The FDIC filed suit on Friday against 11 major banks for allegedly mispresenting the quality of the loans that were packaged together in over $388M of mortgage bonds sold to Alabama-based Colonial Bank, which failed three years ago after being defrauded by Taylor, Bean & Whitaker Mortgage. The banks sued include the usual suspects of JPMorgan (JPM), Citigroup (C), BofA (BAC) and Wells Fargo (WFC).
    (For links go to Seeking Alpha)
    Here we go again.

  7. Jim67545 says:

    BTW the bank I worked for sold (good quality Freddie) loans through Taylor, Bean & Whitaker (TBW). Whatever shinanigans occurred on the corporate level the rank and file employee there and the computer systems they developed were great. Hundreds of loyal, hard working and innocent TBW employees found themselves suddenly unemployed. A case study of executive decision making crushing the little guy about whom they apparently cared not.

  8. streeteye says:

    The Paul Ryan plan ‘Promotes saving by eliminating taxes on interest, capital gains, and dividends; also eliminates the death tax.’

    So Romney, and all his heirs in perpetuity, would never pay a dime in tax. How sweet is that? How fair is that?

    It’s shocking that in this day and age, someone could make such a proposal, and be considered a serious person and politician.

    The GOP has come an awful long way from its founder, who said, “Capital is only the fruit of labor, and could never have existed if labor had not first existed. Labor is the superior of capital, and deserves much the higher consideration.” – Abraham Lincoln

  9. godot10 says:

    That solar power article didn’t once mention the radioactive lakes being created in China by rare earth metals mining, or the future cost of cleanly up those radioactive lakes.

    Both solar and wind power require significant amounts of rare earth metals. Rare earth metals mining/refining tends to produce a massive amount of low level radioactive waste rock, that often gets dumped in lakes. Which is why most of the mining occurs in China, while rare earth metals are basically in relative abundance everywhere.

    Solar and wind aren’t as green as they claim to be. They hide their ugly tailing ponds where Western cameras cannot see them.

  10. nofoulsontheplayground says:

    Exclusive Investigation: The Truth Behind the Official Story of Finding Bin Laden
    Thursday, 03 May 2012 09:07 By Gareth Porter, Truthout | Report

    It appears Bin Laden was ousted from Al-Queda leadership in 2003. It also appears the CIA backstory on how they found him was mostly fictional. Some of this was aapparently to shield the Pakistani ISI intelligence’s role in conveying the information to the US that led to the killing of Bin Laden.

  11. RW says:

    The article on solar power is timely in my case as I am having a conversation with Solar City, one of the companies mentioned in the article. The review process is fairly comprehensive — your residence has to qualify in terms of exposure, thermal efficiency, electrical usage — and the options take some time to think about; e.g., the free install with 20 years of maintenance is available but the monthly cost of electricity will be nearly as high as the local power company so I am considering a couple deposit options that step the monthly cost downward. Just started so not much to say yet but the numbers thus far look very promising; it’s the real deal.

    Of course the buzz is about Romney’s VP pick so I’ve been looking at that this weekend: Aside from the obvious — energizing the base, reducing focus on Romney’s personal history (taxes, Bain, etc) and supplementing a slick patter over Romney’s cognitive stutter — Paul Ryan carries some interesting baggage; e.g.,

    …with the exception of a low-level job in the family business (less than a year) Ryan has never worked in the private sector;

    …has none-the-less accumulated assets between $2.1 – $7.8 million (financial disclosure forms provide ranges, not specifics);

    …successfully promoted a budget plan, now formally adopted by the Repbulican House, that would reduce Romney’s effective tax rate to less than 1% while shifting the entire cost of plutocratic/corporate benefits to folks like Romney downward to seniors, the middle class and poor, increasing their taxes and cutting their benefits proportionally.

    That many among seniors, middle class and poor will probably vote for the Romney/Ryan ticket is ironic and a credit to the power of ideology but also a penalty for innumeracy because, like virtually every Republican budget since David Stockman’s in 1981, the numbers in the Ryan budget do not add up; that is, it is not possible arithmetically for it to do what it says it will do.

    NB: it is reported an internal Romney memo states the campaign will not run on Ryan’s budget but this is patently absurd because neither the Democrats nor the Tea Party Republicans will allow Romney/Ryan to run on anything else.

  12. denim says:

    You asked: “What are you commenting on?”
    The economy and a book on capitalism written before Paul Ryan was even born.

    Your Think Tank tab has a clever quote from John Kenneth Galbraith, American Capitalism: the Theory of Countervailing Power, that sent me looking for his 1952 book of that name.

    The Depression Psychosis

    THE PROBLEMS of the American economy and polity just discussed have been mostly in the realm of ideas. They would have been a cause of uncertainty and insecurity even had they drawn little reinforcement from everyday experience. But to be a considerable source of alarm they needed the catalysis of experience — an experience which would force a large number of individual citizens to question the efficacy and stability of American capitalism. That experience, in a highly compelling form, was provided by the Great Depression.”

    Perhaps the Great Recession was not quite compelling enough. According to Prof. Dr. Krugman, the U.S. is in a depression that should be ended now by decisive actions….but not those of the Ryan-Romney kind.

  13. eliz says:

    From The New Yorker article on Paul Ryan:

    “The fight we are in here, make no mistake about it, is a fight of individualism versus collectivism.” To me he was careful to point out that he rejects Rand’s atheism.

    Ryan is a proclaimed Catholic. However, if he embraced Catholic social doctrine, he surely wouldn’t be framing his position as a fight between individualism versus collectivism, and even if he succumbed to such a framing, he wouldn’t be purely on the side of individualism.

    More on Catholic Social Doctrine can be read here.

    A Catholic priest, relying on Catholic social doctrine and trying to help the city of Mondragon address economic woes and joblessness, was behind Mondragón Cooperative Corporation (MCC), the world’s largest worker cooperative.

    Ryan strikes me as both misguided and disingenuous. His voting record speaks for itself – he is NOT a fiscal conservative. His rally cry for individualism over collectivism (in my world they would be balanced – not at odds) speaks for itself as well – he is NOT a tradition Catholic if measured by his values (of course, as is quite apparent, the current Catholic Church, is a spiritual fiasco – so Ryan’s individualist-above-collectivism is certainly no shocker.)

  14. nofoulsontheplayground says:

    Tom McClellan – “Open Interest Gives A Tell for T-Bonds”

    McClellan shows an interesting method used to identify the recent top in T-bills. I have not seen this method before, although I have used COT for other issues. This could also be used as a helpful timing device for equities as well.

  15. Singmaster says:

    The Merkel Memorandum: Plan B

  16. nofoulsontheplayground says:

    FWIW, I posted an article from Truthout in an above comment. I want to clarify that I know little about this media source, and while the article title seemed quite inflamatory, the content appeared to follow traditional journalistic tacks. The one caveat is it appears they may cut some corners, and that could taint the conclusions.

    I have no agenda regarding Bin Laden, 9-11, or any other conspiracy theory. However, I do believe that Nazi, crack-addicted, cross-dressing aliens from planet Zoltar were responsible for Janet Jackson’s Superbowl wardrobe malfunction.

  17. denim says:

    In reply to godot10 re solar and wind.

    It is a fact that solar cells and wind powered electric turbine generators can be built without using rare earths.
    As the link to Wikipeda shows, no rare earths are needed in solar cells.

    The small, compact wind powered electric turbine generators are said to use rare earths in the permanent magnets that are used in them. It is entirely possible to use ferrite magnets that are made up of iron oxides and ceramics. The generator will be larger in size and efficiency compared to the rare earth model, but not impractically so.
    “A novel high power permanent magnet reluctance generator using ferrite magnet”
    “This paper presents a novel PMRG using ferrite magnets, which has almost the same output power as that using rare-earth magnets.”

    “First, this paper presents a PMRG using ferrite magnets. The ferrite magnet has about three times lower residual magnetic flux density as compared to the rare-earth magnet, but has about 10 times lower cost. It is demonstrated that the proposed PMRG using ferrite magnets has almost the same output power as that using rare-earth magnets by employing an outer rotor structure (Fig. 4). In addition, its material cost is lower by about 45 %.”

  18. VennData says:

    The quote from the New Yorker ‘…“I’m very supportive of the Ryan budget plan,” Mitt Romney said on March 20th, in Chicago. The following week, while campaigning in Wisconsin, he added, “I think it’d be marvellous if the Senate were to pick up Paul Ryan’s budget and adopt it and pass it along to the President.”

    That would be hilarious if they “passed” it. how would anyone know what all those unnamed cuts were?

    Pass it. Go ahead. LOL. Typical irresponsible GOP nonsense from the guy, Ryan who voted for TARP, for Medicare Part D (No negotiating with drug companies), for Bush’s tax cuts, Cut veterans’ benefits, etc.. etc… Oh yeah, Ryan’s a real “conservative”

    He’s just another tool for the top 1% who want their taxes cut even further. When are you GOP genuflectors going to get that?

  19. denim says:

    In reply to eliz. The meaning of the words that Ryan may be very different from conventional English speakers would interpret. One steeped in Ayn Rand’s “philosophy” would likely be biased into using her implied meanings. So that:
    individualism = free lance, self centered anarchy
    collectivism = governance and regulation by a democracy

    Mike Wallace and Ayn Rand:

  20. Singmaster says:

    When ETF expense ratios aren’t expense ratios.
    Think you might be interested in picking up some Ag etf in light of the drought?
    DBA is the largest. What is it’s expense ratio?
    ETFdb thinks .75
    Morningstar, TDAmer, Schwab, Fid all agree .85
    But Powershares, the issuer, quotes it as 1.01% derived from .85 management fee + .16 expenses.
    Guess it’s important to look behind the curtain rather than trusting databases or your own brokerage.

  21. bobmitchell says:

    How Paul Ryan captured the G.O.P.-

    How about instead of taking 7 pages to masturbate your pundit, you just go ahead and list his owners?

    Credit Suisse, until 2008 was his biggest contributor. Betcha can’t find a branch within 200 miles of his state.

    And then, this-

  22. willid3 says:

    ryan’s plan? raise taxes on the bottom. limit them on the top

    that way we can lead our economy and country to the bottom faster

  23. willid3 says:

    ryans selection really doesnt help much

    since either candidate has to get their base. but they also have to get the independents. and Ryan is no help there at all.

  24. gkm says:

    There was only one thing that saved AIG…and it will pay dearly for it – along with all who are invested in it – the Fed.

  25. gkm says:

    I will also point out that GS and the other banksters are most likely concerned that a president in the second term of office will grow a conscience about their crimes. Might as well support the other guy because he’ll be back in four years looking for more.

  26. Irwin Fletcher says:

    This is a very partisan group who post and read this blog it seems.
    Between now and November, you won’t see anything positive on Romney or Ryan on this site,
    nor in the comments. If there are comments challenging the partisans, they will
    be insulted and shouted down.
    The top 1% of income earners pay nearly 40% of personal income taxes paid, and the top 10% pay nearly 70% of income taxes. But we hate these people don’t we? They have no ability to force you to do anything.
    The government takes 40% of your money and squanders it, yet we want to give them more money and power.
    Who are these angels in government that you trust so much to rule you? Friends, they are the ones who can force you to do things, not wealthy individuals who carry the tax load.