Out of Control Pork!

One last government spending post for the day:  Pork

The amount of money spent on pork barrel projects — special state or local projects tacked onto federal legislation — has almost tripled over the past 10 years, according to figures from the Congressional Research Service.

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Gr2006012700168

Source:
Up to Their Earmarks   
The Washington Post
http://www.washingtonpost.com/wp-dyn/content/graphic/2006/01/27/GR2006012700168.html

Category: Politics

Sourcing the Greenspan Chatter

This is the article that the Greenspan quote came from that popped the market today; I don’t know how accurate it is (holographic image?) but

Gold price riding high on fear of terrorism, says Greenspan
Leo Lewis, Tokyo
February 09, 2006
http://tinyurl.com/98gdp

Excerpt:

"ALAN Greenspan, who stepped
down last week as chairman of the US Federal Reserve after 18 1/2 years, has
blamed the threat of terrorism for the high gold price, in his first private
sector speech since being let off the leash of officialdom.

According to
members of his audience of international investors – watching a holographic
image in Tokyo as he spoke in New York – Greenspan said the high cost of gold
did not reflect inflation or the strength of commodities, but rather a fear
among investors of a major geopolitical conflict. There were people who believed
that a nuclear weapon could be detonated within five years, the former American
central bank supremo said.

The low probability of such an event occurring would not necessarily avert a
spike in the gold price, he added.

Greenspan went on to discuss a range of topics, including the problems
created by a lack of investment in refining capacity by the oil industry. He
said this failure by the oil majors meant that the era of cheap energy was
almost surely over.

The former Fed chairman is also said to have indulged in a moment of
self-criticism over the central bank’s failure to prevent the market bubble in
the late 1990s.

That may explain Gold’s $20 whackage yesterday, but what about all the rest of the metals and commodities?

Also, if you missed this, you MUST read it:

GREENSPAN SENDS MIXED SIGNALS IN FIRST DAY AT HOME
Former Fed Chief’s Inscrutable Statements Baffle Wife
http://www.borowitzreport.com/archive_rpt.asp?rec=1307&srch=

Its a hoot!

and on the chance the article disappears, I’ll archive it after the jump . . .

Read More

Category: Federal Reserve, Inflation, Investing

Housekeeping: Site Suggestions

Category: Weblogs

Cisco Technicals

Category: Technical Analysis

Consumer grows increasingly levered

Category: Retail

The Risk to Equities from Rising Rates

Category: Federal Reserve, Fixed Income/Interest Rates, Investing

iPod Price Cuts

Category: Music, Technology, Television

Still Short Gold . . .

Category: Commodities

Government Budget Number Crunching

I do Larry Kudlow’s show whenever he asks, and while I am certainly not the
political wonk he is, I do keep track of the budget process. I want to see how the deficit is shrinking or growing, what changes to the tax code might be coming, and which sectors of the economy are getting a spending boost from Uncle Sam.

That’s a lot of stuff to watch — Fortunately, there’s a terrific set of charts today via the online WSJ: Crunching the Numbers (click each for larger graphics).

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Gainers and Losers:
 

A broader view of what’s growing and shrinking in Bush’s 2007 proposal, in budgetary authority

Infobudget06bigpic

Sources: Office of Management and Budget, AP      
*Includes miscellaneous, undistributed offsetting receipts

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Receipts and Outlays
A look at how the federal government is counting on bringing in revenue, and how it plans to spend it in fiscal 2007. All figures in billions unless noted.

Infobudget06receipts

Did you know that thee Estat Tax weas such a modest slice?

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Read More

Category: Economy, Politics

Unemployment Levels and Labor Participation Rate

Category: Employment