Tuesday, June 30, 2009

Obama Corporate Relocation Watch

Global Global Warming Catfight: It's On

India says, 'you can forget about us screwing up our economy over global warming, but feel free to do it yourselves, western industrialized nations!' So, India is out, Brazil, as I have said, is out. Russia? Puhlease. China? Well, John Kerry says the Chinese will cut greenhouses gas like nobody's business, so how will you bet? I think it is fair to say that we'll go 4 for 4 on BRIC countries taking a pass on climate change silliness. The result? Either, 1) the West caves and plays the BRIC's game and global warming takes a back seat to economic competitiveness, or 2) trade war.

UPDATE: India wasn't kidding.

Frank Ricci, Meet Lilly Ledbetter...

I'm no lawyer, but it seems to me that Frank Ricci and the other New Haven firefighters that were wrongly discriminated against are potentially owed tens of thousands of dollars under the Lilly Ledbetter Fair Pay Act. After all, every pay check they received was missing an amount of money that they would have otherwise had were it not for wrongful discrimination.

Monday, June 29, 2009

OK To Be Imperialist Yanqui in the Age of Obama

Good thing the US isn't imposing its views anymore. I wonder if the Honduran Supreme Court knows that the military intervention was illegal, they after all ought to know Honduran law better than Barry O. The list of who Obama wants to help and who he doesn't is shaping up and it is quite disturbing - our POTUS is either a socialist or one of history's more well-positioned "useful idiots."

Swiss Banks Dump Their American Clients Too

British banks got the ball rolling reacting to Obama's wrong-headed, and potentially very ham-handed, tax-shelter crusading by dumping their American customers. Now the Swiss have joined in. Critics will say that this is good, that tax shelters are shutting down in a controlled process of self-unwinding. This is nonsense of stilts. I doubt even 1% of these cancelled accounts are nefarious tax shelters. The banking choices of normal, law-abiding citizens are likely being severely restricted chasing after this hobgoblin, and the wheels of international banking are marginally gummed up, which reduces economic activity. On a large scale and at the margin, this type of action has an effect on the economy - a bad effect.

UPDATE: This turning into an international legal showdown. Hey, love that smart power!

Friday, June 26, 2009

Big Oil Says "You've Been Warned"

Newsflash, Big Oil will react to Cap-and-Trade by importing more fuels, closing domestic facilities. Gee, where did I hear that one before?

Speaking of climate change legislation, Kim Strassel is the clearly-gone-insane heretic of the day. She has the gall to question, not just the enormous cost of climate change legislation, but the very underpinnings of climate change science. She has been removed to a safe location where she will not be able to impede the progress of society.

Thursday, June 25, 2009

ABC Obamacare Obamercial Tanks

I guess people figured it for the propaganda that it was.

Wednesday, June 24, 2009

Crappy Soccer Teams...All Bush's Fault

I credit Barack Obama (and no doubt he will too!) for this.

Did Buffett Turn On Obama Today?

I don't know if Warren Buffett feels he's been had by supporting Obama (like Jim Owens of Caterpillar). He certainly may, but who's to say. Even if he did though, I think he's too much of a gentleman and good citizen to say it. However, it comes damn close when, on the eve of major votes on two controversial bills that constitute the core of the Obamacrats platform, healthcare and global warming, he states in stark terms our current economic ill-health thereby discrediting this administration's and the Democrats' signature legislation to date, the porkulus bill. The inference is hard to miss - Obama said the stimulus bill was critical to economic recovery and it is a bust ("shambles", "no sign of recovery") and now he's saying that healthcare reform is needed urgently in order save money and help the economy, and cap-and-trade is needed desperately to save the planet. These are laughable assertions in and of themselves but Buffett isn't attacking them on the merits, he's obliquely attacking the credibility of you know who. He's saying 'these promises and these arguments are coming from the folks that gave us the stimulus package'. Do you not think that Republicans and Blue Dogs aren't going to run with this stark assessment emanating from perhaps the deepest well of economic credibility in America?

Tuesday, June 23, 2009

Citi Aims To Stem the Flow

Oh, there will be soooo much caterwauling about this, but I hope they all choke on their angst. For practical purposes, this is the only way left that Citi can keep the few people with brains that make money from bailing after bonuses have been shut off via government/populist outrage. The government has how much sunk in Citi? $100 billion? Who the hell knows, but unless they want that figure to be worth the big donut they ought not to get too much in a twist. You see, Citi is like almost every other business - hell like almost every other organization - in that 20% of the people there probably provide 80% of the value. The rest just keep the lights on. Everybody worth their salt at Citi is looking for a job and if most of these folks leave, Citi will turn into the DMV. Three years from now, after there has been a mass exodus of talent away from Citi, some doofus in the government is going to wonder why Citi makes no money.

Oh and by the way, GM and Chrysler are next. If you're a hot shot engineer or marketing whiz, do people really expect you to stick around the government/UAW-owned carmakers? Nope, you're gone.

More Signs of the Clintonite Re-Awakening?

Did someone say something about the bloom coming off the rose?  What happens then?

Monday, June 22, 2009

How Do You Say "Cold Feet" in Japanese?

Japanese:  On second thought, we're not going to pour billions into Venezuela if we are going to get stiffed or robbed.

Unemployment Picture

Did I say that Obama won't see unemployment under 8%, maybe not even under 10% until he has to face the voters again? Odds are that was dead on. Frankly, I wouldn't put it past him to try not to face the voters.

UPDATE: Yup, dead on.

Friday, June 19, 2009

Something About the First Rule of Holes...?

What is the dumbest thing you can do in the world of banking? My candidate would be lending at over 100% loan to value (certainly well over 100%, like 125%). Ladies and gentlemen, I present to you, your government at work.

Obama Is Right On 10% Unemployment...What He Doesn't Know Is That It Will Sink Him

The business world is still trying to figure out how to deal with Barack Obama. They've gotten over the fact that they let their oppressor in through the front door, and the internal debate has been whether to play ball or push back. However, word is getting back to corporate circles about the treatment that the administration dispensed during the two automaker bankruptcies and companies are getting less reluctant to push back. Caterpillar got the ball rolling downhill with a mild jab after they were shamelessly used to sell the porkulus. Now we have a British bank summarily dumping all of its American customers rather than be hounded by Obama's overseas tax grab efforts. Steve Ballmer has pushed back on Obama's corporate tax proposals. Today, Discover credit card President David Nelms says his company is going to offer less credit, rein in incentives and maybe raise fees in the aftermath of Obama's credit card industry clamp down. Also, GE today came out with an early salvo against Obama's financial sector regulatory reform. And these are just the items that make the headlines, there are fierce battles brewing behind the scenes.

The bottom line is this, American business saw a Democrat win coming and bet that if they got on board prior to the election, they would have a seat at the table on all manner of policy issues. They realize they bet wrong, really wrong. Some will scream loudly, some will fight behind the scenes, but most who can will do what will ultimately be most damaging to Obama's agenda and political future - they will sit on their hands and refuse to play. They will pull back, hoard cash, avoid risk, wait Obama out. And guess what, employment isn't going anywhere if this is what American business chooses to do. I reiterate my prediction that we will not see 8% unemployment again in this Obama administration and we may not even see it below 10%. Obama himself even realizes this, but I don't think he knows how persistent this bad number will be given the ill-will he has sown with the business community not 150 days into his Presidency. Unemployment will be, as the British say, a sticky wicket.

Thursday, June 18, 2009

On Iran

I have done many many posts specifically on Iran, or somehow factoring in Iran, over the years (do a search on my blog for "Iran", and you'll see I have been modestly taken up on the subject). This one, though, is perhaps my favorite.

Great Supply Siders of History

Apparently Peter the Great understood the Laffer Curve. And him to the list along with Ibn Khaldun and Alexander Hamilton.

(HT: Club for Growth)

Next Stop on the Geithner Grovel/Sales Tour: Boston?

It is not just the Chinese and Russians that are worried about US Treasuries.

UPDATE: As if on cue. "Paging passenger Geithner, this is your final boarding call for Delta Shuttle flight to Boston's Logan airport..."

Unravel Watch

Early on, I laid out how the fluffy, lazy dream of Obamadise would unravel. I am always early with my calls and it is still early to judge of course, but signs are appearing that it just might play out that way. For guy who's never undertaken a major endeavor or had practical executive authority over anything, the man has alot on his plate and he's shifted from first gear to fifth gear in record speed. The sheer mass and import of events would overtake even the most well-prepared POTUS, but Obama was out of his depth to begin with, so I don't see much chance he can manage his way out of the swamp. We'll see. I think we are 3-6 months for the possibility of major ex-Clintonite Obamite being a born-again Clintonite, ex-Obamite.

Note: Some might comment that running for and being elected President was a major endeavor. Maybe, but I have heard time and again from lefties that George W. Bush was an idiot and "just because he got elected" doesn't mean he's smart. OK, granted. Just getting elected doesn't mean you're smart. Turnabout is fair play, so take Obama's election off the evidence list of his brilliance.

Wednesday, June 17, 2009

Global Warmists Worst Nightmare Is Upon Them

Talk about a smart move. The Oil & Gas industry is partnering with fifteen labor unions (small frys like the Teamsters and the AFL-CIO) to jointly lobby in Washington DC. The O&G industry has been a whipping boy for so long but the last several years has seen new lows in their status due to intense environmental zealotry and a savvy implanting of the global warmist agenda into the core of the Democratic party platform. With Dems holding all the cards in DC, the O&G industry is being beaten into the bloody ground with targeted, punitive tax and regulatory policies - at least the domestic O&G guys, bigger players can just choose to take their money and jobs abroad - and there doesn't look like much relief in sight with, it seems, every Democrat in the country sounding like Al Gore. So how do you counter these torrential policy headwinds? Well, you team up with those that the Dems heart more than they heart the global warmists. No, not abortion doctors or South American dictators - LABOR UNIONS, dummy! And what a symbiotic relationship it is. The unions are bleeding private sector membership and will continue to bleed as the unionized auto sector loses marketshare to the non-unionized sector. The O&G industry is probably the single best shot in the private sector that unions have of getting some membership growth. The industry needs lots of technically skilled labor for unpleasant work that is difficult to automate. For their part, the oilys know how to keep the unions from bankrupting them like they did the car companies and airlines, so there is no deal with the devil here. It's a brilliant move and a powerful combination. The global warmists ought to be very worried, jobs trump tree-hugging every time.

Tuesday, June 16, 2009

This Is What Spurs Vigilanteism...

There is another tragic child rape case making headlines in Oklahoma.  Like so many other cases, the lessons are obvious, we can't eliminate the risk of the monsters raping our children, but we can deal ruthlessly with them once we know who they are and create disincentives to those who might think they can get away with this truly evil crime.  But we aren't.  In fact we are doing the opposite as the Oklahoma case shows.

I have pinpointed the problem before (and as I stated it goes all the way to the top, this is NOT a local issue).  Government at all levels is failing even the basic task of reacting appropriately to one of society's most heinous crimes.  When people don't feel that their government is capable of administering basic justice, they take matters into their own hands.  Mark these words, one day coming soon, a distraught father will kill a child rapist, accused rightly or wrongly, because he feels that is the only recourse or sense of justice that is possible.  Don't like people taking things into their own hands?  It's your fault.  Our fault.  We continually elect bozos who have ridiculous notions of human nature and no moral courage.  Keep electing these types who abdicate basic law and order and express ambivalence to evil by virtue of their actions, and we reap what we sow.

My Ass

Targeting GM's One Profit Source Will Be Dangerous Business

This article is interesting.  Mahindra, the Indian company that already markets low-priced tractors in the US, wants to market a cheap diesel pickup that meets strict emissions standards and gets 30+ mph.  Funny, the article talks about the risks, identifying the major risk as one of 'will US truck buyers go for an Indian brand?'  This is inside the box thinking.  I think the major risk Mahindra faces is the GMChrysler-owning Obama administration slapping protectionist tariffs on them.

Sorry Iran, USA Under New Management

I betcha that these words would go a long way to comforting and galvanizing Iranians now desperately grasping for their liberty:

So it is the policy of the United States to seek and support the growth of democratic movements and institutions in every nation and culture, with the ultimate goal of ending tyranny in our world.

This is not primarily the task of arms, though we will defend ourselves and our friends by force of arms when necessary. Freedom, by its nature, must be chosen, and defended by citizens, and sustained by the rule of law and the protection of minorities. And when the soul of a nation finally speaks, the institutions that arise may reflect customs and traditions very different from our own. America will not impose our own style of government on the unwilling. Our goal instead is to help others find their own voice, attain their own freedom, and make their own way.
Some, I know, have questioned the global appeal of liberty - though this time in history, four decades defined by the swiftest advance of freedom ever seen, is an odd time for doubt. Americans, of all people, should never be surprised by the power of our ideals. Eventually, the call of freedom comes to every mind and every soul. We do not accept the existence of permanent tyranny because we do not accept the possibility of permanent slavery. Liberty will come to those who love it.

Today, America speaks anew to the peoples of the world:
All who live in tyranny and hopelessness can know: the United States will not ignore your oppression, or excuse your oppressors. When you stand for your liberty, we will stand with you.

Democratic reformers facing repression, prison, or exile can know: America sees you for who you are: the future leaders of your free country.

The rulers of outlaw regimes can know that we still believe as Abraham Lincoln did: "Those who deny freedom to others deserve it not for themselves; and, under the rule of a just God, cannot long retain it."

The leaders of governments with long habits of control need to know: To serve your people you must learn to trust them. Start on this journey of progress and justice, and America will walk at your side.

If only the President of the United States would speak these heartening words. Oops, wait, one already did.

Monday, June 15, 2009

Oklahoma Dreamin' ?

I've always tracked the exodus from the liberal paradises of New York, New Jersey and Massachusetts. It's well documented. But here's one, you might not have thought of - California to Oklahoma - although it makes sense to those in the know, trade in the high-tax, socialist, nanny-state for what is left of the pioneering spirit of self-sufficiency in America. Easy choice despite the clear downgrade in weather and scenery.

How Do You Say 'Pig In a Poke' in Persian?

I knew it day one, but it's been dawning on us here in the US since January, and now finally the world might come to see it with his shameless silence (from a guy who never stops talking) on the Iranian meltdown. It is not too hard to see which is the side of the angels in this one. Not that the world craves moral corage from US Presidents (actually, the world usually spits on moral courage), but here is a note to the world: There will be no moral courage coming from the US for a minimum of four years. Enjoy it, especially you Iranians.

Revisiting Conventional Wisdom On Iran, Part II

Conventional wisdom has always cited three key practical considerations in analyzing the merits of Israel, either alone or with the US, bombing Iran's nuclear program development sites. The first one is the effect on the price of oil. We reveisted that one here. A second consideration is that although the regime in Iran is hated, the Iranian people would not take kindly to being attacked and such a move would galvanize average Iranians behind their regime, albeit reluctantly. Well, given events of recent days, can we really continue to say this? Would bombing a few development sites, where very few average Iranians go, enrage the populace more than having their regime shamelessly steal an election and unleash a wave of brutal repression against those demanding their voices be heard and their government come clean? Would all be fogiven with the regime if Israel attacked now? I find this a dubious claim. In fact I think recent events represent an inflection point in that any international action that can be broadly construed by the populace as delivering a mortal blow to the regime might actually be welcome. Apparently Iranians are exhorting Barack Obama to help them, to come to their rescue. What do they think he can do, send in ACORN or his small army of socialized healthcareniks? No, they want him to do what he can to end the current regime in Iran. Looks to me like the pillars of conventional wisdom for holding back on bombing the Iranian nuclear development program are toppling one by one.

Friday, June 12, 2009

The Price of Dealing With Chavez Just Went Up, Again

Can't find a web article yet (update: here we go), but the Joint War Committee, an advisory to Lloyd's of London insurers, has put Venezuela on its "high risk" list along with the likes of Somalia and the Gulf of Aden. Hugo Chavez's socialist paradise makes the list by virtue of "increased concern of the expropriation of commercial assets." This may give ship insurers the right to raise premiums on ships calling at Venezuelan ports. Any direct consequences are yet to be seen, but this could limit the range of options open to Chavez for keeping goods flowing into his country. One more small, but tangible, example of economic reality weighing down on the entire Chavez edifice. Only a matter of time before the rof caves in.


Great idea for improving healthcare: piss off all the doctors!

Thursday, June 11, 2009

How Did I Know the US-China Climate Talks Went Nowhere?

Because John Kerry said they went swimmingly. There are just some things that are money in the bank. For one, when John Kerry says something, you can be pretty sure it has no basis in reality and its truth is a crapshoot, but is most likely false. Like this. If Vegas had a line on it, I would have bet on this outcome. It was almost foreordained once Kerry opened his yap. The fact that we send people like Kerry to China to deal with the incredibly savvy Chinese leadership is frightening.

Also, I knew because of this.

Wednesday, June 10, 2009

How Do You 'Buy American' Something That Ain't Made In America?

This is an absolute classic example of the fundamental ineffectiveness of government activity/directives in/on the economy. Seems that the porkulus bill that was so bloody urgent that they've spent only a fraction of to date, has a program to build out $7.2 billion dollars worth of high-speed Internet infrastructure. The porkulus also has "Buy American" provisions supposedly to help create jobs here at home. Let's put aside the fact that this protectionist measure has no solid economic grounding and acts to tick off our trading partners. Let's get down to raw practicalities. Turns out, certain bits and pieces of the things that enable Internet access aren't made in the US at all. You simply can't build certain pieces of high-tech telecommunications equipment today unless you sourced globally. So "Buy American" in this case means "Buy Not At All." Doesn't bother me. I'd prefer they not spend the money afterall. But if you go on the assumption that spending the money and spending it quickly is the best thing for the economy, this is, as the British would say, a royal cockup.

I'm going to borrow a phrase here..."the country really is in the very best of hands."

Talk About Embarassing

First we have the Italians acting the white knight for one of our major industrial concerns, now we have Russia - world-class deadbeat - trashing our creditworthiness. This is what our government has wrought. So sad.

Tuesday, June 09, 2009

Obama Appoints Grumpy, Old Republican to Run GM

Wow. Big and very interesting news coming out of CNBC. Ed Whitacre, former Chairman and CEO of AT&T will become Chairman of the new General Motors. What makes this interesting is that Whitacre was a big-time Bush supporter and a guy that doesn't suffer fools lightly. It is not likely that he will be a doormat for any and all government meddling at GM. If he gets too much guff from the White House or Congress, he's the type of guy to quit rather deal with the bullschtein. I got a consistent take from an exclusive source who tells me "[Whitacre] doesn't know much about cars. He never used a computer. He hates regulators with a passion."

The charitable take: Obama realizes and regrets how much nervousness and angst he has created among investors with his takeovers of GM and Chrysler that he has chosen Whitacre as a sort-of "anti-crony", pro-business figure to show his good faith in trying to fix this difficult situation. Odds this is the right analysis - 25%

The less charitable take, Obama realizes the backlash from the nervousness and angst he has sown could damage him long term, so he is dressing up appearances by bringing in an old, grumpy Republican business figure, who he can figure out how to steamroll later. Odds this is the right analysis - 60%

Odds neither of these analyses is correct - 15%

UPDATE: Here is Holman Jenkins's take. Holman is well-versed in things auto and it would seem he is saying that it's option 3. He thinks that Whitacre might actually steamroll Obama. Unlesss they (Obama and Congress) want a bloody awful sink hole on their hands, being in the car business they might want to try to generate at least some profits making cars. Well, the easiest way to do that is not to screw around too much with the proven successful gig of selling trucks and SUVs to people who love them and pay alot for them. And Whitacre is just the kind of guy to lay it out straight for them.

Also, Holman makes a good point that too few have made. These old dudes (Liddy, Whitacre, et al.) are doing the country a favor, they are patriots. They are trying to salvage and rebuild some of our once proud business institutions. They have plenty of money, they could be playing golf or spending time with the grandkids, but instead they are putting in full days and from time to time getting harangued by the likes of Barney Frank. For a 70 year old, who can't go off to war, if that ain't heroic sacrifice in the name of country, I don't know what is.

Good Thing We Don't Impose Our Views Anymore

Paraphrasing Obama:  "The US will not bark orders at other nations."

Unless you are Israel, we will bark orders regarding settlements.  And unless you are Europe, we will bark orders about your banks.  And unless you are China, we will bark orders about your export-focused economy.  And unless you are Europe, again, we will bark orders about what kinds of stimulus packages to pass.

Monday, June 08, 2009

Ford at a Major Crossroads

I hinted at it here, but it is now abundantly clear to me, that Ford will ultimately have to dump the UAW and become a non-union shop (or a different union shop) for its long term survival.  Until now, the UAW presence at Ford was simply the same parasitic itch that bedeviled its competitors.  You couldn't compete on costs, but then again neither could they (GM and Chrysler that is), so you competed with product or marketing (rebates, financing, etc.) and, frankly, xenophobia.  Making as good a car cheaper was not an option.  That was left to Toyota and Honda.

But now the UAW owns your competitors.  Guys inside your shop, making your product - that which determines your reputation in the marketplace - are brothers in arms with your mortal enemies.  Think this is no big deal?  What happens when thousands of Americans, through rational skepticism or outright revulsion, start buying Fords much to the detriment of GM and Chrysler?  Well, the government will subsidize GM and Chrysler products, but, of course, the government will be late to the game.  What will happen first when the UAW gets wind that Ford is smoking GM and Chrysler in sales?   Do you think maybe that some UAW guys at Ford won't be told by union bigshots to slow things down at Ford, or forget to drive a few rivets per car, or pass a few cars that ought to fail a quality control check before they roll off the factory floor?  Industrial sabotage is a very real possibility (please spare me the monumental bullshit that Ford's UAW workers are consummately professional - get your  bloody head out of the sand).  Actually it may not even get that far.  Before Ford even has a chance to beat GM in sales, I can imagine the UAW launching a campaign to bring Ford down from the inside as of...right now.  

But hey, for shits and giggles, let's make the highly imprudent assumption that Ford's UAW workers will show up at work and make Ford's cars to the best of their abilities with not an ounce of subversive intent based on UAW loyalty.  What about contract time?  When Ford's contract with the UAW comes up for re-negotiation, how will the union act knowing that Ford is the only car company that realistically faces the threat of a crippling strike?  (If you think that GM and Chrysler still face the threat of a strike, please click away from my blog immediately, as you are too stupid to read my output.)   As the only car company in America that faces the catastrophic risk of a full-scale work stoppage, any marketplace advantage that Ford can build up between now and then stands to be decimated in a strike.  The UAW's "strike fund" would be a lethal weapon to wait Ford out while GM and Chrysler are still producing cars.  Starting today, GM and Chrysler workers are already paying into a kitty to subsidize striking Ford workers.

There is simply no analysis by which you can deem Ford's relationship with the UAW as compatible with its long term survival, let alone success.  Ford will have to become a non-UAW shop, perhaps a non-union shop, if it is to survive.  The convulsive changes in the US auto industry are not complete by any stretch.  Ford has a strategic decision on its hands like it has never seen.  Avoiding a government bailout will prove a cakewalk compared to deciding how to deal with a workforce whose ultimate allegiance is to the owners of its competitors.  This much I know.

What is murkier to see is how Ford deals with this existential problem.  Ford may or may not be able to deal with this successfully on its own and may need the help and union-resisting heft of a foreign automaker to make it happen.  Ford is big in trucks and has some decent small car technology but no real small car credibility these days.  Who is rock solid in small cars but nowhere in trucks?  Honda.  A Ford/Honda merger could be one route to jettisoning the UAW,  enhancing credibility in the marketplace, and maintaining the heft to manufacture cheaply and weather downturns. Or Alan Mulally could pull it off all on his own.  As Master Yoda would say, "Very hard to see, the future is."

Back Pat Time

Time for a little 'told ya' so'. I said Ford was at a disadvantage due to the government's massive subsidizing of GMAC. Ford is now saying the same thing.

I said a jobless recovery was highly likely. The San Fran Fed is saying that it is plausible.

I said the "stimulus" was crap (and that everyone would catch on and it would bite back at Obama). Recent figures have forced the Administration to go back and re-sell or at least re-PR this piece of crap.

I said that (hopefully) Ballmer's criticism of Obama's tax plan would open the flood gates for other corporations to launch much needed criticism. In a larger sense, I said that all the former Clintonites that gravitated to Obama would not stick around forever, that they would start to peel off when Obama lost his media created/maintained sheen. Could this tech industry/Shapiro tie-up be the first move in a split between Obama and his newfound acolytes, who were mostly old Clinton acolytes?

I also said - not on this blog, but to an Obama-loving neighbor on the train the other day - that California would resort to the unthinkable to help get themselves out of their fiscal mess...allow oil drilling offshore. Sure enough, to keep their precious, big-government, liberal paradise it looks like previously intransigent greenies might be softening their position.

UPDATE: Here's another one. You heard it here first.

Sincerest Form of Flattery?

It is perhaps the best-kept secret of all-time that major financial and business media outlets read NBfPB religiously and are not shy about basing opinion pieces or TV segments on material sourced from this blog. Some are even quite shameless when they crib from Donny Baseball. I actually don't mind the arrangement - I get a small amount of infuence into our national discourse and I avoid the messier aspects of running a large media operation - and I am happy to keep it going sotto voce, but it's hard to do when a major media figure rebrands his website in such a manner. C'mon Larry, don't make it so obvious!

Friday, June 05, 2009

Socially Responsible Investing Ever So Close to Parody

I posted way back in 2006 on how silly "socially responsible" investing had become. Just so you are up to speed here in 2009...it's still getting sillier.

Thursday, June 04, 2009

Ken Salazar Has Fallen Right Into My Trap

Obama's Interior Department is sticking it to oil companies with new taxes and fees in the billions of dollars. This will discourage exploration and investment of domestic energy sources. We're gonna need the energy anyhow, so we'll wind up importing it. Meanwhile oil companies are finding shitloads of energy around the globe. Shell just found the largest natural gas discovery off of Norway in decades. Exxon is having good results off of Brazil. Good news for investors of tankers and pipelines. Thanks Ken!

Wednesday, June 03, 2009

Ballmer: Obama Tax Plan Will Cost Jobs

This kind of push-back is very welcome news indeed. I hope we get more of it, just like I called for previously. Hopefully, this salvo from Ballmer and MSFT will open the flood gates of companies willing to talk about the disastrous consequences of this tax grab.

Monday, June 01, 2009

Our Vastly Unqualified Guy Is Better Than Your Vastly Unqualified Guy

Hey, what's another liberal double standard? Nothing, given they are impervious to the charge because the ends justify the means in their worldview, but it doesn't hurt to chronicle these for benefit of the highly logical race of space aliens that will one day invade.

The MSM, and several real live liberals who I interact with, went into high dudgeon over Neel Kashkari, the relatively green Treasury official put in charge of the TARP program during the despotic Chimpybushhitler dynasty back in year 1 BO (Before Obama). It's a safe bet that no such ire will forthcoming over Obama's relatively greener young grasshopper who's overseeing the GM restructuring. The liberal view of Kashkari: wet behind the ears and part of the evil Goldman Sachs/US Government right wing cabal (yes, all 3 Republicans who have ever worked at Goldman Sachs have taken over the government!). Liberal view of Deese: best and brighest bringing an outsider's perspective to an industry where the insiders failed. Hey, in that case, let's put him in charge of Ford too. Oh, they didn't take any bailout money? Who cares, we won!

Aussies Drill, Matey, Drill

The Aussies, as a general rule, are really green. They have a national culture of environmental consciousness that isn't the least bit phony. Somehow they manage to drill for alot of oil and gas - and desire to drill for alot more oil and gas - and have it be entirely consistent with their aim of responsible environmental stewardship. Why can't we in the US?

Banks Running Away from TARP As Fast As They Can

What is more motivating than the profit motive? The 'get the government out of my hair' motive.

More: JPMorgan hasn't been approved to exit but they said they'll be out by June. So much for conservative bankers not counting their chickens. Smart move, the government now stands to look stupid if they don't let JPM out. Note the smart PR from JPM...the government can use the money for other things!

But Buffett Said He Was Such A Nice Guy...?

And this from a guy who supposedly light years better of an example than most other modern day sportsmen...
"It's hard for me to congratulate somebody after you just lose to them," he said. "I'm a winner. It's not being a poor sport or anything like that. If somebody beats you up, you're not going to congratulate them. That doesn't make sense to me. I'm a competitor. That's what I do. It doesn't make sense for me to go over and shake somebody's hand."

Atrocious. It's a game, not life. At least he sent an email. A metaphor for modern times indeed.