Site for Free Markets and Free People

Monday, October 31, 2011

Corzine's MF Global Loses Big on Europe; Files For Bankruptcy

Jon Corzine, former Democrat NJ governor and U.S. Senator, joined MF Global 18 months ago and began making big risky bets on European sovereign debt. MF Global is now bankrupt.

IBD: Clinton Ordered Banks in '98 to Ease Credit Standards

According to the Investors Business Daily, it was indeed the Clinton administration who threatened banks if they did not lower their lending standards to accommodate minorities and other low income people.

Rewind to 1994. That year, the federal government declared war on an enemy — the racist lender — who officials claimed was to blame for differences in homeownership rate, and launched what would prove the costliest social crusade in U.S. history.

At President Clinton's direction, no fewer than 10 federal agencies issued a chilling ultimatum to banks and mortgage lenders to ease credit for lower-income minorities or face investigations for lending discrimination and suffer the related adverse publicity. They also were threatened with denial of access to the all-important secondary mortgage market and stiff fines, along with other penalties.

Thursday, October 27, 2011

Mortgages and Student Loans: Two Massive Redistribution Efforts

Obama has recently announced two huge new efforts to redistribute income. First, taxpayers will be picking up the student loan tabs for all those that can't pay them back. (And frankly, why in the world would any student want to pay them back? Just drag them out past twenty years and you're off the hook and putting the taxpayers on the hook.)

The second plan, as financial industry analyst Tom Brown explains, is to force lenders who own mortgage backed securities to accept lower rates on their securities even if the loan-to-values on the loans are way north of 100%. That's right - all mortgage holders are going to be screwed.

In the long term, meanwhile, this crazy auto-refi scheme will surely drive capital out of the mortgage market. The government’s essentially rigging the system in order to transfer wealth from lenders to borrowers. Wouldn’t that give you pause? The credit markets have already seen what this White House did to Chrysler’s secured creditors during the auto bailout, remember, and must understand it’s willing to give mortgage investors the same sort of treatment. Who’d blame them for demanding higher returns?

So, with millions of layoffs in the financial industry because of new regulations, there will likely be more now because they are going to have to cut costs further from more revenue losses. (That's right - don't get too excited about today's stock market rally.)

As for Obama, he's trying to buy votes with taxpayer dollars, which is his usual template. Worse, he is not even bothering to seek Congressional approval for any of this. He's simply using dictatorial fiat.

Wednesday, October 26, 2011

Muslims Complain About Christian Symbols at Catholic University

Muslim students are complaining that Catholic University has too many Christian symbols where they pray and it makes them uncomfortable.

How dare they have Christian symbols at a Catholic school!!

Obama's Favorite Group Behind Occupy Wall Street Movement

Not a surprise that ACORN, Obama's favorite community agitator group, is behind the OWS movement (if you want to call it that).

Given that all of the leaflets coming from those events promote socialism and outright communism, it's not a surprise that ACORN is involved.

Obama Admin. Wastes $70,000 in Taxpayer Money On His Own Books

Talk about waste. Obama's State Department has spent over $70,000 on Obama's own books to make sure their embassies around the world are fully stocked on "Dreams of My Fathers" and "Audacity of Hope."

Obama: The Junior High School Candidate

When I think of Obama I think of my Junior High School Election. One girl in my class campaigned on "more field trips, longer lunches, longer recesses, fewer classes." After the assembly ended, my math teacher ripped her - "That's GARBAGE! You can't promise that junk!" Everybody knew he was right. Fortunately our class was smart enough to know what she was promising was pure rubbish and we didn't vote her in. Hopefully the American electorate will also see though Obama's similar phony promises.

Obama is using the same kind of campaign promises to win. Unfortunately for us - he can do what he wants - even if it means the equivalent of longer recesses or fewer study hours for students. I'll highlight 2 things Obama talked about yesterday:

1. New student loan modification. This caps the amount a student will have to pay back annually at 10% of income. Originally this law was supposed to go into effect in 2 years but Obama's no idiot - he needs the student vote next year, so he announced it yesterday. A cap is already in place at 15%, but only 1.2% of students currently opt for this program. So who cares? Maybe another half percent will go for this program, but really, it's irrelevant. For Obama - it's a talking point - so he can say he actually did something for students and we'll continue to hear about it for the next 12 months and 1 week. But will it help? Nope.

2. New jobs for military. obama announced something to get 8000 new jobs for military veterans. Ok - what about the other 500,000? And what about the millions of other Americans out of work? Again it's something that might help 1% of the total military veterans out of work. Of course what will get people employed is a stronger economy, but under Obama's inane policies, that's not going to happen. But again, it's another "goodie" that Obama is promising to people and it gives him a talking point that he will brag about for the next 53 weeks.

More garbage in. Garbage out. When are we going to get a real president?

Occupiers in London Go Home at Night

I guess the rough-it and tough-it image of these protestors was completely inaccurate. While socialism has it's good point, when it comes down to it, the benefits of capitalism are pretty nice - especially at night when it's cold! Thermal images in front of St. Paul's Cathedral in London showed only about 10% of tents present are actually being occupied at night. I guess these demonstrators stand for protesting when it's convenient, but of course, you can't expect them to stay in a tent when they have a warm bed at home, a shower, a bathroom, heating.

I mean - c'mon. Socialism is the absolute best system - except all the rest.

Tuesday, October 25, 2011

Obama: I've Done a Lot!

Obama has been campaigning with Hollywood this week. Nothing too interesting. Met with all the Hollywood types, asking them for money, and guess what: for only $35,800, you too can actually talk with the President. What a man of the people!

As he met with Will Smith, Magic Johnson, Hilary Duff he complained:

'Sometimes I think people forget how much has gotten done,'

Translation: Look how much I did! And nobody appreciates it!

In a year's time, hopefully we, as the electorate can help Obama spend 100% of his time with the celebrity types.

Monday, October 24, 2011

Will Obama's Legacy Include Spread of Sharia Law?

What will Obama be remembered for 50 or 100 years from now? Increased spending and a poor economy are no-brainers. But I think there is a good chance that Obama's support for the overthrow of Tunisia, Egypt, and Libya will be remembered, and currently all three are moving toward more radical sharia law. See here, here, and here.

Was this Obama's plan? Or is this another Obama-failure?

Friday, October 21, 2011

Steve Jobs Told Obama: "You're Headed For a One-Term Presidency"

To me, it's not surprising that Jobs supported Obama, as we know he was a staunch Democrat. Still by 2010, Jobs thought that Obama was too anti-business, which is why he predicted he would be a one-termer.

According to Walter Isaacson (via Huffington Post):

...Jobs was not that impressed by Obama, later telling Isaacson that his focus on the reasons that things can't get done "infuriates" him.

This certainly sounds like the Obama we all know - he prefers to blame someone rather than come up with a solution himself.

I hope Jobs' prediction is correct.

Fisker Automotive: The Latest Solyndra

Another example of crony capitalism. Fisker Automotive, a company that has strong Obama ties, received a $529 million taxpayer loan to build hybrid cars in the U.S. The company instead outsourced all of its production to Finland.

Even if the company isn't a total fraud like Solyndra, why in the world should we taxpayers be funding a risky venture based in Finland when we're racking up $1,500,000,000,000.00 in additional debt each year?

Thursday, October 20, 2011

Boston Occupiers Starting to Complain

In an amazingly ironic twist of fate, the occupiers in Boston are getting a dose of their own medicine. Evidently occupiers are now beginning to complain about the truly homeless people who have begun to bother them. According to the Boston Herald:

Demonstrator Andrew Warner, 36, said homeless people are hijacking tents, getting drunk, “passing out” and stealing.“It’s turning into us against them,” Warner said. “They come in here and they’re looking at it as a way of getting a free meal and a place to crash, which is totally fine, but they don’t bring anything to the table at all. It gets really frustrating.”

Hmm. I thought they'd like people who don't bring anything to the table. Ironic isn't it? Additionally there were other reports:

...some homeless people have been hoarding free items, including donated coats... “They’re getting more than they need and trading it off. What we noticed is all the new jackets are disappearing quickly.”

Wow - imagine that. They are giving away free items and people are taking more than they should, even though they haven't earned it. I think this demonstator may have just shown why socialism/communism doesn't work. But isn't that exactly what they're demonstrating in favor of?

Welcome to the real world guys.

Unprecedented 26 Million Underemployed

A record 26 million Americans are now underemployed, thanks to Obamanomics and the destructive power of Democrat-led policies.

Steve Wynn: Democrats Bankrupting the U.S.

Steve Wynn is rare for a CEO - he is willing to put himself in the crosshairs in a highly regulated environment, where government retribution could be very possible. Nevertheless, he is speaking plainly about the business environment in this country caused by Democrats:

I cannot predict what healthcare costs are going to be, what regulatory load they are going to heap on us, what new taxes or other burdens this insatiable governmental appetite for money from the citizens will take us to.

Now, that is simply a statement of fact. It isn't a partisan political pitch.

It's simply a statement of fact from a businessman who has supported probably more Democrats than Republicans. But I say right now that the Democratic agenda of spend and bribe the public has bankrupt this country, and until it stops, the citizens of this country are in for more hard times.

It's hard to argue with him.

Wednesday, October 19, 2011

Reid: Private Sector Fine; We Need More Government Jobs

It's hard to believe the Democrat leader of the Senate could be so idiotic, but it's true.

"It's very clear that private-sector jobs have been doing just fine; it's the public-sector jobs where we've lost huge numbers, and that's what this legislation is all about," Reid said on the Senate floor.

So this unemployment business is all in your minds. Let's spend more!!

Will Obama Ever Pass a Budget?

Investors Business Daily points out that it is now 900 days and counting. 900 DAYS! Almost 3 years since Obama last signed a budget. Keep in mind that the Senate is still controlled by Democrats....although IBD says you can't put all the blame on Senate Dems...

Obama's hardly been any better. His latest budget was so outrageously irresponsible that the entire Senate, including every single Democrat, voted against it.

Is it any wonder the spending is going off the rails when these guys don't even want a budget?

Tuesday, October 18, 2011

Obama Celebrates 7 Month Anniversary

Well, this half true. It is now 7 months since Obama started military operations towards Libya. He was also half right when he said "this will take days. Not weeks." So it's been about 212 days since he began.

If this had been GW Bush, do you think the media would have kept their "code of silence" regarding this war? My guess is that we will keep "not hearing" about it all through 2012 as well.

Bove is Right About Government Destruction

Dick Bove of Rochedale Securities rightly blasts the government for its absurd and extremely damaging assault on the American financial industry.

"The last three AGs in New York—Eric Schneiderman, Andrew Cuomo, and Eliot Spitzer—have made their primary goal attacking the financial industry. Drug dealers are safer in that town than bankers are. Does the attorney general of Texas attack the oil industry? Does the AG of California try to put Hollywood out of business? Cars in Detroit? No, they're not that stupid. Now they're suing Bank of New York (BK), with the result that they're pulling jobs out of New York as fast as it can. Goldman (GS) is moving to New Jersey and Utah. Citigroup (C) is going anywhere it can find outside New York. JPMorgan Chase (JPM) is the only bank putting jobs in the U.S. and everyone flips out because Jamie says he's not sure we're taking the right approach to fixing the system? People are electing people who want to fire their neighbors. It just doesn't compute for me."

When the topic turns to Bank of America (BAC) and the $5 debit charge controversy, his dander goes right back up again. "Dick Durbin gets up on the floor of the U.S. Senate and encourages a run on Bank of America? How can a U.S. senator say that we should bankrupt the biggest bank in the U.S? Has he lost his mind?"

Senators are not new to destroying financial companies. Dem. Chuck Schumer caused a run on Indybanc a few years ago, which effectively destroyed the bank in a day. Durbin and Obama want to one-up Schumer and take down the biggest bank in the country and perhaps the entire industry.

Monday, October 17, 2011

Are Lefty Protests Backfiring on Obama?

While Obama probably didn't create the current wave of protests occurring around the world, he certainly appears to be fanning the flames a little. These protests seem to have no real meaning or cause, but the one commonality is that many of these guys appear to be against the top slice of American society - call it the top 1%. Now who's idea was it to demonize the top 1% since the day he ran for presidency back in 2008? Obama's demonization of the top 1% of Americans has been the top agenda for Obama since day 1.

Oddly enough, the Rassmussen approval ratings for the President appear to be dropping now that the protests are kicking into gear....yet another plan that hasn't come together.

Wednesday, October 12, 2011

Free Trade Deals FINALLY Clear Congress

After sitting in limbo for five years being opposed by Obama and the Democrats, Congress (including many Democrats) have finally found religion and decided that these deals will actually help our economy. They passed the Columbia, South Korea and Panama free trade bills today.

After two years of opposition, the White House now "strongly supports" them. I wonder if Obama will say he supported them all along...

Tuesday, October 11, 2011

Paula Deen: Michelle Obama Ate More than Any Guest

Paula Deen once had Michelle Obama on her show. While Paula said that she loved Michelle, she also said that she ate more than any other guest that Deen has ever had. Finally, she said that Michelle loves fried food and her favorite food is hot wings.

Very interesting but not surprising. Michelle can eat whatever she wants, but believes she should be allowed to regulate what everyone else eats.

Ridiculous Severance Payments at B of A

I completely agree with Tom Brown about the $11 million in severance payments to Sallie Krawcheck and Joe Price. Why pay departing executives so much?

Saturday, October 08, 2011

Obama Disapproval Rating Approaches 60%

Rasmussen says it's at a total disapproval rating of 57% and strong disapprovals would be most of those, still standing firm at 43%.

No doubt Obama will try all sorts of short term spending gimmicks over the next year to change this. I don't think it will change though.

Friday, October 07, 2011

Friday Night White House Solyndra Email Dump

As is typical in Washington, Friday night is when you release scandalous information. Tonight, the White House released a bunch of new emails that, according to FoxNews, show that behind the scenes lobbying in the Obama White House was much greater than they originally acknowledged.

Here, ABC News says that an Obama fundraiser was pushing hard from the inside.

Thursday, October 06, 2011

Harry Reid Nuke Option: Eliminate Senate Minority Rights

I'm not sure I fully understand all of the procedural goings-on here, but it's apparent that Harry Reid made a major parliamentary power grab today by eliminating the rights of the minority party to offer amendments to a bill unless he approves.

If this were the GOP controlled Senate who tried this under Bush, it would almost certainly be described as a fascist takeover. But frankly, I don't care. Change the Senate rules - it's a virtual lock that the GOP will take over the Senate in next year and I have no problem locking the Democrats out of the entire conversation of lawmaking.

Tuesday, October 04, 2011

Suskind: Obama Ignores Own Economists; Has Own Economic View

An excerpt from Ron Suskind's book on Obama is startling, but not too surprising.

[Summers and Romer] were concerned by something the president had said in a morning briefing: that he thought the high unemployment was due to productivity gains in the economy. Summers and Romer were startled. “What was driving unemployment was clearly deficient aggregate demand,” Romer said. “We wondered where this could have been coming from. We both tried to convince him otherwise. He wouldn’t budge.” Summers had been focused intently on how to spur demand, and on what might drive a meaningful recovery…. [W]ithout a rise in demand, in Summers’s view, nothing else would work…. But productivity?… If Obama felt that 10 percent unemployment was the product of sound, productivity-driven decisions by American business, then short-term government measures to spur hiring were not only futile but unwise. The two economists strained their memory… had they said something he’d misconstrued?… After a month, frustration turned to resignation. “The president seems to have developed his own view,” Romer said.

In Obama's mind, productivity and innovation are bad for employment and the economy. Then again, we're 3 years into the Obamanomics experiment - and the results are speaking for themselves.

Sen. Durbin Encourages Run on B of A

If you think that people are exaggerating when they say Democrats want to destroy the top financial institutions in the country, just listen to Democrat Sen. Dick Durbin. Durbin went to the Senate floor to encourage customers to leave Bank of America because they are raising fees to offset the costs of the Durbin Amendment.

It's sad that Democrats believe it's their job to select winners and losers in the private sector.