Friday, January 22, 2016
To quantum physicists the world probably makes sense.
Angles On The Head of a Pin, For Now: An apparently impartial Harvard constitutional specialist says that it is abundantly clear, especially for the strict constructionists, that a “natural born citizen” means someone born within the sovereign territory of the United States (except for children of US public officials serving abroad). In 1789 founding father James Madison said that the US used place of birth rather than parentage as the defining criterion. Senator Cruz was not born in the US. QED.
Bullseye: “Good thing the market is composed of rational actors. Otherwise, we might really be in trouble.”
If Not Now, When? Oregon's governor, along with a lot of the rest of us, wonders when the federal government is going to do something about the group of seditious outlaws in Eastern Oregon. Where are the SWAT teams, the armored vehicles, Seal Team Six. Where are our vaunted forces of law and order to protect the public against an armed insurrection?
Asked And Answered; “Is the stock market telling us we’re headed for a recession?” Maybe. Maybe not. Nobody knows, especially not investment advisers.
Vital Signs: The Manufacturing Business Outlook Survey report had both bad news and good news. The bad news is that manufacturing activity in the US remained negative. The good news was that it wasn't as bad as it was the previous month. The Department of Labor reported a 10,000 surge in initial unemployment claims last week, the highest since last summer but added a soothing “this is still a very low level” of claims. Yep, under 300,000. Sounds good to me.
None So Blind... Billionaire Steve Schwarzmann, CEO of the Blackstone Group of Thieves, says he simply cannot understand what a large portion of the US electorate are so upset and angry about. “What,” he asks, “has made the people so unhappy?”
Statistically: At least since NAFTA, trade agreements have included Investor-State Dispute Settlement clauses – a forced arbitration with the arbitrator picked by the investor, not the state. Research shows that overwhelmingly the beneficiaries of ISDS have been extra-large international companies with more than $10 billion in annual revenue and ultra rich individuals with net worth in the hundreds of millions of dollars. The losers have been the people, who have to pay the taxes to raise the money that is regularly awarded to the already filthy rich.
Consider the Source: Former Official Wizard and Saviour of the Economy Helicopter Ben Bernanke tells us not to worry about China's $28 trillion in debt because it is “an internal problem.”
Preparations: Our masters, gathered in Davos, are worried that robots and automation and artificial intelligence will upset the economy and threaten their profits. Yes, they acknowledge with a brushing motion of the backs of their hands, a few million of you will lose your jobs and not find work ever again, but you won't be losing your dividends and they will...
You First: Plans are afoot to turn the former WWII concentration camp on Mamula Island off Montenegro into a luxury resort. But it will be done tastefully, preserving the “historical value of the island” with a “memorial room” mentioning those who were incarcerated and those who were killed or died of starvation. There will also be memorial T-shirts and coffee mugs.
The Parting Shot:
Posted by Charles Kingsley Michaelson, III at 9:17 AM