Saturday, April 12, 2008

SAR #8104

What happens when the minimum wage equals a gallon of gasoline?

Troy: The Treasury will now lend money to the Fed in whatever amounts it says it needs. This is nothing more than the Fed taking over both the issuance of money and the levying of taxes. Note that there is no role for Congress in either raising the funds or spending the money. It is taxation without representation, which has a strangely familiar ring to it.

Shrug: Businessmen are so enamored of Ayn Rand's romances that they bribe universities a $1 million each to teach her philosophy. For a lot less than that they could print up a few thousand tee shirts reading "Greed is Good" on the front and "Each for Himself and Screw the Rest" and be done.

Competition: The IMF warns that house prices are more overvalued in Ireland 32%, Holland 29%, France 22%, Belgium 18%, and Spain 17%, than in the United States and will undergo a nasty correction. The collapse of housing will put an immense strain on the EU.

Con - fidence: Temperature taking: An AAA rated pool of mortgage backed bonds issued by Washington Mutual last May has, as of March, the following profile: 60-days or more delinquent, 25%, 13% in foreclosure, 4.5% of these houses already are owned by the banks. This bunch of mortgages is not a year old yet. Hasn't learned to walk, keeps falling down.

'Rithmatic: The two driving factors in school administration are the bus schedule and the cafeteria schedule. Actual education is fit in around these schedules. Now, with the cost of diesel for the buses up 35% this year, transportation and not teachers is becoming the main driver of the school budget, too.

Debt & Such: Linens 'n Things is expected to file for bankruptcy this week. Apollo Management took the company private for $1.4 billion in February 2006. Losing $50 million a month hasn't turned out to be a good way to make money.

Mirror: "Treasury Dept reports receipts from corporate income taxes fell 16% in the first half of fiscal 2008 and the federal budget deficit was up 20% from a year earlier, at an all time high of $311 billion. To that add a stimulating $165 billion and $29 billion for JPMorgan, and that's a deficit of $530 billion in the first 6 months of the fiscal year. Add in more war, more housing rescue and two or three more banks and we'll have the first $1 trillion deficit.

Foresight: It is part of the general pattern of misguided policy that our country is now geared to an arms economy which was bred in an artificially induced psychosis of war hysteria and nurtured upon an incessant propaganda of fear.

Blankets: Bush's economic stimulus package takes money out of one pocket and puts it in another. The only place the government can get money is by taxing the very populace to which it is giving the money. It is, as Bush used to say, your money. You are eventually going to have to pay back the $600 bucks. Plus interest. Much like Daylight Savings Time, cutting a foot off one end of the blanket and sewing it on the other does not make the blanket longer.

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