Monday, April 28, 2014

SAR #14117

Before you get all teary eyed about 'freedom', is that 'freedom from' or 'freedom to'; the freedom from responsibility, the freedom to do whatever you want regardless of others, freedom from the obligations of citizenship? What freedoms, for whom?

Baby Steps: The military junta that stole Egypt away from the Arab Spring and overthrew an elected government has sentenced 683 members of the Muslim Brotherhood (which won the election) to death, as it marches towards democracy.

Barely Essential: Why Is Blackwater Helping to Train Brazil’s World Cup Security?

Rains, Poors: With 100% of California now in drought conditions and the only water available is being parceled out very stingily by the federal government, pot growers face dire times & pot users can expect to pay higher prices to get high.

Late To The Dance: PBS has become aware that “new surveillance techniques” might raise privacy concerns. Might? Concerns?

Somebody Just Noticed: The Times has just now breathlessly reported that The Recovery has created “far more low-wage jobs than better-paid ones.” Okay, we've noted that, too, but what is the usual ratio of well-paid to low-paid jobs in our economy?

Unforgiven? US commercial lenders have increased their holdings of government debt every month this year and now hold $1.85 trillion – within 2% of the record high from 2012. Banks can't find sufficiently credit-worth applicants – individuals or corporations – to lend to, so just as the fed keeps printing, the banks keep stashing this new money in US notes. Which does nothing to help the economy recover, but acts as free money for the banks and bankers. It certainly makes the banks sounder, they're not taking any risks at all.

RSVP'd: In five years of pin-pointedly accurate drone strikes, the US has killed at least 127 of the top 25 al-Qaeda leaders, some of them several times, as well as several hundred freeloaders who crashed the wrong wedding parties.

Potish Kettling: Turkey has called on the EU and US to condemn the death penalties handed out in Egypt, without mentioning the decade-long suppression of dissent and imprisonment of journalists by the corrupt and vindictive Erdogan regime.

Penny Saved: Apple's cash horde has fallen from $158.8 billion to a paltry $150.6 billion, so the poor baby will have to issue some bonds in order to give $90 billion back to its shareholders in the form of buybacks. Yeah, I know the math doesn't make sense unless holding cash is more profitable than borrowing cash, but what do I know, I'm not an iPeople.

Cowboys In Drag: For over a hundred years the federal government has let miners, loggers and ranchers use (and abuse) public lands in the west for a fraction of its value. Now one of these wellfare queens, a racist named Bundy, has been caught not even paying the greatly discounted fees he owed and somehow – just like most of the rest of those freeloaders - magically transformed himself into a rugged individualist confronting the evil government (which in this case is you and I). Bundy is the quintessential libertarian, stealing from the public with no regard for others or the common good. In short, a thief.

The Parting Shot:


Anonymous said...

Rains, Poors: ...

Never fear, Surfer Nation, the Potheads of British Columbia will come to your rescue in your hour of need. Literally, GROW THE CANADIAN ECONOMY!

Anonymous said...

Freedoms just another word for nothing left to lose?RBM

Anonymous said...

RE: Penny Saved - Most of Apple's cash is located offshore. They would end up taking a 30% tax hit to re-patriate it. Therefore it is much cheaper for Apple to borrow the money in the form of corporate bonds at 1%-3%.

Ebay just announced they would repatriate $9B on their earnings conference call the other day and it will cost them $3b of the $9B. It also raised eyebrows amongst the analysts.

As crazy as it sounds, it makes more sense to drop the corporate tax all together (as it's ineffective anyway) and tax the shareholders on dividends and short term cap gains. Thus corporations might be more willing to keep the money in the US for Cap-Ex spending rather than leaving it lie fallow in tax havens.