Mish’s Global Disses Obama SOTU Speech

Mish’s Global Disses Obama SOTU Speech — Mish’s Global Economic Trend Analysis says that regarding  the economic plan presented in President Obama’s State of the Union speech: The proposal as outlined rates to take every “responsible” underwater mortgage held by banks, Fannie Mae, Freddie Mac, hedge funds, foreign banks, and pension plans, and transfer all of them to the FHA. The idea this will only cost $10 billion is absurd.

Mish says the plan is a massive backdoor bailout of banks, mortgage companies, hedge funds, foreign banks, and anyone else holding mortgage related garbage.

Sums it up nicely. And did you read this in the Inquirer?

Hat tip Tom C.

Mish’s Global Disses Obama SOTU Speech

TARP Costs Are Back Up

TARP Costs Are Back Up — The Troubled Asset Relief Program (TARP)  was signed into law by President Bush a month before the 2008 election and authorized spending $700 billion to buy assets and equity in financial institutions. The plan was to prevent an economic meltdown due to the subprime mortgage scam.

It was originally expected that taxpayers would be on the hook for $300 billion but the spending authorization was cut to $475 billion in the Dodd-Frank regulations passed in July 2010 and by March 2011 the total  cost estimate for the taxpayers had been cut to $19 billion as the banks and other institutions began paying back  loans.

On Friday the Congressional Budget Office announced the cost estimate is back  to $34 billion due to a drop in the market value of the government’s investments in American International Group and General Motors.

So how is that Chevy Volt working out? Maybe D.C. should have invested in Ford. Oh, that’s right. Ford threw the money back in their faces.

I see Fords in our futures assuming you think it desirable to buy American.

TARP was basically a scheme for wealthy, connected people to be able keep their homes in the Hamptons and their chateaus in Aspen. If Congress simply raised the federal deposit insurance from $250,000 to $2.5 million, the irresponsible banks would have failed, the deposit holders would have transferred their money to the responsible banks,  and justice would have prevailed.

The bad guys would have got bloody noses. The little guy wouldn’t have been hurt any worse than he was and maybe not even as badly.

And we would not have ended up with the Dodd-Frank travesty.

And maybe even John McCain would be president.

Hat tip Tom C.


TARP Costs Are Back Up

Hypocrisy Thy Name Is Corzine

Hypocrisy Thy Name Is Corzine — Astute reader Tom C points out that Jon Corzine — the prominent Democrat politician who served as New Jersey governor and senator before moving on to head MF Global Holdings Ltd the “leading cash and derivatives broker-dealer” from which he managed to misplace $1.2 billion — was among the supporters of the intrusive Sarbanes-Oxley Act of 2002 which promised an end to greedy corporate skullduggery.


Hypocrisy Thy Name Is Corzine

New York State Of Decline

New York State Of Decline — When lamenting the decline of Pennsylvania — it was the second most populous state a century ago — just look north to feel a tad better.

The New York Post is reporting that 1.6 million people — about a population about the size of Philadelphia — left New York State in the last decade.

The number is balanced somewhat by New York City being a immigration magnet — U.S. Census figures actually show the Empire State gaining 400,000 people between 2000 and 2010 — but it appears they start to flee soon after arriving.

New York is ruled by “progressives.” Progressive policies equal poverty and decline.

New York State Of Decline

New York State Of Decline

Corbett’s Gang Muscles In On DRPA

Gov. Tom Corbett has cleaned the rodent-droppings from Pennsylvania’s vermin-infested  contribution to  Delaware River Port Authority (DRPA) appointing himself as chairman and replacing five board members.

But will it be the case of “meet the new rat, same as the old rat”?

Corbett’s appointments — William Sasso, Joanna Cruz, Joann Bell, Walter D’Alessio and David Simon — are all heavy political contributors to the governor each donating at least $1,500, personally or institutionally, to his attorney general and gubernatorial campaigns with Simon and Sasso kicking in $29,500 and $22,000 respectively as individuals.

DRPA is a Congressionally-approved arrangement between Pennsylvania and New Jersey charged with overseeing the maintenance and development of the Philadelphia-Camden port district and much of the Delaware River crossings including the four big toll bridges. The 16-member board is split evenly between the states. All  New Jersey members are appointed to set terms by its governor. In Pennsylvania, six members are at-will gubernatorial appointments with the state’s treasurer and auditor general being automatically given seats.

Are Corbett’s picks going to be exterminators or just more bald-tailed looters looking for their cheese? One sign will be if crossing the Delaware gets cheaper and more convenient. Look to see what happens with the 20 percent toll hike schedule for July.

Hat tip Chris Freind.

$42M Aker Bailout And Corbett

$42M Aker Bailout And Corbett  — The $42 million bailout of the Aker Philadelphia Shipyard green-lighted by Gov. Corbett might not have been received with the sneering contempt that it has if people actually trusted this state’s government.

And organized labor.

OK, that last sentence was placed to give you a belly laugh.

The money will be used to build two tankers for use between U.S. ports in compliance with the Jones Act. These will be 17th and 18th ships built at the yard since it opened as a private facility in 2000. It had been the former Philadelphia Naval Shipyard.

Aker employs about 1,000 people during construction albeit 700 have been laid off since July.

Columnist Chris Freind has noted that the market for ships is saturated and that there are no customers for these particular, expensive vessels. “Build it and they might come” is not a practice most businesses would adopt assuming, of course, they had to use their own money.

Still, Corbett could always answer that a cleanup of a large, abandoned industrial site in South Philly might very well cost $42 million if not more, unemployment compensation payouts for 1,000 workers would likely run into the eight figures, and that the deal calls for Aker’s European owners to kick in $210 million.

If he should ever give a press conference.

But how about thinking outside the box?

If Corbett’s goal is to help the shipyard weather a world-wide economic downturn, maybe rather than using crony capitalism to flood the market with unwanted ships he could have had Pa. pay for Aker to refurbish national treasures like the USS Olympia and the SS United States , now rusting at Delaware River piers.

He could have required the unions to accept the employment of 100 apprentices from Philadelphia and Delaware County vocational schools who would be paid minimum wage and could be fired at a moment’s notice without being covered by unemployment comp.

Granted something like that would require our government to show some imagination and organized labor to demonstrate reason, so let’s chalk that up to wishful thinking.

But if Corbett really wants to help Aker and save what’s left of the Philadelphia industrial base, he would put aside all central planning schemes and get back to the basics as to why entrepreneurs set up shop at certain places and only go to others if they are paid millions and millions. Can anybody say property tax breaks for everybody, not just Europeans threatening to leave?  Can anybody say “right to work”?


$42M Aker Bailout And Corbett

HB 2497 Pension Bailout Unconstitutional

HB 2497 Pension Bailout Unconstitutional  — HB 2497 aka  Gen Theft was sent to the governor’s desk for a signature Nov. 15 after a 165 to 31 vote in the Pennsylvania House. The sick thing is that 32 minutes earlier a vote to declare the bill unconstitutional passed the House on a 128-68 vote. This means that 37 legislators ended up voting for a bill they had voted to be unconstitutional.

Bob Guzzardi of LibertyIndex.Com lists the bovine 39 as:

Republicans: Matthew Baker (Tioga), Kerry Benninghoff (Centre), Martin Causer (Bradford), Jim Christina (Beaver), Paul Clymer (Bucks), Gary Day (Berks), Sheryl Delozier (Cumberland), Garth Everett (Lycoming), Will Gabig (Cumberland), Matt Gabler (Elk), Mauree Gingrich (Lebanon), Glen Grell (Cumberland), Marcia Hahn (Northampton), Ted  Harhart (Fayette), Sue Helm (Dauphin), Tim Hennessy (Chester), Rob Kauffman (Cumberland), Mark Keller (Franklin), John Maher (Allegheny), Sandra Major (Susquehanna), Ron Marsico (Dauphin), Ron Miller (York), Dan Moul (Adams), John Payne (Dauphin), Tina Pickett (Bradford), Jeffrey Pyle (Armstrong), Thomas Quigley (Montgomery), Marguerite Quinn (Berks), Kathy Rapp (Forest), Dave Reed (Indiana), Doug Reichley (Lehigh), Todd Rock (Franklin), Curtis Sonney (Erie), Katie True (Lancaster), Randy Vulakovich (Allegheny) and Katherine Watson (Bucks).

  Retiring Speaker of the House Keith McCall (Carbon), Dwight Evans (Philadelphia) and Brendan Boyle (Philadelphia).

HB 2497, which will certainly be signed by Gov. Rendell, bails out the Pennsylvania’s near bankrupt public pension system and was strongly supported by the Pennsylvania State Education Association and other public employee unions.

Is it stating the obvious to note that the very sweet legislative pensions are also saved by the bailout? What heroic public servants we have voted to represent us.

Commonwealth Foundation estimates that the bailout will cost the average homeowner $1,360 annually by 2012  in state and local taxes.

Will our state courts find the bill to be unconstitutional? People, the bill bailed out the judges’ pensions too.

HB 2497 Pension Bailout Unconstitutional

HB 2497 Pension Bailout Unconstitutional  -- HB 2497 aka  Gen Theft was sent to the governor's desk for a signature Nov. 15 after a 165 to 31

Musto Indicted For Bribery

Musto Indicted For Bribery — A federal grand jury, this morning,  indicated Pennsylvania State Sen. Raphael “Ray” Musto for taking thousands of dollars in money and services in bribes and kickbacks.

Musto , a Democrat, has represented the 14th District since 1982. He did not seek re-election this year.  Musto is facing six charges including  bribery and making false statements to the FBI.

The bribery occurred between 2005 and 2010.

At a  2 p.m. press conference, U.S. Attorney for the Middle District of Pennsylvania Peter J. Smith said Musto purposefully concealed money and gifts failing to report them on appropriate statements of financial interest.

Musto served in congress in 1980 replacing the legendary Dan Flood to represent the 11th Congressional District winning a special election caused by Flood’s resignation after being censured for bribery.  Musto, however, later that year narrowly lost  to Republican James Nelligan for an election to a full term.

Musto Indicted For Bribery

USS Olympia Vs Stimulus Signs And Yankees

USS Olympia Vs Stimulus Signs And Yankees

Historical apathy is threatening to do what the Spanish Navy could not and that is send the USS Olympia to a watery grave.

The cruiser which is berthed at Penn’s Landing in Philadelphia was the flagship of Admiral Dewey’s fleet at the Battle of Manila Bay on May 1, 1898 during the Spanish American War and from which he uttered the famous command “You May Fire When You Are Ready, Gridley”

It is the oldest steel-hulled ship afloat, and is an important record of 19th century transitional technology.

The owner of the ship, the Independence Seaport Museum, says it cannot afford the $20 million-plus to maintain it.

While $20 million is a lot, spending it on the ship would provide honest American jobs to save an treasure than could never be recovered if it should be lost. It would certainly be less of a waste than spending $20 million in federal money on propaganda signs for the “Stimulus” Act; or $20 million to repair a minor league ballpark in Lackawanna County for the New York Yankees, an institution that wouldn’t blink at paying that plus 50 percent for single-season’s work from a third-baseman.

Worst comes to worst maybe they can move it down the river to Delaware County which has managed to find $30 million for a soccer stadium and talk the state into chipping in another $47 million.

A nation that forgets its history is not going to last. Those in the 19th century understood this.

USS Olympia Vs Stimulus Signs And Yankees


Fat Cat Democrat Angst

Fat Cat Democrat Angst — With drastic regulations looming and massive economic incompetence having been demonstrated the fat cat Democrats of Wall Street are turning off the spigot to the party of their hope and in some cases are actually giving money to Republicans, providing the Pub drinks the right kind of chardonnay and doesn’t take going to church all that seriously.

Jamie Dimon, head of J.P. Morgan Chase  gave $65,000 to theDemocratic committees in 2006 and 2008, but has given nothing this cycle. He has, however, sent a $2,000 check to Mark Kirk who is running for  Obama’s former Senate seat in Illinois. Yes, Kirk is the right kind of Republican.

Leon Black,co-founder of Apollo Global Management, along with wife, Debra, gave over $200,000 to theDemocratic committees in the last two elections. This year the Blacks have given the donkey party nada.

And Goldman Sachs CEO Lloyd Blankfein who ponied up $50,000 for the Dems in ’06 and ’08 has also cut off Obama, Reid and Pelosi.

So why did these barons of capitalism swoon over the party of socialism in the first place? Crony capitalism was somewhat involved — and in Blankfein’s case it actually paid off a bit — but the main reason was their loathing of those who think the reality of God is relevant to governance and lifestyle.

In other words, their desire to kill babies trumped their desire for wealth and freedom. You reap what you sow. If they would read the Bible they would know that.

Fat Cat Democrat Angst

Fat Cat Democrat Angst