Asinine stress tests

Is this America — when you do what your government asks you to do and then retroactively you also have additional conditions? If we were not forced to take the TARP money, we would have been able to raise private capital at that time [and not need to cut the dividend.]  It is absolutely asinine that somebody would announce we’re going to do stress tests for banks and we’ll give you the answer in 12 weeks.

— Wells Fargo Chairman Richard Kovacevich, March 16, 2009

Welcome to the new America where the Constitution is ignored.  Which of the first Ten Amendments hasn’t been gutted or ignored?  Only the 3rd.  Talk about a disgrace.

Economic Advice

Since the White House seems to be in need of economic advice, here are a few suggestions that would help to turn things around quickly.  Items #1 and #2 would not cost anything.

1. Eliminate Mark to Market – for people holding until the asset matures, mark to market is crazy.

2. Reinstate the uptick rule in order to restore some balance to the market.

3. Instead of spending more than $1.2 trillion on questionable projects, much of which won’t be spent for years, stop collecting income taxes for 2009.  Federal Revenue in 2007 was approximately $2.5 trillion with individual income taxes making up a bit over 40% of that.  So, drop the stimulus and put the money right back in everyone’s pocket this week.  Save $200 billion, and let the citizens of the company keep their own money.

4. Talk about some of the positives: lower fuel costs, productivity and the like.

American Diabetes Association says Obama’s tax increase is “only 5%”

The American Diabetes Association called me today, “not to ask for money.”  In the course of the conversation, the lady from the American Diabetes Association said that Obama’s tax increase is “only going to be about 5%.  It’s not that much.”

My mother died of pancreatic cancer and I generally do support charities that deal with diseases of the pancreas (including being on the founding board of PanCan), but since the American Diabetes Association thinks that it is “not that much” they’ll be the ones who realize that the “not that much” comes out of their budget.  But since it is “not that much” the American Diabetes Association won’t miss it.

When a charity calls today, this is what I am going to say when they ask for money:

Oh, didn’t you know that we have a new President in Washington?  I suggest that now that he has declared that he is the best person to decide who “needs” the money more that you and I call the White House and see if you can beg from them.  His tax increases are taking my charitable donations.  The choice is simple: vote freedom or statism/socialism.

Now, I’ll still be donating, but it will be to charities that (a) support freedom, and (b) don’t sit at the trough of the federal government claiming handouts from the rest of us at the point of a gun.

Obama targets Rush Limbaugh.

While obvious for some time, the Politico (Politico) today confirms that President Obama is targeting Rush Limbaugh.

What Obama fails to realize is that this means that Rush begins to set the agenda for the Democrats and in that case they are going to have a tough time of it.  Rush has three hours per day on the air to respond so anyone willing to listen to him will hear the truth instead of the Obama and mainstream media’s spin.  While good for Rush, letting him set the agenda will be bad for the President.

It should also be noted that:

  1. Enemies lists are not acceptable.  President Nixon would be proud.
  2. It is now acceptable for the President to target private citizens (well, it was before just ask “Joe the Plumber”).  Imagine if it were you next and had no way to respond.
  3. It is acceptable for the President of the United States to take what a private citizen says out of context and publicize it.  Amazing and scary.

Obama’s “profits to earnings ratio”

President Obama referred to stocks being a good buy yesterday because of their “profits to earnings” ratio.

Now usually one uses a price to earnings ratio since in general profits and earnings are usually equal.

“What you’re now seeing is a profit and earnings ratios get to the point that buying stocks is a good thing if you have a long-term perspective on it,” President Obama, after meeting with British Prime Minister Gordon Brown.

One does not have to wonder how this will be picked up by the press – if it were President Bush, it would be the subject of jokes.

Perhaps that is why we have a nearly 20% decline since Inauguration day.

Obama to drop missile shield plans?

“Washington has told Moscow that Russian help in resolving Iran’s nuclear program would make its missile shield plans for Europe unnecessary” – March 2, 2009, 4:16pm,

We should remember this day when Europe, the United States or elsewhere is hit by a missile that could have been stopped by an anti-missle shield.  Never in the course of history has a madman (or madwoman) been stopped by appeasement and backing down from self-defense.  

Let us hope we do not come to rue this day any time soon.