Let’s explore some memories and the Alice In Wonderland headlines of the day, along with criticisms and observations of human foibles.
Those poor folks in California are having to bow again at the alter of the tree huggers. First it was some kind of smelt fish that caused water restrictions for farmers and ranchers. Now those Feds have a new one, the sucker fish. There very name sounds so disgusting but by golly we are going to protect it regardless of costs to the economy and certainly at the cost of those farmers. I would love to hear the hard evidence at a trial about exactly how the extinction of this fish would destroy our world. I mean over the eons more than 90% of all the species of life on earth that ever existed have become extinct with only a miniscule portion remotely attributable to human action. Most bison are gone. But would those folks on the Great Plains really like millions of them roaming all over the land breaking fences and blocking road, bridges and railroads? But never mind logic, common sense or science the religion of the tree huggers rolls on. Will someone ever point out that the Emperor is not wearing any clothes?
Don’t mind arguing with someone who understands the facts but it is annoying to listen to those who are so far off on their facts. Heard a protestor on Wall Street (with encouraging shouts from the crowd) that it was horrible for a hedge fund manager to make 5.9 billion. They seem to think and surely articulate an argument that these people are using their money and the money of other very rich people to invest and make these millions. First those profits are for the hedge fund itself. Those profits go back to the investors in the fund. Yes, I am sure the manager makes tons of money on the deal but the “profits” are not theirs alone; the overwhelming bulk of profits are disbursed. Second, the investors are those pension funds, the endowments and even governmental funds. Harvard and Yale both have about 40 billion endowment funds. Where do you think that put that money? It is not hiding under the school’s president’s mattress. They invest with those hedge funds just as thousands of other public employee funds do. Yes, those funds are for the “little” people. Teachers, firemen and all public employees better hope those evil hedge funds make lots of money to fund their retirements.
Someday I want to understand exactly how it is that the full moon always rises at sunset regardless of the time of year. I mean in winter in our latitude the days are only about 10 hours long and in summer they are about 14 and that is quite a difference but the Moon and Sun dance in harmony regardless of the season. I know it must have something to do with the tilt of the earth on its axis and speed of rotation of earth. But still it is another reminder of just how special a place we have been given in all the known universe.
How would our economy look today if we had not bailed out anyone? No banks, not Government Motors, AIG, Fannie or Freddie. We could have guaranteed the depositors for less money and let all the creditors take the hit as they should have in a free capitalist market. There would have been some pain for sure but we would have recovered by now. Other or new banks would have stepped in to fill the void, GM would have filed Chapter 11 and emerged on its own feet, smaller but viable as could have Chrysler. Those investors with AIG, Fannie and Freddie would have taken a loss as they should have for the mistaken investment. The housing market would have been down but money never sleeps and home loans are still a very good loan to make and the private market would have wanted that. Yep, loan standards would have gone back to what they should have been and you would need to be credit worthy to get the loan. In spite of the pain it would have caused, can you make the case that it would have been worse than what we are dealing with now and will continue to deal with for the foreseeable future?
NATO is known as a Western alliance to protect itself from Soviet attacks from eastern Europe. It actually had its birth from the Brussell’s Pact made on a couple of years after WWII between France, England and Belgium to protect themselves from attack by Germany! I mean Germany was still just a rubble heap at that point and the full dimensions of the Cold War weren’t yet clearly defined. It was the aggressive, hostile and threatening actions of Stalin and his socialists cohorts over the next couple of years that made the West realize the true danger and upgraded the Pact to NATO. Then the big issue was whether or not to re-arm Germany. The Germans were reluctant for many reasons. For one thing they were still cleaning up the mess of a country they had and France in particular didn’t want them armed for fear of a German revanchism. Another ten years down the road and Germany was re-armed to help be a bulwark against the Soviets. The wheel turns.
The recent Bank of America fee for debit card charges reminds of some of the history of banking innovations and changes over the decades. There used to be a few what were called “custodial” banks around. They dealt almost exclusively as trustee for estates created by probate or trusts. They handled money for other people. Mellon was one of those back when. There were the commercial banks that had regular consumers and there were the ones like J P Morgan that mostly were bankers for other banks, companies and even governments. In its heyday it was a real mark of distinction to have a checking account with J P Morgan. They wouldn’t accept just anyone off the street as a depositor. It was almost like applying for membership in a private club. To issue your personal check on a Morgan account signalled to the payee right off the bat that you were a heavyweight.
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