Thursday, July 31, 2014

DON'T CRY TO ME ARGENTINA

Argentines. Can they be trusted? Since 1800, various leaders of Argentina have stiffed creditors eight times through sovereign bond defaults.

Argentine politicians put Argentinians on the hook for $29 billion. And because other politicians stiffed past bond holders, current Argentine politicians had to sell bonds through New York bond dealers and thus become beholden to security laws of the State of New York.

Now, $29 billion seems like much bank credit denominated in bank cash (as it isn't money). However, let's get perspective.

Recently, Comcast acquired Time Warner Cable for $67.6 billion or 2.33 times as much. Back in 1998, when the dollar bought much more, Exxon bought Mobil for $80.3 billion or 2.76 times as much.

In 2000, AOL, those pesky people who sent countless CD-ROMs for us to use as drink coasters, bought Time Warner for a whopping $186.2 billion or 6.42 times as much as what Argentine politicians have put their people on the hook to pay.

Thirteen years ago Argentine politicians stiffed the world for $95 billion or 3.3 times as much as they desire to stiff today's bond holders.

So what happened to the all of that bank credit Argentine politicians borrowed? Upon whom did they blow those credits? What did they buy?

Likely, Argentine pols squandered those bank credits on salaries for themselves, for meddling bureaucrats and on welfare benefits to bribe citizens for votes rather than invest in commercial infrastructure while reducing the involvement of politicians and bureaucrats in the Argentine economy. Well, if all else fails, sitting president Cristina Fern├índez de Kirchner can wage a Guerra Sucia using Eva Peron like appeals.

It's the same old story being played again. When will the man and the woman on the street awaken to reality?

In their presence, politicians alone create the rules by which economy arises. When circumstances go against the people, it's because of politicians and not because of commerce, competition, and markets.



As I have said often over the years, government is mafia with better public relations.



For a look at the biggest acquisition deals of all-time, check out Bloomberg here.
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Sunday, July 27, 2014

AMERICANS HIGH-SPEED RAIL FANTASIES AND THE TRANSPORTATION REALITY AMERICANS NEED

So while googling for something else, I came across this map on Upworthy detailing someone's fantasy for a nationwide high-speed rail network.


Nationwide high-speed rail isn't a clever idea at all. Americans already have a high-speed transportation network, likely the most advanced of all people. We call that network commercial aviation.

It seems quite silly to build faster versions of 19th century technology so Americans can haul themselves across great distances. It's already much faster to ride in a flown commercial jet than it is to ride in any high-speed train running anywhere on earth.

That said, perhaps there could be purpose for high-speed rail, if such rail were limited to one hour travel time between any terminals.


As can be seen, some cities in the USA are much closer together and thus lend themselves to being connected.

But will high-speed rail bring productivity gains to Americans and thus grow the economy beyond the initial outlay for track and trains? Rather than high-speed rails, perhaps Americans should better embrace a future of driver-less trucking.



In that future, perhaps U.S Interstates need to be cleared of passenger vehicles, at least those with drivers. Perhaps it's time to think upon a future where cars being restricted to U.S. Numbered Highways. Of course, interstate highways traversing cities couldn't be commandeered, but interstates spanning great distances ought to be reserved for driverless vehicles.

US Road Map

Already, Californians are being stuck with a massive bill, about $69 billion, for a pseudo high-speed rail foolishly planned to be built between Los Angeles and San Francisco.
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Saturday, July 26, 2014

OBAMACARE FAIL CO-ARCHITECT JONATHAN GRUBER NOW SAYS HE CAN'T BE TRUSTED WHEN HE SPEAKS IN PUBLIC

So of Peter Suderman Reason.com picked up on the reality that Jonathan Gruber, one of the Ivory sandbox academia architects of the failure that is Obamacare, spoke in public to say that subsidies for individuals would be paid through state exchanges only.

Here is a clip of the college professor, Gruber, from the fantasy land that is academia saying so:





Gruber pulls the same defense as the Obama adminstration has done in these court battles. As Obama admin lawyers have argued that Congressmen intended to include subsidies through U.S. run exchanges, soo too, Gruber intended to say the right words to justify the failure of law that is Obamacare.


How can Gruber live with himself? Lying is such an unmanly, cowardly trait.

Last week, the U.S. Court of Appeals for the District of Columbia ruled that subsidies to pay anyone's Obamacare medical insurance bill can be had only through exchanges established by a state in which that one lives. In short, the court affirmed what Gruber said publicly. Thus, anyone living in a state without an exchange no longer can receive subsidies for their Obamacare medical insurance. The ruling only affects U.S. citizens living in any of the 50 U.S. states and D.C. but not any U.S. territory such as American Samoa, Guam, the Northern Mariana Islands, Puerto Rico, the U.S. Virgin Islands, as the latter have been disqualified from Obamacare.

Also last week, clueless judge, Andre Davis of the Fourth Circuit (Richmond), ruled that subsidies could be had through U.S. run exchanges for citizens in states where states failed to establish exchanges. Davis provided this wacked out wrong analogy for his ruling:

"If I ask for pizza from Pizza Hut for lunch but clarify that I would  be fine with a pizza from Domino’s, and I then specify that I want ham and pepperoni on my pizza from Pizza Hut, my friend who  returns from Domino’s with a ham and pepperoni pizza has still complied with a literal construction of my lunch order.
That is  this case: Congress specified that Exchanges should be established and run by the states, but the contingency provision permits federal officials to act in place of the state when it fails to establish an Exchange. "

If what Davis claims is true, then this this would be true:

I task a friend to be my best man for my upcoming wedding. I instruct him hire a limousine for the wedding party of six.   On the day of the wedding, a Fiat 500 shows up. The best man says to me, "Limo schimo. The intent of driving you from point A to B is the same whether in a limo or this Fiat 500. Besides I saved you a hundreds."  
My bride sees it differently, feeling abased. So she withholds sex during the entire the honeymoon. 

In short, Davis ruled that  merely because it's not written in this law and by extension, any law, any agency of the executive branch can make it up as they go along. Of course, Davis is wrong for reasons of jurisprudence, specifically, power and authority as well as rights and duty.

If agencies can make up stuff as they go along, why have any law at all? And what then of the Constitution, which is a compact of states specifically detailing what rights and duties Congress and the executive have to both states and to any individuals per the first ten amendments, why have a Constitution at all?

Davis ought to consider resigning from the court and getting out of law altogether. Davis doesn't seem to understand reality.

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Friday, July 25, 2014

THE OLD LOS ANGELENOS DON'T DESERVE AN NFL FRANCHISE BECAUSE OF FICKLE FANS MYTH DEBUNKED.

So today, sports writer and native San Diegan Nick Canepa twice wrote that "L.A. doesn’t deserve an NFL franchise." In the first instance, Nicky seems to imply that politicians of the City of Los Angeles doesn't deserve to have a team and presumably any tax revenue associated with an NFL team playing within the city limits. In the second instance, Nicky seems to imply that residents don't deserve to have a team fielded for each NFL season.

Many spin webs of lies about Los Angelenos and the history of the NFL in Los Angeles. Many claim Los Angeleos failed to support the Los Angeles Rams. Yet, while in Los Angeles, the Rams were among the most successful franchises in the history of the NFL in terms of attendance.

Having relocated from Cleveland, the Los Angeles Rams played in the Los Angeles Memorial Coliseum between 1946 and 1979. In 31 of 34 seasons during those years, the Rams registered in the top 10 in attendance for NFL games. Between 1951 and 1960, the Rams topped the league in attendance every season. Between 1968 and 1976, the Rams never fell below fourth in season attendance.



Before a crowd of 102,368 on November 10, 1957, the Los Angeles Rams played the San Francisco 49ers setting the one-game paid attendance record that stood for 49 consecutive seasons until broken by a game played between the 49ers and Arizona Cardinals in Azteca Stadium of Mexico City in 2005.

In 1980, the Rams moved 29 miles south to Anaheim. Anaheim is a city in Orange county and not Los Angeles county. From that move, attendance dropped significantly. The franchise only fielded one team with season attendance breaking the top 10 for the league, in 1980.

In the last four seasons the Rams played in Anaheim and not Los Angeles, attendance never broke the top 20 in a league that had 28 teams. In the final season in Anaheim, the Rams came in dead last in attendance for the league. In the final game ever played by a Rams team in Anaheim, the Rams lost to the Washington Redskins in front of a paltry 25,750, which registered 42.8% of the league average.

The NFL held its first Super Bowl in the Los Angeles Memorial Coliseum in 1967. In nearby Rose Bowl Stadium of Pasadena, the NFL held five more Super Bowls (11, 14, 17, 21, 27).

It should be quite clear to anyone with a pulse that Los Angelenos have a stellar record when it comes to paying for tickets to watch NFL football.



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SATYA NADELLA, CEO OF MICROSOFT NEEDS TO THINK DIFFERENT(LY)

So today, Yahoo! News has a story by Zach Epstein of BGR who writes that Satya Nadella, CEO of Microsoft doesn't get why Apple's iPhone has been a smashing success and why Microsoft's smart phones have not been successful products.

Epstein quotes Nadella who has said, "any thinking consumer should consider Microsoft because guess what, you’re not just a consumer. You’re also going to go to work, you’re also going to be productive and we can do a better job for you in there. And that’s what I want to appeal to."

Nadella looks at quite wrong. Nadella fails to see that long ago, Apple execs forged a belief in the minds of many. Apple means "Think Different". So to many, Apple means, I'm not in the office right now. Work is over. Having Apple means I am more than my job.


So what does Microsoft mean to many? Blue Screen of Death. Office. Work. Spreadsheets. My jerky boss. Deadlines. Still no raise.

Epstein cites Yoni Heisler of iMore who says Microsoft execs harp on productivity for their USP, a USP no one cares about. In his public memo about Microsoft, Nadella wrote, “At our core, Microsoft is the productivity and platform company for the mobile-first and cloud-first world.” In reality, Microsoft is a company who sell business software accessible through desktops, laptops, tablets and smartphones.

Microsoft needs to break up. XBox, Surface, Nokia, Skype and PC games should become one firm. Someone else should take the helm at the firm selling XBox, Surface, Nokia. Maybe the new firm should go by the name Orange. The new firm should run with one slogan: Life. Easy. 

The other firm should consist of what is now the Commercial segment. All Office licensing should revert to this new firm.

Since his focus is productivity, Nadella seems like a guy ready-made for the commercial segment of the current Microsoft as a guy leading a company who sell business software and services. In a break-up scenario, the Nadella-run Microsoft should adopt a slogan as well:  Microsoft means business.

MSN, Bing and any other web properties ought to be sold off and not owned by either firm as Microsoft is not an ad media business.



No one cares about operating system software. No one buys smart phones nor tablets for the sake of productivity.

Everyone wants status from what they communicate with others. Communication is what people crave.

Look at the success of GoPro. Look at the success of Instagram. Look at the success of Pinterest.




Arguably, Apple means productivity far
more than Microsoft ever could. Apple delivers productivity where it counts — status gained with peers through communication.






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Sunday, July 20, 2014

PUTIN. IT'S OVER, AT LEAST UNTIL WINTER.

Putin. It's over.

The shooting down of Malaysia Airlines flight MH17 and the spin that ethnic Rus separatists in east Ukraine are the culprits has given political leaders of European countries and the United States the persuasion in propaganda fodder needed to sway public opinion worldwide against the separatists and Putin in favor of the European Union.

Those living in eastern Ukraine better learn to speak Ukrainian. Otherwise, they ought to emigrate to Russia.

As for Putin, he has a few cards in his hand. The first one he must play is ending any covert support for separatists. For the remaining cards, Putin shall need to wait until winter. Then, Putin can cut off all nat gas sales piped through Ukrainian pipes.

It could be a bitter cold and rather pricey winter in Europe upcoming. Good luck Czechs, Slovenes, Austrians, and Italians. As well, good luck to Latvians and Estonians and all those who had harsh rhetoric for Putin and his band of Ruskies.

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Thursday, July 17, 2014

OBAMA GIVES THE OK FOR MORE TERRORISM AGAINST RUSSIANS


President Urkel Obama has OK'd another round of sanction against Russians. This time Obama has approved of attacks against those Russians who earn their living through the firms Rosneft and Novatek.

Rosneft is the largest oil producer in Russia. Novatek is a  natural gas producer, primarily.

Let no one in America lose the significance of Obama's action undertaken from advice of his brain trust.

When someone or a group attacks individuals in effort to get those suffering from attacks to pressure their politicians for changes to political policy, all English speakers have a word for such attacks. All English speakers call those attacks by the word TERRORISM. Such is the picture-perfect definition of terrorism. Terrorism means living by striking terror into individuals to get them to pressure their politicians for change in political policy.

One would think in light of 9/11, no politician in the United States of America would be so stupid as to stoop as low as those who attacked and slaughtered 2,752 Americans through something as cowardly as terrorism.

Sanctions amount to terrorism. There is no getting around it. Harming individuals in hopes they turn on their own politicians is the exact purpose of every terrorist alive and of every terrorist who has ever lived.

Presidents ought to act and act decisively in the best interests for all Americans and not merely those profiting from oil or those profiting from banking through a unified Europe and so on.

Obama has the authority to send troops to Ukraine. Obama has the authority to order air strikes against so-called Russian-leaning "separatists" in Eastern Ukraine. So why does Obama act so cowardly, so gutless, so unmanly, so anything but presidential?

Why does Obama act like a terrorist? 

Why are untold and unwarranted taxes blown for military if presidents fail to use the weapons of war when negotiation fails?


Yet, what everyone should truly ask himself or herself is this:

Why should Americans care if five million or even 20 million Ukrainians become ex-Ukrainians and join up with the Russians? 

Americans are not affected by such a change at all. American politicians care because their financial bankers who have a vested interest in expanding the European Union or who have a vested interest in seeing Russians become weaker make them care.

What does anything about the Ukraine have to do with you? Nothing.

The more competition American firms face, the more efficient those firms must become and the lower the prices you shall see over time.

You should hope that many Russians rises to challenge American firms in commerce. You should hope that Germans do as well. You should hope that Indians do, that Brazilians do, that firms from people the earth over do.

The more firms competing for your wages, the more firms competing to hire you, the better your living shall become. The more firms that rise up and push aside government protected firms, such as the USA-based Fortune 500 firms, the better your living shall become.

Capitalism rocks. Crony politics sucks.







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