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Posts Made By: Paul Kammueller

September 25, 2009 12:50 AM Forum: Politics

Let me pick your brains...

Posted By Paul Kammueller

I remember much creepier stuff even. I remember video of kids being taught to worship a cardboard cutout of GWB, just fawning over the thing, laying hands on it, etc.

And of course, GWB claimed to get his directives from the Almighty Himself. I guess being commander-in-chief wasn't enough, he needed to be recognized as a new prophet of the world.

Now THAT takes praise for the president to a whole new level. wink

September 25, 2009 07:21 PM Forum: Politics

How to kill jobs in your state

Posted By Paul Kammueller

So if there were no regulations everyone would be 33% richer? Interesting theory. But it doesn't pass the laugh test, and it looks like pretty fuzzy methodology. For starters the underlying assumptions seem to suggest that regulations have only costs, and yield no benefits to the economy.

And it's interesting how the state business rankings have almost no correlation with the quality of life ranking. Another reason to be suspicious of the methodology. Just to name one example, New Hampshire is near the bottom for business costs and regulatory environment, similar to California, yet enjoys a quality of life ranking that puts it second highest!

October 1, 2009 03:22 AM Forum: Investment Discussions

What will metals do if stocks fall?

Posted By Paul Kammueller

Metals reaction to a down-draft in stocks depends on the mechanisms underlying the bear move. If it's driven by a serious dollar-decline and resurgence of inflationary fears, then metals would soar as stock and bond prices fall together.

If, on the other hand, the bear move were triggered by continued recession, further contraction in money and credit triggering deflationary forces, then metals will deflate with the rest of the list, and bond prices will climb as longer-term rates drift asymptotically toward zero.

To quote Clint Eastwood, the question you have to ask yourself is, do I feel lucky? wink

October 2, 2009 10:20 PM Forum: Politics

The Ego has landed

Posted By Paul Kammueller

I expected to see a lot of gloat threads in this silly 'issue' this evening. Big deal.

I'm sure all the talking heads on the talk shows will be chiming in saying that this means the end of the Obama presidency and so on. They will continue to do so every time he so much as sneezes or trips on the White House steps. There is a desperate psychological need here for them to cling to any failure, however trivial.

He gave it a shot, didn't work, he moves on. Whoop de doo.

October 3, 2009 02:47 PM Forum: Politics

Reboot -- Obama 2.0

Posted By Paul Kammueller

rotfl. Lurch to the right?? Be serious. What would it get him? Certainly won't win any righty votes, and it would lose him 90% of his lefty votes.

The Olympics thing now being touted as an epoch-shattering 'fiasco' by right-wing pundits will probably be forgotten in a week. As for health care reform, it failed because they started too close to center and too willing to cave, which resulted in an evaporation of support from the base.

October 12, 2009 02:36 AM Forum: Politics

California's Water Woes

Posted By Paul Kammueller

California has 2 problems:
1) Too nice and sunny (not lots and lots of rain)
2) Too many people (coming for the sunshine)

Though I suppose there is a market solution of sorts... when it starts running out and water spikes to $$$ a gallon. To misquote Ben Franklin, when the well runs dry, they'll know the worth of water.

October 12, 2009 09:46 PM Forum: Politics

Obama fails to win Nobel prize in economics...

Posted By Paul Kammueller

Many conservatives may wish Obama, or anyone else, HAD won it. After all, one of the winners got it in doing research that challenges many long-held assumptions regarding the economic governance of common property and its potential for success or failure. A very interesting development, economically speaking.

October 13, 2009 02:06 AM Forum: Politics

"Too big to fail"

Posted By Paul Kammueller

As a corporation becomes very large, it realizes efficiencies of scale, and reach to cheap labor markets, that are not available to smaller companies. The problem is that beyond a certain size, the price of this performance becomes very dear: individual corporations become large enough to be systemic risks to the broader economy, or even a systemic risk to the very capitalistic system it occupies... the 'Too Big to Fail' problem.

It's identical to a Darwinian problem where you have a population whose genetic diversity plummets: with few genetic variants dominating the population, the risk of extinction from a random epidemic soars.

Capitalism scales well up to a point, then there is a practical limit where the scalability breaks down, where individual entities become a threat to the entire system. This is why capitalism itself went into cardiac arrest one year ago, and why we had to bail it out and keep it on the ventilator to this day.

'Stress testing' corporations with economic models is barking up the wrong tree. We should be 'stress testing' the economy for its resilience in the face of potential failures by the largest corporations.

The bottom line is, if it's too big to fail, then it's too big to exist. Period. Don't let things get to that point and you don't have to bail out the system.

I'm not convinced we've learned this one simple lesson, and I think it's the most important thing to take away from the crisis.

October 15, 2009 03:30 AM Forum: Investment Discussions

Currencies

Posted By Paul Kammueller

Maurice Clark said:
I have been watching the currency markets for quite a while now and one thing has me curious..... The US$ seems to move in opposite to the share index, and I am curious as to why this would be. I am also wondering just how long the drop in the value of the US$ can be sustained before problems start to become severe.
Reasons the stock indices can move against the dollar can include:

1) the impact on international competition for exports
2) potential positive impact of weak dollar on raw materials producers (food, mining & oil companies) -- especially those which are heavily leveraged and can pay off old debts with ever-cheaper dollars from ever-higher commodity revenues
3) currency divergence causing U.S. stocks to look cheap to foreign investors in terms of their currencies
4) lately dollar often rallies on extreme market stress when metals get dumped and there is massive buying of U.S. treasuries - calming markets show opposite effect
5) massive liquidity action by central banks can generally be expected to both inflate stock markets and deflate currency values, so to have both at once following such action shouldn't really be too surprising

October 16, 2009 02:45 AM Forum: Investment Discussions