11 Sep 2009

Headed to Seattle

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I am the hardest working ancap in show business. After being told that Down Is Up, I’m off to another Mises Circle, this one in Seattle.

I have a backlog of blogging to do; I hope to catch up in the hotel. So much economic ignorance; so little time.

Speaking of which, in today’s Mises Daily I take on that NYT article praising fiat money for allowing the Union to wage the Civil War. (Remember Carlin? “Can a war really be civil? ‘Excuse me sir, I’m going to shoot you now!’”)

(All joking aside, in the linked article there is a chart showing the loan information I was referring to on Kudlow’s show, when the other guy told me we all knew what the alternate universe looked like.)

10 Sep 2009

Murphy on Kudlow Discussing Geithner

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I hadn’t put two and two together… It wasn’t until I was sitting in the chair with the mic in my ear that I realized I was going to be on Kudlow’s show. (It was probably all for the best, since the adrenaline would have been pumping even more had I known for two hours beforehand.) Anyway, I walked out of the studio feeling pretty good about the points I made. I was disappointed when I discovered I had said, “It’s glad to be here…” right out of the gate, but hey I just wanted to make sure you were listening.

Thanks so much to “Minnesota Chris” for posting this. It was actually ready by the time I got back to my computer and checked my email. These Austrian computer geeks are taking over!

UPDATE: I forgot to mention–and I’m not making this up–the camera man had to adjust the camera up a few notches when we were getting situated. The previous interviewee had been a lineman for the Tennessee Titans and apparently I was taller from the butt up. Yeah, what’s up.

UPDATE 2: BTW, in case anyone actually wants to hear what others had to say, here is the full Kudlow segment:


10 Sep 2009

Murphy on Panel to Discuss Geithner Town Hall

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OK kids, someone needs to set your TiVo or whatever wacky new gadgets you use nowadays, because I just found out I’m going to be on CNBC tonight on a panel discussion following Geithner’s town hall. So if I understand correctly, Geithner’s thing starts at 7pm EST and then our panel discussion begins at 8pm EST. It would really be cool if someone could capture this for YouTube.

10 Sep 2009

Geithner Says It’s Time to De-Fascize

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CNBC reports:

Treasury Secretary Timothy Geithner said Thursday the economy has regained enough strength to allow a shift in the government’s strategy from rescue to preparing for future growth.

Appearing before the Congressional Oversight Panel for the $700-billion Troubled Asset Relief Program, Geithner said the economy was in far better shape now than a year ago when it was “on the verge of collapse,” though it still had problems.

“As we enter this new phase, we must begin winding down some of the extraordinary support we put in place for the financial system,” Geithner said.

He said banks that received capital injections in the form of taxpayer-provided funds have repaid more than $70 billion, reducing the government’s total investment to $180 billion.

“We now estimate that banks will repay another $50 billion over the next 12 to 18 months,” he added.

Another senior Treasury official told reporters earlier that Treasury will allow its money market mutual fund guarantee program to expire on Sept. 18.

The backstop program was created a year ago to prevent panic withdrawals of $3.4 trillion in savings after a key fund “broke the buck” when its net asset value per share fell below $1.

The program took in $1.2 billion in fees from funds, but has not had any payouts.

Geithner boasted that the economy now was “back from the brink” of a free fall that it was in when the Obama administration took office in January, though he cautioned recovery will be gradual at best.

Still, he cited several signs of progress, including the fact that the government no longer feels it needs a contingency in the budget for another $750 billion in stabilization funds.

“Today, we believe that money is unlikely to be necessary and we have removed it from budget provisions, lowering this year’s deficit,” Geithner said.

Treasury does intend to press ahead with so-called public-private investment funds to buy toxic assets.

The senior Treasury official predicted that the first purchases should occur by early October.

The official said there was a “great deal of interest” in purchasing toxic assets among investors and money managers running the funds, but the appetite among banks to sell their toxic assets has been less than anticipated.

“We thought it would be necessary for banks to sell some of these assets in order to attract private capital.

It turned out that they were able to raise the capital without selling the assets,” the official said.

Geithner said that by providing support for U.S. automakers, the government avoided substantial job losses and that a specially assembled Auto Task Force had avoided intervening in day-to-day decisions by management of General Motors Corp and Chrysler Corp.

“Such intervention could seriously undermine the companies’ long-term viability and, consequently, their ability to repay the taxpayer for its investment,” Geithner said.

He cited a litany of problems still facing the economy, including “unacceptably high” unemployment, a shaky mortgage market outside those covered by mortgage finance sources Fannie Mae and Freddie Mac, strained financing for commercial real estate enterprises and tight credit for small business.

Given those conditions, “it is realistic to assume recovery will be gradual, with more than the usual ups and downs,” Geithner warned.

I’ve put some of the predictions or promises in bold above. Let’s check in periodically to see how they hold up.

10 Sep 2009

Potpourri

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* Bob Roddis passes along a good anti-Fed point about GDP volatility.

* Here and here conservative Christian Jared Wilson actually decides not to vote anymore, because of the hysteria over Obama’s talk to school kids. I agree that my talk radio boys really blew this one. I can’t remember who said specifically what, but I know that before the speech, the generally theme was, “Don’t get me wrong, folks, it’s fine if the President of the United States wants to give a generic speech about hard work and staying in school. But that’s not what Barack Obama is up to with this. If he brings up health care…” And then when Obama gave a speech that Ronald Reagan could have (and actually did), there was of course no recognition of, “OK I overreacted” or “I guess we scared them back into line with our protests.” No, it was, “You see folks? This is all conservative philosophy. The left has to steal our principles when they want to appeal to the American people. If Obama said what he really believes in that speech, you can bet it would have made parents run.” (Just to clarify, I TOTALLY OPPOSE the president of the US giving a speech directly to kids, during school hours. But my point is, Obama did exactly what a bunch of the AM guys said they would have no problem with, and they proceeded to have a problem with it.)

* Time to jack up alcohol taxes?

* Tom Woods gets medieval on some poor leftist blogger.

10 Sep 2009

Obama to Head UN Security Council?

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So, for those who are convinced that Obama is the Manchurian Candidate, this certainly isn’t reassuring:

President Barack Obama will make history later this month when he takes the head seat at the table of the United Nations 15-member Security Council. Amazingly, President Obama will become the first United States president to chair the important international council, which deals with issues of global security, including nuclear disarmament.

(HT2EPJ)

Now here’s the really odd thing. I wanted to link to this story at a news site more reputable than “ChattahBox.” But doing a google news search for “obama un security council,” I couldn’t find any mainstream publications covering this. It was only ChattahBox and a few other political blogs.

So, is the story a fabrication? If not, isn’t that just a bit odd, that the first time in history the US president is going to head the UN Security Council, and no major news organization even mentions it? Do I just need to refine my google skills, or is this Point Set Match for the Bilderberg Group?

10 Sep 2009

Congressman Joe Wilson Heckles Obama

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How do you guys and gals feel about this? I can’t decide. On the one hand, I think it’s great that someone shatters the mystique of a presidential address. On the other hand, how incredibly tacky.

Watch Biden and Pelosi during this short clip. Biden looks crushed; “I can’t believe these Republicans.” Pelosi is more pro-active, trying to find who said it and presumably preparing a list of 5 ways he can accidentally die.


One last thing: Of all the lies Obama told during this speech–I didn’t watch it, so I’m going out on a limb–was the funding of health care for illegal immigrants really the most outrageous? Why do so many right-wingers object doubly so when their paychecks are raided in order to pay for Mexicans as opposed to Texans?

09 Sep 2009

My Perceptive Son

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My son has lately been in the habit of assigning gender to everything in sight. E.g. “The table, it’s a girl.” (When he’s a bit older I can explain that they do this in France. But we’re Americans!)

He is also at that awkward stage where he can take care of his potty business but needs adult supervision. After relieving himself, he pointed in the potty and said, “The poopy, it’s a boy.”

How astute! I’ve heard many women state this truism (or actually its reverse), but never at such a young age.