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Dear New York City, Ticket the People Blocking the Bike Lanes, not Bikers

12 Jun

From the BBC:

“In May, a policeman gave Casey Neistat a $50 (£31) fine for riding in a traffic lane, dismissing his plea that the bike lane was dangerously blocked.

To prove his point, Mr Neistat created a video in which he is shown crashing into a series of bike lane obstacles.”

U.S. Wars Casualty Status (Table)

12 Jun

US military bases are littered across the globe. Total defence spending for fiscal year 2010 were approximately $700 billion. The US has a spending problem not a revenue problem. The Iraq war has lasted more than 3,005 days and has caused bloodshed, death and hatred on an unprecedented scale. The overwhelming failure of US defence policy should hasten military withdrawals sooner rather than later.

Bloomberg

SEC delays Dodd-Frank Act derivatives measures

12 Jun

Bloomberg reported:

“The U.S. Securities and Exchange Commission will delay some Dodd-Frank Act derivatives measures scheduled to take effect in July, giving regulators more time to finish rules for the $601 trillion market.

Dodd-Frank, the financial-regulation overhaul enacted last year, set a mid-July deadline for measures designed to improve transparency and reduce risk in the over-the-counter swaps market. The SEC and the Commodity Futures Trading Commission are continuing to seek comment on rules, and have said they would miss the scheduled completion date for some measures.

Registration of derivatives such as credit-default swaps could “unnecessarily impede” use of clearinghouses meant to reduce risk, the SEC said in the proposal, which was released for public comment.”

Clearing houses are aggregating risks at a dangerous level. I would prefer to take the other side of the SEC. The clearing houses are going to increase risks. There is absolutely no way they can regulate an overwhelmingly speculative $601 trillion casino. 

CHART OF THE DAY: Ben Bernanke Google Correlations

28 May

Orszag – You’ve talked the talk but you didn’t walk the walk

26 May

Peter Orszag, former Director of the Congressional Budget Office is now blaming political polarisation for the current fiscal mess the US government now faces. He cites the inaction of Congress and the lack of dual-party co-operation in solving the nation’s endemic expenditure crisis. Orszag says: “We won’t get to that kind of conceptual agreement until we get some kind of turbulence in the bond market,” referring to the current political shenanigans in Congress. He suggests that action will only be taken if forced by an overwhelming situation like a default on government debt.

Orszag was Director of the Congressional Budget Office from January 2007 to November 2008.  He had almost two years to make progress on reducing expenditure and cutting government wastage. Instead he endorsed Obama’s budget proposal and yanked up expenditure even further. Why do we even listen to these people anymore?

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