Friday Links

Some of these I sent out on Twitter already:
 – Headline of the week: “18 Orgies Later, Chinese Swinger Gets Prison Bed.”
 – Dubious Politician of the week: “Blumenthal’s Words on Vietnam Service Differ from History.”  Then today, this follow up:  “Another Case of Blumenthal Misstating Service.”
 – Not as easy at it seems article of the week: “Padded Pensions Add to New York Fiscal Woes.”
I say “not as easy as it seems” because I think the initial reaction is to say “that’s f’n crazy.”  And yet, I sympathize with the policeman who they talk a lot about in the article, who defended the situation:
“Mr. Tassone said the only reason he joined the police force was the promise of a full pension after just 20 years, and it would have been wrong for the state or city to go back on the promise after using it to recruit him.”
Yes – they did promise it to him, and it’s hard to just tear up that obligation…   I don’t think it’s reasonable to expect that Mr. Tassone could have reasonably assessed the likelihood of the City of Yonkers running out of money in the future when he took this job.  HOWEVER, the article also talks a lot about the manipulations used to increase pension payments (“Hugo Tassone, retired at 44 with a base pay of about $74,000 a year. His pension is now $101,333 a year,”) which can certainly be cracked down on.  
 – early 90’s crank calling comedy group reference of the week: “Greece & The Jerky Boys.” Yeah – that’s my own link – it didn’t get enough love! RESPECT!
-least repentant accounting of the market’s function during the Flash Crash:  Taste_Arbitrage @ Stone Street Advisors.
“I keep hearing how terrible this event was, and if nothing is changed it could happen again. Oh no, what ever shall we do?! Here’s a thought, if you think the price of a security is too low and you think it’s insane that it doesn’t seem to have a bid, you should just go ahead and bid. That’s it. If the price is too low, pay it and make money.”
– David Merkel : “Two Experiments.”
“The Fed always delays trouble in the modern era.  Slow to tighten, quick to loosen.  No wonder that we built up a mountain of debt, because the Fed would always ride to the rescue of crises, but never let the pain settle in that would liquidate poor investments.
We need fewer banks, fewer homebuilders, and fewer auto companies.  But guess what we bailed out?  We bailed out the very things that were the least productive in our economy, and taxed those more productive to do so.  Monstrously dumb.
So when the market corrects because there has been no effective change in economic policy that would allow for elimination of bad debts, and shrinkage of bloated industries, we should not be surprised.  Government stimulus can only do so much.  The markets incorporate the stimulus, and they move on.  Those stimulated gain, and taxpayers/moneyholders lose, but the markets move on.”
 – Gold conspiracy theorists won’t like this one:  “Seriously, GLD is Not a Scam, but PHYS Might Be.”  I think the author has a factual error in her post which doesn’t really alter the point:  she claims PHYS cannot issue additional shares  – I believe that is false, and a reading of the PHYS prospectus backs up my thought.
-KD

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