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August 2009



Obamabubble in obamacare

August 27, 2009 – Comments (0)

The premise: healthcare spending currently stands at 16% of GDP. The task is to make it LESS than 16%. The constraint is to make sure that healthcare businesses receive NO LESS than 16%. Don't be a dope and don't say that your solution has run into certain logical difficulties. The yes we can solution does not have to obey the rules of formal logic. The yes we can solution consists of three parts. The first part is to claim the credit for reducing spending down from 16% of GDP. The second part is to claim the credit for leaving spending at 16% of GDP. The final part is to wash your hands and declare a victory. Hopefully by that time the stock market is going to double, at which point the healthcare reform can be described as completed.  [more]



What I would do with $2 trillion

August 26, 2009 – Comments (3)

That was the question posed by this recent article:  [more]



Mises paper: the list of errors continues

August 24, 2009 – Comments (29)

I am still reading what is supposed to be the ultimate proof but is really not ultimate and not a proof. So where did we stop last time? It was that thing about socialism piggybacking on the success of its rival.   [more]



"But he rid us of Gypsies"

August 24, 2009 – Comments (2)

Eugeny Schwarz, "The Dragon".  [more]



Soviet healthcare

August 21, 2009 – Comments (7)

This was going to be a reply to the "Socialist Medicine" post by whereaminow, but for some reason that post got deleted. The original article referred to by the poster is here: "".   [more]



Today is Mar 9 for bears

August 21, 2009 – Comments (9)

Today's action illustrates why it's always a bad idea to short the market. Let's take a hypothetical investor who bought S&P in Oct 9, 2007 exactly at the 1565 peak. By Mar 9 2009 he would reach the 666 trough and be down 57.5%. From Oct 2007 to Mar 2009 the index was paying a dividend yield of about 3% a year. The 54% overall paper loss is all that he was facing on Mar 9 this year.  [more]



Terrified of competition

August 20, 2009 – Comments (12)

The opponents of "socialized medicine" look like that boxer who calls his rival a weak girly man but then sh.ts his pants at the suggestion of being paired against him in a boxing match.  [more]



More comments on Mises's paper

August 19, 2009 – Comments (16)

Mises's paper ( is rather long, so one cannot refute all of his objections in a single post. Still, it is worth trying becuase the erroneous postulates of Mises seem to hold sway over a substantial segment of the economist community. As a disclaimer, this is NOT intended an as apology of Marxism, which is yet another erroneous theory that has failed the reality test; having said that, it was still a mistake on Mises's part to attack Marx where Marx was right. Let us now look at Ch. 2, entitled "The nature of economic calculation in the socialist commonwealth".  [more]



Voting with your feet often means a vote of confidence in the system

August 18, 2009 – Comments (4)

In the healthcare debate, opponents of the Canadian system have little else to do except to repeat that infamous "But they have lines" mantra. And of course we are presented with selective coverage of several hundred Canadians who cross the border to get treatment here. It goes without saying that HMO spimasters don't show us the inconvenient images of Americans going to Costa Rica to get treatment for 10% of the price, or the Eastern European immigrants combining a trip to their native country with a health care tour (I was one of those tourists, on at least two occasions). But these two opposite lines of trafic are very different in nature. The Americans going abroad are just choosing the cheaper option. There is really nothing to understand here. The Canadians choosing the more expensive, if quicker, option, is a more interesting phenomenon. It could mean disappointment with their current system, or else it could mean something entirely different.   [more]



That's Orwellian

August 10, 2009 – Comments (9)

The Treasury chief has just made a remarkable statement about raising the cap on federal debt: “It is critically important that Congress act before the limit is reached so that citizens and investors here and around the world can remain confident that the United States will always meet its obligations.”"  [more]



Russia is safer than California?

August 09, 2009 – Comments (4)

Apparently so, according to this paper. Moral of the story? The system of state and muni bonds needs a drastic revision, namely, investors should start demanding collateral for their bonds as a way to have some protection against deadbeat governors, deadbeat mayors, and deadbeat movie actors. "The annual cost of protecting holdings in Turkey’s bonds fell by half to $200,000 per $10 million for five years, or 200 basis points, sinking below New York City swaps for two weeks starting July 22, Bloomberg data show. Indonesia debt insurance dropped below Michigan the next day. Brazil swaps just had their biggest four-month slide ever. For China, protection is near the cheapest in a year. Eleven years after Russia defaulted, investors want less to insure its debt than California’s."   [more]

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