All Posts Tagged With: "Wall Street Journal"

What’s Really Wrong With Today’s Government?

Brian NygaardIn the February 16th, 2010 Wall Street Journal, Gerald F. Seib wrote an article called Senate Woes Flag Wider Disease.  The premise of the article is that the center of the political continuum has been eroded and that the bridge historically connecting the left and the right is being dismantled.  He goes on to indicate that the result is a Senate without an ability to accomplish anything.  The Framers, along with many who have followed, have long-since understood the power of the majority in a democracy.  Accordingly, they have inserted safeguards against the potential “tyranny of the majority” that are now coming into clear view.  Mr. Seib also points to the rapidly expanding use, over the last twenty years, of filibusters and …


It’s About Freedom

row-of-us-dollar-signsArthur Brooks, at  The Wall Street Journal suggests that there’s a bit of a culture war going on about the future of capitalism.  The headline suggests that “The Real Culture War Is Over Capitalism “

There is a major cultural schism developing in America. But it’s not over abortion, same-sex marriage or home schooling, as important as these issues are. The new divide centers on free enterprise — the principle at the core of American culture.

I dare suggest Brooks in this quote, has this exactly backward.  He’s pointing at a symptom and labeling at the root cause. Not that I blame him, really.  It’s been so long since we’ve dealt with things on the level of principle that even the more learned among …


Getting The Constitution’s Attention

Next to the Holy Bible, the US Constitution is probably the most important document you will ever come in contact with.  Some may argue whether the Bible actually takes precedence, but that’s a discussion for another time.

But few would debate that that, in a world where we put aside our differences with regard to faith, the document hammered out in 1787 to replace the failing Articles of Confederation is the most important bullwork to protecting our liberties.

And yet, without the accepted social contracts that the Constitution implies we operate under, and the willingness of those who “lead” our nation to maintain the integrity of the purpose and protections the Constitution affords us, we would likely drift into chaos.  But as long as we …


The Treatment of Bush Has Been a Disgrace

The Wall Street Journal states the bloody obvious:

According to recent Gallup polls, the president’s average approval rating is below 30% — down from his 90% approval in the wake of 9/11. Mr. Bush has endured relentless attacks from the left while facing abandonment from the right.

This is the price Mr. Bush is paying for trying to work with both Democrats and Republicans. During his 2004 victory speech, the president reached out to voters who supported his opponent, John Kerry, and said, “Today, I want to speak to every person who voted for my opponent. To make this nation stronger and better, I will need your support, and I will work to earn it. I will do all I can do


Moral Hazard

If you’ve not read Daniel Henninger’s column in the October 2, 2008 edition of The Wall Street Journal, I encourage you to.  In this column, Mr. Henninger defines the term “moral hazard”, particularly as it relates to Wall Street, Fannie Mae and Freddie Mac, and Congress.  He writes:

Borrowers across America took a dive for low- or no-down-payment mortgages buoyed by the Federal Reserve’s low-risk interest rates. Wall Street sliced the mortgages thinner than prosciutto ham, ‘spreading risk’, and sold pieces all over the world, where, like magic, they seemed to fatten balance sheets. The deal was so win-win that Bear Stearns, Lehman, Merrill and the rest of the world’s mega banks engorged on their own product. It was as if the foie gras geese


Warren Buffett: Smarter Than Treasury

In an interview on CNBC television today, Warren Buffett disclosed that he wants to pursue buying some of AIG’s units.  This could reduce the impact of the AIG bailout on taxpayers since Berkshire Hathaway can help shore up some of the weaknesses in AIG as those units are integrated into Buffett’s empire.  According to Reuters:

Buffett said he expressed interest in buying parts of the giant insurer over the Sept. 13-14 weekend, when regulators and financial industry executives were holding emergency talks on problems that included the fate of Lehman Brothers Holdings Inc (LEHMQ.PK: Quote, Profile, Research, Stock Buzz), which filed for bankruptcy protection on Sept. 15.

Buffett’s current thought is to buy some of these units as they come …


Government Mortages: The New Balancing Act

Today US Treasury Secretary Henry Paulson announced plans for the new Federal Housing Finance Agency (FHFA) to take Freddie Mac and Fannie Mae into conservatorship.   The power to do this was provided in HR 3221 which was passed in July.

The move includes replacement of the CEO of both organizations, and an infusion of about $200 billion.  In return, the Treasury gets $1 billion in preferred stock from each company without providing the cash for it up front (I’m assuming this will work like a stock option).

From the Wall Street Journal:

It is unclear how much the government’s intervention will ultimately cost taxpayers. In exchange for agreeing to provide as much capital as needed to the companies as they cope with heavy losses on


Why Party Unity Matters

Democrats for decades have been struggling with the inner turmoil of diverse political positions which have kept their party from setting a course that all Democrats can get behind.  And this partly why that party has bled so many conservative Democrats to vote for Republican Presidents.

Obama has succeeded in achieving the role of presumptive Democratic nominee for President by keeping his message as vague as possible, by pandering to specific interest groups as needed, and by establishing who he is not.  But it is not clear what part of the party he really aligns with.

This week will definitely tell the tale of how well he can lead and influence the grassroots Democrats who will be attending the Democratic National Convention.  He’s already mentioned …


Swamp Stomper Alert: Pelosi’s Pickens

Nancy Pelosi Flexing Her MusclesIn this weekend’s Wall Street Journal, there is a report of an investment made by Nancy Pelosi and her husband.

They put somewhere between $50,000 and $100,000 into T. Boone Picken’s company, Clean Energy Fuels Corp.

At first blush, the relatively small amount (compared to millions of dollars in assets held by the Pelosis) would make most consider this to be a non-issue.  And by House Rules this is evidently not a conflict of interest. And besides, everyone can see that Natural Gas and Wind Energy are the future of America, right?

That shows you how well our politicians police themselves.

$50,000, $100,000, these are not small sums of money.  Mrs. Pelosi may bandy about billions of our tax dollars with little thought, and …


What A Week: Housing

By now you probably know that both Freddie Mac and Fannie Mae have had very poor quarterly reports.  Worse than expected.  And now we’re in for worse trouble.

Money is now expected to be tighter as we roll into the fall and home buying will continue to be slow due to the fact rates will be higher and people will be disinclined to borrow and therefore buy.

Don’t mind the fact that having the media and the industry simply telling the public that it’s bad probably causes a lot more people to sit on their hands.

With home prices as low as they are now, it’s the best time to buy.  The cost of money is already low and continues to be offset by the …


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