Hillary’s Missing Millions

The American Medusa (Is she about to speak--or club somebody with the mic?) [courtesy Google Images]

The American Medusa
(Is she about to speak–or club somebody with the mic?)
[courtesy Google Images]

Forbes magazine published an article entitled “The Mystery of Hillary’s Missing Millions”.

(Intriguing title, no?  Sounds something like an old Hardy Boys mystery.)

According to that Article,


“Since Bill and Hillary Clinton left the White House in 2001, they have earned more than $230 million.”

That’s about $15 million/year and over $1 million per month.

Note that, although Bill and Hillary left the White House in A.D. 2001, they (that is to say, Hillary) didn’t leave politics.

Hillary served as US Senator from New York from A.D. 2001 to A.D. 2009.  During that time the salary paid to a US Senator ranged up to $175,000.  During 8 years in the Senate, Hillary might’ve grossed about $1.4 million.

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People Persons

[courtesy Google Images]

[courtesy Google Images]

‘ll bet that I’ve been listening to debates and arguments about the meaning, nature and possible disabilities of the term “person” for 25 years.  Even after all of that commotion, the meaning and implications of the word “person” is still not precisely clear to me.

However, last night I was reading the Bill of Rights and realized that the key to understanding the constitutional concept of “persons” might be found in the Fourth Amendment to The Constitution of the United States.  That Amendment declares,


“The right of the people to be secure in their persons, houses, papers, and effects, against unreasonable searches and seizures, shall not be violated, and no warrants shall issue, but upon probable cause, supported by oath or affirmation, and particularly describing the place to be searched, and the persons or things to be seized.”


Note that the “people” have “persons”.  “Persons” are not “people’.  Instead, “persons” are attributes or capacities of “people”.  “People” are real and primary; “persons” are relational, derivative and/or secondary.

While it’s possible that each of the “people” has only one correlative “person,” I doubt that’s true.

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Bear, Bear! Please Stop Eating My Kayak!

Some people just don’t belong in the woods.

video   00:02:30


Posted by on October 2, 2015 in Humor, Video



The Fed Can Run, But It Can’t Hide

Heavyweight Champ Joe Louis "You Can Run, But You Can't Hide" [courtesy Google Images]

Heavyweight Champ Joe Louis
“You Can Run, But You Can’t Hide”
[courtesy Google Images]

Before declaring bankruptcy in 2008, Lehman Brothers was the fourth-largest investment bank in the US.  It’s bankruptcy nearly toppled the US and global economies and helped precipitate the “Great Recession”. 

When Lehman Brothers filed bankruptcy, its assets were only 3% greater than its liabilities.

Today, the Federal Reserve is the single largest central bank in the world.  It’s assets reportedly exceed its liabilities by only 1.3%—less than half of what Lehman Brother had when if filed for bankruptcy in A.D. 2008.  The Fed has much greater significance than Lehman Brothers and is operating with a much smaller “margin for error”. 

The Fed’s potential for causing trouble for the US and global economies is enormous. recently published an article with the peculiar title of “The global financial system is now resting on a margin of 1.3%.”

The article explained that,


“In 2008, the Federal Reserve’s entire balance sheet was just $924 billion.  And the total of its reserves and capital amounted to $40 billion, roughly 4.3% of its total assets.  Today the Fed’s balance sheet has ballooned to $4.5 trillion, nearly 5x as large.  Yet its total capital has collapsed to just 1.3% of total assets.

“The Fed’s total capital corresponds to the Federal Reserve’s ‘net worth’.  The value of the Fed’s assets needs to exceed their liabilities.”

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Maintaining Public “Confidence”–in What?

Over-Confidence is Dumb [courtesy Google Images]

Over-Confidence is Self-Delusional
[courtesy Google Images]

“confidence: . full trust; belief in the powers, trustworthiness, or reliability of a person or thing: We have every confidence in their ability to succeed. belief in oneself and one’s powers or abilities; self-confidence; self-reliance; assurance:”

self-delusion, noun:  the action of deluding oneself; failure to recognize reality.”he retreats into a world of fantasy and self-delusion”

If you’ve followed the news about the economy for even a brief amount of time, you’ve almost certainly read article after article where someone in a position of authority talks about the need to “maintain public confidence”.

Strangely, they never seem to say exactly what that “confidence” should be in.  Is it confidence in our leaders?  Confidence in our public-school-educated children as the “future of our country”?  Confidence in what?

Nevertheless, it appears to be economic gospel that, no matter what, in order to protect the economy, we absolutely must maintain public confidence!–in . . . something . . . .

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Government’s War Against Savers

Government Squeezes the Savings--and Independence--Out of People [courtesy Google Images]

Government Squeezes the Savings–and Independence–Out of People
[courtesy Google Images]

Reuters published “India’s ‘gold monetization’ scheme could have a big impact on global demand”.  According to that article:

“Last week the Indian government approved the so-called gold-monetization scheme . . . [by] creating a system in which Indians holding private gold will be able to deposit it at banks—and then earn interest on their bullion holdings.

The government plans to then make the deposited gold available to buyers across India. The aim is to reduce gold imports from outside the country, which run at nearly 1,000 tonnes yearly.

“India’s cabinet also approved a ‘gold bond’ program in which citizens will be able to buy interest-bearing bonds backed by gold, rather than owning physical gold.

Estimates are that private citizens across India hold tens or even hundreds of millions of ounces of gold—which could become available to the banking system, if the monetization program is well received.”


First, a metric ton weighs 2,200 pounds.  If India imports 1,000 metric tons of gold at $1,200 per ounce, they’re importing $42 billion worth of gold each year.

India’s current GDP is about $2 trillion per year. Thus, India currently spends 2.1% of its annual GDP purchasing more gold from foreign sources. That’s 2.1% (more or less) last year; 2.1% this year; 2.1% next year.  Note that US economists hope that the US economy will grow by 3% annually.  Compare that 3% hope to India’s 2.1% annual drag on their economy due to purchasing foreign gold.  You can see that 2.1% is a significant expense for an economy the size of India’s and cause for governmental concern.

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A Hard Choice: Inflation Kills the Dollar; Deflation Kills the Government

Inflation or Deflation? [courtesy Google Images]

Inflation or Deflation?
[courtesy Google Images]

“timmy” is one of this blog’s regular readers.  He recently posted the following comment on one of my previous blog entries:


“I’ve been hearing about the demise of the dollar for twenty years, as it continues to hit cyclical highs, with no end in immediate sight…. long term, sure, it must die. But not in the next year or three. There is no viable alternative– yet. Is gold saying inflation, as it continues multi-year declines…?? Wake up folks.”


I agree that the fiat dollar and the US economy have been amazingly resilient.  They’ve both defied fundamentals and reality for at least forty years.   In the 1990s, I was convinced that the whole system would collapse before A.D. 2000.  I was wrong.  Goes to show what I know.

Today, I look at the economic and monetary systems’ resilience with a sense of awe and resignation and ask, “Who is like unto the beast?”

But, beast or no beast, I remain convinced that the dollar’s goin’ down.  My prediction’s timing may be unreliable, but my notion of fundamentals still strike me as valid

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