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Thursday, April 25, 2013

• • Goldenfreude? How About Bankenfreude 
,
Capitalism  | In my view, productivity is most effectively and durably enhanced at an imaginary "sweet spot" between radical laissez faire (think Ayn Rand) and communal ownership (Marx).

Sunday, January 06, 2013

• • Tesla Motors And Solar City Have Innovative Financing Models 
,
Atlas Shrugged  |Capitalism  | We believe that Elon Musk is what Ayn Rand's John Galt would be if Galt was willing to work under the orders of Dr. Floyd Ferris from the State Science Institute. We are impressed with the innovative financing models that each firm utilizes, its absolutely remarkable that Musk has been able to get the government and his customers to provide nearly 65%-100% of the debt financing for these companies. However we are not impressed with the idea of investing in Tesla and SolarCity considering that electric cars and solar energy are extremely uneconomical relative to the proven models for automobiles and energy generation.

Saturday, December 01, 2012

 Frankenstorm 'The Not-So-Black Swan': Climate As The New Risk Variable 
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Certain investors' financial interests are adversely affected by the conclusions to which climate science points. The implications of climate science were easy enough to dismiss as long as real-time dislocations were minimal; most people can't imagine the future until it washes over them. One could ask whether the attempt to manipulate climate science for personal gain is fair game in the Ayn Rand-ian world view, but we won't.

Tuesday, May 24, 2011

• • Economic Outlook for 2011: Yes, It’s Dismal Science, Why Do You Ask? (Part I) 
,
Alan Greenspan  |Capitalism  | Alan Greenspan really is a Randite, a follower of Ayn Rand. He really does believe that it is a bad thing to infringe your freedom and protect you from yourself. He really is the kind of person who thinks that it is bad for you if the government keeps you from making stupid investments that cost you all your money. You can ask him - “do you think there should be guardrails on the ledge of the Grand Canyon?” - and he might well say no, that there should be warnings, but if grown-ups wish to venture too close to the crumbling edge, they are grown ups, and should not be treated like children.

Sunday, May 01, 2011

 ETFs That Fight Inflation and Dollar Devaluation Earn ‘Street’ Credibility 
,
Atlas Shrugged  | For Atlas Shrugged fans, “Who is John Galt?” is the catch-phrase that unites proud producers around the country.

Thursday, March 31, 2011

 Greenspan’s regulatory fatalism 
,
Alan Greenspan  |Capitalism  | Ayn Rand and the “invisible hand” are back and living in Greenspan’s brain.

Sunday, January 23, 2011

• • Plug-in vehicle subsidies: Taxing Peter to buy Paul’s new car 
,
At this juncture I’m not sure which thought is most apropos, Everett Dirkson’s quip, “a billion here, a billion there, and pretty soon you’re talking real money;” Ayn Rand’s bleak warning that “No private embezzlers or bank robbers in history have ever plundered people’s savings on a scale comparable to the plunder perpetrated by the fiscal policies of statist governments;” or the bandit Calvera’s self-absorbed arrogance in The Magnificent Seven, “If God didn’t want them sheared, he would not have made them sheep!”

Tuesday, December 21, 2010

 The scariest thing about Bernanke 
,
Greenspan was once a proponent of the gold standard, as he famously outlined in Gold and Economic Freedom, an essay he wrote in 1966 for Ayn Rand’s objectivist newsletter. [....] Greenspan’s philosophy clearly changed over time as he adopted a more pragmatic, bank-friendly approach.

Friday, November 05, 2010

 Griftopia: Bubble machines, vampire squids, and the long con that is breaking America 
,
Capitalism  | Interview with Matt Taibbi.
[Q:] In your new book Griftopia, you talk about how Wall Street and Washington have ironically got middle class America to support their agenda. How is this happening? Will it last? [A:] The Grifters have been getting people to support Wall Street’s political agenda by seducing them with a [Ann] Randian and pseudo-libertarian ideology. It’s always been around, but it’s just reaching a fever pitch now. And it’s the only way ordinary people can be convinced to endorse a deregulatory agenda. I think it’s going to last.

Saturday, August 14, 2010

 Sell gold now: Divergences in buying patterns suggest top 
,
Capitalism  | My obsession with gold began to drift into the ideological, and I became a “true believer”, convinced that gold “had” to rise in value due to Clinton’s social spending and foreign wars…and then due to Bush’s social spending and foreign wars…and then due to Alan Greenspan’s loose hands on the printing presses…and then due to the fact that the Chinese would be dumping dollars any day now… I even started reading Ayn Rand and then Murray Rothbard. [....] Sometime in the mid-2000s, I got burned out with ideology.

Thursday, April 08, 2010

 Batter up! 
,
Atlas Shrugged  | I saw on the TV yesterday that Borders (BGP), a bookseller, was up 46% on better-than-expected sales. That sort of response to good news reminds me more of the turn-of-the-century bubble than of the fear-and-loathing of 2008. I assume that most of the positive variance came from sales of Atlas Shrugged and constitutional law books, but still…

Thursday, March 18, 2010

 FPD Forum 2010: Inconvenient truths on the future of finance 
,
Capitalism  | Eugene Fama and other Chicago economists say there is no such thing as a bubble. Maybe Ayn Rand wrote this someplace too, thus persuading Greenspan?

Tuesday, January 26, 2010

• • Glass-Steagall redux: A gift to M&A bankers? 
,
Ayn Rand Institute  |Atlas Shrugged  | Sales of Atlas Shrugged by Ayn Rand are skyrocketing. In its January 21, 2010 press release, the Ayn Rand Institute cites that more than seven million copies of this 1957 novel have been sold. The premise of this international best-selling book is that captains of industry who create wealth walk away from those who take, leaving the city of Gotham in the dark, unable to survive.

Sunday, November 22, 2009

 Book review: Financial Reckoning Day Fallout 
,
Capitalism  | I knew [Alan Greenspan] had libertarian leanings when he began his career, but did not realize the extent to which he was a disciple of Ayn Rand and hard money. It was eye opening to see [ in the book Financial Reckoning Day Fallout] how much the political world corrupted Greenspan's views - which were reinforced by the seeming success he was having in "guiding" the economy to steady booms and soft landings.

Wednesday, November 18, 2009

• • 7 steps towards real free market capitalism 
,
Capitalism  |Inaccurate  | Milton Friedman and Ayn Rand are no longer around to argue for their vision of free market capitalism. Instead, we only hear alarmist libertarian rantings of Ron Paul or populist sloganeering to “keep the government out of our business”, providing no clear direction for what changes should take place. We need a renewed focus on the ideas of individual choice championed by Friedman and Rand. Both argued for a free market system built by entrepreneurship and small business and against abuse of power by “robber baron” CEOs. Government’s role in their eyes should be limited to police, defense, and the legal system. The importance of a market system following enforced rules is critical.

Friday, September 18, 2009

 CEOs, boards and management: Welcome to club crony 
,
Capitalism  | In response to my recent criticisms of Carol Bartz, her management team, and board at Yahoo! (YHOO), I've had some people ask me "How can you be against management? Don't you support business and capitalism?" When did it become assumed that anyone pro-management was pro-capitalist and anyone pro-shareholder rights was pro-socialist? When I respond that I'm a free market capitalist in the vein of Milton Friedman and Ayn Rand, they seem surprised. I suppose they think that any CEO or executive would be a supporter of Friedman's conservative views - not a pro-shareholder person.

Saturday, September 05, 2009

 Pfizer: How to win or lose the lottery 
,
It would be sweet for [Pfizer] Chairman Mr. Jeffery Kindler to order the check [to pay a fine for "off-label" drug marketing] delivered by courier to the Justice Department. Next Monday, double the price off all drugs to the government and all prescriptions paid by any government program. If you have not read “Atlas Shrugged” Mr. Kindler, I will send you a copy.

Thursday, August 27, 2009

• • Bernanke being rewarded for failure 
,
Ayn Rand wrote, "when you see corruption being rewarded and honesty becoming a self-sacrifice - you may know that your society is doomed." America is not doomed, but the fellows in Washington are pushing for that outcome.

Saturday, July 18, 2009

 Book review: Barry Ritholtz’s ‘Bailout Nation’ 
,
Capitalism  | Although Mr. Ritholtz singles out the government's 1971 Lockheed Martin bailout, which he believes paved the way for other taxpayer-backed boondoggles, he places much of the blame on the banking sector and the Federal Reserve. His scorn for former Federal Reserve chairman Alan Greenspan is palpable. Mr. Ritholtz believes Greenspan actively aided and abetted the financial and housing bubbles when his job was to prevent bubbles, not make them. (As Charlie Munger once said, "Greenspan overdosed on Ayn Rand.")

Monday, May 18, 2009

 The strange death of American capitalism: A review of ‘Bailout Nation’ by Barry Ritholtz 
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Capitalism  | Any good story needs a top-notch villain and in Bailout Nation, it’s a certain Randian jazz musician named Alan Greenspan.