Thursday, August 6, 2009

Corruption and Unintended Consequences

Today's news has four examples of this. As government extends its tentacles into the affairs of private people and business, there is an inevitable increase in sleaze, favors, bribes and pain inflicted on innocent parties. This is why government intervention should be directed only at controlling the rich & powerful, and not at the behavior of the common man. Populist libertarianism is the way to get it right.

I. WSJ: "Former Louisiana congressman William Jefferson was convicted Wednesday of bribery schemes aimed at enriching him and his family in a trial that featured a freezer full of foil-wrapped cash in alleged bribe money. ... They accused Mr. Jefferson of essentially shaking down businessmen who would come to his office looking for help brokering deals in Africa. He served on a trade subcommittee."

II. WSJ: "Two University of Illinois trustees have resigned and a commission appointed by Gov. Patrick Quinn is expected Thursday to recommend that the remaining seven step down following charges that trustees eased admissions for hundreds of politically connected students."

III. WSJ: "Who doesn't like the government's "cash for clunkers" program? Your mechanic, for one. Owners of automotive repair shops say the program to help invigorate sales of new cars is succeeding at their expense." The Obama-Pelosi clique takes business from the working man to pay off the greenies.

IV: FT: Elevated from call girl to parliamentary candidate but then ostracised by those who feared she would reveal her secrets, Patrizia D’Addario’s story as the escort who went public about her night with Silvio Berlusconi has aspects of a soap opera. There is also a dark side to the experience of the 42-year-old single mother who sees herself as part of the “system” in Italy, where businessmen pay women to entertain politicians. “The system is like that. All of Italy functions like this,” Ms D’Addario says in a matter-of-fact way, speaking to the Financial Times."

So let's stop it. Use government only to control the growth in power of the ruling classes. History proves that such excess growth eventually destroys a country. Last evening I read another example of this, viz. ancient Sparta. The growth in its aristocracy after 400 BC led to fewer and fewer Spartan soldiers and citizens, so that eventually it succumbed to outside enemies. Similar forces caused the downfall of Byzantium and numerous other empires.


I sold JPM in Fido Fund yesterday, getting a bit over 41 and an 85% gain. My reasoning ? I see it now as simply following the market up or down. The easy money is made in that name, in my "humble" opinion. I speculate for the easy money and otherwise let my asset allocation Krypto Fund do the work. When a stock gets close to fair value, I let is go and keep the cash to look for the next "screaming buy"

Word of the Day

"Purblind" - adjective [$10] from the card file
Purblind means lacking in vision, insight or understanding.
Sentence: Is any group of people more purblind than Congress ?

Verbum Diei

"Nihil" - noun, indeclinable
Nihil means nothing.
Sententia: [Imagine Sgt. Shultz of that great TV show, Hogan's Heroes, as a Roman centurion] Nihil video.
Senttence: I see nothing.


Bud said...


atta boy Bman.............beefer style

long term long only investing indeed

Bud said...


'nailed it' 'high five'

118 to 150 a.....

danke vielmals jim !!!!!!!!!!!!!!

Bunkerman said...

For variety, here's Polish for that danke veilmals:

Dziękuję bardzo.

[just use 'e' for the ę, it will be understood.]

mfl59 said...

Lets go Yankees lets go!!!!

Its our time baby!!!!!!

Bud said...

BX makin very positive comments.........assetsundrmanagementgoin up..........ipo's in the pipeline

Bman you still think 'private equity is not an asset class' ??


Bunkerman said...

Oh Bud, private equity is ... equity. It's just part of the entire equity asset class.

Private equity could be a amall part of a big equity portfolio, but one should realize that most of the purported profits just come from leverage and additional risks.

So why bother to think about it ?

BX just charges big fees for what's really a tax leverage scam relying on hope the public markets will overpay in the eventual IPO.

One is better off investing such money in venture capitial.

Bunkerman said...

all that "asset class" nonsense re hedge funds and private equity and commodities is just bs to fool the pension managers into putting money in those areas.

sort of like, "boob bait for the bubbas"

Bud said...

no it's not nonsense

in fact i find your 'this is not an asset class' a bunch of thumping tosh

pension fund managers have a fiduciary responsibilty to maximize returns for their retirees........if it requires trading lumber be it

Bunkerman said...

that isn't true, Bud. You don't know what you're talking about.

Their principal duty is to not lose money making stupid investments.

Bud said...

oh ok Bman

speakin of stupid..... is that your polite way of callin me stupid ???

Bunkerman said...

nope. No one who can make a living trading is stupid.

mfl59 said...

Stupid is as stupid does Buddy....

Bud said...

listen ace

your a f'ng make me sick

PS.......ace prolly wearin a joba jersey tonite

Bud said...

let me repeat how i feel about the yankees

all yankee fans are scum sucking cockroach lowlife douchebags

and their wive and girlfriends and mistresses and sisters and daughters and mothers and grandmothers are gonorrhea infected whores

Bunkerman said...

now as for ignorance ...


Bunkerman said...

In my "populist" thining, the money for the SEC settlements with BAC, GE, etc. should come out of executive bonus pools.

Bud said...

that's a dangerous path Bman

so if a company emplyee makes a mistake .....take it from his salary ???

i don't like that

Bunkerman said...

"mistake" ???



doctoring earnings to get higher bonus is a "mistake" ?

misleading stockholders before a vote is a "mistake"

And who already paid big moneny for those lies ?

the stockholders.