Nov 27, 2009

Antony Herrey on the coming collapse in Dubai (2008)

Having experienced my fair share of severe down cycles over more than four decades as a real estate developer and investor, the extravagant reports emanating from the Emirates over the past decade or more of islands created in the sea, mile-high skyscrapers in the desert, artificial ski slopes under glass, endless new quantities of unsold condominiums overlooking the Gulf, and the like foretold for me one of the most spectacular collapses of any bubble bust in the long history of excessive speculation. This could not possibly end, it seemed to me, without a horrendous downturn that would turn many of these new monster structures into empty ruins.

~ Antony Herrey, Austrians in Finance chat group, October 20, 2008

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Nov 26, 2009

H.L. Mencken on the Puritans

It’s too bad Plymouth Rock didn’t land on the Puritans.

~ H.L. Mencken

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Nov 25, 2009

Lyndon B. Johnson on government waste

I believe the Congress and the American people approve my goals of economy and efficiency. I believe they are as opposed to waste as I am. We can and will eliminate it.

~ President Lyndon B. Johnson, speech to Congress in 1965

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Nov 21, 2009

New EU president on world government

The climate conference in Copenhagen is another step towards the global management of our planet.

~ Herman von Rompoy, new president of the European Union, "New EU Head Blatantly Admits the Goal of One World Government," blog, November 21, 2009

Nov 18, 2009

Charles Goyette on American cronyism

America’s national government has moved way beyond a political spoils system. A spoils system leaves the host alive so that a politician’s occasional ne’er-do-well brother-in-law can be put on the payroll. America has become a piñata: everybody gets a crack at it. Presidents and other elected officials pass the big stick around as a reward to those who help keep them in charge of the piñata party. The American media plays the role of the party’s mariachi bank, keeping festive spirits high. And the people in their demographic and interest groups all line up to take a whack at the goodies. America has become a piñata.

~ Charles Goyette, The Dollar Meltdown

Ben Bernanke on identifying bubbles

It is inherently extraordinarily difficult to know whether an asset’s price is in line with its fundamental value. It’s not obvious to me in any case that there’s any large misalignments currently in the US financial system. The best approach here if at all possible is to use supervisory and regulatory methods to restrain undue risk taking and to make sure the system is resilient in case an asset-price bubble bursts in the future.

~ Ben Bernanke, Federal Reserve chairman, “On the Outlook for the Economy and Policy," NY Economic Club, November 16, 2009

Nov 11, 2009

Ken Fisher: 1,300 on the S&P 500

It’s just a reversal of excessive pessimism. We still have a lot more bull market to go because we had such a huge bear market.

The economy is not recovering at a slow pace. America is faster than people think. Third-quarter GDP numbers knocked the socks off of expectations.

~ Ken Fisher, "Billionaire Fisher Sees S&P 500 Above 1,300 as Economy Recovers,", November 10, 2009

(Ken Fisher predicted the S&P 500 would reach 1,300. It closed at 1,093.08 on the day of the interview with Bloomberg.)

Nov 10, 2009

Friedrich Hayek on crises and liberty

Emergencies have always been the pretext on which the safeguards of individual liberty have eroded.

~ Friedrich Hayek

Nov 4, 2009

Blaise Pascal on war and collateral damage

Can any thing be more ridiculous than that a man has a right to kill me because he dwells the other side of the water, and because his prince has a quarrel with mine, although I have none with him?

~ Blaise Pascal, Pensees, IV (1670)

Nov 3, 2009

Charles Gasparino on the fate of Goldman Sachs in 2008

If it weren't for a government bailout they were done.

~ Charles Gasparino, author, The Sellout, as appeared on CNBC, November 3, 2009

Nov 1, 2009

Emerson on the corruption of language

The corruption of man is followed by the corruption of language.

~ Ralph Waldo Emerson, Nature, Chapter 4, Language

John Milton on the corruption of language

When language in common use in any country becomes irregular and depraved, it is followed by their ruin and degradation.

~ John Milton