I get to have my taxes done by the accountant tomorrow. I am going to owe because I made out pretty well last year on the limited number of moves that I made. Paying taxes on money I made when it is done using after tax money I already paid on reminds me of a scene from an obscure film "Kidco". The set up is the owner of the all kid fertilizer business is taken to court on a charge of not paying sales tax on his product, which is horse manure. The lead kid represents himself and calls as a witness the man that sells hay and oats to his father to feed the horses that make the manure he uses as fertilizer. The exchange goes like this, but it is from memory so I may be off:
Kid: Mr. Jones, does my dad buy all his feed from your store?A funny film if you can find a copy.
Mr. Jones: Yup.
Kid: Does my Dad pay you sales tax on said items?
Mr. Jones: Yup.
Prosecutor: Your honor, the question is not whether the defendants father paid sales tax....(interrupted)
Kid: Good. Good. Your honor, you see all Kidco sells is manure, which used to be hay and oats! Don't you see!? We are getting taxed at both ends!!!
Court erupts with laughter.
New Earnings Guidelines
Market Ticker does a good job with estimating the hit to earnings and margins increased health care costs will have on stocks:
Consequences of Health Care: Valuations
Karl looks at AT&T, Caterpillar, and John Deere and sees a real hit. I cannot argue with his math, he is correct and two years ago I would have said "stock market will go lower". I am much smarter now.
What WILL happen (you read it here first) is that earnings will be reported as ex-health care costs. Just like inflation, ex-inflation is done. No material difference will be attributed to this and the market will accept that. Going further out in time, expect that when the government takes over the whole show companies will be allowed to go back and write off as tax credits what ever money they did lose on health care costs (much like the homebuilder tax credit gift). I am 95% sure of this prediction.
Housing Market Support: Enough is Enough Already
This section is going to be short both due to vampire film time constraints and my own interest in not getting so aggravated that I have to do 10 rounds on the heavy bag just to relax.
By now all should know that every housing support program is another tweak for the good of the banking system that has overextended itself to the point of insolvency on real estate loans gone bad. I have had it with all this crap. Can anything be done to penetrate the small circle jerk of fools running this show and point them towards another avenue? All the best writers and thinkers see what is going on and know this is not working and is terribly hazardous as well. The only people that like the current waste of capital are:
A.) The big banks
B.) The Academia Economists
C.)Some of the book wise, world lost economic writers like those found at the Calculated Risk blogroll, ok B and C are the same.
D.) Politicians that want to be seen as doing something, anything to help the poor souls in mortgage trouble
E.) All those lucky ones living payment free for years at a time while extend and pretend passes them by
Not much of a list. Pretty piss poor actually.
I will make it simple for anyone at the helm and I will use small words as not to confuse them:
Housing is still too expensive and has to fall further
So you know I am not a lone crazy nut on this, consider the following sage write ups over the past few days that make this point so clearly that there can be no debate as to what has to happen:
The Automatic Earth
There are plenty more.
My spotlight article for the night touches upon something I have discussed for some time: Why not bailout all stock market losses as well? Why is that different from housing? You know that answer; poor saps on the street got left holding the bag on stock rashes while the banks hold all the bad mortgage paper. Guess who is too big to fail and has the ear of the government? Not you, correct!:
What's Next? Is Obama Going To Protect Investors Against Loss In The Stock Market
The headline could read "Is Obama-Bush-Whomever" as I do not think that matters at all. Hilarious side by side comparison:
The Obama administration will announce a major new stock market initiative on Friday that will directly tackle the problem of the millions of Americans who lost money betting on stocks. The government will buy loans from stock brokerage houses at the current value of the stocks in an investor’s portfolio, in an effort to stabilize the stock market, people briefed on the plan said. The government will also increase incentive payments to stock brokers who loaned on margin to their investing clients and now assume some of the losses of those clients. And it will require those stock brokers to cover some of the losses of unemployed investors for a minimum of three months.Creepy!
OK, I made that up. But how is it different from this, which is real?
The Obama administration will announce a major new housing initiative on Friday that will directly tackle the problem of the millions of Americans who owe more on their houses than they are worth. The government will buy loans from investors at the current value of the house in an effort to stabilize the market, people briefed on the plan said. The government will also increase incentive payments to lenders that cut the principal of borrowers in modification programs. And it will require lenders to cut the monthly payments of unemployed borrowers for a minimum of three months.
The whole piece is a must read so please check it out.
Friday Night Entertainment
Enough down, let's get up!
I think every member of CONgress that passed the "Big Fu#king Deal" known as Health Care should get one of these T-Shirts:
A little while back some of us got to talking about swords, samurai swords to be exact, and reader Gawains pointed out a book titled "The Book of Five Rings" by legendary duelist master Miyamoto Musashi. I had of course heard of the man, but not the book. I read the translated version I picked up on Wednesday night and I can tell you this book holds many lessons that can be applied to all aspects of life. It is well worth your time. One of my favorite sections from the book:
The eyes are to be focused in such a way as to maximize the range and breadth of vision. Observation and perception are two separate things; the observing eye is stronger, the perceiving eye is weaker. A specialty of martial arts is to see that which is far away closely and to see that which is nearby from a distance.Great stuff.
Time to get your markers and your pencils!
"Permission to buzz the tower?"
"Negative ghost rider, the pattern is full!":
see more Lolcats and funny pictures
I would have won this round of "Wheel of Fortune":
What was the correct answer????
New "Predators" Film
The Robert Rodriguez film "Predators" figured to be a crappy film but based on the top cast they have and the trailer, I think this movie could be pretty good:
It is time to start the show; the curtain must go up!
I will lead off with a song I had never heard until Ilargi, writer of The Automatic Earth (you do read it don't you???) relayed it to me this evening. Check out the funky Comsat Angels and "Waiting for a Miracle":
Plenty of requests this week, so lets go Anon's (grab a name!) request for Flock of Seagulls and "I Ran":
"Hey, do you like Flock of Seagulls?"
"I can see you do!"
Another winning request, this one is Cheap Trick's "I Want You to Want Me":
I feel the need for hair band metal. You too? Great!
How about one of my favorite Motley Crue songs, and one of the their best, "10 Seconds to Love":
I guess two more should about cover it! What to play.....
Found a nice live Joan Baez version of "The Night They Drove Old Dixie Down", a song I like very much:
Lighters up! Last call and the lights go out! Well not really...you know what I mean.
Just to stretch the range here, I offer No Doubt (whom I have seen in concert, they rock!) and "Hey Baby". Just to make the record straight, after I dumped Gwen Stefani she ran off and married that actor on the rebound. No accounting for taste!:
Have a good night.