Perry Glasser

Archive for the ‘Wall Street Journal’ Category

BITCOIN IN WONDERLAND

In Business, Economics, EDUCATION, Finance, Personal Finance, Political Economy, Wall Street, Wall Street Journal on December 22, 2017 at 2:52 pm

“Curiouser and curiouser!’ cried Alice (she was so much surprised, that for the moment she quite forgot how to speak good English); ‘now I’m opening out like the largest telescope that ever was!”

Bitcoin Speculator

Bitcoin Speculator

Whenever Dollar$ believes the Bitcoin mania is safely dead, someone nibbles a few crumbs of Bitcoin Cake and we hauled back to Looking Glass Land where mad creatures believe strongly that “Jam yesterday, and jam tomorrow, but never jam today,” is an economic promise and not an explanation the White Queen offers Alice.

The Queen said. ‘The rule is, jam to-morrow and jam yesterday – but never jam to-day.’
‘It MUST come sometimes to “jam to-day,”‘ Alice objected.
‘No, it can’t,’ said the Queen. ‘It’s jam every OTHER day: to-day isn’t any OTHER day, you know.’

Beware of strange substances that are labeled Eat Me.

A Silicon Valley startup called Xapo is the White Queen of BitcoinLand.

If you think gains like these are sustainable or represent some sort of value, you must have been eating Alice’s cakes. Maybe you’ve got some of that jam from yesterday. You might also wish to contact Dollar$ who just happens to have shares in the Brooklyn Bridge he can be persuaded to sell to you, a once in a lifetime opportunity.

BTC-2010-lin

 

Xapo is headquartered in Hong Kong, safely away from pesky US regulatory agencies. Sure, they’ve got offices in California, but so does every other financial firm in the world. The Board of Directors boasts former bankers from Argentina and Brazil, not exactly world beaters for stable currencies.

Magic Beans

The bitcoin business proposition is like the story Jack and the Beanstalk. (When it comes to bitcoins, metaphors from fantasy and fairytales are unavoidable.) Give us your real cow, and we will give you magic beans! Overnight they will grow to the sky! When you get up there, you’ll probably encounter a voracious giant ! To survive the giant, you’ll need to be a thief and run like Hell! All you need is the heart of a thief!

The Xapo Proposition

Xapo claims to have constructed physical vaults, “the company says are in mountainous regions.” There are no physical coins, of course. What will be down there will be computers Xapo promises will never be connected to the Internet–you know, like your laptop with no wifi.  If so, that means an army of people doing data entry on a army of disconnected laptops, in mountainous regions that cannot be approached easily. The mountain locations are, naturally, top secret.

If this does not strike you as the premise of a James Bond plot to bring down the world currency markets, what does?

goldeneye_oddjob007_reloade

Bitcoin Security

Liquidity

The bottomless credulity of the cyber-community originates with vitamin deficiencies caused by a steady diet of cold pizza and Red Bull for breakfast, watching Goldfinger too many times, the conviction being that one can get rich without ever getting out of a chair, if armed with an unshakeable libertarian belief that the arms merchants, sex traffickers, and drug dealers MUST have an untraceable non-government issued currency for money laundering.

Bitcoin Banker

Bitcoin Banker

 

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ESCAPE THE STUDENT DEBT TRAP??

In Business, Economics, EDUCATION, Finance, Personal Finance, Wall Street Journal on June 14, 2014 at 10:04 am
St Milton, Nobelist  in Economics, Doyen of the Right.

St Milton, Nobelist in Economics, Doyen of the Right.

Finding new ways to pump money into education as Miguel Palacios seeks to do in today’s Wall Street Journal, is no more than leaning on the bicycle pump with greater vigor to inflate the tire. We saw it in real estate with substandard loans: now we are seeing it again with financial schemes that do little more than bleed profit from students ill-equipped to endure debt no matter how it is structured. Income-share agreements a la Milton Friedman will not rescue higher education until higher education rescues itself, and higher education will not rescue itself until it has incentive to do so. Friedman’s idea was fine, 5o years ago, but the pump today is attached to a balloon already stretched to contain trillions. How much longer can it inflate?

First, let’s address the proliferation of “professionalized” administrators whose experience of classrooms is nil, and let’s limit their compensation to a single-digit multiple of teaching personnel. We can do this at any US school accepting US money—which is all of them, public and private. Should any private school express horror, all it needs to do is stop accepting Federal funds in the form of student loans: then the Trustees can then pay a president anything they wish.  If it is good enough for Harvard, it is good enough for Oral Roberts University.

Second, let’s reconsider what we want higher education to be. Do we have the courage to stop equating “education” with “training?” Are our children empty vessels to be filled so they may take their places at the machine, or do we want to train our children to be thinking leaders?

Third, outsourcing job training to prospective employees has to stop. “Hit the ground running” is a metaphor drawn from images of troops dropped into combat from helicopters, but business leaders whose strategic horizons rarely extend beyond the next quarter have to close their copies of Sun Tzu and stop thinking of employees as conscripts. At these prices, youth will eventually not enlist. When that happens, business throughout America will go into a death spiral. Who will be buying the goods and services when an entire generation is already so underwater no one can borrow to buy houses and cars? Before we demand that youth borrow tens of thousands of dollars to mold themselves to a vision that business itself will discard in a heartbeat, and before telling laid-off employees to “retool,” let’s see the return of ad that read, “College grad wanted. Will train.”

Another productive college grad.

Another productive college grad.

Fourth, scrub campuses clean of cruise ship personnel, those pleasant folks who for 10 months each year deliver non-teaching services to students. They account for more payroll than all teachers. Can’t a campus go forward without offices devoted to diversity, racial and ethnic education, and the rest of the panoply of politically correct educational goals with no cognate in the real world? Can an academic year pass without barbecues, fairs, or Frisbee competitions?No wonder kids are lured into majoring in Women’s Studies or Conflict Resolution: they’ve gotten the notion that such careers exist.

Finally, for those of us who demand American employees be competitive and fear they are not, consider the long view on American education. Literacy meant mandatory education through 6th grade, then 10th grade, then 12th grade. Do we have the vision to acknowledge that American prosperity and security at this time requires a population that can access education through the 14th grade? Are we brave enough to say it? — education is an entitlement because it promotes a public, widespread good.

The question is not whether we can afford it, but whether we can continue to pretend that we cannot.

GAAP AND THE BUCCANEERS

In Business, Finance, Wall Street, Wall Street Journal on February 27, 2014 at 7:18 pm

buccaneerDollar$ readers know that Buccaneers are CEOs and other business leaders who freely roam the financial seas looting and plundering.
Like any good pirate, a CEO knows that rules are for other people.

According to today’s Wall Street Journal, “Last year, 542 companies said they determine compensation using financial measurements that differ from U.S. accounting standards.”

Why would anyone do that?

Bigger bonuses for top management, imbecile! Strip out operating costs and losses, and your company looks terrific–give yourself a few million of shareholder money!

PULL THOSE OARS. Aaaaargh!

Ah, to be  a Buccaneer on the high seas with a chest of ill-gotten booty!

General Accepted Accounting Principles (GAAP)???!!!!

WE DON’T NEED NO STINKIN’ RULES!

Karl Rove and the Walking Dead

In Economics, Economy, Rupert Murdoch, Wall Street Journal on February 16, 2013 at 12:27 pm
Karl Christian Rogue

Karl Rogue
No one knows what he was measuring.

Will someone please give Karl Rove a moment of clarity so he can finally grasp that his party lost?

Sorry, Karl, the bus left the station and you were not on it. Maybe you need new meds?  I offer the suggestion in friendship. Look around–you are in an office: that’s not the West Wing.

You have to stop practicing Zombie Politics.  Your ideas may be animated, but they are soulless, staggering, and only frighten children.

Rove and other Republican-hangers-on had a fair run for a generation, it is true. The Weasel Right waged successful class warfare by cooking up a stew of ideologies that garnered enough votes to elect a Parade of Stooges of the Rich able to parrot notions such as Trickle Down Economics without blushing.

Never mind that figures showed that the rich were getting richer, the poor poorer, and the heralded marginal investment that would be the engine of growth never materialized.

Cheek by jowl, the Christian Right, which might have been expected to heed Jesus Christ and engage in charity toward the poor and the weak, had been ushered into bed with the Weasel Right. The unnatural pairing saw a host of social issues that have nothing to do with social policy in a republic like ours become the bedrock of the Weasel Right coalition. Citizens know those issues were wearing thin.

Terrified of the Military

Weasel masquerading as a Mongoose

Lightning did not smite San Francisco, New York, Massachusetts, or other places that practiced tolerance and legalized same sex marriages. Americans lost no sleep worrying about the nice couple down the block who were  quietly committing sodomy in the privacy of their homes. Calls for smaller government rang more and more hollow beside calls for big government intervention in the bedrooms of Citizens.

If we cannot govern banks, at least we can monitor the uterus of a teenage girl in East St. Louis, right Karl?

For a professional weasel-apologist, there is no greater trauma than learning that the electorate is no longer buying last year’s bullcrap. Being a weasel-hanger-on is bad enough, but being a weasel with nothing to sell is a kind of death we would not wish on a zombie.

Karl!  It’s over.

On Valentine’s Day, Rove the Rogue and Weasel Hit Man did an analysis of President Obama’s State of the Union address. Since Rupert Murdoch’s Wall Street Journal would rather die than report good economic news while a Democratic Weasel is in office, the growing economy, the revitalization of housing, the uptick in merger and acquisitions, the record-high Dow Jones average, and other signs of four successful years of a presidency that saw Citizens voting for four more years of the same, they gave the Rogue some space to babble non-sequiturs.

Rove notes that Obama’s proposals were “liberal, stale, …, and often counterproductive.”

Well, geez, Karl, this is a speech, not legislation, and as soon as you get your head out of Weasel Fantasyland, may we hope you will notice that the President was re-elected by your fellow Citizens hoping for progressive change? That was a majority of your fellow citizens. That’s how our republic works.

Counterproductive? Well, yes, if you think the goal of government is to assist the Rich in destroying the Poor, Dollar$ supposes a liberal agenda would seem counterproductive.

Karl Rogue believes that Obama’s hope for good, middle-class jobs is a “flimsy” line; you’d think the guy was criticizing poetry. And he protests that anything positive in the past four years is “despite the Obama administration” an astonishing claim for a commentator who spent the first two years of the Obama administration claiming all good things were coming from the Bush administration. Some presidents are powerful; some muddle through. In Rogueland, results and reality matter far less than ideology. He also complains that Obama’s claim for deficit reduction is too high—an oddity insofar as Rogue doesn’t dispute that the reduction is, in fact, a reduction.

Best of all, while twisting in the wind trying to find an issue, any issue, Rogue lists the initiatives that will cost the richest nation on earth money (read “the Rich.”)

  • Subsidies for research into wind, solar, and geothermal power
  • Research into electric, biofuel, and natural gas powered cars
  • The redesign of America’s high schools
  • Mortgage relief (let’s get the poor out in the streets where they belong!)
  • Funds for mapping the brain
  • Fighting disease
  • Promoting advanced manufacturing
  • Federal aid for preschools

Oh the Horror!

Maybe American treasure would be better spent plundering public land for oil wells?

There are more, but Dollar$ grows weary of pointing out what Rogue seems to have missed:

THIS IS WHAT AMERICA WANTS!

 Puling notions of what we can, or cannot, afford mean only that Rogue and his ilk have different priorities.

Maybe they will find themselves a war to suck money from America? That usually works.

Eat the rich.

PITY THE WALL STREET JOURNAL!

In Business, Economics, Economy, Finance, Politics, Rupert Murdoch, TAXES, Wall Street, Wall Street Journal on February 11, 2013 at 7:56 pm

As Official Apologist for Buccaneers, The Wall Street Journal is suffering a bad case of the heebie-jeebies.  Owned by the wire-tapping Rupert Murdoch, the doyen of rumor and FOX News, the Journal of late has to endure nothing but the good news that contradicts what Buccaneers wish were true.

After all, how can the super-rich endure yet ever more humiliation, scraping by on mere millions.

Consider how Peggy Noonan and Karl Rove writhe in their columns. Rove, a Republican attack dog, on election night was so amazed that FOX had declared Obama had won the presidency, that he stormed into the news center’s datacenter.  He spins fantasies about how the GOP needs to persuade voters to cast ballots for candidates that have less than the best interests of their constituency in mind. Noonan, who writes brilliantly, seems unable to get her mind around the idea that the Reagan Revolution is over: the coalition of the Religious Right and the Rich has fallen apart because the rest of America favors Reproductive Rights, Gay Marriage, and all the other issues that would keep Big Government in America’s bedrooms while simultaneously demanding smaller government.

The Journal’s layout editors keep burying good news on interior pages. What else can they do? Admit that Murdoch’s agenda sucked, still sucks, and will suck in the future?

Let’s see, after 4 years in office, Obama was elected by a majority of Americans, not just a fluke of the Electoral College.  Nothing is more dear to the heart of Buccaneers than money, but at the Journal no one seems ready to admit that:

  • The Dow Jones is flirting with its all-time high,
  • America continues to create jobs, albeit slowly,
  • The Housing sector is coming to life,
  • The alleged rise in taxes is, in fact, the restoration of rates from long ago that were  lowered for an economic emergency by Bush—it’s time to restore normalcy,
  • Did we mention that the Bailout money Obama allocated at the beginning of his term has not only come back with a profit, but likely saved the jobs of hundreds of thousands of Americans?
  • ObamaCare is about to go into effect and will not bankrupt America,
  • We are out of one war and exiting another.
  • Oh…there has been no significant terrorist activity for years and Obama gave the order that killed Bin Laden.

Guess what, Rupert?  America is happy about such things.

buccaneer

DOYEN OF INDUSTRY

The Buccaneers are headed into the headwinds of Peace and Prosperity.  To get anywhere, they may have to turn around.