Don Bauder Aug. 22, 2012 @ 11:28 a.m.

Actually, I have raised my stake in equities quite a bit. They are now about 37% of my portfolio, up from 10% in 2003. But I am only buying blue chip stocks with excellent yields (mostly more than 4%). Incidentally, today was another example of what this column suggests. The Dow was down around 65 to 70 when it was revealed that the Fed had discussed QE3 (another squirt of liquidity) at its last meeting. The Dow immediately cut its losses more than in half and Nasdaq turned to the upside for the day. My interpretation is that Wall Street knows that any suggestion of more liquidity will turn the high frequency traders to the bullish side; also, some other fast-buck traders, such as on bank trading desks, will also respond to such news, pushing stocks up. Once again, I must remind people that the Fed has no mandate to manipulate the stock market. It is supposed to be concerned only with inflation and employment. But ever since 1987, the Fed has been intrigued by its own ability to run stocks up. On Wall Street, it's known as the "Bernanke put," just as the earlier manipulation was known as the "Greenspan put." Even though I have profited greatly from this central bank strategy, I think it is utterly deplorable. It worsens income inequality greatly and does nothing for unemployment. Now, the Fed should be concerned about jobs, not about running up stocks. Best, Don Bauder


nokomisjeff Aug. 23, 2012 @ 9:15 a.m.

How much tax revenue would a transaction (Robin Hood) tax really raise? Some think none. http://www.forbes.com/sites/timworstall/2012/06/20/the-stupidity-of-the-robin-hood-tax-reaches-america/ Such a tax would kill liquidity, especially at the market maker level. It would not be economical for market makers to be in the middle, the bid/ask spreads would widen, and liquidity and volume would go elsewhere. Studies have shown that alpha increases when transaction taxes are added. But you mention "without miniscule commissions".....Members of the NYSE never had to pay commissions, that's why they bought their seats in the first place, to get a crack at the inside market, pay no commission, buy at the bid and sell at the ask. Even if we had regulated commissions like the old days, HFT could still exist, if it was the exchange members doing it. And you talk about lightning fast trading by big bank trading desks.....I thought that Dodd-Frank stopped big bank trading desks from speculating.....maybe I was wrong???? Then you offer the canard that much trading would shift offshore, but much would stay home. What % would go offshore? What would the dark pools do? What about the electronic exchanges? How would a transaction tax affect an IPO?


ImJustABill Aug. 23, 2012 @ 1:31 p.m.

I think the "Robin Hood" term for a transaction tax is a big misnomer. To me "Robin Hood" implies the primary intent of the tax is to sharply redistribute wealth from the upper classes to the middle and/or lower classes. The proposed 75% income tax rate in France is an example. I think the transaction tax is more specifically geared to curb one particular activity - the way that cigarette taxes are designed to curb smoking.


ImJustABill Aug. 24, 2012 @ 11:37 a.m.

"I swear by my life, and my love of it, that I will never live for the sake of another man, nor ask another man to live for mine." - John Galt in Atlas Shrugged by Ayn Rand.

Lots of people believe in the first part of that pledge. Not too many believe in the second.

Ayn proposed a moral code which is more than just purely take whatever you can get by any means. However, very few leading traders or Wall Street executives truly believe in the entirety of Ayn Rand's moral code. If the leaders on Wall Street believed in the pledge above then they would have adamantly refused any bailouts.


nokomisjeff Aug. 24, 2012 @ 7:31 a.m.

"The symbol of all relationships among [rational] men, the moral symbol of respect for human beings, is the trader. We, who live by values, not by loot, are traders, both in matter and in spirit. A trader is a man who earns what he gets and does not give or take the undeserved. A trader does not ask to be paid for his failures, nor does he ask to be loved for his flaws. A trader does not squander his body as fodder or his soul as alms. Just as he does not give his work except in trade for material values, so he does not give the values of his spirit—his love, his friendship, his esteem—except in payment and in trade for human virtues, in payment for his own selfish pleasure, which he receives from men he can respect. The mystic parasites who have, throughout the ages, reviled the traders and held them in contempt, while honoring the beggars and the looters, have known the secret motive of their sneers: a trader is the entity they dread—a man of justice" Ayn Rand


Don Bauder Sept. 12, 2012 @ 8:47 a.m.

Gee, you sound just like the cheerleaders at the U-T, Centre City Development Corp., and other downtown boosters who are hogging all the money downtown and applauding further neglect of infrastructure and neighborhoods. Hooray for you! Best, Don Bauder


Joaquin_de_la_Mesa Sept. 25, 2012 @ 11:07 a.m.

I find the kill-the-messenger tone in many of these comments (maria52 particularly) to be disturbing. Your idea of what makes a friend -- someone actually used the term BFF -- is so high-school.

For a year, this courageous young author tried hard to help "Kelly" get started on the path of recovery. Kelly chose to leave that path... repeatedly. Finally, the author decided that, for her own health and Kelly's, she had to break the cycle. I.e. she grew up and realized that an addict has to hit bottom and admit powerlessness over the addiction, then choose to get help. That being a high school BFF isn't really love... it's enabling.

The subtext in all of this is the fact that GregInTheStory and Kelly's mom were divorced some time in Kelly's childhood. Look in the mirror, Greg. You and Kelly's mom are the ones who betrayed Kelly.


SurfPuppy619 Sept. 20, 2012 @ 4:49 p.m.

I think the story is an excellent cautionary tale. Mix drugs, alcohol and bad people together and this could happen. As for connecting the dots, how many people on the face of the planet knows the writer, and how many of them know the writers BFF??? Not very many, probably just a handful.


joepublic Sept. 25, 2012 @ 3:42 p.m.

Why did the public have to wait until the wee hours of the morning for this? What was the need for negotiating through dinner, and a half a normal night's sleep? Couldn't the board have passed out the proposed contract to the public, recessed, and returned another day to receive input as well as give themselves a fresher look at the proposal? The answer is this school board has absolutely no respect for the public, and the deal was probably done from the start. It is really a shame that these three board members -Cartmill-Ricasa-McCann- are not up for re-election in November. If they were, they certainly wouldn't have so boldly shown their contempt for the people they are supposed to represent.


SurfPuppy619 Sept. 25, 2012 @ 6:46 p.m.

This why this state and every muni/school district in it is so screwed up. WHY would the give a buy out clause AT ALL-in THIS ECONOMY?????????? Why $250K cash salary in THIS ECONOMY???????????/ The dorks who voted for this clown should be RECALLED.


justateacher Sept. 25, 2012 @ 7:34 p.m.

Brand has to unretire in order to accept his contract. So, he will not be continuing to collect his pension. However, Eastlaker is correct in that adding two more years to his service will ultimately increase his overall retirement.


Javajoe25 Sept. 26, 2012 @ 9:24 a.m.

Definitely the end of an era. I remember going through those clanging turnstiles, thinking that clanging is a warning bell there to remind you, you are entering a place where the rules are very different, and there may not even be any rules at all. Loved it, and walked even faster. Can't wait to see the result of all these changes.


getdave Dec. 12, 2012 @ 1:37 p.m.

Where are the drug charges and fraud for using public assistance money to buy methamphetamine? Why is this even possible? This woman has three small children in the house, admitted to using probably the most dangerous of drugs, and she walks? Give me a ****ing break! Where is CPS? This story should be not about a murder, but how the government contributes to drug use, murder and child endangerment by allowing a system where public assistance moneys can easily be used to buy dangerous drugs.


SurfPuppy619 Dec. 12, 2012 @ 2:09 p.m.

Shaquita Martinez, 28, was granted immunity by the district attorney’s office in exchange for her testimony at a preliminary hearing October 18, 2012

This slimeball crackhead set the ball in motion for a murder, she belongs in PRISON. That she would get an immunity deal on a murder beef shows how broken the system is, ala a banana republic.

The ONLY reason this loser has $300 to spend METH to begin with was b/c she is a gov leech sponging off the taxpayers......


Visduh Dec. 13, 2012 @ 8:47 p.m.

Go back and read the account, and you get a microcosm of what goes on in the Barrio/drug culture in the county. Public money squandered on meth, neglected kids, a circle of boyfriends who are all losers and a mother of three who is a big-time loser herself.


SurfPuppy619 Dec. 22, 2012 @ 5:54 p.m.

The owners?? Because the gov allows idiots to own dominant breed dogs, just as they allow idiots/crack heads to have babies. It is not the dog, it is the owner.


Wabbit Dec. 27, 2012 @ 2:16 p.m.

From Vince's post above: "The owner of the dog should right that lady's Commanding Officer a long letter. When I was in the navy, my job was working in the admin office. When a company or person writes the Commanding Officer, some sort of action would be taken, or she would be put on notice. The Navy does not like its people getting into trouble, owing money and not paying their bills."

I agree with this wholeheartedly. I think the Navy should be notified --with the woman's name, they can find her, and "encourage" her to make this right as well as relinquish the animal. I think she should relinquish any other animals she has at this time, too.


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