Ferguson’s Post-Riot Solution: Hike Fines

Posted on December 22, 2014

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Ferguson, Missouri, which is recovering from riots following the August shooting death of an unarmed black teenager by a white policeman, plans to close a budget gap by boosting revenue from public-safety fines and tapping reserves. The strategy by the St. Louis suburb, which suffered a second round of violent protests last month after a […]

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NASA’s Latest Boondoggle: Blimps Over Venus

Posted on December 22, 2014

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Why weather the bone-chilling rocky surface of Mars when you could call the clouds of Venus’s earth-like upper atmosphere home? That’s the question posed by a NASA project that envisions a future where humans might live in solar-powered airships 31 miles above Earth’s nearest neighbor. Dubbed the High Altitude Venus Operational Concept (HAVOC) the project […]

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Blaming the Geezers, Not the State

Written by Gary North on December 22, 2014

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The prestigious Financial Times offers an explanation for the West’s pessimism.  It blames aging. It does not blame Keynesianism. It does not blame a loss of faith in the idea of progress, a factor that Robert Nisbet warned against in the Epilogue to his great book, History of the Idea of Progress (1980). It does […]

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Mortgage Rate: 3.8% for 30 Years

Written by Gary North on December 19, 2014

mortgage-rates

The rate of price inflation (median CPI) was up a tiny 0.1% last month.   The CPI was down by -0.3%. The 30-year mortgage rate is at 3.8% There is no “inflation premium” in the mortgage rate today. This sends a signal: “Don’t worry about price inflation. Lend!” This will prove to be a misleading signal […]

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The FED’s Christmas Present to Big Banks

Posted on December 19, 2014

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WASHINGTON — Christmas came early for Wall Street this year. The Federal Reserve on Thursday granted banks an extra year to comply with a key provision of the Volcker Rule, a move that gives financial lobbyists more time to kill the new regulation before it goes into effect. The Volcker Rule is a key element […]

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KleptoBots “Steal” the Best Online Deals

Posted on December 19, 2014

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Everyone knows the story of how the world wide web made the internet accessible for everyone, but a lesser known story of the internet’s evolution is how automated code—aka bots—came to quietly take it over. Today, bots account for 56 percent of all website visits, says Marc Gaffan, CEO of Incapsula, a company that sells […]

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“Pay Us to Hold Your Money” — Swiss Central Bank

Written by Gary North on December 19, 2014

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The Swiss National Bank has announced that if you buy Swiss francs, you must pay a rate of interest. This is a negative interest rate. Why did the SNB do this? To persuade foreigners not to buy Swiss francs. Why? To keep the value of the Swiss franc low. This is mercantilism, pure and simpleton. […]

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