All in Economics

The Real Rialto

However, that’s not what Rialto is (or was) at all.  Rialto Capital Advisors conducted  day-to-day management and workout of 3.05 billion in loans the Federal Deposit Insurance Corporation (FDIC) received after it closed down banks during the financial crash.

Dimwit Minimum Wage Logic

If Bernie were paying attention, there is a minimum wage experiment going in real time in Venezuela right now.  Sure, there’s some serious money printing going on there and plenty of socialist schemes to keep the shelves empty.  However, the fact there’s nothing to buy hasn’t kept Venezuelan president Maduro from hiking that country’s minimum wage 24 times since 2013 when he took office.  

Tariffs to Socialism

Trade wars create winners and losers, at home and abroad.  American consumers lose, as the prices are hiked while capital and labor are misallocated. This makes everyone, over time, poorer--even the tier two real estate developer.

Trump Channels Tricky Dick

There’s plenty of blather that Trump is breaking with presidential norms by criticizing Jerome Powell’s rate hikes, but, the Donald is merely channeling Richard Nixon.  When Nixon appointed Arthur Burns to be Fed Chair in October of 1969, Burns was soaking up the applause during the announcement of his appointment when Nixon broke in, saying, “You see, Dr. Burns, that is a standing vote of appreciation in advance for lower interest rates and more money.” Later, in private, Nixon told his new Fed Chair, “You see to it: no recession”

Tax Evasion: Goooooaaaallll!

Ronaldo and Messi take elaborate steps to keep money they’ve earned away from the government of Spain. Bagus and his colleagues point out the benefits of their actions.  “Lacking a removal or reduction in tax levels, evasion will allow for an at least partial reinstatement of individuals’ rights of association, with resultant improvements in ethical considerations as well as economic efficiency.”

Merger Malinvestment

The primary problem is size itself. Ludwig von Mises explained that socialism doesn’t work because there was no market to determine prices and thus calculate how resources should be used. Behemoth companies are no more immune than government bureaucracies.  

Tariffs: Stealing Entrepreneurs' Profits

Consumers decide what they will pay and determine value.  Tariffs, the use of political force, determines where the buyer’s proceeds end up. Favored industries receive more and the entrepreneurs receive less, lowering their profits and making them less likely to take future risks in a similar political climate.   As a real estate developer, the President should know better.

Trumping to Serfdom

Hayek wrote that psychopaths, er politicians, have to “weld together a closely coherent body of supporters”...appealing “to a common human weakness. It seems to be easier for people to agree on a negative programme – on the hatred of an enemy, on the envy of the better off – than on any positive task.”


Problem Canary in Bank Coal Mine?

The number of problem banks was only 92 at quarter end, the assets of problem banks more than tripled to more than $60 billion. That means two or three banks of considerable size are now considered “problem” banks.  The regulator doesn’t say which banks, so lines don’t form outside.

Demand for Gold Coins Crashes

When the public was worried the end of the modern financial world was near, they were stocking up on gold, and presumably canned goods.  However, the last few years has proven the coast is clear: paper and computer generated “assets” will do just fine.

Running out of Dr. Copper

Leigh Goehring told Jim Grant copper is headed to $7 a pound, given how many electric vehicles will be built. EVs require three to four times the copper as traditional vehicles. He told Grant it will add 50 percent to the amount of copper demand.