Tuesday, December 27, 2016

Hillary cannot be pardoned even if Obama or Trump wanted to

If someone hasn't yet been charged with a crime, how does the president know what to pardon them for? The long and short answer is 'anything.' I point you to The act of Congress of January 24th, 1865. It is a long read but thankfully it was made clear in point 9 of the 1866 Supreme Court ruling on Ex parte Garland. To speed up this process this is the ruling, 'The power of pardon conferred by the Constitution upon the President is unlimited except in cases of impeachment. It extends to every offence known to the law, and may be exercised at any time after its commission, either before legal proceedings are taken or during their pendency, or after conviction and judgment. The power is not subject to legislative control.' Before you google the word pendency its definition is the state or time of being pending, undecided, or undetermined, as of a lawsuit awaiting settlement. Did you pick up the key word in point 9? The word I picked up on is impeachment. Ah yes the last time you might recall the word is William Jefferson Clinton. In this case I am refering to the former Secretary of State Hillary Rodman Clinton. You might first think that impeachment can only be commited by a President. WRONG!!! Impeachment is a process in which someone is charged with unlawful activity while in office. If convicted in an impeachment trial, it generally leads to their removal from office. Do I need to state the obvious? Hillary was a official as Secretary of State. So it doesn't matter what Obama does! You the citizen decide what happens next.

Monday, December 22, 2008

Is China an Emerging Superpower? What is a "Superpower"?

People have been predicting China’s emergence as a superpower since the days of Napoleon.  He appreciated China’s potential as a world power and cautioned against waking the sleeping dragon. China’s subordination into the Western international system in the 1839-1842 Opium War and its decline as the “sick man” of East Asia for the rest of the nineteenth and for the first half of the twentieth centuries dulled, but never extinguished, the expectation that, sooner or later, China would again dominate the world.

The term “superpower” is often used loosely in popular discourse to describe anything that achieves unmatched dominance from the status achieved in international affairs by the United States since World War II.  The discussion here will be better served by a somewhat more precise definition: a “superpower” is a country that has the capacity to project dominating power and influence anywhere in the world, and sometimes, in more than one region of the globe at a time, and so may plausibly attain the status of global hegemon.  The basic components of superpower stature may be measured along four axes of power: military, economic, political, and cultural (or what political scientist Joseph Nye has termed “soft”).

China is not now a superpower, nor is it likely to emerge as one soon. It is establishing itself as a great power, on par with Great Britain, Russia, Japan, and, perhaps, India. China is today a serious player in the regional politics of Asia, but also is just one of several. At a broader level, in global affairs, its stature and power are growing, but in most respects it remains a regional power, complementing the cast of other great powers under the overarching dominance, however momentary, of the United States. [1]

Will dumping the dollar make a difference?  Not likely!

Thursday, December 18, 2008

Bailouts / Ponzi Scheme

As the U.S. government is looking for something or someone to blame for the housing and banking debacle,  finally it seems that they have chosen Bernard Madoff as one of the many scape goat's in a supposed Ponzi like scheme.  

Today's schemes are often considerably more sophisticated than Ponzi's, although the underlying formula is quite similar and the principle behind every Ponzi scheme is to exploit investor naïveté. 

Back in May, four months before it collapsed, American International Group Inc. increased its dividend at the same time it unveiled plans to raise $12.5 billion in capital. Later, when its cash ran out, AIG got a government bailout, the size of which has expanded to about $150 billion.
It might not have been such a bad thing for those shareholders that invested in the last round of $12.5 billion in capital.  It has been shown that entering a Ponzi scheme can be rational even at the last round of the scheme if a government will likely bail out those participating in the Ponzi scheme.  

Fannie Mae, Freddie Mac and Citigroup are just a few firms that have required taxpayer bailouts to the tune of hundreds of billions of dollars.  They were not running a traditional Ponzi scheme but their scheme collapsed under its own weight, as investment slows and the promoters start having problems paying out the promised returns. 

It seems that many companies have a business model that resembled  a Ponzi scheme.  Ponzi hired a publicity agent, James McMasters.  The so called legit companies did too. However, Ponzi's publicity agent quickly became suspicious of Ponzi's endless talk of postal reply coupons, as well as the ongoing investigation against him. He went to the Post, calling Ponzi a "financial idiot." The paper offered him five thousand dollars for his story, and ran a headline on August 2 declaring Ponzi hopelessly insolvent.  We have all heard the world insolvent recently in the news.

When a Ponzi like scheme is exposed, legal authorities begin examining accounting records of the so-called enterprise and they find that many of the "assets" that should exist do not. 

In Michigan a company and A.J. Obie, two firms with the same managers, Sixteen hundred investors lost approximately $50 million.  In what was described as the largest reported 'Ponzi' scheme in the history of the state.  The scheme led to the passage in 1987 of the MBLSA (Mortgage Brokers, Lenders, and Servicers Act)."

Another Ponzi like scheme, Lou Pearlman's scam involved bilking investors out of their savings with a fraudulent savings and loans program claiming it to be FDIC insured though it was not. 

Fast forward today Ponzi’s schemes are very much alive.  Wall Street and its bankers, mortgage lenders, and soon to be automakers were all caught running Ponzi like schemes.