Saturday, October 10, 2015
..............................................why Hang On Sloopy is the unoffficial theme song for Ohio State athletics, but I guess there are many things that are not understandable. Having said that - Go Bucks!
The McCoys..............................................Hang On Sloopy
Faithful readers may recall that a day or so ago the question was asked, if the Chinese are selling U. S. Treasuries and not buying them, who will buy all the bonds? Apparently, this is not a new question. To wit:
This delightful video was uncovered at this site. Asking how on earth you got to that site is not an unreasonable question. The trail started here, with this quote:
“What sort of jobs were “created or saved”? Well, the United States Bureau of the Public Debt is headquartered in Parkersberg, West Virginia – and it’s hiring! According to the Careers page of their website: `The Bureau of the Public Debt (BPD) is one of the best places to work in the federal government. When you work for the BPD, you’re a part of one of the federal government’s most dynamic agencies.'”
In case you are wondering, the quotor was, I believe, trying for either snark or irony. This reader was interested more in the fact that there was a Bureau of Public Debt. Mind you, knowing the prowress of one Robert Byrd, it was not a surprise that such a governmental office might be located in West Virginia. Regardless, the Oracle Google was consulted. It turns out that the Bureau of Public Debt has been consolidated into what is now the Bureau of the Fiscal Service. Their mission and vision statements are as follows:
We're a new Bureau of the Treasury Department formed from the consolidation of the Financial Management Service and the Bureau of the Public Debt. Our mission is to promote the financial integrity and operational efficiency of the U.S. government through exceptional accounting, financing, collections, payments, and shared services.
Our vision is to help transform financial management and delivery of shared services in the federal government. We'll provide exceptional services and collaborate with and help other government organizations raise the level of their performance.
One certainly wishes them only great success.
Michael Wade posted a quote by Chuck Yeager. Yeager's story is here. Tom Wolfe's The Right Stuff brought Yeager, the first person to pilot a plane through the "sound barrier", into the limelight of public attention. Here are a few more quotes:
You do what you can for as long as you can, and when you finally can't, you do the next best thing. You back up but you don't give up.
|Yeager posing inspecting the NF-105 Starfighter|
|Yeager flew the Starfighter some 104,000 feet above the earth|
|The plane couldn't function at that altitude|
the movie version of that flight, with Sam Shepard channeling Yeager, is here.
Friday, October 9, 2015
Bankers Anonymous offers a book review of The Clash of Generations. The book offers "four 'purple' policy proposals – 'purple' meaning meant to appeal to both red and blue sides of the American political spectrum." Fancying myself as a purple sort of fellow, I read the review. Since my parents taught me at an early age to share, here is my favorite part of the reveiw:
Kotlikoff and Burns advocate a radical simplification of banking functions. Their proposal says that any and all banks (plus insurance companies, brokerages, credit unions, private equity firms) must fund themselves and be regulated as “mutual funds,” taking in actual deposits for every dollar invested in loans. No borrowing, full stop. Any company that prefers to leverage itself (hedge funds might want to) must operate under a “full-liability” regime, meaning losses are guaranteed personally by the business owners and executives. You can see why this is kind of appealing in the wake of the 2008 crisis and bailout of Wall Street.
[Incidentally, my own radical ‘purple plan’ addresses this same post-2008 moral hazard problem, but in a different way. My rule is: Any financial firm over a certain size (I don’t know how many would qualify but let’s say the biggest 25 firms, and any that are considered ‘systemically important’) get regulated like public utilities, with massive restrictions on executive pay. Of course, all financial firms are invited to get smaller through divestiture, sales, breakups, whatever, to get under the size limit and become systemically irrelevant. At that point, executives at the newly smaller firms can go back to paying themselves whatever they want. That’s my solution to the problem of “profits get privately enjoyed via executive compensation but any liabilities get socialized” when a systemically important financial institution gets bailed out.]
"What do the acolytes of the State want to ban this week? Which bootlace eyelet will they lubricate with eager spittle? Oh, the usual stuff. Fun. Your fun. "
-as culled from here
Thursday, October 8, 2015
Kurt posts an essential mix of 42 songs from his high school days. I'm only twelve years older, but it is amazing how different the soundtracks of our lives are. I'm not complaining about his list, mind you. It's a great list. I'm familiar with most of the artists and tunes. It is just different. No Beatles, no Motown, no Beach Boys, no Creedence, no Dylan. The times, they have a habit of changing.
Nihil tam absurde dici potest, quod non dicatur ab aliquo philosophorum.
There is nothing so absurd that it has not been said by some philosopher.
-Marcus Tullius Cicero (44 BC)
......................Apparently our foreign friends from China , Russia, etc. are selling U. S. Treasuries. Maybe they just need the cash. Back story here. It is interesting to read who is buying. It is also interesting to note that the author doesn't think this will cause interest rates to go up. Hmmm. One would assume that since formerly voracious buyers of our debt are now selling the notes they own, they probably will not be buying Treasuries soon. Are not new notes are also coming on the market as we finance our debt? Let's see..............more Treasuries available and fewer buyers. I don't claim to know much, but won't yields have to increase to entice more buyers? Just wondering.
Wednesday, October 7, 2015
"I believe that when life gives you lemons, you make lemonade — and then try to find someone whose life is giving them vodka, and have a party."
Tuesday, October 6, 2015
"The two lines met and broke and mingled in the shock. The crush of musketry gave way to cuts and thrusts, grapplings and wrestlings. The edge of the conflict swayed to and fro, with wild whirlpools and eddies. At times I saw around me more of the enemy than of my own men; gaps opening, swallowing, closing again with sharp convulsive energy; squads of stalwart men who had cut their way through us, disappearing as if translated. All around, strange mingled roar - shouts of defiance, rally, and desperation; and underneath, murmured entreaty and stifled moans,; gasping prayers, snatches of Sabbath song, whispers of loved names; everywhere men torn and broken, staggering, reeping, quivering on the earth, and dead faces with strangely fixed eyes staring stark into the sky. Things which cannot be told - nor dreamed. How men held on, each one knows, - not I. But manhood commands attention.
-Joshua Lawrence Chamberlain, writing in Through Blood and Fire as quoted in In The Hands of Providence: Joshua Lawrence Chamberlain and The American Civil War
"It’s long been obvious that the most acute problem facing America’s education system is recess: Too many children engage in rough-and-tumble games during school play periods."
-as excerpted from this post at The American Interest
“It seems that the necessary thing to do is not to fear mistakes, to plunge in, to do the best that one can, hoping to learn enough from blunders to correct them eventually.”
“It seems to me that a spiritual sensibility is built into human nature. Formal religion may or may not disappear but art, love and a desire to find beauty will remain.”
“Maybe we need a new category other than theism, atheism or agnosticism that takes paradox and unknowing into account.”
“Let’s imagine I happen to be writing some sort of truth here. By the time you read this, I might have changed my mind. Ten years from now, I would likely put it differently. By then I may regret that I wrote this. And regardless of how I feel then, I’ll bet that if you reread my book twenty years from now, you’ll have changed, so the book will have changed, too. So much for changeless truth.”
-all quotes from Frank Schaeffer
Monday, October 5, 2015
"... the only highly sustainable source of self-confidence comes from deep self-knowledge and blatant self-honesty."
-Chade-Meng Tan, Search Inside Yourself: The Unexpected Path To Achieving Success, Happiness (And World Peace)
“Grammar, which is the art of using words properly, comprises four parts: Orthography, Etymology, Syntax, and Prosody.”
-Dr. Samuel Johnson, A Grammar of the English Tongue (free on Kindle)
As a public service:
all definitions courtesy of Merriam-Webster