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August 31, 2007


SEC and FASB Mull CEO Emolument Accounting Change

America's Financial Accounting Standards Board (FASB) and the Securities and Exchange Commission (SEC) chiefs are close to deciding that salary and perks exceeding five million dollars annually can not rationally be deemed pay for work expended. Payouts of five million to hundreds of millions would quite boggle the minds of both Adam Smith and Karl Marx, said one insider, "off, off, off the record."
Going forward, the recommendation will be that executive remuneration exceeding five mil annually will be construed as a disbursement of corporate capital. Henceforth these deductions from a company's capital account must be subject to a public vote and agreed to per amounts by boards, directors, trustees and not so trust-ees as the case may be.
The new accounting Pronouncement will reflect that mega salaries in excess of the maximum five mil will be considered as an allocation of corporate capital which will no longer qualify for accounting treatment as a corporate expense.
A number of CEO's have formed a study committee particularly in response to the IRS position of "You can call it capital or you can call it Swiss cheese, we're still taxing exec' pay at the highest personal rate possible."
"There's a fundamental lack of fairness here," whinged the corporate CEO's.
They, the potentially afflicted CEOs, vociferously pointed out that, "This change is counterintuitive, even embezzlement is treated as a deductible expense."
Shareholders, mostly wearing Abu Ghraib style hooding to protect their identities, were cautiously pessimistic.

(Reprint 10.14.06 post)
Craig A. Johnson

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August 30, 2007


The Chinese Que for Reincarnation Permits

Kvatch at his Blognonymous site picks up on Chinese government pronouncement.

China Bans Buddhist Monks From
Reincarnating Without Permission

- Matthew Philips, Newsweek

To which he humbly submits his comment/snark, as in:.

""Buddhists Worldwide Respond In Protest By Refusing To Die ""

I think this is simply a way brilliant response.

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August 28, 2007


A Capital Tax Idea

2006 Wall St bonuses; $25 Billion

As the big boys on Wall Street direct trillions in capital flows to derivatives, rank speculation and the latest hot packaged products like sub-prime mortgages they whet their beaks, like the mob, at every turn.
Why not place a one one hundreth of a per cent tax on these flows to fund social security and health care.
It would be a manifest boon to American workers who toil at multiple jobs to create this capital and keep the economy going.

ps. I mentioned this idea to a staunch corporate conservative friend who said the idea is 100% valid; but without a guaranteed mechanism that the Dems would not keep increasing the tax, it was dead on arrival.

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Women's Reproductive Choices: Scientific/Historical or Jungian/Hysterical?

The first sentence of the second paragraph from "How to deal with a falling population", (The Economist, 7/26/07), is as follows;
"Overcrowding and a shortage of resources constrain bug populations. The reasons for the growth of the human population may be different, but the pattern may be surprisingly similar."
What a wonderful article, setting the scientific/historical time line for sustainable population growth. It also, of course, sets the hysterical time line when Women Rights' advocates started their misdirected, dare I say, clamoring for change.
Actually, as this article points out, certainly by inference, the change to having fewer children had already occurred and women were fit to be tied because nature was calling to them to react to (not create) such change.
I get special pleasure out of the article because (including writing a play on the subject in 1973) I have held for years that the so-called Women's Liberation movement was quite simply the natural formation of a 'collective unconscious' among women that baby making had been demoted. In effect women did not and were not choosing liberation. Nature had 'liberated' them in order for earth to achieve human population/resource homeostasis.
Consider this quote from the article which reduces the entirety of womens' natural reproductive options and the intellectual underpinnings of the Womens Rights Movement to a few simple choices:
"If women decide to spend their 20s clubbing rather than child-rearing, and their cash on handbags rather than diapers, that's up to them. But the transition to a lower population can be a difficult one........"
Looking back from this perspective, in the now, one wonders what was all the fuss really about?

Disclaimer: I believe passionately that women did not enact the liberation they so passionately espoused. They were liberated, as in less responsibilities and more free time, by the nature mandated necessity to have fewer children. I think a substantial portion of the theory of Womern's Lib is false. The steps called for post-liberation to achieve equality and fairness were and are valid.
Craig Johnson

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August 27, 2007


The Bottom Line GOP Bumper Slogan

Finally, I believe that I have cobbled together the ultimate message of William Kristol, Rudi Giuliani, neocons everywhere and all Rove' propaganda adherents.

"If you're not afraid, you're a coward."

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Congress and Fed Collude to Cause Mortgage Crisis

Lessons of Great Depression give way to greed.

The history behind the mortgage fiasco and bank liquidity is a complex long intertwined affair.

After the Great Depression new financial regulations were put in place. For one, banks were barred from equity deals or brokerage operations. Then, fairly recently, Congress and the Fed gave in to the natural greed of the banks and let them return to brokerage/equity dealings. It is in no way surprising that subsequent to dismantling safeguards the present catastrophe should occur. It is axiomatic to allowing banks to invest in speculative fashion outside of regulated asset lending scenarios.

As many have said there is a tie-in here to the S&L debacle.

Congress and the Fed deregulated the S&Ls to give in to the natural greed of the big banks. Prior to deregulation the S&Ls were allowed to pay one half percent more for savings than other banks. That attracted long term secure savings/ assets to the S&Ls which they lent out long term in mortgages. It was a stable arrangement and as a side affect the money stayed local. Coveting these assets the big banks, Congress and the Fed made a devil's pact allowing S&Ls with no experience in non mortgage financing to go deregulated into risky areas. They crashed but the big banks got their hands on the trillions in mortgage assets which became speculative assets, leading to excess and our present liquidity crunch.

My point is that Congress and the Fed have bent to the greed of the big financial institutions and systematically dismantled well thought out needed protections, apparent from The Great Depression.

Now, John and Jane Doe will have to pay higher interest rates for their car loans, etc until the banks eroded capital (much of which was stripped off as fees to individuals) is replaced.

This is simply more organized theft (!**!) like CEO salaries which are actually a form of embezzlement.

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August 21, 2007


The Evolution of the Republican Presidential Contenders

"When the Truth came knocking"

The moderator says to the assembled Republican Presidential contenders, "This is an open question for the candidates."

Evolution theory holds that man is a direct genetic descendant of hairy, arm swinging, tree climbing African apes who apparently survived despite having only crude rudimentary mental processing skills. The scientific process of carbon dating confirms the dates for such evolution and shows that man in this sense predates the Bible's time line by hundreds of thousands of years at a bare minimum. What is your opinion on the validity of carbon dating?

Romney: People will say there was a time that I embraced carbon dating but in my maturing process I have opened my eyes to how destructive liberal ideation can be to man's ascent. Junk science should not be employed to accelerate the decline of our moral virtues.

McCain: I am a firm believer that the age of the earth is a matter of state's rights.

Thompson: The media's obsession with my wife's youth has reached a new low. They're saying that she is in effect 'carbon dating' which I find offensive.

Brownie and Huckee (in unison): "Attacks on religious values are a staple of our opposition. Brothers and sisters, let us pray for God's hand to smite the ballot boxes of the heathen."

Giuliani: "Believing in evolution is weakness in the face of the enemy. It allows terrorist scum and their nine eleven democratic party appeasers amongst us to encircle our homes and maim our children. Science in pursuit of planetary wide war is to be exalted but to use it to appease Islamofascist aggression is treason. As I've previously said, nine or eleven times, I will only appoint judges that know the ramifications of using science in pursuit of weak kneed terrorist lovers.
Craig Johnson

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August 20, 2007


Rudy Giuliani; Another Bush like Leader Who Needs to be Surrounded by Yes Men

Rudy, another needy ego driven emloyer like Bush?

I think we've all had enough of a President that insists on being surrounded by toadies and umbili-cytes. It always leads to incompetent and class insular policy.

I therefor recommend to you the following paragraph:

“Rudy surrounded himself with a very small group of people. The ‘Shrewdies,’ some called them—because they all said yes to Rudy. I’ve always thought that he had a surprisingly small inner circle—and they were not always the best and the brightest.” The same complaint followed Giuliani into politics, where he sometimes seemed to be deliberating inside an echo chamber. Loyalty is the virtue that he most prizes, and its absence in an aide is the surest route to exile.

From "Mayberry Man" The New Yorker, Peter Boyer,

Craig Johnson

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August 15, 2007


Karl Rove Genius - A Dilemma for Republican Parents

Whatever do arch Republicans teach their children if they equate a modality of choreographed synchronistic lying as genius.
If they so exalt lock-step power point lying as a preferred methodology to win and keep personal power, to what end would they teach their children that lying in pursuit of gain is inappropriate behavior?

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August 11, 2007


Iraq remedy: The main necessity for extrication


To extricate one's arm from a toilet, it's a necessity to first let go of the large shiny object you've wrapped your fist around.

I've been laughing for a day or so now.

The source of humor was the description of the Iraq situation from one of the usual 'inside' narcissistic bright minds. He said that figuring out the Iraq situation was like "playing three dimensional chess in the dark while you are being shot at."

The actuality of how to deal with and accommodate or not accommodate the various parties goals and motives is logically inordinately simple.

A. America can neither stay in Iraq nor leave Iraq and have easy, cordial, aligned interests with any eventually arising central dominant force/government.

B. If America semi 'stands down' behind a multinational force the chances for a settlement and a hopeful future for Iraq (and the region) brighten.

C. Alternatively, if America insists on a continuing presence they should henceforth implement a tri-part Iraq. Post establishment of same, the U.S. could implement massive aid to each faction and a return to the time honored foreign policy of "bribe-the-dictator."

The metaphor I prefer for the Iraqi quagmire is that America forcefully shoved its arm into a deeply murky toilet to retrieve a bright shiny object. To extricate itself it simply needs to unclasp its rigid grasp and withdrawal will easily proceed.

This simple and logical opinion arrives at the same conclusion as that of the Iraq Study Group. Their advice was:

A. Inform the Iraqis et al that the U.S. will eventually disassemble their major bases in Iraq and leave. ("Let go of the shiny object!")

B. Form a multinational force (preferably with Arab country participation) to oversee security and policy making for Iraq. ("Take your arm out of the toilet.)

Craig Johnson

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Back the Soprano' Tax Plan to restore financial and ethical equity.

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August 07, 2007


Winning and Democracy in Iraq are Oxymoronic Concepts

(How a Chalabi “Palm-ocracy” could never happen.)

Iraq (as with its neighbors) was ruled by brutality and armed suppression before America began its occupation.
Iraq (as with its neighbors) will be ruled by brutality and armed suppression after the U.S. leaves.
No amount of troops or time frame under a half century will alter this formula.
America seeks to align itself with this, to-be-decided, new ruling force.
That this new ruling force will be a democracy is oxymoronic.
That the new ruling force will be a democracy aligned with the interests of the U.S. is even yet more naively ridiculous.
What the Cheney/neocon aggressors wanted and could have best hoped for, no matter how incompetent in assessing the tribal/religious nature of Iraq they were, would be to establish a "palmocracy."
When Arafat died I opined that hopefully, eventually, a Sunni palmocrat of Arafat's scheming mold would appear who would collect the graft and grease together a new working government. Tribes, religions, criminal elements, power seekers, moneyed neighbors with agendas and foreign born terrorists , as a mix, simply overwhelm this possibility.
Chalabi as a symbol of what a palmocracy might be was so enticing. Oh well!
Brutality and suppression will eventually create a new Iraq. The Iraqis want America out now. This desire can only increase.
It is entirely illogical that a ruling body will appear from the ashes of Iraq that will kiss the hand of its invader.
--One last tip, if you can, by stock in Crescent Condominium Development Limited. It's listed on the Iranian Stock Exchange and is reputedly a real favorite of the Mullahs.--

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John Doe Pays for Excessive Financial Institution Risk Taking

John Doe Pays for Excessive Financial Institution Risk Taking
Let's take banks that are charted by state or federal government. The mechanisms for regulating excessive risk in such banks are actually in place. When auditors review lending practices and see for example that a bank has a large portfolio of high risk loans (for example: no-equity mortgages) they require the bank to set aside more of its mandated equity/capital base to offset this risk.
If the mechanisms are not implemented by regulators on a timely basis the bank(s) slip below their required assets to equity ratio becoming to a degree insolvent.
When the pyramid scheming financial types go on a binge that entails red flag obvious 'excessive risk' taking, then massive losses occur, financial institution' equity hemorrhages and then ( Big Point) interest rates and margins on interest rates must increase until the financial institutions replace the lost capital.
John and Jane Doe have to pay a greed tax and pay more for their car loans, their mortgages, their credit cards until the banks replace the capital.
Meanwhile the financial types have stripped a tenth of a point here and a half a point there from these capital flows, enriching themselves until the speculative 'excessive risk' schemes meet their inevitable ( and I might add repetitive) denouement. In 2006, a good year for speculation and mortgages, Wall Street stripped 25 billion dollars from capital flows in bonuses alone.
In a bad year, when capital and equity shrink the little guy has to pony up to replace the capital. It's a mugs game and trust me, if the only way to get the money out the door to consumers in order that the 'bankers' can put a piece of the action in their pocket is to ratchet up the risk, "Brother" consider it done.

Ps I realize that not all the sub prime players are chartered banks. I simply use that as a simple example to explain the concept.

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August 04, 2007


Blogging and Democracy: Redux

There is a marvelous passage within a 7/30 New Yorker magazine article regarding the rampant increase in (citizen) journalism that was ascribed to the advent of democracy in the French artist Courbet's epoch.

The Title of the piece is "Painting by Numbers, Gustave Courbet and the making of a master, by Peter Schjeldahl." (link, page 2)

The passage so intriguingly resonates with hundreds of recent op-eds and articles explaining, haranguing or lauding the growth of internet blogging. The passage follows, below:

--"A new means was at hand: journalism. In 1836, Chu writes, Paris's daily newspaper circulation was eighty thousand. By 1870, it topped a million. Publications large and small engendered what the great conservative critic Charles-Augustin Sainte-Beuve called "industrial literature," churned out with "audacity and naïveté" by men "with this single device inscribed on their banner, 'to live by writing.' " Sainte-Beuve saw the development as an inevitable consequence of democracy. He noted, unhappily, that it was in line "with our electoral and industrial customs that everyone may have his page.""--

I found it interesting. Oui? No?


When Chris Matthews of "Hardball" condescendingly sneers the MSM adopted sobriquet, "These bloggers, they're mostly living in their parent's basements'' it shows to me that he is rattled by the phenomena and sarcasm is his little-minded response.

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August 01, 2007


Them and Us: A Capital Tax Plan

(Wall Street firms are expected to pay out a record $23.9 billion in bonuses this year. 12/20/06 USA Today)

Place a one one hundreth of one percent Value Added Tax on all capital flows.
'Them' enrich themselves by taking a bite out of America's capital flows at every instance while 'Us', the creator's of this wealth, need Moms and Dads working multiple jobs to eat and provide the capital for this system.
As our capital washes around the globe for economic enterprises, both good and bad, and hedging and currency (and other asset) speculation, there is no reason Us couldn't charge a way tiny `rent' for this resource.
Social Security and Medicaid could thus be amply funded and capitalism would manifestly not miss a heart beat.

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