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Sunday, January 29, 2012

Economic Stories of Relevance in Today's World -- January 29, 2012

(The Hound): You can follow the themes and see what is being addressed and what is dying on the vines. What was said three years ago still has relevance today and I believe that what was said three years ago and today will have relevance three years from now. We will keep moving forward.

The State of Hickory 2012
Wordle: The State of Hickory

The State of Hickory 2011
Wordle: The State of Hickory 2011

The State of Hickory 2010
Wordle: The State of Hickory 2010

The State of Hickory 2009
Wordle: The State of Hickory North Carolina 2009

U.S. Bridges, Roads Being Built by Chinese Firms
- ABC News - 9/23/2011 - Cities hire Chinese instead of American workers for building projects.

Mitt Romney's Bain Capital 'earned' $342 million by bankrupting a company and firing 850 Floridians - The Jed Report  - Jed Lewis - January 23, 2012 - Mitt Romney's Bain Capital 'earned' $342 million by bankrupting a company and firing 850 Floridians. In addition to the $242 million, Bain took $100 million in management fees for running the company. But despite their $342 million payday, Bain led Dade directly into bankruptcy.              
Bain ultimately relinquished its ownership claim, but it had already taken $342 million out of company, an 11-fold return on its $30 million investment in less than eight years. Fortunately, the bankruptcy didn't destroy the company, which emerged from bankruptcy and has prospered since Bain gave up its ownership stake. But even though Dade is now a successful company, its success comes despite Bain Capital—not because of it.                              Obviously, the story is timely because of the upcoming Florida primary and the fact that nearly one thousand Floridians lost their jobs as Bain bankrupted the firm, but if Romney gets the nomination, it won't simply fade away. Perhaps he can convince Republicans that questioning how he managed to "earn" $342 million while bankrupting a company is the same thing as assaulting free enterprise, but he won't be able to convince Americans of that. And given that Mitt Romney cites his private sector experience as the number one reason why he should be president, that's a big problem for Mitt Romney to have.

Drowning In Hypocrisy - Paul Craig Roberts - - January 24, 2012 -
The US government is so full of self-righteousness that it has become a caricature of hypocrisy. Leon Panetta, a former congressman who Obama appointed CIA director and now head of the Pentagon, just told the sailors on the USS Enterprise, an aircraft carrier, that the US is maintaining a fleet of 11 aircraft carriers in order to project sea power against Iran and to convince Iran that “it’s better for them to try to deal with us through diplomacy.” .....                      If it requires 11 aircraft carriers to deal with Iran, how many will Panetta need to project power against Russia and China? But to get on with the main point, Iran has been trying “to deal with us through diplomacy.” The response from Washington has been belligerent threats of military attack, unfounded and irresponsible accusations that Iran is making a nuclear weapon, sanctions and an oil embargo. Washington’s accusations echo Israel’s and are contradicted by Washington’s own intelligence agencies and the International Atomic Energy Agency. Why doesn’t Washington respond to Iran in a civilized manner with diplomacy? Really, which of the two countries is the greatest threat to peace? ........                                Washington sends the FBI to raid the homes of peace activists and puts a grand jury to work to create a case against them for aiding a nebulous enemy by protesting Washington’s wars. The Department of Homeland Security unleashes goon cop thugs to brutalize peaceful Occupy Wall Street demonstrators. Washington fabricates cases against Bradley Manning, Julian Assange, and Tarek Mehanna that negate the First Amendment by equating free speech with terrorism and spying. Chicago mayor and former Obama White House chief-of-staff, Rahm Israel Emanuel, pushes an ordinance that outlaws public protests in the City of Chicago. The list goes on. And in the midst of it all Secretary of State Hillary Clinton and other Washington hypocrites accuse Russia and China of stifling dissent.

Sales of U.S. New Homes Unexpectedly Decline in December
- Bloomberg - Alex Kowalski - January 26, 2012
- ... Purchases of single-family properties decreased 2.2 percent to a 307,000 annual pace, figures from the Commerce Department showed today in Washington. The median forecast in a Bloomberg News survey of economists called for a rate of 321,000 home sales. Last year marked the worst year for the industry in records going back to 1963.             “Builders continue to contend with a number of existing homes that are deeply discounted,” said Anika Khan, an economist at Wells Fargo Securities LLC in Charlotte, North Carolina. “We’re expecting a bit of a pickup in 2012, but we won’t see a meaningful increase as long as new homes are competing with those existing homes.”

Warren Pollock on This Week in Money

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