The Mess That Greenspan Made - Part 416

Stephen Colbert for President?

There is real value in good political satire (for those who recognize and appreciate it) and Stephen Colbert has been making a pretty good living at it, most recently announcing the formation of an exploratory committee for a run at the GOP presidential nomination, a move that required him to transfer his “super PAC” to Daily Show host Jon Stewart last week.

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Colbert appeared on This Week with George Stephanopoulos earlier today and, while providing more than a few chuckles, shed light in his own satirical way about how money in politics has entered a new and more dangerous phase following the 2010 Supreme Court decision that changed the rules for corporate political donations that, essentially, allows unlimited spending by any group that registers as a political action committee, so long as their activities are not “coordinated” with a candidate.

The Best of the Bozeman Police Reports

Culled from the Police Reports page of the Bozeman Daily Chronicle come the best of the Bozeman police reports from the last week along with some items from the Sheriff’s Office. Note that a new book featuring the very best of these police reports is now available from the Chronicle for only $10 – just click on the banner below to find out how to order.

Things appear to be livening up a little bit around here after weeks of mostly dull police reports, the first item below being a summary of this story in today’s paper that, for some reason, editors felt deserved to be a featured report. This was just one of multiple similar reports last week, a category that hasn’t really been noticed in the year or so since these police reports have became regular Saturday fare here. And remember, driving with your lights off at 2 AM is one of the surest ways to get pulled over for drunk driving.

  • A Big Sky woman was accused of slipping out of handcuffs while riding in the back of a patrol car, pulling down her pants and urinating. The woman was arrested in Big Sky for aggravated drunken driving around 4 a.m. Friday and, before being taken  to Gallatin County jail (about 40 miles away), was allowed to use the restroom at the Big Sky Fire Station. But while traveling on U.S. Highway 191 near Deer Creek, she was able to remove her handcuffs, unbuckle her seat belt, pull her pants down, and then urinated in the back of the squad car.
  • Police warned two men on East Main Street around 2:30 a.m. for being disorderly “as they were having a heated discussion about the end of the world.”
  • A yellow Nissan truck that says “pooper man” on the side has been parked near East Curtiss Street and South Wallace Avenue for three months.
  • A teenage boy was seen urinating under an apple tree in a North Eighth Avenue woman’s yard at 12:46 p.m.
  • A slender man with black goggles was walking toward the library when he gave a woman a weird feeling.

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Bulk REO Sales a Hot New Topic in 2012

The idea of selling foreclosed properties in bulk seems to be gaining lots of interest in both New York and Washington, at least  according to this story at CNBC, and Rick Sharga (formerly of Realty Trac, but now venturing out on his own) talks about how he has a half billion dollars in investor money looking for a good deal.

It’s hard not to conclude that any new efforts to aid the nation’s housing market this year will be about as successful as the ones already taken since the housing bubble burst a half-decade ago, but that probably won’t stop them from trying.

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Sorry, but after downloading the transcript(.pdf) for the January 31st, 2006 FOMC meeting with the intention of looking at all the praise heaped on Alan Greenspan on his last day as Fed Chairman in order to relay selected misguided quotes in this post, the 78 page length of the document proved too daunting, especially after all the joking around in the beginning of the document at a time that the central bank could actually have done something to prevent or mitigate the financial market disaster that followed a few years later.

Instead, relying on the many poor souls in the financial media who had to slog through transcripts for all eight meeting that year, we find that Treasury Secretary Tim Geithner (New York Fed President at the time) appears to have been the most misguided as to the legacy of the outgoing Fed chief when he noted:

I’d like the record to show that I think you’re pretty terrific, too. [Laughter] And thinking in terms of probabilities, I think the risk that we decide in the future that you’re even better than we think is higher than the alternative. [Laughter]

Surely you can understand better now…

More confirmation of the Peter Principle and that economists are particularly ill-suited to run an economy were provided in this assessment of the Greenspan tenure at the Fed by San Francisco Fed President Janet Yellen who, since, has been promoted to Fed Vice Chair:

Needless to say, it’s fitting for Chairman Greenspan to leave office with the economy in such solid shape. And if I might torture a simile, I would say, Mr. Chairman, that the situation you’re handing off to your successor is a lot like a tennis racquet with a gigantic sweet spot. [Laughter]

Again with the laughter.

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