Cueball & Thunderlips

As we all wait with anticipation for The Bernank to speak at 4:00 p.m. EST, here's a little something to help you kill the time.

The alert Turdite "silverstool" alerted us earlier today that the CFTC was planning a closed-door meeting. ( http://www.cftc.gov/PressRoom/Events/opaevent_closedmeeting011413) If you're wondering what it's about, we have your answer. We've planted a secret camera inside the CFTC offices in Washington and look what we overheard.

The meeting is probably insignificant. Maybe they're just discussing office politics or planning for O'Bottom's re-inauguration next week. Or maybe...

Have a great day!

TF

219 Comments

babaganoush2307's picture

Who posted earlier saying they couldn't buy ammo at...

...Walmart?

Guns, Walmart, and crony capitalism
From FDR to Obama, liberals tend to achieve their policy goals when they find a way to co-opt big business
W

hen President Obama wanted to push health care reform, he didn't make the same mistake as his fellow liberals made in the past. He didn't attack or ignore big business. Instead, he sought to engage these "stakeholders."

Mandating that citizens must purchase health insurance (with no public option) was obviously a financial winner for the insurance companies. That box was easily enough checked. But the White House's collusion with the pharmaceutical industry was perhaps an even more impressive gambit.

As The Wall Street Journal reported last year, "The drug makers worried that health care reform would revert to the liberal default of price controls and drug re-importation that Mr. Obama campaigned on, but they also understood that a new entitlement could be a windfall as taxpayers bought more of their products."

The message was simple: The drug companies had better get involved in crafting the deal before it passed.

So how did the White House and Big Pharma end up working together? The deal, according to the Journal, was that "the drug lobby would spend $70 million on two 501(c)(4) front groups called Healthy Economy Now and Americans for Stable Quality Care."

Ultimately, of course, Big Pharma ended up serving as the counterbalance to the Chamber of Commerce, helping blunt the attacks on ObamaCare.

What does that have to do with today? Plenty. If you substitute the name Walmart for Big Pharma — and the NRA for the Chamber of Commerce — you will understand why the Obama administration invited Walmart to a critical meeting last week.

When it comes to passing gun control legislation, Walmart would be a terrific ally for Obama. Perhaps that's why after initially declining to attend a meeting with the White House, something changed their mind. (A Walmart spokesman later said, "we underestimated the expectation to attend the meeting.")

The retail giant has already shown a willingness to play ball with the administration (Walmart supported an employer mandate for healthcare) and to bow to pressure on the gun issue (the company is also already a member of Mike Bloomberg's "Mayors Against Illegal Guns"). They make an attractive ally on the gun issue. Elites like the New York City mayor don't carry much weight in middle America. But Walmart is based in Bentonville, Ark. It's hard to portray the company as effete or elite. From an optics standpoint, Walmart's support in advocating for "common sense" gun control would make any proposals seem more moderate. So from a public relations perspective, Walmart — the largest gun retailer in the nation — would bring Obama's coalition some much-needed red state bona fides.

But what would Walmart get out of the deal? First, not cutting a deal could have negative consequences. If Walmart doesn't play ball, maybe one of its competitors will. Or maybe Obama would be more likely to push for the return of the so-called assault weapons ban — which would likely hit Walmart's bottom line. And if Walmart does cooperate, it could mean a lot of money.

Even liberals are predicting this alliance. "Clearly, the best of both worlds for Walmart would be a strengthened background check system that drives new customers to its stores, and no assault weapons ban, writes The Nation's George Zornick.

You don't have to be a rocket scientist to see the potential for how Walmart could profit from cutting a deal. As The Washington Post reported last week:

One potential strategy [for gun control] would be to win support for specific measures from interest groups that are normally aligned with the NRA, according to one person who works closely with the administration on gun-related issues and who spoke on the condition of anonymity because of the issue's sensitivity.

For instance, this person suggested, Walmart and other major gun retailers may have an incentive to support closing a loophole that allows people to bypass background checks if they purchase firearms at gun shows or through other types of private sales. That could result in more people buying guns in retail stores. [Washington Post]

Or as the DC Examiner's Tim Carney explained on Fox Business, "it's just like [how] car dealers would benefit if you made it harder for me to sell my car to you."

This might be a good time to explain why conservatives like Carney don't trust big business. (I know there is a stereotype that says conservatives love big business, but it's simply not true.) The fact is that big business loves regulations because they have a competitive advantage when it comes to complying. Their upstart competitors don't have that same capacity, and thus, cannot compete.

Some call this crony capitalism; others, such as Jonah Goldberg, have labeled it "Liberal Fascism." And it seems to be on the rise.

After years of fighting big business, some astute liberals have finally concluded that the way to advance liberal policies is to actually get big government to buy in.

In a controversial New York Times op-ed this summer titled "How Liberals Win," Bill Scher noted: "The necessity of corporate support for, or at least acquiescence to, liberal policies is not a new development in the history of American liberalism. Indeed it has been one of its hallmarks."

Scher is correct. From FDR to Obama, liberals tend to achieve their policy goals when they find a way to co-opt big business. This is good for liberals, of course, but for conservatives, it's a double-whammy. Not only does this give us more liberal legislation, but it also skews the free market.

Public-private partnerships might sound harmless, but as Luigi Zingales points out in his book, A Capitalism for the People, they ultimately undermine the meritocracy. (And a belief in the efficacy of meritocracy is vital for the general public to support capitalism, and its inherent income inequalities.)

When big companies like Walmart cut deals with government, they get special consideration. This obviously hurts not only Walmart's current competitors, but also future competitors not yet on the horizon. Near-monopolies don't serve the customers well. But they also undermine confidence in the economic system. Over time, Zingales writes, the actions of near-monopolies confirm to the public "the sense that government and large-market players are cooperating at the expense of the taxpayers and the small investors."

What is more, the danger is that at some point it makes better business sense to focus more on what economists call rent seeking (lobbying, etc.) as opposed to focusing on research and development and innovation — things that actually add value to our economy.

Whether you care about guns or not, there is a lot more at stake here than first meets the eye.


Dr Jerome's picture

Gent

You inspire me. How's this twist on your idea,

The Lone Ranger and Tonto are talking .. Tonto says "Me need more wampum, Kimosabe" ... Lone Ranger then offers Tonto some fiat. Tonto refuses it and says "Not that shit." The ranger then sighs deeply, pulls his Colt, ejects 6 bullets and tosses them into a smiling Tonto's waiting hands. Kimosabe: Satisfied? Tonto smiles. "OK then Tonto, lets go after that Bernank gang."

I wonder if there are sufficient youtube clips to pull shots from to edit something like this?  Somehow it needs to be connected to Silver Eagles

Have you seen the new movie? Is it out yet?

That_1_Guy's picture

Birther Closure

Hello all.

I been a fly on the wall for a while. I appreciate all your insight and think this is one of the best open forums around. Trolls beware no shillin allowed.

So all this divide and conquer stuff is getting old. So a question for all the birther occupied. Who said the president of a corporation had to be a USA citizen? Now what are you gonna do about it?

As always thanks for the great inquries.

Regards

StevenBHorse's picture

Ahhhhhhhhhhhhhhhh!!!!!!!! Refreshing

John Embry - Silver Will Soar Hundreds Of Dollars Higher

Delicious!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!

SIlverbee's picture

ZH JPM

Twitter: JPMORGAN ORDERED TO CORRECT CIO, MONEY LAUNDERING COMPLIANCE. They'll get right to it

Big Buffalo's picture

Silver

BM: Silver closed up $0.60

Dimon: Unacceptable this is.

BM: Gotcha boss, I'll send out the clown.

Bongo Jim's picture

The team

If that's me under the W in the picture, thanks. My bat is on order from Brett Brothers for the upcoming season. My last bat from them took four and a half seasons to break. Made in America quality! It can also be used for the intended use in the BOG  portrait.

Batter UP!

The Watchman's picture

ALREADY 5,082,000 ASE's Sold This Month

W240144_1.jpg

2013 Silver Sales Totals
(in ounces / number of coins)
Month One
( oz. / #coins )
January 5,082,000
5,082,000
Total 5,082,000
5,082,000
tyberious's picture

Funny

Don’t Get Your Money Advice from Suze Orman, Dave Ramsey: Pound Foolish Author

ew people know how to manage their personal finances effectively. That’s why we spend millions of dollars every year on books and seminars that tell us how to get rich quick and get out of debt.

Suze Orman, Dave Ramsey, Robert Kiyosaki and David Bach are just some of the best-known personal finance experts advising and lecturing indebted Americans about their foolish and short-sighted money decisions. Yet these are exactly the individuals that the average person should not be listening to for financial solutions according to Helaine Olen, author of the new book "Pound Foolish: Exposing the Dark Side of the Personal Finance Industry" and former editor of the Money Makeover series in the Los Angeles Times.

In an interview with The Daily Ticker, Olen says these financial gurus offer either platitudes or “dreadful” advice that don’t apply to most people’s lives or situations.

“The idea that anyone can give specific advice to millions of people first of all doesn’t really work,” she says. “We’re not archetypes.”

Most Americans are under serious financial strain and the advice “parroted” by these so-called experts is “easier said than done,” Olen argues.

http://finance.yahoo.com/blogs/daily-ticker/don-t-money-advice-suze-orman-dave-ramsey-122754956.html

Bongo Jim's picture

@Doc J

Charles S. Hamlin's picture

The Watchman

Thanks for the ASE volume report; where do you get that from?

Swineflogger's picture

From Bix

That_1_Guy's picture

Cease and Decist

Complete And Utter Bollocks's picture

Bernanke said...

"I like to get as much sleep as possible"

Yes, we've noticed, you're asleep on the job too.

surprise

tyberious's picture

Oh Bix

I see nothing about silver. And I got the same email.

Northern Border's picture

Please all Turdites watch this !!!!

Gold Five's picture

To connect it back to metals

I was (and still am) dubious of the birther claims, but not as much as I was a few months ago. When it came to analyzing the birth certificate PDF file, I decided to check it out for myself. I've been using Adobe products professionally for 15+ years.

Minimally, I have concluded that the PDF is not an untouched scan of an original document.  The certificate was scanned in from what appears to be something bound, and the official-looking green textured background was added in after scanning. There are some suspicious areas in the document that could be edits, or optical character recognition artifacts, but nothing conclusive. There are some arguments out there regarding fonts that are compelling but also not conclusive.

Like with the metals, there is evidence that something isn't quite right there, but you can't prove intent.

I don't dwell on it much, because like with the past few presidents: They're doing enough horrible things that you don't need to dig up or make up stuff to be mad at them for.

tyberious's picture

Quote of the DAY

"They're doing enough horrible things that you don't need to dig up or make up stuff to be mad at them for."

Gold Five (1/14/2013)

yes

agrock's picture

@ el gordo 2013 eagles

APMEX just shipped my 2013 eagles (today) ... I had pre-ordered a ways back.

ltcolkilgore's picture

My hero....

Road_Scholar's picture

Here's HEH (Headband w/ Extra Hair)

The SILVER MULLET is being called to the CFTC to end the silver manipulation!  

mullet_6_large.jpg?8

hahaha- I typed "silver" and "mullet" into Google and this dude showed up...

Complete And Utter Bollocks's picture

"B" isn't just for Bernanke.

rpboxster's picture

Gold Visualized...

very different than the "olympic swimming pool" that has often been referenced as a visual for all the world's gold ever mined.  wth?

fertzeltwist's picture

Great video Northern Border

The Sandy hook question is too important to be ignored. The implications of this very possible false flag event will fundamentally change this nation if allowed to.

Dr Jerome's picture

Silverheels

Bongo,

Gotta love his last name! Silverheels.  Thanks. That one escaped me. He was one of the first native Americans to play a native American in film. typically back then they use the practice of "redface" where white actors played the native Americans. What would one expect from Hollywood--a community where people have always pretended to be someone other than who they really are? They are still at all the hypocrisy as far as I am concerned.

I noticed that the bottom uptrending line on this chart is on the money from 30.20 up through the end of the day. When the price rises too far above, there is profit-taking to bring us back down, but the trendline is not broken. I suspect that AG traded freely today.

old tradesman's picture

OK So wheres the transparancy

CFTC to Hold Closed Meeting to Consider Litigation Matters

The Commodity Futures Trading Commission (CFTC) will hold a closed meeting to consider litigation matters.

When:

Monday, January 14, 2013, 10:00 a.m. (ET)

Where:

CFTC Headquarters Conference Center, 1155 21st, NW, Washington DC

Topic:

Various litigation matters.

This event is closed to the public.


Last Updated: January 11, 2013

See Also:

OpenGov Logo

CFTC's Commitment to Open Government

Media Contacts in Office of Public Affairs

  • Steven Adamske
  • 202-418-5080
Orange CFTC Banner

 

Byzantium's picture

Proving intent

I may be mistaken, but i do believe that Ted Butler clarified that the CFTC's own rules state that no market participant shall have a 'dominant position,' (might not be the right term) and that the definition clearly captures JPM. 

JPM states that their position is merely a client position. Ted insists that the reason for the dominant position is not relevant, simply the reality of the dominant position. 

So according to Ted, it is 'Case closed.'

TheGoodDoctor's picture

The Hair

Kurtwood Smith (Red Forman) in Star Trek Six. My interpretation of "the hair"

Byzantium's picture

Birth Certificate

Competence to be President is not the point of this topic. Many Russians, Vietnamese, Chinese, Mexicans, Iranians, bankers, communists and muslim fundamentalists are competent to be US president. It is a question of loyalty to the USA!

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