I’ve made the warning before… and I’ll make it again: be wary of false precision. This time, in particular, I’m talking about political odds – yes, of the very sort I now display prominently on the right sidebar of this very site!
The multi-payer system sets up the incentive for those without their own insurance to be unhealthier. Car accident deaths increased after the seatbelt law was instituted. When I finally have to foot some of the bill, do I still want to see Americans wolfing down their Wendy’s?
In a case of great timing, DQYDJ’s article guessing how Mitt Romney has so much money in his IRA is now the third most popular article on the site! While I hold no belief that this situation will continue past November of this year, I think that, in the moment, it’s interesting to ask how a retail investor (read: the rest of us) might have fared had we contributed as much as the Romney family must have during Mitt’s 24 year stint in the public sector (whew). So, how much out-performance did Mr. Romney achieve?
Media and fellow bloggers alike enjoy bemoaning the hazardous plague of inflation. I will show that not only is this argument not grounded in reality, but that it also ignores many ancillary benefits of an inflationary rate: spending encouragement, debtor relief and avoidance of a deflationary spiral.
It has been mentioned here and elsewhere that the mortgage interest deduction in the tax code is a roundabout way of subsidizing banks. If interest rates are determined by supply and demand then the demand for interest rates is only dependent on what a taxpayer’s “effective interest expense is”. A new study suggests that most of the benefits fall into the hands of lenders.
If there is anything in politics sillier than Congressional Job Approval polls, I’ve yet to find it – yet here I am writing about it. Ostensibly, these polls are set up to gauge the public’s trust in Congress – to get an idea about the public mood regarding our elected leaders.
In reality, the entire setup of the poll is a sham. Here’s the thing – unlike the President, the average voter cannot vote out the average Congressman (or woman). The truth is, Congress is set up in the way that it is strictly to avoid the public’s mood from tearing the House and Senate apart.
Here’s something interesting: even though there is a massive push to limit leverage in financial instruments controlled by private parties, Congress allows politically connected entities to drink from a different punch bowl. Today’s example of poor risk control? The FHA, better known as the Federal Housing Administration. Congress mandates that the FHA maintains at least 2% of their outstanding liabilities (they insure home mortgages) in the form of cash reserves. For those keeping score at home, that’s an implied leverage of 50:1. Fifty to one would be bad enough – but FHA’s reserves actually sit at just .24% of their $1.1 Trillion in insured mortgages.
Before the primaries move on to Kansas and various territories (the Virgin Islands, Guam, and the Northern Marianas), it’s time to take a quick look back at how far the four remaining candidates have come – in both votes and delegates!
We’ve had our first major upset of the Republican primary!
On Tuesday, there were 3 major events in the Republican primary calendar. Both Minnesota and Colorado held caucuses while Missouri held a non-binding primary. Going into the night, Santorum was expected to win Missouri (he had been campaigning there, while other candidates had been avoiding it) and likely to win Minnesota as well. Colorado, having similar demographics to Nevada (although having a notably smaller Mormon population) was expected to grant Romney a victory. In fact, prior to voting in Colorado, betting site Intrade had Romney at 97% to win the state. To riff off a common sports phrase? That’s why they count the votes!
Well, Newt Gingrich took down previous favorite Mitt Romney in a shocker in South Carolina. What can we say about the upset? These exit poll posts will continue until morale improves!
You can read the cross-tabs here.