Sen. Warren (D, MA) Grills Wells Fargo CEO

Senator Warren grilled Wells Fargo & Co. CEO Timothy Sloan during Senate hearings on the firm’s account creation scheme.

She tried to argue that the CEO personally profited from the scheme by making the stock go up. A large company like Wells Fargo, the CEO cannot make the stock up. Institutional investors, pension funds, index funds, traders, government sovereign wealth funds, and other large institutions are the main movers in the financial markets. They have to agree with the story the company is telling in order to buy the shares, or if they use technical analysis, see a pattern that’s bullish.

As for Sloan, he was not prepared for this partisan attack.

She wants him fired. That’s not her responsibility to hire and fire company executives. And, more importantly, its unconstitutional under Article 1, Section 9. The US Constitutions forbids Bill of Attainder. See here and here for explanations. Among other infringements of our rights, it could eliminate Due Process.

And it appears she wants to install a puppet regime so she can control the banking industry. Fascism 101, folks.

There was always something totalitarian about progressivism. The followers of this movement have no problem bossing anybody around if they don’t behave the way progressives want.

Politicians crave control, certainty, and stability. You hear them talk about stability of financial markets, of job markets, of domestic social and global situations.

With that in mind, imagine viewing issues from the perspective of politicians. If some issue gets out of control, they get criticized. We seek comfort in their supposed competence to handle various situations. But that comes with a price in the form of more laws, more regulations, more controls, and less freedom of choice. You may not even know it because politicians have mastered the art of concealing their intentions.

They pass a law that controls corporations in an industry, for example, and that law manifests itself in many ways such as the products and services it offers. And you wonder why a firm acts the way it does — well that’s why. The firm acts as an agent of the government and the politicians escape responsibility.

 

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No, the U.S. President is NOT the CEO of the Country

 

U.S. Ambassador to the United Nations Nikki Haley defended President Trump’s firing of former FBI director James Comey, saying that he can “fire anyone he wants.”

“The president is the CEO of the country,” Haley told ABC News Chief Anchor George Stephanopoulos on “This Week” Sunday. “He can hire and fire anyone he wants.”

Wrong! The president may be considered the CEO of the federal government, but not of the country. He can fire people in his administration, not anyone he wants.

More evidence of the grabbing for control by the political class.

 

 

The Central Problem in the U.S.

Is, in a word, government.

All the passionate talk about the personalities and potential crimes of the presidential candidates has obscured debate about what the federal government actually does. Both Trump and Clinton promise to spend us to oblivion taking care of various collectivist groups: vets, seniors, farmers, military contractors, teachers, etc.

But that spending (and inevitable taxing) serves one overriding purpose: to make the people in Washington D.C. ever richer and more powerful. Its a bipartisan bonanza. Yes, the money will trickle down to those constituents I listed above. But the politicians, lobbyists, regulators, and other government employees take their cut first. All that money requires programs and administration. Who does that? Why the people who work in government. And what is the result?

Kevin Williamson explains. I tease you with this: “But Washington builds no iPhones. It doesn’t really build much of anything, and it doesn’t create any wealth — it just takes it.

Here.

The Consequences of Price Gouging Laws

The southeast US is being hit twice with fuel disruptions.

The first event was by a pipeline leak of the Colonial Pipeline in Alabama (here). People panicked as a result of hyped-up media coverage. People filled up as a way to hoard gasoline in their vehicles and hopefully have enough until supplies returned. Luckily, there were no price gouging laws because that would have discouraged suppliers from coming in from unconventional sources to provide more fuel. Slowly, supply is returning.

However, the end is in sight. Woodring said gas is already coming in and the shortage will end soon.

“We got it this morning, but only half a tank. We usually get 7,000 to 10,000 gallons when we’re out and we got 3,000. So that’s what happens,” Woodring said. “It is pumping in right now, but it still has to fill up.”

 

The second event is Hurricane Matthew. It is about to hit the state of Florida and travel up the coast. Any existing price gouging laws will limit supply.

These laws are intended to protect sellers from taking advantage of consumers. But more often they exacerbate shortages by forcing sellers to sell gasoline at prices that are below what it would actually cost to obtain additional supplies.

Although many of these laws allow prices to increase to reflect higher costs, stations and fuel suppliers are often unsure of how their relevant costs might be interpreted by enforcement agencies.

As a result, they frequently choose to keep selling until supplies run out rather than increasing their price.

So how would things be better if gasoline prices had risen to, say, $3.50 a gallon last month? First, many of you would have bought a little less gasoline and drove a little less by combining trips, postponing unnecessary driving, or sharing rides. The higher the price, the more you save by using less. This would ensure gasoline is still available at the station for those who really need it.

Second, higher prices in areas impacted by the supply disruption would encourage even greater efforts by suppliers to bring in additional supplies from surrounding areas. Relocating fuel from other regions can be quite costly, and less fuel will flow in if this additional cost cannot be recouped when the gas is sold.

Third, if prices were high enough to significantly reduce usage and increase supply imports, stations would be much less likely to actually run out of gas. “Panic buying” and consumer stockpiling can occur if consumers believe they may not be able to purchase when they need to.

In the supply/demand calculus, price gouging laws limit supply and increase demand.

Here.

Wells Fargo CEO John Stumpf Facing Congress

The hypocrisy is so rich. “Elected officials” grilling Wells Fargo CEO John Stumpf.

These are the same people who created the country’s $20 trillion debt, cannot get an honest accounting of the department’s finances, have 70% of the budget on automatic pilot because of entitlement programs, say the military is financially depleted yet the Us spends as much as the next nine countries combined on military spending, implemented Obamacare which made health insurance and medical service levels worse then they already were.

The Wells Fargo issue is a case of fraud. Laws and procedures are already on the books to deal with it.

Hey you gutless wonders in Washington, learn to manage your own affairs. Get your own house in order and stop trying to run the lives and businesses of the people.

Here.

Collaborating to Reform Government

The days of partisan bashing are sounding so obsolete these days. For instance, Democrats and their allies love to demonize the “Koch Brothers”. Que scary music.

In reality, political organizations are working with whomever they share a common interest with regardless of where they fall on the equally obsolete political left and political right.

Looks whose working on criminal justice reform:

Trump has used a recent spike in violent crime in several major U.S. cities to bash the criminal justice reform efforts being pushed by a fragile bipartisan alliance of groups like Koch Industries, the liberal Center for American Progress, the Obama administration, and FreedomWorks, a libertarian-leaning advocacy groups that works with members of Congress on the issue.

Something to think about.