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They built fortunes and Paris:
In the seventeenth century, all these factors came together, and Paris became the European capital of conspicuous consumption when a new kind of wealth began to be very ostentatiously exhibited…All through the century, incalculably ostentatious displays of opulence were rolled out by non-Parisians of humble birth. The most publicized cases involved your men from poor families in the French provinces who, once they reached the French capital, had managed to amass fortunes. To a man, they owed their rags-to-riches stories to their instinct for the working of the age’s equivalent of high finance…
Guidebooks presented this financial elite’s impact on the cityscape as a noteworthy feature of modern Paris; their authors never failed to point out when a residence they recommended as particularly fine belonged to a man of finance. And indeed more than half the homes new to Paris in the seventeenth century and considered then and now to be of architectural significance were built by men who made their fortunes in finance rather than inheriting them. These men, who early in the century became known as “financiers,” were more than three times as likely as the scions of the great old families to build a home in seventeenth-century Paris and thereby to have helped create the original modern French architecture. And, as a 1707 work explained, this was evident to all: “Everyone knows that it’s because of the financiers that [Paris] has the special glow for which it is so renowned at present.”
The financiers were not the only group responsible for the “special glow” with which memorable modern architecture enveloped the city. A second profession also made a meteoric rise to prominence in the city on the move: the real-estate developer….
In the seventeenth century, Paris became a city in which to many the lure of money seemed omnipresent… a city that was “paradise for the rich and hell for the poor”…
Writers of every stripe… spoke of men of new wealth in the same way, as “leeches” who were bleeding the country dry and making paupers of honest citizens…..
The stories of Parisian financiers inspired the creation of other new words… nouveau riche… “the plague of our century”…”absolutely teeming with nouveaux riches, flaunting the fruit of their plundering of widows and orphans.”…
Parvenue, “one day a servant, the next, master of the house.”…
Millionnaire was initially a synonym for nouveau riche and parvenu, and individual of humble origins whose vast wealth was both sudden and ill-gotten….
Read the book – well worth the time.
How Paris Became Paris – The Invention of the Modern City by Joan DeJean, Bloomsbury Publishing
Elizabeth Warren’s concerns about trade deals undermining financial regulations get an unexpected confirmation from Canada.
The settlements with the banks along with the ongoing investigations have shown that virtually every market is being manipulated; the stocks, metals markets, LIBOR, FOREX, everything. The companies would only break so many laws if they felt they would have a reasonable chance of getting away with it; they would also need a reason to do it, which is provided by the infinite growth model our economy is based on.
The GOP loves to insist that Democrats have caused a fiscal crisis. But the real story looks far different…
…when Republican Vice President Dick Cheney said to Treasury Secretary Paul O’Neil, “You know, Paul, Reagan proved deficits don’t matter.” Indeed, Ted Cruz’s hero Ronald Reagan was the original deficit master.
When Reagan took office, he advocated fiscal responsibility, as his disciples do today. But his presidency was anything but responsible when it came to fiscal policies. The size of America’s debt when he entered office was $1 trillion, and by the end of his two terms, it had grown by 190 percent, to $2.9 trillion, nearly tripling under his leadership. By the the end of twelve years of Reagan-Bush administration, the debt had quadrupled to $4 trillion…
…Reagan backtracked from that initial tax cut, increasing income taxes as well as gasoline and social security taxes, which he would use to fund his runaway spending.
…both Ford and Carter were better at cutting government spending — their presidential terms combined for a 1.4 percent increase of national income, while Reagan’s spending grew 3 percent.
Rather than going the responsible “tax and spend” route, Reagan decided to “borrow and spend.”…
…So, Reagan and Bush Sr. quadrupled America’s debt, following a decade of fiscal irresponsibility and regressive tax increases that ultimately defrauded America’s working class. And then, of course, Democrat Bill Clinton came into office to clean up the mess. In his first years, Clinton enacted tax increases for the wealthy, and the effective total federal tax rates rose significantly for the one percent. When Clinton signed these increases into law, Conservatives warned it would destroy jobs and stifle economic growth — but the opposite happened, the economy flourished…Clinton was fiscally responsible, and he left George W. Bush with a budged surplus of $86 billion.
And what did the Republican do with this wonderful gift? He did the usual — cut taxes for the wealthy, and rapidly increased spending by starting two extremely expensive wars. Bush’s fiscally irresponsible policies raised the debt by over $5 trillion. This, along with his administrations lack of Wall Street oversight, helped fuel the financial crisis that he would pass down to President Obama…
For the full story and more facts please go to: The ludicrous myth of Republican fiscal responsibility: A history lesson for the modern GOP – Salon.com
Are Republicans aiding Chinese efforts to undercut America’s global economic sway?
That’s the case some Democrats are making, complaining that GOP lawmakers are eroding U.S. soft-power overseas by refusing to back the key international institutions where the U.S. has long exercised intellectual, political and economic leverage.
The value of many oceanfront properties on the East Coast could drop dramatically if Congress were to suddenly end federal beach nourishment subsidies. Values could fall by as much as 17 percent in towns with high property values and almost 34 percent in towns with low property values. A gradual reduction of the subsidies, in contrast, is more likely to smooth the transition to more climate-resilient coastal communities.
“the justices of the Supreme Court have shaped a nation where children toiled in coal mines, where Americans could be forced into camps because of their race, and where a woman could be sterilized against her will by state law. The Court was the midwife of Jim Crow, the right hand of union busters, and the dead hand of the Confederacy. Nor is the modern Court a vast improvement, with its incursions on voting rights and its willingness to place elections for sale.”
Even amidst this dark history, certain justices stand out as particularly mean-spirited, ideological or unconcerned about their duty to follow the text of the Constitution. Based on my review of over 150 years of Supreme Court history in Injustices, here are the five jurists who stand out as the worst justices in American history:
Sprawl costs the American economy more than $1 trillion annually, according to a new study by the New Climate Economy. That’s more than $3,000 for every man, woman, and child.
These costs include greater spending on infrastructure, public service delivery and transportation. The study finds that Americans living in sprawled communities directly bear $625 billion in extra costs. In addition, all residents and businesses, regardless of where they are located, bear an extra $400 billion in external costs.
via Sprawl costs US more than a trillion dollars a year | Better! Cities & Towns Online.
While Obama is at least attempting to deal with the end of U.S. hegemony, Republicans will promote rhetoric over reality and further weaken the U.S.’s global influence.
Now that Australia, New Zealand, India, and Indonesia are also considering joining the bank, the United States is clearly tempering its opposition. In fact, Washington ultimately may be left out since the Republican-dominated Congress is unlikely to allow the United States to join the new bank.
Imagine what it would be like if these people weren’t “christian”?
Congressional Budget Plans Get Two-Thirds of Cuts From Programs for People With Low or Moderate Incomes, by Richard Kogan and Isaac Shapiro, CBPP: The budgets adopted on March 19 by the House Budget Committee and the Senate Budget Committee each cut more than $3 trillion over ten years (2016-2025) from programs that serve people of limited means. These deep reductions amount to 69 percent of the cuts to non-defense spending in both the House and Senate plans.
via Economist’s View
James McCarthy has 30+ years in finance and private equity, corporate structuring and work-outs, and raising debt and equity as an investor, lender, investment manager, portfolio manager, financial advisor, corporate consultant, work-out consultant, and city planner. Clients have included domestic and offshore institutional investors, investment funds, hedge funds, high net worth investors, and private companies. I hold an MBA from Columbia University and a Master of City & Regional Planning from Rutgers University.
Special interests include green and sustainable design, resilience, passive energy design, waterfront, walkability, transit-oriented design, affordable housing, high-quality and innovative architecture and construction technology, mixed-use development, and the inclusion of public spaces and landscape architecture.