Sunday, September 15, 2013

The End of "Summer"(s)

Even if you are just a casual market observer you are going to be sick of hearing two names by tomorrow.  Larry Summers - the Harvard insider with deep White House connections - called the President today to ask that his name be withdrawn from consideration for the next Chairman of the Federal Reserve.  This is welcome news because I think Mr. Summers would have been way over his skis trying to run the Fed and I was really tired of seeing him fail "upward" with progressively better jobs in government despite failing at each job miserably.

So, despite the market consensus that Mr. Summers was the odds on favorite to be named the next Fed Chairman the next man up - or in this case, next woman - will be Janet Yellen.  Ms. Yellen is widely viewed as being less Wall Street friendly but she is a fan of QE.  What this means for the Feds plan to taper QE3 this Fall is unclear, but the initial reaction in the futures market was clear - stocks exploded higher on the hopium that QE4EVER.

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This is a bit of a local story but it really speaks to some of the bigger issues we have in this country with spending, and the militarization of our local police forces.

Jefferson County's Sheriff Department will receive a $600,000 MSRP 19-ton Humvee on Steroids from the Department of Defense for "free".

To put this in a little perspective - Jefferson County has roughly 120,000 people or about 30% fewer people than Cass County, North Dakota.  A vehicle like this is designed to avoid IED's of which is not really a pressing issue as far as I can tell.

While it's pitched as being "free" to Jefferson County - the DoD will effectively be taking a 2008 vehicle and writing it down to $0 after just 5 years.  Since, this was funded through your taxes it's amazing to me that we are buying $600k vehicles with the intention of them being worth $0 after 5 years.

Cheers!

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