Monday, June 13, 2011

Quotes of the day

It is our failure to become our perceived ideal that ultimately defines us and makes us unique. It's not easy, but if you accept your misfortune and handle it right, your perceived failure can become a catalyst for profound re-invention.--Conan O'Brien

There is also smoke when someone puts water on the fire.--Dick Bove

... cash held by foreign banks jumps from $308 billion on November 3, or the official start of QE2, to $940 billion as of June 1: an almost dollar for dollar increase with the increase in Fed reserve balances. In other words, while the Fed did nothing to rescue foreign banks in the aftermath of the first Greek crisis, aside from opening up FX swap lines, one can argue that the whole point of QE2 was not so much to spike equity markets, or the proverbial "third mandate" of Ben Bernanke, but solely to rescue European banks!--Zero Hedge

Confidence. It does not prevent crisis, only delays it.--Eric Falkenstein

While I agree that many meat eaters can be obnoxious, inconsiderate and self-righteous in celebration of their carnivorousness, there is an equally pernicious sentiment among vegetarians that needs to be called out: the false notion that a vegetarian or vegan diet is actually good for you. Like the meat eater who needs to acknowledge the harm they're meting out as a consequence of their dietary choices, the vegetarian needs to acknowledge the fact that their diet is far from ideal.--George Dvorsky

It’s a common and questionable practice pursued by recent presidents, Republican and Democratic: Fly somewhere to raise money, throw in an official event, and have the taxpayers pick up the dime for some of the travel since a portion of the work is government business. Now, it appears, the first lady is and will be and active participant in this seedy practice, at an extra cost to taxpayers. Mrs. Obama will be in California today and tomorrow, visiting Los Angeles, Pasadena, Oakland and San Francisco. She will hold two official “first lady” events and be the star attraction at FOUR fundraisers. Whether she would have attended the official events if she wasn’t going to troll for money is anyone’s guess. But what seems likely is the cost of flying Michelle out to the West Coast so she can soak the legions of wealthy Californian Democrats for cash is being mitigated by having the official appearances on the schedule.--Keith Koffler

The company that owns Chicago's two largest futures exchanges is thinking about moving operations out of state to flee oppressive business taxes. Worried about climate change? How about the business climate?--IBD Editorial Board

Put construction workers back to work. More than two million construction workers don't have work. Every city in America has commercial buildings that can be made more energy efficient. Both the private and public sectors can step up to create good jobs and save energy.--JEFF IMMELT AND KEN CHENAULT

What a waste of time and money. We have a surplus of construction workers today, like we had a surplus of factory workers a generation ago, a surplus of farmers before that, and a surplus of blacksmiths before that. These two financial CEOs do not know much about economics, or else they are playing dumb. But I guess that was a prerequisite to work for the White House.--Cav

Our moment of low long-term rates is a golden opportunity to issue long-term debt, not to buy it back. QE2 was a small step in the wrong direction. Moreover, QE2 distracts us from the real microeconomic, tax, and regulatory barriers to growth. Unemployment isn't high because the maturity structure of U.S. government debt is a bit too long, nor from any lack of “liquidity” in a banking system with $1.5 trillion extra reserves. Mostly, it is dangerous for the Fed to claim immense power, and for us to trust that power, when it is basically helpless. If Bernanke had admitted to Congress, “there’s nothing the Fed can do. You’d better clean this mess up fast,” he might have had a much more salutary effect.--John Cochrane

Even though the Keynesian creed of stagnationism “has petered out with the situation that had made it convincing” – the Great Depression having given way to unprecedented prosperity – most economists had remained so enthralled with Keynesian technique that they seemed “bound to drift into one of those positions of which it is hard to say whether they involve renunciation, reinterpretation, or misunderstanding of the original message.” And in taking this tack, as Schumpeter had said many times before, most economists had lost sight of the heart of the capitalist process, which in its endless dynamism was the opposite of Keynesian stagnationism.--Thomas McCraw

You can see how the types of pro-growth policies in the Pawlenty plan would work toward the goal by reducing spending growth enough to balance the budget without tax increases and thereby remove threats of a debt crisis; by lowering marginal tax rates to spur hiring and job growth; by scaling back unnecessary new regulations which impede private investment and higher productivity, and by restoring sound monetary policy to remove uncertainty about inflation or another financial crisis.--John Taylor

Like most airline passengers, you probably have serious doubts about those pre-flight announcements asking you to turn off your cellphones, blackberries, iPods and anything else electronic. The announcements are flat-out ignored by many frequent fliers, who are skeptical that so-called "personal electronic devices" pose any safety threat to airplane. Some passengers openly rebel, like New York Sen. Chuck Schumer, who cursed out one flight attendant who demanded he turn off his cellphone. But a confidential industry study obtained by ABC News indicates there really could be serious safety issues related to cellphones and other PEDs. A report by the International Air Transport Association, a trade group representing more 230 passenger and cargo airlines worldwide, documents 75 separate incidents of possible electronic interference that airline pilots and other crew members believed were linked to mobile phones and other electronic devices. The report covers the years 2003 to 2009 and is based on survey responses from 125 airlines that account for a quarter of the world's air traffic.--Brian Ross

... even if CalPERS problems are a more of a molehill than a mountain, CalPERS still needs to get the molehill out of its eye before it next complains about an alleged mountain in some board of directors' eye.--Steve Bainbridge

The spirit of the First Amendment is being violated every day in Hollywood. Liberal faux-cognoscenti discriminate against conservatives, forcing them into the proverbial closet. They do it socially by refusing to invite them to the parties where business happens; they do it professionally by refusing to work with them; they do it unconsciously by shying away from anyone with a differing opinion, assuming that conservatives are incapable of empathetic writing, producing, or acting. So where are all those liberals who opposed McCarthyism now, when the evidence of such discrimination is out in the open?--Ben Shapiro

If MI6 can break into a Yemeni website run by Anwar al-Awlaki and infect it with home-baking favorites from The Ellen DeGeneres Show, I don’t doubt that the same spooks could easily hack into Anthony Weiner’s computer and tweet his cupcake to that poor college girl in Seattle. But Congressman Weiner then retreated from the sinister hacking line, and protested that all this fuss about a mere “prank” involving a “randy photo” (his words) was an “unfortunate distraction” from real issues like raising the debt ceiling. Like Bill Clinton in the Nineties, Rep Weiner needs to “get back to work for the American people.” It’s the political class doing all this relentless “work for the American people” that’s turned this country into the brokest nation in the history of the planet, killed the American Dream, and left the American people headed for a future poised somewhere between the Weimar Republic and Mad Max. So, if it’s a choice between politicians getting back to work for the American people or tweeting their privates round the planet, I say, tweet on, MacDuff. Tough on our young college ladies. But, as Queen Victoria advised her daughter on her wedding night, lie back and think of England. Download and think of America.  ... Confronted by his Twitpic, one is tempted to channel Mae West: Is that a debt-ceiling increase in your Fruit of the Looms or are you just pleased to see me? Alas for America, it’s both.--Mark Steyn

I'm taking my talents to South Beach.--LeBron James

All the people that were rooting on me to fail, at the end of the day they have to wake up tomorrow and have the same life that they had before they woke up today. They have the same personal problems they had today. ... they got to get back to the real world at some point.--LeBron James

Yeah LeBron. I did wake up to my middle class existence, not having a fraction of the wealth as you. Nor do I have to wake up, then spend endless days and nights knowing what a choke I am, and how millions of people, because I am a schmuck, really want to see me fail. I can live with that LeBron. Can you?--whittierte

No one made him predict even one championship, he did it. No one made him move to Miami, he did it. No one made him make fun of Nowitzki, he did it. And so on. Wonder if there is a no-trade clause in that contract.--genmil1

This is a win for team basketball.--Dirk Nowtizki

... LeBron James Appreciation Day: Everyone gets to take off 12 minutes early.--@asigseth

And Lebron James refused to even catch the ball much less take on the moment ... And the Heat faded away ... In a weird way, that fading away kind of tempered my joy. It even made me a little sad. Oh, sure, I'm glad Dallas won. I'm glad Miami lost. I'm glad Dirk Nowitzki won a championship -- he's one of the great players in NBA history. And I'm glad that The Decision Season did not end with LeBron James holding a trophy above his head. That would have been a tough one to take. But, the way it ended made me feel like the whole season of rooting against Miami was kind of pointless. Sure, the Heat came close. Sure, the Heat overwhelmed teams at times. Sure the Heat got to the brink of the most brazen championship in recent memory. But, then it got too hard. After the game, Chris Bosh offered that most cliche of concessions: "They wanted it more than we did." But in this case, those words carried with them a little shock value. Really? They wanted it more? As a friend says: "Then what was the point of any of this?" The way it ended make me feel like this Miami Heat team, with LeBron James playing the lead, wasn't really good enough to be worth my disdain.--Joe Posnanski

WHEREAS, the Dallas Mavericks displayed the loyalty, integrity, and teamwork essential to victory before the entire country, affirming these admirable traits are as crucial as talent and athleticism; and WHEREAS, NBA Finals Most Valuable Player Dirk Nowitzki chose to re-sign with the Dallas Mavericks in the summer of 2010, forgoing free agency and keeping his talents in Dallas, thus remaining loyal to the team, city and fans for whom he played his entire career ... NOW, THEREFORE I, John R. Kasich, Governor of the state of Ohio, do hereby name the DALLAS MAVERICKS organization friends, family, and fans as honoray Ohioans ...

I'm a huge classical music fan, but I'm grateful my parents didn't push me to learn an instrument, because I think I'd hate music if they had.--Bryan Caplan

That shows you can't win as a parent, because my husband wishes he had been pushed.--Amy Chua, a.k.a. Tiger Mom

While a lady friend has explained to me that women dress for each other and undress for men (thank you, ladies), we men are at the very least unintended or secondary members of your audience if not, on occasion, your primary intended victims.--Epicurean Dealmaker
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