Hedge Fund Front Running or More Lazier Faire / More Corruption

SEC probes trading at hedge funds

Regulators seek data from brokerages on possible insider activity that hurts mutual funds.
By Walter Hamilton, Times Staff Writer
February 7, 2007

Underscoring the growing clout of hedge funds, federal regulators are seeking to determine whether Wall Street stock brokerages routinely leak sensitive trading information to people running these investment vehicles.

The probe by the Securities and Exchange Commission grows out of concerns by mutual funds that brokerage traders are tipping off hedge fund managers to upcoming orders to trade large quantities of stock, giving the hedge funds a chance to buy or sell ahead of the order, said a person with knowledge of the investigation.

Such "front running" hurts the mutual funds (and their individual investors) by making stocks they are selling less valuable, and stocks they are buying more expensive.

Gov. Jim Doyle's Plans:

1. Wants state to pay for added school choice

2. A plan for tobacco bonds

3. Tax cut proposals

Early Schoolday Nostalgia

National Soviet Schools Week always makes me nostalgic for the good old days of cold war.
My memories are fond of my days back in motherland at Soviet School 666 and my early indoctrination sessions. Oh what a happy times. As young pioneer I learned the ways of the revolution, the glory of the motherland and the lies of Capitalists exploitationiks.
Bopcha would read to me from my favorite little red book, written by my Dzadja, Mikhail so long ago.
But those days are long ago and gone. Today we make progress and become Capitalist Wealth Building Tanning Salon Entrepenuers. It is better life now with Freedom and Liberty and a good tan to go with our higher calling to make buck from stupid sheepniks.
Today I celebrate Freedom and Liberty and Stock Portfolio, but long so much for the old days of More Government, and Less Freedom.

Read more from Djadja's Book Here:
And about life in mother Russian from my evil twin at ontherborderline.net.

Wisconsin State Senate Republicans Unveil 2007-08 Agenda

Senate GOP supports lower taxes, fiscal responsibility, economic development and ending the hidden health care tax

MADISON: State Senate Republicans today unveiled their legislative agenda for the 2007-2008 session. The agenda is highlighted by a "back to basics" approach focusing on lowering the tax burden on Wisconsin families, restoring fiscal discipline and honest budgeting, helping Wisconsin's economy grow and ending the hidden tax on health care that cost Wisconsin families $550 million in 2005.

Wal-Mart, Union Leaders Collaborate on Health Care

Wal-Mart and the Service Employees International Union have become the latest in a series of unlikely alliances calling for broader and more affordable coverage. Business experts discuss efforts to fix health care.

"The statistics are shocking. By next year, if health care costs continue to grow as they've been, that will eclipse the profits in Fortune 500 companies. Starbucks now spends more on health benefits than on coffee beans."

Center for American Progress

Climate change: The biggest game on earth

Climate-change politics is a sleeping giant that has arisen, writes Paul Gilding

LIKE many deeply involved in the climate change issue for the past 20 years, I've been feeling disoriented. Suddenly it's a top-order political issue, nationally and globally, and arguably the defining issue of our times. Carbon trading is just around the corner, conservative green politics has arrived and for consumers, paying for your carbon will soon be normal operating procedure.

In 30 years' involvement in social and environmental issues, I have never seen an issue move so fast or so dramatically as did this one in the spring of 2006. Nor have I been so excited at the potential for rapid, far-reaching change. So what happened and, more important, what happens now? Is this a genuine global environmental spring or is this some kind of weird drought-influenced aberration that will pass and normal transmission will then return?

And carbon pricing - what does it mean and how will it work? What are the implications for Australia and for key industries? With the arrival of "conservative green", will politics in Australia be the same again?


"Free" as in "lawless"

"The term "free market" is really a euphemism. What the far right actually means by this term is 'lawless market.' In a lawless market, entrepreneurs can get away with privatizing the benefits of the market (profits), while socializing its costs (like pollution). Uncomfortable with the concept of a lawless market? The far right will try to reassure you with claims that the market can produce its own laws, either as a commodity bought and sold on the market, or through natural market mechanisms like the 'invisible hand' or the Coase theorem. But it is interesting to note that even if entrepreneurs don't take the more likely shortcut of creating their own state, this type of law removes the creation of law from democratic legislatures and gives it to authoritarian business owners and landlords. And since you get what you pay for, 'purchased law' will primarily benefit its purchasers. Society might as well return to aristocracy directly."

-- Steve Kangas

Libertarian quack...

Back to the Future


A squirrel of controversy...

The "Invisible Hand"

"The ideas of economists and political philosophers, both when they are right and when they are wrong, are more powerful than is commonly understood. Indeed, the world is ruled by little else. Practical men, who believe themselves to be quite exempt from any intellectual influences, are usually the slaves of some defunct economist. Madmen in authority, who hear voices in the air, are distilling their frenzy from some academic scribbler of a few years back."

-- John Maynard Keynes

Comrade Bob blogs with his friends ontheborderline...

Comrade Bob sez:
I am very happy that New Richmond school board keep Hudson blogtroopers out of school board forum. I tolerate reasonable people from ACLU and politicians on the take from Wisconsin Manufacturers & Commerce, but not you anti-educrats from Hudson.

N. Onimous Says:
February 7th, 2007 at 7:18 pm
"So Bob, let’s get this straight so I can understand your “logic”. As long as your restriction of the 1st amendment includes stray politicians and the ACLU then it’s okay. And you had every right to fight the referendum that just squeaked by in Hudson. Where were you? You’re not only conflicted, you need to join up with the communist from New Richmond who’s watching out for the government pensions and health care benefits 'common good'."

taxinthevaseline Says:
February 5th, 2007 at 2:13 pm
Comrade Bob you are absolutely wrong. First, you even state above that 5% will not come from New Richmond. If that is true, where does it come from? Second, who is going to pay for the operating expenses of your new schools? Approx 50% will come from shared revenue at the state level. Last I checked, we all pay that. Third, Who pays for the health care and pensions as noted above by spiritpickshisass?

You seem to be misguided Comrade Bob. If you don't quit using math that makes sense, we are going to have to kick you off our blog. Then you try to shut out anyone who is actually using the other half of your brain as a peanut bowl as illustrated in your letter to the editor. I don’t get it! Of course, most people don't get me...
Comrade Bob sez:
February 30, 2007 at 6:66 PM
Why don't you guys take a flying leap at a rolling donut. Don't let the door hit you in the ass on the way out the door. You mother wears combat boots. If your wishes were fishes, there'd be no room to swim in the ocean. Oh dear, bread and beer, if I were you I wouldn't be here. You didn't get that round mouth from eating three square meals a day. If a six turned out to be nine, I wouldn't mine. Did you get you haircut at a barber shop on Mars?

Tune in tomorrow for another slice of ontheborderline.nut baloney...

Dr. Spirit's Southern Tradition

Less Government/More Freedom (for who?)
In 1959 Shirley turned 6 years old. Her excitement grew as fall approached because she would be going to school for the first time. What she didn't understand was that 1959 was to be different. The US Federal Court had ordered Prince Edward County, Virginia, where Shirley lived, to desegregate its schools. And the county school board, rather than integrate their system as ordered, closed all the public schools.

Shirley's story is a true one, as related by Don Baker in a Washington Post article published in 2001. By the time the schools reopened in 1964, Shirley was 11 years old and should have been in the 5th grade. As disturbing as this was, for the teenagers of Prince Edward County the situation was far more serious. Not being able to attend school from 1959 to 1964 meant missing high school completely. Job opportunities would be severely limited without a high school diploma, and college plans were out of the question. Many families sent their children to live with family members in neighboring counties or states so they could be educated. Those who did not have family to turn to were left without formal schooling.

Further reading:
Prince Edward County Virginia School Closing Issue:

The problem with people who have no vices is that generally you can be pretty sure they're going to have some pretty annoying virtues.

-- Elizabeth Taylor

"The trouble with our times is that the future is not what it used to be."
-- Paul Valery


Less laissez-faire / more democracy

"The argument for laissez-faire capitalism is built on a contradictory view of liberty. Right-wing libertarians understand that state control of all economic activity is tyrannical: that the power to determine if and how people make a living is the power to enforce conformity. But they don't see that the huge transnational corporations that own and control most of the world's wealth exercise a parallel tyranny: not only do these behemoths unilaterally determine qualifications, wages, hours, and working conditions for millions of workers, who (if they're lucky) may "choose" from a highly restricted menu of jobs or "choose" to stop eating; they make production, investment and lending decisions that profoundly affect the economic, social, and political landscape of communities and indeed entire countries -- decisions in which the great majority of people affected have little or no voice. Murray defines economic freedom as "the right to engage in voluntary and informed exchanges of goods and services without restriction."

Fine -- but if an economic transaction is to be truly voluntary and informed, all parties must have equal power to accept, reject, or influence its terms, as well as equal access to information. Can anyone claim that corporate employers and employees have equal power to negotiate their exchange? Or that consumers have full access to information about the products they buy? And if we're really interested in freedom, the right to voluntary and informed engagement in economic transactions has to be extended beyond their principals to others affected -- whether by plants that reduce air quality or rent increases that chase out shoe repair shops in favor of coffee bars.

The inconsistency of the belief that economic domination by the state destroys freedom, while economic domination by capital somehow enhances it, is often rationalized by attributing the self-interested decisions of the corporate elite to objective, immutable principles like "the invisible hand" or "supply and demand" -- just as state tyranny has claimed to embody the laws of God or History. But the real animating principle of a free society is democracy -- which should include a democratic economy based on enterprises owned and controlled by their workers."

Ellen Willis

Children it's Wednesday afternoon. Do you know why your dad is swearing at the newspaper?

Underpaid teachers?

"The basic facts are that, on the whole, public school teachers are not underpaid, says Greene. They're paid about 11% better per hour than other professional and technical specialty workers - that's the cluster of occupations, from clergy to physicians, that the Department of Labor says teachers are part of. They're paid about 16% more in metro Milwaukee."

By Patrick McIlheran JS Online

There was something in National Geographic a while back about a man in India whose job was to descend into sewers and unclog them. Afterward, encrusted, he went door to door until he found someone willing to lend him a hose to clean off.

Whatever he was being paid, it wasn't enough.

People have some of that "you couldn't pay me enough" sentiment about difficult jobs that do pay enough to attract workers in America. Teaching is one of them. That's probably because we recall how we treated the substitute teacher back in junior high.

Jay P. Greene, who teaches in the education school at the University of Arkansas, suggests that "we want to say we appreciate teachers and that we value them," and so we say teachers are underpaid. It shows we care.

"But that shouldn't blind us to basic facts," he says. That's doubly so in Wisconsin, now that teachers unions have put higher pay on Gov. Jim Doyle's shopping list.

Read more!


Dr. Strangelove 2007

Challenge Free-Market Fundamentalism

"Market fundamentalism has become like the air we breathe; we hardly notice it. Every time George W. Bush argues for more tax cuts, he relies on the unquestioned assumption that we all embrace market fundamentalism. Like religious fundamentalism, it is based more on faith than on reason. Through constant repetition, however, the American public has been bullied into believing that private spending is rational and efficient, while public spending is always wasteful and unproductive. (Tell that to people in New Orleans.)"

Read more at Tom Paine!

02/05/1981: Reagan cut taxes and starts spending like a drunken sailor plan

President Reagan, in a nationwide address, said the United States was in ``the worst economic mess since the Great Depression'' and called for sweeping spending and tax cuts. Trinkle-down economics is born, under the slogan that a rising tide floats all yachts.

Skeptical scrutiny is the means, in both science and religion, by which deep insights can be winnowed from deep nonsense.

- Carl Sagan


There are many reasons for a dike bathroom in Hudson

and none of them have to do with global warming.

Hello Dali! Is that a Richard Potato or are you just glad to see me?

Agitator: a political troublemaker

“Politics in the United States consists of the struggle between those whose change has been arrested by success or failure, on one side, and those who are still engaged in changing themselves, on the other. Agitators of arrested metamorphosis versus agitators of continued metamorphosis. The former have the advantage of numbers (since most people accept themselves as successes or failures quite early), the latter of vitality and visibility (since self-transformation, though it begins from within, with ideology, religion, drugs, tends to express itself publicly through costume and jargon).”

Harold Rosenberg

“Actually we are a vulgar, pushing mob whose passions are easily mobilized by demagogues, newspaper men, religious quacks, agitators and such like. To call this a society of free peoples is blasphemous. What have we to offer the world besides the superabundant loot which we recklessly plunder from the earth under the maniacal delusion that this insane activity represents progress and enlightenment?”

Henry Miller

Ziller Completes OTBL Refresher Course