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Old 2020-03-26, 20:54   #100
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03/26/20 close 22,552.17 +1,351.62 (+6.38%)
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Old 2020-03-26, 21:28   #101
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Uncwilly View Post
Fixed that for you
Carol Burnett fan?
It was "as the market turns" because it appeared to be wildly oscillatory a while.
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Old 2020-03-26, 21:51   #102
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Carol Burnett fan?
Who isn't?
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Old 2020-03-27, 22:55   #103
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Default What will the next week bring?

03/23/20 close 18,591.93 -582.05 (-3.04%)

03/24/20 close 20,704.91 +2,112.98 (+11.37%)

03/25/20 close 21,200.55 +495.64 (+2.39%)

03/26/20 close 22,552.17 +1,351.62 (+6.38%)

03/27/20 close 21,636.78 -915.39 (-4.06%)
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Old 2020-03-28, 00:23   #104
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Helicopter Money for Wall Street | Wolf Street
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Total assets on the Fed’s weekly balance sheet, released this afternoon, spiked by $586 billion in one week, to $5.25 trillion. This doesn’t even include yet the bulk of the mortgage-backed securities (MBS) the Fed bought over the past two weeks because the Fed books them when its trades settle, and MBS trades take a while to settle. So they will show up later.

Over the past two weeks, total assets have ballooned by $942 billion – again not including the bulk of the MBS it bought during that time, which will be booked when they settle. Money creation at its finest:
[image]
If the Fed had sent that $942 billion it created over the past two weeks to the 130 million households in the US, each household would have received $7,250. But that didn’t happen. That was helicopter money for Wall Street.
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Old 2020-03-28, 18:01   #105
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For comparison to the recent alleged CV19-rescue initially proposed at 0.85T and promptly ballooning to 2.2T to 6T or thereabouts, 23 trillion Federal debt before that, various state debts, Medicare, SSI, $32T/decade Medicare-for-all proposal, 92T Green New Deal proposal, etc, consider the $23T valuation figure of all undeveloped land in the entire USA. And some of that has already been sold off to foreign interests.
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Old 2020-03-28, 20:01   #106
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Originally Posted by kriesel View Post
For comparison to the recent alleged CV19-rescue initially proposed at 0.85T and promptly ballooning to 2.2T to 6T or thereabouts, 23 trillion Federal debt before that, various state debts, Medicare, SSI, $32T/decade Medicare-for-all proposal, 92T Green New Deal proposal, etc, consider the $23T valuation figure of all undeveloped land in the entire USA. And some of that has already been sold off to foreign interests.
If push comes to shove, the Fed can simply start direct monetization of new debt issuance - selling it into the markets and paying interest on it is a *choice*, especially for the holder of the world's leading reserve currency, which makes a Weimar/Zimbabwe-style hyperinflation event exceedingly unlikely. Want evidence of the latter claim? Look at Japan's debt-to-GDP ratio - has the Yen (also a major reserve currency) collapsed? Not even close.

More important than the amount of debt is what it's going to - supporting real-economy-boosting demand ("money for the peeps") is where it should be going - that almost always yields a boost to GDP which is several multiples of the newly incurred deficit - instead of propping up a now-almost-entirely-parasitic financial sector.

And your M4A cost-estimate note constitutes a lie of omission, since it fails to note what the alternate, a.k.a. the status quo, costs:

Column: $32 trillion for 'Medicare for all'? It's a bargain - Los Angeles Times
Quote:
Democrats have done a miserable job selling “Medicare for all” to the American people.

They’re adept at highlighting the myriad problems with our healthcare system — the high costs, the millions uninsured, the financial devastation of getting sick.

But when it comes to solutions, most of the Democratic presidential candidates offer vague policy proposals and sidestep pointed questions about how much healthcare reform would cost.

This is simply foolish. On both counts — policy and price — the Dems have a winning political issue.

They can point to other developed countries in making the case for the economics and effectiveness of public health plans, whether we’re talking Medicare for all or a similar “public option.”

And they can point to current healthcare spending to make a case for why their proposals would cost less than the status quo that conservatives are determined to defend.

Gerald Kominski, a professor of health policy and management at UCLA, tells me the problem with communicating these ideas is that the scope of the problem is so large, and the underlying components so complex, many people can’t get their heads around such difficult policy matters.

“This easily slips into Nerd Land,” he said.

But once you clear away all the policy brush, Kominski observed, there’s a fairly simple message to be conveyed about Medicare for all or any other single-payer system.

“Most families would be better off,” he said.

There it is.

Yes, this is all very complicated. And, yes, there would be nothing easy about transforming the U.S. healthcare system into one more in line with our economic peers.

But let’s emphasize Kominski’s point: Most families would be better off.

That’s the case Democrats should be making, again and again, to the American people.

More than a third of Democratic voters who turned out for New Hampshire’s first-in-the-nation primary this week said healthcare was the most important issue in this presidential election.

Even Republicans say healthcare is one of their most pressing concerns, according to a recent Gallup poll.
Advertisement

Yet critics of Medicare for all say the idea is a non-starter because of its astronomical cost.

They cite a study published last year showing that if Vermont Sen. Bernie Sanders’ proposal for a comprehensive single-payer system were enacted, it would cost about $32 trillion in new federal revenue over 10 years.

Thirty-two trillion! Many Americans couldn’t even tell you how many zeroes are in a number that grotesquely huge.

What Democrats have done a terrible job communicating is that we’re currently spending $3.6 trillion a year on healthcare. That translates to $36 trillion over the next decade.

But the status quo is actually way worse than that.

The federal government estimates that national healthcare spending will total about $48 trillion over the next 10 years as costs keep going up.

By 2027, according to the Centers for Medicare and Medicaid Services, we’ll be spending about $6 trillion annually on healthcare. Total spending over the subsequent 10 years likely will reach a staggering $60 trillion — at least.

That’s the cost of doing nothing. It’s what opponents of healthcare reform are saying is our best option.

Last fiddled with by ewmayer on 2020-03-28 at 20:16
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Old 2020-03-28, 20:53   #107
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Ernst, maybe I should introduce you to one of my Facebook friends. He'd go point by point on Obamacare and Medicare for all being bad ideas. I haven't the patience for it.
I do note though, that 3 of my 4 doctors quit the business rather than deal with Obamacare's requirement that they become computer clerks too. (I'm not sure about the fourth.) Obamacare was about insurance, and electronic medical records. It did not create new clinics, doctors, nurses, hospitals, diagnostic machinery, pharmacists, pharmacies, pharmaceutical manufacturing. Medicare was supposed to lower my health care costs. My health insurance costs have abruptly gone substantially UP, under Medicare, even though I've been paying in since 1972, when I could ill afford the payroll deduction, as a starving student, paying the equivalent of 140 cheapest feasible meals per year toward the care of people my grandfather's age. What a scam that has turned out to be. Plus they've screwed up the record keeping so I've been double billed on occasion. So now you want me to be paying for additional people, beyond my own and whoever else I'm already carrying. No thanks. Social Security will turn out to have been an equally damaging scam; return in retirement is only 40% per dollar paid in, of what could have been obtained in the private sector or by third-party groups like the Wisconsin Retirement System. SSI is a scam for ensuring compulsory below-market low-interest-bearing loans to the federal government for decades. Then they have the nerve to tax us again on the belated return of our inflation-weakened own money.
I worked for the government for over 35 years and had ample opportunity to observe the irrationality, self-serving, and inefficiency up close. Adding that kind of overhead to major cash flows in the economy is a horrible idea.
In closing, I direct you to look at how people in the UK are being denied needed treatment, how people in Canada are sometimes coming to the US for treatment despite their national health system, and how rife with issues the VA had long been, our domestic nationalized health care provider for US veterans, with veterans frequently dying while waiting for treatment.
And note that reserve currencies change. https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Reserve_currency#History China has reason to promote a change away from the dollar.

Last fiddled with by kriesel on 2020-03-28 at 21:22
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Old 2020-03-28, 23:48   #108
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Ken, it's interesting to contrast your intensely data-driven code-QA work with your above, which is filled with anecdotes instead of data, vague hand-waving claims and further lying-by-omission. If I sound harsh, it's due to my deep belief that agnotology kills, whether it be about climate change, the dangers of cigarettes, "public goods are best entrusted to the oh-so-efficient private sector", or how government financing works.

If you want to get your "facebook friend to make a rebuttal", by all means do so - I stay the hell away from F***book - but it will be held to the same standard of data-driveness you are failing to provide.

o The fact that you lump Obamacare and Medicare for all is telling.

o Please provide *data* re. the rises in your Medicare expenses - how does the rate compare to overall medical-cost increse in the US, and to what degree, if any, is the rise related to simply getting older and using more medical serice, etc. And please note which Medicare plan(s) you are using.

o "when I could ill afford the payroll deduction, as a starving student, paying the equivalent of 140 cheapest feasible meals per year toward the care of people my grandfather's age" -- So your grandfather and his fellow seniors should've just done us all the courtesy of going and dying? Your grandfather wouldn't happen to have been one the millions who were wiped out by the "private sector"-caused Great Depression, would he?

o "Social Security will turn out to have been an equally damaging scam; return in retirement is only 40% per dollar paid in, of what could have been obtained in the private sector or by third-party groups like the Wisconsin Retirement System." -- No data backing up your claims, and you profoundly misunderstand the diference between SS and "private sector" investment vehicles. (That would the same "private sector" which gifted us the 2008-9 financial crisis - how many millions of lives were foreshortened by the fallout from that?). And the Wisconsin Retirement System (for which you again provide numbers, btw) - isn't that a *government* program? Again, here some actual data:
Quote:
Could workers make their money grow more quickly with personal accounts? The actuaries at the Social Security Administration (SSA) ran an analysis recently that simulated real (after inflation) annual rates of return on payroll tax contributions for beneficiaries who were born between 1920 and 2004.

It showed that some workers might beat Social Security’s returns in some years if they took risks in the stock market. But over a lifetime, Social Security’s consistent, risk-free and inflation-adjusted returns would be very tough to beat.

I say “simulated” because the amount of your Social Security benefit is not based on tax contributions, but on your lifetime wage history and longevity. Moreover, Social Security is not an investment vehicle dependent solely on market returns - it is more like a form of insurance, annuity or pension, since its promise is to pay a monthly benefit amount no matter how long you live. In that sense, there is a peace-of-mind value that is difficult to quantify.

“Since you’re guaranteed an inflation-adjusted income stream for life, you can think about your other sources of income and assets knowing that you’ll always have Social Security,” said Melissa Favreault, a senior fellow at the Urban Institute.
The *real* scandal with SS is that the rich only pay based on their first $100,000 of annual earnings. Your poor-student anecdote actually highlights this unfairness - how about we switch to "no SS pay-ins below a threshold income tied to the poverty level, but all income above that is subject to the deduction?"

o "I worked for the government for over 35 years and had ample opportunity to observe the irrationality, self-serving, and inefficiency up close" -- The private sector is apparently immune to these ills.

o "In closing, I direct you to look at how people in the UK are being denied needed treatment, how people in Canada are sometimes coming to the US for treatment despite their national health system" -- No numbers comparing UK to US. How many USians are denied treatment by way of being priced out of medical services? Canada: anecdote ("how people") in place of data, lie of omission in failing to mention the other direction of flow, e.g. by USians who can't afford sky-high prices for crucial drugs. Overall, single-payer national health services spend a much lower percentage of their GDP each year on health services and get a much better standard of care for what they spend. I've seen those cost-versus-quality comparisons for the developed countires - they are easy to find, and damning for the US.

o "And note that reserve currencies change" - of course they do, but they major ones tend to stick around for a while, even if the fortunes of their issuers cause them to be eclipsed by another (e.g. UK Pound Sterling giving way to $US in the wake of the Bretton Woods accords at end of WW2). China - don't make me laugh. Here, more data for you:
Quote:
The combined share of the dollar and the euro edged down to 82.4% in Q4 2018. The remaining currencies make up 17.6% of allocated global reserve currencies. On October 1, 2016, the IMF added the Chinese renminbi to its currency basket, the Special Drawing Rights (SDR), elevating it to an official global reserve currency. Hopes by some folks that it would dethrone the dollar as hegemon have been disappointed. But little by little, the renminbi is gaining. In Q4 2018, with a share of 1.89%, it beat the Canadian dollar for the first time and moved up to fifth place on the list:

Dollar: 61.7%
Euro: 20.7%
Japanese yen: 5.2%
UK pound sterling, at 4.4%.
Chinese renminbi: 1.9% (record)
Canadian Dollar: 1.8%
Australian dollar: 1.6%
Swiss franc: 0.15%
Other: 2.48%
Sure, RMB has risen since the IMF added it, but it's still completely irrelevant.

The one point you make with which I agree is that the VA problems are scandalous. You might want to ask yourself who profits from all those wars.
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Old 2020-03-29, 10:35   #109
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Quote:
Originally Posted by ewmayer View Post
o "And note that reserve currencies change" - of course they do, but they major ones tend to stick around for a while, even if the fortunes of their issuers cause them to be eclipsed by another (e.g. UK Pound Sterling giving way to $US in the wake of the Bretton Woods accords at end of WW2). China - don't make me laugh. Here, more data for you:

Sure, RMB has risen since the IMF added it, but it's still completely irrelevant.
What I find surprsing in that table is that the GPB is so high in the list and not far below the JPY.
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Old 2020-03-29, 16:45   #110
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The point I made initially, that government can drastically outspend the value of a huge national asset, has been conveniently ignored.
Quote:
Originally Posted by ewmayer View Post
Ken, it's interesting to contrast your intensely data-driven code-QA work with your above, which is filled with anecdotes instead of data, vague hand-waving claims and further lying-by-omission.
I applied the same meticulous analysis to my own situation. Feel free to post your own financial data online to make your case. I choose not to post my financial data. Financial data such as taxable income can be approximately inferred from Medicare premiums.

Also, this is the lounge. A lower level of rigor is generally permitted here than in software-specific or number-theory threads. And you know that. And as far as I know, expressing opinion or emotion is not prohibited.

Something that got overlooked previously, is that 32T for Medicare-for-all is not the full cost per decade; it's only the INCREMENT above what the government is already paying for existing Medicare and other health related programs (VA, food assistance, etc.).

I feel you have been far too lavish with accusations of lie-by-omission. I did not sign on to being your research assistant.

I note also that you omitted the distinction about the 32T being an increment, yet compared it to a total for the alternative.

The USA is in my opinion already FAR too socialist and needs to be pulled back considerably.
The proper roles of governments are defined in their constitutions. Compulsory charity is not among the powers or duties of federal or state governments as granted in their constitutions from the governed, or the charters of the more local governments for that matter.

Quote:
o The fact that you lump Obamacare and Medicare for all is telling.
That Obamacare, Medicare for all, and SSI are compulsory, preventing citizens from acting in their own best interest, is telling. We are compelled by payroll deductions and taxation, the government taking our money, backed up by the threat of force, even to forcible removal from our own homes and vehicles by men with guns, to act illogically and inefficiently. A rational person would likely choose alternatives, without the compulsion by threat of force.
Quote:
So your grandfather and his fellow seniors should've just done us all the courtesy of going and dying? Your grandfather wouldn't happen to have been one the millions who were wiped out by the "private sector"-caused Great Depression, would he?
Ah, you believe that the private sector is the source of problems, and the government the source of solutions. That is generally not so. Also, he lived to be 90, and most of his sons well into their 90s. They were/are a healthy and productive bunch. An uncle aged 94 is still splitting wood. Sometimes by hand. My grandfather had a comfortable retirement through the proceeds of his own efforts, raised 9 children in the Great Depression and two of whom served in WWII, one during Korea, two others were refused enlistment due to medical deferments and helped in other ways. They were a part of why freedom not fascism won. I don't think they ever got over being forced off the family farm by the government though, fertile lowlands that got flooded by the Mississippi locks system; another case where the government dictated what happens and what pricing was. His primary asset was essentially wiped out by forced sale during the worst of Depression-era depression of prices. https://mises.org/library/how-fdr-made-depression-worse
Quote:
o "Social Security will turn out to have been an equally damaging scam; return in retirement is only 40% per dollar paid in, of what could have been obtained in the private sector or by third-party groups like the Wisconsin Retirement System." -- No data backing up your claims, and you profoundly misunderstand the diference between SS and "private sector" investment vehicles. (That would the same "private sector" which gifted us the 2008-9 financial crisis - how many millions of lives were foreshortened by the fallout from that?). And the Wisconsin Retirement System (for which you again provide numbers, btw) - isn't that a *government* program?
I understand very well the differences between SS (government run otherwise-illegal Ponzi scheme and source of low interest lending to the government conducting massive intergenerational transfers since its inception), WRS (third party administered investment fund which was protected, by the Wisconsin Supreme Court, from similar predation attempts made by the executive branch of the state of Wisconsin https://projects.jsonline.com/news/2...of-a-kind.html), and personal retirement accounts. Careful analysis of SS and WRS benefits versus amounts paid in showed for each dollar paid in to SS or WRS, the return per dollar invested to the individual (me) at retirement is 2.50 times higher for WRS than SS, despite the shorter investment period in WRS by 9 years span difference. WRS and individually held are good investments; SS is a very bad investment by comparison. Without the compulsion by threat of force, no rational person would participate in SS as anything other than a somewhat ruinous act of charity to strangers.

The WRS retirement benefit, like SS and annuities offered by insurance companies and other financial institutions, depend on the financial soundness and longevity of the entity offering them, and not reneging or unilaterally revising the terms. The WRS death benefit is more than 3 orders of magnitude larger than the paltry SS death benefit that won't even cover cremation, and has different, mostly less restrictive conditions. (I neglected that huge difference in my computations, ignoring the death benefits entirely.) There is a real threat that mathematics and demographic and actuarial realities will compel the US government to revise the terms of SS again as they have many times in the past. That it can be relied on is a fiction, contradicted by a close reading of its history. Anyone relying heavily on SS needs to improve their plans if they can.
There are numerous other examples of governments failing to meet their financial obligations, or inflation destroying much of the value.
A perhaps extreme example: How did those CSA bonds pay off? The Confederacy ceased to exist and the USA refused to honor them. They're now merely collectibles, as are the financial instruments of other failed governments. https://www.sapling.com/8731781/out-...ate-bond-worth
What is the record for longevity for a republic such as ours? I think it is Rome, approx 482 years. https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Roman_Republic

Even taking the latest date of origin, of the current US Constitution, 1788,
(2020-1788)/482 = 232/482 = 48% of that record duration has already passed for the USA. And the fall of a government, while an eventual certainty, is not a requirement for default. https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Sovere...t#Consequences

Quote:
The *real* scandal with SS is that the rich only pay based on their first $100,000 of annual earnings. Your poor-student anecdote actually highlights this unfairness - how about we switch to "no SS pay-ins below a threshold income tied to the poverty level, but all income above that is subject to the deduction?"
There's a socialist/communist assumption built in to your statement; the rich can pay more so soak them all you can, take their money and give it to others (and be handsomely rewarded for being the middleman employed by the federal government to administer the programs). What's actually fair is for equal payment in for equal benefit out. What's even better is to stop coercing people to act not in their best interest. People do better when incentivized to act prudently. People fare worse when disincentivized.
Quote:
o "I worked for the government for over 35 years and had ample opportunity to observe the irrationality, self-serving, and inefficiency up close" -- The private sector is apparently immune to these ills.
There are limits to the foolishness in the private sector; companies can shrink or go bankrupt when they no longer serve their customers well. Government goes in the opposite direction, metastasizing further.
Quote:
I've seen those cost-versus-quality comparisons for the developed countires - they are easy to find, and damning for the US.
You'll take my word for nothing, yet I'm supposed to take yours for everything? Seems fair.
A major difficulty in the US health system is the medical insurance system creates decoupling and lack of transparency in cost. It's rare for this consumer to be able to get cost information or effectiveness information before services, on which to judge whether it is worthwhile. Consequently the providers are unaccustomed to dealing with cost inquiries, generally can't or won't answer them, and when they can and do, they are psychologically unprepared in my recent personal experience for elective care being rejected on a basis of cost. Actual occurrence: dental procedure estimate was more than the value of my car. They seemingly could not hear that ability to pay was not an issue; unwillingness was. The benefit offered was not worth 1/3 the price to me. They could not hear it; they countered with the offer of a payment plan with low interest! Another example; PT was underutilized (incompletely booked) initially and I was offered to come twice a week rather than once, which I declined, as it seemed to me medically unnecessary. I was shocked to learn (eventually) that for a chair, exam table, pillow, occasionally a few photocopies, and physical therapist, the billing rate was an astoundingly high $512/hour. That was many years ago already. The therapist couldn't even keep straight which leg was the issue. It certainly did not seem worth $256/week to me for 30 minutes of inept service. I stopped going even though insurance had been paying. Payment out of pocket would quickly address such situations; people would refuse to use them until rates became reasonable.
Quote:
The one point you make with which I agree is that the VA problems are scandalous.
Which is a US example of government-run health care.
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