Tuesday, July 6, 2010

Obstacles and opportunities for tyranny. The Pelican Brief and "where the money is."

"If the Supreme Court's membership could be increased to twelve, without too much trouble, perhaps the Constitution would be found to be quite elastic." -- Letter to FDR at the time of the Supreme Court's overturning of the National Recovery Act.



Associate Justice Owen J. Roberts. Who knuckled under to blackmail and voted in the West Coast Hotel Co. v. Parrish case as a strategic measure to save the judicial integrity and independence of the U.S. Supreme Court from FDR's court-packing scheme.

Dear Leader's problems are compounding, causing many to believe he will be a one-term President. For a man of such a huge narcissistic ego and prodigious appetite for power and adulation this simply will not do.

The LA Times reports that much of the Mighty Kenyan's agenda will come apart upon contact with the Roberts Supreme Court. Now this has happened before with another egomaniacal Democrat president. He responded by trying to pack the court. This threat, though it cost FDR much, succeeded in blackmailing another Justice Roberts to change his vote. It was called "the switch in time that saved the nine."

Obama doesn't have the political base to do that. What he came in with is rapidly ebbing and everybody knows it. No, there will no court-packing this time. What is left to them is The Pelican Brief. If Obama is the tyrant wannabe I suspect he is (and if his backers are as ruthless as believed), the actuarial tables on the five recalcitrant justices of the present-day Roberts court might be tipped in Dear Leader's favor.



Willie Sutton is the 1930s bank robber who is famously (and he later claimed falsely) known for answering a reporter, Mitch Ohnstad, who asked why he robbed banks by saying, "because that's where the money is."

In his partly ghostwritten autobiography, Where the Money Was: The Memoirs of a Bank Robber (Viking Press, New York, 1976), Sutton dismissed this story, saying:

"I never said it. The credit belongs to some enterprising reporter who apparently felt a need to fill out his copy...

"If anybody had asked me, I'd have probably said it. That's what almost anybody would say...it couldn't be more obvious.

"Or could it?

"Why did I rob banks? Because I enjoyed it. I loved it. I was more alive when I was inside a bank, robbing it, than at any other time in my life. I enjoyed everything about it so much that one or two weeks later I'd be out looking for the next job. But to me the money was the chips, that's all."

"Go where the money is...and go there often." -- Wikipedia.


Of course this regime's version of government-regulated Voodoo Economics has failed spectacularly, introducing huge economic uncertainty into an already awful market. Obama's fortunes COULD be rescued by a dramatic economic turnaround and Fareed Zakaria thinks he knows where the Mighty Kenyan can get it. All he has to do is follow Willie Sutton's advice.

The American economy is sputtering and we are running out of options. Interest rates can't go any lower. Another burst of government spending -- whether a good or bad idea -- looks politically impossible. Can anything protect us from the dangers of stagnation or a double dip? Actually, there is a second stimulus that could have a dramatic effect on the economy -- even more so than government spending. And it won't add to the deficit.

The Federal Reserve recently reported that America's 500 largest nonfinancial companies have accumulated an astonishing $1.8 trillion of cash on their balance sheets. By any calculation (for example, as a percentage of assets), this is higher than it has been in almost half a century. Yet most corporations are not spending this money on new plants, equipment or workers. Were they to loosen their purse strings, hundreds of billions of dollars would start pouring through the economy. These investments would probably have greater effect and staying power than a government stimulus.


So how does Dear Leader force this stash out into the market? It won't be pretty and you can bet it won't be constitutional. It will be a robbery that dwarfs anything Willie Sutton ever contemplated. As the fictional Sir James Manson commented in Frederick Forsyth's The Dogs of War:

“Knocking off a bank or an armoured truck is merely crude. Knocking off an entire republic has, I feel, a certain style.”

10 comments:

Taylor H said...

So that's how he'd get the money for another stimulus...

Anonymous said...

"The Federal Reserve recently reported that America's 500 largest nonfinancial companies have accumulated an astonishing $1.8 trillion of cash on their balance sheets."

$1.8 trillion roughly equals the Bush/Obama bailout for the Wall Street elite. If Obama seizes the cash assets mentioned in this article, he will have simply transferred wealth from industry to finance.

Openly using industrial profits to reward reckless financiers is not going to play well on Main Street.
Even the Democrat party rank-and-file would join the Tea Party after such a provocation.

MALTHUS

rexxhead said...

As Ralph Kramden once told Alice: "Har har hardee-har har!" (OK, actually he told her that on every show._

"...America's 500 largest nonfinancial companies have accumulated an astonishing $1.8 trillion of cash on their balance sheets. ... Were they to loosen their purse strings, hundreds of billions of dollars would start pouring through the economy."

Where does Fareed Zakaria think this money is right now, sewed up inside AT&T's mattress? Horsefeathers! It's already "invested" and is actually stored in banks, which banks use that credit to make loans to other businesses.

Jeezcriminey, this is the same nonsense that says: "We can't let United Airlines go under! It would ruin air travel!" People who say such things want you to believe those airplanes would evaporate if United went banko. Actually, they'd be sold at fire-sale prices to Fred's Airline who would then be able to provide transport at reasonable rates using those cheap-o planes that they couldn't afford before that.

Raiding these assets would merely guarantee that 'government' got all the credit for all the investing that is presently happening without their direct intervention. There would be a net effect of ZERO on the economy.

Laissez-faire, mes amis, laissez-faire.

Dennis308 said...

I had heard a few months back about the mighty kenyan trying to get access to 401-k´s to stimulate the economy. I guess they dropped that plan because everyone has lost so much in their 401´s that there wasn't enough to bother with.

Dennis
III
Texas

Anonymous said...

Yes, it was Dear Leader FDR that led the way by example by packing the Supreme Court. Prior to his regime, the number of justices had varied somewhat between 5-7, but had generally settled at 7 by FDR's time.
So when FDR wanted to get his unConstitutional Big Gubbment works approved, he added two more "justices" of his choosing to the count of 9 that we are familiar with today.

Way to go, FDR!! /snark off.

Anonymous said...

So how does Dear Leader force this stash out into the market?

Only one way firing his entire Czar training academy of amateurish Bolsheviks and then taking a powder and resigning himself.

Here's why the cash does not flow like wine.

http://market-ticker.denninger.net/archives/2477-The-Fallacy-Of-Record-Corporate-Cash.html

Fusion

Witchwood said...

Personally, I'm a bit conflicted about a second term for Obama. I think Obama's election has been a godsend for the conservative movement. The man is a transparent Marxist, and is quite open about his affinity for "positive rights" and massive expansion of the federal apparatus. If McCain had been elected, he'd have pushed many of the same programs while under the cloak of conservatism. The Republicans would have backed him to the hilt. The Tea Parties would have never come into existence, and the constitutional militias would not have seen any growth.

We know that the Republican Party is completely without principle. If Obama is not elected for a second term, the door will be wide open for a faux-conservative neocon to lull the American people back to sleep. Obama is doing an incredible job of bolstering opposition to his own policies, and a part of me wishes him all the success in the world.

Happy D said...

"If Obama is the tyrant wannabe I suspect he is (and if his backers are as ruthless as believed), the actuarial tables on the five recalcitrant justices of the present-day Roberts court might be tipped in Dear Leader's favor."

And should anything even slightly fishy happens to the good justices. All sorts of badness will fall on all Marxist, Socialist, Communist, Leninist, Stalinist, Fascist, Maoist, Liberal, Communitarian, Progressive, or whatever they call themselves this week, judges.
As well as some BureaucRATS.

Bill (Bad Cyborg) Mullins said...

I've been saying for nearly a year and a half now that all that needs to happen for the statists to achieve TOTAL CONTROL is for a single Associate Justice to resign (or pass away) suddenly and there would be no stopping them.

So many people believe that it takes a 2/3rds majority of the states to change the constitution. And that is true - but only if by "change" mean amend. In fact it only takes 5 people to change the constitution. If 5 Supreme Court justices agree on it then the constitution can be INTERPRETED any way those 5 people damn well please! And there is NO legal recourse.

People, we have been just a heartbeat away from the Left having TOTAL CONTROL of all three reins of power since Obama was transmografied.

Anonymous said...

To amplify the remarks of rexxhead and fusion, those balance sheet cash assets are not "free for the taking."

MALTHUS

"[S]ome observers lament that corporations and some individuals are holding their assets in 'cash' rather than spending and investing those balances, apparently believing that this money is being 'held back' from the economy. What is preposterous about this is that the 'cash' that companies and individuals are observed to be holding is primarily in the form of government securities and base money created over the past couple of years, which somebody has to hold at every point in time until those liabilities are retired. This is not money that is waiting to be spent. It is a stack of IOUs representing resources that have already been squandered, and now somebody has to hold these pieces of paper until they are retired."

http://www.hussmanfunds.com/wmc/wmc100706.htm