Sunday, October 20, 2013

Prejudice or The Truth

Small government is anarchy. Politically reinforcing the idea government is unable to act responsibly to protect the public trust is worse than anarchy.

The standard of living and quality of life have been slipping in the USA.

This study by Gallup is a shifting baseline. 

Five years? 

I am not impressed.

May 10, 2013
by Alyssa Brown

 In U.S., Standard of Living Perceptions Hit Five-Year High (click here) 

WASHINGTON, D.C. -- Gallup's U.S. Standard of Living Index climbed to 40 in April, the highest monthly average in the five years Gallup has tracked this measure. The current score is up slightly from 38 in March and 35 in April of 2012....

A five year comparison since the 2008 might be interesting from a public perception perspective, however, it is not a true picture of where the USA was and where it is today.

If this is the public's perception of the USA today, my objection is "What happened to their understanding of life?"

This is the reality I understand. The USA did not just blossom in the past five years. There is a history in this country and a proud history at that, stating each generation will do better than the one before. It's been turned into a lie. 

By Dylan Matthews 
Published: July 11, 2012 at 9:48 am
Poverty in the 50 years since ‘The Other America,’ in five charts (click here) 

...There are two things to note here. First, there was a huge fall in the poverty rate throughout the 1960s, and in particular after LBJ announced the War on Poverty in 1964 and followed up with Medicaid, Medicare, greater federal housing spending, and other programs to fight that war. In 1964, the poverty rate was 19 percent. Ten years later, it was 11.2 percent, and it has not gone above 15.2 percent any year since then. Contrary to what you may have heard, the best evidence indicates that the War on Poverty made a real and lasting difference....

This is the USA I understand. This is the baseline I understand. I don't appreciate shifting baselines when an entire generation has been left out in the could by forty years of Republican ruin of this country.

We have to return good wages to people. If the unemployment numbers are better than expected, that is great news. But,the fact still remains that this country has taken a tumble  

Too much Agency Risk and not enough Public Trust.

Posted by Alexandra Witze

...But then the US government shutdown hit. (click here) Hegde, who had carefully nurtured and grown his extremophiles, had to pack up his things and walk out of the Ames lab. Without someone there to oversee the cells and feed them regularly, the extremophile cultures are now dying. (The seed cultures, gathered from hostile environments such as the Atacama and Mojave deserts, remain safe in deep freeze.)
“To go from seed culture to see them grow takes some time,” says Hegde. “Some of these organisms were taking a long time to grow, and if all of these die then I have to start again and wait another month.”
Time is precious because Hegde, an Indian citizen, has a three-month US visa. When that expires at the end of November, he will have to go back to Germany and re-apply if he wants to return — even as other work there requires his attention. “It’s not a question of money right now,” he says. “It’s time. There is no substitute for time.”
For now Hegde is hunkered down at his uncle’s house in northern California, logging into his German research projects and trying to get some work done remotely on those. But he cannot help but think about the organisms languishing in the lab nearby. “The whole field of astrobiology is so hot right now,” he says. “If I don’t finish my work, then that work is lost. Someone else will do it and someone else will get the credit for it.”...

One other concept enters the picture in regard to the financial sector.

Isn't it all stealing? I mean for real. Bonuses. Golden Parachutes. Claw Back. Building in 'self serving' priorities. Isn't that all stealing?

Agency Risk

The risk that the management of a company will use its authority to benefit itself rather than shareholder. For instance, managers may elect to pay themselves higher salaries, which increases overhead, rather than to pay out extra profits as dividends. In a more sinister example, managers may steal the business' money.

Take it one step further. What if Board of Trustees, Chairpersons, and Board of Directors are all carrying out their own agendas in these major financial institutions. 

Financial sector politics. 

Agency risk is realized by stockholders in definition. But, don't human frailties often demand personal satisfaction when making decisions? Don't people bring their own values to a capacity? Aren't folks measuring their resumes and cirriculum vitaes? 

In the way others have personal influence in decision making in the financial sector, magnify that by 1000 or more and you might come close to the Agency Risk within the federal government. While money is power, the USA federal government is a hub of power and influence. There is huge Agency Risk within the federal government. 


Ethically, should any member of Congress bring their own agenda or that of their financial backers to the floor of the House or Senate? Is the Agency Risk doing damage too great that it seeks to topple the sovereignty of the USA? 

The US Economy in name only?

September 26, 2013

Okun’s law, (click here) posited by economist Arthur Okun, states that a 2 percent decline in output will be accompanied by a 1 percent rise in unemployment. That relationship, proven repeatedly over the past several decades, frayed during the recession and the plodding recovery that followed: Unemployment shot up faster than expected in the depths of the crisis, then fell more quickly than would be indicated by anemic U.S. growth.

Now keep in mind QE3 was tied to the unemployment rate. The standard for measuring unemployment is through The Labor Department.

Since QE3 is tied to unemployment, The Federal Reserve is somewhat obligated to conduct an accounting of how the economy was effected by this policy.

October 16, 2013

...A new paper (click here) from the Federal Reserve Bank of San Francisco offers some fresh hope that the labor market is actually doing quite well, that the lower unemployment rate isn’t just a function of people giving up, and that the rate of job creation is gaining momentum.
Economists at the SF Fed tease out six indicators that serve as “excellent predictors” of future improvements in the unemployment rate, and they are even better forecasters than recent changes in the unemployment rate, which is itself a lagging measure. The six measures are listed in the table below, ranked from top to bottom according to their predictive power. The unemployment rate is up top for the sake of comparison....

Has The Federal Reserve come up with new parameters to measure unemployment?

I wouldn't jump for joy just yet, but, a review of these dynamics should be conducted by other Fed Offices and the US Department of Labor.

Mary C. Daly, Bart Hobijn, and Benjamin Bradshaw
Date of Publication: 2013-10-15

In September 2012, (click here) U.S. monetary policymakers explicitly tied future policy actions to signs of “substantial improvement” in the outlook for the labor market. They also said that, in deciding whether this condition had been met, they would consider a broad set of labor market indicators to augment information on the unemployment rate. In this Economic Letter, we consider which indicators best signal future improvement in the unemployment rate. We identify six such leading indicators of labor market improvement. These indicators reveal that, while the health of the labor market has not yet returned to its pre-recession level, there are encouraging signs of positive momentum. Taken together, these signs point to continued improvement in the labor market....

A few more terms

Gross Domestic Product

Gross domestic product (GDP) is the market value of all officially recognized final goods and services produced within a country in a given period of time. GDP per capita is often considered an indicator of a country's standard of living.

Standard of Living = Income

Standard of living refers to the level of wealth, comfort, material goods and necessities available to a certain socioeconomic class in a certain geographic area. The standard of living includes factors such as income, quality and availability of employment, class disparity, poverty rate, quality and affordability of housing, hours of work required to purchase necessities, gross domestic product, inflation rate, number of vacation days per year, affordable (or free) access to quality healthcare, quality and availability of education, life expectancy, incidence of disease, cost of goods and services, infrastructure, national economic growth, economic and political and stability, political and religious freedom, environmental quality, climate and safety. The standard of living is closely related to quality of life.

Quality of Life (QOL)

Quality of life (QOL) references the general well-being of individuals and societies. The term is used in a wide range of contexts, including the fields of international development, healthcare, politics, wealth and employment, environment, physical and mental health, education, recreation and leisure time, and social belonging., freedom, human rights, happiness (as defined in "normal" terms) and security.

Gross National Product

Gross national product (GNP) is the market value of all the products and services produced in one year by labor and property supplied by the residents of a country. Unlike Gross Domestic Product (GDP), which defines production based on the geographical location of production, GNP allocates production based on ownership.

The difference between GNP and GDP is more than interesting. 

GMC (General Motors - Chevy) is a multi-national company. I have nothing against General Motors. This is just an example. 

GMC pulls in income from all over the world. They have production facilities in China. The income to the company from all locations is GNP. 


However, the GDP of General Motors varies globally. When the Gross Domestic Product of China is calculated it stays in China. The Gross Domestic Product of the USA stays in the USA. For every country on the globe the amount of product produced geographically within their sovereign borders is their GDP.

Okun's Law 

The relationship between an economy's unemployment rate and its gross national product (GNP). Twentieth-century economist Arthur Okun developed this idea, which states that when unemployment falls by 1%, GNP rises by 3%. However, the law only holds true for the U.S. economy, and only applies when the unemployment rate falls between 3-7.5%. Other version of Okun's Law focus on a relationship between unemployment and GDP, whereby a percentage increase in unemployment causes a 2% fall in GDP.

The percentage by which GNP changes when unemployment changes by 1% is called the "Okun coefficient". Industrialized nations with labor markets that are less flexible than those of the United States, such as France and Germany, tend to have higher Okun coefficients. In those countries, the same percentage change in GNP has a smaller effect on the unemployment rate than it does in the United States.

Don't take my word for it. "Federal Government Continues to Flirt with Disaster." Ya think?

US dollar may soon be replaced as world currency (click here) 

Federal gov’t continues to flirt with disaster, says PH exec  

By Paolo G. Montecillo
Philippine Daily Inquirer

Playing a game of brinkmanship, the United States government may just end up hurting itself as other countries start to plot out long-term strategies to find replacements to the greenback as the world’s de facto currency.

A senior official of the Philippines’ central bank said that the US government risks losing its “exorbitant privilege”—being the issuer of the world’s most used currency—if its polarized Congress were to continue flirting with disaster by waiting to resolve a potential crisis at the eleventh hour. 

“In economics, it’s called the game of chicken. The first one who blinks loses. The problem is, if nobody blinks, you’ll have catastrophe,” said Felipe Medalla, a member of  the Bangko Sentral ng Pilipinas (BSP) Monetary Board. 

Medalla said last week’s debt ceiling talks in the United States, which was resolved by Congress just hours before the United States were to default on its debts, revealed that there was a real need to find alternatives to the US dollar as the world’s international reserve currency...

I want to introduce the 'soft side' of the financial markets. There is the hardware of the institutions, but, there is also a software and it isn't computers.

One of the common complaints about The Federal Reserve is that the money printed isn't real money. It is Monopoly Money. It might be money for creating monopolies, but, it isn't really Monopoly Money. It is money called currency. It is real and has real value in the world.

The important aspect to this is REAL. 

What the system of currency is based on is "Fiat Money." It is a printed or minted currency with a known value based on a country's assets and the intrinsic value of it's economy. So, the countries with good economies have significant value to their currency, while countries with struggling economies, internal strife, civil war and impoverishment have less valued currencies.

Fiat money has been defined variously as:
  • any money declared by a government to be legal tender.
  • state-issued money which is neither convertible by law to any other thing, nor fixed in value in terms of any objective standard.
  • money without intrinsic value.
The term derives from the Latin fiat ("let it be done", "it shall be").

The money is real. It is not a joke. This is standard practice in any financial culture. Which brings me to the next conclusion.

If Republican Congressional policy causes the USA economy to become diminished, what are they doing to our currency and it's value? It is one of the reasons China is upset over the US Dollar being the baseline currency of global transactions. It is because the US Dollar's Fiat Value is being toyed with by politicians for their own purposes. If a currency is going to be the baseline of any valuation of global markets and stability the country with that currency better be rock solid.

The Gold Standard and Silver Standard of the USA Dollar ended sometime ago. It can be researched easily for anyone that wants to know. But, the idea the USA Dollar can return to a standard backed by precious metals is ridiculous. Any politicians stating these things are either completely stupid or simply happy with the undereducated public. The Fiat Value of global currency is here to stay, unless, the entire world ends up destroying civilization.

The Congress is toying with the value of the US Dollar everytime they shut down the government or play brinkmanship with the US Debt Ceiling or defund programs vital to research and economic growth or when they starve the poor and allow them to die without health insurance because it makes the US Economy weaker. 

It is not just The Federal Reserve to blame for fluctuations in the US Dollar, it is Congress as well.

Leave it to a Republican. It is hard to argue with the value of gold, but, it is easier to manipulate currency value when it is a more fluid equation.

The World; A Nixon Legacy Devalued By a Cold War Standard (click here)

Published: May 01, 1994
IN most of the obituaries and retrospectives about the life and times of President Richard M. Nixon, his foreign policy achievements were hailed as the centerpiece of his Presidency. But oddly, all of these eulogies either ignored, or mentioned only in passing, what may have been one of the most enduring of Mr. Nixon's foreign policy initiatives: his decision in 1971 to take the dollar off the gold standard and demolish the Bretton Woods monetary system -- bidding both farewell with that memorable line about the Italian currency: "I don't give a (bleep) about the lira."...

The Bank Bailout Rule instituted with Dodd-Frank was to prevent another 2008.

I have no ill will toward any institution in our country. I do not want to indict anyone or any institution.
But, I do want to make a point. When Congress acts in brinkmanship they dearly don't have a clue what they are doing, except, playing politics.
The Federal Home Loan Banks are government sponsored and supply monies to institutions from taxpayer dollars and whatever monies it raises in transactions such as interest.
The Federal Home Loan Bank (FHLB) System (click here) is a large, complex, and understudied government-sponsored liquidity facility that currently has more than $1 trillion in secured loans outstanding, mostly to commercial banks and thrifts. In this paper, we document the significant role played by the FHLB System at the onset of the ongoing financial crises and then provide evidence on the uses of these funds by the System's bank and thrift members. Next, we identify the trade-offs faced by member-borrowers when choosing between accessing the FHLB System or the Federal Reserve's Discount Window during the crisis period. We conclude by describing the fragmented U.S. lender-of-last-resort framework and finding that additional clarity about the respective roles of the various liquidity facilities would be helpful.
The banks required to insure themselves are doing so with government money. Hello? 
I don't know about anyone else, but, I am getting a little queasy. To begin, the room is spinning with open banking counters and a choice of where does my money come from next. 
When was the last time the banks did a Comprehensive Capital Analysis and Stress Test? (click here) 
It would be helpful and reassuring. 

Additionally, Congress hasn't got a clue about the financial system in this country or the world. So, they really should not be playing with Debt Ceilings and Budget Defunding.
Besides getting $5 Billion from Warren Buffet, BOA also borrows from FHL Banks, as does Citibank and JP Morgan. At any point in time does anyone close a banking window to these institutions to reduce the risk in the system?
Bernanke's QEs aren't and weren't enough? Now, The Fed is stating the drawdown to the latest QE won't occur until March next year? Wow. That is a lot of money.  With politicians playing 'chicken' there is no reason for the USA government to lend to anyone else considering our debt.
Don't things seem a hair bit out of control?  

JPMorgan Chase & Co. (JPM), the biggest U.S. bank, is using cheap funding from government-chartered institutions to meet new regulations designed to ensure it won’t need a taxpayer bailout in any future crisis.
  The bank borrowed almost $20 billion in the first half of the year from Federal Home Loan Banks, according to filings, almost as much as it got from selling dollar-denominated bonds in 2013. New York-based JPMorgan, with $2.4 trillion of assets, obtained most of the loans from the Federal Home Loan Bank of Cincinnati, whose 740 members typically resemble the $139 million-asset Bank of McCreary County in Kentucky and $40 million-asset Rural Cooperatives Credit Union. 

Set up during the Great Depression to help community lenders, FHLBs raise cash by selling bonds viewed by rating companies and investors as backed by the U.S. government. Lending by the Congressionally chartered banks is climbing at the fastest pace since the start of the financial crisis in 2007. The growth has little to do with most of the 7,600 banks, thrifts, credit unions and insurers that are members. Without JPMorgan, Bank of America Corp. and Citigroup Inc., the three largest borrowers, lending by the FHLBs would be shrinking....

Let's review.

There are institutions that effect the monetary policy of our economy.

The Federal Reserve.


Banks and other private institutions such as insurance companies, Thrifts and Credit Unions owned by stockholders expecting dividends while overseen by CEOs.

The Federal Home Loan Banks

That is a lot of institutional money, isn't it? Institutional money to insure our economy is strong and productive, while growing all the time.


There is still another layer of financial institutions that effect monetary policy, although not directly.

Federal Home Loan Banks

12 U.S. government-sponsored banks that provide stable, on-demand, low-cost funding to American financial institutions (not individuals) for home mortgage loans, small business, rural, agricultural, and economic development lending. With their members, the FHL Banks represents the largest collective source of home mortgage and community credit in the United States.

 FHL Banks (click here)

Seven Key Benefits

Community banks, thrifts, commercial banks, credit unions, community development financial institutions and insurance companies are all eligible for membership in the Federal Home Loan Banks. The customers and communities served by these members receive seven key benefits:...

Got that part. Banks, Thrifts, Credit Unions and Insurance Companies are all eligible for membership.


What does that mean exactly?

Does it mean all those institutions contribute to this stabilizing nation of lending? Does private enterprise control this huge institution called the Federal Home Loan Banks? 

Is membership like The Federal Reserve where human beings line the halls of the institution and make policy that effects the country?

Are there perks to membership?


There are institutions that effect monetary police. One is the Fed.

"The Fed" is one name, but, it is best referred to as The Federal Reserve. The proper title is The Federal Reserve System.

It is best to understand "The Fed" if we apply it's purpose rather than it's reputation. The Federal Reserve is a Central Bank. Central Bank does not mean location, except, the standing it has within the financial system.

A central bank, reserve bank, or monetary authority is an institution that manages a state or nation's currency, money supply, and interest rates. Central banks also usually oversee the commercial banking system of their respective countries. In contrast to a commercial bank, a central bank possesses a monopoly on increasing the amount of money in the nation.

The relationship between the Federal Reserve and Wall Street is it's monetary policy. It is why Wall Street is concerned what The Federal Reserve Chairman has to say. The Chairman, or as of recently, Chairwoman is the speaker for The Federal Reserve System. 

While most in the financial world like to think of The Federal Reserve as a private and independent entity, it has a relationship with the USA Government. If a government is going to appoint a Chairperson, then there is a relationship regardless of it's independent thinking regarding monetary policy.

When one thinks about The Federal Reserve, think money supply and interest rates. Here again, that interprets into inflation rates. So, much of the policies of The Federal Reserve System relies on attending to inflation and economic viability in the face of inflation.

Patrick Burke, ROC  
12:03 a.m. EDT October 20, 2013

...The Fed will celebrate its 100th birthday this December. (click here) It is the offspring of a secret meeting held on Jekyll Island, Ga., in 1910 between the government and the leading banking establishment to create a central banking system.
The Fed’s considerable influence on our country’s economic health includes unemployment, inflation, economic growth, financial stability and the value of U.S. dollars around the world. Since the financial crisis began in 2008, the Fed has been front and center of first saving our financial system from meltdown to now attempting to return our economy back to good health. How is it going about doing that?...

It gets more interesting from here out, but, also more complicated.

Monetary Policy

I thought it most helpful for The Bank of England to extend an understanding of the purpose of the bank through explaining their monetary policy:

In the first paragraph they talk about the banks understanding of its monetary policy. The bank has a committee which makes these decisions. So, monetary policy is not a magical thing. It is an established constant. Even when currencies fluctuate, the monetary policy is a constant. Currency and monetary policy is not the same thing. Monetary policy can have an impact on currencies as we have witnessed with the USA dollar and its relationship with The Fed.

One of the Bank of England's two core purposes (click here) is monetary stability. Monetary stability means stable prices and confidence in the currency.  Stable prices are defined by the Government's inflation target, which the Bank seeks to meet through the decisions taken by the Monetary Policy Committee (MPC).

In the second paragraph, the Bank of England talks about the monetary policy of the UK. One institution does not necessarily dictate the policies of the other, but, they do interact and create outcomes.

Monetary policy in the UK usually operates through the price at which money is lent – the interest rate. In March 2009 the MPC announced that in addition to setting Bank Rate, it would start to inject money directly into the economy by purchasing financial assets – often known as quantitative easing. 

The interest rate is a measure of the price of money. Let's look at those words again. The interest rate is a measure of the price of money. When one seeks a loan they purchasing money in a contract from someone else. That money changes ownership and in return for that change of ownership, there is a payment of interest.

In Europe, primarily London, it is the Libor or LIBOR or BBA (British Bankers Association) Libor (London Interbank Offered Rate) that determines the interest rate.

Libor rates are calculated for ten currencies and fifteen borrowing periods ranging from overnight to one year and are published daily at 11:30 am (London time) by Thomson Reuters.

And of course everyone now knows about the manipulation of Libor, but, what was that all about? Did it effect a car loan? A mortgage? Maybe, but, that isn't the reason for the focus by the financial institutions.

By Kit Chellel
October 17, 2013

Current and former executives (click here) at Barclays Plc (BARC) knew that the bank submitted lower-than-accurate Libor rates as early as 2007, according to transcripts of conversations between executives cited in a U.K. court case.
Mark Dearlove, head of Barclays’s money-market desk, told another executive, Jonathan Stone, he’d received complaints about the bank’s submissions from an employee of JP Morgan Chase & Co., according to a transcript dated December 2007 and handed down in court. The document is being used as evidence in a lawsuit in London against Barclays over an interest-rate swap...

The Libor Rate is for short term loans. It effects Wall Street investment. One of JP Morgan's executives checks on the interest rate the bank is paying in any transaction. Oh, yes, they borrow money, too. So, this one particular time, an JP Morgan executive scratched her/his head and ran the numbers again and came up with a difference in the companies calculation of Libor and that or the British Bankers Association. 

See, the formula is solidly constructed to eliminate short term volatility. So, the difference from day to day when calculating over a year the average of ten banks is going to be very small. So, when trends are falling off in the Libor it is somewhat easy to pick up. 

As this point in global financial history, the Libor is primarily a tool of Wall Street.

The third paragraph states the current focus of the bank and it seeks to be partners with the people and their government to promote future growth.

In August 2013 the MPC provided some explicit guidance regarding the future conduct of monetary policy. The MPC intends at a minimum to maintain the present highly stimulative stance of monetary policy until economic slack has been substantially reduced, provided this does not entail material risks to price stability or financial stability.

The focus also includes an ambition. That ambition is to maintain low inflation to benefit lending and customer wealth. The less inflation there is the further borrowed money will go and people can increase their wealth. Wealth is more than money.

Low inflation is not an end in itself. It is however an important factor in helping to encourage long-term stability in the economy with sustainable growth and employment.

Since Quantitative Easing is such a global concept now, I put a definition here.

The illustration to the left is entitle "Helicopter Ben." Coined from Helicopter Parents.

A government monetary policy occasionally used to increase the money supply by buying government securities or other securities from the market. Quantitative easing increases the money supply by flooding financial institutions with capital, in an effort to promote increased lending and liquidity. 

Monetary policy is about what makes money work for an economy in a way that is suppose to be beneficial to the OUTCOME.

Originally a bank was considered a counter or table where the exchange of money took place. It was a place for money changers.

I like terms and definitions as a place to start an understanding of a complex system. I believe if the politicians are going to bringing issues to the people as leverage to elections, then citizens need to know exactly how they are being mislead. See, these are complicated systems and what will transpire here will not doubt confuse as much as clarify. So, it simply is amazing to me an entire political party hangs their hat on something their constituents have little knowledge of with absolutely less expertise.


A bank is an establishment for the custody, loan, exchange, for the extension of credit, and for facilitating the transmission of funds.

The first bank was The Bank of England established on 27 July 1694; 319 years ago. It is still in business. (click here)


Thrifts, otherwise known as Savings and Loan would come much later. See the early banks weren't regulated. The Savings and Loan basically took their place when banks became financial institutions rather than customer centered. The Savings and Loans or Thrifts are unregulated. It is noteworthy that when the Saving and Loans collapsed in 1985 it was due to Real Estate loans to consumers and was basically Ponzi scheme. A review of that collapse is noted on this PDF (click here).

The first savings bank in the United States was the Philadelphia Saving Fund Society. It was established on December 20, 1816 and dissolved in 1992.

In the United Kingdom, the first savings bank was founded in 1810 by the Reverend Henry Duncan, Doctor of Divinity, the minister of Ruthwell Church in the Dumfriesshire, Scotland.

Credit Unions

Today, they do about the same thing as banks, except every member is a voting member. So, if a person deposits money into a credit union they are considered members and not customers. At one time credit unions didn't carry mortgage loans. They were primarily short term in duration, like a car loan. A few years.

The first cooperative societies or unions providing credit were founded in Germany and Italy in the mid-19th century. Credit Unions tended to be the answer to many nations in Europe as the banks dominated much of what occurred with Great Britain. The first North American credit unions were founded by Alphonse Desjardins in Lévis, Quebec (1900), and Manchester, N.H. (1909). The Credit Union National Association (CUNA), a federation of U.S. credit unions, was established in 1934 and became a worldwide association in 1958.


Insurers produce contracts to make certain the future is more certain for anyone who subscribes to that investment, but, it long terms as in life insurance or short term as in "Lloyd's of London." Lloyds of London started in a tavern where shipping merchants gathered on a regular basis. It was there underwriting began. That was 1680s. 

 nsurance has been with societies since the beginning of time. It wasn't formal as in a contract, but, RISK was always estimated and precautions taken. China would send merchandise in many ships through their rivers to insure the trip was survived by more than not.

Some say Robert Hayman in 1628 wrote the first insurance two policies ever for a wealthy Londoner, for his shipping and his life. 

But, the type of insurance we know today actually had it's beginnings after the Great Fire of London which lasted from September 2 through 5, 1966.

There is an interesting accounting of the development of that first insurer at the Risk and Insurance site. (click here) 
Today when one thinks of insurance it is in a contract. Insurance is a standard way of hedging against adverse consequences. As a matter of fact insurance was discovered by government as a way to protect citizens and legislated in it's necessity.

Insurance is a really interesting venture. Insurance policies are relationships by people with a company. A trusting relationship. It is suppose to be sustainable and perpetual. The need for an established culture of investment is a requirement, otherwise, the trust between the insurer and the insured disappears.
It is Sunday Night.

Do you understand your banker when he talks to you?

Does your banker know what this is all about, really?

Do voters know what they are seeking in elections?

Do the Wall Street Shuffle by 10cc (click here)

Do the Wall Street shuffle
Hear the money rustle
Watch the greenbacks tumble
Feel the Sterling crumble
You need a yen to make a mark
If you wanna make money
You need the luck to make a buck
If you wanna be Getty, Rothschild
You've gotta be cool on Wall Street
You've gotta be cool on Wall Street
When your index is low
Dow Jones ain't got time for the bums
They wind up on skid row with holes in their pockets
They plead with you, buddy can you spare the dime
But you ain't got the time
Doin' the....
Doin' the....
Oh, Howard Hughes
Did your money make you better?
Are you waiting for the hour
When you can screw me?
`Cos you're big enough
To do the Wall Street Shuffle
Let your money hustle
Bet you'd sell your mother
You can buy another
Doin' the....
Doin' the....
You buy and sell
You wheel and deal
But you're living on instinct
You get a tip
You follow it
And you make a big killing
On Wall Street

I swear computers have destroyed the 'inventive' nature of people.

The Pigskins Shame Spiral (click here) is an occasional feature tracking developments related to the name of D.C.'s beloved football team.

WhoPeople for the Ethical Treatment of Animals

Change the name? No, simply change the meaning of the name.

Why? As the controversy surrounding the Washington football team's racist name began to pick up steam earlier this year, owner Dan Snyder vowed never to change the team's name. PETA is suggesting a compromise you may have heard before: Keep the team's name, but change the logo to a potato, rendering the word a playful nickname for a vegetable....

There is a far more noble name for Washington.

                     The Washington Red Rebels


                       The Washington Rebels

                            Get rid of the red.

It is called "The Clean Air Act"

What happened to citations, fines and enforcing the law? Lungs don't heal once injured.