Going Negative

“Well, the endgame is a total collapse, but from a higher diving board. The Fed will continue to print and if the stock market goes down 10%, they will print even more. And they don’t know anything else to do. And quite frankly, they have boxed themselves into a corner where they are now kind of desperate.”

– Mark Faber, Bloomberg TV

We hit new highs on the stock market yesterday with the announcement that Ben Bernancke will continue pumping money, i.e. printing more dollars for an unlimited time. As an American, you can’t help but worry that this is not a good thing. Obviously investment expert Mark Faber worries, too.

Will Bernancke’s successor be any better?

Doesn’t look like it if it is Janet Yellin and she is favored right now. Faber has this scary info to share:

“She will make Mr. Bernanke look like a hawk. She, in 2010, said if could vote for negative interest rates, in other words, you would have a deposit with the bank of $100,000 at the beginning of the year and at the end, you would only get $95,000 back, that she would be voting for that. And that basically her view will be to keep interest rates in real terms, in other words, inflation-adjusted.

The idea of negative interest rates is outrageous, but yes, it has been talked about for awhile, particularly by Ms. Yellin.

David Kotok at ritholtz.com explains:

Negative interest rates are the ultimate in market distortions. They employ only a stick and no carrot. Their use tends to progress from disincentive through penalty to punishment.

There is only a limited history of the use of negative interest rates. Many decades ago, Switzerland discouraged incoming Swiss-franc deposits by imposing a negative interest rate on balances placed with Swiss banks. In other words, a person deposited money in the bank, and the bank charged the depositor for the privilege of keeping it there.

During the financial crisis in the US, the Bank of New York imposed a negative interest rate – a penalty – on deposits over $50 million. The bank essentially told customers to remove their money.

The money GPS adds:

Scary stuff, but not unthinkable in the Obama era.

What Is TN GOP Chair Doing?

According to one website, Tennessee GOP Chairman Chris Devaney has broken the law.
Benswann.com says that Devaney has endorsed Lamar Alexander, something that isn’t fair before the primaries even.

Step in Christopher Devaney, chairman of Tennessee Republican Party. A letter was recently sent to Tennessee republican primary voters, which asked voters to consider donating $25->$100 to help take control of the US Senate by reelecting incumbent Lamar Alexander (R). Devaney makes no mention of Joe Carr (R) in his letter to TN GOP voters.

In doing so, Devaney broke party laws. Article II, Section IV of TNGOP bylaws state:

“Neither the Executive Committee as a body, nor the Officers, nor the TRP’s paid staff members, nor a County Republican Party or Executive Committee as a body, nor County Republican Party Chairmen shall endorse a Republican candidate in a contested primary election.”

Many are now calling to Devaney to resign for breaking party laws. Devaney responded by saying that it was a vendor mistake, and that the letter was created months ago. However, it is well known that Devaney has close ties to Alexander, Corker and Governor Haslam who are all working to support Lamar. Furthermore, Devaney had plenty of time to fix the letter if he actually intended to.
Whether it was Devaney’s intention to endorse Alexander is not clear. However, it is clear that Devaney is under extreme pressure from Tennessee’s liberal GOP establishment to keep Alexander in office.

The author says that Alexander votes with Obama 62% of the time, which is not consistent with the political leanings of Tennesseans. He also claims that

State Rep. Joe Car recently announced his candidacy as a credible candidate to take on Lamar Alexander. The state establishment went into chaos. The field of possible candidates has cleared and Carr will take on Lamar head to head. Lamar’s stature has changed since a credible candidate emerged. Suddenly, Lamar finds himself having to vote against Obama, which is something he typically doesn’t do.

A grassroots campaign has sprouted called “Beat Lamar“. The organizers are the same who assisted Ted Cruz (R-TX) to his US Senate seat. Lamar previously secured assistance from almost every federal delegate in the state for his reelection. However, it’s not enough. Lamar is starting to trail in the polls.

I haven’t seen that Alexander is trailing in the polls, but this could be a very interesting race. It would be best for the state party to let Republicans have a choice, vote on candidates and then coalesce around the winner.

2 Events Thursday

The Lunch Hour Republican Club will meet tomorrow at 11:45am with Guest Speaker Kemp Conrad. The meeting will be held at Salsa which is located adjacent to Oak Hall and Owen Brennan’s in the Regalia Shopping Center near the intersection of Poplar and Ridgeway. A Mexican buffet will be available at a cost of $13.36 (tax & gratuity included).

Also on Thursday, The Federalist Society’s Memphis Lawyers Chapter will have as its guest Dr. Charles R. Kessler. He is a professor of Government/Political Science, Claremont McKenna College and Claremont Graduate University. The event is free and is from 11:30 to 1:15 p.m. at The University of Memphis School of Law, 1 North Front Street. Food and drinks will be served, but you should register by contacting Greg Grisham at (901) 462-2616 ogregory.grisham@jacksonlewis.com.

Tweety Bird Cohen Flubs Again

Please, someone in Rep. Steve Cohen’s office, take his Twitter account away from him before he completely discredits himself and Tennessee’s 9th district.

This has been a banner twitter year for the Democrat, if you consider publicity from flubs a plus. Remember when he first caused a stir with this to a young blonde woman: “nice to know you were watchin SOTU(state of the union).Happy Valentines beautiful girl. ilu”.

He enjoyed the private joke on others, saying it wasn’t a hot chick, but his daughter. Then the joke turned out to be on him when we learned that DNA proved he wasn’t the father after all. Oops.

Then Politiwoops caught this one after a concert: “@cyndilauper great night,couldn’t believe how hot u were.see you again next Tuesday.try a little tenderness.” It’s a little unseemly for a Congressman to talk about “hot” in the context of sex. Cohen must get hot quite easily as it seems to be a frequent theme.

Then in July we had this one when he told an African American towdriver who picked up his car “father -DNA test not father reporter/ attractive fallout.he(not aware of TN9)says,You’re BLack! Yo”
He explained to an appalled MSNBC host Mika Brzezinski,

“It was fun. It was funny. I had a tough night. Here’s what happened: I drive an ‘86 Caddy. A lot of African-Americans drive old cars — a stereotype — a lot of African-Americans drive old cars,” Cohen said, telling the story of his car breaking down and the tow truck driver responding. “I’m having no luck. He drives me, we ditch the car, I come back and I tell him the story. … He goes, ‘Man, you’re black.’ And I took it was a compliment. I hear it in Memphis all the time. My constituents don’t look at me as a white person, they say, ‘You’re one of us.’”

Can you imagine the outrage if a Republican spoke like that?

Now, we have another misfire.

The Blaze reports:

Tennessee Democratic Congressman Steve Cohen appeared to imply in a tweet he sent out Monday evening that the National Rifle Association is partially to blame for the Washington Navy Yard shooting.

The tweet highlighted a political cartoon drawn by Bill Day, which depicts an AR-15 with the letters “NRA” stamped on the back and a symbol for the Washington Navy Yard featured in the scope. The cartoon also shows the U.S. Capitol building in the background and the Washington Monument.

Cohen said in his tweet that it showcased the “Horror, sadness & insanity of tragic #NavyYardShooting, depicted by one of our nation’s greatest #cartoonists, Bill Day.”

Too bad he was wrong about the gun. It wasn’t an assault rifle.

He’s wrong about Bill Day, too. The cartoonist is a hack who always had it out for conservatives/Republicans when he worked at The Commercial Appeal.

Maybe the Congressman’s staffers can quietly take away his twitter account before he does more damage.