Steve Chapman on the New Case for Hunting

Rock Island, Ill., a city of 39,000 on the Mississippi River,
offers the latest urban amenity: deer hunting. Last month, the city council
voted to allow bow hunters to harvest a species that has grown too
numerous for comfort. Excessive deer herds have thronged yards,
decimated landscaping and damaged cars in unplanned collisions. “We
had reports of groups as big as 17,” Mayor Dennis Pauley told me.
So come Dec. 13, licensed hunters who meet a proficiency
requirement and obtain a permit can hunt in approved places from
elevated platforms (to assure that misfired arrows go harmlessly
into the ground). The program follows similar ones in the nearby
Iowa towns of Davenport and Bettendorf, which have culled hundreds
of animals and apparently succeeded in reducing their deer
populations. Rock Island is responding to a common problem. But
city-dwellers are not known for being fond of blood sports. Steve
Chapman argues that hunters, tree-huggers and animal welfare
advocates should actually be allies.

View this article.

from Hit & Run http://reason.com/blog/2013/12/05/steve-chapman-on-the-new-case-for-huntin
via IFTTT

As Fast Food Workers Go On Strike In 100 Cities, Applebees Unveils The Waiter Terminator

Today, in the latest escalation by minimum paid restaurant workers who demand greater wages, Fast-food workers and labor organizers are set to turn out in support of higher wages in cities across the country Thursday. AP reports that walkouts are planned in 100 cities, with rallies set for another 100 cities. While it’s not clear what the actual turnout will be, how many of the participants are workers and what impact they’ll have on restaurant operations, it is possible that your 99 cent lunch may be delayed or outright cancelled today.

Per the AP:

The actions would mark the largest showing yet over the past year. At a time when there’s growing national and international attention on economic disparities, labor unions, worker advocacy groups and Democrats are hoping to build public support to raise the federal minimum wage of $7.25, or about $15,000 a year for full-time work.

 

In New York City, about 100 protesters carrying signs, blowing whistles and beating drums marched into a McDonald’s at around 6:30 a.m.; one startled customer grabbed his food and fled as they flooded the restaurant, while another didn’t look up from eating and reading amid their chants of “We can’t survive on $7.25!”

It seems trying to persuade these minimum wage workers to enjoy what they have – namley that corporations have all the leverage while unskilled, undereducated employees have none (the Service Employees International Union represents more than 2 million workers, on the other hand there are 91 million non-unionized workers out of the workforce) and that any increases in wages would simply be passed on to other consumers, and certainly result in broad terminations to keep the SG&A line flat – is probably a moot point.

So instead the strikers were met with something a bit more persuasive: brute Police force.

Community leaders took turns giving speeches for about 15 minutes until the police arrived and ordered protesters out of the store. The crowd continued to demonstrate outside for about 45 more minutes while a handful of customers remained inside. A McDonald’s manager declined to be interviewed and asked that customers not be bothered.

 

Tyeisha Batts, a 27-year-old employee at Burger King, was among those taking part in the demonstrations planned throughout the day in New York City. She said she has been working at the location for about seven months and earns $7.25 an hour.

 

My boss took me off the schedule because she knows I’m participating,” Batts said.

Considering there are a few hundred thousand applicants for your position , Ms. Batts, we find that perfectly explainable. Then again, if you are unhappy with your position, you are welcome to quit and find a better paying job. Especially since in the very near future you may not even have the option of choosing, as it will be done for you. Earlier this week, restaurant chain Applebees unveiled what may soon be the “Waiter Terminator.”

From the company’s press release: “Applebee’s steps into the future to redefine and enhance the guest experience through the installation of 100,000 E la Carte Presto tablets, powered by Intel, on every table and multiple bar positions at more than 1,800 Applebee’s restaurants in the United States by the end of next year.”

The LA Times reports:

The E La Carte Presto tablets – powered by Intel – will allow patrons to pay from their seats while also adding food and beverages to their existing orders. A pilot program helped customers save time, according to Applebee’s Glendale-based parent DineEquity.

 

Let’s face it, everyone who has ever been to a restaurant has been frustrated by waiting for their check,” said Mike Archer, Applebee’s president, in a statement.

 

Eventually, the gadgets will also feature an expanded lineup of games, video streaming capabilities, music options, gift card sales and social media interaction. The Presto tablets, which were developed at MIT, have been “ruggedized” to deal with the spills and rowdy children common in such restaurants, according to the company.

And the punchline:

In the pilot program, the Presto tablets not only significantly reduced transaction times for guests, but also provided them a better overall experience, based on their feedback. By simplifying the transaction process and allowing guests to control the timing, Team Members were able to provide better service and more attention to guest needs throughout the dining experience, rather than focusing on delivering a check.

Also, much more time to work on their resume. In other words, Applebees is already taking steps at outsourcing its minimum wage waiters with tablets. Which incidentally is a brilliant idea, especially in a cost-cutting environment. So brilliant in fact that others are already joining in..

DineEquity said it might consider introducing the tablets at its IHOP restaurant chain as well. The company joins many others in the industry that have begun incorporating technology into the customer experience, installing ordering kiosks, equipping servers with mobile devices and more.

In other words, a funny thing happened as fast food workers were striking across the land – they were all just made obsolete courtesy of iPads.


    



via Zero Hedge http://feedproxy.google.com/~r/zerohedge/feed/~3/Ogf6ryVDDoU/story01.htm Tyler Durden

Bipartisan Coalition For Anti-NSA Legislation Grows

The USA FREEDOM Act, which aims to rein in the
National Security Agency (NSA), has a growing coalition of
bipartisan support that includes Rep. Justin Amash (R-Mich.).

The full title—“Uniting and Strengthening America by Fulfilling
Rights and Ending Eavesdropping, Dragnet-collection, and
On-Monitoring Act”—is a mouthful. But it aims to do exactly what it
says. If passed,
the bill
could end bulk meta-data collection, require the
attorney general to make certain Foreign Intelligence Surveillance
(FISA) court decisions public, and allow Internet and telephone
companies to disclose some information about FISA court orders they
receive. Additionally, it would create a position within the FISA
court of a “special advocate” to act “zealous and effective…in
defense of civil liberties.”

Support for the House bill, which was introduced in late
October, has been spreading. The Grand Rapids Press

reports
that just since this weekend, the number of cosponsors
jumped from 70 legislators to at least 102, with an even split
between Republicans and Democrats. The act was introduced by Rep.

Jim Sensenbrenner
(R-Wis.), who wrote the PATRIOT ACT but has
since changed his positon and considers it “excessive and
un-American.” His co-author, Sen.
Patrick Leahy
(D-Vt.), also previously supported the
surveillance legislation, but now believes it does “not contain
sufficient safeguards to protect… privacy and civil
liberties.”

Will Adams, a spokesman for Amash, explained the
representative’s reason for support for the act. “We think the
American people want to rein in the NSA. They want their rights
protected, they want their privacy protected from government
surveillance,” he said to The Grand Rapids Press.

This isn’t Amash’s first time taking on the data-gobbling
agency. Earlier this year, the representative introduced the

LIBERT-E Act
, which sought less extensive changes than the USA
FREEDOM Act. Its strategy was to defund meta-data collection, but
the bill narrowly failed to pass in a House vote.

Derek Khanna points
out
that Sensebrenner’s and Leahy’s legislation has
cosponsorship from a number of representatives who didn’t even vote
for Amash’s bill. A range of organizations have also voiced their
support. The American Civil Liberties Union (ACLU)
lauds
that the bill “ensure[s] that bulk collection doesn’t
just jump to another secret authority.” The Electronic Frontier
Foundation (EFF)
is worried
 that the act “does not touch problems like NSA
programs to sabotage encryption
standards,” but still supports it as the “best shot at fixing some
of the worst problems with NSA surveillance.”

from Hit & Run http://reason.com/blog/2013/12/05/justin-amash-among-growing-bipartisan-co
via IFTTT

Bruce Lee And The Stock Market

Submitted by Simon Black of Sovereign Man blog,

This morning I woke up bright and early to participate via the Internet in a live auction that was being held halfway across the world.

The Hong Kong branch of Spink & Son, a British firm originally founded in the mid-1600s, was putting a series of Bruce Lee memorabilia under the hammer.  And as a lifelong fan of Bruce Lee, I couldn’t miss it.

The items up for sale include a couple of pairs of Bruce’s own nunchaku, his eye-catching yellow jumpsuit from Game of Death (in which he fights Kareem Abdul-Jabbar), and some of Bruce’s hand drawings.

When the bidding for the first lot opened, the price immediately surpassed the auctioneer’s initial estimates. It was a frenzy. And before I knew it, the gavel fell and I had missed the boat.

I was determined to not let it happen again.

The second item was rolled out– one of Bruce’s sketches, drawn and signed right before his untimely death in 1973. When the bidding opened, I clicked furiously trying to keep up.

The trend was moving higher and higher. And as the crowd pushed the price up, my emotions kicked in.

Every time another bidder upped the price, I countered. It stopped being about Bruce Lee and started being about winning… beating the guy on the phone from Timbuktu, or the guy in the room who was swiping his index finger across his nose to bid.

It was all over in less than a minute. And when the gavel fell, I had won.

Now, I know that modern auctions are supposed to be a pure form of the free market– buyers from around the world meeting for the purpose ‘price discovery’, with the item eventually going to the highest bidder.

Further, economists and university finance often teach that such markets are ‘efficient’, meaning that prices always reflect the most relevant information and are hence an accurate reflection of an asset’s value.

But in reality, nothing could be further from the truth.

The auction was an emotional frenzy. It’s not an efficient market. It’s full of fear, euphoria, and aggression.

In short, it’s completely irrational… everyone is bidding because everyone else is bidding. It has nothing to do with value and everything to do with the crowd.

The stock market is the same way.

Even though just about every rational metric suggests that many global markets (especially the US) are absurdly overvalued, emotional investors keep bidding prices up.

As my colleague Tim Price explained last week, anytime in the last 130-years that the Cyclically Adjusted Price Earnings (CAPE) ratio for the US stock market has exceeded 24, the market has, without fail, entered a 20-year bear market.

Today, the CAPE ratio is roughly 25. There is almost no rational fact underpinning this valuation. Yet investors keep bidding up the prices simply because everyone else is bidding up the prices.

Meanwhile, Ben Bernanke is spraying a fire hose of cash and dopamine over the crowd, ensuring that investors have enough euphoria and liquidity to keep the party going.

So, sure, it’s possible the CAPE ratio can go to 40 before it crashes. But both the fundamentals as well as historical precedent suggest that the market is overheated.

Bottom line, this is not a consequence-free environment. And investors who aren’t paying attention can get hurt. After all, the most successful investors in history haven’t been the guys who blindly followed the crowd.

As for me, I spent about $8,500 on the sketch, including the auctioneer’s fee. I was damn lucky. In spite of my emotional frenzy, this is an excellent price.

A recent Sotheby’s auction sold a piano used by Coldplay’s Chris Martin for a whopping $1.5 million. And just yesterday, a Norman Rockwell painting sold for $46 million.

So… trading a few thousand of Ben Bernanke’s Federal Reserve Notes for a hand-drawn, signed sketch by Bruce Lee seems like a fair deal.

It’ll certainly be a better store of value than the dollar. And probably a better investment than stocks.

This opens the door to a discussion on collectibles as investments… but more on that another time.


    



via Zero Hedge http://feedproxy.google.com/~r/zerohedge/feed/~3/7sfQtOHZEt4/story01.htm Tyler Durden

On #RepealDay, Remember “Prohibition Vogue” with Ken Burns, Dan Okrent, and Boardwalk Empire

 

Today is Repeal Day, the day went alcohol prohibition went
bust.

Check out the video above, from 2010, in which we interview
documentarian Ken Burns, who just released a PBS documentary on
“the noble experiment” and author Daniel Okrent, whose great
history Last Call, was the basis for the series.

Since this is the week of Reason’s annual
webathon
– during which we’re trying to raise $100,000 in
tax-deductible contributions from readers like you (hey, that
sounds like PBS!) – let me point out that we don’t just make
interesting videos about issues that matter (though we do that, and
in spades).

We also act as your voice in public debates over politics,
culture, and ideas. To that point, check out this longer interview
we did with Ken Burns in which he and I mix it up over public
funding for the arts, market forces and the economics of art, and
how political identity is formed (Burns is a self-declared
“yellow-dog Democrat”).

Across all of our journalistic platforms – the print mag, the
website, Reason TV – we want to bring you the latest and most
pressing stories from a libertarian perspective, we want to sharpen
and refine and expand libertarian ideas and concepts, and we want
to engage other thinkers, creators, policymakers, and influentials
with our vision of Free Minds and Free Markets. That’s what your
contributions – not just tax-deductible but also fully voluntary
(unlike PBS, which gets tax dollars) – go toward. Please think about
giving to us over the next week.

Here’s the Burns interview:

 

from Hit & Run http://reason.com/blog/2013/12/05/on-repealday-remember-prohibition-vogue
via IFTTT

On #RepealDay, Remember "Prohibition Vogue" with Ken Burns, Dan Okrent, and Boardwalk Empire

 

Today is Repeal Day, the day went alcohol prohibition went
bust.

Check out the video above, from 2010, in which we interview
documentarian Ken Burns, who just released a PBS documentary on
“the noble experiment” and author Daniel Okrent, whose great
history Last Call, was the basis for the series.

Since this is the week of Reason’s annual
webathon
– during which we’re trying to raise $100,000 in
tax-deductible contributions from readers like you (hey, that
sounds like PBS!) – let me point out that we don’t just make
interesting videos about issues that matter (though we do that, and
in spades).

We also act as your voice in public debates over politics,
culture, and ideas. To that point, check out this longer interview
we did with Ken Burns in which he and I mix it up over public
funding for the arts, market forces and the economics of art, and
how political identity is formed (Burns is a self-declared
“yellow-dog Democrat”).

Across all of our journalistic platforms – the print mag, the
website, Reason TV – we want to bring you the latest and most
pressing stories from a libertarian perspective, we want to sharpen
and refine and expand libertarian ideas and concepts, and we want
to engage other thinkers, creators, policymakers, and influentials
with our vision of Free Minds and Free Markets. That’s what your
contributions – not just tax-deductible but also fully voluntary
(unlike PBS, which gets tax dollars) – go toward. Please think about
giving to us over the next week.

Here’s the Burns interview:

 

from Hit & Run http://reason.com/blog/2013/12/05/on-repealday-remember-prohibition-vogue
via IFTTT

BofAML Sees Bitcoin Fair Value At $1300

Bitcoin could become a major means of payment for e-commerce and may emerge as a serious competitor to traditional money-transfer providers, BofAML notes in a report today, adding that as a medium of exchange, Bitcoin has clear potential for growth, in our view. Despite Greenspan's inability to find "value", BofAML prefers not to call the crypto currency a bubble, and assigns a maximum fair-value of $1,300, but does warn that the 100 fold increase in Bitcoin prices this year is at risk of running ahead of its fundamentals.

Via BofAML's David Woo,

How to assess Bitcoin’s fair value?

The value of Bitcoin has risen 100 times over the past year, raising the question of whether it is a bubble. To answer this question, we need to be able to assess its intrinsic value. We don’t offer a forecast for Bitcoin, but below are our preliminary thoughts on how to approach the fair value question. Bitcoin’s is both a medium of exchange as well as a store of value. In our view, it is easier to think about fair value by treating these two purposes separately.

Value as a medium of exchange

As we have argued already, Bitcoin has some attractive attributes as a medium of exchange, especially for e-commerce. What could be the fair value of Bitcoin if it were to become a dominant medium of exchange for e-commerce that accounts for, let’s say, 10% of all the payments for B2C transactions? Let’s do the following exercise:

  • US personal consumption expenditures totaled $11trn in 2012
  • Household checking deposits and cash totaled $0.7trn in 2012
  • Dividing the former by the latter, we get 0.07 (which we will refer to as velocity from now on)
  • Velocity has been rising since 2008, likely reflecting cash hoarding behavior that is likely temporary. To smooth it, we take an average of the velocity of the past ten years to arrive at 0.04 — we assume US households are holding 4 cents in their cash/near cash balances for every $1 spent over the course of the year
  • In 2012, total B2C e-commerce sales in the US totaled $224bn
  • If we were to assume that the velocity for on-line sales is the same as the velocity for all US household spending, then households would want to setaside $10bn for their on-line shopping
  • Given the assumption that Bitcoin will grow to account for the payment of 10% of all on-line shopping, this would suggest that US households would want to have a balance of $1bn worth of Bitcoins
  • What about for the whole world? US GDP is about 20% of World GDP. If we were to assume the same degrees of penetration of e-commerce for the rest of the world and that spending by households outside the US has the same velocity, we get to $5bn worth of Bitcoins for the total desired cash/noncash balance of global on-line shopping.

The above is a very rough calculation and we have made a lot of big assumptions. Moreover, B2C is only one dimension of total e-commerce and we cannot rule out that Bitcoin can become a dominant medium of exchange for B2B transactions. Nevertheless, the exercise shows that if Bitcoins remains only as a medium of exchange, there appears to be a clear upside limit for its value.

It has been argued that Bitcoin may become a popular means of payment for illicit trade. We don’t have an informed view on this subject but the fact that all Bitcoin transactions are publicly available (and therefore can be tracked in theory by law enforcement agencies) and that every Bitcoin is defined by its unique transaction history (making it difficult for criminals to cover their tracks6) may limit the growth of its use in the black market/underworld.

In addition to its role as a mean for payment for on-line commerce, Bitcoin can be used for transfer of money (e.g. immigrant worker in the US sending remittances back home). This can be done very cheaply and fast (online settlement in under 10min if the sender is trustworthy like family member or 50min settlement for strangers). How do we assign a maximum fair value to this role of Bitcoin?

Western Union, MoneyGram, and Euronet are the three top players in the money transfer industry (with about 20% of the total market share). Let’s assume that Bitcoin becomes one of the top three players in this industry. What does that mean for Bitcoin valuation? Given Bitcoin’s supply is fixed, when one buys a Bitcoin, one is acquiring not only a medium of exchange but also an investment in the enterprise value of Bitcoin. From this point of view, Bitcoin's market capitalization could be viewed, with a little leap of faith, as its enterprise value. With the average market capitalization of Western Union, MoneyGram and Euronet at about $4.5bn, we will add this number to the maximum market capitalization of Bitcoin’s role as a medium of exchange.

Bottom-line: maximum market capitalization for Bitcoin’s as a medium of exchange = $5bn (for B2C e-commerce) + 4.5bn (means for payments) = $9.5bn

Interestingly, our $9.5bn estimate is below the current actual market capitalization of Bitcoin at $13bn. This suggests that the current market value of Bitcoin assumes either that Bitcoin will account more than 10% of market share for ecommerce, will have more than 10% market share of the money transfer industry (Chart 7)., or will have significant value as a store of value.

Value as a store of value

The value of Bitcoin has been recently outstripping the growth of the nonspeculative transactions using it (Chart 8). This fact alone would suggest that the price appreciation has been more about Bitcoin as a store of value or investment than as a medium of exchange.

How can we assign a value to Bitcoin’s role as a store of value? This is a very difficult question. Given Bitcoin does not pay any interest and that there are no investment instruments (equities or bonds) that are denominated in Bitcoin, the value of its store of value role appears limited. From this point of view, as a store value, its closest cousins are probably precious metals or cash (Table 1), in our view.

Bitcoins and gold have three important common attributes: neither pays any interest, the supply of both is limited, and both are more difficult to trace than most financial assets (except cash). The current outstanding value of gold bar/coins/ETFs is about $1.3trn. Can Bitcoin reach the same market capitalization as gold? We are doubtful.

First of all, Bitcoins are much more volatile than gold, which makes Bitcoins a riskier asset to own. Over the past two years, the volatility of Bitcoin has been on average five times higher than that of gold (Chart 9). All else being equal, this means Bitcoins are five times riskier than gold. Unless Bitcoin volatility declines sharply or gold prices increases sharply, it is reasonable to think that it will be difficult for the market capitalization of Bitcoins to go above $300bn.

Furthermore, the reputation of gold as a unique and safe store of value has been growing for the past ten thousand years. It will take some time for Bitcoins to acquire that reputation. We don’t know how to quantify the value of gold’s reputation, but this reputation is probably the main reason that its value is 60 times that of silver. If we were to assume that Bitcoin were to eventually acquire the reputation of silver (which is an extremely ambitious assumption), this suggests that Bitcoin market capitalization for its role as a store of value could reach $5bn. By the way, $5bn is not too far from the current value of total US silver eagles minted (since 1986), in our view probably the most relevant comparison to Bitcoin, that is around $8bn (12k tons).

Bottom-line: maximum market capitalization for Bitcoin’s as a store of value = $5bn

Bitcoin’s has one advantage over gold in that it is easier to transfer. That said, we don’t think this is a big advantage given the advent of gold ETFs and the ability to move such ETFs in-between accounts. We would not assign any additional value for Bitcoin in this respect.

Clearly, market perception of the Bitcoin’s fair value also depends importantly on the outlook for unconventional monetary policy. If Federal Reserve’s quantitative easing does not end over the next year, as is generally expected, the demand for safe haven assets (like gold and Bitcoins) would increase supporting their value. We expect Fed tapering to begin in Q1 next year and the USD to slowly regain its credibility as the world’s reserve currency, especially as the US continues to reduce its fiscal deficit that will likely fall below 4% of GDP next year. Bitcoin as a store of value likely will struggle to gain traction if our bullish USD view for 2014 turns out to be correct.

Final tally:

When we add our estimated maximum market capitalization for Bitcoins for its role as a medium exchange with that for its role as a store of value, we get a number that is somewhere around $15bn. Although this does not mean that Bitcoin price cannot rise further (as an object of speculation), we think the recent rise of Bitcoin price could soon run ahead of its fundamentals. Our current view implies a:

Maximum market capitalization for Bitcoin = $15bn

Maximum fair value of Bitcoin = 1300 USD

Conclusion

There is much speculation that Bitcoin may help avoid high taxes, capital controls, and confiscation. The correlation between CNY's share of volume of all Bitcoin exchanges and price of Bitcoin is rising. That said, the fact that all Bitcoin transactions are publically available and that every Bitcoin has a unique transaction history that cannot be altered may ultimately limit its use in the black market/underworld.

Bitcoin’s role as a store of value can compromise its viability as a medium of exchange. Its high volatility, a result of speculative activities, is hindering its general acceptance as a means of payments for on-line commerce.

Is Bitcoin a bubble? Assuming Bitcoin becomes (1) a major player in both ecommerce and money transfer and (2) a significant store of value with a reputation close to silver, our fair value analysis implies a maximum market capitalization of Bitcoin of $15bn (1BTC = 1300 USD). This suggests that the 100 fold increase in Bitcoin prices this year is at risk of running ahead of its fundamentals.


    



via Zero Hedge http://feedproxy.google.com/~r/zerohedge/feed/~3/5xHwjWlvfFg/story01.htm Tyler Durden

Here Is The “Growth” – Inventory Hoarding Accounts For Nearly 60% Of GDP Increase In Past Year

As we reported earlier, while on the surface the headline revised Q3 GDP number was a stunner coming at 3.6%, the reality is that more than 100% of the growth from the initial estimate came from a revised estimate of how many private Inventories were stockpiled in the quarter. The reality was that of the $230 billion in total increase in SAAR GDP, $146 billion of this, or over 63%, was due to inventory stockpiling.

So how does inventory hoarding – that most hollow of “growth” components as it relies on future purchases by a consumer who has increasingly less purchasing power – look like historically? The chart below shows the quarterly change in the revised GDP series broken down by Inventory (yellow) and all other non-Inventory components comprising GDP (blue).

But where the scramble to accumulate inventory in hopes that it will be sold, profitably, sooner or later to buyers either domestic or foreign, is seen most vividly, is in the data from the past 4 quarters, or the trailing year starting in Q3 2012 and ending with the just released revised Q3 2013 number. The result is that of the $534 billion rise in nominal GDP in the past year, a whopping 56% of this is due to nothing else but inventory hoarding.

The problem with inventory hoarding, however, is that at some point it will have to be “unhoarded.” Which is why expect many downward revisions to future GDP as this inventory overhang has to be destocked.


    



via Zero Hedge http://feedproxy.google.com/~r/zerohedge/feed/~3/QkLZ1Fv_r2g/story01.htm Tyler Durden

Here Is The "Growth" – Inventory Hoarding Accounts For Nearly 60% Of GDP Increase In Past Year

As we reported earlier, while on the surface the headline revised Q3 GDP number was a stunner coming at 3.6%, the reality is that more than 100% of the growth from the initial estimate came from a revised estimate of how many private Inventories were stockpiled in the quarter. The reality was that of the $230 billion in total increase in SAAR GDP, $146 billion of this, or over 63%, was due to inventory stockpiling.

So how does inventory hoarding – that most hollow of “growth” components as it relies on future purchases by a consumer who has increasingly less purchasing power – look like historically? The chart below shows the quarterly change in the revised GDP series broken down by Inventory (yellow) and all other non-Inventory components comprising GDP (blue).

But where the scramble to accumulate inventory in hopes that it will be sold, profitably, sooner or later to buyers either domestic or foreign, is seen most vividly, is in the data from the past 4 quarters, or the trailing year starting in Q3 2012 and ending with the just released revised Q3 2013 number. The result is that of the $534 billion rise in nominal GDP in the past year, a whopping 56% of this is due to nothing else but inventory hoarding.

The problem with inventory hoarding, however, is that at some point it will have to be “unhoarded.” Which is why expect many downward revisions to future GDP as this inventory overhang has to be destocked.


    



via Zero Hedge http://feedproxy.google.com/~r/zerohedge/feed/~3/QkLZ1Fv_r2g/story01.htm Tyler Durden

How Do You Charge an Unarmed Man with Shooting People? Get the NYPD Involved.

Surprised they didn't demand the women they shot pay to replace the bulletsIn September, New York Police
officers responded to an emotionally disturbed man causing a ruckus
at a Times Square bus terminal by
opening fire
on him while they were surrounded by crowds and
traffic. They missed him and hit two innocent bystanders (one of
whom was in a walker). Police said at the time they thought the
man, Glenn Broadnax, was reaching for a gun, but he turned out to
be unarmed.

Even though Broadnax was not armed, an indictment unsealed
Wednesday is charging him with assault for the injuries caused by
police gunfire. From the
New York Times
:

The man, Glenn Broadnax, 35, of Brooklyn, created a disturbance
on Sept. 14, wading into traffic at 42nd Street and Eighth Avenue
and throwing himself into the path of oncoming cars.

A curious crowd grew. Police officers arrived and tried to
corral Mr. Broadnax, a 250-pound man. When he reached into his
pants pocket, two officers, who, the police said, thought he was
pulling a gun, opened fire, missing Mr. Broadnax, but hitting two
nearby women. Finally, a police sergeant knocked Mr. Broadnax down
with a Taser. …

Initially Mr. Broadnax was arrested on misdemeanor charges of
menacing, drug possession and resisting arrest. But the Manhattan
district attorney’s office persuaded a grand jury to charge Mr.
Broadnax with assault, a felony carrying a maximum sentence of 25
years. Specifically, the nine-count indictment unsealed on
Wednesday said Mr. Broadnax “recklessly engaged in conduct which
created a grave risk of death.”

“The defendant is the one that created the situation that
injured innocent bystanders,” said an assistant district attorney,
Shannon Lucey.

Broadnax was taken to Bellevue Hospital after they got him down
and told police he was hearing voices of dead relatives and was
trying to commit suicide. But a psychologist has nevertheless found
him competent to stand trial.

One of the women shot by the police is absolutely not having
it:

Mariann Wang, a lawyer representing Sahar Khoshakhlagh, one of
the women who was wounded, said the district attorney should be
pursuing charges against the two officers who fired their weapons
in a crowd, not against Mr. Broadnax. “It’s an incredibly
unfortunate use of prosecutorial discretion to be prosecuting a man
who didn’t even injure my client,” she said. “It’s the police who
injured my client.”

New York City spends hundreds of millions of dollars every year

settling claims
against the city (though not all are tied to
police behavior). Despite trying to redirect responsibility
Broadnax’s way, it should not be a surprise to see six figures or
more of city money heading in the direction of Khoshakhlagh and the
other woman shot.

from Hit & Run http://reason.com/blog/2013/12/05/how-do-you-charge-an-unarmed-man-with-sh
via IFTTT