Liberty Newswire – 3/21/2012

[The Liberty Insight Newswire is an aggregation of what we consider to be important financial and political news and commentary from across the web.]

This week’s newswire includes “Big Brother” in Italy and America, boomerang babies, the real reason for high gas prices, and a peek into the future of municipal defaults.


Italy to Launch Skynet Tax Collection System After 197% YOY Borrowing Increase
Sovereign Man, March 21, 2012

Governments worldwide will never cease in their quest for power and thirst for milk cow,  err, taxpayer money. The latest Big Brother news comes from Italy who has devised a plan to automatically track everyone’s spending habits to make sure they are in line with the taxes they pay. While you’re at it, take a few minutes to peruse the Sovereign Man website.


Three in 10 young adults live with parents, highest level since 1950s
Christian Science Monitor, March 15, 2012

More and more college grads are living with their parents. That’s not necessarily a bad thing; just a sign of the times. With few job prospects and high student debts, it make sense that many young people are being frugal and foregoing independence for security and cheap rent. Although, with households consolidating, it’s not a great sign for this housing recovery the media keeps telling us about.


The Rising Price of the Falling Dollar
Forbes, March 19, 2012

Many Americans are concerned with the rising prices at the gas pump. But as Charles Kadlec points out, it’s not that gas prices are rising; it’s that the dollars used to pay for that gas are falling. While rising prices for gas and other goods hurts consumers, we all pay an even higher price for our falling dollar in the loss of our freedoms.

[Editor’s note: Charles Kadlec, who happens to be my friend Ben’s father, is also the founder of the website Community of Liberty. If you like Liberty Insight, I’d recommend checking it out.] 


Municipal Defaults – Already 21 in 2012 – Another Blow for Bond Insurers
Insurance Journal, March 20, 2012

In the fall of 2010 Meredith Whitney gained a lot of new haters when she stated on 60 Minutes that, “there is not a doubt in my mind you will see a spate of municipal bond defaults … you could see 50 to 100 sizable defaults, more. This will amount to hundreds of billions of dollars worth of defaults.”

When her prediction didn’t come true in exactly one year the haters crowed with glee. But now it seems that muni defaults are rising steadily. It seems that the pressure buildup from years of recession, shrinking tax revenues, growing pension deficits and bloated budgets can only be kicked down the road so far.

This article highlights some of the early 2012 defaults, but seems to suggest that everything is A-OK because the cities are only defaulting on the “insured bonds” so the insurers will pay the bond holders. That’s nice of those bond insurers. Let’s hope they don’t catch on and start raising their rates and adding protective clauses to the policies.

[Editors note: Don’t worry; I don’t spend all my time pouring through the pages of Insurance Journal to find good articles. I frequent several economic and political news aggregators to find interesting articles and pass on the best of the best, with some added perspective, to Liberty Insight readers.] 


Obama Executive Order: Peace Time Martial Law!
BIN, March 17, 2012

Some people believe that laws are created by Congress with signed approval by the President. How quaint. That’s so 20th century. Today, the President just writes an executive order which gives his executive branch departments authority to write and enforce whatever laws, rules and regulations they see fit. These “laws” are almost never repealed and these departments only grow in size, scope and number.

The latest “National Defense Resource Preparedness” order grants federal agencies the power to commandeer resources even during peace time. The article includes the full text of the order (although like all government documents it can’t be fully read without the full federal registry at your fingertips) so you can read it and decide for yourself if it’s an essential preparedness measure to protect our country or something more… what’s the word?… fascist?


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