On the Cyprus bank deposit tax

At least that’s a transparent theft of money, as opposed to the less transparent inflation that results of printing more cash.

Note: Yes…I originally referenced Greece in this post. I am dumb and do not know my Mediterranean geo-politics. But, I’m learning.

Germany and France play Lucy to the Market’s Charlie Brown

Casino Royale (2006 film)

Up to Le Chiffre's tricks?

Maybe someone should check the holding of France and Germany — or folks connected to the governments of France and Germany.

The market seems to have some big movements lately cycling on the news of who might bail out Greece.

One day:  We’ll bail out Greece.

A few days later:  Maybe not.

A week later:  Okay, we’ll bail them out.

A few days later:  No.

Each time, the market seems to move 2% – 4% one way or the other, enough to make some good profits with the right up and down positions.  Maybe they learned something watching Casino Royale.

Good Reading

Here’s a roundup of some good reading.

Walter Williams: Who Poses a Greater Threat If you’ve ever feared power consolidated in the hands of wealthy, you should read this column.

Bill Gates is the world’s richest person, but what kind of power does he have over you? Can he force your kid to go to a school you do not want him to attend? Can he deny you the right to braid hair in your home for a living? It turns out that a local politician, who might deny us the right to earn a living and dictates which school our kid attends, has far greater power over our lives than any rich person.

Thomas Sowell: Alice in Health Care Warren Buffett should read Thomas Sowell to get a better understanding of why health care costs are high.

One of the biggest reasons for higher medical costs is that somebody else is paying those costs, whether an insurance company or the government. What is the politicians’ answer? To have more costs paid by insurance companies and the government.

Mark Steyn: Our Own Greek Tragedy (HT: Cafe Hayek).  Steyn has a way with words.

While President Obama was making his latest pitch for a brand new, even more unsustainable entitlement at the health care “summit,” thousands of Greeks took to the streets to riot. An enterprising cable network might have shown the two scenes on a continuous split screen – because they’re part of the same story. It’s just that Greece is a little further along in the plot: They’re at the point where the canoe is about to plunge over the falls. America is further upstream and can still pull for shore, but has decided instead that what it needs to do is catch up with the Greek canoe. Chapter One (the introduction of unsustainable entitlements) leads eventually to Chapter 20 (total societal collapse): The Greeks are at Chapter 17 or 18.

We hard-hearted, small-government guys are often damned as selfish types who care nothing for the general welfare. But, as the Greek protests make plain, nothing makes an individual more selfish than the socially equitable communitarianism of big government. Once a chap’s enjoying the fruits of government health care, government-paid vacation, government-funded early retirement, and all the rest, he couldn’t give a hoot about the general societal interest. He’s got his, and to hell with everyone else. People’s sense of entitlement endures long after the entitlement has ceased to make sense.