Posts Tagged ‘2007’

Ludwig von Mises Institute

Upon discovering that the Ludwig von Mises Institute is a government-sanctioned and regulated tax-free 501(3)(c) organization, I looked for their publicly-available IRS disclosures.

Their latest complete tax-exempt filing available as of February 14, 2011, is for 2007.

Despite their talk of monetary inflation being bad in all cases, they owned $4 million in U.S. Treasury Bonds in 2007 (see page 17 of the PDF), which they all sold the very same year the subprime housing bubble burst.

It also shows that they owned a total of $291,164 in 32 other securities, with their biggest holdings being in PetroChina and Royal Caribbean, which they all sold at a loss in the same year, with the exception of their Allete Inc., News Corp, Buckeye Partners and AT&T shares.

It is quite possible that most, if not all, of these stocks were gifted by donors. Yet, it is an interesting portfolio for what it does and does not contain.

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Previously, I uncovered that the CIA is overstating Canada’s government spending by more than 200%, by inconsistently reporting all government spending for Canada, and only federal spending for the U.S., despite both having a federal system of government.

Looking through Canada’s numbers again, I noticed its massive exports hemorrhage from 2008 to 2009. This time, the CIA’s numbers are correct.

From Canada’s entry in The World Factbook:

$323.4 billion (2009 est.)
country comparison to the world: 11
$459.1 billion (2008 est.)

Exports decreased by a whopping 30% from 2008 to 2009, despite the downturn not hitting Canada hard until September 2008, when, as one example, the Canadian dollar declined by 20% relative to the USD in less than a full month.

By comparison, U.S. exports “only” fell by 14% from 2008 to 2009, despite officially being in recession since December 2007.

The CIA states that export figures are stated in U.S. dollars based on the official exchange rate. Given an estimated GDP of $1.335 trillion for 2009, Canada’s exports only accounted for 24% of its GDP. Imports for 2009 were estimated to be $327.2 billion, resulting in net exports of -$3.8 billion.

In a forthcoming article, I’ll expand on my discussion from July 1 on “Crash! Are You Ready?” on why claims of a higher dollar being bad for exports are overly simplistic, and how it’s been completely counterproductive for Canada’s central bank and leading politicians to be slavishly devoted to keeping the Canadian dollar below par with the USD. In doing so, they argue for and support government intervention for 24% of the economy at the expense of the other 76%.

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In November 2009, I first heard about the Ontario “Provincial Benefit.”

The Independent Electricity System Operator (IESO) states: “The Provincial Benefit ensures reliability by providing adequate generating capacity for Ontario. It accounts for differences between the spot market price and the rates paid to regulated and contracted generators. As a result, its value may be positive or negative, depending on the fluctuation of prices in the spot market.

In other words, if Ontario pays more to your electricity supplier than the market price, you pay the difference, otherwise, you receive a credit.

Here are the average annual provincial benefits I calculated from 2005-2010 to date, in cents per kilowatt-hour, from the IESO’s monthly numbers:

2005    -0.6175
2006     0.229167
2007     0.438333
2008     0.530833
2009     2.9075
2010     2.97

It’s no accident that I didn’t hear about it until 2009. That’s the year the “benefit” exploded in cost to around half of the price of the first 1000 kWh of electricity. It’s been Orwellian since its inception, with the potential to be a charge, not a benefit, and has since been a charge every year since 2006.

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In 1996, the Progressive Conservative government of Ontario scrapped rent controls for new tenants.

According to the Bank of Canada’s Inflation Calculator, core inflation from 2007 to 2009 was 2.95%.

As an example, one apartment I know of went from $850 a month in rent to $935, after only two years — an increase of 10%. The controlled rent increase over that same period was 3.2%.

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From the historical London Fix data for 2009 on Kitco.com:

Gold went from a low of $810.00 USD an ounce on January 15, to a high of $1218.25 on December 3 — a 50% increase.

Platinum went from a low of $915.00 an ounce on January 15, to a high of $1500.00 on December 3 — a 64% increase.

Silver went from a low of $10.51 an ounce on January 15, to a high of $19.18 on December 2 — an 82% increase.

Palladium went from a low of $176.00 an ounce on January 15, to a high of $402.00 on December 31 — a 128% increase.

To those who say palladium has no historical use as a currency, consider that it has its own international currency code (XPD), along with gold (XAU), silver (XAG) and platinum (XPT), the Canadian Mint minted one ounce coins from 2005-2007 and in 2009, and you can purchase that and other palladium bullion here, and from other stores like Kitco.

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Today, I was reminded of how my local gym didn’t accept cash as a form of payment as early as 2007. It reminded me of legal tender laws, and how I had been led to believe that cash was always accepted as a form of payment, but checking into that proved otherwise.

According to the Merriam-Webster Online Dictionary, legal tender is “money that is legally valid for the payment of debts and that must be accepted for that purpose when offered.”

But the payment in question isn’t for a debt, but for a service, and that is how they can legally refuse cash as payment. As a taxi driver once informed me, it’s only if you agree to let the person come back and pay you later, that it becomes a debt. Then, they can pay you cash, without you being able to legally refuse it.

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For an uncensored, no-nonsense insight into the life, challenges and travails of a working class American, check out the historical archives of “The Cup O’ Joe Radio Show” with Joe Vecchio, “The Voice of the Working Man.”

I first heard the show in 2006, and was an occasional listener until it ended in 2007. Recently, I listened to many of the early episodes from 2004, and found it a great antidote to the highly censored mass media spin too easily found on TV and radio these days.

While his show is over, the voice of the working man is still ringing loud and clear at cupojoe.blogspot.com.

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