Boeing, Iran, and Aircraft Sales

Iran reportedly reached an agreement Sunday to buy 100 planes from Boeing, pending the final authorization from US Treasury officials.

These are passenger aircraft, ostensibly destined for Iranair and other Iranian airline companies.

There are a couple of questions about this deal, though.  One is where will the money (in the neighborhood of $17 billion) come from with which Iran will pay for these aircraft?  Who will lend Iran the money?

Laughingstock

The Pentagon held a video-teleconference with Russian defense officials Saturday, two days after Russia bombed Pentagon and CIA-backed rebels not once, but twice on Thursday near Syria’s border with Iraq and Jordan.

And especially [emphasis added]

The second wave of strikes occurred after the US military called Russia on an emergency byline established following Russia’s deployment of dozens of fighter jets and attack helicopters to Syria in late 2015.

This is how seriously Russia takes President Barack Obama’s (d) administration.  This is the contempt Vladimir Putin has for this President and for Democratic Party Presidential candidate Hillary Clinton and her Reset that she wants to extend.  A Reset that is too expensive, indeed.

States Competing for Corporations

Competition is at the heart of America’s economic success, but not every type of contest benefits society.  Consider the growing trend of businesses cajoling states and politicians to compete for who can dole out the most corporate welfare.  It’s especially frustrating because there are already plenty of ways to promote job growth without robbing taxpayers.

And

States could start with eliminating tax carve outs and replacing them with lower-overall tax rates and lighter regulatory burdens.  Federal lawmakers could also do their part by lowering America’s highest-in-the-developed-world corporate tax rate.

And

Embracing these policies would protect taxpayers…multinational firms with multimillion-dollar profit margins.

The Fed’s Rule by Fiat

Federal Reserve officials strongly signaled they will be toughening big-bank capital requirements even further than they have since the 2008 crisis, a move that will further increase pressure on the largest US banks to consider shrinking.

Fed governors Daniel Tarullo and Jerome Powell, in separate public comments Thursday, said the Fed will require eight of the largest US banks to maintain even more capital to pass the central bank’s annual “stress tests.”

Notice that they’re acting by rule and moving sharply away from their knitting, which is to concern themselves with maintaining price stability and full employment.  With this rule, they’re nakedly broadening their interference in the free market place.

Some Climate Thoughts

Here are the comments of a number of those pushing climate change/global warming/global cooling without regard to whether humans play any sort of significant role in…whatever it is.

Stephen Schneider:

On the one hand we are ethically bound to the scientific method, in effect promising to tell the truth, the whole truth, and nothing but, which means that we must include all the doubts, caveats, ifs and buts.  On the other hand, we are not just scientists, but human beings as well.  …  So we have to offer up scary scenarios, make simplified, dramatic statements, and make little mention of any doubts we might have.

A British Exit from the EU

There’s an aspect of so what to the question: what would actually change if the Brits vote to go their own way in a few weeks?  One set of answers involves British influence on the continent or within the EU.

[I]f the British do vote for Brexit and then have to trade with the EU, the UK would in fact find itself isolated with very little influence over regulatory standards in the single market.

What Hath Obamacare Wrought

The Wall Street Journal provided an amazing graphic in its Wednesday edition.ObamacarePremiumIncreasesEven accounting for bad estimating by the health coverage plan companies, this is a clear illustration of the depth of President Barack Obama’s (D) lie when he said insurance costs would go down by roughly $2,500 per year.

It’s also going to get worse: a number of programs intended to buffer these providers against such increase needs expire in 2017, including “risk corridors,” which then will be funded solely by health coverage providers’ own wealth redistribution “premiums” paid into the program by profit-making providers for the sake of money-losing providers.

Because One Size Fits All

This time it’s the trivium of expiration dates on the food we buy in our grocery stores.

That can of soup in your pantry says “Best by June 2018.” The cereal box on the shelf above it says “Use by October 2016.” The salsa in your fridge says “Sell by June 6, 2016.”  And the quart of milk next to it simply says “May 22, 2016.”

Among the dates found on labels across the US are “production” or “pack” dates of manufacture, “sell by” dates, “best if used by” dates, “use by” dates, “freeze by” dates and even “enjoy by” dates.

British Sovereignty and British Exit from the EU

Chatham House, The Royal Institute of International Affairs, has a paper out claiming that Great Britain’s perceived need to go out from the EU in order to preserve its sovereignty is “misguided.”

It’s possible to see the misguided perception of Chatham House from the Executive Summary of its paper.

  • The question of sovereignty lies at the heart of the UK’s upcoming EU referendum. …
  • This ignores the fact that successive British governments have chosen to pool aspects of the country’s sovereign power in the EU in order to achieve national objectives that they could not have achieved on their own, such as creating the single market, enlarging the EU, constraining Iran’s nuclear programme, and helping to design an ambitious EU climate change strategy.

National Security and Economic Relations with the PRC

The Fiscal Times had a thought.

There is an emerging danger that rivalry for strategic influence in the western Pacific will damage trade and investment relations.

As if this is a bad thing.  “rivalry for strategic influence in the Western Pacific” is a euphemism for the PRC’s seizure and occupation of the South China Sea and the islands in it, and the PRC’s terraforming of many of those islands and subsequent construction of military bases on them.