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Nick Sorrentino

About Nick Sorrentino

Nick Sorrentino is the co-founder and editor of AgainstCronyCapitalism.org. A political and communications consultant with clients across the political spectrum, his work has been featured at BreitbartReason.com, NPR.com, Townhall, The Daily Caller, and many other publications. A graduate of Mary Washington College he lives just outside of Washington DC where he can keep an eye on Leviathan.

Obama’s “to do list”.

Hey, he had a good week. Obama appeased both his corporate sponsors with the passage of fast track authority for the TPP and the Supreme Court rewrite of Obamacare. Then he appeased the West Coast folks with the gay marriage ruling. Add in a couple of other factors which we will not comment on and there you go, the bourgeois, middle class, flyover country people are put in their place.

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Excellent Op-Ed from Big Government “Liberal” Former Senator Gary Hart, We are So Corrupt Now We are in Danger of Losing the Republic

Gary Hart is a good big government liberal, with solid big government liberal credentials. And he is as fearful of the raging corrupt beast in Washington DC as any TEA Partier. Perhaps not quite.

Outrageous corruption in Washington is now legal. What once put elected officials in prison now is business as usual. DC is a hive of legal villainy. And if we don’t do something about it soon we are going to lose this precious thing. This unique flash of enlightenment. This anomaly in the experience of humankind. Our United States. Are we the generation which lets the American miracle descend into the mire?

This musn’t be. Not just for us, but also for millions and millions, billions, of people who look and have looked to the USA for leadership. The “shining light on the hill” is flickering.

Though we disagree with some (important) points here and there in this piece, generally it is good, especially considering Hart’s overall disposition toward large government.

He focuses only on corporate America however and as such he’s missing at least half the picture.

Hart’s broadly right though. Things are bad. We are flirting with real disaster. And sadly many of Hart’s buddies are the ones who put us on this path.

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May I Have This Dance? : Presidential candidates consider who will advise them on the economy

If one wants to be an economics superstar there seem to be 4 routes. 1. Win a Nobel Prize. 2. Write a book which is widely read by politicians and the intelligentsia. 3. Just produce excellent work, toil in obscurity, and then have your ideas championed by someone or group with the means to champion someone. 4. Become a presidential advisor.

I am sure that there are other routes too. Becoming a TV personality comes to mind but I can’t think of any economists who have or have had shows of note.

One thing is for sure, presidential candidates, and presidents need economists. Who a candidate partners with is a hugely important decision. To a greater or lesser degree the chosen economic advisor(s) sets the tone for the bread and butter part of any campaign.

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Which woman to replace Hamilton on the $10 bill? How about Ayn Rand?

I am actually speaking at a conference put together by an Objectivist organization tomorrow so I have Ayn Rand on the brain. (Rand’s philosophy is called Objectivism.)

Now I am not really an Ayn Rand guy. Ms. Rand once referred to libertarians (with whom I identify) as “right wing hippies.” And she didn’t mean it as a compliment.

Even still her thinking and writing are absolutely vital to the libertarian canon. She is also the most important and most influential female thinker of the 20th Century. There is really no other woman who comes close.

As such I think it makes sense that if we are to replace Hamilton on the $10 bill (which sounds good to me) we should replace him with Ayn Rand.

How awesome would it be to see the Treasury churning Rand portraits out?

Click here for the evolution of the $10 bill.

And don’t worry anti-Randians. There’s a move afoot to outlaw cash anyway so you won’t have to look at Ayn for very long. (And we’ve had to stare at FDR on the dime for 3 generations, so deal.)

Congressman Hensarling accuses Federal Reserve of ‘willful obstruction’ in leak probe

Congressman Hensarling deserves some praise. He has spearheaded the effort to kill the Export-Import Bank (let’s hope that thing gets put in the grave) in the face of massive lobbyist firepower and now he’s putting the Fed squarely in his sights.

Hensarling’s area of interest with regard to the Fed is the 2012 leak of Fed Minutes to prominent insiders 19 hours before the the public got to see the information. This is important, market moving information which if gotten early could have been very “helpful” to traders. (We’d love to know if any of the banks involved moved on the early information.) This is what Bloomberg had to say about the incident in 2013.

The Fed initially said recipients were primarily congressional staffers and trade organizations. A list of 154 recipients released later by the Fed show that banks also were among them. The list included Barclays Plc, BB&T Corp., BNP Paribas SA, Capital One Financial Corp., Citigroup Inc. (C), Fifth Third Bancorp, Goldman Sachs Group Inc., HSBC Holdings Plc, JPMorgan Chase & Co., Nomura Holdings Inc., PNC Financial Services Group Inc., Regions Financial Corp., U.S. Bancorp, UBS AG and Wells Fargo & Co.

Other financial firms included IntercontinentalExchange Inc., the Atlanta-based owner of the world’s largest credit- default swap clearinghouse that has agreed to buy NYSE Euronext for $8.2 billion; buyout firm Carlyle Group LP (CG), and financial- market data provider Standard & Poor’s.

You can read the entire article HERE.

This supposedly was an accident. Boy, what an accident. I sure think the American people deserve to know the details of this accident. So does Congressman Hensarling. But the Federal Reserve is fighting to keep things secret. Why?

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Obama (and GOP congressional leadership) -backed trade bill fails in the House

It’s not over (the House could move to reconsider the bill on Tuesday) but this was a real win and it happened largely because of a bizarre libertarian/conservative/liberal coalition we (and others) had identified as emerging a couple of weeks ago around the TPP.

Though this vote is only on a piece of the Trans-Pacific trade pact, basically a bone thrown to liberals which allocated money for the retraining of displaced workers, it is an important vote because it means that fast track authority will almost certainly not be granted by Congress. If Dems aren’t going to vote for fast track authority with such money for training, they are very very unlikely to vote for fast track authority without such funds.

And if there is no fast-track authority given, it is unlikely that after debate and amendments the TPP will make it through Congress.

A strange moment in American politics.

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The university as incubator for left-fascists who live their life offended

I use the term left-fascist to refer to the anti-speech, anti-intellectual, highly conformist cadre of politically correct brownshirts who populate many college campuses and are now infecting the workplace and society in general. It’s not a perfect term, but it is accurate.

I am sorry if I offend you. I was raised to be polite and respectful. I was also taught however not to suffer fools and the politically correct Utopian cultural Marxism cult is a cult of fools. For the most part the PC critique is nonsense. It’s bull. It’s an elaborate code of thought (and speech) which by its nature protects the dim and conformist while it rails against the independent thinker and innovator.

We need more independent thinkers and innovators. We have too many dim conformists already.

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How a crony capitalist system is like rigged poker

There was a time when I had more time and I used to play poker sort of seriously. I still play occasionally. I enjoy the game. I find it endless in nuance and full of lessons about life.

As Kenny Rogers says, know when to hold ’em, when to fold ’em, when to walk away, and when to run. (Though I would say that if you ever find yourself running away from a poker game it’s probably time to consider another pastime.)

Poker, real poker, is a great analogy for life. Some of us come to the table with big stacks. Some of us come to the table with small stacks. Big (tall) stacks are a huge advantage. Small stacks are harder to work with.

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To be against crony capitalism, must one be against the expansion of government?

At Against Crony Capitalism we pride ourselves on a pretty broad readership. We have conservatives, liberals, progressives, libertarians, the whole slew on here and we are very happy to have them. We do not seek to limit the voices of those who may not see eye to eye with us. What’s the point of having a provocative website if it only speaks to people who generally agree with its viewpoint? Assuming someone is respectful of us and of other readers they are welcome here.

But there are those who do not understand our perspective, which it is fair to say is unabashedly pro-free price, free market, and generally libertarian. How can one be “against crony capitalism” and not be for more regulations? Shouldn’t we embolden the state to counter the nefarious private sector?

In a word, or I guess 2 words, generally – no.

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About Inequality: Rich Get Poorer Over Time, Not Richer

I did not grow up with money. But I did work in finance for years and I have known a number of people with significant wealth. I also live in an old money town, Charlottesville, Virginia.

There is an adage about significant wealth which I think holds generally true and that is that “old money” is smaller than “new money.”

Often with older money there is some patriarch a few generations ago who made a pile of cash in some endeavor, rubber, banking, textiles, whatever. And sure, properly taken care of this wealth should grow from generation to generation. And this sometimes happens.

But never underestimate the destructive ability of an idiot son or grandson or grandsons given too much responsibility and too much money. Over time fortunes very often erode. Not always, but often. And they are always split up through the generations.

Of course this assumes a capitalist, or close to capitalist system, not a crony capitalist one like we have now.

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