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.

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Elderly Seattle couple leaves life savings of $847,215 to the US Treasury, an amount our government spends every 8 seconds

It’s their money. They earned it. It sounds like they hadn’t had the easiest of lives. (Not that that matters in this equation fundamentally.) If they want to leave their fortune to the US government that is their business. It appears that theirs was a gesture of thanks to a country which took them in and which became their home.

I appreciate that sentiment very much.

But the US Treasury?

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Want $20 million to work for the government? Just quit a Wall Street job first

Some Senate Democrats are (rightly) taking on the President over his nomination of Lazard’s global head of investment banking, Antonio Weiss, for Treasury undersecretary. Part of the problem is that Lazard is going to pay the guy $20 million in a bonus if he takes the job in government.

Now why would a global investment bank pay a C-level employee $20 million to go work for the government?

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Fresh Doubt Over the Bailout of A.I.G.

As I’ve said before, the Fall of 2008 is seared into my brain. I remember the exact moment when I heard that Greenspan said we were looking at a “once in a century” financial crash. I remember Lehman going down. I remember Goldman being saved. I remember when AIG which reinsured much of Wall Street was commandeered. I know it was a dark time for everyone but trust me, in the financial sector it was absolute insanity.

One could feel how fast and loose things got all of a sudden.

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Tim Geithner is no hero, no matter how many times he says that he is one.

TARP was the absolute height of crony capitalism. Many of the big banks should have gone down, but in the midst of a “Blackberry panic” – as David Stockman puts it – the masters of the masters of the universe lost sight of reality and the nature of markets. Yes, Goldman Sachs would have gone down. But this would have been a GOOD THING. The blood which should have filled the the streets of Downtown Manhattan would have washed the unsustainable leverage clean from the system (for a while).

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WSJ Book Review: ‘Stress Test’ by Timothy F. Geithner

According to this review Mr. Geithner thinks quite a lot of himself. He takes credit (credit?) for the lion’s share of the TARP bailout, which he sees as a success and not as many have come to see in the years since, an overreaction to a meltdown brought on by easy money which fundamentally undermined our economy.

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Geithner met with Obama just before warning S&P that the debt downgrade by the company would be met with a “response” from Washington

In January Bloomberg reported that Tim Geithner called the CEO of Standard and Poor’s after the company downgraded US debt to explain that the move would have “ramifications” for the company. Now S&P finds itself embroiled in a lawsuit driven by the Justice Department which S&P says is punishment for the downgrade.

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As Citigroup Spun Toward Insolvency in ’07- ’08, Its Regulator Was Dining and Schmoozing With Citi Execs

Geithner was able to get in and out of Washington DC pretty much unscathed. But his legacy will haunt the Treasury for a good while.

I will say that he did his job – for the banks.

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The best, simplest, explanation of the US monetary system (debt, currency, money, taxes, what’s really going on) that I’ve ever seen. An important video.

Many people are mystified by the kids at the Ron Paul rallies screaming “End the Fed!”

They ask themselves, “Why should we end the Federal Reserve? The Fed helps maintain economic stability right? Every country has to have a central bank. These “End the Fed” kids are nothing but “Paulbots.” The people on CNBC and Bloomberg tell me that the Fed acts in my best interest. I think the people on Bloomberg and CNBC ought to know what’s right for me and my money.  

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Obama wonders why people aren’t freaking out, It’s because he’s cried wolf too many times.

Politico says it’s more of a “chicken little” situation. Regardless of what fable the partial “shutdown” and renewed debt limit debate most resembles, president Obama has lost credibility with the American public on economic matters. (And other matters too. Remember last month’s crisis in Syria?)

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