Wednesday, September 1, 2010

Quotable Mark Twain

It ain’t what you don’t know that gets you into trouble. It’s what you know for sure that just ain’t so. – Mark Twain

Harrisburg, Penn., will skip a municipal bond payment

Harrisburg, the capital of Pennsylvania, is planning to default on a $3.29 million payment for municipal bonds in two weeks. The incident would be the secondlargest
municipal bond default in 2010. Harrisburg's bond insurer is expected to cover the payment, but the situation is expected to fuel investor concern about the municipal bond market.

Analysis: There's nothing to celebrate in U.S. home-price data

Markets have overlooked a crucial fact in their joy for the latest S&P/Case-Shiller U.S. National Home Price Index, which shows a 4.4% increase for the second quarter, according to The Economist. Because of the way the index is calculated, nearly all transactions that went into the data were concluded before a homebuyers' tax credit expired. The housing market has suffered serious deterioration since, and that is likely to show up in future home-price data, the magazine notes.
The Economist

Milton Friedman on spending

“ I am in favor of cutting taxes under any circumstances and for any excuse, for any reason, whenever it's possible. The reason I am is because I believe the big problem is not taxes, the big problem is spending. The question is, "How do you hold down government spending?" Government spending now amounts to close to 40% of national income not counting indirect spending through regulation and the like. If you include that, you get up to roughly half. The real danger we face is that number will creep up and up and up. The only effective way I think to hold it down, is to hold down the amount of income the government has. The way to do that is to cut taxes.”
Milton Friedman