Crony capitalism

Crony capitalism and Obama’s big new national defense idea

Featured image In his speech to the VFW today, Mitt Romney derided President Obama’s defense policy as follows: “When the biggest announcement in his last State of the Union address on improving our military was that the Pentagon will start using more clean energy – then you know it’s time for a change.” Romney might have added that Obama has used his “clean energy for the military” policy to line the pockets »

Ungrateful business leaders fail to reciprocate Obama’s largesse

Featured image The Washington Post’s Zachary Goldfarb complains that corporate America has failed to show sufficient gratitude to its friend Barack Obama: President Obama has repeatedly embraced three titans of American commerce, General Electric, Boeing and JPMorgan Chase, showering their chief executives with praise and adopting policies that benefit the companies. . . Yet these companies — from the C-suite to the rank and file — have shown little enthusiasm for the »

Is the Holder Justice department letting Wall Street off the hook?

Featured image Attorney General Holder has come in for constant and largely deserved criticism from conservatives. The complaints cover plenty of territory: the Fast and Furious scandal, including the subsequent stonewalling; the bright idea of holding a trial of the 9/11 mastermind in New York City; the attacks on state laws designed to help with immigration enforcement; the efforts to promote voting fraud by attacking laws designed to prevent it; the decision »

Payoffs Vs. Layoffs

Featured image That is the Romney campaign’s theme for this week, and it is a powerful one–as we have noted many times, the Obama administration has used the stimulus bill, its “green” energy initiatives and other programs to enrich its campaign donors and political allies. The Romney campaign released this ad, “Political Payoffs and Middle Class Layoffs,” today: The theme is an important one, but the execution, in my opinion, needs improvement. »

Why government bestowal of economic privileges is pathological

Featured image Matt Mitchell, a senior research fellow at George Mason University’s Mercatus Center, has written an important paper called “The Pathology of Privilege: The Economic Consequences of Government Favoritism.” We have discussed such favoritism, which also goes by the names “crony capitalism” and “corporatism,” from time to time. But Mitchell’s paper provides an economic analysis and unified theory of the phenomenon. What are the privileges that governments bestow on particular firms »

Looking for the Real Bank Robbers

Featured image The financial world has its knickers in a twist right now over the fact that Barclays Bank in Britain (and perhaps/probably up to 20 others others, including former golden bank J.P. Morgan) attempted to manipulate the LIBOR (London Inter-Bank Offered Rate) market, which is the hinge rate affecting something like $800 trillion-worth of financial instruments.  (Can that number–$800 trillion—possibly be right?  It is the figure The Economist cites.)  Gee—bankers trying »

Crony caplitalism, American capitalism, and the Fourth of July

Featured image From Elizabeth Spahn at the FCPA blog: Highly intelligent, sophisticated, successful. I think he was of Indian ancestry, or maybe Pakistani? A modern Canadian citizen; executive of a Fortune 10 corporation responsible for North American operations for the British based corporation, first in its market position. He is a major player. “Crony Capitalism.” Isn’t that what American capitalism is? We were into our third glass of very fine red wine »

Crony Capitalism and Defense Spending

Featured image Today, I visited one of my favorite post-retirement haunts, the American Enterprise Institute, to hear a speech by Ashton Carter, the Deputy Secretary of Defense. Carter spoke on a wide range of defense issues, but the very first substantive point he made was that, in the current budgetary environment (and quite apart from the prospect of sequestration), Congress should not be forcing pet projects and systems on the Department of »

Obama Lies About Oil AGAIN!

Featured image Barack Obama has repeatedly embarrassed himself by lying about America’s petroleum resources. He loves to tell audiences that we need to invest billions in “green” energy because we only have 2% of the world’s oil reserves, and consume 20% of the oil. We and many others have called Obama on this misrepresentation many times. His fibbing has been so persistent that even the Washington Post has called him on it. »

Cronyism 101

Featured image I wrote about my participation in the Koch brothers’ semi-annual seminar in Palm Springs two weekends ago here. Along with Peter Schweizer, I did a presentation on cronyism. My speech focused on corporate cronyism, while Peter’s centered on the sort of political cronyism that he detailed in his book Throw Them All Out. I included in that post a couple of the Power Point slides that accompanied my speech, and »

Solyndra to Pay Bonuses!?!?

Featured image So says the Washington Times: up to $50,000 as “incentive” payments to top executives.  “Incentive” for what–burning up taxpayer dollars, with more taxpayer dollars? »

A Power Line Holiday Road Trip

Featured image So I’m out on the Left Coast this week and next, enjoying some sunshine and warm weather (forecast to be sunny and 72 here on the central coast on New Year’s day–sorry to all our midwestern friends), and since the light is so good, I did up this two minute video about some of California’s renewable energy “triumphs”: »

“Infused With Politics At Every Level”

Featured image It is now generally forgotten that one of the tangential threads that contributed to the Watergate scandal was the Nixon Administration’s intervention on milk prices and their favoritism toward ITT in an antitrust matter.  With that in mind the story in today’s Washington Post on the Obama Administration’s politicization of energy policy ought to elevate the Solyndra syndrome (since it was not an isolated matter) into a full-blown political scandal. »

Solyndra Execs Leave With Cash. Yours.

Featured image At The Corner, Andrew Stiles notes a report from Green Technology that Solyndra’s executives substantial bonuses shortly before their company declared bankruptcy, having run out of your money. The taxpayers likely will be stuck with a $530 million bill. Here is where some of it went: Karen Alter, senior vice president of marketing, received two $55,000 bonuses on April 15 and July 8 of this year, on top of her »

Let’s Get Our Terminology Straight!

Featured image The Obama administration vehemently objects to charges that it engages in crony capitalism: »

Imagination at work

Featured image Consider it another sign of the times when GE chief executive officer and Obama jobs czar Jeffrey Immelt lets it be known that he is not in full agreement with what the president “stands for.” When asked by Fareed Zakaria in an interview on CNN whether Obama is an opponent of capitalism, Immelt responded in part: “Do I believe everything the president stands for?…Definitely no.” That is not the answer »

Overhauling America

Featured image In the post “Chrysler’s resurrection” I wrote about James Stewart’s New York Times puff piece portraying the new Chrysler as a great success story. The Obama administration’s treatment of the auto companies and ongoing deceptions regarding the financial success of the treatment deserves more attention than it has received. In the Age of Obama, the enormities accumulate so quickly it’s hard to keep up. Steven Rattner was the Obama administration’s »