On Richmond Fed President Jeffrey Lacker's Unceremonious Exit From the Bank and Why I Still Love Jeff Lacker

Eight years ago, I was but a humble CPA review hack and rogue Fedbasher, protesting the bank and writing up insults toward the Fed in my spare time as the economy fell apart. I hated them all. But then I found Richmond Fed president Jeff Lacker. As the economy was taking a giant shit, he was the one fighting for reason, and he kept doing it while the Fed was throwing free money at the problem.

On March 3 2009 I wrote:

DEAR JEFFREY LACKER, I LOVE YOU. I mean, at least as much as an anti-Federal Reserve sound money advocate can love a Fedhead.

For a Federal Reserve president, Richmond Fed's Jeffrey Lacker is pretty bold. He's already shown that he isn't afraid of a little dissent and has opposed Big Daddy Bernanke on more than one issue.

And now he's at it again, this time questioning the "independence" of the Fed in the face of unique credit programs it's pulling out of its ever-loving ass to thaw credit in the United States.

I believed it, too. Jeff Lacker was the Fed president we all needed. He was going to save us from oblivion.

I put hearts on that shit and everything. And so I watched him closely, all the while I was protesting the San Francisco Fed with "THE FED WANTS YOUR GRANDMA TO EAT ALPO" signs, getting a custom "End the Fed" t-shirt done by the shop near my office which SF Citizen caught me wearing at an End the Fed rally. I was all in on hating on the Fed, but still I held out hope that Jeffrey Lacker had our backs. He was the cockblocker of the FOMC, surely he couldn't be that bad.

I moved to Washington DC shortly after that and still showed up to lame anti-Fed protests at the Board, all the while knowing Jeff Lacker was holding it down being a salty asshole for the economy's sake. It would be OK.

In 2011, the Richmond Fed flew a rainbow flag and the good ole boys flipped. I celebrated their gayness, I supported the Fed flying that gay God damn flag. And I scammed an "I gay love the Fed" t-shirt from that whole debacle.

I again moved, to Richmond this time because it's way cheaper than DC and I was all in on my Fifth District bank more than ever.

While serving as Managing Editor for an accounting publication, I hiked by the bank and rescued cats in Richmond and all the while kept faith that Jeff Lacker was the Fed president we all needed. I stopped focusing on the Fed because I was mired in accounting news, but every time I hauled ass up past the bank I smiled knowing the economy still had a chance because Lacker was going to question this whole free money thing that has left us at unprecedented interest rates since shit hit the fan.

I even named a rescue kitten I fostered after our esteemed Fed president. Ugliest cat I ever met. But still, named her after him (before I realized "she" wasn't a he).

Jeffrey got adopted with her brother James (named after former Fed general counsel) and stopped being ugly like a year or two ago. Maybe she's still ugly, I dunno.

So I suppose it goes without saying that this news about Jeffrey Lacker today has disappointed me. While I was marching back and forth in front of the San Francisco Fed in an End the Fed t-shirt years ago, I held this shred of faith in the humble economist I'd grown to admire. And on its surface, what came out today about Jeff Lacker's fall from grace might shatter all that. But it doesn't.

Despite how awful it all seems -- and it is -- with the #crooksgonnacrook hashtags and calls to lock him up, I can't help but believe there was no nefarious intent in his leaks. He likes to talk about this stuff. He just so happened to talk too much in this one instance.

Perhaps I'm giving him too much credit. But when he was the lone voice of reason in a time when the free money whores at the Fed were throwing money they had no right to manufacture from thin air at the economy swirling down the drain nearly a decade ago, how big of an issue is this really?

Binyamin Appelbaum writes in the New York Times:

Jeffrey M. Lacker, the president of the Federal Reserve Bank of Richmond in Virginia, resigned abruptly on Tuesday, saying that he had broken the Fed’s rules in 2012 by speaking with a financial analyst about confidential deliberations.

Mr. Lacker said he also failed to disclose the details of the conversation even when he was questioned directly in an internal investigation.

The confession and resignation shed light on a nearly five-year-old mystery. In October 2012, Medley Global Advisors, a firm that tracks policy developments for financial investors, sent a note to its clients describing previously undisclosed details of the Fed’s plans for a new phase in its bond-buying campaign.

Someone inside the Fed has been leaking directly to Jon Hilsenrath for years, why exactly is this any different? Because he got caught? Because he owned up to making the mistake of overtalking with an analyst because he nerds out hard on this stuff and loves to talk about it? There is no evidence that Jeffrey Lacker stood to gain anything from this "leak," financially or otherwise. It is my belief that he did not have ill intent, and I remind you once again that I've been painted up carrying signs protesting the Federal Reserve for, oh, eight or nine years at least? If anyone wanted to vilify a Fed asshat for this it would be me.

Lacker's statement on his exit feels like a sputtering out, where he had the potential to leave a glorious legacy of cockblocking and shit-disturbing throughout his tenure at the bank at its most difficult time.

I don't think I've felt anything like this since I was 13 and Kurt Cobain killed himself, when his widow Courtney Love read his suicide letter to a crowd gathered in Seattle. "It's better to burn out than fade away," Cobain wrote before he shot a lethal dose of heroin and blew his brains out.

I still love you, Jeffrey Lacker. You stood up during the darkest times of our economy to say "can you just fucking not" while all your colleagues were throwing money that wasn't theirs after the problem, and I will not believe this takes away from that. Call me delusional. Call me a fan girl. But the esteemed cockblocking bad ass of the Richmond Fed I know isn't a crook and he isn't a piece of shit and his legacy deserves more than to say he went out like this. That's what I have to say.

Porno Site Offering to Plow Boston Streets For Free is a Libertarian's Wet Dream

The innuendo is strong with this one, you guys.

So, a website I am completely and totally unfamiliar with called Pornhub which I guess is like YouTube for legal sex acts announced ahead of a Northeastern snowstorm you probably didn't hear about that it would be sending out a brigade of branded trucks to plow streets for free. Get it? Plow? 

“The Pornhub team understands that by this time of year, most cities have run up their budget in snow removal,” Pornhub Vice President Corey Price tells Boston, “and we thought we’d lend a hand in getting our fans plowed.”

No really, do you guys get it? In case you didn't for some absolutely bizarre reason, such as being a completely asexual mannequin, well Pornhub has your back.
I can't with this, you guys.
Seriously, how do I go about applying to work in the Pornhub social media department.

Besides the fact that this is an absolutely brilliant marketing tactic, it should be recognized that a private company took it upon itself to send out two dozen plows to assist in what will no doubt be a massive cleanup when all's said and done. And according to anyone who isn't libertarian, also impossible as that kind of thing never ever happens.

We're told -- indoctrinated, even -- that without the government, there is absolutely no safety net. Who will feed the hungry? (Spoiler: food stamps aren't the only game in town) Who will clothe the naked (I will happily give you the shirt off my back right now)? And who will plow the streets? HELP US, GUBMINT. Private charity already exists, so we know it's possible for someone other than the government to handle this area.

Forgive me for allowing my inner cat lady to make an appearance for a moment, but one could argue that private, non-profit rescue organizations are doing a far better job saving lives, providing resources for pet owners in need, and preventing overpopulation through targeted spay/neuter initiatives than municipal shelters paid for with tax dollars. Not to say there aren't great shelters out there doing good work, nor that all rescue groups are doing the best work, it's just that private individuals are coming together to manage what many municipal shelters can't handle.

So yeah, spare me with the muh roads crap, anyone who asks how roads will be maintained without tax dollars obviously hasn't driven a car in the last half a century. Our roads aren't doing so hot, you guys. And still, we're all paying for them.

As for you, Pornhub, rawwwwrr. All this talk about plowing for free has this libertarian gal worked up. Not to mention other charitable Pornhub initiatives such as the partnership with PETA to raise awareness about the importance of spaying and neutering animals to decrease overpopulation, scholarships for women in tech, and the Save the Boobs campaign for breast cancer awareness.

Obviously there's a small flaw in this model: we can't go around expecting xHamster to buy textbooks for schoolchildren and YouPorn to provide Medicare. Still, something. I look forward to the RedTube Scholarship for the Arts any day now.

A Day Without A Woman is the Ultimate in Virtue Signaling Bullshit and Here's Why

If you are a woman with the luxury of taking today off, congrats. You aren't the kind of woman who needs to take a day off to make a point about how women are supposedly underpaid (data is still and will always be out on that one), you are likely protected enough in your position to be able to take a day off in the first place and congratulations, it means you live in the first world where a woman can choose to take a day off for whatever reason. Way to stick it to the man, ladies. I hope you had an awesome day at home, you deserve it.

The triumphant announcement of this day without women on the "official" Women's March page (because someone bought that dot com, ya know) reads:
In the same spirit of love and liberation that inspired the Women's March, we join together in making March 8th A Day Without a Woman, recognizing the enormous value that women of all backgrounds add to our socio-economic system--while receiving lower wages and experiencing greater inequities, vulnerability to discrimination, sexual harassment, and job insecurity. We recognize that trans and gender nonconforming people face heightened levels of discrimination, social oppression and political targeting. We believe in gender justice.
Anyone, anywhere, can join by making March 8th A Day Without a Woman, in one or all of the following ways:

  • Women take the day off, from paid and unpaid labor
  • Avoid shopping for one day (with exceptions for small, women- and minority-owned businesses).
  • Wear RED in solidarity with A Day Without A Woman
  • So even on what is supposed to be our day, we're being told what to do. Take off work. Don't shop. Wear RED. BTW, the red thing has already been overdone for AIDS awareness, or are you guys not old enough to remember those AIDS iPods U2 was shilling many many years back?

    I own a media company, cobbling together an existence these days but an existence no less, and one that I take great pride in. The fact that I have the opportunity to cobble this existence together is completely first world, I wouldn't have this option if, say, I were a woman in Sudan. When stories I need to cover come in I can't be like yeah sorry, it's wear red day and I'm doing cliche lady stuff at home in the tub sipping wine. Meanwhile there's a little girl in Sudan getting her parts hacked up because female genital mutilation is still in a thing around the world and I'm over here in the United States thinking wearing a red shirt makes a difference? Please give me twenty breaks with that shit.

    How funny was it they said avoid shopping, like that's what all we women do right lol. RESIST THE URGE. Don't shop! That'll show them! And then turn around the next day and buy a bunch of crap you don't need on Amazon, that'll show them. I did go get my hair cut at my women-owned salon but that is beside the God damned point.

    If you took today off, good for you. But look the fuck around you. Were you sold into child marriage at 12? Do you still have your natal genitals? Do you have to walk hours a day just for water? No? Then you're doing pretty good as far as women across the world are concerned. Do we first world women have problems of our own? Of course. But please stop getting the vapors at every opportunity to play up our oppression, it's getting exhausting.

    The fact that y'all can go out there in vagina costumes and not get your asses beat is proof of how just good we have it here in the good ole first world. Remember that when you're putting on a red shirt the next time.

    Democrats Fall For Half-Assed GoFundMe Scam On Democratic Underground

    HI guys! Remember me! I'm still here.

    So as you guys may know I spend my days now over at GoFraudMe reporting on all the crap GoFundMe scammers are running.

    Came across a really interesting thread on Democratic Underground recently, apparently DU users threw money at this clown who said his brother was a John Kerry fan and had been in a car accident, except the whole thing was a total fraud.

    In Scam Artist Tries To Rip Off Democratic Underground and It Does Not End Well we meet this clown who tried to rip DU off for his fake GoFundMe; he made nearly two grand before they caught onto his scam. It still sits at $800+

    The guy clearly went after democrats in that forum. Easy pickins? 

    Fedhead Concerned About Low Interest Rates Suggests Everything But Raising Interest Rates As a Solution

    You know, I haven't been up the Fed's butt much over the last, oh, few months or even years, but when the following statement by San Francisco Fed President John Williams happened across my Twitter feed, I couldn't help but crawl out of my hole and say something.

    Perhaps it's because his comments reminded me of a now-dormant but still disgusted distaste I held for his predecessor in the before time when I was still a San Franciscan and Janet Yellen was still president of my friendly neighborhood Fed bank. Or perhaps it's because this is one of those head-scratching moments when the average knuckle-dragger like me wonders what other crazy ideas these economic geniuses come up with if this is what they're suggesting publicly.

    Back to those comments. Reuters reports:

    Central bankers and governments must come up with new policies to buffer their economies against persistently low interest rates that threaten to make future recessions deeper and more difficult to avoid, a top Federal Reserve official said on Monday.

    Setting higher inflation targets, tying monetary policy directly to economic output, instituting government spending programs that automatically kick in during economic downturns, and boosting investment in education and research are all policies that should be considered, San Francisco Fed President John Williams said.

    Bruh. The one suggestion missing from his list of things that don't include, I dunno, raising interest rates to avoid low interest rates clearly didn't even get so much as an honorable mention.

    We haven't even clawed our way out of this recession (get back to me when interest rates are back in the 'normal' range and the stock market has finally detoxed off all that free money the Fed pumped into it) and we're already looking forward to the next one?

    Now, I'm fully on board with governments getting their shit together and perhaps even some kind of 'bonus' system in exchange for healthy economic output but come on, what good does any of that do now?

    Williams thinks the Fed's 2 percent inflation target is too low, which I'm sure might upset a bunch of grandmas eating Alpo who have seen both their savings and purchasing power get pissed off the back of a certain roof on Constitution Ave for years but it's cool they'll be dead soon anyway.

    You know, maybe we could get that inflation rip roaring if we figured out how to get the massive number of labor force dropouts who gave up looking for work forever ago back into the workforce. Again, that seems too obvious to make sense, so better we focus on government spending and funding education because reasons. Yeah OK, let's go with that.

    BTW, grandmas, I got a sponsored ad on FB the other day that you may be interested in.

    Congressional Candidate Accidentally Facebooks His Porn Preferences, Everyone Loses Their Shit

    So, you may have heard but wannabe 8th District of Virginia Congressman Mike Webb made a fatal Internet error earlier today: sharing without double-checking. Never, NOT EVER, do you take a screenshot of your desktop without checking the entirety of said desktop. Personally I wouldn't give a shit if a stray xHamster tab popped up on one of my shares but hey, I'm not running for office.

    Here's the offending post from the Mike Webb for Congress Facebook page:


    Call it "serendipity," but around August of last year, I was still in the process of looking for a new job, as everyone certainly knows. So, when I received a telephone call from Curzon Staffing Agency in Alexandria, home of the incumbent, I was all too anxious to learn about an invitation to an interview. Having to depart work in DC for the scheduled 11 AM interview in Alexandria, I called back the number on my cell phone to confirm the location at which I was to report, but the receptionist answered. And, lo and behold, was I surprised when I arrived on time and was told by the receptionist that the party with whom I had spoken about an interview and made arrangements was not employed by that firm.

    Just paranoia, right? This happens to everybody all the time. I have to admit, personally, none of this stuff ever happened to me until I decided to think about running for office in this town. Maybe I should call Matt Wavro and, as he describes, beg him to allocate party resources to help me with this. That's okay, Matt, I think we got this.

    I am Mike Webb, and I am running for U.S. Congress. Honest.

    He then attached a screenshot -- or rather, what appears to be a PDF of a screenshot, which somehow makes this worse.

    See the upper left hand corner of his Internet Explorer (LOL) tabs? Well, it's porn. Yup, homeboy likes to get his fap on between talking shit about Matt Wavro, and who can blame him since he's unemployed so he has tons of time and Matt Wavro is so cute if you're into that whole Law & Order child abduction suspect look.

    In an update on his Facebook page, it seems Mr. Webb may be -- as we in the South like to say -- a couple sandwiches short of a picnic, bless his heart. But I believe he's saying the porn was just an experiment, which would be entirely logical if he hadn't shared his experiment with the entire world:

    Curious by nature, I wanted to test the suggestion that somehow, lurking out in the pornographic world there is some evil operator waiting for the one in a gazillion chance that a candidate for federal office would go to that particular website and thereby be infected with a virus that would cause his or her FEC data file to crash the FECfile application each time that it was loaded on the day of the filing deadline, as well as impact other critical campaign systems.

    Yoooakay, bruh.

    Here's the thing: it's only porn. We've all seen porn. Say it with me: WE HAVE ALL SEEN PORN. If you want to pretend like you haven't, either you are underage or you are a big fat fucking liar. We're so damn uptight in the U.S. we won't even let mothers feed their kids in the presence of other kids (what will the children think about that BREAST!), porn really shouldn't be that big of a deal. And it isn't.

    I'm more worried about the fact that he uses Yahoo in Internet Explorer. Do you really want your grandma representing you in Congress? Next he's going to tell us he lost his life savings trying to invest in a complex Dinar exchange program with a nice young man from Nigeria.

    But let the porn thing go. Make sure you're not so blinded by schadenfreude you don't forget what your own browser history looks like. That's all I'm saying. Pervs.

    Libertarians Now Slightly More Smug About Constantly Being Right All the Time: Poll

    This is the moment we've been waiting for. Waiting patiently, not forcing our will on anyone, just waiting. Like quiet little mice. Quiet little mice growing tired of the cats and dogs beating the shit out each other for no reason.

    This is happening, people.

    Come on over to the dark side! We have cookies, drugs, and sweet sweet FREEEEEEDOM!!

    Come Get Your Fix of All Things Crowdfunding Fraud

    Hiya! Long time no see. How's everyone doing? Anyone seen any new Ted Cruz is the Zodiac Killer memes? Economy still fucked? Yeah? Good, good.

    So hey, I wanted to check in and direct you over to this fantastic new website. I may kinda sorta know the person behind it and let me tell you, she's incredible.

    Gofraudme is a one-stop shop for news and views on crowdfunding fraud, scampaigns, and general GoFundMe fuckery. There's even a super cool GoFundMe fraud tracker map of just about every publicized GFM scam in the last few years. That resource may have kinda sorta taken forever to put together, so you better use it and like it.

    Head over, take a look, and give a shout if you have any feedback. I will, uh, pass it along to the awesome person who put all of this together. Or something.

    Louisiana Cop Shop Warns Meth Users of Very Dangerous and Definitely Not Fake Ebola-Tainted Meth

    When it comes to social media and cops, tools at their disposal have led to some pretty unhappy criminals in custody over the years. Most recently in my neck of the woods, Henrico cops were able to identify a robbery suspect within 12 hours of posting CCV shots of her face all over teh Internets. And yes, you read that right, it was she. And white! OMG.

    A little more well-known case is that of Donald "Chip" Pugh of Ohio, who wasn't feelin' his mugshot (who ever does?) so he went ahead and sent cops a better pic.

    Pugh was arrested 10 days after Lima, OH PD posted his updated, "not terrible" selfie.

    Now, back to the issue at hand. Criminals aren't the only ones getting creative with social media, as evidenced by the clever bastard behind the screen at the Grayson Police Department in Grayson, LA. The minuscule town of just 525 souls must have one hell of a meth problem if this trick is even necessary:

    Breaking News: Louisiana Meth Supply Possibly Contaminated With Ebola.Meth recently brought in from Texas as well as...
    Posted by Grayson Police Department, Grayson, LA on Monday, March 21, 2016

    For those with script-blockers or Win 3.11 OS or Carrier Pigeon 2.4, the Facebook post reads:

    Breaking News: Louisiana Meth Supply Possibly Contaminated With Ebola. Meth recently brought in from Texas as well as the ingredients used to make it could be contaminated. If you have recently purchased meth in the Grayson area, please bring it to the Grayson Police Department so it can be screened with a special device. Do not use it until it has been checked for possible Ebola contamination! 
    Unsurprisingly, the public service announcement did not manage to entice a single concerned meth addict into the police department for a meth safety check. Boo.

    Now, I'm no chemist but I've watched enough Breaking Bad to know that it's pretty likely any contaminants in meth ingredients would be obliterated in the cooking process, ignoring the fact that the ingredients and resulting product are pretty much one giant contaminant in and of themselves. But whatevs.

    So Just When Was America Great, Again?

    I'm making a promise here and now: I will not spend the next several months wasting my breath on Trumpisms or the election at all really because as a libertarian I don't have a dog in this fight anyway. Plus it's stupid, stupider than elections before it that were pretty stupid. But I digress. Let's talk about America.

    Rather, let's talk about the phrase in question: Make America Great Again

    I am of the belief, as a born and raised American citizen, that despite its numerous issues and problems, America is pretty great. In fact, I identify with America in that respect -- like my beloved country, I too am kind of fucked up sometimes and don't always make the best choices but at the end of the day, I am pretty amazing. I'm kind of an asshole but I mean well, and in that way me and America are 100% kin.

    I'm what you'd call a new-ish American in that my people only found their way here in the last 100 or so years. None of us came over on the Mayflower, nor owned slaves or put their names on buildings that have stood on street corners in Manhattan since the 1800s. I could be wrong about that and I'm sure a relative who hate-reads JDA will email me later to tell me just how wrong I am but as far as I know, we're somewhat late adopters of this whole America thing. Still, I'm glad we got here and I'm pretty into being an American. It's pretty rad. I'm all about doing my own thing; I'd surely be dead by now if I had been born in, say, Syria. So yay fate, good lookin out.

    That said, I don't entirely grasp what greatness we would get back to should certain word-vomiting hot air factories somehow become president of the United States.

    I am reminded every day when I hike along the James River in scenic Richmond, VA which I currently call home just how ungreat America can be. The river walk I take to the grocery store has markers for the Richmond Slave Trail all along the way -- a reminder that human beings were once bought and sold on the very streets I now trot along in workout gear on my way to get craft beer and frozen pizza. My neighborhood held the port that made Richmond the largest source of African slaves on the east coast from 1830 to 1860; it's now a growing, trendy riverside hive of loft apartments and art galleries.

    I don't want to see America made "great" like that again. I'm ashamed that kind of ungreatness is part of my history as an American even if my people had no part in it.

    Obviously no one wants to return to slavery days. We have offshore operations in China to handle that for us. So what else is great about America?

    To me, it's that little girls like I once was can still tell our Montessori school teachers "I'm gonna be whatever I want to be" when we're asked -- at age 3 -- what we want to be when we grow up. I mean seriously, who the hell asks a 3-year-old what they want to be when they grow up and expects a serious response? According to my mother, may she rest, I was the only one who didn't say fireman or nurse or policeman. I said whatever I want to be and to me, that right there is the American spirit. That a 3 year old believes she can and will be whatever she wants to be in a long-distant future she can't possibly imagine when she grows up. I wish I could go back in time just to give that little girl a big high five, as she was more right than she could ever possibly know at that young age.

    That would have been about 1984 which probably wasn't that good of a year for any of you who remember it. Thankfully I don't, only the parts my mom repeated back to me.

    I have brief flashes of the 80s. I remember my single mom working her ass off to provide for us, with a little help from social services which served as a safety net. I remember powdered milk and weird cans of government food that lacked any graphic design integrity whatsoever but who cares, we ate that day. I remember when Challenger blew up but mostly I remember seeing it blow up again on Punky Brewster. I remember Hands Across America and being happy it got us out of class for an hour or two as we lined up outside of our inner city Milwaukee elementary school. I remember weird ass Slim Goodbody with his creepy fro telling us to be active and I remember Nancy Reagan, may she rest, telling us all to Just Say No which of course led to an entire generation of drug users.

    And then I remember the Internet. The first time we fired up our brand new Windows 3.11 computer in 1994 that I think my mom paid $1500 for (in 1994 money and on Best Buy credit, natch), it was like the world had suddenly opened up. As an angry, too-smart kid from Wisconsin, it was incredible to know I now had the entire world right before me. Up until then, I'd hide in the local library and read Hume while lamenting the fact that I was just an angry, too-smart kid from Wisconsin.

    Is that the great America we want to get back to? Kids like me stuck between Gen X and a hard place trying to find our way in the world on the Internet while our idol Kurt Cobain was finding his way out via shotgun to his head? Ugh, no thanks.

    Is it the 50s ideal my grandmother subscribed to? Because that wasn't so great either as far as I can tell. Did any of you watch Mad Men FFS? The 50s and everything that came after kinda sucked. Though I really dig their idea of "the future," the fruits of which I am still fucking waiting for *coughcough* flying cars.

    The thing is, all this talk of getting back to some mystical place we never actually were is ignoring just how far we've come. Again, I relate to America in this way. America used to be kind of shitty and oppressive but over the years, it has matured and come into its own.

    I like the America that allows gays to marry. I like the America that is embracing free speech in ways it never thought it would. I like the America that extends me the right to protest the Fed with my kid and then take him out for ice cream after while giving him a lesson in monetary policy by saying we can get ice cream but the Fed is going to take a cut because they're printing our money so we can only afford a $2 ice cream even though we have $4 as the Fed took the rest so our bank could loan out money on the money actually in our account.

    I kind of like America how it is. I get it, we have some major issues. But how exactly would we even start to make it great "again"?

    When exactly was it great? Please tell me. I'm dying to know. It was good. It always has been. But when the fuck was it great?

    No Donald Trump Is Not a Nazi and You're An Asshole for Saying So

    OK. Allow me to preface this by saying I think Donald Trump is a toolbag. But seriously, stop with the Nazi references.

    I'm just going to say it. Nazi is the new faggot. Nazi is the new nigger. Yes I said it. Nazi is what you call someone who doesn't agree with you, because what's worse than a Nazi? Nothing. STOP IT.

    Mike Godwin wrote in WaPo late last year:

    My Facebook timeline and Twitter feed have been blowing up lately. And whenever that happens, it’s almost always because someone’s making comparisons to Hitler or Nazis or the Holocaust somewhere. Sure enough, as Trump pontificates about immigrants or ethnic or religious minorities, with scarcely less subtlety than certain early 20th-century political aspirants in Europe did, people on the Internet feel compelled to ask me what I think about it.

    Why? Simple: Because 25 years ago, when the Internet was still a pup, I came up with Godwin’s Law. In its original form, Godwin’s Law goes like this: “As an online discussion continues, the probability of a reference or comparison to Hitler or Nazis approaches 1.” 

    This guy is an ass. Must be a Nazi! Do you people not watch MSNBC Lockup? There are some serious legit Nazis on that show and some of them are even endearing what the actual shit but OMG.

    Do you assholes even know what a Nazi is? Have you ever met one? I have, and the funny thing is they aren't terribly awful people except for the whole white supremacy thing plus they generally have felonies so they can't vote but I digress.

    Will you just stop with the Nazi references? Nazis = bad. Trump = bad. That doesn't mean they are the same thing. That's like me saying cat shit = bad. Nazis = bad. Therefore my cat shitting on my floor = Nazis. My cat just shit in my bathtub because he's an asshole so therefore Nazi? Some guy looked at me funny earlier, he must be a Nazi. RuPaul eliminated Kandy Ho from Season 7 of RuPaul's Drag Race before I wanted so therefore RuPaul must be a Nazi!

    NAZI NAZI NAZI! Seriously. Stop. You are minimizing what generations before us actually lived through, a truly horrific reality involving dickheads way worse than Trump. Are you people really that stupid? Actual people died. Has Trump killed anyone? Pretty sure no.

    Jesus H Christ, get it together. You're disrespecting the bad ass WWII survivors who came before us by trying to pretend like some dick on Twitter is as bad as Josef Mengele sticking your twin with viruses while you rot away in a concentration camp. FOR REAL, people died FFS. As bad as Trump is, as far as I know he hasn't experimented on twins or gassed Jews in ovens. Stop.

    And yes I said it. Someone had to. Is that what this election is coming to? If so, count me out.

    Trump is not a Nazi. He is a dick and there is a difference. Get your shit together. This is all I am going to say about it. I just want this to be over.

    The Fed is Pulling Out Slowly and That Should Turn You On, Or Not

    OK, first of all I need to apologize. I insisted the Fed wouldn't pull out from ZIRP until not a day before my 60th birthday in the year 2040 and obviously that didn't happen. Yay FOMC, you found some balls!

    That said, I don't think anyone should be surprised by today's announcement. This pulling out isn't a big grand pulling out, it's more like a slow, slow, slow, super slow pulling out. And that is definitely the way to go given that these fools have no idea WTF is going to happen once they pull out for real.

    You've all read the announcement by now but let's revisit anyway:
    Information received since the Federal Open Market Committee met in January suggests that economic activity has been expanding at a moderate pace despite the global economic and financial developments of recent months. Household spending has been increasing at a moderate rate, and the housing sector has improved further; however, business fixed investment and net exports have been soft. A range of recent indicators, including strong job gains, points to additional strengthening of the labor market. Inflation picked up in recent months; however, it continued to run below the Committee's 2 percent longer-run objective, partly reflecting declines in energy prices and in prices of non-energy imports. Market-based measures of inflation compensation remain low; survey-based measures of longer-term inflation expectations are little changed, on balance, in recent months.

    Consistent with its statutory mandate, the Committee seeks to foster maximum employment and price stability. The Committee currently expects that, with gradual adjustments in the stance of monetary policy, economic activity will expand at a moderate pace and labor market indicators will continue to strengthen. However, global economic and financial developments continue to pose risks. Inflation is expected to remain low in the near term, in part because of earlier declines in energy prices, but to rise to 2 percent over the medium term as the transitory effects of declines in energy and import prices dissipate and the labor market strengthens further. The Committee continues to monitor inflation developments closely.

    Against this backdrop, the Committee decided to maintain the target range for the federal funds rate at 1/4 to 1/2 percent. The stance of monetary policy remains accommodative, thereby supporting further improvement in labor market conditions and a return to 2 percent inflation.

    OK seriously not even being a smug asshole here, I'm good with this. Take it slow, baby. Many of us expected absolutely nothing before 2075 so really, any move is better than the Fed sitting there like a limp noodle while the economy blows a load on its ass.

    The 2 percent inflation target is what matters here. The Fed has clearly tried every trick in its book over the last several years to fire that baby up, and inflation remains a frigid lover. Poor Fed. Here it is flouncing around, making romantic dinners and scheduling date nights but that damn inflation just doesn't give a shit.

    From Business Insider:

    On why the Fed lowered its rate-hike expectations, Yellen said the committee felt that achieving its desired economic outcomes would require a lower path of interest rates than what it saw in December.

    She said the Fed could overshoot or undershoot on its 2% inflation target, and its tolerance for doing so in either direction is equal. She noted the divergence between survey-based measures of inflation (which have been low) and market-based expectations (which have been on the high side.)

    Overshoot? Girl, please. Y'all haven't overshot anything since 2006 when Bernanke said housing prices couldn't possibly fall. Don't get ahead of yourselves now.

    Personally, I'm down with the Fed taking it slow. Slow like a slow jam from the 90s. That slow. With some Cool Water and those fancy light switches that adjust yaknowwhatimsayin.


    So, Just One Dude at the Federal Reserve Board Was Looking for Tail on Ashley Madison

    Surely you've heard of the Ashley Madison hack, I don't need to catch you up.

    When I stumbled across the dump of .gov addresses registered on the site, I naturally did a quick search for a few favorite agencies. The IRS appears more than once, as does the Treasury, but the one I was really interested in was the Federal Reserve Board. Not to be confused with Federal Reserve banks, which don't appear in .gov dumps as they are .org because there's this really complicated, quasi-governmental thing going on that we don't need to get into here.

    Only one frb.gov address appears in the Ashley Madison data. Just one. One poor bastard stupid enough to use his work email:

    Owen Lennon.

    According to LinkedIn, he was an Analyst at the Board for 17 years until he left for the Federal Housing Finance Agency in 2012.

    I have to say, I'm impressed by the lack of Board employees in the hacked data (excepting this dude, of course). Sure, a small part of me hoped to find Ben Bernanke trolling for ass among all that data but we all know he and so many of his Fed colleagues are smarter than that. Or at least used non-work emails. I mean come on, dude.

    IMF Tells the Fed to Hold Off on The Interest Rate Hike That Was Never Going to Happen

    Just in case the economic masterminds over at the Fed needed another reason to continue dragging their heels on an interest rate hike, the far more insidious economic masterminds at the IMF have kindly requested the Fed hold off just a little longer.

    Hiking interest rates too soon could stall the U.S. economy, the International Monetary Fund said Tuesday, embellishing a prior call for the Federal Reserve to hold steady until early next year.

    The Fed should wait to move until it sees “clear signs of wage and price inflation,” the IMF said, which is “benign” at the moment. The IMF comments came from its annual report on the U.S. economy and an ensuing press conference.

    “We feel there is space for them to wait,” said Nigel Chalk, the IMF’s U.S. mission chief, noting that inflation is far from the Fed’s 2% annual rate target. As measured by the personal consumption expenditure price index, the annual growth in inflation was just 0.2% in May.

    The market has its money (no pun) on a rate hike in December of this year, which just goes to show how clueless the market can be.

    Once again, we're back to the challenge of heating up the economy without setting that bitch on fire and burning it to the ground. What a conundrum for our friends at the Fed!

    From the IMF:

    Inflation pressures remain muted. In May headline and core personal consumption expenditure (PCE) inflation declined to 0.2 and 1.2 percent year on year, respectively. Long-term unemployment and high levels of part-time work both point to remaining employment slack, and wage indicators on the whole have shown only tepid growth. When combined with the dollar appreciation and cheaper energy costs, inflation is expected to rise slowly staring later in the year, reaching the Federal Reserve’s 2 percent medium-term objective by mid 2017.
    This is the second time in as many months that the IMF has warned the Fed to cool it on a possible rate hike, which seems alarmist considering the Fed's inaction thus far. And by "thus far" I mean "for the last 7 fucking years."

    Calm your tits, IMF, it's not happening this year.

    Has Anyone Seen the FDIC's Chief Information Officer? He's Missing

    Last month, the FDIC put Chief Information Officer Barry West -- who only took the position in November of the year previous -- on leave. As it turns out, he's still MIA.

    The Business of Federal Technology (FCW) reports:

    Nearly a month after FCW reported that Barry West was not in the office on June 4, the Federal Deposit Insurance Corporation’s CIO was still missing from duty.

    FDIC spokeswoman Barbara Hagenbaugh confirmed that West had not returned to work as of July 1, and it remains unclear exactly when and why he first went on leave.

    Multiple sources in government and industry have told FCW that West is facing an investigation over alleged misconduct in a previous government position. West served as CIO at the National Weather Service, FEMA and the Commerce Department between 2002 and 2007 before leaving federal service on Jan. 1, 2008.

    Oh Barry, where are you? Just let us know you're OK dude. Are you at least microchipped so in case if someone finds you running around DC circles as a stray they can scan you and find your way home?