Friday, July 24, 2015


Drugs, alcohol and schizophrenia or other mental illnesses have been involved in most mass murders from Dahner to Bundy to the South Carolina atrocity, etc. etc.

Major mental institutions have been closed. We don't treat mental illness with any degree of intensity.  The South Carolina murderer wanted to kill Blacks, Hispanics and Jews (who are both considered primarily white).

The belief the South Carolina murderer had of "Blacks taking over" was a delusion.  Other sick people have expressed their psychotic, schizophrenic tendencies thru believing they were the Messiah or some other mental derangement.

You take alcohol your mind can become confused. You take certain drugs your mind can become confused. Confused minds do strange things including shooting people in fits of mental breakdown.

Our society does not get rid of tobacco, alcohol, drugs, etc.

Columbine, Sandy Hook, Dahmer, Bundy, were all users of these mind altering products.  When sick minds use these substances, especially at the average age of about twenty when first psychotic breaks are likely to occur, unfathomable tragedies are likely.  

Monday, July 20, 2015


A friend of mine bought a home for $300,000 ten years ago. By 2007, the price of similar homes in their neighborhood had tripled in value.
During the period when the price of housing was rising so rapidly, banks were criticized for collecting deposits in one impoverished area of the country and lending it out in other more prosperous regions. The quality of the loans was not a factor, the equitable distribution of loans seemed more important. People all over the country were ecstatic over their increase of wealth through home ownership.
The government, in spite of everything, had created Fannie Mae, Freddy Mac and everything possible to increase home ownership. Practically no one was telling homeowners to liquidate their homes. Construction of homes was booming, millions of people were employed in the sector and no one dared to stop this lucrative bubble.
When the house I mentioned above was purchased in 1999, it would have taken approximately 1000 ounces of gold to pay for the home. Today, it would take only 250 ounces of gold to buy the same $300,000 house. Housing prices have “crashed” and gold has soared. In effect, gold has gone from $350 per ounce in 1999 to $1300 per ounce today.
Gold is basically a useless commodity. The price is a “bubble” that may sustain itself forever and ever, but it is a bubble. You can’t eat gold, it’s hard to carry, it earns you no money and its industrial uses are limited. Again, no one dares to tell people to sell their gold even though you can now buy it in vending machines. No one dares to tell the mining industry to stop the production of gold, for fear of destroying yet another industry that is responsible for the economic livelihood in many struggling countries.
Keynes said that in the end investing is nothing more than a game of musical chairs and that when the music stops; we don’t want to be the ones without a chair. old. When interest rates rise, gold will crash.

Wednesday, July 8, 2015


The "Merciless Indian Savages" so says the Declaration of Independence.  Hard to find words but in the Declaration, nonetheless.  Were they Savages?  We certainly don't think of the American Indians as 'Savages' today.  If one were to call the current Indian population, "descendants of  savages', immediately the media would outcry that the "speaker" was a racist or a bigot.

All Indians obviously were not "savages", maybe some were.  Maybe even alot were, but not all.

Today the buzz word is immigrants.  We know that there is a vast difference between legal immigrants and illegal immigrants.

Why would it not be obvious that illegal immigration should not be allowed.  If we want illegal immigration just take down the immigration laws.

Change the word immigrants to people.  Change the word immigrants to poor people.

Now the question becomes not  who the people are that are coming to the country illegally but do we want the illegal people.  It's hard for me to believe that Donald Trump is a racist.  It shouldn't matter if the people coming into this country illegally are black, white, yellow,purple or green.  It should matter if we want a country of laws.

I wrote a while ago that PS 73, where I went to school in the Bronx, would act as my anchor for whether significant improvement is occurring in the poorer sections of our country.  A review of the test scores at my old school indicates abject failure among the primarily Black and Hispanic children attending the school. A blight on the system, not the children.

That subject is buried, never really brought out as an unacceptable failure, similar to our inability to deal with the illegal immigration situation effectively.  Seventy years after I left that school, the same old building is where the current children attend.  Donald Trump may have presented very inadequately on the illegal people in and coming into this country.  He certainly has presented us with a challenge to decide if we are a nation that fixes problems or accepts the status quo because of political expediency.

Monday, July 6, 2015


This will be the last comment on Chicago.

The number of Chicago shootings in the last week, including both killed and wounded, is astounding.  The sociological and demographic implications will become clearer as the number of safe places in the city shrinks.  There is no outrage proportionate to the problem. The results will clearly  not be good.


If a certain segment of the population was removed from the murder statistics, the number of deaths per capita of the total population would be significant lower.  Although these statistics are posted on the Internet, as a nation we are not allowed to talk about this segment that has a very high gun death rate.

We focus on the horrible mass murders seemingly perpetrated by the segment of the population with much lower murders per capita.   This is appropriate as all these outrageous acts can not be explained with just simple words.

The nation doesn't have the backbone to face up to the statistics.  We look back over our history and we are convinced to blame ourselves for the murder rate.

Until we face the truth of which groups are committing a disproportionate number of murders in America, we will never fix the problem.

Politics in this nation has turned out to be all about groups, you go after the Christian vote, the Jewish vote, the Gay vote, the Union vote, the Women's vote, etc.  Grouping people together is commonplace.

When it comes to facing the gun issue, an "inconvenient  truth" is shoveled under the rug and everybody loses especially the poor.  On this issue, grouping is called prejudice.  

Saturday, June 13, 2015


Hillary Clinton recently claimed that prosperity is not just for CEOs and Hedge Fund managers.  She conveniently forgot that prosperity may not just be for Ex Presidents either.  

Furthermore, she doesn't bother to point out that if state governments, university endowments, unions and others did not give hedge funds their assets to manage, hedge fund managers would be making a lot less.

She said that democracy is not just for corporations. She left out almost everyone works for "corporations". Corporations are the basis of how we organize together for a substantial part of our lives. 

She conveniently left out that the entertainers and Hollywood people that support her are billionaires and millionaires  and CEOs.  To be more precise, she forgot to point out that almost the entire retirement and pension system is funded in one respect or another by our corporations.  She also left out that a significant portion of the wealth of the country is invested for the benefit of millions and millions of future retirees in the stocks and bonds of these corporations for which "most of us" work.  She also doesn't seem to care or know how the economy functions (for another time).

She should not be running for President because her campaign will be based on these kinds of deceptions and outright belief that the electorate is "stupid".


Monday, June 8, 2015


When the housing boom was taking place it developed huge vested interest in the continuation of the housing bubble. A voice in the dark could point out the absurdities of what was happening but the enjoyment of inflated prices and profits overwhelmed sanity, logic, discipline and history.

In my opinion, we are now being faced with a "time bomb" that will far exceed long term capital management, the insurance protection decline of the 1980s and the financial collapse of 2008. This huge "Black Swan", huge beyond comprehension, will hit when least expected and we will wonder why it wasn't dealt with before. The answer will be found underneath the rubble of certain greedy Wall Street types and vested political interests.

We cannot permit automated machine type trading, with no relationship to companies outlook, etc. to dominate the volume of trades in the stock market. There is no excuse, none whatsoever, for creating a machine driven gambling casino mentality in order to justify the existence of capitalism.

Here is what's going to happen. A computer driven decline will occur and the brakes will fail due to human error or whatever causing the equity wealth of the country to be sharply cut again. Because there will be something happening in the world at that time, recovery will not be as fast as it was in the late 2000's. All computerized trading, of the type we are referring to, should be made illegal and stopped before its too late.

The vested interest will tell you otherwise and make their case. Just like in the long term capital case they are mostly using other people's money and are more concerned with their chance of winning than losing. The monies not theirs anyhow and there is no concern for the system, only their own profits.

Look at the erratic swings in the stock market that have occurred in the last few weeks. We draw this as a small example, a very small example, of what is coming if we don't stop this type of computerized trading.

P.S. Please remember that I am a very strong supporter of capitalism and many of the activities that our financial firms participate in. The probably isn't a better system than ours.

Shepard Osherow. All Rights Reserved