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A Dissassembled Insurance Chassis

by Cat Tue Aug 18th, 2009 at 12:39:54 PM EST

One ought not assume the operating principles of all "cooperative" organizations are identical or to attribute automatically a politically meaningful determination of governance to their memberships. As illustrated by the screen capture above, the MostChoice "health coop" is an insurance brokerage. Its website facility qualifies individual applications for distribution among "exchange-participating" insurers. MostChoice may or may not require payment of a co-op membership fee at some point of the insurance application process, depending on how the state in which MostChoice resides regulates inducements. MostChoice may or may not be a nonprofit enterprise. Who would know besides state commissioners and MostChoice members, if any, receiving reports of the co-op's financial performance...

Mike operated his own financial planning firm concentrating in the areas of insurance and investments and was a Registered Investment Advisor. At the same time, Mike co-hosted the WCNN radio talk show MoneyTime in Atlanta until 2000 when the station changed formats. Mike was one of the first Internet entrepreneurs to obtain life and health insurance licenses in all 50 states. He wrote the initial business plan that ultimately led to recruiting Martin and the founding of MostChoice.

...in which they hold no interest anyway since MostChoice is evidently not the insurer writing the policy purchased. It's funny. This firm's arms-length exposure to the value proposition weakly articulated by Mr Conrad captures perfectly the toga party's determination to quash demand for single-payer financing AND industry reform.

A White House spokeswoman reminds us, fulfilment of a  promise to reform the health insurance industry does not include field-leveling actions like antitrust litigation or collective bargaining power that the "Medicare-like" coverage symbolized for uninsurable citizens. "Nothing has changed," she said. "The president has always said that what is essential is that health-insurance reform must lower costs, ensure that there are affordable options for all Americans and it must increase choice and competition in the health-insurance market."

In that spirit permit me to dissassemble the idea that national insurance "cooperatives" will relieve  monopoly conditons across the US. It's been bugging me.

Read more... (6 comments, 1553 words in story)

Wipes Tears,

by Cat Thu Jun 4th, 2009 at 10:55:30 AM EST

Or I Don't Think "symbolic analytic work" Means What You Think It Means, Mr Rubin.

This is today's SECTION [Church Lady] selection from the interboobz as written by Owen Paine at Stop Me Before I Vote Again.

Read more... (17 comments, 311 words in story)

PSA: Introducing ChangeTracker

by Cat Fri Feb 20th, 2009 at 06:45:53 PM EST

"No Cookie, No Content""Oops""RRA p1-27"

ProPublica.org: ""We're launching ChangeTracker, an experimental new tool that watches pages on whitehouse.gov [1], recovery.gov [2] and financialstability.gov [3] so you don't have to. When the White House adds or deletes anything-- say a blog post, or executive order--ChangeTracker will let you know.

The latest changes are below, or sign up on the right to get alerts sent to you.

Each change links to a page (courtesy of a service called Versionista [4]) that shows the different versions side-by-side. Text highlighted in red means it was removed, green means it was added. If you notice something interesting, let us know [5]. We'll highlight the gems."

"No Cookie, No Content II", 20 Feb 2009, Versionista frame display

Alternatively, anyone can search and consult Federal Register online (public law, EOs, agency rules) and thomas.gov (bills) to compare their contents to propaganda. Or not.

Comments >> (3 comments)

LQD: Black History Month 2009

by Cat Wed Feb 11th, 2009 at 09:14:35 PM EST

BODY COPY: For those who demand only the best of what life has to offer, the exclusive Visa Black Card is for you. The Black Card is not just another piece of plastic. Made with carbon, it is the ultimate buying tool.

The Black Card is not for everyone. In fact, it is available to only 1% of U.S. residents to ensure the highest caliber of personal service is provided to every Cardmember.

Become a Black Card member today and enjoy our 24-hour class Concierge Service ready to assist you with all you business, travel and leisure needs.

LEGAL NOTICE: Visa Black Card is issued by Barclays Bank Delaware.

Read more... (17 comments, 189 words in story)

US: Recovery and Reinvestment, p1 - 27

by Cat Tue Jan 27th, 2009 at 01:47:10 AM EST

The "American Recovery and Reinvestment Act of 2009" was published 23 Jan 2009. The bill is organized in two "divisions," each subdivided by "titles" which categorize related provisions by subject matter, "subtitles." The provisions within a subtitle are further classified by named and numbered "section."

  • DIVISION B -- OTHER PROVISIONS, of which 7 titles

The greatest challenge to reading a bill is locating citations of language introduced in sections elsewhere in the bill or to other public laws. Since I don't employ either an associate or legislative aide, I'll be judicious in my selections. If you choose to read either the pdf or online text, I recommend the law.cornell.edu and thomas.gov search engines for your companions.

Read more... (6 comments, 1836 words in story)

Marginalia: quoting my self

by Cat Sun Jan 25th, 2009 at 10:29:46 AM EST

Following is an excerpt from a monograph I wrote in 1995. I pulled it from the stacks. I've no idea where the digital doc is. So I had to type it again! What I realized while rereading it was it's still a serviceable primer to decoding racist motivations today, not least of which is epitomized by the political significance of the first African American elected president of the United States.

I wrote Idiom and Artifacts of the African Diaspora for a client, an executive who managed product development in a transnational corporation. She is a boricua. I'm just happy to be "black," to oblige my peeps in a never-ending struggle to unearth the wealth. Accordingly, the text addresses elements of design rather than polemic in order to justify in part a business case for "targeting" this consumer segment. We understood tacitly that paradoxical arguments against increasing corporate investment in a "niche" category are cemented in fixed costs. Driving that maxim of profitability is a belief, If African Americans are all alike, where's the gain in multiple product lines? Then as now our dilemma was to figure how to bust up stereotypical discourse explicitly without, you know, being received as terrorizing the American Dream. Or worse, Black Nationalists.

What is so special about African American concepts of beauty? To begin with, they are complicated.

From the diaries. Jérôme

Read more... (17 comments, 2516 words in story)

Marginalia: guess you had to be there

by Cat Sat Jan 24th, 2009 at 03:04:29 PM EST

I think that there there are a very few so-called political junkies and pundits, versed in the revolutionary ethos of the New Dealers --the recovered memory of-- who will appreciate what transpired to day. In one five-hour period. You had to click to be there at the birth of Recovery.gov, a model of the new technology where a new politics of transparency and commerce converge.

Read more... (3 comments, 497 words in story)

Marginalia: China is Doomed.

by Cat Wed Jan 7th, 2009 at 02:36:59 PM EST

Nekkid "Bad [FDI] News Out of China"

Read a collection of finance advisories for Westworld institutional investors. Notice the conspicuous absence of named foreign banks operating as their agents  ("cross-border capital flow") and supercilious substitution of "hot money" for "speculation" arising from liberalization of money marketing required of China by free trade agreements. Pettis and Wright -- apparently close personal friends of Setser-- attribute a (unofficial)(foreign currency) "reserve" bubble to Chinese criminals packing euros and USD like Columbian coke mules, because apparently the authors prefer, actually, not estimating legitimate "cross-border" commercial banking and brokerage activities apart from Anglo treasury swaps. And sales to PRC state-owned suckers, of course, that demonstrate national obligations or political subjugation to aliens.

Read more... (15 comments, 1151 words in story)

McCain, Obama Nominate Buffett?

by Cat Wed Oct 8th, 2008 at 11:00:58 PM EST

In the wee hours of Wednesday morning Warren Buffett briefly headlined a report on the town hall interrogation of Mssrs Obama and McCain. Then it disappeared. Early in the program, moderator Tom Brokaw asked, Who do you have in mind to appoint the most powerful officer in the cabinet now, secretary of the US Treasury?

That was a interesting question, a timely one. Much of the candidates' policy debates hash modest differences in implementation but stark differences in style between them on how to commercialize government functions. Callers-in to radio talk shows are reluctant to abandon the notion, the US is the richest nation on earth. Pat and Pat Homeowner's worries are wrapped in "negative equity" captured by their real estate and retirement portfolios. Which man or woman would best personifiy full faith in and credit of the US capital markets could tip a voter's preference for president. Brokaw's question yoked th Bailout prospectus to the dubious leadership in either candidate's known panel of money managers.

I wonder how the audience responded to the candidates' answer. I'm not entirely convinced their agreement was meant as a joke. Or Warren Buffet's nomination was a shrewd and cynical gambit to ratchet the financiers' new power of the purse. Buffett's legendary status not only prime middle-class profit motive in support bitterly contested legislation. It recollects the absolute authority with which Jesse Jones once governed the portfolios of the Reconstruction Finance Corporation (RFC) and Department of Commerce.

Read more... (21 comments, 2159 words in story)

Corner of Main and Wall Streets

by Cat Fri Mar 28th, 2008 at 11:05:35 AM EST

So ends another weekly tournament of candidate jousting in the corporate media. For the period 17 - 27 March, heralded by the preposterous merger of JPMorgan and Bear Stearns, the candidates' rhetorical ground was bounded by their determination to vanquish America's "housing crisis." At the moment, journalists are flogging candidates' contempt for the other's proposal as delivered recently to economically depressed voters in North Carolina and Pennsylvania. Mrs Clinton had bolted from her gate 24 March, and Mr Obama followed suit 27 March. As we shall see both evinced diametrically opposed perspectives on the "contagion," or panic, enveloping the domestic economy and thus appropriate remedies available to the president-elect. Their differences are apparent from the outset, from the historical platforms each chooses to establish his and her programs.

BHO: The great task before our Founders that day was putting into practice the ideal that government could simultaneously serve liberty and advance the common good. For Alexander Hamilton, the young Secretary of the Treasury, that task was bound to the vigor of the American economy. Hamilton had a strong belief in the power of the market. But he balanced that belief with the conviction that human enterprise "may be beneficially stimulated by prudent aids and encouragements on the part of the government." Government, he believed, had an important role to play in advancing our common prosperity. So he nationalized the state Revolutionary War debts, weaving together the economies of the states and creating an American system of credit and capital markets. ...

I think all of us here today would acknowledge that we've lost that sense of shared prosperity.

HRC: As the headlines of the past months have made clear, we are experiencing a crisis of confidence in our country. We have a crisis of confidence in our leadership with respect to Iraq and we have a crisis of confidence in our economy. What started out as a subprime mortgage crisis has now become a national credit crisis, rippling out from banks and boardrooms to businesses and living rooms across America. We've had three straight months of private sector job losses. Consumer confidence is down and falling. The dollar has hit record lows and gas prices, record highs. And last week the Federal Reserve took unprecedented measures to rescue Wall Street, the likes of which we haven't seen since the Great Depression. ...

We need a president who is ready on day one to be Commander-in-Chief of our economy.

Read more... (18 comments, 2295 words in story)

LQD: Blair Prospect Prompts Opposition in Europe

by Cat Sat Mar 8th, 2008 at 05:18:57 PM EST

Is this yesterday's news here at ET? I'm feeling rather smug at the moment.


In other words: Tony Blair need not apply.

Blair, 54, is weighing a bid for EU president, a job set to be created next year. The same questions raised about his 10 years as U.K. leader -- doubts about his EU loyalties, the legacy of Iraq, allegations of showmanship -- dog his European career prospects.

"I don't think he would be the right character," says Enrique Baron Crespo of Spain, a former EU Parliament president. A Stop Blair! campaign organized by a Paris investment banker has gathered 24,000 signatures.
President Blair "would be a bad idea," says Jerome Guillet, the Stop Blair! founder. "He promised that he would bring Britain into Europe and he didn't even try. And the invasion and occupation of Iraq is a pretty bad symbol for Europe, which is built on peace."
"I have some difficulty seeing how the president could come from a country that is for a large part outside the union," says former Belgian Prime Minister Jean-Luc Dehaene, a co-drafter of the failed EU constitution that formed the basis for the Lisbon Treaty.


Comments >> (8 comments)

Job. Dig it, wage slaves.

by Cat Mon Oct 15th, 2007 at 09:05:04 PM EST

MPAA-rated "G" at Docudharma. MPAA-rated "R" at PFF. NB. author's content versioning policy

About a million years ago I satisfied a b-school homework assignment by writing on this very subject, Job wrestling Gabriel to create "value" from a [non-performing, sackoshit] operation. That would be you, multiplied. The text is reproduced below. Go on, suck up a portion of my tuition, valued at $95K (2002 USD excluding room and board), entitled "Leading Strategic Transformation." The purpose of the elective was to identify C-class mechanisms of crisis management and their instrumentality in engineering corporate "turn-around" scenarios and option calls.

That means [corporate managers] playing the odds and the capital, including you [fuckers] who are oblivious to your [financial and intellectual] debts to corporate acculturation.

Read more... (46 comments, 1181 words in story)
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 16 - 22 July 2018

by Bjinse - Jul 16, 62 comments

Your take on this week's news

 9 - 15 July 2018

by Bjinse - Jul 9, 79 comments

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 July Open Thread

by Bjinse - Jul 16, 6 comments

He who cannot put his thoughts on ice should not enter into the heat of an open thread.

 June Open Thread

by Bjinse - Jun 3, 97 comments

Whatever thread you make makes you. Thread wisely.

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