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Alibaba has opened and is trading right near $98/share.

This puts the company at a market valuation approximately equal to WalMart.

This is claimed to be "a titan of tech", albeit in China.

Oh smiley

I fully expect this stupidity will go on for a while, but the fact remains that it is stupid, and I don't know when the crack-up will come but I am very sure it will.

The usual refrain will be that "Twitter is a bargain" compared to Alibaba, or similarly eBAY and on and on and on.

Oh please.

Tulips were great currency too - once.  Then they were just pretty flowers, as they were before.

I'm not going anywhere near this piece of crap, but I sure do see the shoeshine indicator lighting up nice and bright in the drug-addled haze of Wall Street.

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Yes, you should trust your school system and its staff members with your special-needs child who they use as bait to try to catch a sexual predator.

"A school board cannot avoid summary judgment as a matter of law when a school administrator willfully ignores a plan to use a 14-year-old special needs student as bait to catch a student with a known history of sexual and violent misconduct, and as a result, the student is sodomized," reads the federal brief filed in the 11th Circuit Court of Appeals late today.

You got that down here folks?

Your school administration thinks it has the right to use your 14 year old kid as bait to catch a sexual predator they know is in their school building with their consent.

They devise such a plan (which, I might add, cannot come with said "bait's" consent because she's not of age to give consent) and then blow it on top of that and she gets raped.


The first crime was the arrogation of a right to use the girl as bait in the first instance.  If no act had occurred beyond that it should still be a criminal felony.  But no, it gets better!  Not only did they set this up they then failed to put anyone in the bathroom where the alleged "bait" was supposed to result in a "catch" and the girl was in fact raped.

And for this we have a lawsuit instead of felony criminal charges laid against everyone in the school that knew about or participated in it, and the school is (as usual) trying to duck responsibility, civilly or otherwise.

**** you all among the so-called "prosecutors" and "law enforcement" in Alabama who have failed to indict everyone responsible.

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No, this isn't a novel.  Sorry, the Ticker doesn't do fiction, and especially not apocalyptic fiction.

I'm talking about reality here, in the wake of the failed Scottish vote.

Reuters reports:

(Reuters) - The failed Scottish vote to pull out from the United Kingdom stirred secessionist hopes for some in the United States, where almost a quarter of people are open to their states leaving the union, a new Reuters/Ipsos poll found.

There's no such thing as a "hope" when it comes to this.  You either believe it would be good or you believe it would be bad.

Washington is likely to ignore those who think it would be good.  But they should do something about it instead -- although I'm quite sure they won't.  Indeed, not only won't they do anything about it but neither will those political entities, such as the Libertarians, that could capitalize on this.

Let me note that a quarter of the electorate is radically beyond any vote count that the Libertarians have ever collected, yet they're too idiotic to look at the economics of the matter and focus there.  

Know where I'm going yet with this?  Right here:

Today's Census Bureau report on health insurance in 2013 shows that on the eve of Obamacare, whether you had coverage was largely a question of how much money you made....


But the chart above is still one of the best possible arguments for the necessity of Obamacare, by demonstrating that the government programs preceding the law are too narrow to cover the poor. It shows that even with the existence of Medicaid, the Children's Health Insurance Program and other assistance, health coverage in the U.S. remains a luxury good -- one that the rich can afford but others struggle, in proportion to their income, to obtain.

Health "coverage" is a luxury good.  It should be -- and it should be an unnecessary purchase.

It is, by the way, exactly that the day after we enforce long-standing laws that are supposed to bear on the behavior in the medical marketplace, both by addressing the existing violators and removing the special protections that make much of what they do legal despite blanket laws that are supposed to make that conduct illegal everywhere in the United States.

It is only through that special protection that medical care is expensive enough for you to "need" health insurance in the first place.

I'm going to continue to put a number on this -- health "care" is not only of dubious quality when it comes pretty-much anything that doesn't involve fixing injuries and similar, but it is intentionally full of monopoly practices that under The Sherman and Clayton Acts are supposed to be federal felonies with 10 year prison terms and $1 million fines attached.

This in turn drives the price of such services up by 10 times and often more what it should be -- in some cases by factors of 100, 1,000 or even more.  That's the only way $200 worth of scorpion antivenom can cost $60,000, three hundred times the market price.  It is the only way that a $20 test can cost over $1,000, fifty times the market price.  And it is the only way that one half-hour of a physician's assistant time, worth perhaps $100, can cost $9,000 (to bandage a finger), or ninety times the market price.

It is also the only way you can actually put a $10,000 charge on someone's bill for a service that was never performed at all and not go to prison immediately for fraud and, when you threaten someone with collection for refusing to pay the bogus charge, extortion.

These acts happen every single day, they're intentional, the drug companies openly brag about conspiring to do so in the setting of their prices and nobody lifts a finger to stop it.

That's nuts but it's also reality.

The Federal Government not only refuses to stop this they're a big part of the cause of it, openly conspiring to fix prices.

A state or group of states that refused to permit this and seceded would instantly increase the buying power of everyone in the economy of that state by at least 10% and probably more.  It would also instantly become the destination for medical tourism to an extreme degree, effectively draining the revenue from the monopolists everywhere else in what was left of the United States.  And while such a state or group of states would not be able to deficit spend (especially if it refused to pay any part of the debt the US Treasury took on over the last 30 or so years) that's good, not bad as it would cause the purchasing power of those in the seceded areas to go up rather than down.

Within months the disparity would become apparent in the population, and it would be to the benefit (on balance) of the seceded area.  Yes, there would be losers, with the biggest group being those who gouge the public in the medical field.  They'd lose big, but everyone else would win big.  There would be much wailing and gnashing of teeth, but society would be better for it on-balance.

And if it worked, and I believe it would, not only would people flock to the seceded territory, especially those of means and industry, further draining the swamp, but pressure would mount fast for the remaining territory to join with the secessionists.  Nothing breeds success like success.

We could end up with Washington DC being all that was left, with no productive capacity beyond the ability to ask would you like fries with that?  The credit rating of the remainder would go in the toilet as well, and with it the influence of the so-called "creditors" who had bought the worthless paper (hello China!)

As for threats to do something militarily about it?  I doubt it very much in today's world, and here's why -- the mere act of secession would create a credit event, and that would make further deficit spending an impossibility.  To put down such an act by force of arms would require lots of money, and there wouldn't be any -- never mind that it would also require ordering the military to fire on the members' neighbors and friends, an inherently messy scenario that is by no means assured to be honored.

I'll take the under on Washington being able, in the 2000s, to muster a military response to a peaceful act of erecting the middle finger.  And frankly, were it to happen, I'd almost-certainly move there and might have a reason to start another business -- an act that I won't even contemplate in the US as it exists today.

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2014-09-19 06:15 by Karl Denninger
in Technology , 155 references


Given the materials suggested, the Apple Watch Sport with aluminium at $349 is a reasonable price. It’s the pricing for the second and third tier watches that are far too low. As John Gruber points out on Daring Fireball, the stainless steel watch with a sapphire screen could easily reach $1,000. If Apple releases a solid gold Apple Watch, the raw gold alone could cost a few thousand dollars. Apple traditionally looks for high margins with its products, so there’s no reason why the entry-level Apple Watch Edition, made with 18-karat gold, could command a starting retail price of $5,000, with further customisation options reaching $10,000.

What makes anyone think that's going to "disrupt" anything, other than the careers of the people who planned and executed that abortion?

Something akin to Rolex?  


First off, this is a "watch" that really isn't a watch -- it's a wrist computer that happens to display time.  And that sounds great until you realize that the same problem that buggers phone (pocket computers) does the same here, but writ really large -- energy density, space, and thus battery lifetime.

Charge daily if not heavily used?  Oh yeah, that'll go over well.  And if heavily-used?  You'll go to that swanky dinner and..... it's a brick on your wrist.  

There goes that "aspirational cachet."

I'll make a prediction right here and now -- this is a niche product that has less appeal than a Garmin running watch.  It's fancier and more-expensive, yet does less than the Garmin for fitness buffs (try Sunnto's current models as a comparison) and anything with Apple on it as a brand is no Rolex -- and never will be.

I call flop, here and now.

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