Thursday, September 15, 2011

The Road to Political Power: Lying Works/Recent Gold and Silver Sales

I did have three limit orders filled while I was away from HQ yesterday. Due to time constraints, I will discuss them in the next post.

M & F Worldwide (MFW) has entered a definitive agreement to be acquired by MacAndrews & Forbes: SEC Filed Press Release One of MFW's subsidiaries is Harland Clarke. M & F Worldwide Corp. I own 3 Harland senior bonds maturing in 2015 (FINRA) which is the reason for tracking this development. 

Jim Jubak argues in his MSN Money column that the European banks are facing a very "real liquidity and capital crisis" that could require the bailout of some globally significant banks, and the potential crisis could be worse than the  one following the Lehman failure.

Politicians do not feel the need to be accurate with their statements. Misleading the American public is the norm.  Lying works in politics since most Americans would agree with factually inaccurate and/or misleading statements by members of their own political tribe. The road to political power is paved with lies, factual inaccuracies, and opinions expressed as facts that have little or no factual basis.  Those politicians who profess to be conservative, which frequently conveys in name only the value of truth telling, are frequently artful practitioners of the "political lie".  I watched some of the last GOP debate, in between commercials for a baseball game, and was not surprised by what I heard from the pseudo conservatives.  Some of the "pants on fire" statements are analyzed by the fact checking service PolitiFact

The federal government is allegedly taking some interest in reducing fraud. The GAO estimates that $70 billion was lost to fraud in 2010, as a result of improper payments made under Medicare and Medicaid. The GAO estimates that 48 billion in improper payments was made just in the Medicare program in 2010. U.S. GAO - Improper Payments: Reported Medicare Estimates and Key Remediation Strategies The Labor Department is reportedly stepping up its cooperative efforts with states to reduce unemployment insurance fraud.  The government estimates that Louisiana has a 40% rate of improper payments of unemployment insurance. USATODAY

Some readers are interested in information about Beth Slater Whitson, a songwriter who wrote "Let Me Call You Sweetheart" and many other songs. A picture of her holding a guitar can be found at Beth Slater Whitson. Her father is buried next to my great-grandfather who was his brother. She had an interesting life story, leaving rural Tennessee with a one way train ticket to Chicago, when she was a young woman to pitch her "poems" as songs. She told her story in a 1925 magazine article:  www.bethslaterwhitson.com .pdf Andy would be a first cousin, three times removed. The Infamous Stringdusters This is a link to a YouTube video of Andy singing his composition "Well Well", Well, Well-The Infamous Stringdusters - YouTube, or playing his instrumental "Black Rock", Black Rock - The Infamous Stringdusters - YouTube.


1. Recent Silver and Gold Coin Sales:

The 1988 gold proof set has 1.85 ounces of gold in it.

These transactions will have to be reported on my 2011 tax return so it is important to keep good records.

For the junk silver coins, my cost basis is the face value of the coins. The total cost basis for the junk silver coins would therefore be $43.9 and the proceeds from their sale was $1,330.90.  As mentioned previously, I obviously would have been better off selling those coins in early 1980 for roughly the same amount.  I intend to keep selling those junk silver coins acquired for their face value, having no numismatic value. The assigned value of the junk silver coins is not the value of the silver content, but the value of the silver minus a hypothetical melt price.

The gold proof set was purchased in 1988 for a total cost of $1,095. I still have my cancelled check to establish my cost basis for tax reporting purposes. The gain will be $2,420. 

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