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Selling America Short
Author: BobR    Date: 06/23/2010 11:07:36

Trading on the stock market is commonly referred to as legalized gambling. Traders buy and sell stocks, essentially betting that they will rise or fall. If they think it will rise, they buy stocks. If they think it will fall, they buy "futures", or as it is also known: selling short. In this case, they agree to sell the stock at today's price, and agree to "buy" it in the future at whatever price it happens to be. If the price falls, they make a profit. This is the yin and yang of the stock market.

The stock market has grown beyond simply trading in stocks of companies, however. Investment firms have special funds called hedge funds, which are composed primarily of short sales and derivatives. During the housing bubble, many banks actually bought derivatives that paid out if their own investments failed. That generated a lot of outrage.

The stock market has really stepped squarely into Offtrack Betting territory with funds like Media Derivatives, which are bets on whether certain movies will succeed or fail. Can you imagine if a movie producer bought shares that paid off if his movie failed? It would be like Pete Rose betting against his own team, since in both cases not only is failure rewarded, the person is in a position of power to allow (or encourage) failure.

So what to make of ProShares Trust Ultrashort 20+ Year Treasury ETF? This is an investment fund which profits when treasury bonds perform poorly (in other words: when America fails financially). What do you call someone who bets against the success of America, and is in a position of power to move America in the direction of failure (or stymie success)? You could call him House Minority Whip Eric Cantor:
Putting his money where his mouth is? Eric Cantor, the Republican Whip in the House of Representatives, bought up to $15,000 in shares of ProShares Trust Ultrashort 20+ Year Treasury ETF last December, according to his 2009 financial disclosure statement. The exchange-traded fund takes a short position in long-dated government bonds. In effect, it is a bet against U.S. government bonds...

So essentially: Eric Cantor is the Pete Rose of Congress. While ostensibly working for government to ensure that America prospers, he is betting that we won't. Calling this unpatriotic doesn't seem like a strong enough epithet.

I can imagine some right-wing pundits and pols will argue that this is okay, because they believe the Democrats (in general, and President Obama in particular) are sending America down the toilet, so why not make some money off of it if they can't do anything about it? That would be like Pete Rose justifying betting against his own team because he felt like the team's owners were making bad decisions.

However, in both cases, these men actually ARE in a position to encourage success. House Minority Whip is a powerful appointment - he is the one that gets his party's votes to the floor. How he uses that power is up to him and his party. I find it hard to believe that Eric Cantor is driven to ensure America's success, however, when he is selling America short, both literally and figuratively.

90 comments (Latest Comment: 06/24/2010 02:14:15 by Mondobubba)
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Comment by wickedpam on 06/23/2010 12:28:38
Morning



I would like to state for the reasonable people of the Commonwealth of Virginia that Eric Cantor is a unpatriotic, anti-America asshat.

Comment by wickedpam on 06/23/2010 12:30:50
Okay let me ask this since I really don't understand the whole stock market thing as it stands today - for some reason I thought that the reason you bought shares was to invest in a company not to "bet" on things, isn't that really how the stock market got started - looking for people to invest?

Comment by Raine on 06/23/2010 12:34:53
Quote by wickedpam:

Okay let me ask this since I really don't understand the whole stock market thing as it stands today - for some reason I thought that the reason you bought shares was to invest in a company not to "bet" on things, isn't that really how the stock market got started - looking for people to invest?
Yes, that is what Stocks are for. the Hedge funds however are not really stocks. They bet on the future of what a stock *may* do.



It's the same kinda thing that cause the housing market to bust.





good morning!





In other news, the Judge that overturned the moratorium on Drilling? He DEEP in Oil investments.



Comment by TriSec on 06/23/2010 12:36:01
Morning. (The qualifier "good" has been banned from usage.)



Perhaps my luck will get better today and I'll get hit by a bus on the way home.





Comment by TriSec on 06/23/2010 12:49:51
Ya know, this whole McCrystal thing is pissing me off. Maybe this is indicative of what's wrong with this President.



Here we have a clear case of insubordination and questioning of Presidential Authority, and what does he do? He calls the General back for a conference.



If it were me, I would have called his ass and said "Mr. McChrystal (and not using his title would be intentional), I want you to pack up all your stuff and get on the next plane to Pearl. Meet the MPs there, and I'll see you at your court-martial.)



Sorry folks....he's starting to lose me.





Comment by clintster on 06/23/2010 13:07:43
I have to say that Mrs. C broke a metatarsal a few years ago and a couple of days later we went to Tweetsie Railroad, an amusement park in the mountains of North Carolina. Not a fun time, especially since I had to push her around the park uphill (both ways).

Comment by Raine on 06/23/2010 13:08:48
Quote by TriSec:

Ya know, this whole McCrystal thing is pissing me off. Maybe this is indicative of what's wrong with this President.



Here we have a clear case of insubordination and questioning of Presidential Authority, and what does he do? He calls the General back for a conference.



If it were me, I would have called his ass and said "Mr. McChrystal (and not using his title would be intentional), I want you to pack up all your stuff and get on the next plane to Pearl. Meet the MPs there, and I'll see you at your court-martial.)



Sorry folks....he's starting to lose me.





I'd rather have him call him back home from the theatre than firing him while he is still over there.



I tend to think that KO had a pretty good idea about this. He said Obama should not accept his resignation and instead demote his ass down to paper pusher.



I don't know if I agree, But I would rather Obama has his balls in a desk drawer as opposed to being fired and suddenly turning upon FauxNooz as a *commentator*



I don't know if you are aware of this, Tri -- But Paul Reikoff doesn't think he should be fired. He said so yesterday on Ed Shultz. I was shocked to hear that myself.

Comment by Raine on 06/23/2010 13:09:46
anything you break after a certain age is just WAY painful...

Comment by Raine on 06/23/2010 13:16:15
Comment by wickedpam on 06/23/2010 13:16:48
Well that makes sense now - you told me in one sentence what the peole who do our 401k have been trying to in a bunch of years. I tell ya plain English works.

Comment by TriSec on 06/23/2010 13:33:12
I heard Keith's special comment, and I don't agree with him.



Insubordination and undermining of authority needs to be taken care of immediately.



Either way, it's a bad situation....but you need to minimize the damage.





Comment by Raine on 06/23/2010 13:41:04
Nobody puts Obama in a corner!

Comment by wickedpam on 06/23/2010 13:42:19
Quote by Raine:

Nobody puts Obama in a corner!






you think there will be a dance number to illustrate the point a la Dirty Dancing and Glee?

Comment by Raine on 06/23/2010 13:49:25
Quote by wickedpam:

Quote by Raine:

Nobody puts Obama in a corner!






you think there will be a dance number to illustrate the point a la Dirty Dancing and Glee?


THAT I would watch.

Comment by wickedpam on 06/23/2010 13:51:15
Quote by Raine:

Quote by TriSec:

Ya know, this whole McCrystal thing is pissing me off. Maybe this is indicative of what's wrong with this President.



Here we have a clear case of insubordination and questioning of Presidential Authority, and what does he do? He calls the General back for a conference.



If it were me, I would have called his ass and said "Mr. McChrystal (and not using his title would be intentional), I want you to pack up all your stuff and get on the next plane to Pearl. Meet the MPs there, and I'll see you at your court-martial.)



Sorry folks....he's starting to lose me.





I'd rather have him call him back home from the theatre than firing him while he is still over there.



I tend to think that KO had a pretty good idea about this. He said Obama should not accept his resignation and instead demote his ass down to paper pusher.



I don't know if I agree, But I would rather Obama has his balls in a desk drawer as opposed to being fired and suddenly turning upon FauxNooz as a *commentator*



I don't know if you are aware of this, Tri -- But Paul Reikoff doesn't think he should be fired. He said so yesterday on Ed Shultz. I was shocked to hear that myself.




I can tell you the spin right now if he demotes him - Obama's not being honorable and is disrepectful of his years of service.

Comment by Raine on 06/23/2010 13:52:04
BTW, I know I didn't get to mention it yesterday, but thank you very Much Will and Clint.



I am leaving very early tomorrow morning. Taking Amtrak to Rhinecliff, My sisters and I will be driving up to Doldgeville, NY after that.

Dolgeville

Comment by wickedpam on 06/23/2010 13:52:31
Quote by Raine:

Quote by wickedpam:

Quote by Raine:

Nobody puts Obama in a corner!






you think there will be a dance number to illustrate the point a la Dirty Dancing and Glee?


THAT I would watch.






what song would they use?

Comment by Raine on 06/23/2010 13:52:44
The nice thing is that I get to leave out of Union Station, I haven't been there in about 20 years. I love that train station.

Comment by Raine on 06/23/2010 13:53:23
Quote by wickedpam:

Quote by Raine:

Quote by wickedpam:

Quote by Raine:

Nobody puts Obama in a corner!






you think there will be a dance number to illustrate the point a la Dirty Dancing and Glee?


THAT I would watch.








what song would they use?
Time of my life....





Comment by wickedpam on 06/23/2010 13:57:15


Comment by Raine on 06/23/2010 13:58:33
Since I share so much of my life with you guys here on the blog, I hope you don't mind me sharing My Aunt Fran's obituary.



Sorry guys, It's been a long week. We were told last Thursday that she was nearing the end of her illness, and Now I guess it's really sorta hitting me. She was such a huge part of my life when I was growing up. Susie was in essence, the 4th Koch sister. She still calls my mom, Mom.

Comment by wickedpam on 06/23/2010 13:59:01
Quote by Raine:

The nice thing is that I get to leave out of Union Station, I haven't been there in about 20 years. I love that train station.






Its changed in 20 years - I remember being able to watch the trains arrive and leave from the floor above when we traveled from Philly to DC

Comment by wickedpam on 06/23/2010 14:00:18
Quote by Raine:

Since I share so much of my life with you guys here on the blog, I hope you don't mind me sharing My Aunt Fran's obituary.



Sorry guys, It's been a long week. We were told last Thursday that she was nearing the end of her illness, and Now I guess it's really sorta hitting me. She was such a huge part of my life when I was growing up. Susie was in essence, the 4th Koch sister. She still calls my mom, Mom.






let me know if you need anything

Comment by BobR on 06/23/2010 14:02:34
Quote by Raine:

BTW, I know I didn't get to mention it yesterday, but thank you very Much Will and Clint.



I am leaving very early tomorrow morning. Taking Amtrak to Rhinecliff, My sisters and I will be driving up to Doldgeville, NY after that.

Dolgeville


try not to party too hard...



kidding - I know it will be a somber occassion, punctuated by moments of family drama...

Comment by Raine on 06/23/2010 14:05:40
Quote by BobR:

Quote by Raine:

BTW, I know I didn't get to mention it yesterday, but thank you very Much Will and Clint.



I am leaving very early tomorrow morning. Taking Amtrak to Rhinecliff, My sisters and I will be driving up to Doldgeville, NY after that.

Dolgeville


try not to party too hard...



kidding - I know it will be a somber occassion, punctuated by moments of family drama...


Hell babe, I'm going to provide a little comedy.



And get yelled at by someone -- it's inevitable. I always end up crossing the line.

Comment by Raine on 06/23/2010 14:22:42
OooOooO Ok now we wait and see what happened at the White house.

Comment by wickedpam on 06/23/2010 14:25:23
that was a very quick meeting

Comment by Scoopster on 06/23/2010 14:27:02
Morning all!



Got to work late, but didn't miss the start of the USA-Algeria match cuz it was pushed back to 10AM. BTW, they just got ROBBED of a goal again because of another bullshit offsides call.

Comment by TriSec on 06/23/2010 14:40:46
Quote by Raine:

BTW, I know I didn't get to mention it yesterday, but thank you very Much Will and Clint.



I am leaving very early tomorrow morning. Taking Amtrak to Rhinecliff, My sisters and I will be driving up to Doldgeville, NY after that.

Dolgeville






I pride myself on being a geography geek....I went out 5 clicks before I recognized anything. Sure is "out of the way".

Comment by Scoopster on 06/23/2010 14:56:07
At halftime it's 0-0, and England leads Slovenia 1-0. If these scores hold the US is out, and there's gonna be a LOT of very pissed off people.

Comment by clintster on 06/23/2010 15:21:39
I'm watching USA-Algeria on Univision, just so I can hear the announcer say



"GOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAALLLLLLLLLLLLL Estados Unidos!!!"



Hopefully it'll happen soon, but dammit this Algerian goalie is good.





Comment by Raine on 06/23/2010 15:22:56
Quote by TriSec:

I pride myself on being a geography geek....I went out 5 clicks before I recognized anything. Sure is "out of the way".
Yup.



It makes Western Mass look like the Suburbs.







Comment by Raine on 06/23/2010 15:25:03
Aww hell. More sad news. My nieces dog, Monty --13-14 years old was put down this morning. Heart Failure.



:( RIP Monty.



Good dog. *sigh*

Comment by livingonli on 06/23/2010 15:25:39
Good morning everyone.



My condolences on the loss of your Aunt, Raine.



Comment by livingonli on 06/23/2010 15:26:11
And one for Monty as well.





Comment by Raine on 06/23/2010 15:29:00
Thanks Liv.



Send some hugs to the universe for my niece, KBelle. Monty was her best friend from when she was just a baby.





Comment by Raine on 06/23/2010 15:30:34
AM I getting this right? did they just deny a SECOND goal for USA????

Comment by wickedpam on 06/23/2010 15:31:00
when it rains it pours they they say - I'm sorry to hear about Monty too - maybe he went to be with Aunt Fran to keep her company

Comment by wickedpam on 06/23/2010 15:31:48
Quote by Raine:

AM I getting this right? did they just deny a SECOND goal for USA????






I'm begining to think there's a conspiracy about keeping the US from advancing

Comment by Raine on 06/23/2010 15:36:32
Quote by wickedpam:

when it rains it pours they they say - I'm sorry to hear about Monty too - maybe he went to be with Aunt Fran to keep her company


I like that, Mala.



I like it alot.

Comment by wickedpam on 06/23/2010 15:39:33
Quote by Raine:

Quote by wickedpam:

when it rains it pours they they say - I'm sorry to hear about Monty too - maybe he went to be with Aunt Fran to keep her company


I like that, Mala.



I like it alot.








Comment by Raine on 06/23/2010 15:40:54
Oh hell -- that is true. Momma can't drive with the boot.



Gonna make that move back to LA a bit of a problem. Suddenly LA might be as expensive as NYC...

Comment by Raine on 06/23/2010 15:42:51
Quote by wickedpam:

Quote by Raine:

Quote by wickedpam:

when it rains it pours they they say - I'm sorry to hear about Monty too - maybe he went to be with Aunt Fran to keep her company


I like that, Mala.



I like it alot.






Monty was a corgi, I can see him doing that.



Comment by livingonli on 06/23/2010 15:44:39
Quote by wickedpam:

Quote by Raine:

AM I getting this right? did they just deny a SECOND goal for USA????






I'm begining to think there's a conspiracy about keeping the US from advancing


I'm scared to hear what Glenn Beck's take will be. I guess the Futbol refs don't care if Soccer is ever popular in the US unlike the NHL which has been aggressively trying to become popular in the US.



Oh, they finally gave one to the US.

Comment by Scoopster on 06/23/2010 15:47:25
OH MY GAWD! Don't give half the country a heart attack or anything, boys.



US finally gets a goal allowed, 2 minutes into stoppage time in the second half.



I'm gonna go lay down now.

Comment by clintster on 06/23/2010 15:47:55
GOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAALLLLLLLLLLLLLLLLL!!!!!

Comment by livingonli on 06/23/2010 15:50:10
I should have put Univision on to hear their announcers. At least I get Univision in HD now.

Comment by Raine on 06/23/2010 15:52:36
WE WON??? WE WON!!!! WOOHOO!

Comment by clintster on 06/23/2010 15:54:47
Quote by livingonli:

I should have put Univision on to hear their announcers. At least I get Univision in HD now.




It was a beautiful thing. I wish I had taped it.

Comment by wickedpam on 06/23/2010 15:55:05
well there goes my theroy