Week in Review: January 14, 2017

The Senate began working through President-elect Trump’s cabinet appointments this week, as Washington prepares for next week’s inauguration (which will cost taxpayers over $100 million.) One of the pressing concerns worrying libertarians is Senator Jeff Session’s view on the war on drugs, which has been one of the most successful areas for states’ rights in recent years. Obamacare has also been in the news, as the Republican Congress has begun taking steps to ‘repeal and replace.’ Unfortunately, as Per Bylund notes:
In the present debate on Obamacare, all possible alternatives are simply a move from one interventionist economy to another, and this only distracts us from the real alternative: a radical rolling back of the state.
Of course this approach of less politics, more markets is the approach needed in all facets of America today.
On Mises Weekends this week, Jeff talks about crony capitalism with Nick Sorrentino, proprietor of AgainstCronyCapitalism.org. Jeff and Nick discuss how huge public companies – think defense giants like Lockheed Martin and Boeing – engage in an obvious form of fiscal cronyism, while Wall Street funds and investment banks engage in what we might call monetary cronyism. And they also discuss how average people reap undue benefits in a million small ways, from selling their homes in artificially overheated markets to making money from small businesses made possible only by bubbles. Is that tech startup really “worth” a $50 million payout to the founders? Thanks to the endless distortions of crony capitalism, we may never know.

This post was published at Ludwig von Mises Institute on January 14, 2017.

Exposed: FBI Director James Comey’s Clinton Foundation Connection

WASHINGTON, D. C. – A review of FBI Director James Comey’s professional history and relationships shows that the Obama cabinet leader – now under fire for his handling of the investigation of Hillary Clinton – is deeply entrenched in the big-money cronyism culture of Washington, D. C. His personal and professional relationships – all undisclosed as he announced the Bureau would not prosecute Clinton – reinforce bipartisan concerns that he may have politicized the criminal probe.
These concerns focus on millions of dollars that Comey accepted from a Clinton Foundation defense contractor, Comey’s former membership on a Clinton Foundation corporate partner’s board, and his surprising financial relationship with his brother Peter Comey, who works at the law firm that does the Clinton Foundation’s taxes.
Lockheed Martin
When President Obama nominated Comey to become FBI director in 2013, Comey promised the United States Senate that he would recuse himself on all cases involving former employers.

This post was published at Lew Rockwell on October 31, 2016.

Barack Obama: From Peace Prize to World’s Biggest Arms Dealer in 8 Short Years – – $190 Billion and Counting

(ANTIMEDIA) On Thursday, the U. S. State Department approved the sale of more military equipment, valued at around $1.15 billion USD, to the oil-rich kingdom of Saudi Arabia. This sounds like a lot of money to most of us, but the most frightening aspect of the sale is that it represents a continuation of an arms-dealing relationship between Washington and the Saudi regime, which has been worth over $50 billion USD in arms sales to date.
It is not an understatement to say Obama’s tears over gun violence are disingenuous considering his administration has enacted a policy of systematically arming the entire world with all manner of warcraft. According to the Department of Defense Security Cooperation Agency (DSCA), during his first six years in office, the Obama administration entered into agreements to sell more than $190 billion USD in weaponry worldwide. As the director of the Arms and Security Project at the Center for International Policy, William D. Hartung, states, this figure is higher than any U. S. administration since World War II. Perhaps that is why the Nobel secretary has voiced serious regrets about awarding the Peace Prize to the president.
While there are a number of companies who are making an absolute killing from these sales – like Lockheed Martin and Boeing – the fact remains that the U. S. government actively facilitates this industry in more ways than one.

This post was published at David Stockmans Contra Corner By Darius Shahtahmasebi via Anti Media ‘ August 18, 2016.

Meet The Arms Merchants – -Global Sales Top $400 Billion In 2014

In 2014, sales of the world’s top-100 arms manufacturers totalled $401 billion, according to a report from the the Stockholm International Peace Research Institute. There was a moderate 1.5 percent decline in sales between 2013 and 2014, primarily due to lower sales for companies based in North America and Western Europe.
Despite that decline, the West still dominates global arms sales. In 2014, seven out of the top ten largest arms-producing companies were American. Lockheed Martin LMT 1.40% grabbed the top spot for the first time since 2009, acccording to SIPRI, with arms sales totaling $37.5 billion. Boeing BA 0.71% was in second place with $28.3 billion while Britain’s BAE Systemscame third with just under $26 billion in sales.

This post was published at David Stockmans Contra Corner on December 21, 2015.