JP Morgan Chase Jobs To Texas

November 1, 2019 at 5:47 am

Bloomberg News has an entertaining dispatch about how JP Morgan Chase is adding more jobs in Texas than in New York:

The bank already has 25,000 workers in Texas and started construction this summer on a 12-story tower that will house about 4,000 employees, increasing its total employment in the state.

Dimon started dropping clues about the bank's location shift at the annual meeting -- held in Plano -- last year.

"There are more JPMorgan Chase employees in Texas than any other state outside of New York," he said. "I'm sure it will be No. 1 soon."...

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The Presidential Race, a Year Out

November 1, 2019 at 5:39 am

The state of play in the presidential race about a year out from Election Day was the topic of my column this week. Please check it out at the New York Sun (here) and Newsmax (here).

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Giuliani Facing Tactics He Once Used Against Wall Street

October 24, 2019 at 11:33 pm

The reported federal investigation of Rudolph Giuliani is the topic of my column this week. Please check out the full column at the New York Sun (here) and Newsmax (here).

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Warren Versus the Constitution

October 24, 2019 at 11:28 pm

The constitutionality of the some of the policy proposals offered by Senator Elizabeth Warren and Vice President Biden was the topic of my column earlier this month. Please check the column out at the New York Sun (here), Reason (here), and Newsmax (here).

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Facebook Bank

October 24, 2019 at 11:15 pm

"Can We Trust Facebook To Run a Bank?" is the headline the New York Times put over an article aggregating opinion on the topic. The Times article concludes, somewhat admirably, by asking: "Do you have a point of view we missed?" and inviting readers who do to write in.

I think the answer in my case is "yes," which is to observe that the most important word in the Times headline question isn't "Facebook" or "Bank" but "we." It carries an embedded assumption that giving a company permission to operate a bank is a collective decision, rather than an individual one. The individual decision is contained in a differently phrased question, "If Facebook chooses to try to start a bank, should I become a customer of it?"

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Ken Frydman on Rudy Giuliani

October 10, 2019 at 11:42 pm

Ken Frydman, a former aide to Rudy Giuliani, is one of my favorite public relations men in New York and has always been a total mensch in my dealings with him. But a passage in his recent New York Times opinion piece made me chuckle:

Rudy was a pizza and Diet Coke guy when I met him in 1992. But he became an Upper East Side and Hamptons socialite and, worse yet, a Palm Beach neighbor of Donald Trump.

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WeWork

October 10, 2019 at 10:55 pm

Office space provider WeWork — motto: "Do what you love" — is the topic of my column this week. Please check out the full column at the New York Sun (here), Reason (here), and Newsmax (here).

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Worcester Affordable Housing

October 6, 2019 at 2:55 pm

For a bad-news perspective on the long-awaited downtown revitalization of Worcester, Mass., check out a recent piece from WGBH, a Boston-based NPR affiliate.

"Many are anxious about the affordability of housing for low-income residents," WGBH reports, quoting one advocate who warns, "we're in danger of gentrification."

The view that gentrification might not be a "danger" but a rather a blessing after years of deterioration, poverty, and decline is hard to detect in the article. The article has lots of claims about relative increases: "Over the past decade in Worcester, the median price of two and three-family homes has more than doubled, and the median price of a single-family home has increased around 40 percent." No mention that the past decade started in the midst of the worst financial downturn since the Great Depression, one that hit real estate finance particularly hard.

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'Dynamic Free Market Capitalism'

October 3, 2019 at 11:41 pm

Prime Minister Boris Johnson's October 2 speech to the Conservative Party conference is worth a read, or a watch:

it is we Conservatives too who will solve the problem of social care and end the injustice that means so many people have to sell their home to pay for their old age and if you ask me how we are going to do it, how are we going to pay for it all, how we are going to grow the UK economy I will tell you that it is by raising the productivity of the whole of the UK.

Not with socialism, not with deranged and ruinous plans borrowed from the playbook of Bolivarian revolutionary Venezuela, but by creating the economic platform for dynamic free market capitalism.

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Biden Vows Not To Use Taxes as 'Punishment' of Rich

October 1, 2019 at 8:03 pm

Joe Biden's little-noticed "no punishment" promise to wealthy donors offers a sharp contrast to the the wealth tax and exit tax proposed by Senators Sanders and Warren. That may have constitutional significance if a court ever has to decide whether a Warren wealth tax is really a tax or an unconstitutional punishment of the sort forbidden by the Constitution's bill of attainder clause. It's all the subject of my column this week. Please check out the full column at the New York Sun (here), Reason (here), and Newsmax (here).

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Ban Public Schools

September 27, 2019 at 7:46 am

The best defense against recent proposals to ban private schools is a good offense, I write at Education Next. Please check out the full column here. There's even a Warren Buffett angle.

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Another FARA Case Loss For Federal Prosecutors

September 25, 2019 at 6:02 am

A federal judge in Virginia, Anthony Trenga, has issued a ruling acquitting Bijan Rafiekian, who was convicted on July 23, 2019 after a jury trial on charges of acting as an unregistered foreign agent of Turkey.

Rafiekian, the memorandum opinion says, "was the Vice-Chairman, Director, Secretary, and Treasurer of the Flynn Intel Group," which he cofounded with retired Lt. Gen. Michael Flynn, who was eventually named President Trump's national security adviser.

The Foreign Agents Registration Act was passed in 1938 amid anxiety about German influence as World War II loomed. I've suggested that perhaps it's time for Congress to revisit the law with an eye toward narrowing its scope or even repealing it altogether. Federal prosecutors went after lawyer Greg Craig on similar charges and met a similar result.

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Return of the Reichsfluchtsteuer

September 25, 2019 at 5:37 am

Democratic "exit tax" proposals in 2012 (Charles Schumer) and 2015 (Hillary Clinton) had me remembering the Reichsfluchtsteuer, the 25% tax that the Nazis imposed on Jews trying to flee Germany in the 1930s.

Now the 2020 Democratic presidential candidates who back a "wealth tax" — Senator Elizabeth Warren and Senator Bernie Sanders — are also both backing Reichsfluchtsteuer-style proposals. "Sanders' wealth tax plan includes a steep 'Exit Tax' similar to that proposed by ewarren," an economic policy reporter at the Washington Post, Jeff Stein, tweeted yesterday.

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'States' Rights' Is Cry of the Democrats

September 24, 2019 at 8:28 pm

California, Massachusetts, and other states have filed a federal lawsuit arguing that states have the right to set their own auto emissions standards regardless of what Washington says. The clash is the topic of my column this week: "This is amusingly satisfying in so many ways that it's hard to know exactly where to start, but perhaps the best place is with an 'I told you so.'" Please check out the full column at Reason (here), Newsmax (here), and the New York Sun (here).

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The Biden-Trump Foreign Policy

September 17, 2019 at 9:14 pm

Maybe Trump should offer Joe Biden the job of national security adviser, I suggest in my column this week. It would draw attention to Biden's flip-flops over the years on foreign policy issues. Please check out the full column at Newsmax (here) or the New York Sun (here).

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