Michael Nystrom's blog

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Thank you for a great ride, and for 8 years of support!
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Meet BJ Lawson

BJ Still Needs $3K to Top His $500K Goal. Donate here: BJ Lawson for Congress

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NYSE Fourth-Quarter 2008 Circuit-Breaker Levels

NYSE Announces Fourth-Quarter 2008 Circuit-Breaker Levels

NEW YORK , September 30, 2008 -- The New York Stock Exchange will implement new circuit-breaker collar trigger levels for fourth-quarter 2008 effective Wednesday, October 1, 2008.

Circuit-breaker points represent the thresholds at which trading is halted marketwide for single-day declines in the Dow Jones Industrial Average (DJIA). Circuit-breaker levels are set quarterly as 10, 20 and 30-percent of the DJIA average closing values of the previous month, rounded to the nearest 50 points.

In fourth-quarter 2008, the 10, 20 and 30-percent decline levels, respectively, in the DJIA will be as follows:

Level 1 Halt
A 1,100-point drop in the DJIA before 2 p.m. will halt trading for one hour; for 30 minutes if between 2 p.m. and 2:30 p.m.; and have no effect if at 2:30 p.m. or later unless there is a level 2 halt.

Level 2 Halt
A 2,200-point drop in the DJIA before 1:00 p.m. will halt trading for two hours; for one hour if between 1:00 p.m. and 2:00 p.m.; and for the remainder of the day if at 2:00 p.m. or later.

Level 3 Halt
A 3,350-point drop will halt trading for the remainder of the day regardless of when the decline occurs.

Circuit-breakers are calculated quarterly. The percentage levels were first implemented in April 1998 and are adjusted on the first trading day of each quarter. In 2008, those dates are Jan. 2, April 1, July 1 and Oct. 1.

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Harvard Economist: Bankruptcy, Not Bailout

Jeffrey A. Miron is senior lecturer in economics at Harvard University. A Libertarian, he was one of 166 academic economists who signed a letter to congressional leaders last week opposing the government bailout plan.


Bankruptcy does not mean the [failed financial] company disappears; it is just owned by someone new (as has occurred with several airlines). Bankruptcy punishes those who took excessive risks while preserving those aspects of a businesses that remain profitable.

In contrast, a bailout transfers enormous wealth from taxpayers to those who knowingly engaged in risky subprime lending. Thus, the bailout encourages companies to take large, imprudent risks and count on getting bailed out by government. This "moral hazard" generates enormous distortions in an economy's allocation of its financial resources.
Talk of Armageddon ... is ridiculous scare-mongering. If financial institutions cannot make productive loans, a profit opportunity exists for someone else.

Click the text above for the full article.

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Steve Dore: Campaign for Liberty

Singer/songwriter and tireless promoter of Dr. Paul throughout the presidential campaign Steve Dore has just released a new song simply titled, "Campaign for Liberty." It is a sweet tune.

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Ron Paul: What the Price of Gold is Telling Us

GoldSeek | Posted Sunday, 16 March 2008

The financial press, and even the network news shows, have begun reporting the price of gold regularly. For twenty years, between 1980 and 2000, the price of gold was rarely mentioned. There was little interest, and the price was either falling or remaining steady.

Since 2001 however, interest in gold has soared along with its price. With the price now over $1000 an ounce, a lot more people are becoming interested in gold as an investment and an economic indicator. Much can be learned by understanding what the rising dollar price of gold means.

The rise in gold prices from $250 per ounce in 2001 to over $1000 today has drawn investors and speculators into the precious metals market. Though many already have made handsome profits, buying gold per se should not be touted as a good investment. After all, gold earns no interest and its quality never changes. It’s static, and does not grow as sound investments should.

Continue reading at Goldseek.com

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Mid Atlantic Paulites Offering Lodging for the March

Harold writes:

We have a meetup to put travelers in touch with locals who are offering lodging for the march. Please check it out and let others know about it:


Harold, Co-Organizer of this Meetup

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Peter Schiff - Crash Proof

Dear Friends,
This is a reprint of a review of Peter Schiff's book Crash Proof that I did about a year ago on my other site, Bull! Not bull. Considering the worsening state of the economy, that Shiff is now an adviser to Dr. Paul, and that he has been right, I'm reposting the review here. The original can be found here.

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Three Bears, No Goldilocks Part II - Crash Proof

Michael Nystrom
March 9, 2007

Crash Proof Bull not Bull

The first bear that showed up in my mailbox last month was Michael Panzner, with his book Financial Armageddon. (You can read my review of his work here.) Within days of that bear's arrival came another: Peter Schiff and his new book Crash Proof.

Everyone always says don't judge a book by its cover, but it is impossible not to. After finishing Panzner's truly disturbing vision of the future, the cover of Peter Schiff's Crash Proof looks positively glib. It shows a little pink piggy bank safely sheltered from stormy skies by its own personal (pigsonal?) umbrella. How cute. And then there is the cliché'd subtitle: "How to profit from the coming economic collapse." Oh, brother. Honestly, I didn't have high hopes, and as a result I was quite pleasantly surprised. Perhaps this will be the key to surviving the upcoming hard times: Low expectations.

Schiff pulls no punches in unmasking the rosy statistics that the government and its corporate media accomplices foist upon an unsuspecting and gullible public. The US economy is a paper tiger, and Schiff wastes no time getting straight to work with the shredder. "America.com" as he calls us, referencing the hundreds of dot.com companies that burned brilliantly until they burned out completely for lack of substance, has some mistaken ideas about the true nature of wealth and how it is created. Real wealth, Schiff reminds us, comes the old fashioned way - from saving, investment and production. In its salad days, America became a global manufacturing giant through hard work, and by investing the nation's abundant savings back into production. The salad days are gone, as America has gone from a nation of savers, investors and producers to a nation of borrowers, gamblers and consumers.

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This Race is Far From Over!

There was a lot of confusion this weekend over Ron Paul’s Friday message. The old media and many supporters took his note to mean that he’d thrown in the towel and quit the race, but nothing could be further from the truth!

You wouldn’t know it from the old media, but the GOP race is far from settled. They’re trying to paint John McCain as the guaranteed nominee, but we know that the media doesn’t have as much control as they’d like to pretend. Remember? Last summer they painted Rudy G as the frontrunner, but his campaign died with a barely a whimper. His main problem was that no one voted for him. Now McCain is in a similar position: He’s so popular that nobody votes for him. This weekend McCain got trounced in – of all places – Kansas, by – of all people – Mike Huckabee. He lost Louisiana, and at last count he’s in a virtual three-way tie with Huck and Ron Paul in Washington State’s straw poll.

Not only is McCain disliked by voters, he’s positively hated by the conservative neocon spinmeisters. Ann Coulter ravaged him in a blistering attack last week on Hannity & Colmes (must see video here). Hannity didn’t put up much of a fight defending him. Meanwhile, Rush Limbaugh is also having second thoughts about McCain. This neocon revolt has the Wall Street Journal mounting its own weak attempt at defending him in an editorial in this Saturday’s edition. (The Right is Wrong on McCain. But Saturday? Does anyone read the Saturday edition of the Wall Street Journal?

The real problem with McCain is that he has all the appeal Y2K’s leftovers, which is what he is. Who wants the guy who lost to Bush in 2000 to be the next president of the United States? Should he win the nomination, it is pretty widely suspected that he’ll be 2008’s version of Bob Dole.

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Super Tuesday Canvassing; Ebay Auction Ends Mon

The above picture was taken by local media at the Denver Ron Paul rally on Saturday night. In the upper left corner you can (barely) see my friend Peter Spina of Goldseek.com holding up one of my posters at the rally! Peter says he got it signed by the good Doc, and will have it framed for the Goldseek offices. Thanks Peter!

Also, to anyone paying attention, I erroneously stated that my special Ebay poster auction was ending on Super Tuesday. That is wrong, it actually ends on Monday afternoon. I donated $1525.00 of the proceeds to the campaign on the Feb 1 money bomb under my wife's name. The remainder, up to $2300, will be donated at the auction's close on Monday.

Most importantly, today is the last day to canvass before Super Tuesday. Get your signs and literature out, and your list of republican neighbors and hit the streets. Put some signs up on the way to the polling place. Every little bit helps.

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Daily Paul Upgrade & Ebay Poster Update

Dear Friends,

I've looked into a variety of options regarding updating the Daily Paul. I've spoken to a slew of consultants, web hosts & developers, and this is the story as it stands: The software that the Daily Paul runs on -- an open source platform called Drupal -- is going through a major upgrade cycle, from version 5 (currently 5.6) to version 6. Version 6 is not quite ready, and many of the modules required for the upgrades I discussed last week would rely on these modules. The bottom line is that it wouldn't be a wise use of resources to invest a lot in software upgrades on the current system, since they'd be obsolete in a few months and would have to be redone. I made this mistake last year with another Drupal site I was running, when I spent a considerable sum developing a Drupal 4.7 site just as Drupal 5 was released. I don't want to do that again. So as far as major updates go, I'm going to have to wait for a couple of months. I'll begin on some of the minor upgrades that I can do myself next week.

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Ultra Rare Poster on Ebay - Raising Money for 51 Years

I'm inspired by the concept behind the Feb 1 Fifty One Years moneybomb. Dr. Paul & Mrs. Paul are a wonderful, wonderful sweet couple. So I wanted very much to donate to the campaign on February 1st. The only problem is, I'm maxed out! But guess what - my wonderful wife isn't! So here is the plan:

As some of you may know, I had 500 limited edition posters printed up that I'm selling as a fundraiser to cover expenses & upgrades at the Daily Paul. Well, due to a printer error (or gift!) eight of these posters - #493 - #500 - were printed with a red necktie. They are the only eight of their kind in existence! I put one of them - Poster #496 up for sale on Ebay:

Whatever the current bid is on February 1st, that is how much my wife Samantha and I are donating to the campaign on that day. The auction ends on Super Tuesday, so I'll donate the balance of whatever the poster sells for when the auction closes, in time to contribute to the Campaign's goal to raise $5M by Feb 5. If you'd like to place a bid - please do so with the knowledge that 100% of the sale price - up to $2,300 - is going to the campaign. Anything in excess of that figure (am I dreaming or what?) will go towards site upgrades. I'll have an update on how that is going tomorrow.

I know this is a site about Dr. Paul, but below is a picture of Samantha and I, if you're curious.

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Michigan Primary Tue Jan 15 - Dems, Don't Throw Your Vote Away!

From the excellent Ron Paul resource page Primarily Paul:

Due to violating party rules, the Democratic National Committee has stripped Michigan of all its delegates to the Democratic National Convention. You can vote in the Democrat’s primary, but no Michigan delegates will be sent to the DNC to vote for you.

As if that isn’t bad enough, most candidates running for the Democrat’s nomination didn’t even register to be on the ballot or have withdrawn their names. Here is a list of people who will be on the ballot: Hillary Clinton, Mike Gravel, and Dennis Kucinich. So if you wanted to vote for Barack Obama, John Edwards, or any other candidate you’re SOL because they won’t even be on the ballot.

Instead of casting a meaningless vote on the Democrat’s ticket, you can vote in the Republican primary, helping bring a “win-win” ballot for the 2008 Presidential election by voting for Ron Paul. The war in Iraq has consistently rated the highest issue important to voters. Another issue not polled which I’m sure matters to voters is the restoration of our civil liberties.

Ron Paul is the only Republican candidate who is against the Iraq war and for the restoration of our civil liberties. All of the Democrats oppose the war in Iraq, so by voting for Ron Paul in the Republican primary you can help create a “win-win” 2008 Presidential ballot. It will be an anti-war, pro civil liberties Democrat versus an anti-war, pro civil liberties Republican. No matter who wins the election, the war will end and our civil liberties will be restored.

Original here. Spread the word.

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Grandfather Economic Report: Who Says Inflation is Dead?

The following information comes from this great page of The Grandfather Economic Report. It is one of those pages that looks like its has been around since the web first went up! No snazzy design, but solid information. These are the kinds of pages I learned so much from when I first started surfing the web back in 1996!

Without further ado:

A dollar in 1950 will buy only 12 cents worth of goods today, 88% less than before. Inflation in my adult years increased average prices 1,000% or more:

  • example 1: a postage stamp in the 1950s cost 3 cents; today's cost is 41 cents - 1,266% inflation;
  • example 2: a gallon of 90 Octane full-service gasoline cost 18 cents before; today it is $3.05 for self-service - 1,870 % inflation;
  • example 3: a house in 1959 cost $14,100; today's median price is $213,000 - 1,400% inflation;
  • example 4: a dental crown used to cost $40; today it's $1,100 - 2,750% inflation;
  • example 5: an ice cream cone in 1950 cost 5 cents; today its $2.50 - 4,900% inflation;
  • example 6: monthly government Medicare insurance premiums paid by seniors was $5.30 in 1970; its now $93.50 - 1,664% inflation; (and up 70% past 5 years)

example: several generations ago a person worked 1.4 months per year to pay for government; he now works 5 months.

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Open Thread: What is Driving the Amazing Growth?

I just got off the phone with a reporter from Bloomberg in DC who is writing a big story on Dr. Paul's surging popularity. It is always fun, (and then frustrating) to talk to these reporters. So far I've spoken with Wired, the Boston Globe and now Bloomberg. (The Wall Street Journal emailed while I was away on vacation). What strikes me is that I can talk to reporters for half and hour or 45 minutes on the phone, and then when I get off the phone, I think of all these things I should have said! Drats!

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Daily Paul - Light Posting Activity Until Oct 15

Dear Friends,

I am going to be away from the desk for a couple of weeks, and with only limited internet access. As a result, I won't be able to keep up my regular posting activity. I have therefore moved the active forums list to the top of the site, so that you dear readers, can keep up the information flow in my absence!

Thank you for your patience, help and understanding while I am away. Best regards,
Michael Nystrom

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