Wednesday, November 4, 2009

One for Me... One for You...

One for Me... One for You...
I guess I have always thought people from Ohio to be a little smarter than most others... Maybe in part due to the images from places like Texas, Nevada, and California... Maybe it is just a bit of the Midwestern common sense... Our work-ethic... Our lifestyle... Whatever it is, it just seemed like people from Ohio just had it together more than most other states... The Reverend Thomas Grey from NCALG told me ten years ago that Ohio is too smart to allow casinos into the state... Evidently, a lot has changed over the last 10 years.

Yesterday constituents from the states of Ohio voted to allow casino gambling in Cleveland, Columbus, Cincinnati, and Toledo. That in of itself is bad, but the average voter doesn't realize that the state constitution will now be amended for the the best interests of two private entities... Dan Gilbert (see Quicken Loans and The Cleveland Cavs) and Penn Gaming (see gambling operation in Pennsylvania). Sure there's the promise of jobs, tax revenue, and entertainment...but let's face it... the casino interests are only rich and opportunistic millionaires trying to become billionaires at the public's expense.

I explained to my students that Ohio has granted Dan Gilbert a piggy bank in Cleveland and Cincinatti that is guaranteed to take in more than it pays out... And that Gilbert and his casino cronnies were willing to spend more on this campaign than Obama did to win in last year's election. I wonder why anyone would spend $35 million on a campaign...

I'm not just a bit bitter about this whole thing... I am actually pissed off. This thing is a loser for the people of the state and it is another tear in our moral fabric. There are a couple of options:

1. Contact your State Congressman to support a ballot measure that would tax these institutions into oblivion.

Ohio House Ohio Senate
2. Do not go to these casino in hopes that they go belly up.

3. Support grass roots efforts for another referendum to strike casino gambling from the state.

A lot has changed in Cleveland over the past 100 years. In 1909 Standard Oil and John D. Rockefeller brought business and wealth to Northeastern Ohio. This created good jobs and many secondary businesses sprang up as a result. One hundred years later, we have replaced Standard Oil with a business doesn't give to Ohio, but only takes away. One thing is for certain, Gilbert is no Rockefeller.

Economic Watch...

Ax is right... This is one crazy market which really does not seem to have a real direction. Gold continues to inch up and silver is going along for the ride. But there really is no leader in the market anymore. I do note that China, India, and Saudi Arabia are hedging their bets in equities and the dollar by loading up on gold. (India finalized a purchase on two hundred meteric tons of gold from the IMF!!!) While this move could be good for India as a future hedge of inflation, let us not be fooled that it can also be seen as a hedge against future erosion of the U.S. Dollar.

I will look to enter into PQ calls again... 1/8s are sounding pretty attractive right now. As reports of China's oil consumption rose 14% yoy, the report was rather quick to brush off any suggestions that China would have little to no impact on global demand. Still though, if pundits are still preaching a recovery, then demand will automatically go up. I say this because there is no coincidence that Buffet's market saving announcement to purchase BNSF was done as a hedge against higher oil prices... somethng that inflation will naturally egg on!

I am counting on a dismal employment number Friday... followed by a further slash in consumer credit. Obama et al. may be looking for banks to start lending... the question is to who? For the full Economic Calendar click here.

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