Business News Update

In addition to the UAW caving in and agreeing to that pro-management contract with GM there have been a veritable plethora of important business news items this week:

Goin’ Nuclear

NRG Energy became the first power producer to submit formal plans for construction of a nuclear reactor since the dog days of the Carter/Three Mile Island malaise.

Three key items are responsible for this development: (1) high natural gas prices, (2) the landmark 2005 Energy Policy Act, (3) high regulatory costs associated with increasing capacity of existing fossil fuel plants. NRG’s proposed nuclear plant is to be located in Bay City, Texas.

Presumably the lunatic left will engage in vicious litigation. But the courts in Texas are very conservative. So too is the D.C. Circuit Court of Appeals. The latter of which would decide potential liberal-bot claims against the Nuclear Regulatory Commission. In other words if the far left unleashes its lawsuit machine it’s quite unlikely to find a sympathetic tribunal. In the event this issue went all the way up to the SCOTUS we’d be looking at a 5-4 decision against the Moonbats. Provided, of course, non-voting conservatives don’t throw away the High Court when they stay home in droves next November.

Following in the wake of NRG’s proposal will be nuclear power entreaties by Duke Energy and Dominion Resources.

Lennar

Homebuilder Lennar posted a huge loss for Q3.

Back in early-2003 you could have purchased Lennar for under $30 a share (split adjusted). That’s when the Lithium brigades were depressed about homebuilders and about the economy at large. Then in mid-2005 Lennar peaked at over $60 per share. That’s when the Lithium brigades were happy about the housing markets and the economy, in general, and about homebuilders, in particular. Yesterday, however, Lennar closed at $21.80. The Wall Street Journal/CNBC drones again are depressed about the housing markets and about the economy too.

$25 – 2003 – financial media bearish
$60 – 2005 – financial media bullish
$21 – 2007 – financial media bearish

Moral of the story:

Being a media/market Lemming is no way to achieve financial independence.

SCHIP

President Bush soon will be getting another veto opportunity (go figure), as the Media/Democrat House of Representatives passed a pork spending/tax hike health care bill. Even the liberal airheads at the Associated Press have figured out there are not nearly enough votes to override the upcoming veto. So, in many respects this is much ado about nothing, although it does illustrate one of the ghastly measures for which many conservatives will be giving their tacit approval next year, when they “send their messages.”

The roll call in the House broke down along the following party lines:

220 / 228 (96%) – Democrats in favor of more health spending
45 / 196 (23%) – Republicans in favor of more health spending

8 / 228 (4%) – Democrats opposed to more health spending
151 / 196 (77%) – Republicans opposed to more health spending

E-Verify

Courtesy of USA Today:

U.S. Citizenship and Immigration Services has expanded a Web-based system that allows employers to verify the legal status of new hires. About 23,000 employers are enrolled in E-Verify, USCIS Director Emilio Gonzalez said Tuesday.

The new tool allows employers to compare the photo on an applicant’s green card or Employment Authorization Document against the photo in the agency’s database. The plan is to expand the system to compare photos from other legal documents, such as driver’s licenses and passports.

Some states require employers to use E-Verify.

The U.S. Chamber of Commerce is among critics who say the system has inaccuracies and rejects some applicants who are legally authorized to work in the USA.

Vonage

Vonage had a worse week than Michael Vick.

A jury found the company infringed patents held by Sprint. An appeals court affirmed a prior courtroom defeat at the hands of Verizon. Its share price sunk below $1.00 (earlier this year it debuted at $17).

Guns + Butter

The Defense Department announced it wants a grand total of $190 billion in FY 2008 for Iraq and Afghanistan. Shares of defense contractors shot up.

Oil Money

Chevron announced it plans to buy back $15 billion of its own stock.

Oracle of Omaha

The word on The Street is that Warren Buffett is eyeing former icon Bear Stearns. Which makes sense. Buffett buys when others are selling. Buffett ignores the financial media and goes against the grain. Buffett didn’t become the greatest stock investor of all time by accident.

Money + Politics

Eight of the 10 most expensive cities in the nation — measured by average home sale prices — are located in the Democrat-stronghold of California. Six of those eight are located in counties that vote overwhelmingly for Democrats. The other two cities in the top-10 are Greenwich, CT and Boston, Mass.

On the other hand, three of the 10 cities across the country with the lowest average home sale prices are located in the Republican stronghold of Texas. Two of those 10 are located in Kansas. The remainder of the top-10 least expensive cities are located, respectively, in: North Dakota, Indiana, Oklahoma, suburban Ohio, and suburban Michigan.

Which begs the following question:

Why do extremely-wealthy people vote for Democrats, whereas working class people not on government assistance vote for Republicans?

Oh, right, my bad, never mind. Back over to you, Katie Couric.

Silence in Syria, Panic in Iran
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