Thursday, April 29, 2010

Federal Anti-trade Commission Chains

New FTC/DOJ Guidelines Provide Increased Transparency for Horizontal Merger Review 04.29.2010 (From the Website of Perkins Coie lawfirm in Seattle)

On April 20, 2010, the Federal Trade Commission and the Antitrust Division of the U.S. Department of Justice jointly released their proposed revisions to the Horizontal Merger Guidelines for public comment. The updated guidelines are the result of a series of joint public workshops over the past six months, as well as the agencies' collective experiences since 1992, when they last revised the guidelines. The proposed revisions reflect the agencies' current approach to review of horizontal mergers, that is, mergers between actual or potential [emphasis mine] competitors, including refinements previously identified in their 2006 "Commentary on the Horizontal Merger Guidelines." Interested parties may submit comments on the proposed revisions through May 20, 2010.

The proposed guidelines reflect current practice by the agencies, as well as clarify the current guidelines. Highlights of the proposed guidelines include:

Government Analysis Is Fact-Specific. The government's merger analysis does not use a single methodology, but is a fact-specific process through which the agencies use various (arbitrary) tools to analyze whether a merger may substantially lessen competition. The agencies' analysis is intended to be flexible. (Arbitrary?)

Market Definition Is a Means to the End, Not the End. (But with Obama the ends justify the means.)  Market definition, which identifies the area of effective competition between the merging companies—and through it, the market's size, participants and degree of concentration—is a tool the agencies use to the extent it may predict a merger's likely competitive effects. Market definition is a part of, but not the result of, the analysis. In some cases, determining market definition may not be necessary.  (You identify size, participants, and degree of concentration, but do not define the market.  Is that arbitrary?  Do campaign contributions have any impact?  Politics?  Speaking out in favor of or against Obama's policies?)

Evidence of Head-to-Head Competition Is Critical. The agencies place great weight on evidence of head-to-head competition between the merging companies, that is, the extent to which one merger partner has in the past responded directly to the other's prices, product launches, technical innovations and marketing and advertising campaigns. This evidence is typically in the documents and data contemporaneously created and regularly used by the companies' managers. During merger review, in decisions whether to challenge a transaction, the agencies give no weight to company presentations that ignore these documents and data. Thus, where the companies believe the government is likely to investigate a proposed merger, company counsel should review this internal documentation as early as possible during negotiation and due diligence.

Key Customers Should Be on Board. The agencies seek the views of important customers of the merging companies. Where there is strong evidence that key customers regard the merging companies as the closest competitors in the relevant market, the agencies may challenge the transaction, despite the existence of more distant competitors. Accordingly, merger planning should include an early and well-thought-out program to educate key customers about the competitive benefits of the proposed merger.

Industries That Use Bargaining and Auctions May Face More Detailed Scrutiny. The agencies pay special attention to markets that are characterized by bargaining and auctions between buyers and sellers, usually of intermediate goods. They believe that the anticompetitive effects in these markets are likely proportional to the frequency with which, before the merger, one of the merging parties had been runner-up when the other won the business. Here too, early customer education may be critical to successful merger review.

Degree of Concentration Is a Significant Factor in Determining Anticompetitive Effect, but Thresholds Increase. The degree of concentration in the relevant market, both before and after a proposed merger closes, continues to play an important role as an signal of the merger's anticompetitive (or lack of anticompetitive) effect. On this point, the proposed guidelines increase the relevant market concentration thresholds, called the Herfindahl-Hirschman Index, which adds together the square of the market concentration, out of a total of 100 for the entire market, of each of the players in that market. As described in the table below, "Unconcentrated Markets"—those in which anticompetitive effects are unlikely—increase from below 1000 to below 1500. "Moderately Concentrated Markets"—those that raise potentially competitive concerns—increase from between 1000 and 1800 to between 1500 to 2500. "Highly Concentrated Markets"—those in which mergers potentially raise significant competitive concerns—increase from above 1800 to above 2500. Although these increases suggest a more tolerant attitude toward horizontal mergers, in reality they reflect the agencies' current practice.

Market                                   Current Threshold                     Proposed Threshold

Unconcentrated                      <1000                                      <1500

Moderately Concentrated       1000-1800                                1500-2500

Highly Concentrated               >1800                                       >2500

So basically government has access to every document, all thinking and consideration, as well as the obviously highly-statistical, but in all likelihood, wild-guess Herfindahl-Hirschman Index.  Now who will dispute my contention that Obama wants to be Executive Manager of all business?

Clearly all businesses of any size must waltz through Washington, D.C. with campaign money in order to run their businesses.

It is called crony capitalism, but that's a benign term like "nanny state"  the truth is much more ominous: the end of freedom in America.

Executive Dictator

It seems to me that our president, Barack Obama, and his Congress majority are attempting to become the Executive Director and Executive Director's Leadership Council for all of American business.  The standardization of all consumer products would fit in like a glove to "equality" standards -- equalitism -- of American citizens.  How easy would it be to become supreme leader if government mandated that all people ARE equal and all products are equal.  Then the government could save the world much more simply.  Just a few examples.  For an updated (April 29, 2010) example of the power of the Obama government to "manage" companies please see the next blog, "Federal Anti-trade Commission chains"

Compensation.  His handpicked "Compensaton Czar" us busily establishing compensation levels for companies that have taken government bailout funds.  While in parts of the Congressional Financial Industry Takeover Bill (CFITB), compensation levels will become controlled by the Securities and Exchange Commission (SEC)regulations and the Federal Deposit Insurance Commission (FDIC).  Obama himself rails for compensation that is "too much" according to his arbitrary beliefs.  And on April 29, Obama said:"Obama: I want to be clear. We're not -- we're not trying to push financial reform because we begrudge success that's fairly earned. [But] I do think at a certain point you've made enough money.  Mr. President, what is the meaning of "fairly" earned?  And at what point is the certain point where someone has made enough money?  And what is the definition of "enough"?

Marketing.  Under said CFITB banks' offerings to their customers will be strictly regulated and standardized.  Any alterations will have to be approved by some governmental commission.  This past February the credit card industry was standardized by Congress.  Think of this.  If all product and service offerings are regulated by the president, Congress or commissions appointed by them there will be no competition.  One could argue that this is illegal collusion and price setting, but, of course it's OK if set by Obama.  So, too are product offerings and manufactring techniques and constituent part of toy companies. For decades, government establishes automobile  "safety" standards, auto emission standards, auto mileage standards, auto standards, and soon braking systems standards.  And it isn't a far stretch to see standardized automobiles period.

Price Controls.  As part of the so-called ObamaCare gross margins of healthcare insurance companies are set by fiat to be 15% and prices strictly regulated and managed by government. 

Accidents.  The Democrats are rich from monetizing accidents.  Here's a "gimme" to Obama suporters, the trial lawyers: The Federal Bureau of Investigation is conducting a criminal investigation into the April 5 explosion at a Massey Energy mine that killed 29 miners in Montcoal, W.Va., according to a person familiar with the matter.  Massey said it would cooperate with the investigation. "We are aware that investigators are interviewing witnesses, but are not aware of the nature of their investigation," the company said. In a second statement Friday, Massey said it "has no knowledge of criminal wrongdoing."

Monday, April 19, 2010


President Obama launched a massive surprise attack on Goldman Sachs Group, Inc. in all likelihood to assist in his takeover of the financial services industry.  Being one of the largest securities trading organizations in the world and the epitome of Obama hatred for "Wall Street" Goldman, although a major contributor to Democrats, got blindsided in the United States Securities and Exchange Commission's civil fraud charge against it.  Obama cannot be trusted is the backstory of this, his public relations coup against "Wall Street".  I believe he feels America will rally to his side against "Wall Street" forgetting his insane spending and borrowing which could bankrupt this country with deficits as far as the eye can see, or longer.

But, Obama hopes, let's not concentrate on THAT, let's go after the devil, Goldman Sachs, a successful freemarket trader.  No doubt the Far-left Media will pile on along side its progressive icon, Mr. Obama in damning Goldman.

Shows how tough he is.  And how smart.  It's only 2010 and he grasps a failure that occurred three years ago.  Or if he doesn't grasp any detail he knows the headlines his propaganda arms will feature.  And it'll show a hesitant Congress that the financial industry takeover is every bit as critical to America's future as the takeover of the healthcare industry.  My guess: this has nothing to do with Goldman's innocence or guilt, it's presumed by the media that Goldman's guilty and that's enough to move the financial industry takeover past the goal line.  Meanwhile, Obama himself ala Jimmy Carter is enmeshed with the minute details of the takeover bill writing language and presumably (unlike with healthcare) even reading it. 

But back to the SEC's lawsuit.  It contends Goldman is smarter than little ACA Capital Holdings, Inc. which put together the instrument that is the subject of the SEC's proceeding.  ACA was worth $400,000,000 and made its living insuring such things.  (For the details of what the instrument was, call the U. S. Securities and Exchange Commission and ask.  I'd guess 50/50 it doesn't even know!)   Poor little ACA was like those stupid U.S. citizens who were taken advantage of by the big, old banks and mortgage companies which forced them to take out mortgages they couldn't afford at housing prices that were at pinnicles of value.  Victims all.  They all needed Obama and his administration and the Democratic Party to warn them and wave off those big, bad banks.  Obama to the rescue.  Never again will anything like this happen with Obama on guard.

Thank you, Mr. President. 

(My guess is that as with many of the lawsuits argued in the Left-wing media by N. Y. attorneys general and its former governor Elliott Spitzer, they'll ultimately be tossed out of court or settled but certainly AFTER the November elections and the financial industry takeover bill.)


Wednesday, April 14, 2010

Sayonara Justice Stevens

To Justice John Paul Stevens and the rest of the liberal "jurists" the term "constitution" (capitalizing it might be deemed to make it god-like) is simply another word for constipation. No matter that the Founders were highly religious and that the mass murderer (formerly known as the Father of our country) George Washington said "Religion and morality are indispensable supports" to his decision-making. He established the office as a moral as well as a political one, with morality tied to a belief in Jesus Christ. But luckily the Liberals eschew Jesus Christ, Religion and morality. But they bow down to The Prince (no, I don't mean Barack Obama, I mean the book written by Niccolo Machiavelli). Look at the Obama healthcare industry takeover. The justified means were 1)bribery 2)extortion 3)threat 4)whatever Obama did in Air Force One to a number of congresspeople and the ends: own 16% of United States' economy.

But that's just foreplay, now my prediction: the next Supreme Court Justice will be Andrew L. Stern. (And if he's not an attorney, no matter, the ends justify the means.)


Monday, April 12, 2010

Wells Fargo, what are you thinking?

Extortion?  I don't know, but Wells Fargo & Co., is giving in to it.  The National Association for the Advancement of Colored People ("You can't use that term, it's not N double-A PC!") sued Wells Fargo in March 2009 accusing it of (same old, same old) institutionalized and systematic RACISM (same old, same old) in steering (vroom, vroom) those ignorant black people into less favorable loans (as defined by, I imagine, the NAACP).  Wells struck back saying (as that mean president Obama does) the allegations were reckless and, of course, totally unfounded, then totally caved by giving the NAACP what I imagine is inside private information of lending, credit quality, risk and demographic information so the NAACP can monitor the bank's managing of lending.  Wells, you are one tough bank.  (And would competitors love to get their greedy little hands on this information?  But of course, Wells can trust the NAACP!)  But, wait, if it acts now, there's more...(Well, that's from those TV show special offers.)  F***  I am getting sick of all this, but wait, Wells will give the NAACP a REPORT CARD and my guess: NAACP will give Wells an "A" no matter what.  (Oh, may I have another toke?)  The RC is on...yes, ladies and gentlemen: diversity of suppliers.  Suppliers?  What does this have to do with lending?  Oh, also on timely notifying the NAACP of anything that would raise reputational "concerns" -- now, that's easy to define.  This takes the suit out of the hands of trial lawyers and puts it into the hands of trial lawyers.  Well good, the Democrats need more campaign contributions.  And they'll get them.  OK on to more.  The NAACP is Jealous.  Or Ben Jealous is prexy of the NAACP who said Wells also, panting, agreed to follow NAACP's principles of fairness and stop biased and exploitive behaviors.  Slurp, slurp, pander, pander.  Of course those principles were naturally in place at Wells said its EVP for...Social Responsibility...who said "It wasn't really about change so much as it was recognition that we agree."  What?  Of course Mr. Campbell, said EVP, in all likelihood is black and supports the NAACP but what about the executives of Wells agreeing to this bulls***?  Blacks are what? 14% of the population and are they the only ones discriminated against?  No. Are they really discriminated against?  We'll never find out because it won't go to court, Wells caved. So every other activist group I am sure are talking to their in-house tort lawyer right now.  Is Wells Fargo like the Republican Party having no backbone?

Wells caved.  So one falls they all fall:  (That's what got us into Vietnam.)  NAACP has also sued HSBC Holdings, PLC,  J.P.Morgan Chase &amp Co. and 12 more.

It'll be constructive to see the NAACP and the Obama Administrating fighting to manage the banking industry.  But there won't be one in a decade, the financial services industry will become a not-for-profit, wholly-owned supsidiary of the U. S. Government and the National Association of Colored People.

Barney Frank, get in there......................


If you can't trust the government, who can you trust?  (God?  Oh no, we can't have God mentioned anywhere governmental...except on currency.  But the far-left wants to get rid of that anyway.  But that's another story.)  An article in The Wall Street Journal -- Monday, April 5, 2010, Front Page -- "Natural-Gas Data Overstated" discussed that the U. S. Department of Energy overstated U. S. natural gas production data; Gary Long, the acting director of the 914 form (a director of a form?  A form director?  Only in governement.) said, "We saw some numbers we didn't like..." and decided to change his methodology, although he didn't give details, according to the WSJ.

Now reflect on the widespread dependency on numbers coming from the U. S. Government and think...are they accurate?  Close?  Arbitrary?  Now further consider that the vast majority of bureaucrats in the U. S. government are liberals with an agenda.  Then further, further consider that maybe they're making the numbers all up to reinforce what they want reinforced.

Naaah, not with President Obama running things.

Let's get some experience and grown-ups in Washington

Our Nation's capital has been infiltrated by dreamy kids.  Emotions rule the day.  Pesky old-fashioned contrivances such as the Constitution are waved away with a toss of the wrist.  I'd guess that somewhat under ten percent of President Barack Obama's administration have worked in the private sector (and that might be generous).  Maybe a shade more of the Democratic congresspeople, maybe not.  They are managing our country.  This is, as I have continually stated, The American Idol -- The President.  But this idolatrousness has gone too far and most of the country, sans the far-left media of course, is waking up to that fact.

These utopianists are attempting to take over the entire private sector, if not by nationalizing, which has been only in the case of the automotive sector, but by regulations, rules, investigations, hearings.  At a time when the United Statew desperately need jobs by companies our government is incessently and vicously attacking entities in the formerly so-called private sector.  This post will be updated regularly with specific examples of the Obama Administraion and the Democratic Majority in Congress and their attempts to control American business and remake it as they know it should operate.

Let's just start by a remark from the Boss of the U. S. House of Representatives Financial Services  Committee, Barney Frank (nee Fife).  "I do not want Fannie and Freddie [these would be Fannie Mae and Freddie Mac, now government-owned, then government-controlled holders of over 50% of the mortgages on U. S. homes totalling something like $5,000,000,000,000, that's trillion, all ultimately at-risk by the U. S. taxpayers courtesy of U. S. government guarantees] to be just another bank (sic).  I do not want the same kind of focus on safety and soundness" he said in 2003.  That is a mature, grown-up comment by an experienced manager from the private sector,  NOT!

Control over car makers it doesn't own
President Obama's new rules for auto emissions will punish even green, green, green electric car makerss.  The savior of America and the world from global warming according to Obama, electric cars, will be hurt because even they will not be "zero emission" so car companies cannot use electrics to counteract his new braintwistingly-complex mileage rules of scorings of mileage and carbon dioxide.  Actually electricity has to be generated, and most in the U. S. comes from dirty-to-environmentalists coal, then scary-to-environmentalists nuclear energy.  No passes for anyone  the Left seems to want to eliminate all automobiles (not to mention all profits and possibly even money.)  But no matter: Obama wants 4-cylinder cars, low-friction electric steering, more gears and slower cars.  That man what an awesome car guy!  Freedom?  What's that?  Presdient Obama tells us "Hey America next year these smaller, slower, sometimes-electric cars will cost you aoubt $950 MORE thanks to me."  I'd vote for him.  All in all, it's not his money and come to think about it, has he EVER owned a car?  And to the industry that's bulging with profits, it'll cost it only another $52,000,000,000 over 5 years.  The most expensive set of rules in U. S. HISTORY!  (And that's Obama's current projection.  Actual numbers from the government usually turn out to be marketedly lower than projections, I think the New York Times once wrote.)   Since it takes three or four years to conceive, plan, design and establish manufacturability of new cars, these rules take effect in 2016.  But car makers, actually all businesse,s need stability of regulation to invest efficiently.  They need to know what to expect.  But not with Obama, no.  He wings it and hurts business.  (But I don't think he has a clue.)  But this charismatic, forceful leader of the free world is working like heck to create jobs.  No doubt!

Control over our health stuff
Obama's Patient's Protection and Affordable Care Act (sick) mandates 1) that chain restaurants disclose the calories on menu items; 2) working nursing mothers must be allowed breaks and a private place that's not a bathroom to suckle (paid for by companies, of course to decrease their job-growth profits); 3) companies must pay to calculate and present to the government on W-2s the value of all health benefits; 4) Health Savings Account contributions will be lowered and coverages diminished; 5) can't borrow from HSAs any longer -- even though it IS your money -- to cover emergencies, sorry you eight million citizens; 5) terminated abstinence programs for kids (this IS healthcare of course) is sort of brought back if each states matches the contribution from the federal government and 6) the federal government is paying for home visits by nurses for knocked-up kids to teach them parenting and coping (coping?) skills because obviously the abstinence programs (see above) didn't work. 

Control over coal mining
Most electrical energy in the United States comes from coal.  Coal is hated by environmentalists and their lackeys, the Democratic Pandering Party.  I suppose it's because coal is black, but I have no empirical evidence of that.  Only of the hatrid.  So the President Obama's Environmental Protection Agency will stop most new surface coal mining using a new "science".  This "science" is questioned by the National Mining Association (but any views of business is biased say the Left, unlike the unbiased environmentalists.)  This "science" is the electrical consuctivity of streams.  Whatever.  But thrilled, thrilled, thrilled is the unbiased Coal River Mountain Watch which opposes mountain-top mining.  But the EPA's new "scinece" won't only stop new mines, it'll revoke a permit already granted to Spruce No. 1 mine of Arch Coal Inc.  Retroactive revocation.  (Another aside: if permits can be arbitrarily revoked by Obama why get one?  In fact, why be in business at all if you can't count on any Rule of Law?)  But heck they're only 27,000 miners in  Appalachia and only 11% of total U. S. production comes from these surface mines.  But Obama must believe the U. S. has so many jobs, 27,000 more or less are unimportant and so much energy, 11% isn't important! Sort of an aside here, changing to Massey Energy Co''s Upper Big Branch mining tragedy, the Far-left media headlines the safety violations and, of course, Congressional Democrats will initiate hearings.  And, as usual with for-proift companies, such as Toyota, they are GUILTY! with no "until proven" one way or anther because Democrats and Left-wing media knows who is guilty and innocent and trials are such a bother.  Massey recently spent almost a billion dollars buying an underground coal mining company to diversify away from government-, environmentalist- and Democratic-hating surface mining.  Massey, you can't get away from hatred.

Control over interest-rate swaps
Obama doesn's seem to care about profits (assuming he understands what profits are), especially of the banks.  So he's taking banks' over-the-counter business in swaps from them and giving them to other companies that run exchanges.  Arbitrary?  Rule of Law?  Stability?  I don't know if the companies owning the exchanges are run by Democrats more than banks, or if they donate more to Democrats.  But I'd take a wild guess:  yes.  Cronyism is alive and healthy with President Obama.

Control over Google
Google Inc., a huge backer ("sucker") of Obamania will get it in the butt.  The Obama Federal Trade Commission looks to be getting ready to stop Google's proposed acquisition of AdMob.  President Obama is scared Google might dominate a new industry -- mobile cellphone advertising -- huh?   Let me get this right.  Google is highly successful in one industry it built from a start-up.  And the president is fraidy-cat that Google might succeed in another industry?  Well of course he doesn't need any Rule of Law, he can do what he wants because he IS the American Idol -- The President.  Arbitrary anti-trust it absolutely is.  Isn't anyone concerned?

Control over State Safety Agencies
President Obama, learning from the success of Amtrak, Fannie Mae, Freddie Mac, U.S.P.S., Social Security and Medicare/aid wants to get states (as in that old-fashioned term "states rights") to follow its programs that harass certain industries.  Safety activists (those unbiased guys) think the enforcement of safety laws has been wayyyy too lax under former president and scapegoat, George W. Bush.  The feds want to make the "emphasis program" mandatory and basically tell the states what to do and how to do it.

Friday, April 9, 2010

Another loss of freedom coming, the biggest one yet

"The Database That Ate American Business"

by Hugh Hewitt, an author, law professor and broadcast journalist. Hugh Hewitt is the host of the “Hugh Hewitt Show,” broadcast live from Southern California each afternoon. Hugh Hewitt conceived and hosted the 1996 national PBS series "Searching for God in America."  I read this today in Townhall Daily newsletter of blogs.

"Very few people outside of the commissioners and employees of the Consumer Products Safety Commission, a few business lawyers and the legion of left-wing so-called "consumer activists" know much about the countdown to the new "database," but by this time next year American business will be reeling from the launch of what will become a government sponsored virtual bulletin board for the serial slandering of American manufacturing.

Reputations will be ruined and brands deeply damaged once the Congressionally-mandated internet bulletin board becomes operational. Here's the benign summary of what the law requires, as interpreted by the CPSC in a report to Congress :

To meet the requirement for a public database, CPSC is planning to build (working name only – final still to be determined), which will be a single central location where consumers can go to report product safety incidents, and to search for prior incidents and recalls on products they own, or may be thinking about buying. In conjunction with the web site launch, CPSC will also conduct a public awareness campaign to raise awareness of Sounds wonderful, right? But how will it operate in reality?"

                                                             MY COMMENT
This is one of the most dangerous initiatives from the anti-capitalist, anti-business government that I have heard. Further, this will perform two functions. First, it will ultimately severely diminish the product choices and, thus, freedom of American consumers. Many products and services have "issues" that can be publicized indiscriminately in such a instrument, nothing to do with risk of death but problems much more subtle that, in the hands of opponents, competitors or trial lawyers can be used to destroy product offerings and companies.

But even more dangerous: with government (read:liberal) control of it, the bulletin board can be manipulated to show products and services favored by the government (read: environmentalists, unions, trial lawyers). The government, then, will have control of the products offered to American consumers. It seems an innocuous extension of goverment control of credit cards, health care, insurance, banks and financial institutions, money cards, student loans, home mortgages (all of which are now directly controlled by government fiat)but will put all of our choice in the hands of arbitrary government bureaucrats. 

Perhaps ultimately (is this a wacky conspiracy theory or not?)  the government will bypass the middleman.  Why can't it simply hire the people, buy the buildings and equipment and manufacture what it wants?  As with ObamaCare it can simply mandate that we buy what government bureaucrats desire.  Ethanol was only a tiny shoehorn.

Wednesday, April 7, 2010

Self Preservation collides with Meglomania

It was interesting to watch the usually-selfish members of Congress, who thirst, hunger for self-preservation in their cushy jobs, abandon their futures in exchange for their Leader's Meglomania.  Actually if it wasn't such a corrupt process, it would have been beneficial to see members think about something other than reelection.  But it was anything but beneficial to this country.  We were treated to members' complete abandonment of principle (perhaps principle and members of Congress is an oxmoron) in order to grant their Leader a legacy and resurgent power.  His Meglomania. 

Hopefully the disgust citizens have for most all members of Congress will stay through the November elections.  Retire every one of the Democrats who voted to take over our healthcare and health insurance industries.  I know that is too much to hope for.  Here in Seattle (a second-rate San Francisco) Senator Patty Murray, a lockstep liberal without an original thought in her head, has the name recognition, war chest and taxpayer funds, not to mention Obama's power, to in all likelihood retain her soft job.  In Washington State, Seattle has the population and money and ignorance to elect Democrats everywhere.  It is surprising that Washington isn't as bankrupt as California (and NY, NY, Illinois, etc.)  Only a few billion in the red because of union power. But other than possibly in Washington State voters will review the liberals' records and the state of our (near bankrupt) nation and send them packing from Washington, D.C.  But the Meglomaniac will be picking our pockets, infecting our bureaucracies and lying to us for another two years.  That is unfortunate for the United States of America.

Friday, April 2, 2010


Perusing the statistics of the twenty best-performing public offerings of stock listen in the United States one finds:

Originating country:

U.S.A. -- Zero, none, nada
India -- One
China -- Nineteen (19) - ninety-five percent (95%).

Mr. Obama, a public offering of stock means that a company which is owned by its owners ("stockholders") needs to raise additional capital ("money", typically which is deposited into the coffers of the company by means of a bank account or purchase of high-quality short-term securities such as government notes (please see definition elsewhere) and used in the future to hire additional employees ("jobs"), perhaps perform research to discover new products or services, maybe build or rent a building to be used to house said new employees and equip it with manufacturing machinery or the like.)

A little economics lesson for you, sir, it seems you have a lack of understanding of the basics.  Further, sir, the above statistcs, while a short snapshot in time, indicate that China is beating us economically.  You might consider learning more so you actually can accomplish some legislation that will augment the competitiveness of the U. S. A. and create some lasting jobs.

Your humble servent (as all of us are, Your Majesty), Superamerican.

The Waxman Agency

The funny antiquated notion of free speech should be put to rest. Oh, except for liberals who actually know truth, justice and the American Way. No doubt. For the rest of us there should be a Congressional Agency established to vet all speech from the Right. All talk radio, Fox Network programs, The Wall Street Journal and Republican politicians should have to disclose to the Agency prior to release to the public all written and spoken words at least 24 hours prior. I think it would be fair to have the truth, the whole truth and nothing but the truth given to the United States.  It should be called the Waxman Agency after that seeker of truth, Henry A. Waxman.

Or if it is unconstitutional for Congress to establish such an entity, President Barack Obama should with a presidential proclamation.  It is established the he does not have to follow or pay any attention to the Constitution of the United States of America.  Actually thinking about it, the country should delete the term "united states" from its name and simply get rid of those pesky, expensive states.