Explaining Southern California's economy

DeBord Report on 'America Now with Andy Dean,' October 12 edition

Andy Dean Banner

Listen in to the DeBord Report, from last Friday's segment.

Last Friday's economy report on "America Now" with Andy Dean followed one day after the Vice-Presidential debate between Joe Biden and Paul Ryan, so Andy and I spent the entire segment debating who won, who didn't win, whether Paul Ryan has any friends, and whether Joe Biden was incredibly rude and abrasive or...a thespian! 

We're probably going to spend some time this coming Friday talking about Obama v. Romney, Part II. You can listen live here at 4PM PT. Will Mr. Obama stage a comeback? Or will Romney continue to cut into the President's increasingly slender lead?

We'll also get into some business and economy stuff. Enjoy!

Also, congratulations to Andy and his whole crew — Producer Michelle, Producer Miranda, and Engineer Kyle — for adding a whole bunch of new markets, including Orlando, the land of "100 percent humidity and 0 percent state taxes," according to Mr. Dean.


Reportings: Money for Mitt, rich butlers, BlackBerry 10, Social Security is solvent



US Republican presidential candidate Mitt Romney speaks in the rain during a rally in Newport News, Virginia. He's trying to rake in Wall Street money, with just a few weeks left until the election.

Mr. Romney and Mr. Ryan go in seach of Wall Street money, with cocktails and photo ops at a Hilton in New York: "[A] batch of hedge fund and private equity bigwigs show up on the list, underscoring the broad and deep backing that Mr. Romney is receiving from the upper echelons of Wall Street." (DealBook)


Make more stuff, people! Retail sales in September beat expectations: "[D]ata show that 'consumers are out in force, buying everything that isn’t nailed down.'" (LATimes)


How not to make money: "Endowments and foundations had the worst returns of any class of institutional investor in the year through June, gaining 0.37 percent." (Bloomberg)


A venture capital goes to the Interwebs for a new brand identity — and doesn't do it on spec: "[E]veryone creating new work for this project will be compensated — not just the one winner who will carry out our complete brand identity." (USV)


Mitt Romney's tax returns being held hostage for $1 million in...Bitcoin?!

zcopley/Flickr (cc by-nc-nd)

A Bitcoin card. If it's true that Mitt Romney's tax returns were hacked, will he be able to find $1 million in Bitcoin to pay the ransom?

UPDATE: Bitcoin prices have risen on this news. So far, I haven't seen anyone persuasively argue that this is why the rumors and allegations about Romney's tax returns — and the $1M ransom, payable in BTC — have been put out there.


Apparently, this is legitimate enough to invite the attention of the Secret Service. Various sources — I saw it on VentureBeat — are reporting that PricewaterhouseCoopers, the big accounting firm, might have been hacked and that cyberthieves have made off with Mitt and Ann Romney's tax returns.

None of this is substantiated, but here's the zany part: the hackers are asking for a $1-million ransom, to not release Romney's tax returns, a source of campaign controversy, to the media.

The ransom must be paid in Bitcoin, the cybercurrency with a checkered past but a devoted following amond the tech-libertarian set. 


DeBord Report on 'America Now with Andy Dean,' June 15 edition

Andy Dean Banner

A lot of politics in my weekly business and economic rundown with Andy Dean on "America Now." But also some talk of escaping the financial disaster area that is California for another place with an ocean but far less onerous taxes: Florida. As well as a chance for me to talk about Elon Musk's commencement address at Caltech, which I covered last week.

The politics: There's a view these days that President Obama's attempts to brand Mitt Romney as a financial elitist due to his record at Bain Capital didn't work an that Obama is now running against not Romney but the previous Republican President, George W. Bush. This is probably true, and it's created a whiff of desperation in the Obama campaign. It also isn't going to work, so expect another Obama pivot until he finds something that can make Romney look like Bush III.