6 random things for Friday (bitcoin beats gold, Walt Williams on schools, Trump and weed)

News Story of the Day: since the global economic collapse, financial institutions have been paid more than $321 billion in fines, says the Boston Consulting Group, reports Reuters. Because governments, bureaucrats and regulators have ramped up their investigations and scrutiny, banks have forked over billions of dollars in fines.

According to the study, North American banks represented close to two-thirds (63 percent), or $204 billion, of the total fines between 2009 and 2016.

Interestingly enough, despite record profits and soaring stock valuations, the banks have yet to fully recover from the Great Recession, the report notes.

Chart of the Day: peer-to-peer decentralized virtual currency bitcoin has surpassed gold in trading as investors await the decision to give the nod to a new bitcoin ETF. Here is a Bloomberg chart that compares the pricing between the two investments:

Illustration of the Day: did you know that grammar is offensive because it is racist? Did you know that taking photos of non-Western food is offensive because of cultural appropriation? Did you know wearing “Star Wars” gear is offensive because of Nazis? Why don’t we ban everything then?

Quote of the Day: legendary free market economist Walt Williams has a great deal of insight into a wide array of topics. Unfortunately, there will never been another one like Williams for his quick wit and impeccable intelligence. Here is just another example of his brilliance, and this time on the issue of government education:

 “…if the grand wizard of the Ku Klux Klan were the Secretary of Education and wanted to sabotage black academic achievement, he couldn’t find a better method for doing so than keeping our public school system as it is. Many black politicians and educators would never have their own children attend the rotten, dangerous schools that are so much a part of our big cities. Many black parents, captured by these schools, would like to get their children out. But that’s not in the interest of the education establishment, which wants a monopoly on education. Black politicians and academics are the establishment’s facilitators. That explains their hostility to Betsy DeVos. She would like to give more parents a choice.”

Tweet of the Day: most libertarians will say that if you understood economics then you wouldn’t be a socialist, and this is a principle even accepted on the left considering that there are so many people vilifying economics. Here is a tweet that pokes fun at the socialists and economic illiterate:

Video of the Day: for decades, politicians of all stripes have believed that they know how to run our lives better than we do. The biggest examples of this are soda, unpasteurized milk and, of course, marijuana. It seems like the Trump administration will be countering efforts to legalize recreational marijuana, which is a big mistake. The arguments pertaining to the benefits or disadvantages of weed are moot because you own your own body and, therefore, you can put whatever you want in it, even if it kills you. Here is a great video from 1791L taking a look at Donald Trump and Jeff Sessions and their inability to understand this important fact:

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