Nov 12

It Just Doesn’t Stop

By kevin | Current Affairs , Random Walk

This just in, three out of four Perry supporters didn’t even know we had a Department of Engerrry.

“Republican primary voters see Mitt Romney and Newt Gingrich as the presidential candidates most qualified to lead the military and handle a crisis abroad.”  Democratic voters see Romney and Gingrich as the most likely candidates to know where Europe is . . . and Cain as the most likely to know what “a broad” is.

Something you won’t hear at the debate tonight: “Imagine what the Deutsch Mark would be trading at if Germany had stayed out of the Euro!!!”

The SEC has just announced that eight employees have been disciplined over the Madoff unpleasantness.  Three received stern looks, two were sent to bed without their dinner, one was made to “take a time out”, another was required to write “I will not speak out of turn” 500 times, and one had the clean erasers after school.

Note to Candidate Perry on the eve of the Foreign Policy Debate in South Carolina: The one that looks like a boot is Italy.

You heard it here first.  There is going to be a 60 minute special on Sunday that will dare to suggest that all those members of Congress — you know, the ones to whom the ’33 act, ’34 act, The Insider Trading Sanctions Act of 1984 and the Insider Trading and Securities Fraud Enforcement Act of 1988 don’t apply — are trading ahead of the public based on “material non public information.”  Repeat after me, “I’m shocked, just shocked . . .”

I have to admit that I didn’t see the Gingrich upsurge coming. Nothing screams “values” like serial affairs and marriages, an academic pedigree, and a massive Tiffany’s bill.

File this in the “I’m shocked” category.  From the New York Times (so it must be true).

Halfway between Los Angeles and San Francisco, on a former cattle ranch and gypsum mine, NRG Energy is building an engineering marvel: nearly a million solar panels that will power about 100,000 homes. The project is a marvel in another, less obvious way: Taxpayers and ratepayers are providing subsidies worth almost as much as the entire $1.6 billion cost of the project. Similar subsidy packages have been given to 15 other solar- and wind-power electric plants since 2009. The government support — loan guarantees, cash grants and contracts that require electric customers to pay higher rates — largely eliminated the risk to the private investors and almost guaranteed them large profits for years to come. The beneficiaries include Goldman Sachs . . .

I know, right? A government program that is rigged to deliver risk-free rates of return on the order of 25% per annum and Goldman Sachs winds up with all the money?  Like I said, shocking.

Why is it I can’t stop giggling at the thought of Michele, Mitt, Rick, Herman, Ron, Newt, and the other three guys I can’t remember “debating” foreign policy?

Why is it that the first names of the current crop of GOP hopefuls reads like the starting line up of The Little Rascals?

Far too many athletes (and coaches) diminish themselves, their team, and their sport over the course of their career. Joe Frazier was not among them.

Nov 09

Just the Other Side of the Debate

By kevin | Current Affairs , Random Walk

I’m looking at the WSJ on my iPad.  Immediately underneath the headline “Herman Cain: “I have Never Acted Inappropriately” is a picture of the soon to be former PM of Italy and just below that is a caption that says “Italian bond yields jumped to staggering highs in a chilling replay of the market volatility that preceded bailouts of Greece, Ireland, and Portugal.”  Holy smokes, you mean it’s Herman Cain’s fault?

Just spitballing here, but when you wind up and pitch the idea that there are three agencies you want to do away with, you might want to have on the tip of your tongue which ones you have in mind Rick Perry (R) Three Times a Charm.

Phone call for Marco Rubio.  Next.

Was it just me or did Michele Bachman (R) God Told Me To Run, look like she had recently hit the tanning bed?

Phone call for Mr. Cain, It’s the shark you jumped on line two. “For every one person that comes forward with a false accusation, there are probably thousands who will say that none of that activity ever can from Herman Cain.”  Really?  Did you actually think about that before you said it?

The best part about having never once played fantasy football is that I’m not kicking myself for taking Peyton Manning first this year.

Best job in the world? GOP candidate. You get to not just make up the craziest sounding shit, but you get to say it out loud on television and people will cheer wildly. “I can see Russia from my house!” Manic applause. “I’m going to cut three agencies just as soon as I remember their names!” Standing ovation. “I’m going create a tax credit for evil dwarfs who can spin straw into gold.” Pandemonium. “Our scary black man is better than their scary black man!” Grown men weep.

All those who thought that the latest episode of Glee where some of the characters went all the way went too far raise your hands.  Anyone?

Well this is embarrassing, three different appellate courts have now turned back GOP-led challenges to Obamacare, the latest led by a rock-ribbed conservative Reagan appointee who wrote in the majority opinion, “The right to be free from federal regulation is not absolute and yields to the imperative that Congress be free to forge national solutions to national problems.”

Overheard: Gary Hart, Larry Craig, John Edwards, Dominique Strauss-Kahn, President Clinton muttering to themselves, “Why didn’t I think to say ‘Look at all the people I haven’t had sex with’? Crap.”

For those keeping score at home, it’s all Europe all the time and the game is only in the third inning.

News flash, GOP Super Duper Committee members announce they are now for tax increases! Is it just me or does eliminating the deduction on second homes worth more than $1.5mm in exchange for reducing the top bracket from 35% to 28% sound more like a tax cut than a tax increase? Kind of the fiscal equivalent of “For every one person that comes forward with a false accusation, there are probably thousands who will say that . . .”

And this weeks entry in the Reality TV hall of fame: “I’d like to use a friend on that one. Ron, what’s the name of that agency I want to kill?”

Note to the bankrupt GOP party (no, the party actually is out of money with no real prospects of paying off its debts) from someone who has voted GOP in the past and would be willing to in the future, “Do you think you could take the office of the President just a little bit seriously?”

One of the best books I’ve read this year: Citizens of London.  A must read for anyone with even a passing interest in WW II.  Brilliant book.

I keep trying to find something pithy to say about Joe Paterno, Penn State, college football.  Right now the best I can come up with is that the last college football game I watched was in 2004 at the recently departed Husky Stadium. Now I’m embarrassed that I even check the scores. Blah, blah, blah, billion dollar television contract, blah, blah, BCS, blah, blah, bullshit. The world would not in any meaningful way be impoverished if the entire shitbread enterprise called intercollegiate sports was shut down next Tuesday.

Paging Kermit the Frog, it’s the GOP on line 3.  Next.

Nov 05

Too Much Time on My Hands

By kevin | Current Affairs

Some oldies from a couple of weeks ago . . .

Okay, let’s see.  Michelle Bachman announced that her New Hampshire campaign is replacing the people that didn’t quit en masse (vigorously denied by the Bachman campaign) that weren’t getting paid so how could they quit because the campaign is out of money anyway. I’ve changed my mind.  I do think she’s the right candidate for the GOP.

The rumors that Mrs. Merkel is sizing drapes for the Acropolis are greatly exaggerated. She’s only asking for “all those wonderful little islands.”

Stop me if you’ve heard this one before.  A Mormon and a black man with an Arab name go into a bar . . .

Here’s a show stopper . . . Herman Cain (R) Three toppings for the price of two, is a tax scofflaw.  I’ve changed my mind.  I do think he’s the right candidate for the GOP.

Just wondering.  If God told Michelle Bachman to run for President, and her campaign is out of money and near collapse . . . how does that work again?

Nothing says “originalist” like proposing term limits on the Supremes and disbanding the Ninth Circuit court.  Note to Candidates Gingrich (R) Third Grade History, and Santorum (R) God Likes Me Better Than Michelle, your interpretation of Article III is a stretch. A BIIIIIIIIIGGGGGGGGGG stretch.

And now . . .

Now that you mention it, nothing says Big East like Boise State.

I’m with Whoopie, the concept of our blacks are better than your blacks is beyond repulsive.

Call me old fashioned, wasn’t the first clue the porn tape?  Did you really need a second clue to guess the wedding was a sham?

Best line from the excellent movie “Margin Call.” “So, you’re a rocket scientist.”  You have to watch it.

There is a word for anyone that bought Groupon on the open.  Sucker.

Just wondering, is it still a high tech lynching when the guy leaking the dirt on Uncle Herman works for Rick Perry?

Show of hands, who on this line actually thinks the most important Kardashian defended OJ?

For what it’s worth, the worst case scenario with Greece is far worse than you think.

Mississippi has a ballot initiative declaring that a fertilized fetus is in fact a person.  What’s next, declaring corporations are persons?  Oh wait . . .

A bunch of years ago a firm called Refco went belly up.  Among their many transgressions, commingling customer funds with the firm’s capital (the net effect of disbanding Glass Stegal is that all firms with bank charters effectively do this, but whatever).  So a bunch of the execs went to jail.  And what, pray tell, happened to the rest?  They started MF Global.

For the fellas still trying to find it on the map, head up to 110th street and go left (that’s the hand you don’t shoot with).  That big body of water is actually just the Hudson River.  Keep going another 2148 Miles to 1910 University Dr, Boise, Idaho 83706.  It’s like the world’s biggest out pattern.

If a fetus is a person and a corporation is a person, does that mean a corporation is a fetus too?  Just wondering.

Hey all you Boise State alum, Ketchum is not actually in the “Midwest” and Provo is not “the east coast” as your new conference colleagues understand the term.

Sep 10

9.11.01 (written the week after)

By kevin | Current Affairs

Ten years ago I wrote what follows. It finishes with what amounts to a blessing invoking a God I no longer believe in (and for that matter political leaders I no longer believe in either). Still, they feel like words worth sharing again.

I feel like I need to write something about the events of last week. I hope you don’t mind that I share my thoughts with you.

I arrived in NYC on Monday, September 10 for meetings on Tuesday and Wednesday. As I sat at dinner, the skies opened, the thunder clapped, and the lighting flashed. Even then it seemed portentous, but who but 19 knew of what?

On that fateful day, four of my colleagues and friends were to meet a client right at the WTC at 9:00 AM. I had also been invited to join the proceedings but declined. Instead, I stayed uptown at my hotel on 7th and 53rd and watched, grateful that I had heeded whatever voice I was listening to that impelled me to stay away. All four people, I guess five, are physically safe, though all have stories to tell about seeing things that nobody should have to see and experiencing things that nobody should have to experience. And in the end, each walked through the valley of the shadow of death.

The rest of my story is only moderately eventful. That same voice got me on a train Wednesday to Rochester NY where my father lives. It seemed incredibly important to me to get out of Manhattan. The ride along the Hudson and then Mohawk rivers is always lovely, made especially poignant that day as the late summer light painted the pastoral landscape in a late afternoon glow. On Saturday, that same inner voice got me in a rental car for a drive to Pittsburgh (a lovely drive) for nearly five hours of quiet contemplation. From there, I was able to get a flight back to SFO. In another moment of wonder, I read that day that a train from Chicago to San Fran had derailed in Utah the night before. I had tried to get a train all the way to San Fran but could not.

Ultimately there is no explanation for hate. There is no explanation for what happened this week in New York. In the days and months to come, there will be anger, retribution, hate, and fear unleashed by our government on people you and I don’t know, some of whom may deserve it, some of whom may not. History may look back and note that Afghanistan caused the downfall first of the Soviet Union and later of civilization. Then again, maybe not. The story that gets written may be one of transformation and coming together and ultimately some sort of as yet unseen type of unity.

The larger events will now unfold beyond the control of people like me and you. What is in our control are the thoughts that we think, the feelings that we feel, and the choices that we make. I can choose to love or I can choose to hate. I can choose to listen to that voice that always seems to be whispering in the background, or I can choose to be distracted by all the noise that goes on in the foreground of my thinking. I can choose hope, or I can choose fear. I can embrace life, or I can brood on what might have happened or what happened to others. I can share a kindness with a loved one or a stranger, or I can shake my fist in rage at someone who cuts me off in traffic. I can forgive my friends and colleagues their seeming foibles or I can assassinate them with my gossip and spite. I can embrace the wonder of today, whatever it may bring, or I can grind though waiting for the weekend or a vacation or some better day sometime in the future that never may come. I can go to bed tonight knowing that I’ve told my wife and children that I love them, knowing that they love me, or I can let the opportunity to say I love you pass me by yet again.

And in choosing love and life every day, I believe I put wings on my feet and a shield of protection before me. The thoughts we think and the feelings we have are our true reality. Fill your thoughts with fear, doubt, hate, and spite, and you’re going to have that kind of day, that kind of life. Fill your thoughts with life, truth, and love, whatever those words mean to you, and you’re going to have a very different experience.

There is a passage in Job (28: 7) that says: “There is a path that no fowl knoweth, neither hath the raven’s eye seen.” Choose that path. Don’t let another day go by without telling the people you love that you love them, and mean it. Don’t let a scintilla of anger cloud your vision. Don’t let a jot of indifference cloud your heart. If we all did that just a bit more, the mist of hate that seems to have filled the air can not endure.

God bless you. God bless your loved ones. God bless our political leaders. God bless a country that provides a shield of protection that allows someone like me to share thoughts like this publicly with someone like you.

Sep 08

I Can’t Help Myself (again)

By kevin | Current Affairs , Random Walk

History channel on line two for Governor Perry.  You might want to rethink referencing Galileo in support of your anti-Science point of view. You know, the father of modern astronomy and the guy the church declared a heretic for claiming that the sun was the center of our galaxy?

Did anyone get the license plate number of the Texas truck that ran over former candidate Bachman?

To file in the “coincidence or not?” column: The same day the local fish wrap reports that the few Americans that still have health care effectively can’t use it due to high deductibles and copays and low coverage we find that the local health care monopolist, Regence, is being excoriated (big word for Republican voters) for screwing not just their customers, but even non customers!

Best line from the GOP no-bate: Perry: “Your mother wears combat boots.” Romney “Yeah, well your mother does too!”

Bond investors have the over/under on Greece defaulting at 91%.  There’s a snappy line in there somewhere I just can’t think what it is.

Schadenfreude on line one for Governor Perry.  You didn’t really go on television and complain about how slow FEMA was in responding to the fires in your state? Did you?

This just in from, Eric Cantor blew out his C2 and C3 changing direction on disaster relief offsets.  It turns out that only applies to disasters hitting states that went for Obama. Who loves you Rick!!!

Equal opportunity here, I didn’t think for a minute that Obama calling for a joint session of Congress on Sept 7 was a political stunt.  Did you?

It’s probably just me but you might want to rethink that $2 gas gambit Michele.  Hello? Hello?  Anyone there?

Another one for the “Huh?” column: An evangelical using the words “the science isn’t settled” in connection with, well, really anything.

Candidate Perry (Romney, Bachman, Santorum), it’s the department of Myths and Legends on line three wanting to know if they can cite you on “the earth is 6000 years old” for chapter five of the Texas standard science text.

Is it just me or is the sight of angry old white people cheering wildly when Candidate Perry says that Social Security is a Ponzi scheme just a bit creepy?

Stop me if you’ve heard this one.  Seven candidates walk into a bar and start a debate . . .

Aug 16

Just Thinking Again

By kevin | Current Affairs

In the “I told you so” category . . . and you’ll recall my previous rant on follow the money and who would benefit from a faux debt crisis . . . the answer to the question “What will corporations rolling in cash do with that cash?” is not, employ people.  It is “merger Monday” where Google writes a check for billions of dollars to buy Motorola Mobility.  Pink slips to follow.

In other news, Warren Buffet paid 17% in taxes last year.  His calls to the know-betters on the right is to sniff.  What could the second richest man in the world possibly know about capital formation and job creation?

Rick Perry, the latest savior of the Grand Old White People’s party is now accusing our Fed Chairman of “treason.”  Not an especially nuanced word.  Hmmmm, let’s see, what are the twin mandates of the Fed.  The first is hold down inflation.  Check.  The second is full employment. Seems like the FRB has done everything it can to pay off the bets made by the idiots on Capital Hill and back stop their non decisions. Yeah, that seems like treason to me.

And to think I used to have a bunch of Swiss Francs sitting in a drawer some place.

It’s been awhile so don’t be surprised if there isn’t a Somali pirate siting, perhaps in Galveston Bay this time.

Note to RIM senior executives.  I assume your golden parachutes are packed and ready?

I don’t know about you but I know I’ve been thinking that what this country needs is another Christian Conservative, never had a real job other than in government President from Texas. Let the snide remarks about community organizer begin.  Is this really the best we can do?

Note to Red Sox nation.  You may be able to beet CC Sabitha but you can’t beat the Mariners.

And the market’s response to the SP downgrade?  Joe and Mary Sixpack panicked, went to cash, and got screwed.  Again.  The high frequency guys made tons of money. And treasuries are flying out the door at the lowest yield anyone can remember.

Speaking of the dollar, have you met it’s idiot brother the Euro and its crazy uncle the Yen?

Next year, I vote for the Mariners just skipping the first half of the season so we can get straight to the youth movement part.  Much more entertaining.

Any thought that the patent laws might be overhauled were deep sixed by GOOG, MS, and APPL

Does anyone know the over under on the date Greece gets kicked out of the EU?

Aug 09

And in Other News

By kevin | Current Affairs

Candidate Huntsman tweets that he believes in evolution and thinks there’s something to this whole global warming thing. Thinking people everywhere are dumbstruck. The Tea Party strikes back.

Carly F buys Compaq, nearly kills HP, and loses her job.  Mark Hurd buys EDS, nearly kills it and HP, and loses his job.  Leo A, who lost his job as CEO of SAP but becomes CEO of HP announces he’s going to sell what Carly bought, the thing that accounts for 75% of HPs earnings, and nearly kills HP in a single day. Thinking people everywhere are dumbstruck. The markets strike back.

Bill Clinton turned 65. His enemies struck and missed. His wife should have sucked more. Give that man a cigar and a blowjob.

Rick Perry announces that they teach creationism down in Texas which is not true, illegal, and unconstitutional. Thinking people everywhere are dumbstruck. The Tea Party strikes back.

Candidate O’Donnell goes on TV to promote her book wherein she talks about her views about gay marriage. When asked her views on gay marriage she says she only wants to talk about what she wants to talk about in her book.  Then she storms off the set.  Ooooookkkkkkaaaaaay then.  Thinking people everywhere are dumbstruck. The Tea Party strikes back.

President Obama is touting his jobs bill.  Most people see it for what it is, his job bill. Thinking people everywhere are dumbstruck. The Tea Party strikes back.

President’s Merky and Sarko play kick the can with European debt. German taxpayers go to bed happy. The markets strike back. German taxpayers wake up less happy. Rinse and repeat.

Candidate Bachman promises $2 gas under her administration. The world is scheduled to end the day after that happens. Thinking people everywhere begin stocking up on bullets, shot size bottles of vodka, and bottled water. The Tea Party strikes back.

Candidate Romney was last heard asking if anyone got the number of the bus that just ran him over.  IRRLVANT. The Tea Party strikes back.

The corpses of Hewlett, Packard, and Galvin were last seen spinning in their graves. Thinking people everywhere are saddened. Fucking stupid CEOs strike back.

Congress is on vacation. Thinking people everywhere hope they don’t come back.

Nov 23

Investors and Uncertainty, a Bad Mix

By kevin | Decision Making

The foundation to behavioral economics is the idea that investors are not rational actors: That they overreact to uncertainty, are influenced by immaterial information, and act for all manner of reasons not consistent with their best interests (utility). I found a paper the other day published by The Paul Woolley Centre for the Study of Capital Market Dysfunctionality called How Do Investors React Under Uncertainty? that reinforces this point.  Here’s a clip from the conclusion:

It is proposed that uncertainty, rather than risk, provides a much more realistic representation of the setting that we face when we come to pricing asset, and particularly corporate equities. We have gone a long way down the path of developing pricing models that incorporate risk (e.g. CAPM, APT, Fama and French empirical three-factor model) but comparatively little work has been done on the role (if any) that uncertainty plays in asset pricing. In order for uncertainly to affect pricing, it must have some influence on how investors incorporate information into pricing. Our contribution is to evaluate whether uncertainty influences the way by which investors respond to earnings announcements which will provide us with valuable insights as to the role that uncertainty plays in asset pricing.

In particular, we evaluate the proposition that investors will follow maxmin expected utility and so will progressively overweight bad news and underweight good news as they become more uncertain. Using VIX as a proxy for market uncertainty and earnings announcements as our information signal, we find that there is an asymmetric response to good and bad earnings news at high levels of uncertainty which is consistent with uncertainty breeding pessimism in the minds of investors. However, we do find evidence to suggest investors might have a more optimistic bent than is allowed under maxmin expected utility as indicated by how they react to earnings announcements when uncertainty is at the lower end of the scale.

Nov 08

Valuable Statistical Insights Into Political Reality

By kevin | Current Affairs , Decision Making

A recent piece by my hero Barry Ritholtz on statistics and the problem with selective perception got me to thinking what other useful information might be out there. Here’s what I found . . . 

This first graphic shows clearly and irrefutably the correlation between the number of words in a piece of legislation (in this case the Declaration of Independence and the recent Dodd-Frank bill) and the price of Gold. The obvious answer is to write longer bills. 


This second graphic shows the strong (1:1) correlation between the number of Alaskans that voted for the winner of the 2010 Senate Race and the capacity of Spartan Stadium. One obvious conclusion is that Alaskan voters should build Michigan State a bigger stadium. 


This final graphic demonstrates the importance the Democratic party places on the price of cheddar cheese. Although there are month to month divergences (I calculate the coefficient to be roughly .8), the trend line is absolutely clear. Obama’s popularity is definitely tied to the wholesale price of cheese. Expect to see an earmark fight in the upcoming Agricultural support bill.

Aug 28

A Good Day to Read The Famous “I Have a Dream Speech”

By kevin | Current Affairs

Glenn Beck’s Restoring Honorpalooza, on the anniversary day and location of one of the 20th century’s most famous speeches, seems a fitting last act to the summer of our great mid-term discontent. Depending on which of Mr. Beck’s many ringing defenses you heard . . .

  • It was an incredible coincidence: The date was open and he had nothing planed that day.
  • Black people don’t own Dr. King (so by implication does that mean white people do?) so what’s the big deal?
  • The civil rights movement was really about white people (he actually says all people which is another way of saying that it wasn’t about black people which by process of elimination means white people).
  • Dr. King’s big message was about personal responsibility and character and that’s what he wants to celebrate.

Among the many ironies is that Beck and Palin, in the name of taking back the country, are celebrating and honoring our service men and women. While that’s never a bad thing, recall that the famous MLK speech came on the heals of uniformed men shooting, gassing, and beating black people who were . . . wait for it . . . trying not to take back their country but just get a piece of what they were promised. Or in Dr. King’s words “cashing a check.” Recall as well the date of the original speech . . . 1963.  This was the same year (and just two months after) a Buddhist monk named Thích Quảng Đức famously set himself on fire in Vietnam (not something you could imagine Glenn Beck doing). Just two years later there will be 200,000 GIs in Vietnam fighting an undeclared war that haunts us to this day.

While we’re noting ironies, here’s another. In the same season where the screaming right throws fits over the calumny of placing an Islamic cultural center two blocks from the former WTC (ignoring the fact that there already is a mosque just four blocks away), they take issue when others question the wisdom of the exact same group holding a white wash of one of the seminal moments of the civil rights movement.

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Does that seem harsh? Betting that few people have actually read the famous speech, here is the complete text of I Have a Dream. You decide if Mr. Beck, along with Rushbo and Sean the collective Father Coughlin of our time, is right: That the speech and the day was not about race and was not about black people. You decide if Dr. King’s enduring message was about taking back the country from the evil progressives.  You decide if Dr. King had a Tea Party dream of personal responsibility, personal ownership of gold coins, lower taxes, and free markets run amok.

History is how we remember it. Meaning is what we make of it. Mr. Beck, you are the wrong man at the wrong place at the wrong time.

I am happy to join with you today in what will go down in history as the greatest demonstration for freedom in the history of our nation.

Five score years ago, a great American, in whose symbolic shadow we stand today, signed the Emancipation Proclamation. This momentous decree came as a great beacon light of hope to millions of Negro slaves who had been seared in the flames of withering injustice. It came as a joyous daybreak to end the long night of their captivity.

But one hundred years later, the Negro still is not free. One hundred years later, the life of the Negro is still sadly crippled by the manacles of segregation and the chains of discrimination. One hundred years later, the Negro lives on a lonely island of poverty in the midst of a vast ocean of material prosperity. One hundred years later, the Negro is still languishing in the corners of American society and finds himself an exile in his own land. So we have come here today to dramatize a shameful condition.

In a sense we have come to our nation’s capital to cash a check. When the architects of our republic wrote the magnificent words of the Constitution and the Declaration of Independence, they were signing a promissory note to which every American was to fall heir. This note was a promise that all men, yes, black men as well as white men, would be guaranteed the unalienable rights of life, liberty, and the pursuit of happiness.

It is obvious today that America has defaulted on this promissory note insofar as her citizens of color are concerned. Instead of honoring this sacred obligation, America has given the Negro people a bad check, a check which has come back marked “insufficient funds.” But we refuse to believe that the bank of justice is bankrupt. We refuse to believe that there are insufficient funds in the great vaults of opportunity of this nation. So we have come to cash this check — a check that will give us upon demand the riches of freedom and the security of justice. We have also come to this hallowed spot to remind America of the fierce urgency of now. This is no time to engage in the luxury of cooling off or to take the tranquilizing drug of gradualism. Now is the time to make real the promises of democracy. Now is the time to rise from the dark and desolate valley of segregation to the sunlit path of racial justice. Now is the time to lift our nation from the quick sands of racial injustice to the solid rock of brotherhood. Now is the time to make justice a reality for all of God’s children.

It would be fatal for the nation to overlook the urgency of the moment. This sweltering summer of the Negro’s legitimate discontent will not pass until there is an invigorating autumn of freedom and equality. Nineteen sixty-three is not an end, but a beginning. Those who hope that the Negro needed to blow off steam and will now be content will have a rude awakening if the nation returns to business as usual. There will be neither rest nor tranquility in America until the Negro is granted his citizenship rights. The whirlwinds of revolt will continue to shake the foundations of our nation until the bright day of justice emerges.

But there is something that I must say to my people who stand on the warm threshold which leads into the palace of justice. In the process of gaining our rightful place we must not be guilty of wrongful deeds. Let us not seek to satisfy our thirst for freedom by drinking from the cup of bitterness and hatred.

We must forever conduct our struggle on the high plane of dignity and discipline. We must not allow our creative protest to degenerate into physical violence. Again and again we must rise to the majestic heights of meeting physical force with soul force. The marvelous new militancy which has engulfed the Negro community must not lead us to a distrust of all white people, for many of our white brothers, as evidenced by their presence here today, have come to realize that their destiny is tied up with our destiny. They have come to realize that their freedom is inextricably bound to our freedom. We cannot walk alone.

As we walk, we must make the pledge that we shall always march ahead. We cannot turn back. There are those who are asking the devotees of civil rights, “When will you be satisfied?” We can never be satisfied as long as the Negro is the victim of the unspeakable horrors of police brutality. We can never be satisfied, as long as our bodies, heavy with the fatigue of travel, cannot gain lodging in the motels of the highways and the hotels of the cities. We cannot be satisfied as long as the Negro’s basic mobility is from a smaller ghetto to a larger one. We can never be satisfied as long as our children are stripped of their selfhood and robbed of their dignity by signs stating “For Whites Only”. We cannot be satisfied as long as a Negro in Mississippi cannot vote and a Negro in New York believes he has nothing for which to vote. No, no, we are not satisfied, and we will not be satisfied until justice rolls down like waters and righteousness like a mighty stream.

I am not unmindful that some of you have come here out of great trials and tribulations. Some of you have come fresh from narrow jail cells. Some of you have come from areas where your quest for freedom left you battered by the storms of persecution and staggered by the winds of police brutality. You have been the veterans of creative suffering. Continue to work with the faith that unearned suffering is redemptive.

Go back to Mississippi, go back to Alabama, go back to South Carolina, go back to Georgia, go back to Louisiana, go back to the slums and ghettos of our northern cities, knowing that somehow this situation can and will be changed. Let us not wallow in the valley of despair.

I say to you today, my friends, so even though we face the difficulties of today and tomorrow, I still have a dream. It is a dream deeply rooted in the American dream.

I have a dream that one day this nation will rise up and live out the true meaning of its creed: “We hold these truths to be self-evident: that all men are created equal.”

I have a dream that one day on the red hills of Georgia the sons of former slaves and the sons of former slave owners will be able to sit down together at the table of brotherhood.

I have a dream that one day even the state of Mississippi, a state sweltering with the heat of injustice, sweltering with the heat of oppression, will be transformed into an oasis of freedom and justice.

I have a dream that my four little children will one day live in a nation where they will not be judged by the color of their skin but by the content of their character.

I have a dream today.

I have a dream that one day, down in Alabama, with its vicious racists, with its governor having his lips dripping with the words of interposition and nullification; one day right there in Alabama, little black boys and black girls will be able to join hands with little white boys and white girls as sisters and brothers.

I have a dream today.

I have a dream that one day every valley shall be exalted, every hill and mountain shall be made low, the rough places will be made plain, and the crooked places will be made straight, and the glory of the Lord shall be revealed, and all flesh shall see it together.

This is our hope. This is the faith that I go back to the South with. With this faith we will be able to hew out of the mountain of despair a stone of hope. With this faith we will be able to transform the jangling discords of our nation into a beautiful symphony of brotherhood. With this faith we will be able to work together, to pray together, to struggle together, to go to jail together, to stand up for freedom together, knowing that we will be free one day.

This will be the day when all of God’s children will be able to sing with a new meaning, “My country, ’tis of thee, sweet land of liberty, of thee I sing. Land where my fathers died, land of the pilgrim’s pride, from every mountainside, let freedom ring.”

And if America is to be a great nation this must become true. So let freedom ring from the prodigious hilltops of New Hampshire. Let freedom ring from the mighty mountains of New York. Let freedom ring from the heightening Alleghenies of Pennsylvania!

Let freedom ring from the snowcapped Rockies of Colorado!

Let freedom ring from the curvaceous slopes of California!

But not only that; let freedom ring from Stone Mountain of Georgia!

Let freedom ring from Lookout Mountain of Tennessee!

Let freedom ring from every hill and molehill of Mississippi. From every mountainside, let freedom ring.

And when this happens, when we allow freedom to ring, when we let it ring from every village and every hamlet, from every state and every city, we will be able to speed up that day when all of God’s children, black men and white men, Jews and Gentiles, Protestants and Catholics, will be able to join hands and sing in the words of the old Negro spiritual, “Free at last! free at last! thank God Almighty, we are free at last!”