Archive for the ‘Quick Hits’ Category

Quick Hit: “Dimon or Rust?”

Dimon’s JP Morgan announces $2 billion in trading losses!

An outspoken opponent of the Volcker Rule and other banking and financial regulations, Jaime Dimon, CEO of the nation’s biggest bank, discloses the huge losses and proves the need for more comprehensive banking oversight.

Touted as the brilliant banking executive who avoided the ravages of the financial crisis, has Dimon now become the poster boy for stronger regulation?

The scandalous nature of this trading loss, which may grow to over $4 billion, has undeniably tarnished Dimon’s star.

But this isn’t the first scandal at JP Morgan!

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Posted in Banking, Finance, Quick Hits, Too Big to Bail | Comments Off

Quick Hit: “Move Your Money”

Are small banks and credit unions safer than big banks?

Big banks and Wall Street caused the financial meltdown, were bailed out by the taxpayers, and are operating under the same destructive model that caused our financial problems. By remaining with any one of the top 20 banks you are helping create another financial crash that will be even worse for the global economy.

Occupy Wall Street has brought the collusion of  big banks and Wall Street into focus as the main cause of our declining economy. It has served, in growing numbers, to expose their collusion and calls for Congressional action.

But, the next move can be yours!

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Posted in Banking, Quick Hits, Rebalancing America, Too Big to Bail | Comments Off

Quick Hit: “Will Queen James Miss His Coronation?”

It appears that LaBron can’t handle the heat!

James has not turned out to be the Superstar the owners of the Miami Heat had hoped he would be and the SuperTeam faces elimination tonight at the hands of the seasoned Dallas Mavericks.

That is the outcome most of the fans outside the South Beach area hope for. Most of the nation has grown to despise LeBron and the Heat, and would celebrate their failure.

As Dwayne Wade and Dirk Nowitzki show what superstars bring to the Finals, James exhibits the same weakness he displayed in his final appearance with the Cavs.

He quits!

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Posted in Predictions, Quick Hits, Sports | Comments Off

Quick Hit: “Hochul Turns New York Blue”

The Special Election in New York was a referendum on Medicare.

Democrat Kathy Hochul defeated Republican Jane Corwin to represent the people of NY-26 which has been very red since 1857!

Hochul garnered 48% of the vote in a three candidate race which included Tea Party candidate, Jack Davis, who received 8% of the vote. Jane Corwin, the presumptive winner just two short month’s ago received just 43% in a district that has 30,000 more registered Republicans.

Corwin, like nearly every Republican, supported the Ryan Plan and seems to have paid the price for that endorsement.

Seniors have not been fooled by the medical voucher plan that Representative Paul Ryan presented as part of his budget proposal, realizing it is a veiled attempt at privatization. All but four Republican members of the House of Representatives voted for it last month and faced stiff opposition in town hall meetings throughout their districts. Nearly 80% of Americans polled do not want Congress to touch their Medicare.

Just as Corwin paid a steep price for her endorsement of the Ryan Plan, House Republicans will face tough challenges in the 2012 elections as a result of their ideological mistake.

Senators will be challenged in the Senate vote on the Ryan Plan that Harry Reid has called for this week. Republican Senators will be on the record and the 10 who are up for election in 2012 will have to answer to their constituents.

The win by Kathy Hochul in the 26th District in New York will send tremors through a Republican Party already in disarray.

This was a big victory for the Democrats and should be repeated—ad infinitum—in every election for the next year and a half.

The American people have spoken loud and clear.

Keep your hands off of my Medicare!

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Posted in Election 2012, Politics, Quick Hits | 4 Comments »

Quick Hit: “Republican’s Shutdown America!”

The Republicans are once again going to shutdown the Government!

Unless Congress agrees to a stopgap resolution by Friday the U.S. Government will again default on its obligations as it did when Newt Gingrich and the Republicans did it in 1995.

The affects of a shutdown are varied depending on the level of reliance on the Federal Government and the length of the closure. But it will affect nearly everyone in the country by some degree.

We are in a more dire situation economically than we were in ‘95. A shutdown on Friday will have adverse affects on the fragile recovery.

Congressional members have reportedly voted to receive no pay during the shutdown. Does that extend to their staffs? Congressional staffs need to feel the same pain their prima donna bosses have caused others. Congressional members are going to categorize their staffs as essential, but Americans should consider that hypocrisy. A shutdown must affect everyone in Congress if it’s going to affect even one government employee.

But, let’s be perfectly clear about the cause of this shutdown; about who’s responsible for the pain and suffering hard-working Americans are experiencing and will feel as a result of a government shutdown.

The Republicans are shutting down the government.

Again!

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Posted in Congress, Economy, Politics, Quick Hits | Comments Off

Quick Hit: “Against the Will of the People!”

Wisconsin Republicans have started the revolution!

With slick, fascist type swiftness, 18 Senators reversed 50 years of good politics against the will of the citizens.

The late night antic has not really gotten out to the citizens yet, but the anger will be elevated when Wisconsinites awaken to the news.

It is now clear that Scott Walker is the front man for this Republican/Fascist grab for power, stripping union rights from hard-working people. Americans will not tolerate this threat to democracy.

The way the conference was handled, the way Majority Leader Fitzgerald conducted the meeting was not only unlawful, but was an ugly example of fascism.  Fitzgerald was unwilling to listen to the impassioned argument of Representative Peter Barca who, by-way-of a letter from the current Republican Attorney General, point out the illegality of the Senator’s actions.

I asked in “A Fascist Regime in Wisconsin?” Is Senator Fitsgeralds a fascist?

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Posted in Call to Action, Politics, Quick Hits, UnAmerican | Comments Off

Quick Hit: “A Step Backwards in Arkansas?”

An important Primary Election was held in Arkansas on Tuesday.

Incumbent Senator Blanche Lincoln defeated primary challenger Bill Halter by a narrow margin in an effort to keep her seat on the Senate.

It was an important election for many reasons with maybe the most important being hard-working people verses the corporations.

Unions, tired of being snubbed by a moderate Senator, backed Lieutenant Governor Halter to seat a Senator that would vote for the people—those the Senator is supposed to represent.

A look at Senator Lincoln’s campaign contributions reveals why she voted against healthcare, before she voted for it. She has received nearly a million dollars in campaign contributions from healthcare and healthcare professionals, hospitals, and pharmaceutical companies over the last 5 years. She has also taken over $830,000 from financial services institutions, and $300,000 from lobbyists.

More recently Senator Lincoln introduced an amendment to the FinReg Bill dealing with derivatives which would make them more transparent and bring them out of the shadows and into the light. It is hated by financial institutions but may have been a pre-election move of atonement for all the destructive votes she’s made since 1999.

She had help from the President and the still popular Arkansas pol, Bill Clinton, and barely squeezed out the victory.

The Halter campaign fell short, but receiving 48% of the vote against a multi-term incumbent should be viewed as a victory for labor, despite the loss.

And, though Lincoln has her work cut out for her against Republican opponent John Boozman in the general election, she may have learned a valuable lesson in her hard-fought primary contest.

In her acceptance speech she told her supporters and the voters of Arkansas that she heard them. Hopefully she understood what they were saying to her. It was clear that working ‘for the people’ should be on the top of her list of priorities.

Her first priority should be to push the toughest derivatives bill she can through the Senate. ‘The people’ deserve to know how much damage the derivatives market is going to wreak on the financial world before it’s too late. Arkansans deserve her best efforts.

It’s time our Senators and Representatives do something good for the country instead of for corporations and the top 1% of the population.

This country can no longer tolerate corporate lap dogs in their political houses.

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Posted in Politics, Quick Hits | Comments Off

Quick Hit: “A Decent Month for FDIC!”

May was a good month for the FDIC and the Deposit Insurance Fund.

The 14 banks shut down by the bank overseer will only cost $830 million dollars.

This is a great victory after the disastrous April, when the Fund was drained of $9.5 billion. The largest foreclosure in May cost the Deposit Insurance Fund only $216 million.

Florida lost 3 more banks on Friday increasing their total failures to 29 since the beginning of 2008. Combined, the trio cost the DIF $203 million.

Troublesome and somewhat overshadowing the good news in May is the increase in the number of troubled institutions. Another 73 banks were added to the Watch List in the first quarter of 2010. There are now 775 banks under the watchful eye of the FDIC.

The quarterly number slowed considerably, but still increased. Combined with the positive numbers in May there is hope that the improvement is sustainable.

Sustainability is what is needed in this tenuous financial world.

We’ll keep a sharp eye on June and hope for the best!

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Posted in FDIC Foreclosures, Quick Hits | Comments Off

Quick Hit: “Bernie Goldfarb, The Laughter Never Stops!”

Last week, on one of his shows, Jon Stewart did what he does best. He exposes people and organizations for their stupidity.

Once again it was the faux journalists from Fox’s fair and unbalanced news shows. One of the featured characters, Bernie Goldfarb, took offense and called out Jon for his comedic sarcasm and explains to Jon that if he wants to be a “Social Commentator” he needs to find some guts.

Obviously Bernie learned nothing from Stewart’s embarrassing dissection of Jim Cramer. If he had he surely wouldn’t have made the mistake that Cramer made. But you have to say it took guts for Bernie to spar with “The Great One.” This exchange is equally entertaining. You gotta watch it.

Seriously, Bernie, to generalize in your diatribe that I, as a viewer of the daily show, am unsafisticated and will laff at anything he says is truly an insult and uncalled for. I represent that remark. Generally speaking, Bernie, I think, as a 62 year old, intelligent caucasian, possessing an uncommon amount of common sense—an element seemingly absent from the tea party events—that I can determine when something is funny and when to laugh.

I will admit, being a disabled veteran, (an amputee) that walking in circles is a little disturbing, even to me. But I’m sure that you won’t generalize that because I’m lacking a limb, “I’m not all there.”

Thank you, Bernie Goldfarb, for your insight. I’ll give it some thought when I watch The Daily Show tomorrow night searching vainly for some good social commentary.

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Posted in Media, Quick Hits, Uncategorized | Comments Off

Quick Hit: “A Wild Ride on the Baltic”

This is not Monopoly nor is it Mr. Toad’s Wild Ride at Disneyland. This is serious and it’s not a ride the shipping industry wants to be on.

Do not pass Go, do not collect $200.

On December 24th I wrote that the Baltic Dry Index had fallen for 14 straight days to a low of 3,005 and was threatening to fall below 3,000 for the first time since October 28th.

After the 1st of the year, the next 22 days the Index looked like a frenetic ride at the famed Disneyland Theme Park. Up and down it went reaching its high of 3,299 on January 15th. It toyed with the highs for the next 6 days, but on the 26th it began its recent decline.

With the exception of a couple small bumps, it has fallen to a low of 2,566. The last time it was below 2,600 was October 7th. It has fallen 2,095 points since its most recent high of 4,661 on November 19th.

The Index has again found its way upward and has risen 148 points to 2,714 over the last 4 days.

But still, the question should be posed.

Is the Baltic Dry Index signaling problems ahead?

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Posted in Economy, Quick Hits, Shipping, Uncategorized | Comments Off