Archive for February, 2011

“Wisconsin: the Battleground For the Middle-Class?”

Not since the late 1920’s has a struggle been so important!

We’re all union members now!

This fight is not just a fight for the unions but for the middle-class—for the dignity of every hard-working, red-blooded, man, woman, and child in America.

Governor Scott Walker and Wisconsin’s Republican Legislature has taken on a battle that pits all Americans against the right-wing ideology. An ideology of suppression and oppression. An ideology that moves more toward fascism and further from democracy every day.

The GOP has been headed down this dark oppressive path for a long time but Wisconsin has brought their ideology to the surface and to the attention of all Americans.

Fascism in America? In Wisconsin?

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Posted in Call to Action, Economy, Opinion, Politics, Wisconsin | 15 Comments »

“America’s Death Panel: Republicans”

Republicans in the House of Representatives are poised to shut down the country!

Speaker of the House, John Boehner, is prepared to hold up Social Security payments to seniors, compensation payments for disabled veterans, and retirement payments to retired service members.

The short-term continuing resolution, passed by the House to extend appropriations into 2011 on December 17th, is due to expire on March 4th—less than two weeks away. Not a single Republican voted to extend the appropriations in December!

If the House does not pass the Budget for 2011, or extend the resolution to continue short-term appropriations, the government of the United States will default on its debt and obligations. It will shut down!

What will happen if Republicans choose to shut down the government?

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Posted in Call to Action, Economy, Politics, UnAmerican | 4 Comments »

“Four More Banks Fail on Friday”

Two more Georgia and two more California banks are taken over.

Georgia lost their 5th and 6th banks this year—California their 2nd and 3rd in 2011.

Since the bank crisis began in 2008 Georgia has now lost 57 banks. Though still fourth, California extended its total to 35 with the loss of the two this week, but remains behind both Florida and Illinois in bank foreclosures.

Another $267.6 million was drained from the DIF for the four losses on Friday and the loss-share is a heavy $670.5 million. The FDIC is also going to retain $28.5 million in assets from Charter Oak Bank in Napa for later disposition.

The ‘problem bank’ list for last quarter should be released this week and will indicate the direction the banking crisis is heading.

Anything over last quarter’s 860 troubled institutions would be a negative and not bode well for the nation’s banking system.

An interesting and important point has resurfaced in the banking debate that should be aggressively discussed with renewed interest and action.

Hundreds of banksters were indicted and incarcerated for their parts in the Savings & Loan crisis. To date, not one—not a single executive—has gone to prison as a result of this banking crisis.

It appears Shiela Bair and the FDIC are too weak or lack the desire to bring these criminals to justice.

Is it the Department of Justice’s obligation to bring charges against these criminals?

Are they doing their job? Or is this just another failure of another weak administration?

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Posted in FDIC Foreclosures | Comments Off

“Walk Like an Egyptian”

Posted today on The Huffington Post, Thursday the 17th. Click on the link to read it at the HuffPost.

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The unrest in Egypt is a microcosm of the sins of a global economy!

Egyptians, tired of oppression, wealth disparity, and the indignities perpetrated on the middle and lower income classes, revolted against this soft tyranny that has inflicted pain on the people over the last 30 years. The Egyptian people wanted to control their own fate. They wanted a new government and they wanted Mubarak to leave.

The world feared that the turmoil in Egypt would spread throughout the Middle-East — to Saudi Arabia, Algeria, and other oppressed nations in the region.

Clearly, the Egyptian people had had enough of high unemployment, the listless growth in the country, the transfer of wealth to the top one percent of the Egyptian population, and the gluttony of the Monarch!

If this sounds familiar, it is! The only difference between Egypt and the United States is the number of bandaids available and a media not doing its job in exposing the unsustainable problems we have on the horizon.

When will the Americans wake up? When will the oppressed populace take to the streets of American cities?

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Posted in Economy, HuffPost Articles, Politics, Wisconsin | Comments Off

“Another Wild Ride on the Baltic?”

The Baltic Dry Index has slid toward a two year low—almost unnoticed!

When last I wrote an article asking whether the Baltic Dry Index was telling us something about the economy it had fallen 33 straight days, to 1,790 (Jul 13,10), and two days later hit its low at 1,700 (Jul 15,10).

Last July the Baltic was sliding toward 1,500 seemingly contradicting the predictions of a growing economy and the rapid growth in China. And after reaching its low on July 15th the index began a steady rise to 4,507 in November.

Since that November high the BDI has steadily declined to 1,043 on Friday, and rose to 1065 on Tuesday. Part of the problem is the glut of new ships coming online as described by Ryan Eden in his article at The Street, “Dry Bulk Shippers Continue Deep Slide,” in January.

Is the BDI telling us something about the future of the global economy?

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Posted in Economy, Shipping | Comments Off

“Oil: Mucking Up the Recovery”

Posted on The Huffington Post on Monday, February 21. You can read it on HuffPost by clicking on the link to the article.

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Our dependence on oil leaves us vulnerable to the disruptions in the middle-east!

As Egypt erupted in demonstrations against oppression, unemployment, and wealth disparity, virtually shutting down their economy, oil prices began to rise—speculation that the middle-east could explode into chaos disrupting the flow of oil.

NYMEX passed $90 a barrel and Brent Crude crossed the $100 mark.

As the turmoil grew all eyes were on the Suez Canal, concerned about what closure would do to the transport and cost of oil. The long trips around the Cape of No Hope would be costly moving the price of oil and gasoline to untenable heights.

Speculators were poised to take advantage of the chaos hoping to line their greedy pockets with green.

Where should the price of a barrel of oil and a gallon of gas be?

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Posted in Economy, HuffPost Articles, Oil, Opinion | Comments Off

“The Contagion In Georgia Spreads!”

Two more Georgia banks were seized by the FDIC on Friday!

American Trust Bank in Roswell and North Georgia Bank in Watkinsville were the third and fourth taken-over by the Georgia Department of Banking and turned over to the FDIC this year.

North Georgia Bank was the 55th Georgian bank closed since the crisis began. Illinois also lost its 40th this week. Community First Bank, Chicago was the 14th bank closed in 2011.

With the three foreclosures in Georgia and Illinois the big four, which includes Florida and California, account for 52% of the 333 banks closed since the crisis began. The four states have lost 174 banks in the three years and one month.

The banking crisis shows little sign of slowing as banks continue to have problems with their balance sheets and capital requirements after years of ignoring the fundamentals of finance or suffering from the downturn caused by the Big Banks that were bailed out by the Treasury Department.

As a result the Deposit Insurance Fund of the FDIC continues to be stretched, with expenses outpacing the inputs from member banks.

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Posted in FDIC Foreclosures | Comments Off