Monday, March 30, 2009

We need a good dose of reality

The power of positive thinking.That thought is heard everywhere in this economic crisis.I just heard it endlessly at our annual company meeting.I hear it from my accounts.You hear it on the news depending on the politics involved.I question the validity of it.

No one would dispute the results from having a positive attitude.Just ask any sports team.A golfer who walks thru their mental set-up of their shot has to imagine the shot with a positive result.However,where is the line when simply always thinking positive and ignoring reality gets crossed?

GM's CEO just got booted.As a salesman and then executive,he certainly had that.He pushed the truck and SUV segment endlessly.Understandable with the high profit margins and demand from consumers.Now he is derailed for not having the foresight to move towards the hybrid and alternative technology.Don't you think that would have been a tough sell?Telling your stakeholders that you need to move away from your most profitable segment?The problem appears to be intent.The automakers were doing fine making and selling autos that the consumers wanted.They don't value the intent of politicians to go green.The automakers apparently need the EPA on their boards to form policy.They must factor which way the winds are blowing in Washington even if it doesn't make good business sense from a profitability standpoint.

You hear the stockpickers constantly searching for their bottom so they can jump back in and invest.It's obviously in their best interest to get investors spending in any economy.The bankers must sell credit to make money.We are told over and over by Obama and his crew that credit is the lifeblood of the economy.That we must buy houses,cars,student loans.We must use our credit cards to keep the retailers afloat.If we aren't spending money we don't have,the economy will collapse.That is the specialty of politicians after all.

We hear the lessons of the Japanese "lost decade".Of the Great Depression.All of the past debacles to learn from.You can find a whole list of economists to back the Obama method of spending your way out.There is also the opposing viewpoint of lowering taxes to instigate Reagan supply side economics.For every point,there is an alternative viewpoint.For the average Joe,trying to figure out what to believe is a nightmare.

I think for a sustainable long-term growing economy,our focus must change.Fractional reserve banking,ponzi schemes,hedge funds,CDO's,derivatives,credit default swaps,etc.You hear about all of these scenarios.Always somebody trying to make a buck without an honest days work.When our focus remains on buying on credit,carrying unsustainable debt and all the aspects of unsound fiscal policy,success will be elusive.Certainly the American economy has shown to be amazingly resilient over the years and able to rebound from the boom-bust cycles.This point is the basis for the positive thinking for many.

Talk to your friends and neighbors and they'll tell you.It always comes back.The sun always comes up tomorrow.Is it wise to do this?Is your head in the sand if you think it will get better just because it always has?I live in Michigan with the worst economy in the nation.That is precisely what we were told at our meeting.Don't buy into the negative.Be positive.We can still make our budgeted growth projections despite the economy.

Where is that point?When do you take your medicine and adjust?Those in positions of authority believe it's a slippery slope to temper your outlook with reality.Isn't that exactly what brought down the mortgage industry?They had to believe that housing values would only keep rising to support their ponzi style scheme for derivatives.We are told that the biggest part of the Presidents job is being positive for the nation.I don't agree that leadership is handing out rose colored glasses to everyone.

This has always been a focal point of the Liberal agenda.That we can't do things without our Government there to coddle us and provide.We are too fragile to handle the truth.We would just go suck our thumb in the corner if faced with adversity.Maybe I'm in the minority on this.I want the truth.I don't want it sanitized.

We can still have a growing economy if we base it on sound principles.Living with-in your means.Saving money.Only using credit in limited circumstances.Stop being the worlds welfare agency.Many say as the worlds wealthiest country,we have the duty to provide for the rest of the world.We must decide if we want to be part of a global economy and buy into it 100%,or do we take care of America first since the rest of the world doesn't see things the same way we do.We would be better served to go one way or the other.

I think we need to take all of our medicine and recovery will be much faster than the prop up and deny scheme we operate under now.No company is too big to fail.We must remember to temper what we hear with the source and their intentions.Big Government can only survive with this scheme in place.If we become empowered and reduce our reliance on them,their power is negated and they know this all too well.

This is where I question the value of always thinking positive.If it leads to denial of what is really happening and subsequently a valid solution,where is the value?This can apply to virtually any area of our lives.If you don't have the money,credit isn't the best answer.Maybe you just adapt and learn to live without.There is no free lunch on all of these investment schemes.Payday always comes.Why not adopt smarter policies to eliminate the boom and bust cycles?The answer of course is the power brokers involved that would be out of the game without it.

What would the world look like without the greed factor?Everybody does their fair share and hard work is rewarded.No smoke and mirrors.Deal with reality when it happens.Sales is the worlds oldest profession.I hate it.Creating need where it doesn't exist.I suppose this reality of mankinds limitations is too much to hope for.It is a nice dream though.More to come...

Friday, March 27, 2009

Hot off the press!

Stock pick of the century?Slam dunk?Home run?Can't miss?Sure seems like KBA-Giori would be the one.They manufacture the printing presses used to print virtually all banknotes around the world.With the Obama drive to outspend all competitors,the 24 printing presses at the Bureau of Engraving and Printing are sure to be overworked.Last I heard,they only churn out about $629 million per day in new currency.95% is to replace existing currency only leaving $31.45 million new.That's not going to be sufficient to keep up with the Obama-Pelosi-Reid shenanigans.Forget Warren Buffet,I got you covered.More to come...

Thursday, March 26, 2009

Justice not served

Shame on you,Judge Barnard.To issue a ruling on the facts based on law is the oath you swore to uphold.To skirt your responsibility because you are unfamiliar with a case is embarassing to the bench.To not rule because you don't want to get involved in an agencies internal decisions is disgraceful.

A little background.I was unemployed in 2005.I had also been unemployed the year prior.My resume was still active as well as my pin in the Michigan Works system.When I applied for benefits,everything was said to be in order.My benefits were denied.I found out that even though I was already active in Michigan Works with a posted resume and using their computers to search for work,I was still required to re-register.I did and explained the oversight to the Unemployment Agency.They then released the benefits.A week later,I received a letter demanding repayment of all benefits due to the technicality.

The failure to register has been the premise of their case all along.I contended that it would not have changed the payout at all.That I was in fact already utilizing Michigan Works as required.That the authority inside the Agency that approved the release of the benefits was aware of all the facts and still did so.Why was this person not culpable if this oversight was so grievous as to disqualify all benefits?

I have jumped through all the hoops over the years to appeal.No one has any interest in the entire picture,only that they can recover money thru a technicality.And last week,Judge Laura Cheger Barnard of the 71st District Court in Lapeer,MI complied as well.However,I don't plan to just go away quietly as she so easily dismissed my case.More to come...

Monday, March 23, 2009

The final nail in the coffin?

Geithner has finally got around to addressing the most vital issue last instead of first,the banks toxic assets.What a failure in waiting.Only when,not if.Just look at the facts.

He is using the failed S & L scandal as a template.Guarantee toxic bank assets with the Government printing press.It's just that simple.The Treasury is providing 50% of each capital fund equity.The Treasury has no money,it can only print it.The FDIC is also on the hook for a portion.The FDIC is woefully underfunded to secure the assets consumers have invested in banks right now.

These securities will be auctioned off on the secondary market at best offer prices.No one can tell you how much of a loss this will be.Look at what you're buying.Mortgages resold that will be taken over by new homeowners enticed by artificially low or even subsidized interest rates.So if housing values start to recover in these distressed areas,guess where we'll be?Back in the same derivative debacle with homeowners defaulting creating another pyramid loss scenario.

The other half is auto,student and credit card debts.Wow!Scary!You can buy security packages combined with these winners.Auto loans with the auto depreciating the moment you drive it off the lot.Credit cards and student loans that are unsecured and have zero value in a default.

All these toxic securities sliced and packaged and guaranteed by you the taxpayer.Sure,private investors are fronting investment capital to own them.But if the pyramid scheme defaults due to a lingering bad economy,say caused by too much Government spending,the taxpayers take the hit this time for the toxic loans because our Government guaranteed the investors against loss.

In the end,the taxpayer still owns all the bad debt from the banks with money we don't have.This is just kicking the can down the road to deal with it another day.More to come...

Thursday, March 12, 2009

We need more earmarks!

Yes,that's right.I believe every single appropriations bill should be 100% earmarks as Ron Paul says.An earmark simply directs funds to a specific project.It makes the spending transparent.If every part of a spending bill were earmarked,we would know who inserted it and exactly where it's going.A hard earmark is written right in the bill language and is binding by law.A soft earmark is written in the report language or committee report and isn't legally binding,but is treated as such.

If you don't have earmarks,you get things like the TARP where nobody knows where the money went.People confuse earmarks with pork.Pork is wasteful spending.Pork is added onto a bill increasing the total bill amount.Earmarks have no effect on the total bill amount,they only specify where parts of it go.

The total amount of the 8,000+ earmarks in the $410 billion dollar Omnibus bill is only about 1% of the bill.That means 99% of it is available for fraud,waste and abuse as our politicians see fit.Stripping earmarks only reduces transparency and not the amount of spending.

We need pork to be stripped from bills,which will reduce spending.Obama is running around on his high horse about earmark reform.Exactly what we don't need.Pork reform is what we do need.More to come...

Wednesday, March 11, 2009

Anybody not convinced yet?

Disregarding all Kool-aid drinking Liberals,does anyone question Obama's agenda now?Unfortunately,we witnessed the masses who pledged their eternal allegiance to the Messiah upon his election.They are lost souls who need a larger-than-life figure to follow.

I've seen enough to confirm all of my inclinations.He now is utilizing all of his skills to deflect peoples attention from his agenda.Using sleight of hand speeches to keep peoples focus off the ball,he should accomplish much as the sheep herder tending to his flock.Extremely frustrating to watch it unfold for those who see thru it.

Cap and trade,nationalized healthcare,ss/medicare/medicaid reforms all coming up.Immigration will be a priority to secure that voting block along with the standard welfare and organized labor voting blocks.This will be certainly interesting to watch to see if the Liberals can hold all of the standard voting blocks even with a prolonged recession or depression.There must be a tipping point somewhere.

In a standard,run of the mill,dictatorship,people comply thru fear and ignorance.This is different in that people are willingly following along based on feel good ideas like saving the planet.Remember,the Liberals don't need everyone to sign on,just a majority to stay in power.Sure seems like a great plan because once the people are enslaved to the Government,their options are slim.More to come...

Sunday, March 8, 2009

Obama looking like an amateur

It wasn't my fault,blame Bush.We hear it more and more.Did he inherit a recession?Absolutely.As did Reagan and Bush had 911 dumped in his lap.Reagan's was much more severe from Carter as well.No precedent set here.The rhetoric is just starting to sound silly.Remember,Obama endorsed TARP even though he claims it wasn't on his watch that "we started buying a bunch of banks".Obama also gets credit for having Bush request the second half of the TARP money.

Of course,the stimulus is all Obama,even though he let Pelosi and Reid write it.The $634 billion "down payment" on health care reform is all Obama.The 8,000+ earmarks in the Omnibus bill all remain intact despite the Obama pledge to go "line by line" to strip them.The largest budget in history for 2010 is all Obama.Still to come are TARP 3 and Stimulus 2 which will also be all Obama.

He gets credit for being a smart politician with tricks like his "save or create" jobs pledge.No one blames him for trying to pass as much as possible onto Bush.Any incoming administration would do the same.It's just rare for a President to have such a high approval rating without a policy mandate,although he appears to merge the two.Many in his party are quickly catching on that's he's blowing the best opportunity a party has had maybe in history by over-reaching.By going full blast on his social agenda and discarding any attempt at an economic solution,the honeymoon is likely to be over quickly.Does anyone have the influence to stop him in time?More to come...

Tuesday, March 3, 2009

Shared sacrifice?

Interesting notion,this shared sacrifice.Very noble sounding on the surface.Play as a team,help those less fortunate,do your fair share,etc.Does Obama have access to Wikipedia?His version doesn't seem to measure up.

His budget appears to be based on the top 2% funding nearly everything with the Chinese picking up the tab for the rest.That's the conventional wisdom.Wealth redistribution,Socialism,Robin Hood,etc.That's the GOP argument.

I have good news!Obama really does believe in true shared sacrifice.He won't come out and say it.Maybe he's too shy.But he really does want everybody across the board to pay more taxes.Even his precious 95% he claims that won't.But when you study his budget and social agendas in progress,everyone will get to play in the game.Cap and trade,capital gains,allowing the Bush tax cuts to expire which were across the board,huge utility fee increases,corporate tax increases passed on to consumers,more expensive charity,school vouchers repealed for the poor.Lord knows what else will come down the pike.

I'm glad I now understand that he means everyone has to share when I thought it would simply be the horrible rich people.Knowing we're all in this together should lift the team spirit.Go USA!More to come...

Sunday, March 1, 2009

Mandate illusion

The New World Order has died.It's now the Global New Order.Apparently,we must even be politically correct on conspiracy theories.Global warming is dead.It's now climate change.Socialism has now become shared sacrifice.Deficit spending is now stimulus.The one thing that never changes?Government spending.

A major misconception exists about Obama.For that matter,any President who wins.They believe the people completely agree with their message.This election was a rebuke of 8 years of Bush,who many believe was never a legitimate winner to begin with.It's not a major endorsement of Democrat agendas.Obama only received 52.7% of the popular vote,yet by listening to the mass media it sounds like a landslide.Right place,right time,right message to sell.

We're already seeing some friction with-in the Democratic party.It was assumed with the Democrats controlling all 3 branches,it would be smooth sailing.His popularity has already dipped below Bush after a month in office even after the hanging chads.The budget battle should provide a clearer picture.The Democrats in the Legislature were able to hide behind the curtain of economic emergency on the TARP and stimulus.They won't have that luxury with the budget.Answering to their constituents and getting re-elected will be much higher on the priority list this go around.

Obama's budget is extremely optimistic in projecting a 3.2% rise in GDP in 2010.That's only 7 months away.That's nearly a 10% gain from 2009 Q1.That's huge.With the bulk of the stimulus not taking effect until 2010-11.With the tax cuts in the $8 per week range next year.With the wealthy Americans at $250K having over a year and a half to plan strategy on how to avoid the increased taxes.With small businesses knowing they don't have relief coming.And on and on and on.Even if he tries to claim he's talking about 2010 as a whole,a slow start will require even greater growth the balance of the year to achieve 3.2% overall.No one but the most jaded Obama lovers is buying into this.More to come...

Does Obama only want 1 term?

Maybe he is just the sacrificial lamb.When you look at his history and his magical rise to prominence,maybe it's true.He had to have many things fall perfectly into place to get here.Perhaps the Democrats are not looking at hanging on to the Executive Branch for 2 terms.Thus the urgency and doom forecasts constantly.Just ram everything possible thru in 4 years,much of it permanent and essentially irreversible.

As I've posted here previously,much analysis is being done on the cost effectiveness and logical reasoning for the stimulus and Liberal agenda.Nothing ever adds up and it's easy to determine it can't work.I have to assume that is the intention.They are just taking the Rahm Emanuel theory to the hilt and not wasting this crisis.

Can this be more effective than using standard protocol by debating bills and attempting to show why your position is superior to your opponents?Hard to argue that point short-term.Long-term is harder to measure due to voter backlash.It's like the criminal that pulls off the easy crimes at first,becomes bolder,and then gets careless and gets caught.

Over-reaching on social agenda issues may trigger the revolution that leads to actual changes in our political system.Greed,after all,is the politicians specialty.Obama appears that he will not cease in the fear-mongering rhetoric.If this is his basis to push thru all future bailouts and social stimulus,as well as restructuring entitlements,it's likely to work short-term.Will the long-term cost be worth it?More to come...