To quote Fred Fenster

Submitted by Roanman on Mon, 02/01/2010 - 03:25

 

"This is very bad."

 

Among those things slowing down my posting lately, is the following quote by Richard Russell who has written and published the Dow Theory Letters for many years.  This quote is the first questioning I've seen from a serious, well respected, and heavily followed source of President Barack Obama's competance.  

Criticism of Obama, up until this instant have always been proceeded by qualifiers having to do with The President's obvious intelligence, communication skills and his seeming niceness, before fault finding on his specific policies could begin.  

 “I've been thinking about President Barack Obama and the nation's problems. My conclusion, in all honesty, is that Obama was unqualified for the job. Unlike Reagan, Obama had no deep-seated convictions about anything other than he would spread the wealth and go down in history as the people's hero.

 “When it comes to economics, I'm afraid that the President is lost. It's all so clear now that we can't spend ourselves back into prosperity, although some dour souls insist that we are spending ourselves into virtual bankruptcy. Even the American public understands that, but the prez doesn't.

“On economics, Obama is a rank amateur. He thought he could listen to a collection of name-economists and come up with the right answer. Unfortunately, Obama listened to the former head of the Princeton economics department an erudite young man named Ben S. Bernanke. Ben was considered to be our reigning top-expert on the Great Depression. Bernanke's solution to the whole mess was simple -- first save Wall Street and then release a massive amount of liquidity into the system. If there wasn't enough inflation in the system, then flood the system with liquidity and hopefully inflation will return. Anything to hold off dreaded deflation.” Richard Russell, Dow Theory Letters, 01-26-10

 

 Up until this instant, while it had been OK to question The President's competance at the bar over a beer, in the elevator, or over the telephone while sitting there with your feet on the desk,  no credible public source had felt the need, or found the stones, ... take your pick, ... to question the man's abilities.

 Now comes the following from The Wall Street Journal.

 

 
 
 
Now, ........ right here is where I get way slowed down.

My opinion and my fear is as follows; what we have here is a fairly smart, good looking, half black guy who has been blessed with a mostly free pass on the basis of all of the above, that has run into the first real adversity of his adult life as .........


PRESIDENT OF THE UNITED STATES OF AMERICA.


If indeed this is the case, I think you'll agree with me.
 
 
"This is very bad."
 
 
My hope here is that rather than taking another pull on his own jar of cool aid, the President demonstrates sense enough to at least wonder if maybe he's part of the problem.
Which brings me to my dilemma, my strongly held opinion is in conflict with my hope for this country.  Do I restrain myself and in so doing avoid in the tiniest, most miniscule, nano and inconsequential way (let's face facts, the readership here is somewhere south of everybody anybody has ever heard of) the application of additional pressure on a guy I'm already afraid is gonna melt like a popsicle on an August sidewalk?
 
Orrrr ... ... ... ... do I take my shot, and pile on? 


In a nutshell who prevails, good Roany, or evil Roany?
 
 
 
I believe you have your answer.
 
 

 

Two differing approaches

Submitted by Roanman on Sat, 01/30/2010 - 12:38

 

Taken from China Daily 1/28/2010

 

China’s $300 billion sovereign wealth fund is considering new investments in resource-related companies after bets on commodities producers from the U.S. to Kazakhstan paid off in 2009.

“China Investment Corp. increased spending on energy and minerals assets last year to profit as the global economy recovers. The Beijing-based fund avoided the worst of the credit crunch in its first full year in 2008 and may have had a return of more than 10 percent in 2009, said London-based Jan Randolph, director of sovereign risk, analysis and forecasting at IHS Global Insight. ‘They have timed the upside well both in market terms, but also to fit in with the longer-term diversification strategy,’ Randolph said.

“CIC has had ‘early’ talks for direct investments in Brazil, the world’s second-biggest iron-ore exporter, and Mexico, the No. 2 silver producer, CIC Chairman Lou Jiweisaid at the Asian Financial Forum in Hong Kong on Jan. 20. Jiwei pumped about $10 billion into commodity-related companies in the second half of 2009, according to data compiled by Bloomberg.

“With China’s reserves at $2.4 trillion and swelling by an average of $37.8 billion a month last year, CIC has asked the government for another $200 billion…” China Daily 01/28/2010

 

 Taken from the fine site, "Seeking Alpha".

Click anywhere within the body of the paragraph for the complete article.

Another site that I highly recommend for grownup reading.

 

Steven Gross, the Chief Actuary of the Social Security Trust fund wrote a letter* on 9/15/2008. In that letter he included this graph.

 

On 2/12/2009 Mr. Gross wrote a letter* to Senator Robert Bennet. That letter contained this graph.

 

 

Here is a link to a report produced by the Trustees of the Social Security Trust Funds (“SSTF”). http://justthinking.us/sites/default/files/image/Single%20Gear%20Down%20Left.gif
 
 
  

 

 

 

Reading on a Saturday Morning, this time for real

Submitted by Roanman on Sat, 01/30/2010 - 10:25

 

The SEC on Friday January 29, 2010 created new rules for money market funds.  

Since all of the money you think of as cash, that is not parked in your wallet or on deposit at your local bank is invested in a money market fund, you need to be on to this.

 

The facts are here.

The more cynical, shrill and possibly realistic assessment provided by R.E. McMaster follows.  The McMaster quote links to a GLG analysis of the rule having to do with "Breaking the Buck".

 Thanks to the SEC, US money market funds can now suspend redemptions if they so please. Good luck to investors who have their hard earned funds in money market accounts when the next financial meltdown hits. Excuse me, but whose money is it? 

 

And yes, my observant friend, the sky blue font at the top is suggestive of my thoughts on this item.

 

Wednesday, January 27, 2010 the SEC offered the following,

"Companies must consider the effects of global warming and efforts to curb climate change when disclosing business risks to investors."  Bloomberg 01/27/2010

 

At the risk of becoming redundant.

 

Reading on a Saturday Morning

Submitted by Roanman on Sat, 01/30/2010 - 09:49

 

First of all, some of you people need to stop yelling at me.

Especially the few of you race baiting, neocon, tea party, birther goofs with the well earned inferiority complexes, ... ... ... ... ... ... and my telephone number.

You know who you are !!!

 

I'm on it.

The stuff has been coming fast and furious, I will have read every word by Saturday night, and will be analyzing, cutting, pasting and writing as though I have no real work, career, or even prospects, immediately thereafter.

Which is sort of the case anyway if you stop and think about it. 

You have my word of honor.

And finally, the fact that you happen to be a race baiting, neocon, tea party, birther goof does not in any way diminish the affection that I feel for you.

 This also goes for you thin skinned, unforgiving, left wing twits.

 

As evidence of my enduring fondness for you, I call to your attention the fact that I do have Caller ID, yet I continue to pick up ........... you know, ............... well over half the time.

 

Marxism with a twist?

Submitted by Roanman on Tue, 01/26/2010 - 13:36

To quote Frank Rich

Submitted by Roanman on Sun, 01/24/2010 - 08:12

 

Apologies in advance for being unkind.  But when Frank Rich is starting to get it, the whole world has to be on it.

 

“If the administration sticks to this trajectory, all bets are off for the political future of a president who rode into office blessed with more high hopes, good will and serious promise than any in modern memory. It’s time for him to stop deluding himself…  

“Obama’s plight has been unchanged for months. Neither in action nor in message is he in front of the anger roiling a country where high unemployment remains unchecked and spiraling foreclosures are demolishing the bedrock American dream of home ownership. The president is no longer seen as a savior but as a captive of the interests who ginned up the mess and still profit, hugely, from it. 

“That’s no place for any politician of any party or ideology to be…It’s a business culture where the rich and well-connected get richer while the employees, shareholders and customers get the shaft. And the conviction that the game is fixed is nonpartisan. If the tea party right and populist left agree on anything, it’s that big bailed-out banks have and will get away with murder while we pay the bill on credit cards — with ever-rising fees. 

“Politically, no other issue counts. In last weekend’s Washington Post/ABC News poll, 42 percent of Americans chose the economy as the country’s most pressing concern. Only 5 percent picked terrorism, and 2 percent Afghanistan 

“Does health care matter? Not as much as you’d think after this yearlong crusade. In the Post/ABC poll, the issue was second-tier — at 24 percent. Obama has blundered, not by positioning himself too far to the left but by landing nowhere — frittering away his political capital by being too vague, too slow and too deferential to Congress…Ask yourself this: All these months later, do you yet know what the health care plan means for your family’s bottom line, your taxes, your insurance?...  

“…few find this serene Harvard-trained lawyer credible when slinging populist rhetoric at ‘fat-cat’ bankers. His two principal economic policy makers are useless, if not counterproductive, surrogates. Timothy Geithner, the Treasury secretary, was probably fatally compromised from the moment his tax lapses surfaced; now he is stalked by the pileup of unanswered questions about the still-not-transparent machinations at the New York Fed

when he was knee-deep in the A.I.G. bailout. Lawrence Summers, the top administration economic guru, is a symbol of the Clinton-era deregulatory orgy that helped fuel the bubble. The White House clearly knows this duo is a political albatross…  

“…The Obama administration is so overstocked with Goldman Sachs-Robert Rubin alumni and so tainted by its back-room health care deals with pharmaceutical and insurance companies that conservative politicians, Brown included, can masquerade shamelessly as the populist alternative.” – Frank Rich, The New York Times, 01-23-10

 

OK, OK so he's still missing Freddie, Fannie, Barney Frank, Chuck Schumer et. al.  

But you gotta admit it, he's getting there.

To quote Barack Obama with George Stephanopoulos

Submitted by Roanman on Sun, 01/24/2010 - 07:59

 

OK, OK, so ...... maybe not the whole world.

 

STEPHANOPOULOS: Finally, I assume this has been about the most packed year of your life.

OBAMA: It has.

STEPHANOPOULOS: The most fulfilling?

OBAMA: Yes. And let me just sort of share with you some general reflections about this year. When I was sworn in, we didn't know if the financial system was going to collapse. We weren't sure how bad the job losses were going to be. They turned out to be much worse than anybody had anticipated. There were reports of a possible terrorist attack the day of the inauguration.

The amount of uncertainty was enormous. And walking through that door, you know, we immediately were confronted with just stacks of tough decisions that had to be made. During the course of this year we've had to make some decisions that were unpopular. We've made some mistakes. I've personally made some mistakes.

But what I can tell you is, a year later, I've never been more optimistic about the possibilities of America. I'm certainly a lot more optimistic than I was a year ago. And the reason is, is this country's shown its resilience. It took a body blow, and yet people are out there still starting businesses, they're still raising families, they're still coaching little league.

And, you know, I get letters, 10 a day from families. And a lot of them are heartbreaking stories. But a lot of them are just saying, you know with all the problems that we have and maybe I disagree with you on something, I'm still praying for you, I'm still optimistic, I still think that we can come together.

If we can get through 2009, as tough a year as it was, where a pandemic flu ranked about eighth on my To Do list and ended with a attempted terrorist attack and then a cataclysm in our neighborhood -- in Haiti. If we can come through 2009 and still not just be standing, but all kinds of good things happening out in the country, then I am very optimistic about where we can go.

What I haven't been able to do yet -- and this was what I was hired to do -- is to close the gap between the values of the American people and the values of Washington, and the values of Wall Street. The values of our big institutions.

These values -- the American people's values are sound. They're right. You know, people take responsibility for their lives, they work hard. They're doing right by their families. Our institutions aren't matching up to those values. And my job over the course of this year has been to see A, if we can just solve the immediate crisis. But now I've got to spend a lot more time just focused on how do we get those things to align.

And, you know, If there's one thing that I regret this year, is that we were so busy just getting stuff done and dealing with the immediate crises that were in front of us, that I think we lost some of that sense of speaking directly to the American people about what their core values are and why we have to make sure those institutions are matching up with those values. And that I do think is a mistake of mine. I think the assumption was, if I just focus on policy, if I just focus on the, you know this provision, or that law, or are we making a good, rational decision here --

STEPHANOPOULOS: That people would get it.

OBAMA: That people will get it. And I think that, you know, what they've ended up seeing is this feeling of remoteness and detachment where, you know, there's these technocrats up here, these folks who are making decisions. Maybe some of them are good, maybe some aren't, but do they really get us and what we're going through? And I think that I can do a better job of that and partly because I do believe that we're in a stronger position now than we were in a year ago.

That also means, by the way, that we can spread out what we do so it's not so cram packed. It doesn't mean I back off the agenda of health care, or energy, or education, or financial regulatory reform, or dealing with our deficits. But it does mean that it doesn't have to be all on top of the other piled on. And we've got a lot more time to explain to people why we're doing what we're doing. We have a lot more time to answer critics who argue that we're not doing the right thing.

But the bottom line is this -- at the end of this year I can say honestly that not only has this been the busiest time of my life, but I also think that I've never been prouder of the country, and more optimistic about the direction that we can go in the future.

 

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