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Euro Leaders Closing In On The Big Prize: Centralized Power

June 13th, 2010 at 08:50 pm

As laid out in the previous Euro Crisis post below, European leaders are now underway with the second and final step in their quest to centralize power over all of Europe.

Following are excerpts from Christopher Booker's article written for the Telegraph:

"Easily the most telling statement by any politician last week was that from an anguished Angela Merkel, in pronouncing that 'the current crisis facing the euro is the biggest test Europe has faced for decades, even since the Treaty of Rome was signed in 1957'. 'If the euro fails," she went on, 'Europe fails,' warning that the consequences for the whole of Europe would be 'incalculable'."

"What we are witnessing here is a judgment on the entire deceitful and self-deceiving way in which the 'European project' has been assembled over the past 53 years. One of the most important things to understand about that project is that it has only ever had one real agenda. Everything it has done has been directed to one ultimate goal, full political and economic integration. The headline labels put on the various stages of that process may have changed over the years, such as building first a 'common market', then a 'single market', finally a 'constitution'. But by far the most important project of all was locking the member states into a single currency."

"This was always above all a political not an economic project, to be driven through at any cost, which was why all those 'Maastricht criteria' laid down to bring it about were repeatedly breached. But as expert voices were warning as long ago as the 1970s, when it was first put on the agenda, there was no way economic and monetary union could work unless it was run by a single all-powerful economic government, with the power to raise taxes."

Read the full article: The Euro Crisis is a Judgement on the Great Lie of 'Europe'
http://www.telegraph.co.uk/comment/columnists/christopherboo...

Back To Basics Is The Way Forward

May 26th, 2010 at 02:52 am

Imagine

Where would we be if more of the high-impact economic and financial experts had utilized their massive exposure to consistently place more focus and push behind the long-standing alternatives that would have reliably prevented the kind of life-altering problems we are now seeing for so many people?

Instead we have watched and absorbed as many of these experts have kept the spotlights focused on jumping back and forth between different sectors and asset classes of the financial markets -- popularly known as the market timing game.

And if you don't have the time or inclination to play the game, those who pay the major bills to keep these spotlights on -- and thus direct their focus -- will gladly do it for you, generating enormous turnover fees in the process while the associated risks remain with you.

The S&P 500 is the widely followed index of large-cap American stocks that is considered a bellwether for the American economy.

The major sea change in the character of its progression over the past two decades presents a strikingly clear picture of how this institutional promotion of the market timing game has created a volatile and unstable economic environment.

http://moneycentral.msn.com/investor/charts/chartdl.aspx?PT=...

Could it be that many of these experts who are supplying the breaking news from the economy and financial markets actually do not see and understand how this volatility --that the timing game depends on -- has crippled our system right before their eyes?

Doesn't seem likely.

If It Bleeds, It Leads

To survive let alone thrive in the breaking news area of the media world, long term safety and stability are not sexy subject matters to rattle on about. They simply will not meet the demands of the ratings-eating media machine that has an overwhelming appetite for strife. As a result, what we are witnessing is clearly a driving force behind the ongoing instability.

Henry Ford once said, "A business that makes nothing but money is a poor kind of business."

Waiting around for this cat to change its stripes is not realistic. So let's take a closer look at how this media phenomenon is used to work magic for those who support and manipulate it, its actual results for the average person who has invested their life savings in this system and some alternatives that will break this downward spiral and move us forward.

Playing with House Money

The big guys understand the basic rule -- the absolute necessity -- of playing it safe with their Core Financial Assets. In other words, play it safe with the house money by having in place at all times a firewall of safety around that which is necessary to maintain what you have achieved.

And even when they decided to do some risk taking with their own household accounts, they were sure to have the contingency plan in place whereby the U.S. taxpayer would be the go-to guy if things got out of hand.

Still, if the general rule is to play it safe with house money, how is it, why is it, that the average investor continues to be encouraged -- however subtly so -- to continue gambling with theirs?

The Flying V

For those not familiar with the terminology, a "V-shaped" recovery is a term used repeatedly by the experts to describe the notion that when the Financial Crisis hit and we saw a precipitous drop in the economy and financial markets, that this was somehow a temporary problem that would immediately correct itself once we threw a bunch of money at it and we'd shoot right back up and be on our merry way just like before.

This was a completely false and misleading premise from the start in that it obviously ignores the internal damage that had been deeply rooting itself for decades before reaching an inevitable point of implosion. And to even consider that damage of this magnitude could possibly be corrected or repaired in a short-term time frame -- one quick bounce off a bottom and away we go -- pushes all logic right out the window.

Once the house of cards collapsed, in pretty short order, we started getting this parade of happy talk experts streaming through the extended infomercials for Wall Street armed with the same basic call to action script designed to keep people and their assets in the game -- or get them back in.

With very serious, pedantic looks, they stare into the camera and start reciting this come-hither blabber about how we've got a V-shaped recovery going on. The markets react to this unfounded stimulation and the message is driven home: Act now, or let us act for you. The train is leaving the station and you don't want to miss out!!

Let's stop and think for a moment. Out in the real world of the real economy, where is this big V happening? Have you spotted a big V flying over the land? Maybe it's busy circling over Europe? Maybe we should get the UFO guys in on this?

Is this the appropriate and accurate message from people who have been given the spotlight and are supposed to know what they're talking about?

If you're really just a infomercialist hustling for private interests, just say so. When using the publicly-owned airwaves, wear a little ID badge or make the type of disclaimers that are now taking up more than half of all the pharma commercials. Be straight about it.

And what about the go-to guys who have to make their lives work in the real world? What's their backup plan?

The Lost Decade

So where has all this expert advice taken the average investor over the last ten years? According to the Dow Jones Industrial Average, S&P 500 and Nasdaq, not very far.

http://moneycentral.msn.com/investor/charts/chartdl.aspx?S...

http://moneycentral.msn.com/investor/charts/chartdl.aspx?D4=...
http://moneycentral.msn.com/investor/charts/chartdl.aspx?Sym...

For all of this daily bombardment of "It's up, It's down", what we really get is quite meaningless, glaringly counterproductive and grossly misleading -- most importantly from the perspective of the one thing we cannot replace: TIME.

When you walk into the virtual reality of any casino you will never see a clock. In this carefully planned and psychologically controlled type of environment, the last thing they want you thinking about is your time.

On average, how many decades out of the normal life cycle are your most productive? Approximately 3. What's the financial wizards' recovery strategy for this 1/3rd loss of the time value of your most productive years? There is no recovery.

Now, even to the most casual observer, smoke-and-mirrors mumbo jumbo like "Don't worry, it'll come back..." just doesn't cut it anymore when it comes to the reality of your time on this planet.

"It is generally agreed that casinos should, in the public interest, be inaccessible and expensive. And perhaps the same is true of Stock Exchanges." - John Maynard Keynes

Conservation - A Shift in Perspective

Like the natural resources we all depend on, our financial resources are of equal importance. Especially considering how one supports and impacts the other. The ongoing fallout from the Financial Crisis is not a regional event, but a global contagion reaching and affecting every corner of planet Earth.

Do a Google search on conservation of natural resources and see what comes up. Then try a search on conservation of financial resources and compare the results.

From the same level of concern and priority given to the preservation and sustainability of our natural resources, would it not make sense that the universally established principles and theme of Conservation be broadened to include what we have come to realize, unmistakably, are our limited financial resources?

The individual is the basic building block of any real change for the better. It's never too late. So with the fresh perspective of Conservation, we can each make the choice and commitment for ourselves and the generations to come to get some backbone and act responsibly.

How can it happen otherwise?

Why do we leave major parts of our life exposed in today's world?

We know and understand the necessity of insuring ourselves before the fact against forces absolutely beyond our control for such things as our health, homes and businesses, not to mention the potential liability every time we get behind the wheel of an automobile.

By the same simple logic, would it not make sense to insure, reliably, before the fact, our life-long savings for the major milestone events that are date certain such as the tuition for our children's education and our retirement? And we're not talking about those asset allocation models where risks are shuffled around like deck chairs on the Titantic.

These widely used models were one way to definitely generate all kinds of turnover fees, but, when put to the real test, they did not live up to their promise.

Again, not sexy subject matter like market timing and the my crystal ball is bigger and better than yours nonsense. But at the end of the day, in the real world where people are responsible for themselves and others, the only "timing" that matters is this: will what you worked for be there when you need it?

Independent Thinking for the Greater Goood

Predictions, as we are seeing, are nothing more than good guesses or bad guesses. The time has passed for relying on experts whose crystal balls have been shattering left and right. The chicanery and game playing of the prediction business that the media thrives on is out. Long-term planning and preparation for the inevitable and unpredictable twists and turns that lie ahead is back -- it really never left.

The choice of direction from here is simple and straightforward. That's right, simple and straightforward, not vacuously sophisticated and needlessly complicated in such a way as to separate us from the basic fundamentals that will never, ever be denied -- which is exactly how all houses of cards are designed and built.

Hold it! Back up the truck. Fundamentals?? You know, the simple, old-fashioned, corny stuff like you can't spend more than you make.

"If you know how to spend less than you get, you have the philosopher's stone." - Benjamin Franklin

We can continue to choose sexy and reckless with high ratings and questionable success for a very few. Or we change course over to a commitment to Conserve our Core Financial Resources, supported by long-term thinking whose first priority is a strong foundation that will provide a reasonable amount of stability in people's lives. Or, at the very least, keep the blowups manageable.

To be sure, this approach won't feed the media-cultivated need for the addictive type of hype, "chasing the dragon" thrills that are here and gone in a nano seconds. But it will produce a lot less angst and turmoil over the long term for a far greater number of people.

It's time to Draw The Line!

Like the big guys, you can start by first making a clear distinction between what you consider to be your Core and Non-Core Financial Assets. Then determine how these assets are positioned: either for growth with safety; or growth with risks and the inevitable setbacks that are a part of taking risks, especially in today's economic environment.

Below is a link to the Draw The Line Exercise Worksheet that has been provided for your secure and private use. Take a couple of minutes to type account names only in the column that matches their current status of safety or risk, identifying each account as either a Core or Non-Core Asset. Hit print and you'll get a quick picture of where you now stand.

http://www.financialconservation.com/draw_the_line.php

With this as a baseline, you can make a clear decision to either stay the current course, or head in a different direction.

There are always alternatives.

The choice is yours.

To learn how to implement a crisis-tested strategy for the sustainable growth and preservation of Core Financial Assets, click on the following link:

http://www.financialconservation.com/financial_independence....

Estate Conservation

May 25th, 2010 at 03:19 pm

More and more we are hearing the term Estate Conservation instead of the traditional Estate Planning.

Think about it. In today's world, if you're not first doing Financial Conservation along the way, what "Estate" will there be to conserve?

The only "timing" that matters: Will it be there when you need it?

May 21st, 2010 at 07:00 pm

No coin has only one side. Like up cycles, down cycles are an inevitable part of the financial markets and the economies they are supposed to reflect. The Financial Crisis was in large part brought on by a head-rattling, mind-numbing lack of forward-thinking and priority given to providing reliable safeguards that would automatically kick in and protect Core Financial Assets when the market coin flipped heavily to the negative side.

When, not if. It has never been nor will it ever be a question of if the down cycles will arrive, only a question of when. And, as we have learned the hard way, the timing is unknown until it happens. Once a down cycle starts, and losses are being incurred, how do you put the toothpaste back in the tube? You can't, it's too late. Time to ride the waves.

Surf's Up! There are two main moving parts to the dynamic of recovering from any losses experienced in the financial markets. First, look at the chart of any index, stock, bond or commodity (examples below) and you will see how they all move in a fluctuating wave pattern. Bearing in mind that legs are strongest in the first phase of a foot race (to mix metaphors), if you have experienced any losses in a down cycle, the first and strongest phase of a subsequent market recovery or up cycle, by definition, is not devoted to real asset growth, but to the recovery or retracement of those previous losses.

The math of compound loss. The second moving part of recovering from market drops is how the math is not working in your favor. For example, to get back to breakeven from a loss of 50% would require a recovery gain of 100%.

Locked-in losses. Keep in mind that when financial or psychological pressure builds up during a down cycle -- which is particularly true when it comes to Core Financial Assets -- and the order to sell goes through, any losses incurred become permanent and the producing asset is gone forever.

Will what you worked for be there when you need it? Recovering from market losses that impact Core Financial Assets built over a long period is an uncertain process. Once caught in this position, you have absolutely no control over the timing of market recovery that will determine whether or not your asset value -- think life savings -- has been restored, if ever, by the time it is needed for date-certan milestone events such as college tuition and retirement.

To eventually recover in financial terms is one thing, but how do you ever recover the time it took to build these assets?

The lost decade. If we use Dow Jones Industrial Average as an indication of just how far the average investor has progressed over the last ten years, the simple answer is: not very far.

http://moneycentral.msn.com/investor/charts/chartdl.aspx?Sym...

So, on average, how many decades out of the normal life cycle are your most productive? Approximately 3. What's the recovery strategy for this 1/3rd loss of the time value of your most productive years? There is no recovery.

Now, even to the most casual observer, smoke-and-mirrors mumbo jumbo like "Don't worry, it'll come back..." just doesn't cut it anymore when it comes to the reality of your time on this planet.

Solution. Start by first making a clear distinction between what you consider to be your Core and Non-Core Financial Assets. Then determine how these assets are positioned: either for growth with safety; or growth with risks and the inevitable setbacks that are a part of taking risks, especially in today's economic environment.

Below is a link to the Draw The Line Exercise Worksheet that has been provided for your convenience and private use. Take a couple of minutes to type account names only in the column that matches their current status of safety or risk, identifying each account as either a Core or Non-Core Financial Asset. Hit print and you'll get a quick picture of where you now stand.

http://www.financialconservation.com/draw_the_line.php

With this as a baseline, you can make a clear decision to either stay the current course, or head in a different direction.

There are always alternatives.

To learn how to implement a crisis-tested strategy that utilizes the "Step Structure" to insure the sustainable growth and preservation of Core Financial Assets, click on the following link:

http://www.financialconservation.com/financial_independence....


Economist, Nouriel Roubini - The Need for "Fiscal Conservation"

May 19th, 2010 at 03:21 pm

http://www.truthout.org/nouriel-roubini-how-break-up-banks-s...

The Euro Crisis: Did it just happen or was it planned?

May 15th, 2010 at 01:29 pm

Co-Dependency

To illustrate a simple point, let's say that the Germans like to save their money for the cold, rainy days they know are coming, and that the Greeks like to spend too much time partying on their sunny, beautiful beaches. Why should the Germans and everyone else -- like the U.S. in particular who has enough problems of its own -- be dragged along in this co-dependent lunacy of having to bail them out when the inevitable happens?

Far more important for the long-term greater good, is it the right thing to do?

Isn't it obvious to anyone with adult experience in life that brick walls would eventually be hit, like the Germans telling the Greeks, "You Greeks have to live according to our German way of doing things as a condition for your drunk driving bailout."

With just a little foresight, who could have possibly, seriously thought this would ever fly?

The great minds of Europe set up a framework for cultural identity clashes, never-ending cycles of enabling and co-dependency, and the kind of contagious chaos we now see spreading throughout Europe.

As with our Greek example -- think twittered-out, reckless teenager -- regardless of how they may have made a mess for themselves, the reckless ones would rather go down in economic flames, not caring one twit who or what they take with them, before they would ever "surrender" their centuries-old cultural identity and independence -- who cares what it cost.

"Economic Efficencies" may have been the stated goal at the outset, but the chaos that comes with all co-dependency is now the actual end result that is driving EVERYTHING! Like any parent who has experienced the co-dependency nightmare will tell you, it's to Hell and Back before you can break this vicious cycle once it gets started -- if ever. Or put another way, the rascals of the family are bound and determined to rule the family. Unless, of course, the adults in the room stand up, draw the line, and say, that's it, no more, and back it up with the appropriate, consistent action.

European leaders need to get themselves into a 12 step Alanon program - tout suite! One of the first things they will learn is that as long as there is one vulnerable enabler within reach who "thinks" they're stuck cleaning up the messes of the reckless ones, there is no reason, no self-preservation instinct that kicks in to change the predatory mindset of the "I'm entitled, you're responsble" type for the better. The vicious cycle of enabling/co-dependency will just continue on and on.

Planned Co-Dependency?

With all of this said, maybe co-dependency is really what the great minds of Europe were looking to accomplish from the very beginning of this whole exercise. In other words, establish built-in, perpetual justification for the highly-concentrated power "needed" to fix the same recurring problems, which, of course, they set up in the first place.

Perhaps what the Euro's founders envisioned from the get-go was a simple two step process. First, establish a monetary union that is doomed to fail without the fiscal union necessary to control spending, budgets etc. Then, when the transitional phase of planned, co-dependent chaos arrives, they're ready with, "Well, we've established the Euro as a world currency, and can always print more. Not to mention, it'll be a piece of cake suckering some of the world's deep pockets (think U.S.) into our bailout party which will bring us to step two and our ultimate goal..."

At the outset, there is no way member countries of the European union would have ever agreed to surrendering sovereign control of both monetary and fiscal policy at the same time. The Brits got it right and kept the Sterling.

So the strategy is to get step one of monetary union rolling first. And then, as the anticipated crisis mounts, to save the grand vision of the "United States of Europe," the second step of fiscal union is activated with acquiescence to statements like, "We've come this far...can't turn back now...what other choice is there?"

Thus, the original goal is accomplished whereby all co-dependent roads now lead to Brussels where there is a concentration of monetary and fiscal control over EVERYTHING.

Progressive?

Is this how you would define progressive? Or is it a swing backwards to the Medician/Machiavellian times of old Europe, where the self-annointed few are only concerned with concentrating power to control more?

The only thing progressing right now is institutionalized chaos and the mounting price tag that goes with it for the average, hard-working person.

The good people of all the countries and cultures that comprise Europe should be reminded that the United States of America was formed, first and foremost, to get the heck away -- a whole ocean away -- from these power and control games.

A Cautionary Tale For The U.S.

Where are the U.S. leaders who will truly look after the best interests of the average person who doesn't get to sit in on these lunatic planning sessions that result in disaster?

Where are the U.S. leaders whose natural-born, relentless instinct and ever-present first priority is to keep the focus, at all times, on the simple basics of life that throughout time and history have always trumped and taken priority over any clique-driven, self-serving ideological agenda? You know, simple, corny, old-fashioned stuff like you can't spend more than you make.

Here's some more corny stuff: staying grounded with fundamental life principles that have never and will never be denied is the simple -- that's right, simple -- way to avoid building these colossal houses of cards that eventually come tumbling down on the average, hard-working person with a big, fat cleanup bill attached.

The tough part: it takes guts.

Who's got guts?

The backbone that skipped my generation.

We can learn from the Euro Crisis and not get ourselves caught in a vicious cycle that will be mighty difficult to break -- if we aren't there already. And the costs? We're already having to learn new math terms to describe more and more zeros.

However, my personal opinion is that the generations following the Budget-Busting Boomers -- of which I am one -- will have the backbone that skipped my generation and say, "Not going to happen on our watch! No way, no how."

Back to basics is the way forward.

Only one trader?

May 15th, 2010 at 11:42 am

We have heard the reports that one trader, perhaps one automated trading program, may have been responsible for the Dow's recent 1000 point intra-day swoon.

If only one person hitting keys or one automated program -- regardless of who "they" may be -- can have that kind of incredible impact on the biggest system out there, in simple, logical terms, what does that say about current market vulnerability and stability?

We're all aware of the efforts being made to bring stability to the system, to the extent that such is possible. But in the meantime, how do you the indivual protect your core financial assets?

Rather than playing the market timing game with your future whereby you are forced to constantly skip around, generate turnover fees, and maybe or maybe not dodge these market bullets, consider the automatic protection and sustainable growth provided by the Step Stucture of Financial Conservation.

Visit: What is Financial Conservation?

http://www.financialconservation.com/financial_conservation....


What is Financial Conservation?

March 29th, 2010 at 02:24 pm

Market Wave Patterns & The Dynamics of Compound Loss

March 29th, 2010 at 02:20 pm

New Rules and Regulations

December 18th, 2009 at 07:56 pm

New rules and regulations are necessary to provide better safeguards that more accurately reflect the changing "road and weather conditions" of our economic environment. However, as the pendulum of ethical behavior swings back and forth through time, well-founded rules and regulations are only as good as their level of enforcement.

Had there not been such a significant breakdown in the ethical standard of enforcing the rules and regulations that have been on the books for some time, "crisis" would not be the dominant word used to describe our current economic situation.

When we get behind the wheel of a car, it is the responsibility of each and every one of us to drive their vehicle in such a manner that maintains safety for themselves and others, regardless of what the road and weather conditions may be -- or we pay the price.

Through Core Asset Conservation, the individual takes back control and ownership of their future. By taking the initiative to reduce the level of risks associated with one's core assets, the individual is in a much stronger position to keep themselves and their families in step with the unalterable cycles and milestones of life, regardless of what a changing economic environment may put before them.

Ultimately, ethical systems that stand the test of time are built, maintained and sustained by a preponderance of ethical individuals... a simple fact of life.

American People Left Behind

December 15th, 2009 at 03:24 pm

"...banks repaying their TARP loans. It's another indicator the banking system is on the road to recovery -- or at least in better shape than this time last year. Of course, that's thanks to Treasury programs [funded by American taxpayers] like TARP and dozens of other Fed programs [which propped up the "Too-Big-To-Fail" banks to the tune of 10 trillion dollars, while at one point Americans had lost 14 trillion in household income] that kept the money flowing when bankers closed their taps [to the little guy.]

We've left our small and mid-sized businesses behind [that employ 80% of our workforce]; and we've left our American people behind... This does not an economy make.

President Obama is trying to nudge banks in the right direction, at least on the surface:

-Make more loans to small and medium-size businesses.
-Increase modifications of underwater mortgages.
-Bring executive compensation under control.
-Give more support to legislation overhauling financial regulation."

http://finance.yahoo.com/tech-ticker/article/390564/Big-Bank...

The Dollars and Cents of War

December 2nd, 2009 at 04:52 pm

"The additional 30,000 troops for Afghanistan will cost an additional $30 billion per year, or roughly $1 million per soldier per year. (It's an extraordinary sum especially considering how relatively little enlisted soldiers are paid; meanwhile, private contractors in Afghanistan now outnumber U.S. forces, The WSJ reports.)"

The point is made with all due respect: Military recruitment has gone up as unemployment has risen. Is this the best type of job opportunity we have to offer our young people?

http://finance.yahoo.com/tech-ticker/article/382618/%22We-Si...

Have We Become a Nation of "Mama's Boys"

December 2nd, 2009 at 03:15 pm

or "The United States of Wussess"? Read on...

http://finance.yahoo.com/tech-ticker/article/382117/The-Unit...

A Real Reality Show That Matters: Politicians Who Walk The Talk

November 27th, 2009 at 04:37 pm

Japanese flock to first-ever open budget debate


"In a major break with the past, new Prime Minister Yukio Hatoyama has introduced a public review of the budget. His party, which ousted the long-ruling conservatives in August, has promised to cut wasteful spending and make policymaking more transparent.

The review has gotten plenty of air time on television and seems to be reviving public interest in politics, which many Japanese have come to see as largely irrelevant to their lives.

'This kind of thing is fundamental to democracy. Before, things were too secretive,' said Yoshitomo Yokoyama, a 77-year-old retiree who came to watch. 'This is definitely a positive change.'

A survey conducted Nov. 21-22 by the Mainichi newspaper showed more than 70 percent of respondents supported the budget review.

Taxi driver Koji Iwano said the public review will bring some fiscal discipline to Japan.

'It's clear that the spending until now was irresponsible,' said Iwano, a 43-year-old from Saitama, north of Tokyo. 'If Japan were as careful as many mothers are about watching their family's budgets, we'd be better off.'"

http://news.yahoo.com/s/ap/20091127/ap_on_bi_ge/as_japan_bud...

Dealing with Reality

November 25th, 2009 at 08:17 pm

The Fed stated in documents released from it closed-door meeting held earlier this month that in its efforts to fuel the recovery it is holding to its bank lending rate at basically zero. It acknowledged that there is the possibility, although "relatively low" in their estimation, that it "could lead to excessive risk-taking in financial markets" causing another speculative bubble.

The Fed anticipates that it could be five or six years before employment levels and the economy return to consistent health.

The Fed also announced that it has tightened its regulations regarding conflict of interest rules governing the boards of directors of its 12 regional banks.

Unlike pre-crisis days, I take it as a positive sign that there is some movement from public officials towards a more realistic and forthcoming attitude about dealing with our current state of affairs.

http://finance.yahoo.com/news/Fed-superlow-rates-could-fuel-...

http://finance.yahoo.com/news/Fed-tightens-conflict-of-apf-3...

Dr. James Galbraith's Rx for Wall Street Reform

November 20th, 2009 at 09:46 pm

"The post-op on the great crash of 2008 continued in Washington Thursday as the Joint Economic Committee (JEC) held a hearing on financial reform.

'Unfortunately, the regulatory regime that failed so terribly leading up to the financial crisis is precisely the regulatory regime we have today,' Treasury Secretary Geithner declared. 'We need comprehensive financial reform.'

There is a way to have a financial system with a 'reasonable degree of stability' and 'serves a public purpose,' Galbraith says. 'But it does require having a government which is not run by the financial sector.'

Galbraith didn't use the term 'Government Sachs,' (see link to New York Times article in the attachment) but said 'we're not going to get where we need to get...if you have this revolving door where all the people from Wall Street go down to Washington and offer their services and basically serve their own worldview and the financial interests of their friends.'"

MED Comment: Arsonist or Firefighter? You can't wear opposing uniforms at the same time. Which one is it -- really?

Secretary Geithner served in key economic roles such as an Under Secretary of the Treasury for former Secretaries Robert Rubin and Lawrence Summers (current Director of the White House's National Economic Council for the President), and more recently as President of the Federal Reserve Bank of New York.

Clearly, Secretary Geithner and other members of the major insiders club who exercised powerful influence on the economy while shuttling back and forth between Wall Street and Washington -- in both democratic and republican administrations -- knew all to well the state of the "regulatory regime" during the 20-30 year period of time that our severly under code financial house of cards was being constructed.

Now that the house is on fire, these public displays of concern and outcry are following the standard script.

The media thrives and depends on obsession of all types. It is becoming increasingly more obvious how the tremendous focus given to the democrat vs. republican win-at-all-costs obsession is serving as a convenient sideshow distraction to divert the little guy's attention away from a power clique virus that, with no allegiance other than self-dealing interests, has targeted and infected the heart of our economic system.

It defies common sense to accept the notion that this inbreeding of revolving officials, who wear for show hats from all sides of the political spectrum, will suddenly in earnest stop enabling and start demanding from fellow co-dependent power club members -- with heavy interests in the status quo -- the kind of across the board transparency critically necessary to restore the health of our economy.

It's out there, but we need more of that real type of independent stand-up leadership that when the heat is on will not shy away from flipping on the lights to dissolve these veils that cover the hidden agendas of those -- on all sides -- whose priority is not finding real solutions to society's real problems beyond their own tight circles of self-serving interests.

Real change for the greater good sounds and feels warm and fuzzy, but it's just another empty slogan until you back it up.


http://finance.yahoo.com/tech-ticker/article/375918/%22A-Gov...

The New York Times - Banks Bundled Bad Debt, Bet Against It and Won

http://finance.yahoo.com/banking-budgeting/article/108476/ba...

Geithner "Burned Billions," Shafted Taxpayers on CIT Loan

November 4th, 2009 at 10:53 am

"William Black, professor at the University of Missouri-Kansas City School of Law is dumbfounded. 'We put ourselves on the hook in a completely inept way where we lose first. We lose entirely as the taxpayers.'

Black, a former top federal banking regulator, blames Treasury Secretary Timothy Geithner for negotiating such a bad deal on behalf of the American public.

His argument goes as follows:

The government was in no way obligated to lend the struggling CIT money and, in fact, initially refused to provide it bailout funds. More importantly, being the lender of last resort, the government should have guaranteed we'd be the first to get paid if CIT eventually filed Chapter 11. By failing to do so, 'it's like he [Geithner] burned billions of dollars again in government money, our money, gratuitously,' says Black."

http://finance.yahoo.com/tech-ticker/article/364593/Geithner...

Housing Better But Has Not Bottomed

October 14th, 2009 at 04:21 pm

http://finance.yahoo.com/tech-ticker/article/352636/Housing-...

The Next Big Bailout? FHA Facing "Cataclysmic" Default Rates

October 13th, 2009 at 05:12 pm

http://finance.yahoo.com/tech-ticker/article/352663/The-Next...

Bernanke Is Wrong! The Economy Is Getting Worse, Not Better

September 24th, 2009 at 05:17 pm

http://finance.yahoo.com/tech-ticker/article/342659/Bernanke...

Think of Change as the Constant - Not the Variable...

September 23rd, 2009 at 01:44 pm

There has been for some time a disconnect between the financial markets and the real economy which they are suppose to reflect.

An infinite amount of resource and focus is given, from the grassroots level on up, to being aware of the necessity to conserve -- not waste or destroy -- our natural resources. It is a small step, not a great leap, to apply the same established principles of conservation to our financial resources that are equally necessary to support and keep us in step with the unalterable stages of life.

Consider the following:

- The financial crisis has greatly underscored the fact that economic and market forecasts are not reliable. What planning principles that are based on accommodating change can the individual look to that will compensate for this shortfall in reliability?

- How many times is it desirable or feasible in the span of a normal lifetime to rebuild life-accumulated core financial assets once you have experienced sizable losses during volatile periods in the financial markets? And how does age factor into this picture?

- What is a comprehensive alternative that will eliminate direct exposure to the uncertainties of the financial markets and provide for the safe and secure growth of the core financial assets that you depend on for such things as making a down payment on a home, paying for future college tuition or maintaining your lifestyle in retirement?

Dow Unchanged Since 9/11 But Don't Bet Against America

September 19th, 2009 at 01:04 pm




The Era of Defined Benefit For The Individual Is Fading

March 22nd, 2009 at 02:05 pm

The risk factor is shifting. Because of growing uncertainty in the market cycles and the health sciences keeping people alive longer, in order to limit their long term exposure, many employers, large and small, for some years now have instituted a shift away from the traditional defined benefit plans that provide guaranteed levels of retirement income to different forms of defined contribution plans. During the go-go period of The Big M, it went largely unnoticed by many that in this shift a large part of the risks associated with how this money was invested was being pushed from the employing entity to the individual employee.

The batting averages don't match. It is a known fact, that for many of the high-profile financial experts, a batting average of .500 is considered to be at the high end of their range of accuracy. In other words, the top people are right about 50 percent of the time and our current predicament bares this out. However, for the vast majority of people whose expertise lies elsewhere in all of the countless categories necessary to make this or any society really function, their batting average by definition must be a lot higher than .500, or they wouldn't last very long in their chosen fields. Many of what I would call the real experts invested their hard-earned life savings largely based on historical trust in a financial system that most failed to understand was morphing before their very eyes. It's reasonable to think that if this gap between batting averages was narrowed, the overall exposure to our society would be reduced accordingly.

Taking the risk out of risk. Knowing that core assets are safe and that you are not over-exposed to risk greatly helps in avoiding back-against-the-wall syndrome where you may be forced to sell out and lock-in losses out of panic or just to meet basic lifestyle needs during the more severe down cycles. By keeping your level of exposure manageable, you are essentially taking the risk out of risk by being in a more safe and secure position to ride out unexpected storms until balance in the system once again restores itself.

The real tipping point. No doubt, many of us have accomplished the goal of taking personal responsibility for the safeguard of our life savings. But the real tipping point that will take this country in a healthier direction over the long term will not be the short term massive spending plans of the system - the debate of which will be left to other forums - but a growing number of average people who are the ones really responsible for making this society function, day in and day out, realizing, once again, that as it always ends on them, it has to start with them.