Posts Tagged ‘President Barack Obama’
“Be careful not to mistake insecurity and inadequacy for humility!
Humility has nothing to do with the insecure and inadequate!
Just like arrogance has nothing to do with greatness!” ~ C. JoyBell C.
“Arrogance diminishes wisdom” ~ Arabian proverb
OK folks I know some of y’all must be scratching your heads at the post title and my choice of quotes that frame this post but bear with me. First off for all my peeps in the TeeVee media I watched most of the coverage last night. Lee Zurik over at Fox 8 and Chick Foret at Channel 4 get attaboys, Zurik because it looks like he is trying to think outside the box on Letten’s replacement and Chick Foret for his brutal, yet accurate assessment of how the axe came down on Jim Letten. I viewed this as a business decision and once people began to say, accurately IMHO, that Letten did not know about the online activities of Jan Mann, Sal Perricone and a rumored 2 other DoJ employees such was a clear sign he was a figurative dead man walking. And while I’m certain feelings are running high at Team Letten right now I think Mr. Letten would be the first person to say that entering the chop shop is the proper last act in these circumstances.
So if Letten is penitent then we must look elsewhere for the arrogance so now we examine a small snippet from Gordon Russell and John Simerman’s comprehensive Jim Letten resignation story for NOLA.com:
Because of civil service protection afforded to federal prosecutors, neither Letten nor his superiors was likely able to fire Mann immediately, according to lawyers familiar with federal rules. “If she wants to hunker down, she can,” said former U.S. Attorney Harry Rosenberg. “He cannot summarily fire her.”
This is a clear reference to the local rumor mill on Mann. Unlike Sal Perricone, who fell on his sword quickly, Jan Mann stayed on refusing to resign until yesterday when the issue was forced via the forced resignation of her boss. Rumor holds the big guy himself asked Mann to man up and leave. The same rumor said Mann made like Nancy Reagan and just said no. If that is true and I think there is at least a kernel of truth in the rumor so everyone should now understand the lead off quotes I chose this morning.
This brings me to former US Attorney Harry Rosenberg’s last quote in the story I linked above: Read the rest of this entry »
And that advice was to sell in May and go away. I follow that rule religiously and especially when I see the price of gas go through the roof.
The DC crowd is evidently still completely out of touch with what average Americans are going through financially day-to-day as most have seen their standard of living erode significantly since 2004 as the country speeds down the bankruptcy highway in debt to the tune of 6 figures for every man, woman and child. When all the chickens come home to roost it will be very bad folks.
The way I see it Obama has about 9-12 months left to turn things around. Since he chose to pay bonuses to the Wall Street crowd instead of locking them up for what they did he is in reality no different from the republicans that bailed them out to begin with meaning the public has nothing to lose by throwing his sorry ass out next year unless he turns things around.
So in a change of pace from our recent emphasis on more local topics, I’ll add that my latest foray into Ginnies has exceeded my expectations from a pricing standpoint and in today’s day and age the 3.18% YTD yield isn’t half bad either. For those familiar with the work of Nassim Taleb, a good part of the trick is to manage downside risk and ginnies do that right now.
Some recent headlines that partially explain why I’ll be on the sidelines with my long-term money until there is a substantial market correction: Read the rest of this entry »
Market manipulation and price fixing explained to the point even a clown can understand. Paige St John exposes the State Farm shuffle in Florida for the Herald Tribune.
Folks rarely does a business writer nail and explain a very complex subject in the interplay between our fragmented insurance markets here in the US and the world of high finance but Paige St John over at the Herald Tribune explains how State Farm really didn’t pull out of Florida’s hurricane insurance market, how they game the anti trust exemption insurers enjoy and how they are able to price gouge as a result. These same forces are at work in Mississippi, Alabama, Texas and Louisiana.
We last featured Paige’s work last October in our post It’s a ‘Bermudan’ day in the neightborhood…Paige St John at the Herald Tribune exposes why ‘buying Bermuda’ is like being hooked on crack and it is clear Paige is on track for a big time business journalism award for her work in this area. Finally it was our post on Paige’s reporting on the Allstate McKinsey papers that literally landed us on the national blawg scene as Victoria Pynchon covered our coverage.
Here are a few excerpts:
When State Farm stepped up its march out of Florida, it loudly and publicly claimed hurricanes were pushing it toward financial disaster.
The company argued it had to leave the Florida coast — and drop nearly half a million customers — because it could not profit in a state wracked by so many storms.
But State Farm never really left Florida. Read the rest of this entry »
From the Cerebral Wing of the Slabbed Nation: President Obama, The Peter Principle, Crooks and Liars.
New York Times columnist Frank Rich has encapsulated literally years of posts here on Slabbed regarding the financial crash of 2008 and explains why Team Obama is regarded as an utter failure by the American public. As a reader commented via email to me with the link, (this column is) “Something that you could have authorship of.” Rich lays out the case both against Team Obama and Team GOP. The bottom line is Wall Street owns the GOP 100% and the Dems about 85%. What a great choice we have as the wealthy elites continue to drain the treasury dry and run the country further in debt. Here are a few snippets:
The reasons for his failure to reap credit for any economic accomplishments are a catechism by now: the dark cloud cast by undiminished unemployment, the relentless disinformation campaign of his political opponents, and the White House’s surprising ineptitude at selling its own achievements. But the most relentless drag on a chief executive who promised change we can believe in is even more ominous. It’s the country’s fatalistic sense that the stacked economic order that gave us the Great Recession remains not just in place but more entrenched and powerful than ever.
No matter how much Obama talks about his “tough” new financial regulatory reforms or offers rote condemnations of Wall Street greed, few believe there’s been real change. That’s not just because so many have lost their jobs, their savings and their homes. It’s also because so many know that the loftiest perpetrators of this national devastation got get-out-of-jail-free cards, that too-big-to-fail banks have grown bigger and that the rich are still the only Americans getting richer.
This intractable status quo is being rubbed in our faces daily during the pre-election sprint by revelations of the latest banking industry outrage, its disregard for the rule of law as it cut every corner to process an avalanche of foreclosures. Clearly, these financial institutions have learned nothing in the few years since their contempt for fiscal and legal niceties led them to peddle these predatory mortgages (and the reckless financial “products” concocted from them) in the first place. And why should they have learned anything? They’ve often been rewarded, not punished, for bad behavior. Read the rest of this entry »
My brother Darryl and my brother Darryl – and we’re all in this together Part Trois: The multiperil drumbeat continues. An occasional series.
Very occasional in fact though Part 1 brought tears to the eyes of Mr CLS over at Yahoo ALL (and I bet he still has that old link) and remains one of our all time greatest finance posts considering Nowdy wrote it. That is not a knock on my partner-in-blog as much recognition that someone who was previously illiterate in high finance could “see-it” around the time we were 6 months old as a blog. This global insurance thing is a complicated critter.
There are people on the bottom of this critter who live here on Main Street. Included in that number are the insurance agents who live in our communities across the coast from Bar Harbor, Maine to Brownsville, Texas. A few years ago, at an insurance forum similar to the event held today at USM Gulf Coast, Congressman Taylor was heckled by an irate insurance agent who was forcibly removed from the building by security. Today during Q&A State Farm agent Elvis Gates told the panel he was behind their efforts 100% as he didn’t get paid on policies he didn’t sell. My own agent’s office mostly looks deserted during business hours. These days everyone is feeling the pain. Elvis seems like he is a sharp guy.
The marketplace demands a single solution in an all perils policy. With State Farm pulling out the NFIP after being caught with their hand in the taxpayer cookie jar agents like Mr Gates have been made a casualty along with the rate paying public in the communities where they live. My own personal observation is that Allstate agents are farther along the path to disillusionment after being sacrificed en mass during the evil reign of Ed Liddy. Our readers may remember ol’ Ed was brought in to right AIG during the financial implosion in 2008. Read the rest of this entry »
“Cedric Richmond will make an outstanding representative for this district, and I am proud to support him in this election because he shares our values and supports our agenda,” Obama said in a written statement.
Obama was bright enough to run away from Bagneris but not so bright as to run away from a Bill Jefferson protegé. Telling no?
We’re sticking with the Zombie. Barack yer all wet!
From the Times Picayune AP wire story about Sarah Palin telling the prez to call her for advice on the BP oil spill disaster:
The only advice that mis Palin can offer to the president is to gargle afterward.
Slabbed issues the following amber alert for Tinky Winky, a Teletubby last seen in New York City. Just before Tinky Winky was reported missing a tourist snapped this picture of him frolicking in Central Park.
The Sun Herald is also all over this story. Geoff Pender’s story on the missing persons report can be found here. The editorial board, rightfully concerned how this news will impact perceptions during this time of crisis, chips in with a quick opinion based upon a life is not a picnic in Central Park theme.
I have taken the liberty of making a collage which I embedded below the fold that I hope my fellow bloggers will distribute as the desperate search for Tinky Winky continues. Please help us find Tinky Winky!
Name: Tinky Winky
Known Aliases: Boss Hogg, Barbar
Unusual Physical Characteristics: Triangular antenna on head, covered in blue fur
Distinguishing marks: Tatoo with inscription. “I am a political animal. Hear me roar” on posterior. Read the rest of this entry »
Nowdy wrote the post on Team Obama hiring New Orleans native Desirée Rogers as his social secretary. Little did we know that we didn’t need an inaugural invite.
Our good friend and former Allstate employee Sup, told us she was a lightweight in the comments to Nowdy’s post. He was spot on. I hope she enjoyed the party at the White House as it looks to be her last.
The Warning: The Incredible Story of Brooksley Born. How the Financial Crisis Might Have Been Averted.
One week ago Tuesday I sat in front of my Television spellbound watching PBS Frontline’s profile of Brooksley Born, a former Clinton Administration agency head who has since been termed the “Credit Crisis Cassandra” by the media. As the show ended all of my questions regarding the ineptitude of Obama’s economic team were answered and then some. Before we get to the answers we must first explore how Ms Born, as head of a sleepy federal agency in the Commodity Futures Trading Commission, tried to rein in and regulate over the counter derivatives of the same kind that imploded our financial system back in late 90′s. Lets begin with a story the Washington Post ran on the subject last May for the background:
A little more than a decade ago, Born foresaw a financial cataclysm, accurately predicting that exotic investments known as over-the-counter derivatives could play a crucial role in a crisis much like the one now convulsing America. Her efforts to stop that from happening ran afoul of some of the most influential men in Washington, men with names like Greenspan and Levitt and Rubin and Summers — the same Larry Summers who is now a key economic adviser to President Obama.
She was the head of a tiny government agency who wanted to regulate the derivatives. They were the men who stopped her.
The same class of derivatives that preoccupied Born — including the now-infamous “credit-default swaps” — have been blamed for accelerating last fall’s financial implosion. But from 1996 to 1999, when Born was the chairman of the Commodity Futures Trading Commission, the U.S. economy was roaring and she was getting nowhere with predictions of doom.
So, upstairs in the big house in Kalorama, Born tossed and turned. She woke repeatedly “in a cold sweat,” agonizing that a financial calamity was coming, she recalled one recent afternoon.
“I was really terribly worried,” she said. Read the rest of this entry »
Do the ladies and gentlemen of the Sun Herald editorial board read Harry Shearer at the Huff Po or have they been climbing Editilla’s Ladder (thanks to citizen-activists like Cresent City Ray)? Whoever turned them on to Shearer’s spot on criticisms of President Obama’s last visit deserves an A+ as Saturday’s Sun Herald contained a spot on editorial that echos much of what has been said on the Ladder, here on Slabbed and many other local cyber venues regarding Obama’s Tinkle-Stop Tour visit to the Big Easy last week:
During his historic run for the presidency, Barack Obama’s campaign consistently outmaneuvered the opposition, whether fellow Democrats in his party primary or John McCain in the general election.
He was engaged, decisive, and especially in tune with the mood of the electorate and its sense of national priorities.
Time and time again he invoked the image of Republican failure in handling Katrina’s impact on a vast Gulf Coast population.
Fast-forward nine months into his presidency, and President Barack Obama has made his first post-inauguration visit to New Orleans — a visit that seemed to many more like a drive-through or photo op.
Author/actor Harry Shearer, a strong advocate for New Orleans, said, “he could have saved the jet fuel.” Read the rest of this entry »