Archive for February, 2009

YOUR OWN FINANCES – HOW TO COPE…

Saturday, February 7th, 2009

Back in early January I made a promise that I’ve been late keeping – how to cope with this current financial situation. Let me assure you I hadn’t forgotten. I wanted more time to judge what was – or has not been –  happening. In the confusion of billions and trillions being thrown at us by the papers, magazines, and TV newscasters, a few plain truths pop out of the coverage.

Firstly, we are in a major financial crisis…don’t let anyone kid you otherwise. It’s as bad as any in the history of the country – and it could get much, much worse. There’s simply no way to know! It’s a time NOT to be carried away with a few days good news, a short-lived uptick of the stock or commodity markets, or the siren promises of politicians – local, state, or Federal. You’ve got to search inside YOURSELF – decide what’s best for you, then stick to that until it proves wrong. Failure? Then try the next best plan you came up with.

Here are my personal observations: (more…)

BAD BOYS, BAD BANKS: BAD NEW WORLD

Friday, February 6th, 2009

If you recall, back in November I published, in two parts, the piece “Wake Up America. The news has not improved since; merely grown worse. I won’t bore you with the fact that our national budget will be soon be running a trillion dollars in the red (I’ve actually seen valid estimates it could go 3 trillion dollars into the red next year). Nor is it a calming influence to repeat that world stock, bond, and housing markets have lost an easy 40 trillion dollars so far in this crisis and that another 40 trillion dollars (and more) may well be spent bailing out banks, countries, banks and bankers (themselves), auto manufacturers, insurance companies, Fannie & Freddie, individual states, pension funds, insurance companies, and a myriad other areas of loss in this country and around the world.  What could this finally amount to? – a total beyond our wildest imagination.

But there is a group of ‘giant-killers’ out there that has no trouble coping with thorny money messes and the attendant ramifications. These folks can conjure up schemes, wrestle with deficits, and wrangle solutions faster than you can stuff down a Double Quarter-Pounder Mac with cheese. Let’s call them the BAD BOYS of international finance. Pay no attention to the fact that these same folks were sitting in key spots during the creation of the mess we are now in, that several of them managed to avoid paying much of their personal income taxes – but please DO pay attention to the fact that at least four of these folks are now busy taking up administration posts such as Treasury or Health, Human Services, and Welfare Secretary – uh…well, at least not Tom Daschel, who decided to say ‘no’ when the New York Times came down hard on his tax evasions.

By now, we all know the banking system both here (and now in England) is tottering. No problem. The BAD BOYS have a solution: It’s the BAD BANK. Never mind that we already have us one bad bank – The Federal Reserve – recently stuffed to the gills with bad U.S. bank assets (the ‘Fed’ refusing to disclose to Bloomburg News where a 2 trillion dollar Treasury transfer onto their balance sheet had been “invested”). The Bad Bank solution is shockingly simple…just stuff the rest of these bad bank assets into a new bank that the FDIC will run (isn’t that what the FDIC was created for, the salvation and/or dismemberment of rickety banks?) and thus relieve these big banks of their problem. No matter that in October, in that hasty Tarp I 700 Billion dollar rescue, the Paulson Treasury apparently overpaid those major U.S. banks 78 Billion – enough to build a dozen new nuclear generating plants that would reduce oil imports, put thousands of construction workers to work, and reduce global warming. (more…)

 

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