Thursday, September 30, 2010

Blame Richard Burr for your loss of income

You've gone to the bank to roll over your CD. Instead of getting 5%, the bank is only offering you 1%. You're on a fixed income. Your income has dropped significantly because the bank won't give you much of anything now on your savings and CDs. Who is to blame for your declining income?

Richard Burr is to blame. Welcome to the outcome of our Republican economy.

Banks offer less because our Federal Reserve Board had to significantly lower interest rates in order to stave off economic depression. We're here because Republicans jacked spending, slashed taxes, waged war, and pushed our society into homes they couldn't afford. The end result was an economic calamity of monumental proportions.

The steps to save our economy hurt good people, but help the irresponsible among us. The Federal Reserve Board has to push interest rates through the floor. Savers and retired seniors on fixed incomes lose. Their wealth and income get transferred to banks. Responsible home owners lose. Their wealth evaporates in an avalanche of foreclosures. Wealth, savings, and income get destroyed.

Over-indebted homeowners win. They get a myriad of taxpayer money thrown in their direction. Fat cat Bankers win. They get their bonuses and pensions saved. Fat cat corporate executives win. They fire all the little people, push up company profits, and keep their own pay and bonuses jacked through the roof. Responsible, hard working people are the losers. Irresponsible people win, big.

Richard Burr is to blame. Welcome to the Republican economy. Welcome to America.

North Carolina deserves better than Republican Senator Richard Burr.

Wednesday, September 29, 2010

Blast from the past explains why Dems are sunk

I was just poking around old posts and found the one below from back in Feb '09. A couple observations well after the fact: 1. Mark Zandi was RIGHT as rain. and 2. The Obama Administration failed miserably simply because they ignored the need to bolster our nation's confidence.

FROM FEB 15, '09:

Axelrod was on Meet the Press. He seems to have done a decent enough job laying out the case that the stimulus package will help us. Still, he wasn't upbeat enough. And David Gregory pointed out Mark Zandi's prediction that this stimulus would only produce about 2.2 million jobs vs. the 4.0 million that President Obama had promised. Mark also thinks that unemployment stays around 10% and we will need to come back with round 2 of a bigger stimulus later this year. Axelrod disagreed. I tend to side with Zandi because he does good work.

David Gregory is doing an excellent job with Meet the Press. I have been extremely impressed with his economic acumen. The man appears to be one of the best economic journalists out there. It shows in the questions he asks. He drives straight to the key issues and is quick to point out when responses don't make sense from the standpoint of common economic principals. Yep, David Gregory was an excellent choice to fill Tim's shoes.

I'm bothered about how tone deaf the Dems are to the importance of consumer and investor confidence. We are in dire need of an all-out avalanche of "happy" talk. We need the President and all of his advisers to walk, talk, act, look like we are on the verge of a massive economic boom. They need to act confident so their confidence will rub off on both consumers and investors. That's just not happening. Moods are sour, downbeat, reserved. The word "crises" continues to roll off their lips with ease. It's simply shocking to me that these guys don't get the need of an across the board boost to confidence.

Addendum in Sept '10: It WAS shocking how easy it would have been to have led our nation out of this mess by simply being more upbeat. Our President was a miserable failure on that front. He and his immediate aides walked, talked, acted as if our nation was mired in problem after problem. By turning his back on the importance of boosting our nation's mood, he lost the economic war. And the real sin? He could have accomplished this without a need to tangle/compromise with Republicans. President Obama failed to instill a sense of confidence that we would work our way out of this mess. He, and his aides, didn't even appear to make an effort - constantly scaring us with reminders of this being the biggest crises since the great depression. It was. But every time they reminded us, Americans got even more concerned. Administration officials' focus was always on the negative, as was that of President Obama. As a result, consumers closed their wallets, and our economy stayed in the tank. That's why Dems are going to get their tails kicked this year in the voting booth. They were sour pusses, and their attitudes rubbed off on America.


I'm not posting much these days because I'm in a state of despondency. Our nation's capital is populated by escapees from the insane asylum. A news headline from yesterday goes a long way in explaining my state of despondency:

US House Democrats Push to Sustain 15% Capital Gains Tax Rate

Our nation is drowning in debt, but Democrats want to tax the wealthiest among us at the lowest rates. Yep. Let's just drive our nation into bankruptcy.

Here's where I stand on this upcoming election:
  • I'm a life-long Republican.
  • I WILL NOT vote for Richard Burr.
  • After 15 years in Congress, Burr has done absolutely nothing of substance for America, or for North Carolina.
  • Burr is invisible, he's nowhere to be seen in Washington DC. What does this man do?
  • Bank Run Burr is an intellectual midget. I'm still is a state of awe at just how stupid it was for him to run to the nearest ATM machine to withdraw cash as an answer to our nation's financial crises.
  • Burr voted in lockstep with George Bush on all the key issues that sunk our nation into the abyss: endless tax cutting, endless spending, piling debt onto the shoulders of our nation, relaxing of sensible regulatory oversight, encouraging an ownership society by pushing idiots into home ownership and setting us up for the massive real estate bubble, waging war at the drop of a hat. Burr was a major contributor to all our current problems.
  • I honestly believe Burr to be a crook who sold his Bear Stearns stock using insider information. I trade securities for a living, and I have immense disdain for anyone who uses insider information to profit at the expense of everyone else. These crooks are right up there with rapists.
  • I simply won't vote for a loser. Richard Burr is a Class A loser. Our state would be better served if Burr would return to North Carolina and go back to selling lawn mowers.
But here's my quandary - there is no alternative to Richard Burr. Democrats are going off the reservation. They are acting like Republicans. They want to cut taxes, and spend too. We're surrounded by idiots.

Thus, I'm in a state of despondency. I'll likely be staying away from the voting booth this fall. I've resigned myself to endless stupidity in Washington DC that will eventually lead our nation into bankruptcy. And Burr will represent our state well on the stupidity front.

I will invest my capital accordingly, and profit handsomely.

Sunday, September 26, 2010

An article every voter should read

Professor Richard Thaler from the University of Chicago business school wrote an excellent article about income tax policy in the United States. Bottom line - extending income tax breaks to the top 2% of Americans is just plain irresponsible. Our economy will not improve as a result of extending these tax breaks. No more jobs will be created. These tax breaks will only go to people who will stick the money in the bank. We're simply going to make the wealthy even more wealthy, while our deficits continue to increase. Yet, this is a cornerstone of the Republican Pledge to America?

Our Republican party is simply leading us down the path that they led us under George W Bush. We're going to give tax cuts to the very wealthy, to make them even more wealthy. We're going to kick the middle class in the teeth. Our economy will continue to go nowhere. Jobless rates will remain sky high. Our deficits will grow. Our nation will go to hell in a hand basket. This is what our Republican Party is promising us. Right. Got it.

North Carolina deserves better than Republican Senator Richard Burr.

Thursday, September 23, 2010

Republican Pledge to America? Huh?

My read on the Republican Pledge to America?

Vote for Republicans, we promise to send America straight into Chapter 11.

I'm a Republican, but I'll swear, most mornings its extremely difficult to look at myself in the mirror and admit it. Here's the simple truth - to get our fiscal house in order, we must raise taxes, on everyone. Even the 50% of Americans who pay no income taxes must now reach into their pockets and contribute. And don't get me started on the necessity to increase income taxes on the top 2%. If we can't make that happen, we're doomed. It'll be a clear signal to short the daylights out of the US Dollar, and bet big on higher interest rates and runaway inflation.

Just one Republican's humble opinion.

North Carolina deserves better than Republican Senator Richard Burr.

Friday, September 17, 2010

Richard Burr, the $6 Trillion man

We sent North Carolina Republican Senator Richard Burr to the US Senate in 2005. So, what happened to us since the man has been a US Senator? According to the Flow of Funds report (page 104 - Balance Sheet of Households) released by the Federal Reserve Board today, we're $6 Trillion poorer today than we were six years ago when Richard Burr checked in at the US Senate.

Nice job Senator Burr. By the way, we want our $6 Trillion back please. Call Brooke and see if she'll run over to your ATM machine and take care of that for us.

North Carolina deserves better than Republican Senator Richard Burr.

Thursday, September 16, 2010

Richard Burr has failed us

Between Congress and the US Senate, our North Carolina Republican Senator Richard Burr has been in Washington DC for a long, long time. Yet, head shaking news is out today. Year-over-year:
  • Median income is flat.
  • Poverty - 3.4 million more Americans fell into poverty. We're now at 43.6 out of 305 million.
  • Healthcare insurance - 4 million more Americans are without health insurance coverage. 50.7 million Americans now lack health insurance coverage.
It's about time the people of North Carolina wake the heck up. With performance like this ... how can we afford to continue sending this failure of a man to Washington DC to represent us? We're clearly moving in the wrong direction across a number of fronts. Richard Burr isn't getting IT done. It's past time to give someone else a shot.

North Carolina deserves better than Republican Senator Richard Burr.

Tuesday, September 14, 2010

Senator Richard Burr, a crook?

I am fairly certain that North Carolina Republican Senator Richard Burr used his position as a US Senator to obtain insider information on a stock he owned. Using this insider information, he sold his stock at an opportune time. That sale enabled him to avoid recognizing a larger loss on his investment. As a result, he wound up passing his loss onto the buyer of his stock. Using insider information, our US Senator stole money from the buyer. If this is true, and I believe it is, then North Carolina Senator Richard Burr is a crook.

We know from Senator Burr's own admission that he acts in his own financial self-interest on information he obtains from insider, US Government sources. After speaking with Secretary of the Treasury, Hank Paulson, in the fall of 2008, our Senator learned that our nation's financial system was close to a total melt-down. Obtaining information not available to the general public, our US Senator acted in his own financial self-interest:

"On Friday night, I called my wife and I said, 'Brooke, I am not coming home this weekend. I will call you on Monday. Tonight, I want you to go to the ATM machine, and I want you to draw out everything it will let you take. And I want you to tomorrow, and I want you to go Sunday.' I was convinced on Friday night that if you put a plastic card in an ATM machine the last thing you were going to get was cash."

It's not a stretch then to believe Senator Burr would also sell a security he owned if he learned information that led him to believe his investment was about to take a dramatic drop in value.

We also know from recent financial disclosures (click on transactions) that Senator Burr bought stock in Bear Stearns on Jan 16, 2008. So going into the initial stages of our nation's financial crises in the spring of 2008, North Carolina Republican Senator Richard Burr was a shareholder of the very first financial institution that would get into severe financial trouble.

The trouble at Bear Stearns came as a complete surprise to the vast majority of the investing public. In the week of March 10, 2008 a run on Bear Stearns started. Clients began pulling money out of Bear at an alarming rate. And while rumors of Bear's trouble were making their way around Wall Street, few outside of officials at the US Treasury and Federal Reserve Board, and senior executives of Bear Stearns, knew just how severe the problem was. Even with these troubles, at the end of the week, on Friday March 14, 2008, Bear Stearns stock was valued at $3.5 Billion. The following Monday morning, March 17, Bear Stearns was sold for only $236 million to JP Morgan. $3.3 Billion got wiped off the map in the flash of an eye, and few knew it was on the horizon. A stock that closed in the $30s on Friday, got sold for $2 on Monday morning! It was a shock that came out of left field. But I suspect US Senator Richard Burr knew it was coming.

When did Senator Burr sell his Bear Stearns stock? He sold on Friday, March 14, 2008, right before the stock fell from $30s to $2. Coincidence? I seriously doubt it. After reading page 157 of David Wessel's book, In Fed We Trust, we know a number of government officials got intimate details of Bear's problems. They knew on Thursday night, March 13, that Bear would be filing bankruptcy. They knew Thursday night. Senator Burr sold his stock the very next day, on Friday. Over that weekend, the US government brokered a deal to sell Bear to JP Morgan. The following Monday morning, Bear was worth almost nothing.

Exerts from page 157 of David Wessel's book:

"While Bear Stearns and its investment bankers desperately sought a partner with very deep pockets, the guardians of the US financial system convened an almost nonstop series of conference calls. On Thursday afternoon [March 13, 2008], "the KD committee" - named for Don Kohn - chewed over the situation: Kevin Warsh, Bob Steel at Treasury, John Dugan at the Office of the Comptroller of the Currency, and Geithner [NY Fed]. The climatic call came around 7:30 p.m. when Bernanke [Fed] and Paulson [Treasury] came on the line and the SEC staff told them all that Bear Stearns was going to have to file for bankruptcy the next morning."

That evening (March 13, 2008), these US Government officials made the decision to find a buyer for Bear Stearns. US Government officials knew on March 13 that Bear Stearns was next to worthless. North Carolina Republican Senator Richard Burr sold his stock in Bear Stearns the following day.

Hello Raleigh News and Observer? Someone needs to pour over our US Senator's calendar for March 13 and March 14, 2008, and check his incoming and outgoing phone calls. If Richard Burr had contact with any person in the US Treasury or Federal Reserve Board, then Richard Burr is, beyond a doubt, a crook. It's highly likely that he learned of, and used, insider information to prevent himself from losing more money on his Bear Stearns investment. Using this information, he sold his stock right before the bottom dropped out. He passed his loss on to another investor who didn't possess the Senator's insider information. That's illegal. And that would make our Senator a crook.

It's simply too convenient for our US Senator not to have learned from someone at the Fed or Treasury about Bear's problems. And I suspect our Senator likely learned about Bear's pending demise from Bob Steel (who was present at the key Thursday evening meeting), or someone on Bob's staff. Bob later became the CEO for Wachovia, a once proud North Carolina based financial institution that got decimated in this financial crises. I don't think Bob would have been appointed to that position without support of Richard Burr. So, that's where I'd start looking. But the bottom line, I don't think one would have to look hard to find out that Senator Richard Burr doesn't hesitate to use his position to better his own personal financial situation, even if it means using illegal insider information.

North Carolina deserves better than Republican Senator Richard Burr.

Addendum:  When I wrote this post in 2010,  there was clearly a series of transactions reported for Richard Burr.  They mysteriously disappeared weeks after this post.   The transactions were numerous and detailed.   Then,  they just disappeared from the records.   Why?  I do not know.  But,  its fishy.  And,  likely,  illegal.   Our Senator owned stock in Bear Stearns.  He received insider information about pending troubles for Bear,  and the overall financial system.  He sold the stock based on these insider tips.  He reported the sale.  Then,  later,  the records were scrubbed clean.

Wednesday, September 8, 2010

President Obama found the roadmap

Sitting here listening to President Obama's speech in Cleveland. He found the roadmap. He's going for the kill on the POS Republicans who ran our economy into the ground. He's back. It's one hell of a speech. It will mark a turning point in the upcoming election. And its about damn time.

Democrats across America need to learn from this speech. Go for the F'ing jugular of the Republican Party. Republicans in office today are morons. These Republican idiots do nothing but point fingers, complain, and stand in the way of progress. These Republican idiots revel in spreading fear. These Republican idiots are all about rewarding the wealthiest Americans at the expense of the middle class. These Republican idiots are all about kissing Corporate America's tail. Enough. Republicans need to be kicked in the teeth and run the hell out of Washington DC. They screwed America, and they need to be punished.

Right on President Obama. Welcome back.

North Carolina deserves better than Republican Senator Richard Burr.

Tuesday, September 7, 2010

Is Republican Senator Richard Burr a crook?

Is Senator Richard Burr a crook?

I've been thinking about this question over the last couple of weeks. After a good deal of pondering, I've concluded that North Carolina Republican Senator Richard Burr is a crook. He stole money from another citizen. He reached into the wallet of another person and took $1,000, without their knowledge. Isn't that stealing? Doesn't that make the man a crook? You bet it does.

And I'll tell you when, where and how our Senator stole $1,000 ... later this week.

Stay tuned.

North Carolina deserves better than Republican Senator Richard Burr.

Saturday, September 4, 2010

Democrats don't want my vote

I laundered the towel, folded it up, and placed it back in the closet. It's not time to give up on punishing Republicans who dropped this economic mess on our doorsteps. Not yet. Republican Senator Richard Burr is a loser. This man is a clueless dolt whose philosophies are directly responsible for our financial crises and economic disaster. Richard Burr is an embarrassment to North Carolina. He needs to be punished. Richard Burr needs to be voted out of office.

I'm struggling though. Democrats don't want my vote. I'm a life-long Republican, capitalist, Harvard MBA, securities trader. I own my home outright; pay my own children's way through college; am not on the government dole in any form or fashion; and other than direct debt against securities to execute on a carry trade strategy, I'm totally debt free. I sure view myself as a solid citizen, a net contributor. Seems to me that the Democrats would welcome my vote. But they're going out of their way to tick me off:

Illegal immigration - As a country, we're broke. Our federal government is $14 Trillion in debt. My state is looking to cut 15% out of its budget in the coming year. We can no longer afford the steep social costs associated with illegal immigration. I walk into my child's school, and all I see are the faces of Hispanic immigrants. Most have difficulty speaking English. Significant tax dollars go to teaching, feeding, housing and providing health care for immigrants. It has to stop. We simply can't afford it.

Jobs - My gosh, we are in dire need of jobs in this country. Why in the world do we persist with this halt to offshore, deep water drilling? That decision to stop drilling has thrown 10s of thousands out of work. We need every job we can find. Enough with these dumb assed decisions in Washington DC that wind up costing Americans their paychecks.

Mortgage programs - STOP handing my tax dollars to stupid people. I am just sick and tired of all the programs being invented to just hand our money over to stupid people who lived beyond their means and bought more house than they could afford. Enough is enough. Rip off the band-aide. Allow these people to be foreclosed upon. The faster we get to the bottom of this housing crises, the quicker we'll recover. Allow capitalism to clean this mess up. Kick people who can't pay out of their homes. Allow the homes to get sold to financially responsible Americans.

Stop waging war and trying to protect the entire planet. We've spent $1.3 Trillion in Iraq and Afghanistan. We keep troops and bases all over the world. But, we're broke. Bring these Americans home. Bring them ALL home. Take a knife out and cut the defense budget to the damn bone. We simply can't afford to be the world's protector.

Geithner and Summers. These two gentlemen are clowns of the highest order. The fact that we have 2 clowns running our economic policies in this country are just one huge embarrassment. Both were in power at critical periods in the past and had their hands in making stupid decisions that led to this crises. They don't deserve to be representing our country at the highest levels of our government . Kick their sorry tails out of Washington DC.

Stop cowering in the closet. Democrats need to go for the jugular. Republicans politicians F'ed up our country. Their terrible philosophy of endless tax cutting while running tremendous deficits, their laissez-faire attitude of allowing the markets to police themselves, their war mongering and throwing of massive amounts of our budget into the defense department, and their overall attitude of rewarding the rich while screwing the middle class ... well, these are all good reasons to go for the jugular. The leaders of the Democratic party need stop trying to compromise with Republicans. God damn it, kick the Republican Party in the teeth and run them the hell out of Washington DC. They screwed up this country. They need to be punished.

I don't want to vote for anyone running on my Republican Party ticket. But I'm not seeing enough reason to vote for a Democrat either. Democrats need to wake the hell up and start finding a way to appeal to those of us who see the Republican Party for what it is - the root cause of our economic mess.

North Carolina deserves better than Republican Senator Richard Burr.

Thursday, September 2, 2010

Throwing in the towel

Our Democrat led Justice Department just sued a sheriff down in Arizona, a sheriff who is trying to accomplish what the American people want accomplished ....
  • Close our damn borders to illegals.
  • Round up and kick illegal aliens out of our country.
We can no longer afford to turn a blind eye to our illegal immigration problem. We simply can't afford the social spending we're incurring to accommodate all the illegals in our country.

Yep. I'm fed up with Republicans. They destroyed our economy.

Now I'm even more fed up with Democrats. They're moving forward with a constant stream of stupid shit that the American people just don't want to happen.

I'm throwing in the towel on this blog. I'm simply fed up with every god damn political party. There isn't a one that represents the interests of the majority of Americans. Not a one.

Republicans, Democrats .... they can both go to hell.