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message 1: by Ilyn (last edited Mar 02, 2009 03:56PM) (new)

Ilyn Ross (ilyn_ross) | 1280 comments Mod
Stocks tumbled today, with the Dow and S&P 500 falling to 12-year lows.

Markets.......... Last........... Change
Dow Jones..... 6,763.29... -299.64 / -4.24%
Nasdaq.......... 1,322.85..... -54.99 / -3.99%
S&P 500.......... 700.82..... -34.27 / -4.66%

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In this financial crisis, global trade has collapsed and trade finance has evaporated. Trade-credit insurers have raised premiums by as much as 25%, leaving suppliers with the tough choice of either insisting on receiving payments in cash or transacting on credit and risking not being paid at all. Similarly, importers have trouble obtaining the letters of credit required for their home banks to serve as payments to exporters.

It is imperative to restore the capacity and willingness of financial institutions to lend and, in doing so, give goods traders the assurance that their desired transactions would be enabled by a viable medium of exchange.

Amidst the financial paralysis and collapse, the Obama Administration fuels the fears of investors and lenders. The remedies it advocates, like the mortgage cram down initiative and bank nationalization, run counter to the goal of attracting private capital to the financial system.

This is followed by President Obama’s joint address to Congress where he declared his dedication to loot the top 2% to fund universal healthcare and universal education, to expand economic regulations, and to push for the great business-destroyer: climate-change programs.

The top 2% earners have rights equal to the inherent inalienable rights of every man. Their destruction would destroy millions of jobs.


message 2: by Ilyn (last edited Mar 02, 2009 04:30PM) (new)

Ilyn Ross (ilyn_ross) | 1280 comments Mod
The government keeps on propping up AIG and Citigroup. The revamped AIG rescue plan -- now totaling $162.5 billion -- commits another $30 billion to AIG. AIG's $61.7 billion loss for the 4th quarter of 2008 was the largest ever reported by an American company.

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The government has been the CEO of the US economy for over a century. When a government central planner makes a mistake, a whole industry or the entire economy could crash.

We have a mixed economy in the US, not a free market. An explosive mixture of freedom and controls, a mixed economy has no principles to define its policies, goals, and laws. Having no principles to limit the power of its government, it could collapse into dictatorship.

A mixed economy is a mixture of incomprehensible contradictions. Companies have been broken up because of their bigness; mergers have been prevented. Yet, AIG and Citigroup were bailed out because they were deemed ‘too big to be allowed to fail.’ Antitrust has been touted to be the fair-competition law, but how does a company compete with too-big-to-fail, government-created, coercive-power-backed oligopolies?

A businessman’s success depends on his mind and effort, and on free, uncoerced trade. A bureaucrat’s success depends on his political pull. A businessman cannot force anyone; he suffers the consequences of his mistakes; he takes the loss if he fails. A bureaucrat forces his decisions on everyone; he destroys one who disagrees.

When a bureaucrat makes a mistake, he blames businessmen and uses the consequences of the mistake to obtain more coercive power. When a bureaucrat fails, the loss is passed on to taxpayers.
A businessman could be forced to pay his employees more than the market permits. He is expected to find a way to survive while operating at a loss. When the government achieves totalitarian power, forced labor camps are not far behind.

Both the Democratic and Republican parties champion the system of having the government as the CEO of the US economy. The private sector must stop them now.

If men are left free, the mistake of one businessman or company can have no great impact on an entire industry. Barring rights-infringement, individuals should be free to do what they think best. Interference or coercion is contrary to man's survival.


message 3: by Ilyn (last edited Mar 02, 2009 04:44PM) (new)

Ilyn Ross (ilyn_ross) | 1280 comments Mod
Re: The government as the CEO of the US economy and its mistakes that impacted the housing and financial industries.

The government owns the financial system. The financial crisis was caused by the Federal Reserve (Fed), FDIC, Housing Policy, HUD, SEC, CRA, Fannie Mae, and Freddie Mac.

The Fed kept interest rates below the rate of inflation, spurring borrowing that led to the housing bubble. The Community Reinvestment Act coerces banks to lend money to low-income and poor-credit households. The government-guaranteed debt provided by government-sponsored enterprises Fannie Mae and Freddie Mac led to artificially low mortgage rates and the illusion that the financial instruments created by bundling them are low risk. Government-licensed rating agencies gave AAA ratings to mortgage-backed securities, creating a false sense of confidence. Deposit insurance and the ‘too big to fail’ doctrine create huge distortions in incentives and risk-taking throughout the financial system.

As coercive laws like antitrust and insider trading continued to terrorize businessmen, Mr. George W. Bush signed into law massive new governmental controls like Sarbanes-Oxley and massive new welfare programs like the prescription drug benefit.

President Obama is using the financial crisis to blame the free market and to institute socialism. Mr. Obama says millions of Americans do not have health insurance because the health-care system has been left to the free market. His solution is a complete government takeover of medicine.

Blanking out that the top 1% pays for 40% of all taxes, the top 5% pays for 60%, and half pays for 95%, Mr. Obama claims the rich have been favored by cowboy capitalism and must have their taxes increased to fund universal education and earmarks.

After heaping the ills of government economic intervention on capitalism, even more government intervention is proposed as the cure. Despite massive evidence that the Federal Reserve and other government policies were responsible for the Great Depression, capitalism was blamed. Consequently, in the aftermath, the government’s power over the economy was dramatically expanded. Despite compelling evidence that the energy crisis of the 1970s was brought on by monetary inflation exacerbated by the abandonment of the remnants of the gold standard, and made worse by prices controls, ‘greedy’ oil companies were blamed.

The government has gotten away with being a tyrant because we have not had Patrick Henrys or Thomas Jeffersons among the ranks of businessmen and because citizens have been blind to the truth that economic regulations are shackles incompatible with liberty.


message 4: by Ilyn (new)

Ilyn Ross (ilyn_ross) | 1280 comments Mod
From Dr. Edwin Locke:

How many prosperous socialist countries, that is, countries in which the government owns all property and totally manages the economy, exist in the world? None. How many have ever existed? None. Socialism is not a method of production at all but a method of enslavement, a method of forcibly crushing the mind’s ability to function.

The only results socialism has ever achieved and ever will are mass poverty and stagnation.


message 5: by Lauren (last edited Mar 02, 2009 04:54PM) (new)

Lauren (djinni) Which socialist nations are poor and stagnate? (as a citation sort of thing)


message 6: by Ilyn (last edited Mar 02, 2009 05:01PM) (new)

Ilyn Ross (ilyn_ross) | 1280 comments Mod
List of socialist countries: http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/List_of_...


message 7: by Ilyn (new)

Ilyn Ross (ilyn_ross) | 1280 comments Mod
On February 11, 2009, Governor Mervyn King of the Bank of England announced that the Bank was prepared to cut interest rates below 1% and use "unconventional measures" to dig the economy out of the "deep recession" that it failed to spot six months ago. Mr. King said Threadneedle Street would use the "full range of instruments at its disposal" to counter the impact of the credit crunch and the collapse in confidence.

Mr. King defended the monetary fiscal and financial policies of the Bank's nine-strong monetary policy committee while admitting: "I'm not pretending that everything worked well. It clearly didn't". As for savers, Mr. King said that he had "immense sympathy" for them because they are "clearly the one group who did not cause any of the problems we are facing". However, he said that, in the short run, "if we did not take measures to stimulate the economy, then the savers would find they would be actually worse off – there would be even higher unemployment and even more of a downturn in the economy."

Mr. King said output would be slumping at an annual rate of 4% in 2009. Unveiling the Bank's quarterly inflation report, he announced: "The UK is in a deep recession, caught up in a synchronised global downturn. Restoring both lending and confidence will not be easy and will take time. There is a risk that the recession could be even worse than currently envisaged.” Mr. King also stated that Threadneedle Street could introduce quantitative easing at any time. "Bank rate doesn't have to go to zero, because we're getting to the point where it doesn't make a great deal of difference where it is."

The Bank of England was the third central bank, after the US Federal Reserve and the Bank of Japan, to explicitly adopt quantitative easing in an effort to bring down private sector borrowing rates. Mr. King’s announcement followed a bleak assessment by the Bank of the outlook for growth in the UK economy: it expected GDP to shrink by more than 3.5% in 2009 and projected a mild recovery in 2010.

The Bank of England and the whole business world think the United Kingdom is the hardest-hit economy in the G-7.


message 8: by Violeta (last edited Mar 02, 2009 08:17PM) (new)

Violeta (violetagloria) | 4 comments Thank you for this economic and finance analysis. I love financial tracking research too.
But Ilyn, while I appreciate understanding world's economy and the economic regression, I'd still feel prefer not to be too engrossed on its negative impact but on how we dealt on it; how we are coping and how we are making life possible.


message 9: by Violeta (new)

Violeta (violetagloria) | 4 comments Moreover, I don't think business organizations are susceptible to the whims of politicians. Note that most of the bureaucrats are capitalists and owner of micro to macro enterprises.
Politics and business is now in similar body, that's why we have intermarriage of legislative and business agenda. More often legislation favors business that's why we are in a deep quagmire in understanding politico-economy and how they have intertwined interests.
What I'm saying is-- politicians cannot dictate capitalists. Its more of the other side.


message 10: by Ilyn (last edited Mar 03, 2009 12:05AM) (new)

Ilyn Ross (ilyn_ross) | 1280 comments Mod
Re: "politicians cannot dictate capitalists..."

The government holds the monopoly on coercive power. Only the government can legally use force. A good government uses force solely to protect rights.

In freedom, rights-respecting individuals would not be bothered by politicians. In a mixed economy, like the US, the government shackles and tyrannizes businessmen (I'll give examples in the next posts).

The Obama Administration is using the economic crisis to turn the mixed economy into absolute statism. Statism holds that the lives of citizens belong to the state - this is slavery.


message 11: by Ilyn (last edited Mar 02, 2009 10:28PM) (new)

Ilyn Ross (ilyn_ross) | 1280 comments Mod
Citizens' sanction of the use of force in order to ‘do good’ gives the government camouflage in terrorizing the most productive citizens into submission.

Under the Antitrust laws, no matter what a businessman does, he becomes a criminal. If he charges prices deemed too high, he is guilty of monopoly or the ‘intent to monopolize’; if he charges prices lower than those of his competitors, he is guilty of ‘unfair competition’ or ‘restraint of trade’; and if he charges the same prices as his competitors, they are all guilty of ‘collusion’ or ‘conspiracy.’”

Companies are charged with being “anti-competitive” under a variety of pricing policies. The drug companies are said to be guilty of setting prices that are too high; Wal-Mart of setting prices that are too low; the airlines of setting prices that are too similar.


message 12: by Ilyn (last edited Mar 03, 2009 12:10AM) (new)

Ilyn Ross (ilyn_ross) | 1280 comments Mod
The Sherman Act, the competition or antitrust law, was named after its author, Republican Senator John Sherman. It passed in the Senate on April 8, 1890 by a vote of 51 - 1, unanimously (242 - 0) in the House of Representatives on June 20, 1890, and then signed into law by President Benjamin Harrison, a Republican, on July 2, 1890.

President Theodore Roosevelt, a leader of the Republican Party and of the Progressive Party, used the Sherman Act extensively in his antitrust campaign, including dividing the Northern Securities Company. President William Howard Taft, a Republican, used the Act to split the American Tobacco Company.

Only the government has the power to coerce. All coercive monopolies are created by government intervention into the economy. The Objectivist Newsletter of February 1962 wrote: ‘Free competition enforced by law is a grotesque contradiction in terms.

Not a single antitrust law was repealed or amended under President Reagan. Industries deregulated under President Carter became subject to antitrust under the Reagan Administration. In 1985, more than a dozen executives from electrical contracting firms were jailed for antitrust violations.

After years of government strangulation, the US airline industry was substantially deregulated in the late 1970s. This industry flourished. “Price wars” proliferated and prices plummeted. The George H. W. Bush Administration filed an antitrust suit for “price fixing”, alleging that the major airlines fixed prices through technologically advanced fare and reservation systems, created by American and United. The Bush Administration forced these airlines to issue refunds and to share their reservation systems with competitors.

In 1993 during its push for socialized medicine, the Clinton Administration threatened the US pharmaceutical industry, the excellent mass-producer of affordable drugs, with an antitrust suit for “price gouging” and “excess profits”. Then, Mr. Clinton launched an attack against hospital mergers though they reduce medical costs.

Wal-Mart created a revolution in “discount retailing.” Its profits soared for selling name-brand goods cheaply. In 1993, it was found guilty under antitrust law of “predatory pricing”.

In 1994 under threat of being broken up, Microsoft was forced to disclose key operating system information to competitors.

The evils caused by the government are blamed on businessmen. While vilifying these rightless scapegoats, government touts the urgency to correct such evils and the need for wider coercive power.

The Antitrust laws have rendered businessmen rightless and have kept them under a silent, growing reign of terror.


message 13: by Ilyn (last edited May 16, 2009 04:49PM) (new)

Ilyn Ross (ilyn_ross) | 1280 comments Mod
The government established in the Insider Trading laws: unearned profits by force. Profiting from years of study and establishing goodwill with others is earned profit, but punishable with fines and imprisonment. Intellectual egalitarianism, the belief that the minds and the knowledge of all men must be equalized, is the root premise of full disclosure and insider trading laws.

Knowledge is good for everyone. Allowing intervention by force into the very process of gaining and using knowledge, like the regulation of financial information, is one of the most dangerous of all economic controls.

Brilliant wealth creators who never sought government help are malevolently called robber barons. This dishonest label is purposed to foster virulent animosity against successful producers. This enslavement tactic has had the desired result: the American people have condoned laws against bigness and spectacular success. The advocacy and sanction of coercion is the mark of evil.

For over a century, oppressive laws have terrorized American businessmen. Corporate America is under a bipartisan dictatorship.


message 14: by Ilyn (new)

Ilyn Ross (ilyn_ross) | 1280 comments Mod
Alan Greenspan says in his essay entitled Antitrust: "No one will ever know what new products, processes, machines, and cost-saving mergers failed to come into existence, killed by the Sherman Act before they were born. No one can ever compute the price that all of us have paid for that Act which, by inducing less effective use of capital, has kept our standard of living lower than would otherwise have been possible."


message 15: by Ilyn (last edited Mar 02, 2009 10:37PM) (new)

Ilyn Ross (ilyn_ross) | 1280 comments Mod
The following is from Mike Milken, a brilliant innovator who created millions of jobs, and consequently, tyrannized by power-lusters:

“In 1993, a new government health-plan proposal would have led to sweeping changes in the pharmaceutical industry, including what some feared would be regulation of rates of return on investments. This would have had a major impact on an industry in which it can take 14 years to bring a new drug to market. The ten largest companies in the industry lost a staggering $70 billion in market capitalization in only 14 months because of the mere possibility of regulated rates of return. Tragically, but logically, pharmaceutical companies responded by cutting research-and-development budgets in a necessary realignment of risk and return. While we'll never be able to measure what medical breakthroughs may have been lost or delayed, one thing is certain: corporate managements can never afford to ignore regulatory developments.

In the late 1980s, Congress passed the Financial Institutions Reform, Recovery and Enforcement Act (FIRREA), which typified a brief period of over-regulation that targeted insurance companies, bondholders, banks and other lenders. Well-meaning but ill-advised, FIRREA banned investments by savings and loan institutions in non-investment-grade companies and forced the S&Ls to sell existing loans that had been made to these enterprises — the very companies that create all the new jobs in America. (Over the last 30 years, more than 100 percent of jobs created in the U.S. have come from small and medium-sized companies that don't qualify for an "investment-grade" credit rating. During the same period, the 800 or so investment-grade companies have actually shed a net four million workers while smaller companies created 62 million jobs.) At the time, there was only a handful of investment-grade companies headed or controlled by African Americans, Hispanics, women or unions.

Thus, as recently as the late 20th century, the Congress of the United States effectively, albeit unknowingly, said it was illegal to provide capital to businesses headed by minorities and women or to any company that would create jobs. It was OK to make a mortgage loan that would build a building; but you couldn't finance the company that provided jobs for the people inside the building. That's why I called FIRREA and similar regulatory acts "neutron legislation" - like a neutron bomb, they left buildings standing but eliminated the people, or at least their jobs. Because only a handful of our 50 states have more than a few dozen "investment-grade" companies (some states have no such companies), Congress effectively redlined most regions of the country, reducing asset values and employment.”


message 16: by Ilyn (last edited Mar 02, 2009 10:44PM) (new)

Ilyn Ross (ilyn_ross) | 1280 comments Mod
On March 22, 1989, Lisa Jones was convicted for covering up “crimes” that were never proven.

Lisa was a trader's assistant for Drexel Burnham Lambert Inc.. Not yet fourteen in 1978, she ran away from home in New Jersey and traveled to California. Instead of turning to crime, like drugs and prostitution, she lied about her age and was able to get hired as a bank teller in Los Angeles and rent an apartment. For the next several years, she lied about her age, education, background, and work experience in filling out credit card, job, and other applications.

In 1980, Drexel hired Lisa in a clerical position. The youngster with no formal education rose through the ranks to become a trader's assistant. Against all the odds, the teenage runaway made a success of herself. In January, 1988, she was earning over $ 100,000 a year.

Lisa’s remarkable American success story was annihilated by then New York City Attorney General Rudy Giuliani’s reign of tyranny.

Giuliani’s unbridled greed for the power to coerce is made possible by vicious envy, undefined and flexible laws, some crooked judges, and the blessings of many in the press.


message 17: by Ilyn (last edited Mar 02, 2009 10:46PM) (new)

Ilyn Ross (ilyn_ross) | 1280 comments Mod
From March to August 1991, the US Second District Court of Appeals in New York consecutively voided or reversed a slew of Giuliani convictions. Consequently, the Wall Street Journal ran an editorial headlined: “The Greed Decade Reversed”.

Despite the reversals, the victims of Giuliani’s prosecutorial excesses greatly suffered. Innocent people and businesses were destroyed.


message 18: by Ilyn (new)

Ilyn Ross (ilyn_ross) | 1280 comments Mod
Giuliani ordered the arrest of Timothy Tabor, a former arbitrageur at Kidder, Peabody & Co., on the evening of February 11, 1987. Refusing to confess and cooperate, and unable to arrange bail due to the timing of his arrest, he spent the night in jail. The head of arbitrage at Kidder, Richard Wigton, was arrested at his office the following day. He was handcuffed and led away in tears before waiting television cameras. That same day, the head of arbitrage at Goldman Sachs, Robert Freeman, was also arrested and handcuffed on the trading floor. Giuliani touted in a series of press conferences and national television appearances that the government’s case was strong. He placed Kidder under criminal investigation. Kidder made a deal which put tremendous pressure on Mr. Tabor and Mr. Wigton, but they asserted their innocence and refused to cooperate against Mr. Freeman.

Judge Robert Stanton granted the request of the defendants for a speedy trial and turned down the request of Giuliani for a continuance. Having no case, the government had no choice but to dismiss the indictment.


message 19: by Ilyn (last edited Mar 02, 2009 10:49PM) (new)

Ilyn Ross (ilyn_ross) | 1280 comments Mod
On December 17, 1987, fifty federal marshals carrying guns and wearing bulletproof vests raided Princeton/Newport Partners, one of the most successful securities firm. The same night, the government investigator who signed the arrest warrants against Mr. Tabor, Mr. Wigton, and Mr. Freeman, was sent to see Lisa Jones. She refused to cooperate. The government gave her immunity to compel her to testify and expected her to incriminate her superiors at Drexel. But no matter what the government threatened, she stuck to her story.

The Princeton/Newport officers refused to plead guilty and rejected any promise of leniency in exchange for cooperation.

On August 4, 1988, the government indicted Jay Regan and four other Princeton/Newport officers for violating the Racketeer Influenced and Corrupt Organizations Act, commonly referred to as RICO Act or RICO. Lisa’s boss at Drexel, Bruce Newberg, was also indicted.

Giuliani used RICO’s vague language as a potent weapon to coerce guilty pleas and punish those who refused to implicate others.


message 20: by Ilyn (last edited Mar 02, 2009 10:52PM) (new)

Ilyn Ross (ilyn_ross) | 1280 comments Mod
For years since 1986, the news department of the Wall Street Journal continuously reported illegal leaks from Giuliani that the government had “unearthed substantial evidence to support charges of criminal violations of securities laws by Michael Milken and Drexel Burnham Lambert Inc.” Week after week, reporters James Stewart, Daniel Hertzberg, and Laurie Cohen wrote one front-page story after another that read like prosecutorial briefs explaining to the public why Drexel and Mr. Milken were guilty of major crimes.

By June of 1988, the Wall Street Journal was reporting that the Securities and Exchange Commission or SEC had decided to file a massive securities-fraud action against Drexel and Mr. Milken. Though they had been tried and convicted in the press, Drexel and Mr. Milken could not defend themselves because no charges had been filed. This repugnant government strategy was never questioned by the press. Instead, the press, with almost no exceptions, were eager participants in the destruction of pure greatness.


message 21: by Ilyn (new)

Ilyn Ross (ilyn_ross) | 1280 comments Mod
In September, 1988, the SEC filed a 183-page securities-fraud suit against Drexel, Mr. Milken, and others. Judge Milton Pollack immediately ordered that Drexel would not be allowed to defend itself against the SEC’s charges by subpoenaing witnesses or documents. Drexel and Milken, once again, had no ability to respond to the charges.

With so much advance buildup from the never-ending leaks, the SEC’s suit was a big anticlimax. The SEC simply could muster no evidence that Drexel and Mr. Milken had injured anybody. The press should have been filled with stories about how the suit showed the emperor has no clothes. Instead, the Washington Post reported that the SEC had filed ‘the most sweeping securities fraud case against a major Wall Street firm in the agency’s history.’ Similarly, the New York Times reported that the government’s accusations were ‘stronger than expected.’ Others, including the Wall Street Journal, reported that the suit had exposed widespread corruption on Wall Street and it was just a matter of time until Drexel and Mr. Milken were criminally indicted.

Giuliani demanded that Drexel plead guilty and cooperate against Mr. Milken or face a RICO indictment.

In November, 1988, Giuliani indicted Lisa Jones for perjury. Prosecutor Mark Hansen told the jury that she lied to the grand jury to conceal Drexel’s involvement in the criminal tax trades in order to protect Drexel and her comfortable lifestyle.


message 22: by Ilyn (last edited Mar 02, 2009 10:56PM) (new)

Ilyn Ross (ilyn_ross) | 1280 comments Mod
In December, 1988, Princeton/Newport went out of business. A law directed at mob violence and organized crime was used by a tyrant to drive a highly successful company out of business before those indicted had a chance to defend themselves in a trial.

Drexel made a bargain with the devil on December 21, 1988. Drexel agreed to plead guilty, settle the SEC lawsuit, and fire Mr. Mike Milken and his bother, Mr. Lowell Milken. Naked tyranny was unleashed! The 1988 compensation owed to the Milkens were confiscated, though at that time, they had not been accused of any crime.


message 23: by Ilyn (last edited Mar 02, 2009 11:02PM) (new)

Ilyn Ross (ilyn_ross) | 1280 comments Mod
Lisa was convicted on March 22, 1989. She was sentenced to serve eighteen months in prison. Also this month, the government filed a ninety-eight-count indictment against Mr. Mike Milken and his brother Lowell accusing them of racketeering, and securities, mail, and wire fraud.

The Princeton/Newport trial began in late June 1989. The trial judge, Judge Robert Carter, refused to allow the defense to offer evidence and expert testimony that the tax trades are legal based on relevant tax laws and regulations. Prosecutor Hansen told the jurors that they need not worry about technical nuances of law to convict under RICO.

Whether the defendants had in fact complied with the tax law became irrelevant in a case where they were accused of tax fraud!

The jury convicted the defendants on substantially all the charges. Envy and tyranny won!

Mr. Fischel wrote: “During the trial, the Justice Department adopted a major policy change making it practically impossible to base future RICO cases on tax offenses. The accompanying statement, in a thinly disguised slap at Rudy Giuliani, made clear that a change was required to prevent overzealous prosecutors from converting routine civil tax disputes into major criminal RICO prosecutions.

On appeal, the Second Circuit threw out the convictions for the tax trades.
But, by then, the Princeton/Newport firm had been RICOed out of existence by Rudy Giuliani.


At the time of Lisa Jones’ trial, there had been as yet no proof that the tax trades were illegal. The Second Circuit’s reversal of the conviction of the Princeton/Newport defendants meant that Lisa Jones was prosecuted and convicted for defending tax trades that were not criminal. Unfortunately, she was unable to have her conviction overturned, though her sentence was reduced to ten months.”


message 24: by Ilyn (new)

Ilyn Ross (ilyn_ross) | 1280 comments Mod
But the popular media and the public were deaf, mute, and blind. Or on the side of Rudy Giuliani. The reign of tyranny marched on.

On February 13, 1990, Drexel declared bankruptcy. Benjamin Stein compared the fall of Drexel, a private company with no power to coerce, with the defeat of Nazi Germany.

The ninety-eight-count indictment against the Milkens contained nothing that was not already known from the SEC’s earlier civil suit against Drexel and the extensive press leaks. The indictment was like a tyrant with no clothes, but it disclosed the Milkens’ spectacular wealth up-front. The government understood that, to the envious, the Milkens’ compensation was sufficient to prove their guilt.


message 25: by Ilyn (last edited Mar 02, 2009 11:08PM) (new)

Ilyn Ross (ilyn_ross) | 1280 comments Mod
Mike Milken's legendary Wall Street career began in 1969 when he joined the firm that would become Drexel Burnham Lambert. Having completed in-depth studies of financial history and debt at the University of California, Berkeley and of corporate capital structure at the Wharton School of the University of Pennsylvania, Mike concluded that the key to institutional competitive success on Wall Street was research. This was an inversion of the pyramid at most firms where sales was valued most, then trading, with research at the bottom. This belief was the foundation for his financial revolution, which helped build America's current industrial and commercial infrastructure. Simply stated, Mike believed that capital structure matters. The choice of capital structure could significantly affect the valuation of a company and the risk of investing in it.

Over two decades, Mr. Milken financed more than 3,200 companies that became engines of job creation beginning with his very first transaction, which helped assure Boeing's market leadership through the rest of the century.

Starting in Drexel's fixed-income research department, Mike eventually assumed responsibility for a wide range of financing that used more than 50 types of securities in 14 asset categories to provide customers with a full range of debt and equity services to match their capital-structure needs. By 1976, he had established unrivalled credibility and trust by building up the quality of Drexel's debt research: the financial theories he developed in the 1960s had been proven in the world's markets.

A report stated, “Mike didn't just head a lot of different departments in his work at Drexel. He and his colleagues created what is today a major part of the structure of global finance based on their financial innovations in the 1970s. This structure - now taken for granted and taught in every business school - powered job growth in America for a quarter century and is now moving around the world through the efforts of the Milken Institute.

His most important work was financing entrepreneurs who had good ideas for building companies that became significant engines of job growth. Based on his studies during the 1960s and his practical experience in the 1970s, Mike was determined to focus, first, on cash flow rather than reported earnings; and second, to consider human capital part of the balance sheet. He changed entire industries where smaller players simply did not have access to capital until he provided it. In home building, which employs millions of people directly and through subcontracting, Milken financed KB Homes, now the largest company in the industry, as well as Toll Brothers, MDC Homes, Hovnanian Enterprises, Oriole Homes, U.S. Home and many others. These are companies that literally built the American Dream.

In entertainment, MGM, News Corp., Viacom and Time Warner were all Milken-financed. In the toy industry: Toys-R-Us, Mattel, Hasbro and LeapFrog. In hospitality: Hilton, Days Inn, Holiday Inn and others. Convenience stores include 7-11 (Southland Corp.) and Circle K.

Safeway is a company with 200,000 employees in almost 1,800 stores across the U.S. and Canada. Every one of those employees can thank Milken for helping build the company that provides their paychecks. His financing was crucial to Chrysler when they most needed it to stay in business and grow in the early 1980s. The cable television industry would not be in anywhere close to four-fifths of American homes if he hadn't financed several of the major companies. Occidental Petroleum wouldn't have jobs for its 8,000 current employees without Milken.

Cellphones are in just about everyone's pocket today. The industry started in the early 1980s when Milken financed a small company called McCaw Cellular Communications.

Another way to look at the impact Milken has had is to consider just one state. Nevada, the fastest-growing state in the nation, saw its economy kick-started by Milken's financing of its gaming industry, newspapers and homebuilders. The rule of thumb in the gaming industry is that every job created within the industry creates more than three additional jobs in the local economy. By that measure, his financing of MGM Mirage, Mandalay Resorts, Harrah's Entertainment and Park Place accounts for something like 600,000 jobs.

Milken was also a pioneer in providing access to capital for minorities and women. In the early 1980s, he received hate mail and even a death threat for financing African-American entrepreneurs like Reg Lewis. Before Milken, no woman had ever headed a publicly traded company that she had not inherited; Milken was the first to finance such a company.

Some of the other names among companies Milken financed include: AMC Entertainment; Bally's Manufacturing; Barnes & Noble; Beatrice; Cablevision; Caesars World; Calvin Klein; Chiquita Brands Int'l; Duracell; Filene's Basement; GAF Corp.; General Host Corp.; Kay Jewelers; Knoll Int'l; MCI; Medco; Mellon Bank; Metromedia; Philadelphia Electric; Playtex; Sunshine Mining; TCI; Uniroyal Goodrich; and Telemundo.”


message 26: by Ilyn (last edited Mar 02, 2009 11:21PM) (new)

Ilyn Ross (ilyn_ross) | 1280 comments Mod
Mr. Mike Milken earned his wealth honestly and with the greatest honor – by using his mind to create a brilliant innovation.

But the land of the free is free no more. The rich with no political connections are deemed criminals because they are rich. The principle of equal inherent inalienable rights has been annihilated by Giuliani, the SEC, many in the press, and the envious. Tyranny, envy, and irrationality reign.

The government’s evidence of guilt was the following:

Direct Compensation from Drexel........ Mike.............................. Lowell

1983............................................. $ 45,715,000
1984.............................................. 123,805,000.................... 10,180,000
1985.............................................. 135,324,000.................... 16,674,000
1986.............................................. 294,779,000.................... 27,209,000
1987.............................................. 550,054,000.................... 48,059,000

The full might of the US government was thrown at Mike Milken and his brother. When the FBI interviewed their ninety-two-year-old grandfather, Mike was at the breaking point.

In April 1990, Mike Milken pled guilty to six “felonies” and agreed to pay $600 million, consisting of $200 million fine and an additional $400 million for the creation of a restitution fund to compensate “victims”.


message 27: by Ilyn (last edited Mar 02, 2009 11:26PM) (new)

Ilyn Ross (ilyn_ross) | 1280 comments Mod
From Daniel Fischel, a professor of law and business at the University of Chicago Law School, in his book: “Payback - The Conspiracy to Destroy Michael Milken and his Financial Revolution”:

Mike Milken was a tough and formidable competitor who was despised by the Wall Street and business establishment he displaced. His success made him the envy of many, both in and out of the financial world. He was an outsider who made it big by ignoring the unspoken rule that outsiders must know their place and not rock the boat. There is no evidence that he committed any crimes, and certainly no evidence that he engaged in any conduct that had ever before been considered criminal. After the most thorough investigation of any individual’s business practices in history, the government came up with nothing. In fact, the government never established that Mr. Milken’s “crimes” were anything other than routine business practices common in the industry.

After all the leaks and accusations, the Fatico hearing exposed the government’s case as a bust even though the government had every advantage. Mr. Milken’s lawyer had demolished the government’s case but Mike was still a convicted felon awaiting sentencing. On November 21, 1990, he was sentenced by Judge Kimba Wood to serve ten years in prison.

In 1992, Mike Milken and other ex-Drexel employees settled hundreds of civil lawsuits. He paid over $1 billion to resolve claims against him though it was pure and simple legal extortion.

On August 5, 1992 Judge Wood reduced Mr. Milken’s ten-year sentence to twenty-four months. This was after her colleague, Judge Stanton, had publicly stated that one of the six felonies that Mr. Milken pleaded to was not even a crime. The Second Circuit had also reversed a slew of Rudy Giuliani’s convictions for the same conduct that Mr. Milken was accused of.


message 28: by Ilyn (new)

Ilyn Ross (ilyn_ross) | 1280 comments Mod
The reign of envy and tyranny is an unholy alliance of the establishment displaced by brilliant innovation and the ‘decade-of-greed’ destroyers, aided by unscrupulous power-lusters: government lawyers like Rudy Giuliani. This alliance, coupled with a corrupt press and some crooked judges, is a national abomination.

Mr. Mike Milken was released from prison in March 1993.

Republican Rudy Giuliani became New York City Mayor in 1994. The voters sanctioned tyranny and the unholy alliance.


message 29: by Ilyn (last edited Mar 03, 2009 12:15AM) (new)

Ilyn Ross (ilyn_ross) | 1280 comments Mod
In 1998, thirty-nine-year-old Eliot Spitzer, a Democrat, became the New York City Attorney General. He became the most powerful man in Wall Street. He greatly enjoyed being feared by industry giants. In the guise of protecting consumers, his office became the country's foremost regulator of the financial services industry.

After the tremendous success of the unholy alliance in tyrannizing Mr. Mike Milken, Spitzer has discarded all pretense to decency. His press leaks of regulatory investigations cause stock declines and losses forcing businesses to kowtow to his whims. King Eliot sees no need to prepare cases for trial since a company goes bankrupt before it is even indicted. Like a power-crazed king, he gleefully wields the power to destroy any company and any businessman.”

Wall Street became power-luster Spitzer's kingdom. He had the gun to terrorize Wall Street: New York State's Martin Act. He had jurisdiction since most financial firms and many of their clients were based in New York.

Description of the 1921 legislation: It gives extraordinary powers and discretion to an attorney general. In the name of fighting financial fraud, he can subpoena any document from anyone doing business in the state; he can arbitrarily conduct investigations, whimsically make public any allegation, and file civil or criminal charges at his fancy. Extraordinarily, people called in for questioning under the Martin Act do not have the right to counsel or the right against self-incrimination. The Act's powers far exceed any other regulation law.

Only in the state that persecuted Mike Milken! Only in New York where government kings were hailed as heroes!


message 30: by Ilyn (last edited Mar 02, 2009 11:38PM) (new)

Ilyn Ross (ilyn_ross) | 1280 comments Mod
Federal agencies are confined to narrow jurisdictions. The SEC lords it over securities issues, the Federal Trade Commission wields power over antitrust matters, and the Justice Department prosecutes fraud. But Spitzer has unlimited powers. Functioning as a one-stop prosecutorial and regulatory shop, he can, at his own discretion, indict any executive on securities fraud and levy antitrust charges at any company.

Spitzer took advantage of the nature of the jobs of top executives: they were corporate officers with company assets and reputations to protect. Instead of presenting facts to a grand jury, he issued press releases. Corporate executives thought they had no other recourse but to bow and bend to Spitzer.

King Eliot pursued Merrill Lynch's investment banking and research practices. He issued a press release announcing "a shocking betrayal of trust by one of Wall Street's most trusted names." This caused Merrill Lynch to lose $5 billion in market value in a few days. It quickly settled. The investment banking world buckled under pressure when King Eliot alleged that they issued biased research to curry favor with investment-banking clients, and that they gave executives of client-companies special access to shares in initial public offerings (IPOs). In the landmark December research settlement, major firms - Bear Stearns, Credit Suisse First Boston, Deutsche Bank Alex. Brown, Goldman Sachs, J.P. Morgan Chase, Lehman Bros., Merrill Lynch, Morgan Stanley, U.S. Bancorp Piper Jaffray, Salomon Smith Barney, Thomas Weisel, and UBS PaineWebber - agreed to pay $1.4 billion, to sever the links between research and investment banking, to ban the spinning of IPOs, and to commit to purchase independent research for five years and thus subsidize the independent research firms.

King Eliot boasted, “This agreement will permanently change the way Wall Street operates. Punishment, remedy, and structural change!”

King Eliot egregiously defiled the Declaration of Independence mandate that the use of force be used solely to protect Rights.


message 31: by Ilyn (new)

Ilyn Ross (ilyn_ross) | 1280 comments Mod
Next, King Eliot terrorized the mutual fund industry. He intimidated Edward Stern, a hedge fund manager who had set up late-trading and rapid-trading deals with several mutual funds. Mr. Stern cooperated. Then, King Eliot extorted a series of settlements with major mutual fund companies like Janus, MFS, and Strong Capital. Companies caved in to King Eliot’s demands. They paid fines and reduced fees for investors. King Eliot ecstatically puffed, “Punishment, remedy, and structural change!”

Spitzer investigations became an invitation for shareholder lawsuits. To appease King Eliot, CEOs resigned, top executives were replaced, and millions in fees were refunded. King Eliot lorded it over the business world. “Punishment, remedy, and structural change!”

Then, King Eliot accused commercial insurance companies of bid-rigging. Consequently, the stocks of the accused corporations, like AIG (American International Group, Inc.) and Marsh & McLennan, plummeted, losing a combined $38 billion in market capitalization. Terror gripped the insurers as King Eliot indicated that an industry-wide investigation had just begun.


message 32: by Ilyn (last edited Mar 02, 2009 11:51PM) (new)

Ilyn Ross (ilyn_ross) | 1280 comments Mod
Absolute terror reigned in Wall Street and in Corporate America. Tyrants had demonstrated in Mike Milken’s case that, notwithstanding the right to life, liberty, and the pursuit of happiness, businessmen were not protected by the Constitution. Spectacular success in one’s profession, without rights-infringement, had been condemned as unbridled greed for profits, and deemed the worst crime.

Envious minds were so rotten they couldn’t appreciate that profits earned by using reason and not compulsion is good, that spectacular profits meant more investments for more wealth and jobs.

Some of the companies terrorized by Spitzer have collapsed. Thousands of jobs have been lost.


message 33: by Ilyn (last edited Mar 03, 2009 12:21AM) (new)

Ilyn Ross (ilyn_ross) | 1280 comments Mod
In 2008, three of the largest US investment banks went under. Lehman Brothers went bankrupt. Bear Stearns and Merrill Lynch were sold at fire-sale prices to other banks. Investment banks Morgan Stanley and Goldman Sachs opted to become commercial banks, thereby subjecting themselves to more stringent regulation.

Bear Stearns Companies, Inc. was founded as an equity trading house in 1923 by Joseph Bear, Robert Stearns, and Harold Mayer, with $500,000 in capital. The firm survived the Wall Street Crash of 1929 without laying off any employees. Based in New York City, Bear Stearns was one of the largest global investment banks and securities trading and brokerage firms. The main business areas, based on 2006 net revenue distributions, were: capital markets (equities, fixed income, investment banking; just under 80%), wealth management (under 10%) and global clearing services (12%).

But Bear Stearns did not survive the subprime mortgage crisis and other mistakes of such magnitude that only the government could make. In 2008, unable to sell assets to meet liquidity requirements, solvent but not liquid Bear Stearns was sold to JPMorgan Chase for ten dollars per share, a price far below its 52-week high of $133.20 per share.

Six months after acquiring Bear Stearns, JPMorgan Chase was the only bank prepared to acquire the assets of Washington Mutual after seizure by the FDIC (Federal Deposit Insurance Corporation). These would save nearly 40,000 jobs and would provide market stability.

Government intervention into the housing and financial industries caused the subprime mortgage crisis. The Clinton and Bush administrations used government’s coercive power to increase homeownership. The Federal government leaned on the mortgage industry, including government-sponsored enterprises (GSEs) Fannie Mae and Freddie Mac, to lower lending standards. Also, the US Department of Housing and Urban Development's (HUD) mortgage policies fueled risky lending.

In 1995, the GSEs began receiving government incentive payments for purchasing mortgage-backed securities which included loans to lowincome borrowers. Subprime mortgage originations rose by 25% per year between 1994 and 2003, resulting in a nearly ten-fold increase in the volume of subprime mortgages in just nine years. The relatively high yields on these securities, in a time of low interest rates, was very attractive to Wall Street. The Fannie Mae and Freddie Mac subprime mortgage purchases encouraged the entire subprime market.

In 1996, HUD directed the GSEs to devote at least 42% of their mortgage purchases to those issued to borrowers whose household income was below the median in their area. This target increased to 50% in 2000 and 52% in 2005.

To fulfill their government mandate to make home buying more affordable, from 2002 to 2006, Fannie Mae and Freddie Mac combined purchases of subprime securities rose from $38 billion to around $175 billion per year before dropping to $90 billion. The total subprime securities market for this time period rose from $172 billion to nearly $500 billion and then went down to $450 billion.

By 2008, the GSEs owned, either directly or through mortgage pools they sponsored, $5.1 trillion in residential mortgages, about half the amount outstanding. Yet, their net worth as of June 30, 2008 was only US$114 billion.

In September 2008, reality sunk in - the highly leveraged GSEs crumbled. The Federal government placed them into a conservatorship, effectively nationalizing them at the taxpayers' expense.

The Community Reinvestment Act (CRA), passed by the 95th United States Congress and signed into law by President Jimmy Carter in 1977, encouraged lending to any borrower. Amendments to the CRA in the mid-1990s raised the amount of mortgages issued to otherwise unqualified low-income borrowers, and allowed the securitization of CRA-regulated mortgages, even though a fair number of them were subprime.


message 34: by Ilyn (last edited Mar 03, 2009 12:23AM) (new)

Ilyn Ross (ilyn_ross) | 1280 comments Mod
Government owns the monetary system. Government mistakes, enforced by force, could wipe out industries, impacting the entire economy. The Federal Reserve, SEC, FDIC, housing policies, government-sponsored enterprises Fannie Mae and Freddie Mac, and Attorney Generals, wreak havoc on the economy.

In 1844, 23-year-old Henry Lehman, the son of a cattle merchant, emigrated to the United States from Rimpar, Bavaria. He settled in Montgomery, Alabama, where he opened a dry-goods store, H. Lehman. In 1847, following the arrival of his brother Emanuel Lehman, the firm became H. Lehman and Bro. With the arrival of their youngest brother, Mayer Lehman, in 1850, the firm changed its name again and Lehman Brothers was founded.

On September 15, 2008, the firm filed for Chapter 11 bankruptcy protection. The filing marked the largest bankruptcy in U.S. history.

Merrill Lynch & Co., Inc. was a global financial services firm founded on January 6, 1914. It was acquired by Bank of America on January 1, 2009.

In November 2007, Merrill Lynch announced it would write-down $8.4 billion in losses associated with the national housing crisis. In July of 2008, Merrill Lynch announced $4.9 billion fourth quarter losses for the company from defaults and bad investments in the mortgage crisis. In one year, between July 2007 and July 2008, Merrill Lynch lost $19.2 billion or $52 million daily. The company's stock price also declined significantly during this time.

While struggling to survive yet desirous of maintaining its integrity, Merrill Lynch offered to buy back $12 billion in auction-rate securities. A week later, in August 2008, New York Attorney General Andrew Cuomo threatened to sue Merrill Lynch, accusing the company of misrepresenting the risk of mortgage-backed securities.

On September 5, 2008 Goldman Sachs downgraded Merrill Lynch's stock to "conviction sell" and warned of further losses from the company. Bloomberg reported in September 2008 that Merrill Lynch had lost $51.8 billion in mortgage-backed securities as part of the subprime mortgage crisis.

AIG and Citigroup were thought to be too big to fail, but they failed, paving the way to nationalization.


message 35: by Ilyn (last edited Mar 03, 2009 12:25AM) (new)

Ilyn Ross (ilyn_ross) | 1280 comments Mod
Eliot Spitzer was very popular. He was called "Sheriff of Wall Street" and "Mr. Clean". Time magazine also named him "Crusader of the Year".

He became New York governor in January, 2007, winning almost 70 percent of the vote. He was widely considered presidential material, as was Rudy Giuliani who ran for the Republican presidential nomination in 2008.

Many voters have forgotten the Declaration of Independence.


message 36: by Ilyn (last edited Mar 02, 2009 11:58PM) (new)

Ilyn Ross (ilyn_ross) | 1280 comments Mod
A year and two months after Eliot Spitzer became governor, a news item reported, “New York Governor Eliot Spitzer resigned from office, amidst impeachment threats and mounting media pressure over his involvement in a prostitution scandal.”

The New York Times reported that federal authorities were first alerted to the case by a bank that reported the suspicious Spitzer money transfers. Some suspected, “Spitzer resigned to escape federal charges. He couldn’t toughen it out, unlike President Bill Clinton in the intern scandal.”


message 37: by TheAccidental (last edited Mar 04, 2009 06:22AM) (new)

TheAccidental  Reader Hi! I am new here.....and looking forward to seeing how people are informing themselves as our country gets ready for change we might not even have realized we voted in. What are people reading?

I am currently reading a Thomas Sowell book, Economic Facts and Fallacies. It is very eyeopening and I am sure that it is helping me to see things more clearly. A lot of what is being proposed to "help" society does not actually help at all, and much of it is harmful. Is anyone else reading Sowell?


message 38: by TheAccidental (new)

TheAccidental  Reader Violeta wrote: "Moreover, I don't think business organizations are susceptible to the whims of politicians. Note that most of the bureaucrats are capitalists and owner of micro to macro enterprises.
Politics and b..."


I on the other hand, think it is quite clear that business is one hundred percent susceptible to the whims of politicians. There was a good editorial yesterday which spelled out how "whims" are currently putting a very disturbing damper on things. Notable excerpts are found here.

http://middleclasspower.blogspot.com/...




message 39: by Nina (new)

Nina I am quoting Charles Krauthammer's opinion in yesterday's paper: "Just as the Depression created the political and psychological conditions for Franklin Roosenelt's transformation of America from laissez-faire to the beginnings of the welfare state, the current crisis gives Obama the political space to move the relatively modest American welfare state toward European-style social democracy." nina


message 40: by Ilyn (new)

Ilyn Ross (ilyn_ross) | 1280 comments Mod
Thank you, Nina. This is the link to the full article:

The Obamaist Manifesto
by Charles Krauthammer

http://townhall.com/columnists/Charle...


message 41: by Ilyn (new)

Ilyn Ross (ilyn_ross) | 1280 comments Mod
The Financial Crisis: Causes and Possible Cures
By John Allison

http://www.aynrand.org/site/PageServe...


message 42: by TheAccidental (new)

TheAccidental  Reader Here is a look at what would happen if you used big spending as a means of of solving financial problems on a personal level.

http://www.wikihowl.com/get-your-fami...


message 43: by Ilyn (new)

Ilyn Ross (ilyn_ross) | 1280 comments Mod
Thank you, The Accidental.


message 44: by Ilyn (last edited Mar 06, 2009 01:00AM) (new)

Ilyn Ross (ilyn_ross) | 1280 comments Mod
Obama's 'Big Bang' Agenda
by Charles Krauthammer

http://townhall.com/columnists/Charle...

Chales describes President Obama brazenly deceptive. Excerpt:

"The logic of Obama's address to Congress went like this:

"Our economy did not fall into decline overnight," he averred. Indeed, it all began before the housing crisis. What did we do wrong? We are paying for past sins in three principal areas: energy, health care, and education -- importing too much oil and not finding new sources of energy (as in the Arctic National Wildlife Refuge and the Outer Continental Shelf?), not reforming health care, and tolerating too many bad schools.

The "day of reckoning" has now arrived. And because "it is only by understanding how we arrived at this moment that we'll be able to lift ourselves out of this predicament," Obama has come to redeem us with his far-seeing program of universal, heavily nationalized health care; a cap-and-trade tax on energy; and a major federalization of education with universal access to college as the goal.

Amazing. As an explanation of our current economic difficulties, this is total fantasy. As a cure for rapidly growing joblessness, a massive destruction of wealth, a deepening worldwide recession, this is perhaps the greatest non sequitur ever foisted upon the American people."


message 45: by Ilyn (new)

Ilyn Ross (ilyn_ross) | 1280 comments Mod
Other commentary from Charles: "Clever politics, but intellectually dishonest to the core."

"And yet with our financial house on fire, Obama makes clear both in his speech and his budget that the essence of his presidency will be the transformation of health care, education and energy. Four months after winning the election, six weeks after his swearing in, Obama has yet to unveil a plan to deal with the banking crisis.

What's going on? "You never want a serious crisis to go to waste," said Chief of Staff Rahm Emanuel. "This crisis provides the opportunity for us to do things that you could not do before."

Things. Now we know what they are. The markets' recent precipitous decline is a reaction not just to the absence of any plausible bank rescue plan, but also to the suspicion that Obama sees the continuing financial crisis as usefully creating the psychological conditions -- the sense of crisis bordering on fear-itself panic -- for enacting his "Big Bang" agenda to federalize and/or socialize health care, education and energy, the commanding heights of post-industrial society.

Clever politics, but intellectually dishonest to the core. Health, education and energy -- worthy and weighty as they may be -- are not the cause of our financial collapse. And they are not the cure. The fraudulent claim that they are both cause and cure is the rhetorical device by which an ambitious president intends to enact the most radical agenda of social transformation seen in our lifetime."


message 46: by Ilyn (last edited Mar 06, 2009 01:08AM) (new)

Ilyn Ross (ilyn_ross) | 1280 comments Mod
Arrogantly dishonest. Shamelessly deceitful.

Though pushing socialism is evil, a man could be a well-meaning socialist. But Mr. Obama's brazen lies demean his office and insult the American people.


message 47: by David (new)

David Crosby (davecrosby) TheAccidental wrote: "Here is a look at what would happen if you used big spending as a means of of solving financial problems on a personal level.

http://www.wikihowl.com/get-your-fami..."


Now, that is clever. If a little scary. :-)


message 48: by John (new)

John Karr (karr) Krauthammer is The Man.


message 49: by TheAccidental (new)

TheAccidental  Reader Is everyone aware of the http://www.stimuluswatch.org/

Check it out and read up on what your state might be asking for.

StimulusWatch.org was built to help the new administration keep its pledge to invest stimulus money smartly, and to hold public officials to account for the taxpayer money they spend. We do this by allowing you, citizens around the country with local knowledge about the proposed "shovel-ready" projects in your city, to find, discuss and rate those projects. These projects are not part of the stimulus bill. They are candidates for funding by federal grant programs once the bill passes.


message 50: by Ilyn (last edited Mar 08, 2009 07:04AM) (new)

Ilyn Ross (ilyn_ross) | 1280 comments Mod
Thank you so much for the info.


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