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Archive for December, 2009

Thank You and Happy New Year!!!

Posted by Larry Doyle on December 31st, 2009 4:31 PM |

To all those who have supported my efforts here at Sense on Cents,  I thank you and wish you all the best for a healthy, happy, prosperous 2010.

I will be posting a monthly and year end review of the markets and economy over the next few days, so please check in tomorrow and over the weekend.

Additionally, I will be back on the air this Sunday evening January 3rd, 2010 with No Quarter Radio’s Sense on Cents with Larry Doyle. The show this weekend will be an induction ceremony. I will assign those I believe deserving into the Sense on Cents Hall of Fame and the Sense on Cents Hall of Shame.  I remain open to ideas and nominations on both ends of the spectrum. I guarantee the review and ceremony will be informative and fun-filled. We can’t lose our sense of humor while we seriously navigate the economic landscape.

In conclusion, I take real pride in Sense on Cents and am humbled to share with you that this commentary is my 1,000th post since initially writing at No Quarter in October 2008.

I look forward to navigating the economic landscape with all of you in 2010.

Thanks again for all your support.


Trust Tim Geithner, Larry Summers, Barney Frank?

Posted by Larry Doyle on December 31st, 2009 11:34 AM |

Blank checks are the antithesis of good public policy.

America can not allow the passage of time to lessen the outrage over the Obama administration’s Christmas Eve bonus to the financial sinkholes known as Freddie Mac and Fannie Mae. Platitudes and posturing aside, the American taxpayer is being set up as never before.

A blank check may serve to cover a host of past financial and legislative failures promoted by the likes of Barney Frank, Chris Dodd, John Kerry et al, but who is monitoring and verifying the legitimate and proper use of these funds? Are we to blindly trust Treasury Secretary Geithner, White House economic adviser Larry Summers, and their respective staffs in this process? Are you kidding me? America needs to voice its outrage long and hard. In that spirit, I called yesterday to Audit Freddie and Fannie.

In the same vein, I am heartened by initiatives launched yesterday by Rep. Dennis Kucinich (D-OH), and Reps. Scott Garrett (R-NJ) and Spencer Bachus (R-AL) to pursue an investigation of this blank check.

The Wall Street Journal reports, Lawmakers Want Probe Into Treasury Aid for Fannie, Freddie: >>> (more…)

Making Sense on Cents in 2010

Posted by Larry Doyle on December 31st, 2009 9:58 AM |

What can Americans do to make more “sense on cents” in 2010?

With the divide between Wall Street and Main Street never wider and only widening further, how can Americans collectively make their voices heard?

I will provide a few simple pieces of advice:

1. Send a message to both Wall Street and Washington supporting the lawsuits currently outstanding against Wall Street’s self-regulator FINRA. These lawsuits would go a long way in exposing the incestuous relationship between the Wall Street banks and the Washington establishment.

To facilitate this undertaking, I recommend readers forward “Mary Schapiro Owes America Some Answers” to their elected representatives, friends, family, and colleagues.

2. Hat tip to a Sense on Cents reader for providing a link to a great idea promoted by Arianna Huffington called Move Your Money. The website provides guidance as to the strongest community banks by zip code. Very simply, this idea encourages people to move their money from the large Wall Street banks, which are wedded to Washington, into small community banks. I put this idea in the camp of “money talks, bull%$#@ walks.”

I encourage readers to make sure they stay within the FDIC-insured limits when making deposits in any bank. In the spirit of the season, the following video provides an inspiring look at the idea to “Move Your Money.”

Together we can make a difference.


Audit Freddie and Fannie

Posted by Larry Doyle on December 30th, 2009 12:16 PM |

Who will reveal the truth and consequences embedded in the operations of Washington’s newly designed slush funds housed within Freddie Mac and Fannie Mae? The Washington Way all too often pays off those who promote the administration’s interests (both Republican and Democrat alike) while sticking future generations with an ever larger bill.

Is slush fund too harsh a characterization for a Washington-issued blank check? In my opinion, a blank check in Washington has never been anything other than that.

Ron Paul (R-TX) has created quite a stir in 2009 given his continual calls to audit the Fed. Who in Congress will call for the same treatment for Freddie and Fannie?

Let the record show that on December 30th, Sense on Cents is issuing what will be the first of many calls to audit Freddie Mac and Fannie Mae. Why am I calling for an audit of these entities? (more…)

Why Deflation?

Posted by Larry Doyle on December 30th, 2009 10:03 AM |

My better half asked me today why I thought deflation was likely to be a major problem for us over the next decade. I shared my views on excessive debt, challenging job prospects, excess capacity, and the like. All that said, I’m a former Wall Street trader and not a Secretary of Labor. What does somebody who filled that slot think? Let’s listen to Robert Reich, who headed the Department of Labor during the Clinton administration.

Reich provides a substantive review on the vastly diverging developments on Wall Street and Main Street in a recent commentary posted at Wall Street Pit.  While asset valuations have rebounded across a wide segment of the markets, the fact is the fundamentals within our economy are clearly deflationary. Reich highlights as much in writing: (more…)

The Freddie Mac Pigsty

Posted by Larry Doyle on December 30th, 2009 7:56 AM |

Freddie Mac and Fannie Mae have served as Washington’s piggy bank for far too long. The issuance of a blank check by Uncle Sam on Christmas Eve to cover losses at Freddie and Fannie through 2012 only cements the legacy of the pigs who have fed at the Freddie and Fannie trough.

While the sty is mighty big, don’t think for a second that the pillaging and plundering of these organizations is restricted to the high and mighty politicos who pretend to know how to develop housing policy and programs. What do I mean?

Tucked away in one corner of the sty is this little gem posted by The Wall Street Journal, Freddie HR Chief’s Big Payday: (more…)

What’s Up with Keith Fitz-Gerald’s Geiger Index?

Posted by Larry Doyle on December 29th, 2009 2:54 PM |

Is there a story brewing about the Geiger Index managed by Keith Fitz-Gerald?

I interviewed Keith Fitz-Gerald in November on No Quarter Radio’s Sense on Cents with Larry Doyle. As with all my guests, I make a point of trying to stay on top of stories and developments with all of them. Having spoken with attorneys, former regulators, money managers, and others on and off Wall Street, 2009 has presented no shortage of material.

I have been looking for stories and developments specifically in regard to Keith Fitz-Gerald and the Geiger Index for one very simple reason: a disproportionate number of people coming to Sense on Cents over the last week to ten days have been utilizing search words that do not reflect positively on the Geiger Index.

I am not now nor would I ever pass judgment on any individual or any fund without an honest and transparent review. That said, my antenna goes up when more than a small number of people are searching for information in an admittedly concerned fashion.

Information is everything.

Anybody with pertinent information on this topic one way or the other and willing to share the same, please don’t be bashful.



Janet Napolitano Should Listen to Larry Johnson

Posted by Larry Doyle on December 29th, 2009 10:46 AM |

The mission of  Sense on Cents is to help people navigate the economic landscape. Proper navigation requires a full understanding of risk. What are the risks in our economy, political process, investments, the world?

Make no mistake, the global risks of terrorism have an enormous impact on our global economy. No individual today understands the risks of terrorism more than my friend Larry Johnson, who runs the political blog No Quarter USA. Larry has appeared on several radio and television news shows over the last couple of days to speak about the attempted Christmas Day bombing of Northwest Flight # 253 by Umar Farouk Abdulmutallab.

Given Larry’s extensive background in counterterrorism (he was Deputy Director of Counterterrorism for the State Department), I strongly encourage everyone to listen to his comments.

Thank you Larry for providing such expert professional opinions. Janet Napolitano, Secretary of the Department of Homeland Security, would do well to follow your lead.

A big thank you to C.S. for putting together the following video clips. The first clip is from Larry Johnson’s appearance on last night’s 7PM broadcast of CNN Tonight:

The next video clips are from Larry Johnson’s appearance on last night’s Larry King Live show.

Part I

Part II

Auction Rate Security Anxiety Continues

Posted by Larry Doyle on December 29th, 2009 10:03 AM |

Still they wait.

$150 billion dollars.

Thousands of investors unable to access THEIR funds frozen in Wall Street’s greatest fraud, that is the world of auction-rate securities.

While an initial court ruling against Union Bank of Switzerland defined the sales and distribution of auction-rate securities as a fraud, recent court rulings have shifted the burden of responsibility onto investors.

When I worked on Wall Street, I was never involved directly or indirectly with the sales or trading of auction-rate securities. That said, I understand full well the explicit and implicit guarantees that brokers and salespeople made in distributing this product. The fact that those entities which distributed ARS have not been held to full and total account is an unspeakable travesty. The lives of investors who have been dramatically impacted get little to no attention from the media. Shame on them.

Our federal financial regulators housed within the SEC are nowhere to be found. FINRA remains in bed with the industry and would just as soon not draw attention to its own liquidation of $647 million ARS in mid-2007 as the market was failing.

Days, weeks, months, and now years pass. Where is the justice and retribution for those ARS investors still frozen and unable to access that $150 BILLION!!! (more…)

Who’s The Boss?

Posted by Larry Doyle on December 28th, 2009 12:04 PM |

I almost vomited this morning upon reading the lead article in The Wall Street Journal. The principles and values I cherish and which I believe are the keys to our long term economic prosperity are under continual siege. The American dream is under siege, as well. Our nation’s economic future has never looked so cloudy and uncertain. Why? As The WSJ writes, After the Bailouts, Washington’s the Boss:

Only as the recession recedes will it become fully evident how permanently the state’s role has expanded and whether, as a consequence, a new, hybrid strain of American capitalism is emerging.

One thing is clear: The government is a much bigger force in today’s U.S. economy than it was before the financial crisis. “The frontier between the state and market has shifted,” says Daniel Yergin, whose 1998 book “Commanding Heights” chronicled the ascent of free-market forces starting in the 1980s. “The realm of the state has been enlarged.”

Why am I so concerned? For the following reasons: (more…)

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