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Archive for June, 2010

Oppenheimer: Do the Right Thing, Redeem Your Auction-Rate Securities

Posted by Larry Doyle on June 30th, 2010 5:14 PM |

Q: Which full-service brokerage firm has NOT redeemed their clients stuck in auction-rate securities for the past 28 months?

Goldman Sachs, Morgan Stanley, Citigroup, Wachovia, Bank of America, Oppenheimer, TD Ameritrade, Fidelity, Merrill Lynch, UBS?

A: Oppenheimer & Company is the only one of these institutions that has not redeemed their private clients’ Auction-Rate Securities that were fraudulently marketed as “just like cash.”


On behalf of auction-rate securities investors everywhere, I am happy to run this ad here at Sense on Cents!! This specific ad was submitted by a group of Oppenheimer clients.


Is Washington Looking Out for Small Investors?

Posted by Larry Doyle on June 30th, 2010 2:09 PM |

How often have we heard that the proposed Dodd-Frank financial regulatory reform package is supposed to look out for ordinary, everyday, small American investors. Well does it? Let’s check in with Sense on Cents Hall of Famer, Bloomberg’s Susan Antilla who highlights some glaring holes in the proposed reform package. Susan writes, Lobbyists’ Smell Clings to Bank Bill,

At 2,315 pages, the Dodd-Frank Conference Report of proposals to fix U.S. financial regulations isn’t the stuff of summer beach reading.

It is, though, a starting point to understanding just how messed up financial regulations had become by the time the economy all but collapsed in 2008. And it gives great hints as to how serious lawmakers are about helping everyday, mere mortal investors who don’t worry about life-and-death issues like whether they will pocket a gazillion dollars in bonuses. (more…)

Rick Davis Nailed 1st Qtr 2010 GDP Report on November 30, 2009

Posted by Larry Doyle on June 30th, 2010 9:41 AM |

How would you like to have the answers to a quarterly report before other participants have even thought that the activity is occurring, data is being compiled, analysis is being rendered, and the results are released? That would truly be awesome, wouldn’t it?

Can you imagine college students knowing the answers to their final exam before other students have even registered for the class? A doctor successfully making the diagnosis, while other doctors are waiting for the patient to arrive at the hospital? How about  a weatherman pinpointing forecasts literally months in advance? Well, in my opinion, the work produced by Rick Davis of Consumer Metrics Institute is the economic equivalent of these seemingly miraculous calls. (more…)

SEC Settles with Great American Gary Aguirre, or Wall Street-Washington Incest Personified RECOMMENDED

Posted by Larry Doyle on June 29th, 2010 1:15 PM |

Thanks very much to a regular reader of Sense on Cents for sharing a fascinating story. The Government Accountability Project just released the following story regarding a significant settlement paid by the SEC to a former SEC attorney Gary Aguirre. This story highlights the Wall Street-Washington incest to the ‘nth’ degree. Will the media pick this story up and highlight it? They should.

With the details provided in this story, Gary Aguirre clearly shows himself to be a great American and as such earns immediate induction into the Sense on Cents Hall of Fame. The General Accountability Project reports SEC Settles with Aguirre:

In what may be the largest settlement of its kind, the Securities and Exchange Commission (SEC) has agreed to pay $755,000 to settle the wrongful termination claim of Gary J. Aguirre, the attorney who headed the SEC’s insider trading investigation of Pequot Capital Management until his firing in September 2005. (more…)

Asian Insights and Developments

Posted by Larry Doyle on June 29th, 2010 10:47 AM |

As markets are breaking down in America this morning, the waves of selling actually emanated in Asia. To that end, how do we get an unfiltered and unbiased perspective on economic and market related developments from that part of the world? Welcome to Sense on Cents.

A close personal relationship of mine works for Credit Suisse in China and provides the following commentary: (more…)

Senator Russ Feingold (D-WI) Rejects Financial Regulatory Reform

Posted by Larry Doyle on June 29th, 2010 8:28 AM |

America was assured by Washington’s political establishment that the financial regulatory reform package would prevent the need for another bailout of ‘too big to fail’ banks as occurred in 2008.

You didn’t believe them, did you?

Who stands up and has the courage to call out the Washington establishment on this charade? Senator Russ Feingold, Democrat of Wisconsin. Feingold writes:

“As I have indicated for some time now, my test for the financial regulatory reform bill is whether it will prevent another crisis. The conference committee’s proposal fails that test and for that reason I will not vote to advance it. (more…)

Another Canary in the Coal Mine

Posted by Larry Doyle on June 28th, 2010 3:30 PM |

Where do you see the economic crisis playing out in your daily lives?

A week ago, I referenced my surprise at the ability to buy outstanding seats at face value via an online broker to a weekend Boston Red Sox game vs. the Los Angeles Dodgers.

That commentary prompted an interesting message from a regular Sense on Cents reader with another interesting eyewitness ‘canary in the coal mine’ observation. This reader was returning home from a business trip to Brazil. He shared the following:

Coming home from the airport, driver points out that the cash toll lanes have become disproportionately jammed relative to EZ Pass. (more…)

Steady Decline Through 2060?

Posted by Larry Doyle on June 28th, 2010 1:12 PM |

What type of legacy are we leaving our kids? Will we leave them so burdened with overwhelming debts and deficits so as to strangle and choke off real opportunities? While Uncle Sam is able to play charades in an ever increasing and dramatic fashion, Sam’s smaller brethren at the state and local levels do not have those capabilities.

On that note, let’s look westward. I wrote in May 2009, “As California’s Economy Goes, So Goes the Country.” Along the same line, today we read from BloombergStates of Crisis for 46 Governments Facing Greek-Style Deficits:

Californians don’t see much evidence that the worst economic contraction since the Great Depression is coming to an end. (more…)

Paul Krugman Earns Immediate Induction into Sense on Cents Hall of Shame

Posted by Larry Doyle on June 28th, 2010 9:48 AM |

Paul Krugman today sends a serious shot across the bow of those who believe in fiscal prudence and real sense on cents. Krugman, a widely read and highly respected Princeton economist writes in The New York Times, The Third Depression:

Recessions are common; depressions are rare. As far as I can tell, there were only two eras in economic history that were widely described as “depressions” at the time: the years of deflation and instability that followed the Panic of 1873 and the years of mass unemployment that followed the financial crisis of 1929-31.

Neither the Long Depression of the 19th century nor the Great Depression of the 20th was an era of nonstop decline — on the contrary, both included periods when the economy grew. But these episodes of improvement were never enough to undo the damage from the initial slump, and were followed by relapses. (more…)

No Quarter Radio’s Sense on Cents with Larry Doyle: Last Call

Posted by Larry Doyle on June 25th, 2010 1:20 PM |

UPDATE: This episode of NQR’s Sense on Cents with Larry Doyle has concluded. You can listen to a recording of the episode in its entirety by clicking the play button on the audio player provided below. Once the audio begins, you can advance or rewind to any portion of the episode by clicking at any point along the play bar.


“Last call, boys and girls!!”

In late November 2008, I proposed to Larry Johnson and friends at No Quarter the idea of my hosting an internet radio show. No Quarter Radio had a few shows running at that point, and I thought a show focused on the markets and economy might be well received. Larry was receptive and we booked a show for that Sunday evening.

Little did I know at the time, but the promo for that inaugural show indicated the show would run each and every Sunday evening. My jaw dropped and my heart raced. I wasn’t thinking about hosting a show each and every Sunday. I envisioned a “one and done” which may have led to a periodic show, but certainly not a weekly show.

Fast forward 19 months later and having had an extraordinary experience, the time has come for me to issue the “last call” and host my final Sunday evening show.

I have loved the show, and I hope listeners have enjoyed it as much as I. However, with some expected imminent changes in my professional life, time dictates that I give up the show for now. I am certainly not giving up my blog. I love Sense on Cents, as it has provided me a forum and mouthpiece I never could have imagined.

So, for one final time . . . please join me this Sunday evening from 8-9pm ET for No Quarter Radio’s Sense on Cents with Larry Doyle: Last Call, as I share the hour with my best guests, those being you the listeners and readers.

We will have fun. We will pull no punches. We can look back. We will look forward. Together, we will navigate the economic landscape.

Thanks again to Larry Johnson and No Quarter for providing the opportunity to host this show and all the shows over the last 19 months. Larry is the best. Feel free to join the conversation on Sunday by dialing 347-677-0792 or come into the always energized chatroom.

Thanks again for all the support!!


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