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Archive for March, 2012

Open Letter to NY Times’ Joe Nocera re: Madoff

Posted by Larry Doyle on March 30th, 2012 8:01 AM |

Dear Joe,

As a longtime subscriber to The New York Times, could you enlighten me as to when the media in our nation diverted its mission of pursuing the truth to one of actively advancing agendas? Actually, Joe, hold that thought and perhaps we could have that lengthy discussion another time.

I write to you today specifically in regard to your interest in the ongoing legal battles in the recovery and restitution of funds in the Madoff scandal. In your recent commentaries (The Mets Switch Teams; March 19, 2012, and Helen Chaitman Doesn’t Know When to Quit; March 29, 2012), one does not have to read all that hard to gather you are a strong mouthpiece for SIPC trustee Irving Picard. In the process, you make what amount to ad hominem attacks on Ms. Chaitman who represents hundreds of Madoff investors.

Rather than debating the merits or lack thereof in the recent settlement crafted between the owners of the New York Mets and the SIPC trustee Irving Picard, perhaps we could dig a little deeper and address questions which remain unanswered yet central to what was really going on inside the Madoff operation. Given your position and accompanying power of the public pen, I would ask you to address the following: (more…)

Who’s Managing Your Mutual Fund?

Posted by Larry Doyle on March 29th, 2012 7:26 AM |

Can you imagine the Indianapolis Colts hyping season tickets for the upcoming season based upon the success of the team over the last decade with ‘you know who’ under center? Could you picture the Chicago Bulls doing the same after the departure of MJ? How about the Lakers after Magic, the Celtics after Bird, or the Edmonton Oilers after ‘The Great One’ Wayne Gretzky left town?

Sports fans are not stupid—or at least when it comes to this topic. They know that the leader and the team on the field are the keys to future success and that past performance, especially after the departure of the star, is certainly not indicative of future results.

Those investing in mutual funds should make sure they employ the same principle prior to buying tickets—that is, investing—in a fund that may have had significant past success. Why do I raise this topic? Let’s navigate. (more…)

How Many Jobs Will the JOBS Act Produce?

Posted by Larry Doyle on March 28th, 2012 4:13 AM |

Smile for the camera.

If it smells like a job, sounds like a job, and feels like a job, you can rest assured that in this day and age most politicians will jump all over it and look for a photo op in the process. In so many words, that is exactly what has transpired with the passage of the JOBS Act. This newly launched government initiative is intended to Jumpstart Our Business Startups.

How might this program work? How many jobs might it generate? Are there any risks involved in the process? Do we dare ask these questions, or should we just accept the fact that it says “jobs” and it is an election year so it must be a good program. Is this the best we get out of Washington these days?  (more…)

Selling Inside Information in Washington Continues

Posted by Larry Doyle on March 27th, 2012 8:07 AM |

Has trading on inside information now come to an end in Washington?

Congress will pat itself on the back and trumpet the passage of the STOCK Act as an indication that Washington has heard the hue and cry of the people to stop insider trading by the sycophants—that is, our elected representatives and their staffs— in and around Capitol Hill. The vote of 96-3 in the Senate was a strong indication as to how important it was to pass this legislation.

Now that the legislation has passed, should we assume that Congress is no longer in the business of personally profiting from trading on inside information? Not so fast.  (more…)

“The People v Jon Corzine et al”

Posted by Larry Doyle on March 26th, 2012 8:40 AM |

If you were away over the weekend, as I was, or somehow missed the news late Friday afternoon, you may awake this morning unaware that the smoking gun in the fiasco known as MF Global may have been unearthed and now points directly back at one Mr. Jon Corzine.

How is it that neither The Wall Street Journal nor the Financial Times are prominently highlighting ongoing developments in this story in their morning newspapers? You don’t think our news flow is ‘managed’? What a joke, but that is another story for another time. Thank you to Bloomberg for keeping us current in what I believe should be the the eventual case of “The People v Jon Corzine et al.” (more…)

The Integrity of the Game

Posted by Larry Doyle on March 22nd, 2012 5:31 AM |

The penalties handed out by NFL Commissioner Roger Goodell to the coaches and executives of the New Orleans Saints organization for the bounty program practiced down on the bayou were perhaps the stiffest in the history of the game.

Goodell has shown himself to be a no-nonsense individual cut from the mold of Kenesaw Mountain Landis. Goodell is clearly focused on protecting the sport, and knows that any program which promotes an intent to injure renders modern day football to little more than barbarism. (more…)

Financial Repression Kicks the Can and Our Butt

Posted by Larry Doyle on March 21st, 2012 8:36 AM |

More and more we see central bankers around the world — but especially here at home and within the EU — engaged in financial repression as THE means to solve our economic woes.

What is financial repression?

A term that describes measures by which governments channel funds to themselves as a form of debt reduction. This concept was introduced in 1973 by Stanford economists Edward S. Shaw and Ronald I. McKinnon. Financial repression can include such measures as directed lending to the government, caps on interest rates, regulation of capital movement between countries and a tighter association between government and banks.

What are the challenges faced by investors in an era of financial repression? (more…)

You’re Screwed by Wall Street Mortgage Settlement

Posted by Larry Doyle on March 20th, 2012 1:06 PM |

The American system of justice used to be predicated on the fact that those who committed transgressions paid the penalty. Regrettably, that system of justice is now a distant memory in regard to the adjudication of certain massive and egregious financial practices.

Has it become all too overwhelming for you to keep up with the violation of contracts and moral hazards in America today? I implore you not to give up the fight as future generations are counting on us to stand up for real justice. I addressed the injustice last week in writing, Mortgage Settlement Defines Racketeering:

If the Wall Street mortgage settlement is supposed to define justice, then crime certainly does pay. (more…)

Do You Trust Uncle Sam?

Posted by Larry Doyle on March 20th, 2012 9:01 AM |

Don’t believe anything that you read or hear and only half of what you see… 

Almost from the outset of launching my blog back in early 2009, I coined the phrase the Uncle Sam economy to describe the massive presence and ultimate takeover of so many parts of our economy by the old man. I cautioned people that Uncle Sam was not a good business partner.

What makes a good business partner?  Anybody involved in business knows there will be many times when you disagree with your partners. Disagreeing with partners will not kill a business relationship. What will kill a relationship? A lack of trust.

Given that we are all in business with Uncle Sam whether we like it or not, I ask, “Do you trust Uncle Sam?” (more…)

Can American Students Compete? Hmmmm…..??

Posted by Larry Doyle on March 19th, 2012 9:13 AM |

Can we accept as a premise that the health of our economy is predicated on our ability to compete on the world stage?

Strikes me as a basic principle of Sense on Cents.

Stephane Garelli of IMD, a Swiss-based school which is a pioneer in the field of executive education, zeroes in on the key factors on this topic in writing on The Competitivenes of Nations: The Fundamentals. Garelli asserts,

Competitiveness is thus one of the most powerful concepts in modern economic thinking.  (more…)

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