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Archive for April, 2013

Book Reviews: Bailout, Confidence Men

Posted by Larry Doyle on April 30th, 2013 7:23 AM |

If the American public is concerned about the dysfunction within Washington D.C., after reading two inside editions on the games being played within our nation’s capital, the public should be even more concerned than ever.

I recently completed two enlightening books, Confidence Men by Ron Suskind and Bailout by Neil Barofsky. I recommend both to those who want to gain a real understanding of how our nation’s capital does NOT work, that is, does NOT work for us.     (more…)

Jeff Sachs UNLOADS on Wall St., D.C, & Obama

Posted by Larry Doyle on April 29th, 2013 7:13 AM |

If anybody were to think that the fight for decency and justice in our markets, our nation’s capital, and throughout our land were to have run its course . . .  well think again.

In a volley of invectives not often seen in the genteel world of liberal academia, Columbia University professor Jeffrey Sachs recently threw a string of verbal haymakers that would have made the noted NHL hitman Chris “Knuckles” Nilan proud.

Sachs was named one of the world’s 100 Most Influential people by Time magazine in 2004. His professional body of work speaks for itself.  At a symposium held recently at the Philadelphia Federal Reserve, Sachs dropped the gloves and unleashed the following:

“What has been revealed, in my view, is prima facie criminal behavior,” he said. (more…)

Terror in Boston: Photos of “Good and Evil”

Posted by Larry Doyle on April 27th, 2013 6:32 AM |

The photos to which I link in this post are truly graphic in nature. I offer this note of precaution as some may find them too disturbing.

On September 11, 2001 I was working in midtown Manhattan. I will never forget the unease and anxiety that ran throughout the city that day and for months to come. The evil displayed by those who attacked our nation that day was truly horrific yet it brought out the best in us as so many reached out to help our fellow citizens.

We witnessed the same in Boston on Monday April 15th and in the days since.

Will we ever learn all of what went into the planning of those who brought such devastation to the streets of Boston that day?  Who knows, but that said, I think it is important that the power of evil is broadly shared so that we may know just how destructive it is. I also think it is even more important that the power of good is even more broadly shared so that we may know just how powerful it is. (more…)

Review 1st Qtr 2013 GDP: The “Final” Answer

Posted by Larry Doyle on April 26th, 2013 8:34 AM |

The 1st quarter 2013 GDP release indicating growth of 2.5% might not be as strong as expected but it is certainly a lot better than the anemic .4% increase registered in Q4/2012, right?

On the surface, yes, you would be correct. 2.5 is definitely a larger number than .4.

If we were to go by such simple measures, then we can paint a whole host of beautiful landscapes as we navigate our way deeper into the depths of economic hell. Let’s not be so easily hoodwinked, but sort through the noise in this report to reveal what I believe is the critical component of any GDP report. And what is that? (more…)

ARS Update April 2013: The Nightmare Continues

Posted by Larry Doyle on April 25th, 2013 8:43 AM |

Five plus years after the meltdown of the largest fraud ever perpetrated on Wall Street, and the nightmare that defines the world of auction-rate securities goes on.

While Wall Street, Washington, and the media would very much like to leave the pain encompassing the ARS market largely in the rear view mirror, for many individuals who still hold on to the hope that they may ultimately get repaid in full from these widely distributed “cash-surrogate” instruments, the pain and anxiety remain front and center.

I continue to hear regularly from many individual ARS holders.

Not that anybody needs further reason to know that individual investors on Wall Street are at an enormous disadvantage in the face of captured and corrupted regulators and institutions that possess more information, but a recent piece of data I unearthed while working on my upcoming book (think I might be able to get Mary Schapiro to come to a book signing and autograph some copies!!??) speaks volumes to this point.  (more…)

Jon Corzine: “What Balls”

Posted by Larry Doyle on April 24th, 2013 9:39 AM |

Better to keep one’s mouth shut and be thought a fool, than to open it and remove all doubt.

When you are in a hole, stop digging. 

I am not sure which of the above quotes might be more applicable to one of Wall Street’s greatest pariahs but this individual may want to look for better counsel.

To whom do I refer? None other than former master of the universe Jon Corzine, now more widely acclaimed for destroying a firm in one fell swoop than any of his prior exploits at Goldman Sachs, Capitol Hill, or the New Jersey statehouse.

I could only shake my head in utter disgust this morning upon reading the following(more…)

S&P Ratings: ‘You Didn’t Believe Us, Did You?’

Posted by Larry Doyle on April 23rd, 2013 7:37 AM |

What are the most important issues you face?

I imagine most would think that physical, mental, and emotional well being would rank highest on your list.

Imagine, then, the individuals to whom you went for independent and objective advice on these very personal issues were to inform you that their insights were, in fact, highly conflicted and that their proclamations and prescriptions were actually little more than “puff.”  You would probably be more than a little pissed off.

What about your financial well being?  (more…)

China Hits US Hard in Vulnerable Spot

Posted by Larry Doyle on April 22nd, 2013 8:38 AM |

If you were in serious debt and your largest creditor offered an opinion on how you managed your affairs, do you think you might listen?

Well, if we care to see the political gamesmanship involved in a relationship between debtor and creditor played out on the world’s largest stage, let’s navigate and take a look as to what The People’s Republic of China has to say to our leaders in Washington.

I thank the regular reader who brought this story to my attention. In what can only be compared to a cold, hard slap of reality, the Associated Press reports: (more…)

California Dreamin’ … Now a Pension Nightmare

Posted by Larry Doyle on April 22nd, 2013 8:01 AM |

“California’s the place you gotta be . . .  swimmin’ pools . . . movie stars…”

The hillbillies profiled in a favorite show from my youth presented plenty of comic material. Regrettably, there is now little that is funny about the state of California’s fiscal quandary or that of many other states that have allowed  — if not promoted — the rackets run in and throughout the state, cities, and towns to crush the dreams of hard working taxpayers saddled with enormous burdens.

While California may have the largest problem (it is not even close), current research exposes the worst states in terms of funding their pensions: Connecticut, Illinois, Kentucky, and Rhode Island.

What states are actually displaying a high degree of fiscal propriety in terms of funding their pensions?  (more…)

Terrorism in Boston

Posted by Larry Doyle on April 19th, 2013 7:54 AM |

Boston, Irish, America, Notre Dame….STRONG!!!
The Fighting Irish football and softball teams will wear special helmet decals today to pay tribute to the countless victims in and around Boston. Coach Brian Kelly, a Boston native who still has family in the area, tweeted this photo on Friday.

With the scene in and around Boston remaining very fluid, let me first offer my concern for the residents of the entire area there. Stay safe.

We certainly did not need a situation such as this to make us realize that we are living in a very dangerous time. I hope that the one individual currently being hunted down is found quickly and that no more harm occurs to anybody in that process. Beyond that, I hope that we can quickly learn all of what lies behind these individuals and this situation including:    (more…)

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