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Archive for the ‘Barack Obama’ Category

Questions for President Obama: Who Is Dropping Out Along Our Economic Landscape and Why?

Posted by Larry Doyle on February 22nd, 2012 6:28 AM |

This commentary provides a wealth of details and data along with some fabulous links. I firmly believe it covers the most important issues which will determine the future health and prosperity of our nation. It is a little lengthy, and for some perhaps overly sensitive—dare I say politically incorrect—but I hope you will take the time to read, review, and comment upon it. Thanks. LD 

While there are plenty of pols in Washington and elsewhere who would like to paint a picture of a land divided along class lines, let’s not get distracted by those merely making noise to score political points.

Let’s dig a  little deeper and determine who is not keeping up along our economic landscape . . . and why?  (more…)

President Obama, “Are You In?”

Posted by Larry Doyle on May 25th, 2011 7:57 AM |

Information is everything.

Regular readers of Sense on Cents are well aware of my having written that statement on many an occasion. Those on Wall Street who gain early access to critical information have a decided advantage. Those in Washington who gain the upper hand in controlling the flow of information are also at a decided advantage.

As these realities become ever more prevalent, Americans and people worldwide are working harder and digging deeper to attain unbridled access to information in order to determine the truth and promote transparency. With major media outlets often failing us in these pursuits, where do we turn for this information? The internet.

Against this backdrop, I am not surprised to see political powers in Washington accept and embrace the reality of the power of the information superhighway and put an ‘eye in the sky’ in order to monitor the traffic. To what do I allude?  (more…)

Barack Obama vs. David Cameron

Posted by Larry Doyle on June 8th, 2010 12:15 PM |

Is Barack Obama listening to the political winds blowing across Europe? With European central bankers turning away from ongoing fiscal stimulus in an attempt to avert a sovereign currency crisis, political leaders in Europe are singing from the same sheet of music. If you don’t think so, let’s listen to the recently elected British Prime Minister David Cameron. What does Cameron have to say? The Financial Times sheds real insights into the future for the UK in writing, Cameron Warns on Impact of Cuts:

David Cameron, Britain’s prime minister, yesterday put the country on notice that his plan to cut the £156bn deficit would have “enormous implications”, warning that public sector pay, pensions and state benefits would all face cuts.

Mr Cameron’s new coalition government has prioritised deficit reduction and is preparing Britain for what is expected to be a bruising “emergency Budget” on June 22. The prime minister said the cuts would hit “every single person in our country”.

What does Barack think about that? (more…)

Obama Acknowledges Company Charges Due to Healthcare Reform

Posted by Larry Doyle on May 4th, 2010 12:45 PM |

Not that you would find it in any media outlets (believe me, I’ve looked for the last hour), but earlier today President Obama publicly acknowledged that American companies will be forced to take immediate charges to income from the recently enacted healthcare reform.

Recall that members of Congress railed on a number of corporate executives for highlighting these charges shortly after the legislation was passed. Rep. Henry Waxman initially called a special meeting to castigate the corporate executives, but then tucked his tail between his legs and cancelled that meeting when it became apparent that he did not truly understand the basic accounting principles necessitating these charges. (more…)

Barack Obama Has Ben Bernanke by the Balls

Posted by Larry Doyle on March 16th, 2010 3:32 PM |

Is the White House now in charge of both fiscal and monetary policy?

The Federal Reserve just released its March statement confirming no change in its monetary policy and little change in economic outlook. A brief overview of the Fed’s statement includes the following:

>> Maintains the Fed Funds range at 0-.25% for an extended period.

>> The quantitative easing program used to purchase $1.25 trillion in mortgage-backed securities and $125 billion in federal agency debt is nearing completion at the end of this month. The Fed will monitor economic conditions and employ policy tools as necessary to promote economic recovery and price stability.

>> Economic activity is generally improving. The overall pace of economic recovery is moderate. (more…)

If Wall Street Wants a Fight, Obama Should…

Posted by Larry Doyle on January 21st, 2010 3:59 PM |

Earthquakes always lead to after-shocks.

With all due respect and sensitivity to the residents of Haiti, the earthquake felt in the Massachusetts Senate election on Tuesday has led to the after-shock dropped on Wall Street today by President Obama. Obama’s call to limit the size and risk-taking of Wall Street banks is meant to address the rage and anxiety of the American public. Any vision, however, will only be as effective as those commanders charged with its execution.

Who on Obama’s team will ultimately be in the position to execute this vision to reconstruct Wall Street? Tim Geithner, Ben Bernanke, Larry Summers, and Mary Schapiro. Each of these individuals is badly scarred as a result of the crisis that started on Wall Street and, in turn, crushed Main Street. (more…)

Will Obama Whack Geithner and Anoint Volcker?

Posted by Larry Doyle on January 21st, 2010 8:54 AM |

Geithner, Obama, Volcker

One year into his presidency, Barack Obama is losing support from many corners. The American public is clearly sending Obama specifically and Washington at large a strong message of disapproval. Obama’s liberal base of support within the Democratic Party is growing increasingly disenchanted. Individual supporters such as The New York Times’ Paul Krugman are backing away from Obama.

Obama and team have nobody to blame but themselves. They were elected to bring real change to Washington. The American public defined that change as embracing real truth, transparency, and integrity. To this point, Obama has fallen woefully short on all these fronts and proven himself to be ‘just another politician.’

Obama has tried to scale Mt. Everest when in fact the American public and economy were merely and are still trying to get back to sea level. As Obama looks to regroup and reconnect with the American public, what will he do? (more…)

Second Stimulus: Barack and a Hard Place

Posted by Larry Doyle on July 7th, 2009 1:50 PM |

Does the United States economy need a second Stimulus Package? Can we afford to do it? Can we afford not to do it? What happened to the first one? Why hasn’t that package seemed to have a greater impact?

So many questions and seemingly so few concrete answers. The White House itself is sending out mixed messages on this topic. Add it all up and there is little doubt the U.S. economy is “between Barack and a hard place,” and neither looks all that appealing.

From my standpoint, the reason why we are at this juncture is ultimately due to the fact that the government, media, and financial industry have not fully explained the basic structural changes at work in our economy currently. That structural change centers on the fact that our economy is adjusting from running on excessive debt to operating on real savings and cash flow generated by real earnings. That adjustment takes time.

Obama has largely painted himself into a corner in regard to the economy and another stimulus package. What is surrounding Barack and team?

> The Wall Street Journal reports House Majority Leader Hoyer Signals More Stimulus May Be Needed. Steny is not exactly going out on a limb here, while clearly trying to curry favor with his constituents back home.

> Bloomberg highlights that Obama Adviser Says U.S. Should Mull Second Stimulus:

The U.S. should consider drafting a second stimulus package focusing on infrastructure projects because the $787 billion approved in February was “a bit too small,” said Laura Tyson, an outside adviser to President Barack Obama.

The current plan “will have a positive effect, but the real economy is a sicker patient,” Tyson said in a speech in Singapore today.

> The other side of the stimulus coin has real White House representation in the persons of Austan Goolsbee and Joe Biden, as Bloomberg reports:

Tyson’s comments contrast with remarks made two days ago by Vice President Joe Biden and fellow Obama adviser Austan Goolsbee, who said it was premature to discuss crafting another stimulus because the current measures have yet to fully take effect.

While Barack is catching it from all sides within his own party, the talk of green shoots has significantly subsided. From my standpoint, it seems rather obvious that the following are true: (more…)

Barack and Barney Look to Further Plunder Freddie and Fannie

Posted by Larry Doyle on June 22nd, 2009 2:31 PM |

When a homeowner goes out without locking his doors and leaving some lights on, he is inviting trouble.

In a similar fashion, the American public should prepare itself for a continued plundering of the portfolios and balance sheets of Freddie Mac and Fannie Mae by our leading housing finance gurus, Barack Obama and Barney Frank.

The scene is already set for our dynamic duo to pile an ever increasing amount of risk onto these “wards of the state.” How so?

1. While Freddie and Fannie are very much the responsibility of Uncle Sam, their balance sheets are not technically on Uncle Sam’s roll. That ‘cover’ provides a convenient disguise, but the fact is these ‘foster children’ are now nothing more than receptacles for more of Uncle Sam’s risky undertakings.

2. Neither the media nor the political opposition truly call them on these financial charades.

We learn today that both Barack and Barney have grand visions to add more high risk loans at mispriced rates onto Freddie and Fannie’s books. The Wall Street Journal offers,  Changes Urged to Rules on Condo Loans:

Two Democratic lawmakers are calling on Fannie Mae and Freddie Mac to relax recently tightened standards for mortgages on new condominiums, saying they could threaten the viability of some developments and slow the housing-market recovery.

In March, Fannie Mae said it would no longer guarantee mortgages on condos in buildings where fewer than 70% of the units have been sold, up from 51%. Fannie Mae also won’t purchase mortgages in buildings where 15% of owners are delinquent on condo association dues or where one owner has more than 10% of units, which the firm sees as signals that a building could run into financial trouble. Freddie Mac will implement similar policies next month.

In a letter to the chief executives of Fannie and Freddie, Reps. Barney Frank, the Massachusetts Democrat who is chairman of the House Financial Services Committee, and Anthony Weiner (D., N.Y.) warned that the 70% sales threshold “may be too onerous” and could lead condo buyers to shun new developments. The legislators asked the companies to “make appropriate adjustments” to their underwriting standards for condos.

What does Barney Frank truly know about housing finance? This assessment is an elongated statement similar in style to Frank’s now famous approach to sub-prime lending back in September, 2003. Barney proposed, “I want to roll the dice.”  America crapped out on that roll. Now in the height of hypocrisy, Barney is still providing insights and recommendations on mortgage topics. What’s wrong with this picture? (more…)

Things You May Have Missed

Posted by Larry Doyle on April 7th, 2009 10:08 AM |

The stream of data and market moving news is non-stop. I found these items of interest and look to share them with you as I believe they provide interesting insights and perspectives from around the world. I beg your indulgence if some of these items are not news to you, but if they are I hope they help you “navigate the economic landscape.”

1. Australia’s central bank cut its overnight lending rate to 3%, the lowest level in 49 years. While that rate is one of the highest rates in the developed world, it was widely expected to be left unchanged.  Australia has had one of the strongest economies in the world. This cut is an indication the Australian central bank believes their economy is slipping into a recession.

2. Japan’s exports are reported to be down 40% versus a year ago. Additionally, Japan’s industrial production is reported to be down 30+% during the same time period. These economic figures are significantly weaker than most other developed economies. As a frame of reference, most other developed economies’ industrial production is down 10-15%. Clearly, Japan is so dependent on exports and it is now paying the price of not having more fully diversified its economic foundation.

3. Gold is now trading near $880/oz. A month ago this precious metal was trading slightly above $1000/oz. Why is gold down recently? Coming out of the G-20, there are expectations that the IMF may sell some gold reserves to raise funds for low-income countries. I commented the other day that gold is not perfectly correlated with inflation due to changing fundamentals and technical variables in the gold market. This development with the IMF is a perfect case in point of my assertion. (more…)

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