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Posts Tagged ‘Joe Biden’

60 Minutes: The Case Against Lehman and Financial Regulators

Posted by Larry Doyle on April 23rd, 2012 7:28 AM |

Having been away for the weekend, I missed last night’s edition of 60 Minutes and thank a loyal reader who brought it to my attention.

How is it possible that even today an institution such as Lehman Brothers, which clearly engaged in accounting maneuvers designed to disguise its true financial position, is not pursued so real justice can be meted out?

We keep coming back to the same old question: Where were the regulators, both the SEC and FINRA? Pervasive evidence over the years continues to persist that our regulators were and are fully and totally captured as they served to protect Lehman and virtually every other major Wall Street firm. The fact that the SEC has still not chosen to pursue Lehman executives is a massive indictment of our financial regulatory system. This is not a difficult assessment to make. Enough with the sovereign immunity for the SEC and absolute immunity for FINRA. Put these institutions and appropriate individuals on trial along with the appropriate Lehman execs…and many more. The integrity of our nation is at stake.

Watch this 13 minute video and ask yourself the question, “Is our system corrupt”? (more…)

ObamaCare: Is the Obama White House Going “Soprano” Again, or Why Are Three Catholic Scranton, PA Hospitals Being Sold?

Posted by Larry Doyle on October 12th, 2010 6:23 AM |

This story is a tad long, but it is chock-filled with a wealth of twists, turns, personalities, politicians, and much more. I strongly recommend.

Politics is clearly a contact sport. No doubt not all of the punches are above the belt.

I first referenced the Obama White House use of intimidation in the case of Tom Lauria, then lawyer for a group of Chrysler creditors. I wrote in early May 2009, Is Barack Obama Going Tony Soprano? How uncanny that the same reference is utilized today in an article centered on the impact of ObamaCare and the pending sale of three Scranton-area Catholic hospitals. American Spectator writes in regard to ObamaCare:

….the White House is confronted with a rapidly accelerating set of unintended consequences spreading across the country. As listed by theWall Street Journal, those unintended consequences included 2011 premium increases shooting up as high as 9%; “multibillion-dollar corporate writedowns by Verizon, AT&T, Caterpillar and others”; the disruption of insurance markets, a show-down with McDonald’s, the imposition of price controls on premiums, insurers withdrawing from Medicare Advantage.

In what appears to have become a pattern, the response from the Obama Administration has been repeatedly swift and harsh –compared by one critic as an episode straight out of the Sopranos, the famous HBO mobster series. (more…)

Indict, Prosecute, Convict the Fraudsters…Or Else!!

Posted by Larry Doyle on June 2nd, 2010 1:20 PM |

Has America lost the courage to aggressively address those who commit fraud? Is the American public even aware of the massive fraud perpetrated by those in our financial system which led to our current economic crisis? Are those in Washington willing to take a stand, risk their own skins, call out those engaged in fraud, even if some of the fraudsters occupy neighboring seats at nearby regulatory bodies?

Unless we find people in our government who are willing to make these calls, repeat them publicly in a long, loud fashion, and compel prosecutors to issue indictments, then I fear our union will pay a price and incur a cost that may be immeasurable.

Why so strong? Why so strident? (more…)

How Sound is Joe Biden’s Judgment?

Posted by Larry Doyle on July 6th, 2009 12:27 PM |

With all due respect to the office of the Vice Presidency, have we ever had an individual occupying that office who blows more hot air than Joe Biden? Does Joe have any appreciation when he makes ridiculous comments that he cheapens the office and simultaneously lessens any remaining credibility he may possess?

Over the weekend, Biden spoke on the economy in an attempt to deflect increasing criticism of the Obama administration and the Democratic Congress. As the Wall Street Journal highlights in writing Calls Grow to Increase Stimulus Spending, Biden aggressively put forth that the Obama administration:

“misread how bad the economy was” and didn’t foresee unemployment levels nearing double digits.

Is Joe for real? How does Joe reconcile this statement with his comments last December when the Democrats were lobbying heavily for their initial $700+ billion Stimulus Bill?

As ABC News reported at that time, Biden: U.S. Economy in Danger of ‘Absolutely Tanking’:

Vice President-Elect Joe Biden said the U.S. economy is in danger of “absolutely tanking” and will need a second stimulus package in the $600-billion to $700-billion range.

“The economy is in much worse shape than we thought it was in,” Biden told me during an exclusive interview– his first since becoming vice president-elect–  to air this Sunday on “This Week with George Stephanopoulos.”

“There is no short run other than keeping the economy from absolutely tanking. That’s the only short run,” Biden told me.

So is Joe acknowledging that he and Barack misread the economy even after promoting that it was ‘absolutely tanking’ last December?

I think Joe has taken political pandering to a whole new level with his comments over the weeknd and, once again, raised real questions as to his sense of judgment. Well, Joe did offer us all an opportunity to question his judgment this past March. As Yahoo Finance reported, Biden: This Is ‘Life’ and ‘Death’:

He at once bleached the politics out discussion of the president’s agenda, while linking it directly to the Democrats’ political futures.

“Folks this is the real deal, this ain’t politics. This is life and death for a lot of people,” he said, referring to programs in the stimulus package and the budget proposal.

Minutes later he said getting the president’s agenda passed would “change the political climate.”

“It will have every single pundit out there, even the ones who are covering this today, saying, ‘You know, these guys not only came up with an idea, whether we like it or not, they moved and they passed it,’” Biden said. “And we are willing to win or lose – win or lose – upon the soundness of our judgment.”

While we may never fully appreciate which way the wind blows with Joe, we assuredly know that it will likely be hot.

I do appreciate Joe offering us all the opportunity to question the soundness of his judgment. His ‘misreading’ of the economy is serious reason to question his judgment across a whole host of issues.


Goldman Sachs Tells Uncle Sam Go Away!!

Posted by Larry Doyle on March 25th, 2009 9:46 AM |

Like it or not, Goldman Sachs is widely considered to be the preeminent risk manager in the world. I would never blanketly endorse Goldman Sachs nor every one of their transactions or employees. Anything but. I am sure Goldman, like every institution in every industry, has some bad apples who will and have made some bad, if not outright illegal, moves. If so, the proper regulatory authorities should address, investigate, and if need be prosecute. I am here to write on a different topic. Goldman Sachs does not want Uncle Sam as a business partner. Whether Goldman wanted government money last Fall via the TARP (Troubled Asset Recovery Program) or not, the firm very clearly wants to return those funds soon.

Goldman Sachs is currently working with government officials to return $10 billion in TARP funds by late April. The firm will look to make this return after the U.S. Treasury completes its first round of bank stress tests. Other smaller banking institutions are looking to do the same. (more…)

Ceteris Paribus

Posted by Larry Doyle on February 26th, 2009 2:01 PM |

Economic and budgetary analysis by their very nature often employ a “ceteris paribus” approach or similarly base line assumptions. Ceteris paribus, translated as “all other things being equal,” or base line assumptions are necessary given the fact that economic analysis has so many variables. Well, let me share with you that ceteris are NEVER paribus and base line assumptions are almost always skewed to bias the results in a desired direction.

***UPDATE: I was not aware at the time of my writing but it is reported that the Obama administration is projecting  the economy will grow at a 3.2% GDP in 2010. That assumption is wildly optimistic. No respected economist would project that figure. Consensus has it in the 1.5-2% range. What does this mean? Well, lower growth means lower revenues, means higher deficits, means greater funding needs, means more borrowing, means higher government interest rates, means more “crowding out”, means slower growth for the economy going forward!!  

There was little doubt about President Obama’s social agenda and economic platform during his campaign. While markets will somewhat discount campaign rhetoric, they do not discount economic reality. The markets are sending a strong signal that Obama’s economic proposals and proposed budget are anything but pro-growth.  Obama Delivers $3.6 Trillion Budget Blueprint runs the risk of raising taxes at a time of economic distress. Raising taxes was a prime factor that increased the economic malaise in the 1930s. Obama is willing to take that risk as he sticks to his campaign plan and is pressured by the liberal wing of the Democratic Party. (more…)

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