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Archive for March, 2013

An Irish Easter Blessing 2013

Posted by Larry Doyle on March 30th, 2013 5:06 AM |

This is the day that the Lord hath made, let us rejoice and be glad.

I beg your indulgence today and rest assured I will soon return to my regular navigating of our economic landscape but yesterday, today, tomorrow — and indeed everyday — is a gift. As we celebrate the great gift of life and hope provided us by our Maker whom I believe gave His life so we might be saved, let us pause and offer a prayer of gratitude. To that end, I welcome sharing Saint Patrick’s Prayer:

May the strength of God pilot us.
May the power of God preserve us.
May the wisdom of God instruct us.
May the hand of God protect us.
May the way of God direct us.
May the shield of God defend us.       

Whether you visit my blog regularly, periodically, or just this once — and regardless of your faith calling — I wish you the faith-filled blessings of peace, hope, and love.

Today I have the great good fortune of being with close to four dozen of my family as we celebrate my folks’ 60th anniversary and upcoming birthdays. How does one properly say “Thank you” and “I love you” to the two people who have given me and my seven siblings (six brothers) the greatest gift of all, their love and inspiration. Well, Mom and Dad, today is your day!! I know I speak for all of us in stating, “We love you and thank you.”

Indeed, may the road rise to meet you. May the wind be always at your back. May the sun shine warm upon your face. The rains fall soft upon your fields. May God hold you in the palm of His hand.


Madoff Offers to Names Names

Posted by Larry Doyle on March 29th, 2013 5:50 AM |

Has Uncle Sam closed the books on the Madoff investigation?

One would have to think so because there have been so few meaningful developments to emanate from the government’s ‘supposed’ pursuit of truth and justice in this case as to lead one to believe that the case is now closed.

Aside from a few ‘ne’er do well nitwits’ involved in Madoff’s operation, few if any meaningful names outside of the Madoff lair have been implicated in this massive scam.

Time may erode the public outrage over our government’s massive failure to protect and perform in this case but does that mean that justice neglected should remain justice denied? (more…)

Fallout From Cyprus: Increasing Unease

Posted by Larry Doyle on March 28th, 2013 8:44 AM |

The island nation of Cyprus today implemented a set of capital controls within its banking system so as to forestall a “run on its banks.”

Having had a number of conversations with individuals since the onset of this meltdown in Cyprus, the consistent theme among people with whom I have spoken is one of increasing unease.

Cyprus may be a small island nation with a level of economic activity that barely registers on the scale of international trade and overall output. That said, when funds can be expropriated in the manner in which these large depositors in Cyprus are experiencing, there is a ripple effect as people think, “how would I feel if that happened to me?” (more…)

More Price Fixing on Wall Street?

Posted by Larry Doyle on March 27th, 2013 6:17 AM |

Here we go again.

With the investigation of the greatest financial fraud ever perpetrated on Wall Street — that being the manipulation of Libor — still in the early stages, news emanating from Europe this morning redirects the shadow from that organized activity into the dark and dank world of credit derivatives, aka CDS.

Recall that cornerstone principles of an industry that operates as an oligopoly are:  (more…)

Update on Cyprus: Russian Banking Ingenuity

Posted by Larry Doyle on March 26th, 2013 7:51 AM |

With the news that the larger depositors (i.e, those accounts with greater than EU100,000) in Cypriot banks will bear the brunt of the burden of the bailout and bail-in, one would think this might incite fear and outrage amongst this crowd.

These depositors are being prepped to lose upwards of 40% of their holdings. Many of these depositors are known to be Russian businessmen.

Who knows what the future holds for the island nation of Cyprus, but if we were to believe some of what we read in the Financial Times this morning, the fear and angst expected within the Russian business community seems to be met with an amazing sense of equanimity. How so? (more…)

Cyprus: An Insider’s Perspective

Posted by Larry Doyle on March 25th, 2013 11:59 AM |

News that Cyprus has negotiated a bailout of its banking system replete with massive haircuts for depositors with greater than EU100,000 and capital controls as well may have forestalled a meltdown within markets. Yet this small island nation faces a very uncertain economic future.

How might what unfolds there impact other nations in the EU if not elsewhere in the world as well? Will the bailout and associated bail-in of the Cypriot banking system ultimately be a deal which precipitates the departure of this nation from the Euro-zone?

Let’s navigate and get an insider’s perspective from Athanasios Orphanides, the former governor of the Central Bank of Cyprus, who was interviewed on Bloomberg Surveillance  this morning:  (more…)

Health Care Premiums: Bend Over ‘n Brace Yourself

Posted by Larry Doyle on March 22nd, 2013 8:04 AM |

I guess we might soon expect Ben Bernanke and his pals at the Federal Reserve to discount the cost of health care from the core rate of inflation. I mean the cost of health care is not truly indicative of what it costs to run a family now, is it?

For those not aware, food and energy costs are not incorporated in determining the core rate of inflation. If the Fed discounted the costs of all goods and services, we might just be able to generate a report that reflects stable prices.

Pardon my sarcastic cynicism, but it is hard to restrain myself upon reading a lead story in this morning’s Wall Street Journal that should be entitled, Health Care Premiums: Bend Over ‘n Brace Yourself.  Let’s navigate as the WSJ writes . . . (more…)

Could a “Cyprus-Like” Situation Happen in US? It Already Has

Posted by Larry Doyle on March 21st, 2013 8:00 AM |

The banks in Cyprus remain closed until at least next Tuesday out of fear that once the doors open a massive run on the banks will ensue.

The situation in Cyprus is clearly evidence of a financial system that remains on life support and that drastic situations precipitate drastic actions.

Before we lose our heads, though, isn’t this why free markets develop and implement rules of law? Indeed — or so we thought.

With the outcome of the situation in Cyprus remaining very much in question, many people in America wonder if a similar situation might unfold here. (more…)

Hats Off to Paul “Spider” Scialla

Posted by Larry Doyle on March 20th, 2013 7:57 AM |

Goldman Sachs Partners Scialla Twins Leave for Home-Design Firm I would like to take a break from my regular writing on the twists and turns of our economic landscape to pay tribute to a young man with whom I had the good fortune of working at Union Bank of Switzerland back in the late ’90s.

Yesterday, while making my regular visits to various financial sites, I did a double take when I saw a photo on Bloomberg of a man with piercing eyes. Without initially seeing the caption connected to the photo, I immediately thought “I know that face.”  (more…)

Bobby Knight’s Keys to Success

Posted by Larry Doyle on March 19th, 2013 10:46 AM |

Say what you want about legendary basketball coach Bobby Knight, but he won and played by the rules. Wound a little tight? No doubt. Abrasive? Clearly. Abusive? Nobody’s perfect.

Knight was run out of the University of Indiana by the administration after an ugly incident in which it was videotaped that he physically assaulted a player. He got what he deserved.

That said, the overwhelming percentage of his players swear by him. In a world of competitive sports where “rules are supposedly meant to be broken,” Knight’s programs were never sanctioned and the bulk of his players graduated.

While Knight’s personality may rub some people the wrong way, there are lessons we can learn from him as well. What are Knight’s 4 keys to successful and effective management?  (more…)

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