Tuesday, March 31, 2009

Barack Obama lands in London for G20

President Barack Obama landed in London this morning on his way to the G-20 meeting of the world's major economic powers. Obama will also be attending a NATO summit to commemorate 60 years of existence. He will be visiting five countries over the eight day European trip.

The main event in London is Thursday's summit on the global financial crisis among the Group of 20 wealthy and developing nations. Together, they represent 85% of the world's economy. Obama will meet with leaders from countries such as India, Russia, China and South Korea while in London.

Wednesday, March 18, 2009

Fed Surprises the Market with Plans to buy more Debt

It's time to refinance those loans! If you have anything other than a 5% mortgage right now you have to go refinance. The move by the Federal Reserve and Fed Chief Ben Bernanke surprised the markets on Wednesday in saying that they will buy up to $300 billion worth of long term US government debt over the next six months and expand purchases of mortgage related debt to help ease credit market conditions.

The news sent the stockmarket higher as well as bolstered bank stocks as profit margins will widen greatly for them. The move was also recognized by gold as the inflationary consequences will be seen down the road from basically printing more and more money to put into the financial system. The US dollar was also moving strongly downwards.

So I am sure you are following the AIG bonus hearings....

Well I am sure everyone has heard of the ridiculous $165 million in bonuses AIG paid out last weekend to the very traders that caused the downfall of the company as well as alot of the financial market trouble. I am also sure most of you have been following today's Congressional hearing where AIG CEO Edward Liddy sat in front of Congress to answer for the bonuses. The US Government and the US taxpayers have given Liddy and AIG $170 billion in bailout money to keep the company afloat.

Many Congressmen and President Barack Obama have gone on record recently denouncing the bonuses and different ways to get the bonus money back are being floated around Congress as we speak.

A statement from the hearing that caused me alot of grief was when Liddy had the audacity to say "We at AIG want to believe that we are all in this together." Well sir, personally I choose to not be with you anymore as long as you decide to reward incompetence with mega-bonuses. I do respect the fact that Liddy is only drawing $1 a year in salary, but I also recognize the fact that this man has made millions over the last few years.

Thank goodness for Barney Frank. I like this guy. I don't like all of his policy, but I like the guy. It is "time for us to assert our ownership rights," said Rep. Barney Frank, chairman of the full Financial Services committee. Frank said Congress will be asking for the names of the bonus recipients, and if AIG declines to provide it, he will convene the committee to subpoena for the names. "We do intend to use our power to get the names," he said.

The White House for the first time on Tuesday night said Geithner learned of the impending bonus payments a week ago Tuesday; he told the White House about them last Thursday, and senior aides informed President Barack Obama later that day. Geithner said on Tuesday he was working with the Justice Department to find ways to recover some of the payments. He cited a provision in the recent economic stimulus law that gave him authority to review compensation to the most highly paid employees of companies that already have received federal assistance.

Hopefully, we can recover these ridiculous bonuses. Otherwise, I am going to go give the absolute worst performance I can at my job and then demand a monster raise!

Thursday, March 12, 2009

Madoff Ledoff

Wall Street financier Bernard Madoff pleaded guilty today and was ledoff to jail. Madoff was denied bail after pleading guilty and stating he was "deeply sorry and ashamed" of his actions.

Prosecutors say the disgraced financier, who has spent three months under house arrest in his Manhattan penthouse, could face a maximum term of 150 years in prison at sentencing June 16. Madoff is expected to spend the rest of his life in prison.

The fraud, which prosecutors say may have totaled nearly $65 billion, turned a revered money man into an overnight global disgrace whose name became synonymous with the current economic meltdown.

The plea does not end the Bernie Madoff saga: Investigators are still undertaking the daunting task of unraveling how he pulled off the fraud for decades without being caught. They suspect that his family and top lieutenants who helped run his operation from its midtown Manhattan headquarters may have been involved.

Friday, March 6, 2009

That Dancing With The Stars can be dangerous!

Wow! That Dancing With The Stars is dangerous stuff for sure! Seems the season hasn't even started yet and already it has claimed two victims. Nancy O'Dell and Jewel have both been forced out due to injury. Nancy O'Dell needs knee surgery for a torn meniscus while Jewel is out due to fractures in both legs due to the dancing stress.

Althought neither made it past rehearsals both enjoyed and were proud of their time with Dancing With The Stars. According to ABC, both O’Dell and Jewel will appear on Monday’s season premiere to talk about their departure from the show and “additional changes to the cast” will also be announced during the premiere.

Thursday, March 5, 2009

Barack Obama Lovefest Losing Steam in Europe?

Europe anticipated his arrival as US President with open arms and enthusiasm after years of dealing with difficult Bush American political policy. Is the Barack Obama love affair losing steam so quickly in the new US President's tenure? The troubling world economy is definitely stifling the Obama momentum. Many Europeans are feeling a bit overlooked and ignored by Barack Obama. He has yet to visit Europe and sent his Secretary of State to Asia and the Middle East before Europe.

US Secretary of State Hillary Clinton is heading to Europe for a basic meet-and-greet trip. Hillary Clinton will also set the stage for Obama's visit to Europe next month. The Obama trip will include a summit with the 27 EU leaders in Prague, as well as a London summit of the G20, and NATO's 60th anniversary summit in Strasbourg.

Hopefully a little attention from the new US President will reassure the Europeans of Barack Obama's plans and intentions moving forward as President.