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Tuesday, 30 September 2008
Lord Have Mercy On Us

This includes citizens of the United States and the rest of the world.

I'm finding it very difficult to trust the politicos and the financial experts in our present condition. If you're not part of the economic solution, you're part of the economic problem. That includes much of the above.

Hundreds of millions in Canada/U.S. and the world are victims of negative returns on the stock market. Most of us have invested heavily in blue chip companies that help us to gain some measure of hope for prosperity and survival in our retirement.

Why should we be at the mercy of financiers and politicians? Thankfully, there are higher powers than the existing hierarchy to turn to.

Human reaction and emotion seem to supplant logical thought of those who make lots of noise in the media.

Most ordinary people don't want to see their house, job and pension plan go down the drain because "the powers that be" can't decide on a course of action amongst themselves.

If they can't decide, than a decision should be made for them from "The Lord of The Universe".

Obama And McCain Work For A Solution

 


MusicPlaylist
Music Playlist at MixPod.com

Posted by qualteam at 12:45 PM EDT
Updated: Tuesday, 30 September 2008 5:40 PM EDT
Monday, 29 September 2008
Dear Lord, Some People Need More Help Than Others

Please help us through this financial crisis. Please help the politicians, business leaders and U.S. citizens to see the big picture in this global downturn.

Any plan to turn around this economic crisis is better than no plan. We must put aside petty grievences relating to "Wall Street" and do things which will help "Main Street".

Please help people get the credit that will allow them to buy cars, homes and even pay their bills.

Help us to make a small step forward rather than a big step backward.

Deliver us from the confusion, dispair and negativity of those who have given up or who are giving up.

Help us to work together to forge a pathway out of this present mess. Help us to get a vision of the light at the end of the tunnel. 

Congress Makes A Mess


Posted by qualteam at 11:57 PM EDT
Updated: Tuesday, 30 September 2008 5:23 PM EDT
Saturday, 27 September 2008
Top Ten Poster Boys Of The U.S. Financial Crisis

Stan O'Neal (the suit on the right) was one of the architects of the subprime program. We have to give him number one spot in our rogue's gallery of financial screwups.

  1. Stanley O'Neal former CEO of Merril Lynch walked away with 66 million dollars in severance.
  2. Charles Prince former CEO of Citigroup got a 16 million dollar package.
  3. Richard Syron former CEO of Freddie Mac received $18,000,000 last year in pay and bonuses.
  4. James Cayne former Bear Stearns CEO escaped financial hardtimes with a $33,000,000 package.
  5. Despite the Lehman Brothers bankruptcy, Richard Fuld made off with $34,000,000 through share selling before the company collapsed.
  6. Despite the enormous debts of Fannie Mae, former CEO, Daniel Mudd, received $11,600,000 million in pay and bonuses.
  7. The Bank of America took over Merrill Lynch at $29.00 dollar a share. Half of what it was last year. Despite that, CEO John Thain still received $17,300,000 in pay last year.
  8. Former Wachovia CEO, Ken Thompson paid 25 billion for a California mortgage lender, but still had a good payday of $16,000,000 last year.
  9. AIG CEO, Martin Sullivan, was bailed out earlier this month. He was paid $14,000.000 last year.
  10. It wasn't a good year for Goldman and Sachs' CEO, Lloyd Blankfein, but he was paid very well anyway to the tune of $70,300,000 last year.

Whatever happened to rewarding someone for doing well and penalizing them for doing poorly?

It's time for American taxpapers to get on politicians' cases about this issue.

 


Posted by qualteam at 11:14 AM EDT
Updated: Saturday, 27 September 2008 4:30 PM EDT
Wednesday, 24 September 2008
It's Time To Bring Law And Order To Wall Street

The only way this bailout is going to work is if Congress and the President put a "hired gun" or "czar" in charge of accountability and reorganization of financial institutions in the United States.
 
Personally, I recommend
Satyajit Das who has spent 25 years creating exotic derivatives for hedge managers.
 
He wrote a book in 2006 called  "Traders, Guns & Money: Knowns and Unknowns in the Dazzling World of Derivatives".
 
He now works against these junk financial products.
 
Washington now has to take charge of this whole area of corporate/financial failure. This is like receivership. A czar would have the power to hire or fire anyone in the financial sector. He would assess all financial products and label them on a scale from safe to highly toxic.
 
The FBI could be called in if fraud was suspected. Any compensation package for financial CEOs would have to pass through him and be based on actual merit.
 
The czar would be the CEO of a newly created "Watchdog Financial Commission" which would investigate all corporate financial actitives in the United States over the last five years and then recommend
a clean up of the sector to the President and the Senate/Congress. The length of time should be less than a year.
 
All financial products and services would be examined by the czar and the commission.
 
The results would produce more transparent, productive and ethical financial institutions. Before this can happen,
a stiff new broom must clean out the garbage
 
This is playing hardball with Wall street and their backers.
 

 


 


Posted by qualteam at 11:07 AM EDT
Updated: Wednesday, 24 September 2008 5:17 PM EDT
Monday, 22 September 2008
Investing And Saving For Kids

You might call this blog entry things I wish I knew when I was a kid. However, I did learn some good "rules of thumb" when I was young.

  1. A penny saved is a penny earned
  2. Save money for a rainy day.
  3. Pay yourself first from your wages or allowance.
  4. Take care of your nickels and dimes and they'll take care of you.
  5. When you want something, save for it.

Unfortunately, there were no courses on basic financing or investing at school or anywhere else.

Even today, I don't thing there's much for kids on money management or finding a job in today's world. However, there is information on work  and investing for teens and preteens on the internet.

Grownups and even bankers have a sorry record when it comes to investing and saving. Look at the mortgage/debt crisis in the United States. I've written many blog entries on that subject below. 

The trouble is most people get into spending habits when they're quite young and it's hard to develop saving habits later in life. Here's some tips to help you develop savings and investing habits for the rest of your life:

  1. Put your loose change into different piggy banks, one for pennies, one for nickels, one for dimes and one for quarters. The savings will accumulate over time.
  2. Open a high interest sayings account at a bank. President's Choice offers a 3.05%  account at service centres which are found in Loblaw's  and Fortino's grocery stores.
  3. Get your mother/father and grandparents to contribute into RESPs (Registered Educational Saving Plans) for you.
  4. Practice buying and selling stocks through an online discount brokerage like Questrade. You can do this for 30 days on the website using play money.
  5. Develop your own source of income through "jobs that kids can do".

Please email me back on any successes you have on the above program: qualteam@rogers.com.


 


Posted by qualteam at 10:25 AM EDT
Updated: Monday, 22 September 2008 10:59 AM EDT
Friday, 19 September 2008
Taming Of The U.S. Financial Wild West

2008 will be remembered as the time law and order was imposed on the  financial institutions and individuals in the banking and investment sector.

Do you remember CODs and ABCPs. Basically, these were junk securities sold as paper gold. Their status is now reduced to toilet paper. 

Until 2008, U.S. banking was whatever you could get away with. If the suckers bought into the not so hot subprime mortgages, it was their  fault.

If financial stocks could be bought and sold cheaply, then the hedge fund guys could still make money in a bear market. Who cares about the U.S. financial system?  If there's profit to be made off of a company that's a loser, why not make it?

Well the Federal Reserve and the U.S. Government stepped in to stop the abuses.

Both presidential candidates blamed each other for the mess. Comments were made about "putting lipstick on pigs". Are the pigs Wall Street bankers or politicians?


 


Posted by qualteam at 5:56 PM EDT
Updated: Friday, 19 September 2008 6:22 PM EDT
Tuesday, 16 September 2008
U.S. Banking Balloons Aren't Going Up Anymore
Mood:  accident prone

Well the banking witches and wizards are getting their balloons shot down these days. Bear Sterns was sold at a garage sale. Freddie Mack and Fannie Mae were cleansed by the U.S. Government. The Lehman Brothers were hung out to dry. AIG was assimilated by Big Ben and the Federal Reserve.

In the meantime the presidential candidates took potshots at each other over this crisis.

The big story (the subprime mortgage meltdown) of 2007 and 2008 continues to hit everyone in the teeth, either through the stock market or the job losses in the U.S. financial sector.

Hopefully, the politicians who were asleep when this voodoo debacle started will be purged in the next election.

Up Up And Away In My Beautiful Balloon

 


Posted by qualteam at 11:07 PM EDT
Sunday, 14 September 2008
Movie Review 124: 1941
Mood:  down

This movie has a great cast: John Belushi, Dan Aykroyd, John Candy, John Stack and great director, Steven Speilberg. It should have been lots of fun and hilarious, but it wasn't.

Basically, it's about the defense of California after Pearl Harbour, but it's played out as a comedy of errors for all concerned including the Japs.

Yes, there are some great fight scenes especially between the army and the navy, but the comedic scenes are few and far behind. The scenes and gags are stretched out far longer than they should be.

Speilberg tried to make the most of of comedy sketch that should have lasted 15 minutes. The movie runs for 2 hours and a half.

The film has lots of action in it and lots of goofy bits. It's worth a look because there are a few good laughs here and there. There's dumb, dumber and dumbest. This will be the dumbest war movie you will ever see.

More Movie Reviews Of 1941.


Posted by qualteam at 10:37 PM EDT
Updated: Monday, 22 September 2008 11:17 AM EDT
Thursday, 11 September 2008
Bin Laden Is Still At Large

Bin Laden and mini Al (Al Zawahiri) are still on the loose. With over 25 million dollars on the Al Queda leaders' head, it's strange, no one has been willing to turn them in. The reasons for this could be the following:

  1. Unless you have friendly people who support you, human intelligence will never work.
  2. Collateral damage to the civilian population has strained relations with Pakistan so that coordinated efforts and military intelligence are impaired.
  3. When unemployed Pakistani/Muslims are paid more by the Taliban, than anyone else, fresh recruits become available every day. 
  4. The Iraq campaign consumed a large part of the U.S. military resources needed to go after bin Laden and Al Qaeda.
  5. There's not a scintilla of evidence that we have any idea where bin Laden is.
  6. Massive profits from Arabian oil will often find its way into the pockets of new Taliban and Al Qaeda recruits.

Developing alternate energy sources is the best way to fight rogue Muslim countries by making their oil production worth less. It also helps when you lower civilian casualties and get local tribes along the Afghani-Pakistan border on your side. Fighting smart is a key to any victory.

With the trillion dollar bail out of Freddie Mac and Fannie May, you wonder how much is left over for U.S. police actions in other countries.


 


Posted by qualteam at 10:41 PM EDT
Wednesday, 10 September 2008
Movie Review 123: "V" And "V The Final Battle"

"V" is probably the most realistic of all science fiction movies. The aliens while more advanced than mankind are not really that high tech. Their spaceships run below lightspeed. Their security systems have been compromised by undetected traitors in their ranks.

The reptilian race of visitors really remind me of Nazis who pretend to be your friend but will use you for their own evil purposes.

The worst lizards have no redeeming qualities and are willing to kill anyone who gets in their way including senior officers.

The resistance leaders have to overcome their own conflicts and unite with the good aliens to defeat these scumballs from outerspace.

The storyline and acting is superb, but the special effects leave something to be desired. Three stars.

More reviews  on the Rotten Tomatoes' website.

The sequel should be televised in early 2009: V: The Second Generation


Posted by qualteam at 9:45 PM EDT
Updated: Wednesday, 10 September 2008 10:02 PM EDT

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