Outrage Over Senator Durbin’s Comments

Earlier this week, Senator Dick Durbin called out Bank of America, infuriated by the bank’s decision to impose a $5 monthly charge to use their debit card. Specifically, while standing on the Senate floor, Senator Durbin was quoted as saying “Bank of America customers, vote with your feet, get the heck out of that bank. … Continued

Philosophy Without Sweat

Dylan Ratigan caught my attention twice within the past week. The first, during his self-admitted televised rant and the second, his follow-up article where he, after gathering his thoughts, put together a more detailed explanation of his opinions (review for yourself here). Reading this explanation three times myself, I found the undertones to be quite … Continued

When Ideology Collides With Reality

The July 21, 2011 issue of the Wall Street Journal carried an article about Canada titled “How Spending Cuts – Not Higher Taxes – Saved Canada.” The discussion focused on the problems Canada was confronting in the mid 1990’s and how those problems were solved by the Liberal Party taking a decidedly un-liberal tack – … Continued

Reckless Contrast

Amidst the lingering cloud of uncertainty hanging over the US financial sector over just who, or whom, or what caused the financial crisis of 2008-2009, I came across intriguing material in reviews of Gretchen Morgenson’s new book, Reckless Endangerment: How Outsized Ambition, Greed and Corruption Led to Economic Armageddon. Morgenson is a well respected and … Continued

Enough Already

“On the fifth floor of Merrill Lynch & Co.’s headquarters at the World Financial Center in lower Manhattan, a small team of traders who bought and sold securities with the firm’s own money for two years were close enough to see the computer screens of traders taking orders from clients and overhear their phone calls. … Continued

A Tale of Two Cities

Today’s Wall Street Journal carries an editorial titled “How Washington Defriended Investors.” The piece dissects how the recent private equity position taken in the social media company Facebook by wealthy clients of Goldman Sachs put at a disadvantage the ordinary investor of much more modest means that was not afforded the same opportunity to purchase … Continued

Drain the Swamp

Read the article from this week’s Barron’s Magazine – “Was The Flash Crash Rigged?” The expert cited in the article implies market manipulation by high frequency trading (hft) firms. If they have not done so already, the SEC needs to immediately launch an investigation (and be more rigorous than when investigating Madoff). Capitalism thrives because … Continued

I’m Getting Tired, Pick up the Pace

The August 22, 2010 New York Times carried an article (In Striking Shift, Small Investors Flee Stock Market) noting that investors resumed their net liquidation of common stock holdings in a material fashion (over $33 billion) during the first seven months of 2010.  As we interpret price charts, the last secular bear market in common … Continued

Ethics Aren’t Relative

Einstein famously said his theory of relativity applied to physics, not ethics. We’re reminded of this quote when reading Nassim Taleb’s blog recently on the Huffington Post. Taleb tells a story of being pitched a financial product by former Fed Governor Alan Blinder. Blinder was able to use his knowledge and experience as a former … Continued

Investment Grade

On July 2, 2010, the Campbell Soup Company re-marketed its 3.5% bonds due 2015. Stunningly, the yield represented NO PREMIUM versus what US Treasury Bonds were paying on that day for the same maturity! Campbell is considered a very strong company and, if the ratings agencies can be trusted, its bonds are considered investment grade. … Continued