Category Archives: Pete the Banker

Pete the Banker: Greenspan Confirms Economy is ‘Not Strong’ ‘Like Later Stages of Depression’

‘It’s a smaller economy now…entitlements are crowding out savings and capital investment.’

greenspan

Former Federal Reserve Chair Alan Greenspan was on CNBC’s Closing Bell program today echoing some of the sentiments shared in my post here earlier today.

The way I measure it, it’s probably tantamount to what we saw in the later stages of the Great Depression,

 

The former Fed Chair declared the economy is in ‘not strong’ (read: horrible) shape. Demand for U.S. Treasuries is weakening. And the 4th quarter growth numbers are likely going to be downgraded when they’re released on Friday:

Everyone expects that the growth rate for the fourth quarter is going to be about 2 percent, which is a downward revision from the earlier version. And it may even be less than that.

He also looked at the productivity numbers — the main driver of a growing economy — and declared it weak.

Capital investment is key to productivity growth. That has slowed down quite dramatically and productivity has followed right along.

And then he said what many have known since the first time President Obama uttered the word stimulus:

‘It’s a smaller economy now…entitlements are crowding out savings and capital investment.’

Pete the Banker: Where’s Our Economic Recovery?

I guess I am just tired of hearing how good it is when most Americans and Oregonians have yet to experience an economic recovery.

Image Credit: Wall Street Journal
Image Credit: Wall Street Journal
 We are constantly besieged by news that the economy is in recovery, that economic growth is accelerating, that housing is finally emerging from a long slumber.  Politicians and the Rah- Rah -Rah trade association crowd continually proclaim that better times and utopia are just ahead.  Just be patient and trust us.  Jobs will pick up and everything will be fine.  Six years and still waiting!

Yet the economy has been plagued by slow growth the so called new normal.  Demand has been tepid and intermittent.  Jobs clip along at a rate of increase of 200,000 to 250,000 per month, when in recovery economists suggested just a few years ago that we needed at least 300,000 to 350,000 per month during recovery to get us to true full employment. 

The slow recovery has been blamed on a number of factors (Bush of course) with weather and jobs being the main culprits.  Like weather hasn’t been around since man emerged from the hunter-gatherer stage. And with jobs we are just fine with waiters and hotel clerks replacing higher paying executive and engineering jobs.  And the middle class, we just sort of rediscovered them after they finally decided the new normal was a good excuse for a new Senate.

Most troubling from my perspective is the housing industry.  The headlines continuously proclaim housing is in recovery.  Their main focus has been on housing prices which have been increased given the incessant Federal Reserves QE “infinity” programs and Federal initiatives like HAMP, HARP which have spent $billions to modify mortgages and prevent foreclosure.  But continuous rumors of recidivism hampering foreclosure prevention programs undermine Administration claims of success.

Yet the fundamentals of the industry are far from solid.  Sales of homes remain at 2009 -2010 levels.  Existing sales announced this last week were at 8 month lows.  Financing is nebulous. Applications have declined massively and purchase applications are dismal. Lack of financing is a primary concern with dependence on government sources dominant.  Underwriting standards are unrealistic and dictated by the CFPB, requiring credit ratings in the 700 – 750 range as a minimum.

More recently given the flailing real estate sales market, Fannie, Freddie, and the FHA have reverted to “sub-prime” financing in an effort to revive the failing residential capital markets. Sub-prime financing, this time exclusively at the hands of government controlled lending sources has returned.  Mortgage Financing provided is 95% of value and higher, with little regard for the risk of default. Worse, the Federal Government is on the verge of re-instituting European Accounting and Banking Standards (Basel Accords) which at best amplified the financial crisis in 2008.  These International Standards seem more an attempt to liquefy the international monetary system than provide security to the domestic real estate industry and mortgage financing system.

This has been to little avail.  Applications continue to fall and private lenders have little appetite for the risk involved in low interest rate, long term mortgages.  The Feds are no longer subsidizing mortgage market through quantitative easing and price increases are beginning to slow.  Fannie Mae and Freddie Mac continue to sell portfolio loans.
 
This Administration, has not let the market correct.  Is frightened by the lack of demand in housing and the by lack of response of housing market/housing financing markets to government intervention.  As a result the Administration has thrown caution to the wind and through HUD and the FHFA returned to reliance on the very lending factors that caused the 2008 financial collapse, subprime lending.  Nor despite repeated assertions does the Administration have any intent of reforming the residential capital markets, inclusive of Fannie Mae and Freddie Mac.
 
The Administration  talks a good game, but its actions are at best ineffectual.  Consumer demand and housing demand continue to suffer, the result of uncertainty created between the continual promises an emergent vibrant economy and actual muted results.

Pete the Banker is a Banker who wishes to remain anonymous after what happened to Joe the Plumber by the President and his shock troops in the 2008 election. He is a member of the Victoria Taft Blogforce.

Where Did Victoria Taft Go?

I’ve been writing day after day after day at Independent Journal Review which leaves less time for my own site, but I’ll cross post with IJR and continue to write longer length pieces and  continue to include posts by Bruce McCain, Rees Lloyd, Bernie Giusto, Scott  St. Clair and Pete the Banker over here and continue my site specific items.

 

Pete the Banker: Outrage Builds Over Gruber’s ObamaCare Lies

 ObamaCare Lies, Damn Lies and Statistics

Recently disclosed statements by the Administrations point man on the Affordable Care Act, Jonathan Gruber, are reminiscent of the Jack Nicholson phrase in the movie a “A Few Good Men”, “You can’t handle the truth”!
Image: Pundit From Another Planet
Image: Pundit From Another Planet
 
Jonathan Gruber was the architect of Romney Care in Mass, the Obama Administration’s Affordable Care Act, as well as a paid contractor who served as an implementer and spokesman for the ACA under a $400K contract.  And now, according to the Washington Times, we discover Gruber made MILLIONS lying to the American public:
 
Those “stupid” people have been extremely generous to Mr. Gruber. The Government Accountability Office (GAO) in 2010 investigated the $297,600 that the Department of Health and Human Services paid Mr. Gruber to sing the praises of the health care scheme.

Minnesota, for example, used federal Obamacare grants to pay Mr. Gruber to attend one meeting, participate in a biweekly email list and print a copy of the report, all for $329,000. Wisconsin paid Mr. Gruber $400,000 for the same material, requested by the office of then-Gov. Jim Doyle, a Democrat. When the report was presented, Gov. Scott Walker, a Republican, didn’t want Mr. Gruber at the news conference. Vermont is paying him another $400,000. Such a deal!

West Virginia, Maine, Colorado and Oregon have partaken of Mr. Gruber’s services, too, guaranteeing him a tidy sum. The money bought lies and deception. That’s Mr. Gruber’s characterization, not ours. “If you had a law which made it explicit that healthy people are going to pay in and sick people get money,” said Mr. Gruber, “it would not have passed.”

Additionally, Gruber filed a Friend-of-the-Court-Brief defending the ACA in defense of the Administration’s position before the Fourth U.S. Circuit Court of Appeals. This case is now pending appeal before the Supreme Court.
 
His comments reflect the ultimate deception of the ACA,
Lack of transparency is a huge political advantage. And basically, call it the stupidity of the American voter or whatever, but basically that was really really critical for the thing to pass…
Remember the Nancy Pelosi statement during the ACA debate, “We Have to Pass the Bill So That You Can Find Out What Is In It”

But rest assured, Nancy says she has never heard of Gruber; just ask her.

Deception, lack of transparency are truly the foundation of the ACA.
 

Oops, except she has:

Gruber’s subsequent “apology” was,
 
The comments on that video were made at an academic conference.I was speaking off the cuff and I basically spoke inappropriately and I regret having made those comments.

Note that his selection of words in his alleged “apology” suggest he apologizes for the comments, but not about the central ideas he espouses. Nuanced indeed.  When further pressed to elaborate on his response, he then launched into a tangential argument spinning blame on the Bush and prior Administrations for their lack of transparency.  An obvious deflection again intended to mask his true beliefs.

Since the release of this first tape, two more videos (and now another) have emerged verifying that the first tape was not a single incident, nor a one time slip of tongue, but a strongly held conviction.  Gruber again,

And again,

One more time(?),


But then, he is sorry for the comments?!?

And at a subsequent interview, Gruber has had the audacity to claim Republicans were confusing people??  He stated,

I think that this comes to the master strategy of the Republican party, which is to confuse people enough about the law so that they don’t understand that the subsidies they’re getting is because of the law.

Rather amusing that Gruber who admits “lack of transparency” and blames Americans for stupidity, then has the audacity to blame the bill’s opponents for confusing people?!  Perhaps this latest assertion will become the introductory statement in his next speaking engagement.

The promise of transparency has been the hallmark promise of Obama’s Administration from day one, comparable to Ulysses version of sea nymph sirens whose beguiling and enticing songs rendered his crew defenseless. The incessant chant of “transparency” parroted by both Obama himself and his Administration have mesmerized hard working Americans to believe that all their problems and in this case all their medical issues will be forever resolved. Among other instances, these melodic chants were introduced with the 2009 call to transparency:

reinforced by a 2010 promise, 

and who can forget the more recent Google Fireside Hangout Obama assertion in 2012 that, 
This is the most transparent administration in history.
And Obama’s White House Website itself repeats this pledge,
My Administration is committed to creating an unprecedented level of openness in Government.  We will work together to ensure the public trust and establish a system of transparency, public participation, and collaboration. Openness will strengthen our democracy and promote efficiency and effectiveness in Government.
Interesting that   while the Administration gave lip service to the concept of transparency, it eagerly embraced deception to pass ObamaCare.
 
Americans who accepted the Administration’s and the Democrat’s  promises assuring them that the ACA would reduce medical costs, prevent accelerating insurance costs, improving the quality of health care, all while allowing them to keep their existing insurance, doctor, and hospital access were beguiled.  Those melodic promises of the ACA’s architects were nothing more than a cruel illusion perpetrated on hard working, decent Americans, guilty of only trusting elected representatives and not stupidity.

Pete the Banker: The housing market begins its retreat

Several indicators reflect a housing market set back.

Screen Shot 2014-09-14 at 9.26.39 PM

Uncertainty about the economy, job stability, and inability to finance continue to scare many potential residential buyers away, especially first time buyers.  At the recent Pacific NW Mortgage Bankers Conference, volumes cited by the residential mortgage banker community were running some 25% – 30% below 2013 levels, resulting from lower refinance rates and tepid mortgage volume for home purchases. 

Screen Shot 2014-09-14 at 9.32.49 PM

QE3 has driven two elements, prices have risen and foreclosures declined.  With anticipation of Fed’s exit from the QE3 program this Fall, housing price increases have stalled and now foreclosure activity is picking up. 
Screen Shot 2014-09-14 at 9.35.33 PM
New construction of single family residences also remain depressed, despite the mass media’s headlines that new construction permits and starts have been improving dramatically which they cite as evidence of housing recovery.  One problem with the media’s line of reporting, the recent increases permit and starts reflects increases in multi family units (apartments), rather than single family residences.
And there’s more. Treasury rates will likely soon impact mortgage rates. 
Screen Shot 2014-09-14 at 9.29.24 PM

And the bond market will impact mortgage rates sooner or later. Probably sooner. Take a look at these quotes from CNBC:

“Demand for U.S. Treasurys waned for a fifth consecutive session, ahead of an official auction of 10-year notes on Wednesday and a key Federal Reserve meeting next week.”

 And,

“Ten-year notes fell in price to yield 2.53 percent on Wednesday, ahead of a Treasury auction of $21 billion in the benchmark bonds. Auction performance has weakened sharply recently and the last three auctions have tailed.  

“Bond yields have risen in recent days—pressuring Wall Street—on fears the Federal Reserve could raise interest rates sooner rather than later. This came after fresh research from the San Francisco Fed suggested investors’ expectations for rate hikes lagged those of the central bank.”

And they continued their ascent on Friday,

Benchmark 10-year notes were last down 18/32 in price with the yield at 2.61 percent, slightly below a session high of nearly 2.62 percent, the highest since July 8.

I think it is hard to suggest that this rate increase is a long term phenomena yet, but at some point the Fed is likely to lose its credibility with Treasury bond investors over its easing policy.  Especially given their insistence that unemployment is nearing 6% and inflation only 2% (one can easily challenge both these assertions).  But here is the counter argument.  As pointed out in this article, it is hard to refute the potential for unmitigated disaster in the international scene (given this President) which would promote the flight of investors to the safety of Treasuries, driving up prices while driving down interest rates once again.

Pete the Banker: Pentagon brass obscure KIAs in Bergdahl search

How many soldiers died looking for apparent deserter Bowe Bergdahl? The Pentagon does more to obscure than clarify.

The headline read:

2 soldiers died while Bergdahl search underway, but not while on patrol, Pentagon finds

Something about this article didn’t sit well with me initially. Perhaps it is my cynicism, perhaps my instinct which questions the Pentagon’s cursory response. More likely based upon my own military experience, I implicitly trust facts from the troops on the ground and those closest to the situation more than that from those occupying desks at the higher echelons, far from the battlefield. Facts that haven’t seemed to change in the face of the constant ebb and flow of political fancy or the latest editorial whim.

bowe-bergdahl
Photos from New York Daily News

The Pentagon release, “Pentagon officials probing claims that eight soldiers died while looking for Sgt. Bowe Bergdahl have confirmed two troops from his unit died while the search was underway, but not while they while they were on patrol, a senior defense official told Fox News Friday.”

I obviously am criticizing from afar and my military service is far behind me now, but the Pentagon I suspect is being disingenuous at best. First, any search likely wouldn’t have been limited to Bergdahl’s immediate unit. Second they are stating it obliquely, not including key details/assumptions of their probe including the time frame over which the original search was conducted, the territory (provinces) involved in the search, or detailing the number of military units involved. And finally the actual casualty numbers just don’t support the Pentagon’s (and Administration’s) rather self serving assertion.

Much of what we know continues to come from those closest to the action in Bergdahl’s unit. Much of what remains unknown rests with the Pentagon and the Administration itself. The persistence of the unknown from official sources likely provides them future flexibility in creating story lines or the latest spin. So much for independent research.

A rather quick and cursory bit of research (limited to only the Paktika Province in which Bergdahl’s unit was located) shows 11 combat casualties in the 10 weeks following his disappearance on June 30, 2009. That compares with a total number of fatal casualties for the year of 16 in Paktiki Province. So now tell me why all these casualties were concentrated in this Province over such a short period following his disappearance? One suspects the summer season in a mountainous area accounts for some of the concentration, but one’s intuition dismisses the assertion that 68% of the annual casualties can be explained by weather only. (Casualties list, Afghanistan; See pages 42-43-44-45 for dates 6-14-2009 to 9/14/2009;)

For example, specific details provided by former platoon members asserted, “Lt. Darryn Andrews, 34, and Pfc. Michael Martinek, 20, were among at least six soldiers killed during such missions. For saving the lives of three of his troops during an ambush on Sep. 4, 2009, Lt. Andrews was posthumously awarded the Silver Star.”  Their deaths are memorialized in the above casualty list, attesting to accuracy of those on location and belying the Pentagon probe.

The Pentagon’s issuance of rather tepid and useless statement seems intent on obfuscating, rather than clarifying the events surrounding Bergdahl’s disappearance. Bergdahl’s peers have alone been open about the extent of losses surrounding the recovery effort. Given the concentration of fatal combat casualties in the Paktaki Province in the two and a half months after the Bergdahl disappearance seems to overwhelming support their assertions. A thorough and independent research of the recovery operation and losses sustained from it are absolutely necessary to provide accuracy and transparency, apparently missing commodities in Wash DC these days.

Addendum:

Search parameters/results: July 2009 – three casualties; August and first half of September – 8 casualties; Start date July 1 and end date 9-11 with Martinek’s death, all in Paktika Province. (So why is the Pentagon dismissing based upon only 2 cases?)

FYI in 2008, over roughly the same period, Paktika Province recorded 2 deaths of an annual total of 20 deaths. Four additional combat deaths occurred on 9-17-2008 in Paktika. But even including those the deaths of those individuals that accounts for only a 30% annual casualty rate in a roughly comparable period.

Pete the Banker is a Veteran, banker and good citizen. He is a member of the VictoriaTaft.com Blogforce.

 

Government minders in newsrooms: The BlogForce responds to FCC

FCC news minders free republicThe Federal Communication Commission now claims it will not subject editors and reporters in America’s newsrooms to invasive questions about editorial content and choice. There is not one sentient being who believes the far left members of the FCC will give up trying to censor news.

This latest attempt to intrude on media was divulged by FCC Commissioner Ajit Pai on the Op Ed page of the Wall Street Journal on February 10th.  

Last May the FCC proposed an initiative to thrust the federal government into newsrooms across the country. With its “Multi-Market Study of Critical Information Needs,” or CIN, the agency plans to send researchers to grill reporters, editors and station owners about how they decide monitoring-news-ouletswhich stories to run. 

This pernicious attempt to get in the grills (and heads) of news directors and managing editors is a dangerous intrusion of government into the newsroom. Indeed, as Pai predicted,

“An enterprising regulator could run wild with a lot of these topics. The implicit message to the newsroom is they need to start covering these eight categories in a certain way or otherwise the FCC will go after them.”

 [T]he FCC also proposes to regulate newspapers, which it has no authority to do. (Its mission statement says the FCC “regulates interstate and international communications by radio, television, wire, satellite and cable…Byron York, The Washington Examiner

In short, the FCC wants to force news organizations to hew to the government’s standards. Since most of the mainstream media already do that, what does that leave? Ah, yes, Fox News and conservative radio. The FCC says this assessment is ‘voluntary.’ That’s nonsense. A station’s license hangs in the balance.

But it’s not just broadcasters who need worry. According to Byron York of the Washington Examiner,

[T]he FCC also proposes to regulate newspapers, which it has no authority to do. (Its mission statement says the FCC “regulates interstate and international communications by radio, television, wire, satellite and cable…”)

Even though the FCC claims it will cease asking these intimidating questions, as Byron York of the Washington Examiner points out,  Commissioner Mignon Clyburn is unlikely to give up. Indeed, Clyburn and her cronies will find another way to get what they want, just as the Obama IRS has found another path to politically silence conservative 501-c4 organizations.

The VictoriaTaft.com Blogforce and others have been asked to contribute pieces in a ‘super blog post’ of the sort we published after the Obama Administration announced it would decide who is and is not a ‘journalist.’  That post featured novelist John D. Trudel, scientist Dr. Tim Ball, defense attorney Bruce McCain, former police chief and sheriff Bernie Giusto, civil rights attorney Rees Lloyd, writer Victor Sharpe, citizen journalist Dan Sandini and me. Please read it. 

Today’s post includes reactions from radio news and program director Cliff Albert; talk host, opinion maker and former program manager Mark Larson; novelist John D. Trudel, citizen journalist Dan Sandini, Pete-the-Banker, and civil rights attorney Rees Lloyd.

An overt attempt to get rid of Fox News

By Mark Larson

Mark LarsonThis administration is masterful when it comes to jamming it all in when the public is distracted by shiny objects. Tyranny  increases when smart people do nothing. In this case it starts with, “Oh, we just want to study why there aren’t more minorities in broadcasting.” Then it morphs into plans for “monitors” that lead to clamping down of media freedom. This is tremendously dangerous.

This study will help them decide how minorities are blocked out of ownership. I have no idea how choosing stories informs that, but we all know what made the tea party successful sent the IRS scrambling for ways to stop it with new rules.

Mark Larson’s Southern California program airs on 1170AM KCBQ, San Diego, weekdays 6 to 9AM. He serves as a political analyst on KUSI Television (Channel 9) in San Diego. He often guest-hosts the Dennis Prager and Hugh Hewitt SRN Radio Network talk shows and has been seen on NBC, Fox News Channel, MSNBC and CNN’s “Larry King Live”. Mark has been President of the San Diego Radio Broadcasters Association for a record eight consecutive terms. Radio & Records twice named him to its “All-Star Players” list, citing him as one of only twelve “local legends” in American talk radio. Find his work at www.MarkLarson.com This is his first post for VictoriaTaft.com

 

Obama’s FCC media minders: Stalinism masked by ‘intentions’

By Blogforce Member, Rees Lloyd

ReesWhat is the difference between Stalin’s political commissars sitting in editorial rooms in the Soviet Socialist Workers Paradise to ensure the correct Communist Party political line was being followed, and Barack Hussein Obama’s FCC government agents sitting in U.S. editorial rooms to ensure the correct progressive liberal Democrat Party line is being followed?

Is it the “good intentions” that progressive liberals so often raise as a shield as they trammel freedom in the name of “social justice” and protecting all those they deem to be “victims” of evil capitalism in order to be their saviors? Is that what  distinguishes Obama’s media minding progressive liberal minions from Stalin’s media minding communist minions?

Is “intention” the distinction twixt Stalin’s control of public thought and expression through meanly intentioned “bad” Politburo-assigned certified communist   political commissars minding the media, and Obama’s benevolently intentioned “good” FCC-assigned certified politically correct progressive liberal commissars to mind American media?

If so, it is a distinction without a difference: It is Obama’s progressive liberal totalitarianism  with “good intentions,” which, if unchecked, will be as devastating to freedom of the press, of expression, and of thought as was Stalin’s soviet socialism, no matter how much Obama and his progressive liberal lemmings proclaim their “good intentions.” Obama’s government agents should be summarily tossed out, not invited out, of all newsrooms, no matter how large, no matter how small.

Rees Lloyd, once upon a time an “award winning investigative reporter” and thereafter a longtime California civil rights attorney, is a member of the Victoria Taft Blogforce. His work has been featured in some of the finest court rooms of California and at World Net Daily.

 

The FCC won’t give up

By John D. Trudel

john trudelThe Obama FCC’s plan to put “minders” into newsrooms is on temporary hold due to public outrage (and opposition from the head of the FCC himself), but we can be sure that it will be back.

How can citizens know this with certainty? Easy.

It is but one small part of Obama’s Saul Alinsky communist (small “c”) agenda to silence free speech of all types. Obama signaled his intent clearly in his infamous State of the Union address when he used his “bully pulpit” to bully and abuse the Supreme Court Justices who had ruled against him. They were forced to sit silently and take it.

Since then, we’ve suffered a constant string of Obama assaults to bypass Congress, attacks which are increasing in number and scope. The article and my blog post below are recommended reading. The Obama media is complacent. It is an integral part of Team Obama’s propaganda machine. Goebbels would be proud.

We should be afraid, very afraid. This is Tyranny, pure, simple, and evil.

John D. Trudel is a thriller novelist and retired adjunct professor. Find his work at www.johntrudel.com

 

Getting into the heads of editorial decision makers 

By Cliff Albert

Cliff AlbertThis is outrageous.

I am glad to see the FCC chairman and decided to remove questions on news selection and judgment now. [But] the ones who support this idea must be followers of [Russian leader Vladimir] Putin.

When the federal government thinks it has the right to start looking into how the free press does its job and to try to get into the minds of decision makers to determine motive, it is scary stuff.

Cliff Albert is an award winning journalist, news director and programmer with Clear Channel Communications and the KFMB stations in San Diego. He’s been an officer with both the San Diego Press Club and the Society of Professional Journalists. His news teams have won every major radio news award. This is his first post to VictoriaTaft.com.

 

Surveillance of the news room

By Blogforce Member, Pete the Banker
Pete the BankerThe purpose of a meat inspector from the FDA is to inspect meat which if it doesn’t comply with government standards (not all health related by the way), is not permitted to be sold.  Deficient meat standards results in fines payable to the government, little to the victims. 

The purpose of the SEC is surveillance to require all those who raise funds in the capital market to comply with federal standards. Not all those standards are related to safety of investment or full disclosure. Violation results in fines, usually with compensation going to the government, not the victims. One really doesn’t have to go into much detail on this statement given what happened in 2007/2008. Yet again, the real punishment seems directed at the government collecting more fines.
 
The purpose of the Emergency Economic Stabilization Act of 2008 was to secure the financial system of the US by mitigating the risk associated with “Too Big To Fail” Institutions, but ultimately seems to have spawned bigger financial institutions with little change to the risk factors responsible for the 2008 financial failure. The result, government creates an annuity of fines from those newly created colossal financial institutions, including the Government sponsored entities Fannie Mae and Freddie Mac.

 

The purpose of surveillance of the Consumer Finance Protection Board is to assure consumers safe access to credit, especially long term credit like mortgages. Given the current lack of mortgage capital to support transactions, home purchase and sale activity (far more contribution to economic activity and jobs than refinances), one wonders about the efficacy and honesty expressed by the need for government surveillance in housing finance.

 

So now what is the express purpose of surveillance in the news room?  Will this ultimately benefit the consumer of news or will it simply expand the bureaucratic power? Will it simply result in fines, another annuity for the “diminishing” government coffers, or will it ultimately result in expansion of government’s dictate of control of the end product of news cycle, enforcing and controlling “message content” assuring it is acceptable to government rather than honest and transparent information for the consumer?

 

Pete the Banker is a long time banker who wishes to remain anonymous for the sake of his business. He’s a long time VictoriaTaft.com Blogforce member 

 

Newspeak for a new generation

By Dan Sandini

Dan SandiniThis is Orwellian to me because in a city like Portland, I can see the effect the news minders would have on the few outlets of alternative news.  I can imagine a world of 1984 “Newspeak.”  As Wikipedia explains:  “Newspeak is the fictional language in the novel Nineteen Eighty-Four, written by George Orwell. It is a controlled language created by the totalitarian state as a tool to limit freedom of thought, and concepts that pose a threat to the regime such as freedom, self-expression, individuality, peace, etc. Any form of thought alternative to the party’s construct is classified as ‘thoughtcrime.’  That’s precisely what is going on here.  Small examples can be seen around us every day, and these new regulations would only accelerate and institutionalize the process.

Already it has become censored language to call an “illegal alien” an “illegal alien,” for example.  Instead they are:  “undocumented citizens.”  Michael Savage is banned in Great Britain because of his version of what the state considers “Hate Speech.”  In this way, the Leftist regime of the President and his cronies strengthen their power, deleting all alternative forms of thought outside their totalitarian rule. We are witnessing Government control on a scale never seen before, in all areas of our lives:  food, housing, energy, health care, and now information. When I read about regulations like this I wonder “how the Left can live with itself?”  In the interest of staying in power will they be willing to destroy the last bastion of freedom on the planet?  Sad, but apparently so.  The blood is on their hands.

Dan Sandini is a Citizen Journalist whose day job is software engineer. His work was seen in Andrew Breitbart’s movie, “Occupy Unmasked.” Find his work at  http://www.youtube.com/user/daylightdisinfectant

Pete the Banker: Bill Clinton Suggests Slowing Down Dodd-Frank

Former President Bill Clinton suggested recently on CNBC and as reported by The Hill (here) that the onerous Dodd Frank financial bill be slowed down. It should be killed, actually, but if Clinton’s idea prevailed can you imagine the uncertainty it would cause?
As the one-year anniversary of the financial overhaul draws near, Clinton was generally positive on the law as a whole, but suggested regulators should parcel out the new rules bit by bit for the benefit of businesses. 
“One way to clear that up may be to stagger [the regulations] in over a more pronounced time table,” he said on CNBC. “I think there’s only so much change that institutions can handle at one time.””
Clinton wishes to implement Dodd Frank a little more slowly prolonging the agony.   Kind of like water boarding – just a little water now and little later!!

Pete the Banker: Bill Clinton Suggests Slowing Down Dodd-Frank

Former President Bill Clinton suggested recently on CNBC and as reported by The Hill (here) that the onerous Dodd Frank financial bill be slowed down. It should be killed, actually, but if Clinton’s idea prevailed can you imagine the uncertainty it would cause?
As the one-year anniversary of the financial overhaul draws near, Clinton was generally positive on the law as a whole, but suggested regulators should parcel out the new rules bit by bit for the benefit of businesses. 
“One way to clear that up may be to stagger [the regulations] in over a more pronounced time table,” he said on CNBC. “I think there’s only so much change that institutions can handle at one time.””
Clinton wishes to implement Dodd Frank a little more slowly prolonging the agony.   Kind of like water boarding – just a little water now and little later!!

Pete the Banker: If Possible Oregon 48th Out of 50 State Economies

…And you thought it wasn’t possible to get worse. 
Oregon falls four places from the 23rd in 2010 to the 27th in 2011in a CNBC poll. (I guess better than falling from 23rd to 32nd in State Per Capita Personal Income over the preceding decade).  Washington not to be outdone by her southerly neighbor fell five places from 15th to 20th.

 
I definitely like the increase Oregon’s “Business Friendliness” ranking which increased from 28th to 23rd??? Washington is friendlier too, just ask Boeing??? 
 
The Oregon economy isn’t feeling much love (48th!!)  Washington’s economy ranking (32nd) fell only 14 places barely staying in the top two thirds of states, not falling 15 places like Oregon which is third from last. The good news; well Oregon is still ranked above S Carolina and Harry Reid’s Nevada???

Congratulations, Democrats, your worker’s paradise utopia is getting even closer!

Oregon 
Category Score 2011 Rank 2010 Rank
Cost of Doing Business 238 9 19
Workforce 147 33 33
Quality of Life 210 20 22
Infrastructure & Transportation 202 16 15
Economy 56 48 33
Education 89 37 38
Technology & Innovation 142 20 20
Business Friendliness 104 23 28   ???
Access to Capital 64 19 14
Cost of Living 13 38 37
OVERALL 1265 27


Washington
Category
Score 2011 Rank 2010 Rank
Cost of Doing Business 98 43 33
Workforce 165 26 30
Quality of Life 234 13 8
Infrastructure & Transportation 195 18 35
Economy 114 32 18
Education 131 14 22
Technology & Innovation 190 5 5
Business Friendliness 82 31 34 ???
Access to Capital 86 8 5
Cost of Living 14 37 35
OVERALL 1309 20 15
Tell ’em where you saw it. Http://www.victoriataft.com

Pete the Banker: If Possible Oregon 48th Out of 50 State Economies

…And you thought it wasn’t possible to get worse. 
Oregon falls four places from the 23rd in 2010 to the 27th in 2011in a CNBC poll. (I guess better than falling from 23rd to 32nd in State Per Capita Personal Income over the preceding decade).  Washington not to be outdone by her southerly neighbor fell five places from 15th to 20th.

 
I definitely like the increase Oregon’s “Business Friendliness” ranking which increased from 28th to 23rd??? Washington is friendlier too, just ask Boeing??? 
 
The Oregon economy isn’t feeling much love (48th!!)  Washington’s economy ranking (32nd) fell only 14 places barely staying in the top two thirds of states, not falling 15 places like Oregon which is third from last. The good news; well Oregon is still ranked above S Carolina and Harry Reid’s Nevada???

Congratulations, Democrats, your worker’s paradise utopia is getting even closer!

Oregon 
Category Score 2011 Rank 2010 Rank
Cost of Doing Business 238 9 19
Workforce 147 33 33
Quality of Life 210 20 22
Infrastructure & Transportation 202 16 15
Economy 56 48 33
Education 89 37 38
Technology & Innovation 142 20 20
Business Friendliness 104 23 28   ???
Access to Capital 64 19 14
Cost of Living 13 38 37
OVERALL 1265 27


Washington
Category
Score 2011 Rank 2010 Rank
Cost of Doing Business 98 43 33
Workforce 165 26 30
Quality of Life 234 13 8
Infrastructure & Transportation 195 18 35
Economy 114 32 18
Education 131 14 22
Technology & Innovation 190 5 5
Business Friendliness 82 31 34 ???
Access to Capital 86 8 5
Cost of Living 14 37 35
OVERALL 1309 20 15
Tell ’em where you saw it. Http://www.victoriataft.com

Pete the Banker: Small Business Job Creation, Anemic and Weakening

Anemic job growth has persisted in the weak recovery that began in late 2009.  Recent weekly job claim numbers have climbed back to a level above 400,000 in the weekly reports. 
Additionally, the Bureau of Labor Statistics now reports, Through the 12 months ended in March of last year, 505,473 new businesses started up in the U.S., according to the latest data available from the Bureau of Labor Statistics. That’s the weakest growth since the bureau started tracking the data in the early 1990s. It’s down sharply from the record 667,341 new businesses added in the 12 months that ended in March 2006. 
The USA Today article goes on to point out that the rate of employment growth has been decreasing in recent months with companies having less than 50 employees adding only 27,000 and 84,000 jobs, respectively in May and April.  This was down from the 100,000+ level achieved at the end of 2010. (Here)


 
Entrepreneurial talent and small businesses create jobs.  They will add labor when they perceive that the new employee will generate on going revenue in excess of all costs associated with hiring and maintaining a new job position.  Such a return on labor is necessary for the growth of any small enterprise.  
No lack of cash exists to invest in additional employees.  Businesses have massive amounts of cash, some $1.8+ Trillion.  Yet entrepreneurial and small business decision makers have been reluctant to expend their capital to hire, fearing both the uncertainty surrounding customer demand/revenue as well as the lack of clarity regarding labor costs.  
 
On the demand side consumers are face with tremendous uncertainty in job availability/security, as well as housing concerns and accelerating food/energy costs.  Such concerns limit the consumers willingness to spend and the resulting revenue of businesses. 
Small business owners also face an unprecedented level of uncertainty over future operating costs posed by the potential tax changes/increases, medical care insurance changes, pending regulatory implementation and associated medical insurance costs of Obamacare, the availability and cost of future expansion external capital provided by the financial industry, and the cost and availability of energy.  
 
Until Washington DC acts to reinvigorate consumer confidence, spending and revenue will languish.  Until Wash DC removes regulatory constraints that exacerbate costs, small firms will continue to hunker down conserving cash and avoiding hiring.  We are endlessly promised by those in Washington transparency, clarity and the removal of obstructionist regulation; now it’s time for those in Washington to deliver.
Tell ’em where you saw it. Http://www.victoriataft.com

Pete the Banker: Small Business Job Creation, Anemic and Weakening

Anemic job growth has persisted in the weak recovery that began in late 2009.  Recent weekly job claim numbers have climbed back to a level above 400,000 in the weekly reports. 
Additionally, the Bureau of Labor Statistics now reports, Through the 12 months ended in March of last year, 505,473 new businesses started up in the U.S., according to the latest data available from the Bureau of Labor Statistics. That’s the weakest growth since the bureau started tracking the data in the early 1990s. It’s down sharply from the record 667,341 new businesses added in the 12 months that ended in March 2006. 
The USA Today article goes on to point out that the rate of employment growth has been decreasing in recent months with companies having less than 50 employees adding only 27,000 and 84,000 jobs, respectively in May and April.  This was down from the 100,000+ level achieved at the end of 2010. (Here)


 
Entrepreneurial talent and small businesses create jobs.  They will add labor when they perceive that the new employee will generate on going revenue in excess of all costs associated with hiring and maintaining a new job position.  Such a return on labor is necessary for the growth of any small enterprise.  
No lack of cash exists to invest in additional employees.  Businesses have massive amounts of cash, some $1.8+ Trillion.  Yet entrepreneurial and small business decision makers have been reluctant to expend their capital to hire, fearing both the uncertainty surrounding customer demand/revenue as well as the lack of clarity regarding labor costs.  
 
On the demand side consumers are face with tremendous uncertainty in job availability/security, as well as housing concerns and accelerating food/energy costs.  Such concerns limit the consumers willingness to spend and the resulting revenue of businesses. 
Small business owners also face an unprecedented level of uncertainty over future operating costs posed by the potential tax changes/increases, medical care insurance changes, pending regulatory implementation and associated medical insurance costs of Obamacare, the availability and cost of future expansion external capital provided by the financial industry, and the cost and availability of energy.  
 
Until Washington DC acts to reinvigorate consumer confidence, spending and revenue will languish.  Until Wash DC removes regulatory constraints that exacerbate costs, small firms will continue to hunker down conserving cash and avoiding hiring.  We are endlessly promised by those in Washington transparency, clarity and the removal of obstructionist regulation; now it’s time for those in Washington to deliver.
Tell ’em where you saw it. Http://www.victoriataft.com