Thursday, September 11, 2008

Fannie Mae & Freddie Mac: An Unholy Brew

Even I was confused on this one. Talk about intricate conniving on a grand scale.

The federal government itself took over Fannie Mae & Freddie Mac directly, probably so the Fed would not get its hands dirty. The corruption and incompetence of the officers of these two mortgage companies should make them follow the Enron boys to prison; but it will never happen. The worst possible outcome for them might be that their “golden parachutes” (separation payments) may be deflated.

How can this be? It is simple: friends in high places, and money. Why do you think Senators Obama & McCain don’t want to discuss this hot topic? Remember if you are not part of the solution, you part of the problem.

The main big friend is Congressman Barney Frank: “Fannie Mae’s Patron Saint, WSJ 9/9/08. He his almost single handedly stopped any regulation of these yahoos since 2000. Why? Maybe it’s this: “But the biggest payoff for Mr. Frank is the "affordable housing" trust fund he managed to push through as one political price for the recent Fannie reform bill. This fund siphons off a portion of Fannie and Freddie profits -- as much as $500 million a year each -- to a fund that politicians can then disburse to their favorite special interests.”

Don’t think Rep. Frank is the only one to blame. A whole bunch of the senate, congress, bureaucrats, and even Cabinet level types are involved. And if you Bush haters what to sound off on this one, go ahead. He has stated over and over that this is the wrong approach, but agreed to it anyway.

Take a look at these three points:

1. The government’s main point man is Treasury Sec. Paulson. Where do presidents usually get their people for this job: in the financial arena of course. Democrat and Republican Presidents both do it. It’s not a party thing. If you think about it, it’s like asking the fox to guard the eggs in the henhouse. Good bye eggs!

2. The companies involved, though semi-half heartedly regulated by the government, are all financial community members. They can run things pretty much as the wish and they did.

3. Since the government has no money of their own, they have two places to get it: steal more from us directly (this is usually unpalatable) or borrow it. The lender is almost always the Federal Reserve System because no one in their right mind would lend them a cent. The Fed (a private company composed of banks; i.e. the financial sector) will create some and lend it, at a reasonable rate, to the government.

Are you getting the picture here? At all points of this unholy triumvirate are all of the same people. They swirl their magic swizzle sticks in this devils brew and out pops several things: a massive debt we have to pay, an addition to our national debt the size of 5 Iraqi wars, a kick in the butt for more inflation (especially since they promise to lower the Fed Rate instead of raise it), and a huge payout to their friends.

They make a big deal out of stating the stockholders would lose their interest first. When all of the former loans come due, that won’t be a drop in the bucket.

Sure their going to let Lehman Bros. crap out, there’s not as much money to be made there, and they can’t scam us on everything. We might get wise. There’s a fat chance of that.

Oh, look out there on the horizon. What is it? Nothing really, just the major airlines and all three auto companies (GM, Ford, & Chrysler) wanting their bail-out too.

Maybe we should just bend over and kiss our ------ good-bye.

The Hammer

Copyright Crickard Publishing 2008. All rights Reserved

Sunday, September 07, 2008

The Fed Just Bought Two More Businesses: We're Dead Meat!

The Fed took over Fannie Mae and Freddie Mac today. That means they are now running them and “infusing” capital. What does that mean? Where do they get the money?

The Federal Reserve System is a private business run by the banks of this country. They can do something we can’t (that is without going to jail). They can create (print, whatever) money and charge the rest of us to use it. Even though the titular head of it is appointed by the President… big deal! He or she works for the banks.

So whether they put money into Bear Sterns, or these two losers, they still have to create the money to do it with their magic wand.

Call it what you will, bond sales, whatever. It is simply Fed Magic.

What does that mean to us? We have to foot the bill, as always. How? We will have to live through another round of inflation and I guarantee somewhere there will be higher taxes. Of course, inflation is a tax, on everybody, not just the wealthy.

Just as Volker did in the 70’s by buying worthless bonds here and outside of the U.S. to increase the money supply so that by 1980 inflation was in double digits and interest rates were close to 20%, we’re doing the same now investing in losing companies (and a lot of other things). Hold onto your hats, here we go again.

Let the losers die. Someone will buy them and run them correctly. We have to quite trying to support failing businesses. That includes Amtrak and the airlines. The shareholders made their dividends, now they can take their lumps!

I could use some free money. Do you think they could wave their wand my way?

The Hammer

Copyright Crickard Publishing 2008. All rights Reserved

Why Global Warming Instead of Global Cooling?

The Inconvenient Truth is that Global Warming is an established money maker. As always, follow the bucks. Why do people like Al Gore and Michael Moore jump on these and other theories? Money. They make lots of it. Al gets $175,000 speaking fees. His projected earnings are in the millions.

When we lost one of the best coolants ever, Freon, it was based on fears of ozone depletion. The truth is that because of increased foliage growth over the past decades, the ozone has increased. Why ban Freon? DuPont’s patent on Freon expired years before and it was produced for pennies. They had a new coolant called R-134a ready to go. Get the picture: “Freon causes, problems we need the new one”, and you must pay DuPont a lot more for it, and our brilliant lawmakers go along with it, probably for a fee.

Now there is every indication that we are going into a period of Global Cooling, maybe even a mini-Ice Age as was discussed in the 1970’s. Here are several references to that:

Temperature Monitors Report Wide Scale Global Cooling

Global Cooling? Unprecedented Ice Storms in Kenya

Famed Hurricane Forecaster William Gray Predicts Global Cooling in 10 Years

If this is the case, we are in for even bigger problems than with Global Warming, as cooling is much more devastating. I’m sure there will be a lot of money to be made for sure, so if you have any ideas to make money, you better get ready. You too can make a fortune, just like Al.

The Hammer

Copyright Crickard Publishing 2008. All rights Reserved

Saturday, September 06, 2008

Disastrous Government: Decisions: Corporations

The Corporate Bankruptcy Act of 1898.

“The modern corporation dates back to 1601, when Queen Elizabeth I created the East India Trading Company. At the time, the concept of a corporation was quite different than today. Corporations were small, quasi-government institutions chartered by the crown for a specific purpose. The idea was to bring together investors interested in financing large projects, such as exploration. (Many American colonies were originally governed by corporations, such as the Massachusetts Bay Company). Kings and queens kept a close watch on these corporations and didn’t hesitate to revoke charters if they weren’t happy with the way things were being run. Investors were liable for any harm or loss caused by the company.” (Lee Drutman: The History of the Corporation)

If you read Mr. Drutman’s fairly concise article (I used this because it is an easy read, the information is available in thousands of places), you will find that Corporations gradually changed over 200 plus years.

In 1886 the Supreme Court ruled that they were protected by the 14th Amendment just as people were. In 1889 the New Jersey started to allow corporations to own other corporations, and then in 1896 allowed them to have unlimited size and market share. In 1899 Delaware passed the “General Incorporation Law” allowing them to make all of their own rules. Today 60% of all corporations are chartered in Delaware.

The “Big Daddy” of them all was the Corporate Bankruptcy Act of 1898. After that corporations had the rights of any human: to be born, to live and grow, to die, and to go bankrupt.

However, the one thing they don’t have we mere mortals do have… is accountability and responsibility; i.e. they have limited liability in all of their actions.

A couple offshoots today are the Subchapter S corps (originally designed for professionals, but anyone can use them), and LLCs (Limited Liability Companies).

What does all this mean to each of us? Pretty much everything. A corporation can be formed, used to produce, promote, or manipulate anything. Even drug lords use them to cover actions. Cruise ships, tankers, most everything floating on the sea are incorporated to limit liability, mostly in such places as Panama & Liberia.

Customers, employees, and shareholders can get screwed with impunity (as well as the general public in so many ways). Just ask the people that owned and worked for Enron.

For every corporate officer that goes to jail, hundreds go to the Islands for a rest.

Multinationals even run countries. The Nestle corporation is so powerful it can dictate terms to governments in South America (they mostly peddle inferior baby formula, another story in itself). Columbia has had over 230 governments in the past 250 years and most had to get an ok from Nestle first before they could be formed.

You might ask, how else we can structure companies so that they can operate? The answer is quite simple: stock companies and bonds.

The difference is that in a stock company each and every shareholder is responsible for the actions of the company and has no limits on his/her liability. Until recently a lot of Insurance companies were stock companies and even their policy holders could get dividends if the company was managed properly and did well.

The largest of these is a quasi-stock company (actually a syndicate) called Lloyd’s of London. For centuries it handled insurance risks that no one else would. The “shareholders”, their List of Names, furnished the capital and took the risks. Usually they got their quarterly or yearly dividend and were happy as could be. Even Names such as Uncle Harry living in that house at the end of the street had a piece. That all changed in the last years of the 20th century when Law Suits of all sorts descended on them until Parliament passed legislation limiting their liability to bad faith occurrences. Even they fell to the pressures of the modern era when no one has fault, liability, or responsibility.

The concept of a Stock company financed with shareholders and bond holders is not novel, but it protects everyone. It protects our environment, products, and insures we will not be at the hands of ruthless or incompetent corporations (and I am not saying they all are, but they all can be).

The Corporate Bankruptcy Act of 1898 sealed our fate in this matter. I don’t see anything changing in the near future, or ever. This has nothing to do with politics as both sides of the aisle were and still are responsible, and money and power is and always was, the major force in our economy.

The reason for these articles is that the more informed you are; the more you understand; the less likely you are to be disillusioned or depressed. At least, that is what I hope.

If you want to know more, fallow the above links, or Google any of this and look into it. It is really eye-opening.

Always be alert, we need as many “lerts” we can get,

The Hammer

Copyright Crickard Publishing 2008. All rights Reserved

Thursday, September 04, 2008

McCain/Palin: Finally After 20 Years

The past 20 years have been tough, at least for me. I felt so often I had to vote against a candidate for president instead of for one. Finally that is over.

I was not a John McCain supporter until this week. I felt that he was a little too liberal and I questioned his constant reaching across the aisle to the left.

I believe he has grown over the past few months, as we all have to when approaching a new job.

Tonight's speech really brought out the human side of him (he can be hard-headed and a little gruff), and convinced me he is the right man at the right time.

His wisdom was most impressively demonstrated when he chose Gov. Palin for his VP. Without cowering to the radical right he chose someone who could energize the real conservative, free market, small government voters in both parties.

I'm sure the special interests of both parties might be a little concerned, and I know the Trial Lawyers and Teachers Unions will fight tooth and nail against him. That should only convince everyone he is on the right track.

After 20 years it feels good to be excited about an election and finally feel like there is a real choice.

If you haven't already listened to both speeches by the candidates, please do. It will enliven you and give you real hope for the first time in a long time.

The Hammer

Copyright Crickard Publishing 2008. All rights Reserved

Wednesday, September 03, 2008

The Libs Are Determined to Elect McCain/Palin

I was not really very interested in this election because all I saw were 3 Liberals running on both tickets, and quite frankly I’m tired of it after 20 years of liberal fiscal policies in the Federal Government.

Of course I agreed with more of whom and what Sen, John McCain is and stands for, but I still felt like I was voting for the lesser of two lessers (I don’t believe any of them are evil just quite misguided).

However, when Gov. Palin was chosen for the VP republican spot, I instantly became energized. Now I can be involved in earnest.

Though I definitely agree with her fiscal policies, I can not totally agree with her Social policies, for we do have a couple spots where we differ. ** Footnote

1. I believe in Pro-choice in the first 12 weeks (even though I am basically anti-abortion, especially for family planning), or until there is a viable fetus, whichever comes first. Until that time it is all between the woman, the father, their doctor, and their God: until that point it is no one else’s business, especially the Federal Government. There is an argument to be made for possibly a state involvement but that too is questionable. That is sufficient time to make up your mind. After there is a viable fetus or 12 weeks, it should definitely be classed as infanticide.

2. Creationism should be taught in schools, but not in science class, for it is faith not scientific study. It belongs in a comparative religion class, and I believe that class should be mandatory for everyone. You could never in the past, and can not now understand the workings of different cultures and their minds without knowing their religious outlook. Religion is far too often the basis for conflict and war and therefore is most profoundly important.

Because of Gov. Palin’s family situation and make-up she has been excoriated in the liberal press and internet blogs. The horrific, vehement, vitriolic, and done-right nasty filth that has spewed forth is turning off America as fast as any wildfire I have ever seen.

A perfect example is the unbelievable article written in the Baltimore Sun by Susan Reimer: A Woman – but why this woman? She should be totally ashamed of herself, but of course libs never are. As of this minute it has spawned over 7800 comments nationwide, mostly in defense of Gov. Palin.

You libs (and you know who you are) will never learn. When you try to destroy someone instead of arguing ideologies, it most always backfires, and this is no exception. Whether she is competent or not is irrelevant. (I believe of the 3 she is the most competent and well-grounded, and has the best chance of increasing her abilities, being young and smart.)

What is relevant is that decency and kindness is the “Mother’s Milk” of humanity, and your total neglect of that has bitten you in the butt one more time. You are the Mccain/Palin ticket's most ardent supporters whether you like it or not, and you will very likely insure their elections.

** Since writing this, it has come to my attention that I may have been misinformed. There appears to be little disagreement on this 2 issues, and she is more in line with my opinion. I will keep on eye on this and update as information becomes available.


The Hammer

Copyright Crickard Publishing 2008. All rights Reserved

A Great Speech: Fred Thompson at the Republican Convention

Last night Senator Fred Thompson showed the Republican Convention what a real conservative looks and sounds like. Here is the speech in its entirety if you haven’t heard it: Fred Thompson Speech.

In his usual down-home style which probably galls and infuriates the left-wing liberals, he demonstrated what America’s is all about: dedication, family, love of country, wisdom, kindness, good nature, and so much more.

Even though he was my choice for president, his points for McCain and Palin are well taken, and show the huge gap between the candidates.

This election has turned into a no contest, no-brainer (a line which I’m sure the libs will jump on, let them). The truth usually hurts and makes the liars squirm, and the libs are really quivering now.

The Hammer

Copyright Crickard Publishing 2008. All rights Reserved

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