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News Update – Larry Summers, Fast Food Strike, SNAP Benefits

News Roundup

I don’t know about you, but I’m sure tired of Larry Summers. He decided, along with Alan Greenspan and Robert Ruben, that we did not need to regulate derivatives. As a matter fact, he went so far as to make sure that Congress passed a law which would prohibit the regulation of derivatives. Derivatives were the exact weapons of mass destruction that killed the world economy in 2007/2008. Nope, we don’t need any more of Larry Summers. I have no idea who should be Fed Chair, but it can’t be and shouldn’t be Larry Summers. President Obama, just say NO!!!

In the history of the United States, there are very few companies that change because it’s the right thing to do. Looking back over the last century or so, we find that companies begin to pay workers more because they are pressured into it. I like the fact that fast food workers are trying to pressure their employers to pay them more money. They’re not making a living wage.

SNAP benefits are going to be cut. This is not good.

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By | 2013-08-04T22:13:28+00:00 August 1st, 2013|Economy, Sports|Comments Off on News Update – Larry Summers, Fast Food Strike, SNAP Benefits

More on the Financial Meltdown

I am currently in the middle of the book Too Big to Fail, while the book has some structural problems (too many little teeny details about who went to Harvard, what car they drove and who grew up poor, it is almost as if the author showing off that he’s done this research), the content is solid. This book tells this tale from yet another angle. I continue to be amazed at how many of the Wall Street CEOs had no idea of the enormity of their problem. At the same time, there’s almost no acknowledgment that they caused the problem. The other thing that seems to shine through in all of these financial meltdown books is the sense of privilege that piece Wall Street executives seem to have.

This leads me to William Cohan’s article in the New York Times. It seems that privilege is continuing:

Notwithstanding the fact that Judge Peck is now overseeing litigation in his courtroom about whether Barclays conned Lehman in the original sale and should have paid billions more for the business, he will have the opportunity, at a hearing on Aug. 18, to make another gutsy call: He can — and should — take a heroic stand against continuing to use the dwindling assets of the Lehman estate to pay the ongoing legal bills of Lehman’s former officers and directors, the very people who helped drive the firm off the cliff in the first place. Their culpability was made abundantly clear by the comprehensive 2,200-page post-mortem released in March by the special examiner, Anton Valukas.

Why should Lehman’s creditors, who stand to get pennies on the dollar when the bankruptcy case winds up years from now, foot the rapidly mounting legal bills for people like the former chief executive Dick Fuld and two of his top officers, Erin Callan and Ian Lowitt? More important, what kind of message does it send to existing and future corporate leaders if there is no limit to how far they can go to avoid taking responsibility — be it ethical, moral or financial — for their actions?

Judge Peck has the opportunity to say “no más” to Fuld & Co., who are plenty wealthy (Fuld is estimated to have been rewarded with nearly $500 million by Lehman between 2000 and 2008), and require them to start footing the bills for their own legal defense instead of continuing to suck millions in legal fees for their attorneys out of the estate. All payments have to be approved by Judge Peck s because of something known as the “automatic stay,” which — as its name suggests — puts an immediate and ongoing block on all payments to creditors of every stripe during a bankruptcy proceeding. To pay the legal bills of the former Lehman officers and directors, Judge Peck has to approve them, and that is the purpose of the Aug. 18 hearing. (more…)

By | 2010-08-06T06:52:47+00:00 August 6th, 2010|Economy|Comments Off on More on the Financial Meltdown