Posts Tagged ‘market’

We Need A Leader. Unfortunately We’ve Got A Fool-in-Chief

August 9, 2011

I wrote up my own comments in an article I wrote yesterday titled “Obama On Downgrade, Market Plunge: The Buck Stops With (Anyone BUT) Me.”  But Judith Miller’s systematic take-down on Obama’s speech should be preserved.

In Debt Downgrade Aftermath, Obama Serves Up a Silly Speech
By Judith Miller
Published August 08, 2011 | FoxNews.com

First, do no harm. That is a useful injunction for doctors, lawyers, and, it turns out, U.S. presidents.
 
But President Obama’s useless speech Monday about the basic soundness of the American economy managed to reinforce all the concerns Americans on the left and right have about his stewardship of the country.
 
The speech did at least temporary harm. As soon as he finished speaking, the already jittery financial markets plunged.
 
Americans didn’t want to hear that we’re fine people or that Warren Buffett thinks that we should have an impeccable credit rating.

They didn’t want him to repeat his basic talking points: the need to marshal the “political will” to extend the payroll tax cut and unemployment insurance benefits, or create an infrastructure bank.

They didn’t want to hear his perfectly reasonable desire to solve the debt crisis over time by cutting spending after the economy recovers and by raising more revenue from what the president now calls “tax reform” rather than new taxes.

Americans wanted to hear what President Obama was planning to do to create jobs and stop our economy from slipping over an economic abyss into a double-dip recession.

His calm, passionless, “voice of reason” message, without a single new proposal except his pledge to make specific proposals in the future and work with the Congressionally designated super-committee to address the deficit and debt crises – “leading from behind again” – actually panicked the markets. And no wonder.  Americans were looking for a leader, and what we got was the professor again.

One must sympathize with the president. Last week was his worst week ever in the job.

First, he turned 50, usually traumatic for most people, even politicians.

Then he became the first president to have a downgrading of America’s credit worthiness on his watch – an action taken by Standard & Poor’s, a company that made a two trillion dollar mistake in its own budget calculations and which gave the highest credit rating to Lehman Brothers on the verge of bankruptcy and to the mortgage-backed securities that helped cause the 2008 financial crisis. How do you spell “chutzpah” on Wall Street?

Then he presided over the deadliest day in Afghanistan– the loss of 30 Americans soldiers, most of them Navy Seal commandos, some from the same unit that killed Usama Bin Laden. (He lauded their courage and sacrifice in the only convincing part of his today’s speech – at the end of that speech, which he introduced with the world’s most awkward transition: “One More Thing.”)

Then markets plunged.

The president has now managed to deepen the alienation of the right – which I believe unfairly accuses him of being a free-wheeling tax and spender whose profligacy is responsible for the nation’s slow growth and falling credit worthiness.

Now, the left of his party, too, is in full rebellion. On Sunday, Drew Westen, a professor of psychology at Emory, articulated the fury of liberal Democrats in a New York Times Sunday Review essay.

He excoriated Obama for failing to provide a “counternarrative” to that of the right and for engaging in “the politics of appeasement” with the Tea Party. The public, he wrote, was desperate for a Roosevelt who would name names and assign blame – to his predecessors. (Hasn’t Obama done a lot of that?) Instead, it got more rhetoric. Instead of indicting his predecessors’ economic policies that had eliminated eight million jobs, “in the most damaging of the tic-like gestures of compromise that have become the hallmark of his presidency,” Westen wrote, “he backed away from his advisers who proposed a big stimulus, and then diluted it with tax cuts that had already been shown to be inert.” The predictable result was a “half-stimulus that half-stimulated the economy.”

How can one explain this lack of leadership? Westen offered several harsh theories. Perhaps Obama is, as conservatives have alleged, too inexperienced and hence, incompetent. Obama, he wrote, “had accomplished very little before he ran for president, having never run a business or a state.” He had a “singularly unremarkable career as a law professor, publishing nothing in 12 years at the University of Chicago other than an autobiography.” Finally, before joining the Senate, he had voted “present” rather than “yea” or “nay” 130 times, “sometimes dodging difficult issues.”

But wait. Westen has an even harsher explanation, namely that America is being “held hostage not just by an extremist Republican Party but also by a president who either does not know what he believes or is willing to take whatever position he thinks will lead to his re-election.”

Ouch. No wonder Mr. Obama looked so very shaken during a speech that was intended to boost the nation’s confidence.

Obama came on television when we needed a leader.  And of course all we got was a clueless clown.

“Here’s my plan.”  “Here’s what we need to do.”  You’re not going to get anything like that from THIS Disgrace.

Obama is THE POSTER BOY for the phrase “all talk, no action.”  All this man ever offers is another useless speech.

I’m still waiting for Obama to give his “My work here is done” speech:

But it appears he thinks he can still do more to destroy America.

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Obama Tries To Fit Japan Crisis, Two Wars And Shocking Oil Prices In Between Golfing And NCAA Brackets

March 15, 2011

Obama is at a -22 approval, according to a just-breaking story:

Obama Approval Index: -22 Strongly Approve 20% Strongly Disapprove 42% Total Approval 43%

Here’s Obama’s trend for the past 8 days:

-10
-15
-16
-16
-15
-18
-20
-22

Does he deserve even that much credit?

Japan suffered a quake that has been upgraded to a 9.0 on the scale.  It is the fourth largest earthquake ever recorded in human history.  That quake resulted in a tsunami that did terrible damage.  And as a result of all that damage Japan is watching in horror as one nuclear power plant after another melts down.

Yet “no drama” Obama just doesn’t seem to care.  He didn’t even bother to mention Japan or it’s earthquake or its tsunami or its nuclear meltdown in his address the day after the disaster.  And just to demonstrate that he truly truly, truly didn’t give a damn, he played 18 holes of golf.

See the photos of Obama’s golf outing from Sadhill.

Then there’s the unfortunate fact that this disaster has coincided with the far more important NCAA basketball tournament.  A president has to choose his priorities, and clearly the basketball brackets won out.  It takes a lot of research and study to go out there and pick the winning teams.  And President Obama is clearly prepared to put in the time to make sure his picks are good ones.

Oh, yes, there’s one another thing that is keeping Obama busy: Democrat fundraisers at luxury hotels.  Obama had his second this week and his fourth such event this month.

American servicemen are facing radiation exposure.  Obama is facing ESPN sports reporters.  And which situation is more toxic?

Earlier, Obama’s excuse for failing to talk about Libya even as the protestors were being killed from far above by Gaddafi’s jets was becasue he had a “scheduling conflict.”  Now you know what his “conflicts” were.

It’s not just Japan or Libya, of course.  It’s not just the fact that radiation leaks have made over a hundred thousand people prisoners in their own homes.  It’s not the fact that Japan’s market has lost more than 16% of its value in just two days.  And it’s not just the terrible impact that a devasted Japan (which is the 2nd largest purchaser of U.S. debt) will have on America.  It’s not just the shocking increases in the price of oil and gasoline.  It’s not the collapse of one government after another across the Arab world.  It’s not that Bahrain is declaring a state of emergency after the protests and rioting has overtaken that kingdom.  It’s not that Obama made it American policy that Gaddafi fall, and then did nothing to make that happen as Gaddafi’s forces begin to rout the unsupported rebels who are screaming for George Bush and for a no-fly zone.

It’s the fact that the world is burning, and we have a pathetic weakling appeasing president who cannot lead because he was never more than a community agitator.

Pre/Post-Election Poll Craziness: Media Rewriting Its Propaganda

November 20, 2008

Okay.  Six weeks and one Presidential election apart.  Two articles reporting on two polls from the same source (CNNMoney): one titled “Poll: 60% say depression ‘likely’” and one titled “76% say Obama can fix economy – poll.”

Am I the only one who sees a contradiction?

Let’s backtrack a little bit.  Since election day, the Dow has lost 21% of its value, from 9625 on November 4 to today’s close of 7552.  It was 9525 on October 6, the day that 60% of Americans believed that a depression was “likely.”

The CNNMoney story from October 6 begins:

NEW YORK (CNNMoney.com) — Nearly six out of ten Americans believe another economic depression is likely, according to a poll released Monday.

And it ends:

And [Economic Cycle Research Institute director of research Anirvan] Banerji said that the increasingly grim view of the economy will by itself lead to cutbacks in spending by both consumers and businesses. That in turn will result in greater job losses and more economic pain.

“The fact that the majority of people believe we are going into a depression ensures that the recession will get worse,” Banerji said.

The market has lost over one-fifth of its value since Barack Obama was elected President.  That is a rather stunning display of a complete lack of confidence in his leadership and in his policies.  Such an abandonment from the market following a presidential election is historically unprecedented.  And we are supposed to believe that now 76% of Americans believe Obama can “fix” the economy?

Because Obama has done what, exactly?

First of all, I have to ask: is it THESE people who believe Obama can fix the economy?  Is it the nearly 60% of Obama voters who – on crucial issues such as which party has been in charge of the Congress for the last two years – are dumber than monkeys, but get to vote anyway?

It sure isn’t THESE people, investors or chief executive officers, the people who actually invest and who actually run things.  You poll the CEOs, and you find out that “74 percent of the executives say they fear that an Obama presidency would be disastrous for the country.”  You find out that CEO’s believe that “some of his programs would bankrupt the country within three years, if implemented.”

Barack Obama is being portrayed by the media as the new FDR, superintending the “new new deal.”  That should frankly terrify you, if you had a clue.

Let me tell you what’s going on here: exactly what I and others have been saying would happen.  The same media that has been demonizing the economy as a narrative device to attack Republicans will begin to assure everyone that things will be okay now that Barack Obama is in charge.  Most Obama voters didn’t know that Democrats have actually been in charge of both the House and the Senate for the past two years because the media didn’t want them to know that.  Widespread awareness of such a fact would have undermined the media narrative that Republicans were responsible for the tanking economy.  Better to run one story after another trashing Sarah Palin.

John McCain was portrayed as some kind of older-than-retarded out-of-touch fool for claiming that the fundamentals of the economy were strong when they were at a time when they were ACTUALLY FAR STRONGER THAN THEY ARE NOW (you know, before Obama got elected and the market lost over a fifth of its value).  But you will begin to see “here comes the sun” articles building up the economy now that the election is over and Democrats came out on top.

The media has been so blatantly biased throughout its election coverage that it is completely accurate to say that we are now in a propaganda state.  There is no possible way that Republicans can win in this media climate: whether you look at the Media Research Center, or at the Project for Excellence in Journalism (or again at their brand new study), or at the University of Wisconsin’s Wisconsin Advertising Project, there is widespread agreement with one longtime ABC journalist that the media is dangerously biased.  Pew Research discovered that Americans believe by a 70% to 9% margin that the media is biased in favor of Obama and against McCain.  The media now represents a fifth column of government – a propaganda wing – that attacks conservatives and celebrates and defends Democrats and their ideology.  Democracy is going extinct in the country that founded democracy, because no free society can survive such a climate of propaganda.

Are the two polls from CNN contradictory?  Of course they are.  But they are the product of two agendas: agenda #1 was to undermine confidence in the economy in order to get Obama and Democrats elected; agenda #2 is to reinforce confidence in the economy in order to help them be successful.

The problem is that the people who actually invest and who actually run businesses aren’t as stupid and naive as the brainwashed public that voted for Obama and a Democrat super-majority.  That’s why the smart money is bailing our of the economy like rats off a sinking ship so that they can actually keep what little profit they have before the Democrats can begin to start “spreading the wealth around.”

Obama’s “New New Deal” Will Redistribute Wealth Of Shrinking Economy

November 14, 2008

The last couple weeks may well be a harbinger of things to come, as the people Obama promised to tax heavily continue to pull out of the market.  On November 4, the Dow closed at 9,625; today, it was at 8,497.  That means that the market has lost nearly 12% of its value since Obama became President-elect.  Hardly a measure of confidence.

The market spoke rather clearly on November 5:

NEW YORK, Nov 5 (Reuters) - Wall Street hardly delivered a
rousing welcome to President-elect Barack Obama on Wednesday,
dropping by the largest margin on record for a day following a U.S.
presidential contest.
 The slide more than wiped out the previous day's advance, the
largest Election Day rally ever for U.S. stocks.

Now, this wasn’t at all unexpected.  On October 24, I wrote an article titled, “Investors Ready For Dramatic Sell-Off If Democrats Win.”  A few days before that, I wrote an article pointing out that “Actual Job Creators Favor McCain 4-1 Over Obama,” which – among other things – points out that “74 percent of the executives say they fear that an Obama presidency would be disastrous for the country.”

The people who invest, and create job opportunities, and build the economy, don’t want to have their wealth redistributed.  Would you want your wealth redistributed?

Democratic apologists point out that Obama promises on a meager jump in the top federal tax rates from 36% to 39%.  But that “insignificant” 3% comes right out of peoples’ profits.  It sounds a lot worse when the reality is understood: when businesses that had been making an 11% profit are now reduced to an 8% profit.  Or an 8% profit reduced to a 5% profit.  And Obama promises to increase capital gains taxes and several other taxes that will impact upon businesses and the investment climate that supports business.  How hard are job creators willing to work to experience a diminishing return on their time, labor, and risk?

Time Magazine – a publication that has gushed over Obama for months – has a new gushing cover:

It should frighten you.  FDR was no “moderate.”  He presided over a terrible time for the country, and – while he was a popular figure because of what he tried to do – his actual economic administration has been widely recognized by economists to have been a failure.  Studies have demonstrated that the average depression lasted only four years; but for some reason the Great Depression dragged on and on and on under FDR’s governance.  By 1938, after more than four years of FDR, the effects of the Depression were actually much worse than they had been when he first took office.

As an example of the new realizations regarding the 1930s, UCLA economists argue:

Two UCLA economists say they have figured out why the Great Depression dragged on for almost 15 years, and they blame a suspect previously thought to be beyond reproach: President Franklin D. Roosevelt.

After scrutinizing Roosevelt’s record for four years, Harold L. Cole and Lee E. Ohanian conclude in a new study that New Deal policies signed into law 71 years ago thwarted economic recovery for seven long years.

Even the common man’s sense has largely been that World War II had more to do with getting us out of the Depression than FDR’s New Deal.  It certainly did get men who had been standing in bread lines put to “work.”  And as the nation coalesced together and began to pour resources into building weapons, factories that had been idled came back on line, and innovation increased to match the technological development of our enemies.  And certainly, the fact that, when hostilities ended, the United States alone was not reduced to rubble had a great deal to do with helping our economy surge forward.

But by that thinking, anyone who criticized President Bush’s wars in Afghanistan and Iraq is correct only insofar as we need an even BIGGER war.  For Obama to truly be like FDR, we need to have a devastating Depression that drags on for 12 years while incompetent liberals continue to tinker, and then we need slug it out in World War III against Russia and China.

So pardon me for looking at the “New New Deal” FDR-lookalike Barack Obama and shuddering down to the marrow of my bones.

We’re watching the market beginning to go down the slide.  It’s going to go down a lot more.  And fear over Barack Obama’s policies is going to have a lot to do with the lack of confidence that keeps investment from pouring back into the economy.

The picture is far more frightening than the story the media is telling: there are more than $700 trillion in derivatives in the global economy.  That’s far more than the total currencies of all the governments in the entire world.  As one writer puts it, “In other words, every dollar of insurance on bonds issued by some deadbeat governments and corporations is leveraged 200 times!”  We’ve got a time bomb waiting to explode.  And we put a lot of the people who created that time bomb in the first place in charge of fixing the mess they themselves created.  People like Obama’s National Finance Chair, Penny Pritzker, who was at the epicenter of the subprime loan scandal and once paid $460 million to stay out of jail.  People like Jim Johnson, Franklin Raines, and Jamie Gorelick, who pocketed over $300 million from Fannie and Freddie while juggling the books so they could get their bonuses.  People like Barney Frank, who claimed that nothing was wrong with Fannie and Freddie and the housing market they supervised, and repeatedly fought off President Bush’s efforts to regulate them at time when the crisis we are currently experiencing could have been averted.  People like Charles Schumer, who exemplified the sheer hypocrisy of the Democratic Party with his blaming others for what he himself did.  People like Joe Biden, whom two major studies said shared direct blame for the foreclosure disaster because of legislation he championed as the Senator from banking-capital Delaware.  And people like Barack Obama, who embraced more contributions from Fannie and Freddie – and from scandal-plagued finance institutions such as Lehman Brothers than anyone during his short time in the Senate.  Now all these people have been entrusted with fixing a mess of literally global proportions; a mess that they in large part created in the first place.

And Barack Obama wearing the “New New Deal” mantle of FDR’s Panama hat, glasses, and fancy cigarette is not going to make that time bomb go away.  In fact, it may be the very thing that brings the whole house of cards come crashing down.

Dems Blame Bush For Deregulation: Just Another Day Of Astounding Liberal Hypocrisy

September 23, 2008

So Sen. Charles Schumer is the latest partisan Democrat ideologue to take yet another wild roundhouse swing at the Bush Administration and Republicans over the housing finance market meltdown.  But in this case, it would have served Schumer to recognize that when you point a finger at someone else, there are three fingers pointing back at you.

Fox News briefly tells the story as follows:

Democratic Senator Charles Schumer of New York says a lack of regulation by the Bush administration is responsible for the current economic troubles. The New York Sun reports Schumer says, “Eight years of deregulatory zeal by the Bush administration, an attitude of ‘the market can do no wrong,’ have led us down a short path to economic recession.”

But Schumer fails to mention he has been a leading voice of deregulation. The Sun reports he championed the repeal in 1999 of the Glass-Steagall Act, the law which separated commercial and investment banking.

He also wrote an opinion piece for The Wall Street Journal in 2006 which warned about what he called “overzealous regulators” and opposed a bill in 2005 that would have transformed Freddie Mac and Fannie Mae from large investment funds into “conduits” that only bought mortgages, packaged them into securities and sold them on the market.

And whatever one wants to say about the repeal of the Glass-Steagall Act, it must be mentioned first that it was President William Jefferson Clinton who signed the 1999 law that repealed it.

The New York Sun goes into the real nitty-gritty detail over just what astounding hypocrites Democrats like Charles Schumer really are.

The article begins as follows (the whole thing is ever SO worth reading):

Pro-Deregulation Schumer Scores Bush for Lack of Regulation
By JOSEPH GOLDSTEIN, Staff Reporter of the Sun | September 22, 2008

As Senator Schumer attempts to blame Wall Street‘s recent economic upheavals on a lack of regulation by the Bush administration, he may have some inconvenient facts to confront.

Until the current credit crisis, Mr. Schumer had been a leading voice for deregulation: He has championed the repeal of a Great Depression-era law that prohibited commercial banks from underwriting securities; he has written an opinion piece calling for the Sarbanes-Oxley Act to be “re-examined,” and he has opposed a bill that sought to reduce taxpayer risk in the event of a housing market slowdown by requiring Freddie Mac and Fannie Mae to sell their entire investment portfolios of about $1.5 trillion worth of mortgage assets.

The New York Sun article continues:

A spokesman for Mr. Schumer did not respond yesterday to a request for comment.

Mr. Schumer’s opposition to regulation is also beginning to come under scrutiny for the first time.

“He is responsible as one of the leading senators in the banking committee for much of the problems that we’re facing today,” a fellow at the American Enterprise Institute, Peter Wallison, a former general counsel to the Treasury Department under President Reagan, said of Mr. Schumer. “He failed to regulate where there was an opportunity to reduce the taxpayers’ liability.”

Too many people naively and frankly stupidly believe that the housing finance market meltdown is the Republicans’ fault because President Bush is in the White House and Republicans used to be in charge of Congress two years ago.  And this “They wanted to deregulate” lie is at the heart of that blame game. Republicans clearly do bear a share of the blame.  But this mess has Democrat written all over it, too.  Look at Joe Biden, Charles Schumer, Barney Frank – and yes, Barack Obama – along with a whole legion of Obama Democrats like Franklin Raines, Jim Johnson, and Jamie Gorelick who collectively took well over $300 million from Fannie Mae while cooking the books to do it.  And let us not forget Barack Obama’s National Finance Chair, Penny Pritzker, who was at the epicenter of the subprime scandal, and who paid $460 million dollars of her personal fortune to literally stay out of jail.

Barack Obama is second on the list of Fannie Mae and Freddie Mac campaign money recipients only after fellow Democrat Chris Dodd (who has also been identified taking a sweetheart deal from scandelized Countrywide); and he is second on the list of Lehman Bros’ campaign money recipients only after fellow Democrat Hillary Clinton.  And Obama, of course, got a sweetheart housing deal of his own, from convicted sleazeball Tony Rezko.

It needs to be realized that the Bush administration twice tried to regulate the housing finance industry in 2003 and 2005 – and both times were stymied by determined Democratic opposition.  John McCain joined President Bush in both efforts that would have saved our financial market, and was one of the four Republican sponsors of the Federal Housing Enterprise Regulatory Reform Act of 2005.  In his statement supporting the 2005 bill, John McCain presciently foresaw the very disaster that has since overtaken the finance industry.   Democrats’ entrenched opposition to any reform that would have prevented people who could not qualify for a home loan from getting one anyway prevented both measures from succeeding.

Looking at Barack Obama’s personal exposure and the direct culpability of his closest advisers in the housing finance scandal, one thing is sure: voting for an Obama administration would be tantamount to giving the robbers the keys to the bank.