73 AIG Bonuses over a Million Bucks each ?

18 03 2009

Absurd. This is the first article I have ever commented on that I made a judgement in the first word. But there it is. For Federal Regulators to allow these complex and incredibly dangerous financial hustles was bad, really bad. To bail the perpetrators out is still undecided… it may have been a mistake or it may have been prudent. We will not know for a few years. But to allow 165 million dollars in guaranteed bonuses while AIG is the largest single recipient of bailout funding is 100% ABSURD.

aig-baby

Adding insult to injury, the AIG spokesman told reporters that they were not going to release the names of the millionaires because they would be targets for violence. That’s interesting. I wonder who was going to go after them? Taxpayers? Getting more absurd by the minute there are almost 10 execs getting more than 4 million a piece for last years hard work. And 22 execs are getting more than 2 million a piece.

When I was an Officer at a number of Wall Street financial firms we were members of a “bonus pool”. That is to say if the company was profitable, we all got a bonus, and our bosses divided up the bonus pool based on individual performance. For the US Government to allow a guaranteed bonus system to prevail knowing well that AIG was going to get the biggest bailout of them all is beyond reason. To say these people are necessary to unwind their complicated financial schemes is also totally absurd. Like they are the only rats that know where the cheese is hidden?





Is the Phelps Investigation Going Too Far?

13 03 2009

Michael Phelps made world wide headlines in November 2008 when cell phone photos surfaced showing him apparently using a pot pipe.  Since then the Columbia South Carolina Sheriff’s Department has arrested 8 people associated with the incident… asked them all kinds of questions about Phelps… but they have not arrested Phelps himself.  And with the maximum charges that appear to be possible being a misdemeanor, it’s starting to seem like the Sheriff Mr. Leon Lott might be going too far.  He seems to be spending an inordinate amount of the tax payer’s money and the valuable time of the investigators and other staff in his department on this investigation.

Forget about the fact that our current President of the United States and the last 2 Presidents were all admitted “users” at one time or another during their youth, the media frenzy surrounding this case was HUGE. Is it possible the Sherrif is using that to get favorable media attention for himself?

Columbia SC criminal defense lawyer Jack Swerling has been quoted in numerous national media sources during the last 4 months and I picked this up from “The Liberty Papers”:

”The efforts that are being made here are unlike anything I’ve ever seen before,” said Jack Swerling, a defense attorney in South Carolina. ”I know Leon Lott, I know him to be an honorable guy. I’ve known him for 30 something years. But the efforts here are extraordinary on simple possession cases.”

http://www.thelibertypapers.org/2009/02/13/leave-michael-phelps-alone/

phelps-001

So if our President can stand up and admit it… and it did not prevent him from getting elected President… is it getting a little ABSURD that the Sheriff in Columbia SC is spending so much tax payer money on this thing? Should we just go ahead and get ready to vote for Phelps for President?

Mr. Obama was quoted in the Herald Tribune when he was a Senator on the campaign trail:

For one thing, he said, “When I was a kid, I inhaled.”

http://www.iht.com/articles/2006/10/24/news/dems.php





Bye Bye Bernie !!

13 03 2009

Occasionally we get to write about an ABSURD NOT law. This one put Bernard Madoff behind bars for 150 years starting yesterday. So after destroying or at least injuring the lives of thousands of otherwise innocent human beings, we finally have a jailed perp and it feels good to see some level of justice. Now I hope the prosecutors “do the right thing” and get back as much as they can for the personal investors and then the institutional investors. I hope they go after his assets next.

Anyway, here is a little tidbit I found on the Smoking Gun… a copy of his guilty plea.

ponzi-001

So long Bernie. By the way, lets talk about your acomplices in this long carefully conceived plan.  I think misery deserves company.





Is Bernie Madoff Continuing to Live in Luxury Absurd?

6 03 2009

A 50 billion dollar ponzi scheme. There are so many issues that can be considered ABSURD that it boggles the mind.

  • It’s absurd his company was able to get away with this for so many years.
  • It’s absurd that the US Justice system would allow Bernie to continue to live in his life of luxury after being caught.
  • It’s absurd that Bernie’s attorney has a possible conflict of interest but has continued to represent the alleged criminal.
  • It’s absurd Bernie has only been charged with a single crime so far.
  • It’s absurd that Bernie filed to protect over 50 million dollars in personal assets he got as part of his crimes.

the-ponze

This will continue to be a case that will test the nation’s resolve into what seems like an absurd and almost bizarre miscarriage of justice. Can we change the law to protect financial victims better and prosecute perps better?





NJ Statutes – NJSA 39:4-85 We MUST Give Audible Warning?

20 02 2009

Here’s an absurd law for you, or better yet, is this an absurd law after all? You decide.

NJ Statutes – NJSA 39:4-85

The driver of a vehicle overtaking another vehicle proceeding in the same direction shall pass at a safe distance… blah blah blah… […] [here is the good part] The driver of an overtaking motor vehicle not within a business or residence district shall give audible warning with his horn or other warning device before passing or attempting to pass a vehicle proceeding in the same direction.

Wow !! So we are required to beep when passing another vehicle in a rural area.

Well, I see this kind of thing a lot in foreign countries but in the US where the population is quickly getting “politically correct”, noise pollution is carefully considered. And if you are passing another vehicle in New Jersey, don’t you think yo might offend the other driver if you beep first?

I have to say that in this day and age in NJ, this appears to be an absurd law. You might agitate another driver or create noise pollution by honking.

honking





Is the “Troubled Asset Relief Program” helping pay outrageous executive compensation?

13 02 2009

“The first 116 banks that got money from American taxpayers paid an average of 2.6 million dollars in executive pay” according to Senator Claire McCaskill (Missouri).  She said this to Congress in the recent Executive Compensation Bill discussions. Claire pointed out that Merrill Lynch usually paid out bonuses in January but this year moved the payouts to December so they would not get caught shelling 3 to 4 BILLION dollars in bonuses as they declared a 21 billion dollar LOSS for the final quarter of 08.

Outrageous executive compensation in publicly held companies is ABSURD and the law is ABSURD that allows this shameful practice.

I think it will probably be years before the smoke clears and we can point a finger on who is to blame. But the facts are known in terms of who the thieves are. I only hope they are all forced to pay the money back.

claire-0011





Are Executive Bonuses in Bailed Out Companies Absurd?

30 01 2009

Many of the companies that received funds during the first wave of bailouts paid billions and billions of dollars in executive compensation. I think that is ABSURD. In any company being bailed out, I think the board and executive management should loose their absurd compensation. Thy should get reasonable compensation. But the underlying problem of course is that the laws are too loose and the managers of these companies acted freely to line their pockets with case and bilk investors with no fear of prison or loss of their windfalls. When a company is publically held I believe the board should be held to higher standards of accountability for their success or failure. In addition, there is obviously way too much collusion and not enough independant review of corporate books.

biden21