I don’t often think of the sun as a star, but it is. The sun never really sets either, it always is as it is. That is the TRUTH. It is in our perspective. Somewhere someone is experiencing the same sunrise I am capturing on my Nikon halfway around the world as a sunset. Sunsets used to make me sad, although that was only for a brief period of time because of circumstances. I always knew this, but had never really taken it to heart. We human beings share this planet with our animal and plant brethren, although 90% of us do not think that we “share” anything with anyone. We own, we don’t steward. When I think about this financial crisis and Obama’s comments on the “Tonight Show” with Jay Leno, a bold move, or better yet the gentleman who wrote, “House of Cards” when he said one of the power Senator’s played a lot of Bridge, the card game, I realize the game these politicians have been playing with the American people’s “perspective” and their talent in hiding the TRUTH. He played a lot of cards with our money and the result of these tiny dealings that happened in DC with a finite number of greedy little men was a collapse of the world’s trust that our “Banking system” was honest–when it was just the opposite. So two tiny specks on this giant blue rock, so to speak, one of whom was teaching Bridge to these “power brokers” who in turn took down the whole house of cards. In effect, you had two sources, the hedge funds making the bets and the people who were financing the bets. The crisis came when one did not want to fund the other. At that point, Paulson went to the American people in his “crisis mode” and although spooked, was able to milk 350 Billion dollars from you and me. Where did it go? As Sarah Palin might have said, oh wait, that was about Putin of Russia. Sorry, I just am so happy that the gift that keeps on giving–Sarah Palin–did not stay put up in Alaska. I digress, just imagine if you will, Hank Paulson, our former Treasury Secretary and former CEO of Goldman Sachs, another investment bank that was in trouble and probably still is, coming forward on say 60 Minutes so that he can save his soul and tell the American people exactly what happened to their 401 (K) and why all of the executives at specific investment firms and insurance companies like AIG deserve to remain in business. The whole system needs to be realigned with the reality on the ground here in the United States of America. People are going without food, shelter and medical care! Are we in Uganda? I say this and I say it loud and clear–the people at the top who have been served by the people at the bottom is over. There is an accountability that will not be served with a “bailout” to a failed insurance company who is now part of the federal government. More will be written about the executive compensations that were contracts and a part of the way executives get paid. When I was in the employee benefits world at Marsh, AON, Prudential and so forth, I was paid a bonus of 2 million dollars for doing nothing! I am just kidding. I put together benefit programs for small, medium and large businesses. I had an adequate salary and a bonus stucture built into my “compensation package”, so at the end of the year if I made some sales, in other words brought on new clients and maintained the accounts I had, I would get some kind of a bonus. It could be upwards of 70% above and beyond your salary. This was just straight insurance. AIG was one of my “carriers” that I used for the disability portion of the benefits packages I was putting together. I had no idea that AIG was involved legally in hedge funds, which are those “bets” that people make on what commodity will do well this day to that–a house of cards. These “bets” are referred to in the industry as “default swaps” and there are 670,000,000,000. of them out there–I think that is how you write 670 trillion! That’s alot of 0’s. So, the administration is a bit in between a rock and a hard place. On the one hand you could argue that they should just let AIG, Citi, Bank of America and all of the rest that are taking on water go under. We could do that, however the world’s reaction to that would be dire. Our financial fingers have reached into every one’s pie and because the focus has been on “fault” and not solution, we are where we are. It will be interesting to hear what the folks on “This Week” say, for this is a crisis that as the author Tom Friedman stated, as a reference to the movie “Jaws” and the crisis, “we are going to need a bigger boat.” Keep informed of the truth and question authority, for who are “they” really looking out for? Peace M
March 21, 2009
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