Tuesday, October 28, 2008

Proposition A in Missouri. . .

Okay all, please go to Smart Voter and read about the Ammendments up for a vote on November 4th and find out more about your candidates!

By going there today, I read about Proposition A (which I though I would vote for based on the advertisements I've seen). Unfortunately, I will be voting against this Proposition...here's the Text:

Proposition A Revision of Statutes Relating to Casinos and Gambling 2008-035
Shall Missouri law be amended to:

* repeal the current individual maximum loss limit for gambling;
* prohibit any future loss limits;

* require identification to enter the gambling area only if necessary to establish that an individual is at least 21 years old;
* restrict the number of casinos to those already built or being built;
* increase the casino gambling tax from 20% to 21%;
* create a new specific education fund from gambling tax proceeds generated as a result of this measure called the "Schools First Elementary and Secondary Education Improvement Fund"; and
* require annual audits of this new fund?

State governmental entities will receive an estimated $105.1 to $130.0 million annually for elementary and secondary education, and $5.0 to $7.0 million annually for higher education, early childhood development, veterans, and other programs. Local governmental entities receiving gambling boat tax and fee revenues will receive an estimated $18.1 to $19.0 million annually.

It's a proposition in support of raping those with gambling Addictions. Fuck that! Also, why can't we fund education with OUR TAX DOLLARS? Isn't that where they're supposed to be going?


A word on bailouts and profit margins. . .

Watching the evening news tonight there were two stories one on the first ever Saint Louis Enterprise Rent-A-Car layoffs and the other on AT&T Layoffs. I started yelling and of course my partner was like "you ok?" haha.

SO, here's my question. . .

We have been bailing out banks so they can increase lending to people and companies, right??

Then why are people being laid off? It seems to me that these companies laying off employees should be able to meet their salary requirements by sales or by receiving lent funds, no? Also, why bailout banks if no one has a fucking job? Why bail out banks ad fuck the people?

This is bullshit. And believe me, there have been soooo many layoffs here in STL and around the world...

Why are we backing big business but not the people? Something doesn't seem right.

I suppose the issue is profit margins, no? I mean, if you have a profit of 20 Million dollars a year with 1000 employees, and then your profit could possible decrease to 10 Million, you can recover some of that by laying off half of your people, right?

I mean, that's 500 people that won't be able to afford your product and will definitely speak out against your company, but fuck them, right...it's all about the cash (I'm being sarcastic)!.

Oh shit this country is fucked up!

I think it's time to move to Seoul Korea...they need English teachers!

Money talk. . .

Well, today was an amazing day for the Dow Jones Industrial Average. Today the Dow jumped 889.35 points to close at 9065.12. The Nasdaq and S&P 500 also did amazingly well, but why?

We all know that we are poor as hell. We all know that times are hard and that the global economy is headed toward a huge recession. Why so well today?


My thought is that since the Fed is set to cut the Federal Funds Rate from 1.50% to 1.00% tomorrow, the Dow is pricing this in. Normally, when the Fed cuts rates the Dow goes up and the US Dollar goes down. However, the market usually reacts to such news a day or two in advance. For example, the Euro rose against the Dollar today to 1.27 from a 1.245 level. Why is the Euro strengthening? My feeling is that this is due to the possible rate cut tomorrow.

If the Fed cuts to a 1.00% level, the Euro (if not over-bought) should stay at the same level or decrease against the Dollar. If the Fed cuts below 1.00% (not predicted), the Euro will gain more strength against the Dollar. Why? well, simply, when interest is low in your country, no foreign investors want to put money into your country...They want a return on their investment!

So, if this Fed Cut is 1.00% tomorrow, look to see small moves in the DJIA. If the cut takes us below 1.00%, look for another rally in DJIA...that is, if investors are paying attention to details!

So, the unfortunate part about this rate cut is this...

When the Fed Cuts rates, the DOW increases, Commodity prices increase, but the Dollar...she weakens. That means as Wall Street takes profits from the Cut, we, the consumer, suffer. High commodity prices and a weak dollar = RECESSION...big time! (We had this back in February-April).

So, anyway, tomorrow should be interesting.

Monday, October 27, 2008


Hello all! I received a donation to the HEN Foundation today...it was from Michelle Shocked!. Awesome!

In her honor and in the spirit of the (economic) times. . .I present you with Strawberry Jam by Michelle Shocked. Go buy her music!

Saturday morning found me itching
To get on over to my grandma's kitchen
Where the sweetest little berries was cooking up right
And then we'd put them in a canning jar and seal them up tight

We were making jam
Strawberry jam
If you want the best jam
You've gotta make your own

We have Smucker's, Welches, Knotts Berry Farm
But a little homemade jam never did a body no harm
A little local motion is all that we need
To close down these corporate jam factories

We have a little revolution sweeping the land
Once more everybody's making homemade jam
So call your friends up on the telephone
Invite 'em over, make some jam of your own

Amazing! Thanks Michelle!

A word on Experience

So, I'm sure you have all seen that ad against Obama...the TV ad that asks whether or not we would want the inexperienced, executive experience-lacking Obama to be sitting in that leather chair in the Oval Office.

Do you think that every President we've had has been experienced enough to be in the White House? I mean, Bush had executive experience but had NO IDEA what to do once he was in the White House. He was also tested in his first year as President, and failed miserably, no?

Do you think you have to have executive experience prior to being the president? I think out country is founded on the idea that ANYONE over the age of 35 can run for President- regardless of experience, or is that too constitutional to be considered?

How do executives become executives in our country? If you had to have executive experience to hold an executive position, we would NEVER change Governors, Senators, Presidents, etc. It is the ability to learn on the job and the level of education that is most important here.

I think Obama is a well-educated man with good ideas to help our country. Most importantly, I think Obama is willing TO LISTEN- to the people and to his advisors. I think he is WILLING TO LEARN! Anyone who thinks they know everything BEFORE they get into a new position (whether that's a scientific position, a political position, a construction position, a WalMart position or whatever) is an idiot and won't amount to much in their new job.

I wish McCain had a little humility. A willingness to say "I've never done this shit before, but I can learn." Isn't what we want our president to say? Obama can learn!

Friday, October 24, 2008

It's going to be a bumpy ride. . .

I woke up this morning and turned on CNBC to be shocked by what I saw...here's a recap...

Dow Jones Futures -550
Nasdaq Futures - 84.75
S&P Futures - 60

These are all trading at "Limit Down" levels- that means they have halted pre-opening lower limits...they can't get lower before the opening bell. Eeek!

It's important to note that if the Dow drops 1100 points before 2pm there will be a 1 hour trading stop; If it drops 1100 after 2pm, there's a 30min stop.

Also, to my amazement, the dollar fell 5.00 points against the Yen, rose $.0263 against the Euro (1 Euro= $1.2642, was at 1.2515) and the Pound fell to 1.5638 against the dollar (1GBP=$1.5638). That's insane considering the 1.5 month ago highs of $1.65 Euro and $2.03 GBP. Insanity!

Interesting in the commodities, Oil fell (after a 1.5million barrel a day production CUT by OPEC) and Gold fell briefly below $700/oz.

It's a crazy market today- though I have to say, it all seems barely representative of what the STL economy has been looking like since February 2008.

Good luck people!

Wednesday, October 22, 2008

Rating Agencies...

Okay, I've been following this news today.

It seems that a congressional oversight committee is reviewing what seems to be bad ratings made by S&P. Of course bad ratings lead to false confidence and skews the market leading to false support of this 'house of cards.'

Officials performing S&P ratings have said things like "I hope we're all rich before this house of cards comes tumbling down" and "we'd rate deals compiled by a cow."

Turns out all of those complaints of citizens against Wall Street are COMPLETELY ACCURATE...Wall Street Fucked Us, and we bailed them out! And the fucked us with a forethought... Those bastards...


Reports today indicate that 27 states are in Recession...here's Missouri's info (from The Dismal Scientist)...mind you, this Data is from August 2008. My Personal feeling is that Missouri has been in Recession since February.

Monday, October 20, 2008

Do you still blame The People?

I woke up this morning to continue my seemingly endless pursuit of a career and saw this article.

The article explains that Freddie Mac hired a Republican consulting firm to kill a bill (by influencing 13 Republican Senators) that would have called for more regulation of Banks and Wall Street. 

Fuck! And we just wrote a check to these fuckers!

Thursday, October 16, 2008

Economic Data Today. . .

Here's a picture showing some of our country's fundamentals (data released 10-16-08)...Notice the unemployment claims (number of people filing for unemployment insurance for the first time last week). 

The fundamentals of our economy are strong- John McCain


Wednesday, October 15, 2008

Largest Percentage Gains on the Dow...

Biggest Percentage Gains

March 15, 1933: 8.26 points, or 15.34 percent, to 62.10

Oct. 6, 1931: 12.86, or 14.87 percent, to 99.34

Oct. 30, 1929: 28.40, or 12.34 percent, to 258.47

Sept. 21, 1932: 7.67, or 11.36 percent, to 75.16

Oct. 13, 2008: 936.42, or 11.08 percent, to 9,387.61

Oct. 21, 1987: 186.84, or 10.15 percent, to 2,027.85

Aug. 3, 1932: 5.06, or 9.52 percent, to 57.22

Feb. 11, 1932: 6.80, or 9.47 percent, to 78.60

Nov. 14, 1929: 18.59, or 9.36 percent, to 217.28

Dec. 18, 1931: 6.90, or 9.35 percent, to 80.69.

8 out of 10 of the largest percentage gains were during the Great Depression!

Tuesday, October 14, 2008

A note on the economy. . .

Our former Fed-Chair NOW says we've entered into a recession! Hmm, I've been in recession for a long ass time!

I spend a lot of time watching CNBC, I trade Forex and have done so for quite some time now. I have to say that I am really worried about this economic situation. First, let me say that I was opposed to the bailout- $700 Billion to bail out banks when our economy is super-crappy? Come on, really?

After approving the bailout, Wall Street had a REALLY bad week closing on Friday around 8400 (after dipping down into the 7600 range for a minute). That's scary! So, what did our Federal Reserve do? They cut interest rates (yet again!) 0.5% to 1.5%. Okay. They also created an institution to buy up debt of banks to increase liquidity in lending. Hmmm. Okay. They've also announced today measures to spend $250 Billion dollars in capital injection into the banks, and have increased the FDIC account limit to $250,000 (just shy of meeting inflation requirements since FDIC incorporation post-Great Depression).

Okay. So, after the stock market sorta-crashed last week, on Monday, the stock market rose 936 points (an all-time one-day POINT increase record). Awesome. But what does that mean for us? Mental Note- 6 out of 10 of the LARGEST percentage gains happened DURING the Great Depression.

(1) Commodities will increase- oil for example, that was down to $76/barrel and gas at $3/gallon will go back up (an has started to do so- even with low demand). Natural Gas, Copper, wheat, etc...will continue to increase! awesome for our pocket books in the short term!

(2) The value of the US dollar will decrease against major currencies like the Euro (especially when oil goes up) make YOUR dollar unable to go as far as it once did. The dollar may look strong now, but let me say the only reason our Dollar is doing well against the Euro now (1.36 Euro= 1 dollar) is because Europe's economy sucks too.

(3) Our individual tax-debt will continue to go up...the cost per hosuehold is now $483,000 for the national debt plus this bailout.

(4) The bailout allows Wall Street to Sell into Rallies...that is when the Dow increases, Traders sell to make a profit on their way out...That will start happening this week (and definitely happened last week...)

So, inflation increases, your dollar doesn't go far, your personal debt goes up and let's not forget that EVEN WITH THE BAILOUT unemployment is INCREASING and the HOUSING CRISIS is not being resolved...That's right, capital injections to increase liquidity do not erase bad housing debt...

It doesn't make a whole lot of sense to me...Bail out the banks by stealing from the poor...

Something is wrong here...

I hope if someone out there has a better understanding of this economic situation they will share it with me...I really don't see how this economic plan RESOLVES any issues...I see it as (ANOTHER) bandaid...just covering up the problem...

And now our government is considering another STIMULUS package for us? As if giving us $600, and another $1000 will make us forget that you just made us give $2500 to banks?!?!

The unfortunate thing here is that I don't have any solutions...I see letting the economy fall apart as the 'smartest' long-term option...It keeps the power on OUR side (the People's side), and though it will hurt, it provides us with the opportunity to re-build...

Solving a credit crisis by allowing bad banks to give out more bad credit is NOT a solution...it's FUBAR!

Good luck to everyone!


P.S. the Dow just turned Negative again!

Tuesday, October 7, 2008

Gas. . .

I have a question...maybe someone can answer this for me...

When I moved back to the US in early 2008, gas was $2.25/gallon or around $90.00/barrel.
When oil went up to $140.00/barrel, gas was $4.25...

Why then, when oil is around $88.00/barrel (this week) is gas still $3.50?

Inflation? Oil companies selling off their "expensive" oil before they start buying the cheap stuff?

If our reserves were low, the futures would be going up (and the USD value would be going down compared to the Euro)...why is gas still so damn expensive?

Maybe we're just used to the prices now?


Thursday, October 2, 2008

Speaking Engagement

I will be presenting a talk at the University of St. Francis on Single Issue Politics and my evolution from political cheerleader to activist...it should be interesting.

The University of St. Francis is located in Joliet, IL.

Vice Presidential Debate Night. . .

Hello my fellow St. Louisans...

Today is a (another?) sad day for the People of our Country. Tonight, at 5pm, I went to a Rally and March to the gates of the VP Debate at Washington University in St. Louis. We met at Northmoor park, set amongst the mansions whose owners WERE invited to the debate. Standing in that park, surrounded by wealth, we, the people, heard from several of our brothers and sisters: a man whose daughter was raped and murdered by the US Military in Iraq- while serving her country; a representative from the School Board with no access to money to educate; a woman who lost her home (foreclosure!), and a woman struggling with cancer who had no healthcare.

We met at Northmoor to organize the march  up the street to the barricaded debate. A debate in which our voices should have been heard. We did this because we, as Americans, wanted to inject some DEBATE (over REAL issues) into the theatrical spectacle that will occur shortly (8pm-CST). We were denied entry into the debate. The people who had real issues with government were DENIED entry into a debate. The voice OF THE PEOPLE was rejected from the debate. 

Our country is in a sad state my friends. Our government, held hostage by greedy bankers, will soon be passing a bill that bail's out executives who have raped our brothers, sisters, neighbors, families, and friends. The disparity between the rich and poor is growing stronger every day. The rights that were once promised to us all- the pursuit of Happiness, Life, Liberty-  are all being sold. Our voices are muted. Our consciences silenced by those that are meant to act based on our collective conscience. Our government is too strong, my people. Our government is too large. We have no education. We have no healthcare. We have no homes. We have no money. What will they take next? Our voices? Our will? Our Humanity? No. No. No.

My people, our voices must be heard. Not through voting. Voting selects a leader that will continue to propagate a government that represses us. Our voices will be heard through civil disobedience.

From today, I vow the following:

No longer will I be standing on the sidelines watching as my life is sold.
No longer will I silence my conscience in hopes that my representatives in Congress will speak for me. 
No longer will I fund war, torture, bad business, and repression.
No longer will I participate in a government that doesn't recognize me as a citizen- deserving equal rights and access to benefits.

My people, I am infuriated, but in my anger I've found direction. I've found my conscience.  I've found the voice that I know resonates within all of you. Look within yourselves and act based on your conscience. Let us move forward in solidarity and take back our country.

In struggle and hope,