Good News! The Currency is Signed Stylishly!

Good News to report today fellow Americans. The horrible insult to the currency of the United States of America, committed by Jacob Lew, has been amended and what was once an immature doodle of a scribble of a signature is now almost legible! The New York Times reported today that Jacob Lew, Secretary of the Treasury and also the “Chairperson, Financial Stability Oversight Council” has been practicing his long hand signature and has perfected it to such a degree that it is now worthy of imprinting on all denominations of American currency. Turns out that he will be starting with five dollar bills to be released later this fall.

Perhaps he is aiming to stabilize our finances slowly with such an approach. Now about that other title of his.The Financial Stability Oversight Council was established by the Dodd-Frank Wall Street Reform and Consumer Protection Act. Apparently, we the people, now have another federal agency making sure we are safe from financial idiocy and greed! Just imagine avoiding what occurred during the derivatives fiasco that brought the worlds financial markets to its respective knees. The world is a better place now, the financial markets have been made secure and stable! We actually have an ace on the case! Finally a man whose signature we can almost read is on the job! He will stick up for the little guy who was run over by the “Too Big to Fail” fiduciary institutions that so bitterly failed us in the past.

With news like this our minds should be at ease. Hopefully everyone had a Happy Father’s Day. Now we can embrace the upcoming summer solstice with a renewed sense of hope, trust and diplomacy. Someone who can write in script is in charge of printing money and protecting the consumer. Hooray for America and Wall Street!

“Gotta get down to the cumberland mine.
Thats where I mainly spend my time.
Make good money, five dollars a day. made anymore, I might move away.”  — The Grateful Dead Cumberland Blues

The author is saddened by the loss of a brother from Jersey, James Gandolfini. He will be fondly remembered at the end of his television show driveway, in his P.J.s, retrieving the morning paper as showed in the opening scenes of The Sopranos. Arrivederci Goodfella!

Get off the cell phone and Drive! — Jake Shween

Edward Snowden and the Game of Phones or What’s the Price of Information?

Another week another scandal. The United States runs itself like a corporation out of control at times. It’s nice to believe this country has it all together but apparently that’s not even close to what reality is behind closed doors. Does the National Security Agency really know what is going on? Well if they did why couldn’t they have stopped the wall street fiasco of 2008? If the NSA were actually intercepting and reading all those emails between the gigantic financial institutions that have a stranglehold on the world economy they would have clearly smelled a rat in the works of the derivatives market. They would have been able to help all those “muppets” who were bankrupted and set out to dry when Lehman Brothers went belly up.  Maybe they knew and decided not to say anything!

So who are the smartest guys in the room? Are the smartest ones just observers who watch as the financial world spins out of control? Maybe they have a piece of the action and have been bought out, you know the saying, everybody has a price. What can all this information possibly be worth? Apparently the world economy that’s all. Or maybe they kind of knew but just didn’t want to be definitive about anything and let the proverbial cat out of the bag! Playing dumb to let someone else take the hit. Maybe this was the plan to redistribute the wealth after all! It stands to reason that if an intelligence agency is actually intelligent wouldn’t they be able to not only stop terrorist activity but also to decrease crime in every sector? Wouldn’t the banks who now launder money for the drug lords now be held accountable for their misdeeds? How about the banks that let elderly people be bilked out of their retirement funds by telemarketers? Suddenly wouldn’t the potential murderer become suspect by their google searches, emails, insurance purchases etc.? Should we call the NSA and ask them? Does Facebook know more than the NSA?

Corporate spying is nothing new. Carly Fiorina of Hewlett Packard was spying on her people back a decade ago. Never mind that the fall guy was Patricia Dunn. That must be the way to do it perhaps. Have some one else take the hit when the skullduggery is exposed. In other words just spy for your own teams self interests and well being and if something else turns up either ignore it or if you just can’t ignore it have a fall guy be the whistle blower to step forward and expose the sordid truth! We often complain about bribery and corruption in other less well developed industrial countries but here in the United States  we call it democracy.

Sadly none of this is really new. It seems now that the increasingly popular “Game of Thrones” series on HBO, based on the book Fire & Ice by George R. R. Martin, is surprisingly relevant to the worlds’ current state of affairs. It is all represented, the corruption, the horrendous scandals, the strife and war. Of course there is also the value of information gathered by whatever means necessary be it prostitution, torture or even murder. Yes indeed art is again a reflection of reality. These are interesting times for the kingdom. Tune in to see the fate of Edward Snowden and the Game of Phones!

“My own view is that this planet is used as a penal colony, lunatic asylum and dumping ground by a superior civilisation, to get rid of the undesirable and unfit. I can’t prove it, but you can’t disprove it either.” — Christopher Hitchens

“I became a journalist partly so that I wouldn’t ever have to rely on the press for my information.” — Christopher Hitchens

Get off the cell phone and Drive! — Jake Shween

Facebook Fiasco; Wall Street Strikes Again!

Once again Wall Street has proven it is quite alright to rip off the common investor. The old “hot dog on a string” routine has succeeded in ripping off thousands of small time investors while the big underwriters of the IPO for Facebook have walked off scot-free, for now! Morgan Stanley brilliantly decided to set the price for Facebook’s initial public offering at a lofty $38.00 per share. Now this decision is under question as Facebook shares closed at $32.00 per share on closing Wednesday. Well it seems like business as usual except for the fact that this was such a highly publicized IPO there may be a slight chance that an investigation may yield some form of stilted justice. What a field day for lawyers and regulators alike!

We anxiously await the legal morass and numerous loopholes that will most likely avail the public of little or no justice as usual. The lawyers are certain to make piles of money! Brace yourself for the ridiculous arguments that will proceed from such a clear cut case of the great American rip off. Imagine that! Bankers who are underwriters ripping off the public! As Yogi Berra would say: “It’s deja vu all over again!” How long can this obvious failure of our system of regulation continue? Will the Security and Exchange Commission show their compliance?  What will the fines, if any, be? A few million? What the heck another slap on the wrist to an industry that is rife with corruption. We like to think that China is corrupt and we are clean but please reserve that judgement. Let us see how this plays out. Nice to see it on such a grand scale! Bravo Facebook! Touche!

Thank goodness for the Occupy Wall Street movement. It is high time the American Public payed much closer attention to what goes on in the great world of finance. What will it take for true justice for the American Public? Will we ever really know how much insider trading and tip offs actually go on every single day? Alas, time will tell. Thankfully this has happened on such a grand scale maybe, just maybe the American Public will pay attention, particularly after our collective appetite has been whetted by the mortgage derivative disaster that threatened the banking system of the entire world. Beware of any politician who calls for less regulation! Their Superpacs are most likely being funded by faceless suspect entities with a vested interest in the great American rip off. The time has come for more people like Elizabeth Warren to enter politics. It’s time for honesty and integrity to become the new morality. This nation needs a healing.

“Be a terror to the butchers, that they may be fair in their weight; and keep hucksters and fraudulent dealers in awe, for the same reason.” — Cervantes

Get off the cell phone and Drive! — Jake Shween