April 17, 2010

President Obama, Wrong Again

President Obama, and a game of  What's-wrong-with-this-speech?

Assuming you buy the misdirection of failures in the financial industry and ignore this, Obama's first real mistake comes at 18-20 seconds in.  Wall Street firms more accountable?  Wall Street firms are accountable - to their shareholders, and their customers.  They owe nothing in terms of accountability beyond that.  If they aren't accountable, they fail. Period. Customers have FDIC to protect their deposits.  Investors have audited financial statements and are in theory, protected by auditors.  If the auditors do a poor job and sign off on suspect financial disclosures well, they likely won't be in the auditing business for long.  That is unless the government steps in and starts 'protecting' everybody.

Then at 32 seconds in - 'Special Interests' again.  Talk about lack of disclosure.  Name one special interest.  Call them out Mr. President.  Or are you chicken? Or maybe you can't name one for factual or personal reasons...

Let's move on to some of the real problems with this address.

From 1:19 to 1:35 he says absolutely nothing.  His first point gives no indication of anything about new legislation.  Transparency?  Disclosure? That's what financial statements are for. Tell us something specific.  What he is saying is not erroneous, simply wrong in that he tells us nothing.

His second point, from 1:40 to 1:56, he talks about derivatives. He describes them as huge and risky bets without accountability.  Hey, you are accountable to keeping yourself in business, or employed, there's really no higher accountability than survival. Let's also disregard for now the fact that derivatives have been around since the 1690's and have never brought down an economy.  OOPS. Risky though they can be, so can many other financial vehicles if not managed properly.  I suppose President Obama will be wanting to regulate them more too.

He wants those transactions to take place on an open free and fair market.  What the hell does that mean??? How is it any different than now? Details Mr. President?

2:00 minutes in he talks about making companies pay for the bad decisions they make.  Expletive deleted, expletive deleted, expletive deleted!!! It's called insolvency.  They pay with their businesses and/or careers. What you are doing here is piling on in the guise of populism.  You are adding no value to the equation Mr. President!

2:34 No more taxpayer bailouts.  Okay, FINALLY!!!! But what about the existing power grab of corporations, including GM? Can you please divest???

2:49 Shareholders get a say on pay.  How does he expect that to be operationalized?  How far down the corporate ladder does that say go?  Are company executives not doing due diligence to ensure everyone up to senior management has competitive but not out of line salaries and wages?  And as for the senior management, I would be surprised if they governed their own pay in any major corporation.  Mr. President, Wrong Again Honey!

2:58 shareholders have more say in corporations? How?  One share one vote, that's how it goes. Are you going to force companies to require every shareholder vote? Currently proxy voting exists. If that's not democratic enough, is online voting needed?  I thought electronic voting machines was how Bush defeated Al Gore.  Now those machines are cool, because they don't apply to government.  Uh, okay.

3:53 The same system that led to bailouts remains in place.Okay, maybe that's true - it's called DEMOCRATS.  The problem is he says opposing reform leaves taxpayers on the hook.  That's an outright lie.  The government made a choice to bail out companies.  It can choose not to do so.  What's needed, are some politicians with the guts to let success and failure be their own rewards.

Review over, appetite gone.

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