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Michael Clark

Michael Clark
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  • Reacting to the Obama Plan [View article]
    Arrogance is not a good form of public relations. It's odd no one on Wall Street has realized this.
    Jan 22, 2010. 02:49 AM | Likes Like |Link to Comment
  • The No-Recovery Economy and Its Effect on the 2010 Elections [View article]
    We are in between the proverbial rock and hard place. More of the same means, like Japan, lost decades in a 'I'm hiding my debt, how about you' scenario. The outcome is a state of eternal stagnation.

    Raising rates means a confrontation with out debt. Bankruptcies, yes. Defaults, yes. But the 'Big Lie' is the 0% interest rate -- when the market wants rates to go higher.

    Volcker represents higher interest rates -- and he is now standing on Obama's right hand. Geithner has apparently said he opposes Obama's new bank rules. This means he is on his way out -- to a multi-million dollar a year job with GS or some other receptacle.

    We've been lying to ourselves about debt -- and now that has to end. Better five years of sharp pain than 35 years of a constant dull pain, a death by 10,000 cuts.
    Jan 22, 2010. 02:46 AM | 12 Likes Like |Link to Comment
  • Is Brown’s Win What Sparked Obama’s War on Wall Street? [View article]
    The fight will be bloody; and, in truth, no side wins totally. But the fight helps to approximate a balance, a balance which has been lost over the last two decades.
    Jan 22, 2010. 02:38 AM | 1 Like Like |Link to Comment
  • The No-Recovery Economy and Its Effect on the 2010 Elections [View article]
    It's time to unload the Goldman Sachs government. Geithner out; time to ask Bernanke to withdraw his name for re-appointment as Fed Chair; time to get Simon Johnson in as Fed Chair.
    Jan 22, 2010. 01:55 AM | 11 Likes Like |Link to Comment
  • The No-Recovery Economy and Its Effect on the 2010 Elections [View article]
    "Americans need to be told that they will need to invest before they can consume, and that the cure will take years rather than months to take effect. It’s not a happy message, and no one in politics is willing to deliver it - if indeed anyone in politics understands it."

    Could not agree more. (Isn't that where Paul Volcker comes in? Obama needs to use Volcker as the boogyman, a role for which Volcker seems to have been born.)
    Jan 22, 2010. 01:53 AM | 13 Likes Like |Link to Comment
  • Wow: No Bonuses at Goldman [View article]
    An hour late and a dollar short. The die has been cast.
    Jan 22, 2010. 01:47 AM | Likes Like |Link to Comment
  • U.S. Banks to Face New Trading Restrictions [View article]
    Wall Street gorillas and face-sucking squid.
    Jan 22, 2010. 01:45 AM | 1 Like Like |Link to Comment
  • U.S. Banks to Face New Trading Restrictions [View article]
    Spanking Geithner and Bernanke is only moving to the left if you view Goldman Sachs as the center.

    Goldman Sachs needs a public spanking.

    Obama is throwing down the gauntlet. Populist Republicans portray Big Government as the villain. Populist Democrats will now portray Big Business as the villain. It won't be good for the stock market. But maybe interest rates will go up; and maybe we can begin to drain all the worthless dollars from circulation and begin rewarding Americans for saving instead of just spending and taking on debt.

    We have been drunk on debt for at least a decade too long. It's time to dry out and begin to discover our roots again, which include temperance, strength and discipline....instead of worship of the mall.
    Jan 22, 2010. 01:43 AM | 2 Likes Like |Link to Comment
  • Is Brown’s Win What Sparked Obama’s War on Wall Street? [View article]
    No question, Mister Brown's victory is the catalyst. This means Obama can no longer sit on the fence, praying that Bernanke's gimmicks will revive a bubble that will bring back the golden age of spend, spend, spend what you don't have.

    Republican populism is to portray Big Government as the villain. Democratic populism is to portray Big Business as the villain.

    The Big Government as villain act has been playing successfully since 1983, during which time the Republican controlled government has gotten bigger and bigger -- and the national debt has become unmanageable.

    The Big Business as villain act is just beginning. Who is going to answer for the greatest theft of public money in the history of the planet? Who is going to answer to millions of American jobs being shuttled overseas to Asia, India or down to Mexico?

    Which populism will have more traction? Clearly the Republican populism wins when the Democrats aren't playing. But now that the Democrats have joined the war, the outcome might be different.

    Obama lost round one to Scott Brown. But this is a heavyweight fight, lasting 15 rounds.

    Someone should send Obama a biography of Teddy Roosevelt. The rich corporations, in fact, have no legitimate right to own the American government.
    Jan 22, 2010. 01:33 AM | 3 Likes Like |Link to Comment
  • Less Obvious Consequences of the Massachusetts Election [View article]
    I think, also, that the vote was against the status quo, even though the man they elected -- Mister Brown -- was a man decidedly OF the status quo. He promised the voters he was for the status quo. We'll defeat Washington; I will support the health-care status quo...! In fact, Republicans, in my lifetime at least, have ALWAYS supported the status quo. Their revolution is to emasculate the power of government and to empower the private accumulation of wealth. In truth, they really don't want to emasculate the government -- they only want to emasculate the part of the government that is interested in passing laws that constrict their own ability to accumulate private wealth. They are very happy with Republican control of Big Government. Government did not shrink during the Republican Day-Cycle (1983-2001), it grew. Big Government is the straw man for Republicans, as Big Business is the straw man for Democrats.

    The Republican populism is against Big Government. The Deomocratic populism is against Big Business. So, right on cue, Obama finally realizes that he needs to pick up the big stick and begin using it on big business. Teddy Roosevelt needs to become his model, instead of Abraham Lincoln.

    I agree that Geithner is gone. I also think Bernanke is becoming a dead horse: you can beat him but he will not work. Perhaps Volcker and Simon Johnson are taking over there.

    For Obama to get back the momentum he has lost to the Republican portrayal of Big Government being the villain he will have to portray Big Business as the villain...and America will get back to the class war in favor of the poor by which all Night-Cycles are characterized (think 1929-1947; 1965-1983). Class Warfare in favor of the rich characterizes all Day-Cycles (think 1947-1965; 1983-2001).

    During the Day-Cycles the businessmen are lionized. The entrepreneur has his own tv show, is on the cover of every magazine. Getting rich is the international obsession, getting rich at any price: cheating, stealing, counterfeiting, whatever it takes. Abusing the working class is fine also; shipping their jobs overseas is good business. Ethics, morality are old-fashioned ideas -- the 'Bottom Line' is all that matters. Taking care of one's own nation and one's neighbors gives way to taking care of oneself only. But then something happens. The Solar Hero, the Fertility Principle, gets wounded, loses his power, and falls. The light of material success and security goes out. And the world gets dark.

    During the Night-Cycles the businessmen are decried as the rapists and destroyers of the working class and the planet. No more spotlight for Donald Trump, for Richard Branson, for Bill Gates and Warren Buffet. Now, the rich are seen as (and portrayed in art, movies, literature) the force of selfish evil. When I was going to college in 1970-74, only the nerds were in business school. A generational door opened up; the corporations were clearly seen as the anti-Christ principle.

    The war of perceptions goes on and on. Who will America see as the greater force of evil, Big Government or Big Business? This perception struggle (an illusion of course, since your perception depends upon where you are on the wheel of life -- and what color the light is that is shining on the world from your perspective) is what drives the planet, drives history, not truth, which sees the role that both sides play together, but emotionally-fused perceptions.

    From the anti-matter perspective, matter is evil. From the matter perspective, anti-matter is evil.

    The Cole Porter song asks: 'Should I order arsenic or champagne?' It depends upon your perspective I guess.

    For one perspective, the future is opening up. For the other perspective, the future is closing down. Which is which will be illuminated by history's unfolding I guess.
    Jan 22, 2010. 01:19 AM | Likes Like |Link to Comment
  • Reacting to the Obama Plan [View article]
    Some people whine when ANY regulation is proposed. The same type arguments were made when child-labor laws were passed, when a six-day work week was instituted, when slavery was abolished, when women were allowed to's going to destroy capitalism, it's going to ruin our life style.

    Bankers don't want ANY regulation. Business was against the minimum wage, against 'socialist security', against medicare.

    Selfishness is as old as Adam -- and it still has the same old 'it's going to ruin our way of life' theme....that is, it's going to ruin my ultimate domination of the rest of you.

    Let's start thinking about what's good for the society as a whole, not just what's good for a bunch of old rich white men who live in Northeastern America.
    Jan 22, 2010. 12:44 AM | 2 Likes Like |Link to Comment
  • S&P 500 Falls Back to Recent Lows, Volcker Makes Progress [View article]
    Thank God Volcker now has a voice. (Sometimes it takes a political wet fish in the face to make one wake up.)
    Jan 21, 2010. 02:50 PM | 2 Likes Like |Link to Comment
  • U.S. Banks to Face New Trading Restrictions [View article]
    Simon Johnson would be an interesting first choice.
    Jan 21, 2010. 02:47 PM | 3 Likes Like |Link to Comment
  • Three Cheers for Obama's Banking Reforms [View article]
    Republican populism is against Big Government.

    Democratic populism is against Big Business.

    Republicanism wins during the Expansion. Democratism wins during the Contraction.

    I agree, three cheers for...Paul Volcker.
    Jan 21, 2010. 02:42 PM | 2 Likes Like |Link to Comment
  • The New Populist Approach to Banking Reform [View article]
    Obama HAS to take on the banks. He either takes on the banks, or watches his own party split in to two factions, the Pro-Wall Street Obama group and the Anti-Wall Street populist group....

    Brown won the Massachusetts Senate Seat by making the Republicans appear to be the iconoclast outsiders -- opposing Big Government's plan for health-reform: in fact, how revolutionary is it to support the status quo and propose to DO NOTHING about the unsustainable health-care crisis? Opposing the growth of government and DOING NOTHING only appears to be a revolutionary act.

    All progressive social policy is passed during the Night Cycle, when the Business World has been emasculated by over-expansion of debt and is incapable of growing, expanding, or being creative. Government HAS to take over -- because Business has lost its power.

    Obama appears to be coddling Wall Street. Obama is losing support in his own party and appears to be a lackey for big money.

    The Republicans appear to be the populists by taking on Big Government. Obama has to respond and reclaim the populist role by taking on Big Business as the perpetrators of the collapse of the global economy.

    What did Leonard Cohen write:

    There is a war between the rich and poor,
    A war between the man and the woman.
    There is a war between the ones who say there is a war
    And the ones who say there isn't.
    There is a war between the left and right,
    A war between the black and white,
    A war between the odd and the even.
    Why don't you come on back to the war, that's right, get in it,
    Why don't you come on back to the war, it's just beginning...

    You think Obama's plan will result in a disaster for America's financial system? America's financial system IS the disaster, which, without reform, will generate disaster upon disaster. Of course, reform will put an end to the billion dollar bash on Wall Street. It will be a disaster for the bankers who have turned the American financial system into their own gold-plated cow that they could milk at will for obscene profits and subsequent control of the American government, which became an adjunct power of Wall Street's wishes.

    Get out the pruning shears. It's time to carve the beast up. The beast is destroying us.
    Jan 21, 2010. 02:26 PM | 3 Likes Like |Link to Comment