Friday, March 23, 2012

How long do you think it will take

before the Orange County (California or Florida, doesn't matter) school board proposes this idea for their public schools? (Are you as surprised as I am -- disappointed too -- that the concept took root in Brazil?

Tuesday, March 20, 2012

Sold out again

Here's the text of a letter to the editor of the SB News Press that I emailed today. I'll update this blog if/when it's published.

Update: It was published on March 23, 2012.

With friends like Lois Capps, who needs Republicans? Once again, our Congressperson has sold out her constituents – the 99%, that is. Not long ago she voted in favor of giving the President the power to arrest and imprison indefinitely any person, including U.S. citizens, who he decided was a terrorist. So much for our personal freedoms. Now, Lois has inserted herself into our pocketbooks, voting in favor of a bill – misleadingly called the JOBS act – that weakens regulation of corporate stock offerings, diluting, and in some cases eliminating, their disclosure requirements and abandoning longstanding rules protecting individual investors from fraud and overreaching by corporations and the sellers of their stock. Companies are now able to peddle stock publicly – using the Internet, for example – without heeding many of the regulatory requirements that protected investors’ pocketbooks in the past.

This enactment is said to make it easier for companies to raise capital. Haven’t we heard this refrain before? Isn’t the absence of regulation precisely what got us into this ugly economic mess? And who benefits from this law? You guessed it – the corporations. And if Representative Capps has the temerity to suggest that the bill will create jobs, I suggest she answer this question: Where’s the evidence? The short answer is, There is none – absolutely no studies, no empirical evidence was submitted to the House supporting the notion that by loosening reporting requirements on corporations more jobs will be created – except, of course, on Wall Street and, eventually, among bankruptcy lawyers

Sunday, March 18, 2012

This can't be right

Gerald Ford (not the dead former president) who was the chief stockholder in my bank, having in 2010 bought up 91% percent of the shares of Pacific Capital, my bank's parent company, for the munificent sum of 20 cents a share, will receive $46/ share for his stock in a merger deal under which Pacific Capital Union Bank is acquired by a Union Bank, which is in turn owned by Japanese holding company. That's got to be a typo, right? Nobody's entitled to a two-year return of 2500%. Right?