Tuesday, March 17, 2009

Give the AIG Masters of Disaster my New Medal of Chutzpah/Sold AEV in Risk Reduction Move

I wonder what happened to all of that hair from the 1971 profile picture of me. That was one serious dude, I have to admit. 

Obama is a liberal but he is still a politician. He says that the administration will do everything legally possible to try and stop the 450 million in bonuses to the remaining few Masters of Disaster that still work for AIG's Financial Products unit.  NYTimes.com

Good luck in that endeavor is all that I can say.  If Vegas would allow me to place a small wager on the outcome, I would go with the Masters of Disaster receiving every penny of that 450 million, or at least receive whatever they want.  I have to admit that I am impressed.  Who would not want to swing a 450 million dollar pay day for shuffling papers around and losing money by tons.  

I just shiver at the thought of what they would deserve in compensation for losing 300 billion.  

Even the conservatives who oppose aid to GM, like my Senator Corker, have to admit that the workers at GM actually perform useful work for decent working class pay.     

But I will admit that the Masters of Disaster deserve more from a grateful nation than just a mere 450 million in bonuses for a few months of paper shuffling and my new Medal of Chutzpah, Order of the Assholes.  They deserve to have their names and pictures posted in every newspaper, along with their addresses, so that we can all express our appreciation for their sacrifices in the nation's interest.  In fact, their leader made the following comment about them: "In a situation like this, it's hard to keep everybody on task, motivated, focused"  Yea, it would be hard for me to stay focus for just a few million a month too.  So what are Masters constantly thinking about according to their leader-doing a good job no doubt: : "So they are constantly doing that calculus in their heads, as to what's left in terms of what I get paid here" washingtonpost.com

So, doesn't that convince everyone how worthy these Masters of Disaster really are?  

I tell you, it gives me goose bumps just to listen to Pasciucco talk about their genius, financial wizardry, and self sacrifice in the nation's interest. Maybe they will want to work some for Uncle Sam in Iraq after their current employment ends driving fuel trucks around the country.

I continue to engage in risk reduction in my traditional IRA account by selling my  small position in AEV at 7.05 that was recently purchased at 5.75 on 2/24/09 Buy of 50 AEV in IRA/Hertz/Bernanke/
With the dividend paid today, I netted a small gain on the stock and one quarterly dividend payment. I decided to keep the other Aegon preferred recently purchased in that account AEH, bought at $4.63. Buy of AEH in IRA/Aegon Statement of Intent to Pay Preferred Dividends/GE Loses AAA/

My most important Aegon preferred stock position in both the taxable and retirement account is AEB which I intend to keep due to its inflation and deflation components. I think that I ended up with too much money in these securities after the most recent meltdown and need to pare them some. 

Wells Fargo's Chief calls the Obama stress test for banks "asinine".  He further claims that WFC did not want TARP money and was strong-armed in accepting those funds.  He further asserts that the recent dividend cut was due to the government's interference. TheStreet.com

The Seattle Post will print its last edition tomorrow, but will survive for now as a web only newspaper. MarketWatch  I suspect that many papers will abandon their print operations in the years to come. Personally, I like the ink on my hands and thumbing through the print edition of the paper, but why pay when the knuckle heads give it to you free online.   

If Newt decides to run for President as the GOP standard bearer, I will be most interested in his discussion about family values.  Frank Rich noted that Newt and Rush have six marriages between them. NYTimes.com

And I am not going to criticize Newt for going after Clinton in the Monica Lewinsky matter while he was cheating on his own wife. CBS News

I have to admit, in all candor, that I am not likely to label hypocrisy as a virtue. 

U.S. industrial output fell 1.4% in February to 67.4% of capacity. MSN Money

This level of usage of industrial capacity is the lowest on record.  The U.S. started to compile records on industrial production in 1948.   

I read in the Tennessean over the weekend a long article about violent crimes committed by criminals who only served a brief time for their crimes.  A large percentage of early releases can be tied to over crowding in the prisons. I have always been in favor of much tougher sentencing and incarceration terms for violent crimes but I at least recognize that there is a trade off for that position. It is difficult to get "conservatives" behind any spending proposal to build new prisons capable of handling an increase in the prison population. They will complain about "liberal" judges or decisions made by a parol board, while opposing a tax increase to fund more spending on prisons.  

An argument could be made that tougher and longer sentences for violent crime would act as a deterrent and ultimately cut down on the need for more prison space to house offenders for longer sentences.   

As expected Alcoa cut its dividend to 3 cents and announced a common share offering. Reuters  

  I am not a financial advisor but an individual investor trying to navigate my way through a difficult market. I have never worked for a financial institution and never will.  In these posts, I am acting as an unpaid financial journalist and an occasional political commentator.  I am also aggregating financial news stories that I view as important and providing any reader of these posts, assuming there are more than a couple, with links to those articles, sort of a filtered, somewhat intelligent, free search engine. Any discussion made by me of particular securities  is not a recommendation to buy or to sell.  Trade at your own risk.  Consult with your financial advisor prior to making any purchase or sale. I will try to identify my sales too but it may take a few minutes after I implement them to create a post explaining my reasons.  The sale may before or after the post.  Before buying or selling any stock, even one recommended by a trusted financial advisor,  please research it and make up your own mind which is what I always try to do.  Research would include reading reports, reviewing financial records, earnings estimates, sec filings and prior earnings releases and news.  In this post, and all others by me, I am merely describing my reasons for purchasing  or selling securities, and the potential pitfalls that I identified prior to purchase or the reasons for a sale.  The securities mentioned in this and all posts written by me may not be suitable for others based on their unique financial position and risk profile.  By way of example, it is unlikely that I will ever need the funds contained in my retirement accounts. Always read the prospectus before buying a Trust Certificate, bond, preferred stock or other bond or bond like investments.  Information contained in my posts has been obtained from sources believed to be reliable but cannot be guaranteed.  These posts by me do not constitute investment advice, nor shall they be construed as a guarantee of future results, or as an offer of any transaction in securities.   All content in these posts is provided for informational and entertainment purposes only, and it is a form of entertainment for me. 

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