Treasury Secretary Timothy Geithner is expected to announce plans on Monday to buy $1 trillion in toxic assets from banks. The U.S. economy has literally been held hostage to these nearly worthless piles of paper, and something needs to be done about them. My guess is that whatever Geithner announces won’t make him popular — not that he ever was. I talked about it on Denver’s NBC afflilate 9News. Click here for a replay.
Archive for March, 2009
Al On TV / Comments Off
President Obama told CBS’ “60 Minutes” that Wall Street executives should travel to middle America if they want to understand rising frustrations with executives of failed financial institutions getting paid millions of dollars in bonuses.
“They need to spend a little time outside of New York,” he said. “Because. if you go to North Dakota, or you go to Iowa, or you go to Arkansas, where folks would be thrilled to be making $75,000 a year— without a bonus — then I think they’d get a sense of why people are frustrated.”
Um, Mr. President, according to the U.S. Census Bureau, the median household income in these states is under $50,000.
Americans are legitimately enraged at the $165 million bonus plan for the guys who helped destroy the entire world at AIG.
But are unions the answer? If we had stronger unions, could they really have prevented this from happening, any more than our Democratic Congress and President?
Unions held rallies all over America to channel the rage. I participated in a lively discussion about it it on Fox Business News’ barside show, Happy Hour. Too bad I couldn’t be at the bar.
Ask Al / Comments Off
One question. Earlier this year there was much discussion regarding how to provide the average consumer with a stimulus check and have people actually spend it and not put the check into savings.
Why couldn’t the Federal Government send everyone a VISA gift card (or some equivalent). I do not know how much more expensive that would be as opposed to sending checks, but if the ultimate goal (and need) is to stimulate the retail markets, I would think providing a means of incentive that could only be used at a retail level makes the most sense.
A reader weighs in on my column about Vitamin Cottage:
Regarding: Vitamin Cottage stuck in food-safety debate
You missed the big question in covering Heather Isely’s upcoming appearance before the House Energy and Commerce Subcommittee. The question that should have been asked at the start of this subcommittee’s inquiries: Why is Congress running this investigation? Why isn’t the FDA?
If the FDA is no longer capable of fulfilling its responsibility to guarantee the safety of our food supply then Congress should figure out what changes need to be made, and not attempt to micromanage Vitamin Cottage’s business practices.
Crocs Inc., maker of cheap, ugly plastic shoes, may not stride through this recession.
After posting a net lost of $185 million for 2008, amid declining revenues, it’s auditor filed a statement with regulators on Tuesday that is has “substantial doubt about the company’s ability to continue as a going concern.”
If a Republican Senator asked you to jump off a bridge would you do it?
Iowa Sen. Charles Grassley on Monday got on a Cedar Rapids radio station and asked American International Group executives for the ultimate act of contrition for destroying their company and with it the global economy.
“The first thing that would make me feel a little bit better toward them if they’d follow the Japanese example and come before the American people and take that deep bow and say, ‘I’m sorry,’ and then either do one of two things: resign or go committ suicide. … And in the case of the Japanese they usually comitt suicide before they make an apology.”
Ego Nomics / Comments Off
The man who didn’t see the recession coming is now telling us when it will end.
Federal Reserve Chairman Ben Bernanke gave a rare interview to CBS’ TV magazine “60 Minutes” in which he declared that the recession “probably” will end this year, depending on how successful the Fed and our bailout-happy government officials have been throwing borrowed billions at the markets.
Fat Cats / Comments Off
American International Group executives get bonuses of what?
The company would be in bankruptcy were it not for a $170 billion taxpayer bailout. Earlier this month it declared a $61.7 billion loss in for the fourth quarter of last year.
I know that sounds like a lot of money – but that’s only because it is the largest loss that any corporation has ever posted in HISTORY.
Fat Cats / Comments Off
If Jazzercize is a just another passing fitness fad, it sure is taking a long time to pass.
Founder Judi Sheppard Missett just turned 65 and her dance fitness class is turning 40.
The franchisor has spread to 50 states and 32 countries. It has 7,500 instructors who teach more than 32,000 classes a week. And Misset told me she expects her company to keep on growing, despite the recession.
“Companies come and go,” she said. “We just keep plodding along.”
Click here to read my column on Missett, who makes me want to lose 20 pounds.
Now if only I could meet that Richard Simmons guy.
“Richard’s always going to be around,” Missett. “He might be crazy, and he might be off-putting to some people, but he’s always going to be around … because he has passion for what he does.”
(PHOTO: Judi Sheppard Missett and Al.)
(I talked briefly about Jazzercize on Denver’s 9News. Click here for a replay.)