I talk about GM’s looming bankruptcy, lawsuits at Westwood College, and a race to build a race track – all in three minutes or less on 9News.
Archive for May, 2009
Westwood College has been under fire in court for allegedly loading up its students with enormous debts for degrees said to have little or no value. Click here for the details in my column.
Some students claim the school’s admissions counselors are simply telemarketers working in a hyper-competitive sales culture.
The image on the left comes from an email that one of these admissions counselors sent around to brag about his sales team, according to a recent arbitration complaint.
“Everyone Hit the DECK!!!!!!!!!!!!!!” the email reads. “A Drive BY JUST Occurred! Thanks to Mark McDaniel! Hitting WOW!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!2nd app of the day! The Drivers now at 9 Double digits here we come!”
Bailouts. What are they good for? Absolutely nothing.
That’s what an Obama aide essentially told Dow Jones Newswires about some of the money taxpayers gave General Motors Corp. – at least the initial loans granted by the Bush administration.
“The money in the first quarter this year unfortunately didn’t accomplish anything,” the official said.
“We never envisioned there being a significant recovery.”
So will taxpayers ever get this money back?
“We hope to recover as many taxpayer dollars as we can,” the Obama aide said.
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Whenever a company blows like a head gasket on a Chyrsler Sebring, I enjoy going back in the archives and seeing what the CEO said in conference calls, press releases and television interviews.
There is no better way to highlight the arrogance, stupidity or perhaps dishonesty of the used car salesmen we often hire to run our companies.
Case in point, my latest column on the CEO who ran BankUnited, the bank regulators recently seized in Florida. As he flooded the Sunshine State with mortgages, he opined Florida was virtually recession-proof. Click here to read column.
Sam Antar, the former chief financial officer of the crooked Crazy Eddie electronics chain, appeared on Fox Business today to drive more spikes into Danny Devito’s plan to make a Crazy Eddie movie. He was joined by Howard Sirota, an attorney who won a class action lawsuit against Eddie Antar, but has yet to collect. (Click here for links to my previous blog post and column on Antar.) And check it out: Antar adds a movie on Crazy Eddie would be OK so long as it doesn’t glamourize his cousin.
* Sonia Sotomayor is not a surprising pick. She’s Hispanic, she’s a woman, she’s in line with the Obama vision, and she’s got that amazing Obama-like personal success story from Puerto Rico to the housing projects of the Bronx to Washington D.C. Plus she recognized her mom at the press conference.
* No arguing against her qualifications: She’s the real deal, having worked as a trial attorney, prosecutor, district judge and an appellate judge. You don’t get from the Bronx to where she is today by not having the goods.
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Tough economic times have more people eating hotdogs.
I talk about it with 9News Anchor Adam Schrager.
Angelo Mozilo, former CEO of Countrywide Financial Corp., may have stuck the world with a financial mess, and he may be under investigation for insider trading, but I often have to pause to admire his very lyrical name.
(On a more serious note, Click here to read my column on Mozilo.)
His name just rolls off the tongue like opera:
“An-gelo Mo-zilo … An-gelo … Mo-zilo … An-gelo-Mo-zilo … Figaro, Figaro, Figaro.”
Also reminds me of a song by Blue Oyster Cult: “Oh, no, there’s go Tokyo, go, go Mozilo.”
But the tune I absolutely can’t get out of my head is the theme song from the old Hanna-Barbera cartoon, Magilla Gorilla, that I used to watch as a kid. I don’t know why, but when I sing it, I substitute the name “Mozilo” for “gorilla.” It goes like this:
“We’ve got a Mozilo for sale; Magilla Mozilo for sale.
Won’t you buy him, Take him home and try him,
Mozilo for sale.
“Don’t you want a little Mozilo you can call your own,
A Mozilo who’ll be with ya when you’re all alone?
(Then, spoken in a little girl’s voice: “How much is that Mozilo in the window?” )
“Take our advice, At any price,
A Mozilo like Mozilo is mighty nice.
Mozilo, Magilla Mozilo for sale.”
With spot gold prices above $950 an ounce, I thought I’d check out the new summer exhibit at the Molly Brown House Museum, “All That Gold Can Buy – Denver’s Mining Millionaires.”
Margaret “Molly” Brown is the famous Titanic survivor whose husband, J.J., made a gold-mining fortune in Colorado in 1893.
She was among a group of philanthropists who helped develop high society in a rough-and-tumble industrial city where pioneers, adventurers and capitalists came to stake their dreams.
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Austin, Minn.-based Hormel Food Corp. attributed a 4% rise in profits to increased sales of Dinty Moore stews.
Chi-Chi’s Mexican food and Spam have proved to be other downturn delights .
Click here for the details on MarketWatch.
It’s good to know that no matter how bad things get, we can always eat something besides beans and rice.
Have your eating habits changed since the recession hit? What’s your favorite slump slop?
(PHOTOS: Al Lewis)