Saturday, December 6, 2008

It Ain't Right!

Century 21 shows me that there is no such thing as an economic recession (It is predicted by 2012 that we will struggle to buy food)
Rent in my neighborhood still exceeds $1000 (that's per person)
The value of my Bachelors Degree finally increased
"Hooking" as an attractive occupation if faced with the threat of lay-offs (meet me at the St. Regis)
Independent stores in New York that have survived the Savings and Loan Crisis and Recession in the 80s and 90s are finally forced to close down
Please read this and re-visit the site, often
"Low Low Prices" at Wal-Mart have driven people in Long Island to reach a new low, can we please detach that place from New York and send it on over to Mumbai
Forcing people to look at a Nativity scene, and not allowing a placard extolling the Winter Solstice to be placed near it is of high importance to some Olympians

Saturday, November 22, 2008

Constitutional Act of the Day: Glass-Steagall Act of 1933

Our most beloved constitutional act <3

A.K.A. The Banking Act of 1933

Started the FDIC

Brought about banking reforms to control speculation (the assumption of the risk of loss, in return for the uncertain possibility of a reward)

Established Regulation Q: put interest ceilings on savings accounts, zero interest for checking, and promoted the emergence of N.O.W. and Money Market accounts -the Depository Institutions Deregulation and Monetary Control Act of 1980 later repealed Regulation Q

Established the allocation of currency by the Federal Reserve for the first time ever

Separated bank types: Commercial banking (individuals, small business, large organizations) vs. Investment banking (corporations and municipalities- use of securities)

Arguments for keeping it around:

1)Preventing the same institution from granting credit, setting up provisions for the use of credit, lending, and investing.

2)Depository institutions already have control over other people's money, this act would limit their activity in the market for funds (loans or investments) to ensure stability and healthy competition

3)Securities can bring about substantial losses, and as a result, jeopardize the value of deposits. Since those deposits are guaranteed by the FDIC, government must cough up our money. ***Remember government cannot create money, it can only re-assign (earmark) it

4)Depository Institutions are supposed to manage(minimize) risk.

This act was repealed in 1999 by the Gramm-Leach Bliley Act.

I don't feel like summarizing the arguments against the Glass-Steagull Act.

Friday, November 7, 2008

Let's Meet the Cabinet-Designate: Chief of Staff - Rahm Israel Emanuel

If you know me, you would know that I always vote for Nader. This time around I had to give my vote to the Democratic Party. We knew Barack O'bama was going to win, let's now focus on the people he is going to surround himself with.

Chief of Staff: highest ranking member of the Executive Office, Senior Aide to the President. Kind of like a secretary/office coordinator: oversees everyone else on the Cabinet, makes the Pres.'s schedule, decides who he get's to meet with the Pres. - V.I.P. to the extreme. They advise the Pres. on policy and staffing issues, and they smooze with Congress to help implement the President's agenda as well.

Rahm "Rahm-bo" Emmanuel Run-Down:
Chair of the Democratic Congressional Campaign Committee in 2005
Started out his political career with Illinois Public Action (public interest\consumer rights)
Democratic member of the United States House of Representatives since 2003
Chicago Illinois's 5th Congressional District (close to home for Barack)
Member of the New Democrat Coalition (that makes me a bit worried) Neo-Liberal
Directed Bill Clinton's campaign finance committee, helped Clinton to raise $72 million to fight off Ginnifer Flowers and Vietnam draft character attacks
Senior Advisor to Clinton from 1993 to 1998
Leading Strategist for (failed) Universal Healthcare Clinton initiative (thumbs up for that attempt)

Co-Author of The Plan: Big Ideas for America(2006)
Brother of Ari Emmanuel - Hollywood Agent (think Jeremy Piven & Entourage)
Choreographed the handshake (1993 Rose Garden signing ceremony for the Oslo Accords) between Israeli Prime Minister Yitzhak Rabin and PLO leader Yasser Arafat
Not afraid to put some rotten fish in your mailbox
1998- 2002 Post-White House: Investment banker at Wasserstein Perella (Dresdner Kleinwort)
Made $16.2 million as an Investment banker
Served on the Board of Directors for the Federal Home Loan Mortgage Corporation (Freddie Mac)
Resigned from his Freddie Mac board position to run for Congress in 2001
Pledged in 2006 to support Hillary for the Presidency, but felt torn when Barack told him that he was going to run
Top House recipient in the 2008 election cycle of contributions from hedge funds, private equity firms, and the larger securities/invesment industry
Almost chopped his finger off working for Arby's as a youth

* Let's hope that healthcare is his number one priority and bailing out the financial industry isn't.

Monday, October 6, 2008

CEO of the Day: Richard S. Fuld, Jr.

Richard Severin Fuld, Jr. - Former CEO of Lehman Brothers

I haven't read it all just yet, but jeez, who wrote this man's prepared testimony? There's no way he didn't know for quite some time that his company was going for bust.

Born and raised in New York

M.B.A at NYU's Stern School of Business
ATO frat boy for undergrad at CU-Boulder
Worked for Lehman Brothers for 40yrs
Leader of Lehman Brothers for 15yrs
Served on the Board of Directors for Federal Reserve Bank of New York and the Robin Hood Foundation (It Ain't Right!)
Served on the Board of Trustees for Middelbury College and New York Presbyterian Hospital
Forbes ranked #11 in 2008 for CEO compensation

During questioning by Rep. Henry Waxman it was found that:
Since 2000, He has taken home more than $480 million dollars in company profits
He claims that *for the years that Henry Waxman was asking him about* his cash compensation was *only* close to $60 million, and the rest of what he took out under his options was *only* $250 million - avoiding correction of any actual figures Congress had up on the screen for his compensation

The Next Blog

Have you ever clicked on the next blog option to see what might generate after yours?

Can you say cringeville?

Sunday, October 5, 2008

Constitutional Act of the Day: Community Reinvestment Act

Class, before I begin my explanation as to how our nation was plunged into financial ruin by a combination of Wall-Street and both the Democrats and Republicans in the White house from 1999 to 2008 (yes, that includes Golden Boy Bill Clinton), I would like to prep you with some "of the day" lessons.

We will begin with the Community Reinvestment Act:

If you followed the link and did some reading on your own, you would find out the following...

Year Passed: 1977

Who Passed: Jimmy Carter Administration and the 95th U.S. Congress (both chambers were a Democratic Majority)

What it entailed: It encouraged commercial banks and savings associations to stop redlining practices and lend money to their surrounding communities, mainly low-moderate income neighborhoods providing that is it is monitored by the Fed to ensure "safe and sound operation"

Criticism -OR- What it meant to potential exploiters
"distort credit markets" - OR - expansion into risky investing like Securities and Derivatives

"create unnecessary regulatory burden" -OR- Freddie Mac and Fannie Mae to lend financial backing, the chance for government to make(lose) money in the financial sector, and making up a CRA rating system for banks so government could provide an illusion of accountability.

"lead to unsound lending" -OR- pave the way for unregulated predatory lending (What happened to the CRA rating system?)

"cause the governmental agencies charged with implementing the law to allocate credit"-OR- Government was asking for the banks to lend in the first place, and also promising oversight in lending practices. Why wouldn't financial institutions expect a bailout from government, especially with participation from Fannie Mae and Freddie Mac?

Think about it kids.

Thursday, October 2, 2008

Mr. Gaffe and the Maverick

*Famous quotes taken from CNN (and the V.P. candidates)

Palin said Obama and company do "too much finger-pointing" to stay true to their focus of change

"There have been huge blunders in the war. There have been huge blunders throughout this administration, as there are with every administration"

"But for a ticket that wants to talk about change and looking into the future, there's too much finger-pointing backwards to ever make us believe that's where you're going," she said.

Biden responded with, "Past is prologue."

To which Sarah Palin responded: "The Bush administration opened up access to the Tongass Forest earlier this year to private corporations to build new roads which will sustain jobs and subsistence for the residents of Southeast Alaska, so I too am Pro-Log."

Sunday, September 28, 2008

We Are More Utilitarian :)

What happened to my WAMU?

Q. When can I bank at Chase branches in my area?

A. We'll be working hard to combine systems as quickly as possible so you can begin to enjoy expanded branch convenience in your area, and we expect system changes to begin late next year. We'll let you know in advance of any changes; in the meantime, simply continue to bank at WaMu branches as you do today.

Q. Why is it going to take a full year for me to be able to use Chase branches for simple things such as an atm withdrawal, since they bought you out? There are so many Chase branches in the city!

A. Chase still wants to be able to collect that $3.00 convenience fee for another year in case you have to use a Chase ATM, and we will still be able to charge you $1.00 for using another financial institution's ATM machine.

Wednesday, September 24, 2008

It Ain't Right!

Waiting on line for 2 hours for the Daily Show and not getting in, and finding out afterward that Bill Clinton was the Special Guest!!!! (I can get VIP tix now if anyone wants to go soon)
David Blaine said 60 hours straight. He takes breaks every 45 minutes... I saw him standing with my own 2 eyes (drinking water and peeing in a cup - he should've gone to the bathroom like a decent person at that point)
Even Jews can't get a steady job nowadays, tutoring/babysitting/catering barely pays the Upper Westside rent
Lame NYU kids overcrowding shows at Webster Hall
ATM receipt of Wall Street banker balance reads: $97, 084.23
Everyone I know is living paycheck to paycheck!!!
AIG commercials are still running
I haven't been shopping in the LONGEST time

Wednesday, September 17, 2008


The Economy Showdown

Please match the following lettered description with the corresponding numbered quote below:

a)Governor that is running for 5th grade Student Council President
b)Senator that is the only candidate offering real solutions and sticking to the topic
c)Senator that is still using 911 as a crutch

"We're going to put an end to the reckless conduct, corruption, and unbridled greed that have caused a crisis on wall street and America, we're going to put a stop to it."
"We have to assure every American that their deposit in a bank is safe, we have to have a 911 commission and we have to fix this alphabet soup of regulatory agencies that's left over from the 1930s...."

2)"We also need serious reform on Wall Street and John McCain is the guy who will get it done"
"With your vote we're going to Washington D.C. to shake things up"
"His tax plans really would kill jobs, and hurt small businesses and make even today's bad economy, look like the good ol' days"

3)"Senator McCain offered up the oldest Washington stunt in the book. You pass the buck to a commission to study the problem. Now here's the thing, this isn't 911, we know how we got into this mess, what we need now is the leadership to get us out..."

No Yemen for Americans

Breaking News:

Yes kids, I couldn't sleep and here I am giving you breaking news if anyone actually reads my blog-
U.S. Embassy in the capital Sana'a of Yemen was reported to have a car bomb explosion and gunfire just outside of it.

Witnesses report some casualties, more details will be given in the morning

This is not the first time the U.S. embassy in Sana'a has been attacked, the last attack was about 1 yr. ago

A full google map zoom-in of the area was given on CNN, but no indication of explosions or gunfire during the zoom-in.

Tuesday, September 16, 2008

Jim Cramer said it a year ago, and I could've confirmed it 6 months ago

Six months ago when I worked at a very popular midtown hotel that held many high-profile financial meetings, I had the pleasure of overhearing one of those American Psycho pricks give an over the phone interview with NPR right by my desk. It was around when Bear Sterns slipped into some troubled times.

I remember our financial group sales manager at the hotel freaking out, because a lot of the companies were starting to back out of the future meeting deals they were planning with us. A lot of these were off-site meetings (office was based in NYC, but staying at some hotel in NYC and renting out event space with catering). We're talking weekly or monthly meetings in the 6-7 figure range all in the name of celebration or "business."

The only thing I could really pick up on, since I don't really understand economy jargon, was the repetition of, "In the event of the collapse of a company, the fed (Federal Reserve) will be there to step in and monitor liquidity (lend some financial backing) to the company, the company remains as a player and the economy in turn will continue to be stimulated."

One month later after the Bear Sterns (JP Morgan merger) rescue, I was laid off from my position at the hotel (that lost a lot of money from financial company meeting pull-outs and an overall hit to the economy).

Six months later: The Fed to loan AIG up to 85 Billion. I guess that guy was only half right.

Monday, September 8, 2008

NYC Crazies

Spotted: The Aspiring Michael Buble Crooner
Location: Union Square
Behavior: Leaning on a post and breathing heavily in between the loud and tone-deaf lines of song
Defining Characteristics: Overall bland appearance, glasses, generic polo shirt, light blue regular-fit Lee jeans, side part, earphone only in one ear in case applause follows
Song of the night: "You Go to My Head" (most likely the Frank Sinatra recording - not Brian Ferry's rendition)

Great things about Orlando/Winter Park not Disney

Red Fox Lounge
It's socially acceptable to drink Coors, Keystone, Vodka &Gatorade,Yuengling
Also socially acceptable to drink the above poolside or in the pool
A room block at the Mt. Vernon Inn guarantees immunity from all hotel rules
It is possible to get tan or sunburn at 10:00am
*3 credit cards and your ConEd Bill is sufficient I.D. for TSA at MCO
Unabashed use of waterfalls for decoration
You can walk through Wal-Mart and eat Taco Bell/Burger King/McDonald's without the guilt
*Note: TSA will mark your boarding pass as "special," pat you down, and go through your bag to individually swab all of your shoes to make sure there is no residue that tests positive as a basic material for a bomb or explosives of some sort. Allow at least 1 hr at security checkpoint before boarding time

Friday, August 29, 2008

"A Heartbeat Away from the Presidency," the "Heartbeat of America"

Sarah Palin sure does sound "like a rock" hard conservative, and American political catch-phrases are borderline Chevy commercial material.

Attention Disenfranchised Billary's!
: Do not let Sarah Palin's Miss Congeniality appearance and the fact that she is a woman inveigle your otherwise Dem vote record to the dark side!

She is the Ice Queen of NarniaAlaska:
Pro-Lifer, Anti-Gay, Anti-Polar Bears, Pro Oil, Went back to work 3 days after giving birth
With some human qualities:
Pro Vogue photo shoots, Pro Pageants, Pro Women's Basketball, Pro running up hills, Has a child with Trisomy 21 (please see above) that she did not abort

Tuesday, August 19, 2008

NYC Crazies

Spotted: The Reverse Stair Descender
Location: The 4-5 Fulton Street Stop downtown Manhattan
Defining Characteristics: Beard, Glasses, Fingerless Black Gloves
Behavior: Walking down the stairs backwards while covering his eyes for added difficulty
Famous Phrases:
"Cut her vagina hole"
"Cut off his penis"
"Break your legs"
"Double fuck your asshole"

Wednesday, August 13, 2008


It has resurfaced in news again that scientists (researchers at UC of B) are another "step closer"
to inventing invisibility- or a metamaterial that bends light/emits a wavelength that humans can't see. This will be a key weapon to use to defeat the Predator when he comes back from the dead, and to get you out of a bind when you get stuck in Hogwart's study hall.

"This is not 1968. And the invasion of Czechoslovakia, where Russia can threaten a neighbor, occupy a capital, and overthrow a government, and get away with it. Things have changed." - Condoleezza Rice always manages to look so honest after she has convinced herself that what she is going to say to the press is the truth - it's always more believable when she wears those power suits in bold colors too.

The U.S.A. women's gymnastics team lost to China by 2 points thanks to Alicia Sacramone. She totally ruined her chances of a future Claritin (Shannon Miller) endorsement for placing U.S. in the silver zone. Alicia should've spent less time tanning and more time in the gym. At least Michael Phelps won all of those GOLD medals and Spain's basketball team did this:

Suck it China - Team America and Spain!

Tuesday, August 12, 2008

No Privacy with Church and Liberty

It's that time of year again for back to school and increased random searching. The NYPD is looking for the approval to perfom searches on anyone and through anything that travels down Church street between Liberty and Chambers streets downtown for security purposes. If approved, they will be able to stop any automobile and any suspicious tourist person with bombs in an oversized bag that they deem a threat to the safety of America.

Here is a list of actions and items not allowed in the area and are subject to questioning and confiscation:
Scissors, Razors, and Switchblades
Unpatriotic Loaded Words
Hairspray and Deodorant
Shorthand Texting and/or IMing
Lighters and Matches
Containers with more than 1 oz of liquid in it
Intellectual Terrorism
Shifty eyes, sweaty palms, and long goatees
Any flags that are not the American flag

Thursday, July 31, 2008

It Ain't Right, 1st Edition

Boots in the Summer
Heels at McCarren
Line for MGMT past the BQE
3 different bars in East Williamsburg in the same night and all 3 bars playing the MGMT Kids song
More than 5 minute wait for 4/5/6
Not being able to wake up before 12:30pm for the entire month of July
Smoking cigarettes at indoor venues
Tacky French men on ecstasy dancing/blocking your view of Sebastien

Thursday, July 24, 2008


5 Reasons to Consider O'bama for the Presidency:

He may or may not have lied about a thesis he wrote – “Soviet Nuclear Disarmament,” which was supposedly written around the height of the cold war. He proved that no one really cares about what you studied in college and you can half-lie or make things up if you wait 25 years to talk about it.

He used to smoke cigarettes and use other substances as a young adult in college (just like me and you), and has publicly declared it (unlike me and you).

He exercises twice a day to stay fit for the campaign trail and his workout routine makes headline news.

He knows that the majority of Middle America won’t vote for a black man, so he decided to not waste time there and went to Berlin to appeal to the Germans instead. (And: Afghanistan, Iraq, Jordan, Kuwait, Israel and the Palestinian territories – soon France and the G.B.)

Made Ebony Magazine’s list of “The Top 25 Coolest Brother’s of All Time” - among the ranks of Prince, Jay-Z, Samuel L. Jackson, and Denzel.

Tuesday, July 22, 2008

The Seven Year Hole

Please be advised there may be extended hours of construction as part of the Ground Zero rebuild which is adjacent to the hotel. Some streets may be closed at times to vehicles due to construction...

Priceline Booker: So I see on your website that there are extended construction hours going on around your hotel. What is that all about exactly?....

Guest Service Agent: Well sir, we are right across the street from the World Trade Center site. It is a 24 hour, 7 days a week project that we have no jurisdiction over. The city has many contractor's and subcontractor's working around the clock to ensure that that Freedom Tower is built by the projected year of 2011.

PB:Well just how loud is the noise, are the street closures that bad, and are you really going to charge the full rate with all of this happening?

GSA:Sir, the severity of the noise would have to be based on an individual's sensitivity to it, and where they are placed at in the hotel. If you are on a higher floor and facing away from the construction, then you may not notice it at all. Priceline gives you an extremely reduced rate as well.

PB: Well if I book now, can I be guaranteed a room on a high floor and facing away from the construction?

GSA: I'm sorry sir, but unfortunately we would not be able to accommodate you with that request. Rooms are selected at the time of check-in.

PB: Well it's just unfortunate that you can't accommodate me with a high floor room or a reduced rate with all of the construction noise and traffic and all..

GSA: Sir, what happened in 2001 was unfortunate for us all. Due to our location and circumstances, we have been trying to the best of our ability to satisfy all guests that decide to stay with us here at the hotel.

PB: I think I will book elsewhere, I don't want to gamble a good night's sleep at your hotel.