followers view all
|Stiffroot is not in any groups|
|Too many things to mention here at the moment!|
Well we finally got up our site [New] If you have a slow computer, I have 3 simple pages teaching you how to double your speed for FREE including tools! View my Website, then All Things Computer!
Republic Wireless-$10 a month
Well you can't beat $10 a month for all the calls and texts you like, no contract but that is exactly what Republic Wireless does. If you want ALL the bells and whistles it will cost you $25 a month! The only drawback is you MUST buy one of THEIR phones. The new Moto G phones are out and are on sale for $149 for a short time only. These phones run on WiFi and Sprint's cellular backbone when there isn't any WiFi available and will transfer from 1 to the other seamlessly. We just bought 2 and will let you know how they work! Using MY banner-link below, we both save a bit.
Is the US Crying out for help?
I suggest ALL Americans read this by Judi McLeod of the Canada Free Press:
America’s cry for help lost in the White NoiseBack in the salad days of President Barack Obama in the Oval Office, the first sign of the coming soft tyranny against We the People should have been the roughly 2000 car dealerships forced out of business by the anti-free enterprise cabal squatting on the White House.It was Obama’s auto task force that pressed General Motors and Chrysler to close scores of dealerships without adequately considering the jobs that would be lost or having a firm idea of the cost savings that would be achieved, an audit of the process has concluded.” (The New York Times, July 18, 2010).This was the first visible social engineering adventure of the Obama regime and tens of thousands of jobs were lost as a result.Back then today’s low information voters were identified as ‘The Gullible’ or ‘The Naive’, who believed that TARP (Troubled Asset Relief Program) of the Treasury Department was all about an idiotic concept known as “too big to fail”.During the days of the TARP goose-step march through car dealerships, a complacent G.M. informed more than 2,000 dealers that some or all of their franchise agreements would not be renewed in October 2010. Chrysler eliminated 789 dealers, or about a quarter of its network, with less than one month’s notice.“Out of work!” was about to become America’s main mantra, a mantra that continues to the present day.According to the Times, the Treasury Department—which started the raid on car dealerships—failed to monitor the wrecking ball process.There were cries of outrage from all sides in a rushing white noise, some more sincere than others.Representative Darrell Isaa, outspoken Republican of California, rallied: “This sobering report should serve as a wake-up call as to the implications of politically orchestrated bailouts and how putting decisions about private enterprise in the hands of political appointees and bureaucrats can lead to costly and unintended consequences”.Problem is that the sobering report did not serve as a wake-up call.It’s four years later and now it is known that the IRS, has been using its power to put people out of business, purportedly unknown to the president until he “read it in the newspapers”.Republicans Mike Kelly (PA-03) and Jim Renacci (OH-16) are circulating a letter requesting Treasury Secretary Jack Lew to release documents detailing the process and methodology the Automotive Task Force used to shut down General Motors dealerships in 2009 during the automotive industry crisis.They’re more than four years too late.Massive government intrusion into an already recession-bound private sector will never be resolved by letters to other politicians sent out by politicians. It won’t be stopped by pleading letters from constituents to impervious congressmen who just want to go along to get along. It won’t even be stopped as a result of bold, well-meaning statements by Darrell Issa.If there is one thing all should have learned since 2009 it is that nothing is changing to relieve America from the clear and present danger that is Barack Hussein Obama.No matter the talking heads, no matter the media, no matter the wailing politicians making pretty speeches, the Obama regime forges ahead, killing off all individual rights and freedoms in its obsession for the Fundamental Transformation of America.Every new outrage from the regime falls into the same pattern. Panel debates by televised talking heads, politicians of all political stripes registering their outrage, sound bites of Obama’s droning voice played over and over again, ad nauseum.No matter what Obama and the collectivists do, it seems there are no new member’s bills, no discernible line of action other than white noise, and talk, talk, talk.Tyranny, the same kind that kept the people of the former Soviet Union and environs in the stranglehold of communism for 70 years, is making its way—unhampered—through the USA.The Obama administration started off by identifying Tea Partiers, returning war vets and Christians as terrorists—and got away with it.Now news reporters like James Rosen, a Fox News correspondent has been openly branded a “possible criminal co-conspirator” for his alleged role in publishing sensitive security information.The only difference between soft tyranny and hard tyrannies is that in the latter, those deemed enemies of the state are jailed and killed. But a cursory read through history teaches that hard tyrannies usually got their start as soft ones.Intensifying the clear and present danger in the current prolific White House scandals is the propaganda surrounding them.For instance, White House spokesman Jay Carney claims that no one is more outraged at the IRS scandal than President Obama.The only outrage seen from Obama these past four and a half years is the one he fosters for America.And now anger has its own color according to a study due to be released in July which contends that White Americans are more likely to see Obama as angry than non-white Americans.(USNews.com May 20, 2013)Meanwhile, America is crying out for rescue and it’s time to replace the white noise dominated by grandstanding politicians with the legal means to halt the Fundamental Transformation of America before there is nothing American left to save.
YOUR Social Security
THE ONLY THING WRONG WITH THE GOVERNMENT'S CALCULATION OF AVAILABLE SOCIAL SECURITY IS THEY FORGOT TO FIGURE IN THE PEOPLE WHO DIED BEFORE THEY EVER COLLECTED A SOCIAL SECURITY CHECK!!!WHERE DID THAT MONEY GO?Remember, not only did you and I contribute to Social Security but your employer did, too. It totaled 15% of your income before taxes. If you averaged only $30K over your working life, that's close to $220,500. Read that again. Did you see where the Government paid in one single penny? We are talking about the money you and your employer put in a Government bank to insure you and I that we would have a retirement check from the money we put in, not the Government. Now they are calling the money we put in an entitlement when we reach the age to take it back. If you calculate the future invested value of $4,500 per year (yours & your employer's contribution) at a simple 5% interest (less than what the govt. pays on the money that it borrows), after 49 years of working you'd have $892,919.98.If you took out only 3% per year, you'd receive $26,787.60 per year and it would last better than 30 years (until you're 95 if you retire at age 65) and that's with no interest paid on that final amount on deposit! If you bought an annuity and it paid 4% per year, you'd have a lifetime income of $2,976.40 per month.Another thing with me.... I have two deceased husbands who died in their 50's, (one was 51 and the other one was 59 before one percent of their social security could be drawn. I worked all my life and am drawing 100% on my own social security). Their S.S. money will never have one cent drawn from what they paid into S.S. all their lives.THE FOLKS IN WASHINGTON HAVE PULLED OFF A BIGGER PONZI SCHEME THAN BERNIE MADOFF EVER DID.Entitlement my foot, I paid cash for my social security insurance! Just because they borrowed the money for other government spending, doesn't make my benefits some kind of charity or handout!!Remember Congressional benefits? --- free healthcare, outrageous retirement packages, 67 paid holidays, three weeks paid vacation, unlimited paid sick days. Now that's welfare, and they have the nerve to call my social security retirement payments entitlements?We're "broke" and we can't help our own Seniors, Veterans, Orphans, or Homeless. Yet in the last few months we have provided aid to Haiti, Chile and Turkey. And now Pakistan......home of bin Laden. Literally, BILLIONS of DOLLARS!!! And they can't help our own citizens in New York and New Jersey!Our retired seniors living on a 'fixed S.S. income' receive no additional federal aid nor do they get any financial breaks, while our government and religious organizations pour hundreds of billions of $$ and tons of food to foreign countries!They call Social Security and Medicare an entitlement even though most of us have been paying for it all our working lives, and now, when it's time for us to collect, the government is running out of money. Why did the government borrow from it in the first place? It was supposed to be in a locked box, not part of the general fund.Sad isn't it?
A horrendous switch
This is what has happened all over Europe and Canada and it is coming to the USA faster than you can imagine!The following is a copy of an article written by Spanish writer Sebastian Vilar Rodrigez and published in a Spanish newspaper on Jan. 15. 2011. It doesn't take much imagination to extrapolate the message to the rest of Europe - and to the rest of the world.THIS WAS IN A SPANISH NEWSPAPER:
"EUROPEAN LIFE DIED IN AUSCHWITZ "By Sebastian Vilar Rodrigez"I walked down the street in Barcelona and suddenly discovered a terrible truth - Europe died in Auschwitz ...We killed six million Jews and replaced them with 20 million Muslims. In Auschwitz we burned a culture, thought, creativity, and talent. We destroyed the chosen people, truly chosen, because they produced great and wonderful people who changed the world.The contribution of this people is felt in all areas of life: science, art, international trade, and above all, as the conscience of the world.These are the people we burned.And under the pretence of tolerance, and because we wanted to prove to ourselves that we were cured of the disease of racism, we opened our gates to 20 million Muslims, who brought us stupidity and ignorance, religious extremism and lack of tolerance, crime and poverty, due to an unwillingness to work and support their families with pride.They have blown up our trains and turned our beautiful Spanish cities into the third world, drowning in filth and crime. Shut up in the apartments they receive free from the government, they plan the murder and destruction of their naive hosts.And thus, in our misery, we have exchanged culture for fanatical hatred, creative skill for destructive skill, intelligence for backwardness and superstition. We have exchanged the pursuit of peace of the Jews of Europe and their talent for a better future for their children, their determined clinging to life because life is holy, for those who pursue death, for people consumed by the desire for death for themselves and others, for our children and theirs.What a terrible mistake was made by miserable Europe.. A lot of Americans have become so insulated from reality that they imagine America can suffer defeat without any inconvenience to themselves. Recently, the UK debated whether to remove The Holocaust from its school curriculum because it 'offends' the Muslim population which claims it never occurred. It is not removed as yet. However, this is a frightening portent of the fear that is gripping the world and how easily each country is giving in to it.It is now more than sixty years after the Second World War in Europe ended. This e-mail is being sent as a memorial chain, in memory of the six million Jews, twenty million Russians, ten million Christians, and nineteen-hundred Catholic priests who were 'murdered, raped, burned, starved, and beaten, experimented on and humiliated.' Now, more than ever, with Iran, among others, claiming the Holocaust to be 'a myth,' it is imperative to make sure the world never forgets.
obama's failed green dream
You the taxpayers are on the hook for BILLIONS of dollars and counting because of obama's dismal failure in the move from a petroleum based infrastructure to one of windmills and mirrors. In fact it is smoke and mirrors when it comes to his diatribes.The fact is that if you were to level every state in the lower 48, leaving only California and fill all that land with solar and windmills, you would still not produce enough power to keep California running.
Americans and Californians in particular need to get a grip on reality. Reality is not a concept. If you think that if the whole country went magically green overnight that it would even make a dent in the flawed theory of global warming, you are more than a few tree's short of a forest! With Chindia [China & India] building 1 coal burning plant a week EACH, there is not a chance!Whats more, with the failure of the Fukashima nuclear power plant disaster in Japan, it sent shock-waves around the world to the point that several countries, including Japan have decided to call it quits and go nuclear free.
Germany and other European countries have passed laws that close down their reactors over the next decade or so. Some of you might welcome this, but they have to be replaced with something to make up the severe shortage of power they will experience. Do you have any idea what they are building, again, to make up that huge deficit of electricity? Well it doesn't spin, absorb or reflect. It IS black, abundant and very cheap.....yep you guessed it, COAL! On average it takes 10 coal burning plants to reach the same capacity of 1 nuclear plant and there are hundreds of nuclear power plants dotted all over Europe and Japan.
Unlike Americans, they realize that going green, won't even make up 5% of the electricity they have become accustomed to. Do you people have ANY ideas that will make up the 95% you have just taken off line? NO, of course you don't.
I would luv to take all you green thumb, tree hugging imbeciles aside and strip you of all the things that you so verbosely espouse to! Lets see, we will start with your cell phones and vehicles, then cut you off the grid and leave you with your beloved windmills and mirrors,[nope, they too took energy and mining to produce] an axe to chop wood [oops, no, can't cut down trees] so you better find something for warmth and cooking...well you can see where this is going. At this rate you better PRAY for global warming or start WALKING to the tropics and live on coconuts.
Do you still not see how absurd your cries of insane demands are? No you don't. You never will, but you will carry on with your outrageous hypocritical rants and still seem to think you have some semblance of credibility! You are a joke to anyone with a grade 3 education or higher with the exception of union run schools from whence you came.
When are we going to hear what YOUR fantastic ideas YOU have on keeping this planet running without using ANYTHING you say you hate so much? Grow up and try and do something productive with your lives that might HELP others instead of trying to take away things that most of us luv and realistically, can't live without!
Texas-The newest Country
The Country of Texas ~ being that Texas is the only state with a legal right to secede from the Union . (Reference the Texas-American Annexation Treaty of 1848.)
We Texans love y'all, but we'll probably have to take action if wins the election. We'll miss you too.
Here is what can happen:
1: is President of the United States, and Texas secedes from the Union in summer of 2013.
2: George W. Bush will become the President of the Republic of Texas . You might not think that he talks too pretty, but we hadn't had another terrorist attack, and the economy was fine until the effects of the Democrats lowering the qualifications for home loans came to roost.
So what does Texas have to do to survive as a Republic?
1. NASA is just south of Houston , Texas . We will control the space industry.
2. We refine over 85% of the gasoline in the United States .
3. Defense Industry--we have over 65% of it. The term "Don't mess with Texas," will take on a whole new meaning.
4. Oil - we can supply all the oil that the Republic of Texas will need for the next 300 years. What will the other states do? Gee, we don't know. Why not ask Obama?
5. Natural Gas - again we have all we need, and it's too bad about those Northern States. John Kerry and Al Gore will have to figure out a way to keep them warm....
6. Computer Industry - we lead the nation in producing computer chips and communications equipment -small companies like Texas Instruments, Dell Computer, EDS, Raytheon, National Semiconductor,Motorola, Intel, AMD, Atmel, Applied Materials, Ball Microconductor, Dallas Semiconductor, Nortel, Alcatel, etc, etc. The list goes on and on.
7. Medical Care - We have the research centers for cancer research, the best burn centers and the top trauma units in the world, as well as other large health centers. The Houston Medical Center alone employees over 65,000 people.
8. We have enough colleges to keep us getting smarter: University of
Texas , Texas A&M, Texas Tech, Texas Christian, Rice, SMU, University
of Dallas , University of Houston , Baylor, UNT ( University of North
Texas ), Texas Women's University, etc. Ivy grows better in the South anyway.
9. We have an intelligent and energetic work force, and it isn't restricted by a bunch of unions. Here in Texas , it's a Right toWork State and, therefore, it's every man and women for themselves. We just go out and get the job done. And if we don't like the way one company operates, we get a job somewhere else.
10. We have essential control of the paper, plastics, and insurance industries, etc.
11. In case of a foreign invasion, we have the Texas National Guard, the Texas Air National Guard, and several military bases. We don't have an Army, but since everybody down here has at least six rifles and a pile of ammo, we can raise an Army in 24 hours if we need one. If the situation really gets bad, we can always call the Department of Public Safety and ask them to send over the Texas Rangers.
12. We are totally self-sufficient in beef, poultry, hogs, and several types of grain, fruit and vegetables, and let's not forget seafood from the Gulf. Also, everybody down here knows how to cook them so that they taste good. Don't need any food.
13. Three of the ten largest cities in the United States , and twenty- three of the 100 largest cities in the United States , are located inTexas. And Texas also has more land than California , New York , New Jersey , Connecticut , Delaware , Hawaii , Massachusetts , Maryland , Rhode Island and Vermont combined.
14. Trade: Three of the ten largest ports in the United States are located in Texas .
15. We also manufacture cars down here, but we don't need to. You see, nothing rusts in
Texas, so our vehicles stay beautiful and run well for decades.
This just names a few of the items that will keep the Republic of Texas in good shape. There isn't a thing out there that we need and don't have.
Now to the rest of the United States under President Obama: Since you won't have the refineries to get gas for your cars, only President Obama will be able to drive around in his big 5 mpg SUV.The rest of the United States will have to walk or ride bikes.
You won't have any TV as the Space Center in Houston will cut off satellite communications. You won't have any natural gas to heat your homes, but since Mr. Obama has predicted global warming, you will not need the gas as long as you survive the 2000 years it will take to get enough heat from Global Warming.
The People of Texas
P.S. This is not a threatening letter - just a note to give you something to think about!SLEEP WELL TONIGHT - THE EYES OF TEXAS ARE UPON YOU!!
JW Sues Fed for Records Detailing U.S. Taxpayer Bailout of European Banks
Why on Earth is our government sending billions upon billions of dollars overseas to bail out European banks?
That question is at the center of a new Judicial Watch investigation as we continue our effortto force the Obama administration to come clean on all aspects of the ongoing bailouts - which began five years ago and, despite what some politicians may tell you, never really ended.
On Tuesday we sued the Board of Governors for the Federal Reserve System and the Federal Open Market Committee (FOMC), a committee within the Federal Reserve, for records detailing the Fed's December 2011 taxpayer-funded bailouts of European Banks.But wait a moment...
Didn't Federal Reserve Chairman Ben Bernanke sayin a December 14, 2011, meeting with Senate Republicans that he lacked the authority to use taxpayer dollars to bail out troubled European banks? Yes, he reportedly did just that.
However, a "currency swap" program extended by the Fed on November 30, 2011, led to nearly $95 billion in loans to the European Central Bank in December 2011 alone.
Let's take a look at how this "swap" works.Under what is known as a "temporary U.S. dollar liquidity swap arrangement," the Fed lends U.S. dollars to foreign central banks which then auction these dollars off to their local banks. The Fed's stated intent for initiating the program was to ease lending for European banks during the financial crisis.
The Fed initiated the program in December 2007 and allowed it to expire in February 2010. In May 2010, the Fed rebooted the program and on November 30, 2011, extended it through February 1, 2013. This extension prompted a sharp increase from $400 million to $95 billion in loans in December 2011.
How is this different from any other run-of-the-mill bailout? It isn't. And that's why we want to uncover as many details as possible about why these swaps are taking place and under what circumstances.
On January 3, 2012, we submitted Freedom of Information Act (FOIA) requests seeking communications between the Federal Reserve Board of Governors, the FOMC, the Federal Reserve Bank of New York and the European Central Bank related to the November 30, 2011, currency swap extension. We also want access to records describing the justification for extending the currency swap program, as well as individual details regarding each swap transaction.
Moreover, given that little information is available to the public regarding the identities of the recipients of currency swap funds, Judicial Watch also seeks, "any and all records identifying, describing, or setting forth the identity of any bank or financial institution and the collateral offered by the bank or financial institution," between December 5, 2011, through December 31, 2011.
Here's why this last request is important, per Bloomberg:For all the transparency forced on the Federal Reserve by Congress and the courts, one of the central bank's emergency-lending programs remains so secretive that names of borrowers may be hidden from the Fed itself.
As part of a currency-swap plan active from 2007 to 2010 and revived to fight the European debt crisis, the Fed lends dollars to other central banks, which auction them to local commercial banks...While the transactions with other central banks are all disclosed, the Fed doesn't track where the dollars ultimately end up, and European officials don't share borrowers' identities outside the continent.
The Federal Reserve Bank of New York reports that, as of March 31, the European Central Bank had $33 billion in outstanding swaps. The secrecy of these arrangements has beencriticized by Gerald O'Driscoll, a former Vice President of the Federal Reserve Bank of Dallas, as "bailing out European banks and, indirectly, spendthrift European governments. It is difficult to count the number of things wrong with this arrangement."
Regarding our basic FOIA request, the Federal Reserve Board of Governors and the FOMC can't say it was "lost in the mail." The stonewalling is intentional. Both entities acknowledged receipt of our records request on January 3, 2012, and were required by law to respond by February 1, 2012. However, as of the date of Judicial Watch's lawsuit, neither defendant has submitted a lawful response to Judicial Watch's original FOIA request.
Chairman Bernanke can dress it up in whatever language he chooses, but these "currency swaps" are nothing more than massive bailouts of European banks. That we have to sue to get basic information about this massive bailout speaks volumes about the dubious nature of this under-the-radar program.
But this secrecy is not altogether surprising considering that we have had to sue the "super transparent" Obama administration for records related to the bailout/government takeover of U.S. companies. At this point, with trillions of dollars now committed to this Big Government takeover of the private sector, we still do not have any answers regarding the legal justification used to authorize the bailouts.
No Congress voted to bail out Europe. And no president, let alone this one, signed a law authorizing such a bailout. From the beginning, the bailouts have been marked by contempt for the rule of law. And, now, with a massive secret bailout of "Europe" underway, there seems to be no controlling legal authority for our nation's central bank and the politicians who refuse to seriously police the Fed's activities. Judicial Watch aims to change that and bring sunlight and the rule of law to this out-of-control government operation.From Judicial Watch, which we fully support here.
Will Government Motors go bankrupt again?
The Story No One Tells About One of America's Biggest Bankruptcies
The GM situation is a microcosm of what's gone wrong in our country.
In the June issue of my Investment Advisory, I argued that the bankruptcy process resolved none of GM's core problems. The process was subverted by the political establishment, which sought to protect one class of citizen at the expense of the regional economy, GM's bondholders, and its customers.
If we can't apply the rule of law and sound economics to fixing one of the world's most important manufacturing concerns… it doesn't bode well for anyone else being afforded these privileges, either.
That's why it's so important for you to understand what happened.
Most people simply don't realize that the bailout of GM wasn't a bailout of the company. It wasn't a bailout of its shareholders, who lost everything… or its bondholders, who lost almost everything. Where did the money go? To the union. The United Auto Workers (UAW) ended up with all the money.
Let me show you how…
GM slid into bankruptcy primarily because it couldn't profitably manufacture cars. (Yes, there were plenty of other issues, like too much debt, investments in subprime mortgages, etc. But the primary reason it couldn't solve these other problems was that it hadn't been making routine profits from manufacturing cars in about 20 years.) And the biggest single reason it couldn't profitably make cars was because its labor costs had soared.
Well, guess what? At $56 per hour, GM still has the highest labor costs in the industry.
The bankruptcy process didn't deal with the biggest financial hurdle GM faces, which is an enormous (and growing) unfunded pension liability. When the company entered bankruptcy, it owed $20 billion to the trust that was established to pay for the health care of its retired workers. Its pension program, with $100 billion in obligations, was also underfunded by roughly $10 billion. That's $30 billion in legitimate claims, which the union had to present to the bankruptcy court on behalf of GM's employees.
It could have received a mixture of cash and equity in the new GM – just like any other unsecured creditor. But there wasn't really a bankruptcy court. Instead, there was Steve Rattner – "the Rat," as we call him – the crooked Democratic political operative under investigation for bribing New York State pension officials. Obama made him the "car czar."
His job wasn't to fix GM. It was to deliver billions to the union and, thus, deliver Michigan for Obama in the next election.
Bondholders at GM were owed $30 billion, too. A legitimate bankruptcy would have sold or liquidated the company's assets and split the proceeds between the two major claimants, the bondholders and the unions. GM had roughly $20 billion in tangible assets, plus probably another $10 billion in intellectual property. These sums could have either been liquidated or put into a new company, with the equity split between bondholders and unions.
Not surprisingly, the current market cap of the new GM is $34 billion, right around the same number that could have been raised in a liquidation. The bankruptcy court should have given the unions roughly $15 billion worth of cash or new equity and the same thing to bondholders.
Everyone would be square. And the company (or at least the company's assets) would have been freed from the stranglehold of huge debts and pension obligations.
Taxpayers shouldn't have paid a dime in this process because, frankly, it's none of our business.
Remember… the purpose of bankruptcy isn't to repay creditors. They're screwed. They're not getting all their money back because they bet on the wrong horse. That's how capitalism works. That's the price of liberty – you're free to make bad choices.
The purpose of bankruptcy is to free productive assets from the burden of debts that can't be repaid or refinanced. We do this because it's good for society, not because it's good for creditors. Had the bankruptcy been handled legitimately, GM's assets would have ended up in the hands of better entrepreneurs. Its workers could have found new, productive jobs at a rate the market would bear. (Other carmakers are paying $47 per hour – these aren't bad jobs.)
Yes, GM's retirees, its pension program, and its bondholders would have taken a hit. But they wouldn't have walked away empty-handed. They would have been the owners of a profitable company, operating debt-free and without the burden of almost endless obligations to a pension fund.
But that's not what happened. Instead, the government injected an amazing $50 billion into the company and, at last count, has lost roughly half of it.
How did taxpayers lose $25 billion on a company whose total tangible assets were only worth $20 billion? How did bondholders lose almost all of their $30 billion, too? And most importantly, how did our country end up with a GM that can't earn a genuine profit because of never-ending obligations to its pension fund?
I think you probably know, dear subscriber. The Rat did what he was being paid to do. He delivered billions and billions of dollars to the union… amounts that will never be recovered… billions that will never be found.
Here's what we do know about where the money went… Bondholders got 10% of the new GM – about $4 billion worth of stock at the time of the IPO. However, they weren't allowed to sell until much later, so that value dropped about one-third by the time they could have actually liquidated. Thus, bondholders ended up getting about 10 cents on the dollar. The unions, on the other hand, got paid 100% of the pension liability – about $10 billion, which was simply passed onto the new GM and has now grown to $13 billion.
In addition, the union's health care trust got 17.5% of the new equity (worth about $6 billion), plus $9 billion in preferred stock and notes. These securities are not only worth more, but they will also likely end up with essentially all the company's cash flows for the next decade.
In total, the unions walked away with about $28 billion in cash and stock (out of $30 billion owed). Not surprisingly, that's almost exactly the amount of money that's gone missing from the government's accounts. The union also retained a position of absolute control over the company's earnings.
In short, the unions got paid 93% of what they were owed and will likely continue to have a legal claim to virtually all of GM's cash flow. The bondholders got a few pennies. The taxpayers lost $25 billion. And GM still can't make a real profit. Bravo!
I'm sure folks as virtuous, thrifty, and honest as the good people of the UAW will prove to be excellent stewards of GM's assets and reputation. Surely, GM's future has never been brighter. And Obama's legacy as the savior of Detroit is assured…
By the way… the numbers above are all real. Most of the stuff you see reported about GM is not. There's a good reason for this, of course… The government continues to own a large portion of GM's stock, and GM is one of the largest advertisers in the U.S.
Nobody wants to take on those two powerful interests.
Take, for example, what Morgan Stanley's GM analyst, Adam Jonas, told the Wall Street Journal earlier this month… He claimed GM had gotten rid of 20% of its roughly $100 billion total pension obligation by spending only "$3 billion." Imagine if that were true!
If the company was able to resolve $20 billion in obligations by spending $3 billion now, well… that would dramatically improve the financial standing of the business and probably double or triple its stock price. Strangely, that's not what happened. Instead, the credit ratings agencies warned they "might" have to downgrade GM's debt. And the share price continued to fall…
I don't know Adam Jonas. And I don't know that the paper is quoting him fairly. But whatever the case, nothing could be further from the truth.
GM unloaded $26 billion in future pension liabilities by contributing $25 billion in pension fund assets, $1 billion in cash, and paying $3 billion in an insurance premium. So what actually happened is that the company put virtually all of its earnings – $4 billion – toward its pension (again) and saw the total unfunded liability drop by a mere $1 billion, from $14 billion to $13 billion.
Assuming the rest of these liabilities could be extinguished at the same rate, it would cost GM roughly $50 billion to wipe out all its remaining pension liabilities. Strangely, neither Jonas nor the Wall Street Journalsaw fit to mention that part…
I'll leave you with these two simple questions…
If we can't count on the media to keep us informed about the major problems of our country's most important companies… and if we can't count on the government (which still owns 26% of GM's equity) to deal with its pension obligations honestly and fairly… what does this say about the likely future prospects of GM? What does it say about our country?
By Porter Stansberry
Does obama take responsibility for ANYTHING??
Am I the only one that has noticed that this president needs a lesson in responsibility? Has anyone EVER heard him take responsibility for anything? Ok he has taken kudo's for things that were NOT of his doing, like the southern leg of the XL Pipeline and the fact that there are more oil rigs running now than ever before. Lets look at those 2 for a second:
- That leg of the pipeline has NOTHING to do with the federal gov. only the states. So even if he said no, it would go thru anyway!
- More oil rigs than ever-by his own words it takes 4-5 yrs. to come on line. Thank-you Mr. Bush.
- Oil coming out of FEDERAL land has declined 20+% under his watch
- All those oil rigs are on PRIVATE and STATE lands, in which he has NO say period!
Are Speculators to Blame?
Economic fear, intimidation, threats, empty promises, and glaring misinformation are some of the tools used to rally support for this administration’s failing policies and to pander to its voting baseThe Obama administration masterfully manipulates the politics of fear and obvious misinformation through speeches and a compliant media to rally its voting base and to justify its destructive policies that have brought this economy and our country to its knees.Are Republicans the reason why students cannot get affordable student loans? Is the federal government not in charge of the student loan program? Why is college tuition so high, textbooks and tiny dorm rooms so expensive? Why do college graduates have 25 percent unemployment under President Obama’s administration? What good is the ability to get a low interest college loan if you cannot find a job when you complete your degree?
Are oil speculators the reason why we pay high gas prices at the pump? Has President Obama not promised that under his watch energy prices will necessarily skyrocket, coal plants go bankrupt, and gasoline will rise to $10 a gallon, following the European model? Has Secretary of Energy Chu not stated, they must find ways to push gas prices even higher than the current price?
Supply and demand are crucial determinants of the price of oil. Other variables such as a crisis and turmoil in the Middle East can cause real oil shortages or increase the fear of shortages. That is why oil futures contracts were invented, bought and sold by speculators.
Speculators can estimate the demand for oil and plan accordingly. They can lose or gain money based on too much demand and little supply or too much supply and little demand. They buy futures contracts to smooth out unexpected price changes. They never take delivery of gasoline; they hold contracts worth 42,000 gallons each.
Keynesian economists agree that speculators sell protection from risk to other people and smooth out price fluctuations by purchasing oil when it is abundant and cheap, holding the contracts and reselling them when oil is scarce and expensive. Speculators, in this economic view, “play an important role in alleviating and even preventing shortages of oil.”
Independent oil producers and OPEC, the best-organized cartel in the world, can increase or decrease output. A cartel’s decision is always collusive and often counterproductive to the goals of our economy. U.S. makes cartels illegal within our borders, in the interest of the free market, but they are legal elsewhere.
Speculators make money by betting on price moves, some willing to take the risk and some willing to avoid it. The price of future contracts is influenced by political events, economic news released by the government, and natural disasters.
The government releases economic data, sells Treasury bills, or creates new policies that influence the price of futures contracts for both natural (oil) and financial commodities (derivatives).
Speculators themselves can have a temporary influence on commodity prices by a sudden demand for a contract either sparked by rumors, inside information, or other factors that drive the price up or down. (Kenneth M. Morris and Virginia B. Morris)
Speculators operate in a “zero sum market.” For every person who makes a dollar, another person loses a dollar. Speculators trade in order to make money, they are not interested in acquiring oil or holding it, they purchase contracts. Speculators gamble on price changes, they buy contracts when they think prices are low and sell when they think prices are high.
According to Kevin Freeman, oil-price manipulation by speculators on the futures market in 2007 when oil was $50 per barrel to $150 per barrel in 2008 occurred without a disruption in supply. Supply actually increased slightly. “Daily paper trades at the New York Mercantile Exchange were seven times higher than the actual oil used.” If you accounted for all other exchanges, Chicago, London, Dubai, other markets, trades of oil speculators may have been 50 to 100 times that of oil used. Producers and consumers had no change in production levels or consumption patterns.
Dr. Mark J. Perry, Professor of Economics and Finance at the University of Michigan, said, “Market forces, not speculators, are the main determinants of oil prices and all other commodity prices. “A large number of scientific studies have failed to produce any credible evidence that high oil and gas prices were caused by the presence of financial investors in oil futures markets.”
“The Obama administration is mistaken in attributing high oil and gas prices to the presence of financial investors in oil futures markets.” (CNN editorial, Professor Lutz Kilian)
Joseph Kennedy (D-MA) argued that, because of speculators, “today’s oil prices of about $100 a barrel have become disconnected from the costs of extraction, which average $11 a barrel worldwide.” The fact that it is physically and economically impossible to extract oil for $11 a barrel is lost on Representative Kennedy. (John Hinderaker, Energy Policy)
Sen. James Inhofe (R-OK) criticized the EPA’s “philosophy of enforcement” to “crucify” and “make examples” of oil and gas companies like the “Romans crucified random citizens in areas they conquered to ensure obedience.” EPA engaged in smear campaigns against natural gas producers in Pennsylvania, Texas, and Wyoming, claiming that the use of hydraulic fracturing caused water contamination, without providing scientific proof. After threats of steep fines and overt intimidation, the EPA backtracked, but the public’s perception of danger and fear was already entrenched. (Craig Bannister)
Economic fear, intimidation, threats, empty promises, and glaring misinformation are some of the tools used to rally support for this administration’s failing policies and to pander to its voting base. Are progressive Americans so dim, chanting gleefully in a propaganda style reminiscent of communism, eager to vote for the demise of their own freedom and economic independence? Are the taxpaying residents of Realityville, America hoping against all odds that they will out-vote the mesmerized and satisfied welfare recipients who want more communism?
The EPA is KILLING this country
The unelected, overpaid, self-proclaimed, law enforcing treehugger crew, the EPA [Employment Prevention Administration] and their red-tape, over-regulating, business strangling ways are killing this country and any hope of a recovery anytime soon! Read this from fellow Blogger, Alan Caruba:
We are witnessing the destruction of the nation by the environmental movement and the EPA has just provided you with the most dramatic example of that plan
The EPA Wrecking BallThe Environmental Protection Agency is using its power to advance the objective of the environmental movement to deny Americans access to the energy that sustains the nation’s economy and is using the greatest hoax ever perpetrated, global warming—now called “climate change”—to achieve that goal.“This standard isn’t the once-and-for-all solution to our environmental challenge,” said Lisa Jackson, the EPA administrator, “but it is an important commonsense step toward tackling the ongoing and very real threat of climate change and protecting the future for generations to come. It will enhance the lives of our children and our children’s children.”This is a boldfaced lie. Its newest rule is based on the debasement of science that is characterized and embodied in the global warming hoax. It will deprive America of the energy it requires to function.
Since the 1980s the Greens have been telling everyone that carbon dioxide was causing global warming—now called climate change—and warning that CO2 emissions were going to kill everyone in the world if they weren’t dramatically reduced. The ball was put in motion with the United Nations 1997 Kyoto Protocols when many nations agreed to this absurd idea and carried forward by the United Nations Intergovernmental Panel on Climate Change ever since.
The Environmental Protection Agency was created to clean the nation’s air and water where it was deemed that a hazard existed. Like most noble ideas and most Congressional mandates, the initial language was vague enough to be interpreted to mean anything those in charge wanted it to mean. Add in the global warming hoax and you have the means to destroy the nation.
Now it means that the source of fifty percent of all the electricity generated in the United States is being systematically put out of business and please do not act surprised; that’s exactly what Barack Obama said he intended to do if elected President.
This is evil writ large.
Shutting down utilities that use coal, an energy source the U.S. has in such abundance that it could provide electricity for the next hundreds of years, and ensuring that no new ones are built fits in perfectly with all the Green pipedreams about “renewable” energy. Solar and wind presently provide about two percent of the nation’s electricity and, without government subsidies and mandates requiring their use, they would not exist at all.
- How stupid is it to not build more nuclear power plants when this form of power doesn’t emit anything but energy?
- How stupid is it not to use coal when the U.S. is the Saudi Arabia of coal?
- How stupid is it to begin to find reasons to regulate and thwart fracking, the technology to access trillions of cubic feet of natural gas that has been in use for decades?
- How stupid is it to cover miles of land, far from any urban center, with hundreds of solar panels or huge, ugly wind turbines that kill thousands of birds every year?
Darkness will descend and Americans will begin to live with blackouts and brownouts that will undermine every aspect of our lives. It’s bad enough when a town or even a city briefly loses power because of a storm, but imagine that occurring on a regular basis because there just aren’t enough utilities generating power!
What kind of people stand by idly while its own government conspires to take away the primary source of energy that everything else depends upon? The answer? You. The answer is the many elected politicians that have done little to rein in a rogue government agency intent on undermining the nation by denying it the ability to generate power with the least expensive source of electricity, coal.
The EPA, an unelected bureaucracy, has just ensured that all Americans, industries, small businesses, and individuals will begin pay far more for electrical power.
Richard J. Trzupek, the author of “Regulators Run Wild” and an environment policy advisor for The Heartland Institute, said of the new rule, “With around 50,000 megawatts of coal-fired power set to be forcibly retired in the next few years—thanks to the draconian policies of Obama’s EPA—this rule ensures that no new modern, efficient coal fired power plants will be built to fill the gap.”
In a triumph of crony capitalism, Trzupek notes that “The big winner will be Obama’s good friend, GE Chairman Jeff Immelt. Since solar and wind cannot fill a 50,000 megawatt baseload gap, the only way to ensure continued reliability of the grid is to build a lot of natural gas-fired plants quickly. And who is the biggest supplier of natural gas-fired combustion engines? GE of course.”
If you think that environmental organizations like the Sierra Club and Friends of the Earth, among many others, are seeking to “protect” the Earth, you are seriously mistaken. They have been among the leading opponents of coal and they have had allies in Congress such as the Majority Leader of the Senate, Harry Reid, (D-NV) who has said “Coal makes us sick. Oil makes us sick.”
NO! Coal provides the engine of our nation’s electrical power and oil provides the energy that fuels our transportation and is the basis for countless products that enhance and improve our lives every day.
We are witnessing the destruction of the nation by the environmental movement and the EPA has just provided you with the most dramatic example of that plan