October 28, 2008

Foster Friess on Economic Crisis: Who's to Blame?

In these critical times it amazes me that so few actually look for the real cause for something so important as the unraveling of our financial system. I have and have posted much of what I have found previously on this blog, Foster Friess on this video wraps it all up and puts a bow on if for those that aren't inclined to investigate - Watch and Learn.

Obama will not acknowledge the true nature of the economic meltdown, if you don't get to the bottom of the problem, you can't fix the problem.

Caveat emptor "Let the buyer beware" on November Fourth we will find out if a gifted salesman sells socialism to America, socialism creates more financial problems it fixes.

Lets not buy this bill of goods!

A little about Foster Friess

Awards and Achievements

▪ Muhammad Ali Humanitarian Award

▪ Humanitarian of the Year presented at the National Charity Awards Dinner.

▪ Canterbury Medal from the Beckett Fund for Religious Liberty

▪ Adam Smith Award from Hillsdale College

▪ Albert Schweitzer Leadership Award from Hugh O'Brian Youth Leadership Foundation

▪ David R. Jones Award for Leadership in Philanthropy

▪ Thomas J. Reese Award from Catholic Charities tribute in 2001

▪ Medal of Distinction from the University of Delaware

▪ Maryvale, AZ 'Man of the Year' Award

▪ Citizen of the Month Jackson Hole, WY Rotary Club

▪ Delaware Business Leaders Hall of Fame

 Honorary Degrees from Pepperdine University, Regent University, and Goldey Beacom College

Political Activism

• Foster, a Republican donor and supporter of George W. Bush's administration has been an active patron of a number of religious and conservative causes including:

▪ Private Sector Solutions, a network of leaders developing private sector solutions to augment, preempt or replace government services

▪ LibForAll and other groups building a global counter-extremism network

▪ Patient-driven health care through Free Market Cure and other groups

▪ Choice in Education through Alliance for School Choice, All Children Matter and others


▪ Lynn and Foster Friess Family Foundation

▪ Contributors to the National Wildlife Art Museum in Jackson Hole, WY

▪ Founding grant for Good Samaritan Health Services - Mobile Medical Care in Tulsa, OK.

▪ $100,000 challenge grants for communities who want to start Mobile Medical Care programs

▪ Matching challenge grant helped raise over $2 million in relief money for Tsunami victims in Sri Lanka. Foster personally traveled to the hardest-hit areas to speak with local church and organization leaders to identify the best efforts.

▪ Another matching grant administered through the NCF Giving Fund sent more than $4 million to provide hot meals and other relief support to Katrina Victims.[11]

▪ Supported a new YMCA development in Maryvale, AZ along with several local mentoring and ministry programs

October 25, 2008

Paradise Valley Montana - fly-fishing - hunting - guest ranches - yellowstone gateway

Paradise Valley Montana

This gem on the northern border of Yellowstone received It's named “Paradise Valley” for good reason, this premier Montana vacation spot has perfect summers and mild winters with spectacular views of the Absaroka and Gallatin mountain ranges under the famed Montana "big sky." The close proximity to Yellowstone Park; the Beartooth Highway and many other natural wonders make Paradise Valley the perfect place to vacation. Besides having the Legendary fly-fishing River “The Yellowstone” flowing through its center, world class Spring Creeks; private lakes and other fishing streams draw anglers from around the world. World class big game hunting, whitewater rafting, kayaking, wildlife viewing and photography, hiking, camping and horseback riding are just a few of the unlimited recreational opportunities available here in Paradise Valley. Many fine Bed and Breakfasts, cabins and guest ranches provide lots of options for fine lodging.

Paradise Valley is situated in southwestern Montana. It is located just north of Yellowstone National Park in Park County, Montana, which lends its name to the county. Mule deer enjoy the open range and grasslands available to them in Paradise Valley. Paradise Valley extends from the Yellowstone gateway community of Gardiner at the south end, to historic Livingston on the north. Appropriately named, this region is a "paradise" to Montana and to the Rocky Mountains. Providing a unique backdrop of snowcapped peaks, the valley features beautiful ranchlands, flowing rivers, spring creeks and abundant wildlife.

October 18, 2008

Cicero , 55 BC - United States 2008

The budget should be balanced, the Treasury should be refilled, public debt should be reduced, the arrogance of officialdom should be tempered and controlled, and the assistance to foreign lands should be curtailed lest Rome become bankrupt. People must again learn to work, instead of living on public assistance. --

Cicero,55 BC

October 15, 2008

Criminals For Gun Control part 1 Home Invasion

Why do people need handguns?

Though this is a commonly asked question, a more appropriate question would be: “Why should handguns be banned?” In a free society, the burden of proof is not upon those who would exercise a right but on those who would infringe that right. Private citizens benefit from handguns for the same reason that the police do: handguns are easy to carry, and they are effective defensive tools. Handguns are used for protection more often than they are used to commit violent crimes, and two of every three defensive uses of firearms are carried out with handguns. Survey research shows that people who use firearms for protection are less likely to be injured during a criminal attack than people who use other means of protection or no protection. Handguns are also very widely used for target shooting and they’ve become more commonly used for hunting.

Related Info

October 10, 2008

October 08, 2008

Financial Affirmative Action - financial meltdown

When the history of the Great Economic Meltdown of 2008 is written, in-your-face shakedown groups like the Greenlining Institute will be held to account...................................Activist groups were encouraged to agitate by the Carter-era Community Reinvestment Act, which enshrined in law a kind of lending protection racket. Banking regulators were given the power to make trouble for banks that failed to lend enough money to so-called underserved communities. Banks that paid enough -- whatever that means -- got left alone, but banks that didn't, got their legs broken........................................The group targeted Rabobank, demanding that it shell out $7.5 billion for loan programs to help farmworkers buy their own farms. When the bank balked, Greenlining launched a campaign last year against its proposed acquisition of another bank. ---------------> More

October 07, 2008

Union First, Country Second - My visit with a union leader

Labor Union’s Institutional Narcissism - My visit with a big city union local president
By Daryl L. Hunter

In August (2008) by chance, I met the president of a large labor union of a major city who was on vacation where I live. After finding out he was the president of a union I steered the conversation to politics and the upcoming election, the conversation was alarming yet enlightening.

I will not mention the union, the city, nor the union presidents name because I did not tell him I was a blogger and he would not have been forthcoming had I told him. He was a nice man and I wouldn’t want to get him into hot water for a casual conversation. It would be my assumption that to become president of a union local you have to be smart and analytical, using that as a baseline I questioned:

Me: Considering these times of jobs moving overseas aren’t you concerned every new wage and benefit demand might be the straw that breaks the camels back forcing your industry to ship production overseas.

Union President: Yes but it is my job to get all I can for my members.

Me: We are in a world economy and the demands unions in America are making on U.S. corporations make them uncompetitive. Does that concern you?

Union President: Yes but it is still my job to get all I can for my members.

Me: Democrats don’t want to drill for oil yet industry is reliant upon it, doesn’t this worry you since union jobs depend upon industry being healthy.

Union President: Yes, this is troubling.

Me: I realize that Democrats are friendlier to the unions than Republicans but Republican tax policies are better for commerce and industry, if industry is crippled, unemployment is sure to follow, so isn’t it risky for unions to back Barack Obama considering his proposed punitive taxes on industry in this shaky economy?

Union President: Obama says many things but I hope that he can’t achieve them.

Me; So, as union president you put union first and the America’s economy second.

Union President: Yes.

This conversation although alarming reinforced something I have suspected for a long time; labor union’s institutional narcissism puts union self-interest ahead of country. A lifelong friend of mine is in a law enforcement union, and he votes union before country also. The same blue collar union members who proudly will send their sons into battle to protect our freedoms will go into a voting booth and vote their self-interest over that of their country’s and this confounded conundrum confuses me.

I was in the Alaska Teamsters during the construction of the Alaska Pipeline, and I had never seen so much money wasted in my life. When I was a cross-country trucker, I always knew when I was in a union warehouse because fifteen-minute card game at break time always lasted forty-five minutes. When the longshoremen went on strike in 2002, I thought it was terribly unpatriotic and hurtful to America during a time of our national economic crisis right after 911, but it was very important to the longshormen to preserve archaic shipping methods that saved jobs at the cost of efficiency.

I hope that for the sake of the country that rank and file union members can take a look around them, take a look at the economy and dig deep for the real reasons for our economic meltdown and vote for the candidate that will preserve Industry by keeping industry profitable at home.

I am a 200+ pound expendable mass of protoplasm that realizes that I don’t want to bankrupt the treasury of this land of exceptionalism for some pompous presumption that I am important in the scheme of things. I believe in the ownership society and reject the Nanny State Democrats are trying to foist upon our treasury. Our founding fathers created a near perfect model of government, but it isn’t beyond our ability to bankrupt it because we want stuff!

It is dangerous to vote for change especially when influential union leaders are advocating for institutional narcissism while they hope the candidate they are promoting, Barack Obama, can't deliver on his promises.

Addendum 9/2012
It would be interesting to have an honest talk with this Union President today.  Obama has enacted much of what this man feared yet hoped wouldn't happen. Four years later the economy is still in the tank and this has hurt his union members.

A good economy is the best thing for the workers of the United States of America not the overreaching arm of todays unions. Unions were once an important asset for workers but today working conditions aren't like they were back when unions were needed for workers rights.

Today unions overreach sends manufactures to places where they aren't considered the enemy of the worker. My grandfather was a member of the International Brotherhood of Electrical Workers (IBEW), the same as the union president above, and sometimes for fun I will phone up the IBEW and try to get my grandfather posthumously removed from the union rolls, I know they can't do it but it is fun to explain why I want him removed. My grandfather would be appalled at what unions have become. 

October 06, 2008

Subprime Mortgage Suspects - In 2005, Federal Reserve Chairman Alan Greenspan told Congress

By Donald Lambro, chief political correspondent of The Washington Times

There is no more insidious myth than the notion that the subprime-mortgage debacle began on Wall Street and that predatory capitalism was responsible for the whole blooming mess.

Economist Milton Friedman used to say just about every economic and social ill that confronts our country could be traced to misguided federal policies and their "unintended consequences." And that is certainly true of the subprime crisis seeds planted by two federally created, government-assisted lending agencies: Fannie Mae and Freddie Mac.

To be sure, there's lots of blame to go around, but these two mortgage giants were at the root of this scandal. "Fannie and Freddie did this by becoming a key enabler of the mortgage crisis," wrote economist Kevin Hassett in a revealing article for Bloomberg financial news. "They fueled Wall Street's efforts to securitize subprime loans by becoming the primary customer of all AAA-rated subprime-mortgage pools. In addition, they held an enormous portfolio themselves."

To a large degree, Fannie and Freddie became the mortgage market, as Democratic leaders in Congress pressured, pushed and ordered the agencies to make housing loans to lower-income borrowers who could not meet credit standards elsewhere in the mortgage industry.

As of last year, Fannie Mae alone owned or guaranteed more than $388 billion of these high-risk loans. "Their large presence created an environment within which even mortgage-backed securities assembled by others could find a ready home," the American Enterprise Institute economist says.

There were those who saw disaster early in the making, and that's what happened from 2004 to 2005 when both agencies were caught in the undertow of an accounting scandal that swept Fannie Mae CEO Franklin Raines from office in disgrace.

One of those who tried to rein in the two agencies was President Bush, who recommended in 2003 that an agency be created to regulate the housing-finance industry,----------------> More

October 05, 2008

AIG And The Trouble With 'Credit Default Swaps'

Morning Edition, September 18, 2008 · With the government's $85 billion loan to American International Group — and its controlling stake in the company — the United States is now in the insurance business.

AIG is the largest commercial and industrial insurer in the nation, NPR business correspondent Adam Davidson told Steve Inskeep. The company also offers lines for individual customers in the U.S. and around the globe. The more traditional aspects of AIG's business continue to perform fairly well.

But a few years ago, AIG got involved in a new aspect of the financial system: It joined in the selling of so-called credit default swaps. A credit default swap, or CDS, is essentially insurance on debt.

Gambling On The Future

Imagine a bank that has bought bonds from, say, the Port Authority of New York and New Jersey. That means -------------------------->More


by Ellen Brown

Something extraordinary is going on with these government bailouts. In March 2008, the Federal Reserve extended a $55 billion loan to JPMorgan to “rescue” investment bank Bear Stearns from bankruptcy, a highly controversial move that tested the limits of the Federal Reserve Act. On September 7, 2008, the U.S. government seized private mortgage giants Fannie Mae and Freddie Mac and imposed a conservatorship, a form of bankruptcy; but rather than let the bankruptcy court sort out the assets among the claimants, the Treasury extended an unlimited credit line to the insolvent corporations and said it would exercise its authority to buy their stock, effectively nationalizing them. Now the Federal Reserve has announced that it is giving an $85 billion loan to American International Group (AIG), the world’s largest insurance company, in exchange for a nearly 80% stake in the insurer . . . .

The Fed is buying an insurance company? Where exactly is that covered in the Federal Reserve Act? The Associated Press calls it a “government takeover,” but this is not your ordinary “nationalization” like the purchase of Fannie/Freddie stock by the U.S. Treasury. The Federal Reserve has the power to print the national money supply, but it is not actually a part of the U.S. government. It is a private banking corporation owned by a consortium of private banks. The banking industry just bought the world’s largest insurance company, and they used federal money to do it. Yahoo Finance reported on September 17:

“The Treasury is setting up a temporary financing program at the Fed’s request. The program will auction Treasury bills to raise cash for the Fed’s use. The initiative aims to help the Fed manage its balance sheet following its efforts to enhance its liquidity facilities over the previous few quarters.”---------------> More

The Week America's Economy Almost Died

by Adam Davidson and Alex Blumberg

The potential for disaster was horrifying. For people on Wall Street and in the inner circles of government, last Wednesday and Thursday will long be remembered as the time when the American economy survived a brush with death.

The nation's entire financial system slid toward a terrifying abyss, they say — a landscape where no one would lend and no one could borrow, where no one could buy anything and no one could get paid. As Congress and the Bush administration continue debating a proposed $700 billion bailout of Wall Street, those with intimate knowledge of the crisis say that whatever solution emerges must avert future brushes with very real disaster.

The nightmare scenario rattled Mark Peterson, far from the halls of finance, in Memphis, Tenn. "For those of you who've experienced an earthquake, some say it's a soul-wrenching experience, and it's massively moving everything," Peterson says. "And that's last week. There was a monster unleashed. The commercial paper market, which is the most liquid market, probably in the world, basically froze up."--------------------> More

(what are) Mortgage-Backed Securities and how they brought down the economy

Mortgage-Backed Securitieare a type of asset-backed security that is secured by a mortgage, or a collection of mortgages. These securities must also be grouped in one of the top two ratings as determined by a accredited credit rating agency, and usually pay periodic payments that are similar to coupon payments. Furthermore, the mortgage must have originated from a regulated and authorized financial institution.

Also known as a mortgage related security, or a mortgage pass-through.

Investopedia Says:
When you invest in a mortgage-backed security you are in lending money to a home-buyer or business. An MBS is a way for a smaller regional bank to lend mortgages to its customers without having to worry if the customers have the assets to cover the loan. Instead, the bank acts as a middleman between the home-buyer and the investment markets. --------------> More

How the Mortgage-Backed Security Brought Down the Economy

When the foreclosure rate began to increase late in 2006, it also released more new homes on the market. New home construction had already outpaced demand, and when large numbers of foreclosures became available at deeply discounted prices, builders found that they couldn't sell the homes they'd built. Richard Dugas, CEO of Pulte Homes, a building company, said in September 2008, "We can't afford to compete with foreclosures at 40 percent to 50 percent off" [source: Builder].

The presence of more homes on the market brought down housing prices. Some homeowners found themselves in the precarious state of being upside-down in their payments; they owed more than their homes were worth. Simply walking away from the houses they couldn't afford became an increasingly attractive option, and foreclosures increased even more.

Had a situation like this taken place before the advent of mortgage-backed securities, it still would have created a ripple effect on the national economy. Home builders and lenders going belly-up still would have increased unemployment. Foreclosures still would have deflated housing prices. And with less cash flowing in, surviving banks still would have tightened credit. But the presence of MBSs created an even more pronounced effect on the U.S. economy.----------------> More

October 04, 2008

Credit Default Swaps (CDS) Evolving Financial Meltdown and Derivative Disaster Du Jour

By Ellen Brown

When the smartest guys in the room designed their credit default swaps, they forgot to ask one thing - what if the parties on the other side of the bet don't have the money to pay up? Credit default swaps (CDS) are insurance-like contracts that are sold as protection against default on loans, but CDS are not ordinary insurance.

Insurance companies are regulated by the government, with reserve requirements, statutory limits, and examiners routinely showing up to check the books to make sure the money is there to cover potential claims. CDS are private bets, and the Federal Reserve from the time of Alan Greenspan has insisted that regulators keep hands off.

The sacrosanct free market would supposedly regulate itself. The problem with that approach is that regulations are just rules. If there are no rules, the players can cheat; and cheat they have, with a gambler's addiction. In December 2007, the Bank for International Settlements reported derivative trades tallying in at $681 trillion - ten times the gross domestic product of all the countries in the world combined. Somebody is obviously bluffing about the money being brought to the game, and that realization has made for some very jittery markets.---------------- More

October 01, 2008

The Campfire - A blog from Foster Friess: Sarah Palin verses the Mainstream Media

The Campfire - A blog from Foster Friess: Sarah Palin verses the Mainstream Media

Syndicated columnist Charles Krauthammer, a psychiatrist by training, was the first to give the recent phenomena in American politics a name; he called it the “Bush Derangement Syndrome.” Krauthammer describes this affliction as “the acute onset of paranoia in otherwise normal people in reaction to the policies, the presidency — nay — the very existence of George W. Bush.”

This disorder is not limited to President Bush, an earlier equally virulent strain affected many Republicans during the Clinton administration. The virus appears to be spreading beyond the White House and now you can see outbreaks in the media as well as politics. If you are at a cocktail party where the attendees have mixed political views, the mere mention of Dan Rather or Rush Limbaugh can send the host scrambling to pack away the breakables.