Insiders Exit Shares at the Fastest Pace in Two Years (Update3)
By Lynn Thomasson and Michael Tsang
June 22 (Bloomberg) — Executives at U.S. companies are taking advantage of the biggest stock-market rally in 71 years to sell their shares at the fastest pace since credit markets started to seize up two years ago.
Insiders of Standard & Poor’s 500 Index companies were net sellers for 14 straight weeks as the gauge rose 36 percent, data compiled by InsiderScore.com show. Amgen Inc. Chairman and Chief Executive Officer Kevin Sharer and five other officials sold $8.2 million of stock. Christopher Donahue, the CEO of Federated Investors Inc., and his brother, Chief Financial Officer Thomas Donahue, offered the most in three years.
Sales by CEOs, directors and senior officers have accelerated to the highest level since June 2007, two months before credit markets froze, as the S&P 500 rebounded from its 12-year low in March. The increase is making investors more skittish because executives presumably have the best information about their companies’ prospects.
“If insiders are selling into the rally, that shows they don’t expect their business to be able to support current stock- price levels,” said Joseph Keating, the chief investment officer of Raleigh, North Carolina-based RBC Bank, the unit of Royal Bank of Canada that oversees $33 billion in client assets. “They’re taking advantage of this bounce and selling into it.”
The S&P 500 slid 2.6 percent to 921.23 last week, the first weekly decline since May 15, as investors speculated the three- month jump in share prices already reflected a recovery in the economy and profits. Stocks dropped as the Federal Reserve reported that industrial production fell in May and S&P cut credit ratings on 18 U.S. banks, saying lenders will face “less favorable” conditions.
The S&P 500 slid the most in two months today, losing 3.1 percent to 893.04 at 4:05 p.m. in New York, after the Washington-based World Bank said the global recession this year will be deeper than it predicted in March.
Insiders increased their disposals as S&P 500 companies traded at 15.5 times profit on June 2, the highest multiple to earnings in eight months, Bloomberg data show. Equities climbed as the U.S. government and the Fed pledged $12.8 trillion to rescue financial markets during the first global recession since World War II.
Executives at 252 companies in the S&P 500 unloaded shares since March 10, with total net sales reaching $1.2 billion, according to data compiled by Princeton, New Jersey-based InsiderScore, which tracks stocks. Companies with net sellers outnumbered those with buyers by almost 9-to-1 last week, versus a ratio of about 1-to-1 in the first week of the rally.
“They’re looking to take some money off the table because they think the rally will come to an end,” said Ben Silverman, the Seattle-based research director at InsiderScore. “It’s the most bearish we’ve seen insiders, on a whole, in two years.”
The last time there were more U.S. corporations with executives reducing their holdings than adding to them was during the week ended June 19, 2007, the data show. The next month, two Bear Stearns Cos. hedge funds filed for bankruptcy protection as securities linked to subprime mortgages fell apart, helping trigger almost $1.5 trillion in losses and writedowns at the world’s biggest financial companies and the 57 percent drop in the S&P 500 from Oct. 9, 2007, to March 9, 2009.
Insider selling during the height of the dot-com bubble in the first quarter of 2000 climbed to a record $41.7 billion on a net basis, according to data compiled by Bethesda, Maryland- based Washington Service. The sales coincided with the end of the S&P 500’s bull market and preceded a 2 1/2 year slump that erased half the value of U.S. equities.
‘Clouding the Picture’
Bill Latimer, the director of research at O’Shaughnessy Asset Management, says insider transactions aren’t an accurate barometer of stock performance because executives often reduce their stakes for reasons that have little to do with a company’s prospects.
“When you’re dealing with an individual’s buying or selling, you’re clouding the picture with what their specific financial situation may be,” said Latimer, whose Stamford, Connecticut-based firm oversees about $4.5 billion.
During January 2008, executives at New York Stock Exchange- listed companies bought more shares than they sold for the first time since 1995, Washington Service data show. The S&P 500 slumped 40 percent in the next 12 months.
Citigroup Inc. CEO Vikram Pandit purchased 750,000 on Nov. 13, paying an average of about $9.25 apiece, the New York-based bank said in a U.S. Securities and Exchange Commission filing. Citigroup closed last week at $3.17.
U.S. laws require executives and directors to disclose stock purchases or disposals within two business days to the SEC.
Sharer, the chairman at Thousand Oaks, California-based Amgen since January 2001, disposed of $1.76 million worth in the world’s largest biotechnology company on May 12, an SEC filing showed.
The sale of 36,411 shares trimmed his unrestricted stake by 13 percent and came three weeks after the company reported first-quarter earnings that trailed analysts’ estimates. Between May 22 and June 9, five Amgen officers, including George Morrow, the executive vice president for global commercial operations, and Roger Perlmutter, the executive vice president for research and development, sold a combined $6.4 million.
“From time to time, and within appropriate trading windows, Amgen executives exercise their right to sell shares for tax planning, to prevent stock option expiries and other purposes,” spokesman David Polk wrote in an e-mailed response to questions.
Federated’s Christopher and Thomas Donahue together sold about 65,000 for $1.68 million on June 4 and June 5 through a family trust, according to SEC filings. The transactions were the biggest outright sales for each since December 2005 and followed a 52 percent rally this year that recouped more than a third of 2008’s stock losses.
The executives began selling two days after the third- biggest U.S. manager of money-market funds, which was founded by their father, John Donahue, in 1955, reached an almost eight- month high compared with reported profits.
Federated said in a statement on June 8 that the officers sold as part of a “longer-term” diversification strategy. Ed Costello, a spokesman, said the Pittsburgh-based company had no comment beyond the news release.
“If these folks don’t have confidence in the company and don’t feel that it’s an attractive value, then why as a shareholder would I think it’s a good value?” said Jason Cooper, who helps manage $3 billion at 1st Source Investment Advisors in South Bend, Indiana.
Amgen shares dropped 2.6 percent to $50.99 today, while Federated slumped for a seventh day, tumbling 5.4 percent to $23.15, for the longest streak of losses since 2003.
Seven directors at CME Group Inc., the world’s largest futures exchange, disposed of almost $3 million since May. John Pietrzak sold for the first time since becoming a director of the Chicago-based company in July 2007, according to data compiled by InsiderScore. Board member Joseph Niciforo cut his stake by 28 percent. CME shares sank 7.4 percent, the most since May 7, to $303.48 today.
“It’s our policy to never comment on any executive sale of shares,” said Allan Schoenberg, a CME spokesman.
Nine insiders at TiVo Inc., the maker of digital video recorders, sold $10.6 million between June 3 and June 11, after the Alviso, California-based company jumped to a five-year high. That was the most by value over a one-month period in more than five years, InsiderScore data show.
A 53 percent jump in TiVo’s stock on June 3 initiated trading plans of some insiders such as CFO Anna Brunelle, who cut her holdings by 17 percent, according to regulatory filings to the SEC compiled by InsiderScore.
The so-called 10b5-1 programs allow executives to cash out a portion of their holdings when stocks reach predetermined prices. Brunelle also sold through her plan from exercising options with average expiration dates about seven years away, InsiderScore data show.
Geoffrey Yang, a TiVo director since 1997, cut his stake by 8.4 percent, raising $1.5 million. The sale was the first by Yang in almost two years. Chief Technical Officer James Barton reaped an 89 percent profit from selling $2.8 million that he received from exercising stock options that were due to expire in four years, according to InsiderScore. TiVo shares dropped 5 percent to $10.50 today.
Whit Clay, a spokesman for TiVo, declined to comment.
Electronic Arts Inc. Chairman Lawrence Probst and two other executives sold a combined $1.2 million worth since May 28, after the world’s second-largest video-game publisher jumped 49 percent from an almost nine-year low.
‘Out of Steam’
Probst, who joined the Redwood City, California-based company in 1984 and was CEO between 1991 and 2007, trimmed his holdings by 25,000 shares on May 28, SEC filings show.
Frank Gibeau, president of the EA games division, slashed his stake by 66 percent after unloading about $538,300 worth the same day, the filings show. The sales came three weeks after Electronic Arts, which makes “Madden NFL,” the world’s most- popular sports video game, reported a narrower fiscal fourth- quarter loss than analysts estimated. Shares of the company retreated 3.6 percent, the most since May 7, to $19.97 today.
Jeff Brown, a spokesman for Electronic Arts, didn’t immediately return a telephone call seeking comment.
“It does make you wonder if the market rebound is running out of steam,” said Scott Leiberton, the managing director for the equities division of Principal Global Investors, which oversees $189 billion in Des Moines, Iowa. “If you see broad- based selling among the management team or large holders, that’s generally not a good sign because presumably who knows that business better than they do?”
To contact the reporters on this story:
Lynn Thomasson in New York at firstname.lastname@example.org;
Michael Tsang in New York at email@example.com.
Complete article at:
The Great American Bubble Machine, Matt Taibbi
From tech stocks to high gas prices, Goldman Sachs has engineered every major market manipulation since the Great Depression — and they’re about to do it again
Complete article at:
Patients Shortchanged by Big Pharma
Feb 15 2008 (Vol. 28, No. 4)
Point of View
Patients Shortchanged by Big Pharma
Drug Firms Focus Sights on Shareholder Profits rather than Innovative Therapeutics
According to Bill Burns, chief of Roche’s pharmaceutical division, the dominant business model in pharmaceuticals is the “me-slightly-different-marketed-like-hell” model. It is a model based on overpromotion of me-too drugs in order to transform them into blockbusters. It is also a model, according to Burns who was quoted in a 2005 Barron’s article, from which the industry has to depart.
In the meantime, expensive new drugs with low therapeutic benefits continue to flood the market. “Today’s medicines finance tomorrow’s miracles,” says GlaxoSmithKline’s advertising slogan. Pharmaceutical firms remind us endlessly that the high price of drugs is justified by the high costs of therapeutic innovation. The exceptional profit rates of this industry are thus, frequently justified by the hope they give sick people. Profits, we are told, are the key to R&D, and R&D promises to bring better health.
The fact is that while the pharmaceutical industry’s financial situation has never been better, the situation in terms of therapeutic innovation has never been worse. The industry’s business model seems more than ever based on the aggressive promotion of low-benefit drugs. This model’s sole purpose is to extend the lifetime of patents on existing drugs. Blockbusters are created through enormous promotional campaigns aimed at every level of the medical establishment.
The goal is to influence prescription habits even if the drug prescribed does not result in improved health. For instance, the New York Times recently reported that although the minimum 40% of statin prescriptions are considered baseless, recent clinical trials showed that Zetia, a cholesterol-lowering drug prescribed to one million people a week, plus generic Zocor did not have any medical benefits over Zocor alone.
In a 2007 issue of Prescrire, a French independent medical journal that analyzes new drugs entering that country’s market every year, it was reported that, of the 535 new drugs entering the market in 2006, 10 represented a significant therapeutic progress, 469 did not contribute to the progress of the existing pharmacopeia, and 17 were labeled by doctors as potential dangers for public health. From this perspective, it is not surprising to learn that entire generations of new drugs (e.g., to fight schizophrenia or hypertension) are, in fact, less efficient than the preceding generation, even if they cost 10 times more than the previous drug for which the patent has expired.
Economists have a hard time explaining this state of affairs. They normally believe that the profits of a firm are a reward for the social wealth it has created. Traditional market corollaries, however, do not apply to this industry, which has a great monopolistic capacity. As the business historian Alfred D. Chandler wrote in his 2006 book, Shaping the Industrial Century: The Remarkable Story of the Evolution of the Modern Chemical and Pharmaceutical Industries, barriers to entry have been so high since the 1920s that no new company has managed to become one of the world’s top 30 pharmaceutical firms since then.
Access to the market is so restrained that smaller firms have no choice but to let themselves be bought by bigger players. This is the only way they can gain access to global distribution networks. Should we then be surprised when we observe that, in this industry, for every dollar spent in real investment to create new productive capacities (gross fixed capital formation), $10 are invested to buy back already existing productive capacities (mergers and acquisitions).
R&D versus Marketing
Research and development has become secondary for the dominant firms, which have managed to externalize the bulk of R&D to smaller players that they will simply buy back in case of promising results. The focus of bigger players is rather to transform medical practices and habits with big-scale promotion campaigns.
In a recent study published in PloS Medicine in January, Joel Lexchin and I showed that, in the U.S., the pharmaceutical industry spends two times more on promotion than on R&D. Of the almost $58 billion spent annually to promote drugs, only $4 billion is earmarked for direct-to-consumer advertising. Thus, on average, $61,000 is spent per year per practicing physician. We consider those numbers to be incomplete since they do not include off-label promotion or other possible unethical forms of promotion.
The top pharmaceutical firms have become brand-management firms. Their relative promotional budgets are more significant than those of pure brand-management firms like PepsiCo. Pfizer spends more promoting Celebrex than Budweiser spends promoting its beer.
Pharmaceutical promotion has reached every level of medical research and practice. Big pharma funds universities, supports pseudoscientific publications, donates massive quantities of samples, sponsors continuing medical education, and makes frequent doctor visits.
Advertising campaigns demonstrate increasing stealth. According to a 2007 PloS Medicine article by Sergio Sismondo, confidential documents from Pfizer, made public in a trial, showed that 85 scientific articles on sertraline, the antidepressant Zoloft, were coordinated by the firm’s public relations company. Pfizer had itself produced a critical mass of articles that were favorable to the drug; Sismondo places the number between 18% and 40%, thus allowing its representatives to drown out any unfavorable study to convince doctors. The Vioxx scandal rests on the same premise.
This general state of affairs is increasingly in the news and the public is more and more aware of the abundance of drugs with unfulfilled promises and the paucity of genuine breakthroughs. In a page 1 story in Le Monde last month, it was disclosed that drug companies themselves are pining for a new business model based on innovation and one in which the image of life-saving researchers in white coats could replace the image of greedy sales representatives descending on physicians.
We must not overlook the fact, however, that with net returns on equity of 28% for the ten top pharmaceutical firms in the last decade and with 77% of all net benefits going to shareholders, this low-innovation, aggressive-promotion business model is a financial success. As long as new regulations or the public do not transform the actual financial incentives of this industry, we should not underestimate the entropic force of a business model that serves well the interests of the shareholders’ wallets, even if it is to the detriment of patients’ health.
Complete article at:
Genetic Engineering & Biotechnology News
Marc-André Gagnon is completing a Ph.D. dissertation in political science at York University about capitalization in the pharmaceutical industry and teaches economics, political science, and sociology at Université de Montréal and Université du Québec à Montréal.
Nice Work If You Can Get It
Life and Labor in Precarious Times
By Andrew Ross, NYU’s Department of Social and Cultural Analysis
“There are no easy answers in Ross’s often surprising case studies of work in the new millennium. His reach is global, from North America to Europe to Asia, as he teases out the contradictory character of contemporary employment.” Cary Nelson, University of Illinois
“Ross takes us on a wide-ranging journey through the global economy to analyze the dynamics of precarious work in the twenty-first century. Along the way, he poses an urgent question: can creative-class professionals make common cause with low-wage laborers, based on their shared experience of economic insecurity?” Ruth Milkman, University of California, Los Angeles
In Nice Work If You Can Get It, Andrew Ross surveys the new topography of the global workplace and finds an emerging pattern of labor instability and uneven development on a massive scale. Combining detailed case studies with lucid analysis and graphic prose, he looks at what the new landscape of contingent employment means for workers across national, class, and racial lines — from the emerging “creative class” of high-wage professionals to the multitudes of temporary, migrant, or low-wage workers. Developing the idea of “precarious livelihoods” to describe this new world of work and life, Ross explores what it means in developed nations — comparing the creative industry policies of the United States, United Kingdom, and European Union, as well as developing countries — by examining the quick fire transformation of China’s labor market. He also responds to the challenge of sustainability, assessing the promise of “green jobs” through restorative alliances between labor advocates and environmentalists. Ross argues that regardless of one’s views on labor rights, globalization, and quality of life, this new precarious and “indefinite life,” and the pitfalls and opportunities that accompany it is likely here to stay and must be addressed in a systematic way. A more equitable kind of knowledge society emerges in these pages” less skewed toward flexploitation and the speculative beneficiaries of intellectual property, and more in tune with ideals and practices that are fair, just, and renewable.
By Archie Kennedy
We are in the midst of class war. You may not have noticed; one side isn’t fighting. It’s the side that isn’t even aware that classes exist. The other side are keenly aware.
For the docile side to fight the fight, they first must be aware that they are on a side, are being fought against, and that they are being attacked by the enemy. Class war isn’t new and neither is ubiquitous oblivion to it. It has just become and will continue to become considerably hotter and wider. It’s about time that we take notice that we are under attack.
Racism, sexism, nationalism are a few of the -isms that have been written about, debated, and discussed in popular leftist publications and in schools of social work over the past several decades. Classism has been relatively taboo however. It has been regulated to red publications and venues that sport stacks of large red lettered newspapers sold by religious Marxists that are generally treated like pariahs. These Marxists use a lot of words like bourgeoisie, proletariat, and dialectical materialism. They may be strong in debate and are well armed with economic, social, and historical analysis but nobody listens to them.
Oddly enough, they might be onto something. Class oppression is real and so is class war.
War on the poor has been continuing unabated over the years and their deprivation has been increasing since at least the 1980s. You may not have noticed because you were not one of them. But the security that the working class has enjoyed over the past half a century is on very shaky ground. Maybe we should have listened to some of that religious ‘whatever you do to the least of my brethren…’ because now we will be joining the ranks of ‘the least of you brethren’ in greater numbers. Many have. Unemployment is a threat to most and many have already been cast to the lower castes.
The war on the poor that you may have not been noticing has been persistent and relentless.
Not so long ago, for instance, various jurisdictions in Canada passed laws to forbid poor people from panhandling. In B.C. and in other jurisdictions such as Toronto, the ‘Beautiful People’ are armed with safe streets acts or similar legislation aimed at removing unsightly poor people from their beautiful streets. The legislation sports names like ‘The Safe Streets Act’ to indicate to noble taxpayers that these people are a danger to us.
In the mid 80’s governments everywhere threw people out of mental hospitals with the promise that they would supply money for less intrusive measures such as community care. That was a promise that was, predictably, broken. And now that they have done this, they are worried that those who are panhandling are neglected mentally ill people and present a danger to pedestrians. That’s how karma works. If you kill and hurt little animals, little animals will give you the creeps. If you kill and hurt poor people, poor people will give you the creeps.
But poor people are simply that – poor people. Panhandlers are youth fleeing abuse, people that cannot find work, people with addiction problems, people with neglected mental health problems and people that have been thrown out of work due to the instability of capitalism. Increasingly, poor people are victims of neo-liberal globalization, people that have been thrown out of work because auto manufacturing plants are shutting down even though people still need cars. People are going homeless even though many houses are emptied each day. But the absurdities and contradictions of capitalism remain unnoticed for the most part.
Anti-poor people laws were passed prohibiting people from employing themselves with squeegees and laws have been passed prohibiting poor people from sleeping in this or under that. This war, the war on the poor, has been in full swing for a long long time. It is about to ratchet up considerably. Many of us were/are just a firing, a redundancy, or an accident away from inhabiting the forgotten ignored class. A reality few of us want to accept.
When we think of violence, we generally think of war, or revolution, or shooting or some sort of physical brutality. But now, children, women and men all over the world are dying because they can’t access or are not free to get what they need to survive. In the capitalist world freedom and money are synonymous. They are dying because they don’t have the money to get the food or the medicine or medical attention they need.
When we ignore the plight of people in need we are committing an act of silent violence. There are people in our communities that are unemployed, under-employed, elderly, and disabled that live and die in unbearable misery because they can’t access what they need. It is held back from them because they can’t pay for it. This situation is cruel and barbaric. And it is a sin inherent to but not exclusive to capitalism.
Human needs and especially vital human needs should never be at the mercy of the instability of capitalism or the whims of philanthropists. The needs of Torontonians are different in many respects to the needs of hunter gatherers in the Amazon. As societies change and evolve, so do needs. In Toronto you can freeze to death and you can have your power cut or face eviction. What statistics don’t measure is the fear and subjective reality that people in these conditions must live with.
At this point one billion people on the planet face daily starvation. This brutality isn’t considered a crisis. But when billionaires profits are in jeopardy it is portrayed in mainstream media with hysteria and panic. To calm the privileged class many billions of tax dollars are granted to them to pay for their crimes.
In modern, complex societies human needs grow. The structural backdrop of capitalism appears to be unable to meet the most basic needs of substantial segments of the population. At what point will the plight of the poor be considered a crisis? The unsettling fact of the matter is, humanity has been in crisis all along.
The Current Crisis
We have with us now what is generally thought of as an economic crisis. And it is certainly a crisis. Our economic worlds are in the midst of massive upheaval. Even the ultra wealthy are in danger of being affected.
This crisis will find its bottom at some point and when that happens, unlike typical recessions, the jobs that have been lost won’t be coming back. The crisis will be deemed to be over because the ultra wealthy will find a measure of stability for their massive plunder. The reality of increased and permanent homelessness and joblessness will remain. It will become a new status quo. There will remain a constituency of the working class that will still be okay, a large part of that population will have fallen to poverty, and those that have been poor all along will be worse off. But then and now, the stock market numbers will be percolating and the collective response from mainstream media will be: Crisis, what crisis?
The economic crisis has been handled by the wealthy classes and their political gophers by landing the heaviest blows on the chin of the working class. Workers were forced to accept massive job and wage cuts. The working class across the board has had to accept very tough measures and a tax bill (especially in the USA) that is inconceivable.
What is happening and will continue to happen is further reductions to social programs and to programs reliant on public spending such as health care and education. Where private sector employees have taken it on the chin thus far, the public sector will be next. Government spending is bound to be slashed to the bone.
Politicians and pundits talk of green shoots in the economy. The fact is, we are still hemorrhaging jobs and they shout for glee when the flow of blood is less than the month before. Just this week economists in the USA anticipated such a decrease but the numbers have shown far more first time benefits applications than they thought. Initial jobless claims rose by 15,000 to 627,000. And in the USA, the number of people receiving unemployment benefits rose from 3 million to 9 million since the beginning of the year. In time, those people will run out of unemployment benefits and when that happens, if you squint your eyes just right, you’ll be able to look at statistics and say; hey, there’s a green shoot.
Social safety nets are in bad shape all over but the broken, tattered, and completely inadequate social safety nets in the USA were that way before this crisis occurred. Things are bound to get much worse for the increasing ranks of the unemployed.
The Unseen Battles of the 1990s
In the 1990s the war on the poor was in full swing. In Canada, the Canada Assistance Act was thrown out by Prime Minister Paul Martin. The Act had provided a measure of social security for all Canadians. It was unceremoniously thrown out to unbearable silence on the part of opposition parties, welfare rights groups, and the media. ‘Work for your welfare’ attitudes were the latest fad. In that period funding to health care and other social programs was slashed to the bone. Politicians were quick to blame bond rating agencies for the need to slash and burn. The Fraser Institute and other right wing lobby groups were shrill and panicked by national and local deficits. These bond rating agencies and think tanks never harass people about funding used to kill foreigners or to prop up the wealthy class. They spout hysterical when a dime is spent to feed somebody but say nothing about funding for war and profits to ammunition makers. They attack expenditures to the poor but never lay a glove on servicing the debt.
At the same time in the USA, Slick Willy brought forward some of the most vile and mean spirited welfare legislation that country has seen. Clintons TANF (Temporary assistance for Needy Families) placed the problem of poverty squarely on the laps of the victims. Aside from the notion that in an area where x% are unemployed because that’s how many jobs actually exist, the implicit assumption has always been that the unemployed are so because they choose it that way. As it is, one in seven Michigan residents are on food stamp assistance but individuals are required to show they are looking for work when there is none. As irrational as this seems, it isn’t. It is about fixing blame on the victim.
The Working Class
The old alliance and silent deal between large scale capitalists and the middle classes has been scrapped. This is not a recession. This is a matter of large scale capitalists behaving like pigeons in a skinner box. They are simply programmed to maximize profits and if that means shipping manufacturing plants to places where they can pay for assemblage with pennies, that’s what they will do. Expecting anything else is folly and it is stupid. This is not a recession if recession implies ‘temporary’. This is a full scale shift in fortunes and in manufacturing.
The middle classes have been asleep for the most part while the poor have been under heavy artillery fire. The life of comforts that comes with nesting under American and British hegemony tended to encourage political apathy. Why upset the apple cart when me and mine are doing okay?
The middle/working classes have been living off not only capitalist exploitation of foreign resources. They have also been living off the demands for goods and services that are drying up domestically. And for people in that situation; people that have been oblivious to class consciousness and oblivious to the starvation and oppression of our brothers and sisters at home and abroad, you have been sold out by your masters. They have no loyalty to nations, religions, or to anything except to their own class. Where ‘they’ (the poor) have been you are. In fact, you have always been there. As much as it hurts to say this; you/we are not one of them. You/we are not in that class no matter how many status symbols you can/we afford. They (the owners of the politicians) simply don’t care what happens to us.
The banks and the large corporations have created the present crisis. And it is they that are reaping a financial harvest at the moment courtesy of the taxpayers. They don’t need to worry. Their employees, the Federal Reserve’s Bernanke and President Obama will ensure that they are unharmed. They will collude and are colluding with the operators/gamblers and ensure that the games that have brought the economy to this crisis continues. The Federal Reserve has underwritten and guaranteed about $13 trillion to keep their gambling addiction alive. And at the same time, the lower classes are in full crisis. Sinister and foggy financial credit default swaps and other mechanisms to keep the game alive are still in the cards. They fooled us once, they fooled us twice and they will fool us again. The shell games should be outlawed and the fraudsters that have reaped from the games should be jailed – but they are rewarded and the shell games continue. They are rewarded because it is they that pay and control the Bernankes and the Obamas.
We are living in a world where the instruments needed to produce for everybody are available. They are shut down. We live in a world where the numbers of homeless are increasing at an alarming rate and homes sit empty, while the homeless sleep in cars, under bridges, or anywhere that seems safe.
And on it goes. And on it goes because we believe we live in a classless society. And if you really believe that, ask one of them out for a beer. In reality, they don’t associate with the likes of you/me.
Archie Kennedy An associate editor of MWC is an activist/organizer and has organized in coal mines, with professionals, and with victims of poverty. He has worked as a coal miner, a community worker, a teacher and is now a social worker. Archie writes polemical articles on human rights, political economy, and war. You may find his articles archived on his blog, Left Lite http://www.leftlite.blogspot.com/
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ABYSS OF JOBLESSNESS: THE ECONOMY CAN’T IMPROVE UNLESS WE PUT PEOPLE BACK TO WORK
By Bob Herbert, The New York Times
How do you put together a consumer economy that works when the consumers are out of work?
CNN’s Feyerick advances charge that hate crimes bill could ban speech
CNN’s Deborah Feyerick reported the charge from “some lawmakers and religious groups” that the hate crimes bill “could be used to criminalize conservative speech on abortion or homosexuality.” But she did not note that the bill specifically states, “Nothing in this Act shall be construed to allow prosecution based solely upon an individual’s expression of racial, religious, political, or other beliefs.”
Borowitz Report – An Extremely Personal Note from Andy Borowitz
June 29, 2009
An Extremely Personal Note from Andy Borowitz
About the Future of the Borowitz Report
Since 2001, The Borowitz Report has been there to provide you real-time fake news. And unlike other fake news sources, like The New York Times, The Borowitz Report is free.
But the cost of keeping you misinformed has never been higher. That’s why I’m asking you to keep The Borowitz Report publishing by buying my new book, Who Moved My Soap? The CEO’s Guide to Surviving in Prison: The Bernie Madoff Edition.
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One last thing: please forward this email to everyone you share the Borowitz Report with. They’ve had a free ride long enough.
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Andy’s Upcoming Events
July 2, 2009 at 9:00PM
Come see Andy in his only scheduled show of 2009 and celebrate the launch of his new book, Who Moved My Soap? The CEO’s Guide to Surviving in Prison: Bernie Madoff Edition
92Y Tribeca, 200 Hudson Street
For tickets go to 92Y Tribeca
July 9, 2009 at 7:00PM
Andy performs a free stand-up show and talks to his wife Olivia Gentile about her new book, LIFE LIST: A Woman’s Quest for the World’s Most Amazing Birds. Olivia will sign her book and Andy will sign copies of his new book, WHO MOVED MY SOAP? The CEO’s Guide to Surviving in Prison: Bernie Madoff Edition.
Politics & Prose Bookstore, 5015 Connecticut Ave.
“Needless to say, this not great news for the Republican party. So many prominent Republicans have been caught in these situations lately: Mark Sanford, Larry Craig, David Vitter, John Ensign from Nevada. And do you want to know why this is happening? The gays. They’ve destroyed the institution of marriage and now this is what we get”
three thousand word
Creators Syndicate Inc.
Jun 28, 2009
Mike Keefe: Democrat and Republican Affairs
Signe Wilkinson: state taxpayers/state businesses/ state gov’t