The Unsinkable brian cork™

Brian Patrick Cork is living the Authentic Life

break the banks

December12

The financial industry, lead by banks, predators all, have spent an astonishing $300 million in 2009 with lobbyists trying to hold updated regulation as bay.

In his weekly radio and Internet address Saturday, President Barack Obama said the economy is only now beginning to recover from the: “irresponsibility of Wall Street institutions that gambled on risky loans and complex financial products…”. This in pursuit of short-term profits and big bonuses with little regard for long-term consequences.

It’s been awhile since I’ve agreed withObama on much of anything. But, this is me adding a nod where it’s due.

By the way… The Obama also speaks up on 60 Minutes this Sunday night.  The fifteen families (Prudent Society) have an advanced screening of the Sunday interview. But he says: “the people on Wall Street still don’t get it. They’re still puzzled why it is that people are mad at the banks. Well, let’s see. You guys are drawing down $10 million, $20 million bonuses after America went through the worst economic year in decades, and you guys caused the problem.”

I’d prefer he not use the terms “you guys”. But, the point is appreciated.

How many of you readers know able-bodied businesses that have been eviscerated by their banks closing lines-of-credit (they need it to fund their lobbying efforts), only because they can, and, given the current bail-out plan?

Little known fact #42: There is a growing number of foreclosures driven by banks closing those lines that may be tied to 2nd mortgages (this is what many true entrepreneurs do, mind you).

How many of you have a form letter from a credit card company changing terms, and compromising your best interests?

It makes more sense, if you are a banker sorting out ways to optimize bonuses, for banks to be part of the problem as opposed to a solution.

Americans don’t choose to be victimized by mysterious fees, changing terms and pages and pages of fine print.

We are not being represented with and by truth and light.

And, while innovation should be encouraged, risky schemes that threaten our entire economy should not. We can’t afford to let the same phony arguments and bad habits of Washington kill financial reform and leave American consumers and our economy vulnerable to another meltdown.

All Prudent and optimistic Gentlemen should be at the ready. Look for our signal.

Peace be to my Brothers and Sisters.

Brian Patrick Cork

treasury this

August28

You are going to start reading, here-and-there, short stories carefully generated by an Obama-biased media, about the Federal Deposit Insurance Corporation (FDIC). It’s under historic pressure trying to support the deposits held by a rapidly growing list of failed banks.

All the history aside; someone else can offer-up dates, numbers, and statistics – the number to watch, at this point in time is the balance of the United States Treasury itself. I can’t help but notice, because I always look to read between the lines, is that number, and certainly a topic, the media and the government is tip-toeing around. And, when this administration says “don’t worry”, that means you need to be wary.

When you get a little bit of information, it usually means there is a lot of pressure that requires some bleeding off.

Just be aware. This needs to be a concern. Guide yourselves accordingly.

I can’t say this has much, if anything, to do with that smoking rabbit; but, a Prudent Society of Optimistic Gentlemen are certainly watching, yes they surely are.

Peace be to my Brothers and Sisters.

Brian Patrick Cork

information is Not always power

April22

Wall Street tumbles as investors dump financials – by Tim Paradis – April 21, 2009.

“Long-present unease about soured loans bubbled over on Monday after Bank of America Corp. said it set aside $13.4 billion to cover lending losses even as it posted earnings that beat expectations. Other big banks have also increased loss provisions in the past two weeks.”

So… Mr. Paradis was mistaken. And, despite this sort of irresponsible poorly-researched reporting, the Dow took a short-term hit (however, it hardly qualified as a tumble under any circumstances), but then finished up 127.83 for the day as evidenced below:

2292

Maybe citizens are wising up. Or, perhaps we can’t be bothered with bad news any longer. It’s Spring after all, and high time to get on with a booming economy. No more shenanigans say we.

A real issue, although not boldly stated (other than here on this Blog) is general sense of unease around whether government officials and executive leadership understand what tools are needed to offer a long-term economic solution. For example, President Barack Obama has never held a real job over the course of his post graduate and professional life (non-profit work, really does not count because the rules, expectations and results are simply different. And, being a lawyer makes it worse because they tend to make up or bend rules to suit their own agenda).

“Separately, The Wall Street Journal reported that banks receiving government bailout money are having a hard time making loans.”

…what?

Did Obama specifically charter the banks to deploy federal funds to stimulate the economy through loans? Isn’t this why we are going to take an enormous tax hit later this year?

I have discussed this topicology (I made that word up) on this Blog before. For a recent example, consider my fairly recent post: the unexpected is so predictable. We have sophomoric executive leadership making decisions that come across like shooting from the hip, that make them the whole lot appear like chimpanzees with shot guns. It gets worse when you have by-line crazed goofy reporters Paradis, Crutsinger and Cramer to name only just a few), with questionable credentials, positing ill-conceived comments that rattle generally misinformed investors and citizens.

A crucial lesson I learned as a firman in Colorado was:

“It’s what you don’t know (worse, what you don’t see) that can kill you faster”.

It’s too easy to form a belief or opinion based on a quick read, or what you hear. We need to be informed. But, don’t just take my word for it. Relish any opportunity to question everything and accept nothing. God gives us discernment. It’s a fascinating, vital tool.

Information is not always power. Power must be used for good.

Peace be to my Brothers and Sisters.

Brian Patrick Cork

is Bernie Madoff Reflecting or Representing?

March13

As many of you know, I am always considering examples of how we reflect and represent God (possibly the Christ element), and how we reconcile all of that with our lives. That uncertain but earnest quest began here – and, is threaded throughout this Blog.

Meanwhile…

History will decide who Madoff helped or harmed

Ultimately history will decide who Madoff helped or harmed

The inestimable Mr. Brian Visaggio posited a passionate and singular point of view about Bernie Madoff yesterday on his own Blog Saint Superman entitled: Raw in Moral Poverty.

Following were my own immediate thoughts to his posting:

A couple of thoughts here Brian…

1. I won’t believe that Mr. Madoff’s sons were clueless around the machinations of the company. They are very well educated and highly sophisticated business people in their own right. And, I suspect the elder Mr. Madoff is taking a fall for the family.

2. I would be curious to learn how many people, over the years, actually made multiples on their money as they invested, withdrew, reinvested and repositioned those funds over a thirty year period. For those decades, hundreds thousands of people were happy and content. Taxes were paid. Ironically, the IRS has an interesting challenge before them in determining how many of the “dividends” distributions paid out over the years represent “ill-gotten” gains, and how that might affect taxes.

3. What role or responsibility do the numerous charities, cities and schools that benefited from Madoff’s legendary generosity (buckets of millions) share in all of this?

4. What is the Securities and Exchanges (SEC) own culpability in this matter? Over the years they have been contacted by numerous professionals that something was not “right” within the Madoff organization and the financial results they published.

Where might “situational ethics” come into play here?

Bernie Madoff pled guilty today. But, I am not sure we will understand precisely what it is he is guilty of (for example, which rules, conduct, actual financial loss, etc) for years to come.

There is a legal term called scienter that makes all of these points a “perfect storm”. It seems that (most) EVERYONE, generally involved – or, at least observing the activity, knew there was something amiss – from the investors themselves, through the Madoff management team, to federal regulators. However, the “American Dream” was afoot.

Now you have multiple groups standing back, with hands on pistols, ready to volley.

Does our society reflect Bernie Madoff? Or, does he represent our society?

[…]

Peace be to my Brothers and Sisters.

Brian Patrick Cork

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What’s All This About?

"What am I looking at?", you might wonder.

Lots of stuff.

Meanwhile, here, I discuss events, people and things in our world - and, my (hardly simplistic, albeit inarticulate) views around them.

You'll also learn things about, well, things, like people you need to know about, and information about companies you can't find anywhere else.

So, while I harangue the public in my not so gentle way, you will discover that I am fascinated by all things arcane, curious about those whom appear religious, love music, dabble in politics, loathe the media, value education, still think I am an athlete, and might offer a recipe.

All the while, striving mightily, and daily, to remain a prudent and optimistic gentleman - and, authentic.

brian cork by John Campbell





photos by John Campbell

 

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