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Simmering Hope

Hope is the expectation that something outside of ourselves, something or someone external, is going to come to our rescue and we will live happily ever after. – Dr. Robert Anthony

Archive for March, 2009

Mar 16, 2009

“It’s a mob effect” one senior AIG executive said

“Whoever controls the volume of money in our country is absolute master of all industry, and commerce … and when you realize that the system is very easily controlled, one way or another, by a few powerful men at the top, you will not have to be told how periods of inflation, and depression originate.”
-President James Garfield July 2, 1881

It’s late in the evening of March 16, 2009 and by now the outrageous AIG bonuses made headlines all over the world.
$165 million bonuses was payable to executives by Sunday and was part of a larger total payout reportedly valued at $450 million. The company has benefited from more than $170 billion in a federal rescue.
AIG reported this month that it had lost $61.7 billion for the fourth quarter of last year, the largest corporate loss in history. The bulk of the payments at issue cover AIG Financial Products, the unit of the company that sold credit default swaps, the risky contracts that caused massive losses for the insurer.
Following are some headlines, along with my comments in brackets:
– AIG Execs who ruined company to get $165 million in bonuses
– AIG: $90 billion bailout funds went to foreign, domestic banks, including some bailout recipients
– Treasury will use $30 billion infusion to compel AIG to repay bonuses (That is mind boggling!!!!!! Out of a Kafka scenario)
– Cuomo to AIG: Give me information or face subpoenas, court (So far AIG refused to provide information with regards to recipients of the retention payments)
– AIG London office lost up to half a trillion dollars (as a reminder I want to put here the comment made by AIG’s CEO: Eduard Liddy who said “We cannot attract and retain the best and brightest talent to lead and staff the AIG businesses, which are now being operated principally on behalf of the American taxpayers _ if employees believe their compensation is subject to continued and arbitrary adjustment by the U.S. Treasury”)

If you don’t know who Liddy is, let me remind you: Liddy (who came from a hedge fund) was handpicked by Paulson (Goldman Sachs) to be the new CEO of AIG. Quid pro quo: The largest recipient of the funds through 12/31/08 was Goldman.

Today AIG needed hired guards, to protect the offices of Financial Products, the division whose derivatives brought the company to the brink of collapse. Senior managers submitted their resignations… too bad they did not do it before forking in the huge bonuses!!
Some employees did not show up. So beside being arrogant and greedy, they are cowards too.
You bet it’s a mob effect; you bet they should be scared for their lives because instead of turning voluntarily down the contractual bonuses, they pushed into getting or accepted them.

OK, let’s say that the payment plan had been no secret. Beginning in the first quarter of 2008, AIG disclosed the plan to offer retention awards at Financial Products. The unit’s executives, fearing they might lose valuable employees successfully negotiated more than $400 million for their workers, to be paid this month and again next year.
But HELLO!!!!! WTF talent they want to retain? Is the $61.7 billion loss something that should be rewarded? Maybe they are better off letting all the executives paid $8000 an hour go and hiring instead new guys willing to work for a fraction of that money. Some of these executives should be probably in jail, to keep company to Bernard Madoff.

Mar 15, 2009

Baba Vanga- The Bulgarian Prophetess

Baba Vangas’s prophecies made her famous; probably not as famous as Nostradamus, but still, for a humble, illiterate, blind Bulgarian she made headlines all over the world. Most of her prophecies are scary; some of them look like Russian propaganda, but all together, they should be given attention.

According to Baba Vanga, her powers were derived from “invisible creatures” whose origins were unknown. Yet, they could communicate with her.
She also claimed to have healing powers, and would often prescribe herbs and spices to cure diseases and ailments. But she said that people had to heal themselves only with the herbs from the country they live in. (Note to myself: Start investigating natural remedies based on herbs growing in Canada)

She was not afraid of the death, because according to her “after death the body decomposes, like everything alive, but a part of the body – the soul, or something I don’t know how to call it, does not decompose. You talk about second birth. I do not know what it is. But what remains from a man – it’s the soul. It does not decompose, and continues to develop to reach higher states. This is the eternity of soul.”
Vanga never allowed anybody to seek revenge. She believed that a man is born to make good. No bad thing ever remains unpunished. It is always punished and if it does not affect the man who made the wrong, it affects his children.

Baba Vanga would also act as a medium, communicating with the spirits of dead people from up to 200 years in the past. Vanga also prophecized future events. She mentioned that “In 200 years, man will make contact with brothers in mind from other worlds,” a reference to aliens contact. She also mentioned that aliens had been living on our planet for many years, coming from a planet the aliens referred to as ‘Vamfim.’ Some people speculated that ‘Vamfim’ is actually another dimension of planet Mars. Vanga referred to it as ‘the third planet from the Earth’.

Vanga predicted the 9/11 terrorist attacks in the United States, when she said that American brothers would fall under attacks of birds of steel, the perestroika in the USSR, the death of Princess Diana, the sinking of the Kursk submarine and that the 44th US president would be black and would be “the last one.” She went on, saying that following his stepping into position, there would be a spectacular economic crisis and a conflict between north and south states, with Indonesia getting involved. All this cooking up to a third world war in which the nuclear bomb would be used again.
Interesting fact: Baba Vanga mentioned a new religion that will take the earthlings by the storm: The White Brotherhood. More about it later on.

Following are some prophecies for the next 25 years.
2008 – Assassination attempts on four heads of states. Conflict in Indonesia. That becomes one of the causes for the start of WWIII.
2010 – The start of WWIII. The war will begin in November of 2010 and will end in October of 2014. Will start as a normal war, then will include usage of nuclear and chemical weapons.
2011 – Due to the radioactive showers in Northern Hemisphere – no animals or plants will be left. Muslims will begin chemical war against Europeans who are still alive.
2014 – Most of the people in this world will have skin cancer and skin related diseases. (as a result of chemical wars).
2016 – Europe is almost empty
2018 – China becomes the new world power.
2023 – Earth’s orbit will change slightly
2025 – Europe is still barely populated
2028 – Development of a new energy source. (Probably controller thermonuclear reaction) Hunger slowly stops being a problem. Piloted spaceship to Venus deploys.
2033 – Polar ice caps melt. World ocean levels rise.


Mar 10, 2009

Biting the hand that feeds you

A very disturbing story from the Daily Mail; 200 men of the 2nd Battalion Royal Anglian Regiment came back home and instead of a heroes’ welcome parade they got to see around 20 men in Islamic dress held up banners and placards saying ‘Anglian Soldiers Butchers of Basra”, ‘Anglian Soldiers Criminals, Murderers Terrorists’ and ‘Baby killers.

Check this out
Protesters with placards branding the soldiers of the 2nd Battalion The Royal Anglian Regiment ‘cowards’ and ‘killers’
the-protesters-branding-the-soldiers-of-the-2nd-battalion-the-royal-anglican-regiment.jpg

How disgusting is that?
These guys should go back to their countries of origin and see if they can open their big mouths like that, without being thrown in jail or publicly executed. Instead, they fled to the U.K, milk the British system and leave way over their possibilities, in houses subsidized by the British tax payers. And by houses I am referring to the over $1 million mansions. True, not all of them, but enough to make your skin crawl.
I hope nothing like that would ever happen here in Canada, and I hope that the Brits will grow the balls to throw these hypocrites out of their country.

Mar 5, 2009

Is the current recession worse than others?

From what I have read, the economic recession is a fact of life, a cyclic mechanism. Almost every ten years or so, there is an ‘adjustment’
I came to Canada in 1993, right in time to experience the first recession of my life. I had no idea what did it mean. I realized something was wrong when I could not even get a job as a dishwasher or a cleaning lady. I got my first good job six years after my arrival here. We have seen the value of our propriety decreasing two years in a row, only to bounce back and gain extremely well about 10 years after we purchased it.
We sold it just in time. A year after, the real estate market started spiralling downward and so far it has not reached the rock bottom.

But, going back in time, I don’t have any recollection of a ‘global economic crisis’. Which makes me think that this time it’s worse than anything we have experienced before.
I believe that most companies refrained from firing people before Christmas, hoping that maybe there is going to be a stimulus package to help them out of the trouble. But so far nothing substantial has been announced. I mean nothing beside the help already given to banks- which are the most responsible for the deep shit we are in- and the automakers- which are having insanely salaries.
Not to mention the trades. The guy doing renovation on our house charged us with a whopping $45/hour. We stop the work when we ran dry on finances and we had a slight hope that now, when the recession is in full blast, he is going to reconsider his fee. Unfortunately he did not. The reason ‘the economy is bad, we have to make as much money as we can’ WTF??!!!! I am happy to have a job that pays me $30/hour. How the heck to pay him $45?

I was reading that in the States the manufacturing sector bled jobs at the sharpest rate during January in more than 26 years, shedding 207,000 workers. Construction industries dropped 110,000 jobs and retail firms cut 45,000 people last month. And our trades, here in Canada, still ask for insane money.

Internationally speaking it’s normal to see tensions rising.
China cautioned already incoming Secretary of State Hillary Clinton to handle their ties with care. China is unhappy with the U.S. position with regards to Tibet as well with the support given to Taiwan, seen as closer to reunification to the mainland China in the near future.
At the same time, China’s central bank said U.S. accusations that it was manipulating the yuan currency were misleading. Yeah right! As they have not been doing it for years to stimulate their exports.
With a yuan much undervalued the Chinese exporters have a big advantage, which is to be blamed for U.S. job losses and the U.S. trade deficit, which hit a record $256.3 billion in 2007.
Now the Chinese want to make sure that the U.S. will not apply trade protectionism in an attempt to narrow their trade imbalance and continue importing from China. Considering that China is the biggest lender to the U.S. I guess they have the upper hand.

The next bad thing waiting to happen is called ‘credit card crunch’. And you know why? because people are asked to buy, buy, buy to save the economy by spending money they don’t have, but taking advantage of low interest rate. But wait!
The low- almost zero- interest rate set up by the Central Bank of Canada is by no way matched by what Visa or Master Card charge right now. And just wait to see how tragic is going to be when suddenly the rates will increase sharply.
The banks are in winning situation, like the trades. We got screwed not matter what.


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