Category Archives: Business

Why I Don’t Write About AIG Anymore

So someone asked as to why I am not writing updates about AIG anymore.  The simple answer is, my work is done.  The whole point was to draw attention to AIG, before the financial crisis.  I knew it was rotten and now, so does everyone else.  So I don’t have to write about AIG anymore, the word is out, my work is done and I am pleased to see people are paying more attention to the likes of AIG.

You should not trust this company, be cautious and be careful when dealing with them.  They work for you, not the otherway around.

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Filed under Business, Consumer Activism, Consumerism, Economics, Globalization, Government

Vitamin C Not Made in China, Updated

Ok, so some people want an update on the Vitamin C post.  It’s a bit dated, so this will help update the list.  For those of you who do not know, China produces the bulk of vitamin C in the world.  They got that way by the government of China subsidizing the production cost of vitamin C, allowing them to undercut everyone else on the market until they drove everyone else out of the market.  For your information, that’s a violation of the WTO of which they are a member of and are not suppose to do such unfair trade practices. 

 

This is in an update, so go read the old post and the comments and then read this one.  Don’t expect a long list since almost ALL vitamin C sold in the US, comes from China.  In all honesty, get your vitamin C from natural sources!  The Chinese in a Wall Street Journal article defended their practices of price fixing, they don’t want to play fair and they have proven to not care about your health. 

 

My best advice, advocate at the local, state and federal level for country of origin labeling for all products sold in the US.  Then you will know what you are getting and can make a real informed choice.

 

Here’s what I have found:

 

Vitamin C foundation 

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Filed under Business, Consumer Activism, Consumerism, Food, Globalization, International Trade

What AIG Doesn’t Want You to Know

You might have noticed, at least I did, that since we gave AIG way more money than we should, they don’t have commercials on TV. Oh, but wait, they do! They just don’t call it AIG anymore, they want you to think that the company is someone else. But since AIG is so damn cheap and their marketing always sucked, it was pretty obvious when I saw commercials for Matrix Direct and Century 21 Insurance that it was really, AIG.

First Matrix Direct was acquired by AIG in 2007. Their commercial is an AIG commercial in fact is almost word for word the same. They were so lazy they didn’t even bother to change the graphics that said AIG to Matrix Direct. If you are going to try and pretend you are not something you are, at least change the text.

Also in 2007, AIG about 21st Century Insurance, they are on TV for auto insurance. Now this is an actual new commercial but they style is classic AIG, lame, tacky and misleading, so it was obvious to me that it was AIG.

Both commercial are currently playing so if you see them, just remember, they are AIG, the company that stole our money. So don’t give them even more money because we know they can’t handle it, you might as well burn the cash with the way they operate.

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Bernanke Most Mad at AIG

I was watching Ben’s latest visit to the senate and when asked what made him the most angry about the financial crisis, he said, AIG.  Reason, AIG showed no constraint on their greed and this is what caused us to spend billions bailing out these fools. 

 

Do everyone a favor, boycott hiring AIG employees.  Bernanke himself has labeled them the worst of the worst, for once, I agree with him on something!  Do you want someone who brought down the economy, running your company?  Don’t hire them.

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The AIG Analysis

Months ago I promised an analysis of the AIG bailout.  Unlike AIG, I didn’t get a bailout and have spent my time, keeping businesses afloat that are the real victims of this financial crisis.  So, that’s why I’m late with this.  There is a lot to this situation but I have made it very simple, after all, AIG employees are going to be reading this, they don’t get anything complex, like derivatives.

 

To really understand the current crisis, you have to way back to the late 90’s.  Back then, the head of what is now Citigroup, had a dream!  His dream was a supermarket style financial services company.  He believed in this dream so much, that he lobbied congress like nobody’s business to change depression era laws that prohibited him from seeing his dream become a reality.  Other financial firms like AIG saw a chance to go from an insurance giant to a financial services giant and joined in the lobbying efforts.  Eventually, both parties signed off on dismantling those laws that prevented this idea from happening.  They said times had changed, we were in no fear of a recession.  After all, it was the dotcom era, people were rich!

 

Of course soon after that, things changed, the bubble burst, Enron, 9/11, etc…  But those “scrappy” financial services firms clung to the idea of this supermarket idea.  AIG grew and grew, it entered areas it had not before, areas it really didn’t understand.  It was 2004 when AIG had to restate its financials, the company that had the tag line “we know money” apparent couldn’t balance its own checkbook.  In 2005 I was looking at the stock and realized, this was a house of cards.  I told my friends, who said I was nuts, but sure enough, I was right.

 

It came as no surprise we had to bail out AIG, they had it coming for a while.  But the fact we are bailing them out is a problem.  See, everyone talks about how FDR brought us out of a recession, fact is, he didn’t.  He prolonged it with his version of the bailouts.  And Bush and Obama are doing the same, prolonging and spreading the pain.

 

AIG is a cancer on our economic system.  Normally you remove it or kill it, when it invades, instead our government feeds it by giving companies like AIG and Citi more money!  Seriously, this is stupid logic, we give money to companies that failed and brought hardship on others who were doing things the right way.  I have no sympathy for AIG, they knew they were screwing up years ago, there is plenty of evidence in the public forum to support that.  If I saw in 2005 with my very limited resources, I’m sure AIG saw it.

 

The fact is, the employees at AIG are getting a comfy deal, we bail them out, and we all lose our jobs while they keep theirs and go on spa retreats.  They are the ones who brought this economic hardship  on us.  These idiots and that’s what they are, lazy, self centered and worthless individuals, should have their personal assets revoked to help pay for this mess.  they created it, they should suffer.  Put them out of a home, they don’t deserve one.  Give them minimum wage until they pay us back.  It’s a joke to say it was only the top management, top management doesn’t do anything but go to meetings all day, the ones who carry out the crimes are the rank and file.  Yeah, the underwriters, the analysts, the brokers, and profit center managers.  Those people knew what they were doing.

 

In the end, they will never pay for what they did, a sign of the corrupt looking out for the corrupt.  But anyone reading this, do us all a favor. NEVER hire anyone from AIG.  Remember, they did this, so why hire someone who would create such a mess, do you want them creating that mess for your company too?  No, so don’t hire anyone from there.  Let them all stay there, contained, then when someone with brains comes along to run this country, we can cut them off like you are suppose to do with cancer.  As long as these people are allowed to do more damage to our economy, damage in some form will continue.  The employees should be punished, every profit center manager, hell, anyone with the title manager.  The only people who shouldn’t are the non-decision makers.  Call center, admin staff, the people that take orders from the managers.  In any big corporation, those people are never the ones at fault, it is the decision makers and decisions are not carried out at the top but at mid level.  Those people, put them on minimum wage, bonus amounts going back to 2004 paid back and put towards the bailout payments.  And then don’t let them quit until the money is paid back, if they want out, they have to work at it.  Everyone else is suffering for their mistakes, why shouldn’t they suffer the most.  It actually is not a lot to ask for when you consider the damage being done to main street because of the greed of these people.  It’s very small indeed.

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AIG Bailout

As I am sure you can guess, I am not happy with the bailout of AIG.  They are not being forced to feel the pain and so the dollar may feel the pain as a result.  This was a bad move.  Protect the policies but not the managers, they showed they do not deserve to money they earn.  Hey, so much for the “We Know Money” slogan!  Told you they didn’t get it.

Anyway, I am still waiting for the dust to settle to do the post analysis, of which I assure you will be worth the read.  The only one’s who were happy today were AIG employees who now get paid thanks to the bailout.  The markets drop of 450 points on top of the 500 earlier this week, shows nobody else is happy.

Since we own their butts, I would like to put in place a pay for performance salary policy and $7 an hour wages at AIG.  That way, we get our $85billion back faster before they benefit.  Once we get our money back they can go back to what they were making but not while my dime is paying for their stupidity.

I was right about their fall, trust me, if they screw us over, the dollar will fall and then who is going to bail us out?  Here’s a hint, nobody.  Do you think the Chinese, Russians or Europeans are going to help?  Don’t hold your breath.  Most would enjoy watching us go down.  Of course if we go, they go, but they dont’ see that until it already is too late. 

I’d also like to thank the AIG employees who come to my blog to the tune of 50 a day.  Since I’m your new boss, please get your ass back to work and stop surfing the net!

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Lessons from Today’s Market

I have been watching the markets for a while.  Having left financials a long time ago and not advocated them, I saw this company for a while.  Having lived through the dotcom bubble, I knew the signs and this has trouble written all over it 3 years ago. 

 

Today the market fell 500 points with big names going down.  A lot of these problems, not all, could have been avoided if we had not deregulated the financial services industry.  I’m not a big fan of big government but sometimes those regulations do help and I think if they had been in place, they would have helped to at least lessen the damages that we saw today.

 

Paulsen doesn’t seem to be concerned with fixing the problem just maintaining things until who ever comes in next.  Hopefully we will learn our lesson from this that sometimes, tempered growth is not all that bad.  Sure, we saw a lot of wealth made after dereg but a lot has vanished as a result.

 

Wall Street has acted like a kid in a candy store and I do remember when this was happening to other industries they said “let them go down, let the market determine who survives.”  So I am not all that happy with bailouts, after all, what is good for the goose is good for the gander.  If Wall Street firms made bad choices let them fail, after all, they should know how to manage money better than they have shown.  They certainly have shown that they are not deserving of the high salaries and perks they heap upon themselves.  So let them fail.  The real engine of America, the small and medium size companies, will go on and continue to produce jobs and that is who we should be helping.  The people who actually create jobs.

 

I think main street is where the real action is for growth in this country and if anyone needs a bail out or stimulus deal, it is main street.  Hopefully someone in Washington will figure that out and start helping the real economic powerhouse of America.  Wall Street, let it purge, it needs it more than a bailout.

 

 

 

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