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President Obama's conference after 100 days

A summary of the highlights

Joemath
post 30.Apr.2009, 05:39 AM
Post #1
Joined: 23.Jun.2007

Last night, President Obama conducted an informative press conference on a number
of important issues percolating to the top early in the tenure of his Administration. i.e.

o Health care, energy and education are top domestic issues.
o There would still be much work to do even if the banking system and auto industry were functioning normally.
o The two wars (Iraq engagement and Afghanistan/Pakistan), North Korea and Iran are significant policy issues.
o The torture issues emanating from the previous Administration may have been handled differently
by eliciting information utilizing less drastic but potentially more effective channels.
o Women can make abortion decisions substantially on their own.
o President Obama is concerned about the most vulnerable citizens in American society.

Journalists have begun to critique the presentation. Obama may have matched FDR in the first
100 days except that FDR had little or no Wall Street visibility in the Administration. Americans
have accepted the notion of getting out of Iraq; however, the voters may not be prepared for growing
casualties in Afghanistan. Health care will be difficult to reform. The knowledgeable people in the
profession like Dr. Gary Null warn that a disease management model may have little success
as opposed to a health/wellness or preventative model. Our first challenge will be to get the
junk out of the American diet either wholly or substantially.

Energy is an area which is proceeding on a number
of fronts like wind mill, geothermal, solar, Artificial Sun and many other modalities.
There is concern that the Obama Administration might place 1-2 auto companies into bankruptcy.
Pakistan and Afghanistan are dangerous areas due to the extremist ideologies prevailing
to some degree currently. President Obama may have liked an additional 2% in
incremental stimulus packages in Europe plus some assistance in stabilizing foreign
policy areas like Afghanistan. Neither seems to be certain from the current perspective.

I believe that unemployment may peak to the 10% - 11% level and recede thereafter.
Some progress must be made to reduce the peak unemployment to single digit levels
well before the next election. President Obama noted that the current difficulties in
the auto industry could turn around due to innovations like the hybrids.
Resultingly, the current buyers' market could evolve to a sellers' market rather soon.

How does the readership view the first 100 days of the Obama Administration?


Joseph S. Maresca
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Joemath
post 30.Apr.2009, 01:07 PM
Post #2
Joined: 23.Jun.2007

Can anyone add insight with regard to the 100 day progress?
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Azzure
post 30.Apr.2009, 02:00 PM
Post #3
Joined: 15.Jan.2009

There's no need to add a comment, because all he did was to show up for another well scripted photo op. The US Main Stream Media is an embarasment and totally in Obama's pocket.

The NY Times reporter Jeff Zeleny question: "What surprised him the most, What enchanted him the most,Troubled him the most, and humbled him the most about the office during these first 100 days, clearly shows why their paper, once one of the most respected in the world, has become a joke, and will soon be bankrupt.

Obama has done nothing positive or significant since Inauguration, yet the MSM is propping him at every turn. It is both embarrassing and sad to watch this shameful display of media bias - even Ms. California has been asked tougher question than Obama.

Obama is no eloquent speaker without his best friend the teleprompter. He is incapable of speaking extemporaneously, and it has become more apparent that his image as a smart and charming leader is a myth concocted by the Libs. & their stooges in the MSM.

The good part is that his draconian changes of the country are beginning to backfire, and the tea parties held around the country two weeks ago are growing. He looks more and more like a one term President.
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Joemath
post 30.Apr.2009, 02:59 PM
Post #4
Joined: 23.Jun.2007

I believe that you're getting a bit ahead of yourself on the re-election issues.
With the exception of FDR, no president has been re-elected with unemployment
hovering at 7%. The expectation is that the unemployment will peak next year at
about 10-11% and then drop substantially THEREAFTER.
I believe that the electorate will be more generous with the Obama Administration
since the severe recession was inherited.

We need increased consumption taxes on junk food in order to reduce the avoidable increments in
medical care expenditures like childhood diabetes. The incidence of child diabetes is like
throwing money right out the window. The soda manufacturers should cut the sugar content by
35-50% immediately and begin searching for herbal substitutes for sugar like stevia, cinnamon,
peppermint and others.

In addition, junk food should be taxed more heavily to discourage unnecessary consumption.
We need to do with junk food the same thing being done with cigarettes; namely, increase the
consumption tax. When I was growing up, a pack of cigs cost $ . 25 . Now the cost is
near $10. a pack. That's helping to curb consumption and fund the medical care delivery
system for diseases like lung cancer.

President Obama has made some important changes in the direction of foreign policy like setting a
date certain for withdrawal from Iraq. This achievement has been counterbalanced somewhat by the
plan to send 80,000 or so troops to Afghanistan and perhaps some for Pakistan.
I guess that the Administration wants to capture Bin Laden and put some of the more radical
elements to pasture- permanently.

Dealings with Iran and North Korea will require more skillful diplomacy.
Significant resources are being directed toward alternative energy.
This is a considerable change from the direction of prior Administrations.
There will be a considerable effort on infrastructure repair.
No-one has any substantive disagreements here.

The efforts in education will be more problematic.
The public schools need assistance with infrastructure.
There is a continuing dispute over how to enforce a semblance of uniformity
in standards and testing. Many teachers oppose standardized tests, yet a basic threshold needs
to be established for comparability throughout the society.
A degree or certificate must mean something in academia and in industry.

None of these challenges will be easy; however, President Obama seems to have an open mind in
assembling the alternative arguments and choosing from a plethora of options.

Joseph S. Maresca
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Braderunner Rennuredarb
post 30.Apr.2009, 04:13 PM
Post #5
Location: Not in Sweden
Joined: 24.May.2005

Joe: Dont be suprised if noone rushes in to reply. Most people here dont follow the gritty details of the US - they pick and pluck what is offered by more local media. As for me? Its been a screwup since Day 1...but whatever...Bush sucked too.

/cracks a beer
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Dazzler
post 30.Apr.2009, 04:16 PM
Post #6
Location: Värmland
Joined: 10.Dec.2006

A hundred days is just a honeymoon. A lot of people know during the honeymoon that it's over but they don't admit it for quite a while.
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Joemath
post 1.May.2009, 03:03 AM
Post #7
Joined: 23.Jun.2007

QUOTE (Braderunner Rennuredarb @ 30.Apr.2009, 05:13 PM) *
Joe: Dont be suprised if noone rushes in to reply. Most people here dont follow the gritty details of the US - they pick and pluck what is offered by more local media. As f ... (show full quote)


The careful work of the transition teams helped to provide a smooth
functioning of the government during a global crisis. I don't see
perfection in the administration of the TARP. The impaired assets
may take a while to yield any significant cash flow. As with the S & Ls,
the government will get money back over a period of years.

The more important task is to plug the regulatory holes between the
findings of the Comptroller of the Currency and the Securities and
Exchange Commission. The same is true for coordination between
foreign banks and foreign bourses.

I'm happy that President Obama has decided to deal forthrightly with usury
and unconscionable contracts of consumers. Bad commercial loans
still need to be purged from the system. Nonetheless, the news
may be much better once the dust settles. i.e.

o The alternative energies will take hold ; such as windmill, solar etc
o Infrastructure engineering like Jacobs Engineering should do well.
o People must replace cars at some point and; therefore , the current
buyers' market will evolve to a sellers' market over time.
o There are trillions of dollars invested in cash accounts which have
been sidelined since the stock slide in the 3,4th Q of 2008.
o Retailers like Walmart have continued to do well despite the current
environment.
o Banks; such as, BB and T of North Carolina, State St. Corp.,
Bank of NY Mellon and US Bancorp (USB) have significant
assets and profits for 2008 despite the recession.

Joseph S. Maresca
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Braderunner Rennuredarb
post 1.May.2009, 06:00 AM
Post #8
Location: Not in Sweden
Joined: 24.May.2005

Perfection is far from the menu...but...whatever. I just hope he does not screw up too badly.

There are a lot of regulatory holes to be plugged - but I would not look to a democrat to do it. Then again, I would not look to a republican either.

Obama has taken bad commercial loans and made worse commercial loans to people that should have been left to rot. of course, he "had to" and I can see that...but...its not the financial darwinism that I like.

Dont get too much of a hard-on in regards to alternative energies. Oil lobby is still strong and holds more power than you think. Car replacements - I am about to do that and I am looking at anything that is not "american" - for the sake of reliability. Sure the bug 3 have made leaps and bounds but not to my satisfaction yet - but I have more research to do. Trillions in cash accounts but they are not going anywhere until the market is where is was. If I had pulled mine out early, I would wait until it was back a little more...or I would have bought in when it was in tanksville. WalMart does well because they are cheap...end of list. Their suppliers are virtually raped by the buyers of WalMart...I would expect to see that trend turn...I hope. Some banks are VERY healthy...but govt has FORCED them to take loans - I dont like that.
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Joemath
post 2.May.2009, 02:53 AM
Post #9
Joined: 23.Jun.2007

The Republican Party just doesn't understand the difference between regulations
and comprehensive audit reviews and followup. Audit reviews and followup
are not added regulations. For instance, the 2003 Comptroller of the Currency
Audit reported on 99% notional amount of derivatives in just 25 banks.
This audit review required followup and fixes by the Securities and Exchange Commission.

The Democrats could (conceivably) add more regulations without providing the
requisite audit followup to correct longstanding weaknesses in the system.
There are still foreign auto manufacturers hiring auto workers on the USA soil.
I believe that the auto workers (themselves) may opt for a greater equitable
share of their respective companies as an alternative to forced bankruptcy and
liquidation of precious assets and manufacturing processes.

I believe that there is a growing consensus in the USA for a complete regulatory
overhaul. In addition, the VIX volatility in the stock market has stabilized
substantially from the September/October surprises. Stay tuned !

Joseph S. Maresca
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Charles Xii Was A Bit Of ...
post 2.May.2009, 11:11 PM
Post #10
Joined: 5.May.2007

QUOTE (Azzure @ 30.Apr.2009, 02:00 PM) *
There's no need to add a comment, because all he did was to show up for another well scripted photo op. The US Main Stream Media is an embarasment and totally in Obama' ... (show full quote)


You forgot Obama's responsible for swine flu, according to Michele Bachmann.

Are you a sore loser ... or maybe just a loser?

What platform is the GOP going to run on in 2012? Let Wall St do what it wants, religious extremism, foreign policy failure, economic failure, bankrupting USA, environmental collapse?

Keep up the aggressive tone ... it's really working for Republicans right now.
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Joemath
post 3.May.2009, 12:00 AM
Post #11
Joined: 23.Jun.2007

The history of the past 29 years makes for easy re-election efforts
for Presidents Reagan, Clinton and Bush II in 24 of the 29 years. Barring some
economic calamity, I can foresee the same for President Obama.

Joseph S. Maresca
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Charles Xii Was A Bit Of ...
post 3.May.2009, 09:44 AM
Post #12
Joined: 5.May.2007

QUOTE (Braderunner Rennuredarb @ 1.May.2009, 06:00 AM) *
Some banks are VERY healthy...but govt has FORCED them to take loans - I dont like that.


GS wants to return TARP money to end restrictions on comp.

They want the speculation-driven bonus party to continue. Particularly now that financial Darwinism has taken out a few competitors.

Personally I think bonuses should be banned. Completely. I think financial Darwinism has contributed massively to getting us into the current mess. Bonuses have fueled a mad, hyper-speculative, hyper-risky culture of extreme greed that needs to be stamped on.

If you've never worked in investment banking, you can't understand how much bonuses shape the culture. The whole point of bonuses is that it's a payment for PERFORMANCE. If that performance is enhanced by taking RISK and finding ways around regulation, then that's what you'll do.

This isn't necessarily an argument against high pay in banking per se. If a bank wants to say double salaries instead of paying discretionary bonuses, then I find that preferable.
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Joemath
post 3.May.2009, 02:24 PM
Post #13
Joined: 23.Jun.2007

QUOTE (Charles Xii Was A Bit Of A Mad B @ 3.May.2009, 10:44 AM) *
GS wants to return TARP money to end restrictions on comp.They want the speculation-driven bonus party to continue. Particularly now that financial Darwinism has taken out a f ... (show full quote)


If bonuses are an issue, we need to have more detailed disclosure
to investors as concerns the potential risks and downsides.
I don't know how you would cap bonuses fairly. For instance,
let's say that an employee of GM or one of the others devises a hybrid
model that accomplishes energy efficiency cheaply
with no ecological downside. Wouldn't you want to compensate that employee handsomely ?

Once incentives are erased from the system, the consumer is left with
rewarding mediocrity and failure. Tell me how the government could monitor or
regulate bonuses fairly without political meddling .
I would be interested to know. The control is to have the financial auditors
examine the bonus scheme fairly and disclose the downside to investors and other
interested stakeholders. In addition, the qualitative side of the work product must be
examined to make certain that the deliverables perform as advertised.

Here is a perfect example of why bonuses are needed in an economy.
The classification of bank performance is set forth by today's Money Morning:

QUOTE
* Zombies: Institutions kept alive only by TARP funding. These subtract value from the economy and
should be put out of their misery through controlled liquidation, with the healthy parts being salvaged.
* Walking Wounded: These may well need some moderate additional help, but are operating reasonably
well on their own, right now. Even so, there is a caveat: Should there be an intensification of the
current U.S. economic downturn, one or more of the “Walking Wounded” could be pushed into “Zombie”
status - or even bankruptcy.
* Risky-but-Proud: These banks have relatively high risks, either because of some ill advised
past acquisitions, or because of their business mix. Even so, the “Risky-but-Proud” banks are
operating at full blast and can hold their heads high for their success in dealing with enormous difficulties.
* Hidden Gems: These banks have conquered 2008’s difficulties, taken care of their bad-debt problems,
and still managed to make a substantial profit. Short of a repeat of 1929-1933, they should continue to do
so. Not all these “Gems” are still hidden, however, now that the market has experienced a substantial
run-up from its bottom, with many bank stocks seeing even bigger gains.


Joseph S. Maresca
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Charles Xii Was A Bit Of ...
post 3.May.2009, 03:27 PM
Post #14
Joined: 5.May.2007

QUOTE (Joemath @ 3.May.2009, 02:24 PM) *
If bonuses are an issue, we need to have more detailed disclosure. to investors as concerns the potential risks and downsides.. I don't know how you would cap bonuses fairly.


Disclosure doesn't work. How often do you read the small print at the back of a brokerage research report? Almost no-one does, but it's all there ... whether they have investment banking relationships, debt holdings, equity holdings, are market makers, etc etc etc.

What DID work to remove the conflicts of interest was the Chinese walls put in place between research and investment banking, and prevention of investment banking paying analysts' bonuses.

As a result, brokerage research is now independent. The investment banks didn't like it, but were forced to after the Internet bubble burst.

You cannot cap bonuses. The only solution is to ban them. If you think a guy has talent, raise his salary. Investment banks hate doing that, because they like the control, they don't like long-term commitment. It leads to a culture where, in the immortal words of Chuck Prince: "As long as the music is playing, you've got to get up and dance."
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unkle strunkle
post 4.May.2009, 01:02 PM
Post #15
Location: Stockholm
Joined: 6.Sep.2007

Since I left the good 'ol US of A five years ago, I've been more interested in America's foreign policy than its domestic policy. Obama is making the world a more dangerous place. Here are just two examples...

http://www.tennessean.com/article/20090503.../1008/OPINION01

http://worlddefensereview.com/esman043009.shtml
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