Tag Archives: economy

Episode 58 – Debating Debt, Deficits and Job Creation


In this episode, Jeff and Glenn continue to the spirit of their National Debate Series and have a constructive argument over the national debt, annual deficits and how more jobs can be created. Is the Stimulus working as promised? Can it be expected to create jobs, or does that burden fall to the private sector? Are the banks, flush with cash from the bailouts and a record year on Wall Street, lending to small businesses or are they hoarding the money and making risky bets on financial instruments? In the end, they find common ground…and then wade into the politically explosive abortion issue.  Always entertaining and informative, it’s PoliTalk, your weekly political podcast.

You can get the PoliTalk Podcast on  iTunes and Zune

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Episode 56 – Goldman Sachs and the State of Financial Regulation


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2009 is proving to be a very good year for Wall Street, but times are still tough for people on Main Street. While the Dow passed the 10,000 mark and Wall Street bonuses will be very big, unemployment remains very high and businesses, especially small ones, are hurting. Jeff and Glenn explain why financial reforms may hold the key to encouraging economic recovery helping Main Street! And why the Administration needs to focus more on helping small business and less on Wall Street pay packages and Fox news. Always entertaining and informative, it’s PoliTalk, your weekly political podcast.

Join us in Boston on November 10, 2009! Register now, visit http://nationaldebateseries.com

You can get the PoliTalk Podcast on  iTunes and Zune

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Episode 43 – Biden Time for the Economy


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With unemployment reaching its highest level in 26 years and Vice President Biden’s recent comments that the administration misread how bad the economy was that they inherited, Jeff and Glenn, in one of their most passionate and provocative episodes ever, question why there is no consistent focus on the economy from all branches of government. Glenn offers a dramatic and creative idea to add an immediate stimulus to the economy, while awaiting the long-term systemic effects to kick in. Jeff wonders if we’re in a jobless recovery, where a select few — Wall Street, certain corporations like WalMart, McDonalds and Philip Morris and banks will do well while the rest of the economy stagnates. Always entertaining and informative, it’s PoliTalk — your weekly political podcast.

Listen to the current installment of PoliTalk and get yourself informed, inspired, entertained and ready for the day… spread the word… tell two friends, and so on and so on…

You can get the PoliTalk Podcast from Podcast.com and iTunes.

Episode 41 – Now What? Iran, The Economy & Health Care


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Glenn captures the essence of this week’s show by asking the ultimate question in response to the many issues we face this week: now what? What happens next in Iran? What are the political ramifications of the attacks on President Obama? Where does the insurgency go? With the economy still in shambles, what next? There’s talk of a second stimulus bill, but is the first one working? Is President Obama taking on too much and losing his focus on the economy? When it comes to health care “reform,” Jeff asks what’s next? Now that most of what calls for reform has been abandoned, is it time to pull the plug on this hugely important effort? They close with seasonal cooking tips, and as always, invite your response and participation. Always informative and entertaining, it’s PoliTalk: your weekly political podcast.

Listen to the current installment of PoliTalk and get yourself informed, inspired, entertained and ready for the day… spread the word… tell two friends, and so on and so on…

You can get the PoliTalk Podcast from Podcast.com and iTunes.

Episode 38 – It’s the Economy, Stupid!


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Can two political podcasters do the work of an entire nation? Reviving one of the most famous political catch phrases of the last 50 years, Jeff and Glenn do their best to re-focus the political discourse of the entire country. With all the talk of torture, closing or not closing Gitmo, Colin Powell taking on Cheney taking on Obama taking on Cheney (which we talk about in this show), we have completely lost focus on the single most important thing the President and his team SHOULD be doing right now: dealing with once-in-a-lifetime systemic changes needed in our economy. Yes, we passed the stimulus. Now weâre in the weeds on a budget, and it looks like health care reform may be on the horizon. All well and good, but it’s time to take a step back:

  • What got us into this problem in the first place?
  • How are we going to systemically fix it?
  • Was the repeal of Glass Stegal, which allowed financial institutions to get into any financial business, a mistake?
  • Good old boring banks went from being banks to insurance companies and hedge funds.
  • Should we put some regulations on the derivatives industry, which grew from a $1 trillion market in 1999 to $33 trillion today?
  • Most important, we as a country have been living beyond our means since, ironically, the days of Ronald Reagan.

We are now an over leveraged society that consumes more than it produces and borrows more than it has the ability to repay and spend. We want a more effective, responsive, efficient, smaller (and Jeff would like a more liberal) government. With the economy rebounding and President Obama focused on other things, we’re losing our chance to make the changes needed to fix the economy going forward. While the rest of the media in this country has fallen asleep, or been sidetracked by entertainers like Rush Limbaugh or issues like closing Gitmo, we’re here to tell you that your moment awaits, President Obama. But that moment won’t last forever, and it will never be found if you continue to argue with Dick Cheney, or if we’re mired in discussion about torture photographs and wiretaps.  James Carville’s words echo across time, like ripples that crest into rhythmic waves, repeating the mantra again, and again and again: it’s the economy stupid…

Listen to the current installment of PoliTalk and get yourself informed, inspired, entertained and ready for the day… spread the word… tell two friends, and so on and so on…

You can get the PoliTalk Podcast from Podcast.com and iTunes.

Sadly, It’s Come to This…


The following article ran in today’s Telegraph, as well as in newspapers around the world. It’s a sad, sorry state of affairs when billionaires are committing suicide over financial losses. This is the second billionaire in a week to take his own life. Our economy is in shambles, the world economy is on shaky ground…and President Bush just placed an order for $458,000 worth of new china — 2 weeks before his miserable Presidency comes to an end, and our Senate leaders bicker about whether someone legally appointed by a Governor has a right to serve, creating chaos on the opening day of the new Congress.  Hey, how can Sen Burris possibly do worse than anyone else in Washington?

Adolf Merckle suicide gives crisis grim defining moment
By John Foley, breakingviews.com
Last Updated: 6:32AM GMT 07 Jan 2009

The patriarch of a German family whose assets include a majority stake in HeidelbergCement died on Monday in an act his family attributed to “the desperate situation of his companies caused by the financial crisis”.

Merckle isn’t the first to take his life amid the market turmoil. But his tragedy shows how quickly fortunes have been reversed in the last year, and perhaps how the exposure of folly can make that particularly hard to bear.

Merckle’s situation echoes those of Olivant chief operating officer Kirk Stephenson and Access Partners’ Thierry Magon de la Villehuchet, both of whom committed suicide last year. All faced large, rapid financial losses. All were caught out by forces that may have been hard to accept. Merckle was a once-conservative industrialist seduced by the returns available through heavy leverage. Unable to refinance loans taken out to cover trading losses, including an estimated E400m from short-selling VW shares, he faced a very public liquidity crunch.

Despite such high-profile cases, it’s not clear that market crashes lead to more suicide. The equity rout of 1929 did presage an increase in numbers in the US, but only slightly – and in the context of a previous five-year rise. JK Galbraith noted the fallacy of the “suicide myth” in his account of the time. But studies do suggest that the rate of suicide rises with general economic difficulty, notably rising unemployment. One reason may be that hard times exacerbate stress-related mental health problems and feelings of social vulnerability.

With economic depression now looming, governments should worry about more psychological depression. The UK mental health charity Rethink recently named home repossession as the factor people believe is most likely to trigger mental illness. Tragic deaths like Merckle’s should be a warning that a prolonged slump might have an extra intensity this time round. It has always been a feature of the financial system that investors can lose everything they own. In a leveraged world, the quantum of those losses is dramatically multiplied.

Palin Waxes Poetic…Turkey Gets Whacked, Sopranos Style


Warning – This video shows graphic killing of turkeys.

Some things in life are just too ironic, too funny, to characterize. Simply watch this video from MSNBC’s Countdown, and notice what she is literally saying while the bird gets whacked behind her. This is one of the most amazing videos I have ever seen. It’s also wickedly, absurdly funny in a bizarre kind of way — Jeff