Saturday, September 4, 2010

More than 400 US Banks Will Fail: Roubini

Even if the US and European economies manage to avoid a double dip, it will still feel like a recession, while more than half of the 800-plus US banks on the "critical list" are likely to go bust, according to renowned economist Nouriel Roubini of Roubini Global Economics.

Nouriel Roubini

The second half of the year will remain weak as tailwinds become headwinds, Roubini told CNBC on the shores of Lake Como, Italy at the Ambrosetti Forum economics conference.

"In the second half, fiscal policy becomes a headwind, no more cash for clunkers," Roubini said. "The positive scenario is that growth will be below par."

Roubini recently said the chance of a double-dip recession in the US was now more than 40 percent.

"The big risk is that there will be a downturn in markets that could impact the bond, the equity and the credit markets," he said.

“Job losses have been higher, the US jobs number will show that. There is no private sector jobs growth," he said. "Consumption is weak, exports are weak and housing is weak."

"If there is no final sales and no final demand, companies will not invest," he added.

New Normal Coming and More Banks Will Fail

Roubini said he believes hopes of decoupling will be dashed as the slowdown in the US impacts China, Japan and the euro zone.

"In Europe, Germany is strong but the rest of the continent is pretty dismal," he said. "The rest of the world cannot cope without the prop of the US consumer. Chinese growth in the second half will be 7 percent."

“Get used to it," Roubini said. "Deleveraging has to continue as governments and consumers deleverage in the developed world."

“The biggest banks have been backstopped, but 800-plus small- and medium-sized banks in the US remain on the critical list and half of those will go bust."

Nouriel Roubini -
Roubini Global Economics

"We have to expect the new normal," he added. "We do not need a double dip for it to feel like recession."

“The biggest banks have been backstopped, but 800-plus small- and medium-sized banks in the US remain on the critical list and half of those will go bust," Roubini said.

Roubini said corporate and consumer debt problems will get worse and that there are more problems ahead in the commercial and residential property market.

"Policy makers are running out of bullets, the problem is we need fiscal consolidation, fiscal policy is constrained by the debt problem, monetary policy is becoming ineffectual," he said.

Roubini, known as Dr. Doom to most and voted as Roubini the Realist by readers, said further quantitative easing is pointless as interest rates are already low.

"We are in a liquidity trap and we have insolvency problems," he said.

“What we need is credible spending plans over the medium term on health care, welfare and retirement age," Roubini said. "This will create a fiscal constraint lasting well into next year."

"The best growth over the next 18 months will come from the domestically-focused Brazil, which will outgrow China for the first time in 20 years," he added.

US Mulls Afghan Bank Bailout

Officials with the Kabul Bank have announced a cash withdrawal limit of $1,000 per customer today as large numbers of depositors swarmed the bank and fear of a full-on bank run rose. The US Treasury Department is said to have assigned a team to “investigate” the matter, but a panic could cripple the banking industry and spark US intervention.

Amid the panic the Afghan government insists that it will back the bank’s deposits entirely, but the run seems to be continuing and it is unclear how able they would be able to cover a major failure without international, presumably American, funding.

With all the political fallout from bank bailouts within the United States, the prospect of the US government going abroad and bailing out a struggling bank or even a struggling banking system in a foreign country, even an occupied one, would be a matter of considerable controversy.

At the moment the Afghan government insists the well connected bank, which is partially owned by President Hamid Karzai’s lesser known brother Mahmoud, is solvent, but a number of bad investments in foreign real estate and iffy loans made to “insiders” within the notoriously corrupt government leave its future very much in doubt.

Though officials tried to downplay the risk even if the banking sector does collapse, insisting that only about 5% of Afghans even have bank accounts, the fact that these five percent are almost exclusively allies and contractors to the occupation forces and people in the employ of the government is no small concern. With many Afghan security forces using these banks to cash their paychecks, the already enormous rate of attrition could soar even further, imperiling NATO’s designs on building up a massive Afghan military to fight its battles.

3rd ("Mystery") Plane Over NYC on 9/11

Third plane WTC 911 - never seen

Jail cell sex video under lock and key: RCMP

A video recording of two women having sex in the Kamloops RCMP drunk tank is not going to turn up on YouTube anytime soon, if the RCMP have their way.

Insp. Tim Shields says only a provincial court judge could make them release the videotape, which is now part of a criminal investigation.

"I was personally asked by numerous media outlets for copies of the video," he said Thursday. "Many media outlets were rubbing their hands together and smacking their lips at the opportunity to put this type of sensational video on their own websites or on their own television stations."

Three RCMP officers and three civilian prison guards at the Kamloops RCMP lockup were suspended this week for allegedly watching the two intoxicated women have sex in a jail cell over a closed-circuit video monitor. A fourth officer remains under investigation pending his return from holidays.

The video record shows not only what happened inside the holding cell but also the guardroom where the men allegedly watched it happen.

Shields said the video is locked up in the exhibits section of the Kamloops detachment and the RCMP have no plans to release it to the media.

If the video evidence was leaked, the person responsible would face serious criminal charges, Shields said.

"Is it theoretically possible that a rogue employee could have made a copy and held onto it? Yes, it is. However, it would be a criminal offence and we would vigorously, quickly and very aggressively pursue that angle and we would charge that employee."

Moving into Bonds: From Frying Pan to Fire

The other day, I came across an article that said, while individuals may be moving their money out of equities, they have been moving into bond funds – and in a big way.

It’s called jumping from the frying fan into the fire.

Based on my experience as a co-founder of a mutual fund group, I can tell you that if there is one sure thing in this world, it’s that when investors rush en masse into an investment category, it is invariably at almost exactly the wrong time to do so. Is that the case with today’s rush into bonds?

To shed some light on that point, Casey Research Switzerland-based editor Kevin Brekke volunteered to look into the correlation between bond flows and performance. Here’s his report…

Thinking About Bonds
Kevin Brekke

With the great bond stampede that began in 2009 continuing, giving rise to the very real possibility of a bond bubble, we decided to check the relationship between bond returns and bond fund inflows to see if there might be a correlation. Take a look at this chart:
    (1) Measured as the year-over-year change in the Citigroup Broad Investment Grade Bond Index.
    (2) Plotted as the three-month moving average of net new cash flow as a percentage of previous month-end assets. The data exclude flows to high-yield bond funds. As suspected, the rise and fall in total return from bond funds is accompanied by an influx or exodus of bond investors. Data to construct the chart were taken from the Investment Company Institute’s (ICI) 2010 Fact Book where they state,
    In 2009, investors added a record $376 billion to their bond fund holdings, up substantially from the $28 billion pace of net investment in the previous year. Traditionally, cash flow into bond funds is highly correlated with the performance of bonds. The U.S. interest rate environment typically has played a prominent role in the demand for bond funds. Movements in short- and long-term interest rates can significantly impact the returns offered by these types of funds and, in turn, influence retail and institutional investor demand for bond funds.”
ICI continues by noting that secular and demographic trends have tempered the appetite for equities. An aging population tends to become risk averse, and the Baby Boomers are entering retirement and seeking a safer alternative to the stock market. This occurrence is clearly shown on the right side of the chart. Following the stock market crash in 2008, investors exited stocks and bonds as general panic prevailed. As investor calm returned, a tidal wave of new money flowed into bond funds, turning 2009 into a record year.

And the popularity of bond funds continues. So far this year, investors have funneled $200 billion in new money into bond funds. 2009 was also a record year for total assets and net new capital in bond funds from retirement accounts.

That is the view through the macro lens. Switching to a wide-angle lens gives one pause.

We can’t help but draw similarities to the housing bubble that began inflating at the start of the new century.

As home prices started escalating, they drew the attention of a growing pool of investors. And soon this becomes a self-reinforcing phenomenon; higher prices attract greater numbers of investors that drive prices higher. Likewise for bonds. Bond returns are rising because bond returns are rising. Got it?

We have entered the terminal phase of a bond bull market ushered in thirty years ago by Paul Volcker, who drove interest rates over 20%. With 30-year U.S. government paper now under 4%, the easy profits have been made and the low-hanging fruit consumed. Investors today are shimmying out on a very tall and thin branch in search of higher “total return.” The snapping of the branch – sending investors big losses – may not be imminent, but it is inevitable.

As we at Casey Research have discussed and warned about often, the fiscal misadventures of the U.S. government will have their consequences. And one of the first victims will be bond investors as interest rates are forced higher, much higher, to attract buyers, particularly foreign buyers. When this happens, the total return on bond funds will be smashed.

The sad and pathetic irony: to escape the beatings endured in the stock markets, millions have sought safety in bonds. The punishment is not over.

We are afraid an awful lot of investors will be left asking, “What was I thinking?”


Visible Explosion at World Trade Center

WTC 7 Explosion

The Economy Is the Number on Your Paycheck, Not the Stockmarket's Ups and Downs

The stock market has as much to do with the real economy as the weather has to do with geology.

What passes for business reporting in the United States is too often a series of breathless reports about the stock market. When the Dow rises precipitously, as it did today (Wednesday), the business press predicts an end to the Great Recession. When the stock market plummets, as it did last week, the Great Recession is said to be worsening.

Pay no attention. The stock market has as much to do with the real economy as the weather has to do with geology. Day by day there's no relationship at all. Over time, weather and geology interact but the results aren't evident for many years. The biggest impact of the weather is on peoples' moods, as are the daily ups and downs of the market.

The real economy is jobs and paychecks, what people buy and what they sell. And the real economy -- even viewed from a worldwide perspective -- is as precarious as ever, perhaps more so.

Today's rally was triggered by news that one of China's official measures of its growth -- its Purchasing Managers Index -- rose. The index had been in decline for three straight months.

Why should an obscure measurement on the other side of the world cause stock markets in New York, London, and Frankfurt to rally? Because China is so large and its needs seemingly limitless that its growth has been about the only reliable source of global demand.

Many big American companies have been showing profits because they're doing ever more business in China while cutting payrolls at home. American consumers aren't buying much of anything because they've lost their jobs or are worried about losing them, and are still trying to get out from under a huge debt load (the latest figures show more consumer debt delinquent now than last year and a surge in personal bankruptcies). The U.S. housing market is growing worse, auto and retail sales are dropping, and the ranks of the jobless continue to swell.

Europe is in almost as much a mess. The problem there isn't just or even mainly that Greece and other nations on the "periphery" have too much public debt. A bigger problem is European consumers aren't buying nearly enough to generate more jobs. Unemployment remains high, and the trend is bad. Manufacturing growth there has slowed to its weakest pace in six months. Yet bizarrely, Europe's large economies -- Britain, Germany, and France -- are paring back their public budgets. It's exactly the wrong time, and a recipe for disaster.

Germany's so-called "job miracle" (as Chancellor Angela Merkel calls it) is more mirage than miracle. Most of the gains in employment there have come from part-time jobs, often at low pay. Average annual net income per German employee continues to drop. This explains why domestic demand there is so sluggish and why Germany is desperately dependent on its exports of machinery and manufacturing components to Asia, especially China.

Meanwhile, Japan, now the world's third-largest economy, is a basket case. Japanese consumers aren't buying much of anything, and why would they? The country is still in the grip of a deflationary cycle that shows no end. Japanese consumers reason if they can buy it cheaper next week there's no reason to buy now. Basically the only thing keeping Japan's economy going are its exports of cars and electronic components to China.

Australia is booming, but look closely and you see the same buyer. Australia is making a boatload of money selling its minerals and raw materials to China (Australia is fast becoming one big Chinese mine shaft). The Brazilian economy is soaring. Why? Exports of wheat and cattle to China. Middle East oil producers are getting richer. Why? China's insatiable thirst for oil.

Elsewhere around the globe the picture is as uncertain. Much of Pakistan is under water. Much of the rest of the Middle East is under tyrannical or corrupt regimes. Russia has suffered such a dry spell it's hoarding wheat. Despite its wealthy few, India's masses are still terribly poor.

The stock market could plunge tomorrow or the next day because the world's economic fundamentals are so precarious.

The global economy cannot be sustained by one big, voracious nation -- especially one that's suffering bouts of civil unrest, actively repressing dissent, suffocating under a blanket of pollution and coping with other environmental hazards, and whose biggest companies are run by the state.

US sees 54,000 jobs lost in August

The US economy shed another 54,000 jobs in August, the third month in a row that jobs have been lost, Labor Department figures have shown.

As a result of the overall fall in job numbers, the unemployment rate rose to 9.6%, from 9.5% in July.

However, analysts welcomed news that the the private sector had created a better-than-expected 67,000 jobs.

President Barack Obama described the figures as "positive, but not nearly good enough".

He also said he would announce next week a series of proposals designed to create jobs and boost economic growth.

New jobs

The Labor Department also revised its figures for the previous two months.

Job losses in July were revised down from 131,000 to 54,000, while those in June were revised from 221,000 to 175,000.

The overall loss of jobs in August was because of a fall in government employment.

Government jobs fell by 121,000, largely because of the loss of 114,000 temporary employees who had been taken on to compile the US census, but who finished their work in August.

Start Quote

This report might mitigate some talk of double-dip recession, but I think everything is still pointed to a slow recovery”

End Quote Fabian Eliasson Mizuho Corporate Bank

The drop in government employment came as no surprise, but analysts had expected a smaller rise in the number of private sector jobs.

Employment in the healthcare sector rose by 28,000, while the construction and mining sectors also saw healthy gains.

However, manufacturing employment fell by 27,000.

"The good news in this report is that private sector employment was up 67,000 for the month, so that was a little bit stronger than expectations," said Robert Dye at PNC Financial Services.

"There were positive revisions for June and July - we saw a net positive revision of 130,000 jobs for those two months. Earnings were up for the month and hours were flat."

'Slow recovery'

Click to play

Margo, a qualified librarian, has been looking for work for over a year

Recent economic data has raised concerns about the strength of the US economic recovery.

Second-quarter growth figures were revised down last week to an annualised rate of 1.6%, considerably less than many leading European economies.

The housing market has also slowed sharply in the past two months.

But analysts said that the latest jobs numbers would go some way to calming fears that the US economy could be heading back to recession.

"I think we're still looking at a quite slow and painful recovery. You have a lot of people unemployed, so it's a long way back to normal," said Fabian Eliasson at Mizuho Corporate Bank.

"This report might mitigate some talk of double-dip recession, but I think everything is still pointed to a slow recovery."

Christina Romer, who chairs the White House Council of Economic Advisers, said: "Against the backdrop of some unsettling economic data in the past few weeks, today's numbers are reassuring that growth and recovery are continuing."

Multi-million dollar paydays for a few nonprofit executives

The most highly-paid nonprofit CEO in America is New York Philharmonic exec Zarin Mehta (left), bringing in $2,649,540, according to the newest CEO compensation survey by nonprofit watchdog Charity Navigator.

Coming in at No. 2 is New York’s Museum of Modern Art exec Glenn D. Lowry, at $2,447,882.

Of the more than 3,000 nonprofits examined in the 2010 report, Charity Navigator found that only 121 pay their CEOs more than $500,000 a year. Many on that rarefied list are the heads of universities, research institutes and high-profile arts organizations.

The median nonprofit CEO pay is a rather sober $147,243, according to the report. But that varies by region of the country, the amount of money the nonprofit spends annually, and its mission. (More on that in a minute.)

Weighing in at No. 1 in California, and No. 8 nationwide, is University of the Pacific’s Donald DeRosa (below, right), at $1,229,479.

And at No. 2 in California, and No. 14 nationwide, is The Scripps Research Institute’s Richard A. Lerner, at $1,024,776.

Charity Navigator was kind enough to forward us a spreadsheet of the nation’s top-earning execs (Top CEO Salaries), with the caution that some of these numbers could be high because they include deferred-compensation payouts that accumulate over years, but are paid to execs in one lump sum when they leave or retire. (That’s what happened last year, when the Boy Scouts of America paid its retiring exec $1.6 million.) We’ll let you know if that’s the case for folks on this list.

While Charity Navigator defended six-figure pay for some nonprofit executives, “it is evident that seven-figure salaries do not seem warranted, even in the largest-sized charities,” it said.

In our region — the Pacific West – median pay is $267,048 for the exec of a large charity (more than $13.5 million in annual expenses), $155,442 for a medium-sized charity (between $3.5 million and $13.5 million in annual expenses), and $95,939 for a small charity (less than $3.5 million in annual expenses), it found.

“Many donors assume that charity leaders work for free or minimal pay and are shocked to see that they earn six figure salaries,” the report says. “But these well-meaning donors fail to consider that these CEOs are running multi-million dollar operations that endeavor to change the world. Leading one of these charities requires an individual that possesses an understanding of the issues that are unique to the charity’s mission as well as a high level of fundraising and management expertise. Attracting and retaining that type of talent requires a competitive level of compensation as dictated by the marketplace. While there are nonprofit salaries that we would all agree are out of line, it is important for donors to understand that since the average CEO earns roughly $150,000, a six-figure salary is not necessarily a sign of excessive pay for a mid to large sized charity.”

Median pay at S&P 500 companies is $1 million, excluding bonus packages and stock options that drive the median compensation up to $6.6 million, the report says.

In coming days, we will examine the ratings and pay data for the dozens of Orange County-based charities ranked by Charity Navigator.

We’ll break them into small, medium and large categories, and compare their executive pay to the numbers in the compensation report. We welcome comment and input from the nonprofits themselves.

Here, meanwhile, are the top earners:

Charity_Name State CEO Salary 2008 Total Expenses 2008
New York Philharmonic NY Zarin Mehta $2,649,540 $65,067,908
The Museum of Modern Art NY Glenn D. Lowry $2,447,882 $203,086,252
Evans Scholars Foundation IL Donald Johnson $2,049,976 $15,216,197
Solomon R. Guggenheim Foundation NY Thomas Krens $1,716,343 $71,542,613
New York University NY John E. Sexton $1,352,974 $2,932,589,069
Baylor College of Medicine TX Peter G. Traber $1,290,200 $1,145,771,063
DePauw University IN Robert Bottoms $1,240,247 $131,749,639
University of the Pacific CA Donald DeRosa $1,229,479 $312,116,534
American Academy in Rome NY Adele Chatfield-Taylor $1,198,474 $13,455,871
Syracuse University NY Nancy Cantor $1,128,138 $876,542,814
The John F. Kennedy Center for the Performing Arts DC Michael Kaiser $1,091,444 $164,586,864
The Museum of Fine Arts, Houston TX Peter C. Marzio $1,054,939 $111,263,070
Rensselaer Polytechnic Institute NY Shirley Ann Jackson $1,051,122 $452,216,491
The Scripps Research Institute CA Richard A. Lerner $1,024,776 $364,666,641
The New School NY J. Robert Kerrey $1,010,048 $309,759,815
United Way Worldwide VA Brian A. Gallagher $982,768 $57,658,994
Lincoln Center for the Performing Arts NY Reynold Levy $970,707 $169,755,615
Museum of Science and Industry, Chicago IL David Mosena $954,827 $61,519,148
The Heritage Foundation DC Edwin J. Feulner $947,999 $64,645,625
Yale University CT Richard C. Levin $932,501 $2,612,418,784
The Los Angeles Philharmonic CA Deborah Borda $928,232 $89,029,795
Southern Methodist University TX Robert Gerald Turner $922,685 $463,951,588
Northwestern University IL Henry S. Bienen $903,760 $1,749,809,945
Prostate Cancer Foundation CA Jonathan W Simons $880,801 $39,679,725
University of Pennsylvania PA Amy Gutmann $879,716 $3,640,400,321
Columbia University NY Lee Bollinger $878,975 $3,054,105,634
National Trust for Historic Preservation DC Richard Moe $861,625 $59,470,390
University of Southern California CA Steven B. Sample $861,617 $2,191,611,360
Emory University GA James W. Wagner $852,786 $2,383,629,246
Dana-Farber Cancer Institute MA Edward J. Benz Jr. $848,802 $723,395,946
Yeshiva University NY Richard Joel $834,000 $687,257,830
Princeton University NJ Shirley Tilghman $813,242 $1,190,644,000
Oklahoma Medical Research Foundation OK Stephen Prescott $806,150 $59,349,524
Carnegie Hall NY Clive Gillinson $800,777 $75,120,097
Aaron Diamond AIDS Research Center NY David Ho $789,651 $18,072,185
University of Miami FL Donna E. Shalala $783,420 $1,992,907,677
California Institute of Technology CA Jean-Lou Chameau $767,300 $2,379,883,000
Rice University TX David Leebron $758,034 $423,203,683
American Ireland Fund MA Kingsley Aikins $737,396 $10,911,375
American Museum of Natural History NY Ellen V. Futter $732,500 $182,716,805
New York Community Trust NY Lorie A. Slutsky $730,005 $192,103,167
Wildlife Conservation Society NY Steven E. Sanderson $725,485 $197,389,730
Teachers College, Columbia University NY Susan Fuhrman $716,686 $180,649,230
Boston University MA Robert A. Brown $713,718 $1,591,607,703
The Aspen Institute DC Walter Isaacson $705,711 $63,502,393
Nova Southeastern University FL Ray Ferrero Jr. $705,355 $522,759,784
Los Angeles Opera CA Placido Domingo $700,000 $55,573,201
Northeastern University MA Joseph E. Aoun $697,977 $782,247,604
Stanford University CA John Hennessy $697,475 $3,421,553,788
Massachusetts Institute of Technology MA Susan Hockfield $695,435 $2,480,364,000
University of Rochester NY Joel Seligman $695,323 $2,127,615,428
Tulane University LA Scott C. Cowen $690,000 $702,416,000
American Cancer Society GA John Seffrin $685,884 $1,042,356,808
National Gallery of Art DC Earl A. Powell III $685,740 $166,798,264
Foreign Policy Association NY Noel V. Lateef $683,014 $4,604,348
Jewish Federation of Cleveland OH Stephen Hoffman $675,995 $82,405,925
American Enterprise Institute for Public Policy Research DC Christopher DeMuth $675,000 $29,924,825
American Association for the Advancement of Science DC Alan I. Leshner $671,125 $84,904,005
Duke University NC Richard H. Brodhead $667,296 $2,099,262,646
The New York Public Library NY Paul LeClerc $664,200 $279,765,352
Council on Foreign Relations NY Richard Haass $664,000 $45,658,871
YMCA of Greater Houston TX Clark Baker $661,634 $109,098,649
Cornell University NY David J. Skorton $661,578 $2,669,806,563
Carnegie Mellon University PA Jared Cohon $661,060 $890,271,726
University of Notre Dame IN The Rev. John I. Jenkins $652,695 $882,973,102
Educational Media Foundation CA Richard Jenkins $648,537 $68,990,148
New Jersey Performing Arts Center NJ Lawrence P. Goldman $646,780 $32,155,805
The Kinkaid School TX Don North $645,608 $30,216,941
Brown University RI Ruth J. Simmons $636,158 $709,235,790
The Juilliard School NY Joseph W. Polisi $628,638 $76,117,470
Worcester Polytechnic Institute MA Dennis Berkey $625,171 $181,550,967
Whitney Museum of American Art NY Adam D. Weinberg $624,000 $36,297,000
Colonial Williamsburg Foundation VA Colin G. Campbell $620,096 $210,541,248
Tufts University MA Lawrence Bacow $617,895 $672,715,929
Ravinia Festival IL Welz D. Kauffman $616,212 $26,497,882
March of Dimes NY Jennifer Howse $615,434 $232,445,150
The Associated: Jewish Community Federation of Baltimore MD Marc Terrill $608,840 $72,995,090
Georgetown University DC John J. DeGioia $607,939 $1,001,126,409
The Paley Center for Media NY Pat Mitchell $604,376 $20,825,282
Washington University in St. Louis MO Mark S. Wrighton $597,745 $1,923,663,000
Asia Society NY Vishakha N. Desai $596,741 $28,162,857
Boys & Girls Clubs of America GA Roxanne Spillett $593,926 $120,745,910
United States Golf Association NJ David Fay $591,821 $144,394,774
Museum of Fine Arts, Boston MA Malcolm A. Rogers $591,592 $117,563,800
The Nightingale-Bamford School NY Dorthy A. Hutcheson $590,535 $23,223,424
ALSAC – St. Jude Children’s Research Hospital TN John P. Moses $589,833 $573,871,438
United States Olympic Committee CO James Scherr $589,493 $231,148,223
Long Island University NY David Steinberg $588,512 $428,753,980
American Bar Association Fund for Justice and Education IL Henry White Jr. $584,905 $61,251,145
Carleton College MN Robert A. Oden Jr. $584,300 $125,358,969
Swarthmore College PA Alfred H. Bloom $576,553 $136,565,729
The Pittsburgh Cultural Trust PA J. Kevin McMahon $574,155 $51,692,692
Polytechnic Institute of NYU NY Jerry Hultin $570,000 $130,977,000
Medical College of Wisconsin WI T. Michael Bolger $565,000 $710,340,548
San Diego Opera CA Ian Campbell $563,895 $17,198,150
Texas Christian University TX Victor J. Boschini Jr. $561,114 $314,679,354
YMCA of Metropolitan Atlanta GA Fred Bradley $557,583 $107,022,967
Boston Symphony Orchestra MA Mark Volpe $554,210 $83,231,831
The American College of Obstetricians and Gynecologists DC Ralph W. Hale $545,186 $53,947,524
International AIDS Vaccine Initiative NY Seth Berkley $542,103 $91,662,901
YMCA of Greater New York NY John W. Lund $539,465 $148,443,469
Washington Legal Foundation DC Constance C. Larcher $538,807 $3,792,119
Brandeis University MA Jehuda Reinharz $534,528 $324,579,341
Episcopal High School VA F. Robertson Hershey $530,180 $29,904,041
DePaul University IL Rev. Dennis H. Holtschneider $530,136 $485,890,923
Shedd Aquarium IL Ted A. Beattie $529,677 $45,415,686
Wolf Trap Foundation for the Performing Arts VA Terrence D. Jones $524,758 $28,472,706
San Francisco Symphony CA Brent Assink $524,096 $64,310,909
Brunswick School CT Thomas W. Philip $522,192 $34,546,898
Rye Country Day School NY Scott A. Nelson $515,909 $28,051,877
Williams College MA Morton Owen Schapiro $515,438 $205,808,400
University of Chicago IL Robert J. Zimmer $514,140 $1,817,047,950
Audubon Nature Institute LA L. Ronald Forman $512,221 $29,432,434
United States Holocaust Memorial Museum DC Sara Bloomfield $511,830 $88,134,546
Brooklyn Museum NY Arnold Lehman $509,933 $33,780,081
The Field Museum IL John W. McCarter Jr. $508,278 $77,972,779
Community Service Society of New York NY David R. Jones $501,708 $20,587,825
Texas Heart Institute TX Denton A. Cooley $500,962 $27,508,142
The Art Institute of Chicago IL James Cuno $500,060 $204,427,879
Dartmouth College NH James E. Wright $500,000 $833,161,632
Washington National Opera DC Placido Domingo $500,000 $33,549,573

More Watchdog:

More nonprofits:

Illinois can't even pay office utility bills for legislators

Dave Luechtefeld was in session in Springfield earlier this year when he got a call from his secretary back in his district office.

She was calling from her cell phone because the district office phones, which are paid for by the state of Illinois, had been disconnected for nonpayment.

"That was the first time," recalled Luechtefeld, R-Okawville.

His office phones were later cut off again, with the state still months behind in paying for the service. He's now getting renewed threats from the phone company of a third cutoff. "It's laughable," he said, "but it's not."

It's the same story at the district offices of Illinois' elected legislators across the state: Phone, utilities, garbage and rent payments months behind, prompting a monthly flurry of terse late notices and cutoff threats to offices with the state emblem on the doors.

Of course, in a state where teachers are getting laid off, hospitals are struggling and small businesses are failing because the state isn't paying its bills, the office budget plight of a relative handful of politicians isn't going to cause anyone to take to the streets.

But the news this week of a northern Illinois legislator who was forced to shut down her district office because the state had stiffed her landlord for so long certainly drives home the depth of Illinois' $11 billion budget crisis.

"It's helped me focus on the fact that it's not a manufactured crisis," said Rep. Bill Black, R-Danville — who took over payment of his district office's garbage collection bill after the waste company threatened to withdraw service because the state wasn't paying. "It's real."

Illinois legislators keep offices in or around the Capitol in Springfield, and also have district offices back home. The state allots $69,409 per year for the district office expenses of each House member, which goes toward salaries for office staff, rent, utilities, supplies and related costs. For senators — who have larger districts and often maintain more than one district office — the annual allotment is $83,063.

Lawmakers have often complained that the annual allotment is too small, given the need for clerical workers, professional office space and other significant expenses. However, the current problem of deadbeat district offices isn't about the budgeted amount, but rather about the state's cash flow problems, which stem from a deficit that's roughly 50 percent the size of the state's entire regular operating budget.

It's the same reason schools around the state are being shorted millions of dollars in scheduled state payments, and that companies that have done work on contract for the state aren't getting paid for it. There's no dispute about what's owed to any of them — the state simply can't send what it doesn't have.

Lawmakers have to submit vouchers for their rental bills, utilities and other expenses for payment, just like any other entity that's seeking money from the state. Essentially, they have to get in line — and the line is long.

"We have 220,000 vouchers sitting in our office waiting to be paid, because we don't have the money to pay them," said Alan Henry of the Illinois comptroller's office, which is responsible for cutting the checks. Those backlogged vouchers as of this week totaled about $4.5 billion in late bills, which are paid as money becomes available to the state from taxes, fees and other sources.

As of this week, Henry said, all lawmakers' office rental vouchers had been paid up through April, "and some through June" — meaning all the offices are going on at least their third month without making a rental payment.

That's the situation that led state Rep. Sandy Cole, a Republican from suburban Chicago, to announce this week she was packing up and moving her district office, in an agreement with a landlord who had had enough.

"He is just a small-business guy who owns one building. ... The state is usually 90 days in arrears" on rent, Cole said in an e-mail explaining the move. Her new office will be in an office building with a landlord who "owns many office buildings with many (government) officials and can financially manage this payment arrangement."

It hasn't come to that for most other legislators. But interviews with several downstate lawmakers this week yielded stories of eviction threats, utility cutoffs and some humble negotiating by those elected officials to keep the lights on.

"We get collection calls every month" from the utility companies, said state Sen. John O. Jones, R-Mount Vernon. He said the electric bill for his district office is several months behind, and that the only thing preventing a cutoff is that "Ameren knows they'll eventually get their money."

Black, the Danville Republican, has managed to keep the phones on in his district office by repeatedly explaining the situation: "My legislative director has to call AT&T every month." He has been able to remain in his office despite months-late rent payments "because my landlord is a friend of 40 years' standing."

Black doesn't have that kind of relationship with his waste hauler, which last year threatened to cut off service to his office if he didn't catch up on the service bill that the state hadn't been paying.

"I didn't want to take the stuff home with me," said Black, referring to the garbage generated by the office. So he finally gave up on vouchering the state for the garbage bill, and just pays it from his campaign fund.

State Rep. Mike Bost, R-Murphysboro, says his district office phone has been cut off one time so far for nonpayment. His bigger concern is that his office can't charge office supplies to a standing account with a major supplier anymore, leaving it with fewer options and a more expensive office supply bill. The major office supply chains "will not take credit (purchases) from the state anymore."

"We have to get our fiscal house in order. It's just ridiculous," Bost said. "What message does it send?"

$25 Yard Sale Fee

Summary: $25 Yard Sale Fee

Peter Schiff on FOX News 09/02/10 - New Jobless Report

Summary: Peter Schiff on FOX News 09/02/10 - New Jobless Report

Alex Jones allows ABC's Nightline to negatively portray the truth movement as "Paranoia Porn"

It's said that there's no bad publicity and that may be true for AJ and his followers but for those others trying to sanely educate their friends and neighbors to the 'conspiracies' of the world that are destroying us, being portrayed as whacked out nuts doesn't help.

I doubt that Nightline would do a show with someone calm and collected such as Dr. David Ray Griffin on the subject of 9/11. That might give credibility to the movement and the media doesn't want that.

Jones knew that inviting the MSM to do a nationally televised feature on him would result in a hit piece.

Why did he go ahead and do it?

Posted by kennysideshow at 8:15 AM
Labels: main stream media, media whores, social engineering

Unemployment rate rises for the first time in 4 months

WASHINGTON — The unemployment rate rose in August for the first time in four months as weak hiring by private employers wasn't enough to keep pace with a large increase in the number of people looking for work.

The Labor Department says companies added a net total 67,000 new jobs last month, down from July's upwardly revised total of 107,000. Wall Street analysts expected a smaller gain, according to Thomson Reuters.

Overall, the economy lost 54,000 jobs as 114,000 temporary census positions came to an end. State and local governments shed 10,000 positions. The jobless rate rose to 9.6 percent from 9.5 percent in July.

More than a half-million Americans resumed their job searches in August, which drove up the jobless rate. When the unemployed stop looking for work, they are no longer counted in the jobless rate.

Hillary Clinton for President Ads Air in New Orleans, Will Run in Other Cities

While voters are being inundated with television spots for candidates in this year's midterm elections, viewers in some markets will also see an ad for the 2012 presidential vote with the slogan, "Where there's a Hill there's a way."

The "Hillary Clinton for President" commercial began its run in New Orleans this week and the man behind the campaign, William DeJean, said he will also pay for it to air in Washington, New York, Los Angeles and possibly Houston, CNN reported.

DeJean, a Chicago dentist, said he paid $5,000 to make the ad because he doesn't think "this country is headed in the right direction," and he told CNN he believes Hillary Clinton is the one who can set things straight.

The ad calls Clinton "one of the most admired women in our nation's history" who has "more experience working in and with the White House than most living presidents."

"Let's make sure the president we should have elected in 2008 will be on the ballot in 2012," the ad says. "Hillary 2012: Hillary Clinton for President. Start now. Where there's a Hill there's a way."

Clinton, the secretary of state, has repeatedly said she has no intention of running for president again. She lost the Democratic primary in 2008 to her current boss, Barack Obama.

The True Cost of the War

Obama's "end of Iraq war" speech must have shattered any remaining belief in him. Forced to appease both his supporters and the warmonger right-wing, who denounce him as a Muslim and a Marxist, Obama resorted to Orwellian DoubleSpeak. He could only announce an end to the war by praising the president who started it and the troops who fought it. Yet, as most earthlings, if not Americans, surely know by now, the war was based on a lie and on intentional deception. The American troops died for a lie.

President Obama spoke of the cost to Americans of liberating Iraq, but is Iraq liberated or is Iraq in the hands of American puppet politicians and still occupied by 50,000 American troops and 200,000 private mercenaries and "contractors," governed out of the largest embassy in the world, essentially a fortress?

President Obama did not speak of the cost to Iraqis of being "liberated." The uncounted Iraqi deaths, estimates of which range from 100,000 to 1,000,000, most being women and children, were not mentioned. Neither were the uncounted orphaned and maimed children, the four million displaced Iraqis, the flight from Iraq of the professional middle class, the homes, infrastructure, villages and towns destroyed, along with whatever remained of America's reputation.

All of this was left out of the picture that Obama painted of America's "commitment" to Iraq which brought Iraqis "peace" and liberated Iraqis from Saddam Hussein in order that that a destroyed Iraq can now be an American puppet state and take its orders from Washington.

As it is impossible for the U.S. government to any longer pretend that the invasion of Iraq was necessary to save America from weapons of mass destruction and al Qaeda terrorists, the U.S. government's justification for its massive war crime has come down to removing Saddam Hussein, who, like the Americans, tortured his opponents.

Does anyone on earth, even among the most moronic of the flag-waving American super-patriots, believe that the bankrupt United States government spent three trillion borrowed dollars to remove one man, Saddam Hussein, in order to free Iraq from tyranny? Anyone who believes this is insane.

Saddam Hussein would have resigned for far less money had it been offered to him.

Do Americans see the irony in the "saving Iraq from tyranny" excuse? The greatest price of the neoconservative war against Iraq is not the $3 trillion or the dead and maimed American soldiers and their broken families. The greatest price of this evil war is the destruction of the U.S. Constitution and American civil liberties.

The Bush/Cheney/Obama National Security State has eviscerated the Constitution and civil liberty. Nothing remains. The fascist Republican Federalist Society has put enough federal judges in the judiciary to rule that the president is above the law. The president doesn't have to obey the law against spying on American citizens without warrants. The president doesn't have to obey U.S. and international laws against torture. The president doesn't have to obey the Constitution that mandates that only Congress can declare war. The president can do whatever he wants as long as he justifies it as "national security."

The president's part of the government, the unaccountable executive branch, is supreme. The president can announce, without being impeached, his decision to murder Americans abroad and at home if someone somewhere in the unaccountable executive branch regards such American citizens as "threats."

Murder first. No accountability later.

The executive branch has exercised unilateral, unaccountable power to deep-six the U.S. Constitution, with little interference from the judiciary and with support from Congress. The executive branch has declared foreign opponents of America's illegal invasions and occupations of their countries to be "terrorists," subject neither to the laws of war nor to the criminal laws of the U.S. and, therefore, subject to indefinite torture and detention without charges or evidence.

This is the legacy of the Bush/Cheney regime, and this criminal regime continues under Obama.

America's "war on terror," a fabrication, has resurrected the unaccountable dungeon of the Middle Ages and the raw tyranny that prevailed prior to the Magna Carta.

This is the true cost of "liberating" Iraq, that is, of turning Iraq into an American puppet state that sells out its people for America's interests.

Who will now liberate Americans from the Bush/Cheney/neoconservative/Obama tyranny?

President Obama asserts that America's war crimes have come to an end in Iraq, but Obama asserts the power to export America's war crimes to Afghanistan in order to reign in what the CIA director says are "fifty or less" al Queda members remaining in Afghanistan. Bankrupt Americans will now be saddled with another three billion dollars of debt in order to chase after "fifty or less" alleged terrorists. To cover up this extraordinary waste of borrowed money, Obama, following the dishonest practices of prior American regimes, equated al Qaeda with the Taliban, a home-grown movement of hundreds of thousands of Afghans seeking to unify the country.
The least expensive way to combat "terrorists" would be to stop trying to create an American empire in the Middle East and Central Asia and to stop imposing American puppet states on indigenous populations.

The bought-and-paid-for-European-puppet states, who preen themselves with their superior morality, fall in line with Washington, obeying their American master who fills their pockets with dollars. The West having fought tyranny since the Magna Carta, now imposes tyranny both on itself and on the rest of the world.

If Hitler and Stalin had prevailed, what would be the difference? Is the Obama regime going to shoot the "enemies of the state," condemned without trial or evidence, by shooting them in the front of the head instead of in the back of the neck, as was the practice in the Lubyanka?

What other difference is there?

Dr. Roberts was educated at Georgia Tech, the University of Virginia, the University of California, Berkeley, and Oxford University where he was a member of Merton College.. He is the author or coauthor of 9 books and has published many articles in journals of scholarship. He served in the Congressional staff and was Assistant Secretary of the U.S. Treasury. He was awarded the Treasury's Silver Medal for "outstanding contributions to the formulation of U.S. economic policy." In 1987 the President of France recognized him as "the artisan of a renewal of economic science and policy" and awarded him the Legion of Honor.

Roberts was associate editor of the Wall Street Journal and columnist for Business Week, Scripps Howard News Service, and Creators Syndicate. He was Senior Research Fellow at the Hoover Institution, Stanford University, and William E. Simon Chair of Political Economy, Center for Strategic and International Studies, Georgetown University. He has been a columnist for French, German, and Italian newspapers. Today he is followed worldwide over the Internet.