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All Pinzur, All The Time

Friday, February 13, 2009

Talent or TARP: You Make the Call

As every media outlet, clothes outlet, and electrical outlet has noted, the United States of America and the rest of the world is currently in the midst of a severe crisis. Does not the term crisis mean enough, let alone having to note that it is severe. Have we ever seen a crisis that was only minor? Executives of these financial companies have claimed that the financial crisis is across their industry. One caveat the government is looking to require on said companies who are fighting for TARP money, is capping salary and bonuses. This is stemming from many Wall Street firms doling out billions of dollars in bonuses at a time when the firms have performed embarrassingly awful. One of the problems the financial executives are claiming with capping pay is that those companies will lose their top talent.

If this issue is industry-wide epidemic, would not each company be stuck with requiring TARP funds and therefore a cap would be instituted on each company, and the talent would have no where to go. Also, if we are saying if a company is not interested in taking TARP funds since they have maneuvered themselves in a way to be solvent without TARP funds, and therefore not have to cap pay, should not those companies benefit from this? These companies are not asking for financial help since appropriate financial constraints must already be in place. These are the companies that should succeed.

Meanwhile if the Bank of Americas and Citibanks of the country are scared to lose top talent due to financial constraints, then they need to choose between the TARP funding or not. These companies inappropriately exposed themselves, and the top personnel permitted certain employees to continue participating in deals and transactions that benefit themselves in the short-term and are not in the best interests of the company and shareholders, and without the proper review of transactions, top management should have to deal with the consequences.

We are supposed to be living in a free market society. If it were a free market, these banks should be allowed to fail. Now, I agree that we need to help with bailing out these illiquid banks, but requiring certain restrictions is the least of what Congress should be requiring. The problem stems from the prior use of TARP funds where it was given to each company with little to no restrictions and the use of the funds are unknown while the bill is passed on to John Q. and Jane M. Taxpayer. Pay restrictions capped off at $500,000 is a fair amount while the company’s loans are outstanding with the federal government.

And then there was this article published in the New York Times about how $500,000 is a lot of money for much of the country, but $500,000 in New York City just does not go as far. Although I concede their argument that $500,000 does not go as far in New York City as it does elsewhere in the country, but the suggestions as to where they spend their money are ridiculous. Stating that their way of life requires multiple lavish lifestyles most of us will never know of outside of television. Once again, our economy and country is encountering an economic period unseen since the Great Depression, that if they are to lose some of what they would live as a normal lifestyle when they are laying off thousands of workers who now can barely afford to live at all, is a completely asinine argument. Some of the arguments are $35,000 on evening gowns for the social parties they apparently have no choice but to attend, $12,000 on a personal trainer, multiple Brooks Brothers suits at $1,000 each (since last years suit is no longer good), and a chauffeur between $75,000 to $125,000. These executives should have to decrease their spending in this economy, while many of the rest of us struggle to live, until these companies can pay off their several billion dollars of loans back to the federal government, and should have to deal with the consequences of their indulgences. Does anyone else think this article was written by the CEO of the New York Times who has a few friends in the banking world? This article is inane and the New York Times, one of the world premier newspaper, should apologize to its readers and the rest of the country for publishing it. It belongs in the Enquirer well before it should be in the Times.


Wednesday, December 10, 2008

Governor Rod Blagojevich: As Different from President-Elect Obama as...well, White and Black

Governor Rod Blagojevich. A man I now lament voting for. The man who tried to sell the Senate seat vacated by President-elect Obama. The sad thing is he did this with no subtlety whatsoever. Governor Blagojevich did everything short of taking up an ad in all Illinois newspapers selling the seat, or placing the seat on eBay. Wouldn’t that have made more sense for the Governor to have just done that. Wouldn’t it had been easier? What would his user name have been? HotRodGov? BlaGov? (Add your names in the comment box). Maybe an ad next to all Chicago highways? Just an idea to throw out there for next time.

It seems like there was just no tact in how the governor handled this. Did he think he was above the law? That the law would not care about this? Does he think people are just that stupid? I think now it is obvious that it is he who is just that stupid. It amazes how certain people when faced with power just become completely blind with it. Whatever happened to the good ole days of statesmen working for the benefit of their constituents and for the greater good? I guess that went out the door the day people wanted to update their kitchens to include granite and stainless steel and to upgrade their car to a BMW from…well, a Schwinn.

On a personal level, I cannot wait for the hilarity of what is to ensue with his trial and to read about all the things he and his staff have done while in power. I will be curious to know if there will be farm animals involved as well. It just seems like anytime an issue pops up, farm animals are inevitably involved. I think this could be the most interesting non-economy, non-Obama story of 2009, especially in Illinois. I think his ability to run for governor again probably took a hit by this.

On top of all the fun with the governor, we now get to add his wife into the fray. When I first heard about this, the first thing I was going to note on here was a Lady MacBeth reference, but the Chicago Tribune “beat” me to the punch. Sweet, innocent Patricia Blagojevich. Her entire life she has been within arm’s reach of Chicago politics and corruption since her father was an Alderman. It sounds like from arm’s reach to, well, simply arm. She was already mentioned in many issues surrounding Tony Resko. She later joined an investment bank claiming she would be able to help with her contacts within the state, which, luckily for both her and the investment bank never seem to have materialized. Lady MacBeth could be joining her husband behind bars if enough information turns up.

Wednesday, December 03, 2008

Boldly Going Where No Pinzur Blog Has Gone Before....Hollywood

Its good to hear that the Victoria's Secret models normally eat whatever they want...a whole grape or two. But it is even better to know that prior to the Victoria's Secret Fashion Show the models gave up all sugar and carb and jumps extra rope. Now, we dont know how long the models give up their normal luxuries of whole grapes to prepare for the show, but its good to know that they worry about removing carbs and sugar like the rest of us if even for a few hours. Granted, unlike many of us, they actually dont eat carbs and sugar when they say they wont. Where many of us claim we dont, since food you eat when no one else is watching does not count....apparently....so I think no one watches each other in Wisconsin.

I wish I could make this up....but has anyone seen these people who are still suffering from the Nuclear Reactor Meltdown of Five Mile Island? I think they need help from doctors....oh, wait, that is just Donatella Versace and her daughter Allegra Beck. http://www.tmz.com/2008/12/03/like-mother-like-daughter/ Holy crap! Did their Italian Villa not have any mirrors and an over-abundance of eye make-up? Is Donatella's daughter a not-so-secret double for Marilyn Manson? True or False....if you shaved Donatella's head and removed the caked-on make-up, wouldnt she look like a man? Her Adam's Apple is bigger than mine....as is her penis. How many doctors, engineers and robotics experts are needed to keep Donatella in her current state?

Lindsay Lohan is getting angry because people are still suggesting that she still gets insanely drunk. Not ideal for the average person who has been in rehab a number of times, but ideal for someone who wants to stay in the limelight and ready to take on her next disastrous movie. She proclaims, "Do I look like I'm off the Wagon?" Lindsay, we have nothing to compare a sober you to since you were in that awful movie, "The Parent Trap" where as a child you couldnt act as a British girl and as an American.....only to be followed-up by now in your early 20s cannot act at all, let alone as a sober person.

By the way, I am loving this rumor that Paris Hilton has two new enhancements added to her empty repertoire. Two big enhancements...on her chest. Paris, we all dont think you need a breast enhancement to like you more. We all think you need a personality, intelligence, and heart implant. Why, that sounds like 2 of the three items that Dorothy, the Tin Man, the Scarecrow, and the Lion were marching down the Yellow Brick Road to see the Wizard of Oz. Maybe if you go see the Wizard of Oz, he may have a few things for you. I hear the Wizard these days is anywhere but near a camera.

Tuesday, December 02, 2008

On a Happier Note.....

Plaxico Burress, the star wide receiver on the New York football Giants was shot in the leg at a nightclub on Friday......by himself. Let me say this again, he shot himself in the leg. It was accidental, geez, good to hear he was not on a death wish by shooting himself in the leg.

Apparently his gun (which he did not have a license for a concealed weapon in New York, but that is neither here nor there right now) slipped below the waistband of his sweat pants and when he went to adjust it, the gun discharged a bullet into his leg. Now, there are like 10 hilarious things here to discuss. Lets start with this one and work our way forward. He is at a New York nightclub, where I couldnt get in with $100 bills stapled to my $1,000 suit, but he is getting in with sweat pants. Sweat Pants! Plaxico, I know you signed a large enough contract to play professional football that you can afford pants that dont stretch with you in all your movements when lifting weights. I cannot get over the fact the this professional football player, who plays for a New York team, goes to a club in sweat pants. Do we think they were the nice Russel Athletic sweat pants with the Giants logo on them or like really crummy ones he got from a second-hand store where the, wait for it, the waistband is losing its elasticity? Hmmm...maybe because of these second-hand store sweat pants with the weakening elastic the gun was able to slide down his pants. I am sure with more quality sweat pants that gun would have remaining firmly in place at waist level,

Next, lets discuss now how the gun went from being in waistband to down his pants to being fired. Doesnt it have to be....gulp..cocked to fire. I hated that whole sequence of words, but something had to cock his gun...and the only thing down his pants that could have cocked his gun would be.....his hand through his pants. What else could it be? Hmm........If only there was a stigma for black men and somehow cocking a gun down that had falled below his waistband and needs something not small to cock the down and remove the safety. If only there was something else that could have cocked the gun. I will leave this for Robert Stack and the Unsolved Mysteries team, or send Gary Sinise and the CSI:NY team to dust for prints and solve this one.

Lastly, can we discuss him with a gun in the first place? Are his bitches so difficult to deal with that he needs to cap a bullet in them? I wouldnt be able to look him in the face since I would be laughing too hysterically because of the sweat pants to be able to say anything too him. It just goes to show, if you are an athlete or a celebrity you can barely wear items that qualify as acceptable outdoor clothing and get away with it. If I wore sweat pants out of the house and my friends or family saw me they would either assume I am sick or also believe the voices in my head had finally gotten to me. They definitely would not be assuming that I was on my way to a club and packing heat in my waist band as well.

Do we think that Plax will get frisked everytime he enters a club from now on? Especially if he is wearing sweat pants. Hey Plax, I am not saying you have to spend a lot of money, but once a year Gap has a denim sale, you should go buy a pair of jeans or two. They come in an assortment of colors. Or, if you really feel like going all out, but dont want to break your bank, you can always go to Mens Wearhouse and get a pair of trousers or a suit to wear when you go out. You could get one for $600 there...and that way you would not have to feel squeezed that your annual salary of just over $4 million could not cover it. I hear if you are nice, a salvation army may have a suit in your size. Or, with the holidays approaching maybe when you wake up on Christmas morning, and you run down the stairs (or saunter due to your current wound) to your Christmas tree, maybe, oh just maybe, Santa will have brought you some pants.

Bailouts, not just your average 8-letter word anymore

Bailouts seem to be the fashionable thing for industry execs these days. When the economy is doing well, these bastards have no problem raiding their own companies for every extra perk they can drain out of it, but as soon as the economy turns these same execs are asking for help or their company will fail. The sad thing, as a staunch capitalist, I have no problem with the most recent bailout of Citigroup. The fact that the federal government has equity staked in the company means that if it succeeds, the government gets money back when it sells the stock, plus Congress has final say over salary disbursements. It took Congress until the end of two-thousand fucking eight and AIG to plow through the GDPs of countries to realize that prior to giving away billions of dollars that they should probably, you know, throw a few stipulations on to the money they hand over to the same people who fucked it all up in the first place.

Now we have the auto industry begging for money like a mayor turned crack addict on the streets of Washington D.C. They are claiming they need money or the venerable companies could fail and what an awful thing it would be to have auto workers out of work. And as much as I agree that it would be awful to see these people lose their jobs, the unions they are a part of has priced them out of a job. Unions use to have great value. When the workers were in plants where safety was throw out the window and they were making enough money where they could barely afford air let alone shelter and food. Unfortunately the day of the Union has come and gone for many of them, now all they argue with is the increase of wages for its workers, which has killed them come 2008. It seems capitalism may have snagged a new victim in modern days and these companies will have to be sold or merge together to afford to survive.

Then there is my favorite industry asking for a bailout. The very same people who caused this fantastic economy that we are in today, the Home Builders. The clueless jackasses had the audacity as to go before Congress and suggest that because of the economy they caused and the struggles they are subsequently dealing with, and because they took absolutely NO precautions in thinking that they greatest real estate boom in the history of the United States could eventually end, that they should too benefit.

These companies should have to fail and deal with the consequences like every other company that cannot withstand a downturn in the economy. You know why we know the names of certain companies like GE, IBM, McDonalds, Coca-Cola and Disney? Because those companies have been able to withstand economic downturns and succeed in robust economic stretches. Is it because the company sells a better product or offers a better service? Perhaps, but not definite. I would say it is because the defining principles of capitalism are that the strong survive and flourish and the weak cease to exist. To those homebuilders, I hope you enjoyed the good times when you thought you were the greatest thing to happen to this country, cause you will be remembered for you pleading for your company's life in embarrassing fashion. Yay for Capitalism! Eventually everything evens out.

Sunday, November 23, 2008

Afghanistan, we have forgotten you

Apparently we have forgotten Afghanistan. The major issue post-September 11 was attacking the Taliban for providing full accomodations including room service, full spa privledges and access to the pool to Al Qaeda. Then came our fearless leader's desire to protect oil and give business to his buddy, the vice president......I mean find those weapons of mass destruction that magically were never found, and invade Iraq. Afghanistan became the red-headed stepson quickly in the media. You rarely hear anything about what is happening in Afghanistan. Hopefully this means that us cramming "democracy" down their throats whether they want it or not, is producing the wanted effects, but I am guessing that it is progressing as quick as one would imagine it would in a part of the world where women are still not allowed to make any valuable additions to society.

Afghanistan finally did may some headlines today in the news where the Afghan President Hamid Karzai said that President-elect Obama promised him that the U.S. would provide more aid and assistance to Afghanistan. Seems like a good decision to help out a country that we decided needed to change, that we should help them out until one of us gives up on Afghanistan ever being a viable democratic nation.

The only downside to this promise, and I have a feeling the new administration will not care, but opposition will claim that President-elect Obama's possible ties to Islam are the only reason we are increasing our aid. This is an incredibly incorrect way to view the situation. We forced, and correctly so, the Taliban out of power. Now we need to continue to aid the struggling government to maintain control and stay away from mob issues and eventually a power grab by the Taliban. God Speed, Pres. Karzai, you are going to need it.

Saturday, November 22, 2008

Why the need to appoint certain people?

I am very happy that Barack Obama is our current President-elect. I was very happy with one of the first appointments being Rahm Emanuel to Chief of Staff. But why are we happy with the president-elect who was the candidate in a campaign that did things totally different than had been done in a presidential campaign in a long time. Yet, with appointments to his cabinet it seems like he is trying to not offend people more than trying to appoint who he and his advisors think best. Why do you want Hillary Clinton as Secretary of State? She said some awful things about him just to hope to win the democratic nomination. When she failed, so should everything else in public service for her. Now we are commending her on her well-fought, personal attacks on President-Elect Obama by handing her a huge position in his cabinet. She is well suited for the position, but one of the things that should happen that after you fight a mean-spirited campaign, you should have to sit back and ride out the process for the first four years. This is not the post-Aaron Sorkin "The West Wing" where everything is hugely dramatic but everything always works out in the end. No, this is real life. Where we elect a moron to the highest post in the world not once, but twice. Where we followed the greatest non-wartime economic growth in one presidential administration to the worst economic recession since the S&L crisis, if not before then in the following administration. Unfortunately, our current economic crisis is more so dependent on the world economy than ever before and one of the things the highest elected official in this country, and the most powerful man in the world should be able to pick the best for the position and one who will follow in his lead. Not lay down insults, and now try to save face and put on the worst acting face I have seen since I went to see a friend's play of Arthur Miller's Death of a Salesman where I think a salesman was killed by Joey Budafuco. The script was ripped to shreds worse than what Jeffrey Dahmer did to his lunch snack on a victims liver.

Now is a time for our President-elect to rise to greatness, and give him all the tools for him to re-craft our country and the globe into a place where the USA is respected again for the right things. It is time for all of us, President-elect, his cabinet and all his constituents to rise to the occasion and put below our petty issues and do whatever is needed to act like a phoenix and rise from the ashes. We can and should focus and doing what we can to re-build this country into something great again. We will have a face and a brain in the White House that we can all be proud of, we need to accept the responsibility that he cannot do it alone. We must all find a way to improve, and become great again.

Thursday, May 11, 2006


Over? This Blog Over? Nothing is over until we decide it is! Was it over when the Germans bombed Pearl Harbor? No! And it aint over now!

Well, this Blog might be, but I finally realized that since I now have four people that report to me, and my actual day-to-day duties declining, I have more free time during the day. To which I have decided to re-introduce my Sports Blog and I will be unveiling a NEW blog featuring....ME! All about Noah. What could be better than that? If you said Heroin, you are correct. Other than that, nothing is other than a nice MLT sandwhich, where the Mutton is nice and lean and the tomatoes and nice and ripe.