Monday, October 31, 2011

Why I like China & Japan today

Its Halloween, so for those who celebrate and enjoy this day, I made my artwork connected to that theme rather than specific to the topic I am writing on.. Hopefully it won't be too distracting to the reader but just wanted to spice up a topic like finance, that's normally so dry and stale, with a little joy..

So onto the 'meat' of the posting...

Remember when you were a child; a young, naive impressionable child-- and if your parents spoke on tooth fairies, Santa Claus or goblins in the closet, etc, you actually believed it and reacted with excitement or fear?

There's a certain group of adults who act with the same kind of naivety and ignorance, but aren't 4yrs old biologically (only emotionally) and tend to believe any piece of bleep others say, particularly when it comes from the mouth of a collection of world leaders like say, an EU summit--  these stupid people are called Investors and traders.

The markets spiked last Thursday over 300pts based on Nothing but hope and promises.  I won't rehash the particulars, but generally speaking the gist was now the 'promise' Europe was Saved from the precipice of destruction, and the 'hope' China would come to the economic rescue, while the US dollar was extremely weak and continue, thus Yay Corporate profits!

Now let's break that down:

First Europe...

Found good commentary of the deal in the Telegraph UK -- "The markets loved it. So that's all right then. Anyone who believes that the euro crisis is over should remind themselves that these are the self-same markets which, not that long ago, were lending to Greece at virtually the same interest rate as they were to Germany...  More likely, (the deal) will unravel, or the system will suffer another major debt shock and a banking crisis."

In simple everyday terms, what happened concerning the Euro deal and markets was akin to a very emaciated, disheveled woman dressed in rags walking the catwalk like she was a model, and fashion 'experts' with agendas hard-pushing how healthy, wonderful & enchanting she looks, etc.  Europe is in no better shape today than last week, and will be in even worse economic shape in 2012.

Next.. China.

One of the rallying points of last week was a belief China would be like an economic white knight and ride to the rescue.  Sarkozy of France sought them out and angered many in his own government.  Well like everything else the market bases its investing decisions on, it was all hope and wishing/wanting:

"China's official Xinhua news agency on Sunday declared: "China can neither take up the role as a savior to the Europeans, nor provide a 'cure' for the European malaise. Obviously, it is up to European countries themselves to tackle their financial problems.'' -- AP

When it comes to China, is it safe to say that Europe, like the US are both at beggar status?

Finally.. US dollar weakness and Japan.  Seems that traitorous bastard Fed Chair Ben Bernanke thinks he is the only one who can dramatically weaken the currency of his own nation for the benefit of corporations.  Well Japan, among others, does it too.  

"The dollar rose sharply against the yen Monday after the Bank of Japan weakened its currency to help Japanese exporters." -- AP

So what's going on in the market today as of 2:30p?

Dow down -158   Oil down 60cents..  Hmm, and what's the Market-oil-dollar collarary again?

Market goes down when oil goes down and US dollar strengthens.

Market goes up when oil rises and US dollar weakens.

So what to take or make from all this financial gobbletygook?

1) Nothing has changed, nothing is better and no one should be shopping and spending money as if the global economy has turned some magical 'corner'.  In fact for most everyday people things are unfortunately getting worse... here's an example:

"The besieged housing market has even further to fall before home prices really hit rock bottom. According to Fiserv, a financial analytics company, home values are expected to fall another 3.6% by next June, pushing them to a new low of 35% below the peak reached in early 2006 and marking a triple dip in prices. Several factors will be working against the housing market in the upcoming months, including an increase in foreclosure activity and sustained high unemployment" - CNN/Money

2)  Investors are clueless, mindless animals.  They breed in the filth of speculation, rumor, false hope and move in any direction the 'pack' moves.  They have no concern over recession or 'recovery'; and people must wake up & stop admiring the cackling geese who offer financial advice on CNBC, etc..

3)  All the nations of the world are in a race to devalue their currencies the quickest and most dramatic.  All nations work for the benefit of their corporations and the needs/wants of Investors.  The populace may have elections but ultimately everyday people's needs mean nothing when it comes to the economic policy decisions of ALL nations.

The media lies to you constantly about how things are improving or at least stabilizing.  And they will be pushing this Extremely Hard as it gets closer to Christmastime shopping.  Some people are genuinely unaffected economically while others are feeling the pain on a daily basis-- this is the Two Americas we talk on often.  

But overall, our message transcends this economic divide:  Be smart with your finances.  Make a holiday budget based on what is realistic for you and stick rigidly to it.  Remember, there is a Dec 26th and a 27th, and an eventual 2012...  

And 2012 is going to be a doozy...

Sunday, October 30, 2011

"Beyonce's Party"

Beyonce's Party
heyyy...Preparing to be a mum Beyonce get a new clip "Party"... I like the music, clip and costumes..
And she is wonderful with her voice and beauty....
Just look and enjoy . . .


Employers & Skill Shortage? A Personal Reflection

I start this posting with a quote from the Wall Street Journal, an honest and candid assessment on why companies are not getting the employees they need..  Are they going through a skill shortage?

"Some of the complaints about skill shortages boil down to the fact that employers can't get candidates to accept jobs at the wages offered. That's an affordability problem, not a skill shortage. A real shortage means not being able to find appropriate candidates at market-clearing wages. We wouldn't say there is a shortage of diamonds when they are incredibly expensive; we can buy all we want at the prevailing prices... American companies don't seem to do training anymore"

Dr. Cappelli, Wharton Professor, Univ. of Penn  (source: WSJ)

It vividly reminded me of a job interview from my high school days.  It was a summer job I was seeking- a data entry position.  I filled out a resume but the employer was still insistent I take 30-45min of my life away to fill his application. My resume was required but yet not good enough.. Tick Tock.. Scribble Scribble..

Then we sat down for the interview.

First thing he noticed when glancing at my application was I left the salary demand blank.  I didn't see the point in filling it.  He knew exactly how much he was willing to pay me ($8/hr) and if I put down what I really was desiring ($10/hr), the interview would have ended before it began.  And if I put a lower number, I'd be short-changing myself and showing a lack of confidence; a willingness to settle.

So he and I politely argued over this (as I quietly seethed) then seeing his absolute refusal to accept a blank demand, I put $9/hr sought.  The interviewer looked at it and smugly said, "Well this job pays $8/hr.. "  I wanted to slap him hard.  I just simply said 'ah'.

Then we went over what computer skills I possessed.  Was I proficient in Mac?  Yes. Windows 95?  '98? Yes to both.  On and on..  Then he asked about a program called Peachtree.  I say No, I am not familiar.  He gruffles and goes 'Oh.. well that's important'.   Well what about the other 9 programs I was grilled on- weren't they?  Realizing this interview was pretty much over by his behavior and pen tapping, and not being the cowardly sort, I stated, "Well you know, you could train me on Peachtree.  I am a quick learner"  He responded they didn't have the time to do this i.e 'We don't want to pay you eight precious dollars to spend one hour to teach you Peachtree basics'

By this point I stated something to the effect "I am sure this ad has been in the paper a while because you expect applicants to know every software program and then pay nothing for that knowledge.  Either stop being so cheap and pay to train new employees or raise your salary demands so you really attract the type of person you seek'.

He briskly told me 'Thankyou for your opinion-- Good day'  and that was that.  Pushed briskly out the door without a hand being laid on me. I couldn't help but laugh to myself at the absurdity of this employer and thought to myself- certainly they can't all be like him?

Eighteen months later his small business was no longer in existence.  Newspaper article at the time said one of his employees had embezzled money then used it to pay off gambling debts.  The employee was arrested but the money never recovered.  And abruptly, the company closed its doors.

I remember reading it at the time and imagining if I had been hired by such a cheap, bottom-line person, the work experience would have been pure Misery.

Unfortunately there's Millions and Millions of Americans who either work for assholes like that or interact with them in the job hiring process.

Remember, if you're willing to learn every little piece of information possible in a particular field and offer your intellect and time for a fraction of what you should be paid (like 25-40% less), you will be coveted and never deal with long term job loss.   You will also be Pathetic.

But that's a posting for another day.

Saturday, October 29, 2011

Wishlist ♥

Hi..dear readers..I want to share with you my fashion wishlist...I think that some of them I'll get for a few weeks :) 
Just look and like it...

Friday, October 28, 2011

Quick Comments 10/28/11

~ Or you may not be offended.. nice hat though, yes?

Well, we're Still recovering from yesterday's market insipidness-  we can rant and rant but short of an act of God, very little can stop the System from screwing over the bottom 99% while 53% play the role of loyal lapdog to the Corporations.

That said, we never stop fighting.. neither should you.

Anyways, its Friday evening so time for some quick comments to real headlines:

The Only Way to Avoid Another U.S. Recession (Yahoo!) --  The article states: "The one thing, the only thing, that can save us from a recession in the first-quarter of 2012 is the great bearded one. No, not Santa Claus. Santa Bernanke."  Funny-- everyone's trying to save America from a 'recession' yet we're in year 4 of an ongoing depression.  Maybe the one thing we need to save us is Santa Christo.

The Economic Agony of Today’s Twentysomethings (Yahoo!) --  We know the stats: average student debt at $24k, unemployment higher than national average, etc..  but let's not forget the agony of hearing politicians tell them its going to get better soon while Generation Huh! is being forced to watch nonstop commercials on TV selling them shit they don't need with money/credit they don't have.. That's agony.

U.S. Confidence Rises in Sign U.S. Will Keep Recovery Intact (Bloomberg) --  Yep, it rose a whole point and a half: from 59.4 to 60.9. Wow.. 100 would mean healthy confidence.  Think of it like school- if your child's test taking abilities improved from 59.4 to 60.9, would you brag?  Bloomberg felt like it.  Oh, did you know-- The Consumer Confidence Index is based on the data from a monthly survey of 5000 US households.  There are over 310 Million people living in the US.  Accurate barometer of mood of nation? Um, No.

Bank of America Starting to Scale Back Debit-Card Fees (CNBC) -- Guess you can add B of A to a list including Netflix, all Airlines and hmm, well Every Single corporation in existence that tries to squeeze blood from a stone by adding fees, surcharges or additional expenses onto a general public who is sick of it and actively fights back, then the company retreats with tail between legs.  If only the American people could stop using Bank of America altogether and put their $$ elsewhere.  Oh what a beautiful demise that would be.

No Scrooge Here: Analyst Sees Best Holiday Sales Since 2004 (CNBC) -- The propaganda bullshit machine never stops does it? Anything to exude confidence.  Here's a headline on the same topic last week: Experts predict ho-hum holiday shopping (Reuters 10/20) -- "U.S. shoppers plan to spend an average of $704.18 on holiday gifts and seasonal goods this year, down nearly 2.1 percent from the $718.98 they spent in 2010, according to a survey issued by the National Retail Federation yesterday."  Oh who to believe... the market loving maggots at CNBC or Reuters? Hmmm...

NBA Deal Closer? (AP) --  The NBA..  what is that?   Kidding, its the professional basketball league.  Basketball- a game that is played in 48 regulation minutes but the last 2 minutes of the game take 30 minutes to finish.  If there's no season, what will I watch?  I am really going to miss Olympic Curling

‘It Gets Heated’: Twin Sisters Divided Over Occupy Wall Street (ABC News) -- One sister supports the OccupyWallStreet movement while the other doesn't.  In other "News", two brothers are divided over who to root for in Game 7 of the World Series, and a married couple of 50 years can't decide which is better chocolate or vanilla cake?

Thursday, October 27, 2011

The Archie Bunker mentality

Seems some people don't like OccupyWallStreet's message that among other things, the wealthy should be paying far more in taxes, especially as they've been living high on the hog for so many decades (During Eisenhower's Administration- the prosperous 1950s, the highest percentage of wealthy payed 90% in taxes; now its 35%)

They are calling themselves the 53% movement because they say 47% do not pay taxes, and they are tired of paying for others.  They are also annoyed the OccupyWallStreet movement tries to lump them in with them (those riff-raff; pardon moi but could someone please pass the Grey Poupon?) and believe people should be allowed to make as much money as humanly possible while a billionaire shouldn't have to pay more taxes than anyone else.

Here are some Archie Bunker (1970s TV's All in the Family) type responses from their Facebook page, care of Yahoo!; "I am responsible for my own destiny," writes one 34-year-old father of three. "I will succeed or fail because of me and me alone." (and) "I took jobs I didn't want. Why don't you?" says one poster to the protesters. "Suck it up and become part of the 53%.""

Tsk Tsk... Oh where to begin??  Anyone who thinks they solely control their own destiny and sinks or swims solely because of them and no one else, is an Idiot.  There's always going to be people who do not have more than two nickles to scratch together, and yet be extremely good & loyal lapdogs to corporations and the well-to-do.

No one lives on an island and no one succeeds on their own.  Government provided the education almost every American has received (with exception of private school and home study).  They also provided for many the transportation to go to school i.e. buses.  Government on a state or local level also provided the libraries which you visited to do research papers or checkout books with zero cost to you.  And government provided and co-signed on the student loans that by other rights, you as a 18yr old had no business receiving, which allowed you to get your degree.

Now when you go out into the world with a brain full of information in a field to which you acquired your degree, and there are few to no jobs because they've been outsourced or no one really respects your field of study enough to provide decent paying jobs, that means your destiny is involuntarily altered by others.  And if you do have a job that pays well, and suddenly you get a pink slip, you are absolutely in Zero control of that. And Lord help you if you choose to not go to college in today's job market- the only choices you will have is burger flipper or store greeter.  So to say one is in control of their destiny or sink/swim on their own is a naive fool, like Archie Bunker was.

Now the morons who say, "I took jobs I didn't want.."... they are part of the problem why all Americans suffer in the work force.   In the US, we have a minimum wage of $7.25/hr but above it, anyone can offer their services for as little as possible and undercut one another in a "Lord of the Flies" manner, just as employers want and expect.  If a certain job in a certain field pays $18-$22/hr for example, and some prick comes along and says to the Boss, "Hey, I'll do it for $14/hr" because his/her mindset is 'I'll do whatever I have to do to survive', guess who gets hired- the $14/hr prick or the person who still seeks $18-22/hr?

And thus widespread, you see national wages drop 10-25% across the board while the products and services never decrease. And everyone ultimately suffers as we become slaves to debt to make up the shortfall.  The person who will do any work at any price feels so smug and cocky, but he/she has contributed to the further downfall of this nation.  While on the other hand, there's power in numbers- when people refuse to undercut one another and take decreased wages while employers struggle to expand their business without going back to old salary, then you have real control of destiny.

This dynamic- those barely making it economically who defend the rich and powerful, is a big reason why Republicans are able to compete in elections; the party is made up of Barons, Bankers and "Bunkers".

EU agreement: The Investor Baddies win again

~ EU's leaders- call cut from the same soulless cloth

You will hear and read many reasons why the market has dramatically spiked today.  Among them that the leaders of Europe have agreed "to boost the region's bailout fund and struck a deal with banks and insurers to accept 50 percent losses on Greek bonds." (Reuters)

This is by the way, a collective sell out their populaces once again to the tune of the creation of a One Trillion Euro backstop to help prop up banks and cover investor risks in the future. Amazing isn't it- All political leaders of all political party persuasions are All deeply shortsighted and evil.  Just 'pass the buck' and hope things don't fully explode (or implode) on their watch.

There must be a political gene that makes all leaders of all nations sociopathic, egotistical and self-serving.   Maybe that's why they have such a connection with Investors and go out of their way to treat them like royalty.

But I digress.

The real reason markets are climbing are these 3 headlines, all from Reuters:

1  Euro Climbs to Fresh Seven-Week Peak vs. Dollar

2  Dollar falls to fresh record low against the yen

3  Dollar falls 2 percent against the Swiss franc

I am a bit of a repetitive parrot on this point because its important to understand and remember--  the stronger the market, the weaker the US dollar.  The weaker the US dollar, the more it cost Americans to buy Everything (oil is up an additional $3.92 per barrel today-- guess who pays at pump? Point-point) while benefiting soulless corporations who can acquire greater profits abroad from cheaper exports.  It also means the US government doesn't have to pay back as much debt to China because the currency is weaker.

~ Lots n lots n lots of Euros...

And lastly, Investors are cockroaches- they only care of profit, not you the everyday person, so when the market rises, it is Absolutely NO reflection of the greater US economy.  It only means profit was to be found, like leftover sweets in a trashcan to be devoured.  Treasonous snake Fed Chair Ben Bernanke has been successful in his multi-Trillion dollar efforts to kick start the market while destroying savers and ability of people to generate capital through non-speculative means.

What makes the European deal disgusting is the same themes that made the 2008 US bailouts disgusting (and which pompous fuck politicians act like they saved the world):  The Banks get bailed out, money gets sucked out of National treasuries to cover others, resulting in higher taxes, lower wages, weakening pensions and reduction of social services.

And Nothing was solved.  The 'can' simply was kicked some more.

But no one can be surprised.  Politicians and governments are good at this: coming up with magical solutions out of thin air which simply buy them time and breathing room.  It would be comical if not that these self-centered decisions have ramifications for generations.

But that's how it works- enact policy with total self-interest in mind and convince just enough people its for their own good, so that they can go back to watching football and other tripe, and a populace is soothed that otherwise without the mindless distractions, would be charging their leaders' domiciles with pitchforks and hangman nooses.

One thing here at A&G, we don't pretend to be neutral and insult the reader's intelligence.  We here are all angry... and Tired!  Tired of these same games being played for Three years now.  Banks Must be Saved.  Markets Must be Strengthened.  Investors must be placated.  And Damn all the peoples of the world who pay for it!

The world keeps getting worse and the bad people keep winning.

The righteous side- We are due a victory. Have faith-- it will come.

And we keep going.

My Style . "So Seriously". (:

Hi dear I want to share with your look of day "so seriously" . . . lol funny photos..cause I'm photographed all photos..Ok..just look and like it (:
Bye ..

Jacket (Zara) Blazer
Blouse (Zara), 
Knit (Koton),
Leggings (Bershka), 
Flats (Zara),
Handbag (Balenciaga)

Wednesday, October 26, 2011

Another Backdoor Bank Bailout by another name

We're back from our business trip, and super-exhausted from all the hustle-bustle that travelling can cause, so this post will be more to the point.

Seems on Monday or Tuesday (so hard to lose track of days without internet sometimes), President Obama announced a plan to help mortgage holders by reducing their payments by entering a program called HARP.  Yay~  The only thing is, that if the homeowner ends up defaulting after entering the program, the liability has been passed from the banks themselves to Freddie & Fannie Mac.   And who owns them?

Yep-- you & I.

If you want to read the more complicated explanation, see below:

From Huffington Post:  "The newly expanded program would expunge legal liabilities associated with mortgages refinanced through the program for the original lenders of the mortgages. Each time a bank sent a loan to Fannie and Freddie, it certified that the loan met Fannie and Freddie's safe lending criteria. But many loans sent to the mortgage giants did not, in fact, meet those criteria. Currently, when borrowers default on those ineligible loans, the mortgage giants can "put back" the resulting losses onto the banks that pushed the loans.

Under the modified plan, "put back" liability at banks will be erased for any underwater mortgage that is refinanced through HARP, eliminating Fannie and Freddie's ability to sack lenders with losses in the event that the mortgage does not pan out.

If borrowers go through HARP, but decide after several months that the modest monthly savings do not outweigh owing tens of thousands of dollars more than their home is worth, taxpayer-owned Fannie and Freddie will have to take the full loss. Even if the original loan was sent to Fannie and Freddie with false or fraudulent guarantees from the bank -- promises that may directly be tied to the borrower's current financial problems -- banks will be immune from liability. Fannie and Freddie plan to charge banks "a modest fee" to extinguish this liability, but the administration has yet to determine what that fee will be."

Cliff notes version: Obama's plan means taxpayer-owned Fannie and Freddie will have to take the full loss. & banks will be immune from liability.  

Why must Every Single Fucking policy enacted by Bush, Obama or the Fed be a secret backdoor bank bailout?? Can't they take a Loss??!!

 Today the President also announced a plan to 'help' those with student debts- lower monthly payments and consolidate to lower Interest Rates.  Not sure if this is another bank bailout- haven't had time to read particulars, but that should certainly help when the students reach month 12 or 24 after graduation and still can't find work.

Now see what happens when one travels too much-- we get cranky.  Well a good night's sleep and we'll be back to writing more time-topical posts Thursday...

Tuesday, October 25, 2011

Versace for H&M . . . finally ready H&M collection designed by Donatella Versace...Amazing outfits and acessories ..but its classic Versace more..Last year Alber Elbaz created designs for H&M, (H&M Lanvin collection) and now Versace...I think, it will be so funny..that we will get with low price from Versace . . .
Look and Enjoy....