Archive for the ‘Politics’ Category

Understanding the Bitcoin Saga—Is it really the “Currency of the Future”?

Friday, March 28th, 2014

Bitcoin by definition is: “a peer-to-peer payment system and digital currency introduced as open source software in 2009. It is a cryptocurrency, so-called because it uses cryptography to control the creation and transfer of money.” Understanding the Bitcoin can be somewhat of a challenge depending on who you read and trust. To help us understand the Bitcoin with some historical and legal insight is this week’s guest:  Thomas J. Schetelich.

 

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About this week’s guest:

Thomas_Schetelich

Mr. Schetelich is one of the founding principals in the law firm of Ferguson, Schetelich & Ballew in Baltimore, Maryland. He heads both the firm’s corporate and business law practice and its personal legal services department. Mr. Schetelich concentrates his work in the fields of business planning, business litigation, trusts and estates, and family matters.  He devotes much of his practice to assisting charitable and religious organizations; and is an author and frequent speaker on the subject of Maryland Church Law.

Mr. Schetelich is highly regarded by attorneys and the community at large for his legal skills and community service. He holds an AV rating from Martindale Hubble, awarded by peer review, for the highest standards of professional skill and ethical practice. He has repeatedly been named a Maryland Super Lawyer.  He manages national representations for real estate and hospitality clients.

Mr. Schetelich also has extensive court room and trial experience, in both Maryland state courts and federal courts. He has appeared before both Maryland appellate courts and has been admitted for argument in three separate Circuits of the United States Court of Appeals. He has managed an extensive toxic tort defense as the lead Baltimore City attorney for asbestos defendants.

Mr. Schetelich devotes much of his practice to assisting churches and Christian ministries throughout Maryland.  He is the National President of the Christian Professional Network and the editor of its monthly publication CPN On Point.  He has served as the commentator on Religion and the Law, a regular radio feature. He serves on the Board of Directors for The Baltimore School of the Bible (where he was an instructor for over 25 years), for the Fellowship of Christian Athletes, for Christian Missions in Many Lands, and for The Maryland Bible Society. He chairs the board for the Greater Baltimore Center for Pregnancy Concerns.  Mr. Schetelich has been honored both by Baltimore City and the Maryland General Assembly for outstanding citizenship in serving the citizens of Baltimore.

Professional Affiliations:

  • Maryland State Bar Association (Estate and Trust Section, Tax Section)
  • Bar Association of Baltimore City

Education:

  • Washington and Lee University School of Law Juris Doctor awarded (magna cum laude) in 1980
  • Burks Scholar Teaching Fellow, John Marshall Research Fellow (Order of the Coif)
  • Kean College of New Jersey, Bachelor of Arts awarded in 1977 (summa cum laude)

Bar Admissions:

  • United States Supreme Court
  • Maryland
  • U.S. District Court for the District of Maryland
  • Fourth, Eleventh, Federal, and D.C. Circuit Courts of Appeals

An Inside look at the Federal Reserve— Jim Bruce the writer and director of Money for Nothing unveils the scary and hard-hitting facts of their doings. This week on Your Financial Editor:

Thursday, March 13th, 2014

With the 100-year anniversary of the Federal Reserve behind us, the once distant fear that this central banking system would turn into a profit for the already wealthy and forget the general public and private bankers it was established to help is now, an all too concerning reality. Jim Bruce takes us through the history and interworking of The Fed.

Listen from anywhere, by logging on to www.wfmd.com and clicking the listen live button! This Saturday morning @ 8am on AM 930 WFMD.

Portrait_jim_bruce

About this week’s guest:

Money For Nothing is Jim Bruce’s directorial debut.  Jim was Editor/Writer/Co-Producer of Sierra Leone’s Refugee All Stars – finalist for the 2006 International Documentary Association’s Feature Film of the Year. Jim has also worked as an editor on acclaimed documentaries (including The King of Kong and Dambe: The Mali Project), and as an assistant editor on Hollywood films such as Kinsey, Insomnia, X-Men: The Last Stand, and The Incredible Hulk. He was a Visiting Professor at Middlebury College in 2007.

Jim has been a student of financial markets for many years, and began writing a newsletter in 2006 warning about the oncoming financial crisis. His short trades in 2007 and 2008 helped finance a significant portion of Money For Nothing’s budget.

Jim has appeared on CNBC, MSNBC, NPR, Bloomberg TV, and Fox Business, and has spoken at Harvard Business School and the Dutch Central Bank.

MONEY FOR NOTHING is a feature-length documentary about the Federal Reserve – made by a Team of AFI, Sundance, and Academy Award winners – that seeks to unveil America’s central bank and its impact on our economy and our society.

Current and former senior Fed officials, prominent economists, investors and traders provide unprecedented access and take viewers behind the curtain to debate the future of the world’s most powerful financial institution.

Digging beneath the surface of the 2008 crisis, Money For Nothing is the first film to ask why so many facets of our financial system seemed to self-destruct at the same time. For many economists and senior Fed officials, the answer is clear: the same Fed that put out 2008’s raging financial fire actually helped light the match years before.

As the global financial system continues to falter, the Federal Reserve finds itself at a crossroads. The choices it makes will greatly influence the kind of world our children and grandchildren inherit. How can the Federal Reserve steer our nation toward a more sustainable path? How can the American people – who the Fed was created to serve – influence an institution whose inner workings they may not understand?

The key tenet underlying Money For Nothing is our belief that a more fully and accurately informed public will promote greater accountability and more effective policies from our central bank – no matter the conclusions any individual draws from the film.

A different look at the 2008 Financial Crisis. This week on Your Financial Editor.

Thursday, February 27th, 2014

The causes of the 2008 Financial Crisis have been discussed in detail over the past few years. But not everyone is in one-hundred percent agreement on these causes. Join me this Saturday as I talk with Peter Wallison about his view on the crises as we discuss his presentation on, “The Causes of the 2008 Financial Crisis: A Dissenting View”

Listen from anywhere by logging onto WFMD and clicking the listen live button – Saturday morning at 8:00 on AM 930 WFMD.

About this week’s guest:

Peter Wallison

Peter J. Wallison, a codirector of AEI’s program on financial policy studies, researches banking, insurance, and securities regulation. As general counsel of the U.S. Treasury Department, he had a significant role in the development of the Reagan administration’s proposals for the deregulation of the financial services industry. He also served as White House counsel to President Ronald Reagan and is the author of Ronald Reagan: The Power of Conviction and the Success of His Presidency(Westview Press, 2002). His other books include Competitive Equity: A Better Way to Organize Mutual Funds (2007); Privatizing Fannie Mae, Freddie Mac, and the Federal Home Loan Banks (2004); The GAAP Gap: Corporate Disclosure in the Internet Age (2000); andOptional Federal Chartering and Regulation of Insurance Companies(2000). He also writes for AEI’s Financial Services Outlook series.

Just how independent is the Federal Reserve? This week on Your Financial Editor.

Thursday, February 13th, 2014

The Federal Reserve operates independent of the government, or at least it was supposed to. My guest this week, Allan Meltzer would beg to differ. Join me this week as Allan and I discuss his paper, “What’s Wrong With the Federal Reserve: What Would Restore Independence?

Listen from anywhere by logging onto WFMD and clicking the listen live button – Saturday morning at 8:00 on AM 930 WFMD.

About this week’s guest:

Mettzer- Allan-HR

Allan H. Meltzer is the Allan H. Meltzer University Professor of Political Economy at Carnegie Mellon University. His research and teaching interests include the history of U.S. monetary policy, size of government, macroeconomics, and international financial reform. He was the founder and chairman of the Shadow Open Market Committee. Meltzer has served as a consultant on economic policy for the Congress, the U.S. Treasury, the Federal Reserve, the World Bank, and the U.S. and foreign governments. He was Chairman of the International Financial Institution Advisory Commission, U.S. Congress, 1999–2000. He was given NABE’s Adam Smith Award in 2003 and is a NABE Fellow. He received A.B. and M.A. degrees from Duke University and a Ph.D. from the University of California at Los Angeles.

An in depth look at the financial crisis through the eyes of one woman. This week on Your Financial Editor.

Thursday, November 14th, 2013

The 2008 financial crisis changed the face of our economy and the impacts are still being felt. What went on behind the scenes as the crisis was unfolding? Why was the crisis handled the way it was? Join me this Saturday for my very special 16th anniversary show as I talk with the former chairman of the Federal Deposit Insurance Corporation (FDIC), Sheila Bair about her first hand experience in dealing with the crisis. We’ll answer these questions and more as we discuss her latest book, Bull by the Horns.

Listen from anywhere by logging onto WFMD and clicking the listen live button – Saturday morning at 8:00 on AM 930 WFMD.

About this week’s guest:

SheilaBairheadshot-200x300

Sheila C. Bair served as the 19th Chairman of the Federal Deposit Insurance Corporation for a five-year term, from June 2006 through June 2011.

Chairman Bair has an extensive background in banking and finance in a career that has taken her from Capitol Hill, to academia, to the highest levels of government. Before joining the FDIC in 2006, she was the Dean’s Professor of Financial Regulatory Policy for the Isenberg School of Management at the University of Massachusetts-Amherst since 2002.

Other career experience includes serving as Assistant Secretary for Financial Institutions at the U.S. Department of the Treasury (2001 to 2002), Senior Vice President for Government Relations of the New York Stock Exchange (1995 to 2000), a Commissioner of the Commodity Futures Trading Commission (1991 to 1995), and Research Director, Deputy Counsel and Counsel to Senate Majority Leader Robert Dole (1981 to 1988).

As FDIC Chairman, Ms. Bair presided over a tumultuous period in the nation’s financial sector, working to bolster public confidence and system stability. Determined not to turn to taxpayer borrowing during the crisis, the FDIC managed its losses and liquidity needs entirely through its traditional industry-funded resources. In response to the financial crisis, she developed innovative and stabilizing programs that provided temporary liquidity guarantees to unfreeze credit markets and increased deposit insurance limits. In 2007, she was a singular – and prescient — advocate for systematic loan modifications to stem the coming tidal wave of foreclosures. Ms. Bair also led FDIC resolution strategies to sell failing banks to healthier institutions, while providing credit support of future losses from failed banks’ troubled loans. That strategy saved the Deposit Insurance Fund $40 billion over losses it would have incurred if the FDIC had liquidated those banks.

Under Ms. Bair’s leadership, the FDIC’s powers and authority were significantly expanded by the Dodd-Frank Wall Street Reform and Consumer Protection Act of 2010. The law extends the FDIC’s resolution process to large, systemically-important financial institutions, effectively attacking the doctrine of too-big-to-fail. The FDIC was also given joint authority to order the restructuring of an entity that cannot demonstrate, through a continually-monitored resolution plan, that it can be unwound.

Ms. Bair has been a leading domestic and international advocate for common-sense capital and leverage ratios, including backing a key provision in Dodd-Frank that requires large financial entities to have capital cushions at least as strong as those that apply to U.S. community banks. As a member of the Basel Committee on Banking Supervision, in 2006 she called for higher bank capital standards, including an international leverage ratio to constrain growing levels of leverage among the world’s major financial institutions. Financial experts now widely attribute excess leverage as a key driver of the 2008 financial crisis. In 2010, the Basel Committee finally adopted an international leverage ratio.

Ms. Bair’s work at the FDIC also focused on consumer protection and economic inclusion. Under her leadership, the FDIC issued early calls for interagency guidance addressing high-risk mortgages, and was among the first to see the dangers of these unaffordable mortgages to the broader banking sector and to the economy as a whole. She championed the creation of an Advisory Committee on Economic Inclusion, seminal research on small-dollar loan programs, and the formation of broad-based alliances in nine regional markets to bring underserved populations into the financial mainstream.

Known for her focused and effective management style, FDIC employee morale soared under Chairman Bair’s leadership. Under her leadership, the FDIC achieved a #1 ranking of the “Best Places to Work in the Government for 2011,” among more than 200 comparable federal organizations. Moreover, her hands-on approach and strong emphasis on risk management led to the FDIC receiving an “unqualified,” or clean audit from the General Accounting Office (GAO) during every year of her term, a remarkable feat given the many demands on the agency for rapid expansion and loss exposure associated with the resolution of 370 failed banks representing over $650 billion in assets.

Ms. Bair received a number of prestigious honors during her tenure as FDIC Chairman. In 2008 and 2009, Forbes Magazine named Ms. Bair as the second most powerful woman in the world, after Germany’s Chancellor Angela Merkel. Also in 2008, Ms. Bair topped The Wall Street Journal’s annual 50 “Women to Watch List.” In 2009 she was named one of Time Magazine’s “Time 100″ most influential people; awarded the John F. Kennedy Profile in Courage Award; and received the Hubert H. Humphrey Civil Rights Award. In 2010, Ms. Bair was featured on the cover of TIME Magazine with Mary Schapiro and Elizabeth Warren as “The New Sheriffs of Wall Street.” Also in 2010, she received the Better Business Bureau’s Presidents’ Award. In December of 2011, subsequent to leaving office, Ms. Bair was named by the Washington Post and Harvard University as one of seven of America’s Top Leaders.

A Kansan by birth, Chairman Bair received a bachelor’s degree from the University of Kansas in 1975 and a J.D. from the University of Kansas School of Law in 1978. Ms. Bair was inducted into the University of Kansas Women’s Hall of Fame and received the Distinguished Kansan Award from the Native Sons and Daughters of Kansas in 2011. In May of 2012, she joined fellow KU alumni Robert Dole and Ford CEO Alan Mulally in Lawrence, Ks to receive the first honorary doctoral degrees ever granted by their alma mater. She also holds honorary doctorates from Amherst College and Drexel University.

Chairman Bair has also received several honors for her published work on financial issues, including her educational writings on money and finance for children, and for professional achievement. Among the honors she has received are: Distinguished Achievement Award, Association of Education Publishers (2005); Personal Service Feature of the Year, and Author of the Month Awards, Highlights Magazine for Children (2002, 2003 and 2004); and The Treasury Medal (2002). Her first children’s book, Rock, Brock and the Savings Shock, was published in 2006 and her second, Isabel’s Car Wash, in 2008.

Chairman Bair continues her work on financial policy issues as a Senior Advisor to the Pew Charitable Trusts. She also chairs the Systemic Risk Council (SRC) a public interest group of prominent former government officials and leading financial experts which monitors progress on the implementation of financial reforms in the US. She is a founding board member of the Volcker Alliance, a non-profit organization established by former Federal Reserve Board Chairman Paul Volcker to promote more effective government. In addition, she serves on the prestigious International Advisory Council to the China Bank Regulatory Commission.

Ms. Bair writes a regular column for Fortune Magazine on financial policy matters. She has written a New York Times best seller about her tenure at the FDIC, Bull By the Horns: Fighting to Save Main Street from Wall Street and Wall Street from Itself, published in September of 2012. She is married to Scott P. Cooper and has two children, Preston and Colleen.

Known for her tough-minded independence, Ms. Bair takes care to earn a living in a way that does not compromise her objectivity. She is paid a salary at Pew and receives income from her Fortune column and books. She also serves on the board of Host Hotels, and as an advisor to the public sector practice of the Boston Consulting Group and Alexander Proudfoot, two management consulting firms. In addition, she engages in public speaking. She speaks on a pro bono basis to nonprofits such as 501 c3′s and community groups. She charges a fee to for-profit entities, but does not accept fees from banks which the FDIC insures or bank holding companies which used the FDIC debt guarantee program during the crisis. She will speak to banking organizations as part of her efforts to raise money for special needs children at her daughter’s orphanage in Hunan China.

 

 

A closer look at Mr. Richard Whitney. This week on Your Financial Editor.

Thursday, October 31st, 2013

Take a deeper look into the life of Richard Whitney, from president of the NYSE to crook.  A man whose actions led to the securities regulations we find today.  Join my guest, Malcolm MacKay, and I this Saturday as we discuss his book, Impeccable Connections: The Rise and Fall of Richard Whitney.

Listen from anywhere by logging onto WFMD and clicking the listen live button – Saturday morning at 8:00 on AM 930 WFMD.

About this week’s guest:

malcolm-mackay

Malcolm MacKay is a lawyer and businessman who, as a boy and young man, knew Richard Whitney in his post-prison years. MacKay has thought about Whitney, and why he did what he did, all his life. A graduate of Princeton and Harvard Law School, he lives in Brooklyn, New York.

A deeper look into the financial crisis of 2008. This week on Your Financial Editor.

Thursday, October 17th, 2013

Who is really to blame for the 2008 financial crisis? Can we really point our fingers at a few particular individuals? Join me this Saturday as I talk with Jay W. Richards, author of, Infiltrated, as we discuss how the crisis really began.

Listen from anywhere by logging onto WFMD and clicking the listen live button – Saturday morning at 8:00 on AM 930 WFMD.

About this week’s guest:

Richards_Jay

Jay W. Richards, PhD, is coauthor of the New York Times bestseller Indivisible and author of Money, Greed, and God, which won a Templeton Enterprise Award. He is the Distinguished Fellow at the Institute for Faith, Work & Economics, and a Senior Fellow at the Discovery Institute.

He is also executive producer of several television documentaries, including The Call of the Entrepreneur and The Birth of Freedom. Richards’s articles and essays have been published in the Harvard Business Review, Washington Post, Wall Street Journal, Investor’s Business Daily, National Review, Washington Times, Philadelphia Inquirer, Huffington Post, American Spectator, and a wide variety of other publications.

Dr. Richards has lectured on dozens of college and university campuses; at many think tanks, including the Heritage Foundation, the Cato Institute, and the American Enterprise Institute; at scores of conferences as diverse as the Western Economic Association and the Evangelical Theological Society; at numerous public policy meetings, such as the Heritage Resource Bank, the Council for National Policy, and the Atlas Freedom Forum; and on several occasions to members of the U.S. Congress and U.S. congressional staff. In January 2008, his debate with the late Christopher Hitchens at Stanford University, moderated by Ben Stein and Michael Cromartie, was broadcast live to several hundred North American churches by the Church Communications Network.

His work has been covered in the New York Times, Washington Post, Wall Street Journal, Washington Times, Nature, Science, Astronomy, Physics Today, Chronicle of Higher Education, American Enterprise, Congressional Quarterly Researcher, and American Spectator.

An experienced public speaker, Dr. Richards has appeared on hundreds of radio and television programs, including Larry King Live (CNN), Huckabee, Dayside, Fox and Friends, Studio B with Shepard Smith (Fox News), Glenn Beck TV, PBS, CBN, and TBN, C-Span Book TV, The Michael Medved Show, and The Mitch Albom Show, The Thom Hartmann Program, The Dennis Prager Show, Linda Chavez, The Mark Davis Show, and many others.

Dr. Richards has a PhD, with honors, in Philosophy and Theology from Princeton Theological Seminary. He also has an MDiv (Master of Divinity) and a ThM (Master of Theology).

He recently moved with his wife and children from Seattle to northern Virginia.

 

A look into Switzerland. This Week on Your Financial Editor.

Thursday, September 26th, 2013

A few months ago I had the pleasure of speaking with Ambassador Panagopoulos, Greece’s ambassador to the U.S. This week I have yet another interesting guest to talk with. The Ambassador of  Switzerland, Manuel Sager, will be joining me this Saturday to discuss the economic relations and innovations of this fascinating country.

Listen from anywhere by logging onto WFMD and clicking the listen live button – Saturday morning at 8:00 on AM 930 WFMD.

About this week’s guest:

Manuel SAGER was born in Menziken in the Canton of Aargovia in 1955. He graduated with a Ph.D. from the Law School of the University of Zurich and earned a Master of Laws and Letters (L.L.M.) degree at Duke University Law School. In 1986, he passed the bar in the State of Arizona and worked as an associate attorney at the law firm of O’Connor, Cavanagh, et al., in Phoenix for two years. In 1988, he began his career with the Federal Department of Foreign Affairs (FDFA) and was posted as a diplomat in training in Bern and Athens. From 1990 to 1995, he worked in the FDFA’s Directorate of International Law in Bern, specializing in International Humanitarian Law. From 1995 to 1999, he served as Deputy Consul General in New York, and from 1999 to 2001 as Head of Communications of the Embassy of Switzerland in Washington, D.C. From 2001 to 2002, he headed the Coordination Office for Humanitarian Law EAPC/PfP of the Directorate of International Law. From 2002 to 2005, he served as Head of Communications, first in the FDFA, thereafter in the Federal Department of Economic Affairs. From 2005 to 2008, Mr. Sager worked as Executive Director, with the title of ambassador, at the European Bank for Reconstruction and Development in London. From 2008 to 2010, also with the title of ambassador, he headed the Political Affairs Division in the FDFA responsible for coordinating thematic foreign policy. He was appointed Ambassador of Switzerland to the United States of America in October 2010 and formally presented his credentials to President Barack Obama on December 7, 2010.

Have employment policies gotten out of control? This week on Your Financial Editor.

Thursday, September 19th, 2013

Are employment policies forcing businesses to sacrifice qualified and skilled workers? With unemployment and underemployment at all time highs, why would we want to add further restrictions on the hiring process? Join me this week as Nathan Mehrens, President of Americans for Limited Government, and I discuss these and other labor issues.

A look at our nation’s most elite team through the life of one man: This week on Your Financial Editor.

Thursday, June 6th, 2013

Our nation’s military has always been a vital aspect to our country. They have been a non-stop topic in the news and in everyday life: their sacrifices, their heroism, and their bravery. Join me this week as I talk with author Eric Blehm about his book FEARLESS and the unrelenting courage of one man, Adam Brown, as we discuss the elite Navy Seal Team Six.

Listen from anywhere, by logging onto www.wfmd.com and clicking the listen live button!  Saturday morning @ 8am on AM 930 WFMD.

About this week’s guest:

Eric Blehm is a bestselling and award-winning author of nonfiction books. In 2006, he won the Barnes & Noble Discover Award for The Last Season (HarperCollins)a gripping account of the disappearance of legendary National Park Service ranger Randy Morgenson; The Last Season was also named by Outsidemagazine as one of the ten “greatest adventure biographies ever written” in 2009. Blehm’s next book, New York Times and Wall Street Journal bestseller The Only Thing Worth Dying For (HarperCollins, 2010), was hailed by former congressman Charlie Wilson, of Charlie Wilson’s War, as a “must read” among books about the current war in Afghanistan.

In 1999, Blehm became the first journalist to accompany and keep pace with an elite Army Ranger unit on a training mission. His access into the Special Operations community and reportage set an important milestone for American war journalism two years before reporters began to gain widespread embedded status with the U.S. military in the War Against Terror. Blehm’s immersion with the Rangers is what led him to the previously untold story of an elite team of eleven Green Berets who operated in the hinterland of Taliban-held Afghanistan just weeks after 9/11 (The Only Thing Worth Dying For), as well as to his current book: Fearless (Waterbrook/Multnomah; Random House). On sale in May 2012, Fearless is the heartrending and inspiring story of Naval Special Warfare Operator (SEAL) Adam Brown, who overcame tremendous odds in his rise to the top tier of the U.S. military: SEAL Team Six.

Blehm is the founder of Molly the Owl Books, the independent publishing company behind Molly the Owl—his popular nonfiction children’s book about a barn owl and her family—which won the 2011 Nautilus Award and the 2011 San Diego Book Award. Currently, he is working on his next nonfiction book, which takes place during the Cold War era.

Blehm lives in Southern California with his wife and children.