Archive for April, 2010

Friendship, Betrayal, and High-stakes Games. Inside Lehman Brothers – this week on Your Financial Editor!

Thursday, April 29th, 2010

Chris Murray - Host of YFE

They were the Rat Pack of Wall Street.  Four best friends, a decorated war hero, an emotional hippie and two regular guys with big hearts and dreams.  This week on Your Financial Editor, Chris Murray and his guest will take you deep inside the rise and fall of the oldest partnership on Wall Street, Lehman Brothers.  You will get an insider’s view of the main players, their friends and families, and the treachery, greed and corruption that tore them apart.  Saturday morning on AM 930 WFMD or listen from your PC on www.wfmd.com

About this week’s guest:

Vicky Ward is the author of  The Devil’s Casino, a remarkable novel about four men who dreamed of being “the good guys of finance” on Wall Street.  Ms. Ward not only takes you inside the financial world, but inside the culture, the families, and the rivalries that led to the fall of Lehman Brothers.  She has been a contributing editor to Vanity Fair since 2001, and specializes in investigative reporting.  She is also a weekly contributor to the Huffington Post and a contributor to CNBC.  Her work has appeared in many high profile publications, and she has profiled CIA agent Valerie Plame, Morgan Stanley, Brooke Astor and Kate Moss and many other well-known figures.  Ms. Ward is native Briton, holds a master’s degree from Cambridge University, and has lived in New York City since 1997.

American Capitalism…not perfect, but still the best!

Monday, April 26th, 2010

America, as wonderful as she is, and I mean that sincerely, is not perfect.  Far from it, actually.  However, in our short span of 244 years, we have risen to become the most powerful, kindest, and fairest nation in the history of the world.  Thanks to the USA’s economic structure of free trade and incentives to succeed, combined with our rule of law, we looked to be on a sustained path of continued greatness.  That seems to have changed drastically in the last 20 years in particularly.  Trends such more govenment bureacacy, increased government spending, multiplying government entitlement programs are slowly eating away our country’s ability to remain the lead-dog in both the free world and those repressed by evil and dangerous regimes.

The threat to capitalism, which like the term “middle class” doesn’t have a universally agreed upon definition, mainly comes from the very elected officials we put into office.  The redistribution of wealth seems to come from those that are one of the following:

  • Positioning themselves to reap huge financial rewards if their income redistribution policies are pushed through.  This is obvious in some situations like making movies, selling books, extorting money from businesses in trade for not smearing the name and reputation of that company, etc.
  • Political or governmental appointments/jobs that are promised and fulfilled if certain legislation is put into law. 
  • Those that are basically self-dealing – that allows the politician to benefit in some shape or form by creating, often times, dangerous political policy that can cause immediate and/or future damage to our families, economy, financial markets and society in general.

It seems that most Americans are figuring out (slowly but surely) that having government “take care” of you comes with a higher price than most are willing to pay.  I think the dirty feeling Americans’ get knowing that the politicians want to do everything short of wiping their mouths after they take a bite comes with a huge amount of lost control and lost pride.  I also believe that the defiant feeling is instinctive to us as citizens both from and for a free nation.  What I mean by that is – what would our grandparents, great grandparents, or great, great grandparents think of us for relying on others for so much?  Is that what they instilled in us?  What they taught our family members before us?  I say that is not what they taught unless they were lazy, weak or criminal.

Capitalism is far from perfect…but it’s the best economic system in the world.  The sooner we realize that and support it to the fullest, the sooner we can return to greatness.

Dangers of “Too Big to Fail” bailout policies – this week on Your Financial Editor

Thursday, April 15th, 2010

Chris Murray - YFE

Banks fail – some are hardly noticed.  Some, depending on their size, capture the attention of an entire nation…or even the world.  Saturday, on YFE, Chris Murray will be talking with Gary Stern, author of the book, Too Big to Fail. The potential effects of a big bank failing include risks to other financial institutions, to the financial system, and to social and economic order.  In response to these risks, policymakers in many countries respond by protecting these failing banks – making them ”too big to fail” or TBTF.  Chris and his guest will examine why these policies are a problem and will also explore better ways to deal with this issue.   Saturday morning at 8am (Eastern) on AM 930 WFMD, or listen from anywhere by logging onto www.wfmd.com.

About This Week’s Author:

Gary Stern recently retired as President and Chief Executive Officer of the Federal Reserve Bank of Minneapolis.  He also serves as Chairman of the Board of Directors of the National Council on Economic Education and the Northwest Area Foundation.

Fine Art & High Finance – this week on Your Financial Editor

Thursday, April 8th, 2010
Chris Murray

Monet…and your money.  This week on Your Financial Editor, Chris Murray will be talking with Dr. Clare McAndrew, author of Fine Art and High Finance.  Tune in as they explore the unique aspects of investing in the $65 billion dollar business of fine art and collectibles.  Saturday morning at 8 on AM 930 WFMD, or listen from anywhere at www.wfmd.com.

About this week’s guest:

Dr. McAndrew founded Arts Economics in 2005.  Dr. McAndrew is a cultural economist, investment analyst and published author.  She completed her PhD in Economics at Trinity College Dublin in 2001, where she also lectured and taught economics for four years.  She then led a number of research projects for the Arts Council of the UK, publishing studies on the effects of regulation, taxation and other issues in the visual arts markets.

In 2002, Dr. McAndrew became the chief economist for the  U.S. firm, Kusin & Company, a boutique investment banking firm specializing in art investment.  After three years in the U.S., she returned to Europe in 2005 to continue her work in the art market as a private consultant for a global client base.  Dr. McAndrew founded Arts Economics to focus her efforts on art market research and analysis, and works with a network of private consultants and academic researchers in providing research and consulting services to the global art trade and financial sector.