Archive for March, 2011

“Voices of America” contest – American’s telling Washington how to fix our country’s fiscal crisis!

Wednesday, March 30th, 2011

Chris recently entered a video into the Committee for a Responsible Federal Budget’s “Voices of America” contest, and we are proud to say that his video was one of 2 runners up to the 2 winners out of a large field of entries from all across the country.  The video was premiered at a major event in Washington D.C. – America’s Fiscal Choices at a Crossroad: The Human Side of the Fiscal Crisis.  The event was to increase the focus of the policy community, the media, and the American people on the human side of our fiscal crisis.

Are we headed for global financial warfare? This week on Your Financial Editor.

Friday, March 25th, 2011

 If you are interested in the future of the global economy, America’s position in the world, or how and where to invest money today, join Chris and Mr. Eric Weiner, author of The Shadow Market, this week on Your Financial Editor.  Their conversation will be a highly informative and genuinely startling one about often secretive and ever-shifting movement of  money and geopolitical power!

Be sure to read Mr. Weiner’s story in yesterday’s LA Times about Libya and the issues raised by oil-rich state capitalist countries.

Join us this Saturday morning at 8am on AM 930 WFMD, or listen from your pc by logging onto WFMD’s website and click the listen live button.

About this week’s guest:

Eric J. Weiner has covered business and economic issues for fifteen years as a writer and editor.  His critically acclaimed first book, What Goes Up: The Uncensored History of Modern Wall Street as told by the Bankers, Brokers, CEOs, and Scoundrels Who Made It Happen, was published in September 2005 by Little, Brown and Company, and was selected as one the year’s best books by Barron’s magazine and the of the year’s “most Enriching Reads” by Kiplinger’s.  He is a former columnist and reporter for Dow Jones Newswires, and he has written for The Wall Street Journal, Los Angeles Times, The Boston Globe, The Village Voice, and countless other major publications.   He is also a contributor to the news and opinion website The Huffington Post.  He lives in Barrington, Massachusetts with his wife, Paige and their son, Jake.

Provide relief to Japan without getting scammed.

Monday, March 21st, 2011

Last Friday’s magnitude 8.9 earthquake and deadly tsunami caused thousands of deaths and horrific destruction throughtout Japan.  There is no doubt Americans will be opening their wallets to give to the shaken nation, but how can donors choose the right charity and avoid being scammed?

To find legitimate, helpful ways to donate to relief for Japan, go to this story on Fox Business.

                                                                                                                                                   – Chris

Who’s telling the truth – Japanese officials or the U.S. media?

Saturday, March 19th, 2011

I was fortunate enough this week to be invited to join in on a conference call that included four Japanese economists who live and work in Japan and are employees of JP Morgan.  Our call included the following people:

  • Dr. David Kely, Managing Director & Chief Market Strategist at JP Morgan
  • Ryusuke Ohori, Chief Investment Officer of JP Morgan, Japan
  • Kentaro Sasaki, Head of Equity Research in the Japan Research Driven Team
  • Yoshito Sakakibara, Economist in Investment Research in Tokyo
  • Ritsuko Sakami, Client Portfolio Manager in Tokyo

Below are some excerpts from the call:

Dr. David Kelly:

  • ” Even if Japan sells U.S. treasuries to fund the total reconstruction (up to $120 billion) from the earthquake and tsunami, the Federal Reserve would probably step in to buy the securities back.”
  • ” Of the 3 nuclear plants in the quake area, only one is melting down.  This nuclear plant was originally constructed in the 1970′s.  The other 2 plants that are more technologically advanced seem to be withstanding the events fairly well.”

Ryusuke Ohori:

  • ” The strong Yen is due to the fact that many corporations are and will be re-patriating their currency to revuild facilities.”
  • ” The Yen appreciated in a similar fashion after the Kobe earthquake in 1995.”

Kentaro Sasaki:

  • ” There is huge human suffering in the northern part of Japan.”
  • ” No big impact on production.”
  • ” Most factories will recover in several weeks.”
  • ” Coal, natural gas, etc. use will offset the nuclear energy loss.”

Yoshito Sakakibara:

  • ” Hate to say it, but with the activity that follows the disasters, Japan may be able to end stagflation which has hampered the country’s economy for years.”

The previous quotes are by no means exact.  They come from my notes during our hour-long conference call with professionals and countrymen of Japan. 

The bottom line is that even though there is concern and obviously uncertainty, the northern part of Japan where the earthquake and tsunami struck accounts for 4% of the country’s GDP.  That means that 96% of the other goods and services produced by the world’s 3rd largest economy is business as usual.  Also 10% of the country’s total electric supply comes from the damaged nulear power plant, so 90% of Japan’s energy sources are ship-shape.

God be with the citizens and leaders of Japan.

New rules of personal finance – this week, on Your Financial Editor.

Friday, March 18th, 2011

From one of the world’s most respected business publications, The Wall Street Journal, comes the definitive gide to the new and ever-changing landscape of personal finance.  Dave Kansas, author of The Wall Street Guide to Personal Finance joins Chris this week the show.

Join us this this Saturday morning at 8am on AM 930 WFMD, or listen from anywhere on your pc by logging onto www.wfmd.com and clicking the listen live button.

About this week’s guest:

Dave Kansas is the editor-at-large of FiLife.com, a new online personal finance joint venture between Dow Jones and IAC Corp. Prior to that, he spent four years as editor of The Wall Street Journal‘s Money & Investing section, was editor in chief of TheStreet.com during its formative years, and is the author of two previous books: The Wall Street Journal’s Complete Money & Investing Guidebook and TheStreet.com Guide to Investing in the Internet Era.  Dave and his wife, Monica live in New York.

A Government that Governs Less.

Tuesday, March 15th, 2011

Politically, the last 20 years or so have really been a  let down. 

Government spending, whether it be entitlement programs, pork projects, etc., have been off the charts.  How could we be so stupid?  Why are we so stupid today?  Did you know you support the Nevada Cowboy Poetry Festival?  That $615,000 of your Federal tax dollars has been given to the University of California at Santa Cruz to digitize Grateful Dead memorabilia, and a $770, 856 grant was given to North Carolina State for research into how video games can help improve mental health for seniors?

Trillions more has been spent by the Federal Reserve Bank, U.S. Treasury, the White House, etc., and  on top of that,  twisted and morally corrupt politicians conjure up creative names that hide the vile and disgusting bills that they force through legislative chambers – sometimes in the light of day and other times in the still of the night.  The new laws that have appeared over the last few years in particular are very disturbing and will prove to be detrimental to our history and tradition.

Excuses are made and legalism is used to confuse the issue and minimize the effect, but, at the fork in the road, a good soul sees the differences and is able (with clarity) to see the wasteful spending, the moral corruption, and those in the freak parade that really do nothing positive for, and add nothing to, our constitutional and biblical based foundation that the United States rests on.  We can allow our legislators to pull our communities, states, and the whole country into the cesspool, or we can act.

In this situation in particular, “to act” means to commit.  It means doing things when perhaps you don’t feel like it because you are busy, tired, rushed, overworked, etc.  Those who are serious about reversing this tide of waste, filth, and decay of our great country must embrace “commitment”.  As we all know, that is a heavy and serious word, no matter how or where we use it in our lives.  Be that as it may, “commitment” is required and necessary.  One promise I can make to you is that for those of you who use your “commitment” to fight back against the black tide, your self-satisfaction and inner peace will be your greatest reward.

The government must stop wasting our tax dollars and polluting our family values.

Can the public sector work with a private sector commitment to excellence and innovation? This week on Your Financial Editor.

Tuesday, March 8th, 2011

Create  a “culture of no-ego” in your organization.  Find out how to transform your organization’s culture and achieve revolutionary results.  Join Chris and his guest Mark Aesch this week on Your Financial Editor.

Join us this this Saturday morning at 8am on AM 930 WFMD, or listen from anywhere on your pc by logging onto www.wfmd.com and clicking the listen live button.

About this week’s guest:

Mark Aesch, author of Driving Excellence,  is CEO of Rochester Genesee Regional Transportation Authority (RGRTA).  As a recognized thought leader on public management, Aesch has contributed his thinking to the New York Times and other national media outlets, chaired a United States study mission overseas, and is an active member of the Young Presidents’ Organization (YPO), an international organization comprised of influential CEOs under the age of 50.

The “ins” and “outs” of Charitable Giving – this week on Your Financial Editor.

Friday, March 4th, 2011

 In today’s tough times of government budget cuts and scarce grant monies available, charitable giving becomes critical for many charitable organizations to survive.   Join Chris Murray this week on Your Financial Editor to learn about the different types of giving and the advantages and disadvantages to each.  Minimize your taxes and maximize your gift.

Join us this this Saturday morning at 8am on AM 930 WFMD, or listen from anywhere on your pc by logging onto www.wfmd.com and clicking the listen live button.

This week’s guest is Mike Delauter of Miles & Stockbridge P.C.  Mr.  Delauter is the managing principal of the Frederick office of Miles & Stockbridge P.C.

Mr. Delauter is a business and transactional lawyer concentrating primarily in the areas of commercial real estate transactions, commercial financing, general business transactions and estate planning and administration. In the area of general business and real estate transactions, Mr. Delauter represents area businesses by providing counsel in the formation of corporations, partnerships and limited liability companies, in the acquisition, sale and merger of businesses, and in the acquisition and leasing of commercial real estate. In the area of commercial financing, Mr. Delauter has represented area banking institutions in real estate-based and asset-based lending, with representative clients including regional and national banks. He also has over 15 years of experience as an estate planner and estate administrator, which includes the preparation and administration of wills and trusts and other estate planning and tax planning instruments.

Mr. Delauter joined Miles & Stockbridge in September of 1990 as a tax lawyer in the firm’s Baltimore office, and in 1993 transferred to the Frederick office where he engages in his current practice. With his tax background, Mr. Delauter teams with our experienced tax lawyers often in providing business and transactional tax planning and counsel. He has extensive experience in structuring forward and reverse tax-free exchanges. He is also a participant on the firm’s Life Sciences Team and BRAC Team.

Boycotts and Business

Thursday, March 3rd, 2011

Americans are a funny people sometimes.  Many are entrenched in their personal morals and beliefs.  They normally share those morals and beliefs with family, friends, colleagues, etc.  We feel good about our faith and convictions.  That’s why I’m always interested to hear the answer to the question “do you support companies that support things you consider to be awful and terrible?”.  Sometimes there isn’t even a verbal answer given, more often than not, it is a look of confusion and defensiveness. 

Here is what I’m getting at – like in many areas of our lives, some people walk the walk and others just talk the talk.  By the way, if a person is supporting companies and/or issues that they find wretched, it probably is because they don’t even know they’re doing it.

Boycotts on targeted businesses, when done correctly and efficiently, can be extremely effective.  Some of the key boycotts that have caused financila pain to companies that come to mind were against Ford Motor Company, Pepsi, and most recently, Home Depot.  The Home Depot is currently being boycotted by the American Family Association (AFA) for its financial support of the Human Rights Campaign.  Home Depot has stated that it is proud to support the Human Rights Campaign efforts to legalize homosexual marraige across America.  By the way, the Human Rights Campaign or HRC helped gather support for the same-sex marriage bill in Maryland recently.  So, the business side of this issue is the fact that over 500, 000 people have signed a boycott pledge against The Home Depot according to the AFA.  What will that mean to Home Depot?  Well, if this boycott plays out like the ones against Ford, Pepsi, McDonalds, etc, it may mean lost sales and revenues.  If the word spreads and people weigh spending their money at Lowes or Ace Hardware versus The Home Depot, which may continue to channel some of their shoppers’ money to the HRC, the boycott could work, as it did with the other ones I listed.  What about all of the people who own Home Depot stock (either directly or via a mutual fund), who disagree with The Home Depot taking a position on this issue, one way or the other?  Past situations have seen those investors send their vote of no-confidence or displeasure by selling the stock, hence severaing all ties, not shopping at Home Depot, or giving the company money via stock ownership.  So will this boycott on business work?  Only time will tell.

Fight against pornography continued

Thursday, March 3rd, 2011

A few weeks ago, I mentioned posted about a major hotel chain losing one of its major profit centers  – pornography.  As a follow up resource, this website is an excellence source of information to help you fully understand the crisis and the need to uphold and enforce our laws against it.