Independent Fiduciary Consultant, Economics and Financial Ethics

One who intends to leave others better off for his having existed.

10/31/14

Frostburg, DPO Etc...


"BOJ Stands Ready to Buy Every New Bond Abe’s Government Issues" = Ponzi Scheme

"...The BOJ said it plans to buy 8 trillion to 12 trillion yen ($108 billion) of Japanese government bonds per month under stepped-up stimulus it announced today.

Buying $108 billion per month of securities
via fiat electronic money printing.

The central bank is already the largest single holder of Japan’s bonds, and the scale of its buying could fuel concerns it is underwriting deficits of a nation with the heaviest debt burden. The BOJ could end up owning half of the JGB market by as early as in 2018...

The Federal Reserve owns about 35% 
of outstanding US Treasuries.

...“The BOJ is basically declaring that Japan will need to fix its long-term problems by 2018, or risk becoming a failed nation.”

The BOJ has declared it is a failed nation.

...the BOJ will keep expanding stimulus, weakening the yen and eventually causing inflation.

To make the current leaders stay in power a little longer
until they can pass the turd on to whomever comes next.

That is scary for bond dealers.”

Kuroda said earlier this month that while the BOJ holds only about 20 percent of Japan’s outstanding government bonds, the Bank of England holds approximately 40 percent of U.K. government debt."

http://www.bloomberg.com/news/2014-10-31/boj-stands-ready-to-buy-every-new-bond-abe-s-government-issues.html
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Fake, artificially high financial markets, top right of the chart; Fed Speak = Orwellianland

http://hartzman.blogspot.com/2014/10/fake-artificially-high-financial.html

"How much do central banks need to inject to keep the stock market from crashing?

http://hartzman.blogspot.com/2014/10/how-much-do-central-banks-need-to.html
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http://www.zerohedge.com/sites/default/files/images/user3303/imageroot/2014/10-overflow/20141031_SPX.jpg

10/30/14

Galliard, owned by Wells Fargo, North Carolina Stable Value Fund Transition Update; May 16, 2013

December 2010 - Galliard assumes oversight, daily valuations, and administration of stable value funds

- Transitioned custody of the 457 Plan Payden & Rygel portfolio to Wells Fargo 

January 2011 - Changed 401(k) Plan’s Prudential benchmark from Broad Market to Intermediate Aggregate

- Transitioned PIMCO to intermediate duration strategy wrapped by MetLife and increase
allocation to 15% of assets

- Funded Galliard short duration strategy with United of Omaha wrap

February 2011 - Began termination of State Street securities lending program in the 401(k) Plan

- Transitioned 457 Plan’s Prudential intermediate duration strategy to Galliard collective trust

- Liquidation of GWL trading account and funding of the Wells Fargo STIF and Wells Fargo SRF liquidity buffer

- Transitioned custody of the 401(k) Payden & Rygel portfolio to Wells Fargo

- New guidelines established for Payden short duration strategy

March 2011 - Transition 401(k) Plan’s Prudential investment to intermediate duration collective trust

July 2011 - Moved from declared rate to actual portfolio returns

2012 - Changed STIF to Wells Fargo Government Money Market

- Finalize portfolio strategy recommendations

2013 - Implementation of strategy recommendation changes

- Secure wrap coverage for Payden & Rygal

- Manager on-site compliance reviews

https://www.nctreasurer.com/ret/Board%20of%20Trustees/StateofNorthCarolina_SVreview_update.PDF



Prudential has the record keeping contract with North Carolina.

Wells Fargo owns Galliard.


"John Bogle on why your retirement plan stinks"

"As Vanguard founder John Bogle pointed out in a recent discussion with analysts, ...Fees easily wipe out a huge portion of the yield on stocks, he said, more than 63% for your money.

Fees are fixed costs that are consciously structured to suck money from your accounts, regardless of performance.

...If stock dividends average 1.9% and the average mutual fund charges its investors 1.2%, then the investor is left with just 0.7% in net yield to reinvest. "We eat up all of our dividends with stock expenses," Bogle said... And the "industry you could easily say doesn't give a damn."

...Since most managers can't beat the market after deducting their fees, your best shot at retiring well is to secure a market return and consistently reinvest the dividends.

Assume for a moment ...Your investments are flat for 12 months straight. In reality, you did collect income. In a straight Standard & Poor’s 500 Index SPX, -0.14%  investment, that's the 1.9% dividend yield Bogle explained.

The other certainty, then, is the fees. Subtract those and you're down to 0.7%. It isn't a maybe. Brokerage-based investment advisers and mutual fund managers will take their cut in fees regardless of performance. You can count on that.

...Imagine that a $10,000 investment to which you add $10,000 a year for three decades grows at 1.9% — just the dividend yield gets reinvested, so we're not counting appreciation for the moment. At the end of 30 years, then, you should have $424,564.

If instead you reinvest 0.7% (which is what really happens to many folks), your return over those years comes to $347,192. You get $77,372 less of the money you earned over the years.

All of that cash goes to the managers.

...That money flows just one way, by design — out of your plan and into the pocket of a broker."

http://www.marketwatch.com/story/john-bogle-on-why-your-retirement-plan-stinks-2014-10-30?page=2

10/29/14

Flashback; Are Guilford County, the 1/4-Cent Makes Sense Steering Committee and endorsing organizations misleading voters?

Should the 1/4-Cent Makes Sense Steering Committee
and the 1/4-Cent Makes Sense endorsing organizations
disclose information from the the tax study they are using to promote the sales tax
includes basic necessities
and what could be hundreds of millions of non-taxed goods
like furniture sold out of state?
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Organizations Endorsing the Sales Tax
Guilford Merchants Association,
of which some of whose members may profit from increased municipal debt

Guilford County League of Women Voters

NAIOP Piedmont Triad Chapter
of which some of whose members may profit from increased municipal debt

George C. Simkins Jr. Political Action Committee,
of which some of whose members may profit from increased municipal debt

Guilford County Council of PTAs Board

High Point Partners,
of which some of whose members may profit from increased municipal debt

Guilford Education Alliance

Greensboro Partnership, which gave the Quarter Cent Tax Committee $10,500,
and whose Action Greensboro gave the Bonds for Schools Committee $70,000

TREBIC, of which some of whose members may profit from increased municipal debt

Greensboro Regional Realtors Association
of which some of whose members may profit from increased municipal debt

High Point Regional Association of Realtors
of which some of whose members may profit from increased municipal debt

Greensboro Chamber of Commerce
of which some of whose members may profit from increased municipal debt

Action Greensboro, who gave the Bonds for Schools Committee $70,000

Triad Apartment Association
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No impact on basic necessities.

The sales tax increase won’t be charged on basic necessities such as unprepared food,
prescription medicine or gasoline.

These items are exempt.

1/4-Cent Makes Sense Steering Committee
1/4-Cent Makes Sense endorsing organizations
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1/4-Cent Makes Sense Steering Committee
Jim Morgan, Co-Chair

Steve Bowden, Co-Chair, Simkins PAC,
Greensboro Chamber Foundation, which Gave the Quarter Cent Tax Committee $10,000
Greensboro Partnership Board Members (partly publicly funded), which gave the Quarter Cent Tax Committee $10,500.

Pat Danahy Co-Chair
Greensboro Partnership
Co-Chair, 1/4-Cent Makes Sense Steering Committee,
President of the Greensboro Partnership and Board Member,
whose Action Greensboro gave the Bonds for Schools Committee $70,000
which also gave the Quarter Cent Tax Committee $10,500
whose Greensboro Economic Development Alliance recieves taxpayer money
whose board members include Linda Shaw and Nancy Vaughan
TREBIC MEMBER
Downtown Greensboro Board Member

Mary Skenes, Treasurer, Realtor,
whose husband is a developer and former city councilman
and both may profit from increased municipal debt

Margaret Arbuckle

Robert "Bob" Brown

Roy Carroll
TREBIC MEMBER
Greensboro Partnership Board Member, which gave the Quarter Cent Tax Committee $10,500
who has recieved millions of taxpayer subsidies,
whose employee Al Leonard serves on the publicly funded Downtown Greensboro
who both may profit from increased municipal debt

George Clopton

Lora Cubbage

Tom Dayvault

Shirley Frye

Maurice Hull

Henry Isaacson
Isaacson Isaacson Sheridan & Fountain
TREBIC MEMBER
Supported Jim Kee in 2009
Jill Isaacson gave $500 to the Bonds for Schools Committee

Skip Alston, Simkins PAC,
whose fellow Simkins PAC member Steve R. Bowden
serves on the board of the Greensboro Partnership,
which gave the Quarter Cent Tax Committee $10,500
and the Greensboro Chamber Foundation,
which Gave the Quarter Cent Tax Committee $10,000

Yvonne Johnson

Dan O'Shea, Fairway Outdoor Advertising

Rev. Clarence Shuford, President of the Pulpit Forum of Clergy

Rev. Robert J. Williams, The Williams Memorial CME Church
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If the News & Record reports that "county officials" say property taxes need to rise 8 cents
for all the debt the County Commissioners want to borrow,
and 8 cents x $4 million = $32 million to "pay down the bond debt,"
and Guilford County's 2011 budget deficit looks to be about $73 million,
is the electorate not being told about a potential $41 million gap?
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$73 million - $32 million = $41 million

$41 million divided by $4 million per 1 cent property tax increase = 10.25 cents
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Could the 8 cent tax increase really be 18.25 cents,
when the rest of Guilford County's budget is taken into account?

Was the Greensboro News & Record aware of this tax discrepancy,
when it endorsed the quarter cent tax increase?
Should the News & Record disclose that Editorial Board Member Robin Saul,
is a Board Member of the (partly publicly funded) Greensboro Partnership,
which gave the Quarter Cent Tax Committee $10,500
whose Action Greensboro gave the Bonds for Schools Committee $70,000?

Fake, artificially high financial markets, top right of the chart; Fed Speak = Orwellianland

http://markstcyr.com/2014/10/29/putting-the-fallacy-of-qe-into-perspective/

"What great economic reason would they give that stopped the [Bull Market] narrative in its tracks to then watch it plummet wiping out all the gains of 2014 – to then reverse and edge back...?

There [appears to be] only one: Federal Reserve Bank of St. Louis president James Bullard.

It is absolutely lost on nearly everyone exactly just how much money the Fed has really injected into the system with nearly nothing to show for but a stock market so fragile: a non voting FOMC member can shake its foundation sending it tumbling wiping out a years worth of gains in days.

Then, just by reversing that statement reinstate it back to its lofty highs.

And the statement? (paraphrasing);

“QE should end” 
[= Fake, artificially high financial markets should fall, top left of the chart]

“QE should continue.” 
[= Fake, artificially high financial markets should continue, bottom of the chart]

Sorry things like that don’t happen in a market based on true economic principles and activity. That only happens when you have a sham of a market.

...the Fed has injected into the market nearly 4 Trillion dollars.
[= Fake, artificially high financial markets, top right of the chart]

That’s $4,000,000,000,000.00"

http://markstcyr.com/2014/10/29/putting-the-fallacy-of-qe-into-perspective/
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And now they stopped, or did they?

Other Central Banks are still printing away.

They can still do it and not tell the public, like in 2008 and 9.

They got away with it, so why not do it again to keep most of the population passive?

If they don't keep inflating, and making the markets go up, all the pension funds go under.

Why not kick the can another two years until the next president comes in.

That's essentially what both Bush and Obama have done so far.
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Our entire economic paradigm is built upon desperate measures.

http://hartzman.blogspot.com/2014/10/our-entire-economic-paradigm-is-built.html

"42 Straight Months Of Downgrades In Europe" Markets Higher

http://hartzman.blogspot.com/2014/10/42-straight-months-of-downgrades-in.html

"How much do central banks need to inject to keep the stock market from crashing?

http://hartzman.blogspot.com/2014/10/how-much-do-central-banks-need-to.html

Major US Financial Institutions Leverage Ratios

http://hartzman.blogspot.com/2014/10/major-us-financial-institutions.html

"Debt is the lifeblood of our very existence" - "How bankrupt our societies are"

http://hartzman.blogspot.com/2014/10/debt-is-lifeblood-of-our-very-existence.html

Quarter End Federal Reserve Provided Window Dressing for the Too Big to Fails

http://hartzman.blogspot.com/2014/09/quarter-end-federal-reserve-provided.html

"We have not been fixing the banks, we have been feeding them."

http://hartzman.blogspot.com/2014/09/we-have-not-been-fixing-banks-we-have.html

"1937 parallels for today's global economy"

http://hartzman.blogspot.com/2014/09/1937-parallels-for-todays-global-economy.html

Chris Martenson; "It is the Fed’s very own policies that are driving the expansion of the wealth gap."

http://hartzman.blogspot.com/2014/10/chris-martenson-it-is-feds-very-own.html

"Whistleblower suit targets accounting, controls in Wachovia’s investment bank"

"A newly unsealed federal lawsuit alleges Wachovia’s investment bank violated accounting rules and skirted internal controls to pursue short-term profits, benefiting senior management at the expense of the former Charlotte-based bank’s financial health.

Two whistleblowers, including a former Wachovia controller who lives in Union County, filed their lawsuit on behalf of the federal government, alleging the bank defrauded U.S. agencies that loaned money and provided other assistance to the bank in the financial crisis.

...The suit – filed against Wells Fargo, which bought Wachovia in 2008 – is the latest legal action to take on banks for their role in the global financial meltdown.

...The suit says Wachovia defrauded the government of billions of dollars when it accepted payment from various federal programs while engaging in unsound banking practices, making false certifications about its financial statements and concealing “mismanagement and fraudulent practices.” Later, Wells Fargo did not “come clean” about the fraud it inherited, the suit claims.

The government “should do right by the U.S. taxpayer and recover monies from Wachovia and Wells Fargo under the U.S. False Claims Act for having bailed them out under outrageously false and fraudulent pretenses,” the complaint states.

Wells Fargo in a statement said the bank “continues to believe these claims are without merit.”

...The case was filed in U.S. District Court for the Eastern District of New York by Robert Kraus, a former Wachovia controller who lives in Marvin, and Paul Bishop, a former Golden West mortgage loan officer who lives in California’s Bay Area.

In 2010, the Observer wrote about an earlier lawsuit Kraus filed against Wachovia, as well as his struggles finding work in the financial industry after he said he was forced out of the bank.

...The bank has previously said Kraus’ allegations of improper business conduct were “simply unfounded.”

Bishop gained national attention in 2009 when CBS’ “60 Minutes” aired a program on his allegations of improper lending practices at Oakland, Calif.-based Golden West. In a 2008 lawsuit, Bishop said he threatened to warn Wachovia about Golden West’s practices before the merger closed but instead lost his job.

...The United States in July declined to officially join the suit but said the whistleblowers could continue the case on their own. The plaintiffs filed a motion this week saying they had no objection to it being unsealed.

...The suit says Wachovia, in violation of federal law and proper accounting practices, routinely placed loans in an off-the-balance-sheet entity called the College Street Funding Master Trust, known internally as the Black Box. Wachovia’s former headquarters was on College Street in Charlotte.

The goal was to skirt regulatory constraints on the amount of loans the bank could keep on its balance sheet.

...The loans were equal to about 12.75 percent of the total equity of Wachovia’s banking subsidiary.

...Kraus, according to the suit, was told by Malter and two other Wachovia executives – Bill Green and Stephen Nelson – not to discuss the existence of the Black Box with federal regulators or other bank employees.

...The suit alleges senior management violated laws and regulations in pursuit of short-term profits, which produced higher bonuses for executives and top bankers “at the expense of the bank’s long-term financial health, shareholders and the financial well-being of the vast majority of its shareholders and its employees.”

According to the suit, Kraus in April 2006 brought his concerns to the head of Wachovia’s corporate and investment bank, Steve Cummings. Months later, he was told he was being terminated, the suit states..."

http://www.charlotteobserver.com/2014/10/28/5273859/whistleblower-suit-targets-accounting.html#emlnl=Top_Stories%3A_Breaking_News_Alert#storylink=cpy.
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"Kraus, who worked at the bank in 2005 and 2006, contends Wachovia investigated his concerns before pushing him out in 2006 but wouldn’t let him see the report of its findings, according to the lawsuit.

Recently, Kraus said negotiations for a loan modification on his home led him to a Wells Fargo representative who told him there was no evidence that such a report existed, the suit says.

Kraus filed his lawsuit four years after leaving Wachovia. In an interview, he says his family and finances have suffered because he has not been able to find work in banking since then. He believes he has been “blacklisted,” in the industry, according to his complaint."

http://www.bizjournals.com/triangle/news/2011/02/10/ex-wachovia-bankers-lawsuit-dismissed.html?page=all

Guilford County Early Voting Statistics; 2010 Midterm Senate Race compared to so far this year and Thoughts

2014 Guilford County Early Voting 

29,901 total as of October 29, 2014......10:19AM

15,935...Dem...53% of 29,901 total

9,139...Rep...31%

4,779...Una...16%

48........Lib
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2010 Guilford County Midterm Early Voting

Total 45,144

23,237...Dem...51% of 45,144 total

15,893...Rep...35%

5,962...Una...13%

52........Lib
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2010 Statewide results

Incumbent Richard Burr (R) 55.0%
Elaine Marshall (D) 42.9%
Mike Beitler (L) 2.1%
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2014 Female Early Votes as of October 29, 2014......10:19AM

16,104 = 54%

2010 Female Early Votes

24,550 = 54%
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2014 African American Early Votes as of October 29, 2014......10:19AM

10,445 = 35%

2010 African American Early Votes

14,646 = 32%
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2010 Total registered Guilford County Voters = 350,104
Dem..173,108

Rep..101,545

UNA..74,964

Lib..487

Black..112,379

White..221,022

Female..194,552


Male..154,844
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I think the Hagan/Obama Commercial wherein by Tillis where both Hagan and Obama traded faces in pictures had a positive effect for Tillis.

I think Hagan gets an overwhelming majority of Teachers, as the "raise" issue turned out to be a bit bogus on the part of Republicans in North Carolina's congress.

Both Tillis and Hagan have about the same ties to the financial industry.

I have found most are sick of the commercials and mailings.

I thought more females would have voted on teacher pay etc...

Hagan should be helped by the African American vote via the Moral Monday movement.

In Guilford County, Tillis should be helped by riding Mark Walker's coat tails.

Fewer yard signs for Tillis than Hagan.

More Walker signs than for anyone.

Looks like Unaffiliated, African Americans and teachers will decide the race.

Anger over Hagan's ties to Obama should also play in.

Not a lot of signs out except for Walker, relatively.
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From the Walker, Berger primary race;

Walker Bergers Statistical Analysis; Mark Walker should win on Tuesday

http://hartzman.blogspot.com/2014/07/walker-bergers-statistical-analysis.html

NC State Treasurer Janet Cowell's answer to the following question in 2012

To what extent, if any, should the Treasurer's policies on pension fund investments be geared to strengthening the North Carolina economy and/or addressing specific North Carolina issues?

"As sole fiduciary over the pension fund, it is very clear that any investment decision has to be made to benefit pension beneficiaries.  Still, it is allowable for a fiduciary, when choosing between two prudent investments, to choose the investment that has collateral benefits. This could be investing with a minority or women-owned firm or investing with an in-state money manager.

In-state money managers 
who contribute to Cowell's political campaign fund.

My efforts to increase funds managed by women and minorities while also exercising my fiduciary duty were outlined in question 4 above. And, as noted in question 2 I also initiated the Innovation Fund -- a $232 million slice of the private equity pension portfolio which invests in companies and private equity funds that have a nexus with North Carolina. The returns on these investments are the same market risk-adjusted returns that we expect for every other private equity investment.

We do hope for collateral benefits in terms of leveraging other private equity dollars and increasing the number of jobs in the state.

In return for Janet Cowell campaign contributions
with very little fee transparency.

Given NC's strong universities and competitive industries such as financial services, technology and life sciences, I believe that investing in NC is a prudent fiduciary investment that will benefit pensioners."

http://www.indyweek.com/indyweek/janet-cowell/Content?oid=3049906

High-frequency traders legally get SEC market-moving data before the public = #cronycapitalism

Embedded image permalink

10/28/14

"Median price at which new homes sold in September, 2014: $259,000"

http://wolfstreet.com/2014/10/28/september-worst-plunge-ever-in-new-home-prices/

"North Carolina Treasurer [Richard Moore] calls Wells’ Wachovia deal ‘highway robbery’

"North Carolina State Treasurer Richard Moore slammed Wells Fargo & Co.’s proposed purchase of Wachovia Corp., calling the deal “highway robbery.”

In a Wednesday morning appearance on CNBC’s Squawk Box, Moore said it didn’t make sense for the federal government to have engineered a buyout of Wachovia. Other banks, Moore points out, have been propped up by the federal government and are eligible for funds from the $700 billion federal bailout package.

“Why does the government get to decide who wins and who loses?” asked Moore, whose job puts him at the helm of North Carolina’s $72 billion pension plan for North Carolina’s state workers.

...The Wells purchase values Wachovia at roughly 15 percent of what the Charlotte bank was worth a year ago. Moore says Wells is getting a “great deal.”

But it’s not a fair deal, he says, in light of the number of banks the government is propping up with its “troubled asset relief program.” Under TARP, banks are getting cash infusions by selling preferred stock directly to the government.

All of the nation’s big banks, Moore told CNBC, are participating in the program, and he thinks Wachovia should have been kept alive until it received the same opportunity.

...“We’re going to be cashed out of our Wachovia stock at around $6 or $7 when I can’t find anyone who tells me that given time, under the TARP, it’s a $25 stock,” Moore says.

...As of Oct. 31, CNBC says, the state pension fund owned 3.22 million shares of Wachovia (NYSE: WB).

Moore also expressed consternation at a controversial provision of the Wells-Wachovia deal that essentially guaranteed the sale would go through over any shareholder objection. In October, Wachovia issued preferred stock to Wells that gave Wells 40 percent of the ballots to be cast in the shareholder vote on the deal.

...Moore, a Democrat, made an unsuccessful run at the party’s gubernatorial nomination this year. He is serving out his term as state treasurer and will be replaced by Democrat Janet Cowell."

http://www.bizjournals.com/sanfrancisco/stories/2008/11/10/daily64.html?page=all
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Wachovia's asset management unit, Evergreen Investments, manages some money for the N.C. pension fund. Moore said it's too early to say if that relationship would change should the Wells deal go through.

Moore's successor, Democratic state Sen. Janet Cowell, was unavailable for comment Wednesday.

He and other critics think that the government's $700 billion bank bailout could have helped Wachovia survive if it had come earlier. The original plan passed Congress on the day the Wells deal was announced. In mid-October, Federal Deposit Insurance Corp. chairwoman Sheila Bair said that the government's capital injection program for banks “definitely would have made a difference” for Wachovia if it had come earlier.

http://www.charlotteobserver.com/2008/11/13/337025/moore-fights-wachovia-deal.html#.VE-LkfnF_T8#storylink=cpy
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"North Carolina's Attorney General And State Treasurer Duke It Out"

"One of the unusual things about the litigation over the Wachovia-Wells Fargo merger ...was the flood of letters and emails written to the Court.  Judge Diaz received over 200 pieces of correspondence about the case.

The most high profile of those communications was the one from State Treasurer Richard Moore...  Ever since Moore wrote his letter, I've been wondering why he didn't move to intervene in the case.  That would have let him speak directly on behalf of the North Carolina Retirement System (the NCRS), which has lost nearly $20 million on its investment in Wachovia.

...In filings in the Southern District, the North Carolina Attorney General and the State Treasurer had gone to war over the authority of the State Treasurer to initiate the litigation and to retain outside counsel to represent the NCRS.

This is a thorny and interesting issue of the power of the State Treasurer versus that of the Attorney General.  Maybe it will be resolved one day in a court closer to home."

http://www.ncbusinesslitigationreport.com/2008/11/articles/class-actions/north-carolinas-attorney-general-and-state-treasurer-duke-it-out/