More Corporate Greed on Its Way But Not in Financial at Least on the Surface

Eddie Lampert ex-Goldman Sach’s Executive Turned Hedge Fund Founder…A Retail Genius?

Sears Holdings, the third largest US retailer, on Thursday highlighted the growing pressures it will face this year from mandatory payments to its pension plan, following the steep decline in asset values seen last year.  The retailer said that it had made cash contributions of $224m to its pension plan in its financial year ending on January 30, as it seeks to meet federal requirements to ensure that pensions are fully funded by 2011.

….However, Mr Lampert also called on Congress to ease pension plan regulations to give companies additional time to make required cash contributions to make up losses caused by the financial turmoil….

So basically, Lampert wants help to bailout his obligations to employees or find some loophole to stiff the employees after he has taken over Sears using his ESL Hedge Fund and ran it into the ground.  Of course Wall St and the financial analysts calls him the next Warren Buffett at the time.

Sears under Lampert’s leadership has performed miserably ever since he has assumed the role of its Chairman.  Many retail experts believes he simply doesn’t understand how to be a retail operator.  Even when the stock has shed 80% of its value,  Eddie Lampert continues to play the blame game but himself.

Meanwhile, “Venture capitalist William “Bill” Ackman, founder and CEO of investment and hedge fund firm Pershing Square, has announced to the chagrin of Target’s board and management that he shortly will wage a proxy battle for control of the discount-store giant.”, as reported by “Weekly Retail Fix” of Retailing Today.  Ackman’s hedge fund has accumulated 10% of Target’s stock since April 2007 and is attempting to muscle its way into the company’s board.  What does Target executives and current board think?

We are disappointed that Pershing Square has decided to pursue a costly and disruptive proxy contest, especially in light of our previous dialogue. Target has a long history of being responsive to shareholders and has engaged in numerous discussions with Pershing Square over a 20 month period.

So you think Government should be sympathetic and soft on regulation?  Is leverage of a perfectly healthy company such as Target in the best long term interests of shareholders, the economy, and American employment?

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AIG Versus Its Owners – the American Taxpayer

Clearly AIG’s CEO, Board of Directors and its senior executives have no concept of reality.  The company is 80% owned by the US taxpayers and AIG runs like it’s their private golf club and spa.

Let’s tally up the facts.
AIG
  • Former AIG CEO MauriceGreenberg spends $20 million of AIG money on US Chambers to lobby Congress for deregulation post Enron and turns AIG into an international hedge fund according to American Association for Justice case study.
  • In 2008, over $112,000 of campaign contributionwas given to the Obama Presidential campaign by AIG employees according to OpenSecrets.org
  • In 2008, over $73,000 of campaign contribution was given to Chris Dodd’s campaign by AIG employees according to OpenSecrets.org
  • In 2008, over $44,000 of campaign contribution was given to Hillary Clinton’s campaign by AIG employees according to OpenSecrets.org
  • Federal Reserve Bank in September of 2008 under Bernanke lends insolvent AIG $85 billion with White House and Treasury Secretary Paulson support.
  • AIG has access to various other lending facility including $40 billion of TARP that brings the total to $165-175 billion as of March 2009
  • In March 2009, Bernanke admits being frustrated by AIG problems as AIG reports $62 billion loss in most recent quarter of operations and over $100 billion in 2008 making it the worst lost in US Corporate history.
  • AIG reveals $12.9 billion was paid to Goldman Sachs using Federal taxpayer money due to CDS obligations. Former Treasury Secretary Hank Paulson was the former CEO of Goldman Sachs.
  • Bonus of $165 million is to be paid to AIG executives making 73 of its employees (past or present) of the business division responsible for massive financial losses instant millionaires. A total of $450 million is to be paid to various employees (past or present) for 2008 performance despite the company lack of financial viability.

Average Taxpaying American
  • US job loss in 2008 is net 2.6 million
  • US job loss in 2009 at 22,135 per day or 1.3 million as of end of Feb.
  • Foreclosures nationwide are at all time high according to Sacramento, Calif.-based Foreclosures.com. The company said 121,756 foreclosures were completed nationwide in Feb ‘09, up from 72,694 in Jan and the previous high of 104,243 in Sep ‘08
  • U.S. household wealth falls $11.2 trillion in 2008 according to Federal Reserve data.
  • U.S. income is about $39,000 per capita in 2007

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SEC Enforcement Chief Linda Thomsen Resigns

Is this how it works in Washington DC’s government regulatory agencies?  Does this mean working in government one doesn’t really have a boss checking on the quality of work?  So a person with questionable job performance at a government agency just gets a public tar and feather session before members of Congress and in their indignation, they resign?  If the American people are going to wait until the you know what hits the fan, who’s to prevent Madoff Jr. from ripping off working Americans $50 trillion dollars the next time and the only satisfaction for potential victims would be a in-dignified resignation?

Write to the White House and Congress urging further reform and tell them Americans will not tolerate second rate government.

Full Story:  http://finance.yahoo.com/news/SEC-enforcement-chief-Linda-apf-14298545.html

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