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Re: Unclemick - What's your view on interest rates
Old 10-08-2004, 11:36 PM   #21
 
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Re: Unclemick - What's your view on interest rates

Before we leave "poor Martha", bad decisions or no,
we live in a society of too many laws. The result is that
everyone becomes a law breaker eventually. Then all you need is someone in authority to decide you're next
or that you are too big for your britches (Martha?) or they just don't like your politics. TH, there but for the grace of God (if there is a God) go you, so let's not be so smug about Martha and all the other Marthas
who are sitting in the slammer while we play with our
____________(insert your choice here).

John Galt
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Re: Unclemick - What's your view on interest rates
Old 10-09-2004, 07:34 AM   #22
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Re: Unclemick - What's your view on interest rates

She's definitely paying a steep price for what she did. But I can't get over the fact that she was on the board of directors at the NYSE. Anyone holding that position clearly knows better than to be dicking around with insider knowledge (especially over what is only a few bucks to her). People who hold those positions in the future should know that they need to be completely above-board or else.

Lurksalot
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Re: Unclemick - What's your view on interest rates
Old 10-09-2004, 09:51 AM   #23
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Re: Unclemick - What's your view on interest rates

I'm nowhere near 'smug' about her. Believe me. I just cant believe someone as smart as she is could be so serially dumb.

She should never have owned stock in a close friends company.

If she did it should have been through a blind trading agreement.

She probably shouldnt have been personally managing her money in the first place.

She definitely shouldnt have been fiddling around with the shares almost certainly knowing about the bad news.

But the two big problems have nothing to do with the stock sale or whether or not she was lying.

She was an ass to the 'little people', and even her friends. Key witnesses for and against her were her administrator (who had to pick up her dogs crap off the carpets at MSO every day), one of her friends (who she charged for half of their vacations together and then expensed the whole thing to MSO), and her brokers assistant (who she dressed down for issues as weighty as the music on hold selections).

The biggest problem was flipping off the cops. During the first several meetings, she dismissed them part way through their questioning by telling them "I'm sorry, I dont have any more time for this, I have a business to run".

Here's an analogous scenario. You go out to lunch with your administrator, a suppliers sales person, your mechanic and one of your friends. You run a yellow light and get stopped by the cops. While the cop is asking you for your paperwork, you tell him "I'm sorry, I have a meeting to go to..." and you take off.

Pretty much guarantees you're going to be arrested, right?

After this, the DA comes in and says "ok, how about we just give you a little fine, you dont even have to admit any wrongdoing, and we leave it at that and put it behind us".

Would your response at this point be that you would like to take your chances with a jury because you are completely innocent?

At this point here are your witnesses for and against you at trial. Your friend has recently found out that you've been taking her money for her share of your lunches together and you've been pocketing it and expensing the meal with the company. Your mechanic is a guy who you regularly yell at and treat like a piece of crap. Your administrator is someone you treat like a red headed stepchild. Your suppliers sales rep is someone you bully and scream at over things that arent even in his control.

When you're found guilty by a jury of your peers, having had the full and complete benefit of the very best defense and legal assistance, you still proclaim your innocence.

Then although sentencing guidelines suggest something in the 2-3 year range, you get 5 months at 'camp cupcake' and another 5 months of house arrest at one of your estates.

Lets just forget about the facts that the results of this mess cost MSO stockholders hundreds of millions of dollars, and the taxpayers millions to prosecute and now an extra hundred thousand or so to pay for her prison stay.

I'd say there are some good lessons here we can all take under consideration: treat everyone with respect, especially the cops because they have a ridiculous amount of power over and potentially against you.

It just cracks me up that everyones focus is on whether or not she had the insider information, whether or not she lied, or that she'd being treated unfairly because she's a woman executive.

Give me one big fat break. Considering the way she handled this, she got off pretty damn easy.

How about another analogy. An inner city kid holds up a store with a fake gun and gets $50. Gets caught by the cops. Admits he did it right away and takes a plea. Shows remorse. Says truthfully that he just needed the money to buy food for his starving family. Nobody was physically hurt. The economic impact was to one person for a small amount and they got their $50 back.

Do you think he gets 5 months at 'camp cupcake' and 5 months on a large estate?

By the way, I think interest rates are going to stop rising at this point, the economy is going to head downslope after the first of the year, and we may even see a quarter point cut in the first or second quarter of next year to help bring us out of the return to a recessionary pause...which will turn up again sometime in the late 3rd quarter of next year.
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Re: Unclemick - What's your view on interest rates
Old 10-09-2004, 10:50 AM   #24
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Re: Unclemick - What's your view on interest rates

?? Leona Hemsley of -'only little people pay taxes' fame.

And then there's my buddy Edwin E. former LA governer - 'of course I'm a crook, but I'm a crook for the state of Louisiana' - The stinking feds have no sense of humor - the fourth trial got him.

If Martha needs charm school, transfer to Edwin's fed pen, and a few lessons from Edwards might help. I believe Leona has a full time PR man nowadays.
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Re: Unclemick - What's your view on interest rates
Old 10-09-2004, 11:08 AM   #25
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Re: Unclemick - What's your view on interest rates

TH, you are correct that it is her attitude that got her in to trouble. I also think that she was either ill-advised by her attorneys or she lied to them too. The problem with folks who are arrogant is that when "outed" they stop thinking strategically.

Frankly I wish the ENRON executives would be nailed. IMHO they planned what they did and took steps to protect their assets against the day when they would be discovered. Why they haven't been brought to the dock, I fear, may be political.

Here is an interesting link on interest rate forecasts:
http://www.neatideas.com/10yrT.htm
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Re: Unclemick - What's your view on interest rates
Old 10-09-2004, 12:22 PM   #26
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Re: Unclemick - What's your view on interest rates

Another side argument re: martha...why havent the other white collar guys who have done worse been brought to trial?

I suspect there is some political motivation involved in some of them to drag things out. But they'll be charged and put in front of a jury eventually.

However heres the primary difference. In Enron/worldcom/adelphia/et al there are dozens of people involved, fine lines and shades of gray accounting and decision making, and a strong case needs to be built before charges are formally filed.

Marthas case was so painfully easy and involved such a small number of people (three), there was no extensive evidence gathering required and very little complexity. It was a slam dunk.

With regards to the 'attitude', friends and family all describe her as someone who has had a lifelong problem with acknowledging mistakes and guilt, a tendency to bully, along with a pathology of being financially petty.

Which is all swell as long as you make nice with the authorities when they come by to visit, or at least lawyer up and shut up.
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Re: Unclemick - What's your view on interest rates
Old 10-09-2004, 02:25 PM   #27
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Re: Unclemick - What's your view on interest rates

Quote:
Here is an interesting link on interest rate forecasts:
http://www.neatideas.com/10yrT.htm
Scratching my head on this .... unless I'm reading it wrong, they were predicting, on Sept 21, that the 10yr treasury rate would be 3.57% in October. It's actually 4.11%, pretty much the same as it was when the 'prediction' was made.

I also note that they are predicting a sudden surge in the dollar-sterling exchange rate during November; up to 0.67 from about 0.55 now. I wonder ...

And they seem to expect people to *pay* for this fine information.

BTW, not getting at you, Brat, it's certainly an interesting site!

Peter
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Re: Unclemick - What's your view on interest rates
Old 10-09-2004, 07:48 PM   #28
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Re: Unclemick - What's your view on interest rates

It is interesting to see predicted trends. I don't buy into the actual numbers. Frankly I would love to see the underlying assumptions. Over the last couple years their trend predictions have been not far off- but by no means spot on. The see-saw for equities is consistent with the last couple weeks. What is interesting to me is that they don't indicate that the market/economic activity will be stronger in the first quarter of next year.

Granny's crystal ball was broken years ago, only she could foretell the future (a family joke)!
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Re: Unclemick - What's your view on interest rates
Old 10-09-2004, 08:52 PM   #29
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Re: Unclemick - What's your view on interest rates

I think putting their SWAGs in graphical form makes them look more credible than if you knew it was just some guy in TX with a random number generator.

I love their prediction for the Nikkei, though. They indicate it should double in the next month or so. That would be a big boon to my retirement
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