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Archive for the ‘stock market’ Category

The politicization of our financial system was a foregone conclusion once Congress approved the TARP fund. However, this morning’s predictable outrage at the $165 million AIG  executive bonus payout is a calculated over reaction by the President and his administration given that they are powerless to prevent it.

The President needs to demonstrate the proper outrage for the Congress and  the public given that the economy may require additional bail outs or stimulus as additional data and experience  become available in the coming months. It sickens all of us that a company like AIG which has received a $170 Billion from taxpayers, is able to pay out bonuses given their well publicized pathetic performance. 

Incentive bonuses, are a fundamental linchpin of executive compensation however, my experience has always been to include a clause which requires minimal performance objectives to be met by the corporate entity prior to authorization by the Board. This allows the Board of Directors to weigh in and assure that the interests of the organization as a whole, are aligned with those of  its’ executives.

The failure to include such a clause is, in the opinion of Ceo4aday, negligence on the part of the Board. It represents a failure by Board members to understand their fiduciary responsibility to shareholders. It requires a difficult decision to waive an earned bonus for an executive or associate that may have performed in an outstanding manner while the entity itself failed to meet its performance objectives. Those however, are among the decisions we expect Boards and CEO’s to make.

The mere fact that Barack Obama, Timothy Geithner and others in the administration and Congress focus on the compensation practices of AIG or the other recipients of TARP funds is a concern in the sense that we do not generally elect business leaders to serve our interests in Washington. Rather, the elected officials that inhabit Washington, tend to be professional politicians like Barack Obama, Nancy Pelosi, Barney Frank and Chris Dodd. We do not need to compound the ineptness already demonstrated by the management teams at many of these financial institutions with the additional ineptness of a group of Washington politicians.

These certainly aren’t the people we should entrust with creating compensation programs for American businesses. There have been some extreme abuses among select corporations and select executives however, the vast majority of CEO’s are focused on directing their companies toward profitable growth and work on main street not wall street.

This administration when they make outrageous remarks that are negative towards the business community are merely pandering toward populism and establish a tone that further erodes confidence in the economy. We have no doubt that the President’s remarks this morning regarding AIG did little to prop up the economy and could be viewed as nothing more than political theater which contributed to a market sell off, by reminding investors that we have an administration that continues to perceive the business community as suspect.

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The Obama administration announced today that they are intent upon providing additional support to small business as they continue to tout the stimulus impact of the recently passed American Recovery and Investment Plan of 2009. A criticism that Ceo4aday has long held with respect to the stimulus plan is that it focused far too much on entitlements as opposed to tax cuts and other business stimuli particularly, with respect to supporting innovation and entrepreneurship.

We continue to advocate the creation of the United States Office of Entrepreneurship to provide venture capital to qualified entrepreneurs to stimulate job creation and promote innovation. This independent federal agency would provide venture capital investment in small businesses as an alternative to existing capital sources. The Agency would become a minority shareholder in the funded enterprise while providing an option for the entrepreneur to buy out the Agencies interest within an agreed upon period.

We have suggested that the Agency be funded with a $25 Billion endowment and that the federal government reach out to private investors to participate on a dollar for dollar basis to provide an economic stimulus that will yield immediate results as entrepreneurs can begin to fund their innovative concepts.

Join Ceo4aday, as we call on Congress and the President to support American Entrepreneurship by funding the United States Office of Entrepreneurship.

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President Barack Obama, has become the cheerleader-in-chief of the American economy over the past few days and the market has noted the difference. The Dow was up over 9% this week after being battered since Obama took office. The President consistently addressed the economy in a negative tone since his election as he sought to lower expectations for his administration and referred to the economic crisis as a catastrophe that was the worst the nation has seen since the Great Depression.

This week the President’s tone changed and the administration trotted out Paul Volcker, the former Fed Chairman and Larry Summers, the former Secretary of the Treasury to support current  and floundering Treasury Secretary Tim Geithner. Geithner has come under increasing pressure as has failed to provide a detailed plan to address the toxic assets on the balance sheets of America’s largest financial institutions. Geithner’s failure to provide a detailed plan has contributed to additional uncertainty on Wall Street and the global markets.

Why the sudden change in tone? It may be that the administration has finally connected the economic dots between Wall Street and Main Street. With 109 million Americans invested in the stock market what happens on wall street has a dramatic affect on Main Street.  In an economy that has lost seven trillion dollars in the stock market and six trillion dollars in real estate valuations it was time for the administration to step out and begin promoting positive elements of the American economy.

No doubt, this President was bothered by a media that was beginning to question this President’s commitment to capitalism and the free enterprise system. A New York Times reporter last week asked the President if he was a socialist. The question clearly bothered the President as he called the Times back to clarify his response.

Ceo4aday has repeatedly commented on the importance of President Obama taking a more confident tone on the economy and believes that support for innovation and entrepreneurism should be among this administration’s highest priorities. The aggressive social agenda that the Obama administration is promoting can only be successful in an environment where the economy is robust. It appears from the administration’s action this week that they have been reminded of this by a nation eager to produce.

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President Barack Obama spoke to the Business Roundtable today. He didn’t actually speak to them, he gave a formal address in which he defended the 2010 budget that he has proposedand has been viewed as “radical” and “socialist” in its attempt at social engineering and the redistribution of wealth. The President’s delivery was at times flat and monotonous. There were moments when he attempted passion in his delivery however, again the reliance by the President on the teleprompters prevents him from connecting with his audience and may serve to diminish his message.

During a Q&A period the President came across as receptive to contributions from the business community,  including suggesting that reducing Corporate tax rates in the future would be a topic of interest to he and his administration in exchange for eliminating loopholes that may exist in the current tax code. The President is clearly less comfortable and his responses are more hesitant and less confident, when he is speaking off script, even to the point that in one response he noted that he was “speaking of the top of his head” as he sought words that simply weren’t arriving quickly enough.

This President has much to learn and Ceo4aday believes that the the opportunity for the President to interface with the business community is a practice we support wholeheartedly. We also believe that the President should be encouraged to step out of his comfort zone and speak more directly to the American people to test his mettle as a leader and alter the perception that he can only deliver a message that is well scripted.

By stepping out as the President did today at the Business Roundtable he can provide a level of confidence to an economy that is surely in need of it. The markets have seen a rally over the past three days as the President and his administration can enhance simply by listening to and speaking with his constituency in a more positive and encouraging manner.

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Despite the actions by the Obamacrats and the Nancy Pelosi liberals in Congress, the private sector remains the dominant force in the American economy.Obama whose only Lincolnesque quality may be that prior to moving into the White House his principal domicile was in Illinois, has opted to take FDR’s approach to governing by extending the reach of government into the private sector.

History tells us that economic growth is derived, not from the meddling of a government that injects its paternal hand into the pockets of the private sector to redistribute wealth for its own devices, but rather, from the concentration of resources in the private sector aligned and targeted against free enterprise objectives, where competition spurs innovation and entrepreneurism is the sacred mantle upon which economies stake their claim for growth.

The policies of President Barack Obama would have one believe that he perceives the government to provide the direction and care for its’ citizens from cradle to grave. He has discounted the contributions of entrepreneurs and private sector investment by endorsing and signing a stimulus package that provides little in the way of traditional economic stimulus. The President and his supporters believe that through the redistribution of wealth they can manage the social agenda for the nation.

They believe that the selfish interests of the private sector should be sacrificed for the selfless interests of the public sector. They believe in an intellectual elitism that knows what is right for the people. They believe that a nation focused on the common good with sacrifice by all, an acceptance of a lifestyle whose standards are lower in the future and infusing diminished aspirations on a proportionate basis across the governed is the solution to the current economic crisis.

Ceo4aday believes in the power of the free enterprise system to properly incent individuals to aspire to their own individual goals and objectives. We believe that this President has charted a course through his own inexperience and and ineptness that will punish the producers in our society by removing incentives and limiting capital access to entrepreneurs as government becomes a larger component of our economy.

Our way of life is at risk. Our ability to raise ourselves as individuals from the lowest link in the economic chain to the highest is imperiled by a President that reinvents himself daily as he seeks to transform the social and economic fabric of a nation through class war and a socialist agenda.

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Barack Obama approaches the podium but, not before an assurance from an aide that the teleprompter is in place. He is preparing to introduce a new appointee as an Under Secretary to the State Department. The appointee is well known to the Obama administration and eminently qualified for the post. He will be joined by Secretary of State Hillary Clinton among other State Department and White House dignitaries.

It will be a brief announcement at the White House and the President will move on to other activities in his meeting filled day. He has spent a portion of his morning, reviewing the announcement and is confident, as he is introduced and steps to the podium, that he will be  quite capable of reading the prepared announcement from the teleprompter.

 In the four and one half minutes it will take to read the announcement, the President will not deviate from the prepared text, nor will he look directly at the cameras or those assembled in the east room of the White House for the announcement.  Rather, he will turn his head from right angle to left angle as he confidently recites the prepared lines as they roll along the teleprompter. At the conclusion of the announcement the President steps away from the podium as the designated Under Secretary pulls out a few 3×5 note cards and addresses the assembled for ten minutes.

 This President has gained a reputation for being a great orator. Ceo4aday has failed to perceive the President as being other than an excellent reader who is apparently unable to deliver even the shortest of announcements without the use of a teleprompter. We commend him however, for his ability to master the teleprompter and deliver a speech in such a way in which he is able to project himself with someone of exceptional oratorical skills.

We can’t imagine that Abraham Lincoln and his famous address at Gettysburg would have had the same impact if delivered via a teleprompter. There is something about the connection that a speaker generates with an audience when he or she steps to the podium looks their audience in the eye and speaks, not reads to the assembled that provides a level of assurance that the speaker is indeed addressing the audience.

Four score and seven years from now, I suspect that historians will be fascinated that this nation elected a President whose primary qualification was that he could perform adequately with a teleprompter. We find it unsettling that the President of the United States is unable to speak or present to the American public without this crutch.

 Could it be, that Barack Obama is only acting as a leader and cannot perform without his prepared script. This nation needs leadership at a time of crisis. I seem to recall an actor who became President and spoke often and consistently without the aid of a script, exhibiting leadership and a connection with a people. Obama addresses the nation as a bureaucrat, who as a leader is only one technical error away, from being exposed as someone, who through an irony of history found himself elected to the highest office of the nation, when the nation can least afford him.

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President Barack Obama and deliquent tax payer Secretary of the Treasury Timothy Geithner are quick to respond to any inquiry or concern about the tax increases they are proposing in their new budget, as being fiscally responsible and consistently state, that the tax  increases have to do with fairness in the tax code.

Obama, Geithner and a host of administration and Democrat party talking heads also continually remind the American public that they have proposed a tax break for 95% of taxpayers. The top 5% of American taxpayers currently pay in excess of 60% of all federal income taxes. The bottom 90% of all taxpayers pay 29% of  all federal income tax. The bottom 50% of earners pay only 3% of all federal taxes. It would appear from those statistics that the tax system is unfair. It is unfair to the top 5%.

In an economic crisis it is those who have the most to lose that also lose the most. The President either fails to understand that economic reality or simply chooses to ignore it. Of the trillions of dollars of wealth lost since this recession began, the top 5% have lost a disproportionate amount of wealth yet, it will be the top 5% that will bear the burden of the extraordinary spending Barack Obama is proposing to spend as he honors his desire to transform America into a nation without aspiration.

Barack Obama in  order to promote his class war and feed his desire to lead America along the path toward socialism fails to mention these statistics when he is promoting his policy’s. He takes for granted that those who have paid in full to date will pay more in the future.

Ceo4aday believes it is time for the top 5% to be heard. Why should we support an adminustration that proposes to penalize innovation and entrepreneurship. Why should we support an administration that disdains our contribution and perceives us solely as a means to fill the coffers of a government expansion that seeks to undermine the free enterprise system. Ceo4aday believes it is time for the top 5% of income earners to be recognized for the positive contribution they have made to this nation. Ceo4aday believes it is time to step up and be heard. Join us in our quest as we seek  to make Congress and the White House  listen to the minority that funds the majority.

 Speak out, step up and be heard!

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I wish to write of soaring rhetoric and soar on the gilded wings of eagles to ascend beyond the pallor of a nation awash with the inebriated dialogue of  leaders flushed with the sense of their own power and entitlement. Such is the yearning I have as I listen to the stale enunciation’s of a Washington rife with the people’s representatives meandering through the narrow halls of power and the broad avenues of regret as a President, to some the promised savior, has proved to be the proverbial empty suit.

The soaring rhetoric of Barack Obama, the candidate as it was promoted by the media was merely the teleprompted voice of a well versed, well practiced reader who in actual governance is more the ilk of Jimmy Carter than Abraham Lincoln. Barack Obama and his gifted campaign, seduced a nation into voting for the least experienced candidate to ever assume the Office of the Presidency. Today we are experiencing his lack of executive experience and the results of his narrow American experience as he flounders with the economy by diverting attention and resources from the most urgent of economic issues to promulgate his social elitist agenda.

Barack Obama is still campaigning at a time when governance and maturity are needed. It is a time when a leader of diverse experience is needed at the helm to focus the nation on a positive path toward prosperity. The change promised by Barack Obama and his administration is a change from a private sector based economy to a future in which the public sector will be the dominant factor in economic and social engineering.

Barack Obama is adrift at the helm. His policies are dated and tainted with the failures of socialism and utopian schemes enacted by many over the past two centuries. He will no doubt continue on the abysmal path that he is on to placate the narrow elitist intellect that duped millions of the electorate. The class war the President and Nancy Pelosi are waging will ultimately result in failure as the electorate comes to terms with the no growth policies of a telemprompted Presidency.

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Ceo4aday is in Las Vegas this week where the housing bubble and the global recession have clearly impacted a city that is famous for hosting an industry long believed to be recession proof. Las Vegas enjoyed a boom from through 2007 but has seen its’ fortunes diminished as the recession has taken its toll.

The icons of the gaming industry, including the Wynn Corporation, which operates both the Encore and the Wynn resorts, the Las Vegas Sands, whose premier properties include the Palazzo and the Venetian, as well as  MGM which include its’ namesake as well as the Bellagio and Mirage among its’ properties have seen their stock prices collapse from their historical highs in excess of 90%. They are not far from from becoming penny stocks.

Las Vegas though is more than just the entertainment and gaming capital of the world, it has also become a premier destination for business conferences and conventions, an industry that is currently under fire from no other than Barack Obama. The President who appears to lack an  understanding of the most basic of business practices, fails to recognize the importance in the business process of meeting with business peers to promote strategic alliances, inspire innovation and provide information on the latest trends in a given industry. Business conferences and conventions provide an environment for executives to step out of the confines of their office and allow them to think outside the box while they become more informed on issues that are relevant to their particular industry.

The conduct of business concerns the successful development of relationships. Business conferences promote the development od relationships and are integral to to conducting business. Barack Obama and a number of the Democrats in Congress have created an environment in which the conduct of attending a business conference or convention is considered unacceptable behavior and should the conference take place in Las Vegas then it is clearly a gross abuse of fiduciary responsibility. Obama and his disdain for business, is having a dramatic affect on the hospitality industry, as executives unwilling to subject themselves to the contempt of an administration intent upon transforming the behavior of business professionals, to conform to a leftist bureaucratic ideal in which business is a collective pursuit to support the working class.

This has meant great pain for Las Vegas. However, in the midst of this current crisis a new Billion dollar resort, the M Resort and Casino opened on March1st south of the Las Vegas strip near the Southern Highlands Golf Club. The new facility hosts an exciting gaming floor, a number of excellent dining alternatives and an elegant hotel and conference facility. The M has been drawing great crowds and provides a lift to a Las Vegas economy that remains committed to providing world class facilities for those who desire to indulge and remember a nation that was built on a committment to prosperity by innovators and entrepreneurs as opposed to Obamacrats.

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President Barack Obama is sacrificing prosperity to promote his social welfare agenda. His zeal for wealth distribution, has led him along a path toward wealth depletion. The Obama administration has demonstrated an unmatched ineptness at governing by failing to understand the relationship between productive and robust markets and other components of the economy, including housing and consumer confidence.

When the stock market is generating positive returns for investors, it provides a sense of security, both financial and psychological for investors, that instills confidence and enables them to spend comfortably, knowing that their investments are growing and will be there to provide for the future. As the market fell through the fall, approaching the 2008 election, the correlation with consumer spending and confidence was evident.

The President had an opportunity to instill confidence in the markets following his election, which would have stemmed further erosion  provided much needed support for the broader economy. Then President Elect Obama, with the eyes of the world upon him chose to talk the economy down further by highlighting the economic crisis, thereby lowering expectations for his administration when they assumed power. This failure to act responsibly, compounded the economic crisis further, by leading to another market free fall and lowering consumer confidence to historic levels.

Upon assuming the Office of the Presidency, Obama again chose to emphasize the economic crisis and demonstrated his lack of concern for the stock market, by ratcheting up the concerns of an economic catastrophe to push a stimulus plan through Congress, which was filled with special interest and entitlement supports ,while ignoring stimulus for investment and private sector job creation.

Barack Obama has through his ineptness, created a depression of hope in this economy with his relentless attack on the American business community. He his derelict in his duties with respect to the implied compact the Office of the President represents to the American people. Rather than use the platform the White House represents to promote the economy, encourage business and investment he has elected to focus on social programs and fund them by raising taxes on people who have lost trillions of dollars in wealth since his election.

Barack Obama and his cohorts in Congress need to get their heads out of the sand and step up to the concerns that are plaguing the economy. Perhaps, one of Obama’s handlers should add some positive statements to the President’s teleprompter, since he appears to be capable of communicating solely by teleprompter. How refreshing it would be if the President chose to face the American people and communicate something positive about business and the economy without the continued reminder of  the deep whole we are in.

Alas, Barack Obama is an inexperrienced leader that lacks the ability to look beyond his own selfish, socialist agenda that has yet to accept accountability for his own role in the demise of this economy.

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