Friday, November 21, 2008

The Office of Homeland Financial Security

Well here we go with Year Number 4 of NWOW!

I think I have an idea of what President Obama should do the first day he is in office.... Well first he should spray some Lysol to get rid of the stench of George W's 8 years of failure. Looking back on the last time we had a competent President in the White House, I recall the first day of Clinton's administration. He went right to work to undo the Bush damage, and immediately changed the absurd Reagan-Bush era rule that cut off federal funding for any parenting clinic that mentioned legal abortion as an alternative. Now that Obama is ready to take over, I have some ideas.

By the way, I will admit that George W did one good thing while in office. In response to the 9-11 attacks, he created the Office of Homeland Security. Now, I can just see the first day at work for Obama. He calls in Rahm Emanuel..(just in case you missed it, his brother Ari Emanuel inspired "Entourage's" Ari Gold) . Emanuel calls in his "Lloyd" to take notes,.... smacks him around a little bit and gets down to brass tacks.

I doubt that President Obama reads blogs, but it would be cool on day 1 if he said..."You know that NWOW blog from November 21st.... I like that idea". That is because today I want to announce that I think America needs "The Office of Homeland Financial Security!".

Last week I criticized extreme Right Wing Republican Congressman Scott Garrett for his comments not supporting the auto bailout. If you read the comments you will notice that my old radio chum Dangerspouse reminisced about our old radio days when we used to have him on the air with us in the early 90s when he was known as Assemblyman E. Scott Garrett... I don't know what the "E" stands for... maybe "Eat my ass, poor people who need government help?" Garrett was not supporting the automakers bailout, and after thinking it over a bit more, I might be starting to agree.

The idea that these big shot CEO's each hopped on their private jets and headed off to Washington did not really look so good as they went to Capitol Hill to plead poverty. I believe ABC News broke the story but what really looked bad was when Congressman Brad Sherman asked each of those big shots who was there to ask for taxpayer money to raise their hand if they flew to Washington on a commercial airline. What a cringe worthy moment when he loudly pronounced "Let the record show - nobody raised their hand!"

That display did not make the auto CEO's look good, but nonetheless, I think we do need a bailout of some kind, although not one that will go directly to the Big 3 Automakers. Next Friday is Black Friday and unless ATM's start offering big bucks fast cash withdrawals, a lot of people are not going to be walking out of stores with high priced items. I see what has happened in 2008 for people trying to get mortgage loans, only to find out that the credit opportunities are gone. Subprime lenders offered 2 year arms so people could refi to a fixed within those 2 yrs, but those people looking for a fixed rate are finding out that the banks don't want to lend money.

And by the way, have you seen what has been going on with Citigroup? They announced mass layoffs, and their stock continues to drop. And what happens if they don't have the money to hold up their deal to pay for the naming rights for the Mets new stadium?? If the Citi money is supposed to pay to build Citi Field, where will the Mets play? Maybe they should have waited before they tore down Shea...

Last month on this blog and my podcast I floated an idea that all mortgage lenders should originate all new loans with a frozen line of credit worth 8 months of interest payments set up so only the lender can touch that money if the borrower is late with his monthly payment. This type of policy would drastically cut down on foreclosures. Right now an astoundingly high amount of families are losing their homes and many owe more than the house is worth. A couple of years ago, these people had equity. But unfortunately, they are now upside down because banks tough lending policies have forced sellers to accept lowball offers because they know another qualified buyer might be very hard to find. And this trend continues all across the USA, and unfortunately, the more sellers settle for less, the more the home values plummet.

Now auto financing is in deep trouble, and that is trickling down to other high ticket items that people buy on credit as we see that electronics giant Circuit City is filing for bankruptcy following in the footsteps of Tops, Nobody Beats the Wiz and Newmark and Lewis where the "Dick Lewis is watching" slogan was posted all over the place... including the mens room!

This may be the Christmas season that is all about cash. First it was the six figure home loans, now it's the five figure car loans. The companies financing auto loans are making them hard to get even with those amazingly unpopular Saved By Zero Toyota ads which could only be worse if Billy Mays started yelling in those commercials too. Back when I was a kid, people always seemed to buy cars with cash. But nowadays car prices are so high that almost everybody needs car financing....but if you are able to walk into a car dealership with a wad of cash... those commission hungry salesman are going to be all over you ... that is of course unless its like the "Curb Your Enthusiasm" episode where your salesman is Larry David and "Richard Lewis is watching" and barges in to mess up the sale.

Now Circuit City's bankruptcy is making the situation very scary if indeed this is a credit trickle down from mortgages to cars to electronics. The inability to sell products that are not paid for in cash is going to make it difficult for stores such as Best Buy and PC Richard to move along high ticket items. And if you don't have cash you may find it hard to get credit unless you have the most stellar FICO score This year people will be lucky if they can buy something using anything besides cash or my best friend - the Visa debit card which lets you buy stuff only if the money is already in the bank.

That is why it's time for our new President to create the Office of Homeland Financial Security. Even though Henry Paulson has tried to organize a 7 billion dollar bailout, every dollar has to go to exactly the right place - and I feel that money should protect companies providing credit. Send the money to Mortgage lenders, companies that provide auto financing and banks that offer credit for those items we like to drool over at Best Buy - let's use that money to give those companies some security. Let them be the ones who will be able to have reassurance that they will be protected. Up until recently, you needed good credit to get financing.... but right now that well is dry because lenders are just too scared to get burned again.

And if Obama can pick the right person to handle this task - and the money is appropriated correctly, it will breathe life into the mortgage companies, car financing companies and companies that provide credit to big box stores. And despite what people say about the sinking quality of American cars - the cars can sell themselves -with the help of car salesmen. And once auto financing kicks back into gear, sales will start to increase again, stock prices will go up and the Big 3 will start to make more money so their CEO''s wont be criticized anymore for using a $20,000 private jet to ask for more money.

And that is my idea for Day 1 of Obama.

Or he can buy a puppy.


Pumpy was a winner last week celebrating Rahm Emanuel's upcoming 49th b'day and watching his record improve to 8-3. This week we go to New York, home of the Yankees and the Jets. This week George Steinbrenner officially handed off his responsibilities to his son. Sunday, the NY Jets are in Tennesee to play the Titans. The Titans are 5 1/2 point faves. Sayeth the Pump: "In honor of the automaker CEO's method of travel - I pick the Jets".


Last week we went 2-1 to improve to a somewhat respectable 21-12.

Giants 3 faves over ARIZONA - This game is huge to give Big Blue a great shot at getting that oh so important week off after the regular season. If they win they would have a 3 game lead with 5 games left!

ATLANTA 1 fave over Carolina - Then we can root for home field throughout the playoffs.

San Fran 10 doggies over DALLAS - Hey this is in honor of Rahm Emanuel's 49th Birthday.


We haven't had a clip for about a month so today we give you 2. I saw this on Neil Best's fine blog - in honor of George Steinbrenner who has now totally given up all of his Yankee responsibilities. Fans of Seinfeld know that the aformentioned Larry David played George Steinbrenner on Seinfeld. But Steinbrenner never appeared on the show... or did he? Check out this never aired clip and keep an eye out for the now defunct Nobody Beats the Wiz ad in the background at :49. There's that crazy 49 again!


Here is the famous scene where Larry David becomes a car salesman only to be sabotaged by Richard Lewis.

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