The fleecing of America ( a rant )
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Thread: The fleecing of America ( a rant )

  1. #1
    Old Fart
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    The fleecing of Americans

    With all the economic bombs being dropped as of late, I can't help but wonder what kinds of checks and balances could keep this crap from happening. Congress has legislation in front of it to increase the penalties for CEO's, CFO's etc. of PUBLICLY held companies who lie about the bottom line. This is all well and good, but its not enough. How about making these guys liable to the stockholders for those losses? For that matter, instead of a single count of fraud being brought up, how about a count for every 100 shareholders? As an example, X Inc. has 23,000 individual shareholders. If the CEO signs off on cooked books, he potentially faces 230 counts of fraud, each bearing a potential 10 year sentence. Thats what I call a deterrent. Same rule should apply to the accountants too. After all, they ARE the keepers of the books.

    And what about the SEC? Our 'watchdogs' appear to be taking a nap here. If we are going to give them a larger set of regulatory powers, then lets sprinkle a little liability in their direction too. The threat of a lost pension or a little jail time should work wonders on the buearucratic mentality. If your job is to regulate, then get off your duff and do your job. If you don't you could lose your fat little pension or worse. Seems like a fair incentive to me.

    Now comes the part I figure you guys are really gonna hate...corporate salaries. Lets face it....some of these CEO's are making an obscene amount of money. Given that it's a PUBLICLY traded company, there really ought to be some limitations here. A CEO should not be allowed to earn a salary that is greater than 25 times that of the lowest paid full-time employee. As an example, the janitor at X Inc. earns $20,000 a year. That means the CEO can make $500,000 a year. Limit his bonuses to 2.5 times his annual salary and he can still rake in almost 2 mill a year. I don't know about you guys, but in my opinion if you can't make it on 1.75 mill a year, you got problems. As a shareholder myself, I don't relish the thought of paying someone such a HUGE salary because thats money that comes out of my dividends, it devalues MY shares. Add to that the fact that executive salaries are tied to the salaries of others withing the company, giving incentive for a more equeatible pay scale, and it seems that everyone benefits (except the CEO) from a 'balanced' system.

    Look, I know whats above isn't perfect, and Lord knows I HATE over-regulation, but I hate to see shareholders and hard working folks like ourselves getting 'fleeced' even worse. So everybody give me a piece of your mind in trade for the piece of mine you just got...I want to know how you feel about corporate salaries and the situation our ecomomy is in. I just hope and pray I don't get banned for this one.

    Live long and prosper!!
    Al
    It isn't paranoia when you KNOW they're out to get you...

  2. #2
    Well I like to view this type of subject a little differently. If you are listening to a radio program kinda like Howard Stern or Opie and Anthony they tend to offend just about everyone. You then get people who call and complain about the material on the radio which if you dont like whats on the radio, turn the radio off. Iff you see some CEO making 14 million dollars a year in a publicaly owned company then dont invest in them. Investing is more or less a controlled form of gambling. You never know whats going to happen. If you must invest find a company where it meets your guidelines and go with that. Remember if the guy is making a shite load of money for the most part there probably doing a good job and if they do a good job you make more money. So my point is If you dont like what you see dont do it, but if you dont care what you see and you profit from it, no harm no foul.

  3. #3
    Senior Member
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    Well Allen lets just say I was going to retire in 7 years and well not now and throw on top of that lost my job at my age cause of all the theft. White collar crime at it's higest level. Yes assets should be taken from these people just like a drug dealer and sold at auction on Ebay to average people. SEC, Banks humm you move 10k your reported they take out a corp loan for 10 million no questions asked. Public Accounting Firms that helped doctor the books and all this creative bookkeeping. What do I see as a result some lame pep talk by Bush that has nothing to do with reality. Fact is just the average guy is going to pay for this and come elections I have a good memory.
    I believe that one of the characteristics of the human race - possibly the one that is primarily responsible for its course of evolution - is that it has grown by creatively responding to failure.- Glen Seaborg

  4. #4
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    Heads will roll over this, just how far they roll only time will tell. We have laws to handle such things, if you don't like the laws contact your congressmen or women as they are the people that write the laws. And I agree with mrkangaroo, never invest money that you aren't willing to lose. For years people have been told that their house is an investment tool, so they take loans out against their homes and use that money as investment capitol. Years later when things the rough, they lose their homes. Its sad, but true. Never invest money you aren't willing to lose.
    The more I deal with people, the more I LOVE my computer.

  5. #5
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    Reality learn about 401k I was lucky did not loose much but enough that I cannot retire at 55 well maybe depends on exchange rates. Did these corp guys walk away with much yep my loss their gain. Lets see where heads roll I vote and issues like this are cast aside so one can enroll in TIPS.
    I believe that one of the characteristics of the human race - possibly the one that is primarily responsible for its course of evolution - is that it has grown by creatively responding to failure.- Glen Seaborg

  6. #6
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    Hehehe I happen to know just a little about 401ks and mutual funds, my father is an investment broker and I helped him study for his tests. Generally you have a choice if you wish to participate in a 401k. Often companies match funds up to a certian % but sometimes they don't. A 401k has the potential to make money or lose money. It is still a gamble, just generally a safer one depending on how you have your risks setup... Never invest money you aren't willing to lose.

    btw if your company goes under, your money is protected. Your company cannot touch your 401k money according to the Employee Retirement Income Security Act (ERISA) of 1974.
    The more I deal with people, the more I LOVE my computer.

  7. #7
    AO Soccer Mom debwalin's Avatar
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    All I know is that I feel for you Palemoon. It's a shitty situation, and my parents are in your shoes. It makes me so angry. My husband and I are involved in his companies 401K program, and took risks that we were willing to take, because we have lots of time. That was about 4 years ago. Now the risks we thought were very stable and likely to make money have lost some, and I won't bother to tell you what has happened to most of our real risks. It's very disheartening to get those quarterly statements and see the decline our money has taken, instead of growth. But we have about 30 more years to recover from it. We are very lucky right now, that we weren't counting on that money in the near future. But if things keep going the way they are, it's only going to get worse. Investor trust level has got to be at an all time low, or at least close. I don't know what the answer is, but there needs to be some way that "the little people" can have more assurances that they are investing in a company that at least isn't going to rob them blind. A little risk is one thing, based on market sales, etc. but when you lose money due to basically theft....something is wrong.

    Deb
    Outside of a dog, a book is man's best friend. Inside of a dog it's too dark to read.

  8. #8
    Old Fart
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    I understand that investing is like controlled gambling, but in recent weeks we have seen that the controls currently in place just don't work. The strategy of "changing the station", as Mrkangaroo put it, won't work here. Are we to just turn a blind eye and let a selfish few drive our economy down the road to ruin? I don't mind placing a bet or two...but corporate America is asking us to bet on ponies that THEY say have 115 lb jockeys onboard, when in reality the horse has a full-grown elephant on its back and no way of winning. I don't care what the circumstances are, lying to your shareholders while you walk away with millions is criminal and those guilty of such deserve to be punished and should be forced to pay restitution to the hard working people that they STOLE from.
    Al
    It isn't paranoia when you KNOW they're out to get you...

  9. #9
    T3h Ch3F
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    The Big One

    I will not make a huge post. One word explains this situation.




    GREED! A horrible disease that affects the "Carnivores", among us.



    I watched a movie last night that made me furious with corporate America. "The Big One". It is a comedy/documentary, which makes it a good view for me, as I like to be screwed by large Corporations while laughing. It was made in 1997, and if you see it now you will be saying to yourself, "Damn he was on top of his sh(*&".

    P:


    "May the Farce Be with you!"

  10. #10
    Im glad allenb1963 used a horse race as an analogy. If the company tells you they have a 115lb jockey when they really have an elephant than would you still bet the horse. If you were to see that in a race you wouldn't bet the horse. Im saying this because if you were to go and invest your hard earned money know the company your investing. Just don't be surprised if companies do this. Remember this is all about money.
    Money leads to greed. Greed leads to mistrust. Mistrust leads to hate. Hate leads to suffering. Suffering leads to the Dark side of the force.

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