SEC Lawsuit against Goldman Sachs – Perspective

April 19, 2010

By Padmini Arhant

All the reports on Goldman Sachs from various credible sources confirm the fact that,

There is more to it than meets the eye.

SEC investigation must go underneath the surface.

For Goldman Sachs – it’s analogous to “make a mountain out of molehill.”

When in fact, it’s an erupting volcano that has already claimed many lives and threatening more in the present.

Wikipedia Report – Goldman Sachs Controversies: Thank you.

“Robert Freeman, who was a senior Partner, who was the Head of Risk Arbitrage, and who was a protégé of Robert Rubin, was also convicted of insider trading, for his own account and for the firm’s account.”

Per the above report on “Goldman Sachs’ Controversies,” juxtaposed to NYT article on the Obama administration’s economic team,

The New York Times report – By Jackie Calmes – Published: Monday November 24, 2008 – Thank you.

“The president-elect used the announcement Monday that he was appointing two Rubin protégés, Timothy Geithner as Treasury secretary and Lawrence Summers as senior White House economic adviser, to underscore his determination to step aggressively into a economic leadership vacuum in Washington while also maintaining continuity with the Bush administration before the transition of power Jan. 20.

Obama is expected to soon announce the appointment of another Rubin protégé, Peter Orszag, as White House budget director.

And even the headhunters for Obama have Rubin ties: Michael Froman, who was Rubin’s chief of staff in the Treasury Department and followed him to Citigroup, and James Rubin, Robert Rubin’s son.

Geithner, Summers and Orszag have all been followers of the economic formula that came to be called Rubinomics: balanced budgets, free trade and financial deregulation.

On Wall Street, Rubin is facing questions about his role as director of Citigroup, given the bank’s current troubles, and,

During the weekend held several discussions with Treasury Secretary Henry Paulson as a government rescue of Citigroup was organized.”

“What worries me is there is not one person in the senior group who is the outsider to this club.

And that’s particularly ironic, given Barack Obama’s bias toward copying Lincoln’s ‘team of rivals,”‘ said Robert Kuttner, a colleague of Bernstein’s at the liberal Economic Policy Institute who has written a book, “Obama’s Challenge,” on free-spending, pro-regulatory approaches to the economic crisis.

“Where is the diversity of opinion in this economic team?” he said.”

Perspective – By Padmini Arhant

The establishment’s control of the economic power in the Executive branch is noteworthy.

Whether it was the former Goldman Sachs CEO and Treasury Secretary Henry Paulson serving the previous Bush-Cheney administration,


The Obama administration’s economic team identified as “Robert Rubin’s” protégés,

The trend continues with the economic management by those responsible for the economic crisis.

Is it an irony or the undermining of democracy with “business as usual” concept prevailing in any administration.

Goldman Sachs investigation is just the tip of the iceberg.

Rigorous investigation and appropriate action is warranted to resurrect the financial market and the Wall Street credibility.

Goldman Sachs’ dealings in diverse portfolio and the recent performance beckons scrutiny considering the ramifications experienced in the domestic and international financial markets.

Prime examples are Greece and the U.S.economy.

Several European banks reported to have lost money in the deceptive deal.

SEC cannot be complacent with the preliminary finding.

Therefore, it’s incumbent upon SEC to proceed with further investigations against Goldman Sachs to deliver justice to the victims and protect the system from systemic abuse.

The U.S and the global economy cannot sustain history repeating itself.

Thank you.

Padmini Arhant

Financial Reform with an Independent Consumer Protection Agency

March 6, 2010

By Padmini Arhant

The Wall Street bailout season commenced in 2008 and continued into 2009. Those corporations allied with the oligarchs not only survived but their CEO’s are thriving amid difficult economic times and some states experiencing a double-digit unemployment.

As stated earlier in numerous articles on the economy and the financial sector, the speculators’ reckless conduct together with greed led to the status quo. The sub-prime mortgage and credit card lending practices targeting the vulnerable population contributed to the housing market decline and the alarming bankruptcies.

In addition, the credit crunch has forced many small businesses to lay off employees and left the self-employed in a dire situation. The private sector have also been affected in the liquidity crisis triggering the 9.7 percent national unemployment rate and much higher when consolidated with the under employed statistics.

Evidently, a rigorous financial reform is necessary to revive the economy and avert future meltdown.

Although, an international consensus was reached during the G-20 meetings in 2009 at London and Pittsburgh to implement strong financial regulations, the domestic agenda in the United States is faltering due to the usual Senate gridlock and the lack of enthusiasm to push the issue forward.

However, the House of Congress is way ahead of Senate in passing legislations on many issues, reflecting the Speaker Nancy Pelosi and the House of Representatives’ commitment.

On the other hand, the Senate majority leader Harry Reid has a tough battle convincing the opposition, sworn to filibuster the legislations on any reform.

The Republican Senators and the democrat opponents believe in the market economy free of regulations and refuse to acknowledge the economic adversity brought upon by deregulations in the recent decades.

Failure to act now would be catastrophic for the global financial market and the economy.

There is no guarantee that the U.S economy and the rest of the world would not be subject to a similar scenario in the future with the hedge fund managers and the investment banks such as the Goldman Sachs…

Having set a precedence in wild speculations, high-risk exposure and fast track profiteering at the expense of millions of borrowers, investors and national economies like P.I.G.S, an acronym for Portugal, Iceland/Ireland, Greece and Spain, all of whom are currently dealing with insolvency.

Finance sector being the cradle of the economy, the benign symptoms would prompt the government bailouts of the default institutions. Thus, history repeating itself with the exponentially rising national debt remaining the constant factor in the non-regulatory environment.

Another attention worthy issue in this context is the establishment of an Independent Consumer Protection Agency.

Agency’s function would be fairly common and that being,

Protecting the consumer rights as the borrowers,

Creating awareness on the industry’s unethical practices apart from,

Preventing the banks in the systemic abuse of customers through inflated finance charges and interest rates on personal loans, credit card etc.

Further, it could also provide arbitration service to the borrower and the lender on financial disputes, thereby mitigating legal expenses for both parties.

Not surprisingly, there is resistance to the Independent Consumer Protection Agency.

As witnessed in the health care bill, the lobbyists are relentlessly engaged in ensuring the demise of the financial reform and the consumer protection agency.

The White House being suggested to nominate the Treasury Department in handling the Consumer Protection Agency affairs as opposed to a non-partisan and an independent committee, poses a conflict of interest stemming from the Treasury Department’s liaison with the financial institutions.

Likewise, the Federal Reserve maintaining control over the Consumer Protection Agency against the banking sector is an unrealistic expectation based on the Federal Reserve’s performance in the sub-prime mortgage debacle and the executives’ close ties with the finance sector.

Therefore, the consumer protection agency ought to be independent and focused on safeguarding consumer interest.

Financial reform cannot be delayed or relinquished especially with the Wall Street’s compulsive disorder to indulge in short term gains by acquiring toxic assets only to be transformed into a burgeoning liability.

Alternatively, the watered down legislation could fulfill a formality and not serve the purpose.

Hence, the requirement for a meaningful financial reform is absolutely vital to rein in on predatory traditions.

Finally, the U.S. economic recovery could be expedited through a robust financial regulation that would instantaneously restore the investor and consumer confidence.

Thank you.

Padmini Arhant

Progressive Policy for National Progress and Prosperity

February 9, 2010

By Padmini Arhant

The guidance is for all nations to review the status quo and not restricted to the United States.

People who are frustrated with ‘business as usual’ atmosphere – where necessary tax increases, reforms are voted against to the detriment of their loved ones’ health, economic and social well being, should speak their mind fearlessly to their representatives and make informed decisions on whether to retain or reject the official in office.

The country cannot afford to function on the idiosyncrasies exhibited by the ‘Nay’ Sayers for ideological purpose and win elections by pledging to strengthen the destructive element -the ‘filibuster,’ a weapon used by the anti-populist legislators.

Conservative and moderate democrats have their own style in blocking legislations and not surprisingly, it’s carried out at the industry lobbyists’ behest.

Only in the Democratic Party, there is diversity creating mayhem in legislations during their majority rule -– the conservatives, the moderates, the Dixie Democrats, the Reagan Democrats and then the progressives or the liberals who are constantly under attack from within and outside.

In fact, it’s the progressives or the liberals bound by the true democratic values constantly extend their support in passing legislations for the common good.

Even more reason to bring ‘progressives,’ into the democratic party to advance the national agenda.

People are interested in the Progressives’ platform and it’s as follows:

As a proud progressive, I define my principles and they are:

Prioritize the people and the national interest above everything viz. the corporation, unions, religious organizations…and any other external sources.

Speaking for myself, I’m fiscally conservative and socially Progressive.

I envision the progressive nature as follows:

Fiscal conservatism – Emphasis on valuable investments with lifetime returns as listed below:

*Economy that produces and sustains job growth,

*National Treasury geared towards National Surplus – By Presenting Balanced Federal
and State Budgets with prudent investments.

The focal point being the elimination of ‘earmarks’ spending, extravagant military expenditure,
exorbitant tax cuts for wealthy corporations and individuals, while expanding the revenue

*Education – both young and old for a ‘bright’ future.

Allocate adequate funding for K-12 and beyond. A policy already implemented by
President Barack Obama.

Continuous Investment in Math and Science, Technology, Research and
Development and Engineering Studies.

Space Exploration for human knowledge and planetary interface in communication

Equal promotion of Arts, Music, Cultural Appreciation, Sports and Language skills.

Imperative to inculcate civic duty and educate students on local, state, national
and international politics to be an informed electorate and an eligible candidate
for the public office.

*Health Care – Universal Health Care that provides for all citizens.

Healthy people means Wealthy nation.

*Energy – Clean energy – Going natural all the way with wind, solar, and thermal
sources to power American homes and free mother earth from pollution generated by
fossil fuel through carbon emissions – oil and coal.

Nuclear technology is not only an environmental hazard due to the ambivalent
nuclear waste disposal, but also a contentious political nightmare – witnessed in the
Iranian nuclear program and,

Likewise in the Indian nuclear deal prompting Pakistan to increase its potential in the
Indian sub-continent.

Besides, civil nuclear proliferation hinder the ultimate goal – nuclear disarmament
from the planet.

*Environment – Be mindful of the fact that conservation, preservation of natural
resources ensures clean and safe habitat, a necessity for the survival and
sustenance of all living species.

With respect to democracy, freedom, peace and social justice:

The controversial presenters in the media and the political circle often distort socially liberal values by associating it with the ‘psychedelic’ era and denigrate the progressives as “Eugenics” or the liberals as “loony liberals” and down to ‘expletive “R” a connotation to the mental functionality.’

Socially Progressive policy is the one that regards every individual as a human being and nothing else matter like race, religion, sexual orientation, economic status etc.,…

Progressive policy embraces peace over pre-emptive wars.

Also, the policy underscores freedom for all human beings.

Progressive policy is committed towards liberty and an independent state for those who are oppressed by the neo-imperialists, theocrats and dynasty.

Progressives are not necessarily weak in national security, for they are a force to reckon with when the nation is in imminent danger.

Security threats and warfare against the nation will be dealt with appropriately,

However, such situations would be drastically mitigated through the resilient “Peace and Diplomacy,” process by divestments from prolonged wars to the civilian economic and social development in the regions vulnerable to terrorism.

Social Progressives believe in freedom for all – people, corporations, religious institutions and the government.

People – All are created equal.

Hence, everyone deserves equal rights in all matter. Unlike the Gay community and women harassed by the conservatives and religious groups and.

Notwithstanding, racial bias and discriminatory practices against the indigenous groups, African Americans, Hispanics, Islamic followers, the people of color and last but not the least, the en masse poor targeted in the justice system across the nation.

Corporations – Endorsement of a “Free market system” allowing the Corporations to focus exclusively and act responsibly in promoting the national economic growth.

Further, expect corporations to respect and follow the government regulations as a precautionary measure to protect the consumer and the shareholders interest. Abide by the taxation laws and lead in the environmental front.

Reward corporations for national job growth and international expansion upon reciprocation from the recipient economies. It cannot be a one-way street with a dead end as seen in the contemporary globalization.

Since corporations resist government interference in the management,

Synonymously, the Corporations should be barred from running the government by investing in politics.

In fact, the latter is common in the domestic and international governance.

Corporations have become increasingly dominant in influencing governments in the national and international affairs, thereby undermining democracy to the point of irrelevance.

Religious Institutions – Freedom to practice religion in private and public as well as hold discussions but not solicitations in public square.

Religion should preoccupy in spreading peace and harmony as opposed to confusion and acrimony.

Although, the religious centers work towards humanitarian causes in alleviating poverty, illiteracy and social issues, oddly some groups are engaged in inciting hatred and hegemony.

Church and State should not collide with one another.

Instead, lend support to each other in the humanitarian crisis during natural disasters and human orchestrated violence.

At other times, the religious institutions should adhere to the specific institutional role – advocate religious tolerance and refrain from defamation.

Religious organizations can also play an important role in cultivating better human understanding and cultural relationships in the society.

The Judicial Branch – The Supreme Court is honorable with its abstinence from political activism. Displaying empathy alongside observing constitutional rule of law would be highly beneficial to humanity and fulfill the fairness act when delivering justice.

Government – The elected officials must honor the constitutional oath to serve the public and strive for national welfare at all times.

Individuals running for public office should be evaluated on their actions and commitment to the people against personal or special interest.

Campaign finance reform is the only hope to eliminate special interest dominance in a democracy.

Public representatives should be elected on public finance entirely to legitimize transparency and accountability in the democratic system.

Public funded elections could be simplified and made economically affordable. In addition, the electoral process would force the candidates to focus on policies affecting the people and the nation rather than politics indulging in personal attacks.

Government Function involves national defense and safeguarding public interest.

Adjacent to providing an array of public services, the Government role includes facilitating, monitoring and maintenance of law and order and fair trade practices in the economy.

Passing legislations to address public related issues is the government’s fundamental responsibility.

National economic progress and prosperity is measured by the national GDP and the per capita income.

That being the case, the Corporations’ greed motivated strategies and speculative trading aka gambling have effectively demolished the middle class and driven the working class, the farmers…to poverty.

It’s poignant in the recent debacles across the economic spectrum with the finance, health care and energy sectors’ operating on the motto –

All for us (the shareholders and the CEOs) and none for you (the employees and the workers).

Evidently, the dire consequences prompted Government intervention to stabilize the economy and the social structure. More importantly, it beckons to establish economic equality and social justice.

Much to the false propaganda on the “government take over,” of the economy, the lack of government action would have been apocalyptic for the nation and the global economy.

Despite the status quo, the conservatives, ironically the legislators on the government payroll decry the “government” and demand that government stay out of public and private enterprise.

Perhaps making the job easier for them to deal with nothing but political scandals.

Simultaneously, the same dissenters overwhelmingly approve the government invasion of privacy in matter concerning –

Women’s reproductive rights –

Gay rights – Prohibiting the repeal of “Don’t ask Don’t tell,’ policy in the military.

FISA – Foreign Intelligence Surveillance Act granting the government unprecedented rights to spy on American citizens’ personal communication regardless of its implications on civil liberties – the foundation of American democracy.

For those raising objection to the government existence, yet being the proponents of obtuse government intrusion – the bizarre stance leads to the characterization that;

If FISA is the delicious confectionary for them, then in the wake of the 2009 Christmas day bomb attempt, the bare body scanning of the citizens could be the icing on the cake.

To summarize the societal role, each institution in their respective identity has a clearly demarcated activity and democracy thrives when the organizations remain confined to their boundaries.

You can carve your own destiny by accepting the solution providers and rejecting the problem creators in Congress – the democracy epicenter.

Your affordable donations to the Democratic Party in getting the “Progressives” elected is the only viable path to move the nation forward. Please urge the Democratic Party to invest your donations on the best, the brightest and the populist candidate.

Public Financing begins now with your contributions in any amount to:

Hon. President Barack Obama
Democratic National Committee (DNC)
430 South Capitol Street, SE
Washington, DC 20003

Hon. Speaker Nancy Pelosi
Democratic Congressional Campaign Committee (DCCC)
P.O.Box 96039
Washington, DC 20077 – 7243

Hon. President Bill Clinton
Democratic Senate Congressional Committee (DSCC)
P.O.Box 96047
Washington, DC 20077-7245

Congress has far too many on both sides to represent the Wall Street and very few to speak for the Main Street – the reason for the lobbyists to frequent the Capitol Hill Chambers and the Hallways.

Interception via Progressives is the remedy to the anomaly.

Unequivocally, Progressives policy is the beacon to a bright future.

Global Peace and Security guarantee Progress and Prosperity, attainable at the helm of humanitarian goals.

Thank you.

Padmini Arhant

The Mighty Deception – Focus on Politics and Economy

January 9, 2010

By Padmini Arhant

January 19, 2010 marks the first anniversary for the Presidency of Barack Obama. The columnist from the leading national news organization chided the right and the left political factions in the article, the excerpts listed below.

“In a world of ideological sniping, Obama can’t win.”

By Richard Cohen, Washington Post, January 5, 2010

“Last month, no American soldiers were killed in Iraq. Last month, the unemployment rate dipped a bit, the stock market ended the year up, the financial system did not crater, Detroit’s Big Three began to get a pulse – and yet a consensus started to form that Barack Obama, who is either responsible for or merely presided over all this good stuff, is a failure.

On the left, the president is being pummeled for health care legislation that does not include a public option and has not dispatched insurance executives to Guantanamo. On the right, he is being pummeled for socializing the economy, establishing death panels and allowing maniacal Nigerians to load their Calvins with boom-boom and fly into peaceful Detroit. It’s a cartoon.

Any way you measure the polls, Obama did not have a good year.

In foreign policy, Obama has sorely disappointed his fans on the left for escalating the war in Afghanistan and on the right for not escalating it enough…

He has not brought peace to the Middle East.

Obama could be a great president. He has already achieved much – possibly saving the country from financial ruin, salvaging the auto industry, getting some sort of health care reform. Possibly, possibly.

Yet, his numbers sink as his achievements rise. He is the Johnny Appleseed of cognitive dissonance, so utterly detached that when he wins it seems to be only for himself. Pollsters measure him but poets have described him.

William Butler Yeats got it down years ago: “The best lack all conviction, while the worst are full of passionate intensity.”

Perspective: By Padmini Arhant

The author’s hyperbolic characterization of the left position particularly with the dispatching of the insurance executives to Guantanamo and the article concluding with the quotation ‘the worst are full of passionate intensity,’ suggests the print media eternal love fest with any incumbent administration.

As such, democracy is under siege with the legislations merely passed and mostly stalled at the Corporations’ will, aided by their representatives’ inaction in the Senate and the House. It’s further exacerbated with the established print and mainstream media presenting the figures but not the facts thereby joining the elitists against the populists.

Therefore, it’s essential to place things in perspective for a fair analysis.

Iraq war without casualties in the past month is great news. However, the reason behind that is adopting the “left position” to scale down the troop level and make a firm commitment for troop withdrawal, a diametrically opposite decision by the administration on Afghanistan. Despite the reality, the pledge towards peace and non-violence is characterized as “ideological sniping” rather than pragmatic stance.

The dip in the unemployment rate and the rise in stock market are welcome. Nevertheless, the national unemployment and the states’ joblessness is still in double digit with the middle class dropping to the poorer category and the poor driven to being food stamps dependents.

Stock market performance is directly related to the real and projected industry earnings. Since, the health care reform unarguably in favor of the health care industry in the absence of robust competition such as the government insurance program, the health industry stocks skyrocketed at the confirmation of the public option eliminated from the debate.

In other areas, the defense stocks always thrive rain or shine with the U.S perpetual engagement in warfare. The exception to the genuine growth is the technology sector boosting the figures and again with the drastic employment cuts to survive global competition.

It’s indeed a relief that the financial sector did not crater with the infusion of trillion dollars that has surely benefited the Wall Street more than the main street still being defrauded with no aggressive financial regulations in sight including the oversight demanding accountability on the massive taxpayer bailouts.

Detroit’s big three began to get a pulse – yet the State of Michigan ranks the highest in unemployment rate with an average 15.8 percent described as the worst annual rate in “at least 40 years,” and disproportionately greater among the African American as well as other minority groups.

It’s true that the Obama presidency salvaged the financial and auto industry from ruin and currently involved in the health care reform. Although, the salvation of these sectors were carried out to protect jobs, stimulate the economy by unleashing the liquidity in the financial market while reining in on the foreclosures through affordable lending programs, the progress has been either too slow or in many instances absolutely non-existent due to the bailout beneficiaries’ usual business tactics.

Meanwhile, the financial institution such as Fannie Mae and Freddie Mac executives are back in action with the same modus operandi i.e. extravagant bonuses for extraordinary failures in the sub-prime mortgage debacle that initiated the free fall of the economy into the ditch.

In the health care reform as cited above, the proof of the pudding relies on the economic impact of the remaining uninsured millions other than the 30 millions predicted to be covered under the exclusively private proposal. Other issues, like raising taxes on health care plan opted by the work force in lieu of employment benefits are a matter that will weigh in on the cost factor determined by the supply and demand free market elements.

“Some things never changes,” regardless of the power in the White House or the Congress is evident in the past year evaluation.

The Wall Street traditions continue with the financial, health care, communications and energy industries dictating terms and conditions in defiance of the free market fundamentals.

Among them are:

Demanding bailouts and refusing to be subject to scrutiny,

Legislations drafted to promote obscene profits at the expense of exhausted taxpayers and exploited consumers eventually driving the economy to the cliff and,

Last but not the least the communications industry, Comcast resisting government intervention in the monopoly of the diverse media, such as the takeover of NBC and sister networks along with the national communications service and AT&T barring competition in the deal with Apple computers in the Smart Phone – iPhone subscription services and more.

With respect to green jobs creation, the notion is ideal and it would invigorate the battered economy, provided the energy giants do not railroad the budding entrepreneurs vital to expand the sector for community access and local job opportunities.

It’s clear that the ideological sniping from the left or the right is ineffective with the administrations in power succumbing to Wall Street pressure on all issues.

There is one thing to expect loyalty from the supporters through lavish praise and flattery that would simply qualify as cronyism in the backdrop of ‘business as usual’ environment. Another aspect where the actual situation in people’s life has not changed in terms of retaining jobs, homes and the health care proposal entirely entrusted under private care responsible for the status quo.

My silence is not necessarily my disappearance into the oblivion. Any suggestions and requests made thus far in both domestic and foreign policies have been slighted even though they are decisively in favor of the struggling populace at home and abroad. Perhaps, that might be the cause for the utter disregard of opinions and ideas offered upon several political figures’ insistence to participate in the legislative process.

For instance, my request towards transparency and accountability promised during the election campaign by the Obama candidacy has deviated to closed chamber discussion with lobbyists and party members notably in the health care legislation, financial regulations and climate bill negotiations.

I’ve been urging that the oversight committee (if it exists!) hold the financial sector accountable for the bailouts and demand they comply with their end of the bargain in facilitating the credit flow and lending practices crucial to energize the stagnant economy, is largely ignored.

Likewise, the stimulus packages passed under both Bush and Obama administrations viz. TARP money $700 billion in 2008 and $787 billion in 2009 respectively has substantial amounts in cash that has not been invested vigorously to protect or create jobs in the manufacturing sector and public projects i.e. infrastructure maintenance, green technology etc.

I’m still awaiting on the logical reasoning behind withholding the vast stimulus funds for purpose other than the economic recovery via housing market revival, job growth and tax credits to small businesses and medium corporations who are forced to minimize overheads through job cuts.

In addition, the Congress passed relief funds for meager $75 billion to deal with the housing market particularly to decelerate foreclosures, is reportedly served with an acute amount of approximately $2.3million and not billion. Further, it’s reported that the treasury secretary Timothy Geithner’s explanation was “the funds held in reserve to rescue financial institutions from the housing market downturns.”

I emphasized on the required urgent action during the Bush administration bailout activities in resurrecting the Glass-Steagall Act and the long overdue aggressive financial regulations to prevent the precipitous decline of the financial assets hurting the average citizens. Not surprisingly, it received no attention.

Now, it appears that the recently passed House bill on the financial reform has incorporated some of the rigorous policies instead of the comprehensive GS Act possibly anticipating the standard revolt from the Senate.

Not all is lost but there are serious grievances among the general public that are justified with the families facing economic difficulties and it’s appropriately revealed during the November 2009, gubernatorial and congressional elections.

Considering the facts, should one remain complicit to the prevalent camaraderie between Wall Street and Washington in spite of the culture corroding the systems and bankrupting small businesses and ordinary individuals in the society?

My specific role is to represent the people i.e. the humanity at the domestic and international fronts. The task is to work for the general mass and common good to restore democracy, peace and harmony, social justice and freedom, the basic right of all living beings.

Unfortunately, the guidance on foreign policy has been deliberately dismissed by selective entities with a cavalier approach to humanitarian crisis affecting millions of innocent lives. There will be in-depth discussion in this context to dispel the myths and misconceptions surrounding the international crises.

Washington functions on the dogma that “Those who try to please all, pleases none.” The irony in the legislators’ action is the public interest invariably marginalized over the personal and special interests in the appeasement trend.

Hope and Change is yet to be experienced and possible with a paradigm shift that recognizes alleviating people’s plight as the primary goal in public service.

Thank you.

Padmini Arhant

National Unemployment – A Reality Check

November 10, 2009

By Padmini Arhant

According to the latest reports, the current jobless rate is 10.2% with 16 million Americans competing for 3 million jobs. Apparently, this figure does not include the underemployed. The Corporate related unemployment is further expected to rise up to 10.8% by the end of next year. Another grim factor is the joblessness among the self-employed and the small business retrenchments reportedly escalate the figure to an alarming 17.5% resembling the severe depression era.

Growing unemployment is a major impediment as consumer spending is directly linked to the job market posing a downside for the entire economy. Despite, the economic growth at 3.5% along with the 9.5% annual productivity for the recent quarter, the American workforce is yet to benefit from the surge in these areas.

The most affected sectors appear to be construction, manufacturing and retail. Although, the recent stimulus signed by President Obama extends unemployment benefits for 14 weeks and 20 weeks to the worst hit states combined with the tax credits for the first time and other home buyers, the problems confronting the industries required to generate jobs is attention worthy.

Construction industry is obviously dependent upon the housing sector and the housing market revival methods are due for review with respect to foreclosures and lending practices by the finance sector.

In fact, the credit crunch is predominantly responsible for the sluggishness in the respective areas of the economy. Unless and until the bailed out finance industry honor the commitments made to the American public during the substantial bail outs, the industries tied to credit market particularly the housing, manufacturing and retail cannot emerge from the recession.

If the various bailouts approved thus far have the built-in transparency and accountability factor then the oversight committee ought to investigate the recipients on the investments of those taxpayer funds legislated for providing jobs and stimulating the economy. Regardless, the trillions of dollars accumulated to the national deficit from the banking sector and automobile industry bailouts deserve scrutiny in terms of actual allocation that is not conspicuous given the depressing jobless data.

On the other hand, the government must provide a legitimate reason for not moving forward with the committed investments held in the $787 billion stimulus package including the remainder from the Bush administration passed TARP funds. When the controversial economic stimulus took place at different times, the purpose was to revitalize the economy with the desperately needed job growth besides enabling the relevant productivity levels and overall economic performance.

Any delay in energizing the job market would adversely affect the broader economic prospects for all industries with the consumer base lagging in the necessary spending, the fulcrum of the economic cartwheel.

Manufacturing industry has been harshly hit with the corporate executive failure in the automobile industry precipitated by the finance sector’s liquidity freeze that triggered the economic meltdown in the shadow of the hedge funds and sub-prime debacle. It is imperative to jumpstart the manufacturing sector macro economically to achieve the targeted employment goals.

Evidently, the prevailing policies and the applied mechanisms are either inadequate or ineffective. Perhaps, the additional or aggressive measures could bolster the weak sectors in promoting the anticipated job growth, the real indicator of the economic pulse. Nevertheless, the consolidated interjection of the monetary reserves and management resources from the private and the public sector is paramount to resuscitate the ailing job market.

A disturbing aspect of the impressive 9.5% productivity report is the executive attitude towards the workforce. In spite of the workers’ significant contribution, i.e. limited labor force tripling the mass production, the management has categorically denied wage increases, additional hiring or other compensations in the form of bonuses etc. claiming that it would be detrimental to the organization ‘s profit oriented schemes.

It is elaborated as corporations aimed at increased earnings in the backdrop of weak dollar, declining exports, business decision to operate on lower inventories and other economic woes. As reasonable as they might be, somehow the conditions seem to apply only towards the labor force explicitly stated by the industry spokesperson that the workers should remain content with the fact that they have a job in the gloomy economy.

Meanwhile, the CEO’s salary package maneuvered from the Congress chided bonuses to lucrative shares and stock options with immediate encashment irrespective of the corporate results; the disingenuous modesty is adequately serving the highest in the hierarchy. Never mind the exploitation of the workforce, the human capital in this context.

In terms of the businesses with cash reserves operating on small inventories, the strategy is counterproductive, not to mention the catastrophic impact on the wholesale, small businesses and the retail industry. The wholesalers relying on the medium and large corporations’ inventory purchases forced to carry out massive layoffs potentially having a ripple effect on the economy with a possible inflation.

The swift passage of the ‘Cap and Trade’ bill boosting the green technology sector would be a phenomenal job growth subsequently alleviating the burden on the national deficit.

In light of the available facts, it would be appropriate to attribute the unemployment status to the myriad of activities or the lack thereof by both private and the public entities. It could be highlighted as the culmination of stringent corporate policies, limited private and public investments, reining credit flow, uncontained foreclosures and lack luster home sales in the housing market…causing the precarious unemployment situation.

Therefore, the government and the free market thorough evaluation of the status quo are essential to invigorate the frail job market.

A jobless economic recovery ultimately leads to a negative economic trend in the absence of robust stimulants explained above. Jobs represent the nerve of the economy with serious economic and political ramifications.

Contrary to the rhetoric echoed in the chambers of Congress and the media, the health care reform is equally important in the equation because it bankrupts the small businesses and individuals alike. Both groups are constantly struggling to make ends meet with the atrocious health care costs prohibiting investments in other necessities.

Economy and health care matter are intertwined and partisan politics has no place at the critical moment debilitating many American lives.

It is incumbent on the United States Senate to rise to the occasion and overwhelmingly approve the health care bill with the federal run health care program titled as the ‘public option’ in recognition of the American plight.

The simultaneous actions by Washington and free market are vital in curbing the rising unemployment statistics. Job assurance to every American translates into job security for the legislators and the executives. Since jobs create taxpayers and consumers,

Washington and Wall Street cannot thrive without progress in the main street.

Thank you.

Padmini Arhant

Save the Nations’ Newspapers – OP-ED

April 9, 2009

Like everything else in this economy, the newspaper industry is on the brink of demise. The reasons according to the publishers are the competition from various sources ranging from the Information Superhighway to electronic gizmos producing data with the touch of a button.

The survival of the newspaper industry is paramount in a democracy. It is appropriate to pledge unequivocal support to print press as someone having grown up knowing the world events and current affairs through newspapers. Personally, the newspaper was a window to the outside world and enabled a better understanding of issues unfolding at home and elsewhere. The newspapers offer knowledge, awareness and critical thinking on different topics.

One might argue why subscribe to a newspaper when the same information is accessible on-line free of charge? Although, it is a valid argument, it still does not match the convenience of a newspaper in hand while traveling or commuting to work on public transport and reading in a relaxed manner at home without Google search and browsing Yahoo/AOL articles. Further, the conventional source relieves common stress caused by prolonged use of computers. It is a healthy diversion in a manner books remain popular over audio and video versions.

Some national as well as local newspapers’ editorials, columns and articles are praiseworthy on many issues concerning life. The investigative and independent journalists deserve special recognition for their contribution to humanity due to risks involved in the exposure of subjects that may or may not be challenged in legal terms and otherwise. Similarly, there are reporters providing vital information from war zones and remote corners of the world by endangering their lives. These veteran newsmakers cannot be isolated in this context.

However, it is essential to bring certain issues to the publishers’ attention that could rescue the dying industry. The lack of objectivity in few columns and news articles is one of them. In an era of idolization of political figures, some journalists traveling with public entities tend to edge over the professional ethics and present conflicting content of the same article from other mass media such as television particularly cable news network, international channels and the potent internet. Unfortunately, the authors of such articles fail to recognize the fact that any information from them is verifiable through other sources for authenticity and to an extent affect their credibility if proven false. When they represent a reputable news organization, the conspicuous flaw reveals the devil in the detail magnified on comparison with live images on-line and television. The general public prefer facts not fiction in a newspaper article related to public figures , government affairs and corporate activities.

Another factor behind the decline of the newspaper industry is the ideology driven concept not barring political affiliations and the pandering to the authorities in government and business rather than a neutral position in the presentation of facts to confirm fair and balanced reporting. The educated and technologically savvy mass justifiably turned off by the extreme views and polarization in the newspaper industry. If the internet sources blamed as the major threat to the print press, perhaps it is time for newspaper publishers to exercise the freedom of press and responsible journalism like their on-line competitors and dedicate service to people more than any others in a democracy.

Whenever the press and television newsmedia regardless of the status as mainstream or not assumes the role of personal talking points to the authorities in power, democracy is in jeopardy forcing majority population to seek alternative sources for reliable information. It defeats the purpose of free press in a democracy that prioritizes politics over people, when the primary focus should be accuracy, transparency and accountabilty in public matter.

As stated earlier in numerous blogposts on this website industries and government ultimately depend on the main street, as they are the consumers and voters with real power in a functioning democracy.

On that note, a sincere request to all citizens across the nation to salvage the local and favorite newspaper through subscription since the survival of newspaper industry means restoration of voice in a democracy.

Thank you.

Padmini Arhant

Investment Prospects

October 8, 2008

Existing and potential investors should view the current stock market situation as an excellent opportunity for investments in different sectors. They range from blue chips to housing and manufacturing industry. All sectors are bound to get a major boost from innovative technology and major breakthroughs in science this year alone.

With the energy crisis, there is great enthusiasm and capital infusion into manufacturing clean and green energy products. The automotive and energy companies are involved in research and development in deriving energy independent solutions to the global problem.

The recent legislation of the “rescue” plan involving tax credits for solar and wind based manufacturing companies is a window to promote renewable energy products and services. This is one of the best measures by Congress and deserves praise for the action. It must also ensure that the tax credit benefit trickles down to retail consumers as well. More is required in addressing serious environmental issues at both national and global front.

Despite the doom and gloom in the housing sector, all those investors with surplus cash have enormous opportunity to invest in real estate for long-term gains and perhaps contribute to the revival of the housing market. The energy sector is involved in alternative energy programs to combat the global energy crisis. Therefore, there are opportunities in this industry as well.

The technology sector is robust with a wide range of activities throughout the industry. The high tech companies are competing with one another in the innovative technology areas such as high -end microprocessors other hardware and software products challenging the technological pace more than ever.

There is never a dull moment in the biotech industry with major breakthroughs in modern medicine like “sequencing DNA and Human Genome Project”. The stem cell research is another area drawing deserving attention and investments. The pharmaceutical companies’ progress in research and development of new drugs is in synchronization with the biotech advancement.

The finance sector is not going to fall apart as they are the “gateway” to the flourishing of “commercial sectors”. The financial institutions with necessary regulations and stopgap measures are attractive in many ways. It must address the foreclosures effectively and cooperate with the government in expediting the financial liquidity in the housing and commercial sectors.

Investors must get into a buying frenzy and not the other way around, as the prospects are far greater in the near future and an opportunity for people of the United States to own their assets rather than leaving it for foreign venture capital.

The United States as a nation has never failed in its endeavors and will never fail now or in the future. It is important for the people of the United States to restore confidence in their ability to rebuild a great nation that has accepted a great many challenges in the past, emerged successful in all frontiers and shared the progress and prosperity with the rest of the world.

The present time may appear to be tough but this nation has sailed through rough seas and the “Superpower” status is testimony to the resilience and intellectual power of the people.

The United States has every reason to be proud of all its achievements. The future ahead of us is bright, with a remarkable work force prepared to overcome all obstacles in their path to success and glory.

Thank you.

Padmini Arhant

Economic Security

September 28, 2008

The legislators are currently addressing the financial crisis confronting our nation and it appears that a consensus has been reached to bailout the Corporations from the burden of bad debts. According to the lawmakers, the “bill” is structured to largely benefit the taxpayers and assist with the stabilization of the financial market.

It is important to recognize the fact that the twenty first century economy is a global economy and the investments are tied to one another directly or indirectly and traded in the global markets. Therefore, it is vital for the U.S. economy to remain stable and provide necessary market assurance to both domestic and foreign investors with stakes in U.S. investments.

The other important factor for the unprecedented government intervention in a “free market” environment is to eliminate loopholes to avert such catastrophe in the future. When the actual agreement proposal is presented to the taxpayers, it should reflect the absolute protection of the taxpayer’s funds and profitable return on any investments.

At the same time, politics should not take precedence over “American taxpayers” interest in terms of “Appropriation of funds” for a certain political faction like “ACORN” or for that matter a “private sector” from the “Wall Street” with any misrepresentation to provide insurance on the “mortgage backed” securities with no prospective buyer in sight.

The “bill” must include provisions for full disclosure of the deals regardless of the nature and size of the bailout amount.

Further, it is essential for the “impending bill” to fund the bailout in “installments” rather than a lump sum settlement as it would indicate the initial results on the venture carried out on a “trial and error” basis. This would also allow public opinion to analyze the “pros and cons” of such investment and facilitate the required liquidity in the financial market with a “majority” approval.

The task ahead of our nation is to restore economic security with the revival of the “housing” and “job” market. As stated earlier, the “housing market” crisis is directly related to the “credit crunch” and “subprime mortgage” failure leading to “foreclosures” and that could be resolved by overhauling the lending practices and assisting the “homeowners” with affordable revised mortgage package. The foreclosed homes should be made available for sale to potential investors with verifiable income and credit history.

Commercial lending should resume freely yet carefully to promote and revitalize the small businesses and Corporations relying on credit for the growth and development in the job market. The flow of goods and services without any disruption will contribute to the anticipated growth and help the nation in reducing the multi-trillion dollar debt due to trade and budget deficit which otherwise will be the inevitable burden on the next and future generation.

It is time to focus on this crisis as “national” rather than “individual” and collectively deal with the issue for a better future of all.

Thank you.

Padmini Arhant