Oops.. Now he tells us!

David S. White
Principal of the Law Firm of David S. White & Associates, West Los Angeles, specializing in litigation, arbitration and mediation of real-estate-related disputes and litigation since 1977; www.dswlawyers.com

There it is in the mid-day, NY Times ‘Breaking News’ feed:

“Facing a firing line of questions from Washington lawmakers, Alan Greenspan, the former Federal Reserve chairman once considered the infallible maestro of the financial system, admitted on Thursday that he ‘made a mistake’ in trusting that free markets could regulate themselves without government oversight.”

Now he tells us!

Greenspan’s mea culpa testimony went on to say that, well, maybe he was only ‘partially wrong’ during his 18-year tenure as Chief Honcho of the Fed, not to regulate our old friends, those pesky credit default swaps that nobody except a few math geeks really understand. Oh, those things.

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Democrat VP Nominee Joe Biden to endorse Republican Abram Wilson in AD15!?

Judy Lloyd
President of Altamont Strategies

“Vice Presidential candidate Joe Biden in a recent visit to the Bay Area a few days ago endorsed Abram Wilson, the Republican Candidate running in the sharply contested 15th District Assembly Race in Contra Costa, Alameda, Sacramento, and San Joaquin Counties. This seat, the most contested legislative district in Northern California, has a 2% registration difference between Republicans and Democrats – Biden’s endorsement could put Wilson over the top.”

And – if you believe that – I have some swampland in Florida to sell you.

The thought of the liberal “Joe Senator” endorsing mainstream Republican Wilson is about as likely as the thought of Republican VP Nominee Sarah Palin endorsing union-backed Joan Buchanan in this contested race.

Yet, a mailer sent out this week from a group called “Create Change – Support Joan Buchanan Independent Expenditure Committee” suggested that Republican Vice Presidential Candidate Sarah Palin was indeed supporting Buchanan, a Democrat.

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Memo to the Special Session: Taxes have already been raised on business this year

Loren Kaye
President of the California Foundation for Commerce and Education

The sun rose this morning, the Cubs are not in the World Series, and California’s budget is in crisis. All may not be well with the world, but we can count on some things remaining constant.

Also predictable: renewed positioning for new taxes to solve the budget deficit.

But if the Governor calls the Legislature into special session next month to address the deficit, they should be mindful that this year’s budget was predicated on nearly $6 billion in new or accelerated taxes on California businesses and investors. When it comes to taxing California’s employers, they gave at the office.

What are the tax changes?

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It’s Time to Hold Politicians Accountable!

John Kabateck
NFIB State Director in California

Healthcare reform – an on-time state budget – eminent domain reform – education reform. What do all of these issues have in common? They were all sidelined by the partisan gridlock that continuously has our State Capitol in a stranglehold. It is clear that voters have grown tired of inaction in Sacramento and our ongoing budget crisis and wasteful, ineffective spending. The question becomes – what can be done to fix our political system and hold politicians accountable so that the issues facing our state can be resolved?

NFIB/CA believes that Proposition 11 is a step in the right direction. Proposition 11 will create a 14-member independent citizens commission to redraw state legislative district lines based on strict non-partisan rules. Unlike the current process, Proposition 11 will ensure that the redistricting process is open and transparent and will respect existing city and county boundaries and communities. It will exclude individuals with obvious conflicts of interest, including elected officials and their staff from serving on the commission.

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I’ll show you my balance sheet if you show me yours!

David S. White
Principal of the Law Firm of David S. White & Associates, West Los Angeles, specializing in litigation, arbitration and mediation of real-estate-related disputes and litigation since 1977; www.dswlawyers.com

The morning news brought the following ‘Gulp!’ item: ‘Wachovia Reports $23.9 Billion Loss for Q3!’ Not good news for the folks who now own that mess. How do you even go about losing $23.9 Billion in three months’ time? First, you would need the empty warehouse to stack all that money – it takes time to rent a warehouse. Second, you would then have to somehow ‘disappear’ all that money. If you burned it, the Fire Department would not be happy; if you dumped it in the ocean, the fish and environmentalists would not be happy either. I’m stumped as to exactly how they went about that.

Our economic problems, which have been on my mind a lot of late, are based on some real Wizard of Oz stuff going on right now. Nobody knows what the Man Behind the Curtain is really holding. If all the financial institutions of all the industrialized nations all showed their full balance sheets in all their combined glory right now, aside from increasing dramatically the number of heart attacks and strokes, we would actually know just how bad this situation is – but, they won’t do that. If I tell you that there are $60-65 Trillion just in Credit Default Swaps out there, buried on or off those balance sheets, most people probably can neither comprehend the enormity of the number nor really understand what those damn things are anyway.

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Solving California’s Budget Crisis While Protecting Taxpayers

Michael Villines
Former Assemblyman from Fresno, President of the Villines Group, LLC and Advisor to the California Water Foundation

With our national economy experiencing a meltdown, families are having a tough time keeping their heads above water financially and many businesses have been forced to close or downsize.

All of this has contributed to a doomsday budget scenario for California. In the short time since lawmakers and the Governor reached agreement on the bipartisan budget compromise in mid-September, the budget shortfall has grown by roughly $3 billion.

Lawmakers and the Governor have been working together in recent weeks to consider what steps we should take to address our growing budget problems. The Governor may soon convene a special session of the Legislature to take action.

In light of California’s budget challenges, Assembly Republicans will be fighting hard to protect working families from higher taxes and higher spending, while demanding that we pass the necessary reforms to fix our broken system and prevent future deficits.

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Playing by Mob Rules

Charles Crumpley
Editor and Publisher of the San Fernando Valley Business Journal

When this country’s top bankers went into a secret meeting last week, they may have believed that they were to meet Henry Paulson and hear an update on the unfolding financial crisis. Instead, the Henry Paulson they met was no longer just Treasury secretary but the new Don of the financial universe, and he was going to make them a deal they couldn’t refuse.

Yes, Don Paulson told them, the government had a deal for them. The government was going to buy a big stake in their banks and be their new partner, whether they liked it or not. Now, of course, the bankers had two choices: They could take the deal, or they could take the deal.

Actually, I made up the part about what Paulson said to them. We don’t know what he said. Apparently not so much as a transcript was made.

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Bankruptcy Bonds

Writer and Political Commentator

In 2003, we kicked Governor Gray Davis out of office for fiscal
irresponsibility, holding him personally responsible for running up a
$15 billion budget deficit.

In 2004, at the urging of the now-invisible Governor Schwarzenegger,
we approved Prop 57, the 15-billion-dollar Economic Recovery Bond
Act, because we believed the promise that it would be the last of the
state budget’s red ink.

This year, while “working on” the budget in a time of extraordinary
economic crisis, our Sacramento Democrats replied with a single,
uncompromising, unthinking answer in a shrill lemming/sheep hybrid of
a voice – “No program cuts!” Republicans, matching them for mindless
lockstep politics, screamed back, “No new taxes!”

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Going to the conference…

President and CEO of Lucas Public Affairs

Today kicks off the Governor and First Lady’s Conference on Women in Long Beach.

Nearly 15,000 women and — a smattering of self-assured men — will arrive at the Long Beach Convention Center for what will be a most amazing two days.

Just to give you an idea of the line up…Jennifer Lopez, JLo herself, kicks off the conference followed by Governor Arnold Schwarzenegger and Warren Buffet in a discussion moderated by MSNBC’s Chris Mathews.

Lunchtime speakers include Secretary of State Condoleezza Rice and Indra Nooyi, the Chairman and CEO of Pepsi. The afternoon session features Bono, the lead singer from U2 and co-founder of the One Campaign. Bonnie Raitt closes the day with a rockin’ concert, as if there was any other kind.

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Obama’s First 100 Days

Patrick Dorinson
Host of The Cowboy Libertarian Radio Talk Show in Sacramento

When I worked at the California ISO during the California Energy Crisis of 2000-01, the skilled engineers there gave me a great education about how California’s and the nation’s electricity system works. But the more important lesson they taught me was about contingency planning. Contingency planning means that you must be prepared for any and all situations and have plans in place to resolve those situations.

With that in mind, it not unreasonable for Republicans to develop some contingency plans to deal with what would come under a Democratic President and an overwhelming Democratic majority in Congress.

And while never conceding defeat before the votes have been counted, prudence dictates that one must prepare for any and all possible contingencies.

Today’s piece will focus on what we might expect from and Obama Administration and the Reid-Pelosi Congress in the first 100 Days. Here are a few things to watch early next year.

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