More TARP secrecy

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Remember when the leaders of this whole Troubled Asset Relief Program (TARP) promised us that the spending of our 20 gajillion taxpayer dollars would be “transparent”???? Transparent apparently is synonymous with the word “secret” in their world.

How many ways can our government be un-transparent? Contracts with professional services firms providing services related to TARP have had key numbers redacted. This has included the contracts with Bank of New York Mellon Corp, law firm Simpson Thacher & Bartlett LLP, and Pricewaterhouse Coopers (PwC). Continue reading

Who Is Making Money As a United First Financial Agent?

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uffNot many people, that’s for sure. As with any multi-level marketing company, a tiny fraction of people at the very top of the recruiting pyramid make some money, and everyone else makes little to nothing.

Here are the numbers posted on a UFF agent’s website in August 2008 (click to see full size): Continue reading

Bernard Madoff Ponzi Scheme Investor Losses: Recovery?

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If you watch television, read the newspaper, or surf news sites, you’re sure to have hears about the $50 billion Ponzi scheme masterminded by Bernard Madoff.

The $50 billion in losses is merely an estimate. Some experts (like me) think that the actual losses will be much higher.

Stockbroker Fraud Blog discusses several options victims have for recovery:

  • Securities Industry Protection Corporation (SIPC) could provide up to $500,000 per account. (Although I think the customers of the “investment advisory” business which is allegedly where the Ponzi scheme occurred won’t qualify. Only regular brokerage accounts would qualify. And fraud doesn’t qualify either, only unauthorized trading or theft. It will be interesting to see how this one pans out.) Continue reading