More TARP secrecy

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).

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Who Is Making Money As a United First Financial Agent?

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):

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Save Big Money on Your Property Taxes: Fight Your Assessment

Tracy Coenen talked on CNBC’s “On the Money” about reducing your property tax bill by fighting your assessment. Property values have declined dramatically, and a homeowner could save hundreds or thousands of dollars by having their assessment updated to reflect the reduced value of the property.

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Mannatech Results: Brain Damage and More

A child suffered for two weeks with a heart condition, while her father gave her large doses of Mannatech products in an attempt to “cure” her. The result? Her mouth was damaged, she’s confined to a wheelchair, and has cognitive (brain damage) problems.

The Australian reports:

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Bernard Madoff Ponzi Scheme Investor Losses: Recovery?

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.)

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