Skip to comments.Thugocracy Whipsaws Capitalism - intimidate CEOs into keeping quiet
Posted on 03/27/2010 11:03:39 AM PDT by opentalk
The notion that the pain of Obamacare would not really be felt for a few years has always been silly. It won't be fully felt, but he economy is dynamic. Corporations have to plan today for the conditions of tomorrow. More to the point, public corporations with disclosure obligations under the securities laws have to disclose today when developments change their outlook for tomorrow.
Hence, AT&T's announcement that Obamacare will force it to take a $1 billion dollar charge the most alarming (but entirely predictable) bad news in a parade that, the Wall Street Journal's editors note, "includes Deere & Co., $150 million; Caterpillar, $100 million; AK Steel, $31 million; 3M, $90 million; and Valero Energy, up to $20 million."
But here is the most frightful news yet about our new reality: People's Commissar Henry Waxman is now planning to haul the companies before his committee because their disclosures fail to play along with the our Leftist rulers' script that Obamacare "will expand coverage and bring down costs."
As the Journal's editors observe:
Black-letter financial accounting rules require that corporations immediately restate their earnings to reflect the present value of their long-term health liabilities, including a higher tax burden. Should these companies have played chicken with the Securities and Exchange Commission to avoid this politically inconvenient reality? Democrats don't like what their bill is doing in the real world, so they now want to intimidate CEOs into keeping quiet.
Let me echo that. I worked for many years in the U.S. Attorney's Office in whose backyard was Wall Street. If a company like AT&T failed to make a legally mandated restatement of its financial position while continuing to participate in the capital markets, it would be investigated and the responsible management officials would likely find themselves prosecuted while the SEC, concurrently, went after the company and its officiallys in civil enforcement suits. There are prosecutors and investigators who would salivate at the prospect of doing such a career-making case.
If we are now under a system where disclosure gets you a public whipping and other threats by the Powers That Be while nondisclosure promises the ruinous expenses of defending against criminal investigations and civil enforcement, this is no longer anything but a thugocracy.
More Hitler tactics being employed by the Obama team.
Before Zero-care passed Waxman would have hauled them before a committee for NOT doing this.
The good news is that if the CEOs keep quite, their balance sheets will do the talking.
Waxman loves to sit on his raised platform and look down his nostrils at his victims. In reality he’s a mental midget who’d find it difficult to get a job in the real world.
The CEO of Caterpillar thought he could work with Obama, but got wacked immediately. Guess he learned his lesson. They were talking the negative effect before the passage of the law. He is retiring shortly, so I guess he thought he could take the heat.
Henry Waxman is an ornament to his profession.
Whatever that profession may be.
At first I thought, maybe “pimp”, but pimps are respectable and conservative businessmen in comparison.
>> McCarthy: fail to play along with the our Leftist rulers’ script
That’s right folks - we’re not talking about Liberals. These radicals are hardcore Leftists!
Sadly, because of Waxman and his Marxist buddies, none of us are able to get a job in the real world... at least the one the Obamanation has created.
“Did you really think that we want those laws to be observed?” said Dr. Ferris. “We *want* them broken. You’d better get it straight that it’s not a bunch of boy scouts you’re up against then you’ll know that this is not the age for beautiful gestures. We’re after power and we mean it. You fellows were pikers, but we know the real trick, and you’d better get wise to it. There’s no way to rule innocent men. The only power any government has is the power to crack down on criminals. Well, when there aren’t enough criminals, one makes them. One declares so many things to be a crime that it becomes impossible for men to live without breaking laws. Who wants a nation of law-abiding citizens? What’s there in that for anyone? But just pass the kind of laws that can neither be observed nor enforced nor objectively interpreted and you create a nation of law-breakers and then you cash in on guilt. Now that’s the system, Mr. Rearden, that’s the game, and once you understand it, you’ll be much easier to deal with.”
— Ayn Rand, _Atlas Shrugged ,
This is good....:^)
Waxman will have to try and debunk the AT&T cost numbers.
I bet the AT&T numbers have much more data behind them than the govt. rosy numbers. The public debate could be quite interesting...
I hope that one of these CEOs will have the balls to speak out against tyranny. Maybe one will. They could have their corporate jet take them to their remote bunker out of the country shortly after giving their testimony. Better have an ex Mossad agent as bodyguard.
The Supreme court ruled decisively (in the McCain-Feingold case) that corporations most definitely do have free speech rights, so this will not survive any legal challenge.
These corporate titans take their oversized bonuses but are too chickensh!t to denounce Nostrilitis Waxman in a committee hearing? What are they paid for?
If they have any cojones they demand an open televised hearing then they say— “Have you no decency Representative Waxman!”
**** Welch pulled this on Joseph McCarthy. http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Joseph_N._Welch
Henry Waxman is a professional thief.
I don’t know what kind of ground rules the minority on Waxman’s committee have to play by, but if I was one of them, I’d have an appropriate career prosecutor from the Justice Department called as a witness, as well as an enforcemtn officer from the SEC.
And then I’d ask them if it’s okay for entities like those in question to keep their anticipated costs hidden - and if they answer in the affirmative, I’d ask them in what other situations corporations are allowed to hide from the public known anticipated costs that will affect their share value.
You might be right. Fortunately, there are more people today who see through this than saw through Hitler in the early 1930s.
Obama media kept touting how little it was going to cost government and how much it would save deficit over 10 years. It never even once honestly told how much it would cost the employers, to the economy, to the private sector, to the employment market. Sure enough, when they all go bonkers, liberal media will the there to sell the sob stories to push for even more corporate welfare and entitlements and government regulations and take over.
There is a reason why they hate that ruling. GM issue was before the free speech ruling.
Yes, but they'd also face criminal prosecution for stock manipulation. As McCarthy points out, they have legal obligations as defined by SEC regulations and US Code, to report material financial events. Obamacare certainly qualifies. And these aren't insignificant consequences for not disclosing these adverse events. The civil and criminal penalties can be hefty.
Your point is excellent. Right now is not a good time to be a CEO. They are between a rock and a hard place.
“I hope that one of these CEOs will have the balls to speak out against tyranny. Maybe one will.....”
I think that will happen very soon. Perhaps during this “testimony”. The jackasses in Congress will get schooled.
I shot off an email to Andy as soon as I saw his post:
Re: Thugocracy vs. Capitalism
The treatment of those public companies is a perfect example of a little-remarked-upon danger in Obamacare:
government control of the flow of information.
Recall last September when Humana sent a letter to its Medicare Advantage policyholders. It told them their
plans might be cut under the health care legislation. Obama’s HHS “ordered” the company to retract the letter
and “remove any references from its website”. They said the company was lying and scaring old folks.
Of course, we know the health care bill has now done exactly what Humana said it would.
There was also the study released by the insurance companies indicating premiums would rise dramatically.
Within 24 hours Congress had moved to strip the companies of their anti-trust exemptions. Again, they accused
the insurance companies of lying in their report. They clubbed the insurance companies into submission.
Now those thugs control the whole system. No insurance company or health provider will dare release information
that would displease the master. As consumers, we will only be allowed to hear positive information. Negative
results will never see the light of day. And dissent will be squelched. That’s what happens when politicians
control any segment of the economy.
The Supreme court ruled decisively (in the McCain-Feingold case) that corporations most definitely do have free speech rights, so this will not survive any legal challenge.
This ruling may end up being extremely important.
It isn’t merely a responsibility to shareholders. It is the law, which requires a company, upon learning of a “material change” in future earnings, to disclose this information.
The removal of the deduction for Medicare payments of retirees from a company is pretty clear in the health care “reform” bill, and the projected impact is fairly easy to compute based on actuarial stats. After that, it is merely accounting as to when these losses are realized.
Net/net, I’d expect (in aggregate) that there is a class of companies with retiree healthcare liabilities who are going to have a hit to future earnings of between 5 to 10% when they finish estimating and reporting the loss of the deduction.
If Waxman (and other liberals) want these companies to keep this quiet, they’re asking these companies to play chicken with the SEC and the law.
I wonder if the Supremes saw this new assault on freedom coming and that’s why they FINALLY blew away McCain’s attack on the first amendment.
Some of these CEO’s helped cause the economic crisis that we’re in, so I wouldn’t weep for them.
--Who do you think will pay for this? We will pay. Business is not something in the abstract, or the evil force the leftists and the communists deceptively smear it to be -- business is work, business is people, it is jobs, it is production. When business pays, we pay. Jobs pay. Consumers pay.
You’re right about that point- the businesses will pass the costs on to the consumers. Problem is that the CEO’s helped get us into this mess.
This is not just an abstraction, but absolutely the modus operandi of communists. A best friend of mine grew up under communism in Romania, and the government forced everyone to the black market for the very purpose of making them all criminals.
The other modus operandi of all communists is the development of an unholy alliance with labor groups. Labor becomes the "muscle" - the ultimate enforcers called out to "but kneecaps" when needed.
Does any of this sound familiar?
The point is, nothing he would do could surprise me. I see him as a brutal dictator, waiting his chance. God help us all if it is true.
Obama announces 15 recess appointments
"I simply cannot allow partisan politics to stand in the way of the basic functioning of government," Obama said in a statement.
In February, Democrats fell far short of the 60 votes they needed to push through Becker's nomination. Two Democrats joined Republicans in opposition.
Attempts at amnesty, by reconciliation, or executive order, would not be a surprise in Obama world.
EDIT:Your point is excellent. Right now is not a good time to be a CEO. They are between Barack and a hard place.
I loved your edit! — LOL!
If subpoenas come, defy them under first amendment rights.
Don’t talk about it. Just lay off workers.
If it wins back control of the Congress, the GOP should conduct an investigation into these Dem tactics, and should put in place a bunch of new rules that preclude Congress from subpoenaing private persons.
Nancy Pelosi, Barney Franks, Henry Waxman, John Conyers, and Maxine Waters among others are all very well pleased that this bailout bill passed. All above mentioned were registered members of the Democratic Socialists of America(Communist Party) in 2002.
This is a link to copies of the letter.
Why can’t they just request copies of each company’s quarterly and annual report? Some companies even post them online.
Does anyone doubt that Obama is a Communist from a very young age???
Shouldn’t everyone know this story???
The First Time I Heard of Barack Obama
By Tom Fife
During the period of roughly February 1992 to mid 1994, I was making frequent trips to Moscow, Russia, in the process of starting a software development joint-venture company with some people from the Russian scientific community. One of the men in charge on the Russian side was named V. M.; he had a wife named T.M.
V. was a level-headed scientist while his wife was rather deeply committed to the losing Communist cause a cause she obviously was not abandoning.
One evening, during a trip early in 1992, the American half of our venture were invited to V. & T.s Moscow flat as we were about to return to the States. The party went well and we had the normal dinner discussions.
As the evening wore on, T. developed a decidedly rough anti-American edge one her husband tried to quietly rein in.
The bottom line of the tirade she started against the United States went something like this:
You Americans always like to think that you have the perfect government and your people are always so perfect. Well then, why havent you had a woman president by now? You had a chance to vote for a woman vice-president and you didnt do it.
The general response went something along the lines that you dont vote for someone just because of their sex. Besides, you dont vote for vice-president, but the president and vice-president as a ticket.
Well, I think you are going to be surprised when you get a black president very soon.
The consensus we expressed was that we didnt think there was anything innately barring that. The right person at the right time and sure, America would try to vote for the right person, be he or she black or not.
What if I told you that you will have a black president very soon and he will be a Communist?
The out-of-the-blue remark was met by our stares. She continued, Well, you will; and he will be a Communist.
It was then that the husband unsuccessfully tried to change the subject; but she was on a roll and would have nothing of it. One of us asked, It sounds like you know something we dont know.
Yes, it is true. This is not some idle talk. He is already born and he is educated and being groomed to be president right now. You will be impressed to know that he has gone to the best schools of Presidents. He is what you call Ivy League. You dont believe me, but he is real and I even know his name. His name is Barack. His mother is white and American and his father is black from Africa. Thats right, a chocolate baby! And hes going to be your President.
She became more and more smug as she presented her stream of detailed knowledge and predictions so matter-of-factly as though all were foregone conclusions. Its all been thought out. His father is not an American black so he wont have that social slave stigma. He is intelligent and he is half white and has been raised from the cradle to be an atheist and a Communist. Hes gone to the finest schools. He is being guided every step of the way and he will be irresistible to America.
We sat there not knowing what to say. She was obviously very happy that the Communists were doing this and that it would somehow be a thumbing of their collective noses at America: they would give us a black president and hed be a Communist to boot. She made it quite obvious that she thought that this was going to breathe new life into world Communism. From this and other conversations with her, she always asserted that Communism was far from dead.
She was full of little details about him that she was eager to relate. I thought that maybe she was trying to show off that this truly was a real person and not just hot air.
She rattled off a complete litany. He was from Hawaii. He went to school in California. He lived in Chicago. He was soon to be elected to the legislature. Have no doubt: he is one of us, a Soviet.
At one point, she related some sort of San Francisco connection, but I didnt understand what the point was and dont recall much about that. I was just left with the notion that she considered the city to be some sort of a center for their activity here.
Since I had dabbled in languages, I knew a smattering of Arabic. I made a comment: If I remember correctly, Barack comes from the Arabic word for Blessing. That seems to be an odd name for an American. She replied quickly, Yes. It is African, she insisted, and he will be a blessing for world Communism. We will regain our strength and become the number one power in the world.
She continued with something to the effect that America was at the same time the great hope and the great obstacle for Communism. America would have to be converted to Communism and Barack was going to pave the way.
So, what does this conversation from 1992 prove?
Well, its definitely anecdotal. It doesnt prove that Obama has had Soviet Communist training nor that he was groomed to be the first black American president, but it does show one thing that I think is very important. It shows that Soviet Russian Communists knew of Barack from a very early date. It also shows that they truly believed among themselves that he was raised and groomed Communist to pave the way for their future. This report on Barack came personally to me from one of them long before America knew he existed.
Although I had never before heard of him, at the time of this conversation Obama was 30+ years old and was obviously tested enough that he was their anticipated rising star.
Because this is not about information but about intimidation. The CEO’s are well within their rights to instruct Waxman to urinate in a vertical direction along the path of a linear object made of hemp or other raw materials used for securing items or for providing assistance in climbing certain surfaces, recreational activities, towing of vehicles and other uses.