Daily Archives: March 17, 2016

Obama’s NCAA March Madness picks

President Obama’s 2016 Picks:

In his men’s bracket, the President has Kansas, Texas A&M, Michigan State, and UNC headed to the Final Four. To the excitement of many Kansas fans, the President predicts the Jayhawks will win the national title.

Men's Bracket

Asked and Answered:

In 2015, President Obama correctly predicted that the Connecticut Huskies would be the women’s NCAA basketball champions. However, he didn’t do so well with the men’s bracket—something an eleven-year-old girl from North Carolina pointed out in a letter to the President. “You are a great president, just not the best bracket picker,” Emilia wrote.

Letter to the President

The President also sent Emilia this signed picture: 

Signed Photo

We shall see if the President’s prediction of NCAA Championship is correct. I know he was dead wrong about Kentucky in 2012. I certainly predicted Kentucky would win the 2012 NCAA championship. Good luck this year, President Obama!

Is Fraud In the Eye of the Beholder?

I spoke recently to a Dallas Society of CPAS conference focusing on fraud, speaking on ethics and fraud and the financial crisis. However, the speaker after me addressed the audience on Rules vs. Principles, and his presentation is worthy of some discussion.
He started his presentation by holding up two items, in his right hand a trophy he had received  for being named CFO of the Year  in 2000 by CFO Magazine. In his left hand he held his brightly colored prison ID card. He told the audience that he had received both for doing exactly the same things.
The speaker, Andy Fastow, the former CFO of Enron Corp., was given both those items for exactly the same deals! You remember Enron, the notoriously corrupt company that has been featured in numerous books, film stories and ENRON: The Smartest Guys in the Roomdoc? In 2001, Enron, then the seventh largest company in the world imploded. In a minute they went from $100 billion in revenues and $1 billion in profit to bankrupt, leaving thousands out of work and with no pension plans as many had invested these back into the company, at the request of management.

I went from Wall Street…to working at Waffle House

waffle street poster jimmy adams

‘Waffle Street’ is now a film starring James Lafferty and Danny Glover. James Adams is pictured at right.

I look forward of seeing this movie….

When James Adams walked into Waffle House in 2009 and requested a job application, the manager asked if he’d been sacked because of the meltdown.

“Yeah,” Adams said. “Firms like mine caused it.”

The manager gave him a sympathetic look. She said he could start Monday as long as he had a pair of black pants and vowed not to steal anything. He took the job.

Adams went from pulling in six figures a year as a hedge fund vice president to serving bacon and grits for $2.13 an hour (plus tips).

The job came with a side of “humble pie,” especially when he was put on the graveyard shift with mostly ex-cons as coworkers. His wife thought he was nuts. But he felt he needed to do “deep soul searching.”

“I’m willing to admit I played a role in the most horrific financial drama in the last 70 years,” says Adams.


James Adams hustled toxic assets

Adams worked for a firm that traded bonds — including the toxic stuff. It had over $30 billion in assets before the crisis. His job title was “product manager.” That means he hustled clients to invest their money with the firm and then nurtured the relationship.

For much of 2007 and 2008, he spent his days telling investors that everything was just fine. In reality, they were invested in junk.

The pink slip for Adams arrived in 2009, the year when U.S. unemployment skyrocketed to 10% — one in 10 people were out of work. He applied everywhere and was even rejected from McDonald’s.

Read on.

Inglewood man to plead guilty in $600K Wells Fargo fraud scheme

An Inglewood man is expected to plead guilty Thursday to his role in a $600,000 scheme in which Wells Fargo Bank employees stole customer account information in order to empty their accounts.

Ronald “Disco Ronnie” Reed, 69, will enter his plea to charges of bank fraud and aggravated identity theft, according to a plea agreement filed in Los Angeles federal court. He faces a possible sentence of anywhere between two and 30 years in federal prison.

Reed admitted he recruited three bank employees in 2013 and 2014 and asked them to access the bank’s computer records, then purchased customers’ personal data, including birth dates and information pertaining to their accounts, driver’s licenses and social security cards, according to the agreement.

Read on.

Elizabeth Warren unfazed on GOP Congressman’s comment to bankers that she needs to be ‘neutered’

Elizabeth Warren pic

Huffington Post:

Rep. Blaine Luetkemeyer (R-Mo.) made the comments during a panel discussion at an American Bankers Association conference Wednesday. According to Politico, Luetkemeyer said people needed to “find a way to neuter” Warren, whom he called the “Darth Vader of the financial services world.”

Rep. Ed Perlmutter (D-Colo.), who was also on the panel, criticized the comments, saying Warren “speaks for a lot of people,” according to Politico.

Asked about the comments during an appearance on MSNBC’s “All in with Chris Hayes,” Wednesday evening, Warren was unfazed.

“Look, if Wall Street and their buddies in the Republican party want to launch an assault on financial regulations and they want to say ‘let’s roll back Dodd-Frank’ all I can say is ‘let’s have that fight,’” she said. “I’m ready. You can make it with words or anything else you want, but I am not backing down.”

Hacker Group “Anonymous” Releases Trump’s Social Security, Phone Numbers



Earlier this month, infamous hacker collective Anonymous declared “war” on Donald Trump who they accuse of being a fascist and seeking to institute a dictatorship in America.

We’re not sure how many people took them seriously and we’re almost positive Trump himself got a good, hearty laugh at the threat (after all, the group also declared “war” on Bakr al-Baghdadi) but on Thursday, the group claims it has released Trump’s phone number and social security number.

State Fights New Trial Bid for ‘American Sniper’ Killer

EASTLAND, Texas (CN) – A state prosecutor in Texas says a jury was entitled to reject the insanity defense of the ex-Marine who killed “American Sniper” Chris Kyle and a friend, arguing against the killer’s appeal for a new trial.
A jury on Feb. 24, 2015, convicted Eddie Ray Routh in the double-murders of Kyle and Chad Littlefield.
The two had befriended the troubled veteran at the request of Routh’s mother shortly before the then-25 year-old riddled them with bullets at a Dallas shooting range.
Prosecutors said Routh then fled in Kyle’s stolen Ford truck, made a burrito stop at Taco Bell, then drove to his sister’s north Texas house, where he confessed to the double-murders.
After a nine-day trial that overlapped with the nationwide showing of the hit movie “American Sniper,” it took the jury of 10 women and two men just two-and-a-half hours to reject Routh’s insanity plea and convict him of capital murder.
The Clint Eastwood-directed movie, based on Kyle’s bestselling autobiography of the same name, depicts the life of the storied former Navy SEAL, known to be the most lethal sniper in U.S. history.
Routh was automatically sentenced to life in prison without parole for the 2013 slayings.
But Routh’s attorney say jurors got it wrong. In a December brief to the Texas 11th Court of Appeals seeking to overturn the guilty verdict, Ft. Worth attorney Warren St. John said the former Marine was insane at the time of the crimes and “did not know his conduct was wrong.”

Read on.