Most of the time God,Pratt & Whitney or General Electric, will give you another turn in the Barrel.

These are my opinions and my opinions only they do not reflect the opinions of any of my family members or their employer. Note we NOW have NO employers.

Back from a 5.5 Year PCS from the confines of the far Southwest corner of Bundesrepublik Deutschland. The Federal Republic of Germany and Retired.

Wednesday, March 26, 2014

517 Days Since Sentence Was Passed

517 Days since Rajat Gupta was sentence to 24 months in prison, and fined $5.0 Million Dollars. The  2nd U.S.. Circuit Court of Appeals has upheld your conviction. The wheels of Justice turn very slowly.
Rajat is still appealing the ruling that he reimburse his old employer Goldman Sachs $6.22 Million Dollars to help cover the cost of its legal costs associated with this mud fest. I suspect that the 2nd U.S, Circuit Court of Appeals will have another round of bad news about this time next year.
So Rajat, is 1 June 2014 a good day for you, to start your extended stay-cation at one of our finest Club Fed facilities? As far as what facility it will be, it will be our choosing of course, but we do invite your input as to which one of our fine facilities you would like to stay at. It goes without saying that since you will be one of over 200,000 guests, we cannot guaranty that we will be able to accommodate you in your preferred selection. But rest assured, what ever facility you do eventually end up at it will as comparable as possible to your requested facility.
I know you have concerns, and that is to be expected but rest assured the staff at what ever facility you are assigned to have seen it all before, and will provide you with assistance in navigating this new and exciting phase of your life.  Starting this new adventure at 65 years of age is not for the feint of heart, but having been a Captain of Industry and Finance it should be within your skill set.
Maybe you will get Butner Federal Correctional Institution where you can catch up with 61727-054, AKA Bernard Lawrence Madoff. Or possibly FMC, Devens where you could catch up with 62785-054 AKA Raj Rajaratnam. Where ever it is I am sure that you will meet and make new friends, but it does help if you already know someone already there.
So in the end was it worth it?   After all it will have cost you nearly 2 years of house arrest, 2 year of actual prison time, and some $11.22 Million Dollars in fines and restitution, not to mention your various attorney fees, and last but not least the ruin of your good name (Which no one can put a price on).
Or was it a complete and utter waste time and effort?

Monday, March 24, 2014

A letter for Gen Sinclair

A possible fictional letter for Brigadier General Jeffery Sinclair, USAR

Date: 21 March 2014

To: Brig Gen Jeffery Sinclair, USAR

From: LT. Gen Howard B. Bromberg USAR, DCS G-1

Subject: Request for Retirement

It is my duty to inform you that at the present time there are no slots available in the USAR for an individual with your grade and qualifications, additionally there currently are no slots available at the next lower grade for and individual with your qualification. Slots might be available within United States Army Reserves and or elements of the Army National Guard, you would have to make inquires to the respective services G-1 element. Based on the current situation this office has no choice but to direct Military Personnel Management Directorate to change your Mandatory Retirement Date to 30 March 2014.

This office expects that you should submit your request for Retirement by no later than close of business 25 March 2014. Your request for Retirement should be forward to this office, rather than Military Personnel Management Directorate. This office expects that your official date of retirement will be 30 April 2014. Based on this expected official retirement date this office anticipates that your terminal leave will commence on or about 1 April 2014.

Outstanding issues at this time concern your final retirement Rank/Grade. Given the results of the Article 32, Article 39, and the results of the subsequent General Courts-Martial proceeding, it is the recommendation of this office to the Chief of Staff USAR, Secretary of the Army, and Secretary of Defense that you be retired at the Rank of Colonel (O-6) with all of the rights and privileges commensurate with that grade and your nearly 29 years of service.

Basically Thank You for Service, now will you just leave quietly and as one old general said "Just Fade Away"

Wednesday, March 5, 2014

From those wonderful folks who gave us “The Great Recession” comes ..

During my morning cruise of the financial landscape comes a few frighting snippets from the following link

in particular the follow two statements found in the article

“Now, J.P. Morgan is entering the fray with an alternative to the 4% rule its own. The good news: You’re likely to be able to withdraw more than 4% of your account’s balance each year. The bad news: The method is fairly complicated to implement, so you will need the help of a financial adviser (which is good news for J.P. Morgan, which employs a network of them.)”


“The bank’s “Dynamic Withdrawal Strategy” adjusts both withdrawal rates and a portfolio’s investment allocations annually, in response to changes in both the markets and a retiree’s personal circumstances.”

Note the 4% rule is as they said in the movie “Pirates of the Caribbean” quote “more like a Guideline rather than a Rule”.

How nice of those wonderful folks at J.P. Morgan. I am sure that they are all honorable, nice, concerned and carrying individual. I will bet that even their mothers even love them. Unless you are their mother or some how directly related to them I rather suspect that the reciprocal is not the case.

Retirement planning is complicated at best. That said, there are two major complicating factor for which J.P. Morgan or any one else has no control over, or much less an exact answer for.

The first major complicating factor for which J.P. Morgan or any one else has no control over or exact answer for is just how long are you going to live. There is only one entity that know this information, and they are not telling. Now J.P. Morgan can make some educated guesses, but they are really nothing more than guesses, if they are wrong you are the one on the hook, and they are the ones off of the hook.

The second major complicating factor for which J.P. Morgan or any one else has no control over or answer for is just how healthy are you going to be during your yet unknown golden years. J.P. Morgan can make some guesses, but again as before you are the one on the hook, and they are the ones off of the hook.

Of course their method is complicated? To most of us it might also appear to be confusing, after all there is profit in confusion. Of course with their complicated and confusing method you will need a guide, and it just so happens that they have many guides who are versed in this complicated and confusing method (What a deal, I bet you might even get a cup of coffee or a soda.)

J.P. Morgan is in a revenue capture mode (They just keep paying lawyer to clean up their mess, of which no one person or persons is truly responsible for (either criminally or civilly))(In the mean time they got to use the money). They are closing up shop of some of their other more lucrative revenue capture endeavors,(since the government has either outlawed it or has via regulations and oversight made the costs too high, and conversely the profits too low) IE. prop trading or as I like to call it betting against your customers (they would say adding liquidity to the market) (You say mishmash, I say hodgepodge).

So it is only logical that with the current trends in demographics (old people are the fastest growing demographic) that they set up camp in the vast untapped fields of retirement advise and management, with the prospect unlimited and unfettered fees and commissions are just ripe for the fleecing. Lets just face facts old people are easy marks, and the folks at J.P. Morgan are basically just a bunch of college educated suit and tie wearing Grifters. Not to put too fine of a point on it but I suspect that more of them than you would guess would mate with a snake if you held it for them.

Another statement that made in the post that just scares the crap out of me is this little quote:

“The bank’s “Dynamic Withdrawal Strategy” adjusts both withdrawal rates and a portfolio’s investment allocations annually, in response to changes in both the markets and a retiree’s personal circumstances.”

Just what does that mean? Well the article is strangely silent, but I can only infer that at least once a year they (J.P. Morgan) are going to look at your portfolio and to paraphrase Monty Python “Now for something completely different” just rearrange it, and in the process that at the very least will generate new commission for them, and quite possibly incur additional taxes for you. (Truly a Win Win scenario). This feature will also be on top of the management fee (probably based on assets under management) that they are going to charge you annually. (I just love naked, aggressive, and unrestrained capitalism. Don't you?).

Two final points to remember about letting these wolves into you tent. Somewhere deep down inside the agreement that you will have to sign if you want to have all the features and benefits of their world class service.

First is the fact that you will have NO recourse via the courts when you find out that they have truly bent you over the axle and driven you home. No your only recourse will be via the FINRA arbitrations process as sanctioned by the Securities and Exchange Commission. (Their bat, your balls, their field, their concession stands, their parking, their players, their umpires.)

Second somewhere in the tomb of a document/contract you signed was a requirement for you to be forth coming with any and all information that might have a direct bearing on the decisions being made by J.P. Morgan concerning the planning and management of your retirement assets being held for you by J.P. Morgan. I would not be surprised (but you might be) if the document contains explicit methods for you to formally convey this information to J.P. Morgan in a timely fashion, and failure on your part is not a failure on their part (See your on the hook, and they are not on the hook). Your odds are not good, see preceding paragraph.