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Federal Reserve Chairman Bernanke will get a chance to explain himself further to a group of Congressmen who will be pandering up to their specific constituencies again Monday. Forgive me, as it seems like they all do it for the sake of self-preservation, as the eyes of C-SPAN and CNBC focus investor attention to the inquiries. It just gets disgusting to see a Congressman from Alabama pushing Toyota's (NYSE: TM) interests over Ford's (NYSE: F), because of Toyota's plants in the state. Of course, there are a few do-gooder honest Americans in the bunch who really mean it, like our friend from Ohio, Representative Kucinich. It's just that we feel there's not been enough follow through since the chewing out of the rating agencies and such.
Okay, so the President attempted to force a few hard-to-swallow, harder-to-pass through Congress, make-the-rules-up-as-you-go-along laws down the throats of those dastardly bankers we all know and love (i.e. the Financial Crisis Responsibility Fee). And okay, the Credit Card Act of 2009 was passed into law, requiring advance notice of rate hikes and guarding good-status cardholders from extra fees. By the way, that law goes into effect Monday, only like a year after it was passed and after it adequately provided credit card companies the opportunity to properly screw their clientele ahead of the effective date.
When will lobbies stop ruling Congress? How mad will the populace have to get before Congressmen fear God? Err rather torch wielding Joe American? Did you hear about what happened in Greece? I heard, and correct me if I'm wrong, that someone set off a bomb near J.P. Morgan's (NYSE: JPM) offices there? Since I get to see Greek television from time to time, I've noted there's a feeling of "American bankers did the world wrong, and we have to pay?" attitude in Europe that kind of resembles the old Main Streeters' viewpoint here at home. Oh, and what about that gentleman who set his own house on fire and flew a plane into the IRS building in Texas? According to Alan Abelson, one of The Greek's favorite Barron's columnists (we love you too Dimitra), people are pretty pissed (paraphrasing of course, though not by much if you read Alan as regularly as we do).
It's time Congress does something about the rating agencies. And it's time we see real action to protect common Americans from powerful money wielding lobbies who do not represent the broader best interest of America. But no, instead the Supreme Court gives the all-clear to lobbies, letting them basically elect our next president with money. What a sell out! Guess who has no shot of winning now? Our boy Dennis Kucinich, that's who. I have to say, I once thought he was out there... Now I want to be out there with him. Nobody says what America is thinking louder than Mr. Kucinich. God bless him.
Anyway, this article is about preparing you for your Monday...
Besides the Credit Card Act, look for Ben Bernanke to explain his act of last week to the House Financial Services Committee (as we were saying). Mr. B is slated to testify regarding "Prospects for Employment Growth: Is Additional Stimulus Needed?" Good boy Ben, pushing the President's jobs bill like a good soldier. Let me be clear, I want to see that bill passed into law in an effective manner and with effective aspects to it. I'm a small businessman after all.
I want one more thing though; I want the Americans who have been unemployed longer than extended benefits reach, but who are having just as hard a time getting a job as the people who lost their jobs over the last two years, to get extended benefits or some other financial help. There are good people out there who need that help Mr. President, if you're reading. Dennis too! Pick up the gauntlet for those folks too please. Yours truly would fall into that pool if I was looking for a job, and I feel like I deserve the help as much as the guy who is unemployed due to more recent reasoning.
San Fran Fed Boss Janet Yellen is also slated to speak on Monday. She will be addressing the University of San Diego (gosh I wish I was in my favorite California town these days). Hey San Diego, how about inviting The Greek over to write about the happenings, developments and business prospects of your town?
Conference season is in full swing as of Monday. Credit Suisse (NYSE: CS) kicks off its Global Services Conference in Phoenix (the turf of my favorite Chinese Restaurant chain, P.F. Chang's (Nasdaq: PFCB)). Out in Scottsdale (also Arizona), Wells Fargo (NYSE: WFC) starts its Housing and Building Products Conference, featuring D.R. Horton (NYSE: DHI), Lennar (NYSE: LEN), Hovnanian (NYSE: HOV) and Vulcan Materials (NYSE: VMC).
With rate concern sweeping the corporate street, Barron's reports that several corporate refinancings are scheduled for this week. Look for Archer Daniel's Midland (NYSE: ADM), Bombardier and Banco Santander (NYSE: STD) to lock in better rates.
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