Gloria Ferris

one woman’s view from a place by the zoo in the city

Archive for the ‘national news’ Category

Alan Mooney—A Good Man Done Wrong

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Here is my comment on the Crain’s Investment News article which addresses the suit my friend Alan Mooney has filed with FINRA against FSC.

I know Alan Mooney personally, and feel that there is a need for some amplification of the situation surrounding him. Alan wrote the contract he used with FSC and did not sign or use FSC contracts. Alan wrote The Money Foundation contract which governs the down line reps who have Alan Mooney as their OSJ. Alan’s contract had language far beyond anything in the industry outlining ownership in regards to client information and intellectual property rights of reps. Alan also had a special contract as a Super OSJ meant to protect him from FSC recruiting his down line. A provision in the contract included a one year separation clause before FSC could recruit or retain any of Alan’s down lines. These unique 1997 contracts had been announced in national phone calls with over 600 reps listening when Jim Wisner signed the contract. 20,000 reps have learned about the signing of the contracts through seminar mailings and talks by Alan. Thousands of reps all over the United States who have attended Alan’s seminars have heard Alan talk about true independence.

That contract was honored by FSC for over 11 years until Mark Schlafly arrived on the scene, and for sure, Joby Gruber, Jim Wisner & John Bell Keeble would flip over how rotten things are at FSC today! FSC not only solicited Alan’s down lines but offered big bucks to top producers in Alan’s group to sell Alan out. In fact, in a phone call September 3, 2009, Mr. Schlafly promised Alan this would not happen anymore. Within 5 minutes of Mr. Schlafly’s disconnecting with Alan, he called Alan’s biggest producing rep. He not only solicited the rep but offered to backdate the money offer by 7 months.

There were hundreds of OSJ managers present when Alan offered to buy FSC in October 2008. Over a hundred OSJ’s had given Alan a Letter of Intent (LOI) to help buy out FSC. Within days after that meeting in Atlanta lots of rep’s with FSC were threatened by an AIG New York attorney to stop or else. The threats were in writing. Mr. Schlafly then had a national phone call with all FSC reps and threatened reps could not leave FSC because FSC owned their client information. Alan then posted on an FSC MFA ONLY blog a copy of AIG attorney Noah Sorkin’s letter to the SEC stating that at AIG the reps own that information. This exposed Mr. Schlafly and outted him as either dishonest or incompetent, and no matter what is correct, he was wrong in his threats.

Only Alan Mooney had the courage to stand and tell the truth on these issues–the guts to try and defend all the reps at FSC. There was no financial advantage for him. He could have stayed silent and shared the information only with his down line think tank- the Money Foundation. Most of the people following Alan are deeply moral and very spiritual people (many are Ordained Ministers). Some people jokingly have called us his apostles. We the so- called apostles of doing what is right, being independent and part of his think-tank, know the truth and know Alan tells it like it is! We know Alan as a Christian man of deep faith who has written books on Ethics for Success for stock brokers; a man knighted Sir Alan Mooney by order of the Pope for his work with inner city kids and street people.

The following week after Mr. Schlafly’s call, Schlafly clumsily had to retract saying “he didn’t know about the AIG attorney’s letter to the SEC”, but he still threatened “the use of negative response letters and months of holding reps up if they try to move”.

Alan is a holy man who stood up alone for the independent reps at FSC and those he stood up for should show their support for him now. Unfortunately, not all people are warriors, but those of us who value independence and ethical behavior know that now is the time to stand with this man. He personally paid for and brought his attorney to that meeting in the fall of 2008 for the benefit of all the other OSJ’s in what he believed was the beginning of how together they could help FSC remain a beacon for independent reps in the financial world.

Further, the person calling only OSJ’s (not their downlines) at FSC is an attorney’s son and is conducting a survey, and nothing more. Those who claim otherwise are not being truthful. People who are threatened by truly moral leaders always try to defame them. Alan is a man who freely shares knowledge, expertise, and best practices to make the financial world a better place. Simply, Alan is a good man done very wrong.

Independent Reps everywhere should take heed of this lawsuit because who owns the relationship with your clients, who owns your intellectual property, who has duties to whom, and who calls the shots in your business, in your professional practice—it is all at stake.

Read the full article here.

Written by Gloria Ferris

November 7th, 2009 at 3:59 pm

How Can We Work Together To Find Alternative Energy Sources?

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Last evening I was with a small group of neighbors working on a group project when our conversation turned to heating our homes this winter- the cost of doing that, what each of us are doing to achieve that, and alternative ways to do it without a large dependence on natural gas.

Our hostess had apologized for the coolness of her home, and since we had finished our original task we turned our attention to heating our homes.   She said that she had turned the heat on when she arrived home from work but the furnace was still catching up.  She then said she was  looking for alternative ways to heat her home.  Three stories is a lot of square footage to heat.  Of course, she said her third floor bedroom was quite toasty.  It was the public area on the first floor that was more problematic.

Interestly enough, none of us had turned on their heat yet.  We all said that we had been wearing bulky sweaters and vests, wool socks, and heating our homes with electric heaters.   We have had some pretty chilly nights, but all of us were stretching the time line to its limit.  We were all aware that this weekend might be the turning point. 

We all agreed that our relationship with normal gas suppliers was deteriorating daily. The news that the PUCO had agreed to allow them to increase delivery charges, when conservation is at its highest point ever,  does not bode well for natural gas prices this winter.  Additionally, the international news that Russia, Iran, and  Qatar are exploring the formation of a cartel much like OPEC for natural gas should concern us all.  Given the fact that the United States has a 3.5% reserve of the natural resource compared to the 60% the cartel would own  means that this commodity will only rise on the world markets just as oil did.  We will definitely not be controlling our destiny if we continue our dependency on natural gas.

One of our group mentioned Mr. Slim heat pumps good to 0 degrees Farenheit.  He said that the electricity is negligible to run the unit.  Right now, he personally uses two $120 electric heaters to heat his 900 square foot home.  He is looking for alternative sources for heating and cooling for his rental properties.  He believes that low energy bills will be a marketing point for getting and retaining good tenants.  We all agreed.

One of our friends installed a geothermal unit.  He said that it did his heart good when he finally received that first gas bill where they owed him.  So my questions are how do we leverage this discomfort with the old models of heating, how do we cut our dependence on natural gas, how do we continue to conserve energy, and how do we eventually get off the grid and form a new paradigm?  We need more instruction than layering of clothes.  HELP!!    

Written by Gloria Ferris

October 25th, 2008 at 1:42 pm

Stand Up And Be Counted–Enough is Enough

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Two months ago,  I saved this quote on my desktop.  At the time, I didn’t know why.  Now I know.  Events and comments made during this 2008 presidential campaign season have illuminated why we need to heed  these words by Harry S. Truman:

Once a government is committed to the principle of silencing the voice of opposition, it has only one way to go, and that is down the path of  increasingly repressive measures, until it becomes a source of terror to all its citizens and creates a country where everyone lives in fear. -Harry S. Truman, 33rd US president (1884-1972)

Our government is not there yet, but if we allow hate slogans, catcalling, intolerance and elected representatives  to question opposition as “unamerican” can we be far from that path? Opposition by all Americans to these types of intimidation needs to be strong and united.  If we silence dialogue, if we eschew diversity, how do we become the innovative economy and country we need to be?     My computer has just told me that the word unamerican does not exist. Is AI is more intelligent than humans?  By the way, I am not adding it to the dictionary.

Written by Gloria Ferris

October 24th, 2008 at 1:29 pm

FrankenFood Petition Arrives in Time for Halloween

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Below is an email that I received after I signed the petition to demand labeling of Gene-Altered Food. 

Dear  Friends,
I have just read and signed the petition: “Frankenfood? Demand Labeling of Gene-Altered Food!”.
Please take a moment to read about this important issue, and join me in signing the petition. It takes just 30 seconds, but can truly make a difference. We are trying to reach 10000 signatures – please sign here: http://www.thepetitionsite.com/takeaction/314188001
Once you have signed, you can help even more by asking your friends and family to sign as well.
Thank you! Gloria

http://www.care2.com/go/z/e/VdK7/qM../AoKSy

Locally grown and locally produced food is one way that Tim and I avoid over processed and gene altered food.  I grew up in the country surrounded by farms and farmers.  My grandfather and his brother were dairy farmers.  My father kept his finger in the pie by buying equipment and working for farmers to supplement his income.  Believe me, as long as I can remember chemicals and genetics were a topic of conversation at the local feed mill, around the dinner table and after church.  The balancing act is only getting more tottery as the years pass.

All I know is that the local farmers I grew up were much closer to the overall environment than the agriculture conglomerates of today.  My father taught me how runoff from fields entered the water supply, how chemical dusting entered the atmosphere and settled downwind, how it was our responsibility to produce the best product possible so that we got the best prices for our wheat and corn and beef.  i wonder what drives agribusiness firms today. Are they as close to the interconnection of our ecology as the farmers of yesteryear or are they driven by return on investment?

Tim is fond of saying that fast food and processing have altered the stature and weight of younger generations.  In comparison to my generation, younger people have consumed more steroids, more antibiotics, more processed and more altered food in their lifetimes.  These alterations will probably become even more commonplace in the future.  Should we not know what we are consuming?  If genetically altering our food is an okay thing to do, why would there be resistance to labeling?  How difficult could it be to create an international symbol that could be stamped on such food?  If altered food is equal to unaltered food what is the problem?

If you believe in quality control of our food supply, take the 30 seconds to click thru and sign the petition.  

Written by Gloria Ferris

October 23rd, 2008 at 12:21 pm

Tennessee Contemplation of Pirates

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While in Tennessee visiting my granddaughter Teagan and her parents, one day, as I sipped my coffee, I began thinking about the global financial crisis which led me to financiers, stock brokers, and bankers. Suddenly, my mind wandered over to pirates.  At that time, my take was that pirates way back when had a code of ethics that prevented them from plundering certain countries-loyal to the crown and all that. Certain ports were protected. The pirate crews, often retreated to their own islands dividing their booty carousing and living the good life until they ran low on rum and other necessities. They, then.  took another foray out into the world.  Given the romantic notion that we now have of pirates, it is often thought that they did not take more than was necessary to keep themselves and their communities alive and well.

Fast forward to the pirates of today, and it is hard to see where the loyalties of these modern day pirates lie.  Basically, it seemed more like a feeding frenzy of sharks who had been given the hapless pirate who “walked the plank”.  Needless to say, I thought my early morning musings farfetched and fanciful so I parked them in the dark recesses of my mind doubting that they would see the light of day.  And then, today, I read this article from  the October 15, 2008 Science Daily which comments on the recent writings of Dr. Peter Hayes, Senior Lecturer on Politics at the University of Sunderland     

No longer so far-fetched.  But now, my mind wanders to dinosaurs, evolution, and how some species become extinct.  And, as I wander I wonder, is it time for these dinosaurs to die?  And if they die, what will evolve to take their place? 

Written by Gloria Ferris

October 15th, 2008 at 9:09 pm

U.S. Senator Sherrod Brown Takes A Stand: His Reasoned Reply

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We received the following letter from our U.S. Senator Sherrod Brown. I feel a whole lot better knowing some of  his thought process on the $700 Billion “bailout”.  I am sure that he shared the same thoughts with all of his constituents who wrote him concerning this issue so I am sharing it here.

Thank you for expressing your concerns with the problems in the financial sector and how we address them.

A lot of Ohioans, including me, are angry at the thought of bailing out people who made a lot of money making bad business decisions that created problems in neighborhoods across Ohio. I agree that we need to avoid rewarding excessive risk taking. These institutions made unwise decisions, and taxpayers should not be expected to simply cover their losses.

On September 20th, Treasury Secretary Paulson sent a proposal to Congress that would have given him almost unfettered authority to spend $700 billion purchasing troubled assets from financial institutions. A few days later, my colleagues on the Banking Committee and I held a hearing at which Secretary Paulson, Federal Reserve Chairman Bernanke, and others testified.

They made a strong case for the need to act quickly to prevent further damage to our economy. The turmoil in the credit markets has the potential to do great damage to a lot of innocent bystanders. I am afraid that if we do not act, the economic instability could affect thousands of American jobs and the savings of countless middle class families.

But Secretary Paulson’s proposal was not the right answer. No Secretary should be given a $700 billion blank check. Taxpayers must be given an opportunity to recover their money, and assurances their tax dollars will not fund lavish pay and golden parachutes. We need strong rules to guard against abuse and we need to ensure that Ohio is helped and not just Wall Street. The legislation adopted by the Senate, with my support, makes each of these changes.

This was a difficult vote. But Ohio has already lost 200,000 manufacturing jobs over the past seven years as our unemployment rate has spiked. Retirement and college savings accounts have shriveled. Credit is becoming more expensive for small businesses. We cannot gamble on even greater economic dislocation.

This week’s vote was not the end of our work on this issue. In the months ahead we need to enact tough rules to govern our financial markets to ensure we never find ourselves in this situation again.
Sincerely,
Sherrod Brown

I will post U.S. Senator George Voinovich’s reply when received.

 

Written by Gloria Ferris

October 3rd, 2008 at 11:14 am

The Nation Waits with Bated Breath–Is It a Loan or Is it a Bailout?

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Warren Buffett knows if you are going to take on great risk, be sure to negotiate a hard bargain and at least have the option to make millions.  I just received my latest edition of The Economist where I learned this. 

I haven’t seen anything on line about the $700 Billion Bailout of the banking industry.  Personally, I like the idea of loaning them the money.  You see, when they get behind on their loans because they haven’t the money to pay back the American taxpayer, we can have our servicing agent, the government, tell them that their “client” has informed them that they can no longer work with them and that they are in default.  We, the taxpayers, will then own the banks.  In other words, we can foreclose on them. Turnabout is fair play.

Why in the world would we the American Taxpayer give the money to the banks without getting something in return?  Shouldn’t we let the free market decide which banks would survive and which would become part of the collateral owned by the United States?  After all, I believe that is what U.S. Treasurer Hank Paulson recommended not so long ago when told that the housing bubble had burst and that the walls were crumbling down.

Of course, no one knew just how far the rolling stones would fall and now that retirement and pension funds, local and state governments will be affected by this debacle, something should be done.  But I ask you, why should we give them this money with no strings attached so that they can again “play the game” with no repercussions for the reckless way they played “the game” this time?

Could that be the problem with this whole scenario?  It wasn’t a game, it was people’s lives, it was people’s savings, it was America’s way of life.  It was only a game to those who saw only the numbers and never the faces behind those numbers.

I see no reason that we the American Taxpayer should bail out the financial industry without receiving something in return.  After all, according to the investment gurus, our world revolves on ROI (Return on Investment).  Maybe not so much.

Written by Gloria Ferris

September 29th, 2008 at 3:50 pm

In the Dark of Night The Senate Succumbs Once Again–Naming Your Intellectual Property Orphans

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Shannon Okey has asked for help in getting the word out about this latest attack on individual Intellectual Property.  Her article here says it better than I ever could.  Be sure to use the sidebar to gain knowledge of why artists, bloggers, small business people, and anyone else who believes in freedom of expression should do what Shannon asks of us.

Notify your congressperson that you are against this latest attempt to tie our hands, our tongues, and our minds to a mindless buisness  bureaucracy when innovation and creativity should be keywords in any endeavor in our country today. 

Please note the clandestine way that these examples of special interest legislation become part of our law that governs us.  Does anyone else get a shiver up their spine when the chance to object is limited to fifteen minutes and when no objection is recorded within those fifteen minutes the legislation passes by unanimous consent with no roll call vote?  WOW!

Written by Gloria Ferris

September 29th, 2008 at 12:46 pm

Just The Facts, Ma’am.

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At times, I have lamented the reporting at our local newspaper, The Plain Dealer.  Today, on the business pages is a Q & A about AIG where Theresa Dixon Murray gives more facts in a few column inches than any of the other news reports I have read so far.  So today, I tip my hat to the Plain Dealer and this business reporter.

“Far-reaching consequences” is the right take on this situation.  Cash-flow problems within a company that has $1 trillion in assets is almost beyond comprehension.  But, if you read the second reason  of why this help by the Federal Reserve was imperative for global financial stability, you get a bit more of the picture than what the national papers have said about the “risky loans” that AIG underwrites.

AIG underwrites the banking industry.  The domino effect would be devastating.  By approving this short term loan, the Federal Reserve has given the financial industry some breathing room to continue to “make right what went wrong”. 

Earlier this month,  an article from The Economist  about Paulson’s nationalization of the housing sector illuminated  how the housing market has caused a big bit of the financial markets uncertainty.  We truly are in a global marketplace.

Late last year, in a comment on Brewed Fresh Daily, I said that the subprime mess would have global implications. I was soundly chastised by another BFD reader.  At that time, I stated that part of the problem was the short term thinking overtaking the corporate world and that everything was transaction based–moving numbers around on a balance sheet.    My hope is that everyone remembers that peoples’ jobs, retirement savings, and our way of life depend on a stable monetary system when making the decisions that will affect our future.   Transition should happen in a deliberate thinking environment with the human factor being considered.

If ever there was a time that our government officials should act in a cohesive bipartisan way it is now.  We need leaders that can effectively govern by best practices and not by the latest polls.  Deregulation may have gotten us where we are today, but regulation for regulation’s sake may not get us to where we need to go.

Written by Gloria Ferris

September 17th, 2008 at 11:34 am

Who Speaks for the Pig in all this folderol?

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I do.  Look we never asked to be the focal point of the 2008 General Election.  Who knew that the phrase “lipstick on a pig” would become the most important topic on the political scene with just six weeks left until the American Public vote for their next leader?

There hasn’t been this much to talk about in the barnyard since Orwell wrote that terrible book depicting us pigs as power-hungry despots. Actually, discourse among humans has decidedly deteriorated since that book was written.

We sure wish that the news media thought there was more to talk about than just us pigs.  Oh yes, we listen to  the news quite frequently.  No self-respecting farmer fails to have a radio in the barn.  They may be busy, but they keep informed.  So sad that politicians and news moguls think that the American voters are morons and would rather be entertained than informed.  Us pigs are quite concerned that we may have to take over barnyards all over the United States just as George Orwell predicted in Animal Farm.  Oh wait, somebody just told me that book was a satire.

Well, I’m not sure that pigs running things wouldn’t be a step up.  At least we already know that lipstick on a pig looks ridiculous and no self-respecting pig  would wear it.  People look down on us because we wallow in our own, well you-all-know-what.  I ask you what is different about what you humans are doing? 

I told my friend Suey the other day, well at least they aren’t talking about making a silk purse out of a sow’s ear or are you?

 

h/t to my friend Gloria who let me borrow her blog.

 

Patchouli Porker

Written by Gloria Ferris

September 14th, 2008 at 11:23 am