Gloria Ferris

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

Archive for the ‘Economics’ tag

Does Magic Live in Cafe’s Walls?

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The best place for French Toast in Cleveland  is at Cafe Miami in Old Brooklyn.  This morning the editors of the soon to be published (well, maybe not SO soon) first ever Brooklyn Centre Naturalists Cookbook met to continue collecting, editing, and working on this crucial fundraiser for our neighborhood group striving to become the next certified National Wildlife Community. But the first step to a good work session is a good breakfast.

And so, we ordered our breakfasts, sipped coffee, and settled down to work.  Cafe Miami is not the breakfast place for you on a Saturday  if you want a hurry-up and get going start to your day.  Larry’s place is a more of a read the paper, “what’s your hurry” kind of diner on Saturdays. Did I tell you that I LOVE the French Toast.  It is sublime. The inside is soft and the outside has a subtle crunch to it that offsets the softness. Delicious.

Every time I step through the door of Cafe Miami I feel like I have been transported to the Deep South. Maybe, it is the Mardi Gras posters on the wall, the Jazz feel to the place, or maybe I truly am transported to a different time and place.  I kid you not there is a magical feel to this cafe.  The salt and pepper shakers, the antiques, the books that are placed around the place which Larry always encourages people to read or borrow, and much, much more has to be seen to be believed.

Just as I think I can’t wait one more minute our food begins to arrive.  Recipes and computers are put aside as we dig in while the food is still hot.  As we talk about our week, we munch on toasted English Muffins, French Toast, eggs and bacon, I suddenly realize that we better get down to business, finish eating, and get back to work.   As we say good bye to Larry, owner chef, and his waitress, Marie , I glance at the clock realizing we have only used two hours of our Saturday.  I think to myself “how can this be” we finished  proofreading that huge stack of recipes, separated them by category, ate breakfast, and I feel as refreshed as if I had been soaking up sunshine on the beach. I stop cold as I look outside and see that it I am in cold and rainy Cleveland.   I kid you not I thought that I would be stepping out into the sunshine with a hot breeze tousling my hair.  Instead, I am dodging huge raindrops and am soaked to the skin by the time I reach the car.  I am telling  you that there is something magical about this cafe.  If you don’t believe me, visit it yourself, and prove me wrong.

Written by Gloria Ferris

April 16th, 2011 at 7:02 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