Wednesday, Jan. 29, 2014

We seem to be missing the larger picture somewhere in the middle of the debate about income inequality and minimum wage. Chief Executive Officers,  whose pay has traditionally been measured by the truckload, have forgotten who their clients are. Henry Ford knew. Henry was in favor of higher wages for his workers and a shorter work week - both of which would be considered heresy by today's standards. Why, because Henry was selling cars and he wanted his workers to not only be able to buy his product but have the time to use it thereby increasing the demand. Is this rocket science? No. Why is this too complicated a concept for Walmart or McDonalds? For the record I am not in favor of a government mandated minimum wage however; I think paying the workers the absolute lowest possible amount is short sighted and bad business in the long run.

One of the lingering hangovers from the financial meltdown is the litigation concerning interest rate swaps. Wall Street sold these complicated instruments to everybody they could find and the havoc these swaps have caused is enormous. The story of this is still under the radar but countless school districts, colleges, towns, states etc. have experienced real monetary pain because of this product. What the banks did borders on the criminal. Somebody once said that if a banker ever comes to you to sell you a product it is time to lock up your wallet and hide the livestock. Good advice. Take it.