September flew by. But as it is now October I have to ask, how many of you remembered the 21st Night in September?

While on the topic of reminiscing, this past September 15th marked fifteen years since the financial market meltdown. So what have we learned? Actually, quite a lot. Here are six takeaways:

  1. The collapse of Lehman Brothers was more about politics than economics. The real cause? It was twofold. The failure of bankers, Wall-Streeters, directors of boards alike, to perform due diligence coupled with compensation schemes that took precedence over the public good and stockholders. (Think your own investments as well as the investments of the Benefit Funds)
  2. A lot of things the Fed initiated after the financial meltdown - worked. It wasn’t all perfect, but it worked and in hindsight, it definitely worked better than watching the entire system collapse upon itself.
  3. The banking segment of the “TARP” (one of the many unpopular alphabet soups of Federal Reserve rescue programs initiated after the meltdown) turned a profit for the U.S. taxpayer. (Hooray Us!)
  4. TARP was also supposed to work not unsimilar to the Homeowners Land Corporation of the New Deal. Which as you may suspect, was created to bailout homeowners that were going to lose their homes due to foreclosure. However, both Fed Chairman Paulson and Geithner allocated very little bailout monies toward “John Q Public” and predominately focused on bailing out the financial institutions. I cannot think of a stronger argument to remove private and corporate financing of political campaigns and in its place, institute only public financing.
  5. The Federal Reserve lends.
  6. Congress spends.

You may have noticed that I repeat the prior months newsletter topics within the latest newsletter. I was recently asked why I do that. Simple. A lot of the topics we discuss in the current newsletter are built upon the topics examined within a prior one. In other words, we look back so that we can look forward more clearly.

Just another reason that you should always stay current to what is written in these newsletters. So, and without any further ado, listed below is a recap of the topics in September’s newsletter:

  • The Usual Suspects…, er…, Reminders.
    • Hey Apprentices
    • Health and Benefit Fund Educational Meetings
    • HRA
    • Other Insurance
    • Quarterly Self-Payments
    • The Retirement Calculator
  • Just “A Heads Up”
  • The I.B.E.W. Local 697 Defined Contribution Plan

Again, if you have not read any of the last few month’s newsletter, please take a moment to do so now.