Archive | September, 2008


30 Sep



Chris Lee Still Silent on the Financial Meltdown

30 Sep

We already know that businessman Chris Lee has canceled debate appearances with Alice Kryzan, and today we read in the Buffalo News and heard on WBEN radio that he has no comment on the economic crisis and bailout. None whatsoever. Complete silence.

Chris Lee’s continued absence when it comes to the financial crisis is mind-boggling. Either he’s for the bailout that was voted on yesterday, he’s opposed to it, or he’s for something different. He is not courageous enough to tell prospective voters where he stands. How ’bout that.

By contrast, Alice Kryzan has consistently stressed the importance of bringing alternative energy industry jobs to the district, releasing a comprehensive plan detailing how we can strengthen our economy and create jobs, while reducing our dependence on foreign oil and keeping our environment clean.

Despite touting his business expertise, Lee has offered no concrete solutions. Instead, he has argued for a continuation of failed Bush policies, making sure that millionaires get a tax break and that government doesn’t “get in the way.” We’ve seen the results of those failed ideas—financial crisis and more hard-earned taxpayer money going to fix the problem.

For his part, Chris Lee says nothing. He has no plan, no vision, and offers no leadership whatsoever. He does, however, recycle Bush talking points and a poor facsimile of Chris Collins’ winning 2007 strategy.

The financial meltdown and the bailout are difficult issues that further threaten an already reeling economy. I like to see that Kryzan is engaged – talking to voters, offering solutions. Lee? After the bailout bill failed yesterday, I called his campaign office yesterday to ask how he’d have voted for it.

The person on the other end said they’d release something about it “in the next few days”.

It’s been brewing for weeks, and the best they can do is the “next few days”?

How unbusinesslike.

Buffalo South Braces

30 Sep

Meanwhile, in Charlotte, Wachovia narrowly averts failure:

Crushed by its disastrous 2006 acquisition of mortgage lender Golden West Financial Corp., Wachovia succumbed Monday to the global financial crisis, agreeing to sell its banking operations to New York’s Citigroup Inc. for a mere $2.1 billion in a deal arranged by federal regulators.

Yes, Bank of America Corp. still stands on Tryon Street and is now one of the “Big Three” U.S. banks. But the Wachovia collapse leaves Charlotte bracing for the worst _ the loss of thousand of high-paying bank jobs that helped turn the state’s largest city into a booming center of the New South.

“We’ve been on the winning end of a countless number of bank transactions over the last 25 years,” said Tony Plath, a finance professor at the University of North Carolina at Charlotte. “And that has translated into new jobs and homes and construction. Now, we’re on the losing end. This is a big loss for the city.”

For years, it was Bank of America and Wachovia playing the aggressor, making deal after deal _ including the 2001 merger of First Union and Wachovia that led to the modern-day bank _ as they worked to create a second Wall Street on Tryon. Wachovia has 120,000 employees nationwide, including 20,000 in Charlotte.

An involuntary Buffalo homecoming in the works, perhaps?

The Stock Exchange is Sorta Like Gambling, Right?

30 Sep

Voter Question = “Gotcha Journalism”

30 Sep

Why can’t Palin speak for herself? Why is McCain jumping all over this?


Frying Pan, Fire

30 Sep

The feckless management of the Broadway Market has ended, and day-to-day operations will now be managed by the City of Buffalo, at least until November 1.

Managed by Buffalo city government. ‘Nuff Said.

The Bailout Translated (Somewhat) (1929 to 9/29 UPDATE)

29 Sep

UPDATE: The bailout failed, the Dow, S&P, and NASDAQ are in free-fall, and there’s no word yet on whether McCain will now re-suspend his campaign.

The Albany Project has the New York delegation’s vote on the bailout, and here’s the roll call vote in Congress. Reynolds, Higgins & Slaughter voted in favor of the bailout. Randy Kuhl voted against it.

WTF now? Continue reading

A New Day Will Come

29 Sep

The financial bailout and the crisis that led to it is, for all intents and purposes, out of the average person’s hands. I’m no economist, so my grasp of the entirety of the situation is tenuous, at best. This is, however, par for the course, since it appears that even financial experts seem to have a flawed grasp of the issues.

I think a lot of people are, to put it mildly, nervous. Even though Buffalo never really reaped the rewards of the latest bubbles and booms, and the landing may be softer as a result, the tightening of credit will most likely cause a downward spiral of sorts across the board. At least for a while.

But even though I’m not religious in the slightest, I have faith that the country will come out of this crisis stronger, and hopefully with some positive changes on the other end.

From a Presidential political perspective, I have to say I feel far more comfortable with Obama at the helm than McCain. You may recall during the debate, there was some back-and-forth about tactics vs. strategy. McCain has been all about tactics; the Palin pick, the non-suspended “suspension”, and whatever other poorly thought-out snap decision he can make without much contemplation for the long term, focused primarily on short term gain.

On the other hand, Obama is all about strategy. Is there anything he changed in response to McCain’s erratic twists and turns? Nope. They have a plan, and they’re sticking to it. He is talking about issues that regular people are also talking about, and he’s free from pronouncements about the economy being fundamentally strong even when a former Fed chief calls what’s happening a once-a-century crisis.

Hope may not be a plan, but it’s a start. Here’s to hope.

Two-Step Process

28 Sep

Go to this website:

And vote for this kid:


The Niagara-Based Elephant in the Room

28 Sep

Here is the Bob McCarthy article I referenced sort of in passing the other day. I take no pleasure in its content, as I don’t like to see any media venture fail – especially one that has a track record of good work such as the Niagara Falls Reporter.

One accuses the other of overdipping in the till, and there are counteraccusations of Golisano/Pigeon payoffs. This is why lawyers and lawsuits and contracts and judges exist, and there are two sides to every story, so somewhere betwixt the two is where the truth lies.

Hudson is, as always, welcome to post, as is anyone else – involved or not.

If it’s true that Pigeon paid someone off to try and affect an election, and the fact that he did so wasn’t disclosed, I’d find that to be sleaze of Illuzzian proportions. If it’s true that the publisher was stealing from the company, that’s sleazy, too, although the only people affected are those with a stake in the paper; the former is a macro concern while the latter is a micro-issue.

I do, however, ask that comments avoid ad hominem attacks on people. That’s not directed at Hudson, but at those who might rip into him.