- Could our society implode on the race issue?
- Business becomes the villain? Is Hollywood Making money from Financial Crises?
- Limited best seller Inside Job: The Looting of the American Savings and Loans
- Now, AT&T, the once proud flagship of American commerce uses outright fraud to boost earnings
- Another New Thought: Helicopter money and fiscal rules
Now, AT&T, the once proud flagship of American commerce uses outright fraud to boost earnings
Despite the choice of forum in the title above, we know it's not only energy, oil and communication addicted to fraud to make up for a sagging profit margin since our national motto is now Lie,cheat and steal. Revealed to us through this bit from Reuters -
Business | Mon Aug 8, 2016 1:59pm EDT
AT&T to pay $7.75 million for allowing sham directory-assistance calls
WASHINGTON | By David Shepardson
"AT&T Inc will pay $7.75 million in refunds and fines after federal investigators found it allowed unauthorized third-party charges related to phony directory-assistance service on its customers' telephone bills, U.S. regulators said on Monday.
The fraud was uncovered by the U.S. Drug Enforcement Administration while investigating two Ohio companies for drug-related crimes and money laundering, the Federal Communications Commission said."
Who else is engaged in the tactic?
The settlement includes $6.8 million in refunds and a $950,000 federal fine, the FCC said."
Locally, our water supplier, the county, recently had a sudden drop in monthly charges. From prices that vascillated between $65 and $78 per month, unannounced, my following month's bill was $48! In casual conversation with neighbors, I was informed the county was involved in a scandal - they'd been adding on false charges to our bills, no one knew how much or how long and no additional information was to be found. no word on whether charges were launched against the county or whether restitution would be made.
Since the revisitation to John Eliot Cairns' 1875 sortie into the logic of Political Economy, I've noticed some of my older news and tech articles - set aside for future consideration - deal with corporate profits and financial ratios. Normally these are accountant concerns and if the government does not receive its cut or the hue and cry is not running rampant through the masses, not much comes of the disocvery of improprieties. The elected politicians set these events aside as "persuasions" when the next round of campaign contributions are due - in that bag along with the collection of other unabashed ammunition come November.
Principle among these accounting ratios are: Profit margin ratios - gross, operating and net profit margins - the accountant's interest of course leads us to bond and equity trading and leads to the Negative interest rate that was suggested as the ultimate policy goal of the Fed back in 2009 in the tsunami thread, starting at messages #14 and #15. If one's mind opoerates on the scam basis, raiding investments in government bonds by devaluing currency already committed to banks and commercial entities is the first resort - much easier than going out putting the bite on the unsuspecting for new funds and then being forced to explain the mechanisms - an explanation that on occasion can lead to embarrassment.
Coupled with this was the O&G suggestion of timeframes for resolution of our problems which eventually led to the ultimate 2034 date beyond which O&G was reluctant to pass. But, just a few days ago, the projection has been extended to "five decades" by younger and more fearless economists on the basis of the low interest bonds now in circulation. The economics trade has surpassed the reckless imagination of a more dottering speculator with little ground to support his opinion other than reason and exposure to history and some training from one-time experts who are no longer read due to the ticking of the clock and obselescence.
Perhaps it is time to begin considering the effect of profit margins. Such a project is in mind. . . . And, what do we find in the reportage these days
No less a guru than Jeremy Grantham has been issuing assessments - such as "From health care, to politics, to education, to the economy, the US is far from a standout, he says," (from an article by Luke Kawa on Bloomberg December 10th last). Bolstering this opinion, Grantham provides five charts: stagnant US wages; Inefficient health care; Plutocratic politics; children subject to inferior education; and misperception of our foreign aid profligacy", The aricle closes with the promise of addtional elucidation with "Watch Next: U.S. Economic Growth outlook: "Perhaps, eventually." More Grantham prognostication.
Whether anyone has stumbled over tha same literature O&G has - such as - From Reuters last Wednesday "The 'What if" spooking markets: Policy success". Which means if the Fed does have its way and inflation does rise, what happens to the bond holders whose numbers are increasing in case anyone has been watching the anemic volumes on stock markets hovering in the vicinity of 3.5 billion. Even as it rises!! . . barely enough to cover the HFT activity. But, then a penny or two at a time and eventually, the pumping will entice some innocent souls to expose their funds and enter the equity market with hopes of riding it up a few notches and dumping in time for the inevitable drop.
Then, there is the biggie showing just where commerce is headed - from back in July - Revised August 1st - Amid stories of oil via a review of Conoco-Phillips's loss of $1.1 billion, Electronics (Sony) earnings per share off 76% on an 11% decline in sales. Mitsui OSK lInes Jpan's second largest shipping company off 89%, General Motors being strained by the Brexit tangle and its disaapointments in expanding its business in Eurpoe. This, filed under the subheading of "Margin Decay" is part of the story which is not thoroughly convincing to some like Jim Paulsen, chief strategist at Wells Capital Management, who points to this year's rebound with hopes or confidence for more rebound.
Strange thing about those fall-offs and rebounds: we had fall-offs entering the new millennium - from figures in the negatves which then under control by the optimists climbed into the mid-2000s with astonishing positive multiples showing improvement - just before the bottom opened and everything tanked and we started off on this search for honest improvement supposed to lead us to security that never happened and we now look forward to the next spare five decades before relief arrives. In the meantime the local counties can cheat on their billing to make up for short-fall in taxes and fees and capital management firms can overlook poor profit margins and look forward to bigger and better rebounds.
There's just so much one can tend to inthe effort to keep up with the changes under way - like the massive non-government databank which contains a profile of every adult American at the ready for private investigators - for a fee. Those chips on the charge cards are coming in handy - they cn tell what you had for dinner tonight if you ate out.
Speaking of which. . .