Monday, March 9, 2009 Michael_Jackson_Talk_RadioMichael_Jackson_Talk_Radio
Michael_Jackson_Talk_Radiocapitale now have a president who embodies confidence. He has more than a fine gift of oratory but a high level of intelligence. He has a clear appreciation that a whole lot more is at stake than simply partisan gain. His tasks are many and for this nation to switch from despair to hope, from downsizing to expanding, requires an enormous program. President Obama's stimulus package is enormous, but it is possible that even more will be required. In our economy everything depends on the availability of credit; home mortgages, personal business loans. People are losing more and more of the faith they had in the marketplace. Mortimer Zuckerman of US News and World Report put it this way, "The banks aren't lending because of the weakening US economy, and the economy is weakening because the banks aren't lending." In a recent editorial he added, "American consumers are hoarding cash and cutting spending, individually understandable, collectively disastrous." These are ugly times.

Michael_Jackson_Talk_Radiocapital group of us will be meeting for lunch with Northern Ireland's First minister, The Right Honorable Peter Robinson, in Beverly Hills this week for what, in sunnier economic times, would be a joyous meeting. Their latest tourist beckoning motto is "Go where Ireland takes you." When last my wife and I traveled over a thousand miles in that country, it was boom time for the Irish of North and South. There had been a peaceful reconciliation and understanding between the previously hostile people of the island's north and south and their well-educated population made their country an extremely popular place to invest. Business was booming to such an extent that the roads and highways were beginning to look, at times, like Los Angeles in high density traffic time. It was no longer the land depicted in the novel Angela's Ashes. It was a an upwardly mobile rebirth. How times can change within mere months. Ireland;s boom has ended, and ended with a vengeance. For nearly a decade Ireland enjoyed a steady rise to become one of the world's hottest economies. Now the nation has cooled to a near freezing-point. By the day the situation grows more dire. (You may have heard the bitter one-line joke which asks the question "what's the difference between Iceland and Ireland? Answer, "the letter 'C'!). Perhaps the most classic example of collapse is the famed Waterford Crystal having to shut up shop. Multinationals, such as Dell, are relocating to low-wage economies in eastern Europe. Banks are being taken over by the government. Until 2008 the country enjoyed a decade of almost continuous growth and they earned the nickname "the Celtic Tiger."
Michael_Jackson_Talk_RadioSo, in such a trying time for the country he serves, what shall I ask the Right Hon. Peter Robinson?

  • Is it still the land of incredible beauty?
  • Are the women as lovely as their voices are lilting?
  • Are the pubs and restaurants offering the fine fare of yesteryear?
  • Are the ruins of centuries ago still beckoning?
  • Is the music as rhythmic and enchanting?
  • Are the flowers of spring as abundant as ever?
  • Do the golf courses bring out the best in those who are privileged to play there?
  • Will I ever catch a fish in their trout-filled streams?
Michael_Jackson_Talk_Radiocapitaloes the name John Yoo ring a bell? He was the Deputy Assistant Attorney General in the Bush administration. In a secret 2001 memo which was recently made public he wrote "The government's compelling interests in wartime justify restrictions on the scope of individual liberty." Meaning that the administration sought to defend greatly increased presidential powers." We need to know so much more about what the Bush administration said, didn't say and did!

Michael_Jackson_Talk_Radiocapitaln e-mail arrived this morning from a man who served time; the former junk bond king, Michael Milkin. With each passing year since then, he has grown in stature and world renown in different fields; a brilliant thinker, man of business, educator and philanthropist. His foundation has given to worthy causes many hundreds of millions of dollars. This is how his communiqué began: "In times of historic change, it's instructive to look at some facts:
  • The stock market is down 50%.
  • Banks are in trouble and have curtailed lending.
  • Commentators predict widespread industrial bankruptcies.
  • Unemployment is rising fast.
  • Interest rates are volatile.

As MM points out ,as familiar as that all sounds, those headlines are not from today. They are from the recent past - 1974. Doomsayers foresaw disaster 35 years ago, predicting hundreds of corporate bankruptcies. This country made it through, survived, and grew. These extraordinary difficult times are, once again, a call to action. Whether you are involved in business, government, science, philanthropy, medicine or education Michael Milkin is chairing another highly significant conference April 27-29 at the Beverly Hilton Hotel. It will host hundreds of leaders in almost every field of endeavor - it's the Global Conference arranged by the Milkin Institute. There will be 120 panel sessions attended by 3000 thought leaders from more than 50nations.  As of this moment I would love to ask the following "what now is the role of government in finance, energy/environment, health/medical research, education and more, much more.?"

Until Tomorrow,

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