Rubin is now under sustained attack from not only Krugman of the NYT but now, the Wall Street Journal.  This means, this idiot, this horrid, stupid, incompetent fool will probably not be in charge of the many trillions of bail out money that our government is spilling all over the place.


Good riddance.  Also, we look at the Walmart trampling episode: Walmart is a crime magnet.  It was only a matter of time before it made the news.  I hope Walmart get sued.  This will motivate them to fez up and provide realistic security in their little hell holes they call ‘mega-stores.’


Rubin Defends His Role at Citigroup –

Under fire for his role in the near-collapse of Citigroup Inc., Robert Rubin said its problems were due to the buckling financial system, not its own mistakes, and that his role was peripheral to the bank’s main operations even though he was one of its highest-paid officials.

“Nobody was prepared for this,” Mr. Rubin said in an interview. He cited former Federal Reserve Chairman Alan Greenspan as another example of someone whose reputation has been unfairly damaged by the crisis….Mr. Rubin’s salary made him one of Wall Street’s highest-paid officials — and a controversial figure among Citigroup shareholders and some executives, who questioned whether his limited duties justified the big paydays.

“Even though he has no ‘operating’ responsibilities, he still has a fiduciary responsibility as a board member,” said William Smith, a New York money manager and frequent critic of Citigroup’s current management and board. “He has overseen the entire meltdown, yet been compensated as an operating employee while bragging about having no operating responsibility.” Mr. Rubin can’t “have it both ways,” Mr. Smith added….With Citigroup shares at $8.29, the stock is down 86% from its all-time high about two years ago and 70% since Mr. Rubin came aboard. The recent stock collapse “was a systemic problem of which Citi was a piece,” said Mr. Rubin, who added that one cause was short sellers ganging up on the stock, selling borrowed shares in the hope of driving the share price down.


I sincerely hope that Rubin be showed the door. Perhaps, shipped off to Saudi Arabia to explain the collapse to that shady Saudi Prince.  Note how, in 1999, this clown was a ‘genius’ who could save the entire planet from financial melt-down.  But now, with his pudgy hands caught in the gears, he is totally stupid. 


Couldn’t see the obvious coming!  Ta-da!  This is the The Peter Principle – Bureaucracy at Work:

According to Laurence Johnston Peter: Work is accomplished by those employees who have not reached their level of incompetence. Thus we can see why organizations still function even as Peter Principled employees accept one too many promotions. Laurence Peter provides an insightful analysis of why so many positions in so many organizations seem to be populated by employees who seem incompetent. This concept is likely to be ignored by most senior managers since to admit one’s organization is suffering from this bureaucratic malady is admission that people have been improperly promoted. This, in turn, suggests that senior management might have attained their own level incompetence, and the problem is easily ignored, lest it become suggested that senior management be more closely examined for their incompetence.


So, let us laugh in unison! HAHAHAHAHA.  This utter clown, this rattled and bedazzled little idiot was a non-entity at Citigroup while collecting the highest pay?  Again, we must strive to laugh to death: HAHAHAHAHA.  Whew!  My sides hurt.


This man should be arrested for impersonating a financial genius.  He should NOT be put in charge of anything bigger than a lemonade stand.  And even Lucy would not permit him to keep the books. infantile these men are!  Stupid gnomes cringing and whining are not pleasant guests.  We must relegate them to the outdoors. Like, to Siberia.  I hope I never, ever see that goofy Mr. Rubin’s name in public again. Shame on you, sir!  How dare you stick your nose into our affairs!  Out!


Now, on to Walmart: I notice they are painting the stores a Stalinistic blue/gray with a yellow star/sun.  Why not a yellow star on a bright crimson background?  After all, they are the Manchurian Discount!  Thinking back about Lucy, she would make a better financial advisor than any of the stupid, stupid three Marketeers. 


We should let Lucy run security at Walmart.  Lord knows, they need security!  Maybe Linus should run it? knows all about security blankets.  He also knows how to deal with violent bullies like his sister.  Yes, I see a team forming here!  Charlie Brown, of course, as CEO who knows nothing and can’t do anything.  That cover’s today’s news.


Wal-Mart Employee Trampled to Death –

The throng of Wal-Mart shoppers had been building all night, filling sidewalks and stretching across a vast parking lot at the Green Acres Mall in Valley Stream, N.Y. At 3:30 a.m., the Nassau County police had to be called in for crowd control, and an officer with a bullhorn pleaded for order.  Tension grew as the 5 a.m. opening neared. Someone taped up a crude poster: “Blitz Line Starts Here.”

By 4:55, with no police officers in sight, the crowd of more than 2,000 had become a rabble, and could be held back no longer. Fists banged and shoulders pressed on the sliding-glass double doors, which bowed in with the weight of the assault. Six to 10 workers inside tried to push back, but it was hopeless.

Wal-Mart security officials and the police cleared the store, swept up the shattered glass and locked the doors until 1 p.m., when it reopened to a steady stream of calmer shoppers who passed through the missing doors and battered door jambs, apparently unaware that anything had happened.

It is obvious that the cheapsters running Walmart are too cheap to hire guards and won’t pay the cops extra to patrol on Turkey night.  Cops want double overtime on these occasions.  So of course, if Walmart wants to run the equivalent of a rock concert riot, they better pay for security.  They can’t demand a community pay for these sorts of promotions.


Walmart is infamous for dumping on the public.  They pay their workers poorly so they need food stamps and other government aid programs.  Walmart could pay a real wage but will not.  Nor do they obviously hire enough staff.


Union Responds To Death of Long Island Wal-mart Worker

QUEENS VILLAGE, NY (11/28/2008; 1514)(readMedia)– United Food and Commercial Workers Union Local 1500, New York State’s largest grocery workers Union, has called for an immediate investigation by Federal, State and Local authorities into the “avoidable” death of a Wal-mart worker at the Valley Stream, Long Island Wal-mart. Specifically, the Union has called on the Federal Occupational Safety and Health Administration, the New York State Department of Labor and the Nassau County Prosecutor to investigate Wal-mart’s failure to provide a safe workplace.

“This incident was avoidable,” said Bruce Both, President of United Food and Commercial Workers Union Local 1500. “Where were the safety barriers? Where was security? How did store management not see dangerous numbers of customers barreling down on the store in such an unsafe manner?” asked President Both. “This is not just tragic; it rises to a level of blatant irresponsibility by Wal-mart. UFCW Local 1500 will demand a full investigation by all levels of Government to ensure both justice for the surviving family members and to ensure the safety of current employees and the general public. This can never be allowed to happen again and those responsible must be held accountable,” Both concluded.


Since this happened in NY, there is a very good chance, the corporation will be hauled into court.  I bet, lawyers are already lining up to take on this case.  The bereaved parents will probably end up suing.  The people in the front of the store are being cast as criminals.  But they were pushed into the doors.  They didn’t push themselves, they were pushed from behind.  This was due to ZERO security guards outside.  


Of course, the inhumanity the shoppers showed is classic: this is the mob.  The consumer society is soulless.  Xmas is a time when we get inundated with commercials trying to lure us into buying things.  We watch TV specials that proclaim, Xmas is all about loving and sharing.  But the commercials are all about grasping and demanding things no matter how inappropriate.  Most profits for the year come from this one month’s buying orgy.


While looking up Walmart crime stats, I came across this report from 2005:

  1.  In 2004, Wal-Mart had a total of 2,909 calls for service for alleged “serious or violent crimes” at just 460 of its stores. For this sample, the most “serious or violent crimes” that police reported responding to, included: 4 homicides, 9 rapes or attempted rapes, 23 kidnappings or attempted kidnappings, 154 sex crimes, 1,024 auto thefts, and 550 robberies or attempted robberies. Based on the total number of “serious or violent criminal incidents” reported, an average of six “serious or violent incidents” were reported per Wal-Mart store in 2004 (see Section C)
  2.  The Wal-Mart stores sampled had an average reported police incident rate of 269 incidents per store in 2004 (see Section B).
  3. Based on the number of incidents in the sample, we estimate that for all Wal-Mart stores nationwide, police may have responded to 995,838 police incidents at Wal-Mart stores in 2004, two incidents per minute (see Section D).
  4.  Wal-Mart stores had more calls for service than nearby Target stores. For the sample, the average rate of reported police incidents at Wal-Mart stores was 400% higher than the average rate of incidents at nearby Target stores and 6 times higher for the number of reported criminal incidents defined as “serious or violent” (see Section E & F).
  5.  Based on the number of incidents in the sample, we estimate that in 2004 the nationwide cost to American taxpayers for police to respond to 995,838 calls for service at Wal-Mart stores or parking lots was $77 million (see Section G).

In 1996, Dave Gorman, then vice president of Loss Prevention for Wal-Mart Stores, Inc., publicly
acknowledged that a 1994 test project of “roving security patrols” effectively reduced incidents of crime at high crime Wal-Mart stores to near zero.30 According to Mr. Gorman, a 1994 internal Wal-Mart survey determined that 80 percent of Wal-Mart crime occurred in store parking lots. Since 1996, Wal-Mart has yet to publicly adopt a national Wal-Mart crime deterrent policy that would include security measures, such as manned security cameras and roving security patrols at all stores.

The most recent public statements by Wal-Mart in 2000 state that only 17 percent of its stores have roving security patrols.31 Given the large number and type of police incidents that were reported at just a sample of Wal-Mart stores in 2004, it would appear that Wal-Mart could, as it determined in its own study in 1994, significantly reduce police incidents, as well as deter future incidents, through more active security measures at each store. More importantly, since Wal-Mart estimates that 151 million consumers – 70 percent of them women – shop at Wal-Mart stores each week, and given that its own internal reviews in 1996 show that crime is a factor in store performance, it is fair to state that improvements to Wal-Mart security would provide a safer shopping experience for consumers while also helping minimize taxpayer costs.

This part of the “Is Wal-Mart Safe?” study estimates the total cost to Wal-Mart if it adopted a company- wide program of 24-hour roving “security patrols” for all its stores.


Seems that Walmart is a crime-magnet.  If this is so, why no security?  The majority of crimes happen in parking lots.  I see security in the store which keeps the staff from stealing.  But virtually none in the parking lots.  Many of the suggestions of this report are easy and sane.  But Walmart will not do a thing unless it makes the news.  Like yesterday.  


Only when laws force businesses to act or someone sues and it costs more than doing things right, does anyone change.  Look at Rubin!  I knew several years ago, Citigroup was doomed due to its rising accumulation of derivative credit default swaps!  How on earth could this genius, this Marketeer, not figure out the obvious?  


We know where they all belong: behind bars, and not one that serves drinks.




Filed under .money matters


  1. CK

    Onw wonders if there was something exceptional about this specific crowd at this specific Walmart.
    Every Walmart in the country had that same 5 a.m. Friday opening time. Some retailers were opening at 4 a.m. Friday others at 5 and a few laggards at 6.
    And thanks to there is a list of stores that will probably go belly up after new years. Do not give store gift cards as presents this year folks…a store gift card is an unsecured loan to the retailer from you. Unsecured loans go on the bottom of the pile come bankruptcy. Conversely if you get a store gift card on Christmas, get it spent the day after. Do not delay.
    And for your viewing pleasure ( 15 minutes but worth your time )

  2. Simon

    Ah, those are the times
    to qualify for a 50% discount you line up at 3 am on Boxing Day with the risk of being trampled to death 🙂

  3. don

    False Advertising: Many stores advertise that a product
    in demand is limited. Many of you pick up a paper and
    read: Limit 5 per store. Another fallacy like Wall Street,
    they know exactly what is on the books and in the stores.
    The other concept I like is: ” Going Out of Business”
    Their are professional companies that handle
    these types of operations. 99.9% of the time, the prices are
    marked up before they are marked down. That is why most of the time you go in and leave with nothing. I hope Walmart does get sued for False Advertising and murder. What is really sad, is the concept of Christmas has turned commercial. But like Thanksgiving, its when all dysfunctional families get together and fight. What has
    humanity learned through the years..nothing……………………

  4. emsnews

    Some of us dysfunctional families fight in between festivals.

  5. CK

    @Rob : From the tenor of that article, it is more like the goddesses leave the gnomes as soon as the money shrinks. Shrinkage is a terrible thing for a man to face.

  6. Bruce Both, President of United Food and Commercial Workers Union Local 1500 said: “Where were the safety barriers? Where was security? How did store management not see dangerous numbers of customers barreling down on the store in such an unsafe manner?”

    This is absurd to imply that the store is at fault – it’s the people, or animals more accurately, who are responsible – plain and simple. The bums rush to buy crap is not a store problem – it’s a people problem. Or more accurately, it’s a sheeple problem.

  7. One thing we should all note about this tragedy at Walmart – when things get worse in the economy – which they surely will – you don’t want to be stuck in places like Nassau County New York or in most other big cities.

  8. Elaine,

    You have weird code like the following in your article (modified to show as not-HTML):

    He should NOT be put in charge of anything bigger than a lemonade stand. +nbsp;And even Lucy would not permit him to keep the books.+nbsp;{ img title=”@@@@||” src=”@@@@||;w=150+amp;h=113″ alt=”@@@@||” align=”middle” border=”1″ height=”113″ width=”150″ / }How infantile these men are! +nbsp;Stupid gnomes cringing and whining are not pleasant guests. +nbsp;We must relegate them to the outdoors. Like, to Siberia.

  9. Many people must have been badly hurt at the Walmart riot, since you do not break through glass and not get severely shredded.

    Some people would have been knowledgeable enough to just clear out when the stampede began. large crowds are always potentially dangerous, especially when they begin moving is some direction.

    Probably this has happened before, but went unreported because no one died. (Find not thyself against a glass door with a crowd of 1,000 behind ye.) This probably has to do with the incredibly cheap construction of most big-box stores. Even slow-moving cars easily knock down their “brick walls.”

    I would suppose this will be a very bad year for retailers. A lot of them will go out after Christmas. It might be so bad as to represent the first warning to the vast ignorant masses that things are amiss.

  10. emsnews

    Public places running specials in order to attract mobs MUST CONTROL THEIR CROWDS. They can’t simply demand crowds control themselves! This is stupid in the extreme.

    Just like you can’t throw money onto a highway and tell people to run in traffic. They are victims, not criminals, if they get hit by cars after this happens.

    Of course, rushing to get bargains is what poor people do. DUH. Rich people don’t do crowds.

  11. Paul S

    I hope the state of New York DOES sue WalMart–and it is a grand success for the State. But the State better be ready for war. WalMart, like most corporations, chisels on everything–except LAWYERS. If WalMart is typical, they will have an army of hardball lawyers whose sole job is to help their employer skate on lawsuits, or at least tie things up so much the other side throws in the towel. No headcount reduction when it comes to lawyers. GE does the same thing. GE has a HUGE fine they must pay for polluting the Hudson river–the fine has been on the books for years. GE would rather pay huge amounts of money to lawyers and lobbyists than pay the damn fine. It’s like a point of pride with these sleazeballs. And yet, people STILL shop at WalMart just so they can save a dime on one item and 30 cents on another. Why don’t these folks just put their heads in the guillotine and get it over with?

  12. Elaine said: “Public places running specials in order to attract mobs MUST CONTROL THEIR CROWDS. They can’t simply demand crowds control themselves! This is stupid in the extreme.”

    We have a basic philosophical disagreement here – Why can’t we expect crowds to control themselves?

    People should be accountable for their actions, it’s not enough to say “they should have had barriers and electric cattle prodders to keep me inline”

    “Only a virtuous people are capable of freedom. As nations become corrupt and vicious, they have more need of masters.” – Benjamin Franklin

    I really think this is why we are in the midst of the demise of america.

  13. Joseppi

    There have a lot of somber commentators and purveyors of doom that have written off the great American consumer as an endangered species suffering from indigestion of too much debt, who has lost his once insatiable appetite and hunting skills for that “must have” bargain.
    The Wal-Mart incident proves that the envy of the world, the key supporting pillar of global trade and foreign production infrastructure, the all mighty American consumer, empowered with the splendor of multi-colored credit cards is alive and well, and in fact, ready to kick some butt for that life and death deal of a life time.
    Remember – God wants us to buy copious amounts of Xmas presents like a good cargo cult to show respect for jesus.

  14. DeVaul

    “After all, they are the Manchurian Discount! ”

    Good one, Elaine! This made me laugh out loud, but it is Sunday and no one else is here at work, so it’s ok.

    I am ashamed to say I shop at Walmart, but only because they killed off every other store here in Lexington. I think there is a target 30 minutes from my home, but it’s not worth the drive.

    I took my wife, who is from Thailand, out on Black Friday at 1 pm just to show her what to expect. Well, I was the one who was in shock. The roads were nearly empty and so was Walmart.

    I had never seen this before. I did not need the news to tell me that this was an economic retail disaster.

  15. emsnews

    Thanks for the report, DeVaul.

    Dr.Krybluv: NO CROWD EVER CONTROLS ITSELF. They only can get worse and worse. I remember so many nasty crowd situations in my life, to the point, I will not be part of one.

    Just as schools must patrol crossings, school buses must protect children [I actually saw a child hit and killed when exiting a bus in NY. It changed state laws about buses!], all public places have to both protect people from crowd panic situations as well as control TRAFFIC. It is that simple.

    Walmart is lazy and cheap. They refused to hire OUTSIDE THE STORE staff to control the crowd or care for the crowd or prevent crime. For this, they must be punished. Severely.

  16. nah

    hamburglarz’ and neocons, worlds without winners

    vote your paycheck

  17. Elaine,

    I agree school kids need supervised but certainly not adults. I avoid crowds most of the time but I regularly attend NFL football games (Steelers season ticket holder) and have to become part of huge crowds. The people are friendly (avoid the drunks) and co-operative at most every event.

    I have no love for Walmart and would never consider going to one, except the times that I have to take my mother. She knows I’m politically against patronizing Walmart and is reluctant to ask.

    In the end I still think it comes down to people. First, I cannot understand why people would shop at Walmart – they are modern slave traders and their success undermines workers everywhere.

    There is no excuse – none – for people to run over a person and then to trample them to death (unless there was a fire or explosion).

  18. emsnews

    Um, I want you to count how many security guards are at games and how many were outside of Walmart, supervising things.

    AHEM. Zero for Walmart and I bet there are HUNDREDS of people supervising the entry and exit from the sporting events.

  19. OK – there are clueless fools all over the place. After awhile it becomes boring to call them out. I’d rather do something better with my time.

    Still, I support tariffs and “trade equalizers” are of value. Win-win is what it could be? What do you think?

  20. OK – I am doing this just to show an example of some of the intrigue involved in “internet posting” on sophisticated sites like this.

    Go back in time, read what was said before and then follow the trail.

    This is a good way to learn about whom you might be debating in the future.

    And I will go on record as being a consistent supporter of both Russia and China. I feel as if their leadership cares more about the country they are leading then the leadership in the country in which I’m living.

    That is why there is soon going to be a Constitutional Convention. Do you doubt this? If so, it is either that or what?

    I’m not even going to say because it is not what any of us want.

    DC though — is disconnected beyond repair and I sure enjoyed watching Dick Cheney in his wheelchair during the LAST DC inaguaration… know?

    Uh oh. Hear comes the Spanish Inquisition. I gotta go…..

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