SEC Probes AOL/Time/Warner
Vol: 10 Issue: 25 Thursday, July 25, 2002
The world’s largest media company confirmed this week that it is a target of an SEC probe. The U.S. Securities and Exchange Commission is conducting a “fact-finding mission” about some advertising transactions at America Online, Chief Executive Officer Richard Parsons acknowledge.
The SEC inquiry comes after the Washington Post reported that America Online used “unconventional” transactions, such as settling legal disputes with agreements to buy online ads, to help meet analysts’ estimates for three quarters in 2000 and 2001.
The second-quarter results benefited from an accounting change in which AOL Time Warner will no longer reduce the value of acquired assets every quarter. The company reported a $54.2 billion loss in the first quarter to write down America Online Inc.’s 2001 purchase of Time Warner Inc. The merger hasn’t lived up to promises that the online unit would boost profit at Time Warner media businesses.
More Lily Gilding
Another monster company turns out to be a fraud. While the Democrats keep hammering away at Bush/Cheney for the way they ran their companies, ex-president Clinton was quoted in the New York Times as having been stymied by Congress when he tried to institute corporate reforms.
Oh, please. As I recall, the AOL, CNN, TimeWarner deal required a special waiver that the previous adminstration completely supported. Enron, Worldcom and all the rest were doing ok during the 90’s.
There are so many examples of the previous administration’s corporate sweetheart deals that a new category would have to be opened and the scandals would have to be numbered.
Question: How did the miracle economy of the 1990’s come to be? Correct me if I’m wrong, but wasn’t that Fed Chairman Greenspan who said the economy was in a bubble, that there was too much ‘irrational exuberance’ in the market as a consequence of artifically inflated corporate earnings figures?
(Greenspan made those comments in 1996. Who was at the helm, taking credit for the “longest peacetime economic expansion in history”)?
It’s pretty transparent, really. This is political, not economic. The fundamentals of the economy are no different now than they were five years ago.Smoke and mirrors and unsustainable growth. Except now somebody has blown away some of the smoke.
The market is also tanking because the politicians have made it a campaign issue, further exposing the ‘miracle’ as the shell game it is.
If the economy improves, it works for the GOP. If it tanks, it works for the Democrats. In fact, the more it tanks, the better it is for Democratic hopefuls in the November mid-terms.
To accomplish the DNC strategy, your 401K has to go down the tubes and your investments have to dry up and go south.
Since politicians are elected to represent their constitutents, it seems a bit odd to me that one entire party can openly dedicate itself to sabotaging investor confidence while claiming it is doing it for you, the average guy. And have anybody buying it.
Hegel Would Be Proud
The 19th century philosopher Georg Hegel outlined the crisis management dialectic that bears his name.
Hegel concluded that conflict creates history. Therefore, he concludes, history can be shaped by conflict. Hegel concluded that a population can be convinced to work against its own best interests via the application of a logical three stage program.
The Hegelian Dialectic offers a thesis, an antithesis, and resolves the argument between the two with a synthesis, which is presented to avoid a crisis. The crisis is often designed for the purpose of getting acceptance of the synthesis.
Thesis: Americans will blame the incumbent for an economic downturn and vote against the incumbent party.
Synthesis: Identify a connection between the party in power and the market downturn, continuing to talk down the market, talk up corporate fraud and scare small investors out of the stock market.
Antithesis: If enough people pull their money out, the market will head south, jobs will be lost, causing a ripple effect across the lower socio-economic strata [that the Democrats claim as their base] and those injured by the economy will vote for the Democrats.
They’ll worry about how to undo the damage they are doing in order to win votes after they accomplish their primary goal. Which is not to help the economy, by the way. It is to get elected.
I am astonished that there is anyone in America that cannot see through this — but that is the reason everybody quotes Georg Hegel and not Jack Kinsella. Hegel was undoubtedly smarter — ’cause it works.
The Omega Letter isn’t political by design — it is a publication dedicated to examining current events the perspective of Bible prophecy.
But one cannot understand Bible prophecy for the last days without some understanding politics and the economy. The antichrist’s political government draws its power from his control of both the global religious system and the global economic system.
The antichrist’s economic power base is built on smoke and mirrors instead of wealth, just like the one we have today. According to John, eventually the antichrist’s control of the economy will be so complete that no man will be able to buy or sell without the Mark. Wealth will be intangible, as it is today.
(A dollar is only worth as much as somebody believes it is worth — it has no intrinsic value of its own, like a gold or silver dollar does)
The antichrist’s political power is derived from his ability to manage by crisis. And the Tribulation will provide plenty of crises to keep him busy.
The point of today’s briefing isn’t politics, but partisanship and how it creates Hegelian sheep. The DNC’s daily talking points are a textbook example of Hegelian management by crisis in action.
Many times I’ve heard people say, “when they come out with a Mark, I’ll believe all that Bible stuff,” or, “Nobody can deceive the whole world.” Most of us believe that the other guy can be deceived, but not us.
After the previous administration ran the market up to the dizzing heights of the 1990’s by keeping attention focused away how the market works and taking credit for its results, it started to tank 40 days into the new administration.
The reason it started to collapse is because there was never any real wealth to support the inflated earnings to begin with (‘irrational exuberance’ – 1996), but that fact was largely ignored until a new administration took a look at the books and said, ‘wait a minute!’
In trying to figure out what happened to the ‘miracle of the 90’s’ that began to collapse only three months into the 00’s, the new administration accidentally exposed to the investing public the fact that it was all smoke and mirrors.
(The Republicans would have been just as happy to keep the deception going on indefinitely for the same reason the Democrats want to see it collapse now — so they can take credit for it – a pox on both their houses!)
Blaming the current administration for the economic catastrophe that is still unfolding is like blaming the sheriff for crime because he arrested some criminals.
But it is working, because Hegel was right.
The antichrist’s system will work along exactly the same lines. For centuries, the book of the Revelation was a confusing book of heads, horns, beasts and symbols.
But these are the last days, and suddenly, it all makes sense to this generation.
When the prophet Daniel was given his vision of events as they will unfold during the Tribulation, he said to the revealing angel, “And I heard, but I understood not: then said I, O my Lord, what shall be the end of these things?”
The angel told Daniel, “Go thy way, Daniel: for the words are closed up and sealed till the time of the end. Many shall be purified, and made white, and tried; but the wicked shall do wickedly: and none of the wicked shall understand; but the wise shall understand.” Daniel 12:8-9]