Friday, February 28, 2014

How Does Your State Rank Economically?

If you've ever wondered how your state ranks economically, now is your chance to find out. A ranking of one is the best.  Fifty is the worst.  You'll never guess which state has been ranked number one by the American Legislative Exchange Council (ALEC).  BTW ALEC represents the Judeo-Capitalists - not the Working Class.  However, if anyone knows an economically good state from a bad one it would be them. They are not the government trying to lie to the people to keep us from getting angry at them.  ALEC is a private organization of Judeo-Capitalists who are for Judeo-Capitalism so they would know.

BTW California ranks 47 out of 50.  Big surprise.  God this state sucks.

You can find this map by going here:  http://www.alec.org/publications/rich-states-poor-states/  Just scroll down and you'll see the map.

I tried to embed it here but when I did it didn't work.  Sorry.  It only takes a second to go there.  You might find it interesting.

Dan 88!

Thursday, February 27, 2014

California spends $1.37M on ObamaCare web stream featuring Richard Simmons

By Watchdog.org

Facing a $78 million budget shortfall, California’s ObamaCare exchange has spent $1.37 million to fund an outreach video featuring exercise guru Richard Simmons gyrating on the floor and hugging a contortionist who is kneeling with his buttocks in the air.
The “Tell a Friend — Get Covered” campaign by Covered California features other celebrities Olivia Wilde, comic Billy Eirchner, Fran Drescher and Tatyana Ali. The centerpiece of the effort was an eight-hour live web stream that ran on Jan. 16.
None of the celebrities were paid for their work, Covered California said.
State Sen. Ted Gaines, a Northern California Republican, fired off a terse letter to Covered California Director Peter Lee demanding to know why he would launch such a campaign at taxpayer expense. The exchange likely will face a $78 million shortfall during the next fiscal year, said Gaines, who is vice chairman of the Senate Standing Committee on Insurance.
He singled out the web stream for special scorn.
Comment:
This is exactly the type of thing I'm talking about when I say California refuses to live within it's means.  Now I'm sure the whole 1.37 million wasn't paid to Richard Simmons, but I'll bet he got at least a quarter of a million.  They said he wasn't paid, but I'm not buying it.  I'll bet he got something in some way.  In this sick society there's no such thing as a free lunch.

If they felt a web stream was necessary, why couldn't they find some unknown fitness expert to do it for a fraction of the fee Simmons received?


California likes to go first class all the way.  The best of everything regardless of the cost.  That's why our state has the highest debt in the country.  Sacramento refuses to spend within our means.  The whole country is like that but California is the worst.

Let's take a look at some of the stupid things California wastes money on:

1.  This web stream.

2.  The bullet train.

3.  Hiring an artist to place a huge rock on a pedestal at Venice Beach, calling it a 
     masterpiece (it's a rock for Chrissakes).

4.  Paying people to paint a mural in San Diego of famous Mestizos including Fidel              Castro and Che Guevaro (both Marxists). 



5. Decorating downtown San Bernardino with small lakes and streams for                         beautification.



6.  Allowing illegal aliens entrance into public colleges.



7.  Giving financial aid to illegals for college.



8.  Allowing illegals to use our social programs.



9.  Paying our state legislators $150,000 a year plus expense accounts, a state car,          and  living expenses to maintain a residence in the capitol (unless Sacramento is          their regular residence).

10.The governor gets all this and MORE.

Evidently the boys in the capitol are unaware of how writing checks really works.  They seem to think as long as they have checks left in the state's check book they can keep writing checks.  They don't seem to realize that you must have MONEY in the account for the check to be good.


It's not fair.  If I were to write a check with no money in my account I would get angry complaints from the person or business I wrote it to.  That doesn't seem to bother the state of California one bit.  They just keep writing and writing and writing...ad infinitum.

Dan 88!

Wednesday, February 26, 2014

Another Service To Our Comrades - Warning! If you get a call about your computer, it's a scam.

Fake Microsoft Support Scam calls to Windows system users
From Microsoft

Dell customers have been receiving calls identifying themselves as Microsoft Support calling about an expired Microsoft license. The caller will state that your system has been compromised and probably hacked and that the system IP address was flashing red on their system.

During the call, they may ask you to open event viewer (EVENTVWR) or Certificate Manager (CERTMGR.MSC) to try and make the call seem legitimate.

Sooner or later you will be asked for a form of payment and be quoted a fee of $129 to as high as $500 (They will try and con you for as much as they can.) and ask for credit cards or reloadable green dot cards that are untraceable.

ACTUAL TEXT of a SCAM call to a Dell Customer:

"On Monday, Oct 21, 2013, at 10:21 a.m. I received a call from a female with a heavy accent advising me she was from the above and that my system reflected that my Windows Microsoft license had either expired or not been renewed and that my system was in a compromised position and probably been hacked.  That my IP address was flashing red on their system.  She indicated she could have that corrected.  I ask her how and how much it would cost.  She skirted around the money issue and after my continued questions she passed me on to her "manager".  The "manager" had a very heavy accent as well.

The "manager" presented me with the same script and was very persistent and pressured. He indicated I could check my computer myself by following his instruction and told me to go to the windows screen and press (Window Key & R to open a run prompt) and a window would appear and to clear it and type in EVENTVWR and enter.  He said this was the registration screen and mine had expired.  (It went back to 1999 when I purchased my first computer).

Then he said to clear that box and information and type in CERTMGR.MSC and it needed an new license and then to look at 2 specific screen on this screen and there were "error" on it and asked for the number of transactions on each of the 2 screens.

He then told me to type in ID-CMDASSO and he would repeat my ID and he read off what was on this screen.

He then pursued the script on being able to have his staff take control of my system and removed the error and obtain a new license.  I asked how much this would cost and how I would pay for this.  I kept repeating this question and about after the 7th or 8th time of questioning him he finally told me it would cost me between $120 and $180 dollars and take about 20 minutes of his technician's time. More conversation from him of how important it was that I immediately take care of this matter, very pushy and resisting my questions about cost.  He kept repeating the script.

I asked if he would send me a bill in the mail and how much time I had to pay this.  He was reluctant in giving me a response and finally told me it would be by credit or debiting my bank account.  He said he needed an answer quickly because his shift was ending in about 10 minutes.

I told him I would have to think about this and call him back the next morning.  I asked where he was and he said California.  I asked him what time and he had a difficult time telling me it was 9 a.m.(it was about noon my time.)  I checked my phone after the call and the telephone # I had on the phone was 231-4158, no area code.  

At the end of the telephone conversation I asked his name and number where I could reach him the next day and he told me his name was Michael Edgewood and phone # 1-855-677-5556Call: 1-855-677-5556.

I told him I would call him between 6 and 7 a.m. Tuesday morning.  On Tuesday morning at 6:41 I received a call from him from 44-325-6215 (phone record).  He identified himself and I told him I was not interested and hung up.  He called back immediately after our conversation and I let the answering machine take the call.  There was no voice, just background noise."  

This is a HOAX and and an attempt to extort money

Do not be fooled, this is an attempt to extort money and there is no legitimate cold calling from "Microsoft Support" http://social.microsoft.com/Forums/en-US/ad57efee-c144-40bc-a28e-fb0bd4f99709/phone-call-from-supposed-microsoft-technical-dept and per Microsoft Policy no calls can be made to a Microsoft customer without a request from that customer.

Scammers use standard items in Windows to try and make their call seem legitimate.  Errors listed in Event Viewer and expired certificates in Certificate manager are normal in fully functional systems. Event viewer errors identify specific Windows events and depending on the system configuration and appliances connected, there will always be a list of failures of various processes, which are perfectly normal, but to the inexperienced, can appear to be real problems. Certificate errors are for web pages and have to do with validation of website addresses. There are dated and again all systems will have multiple certificates that have expired.

This is all an effort to get money and or your personal information. Do not volunteer any information and do not give any money to these callers. 

If you have given banking or credit information to such callers, contact your bank or credit card company and report the incident. 

Comment:

I hope this is or can be of use to someone.  When I become aware of a scam I feel it is my duty to help warn people about it.  Some of these scammers are pretty slick (just like Wall Street) and it can be hard to tell who's legit and who's not.

Scammers try and play on people's greed or fears.  If they get you because of greed you have only yourself to blame.  "You have just won $2.5 million in the South African Lottery. Send us $90 to cover the fees and your bank account number and we'll deposit your money within a few days."  How can you win a lottery you never entered?  

However, playing on people's fears is another matter.  There's one scam going around where you get an email - supposedly from the FBI saying they have found out that someone in the Middle East has tried to deposit $1 million in your bank account and you are now suspected of laundering money for terrorists.  The email says to fill out the enclosed form giving them all your personal info - including your Social Security number.  If you fail to comply within 48 hours agents will come to your home and arrest you.

The FBI never emails people warning them that they will be arrested if they don't give them information.  They also don't call you either.  If you are suspected of something they get a warrant and come to you.

These are all techniques playing on people's fears and they are all scams.  One way to be certain whether it's scam is to check where the sender's email address should be.  If there is no address and it says "To: Undisclosed-Recipients:;"  it's definitely a scam.  Also, check to see if your name is anywhere on it.  If it is not, then it's a scam.  If the FBI contacted people by email - which they don't - but if they did your name would certainly be on it.

I hope this is or can be of help.

Dan 88!


Tuesday, February 25, 2014

Revealed: The Full Membership List of Wall Street’s Secret Society

By Kevin Roose


Back in January 2012, I crashed the annual induction ceremony of Kappa Beta Phi, a secret society for elite Wall Street financiers. You can read the story of what happened here.

In addition to writing down details of what I saw, I also procured the official Kappa Beta Phi membership roll, a list that includes prominent Kappas like former Mayor Michael Bloomberg, AIG CEO Bob Benmosche, the former heads of Lehman Brothers and Bear Stearns, and Jon Corzine, the former New Jersey politician.

Here, as of 2012, is everyone who belongs to one of the most controversial and secretive organizations on earth.

First, here's what the program for the evening looked like:

And here's the member list:

Wall Street Chapter

Duff P. Anderson (1994)
Silas R. Anthony, Jr. (1993)
Andrew Arno (2001)
Peter A. Atkins (1977)
Walter E. Auch, Jr. (2000)
Sara Ayres (2009)
George L. Ball (1975)
Vincent Banker (2003)
David C. Batten (1981)
Bernard Beal (2007)
Robert Benmosche (2002)
James A. Benson (1995)
Jonathan M. Berg (2006)
Alfred R. Berkeley (2000)
Rosemary T. Berkery (2006)
Michael A. Berman (2000)
E. Garrett Bewkes III (1993)
Jessica Bibliowicz (1999)
John Birkelund (1981)
Ronald E. Blaylock (1999)
Michael R. Bloomberg (1995)
Andrew Blum (1972)
Howard L. Blum, Jr. (1986)
Magnus Bocker (2009)
Mike Bodson (2009)
Geoffrey T. Boisi (1989)
Kay Ryan Booth (1999)
Livio Borghese (1977)
Whitney Bower (2009)
Curt Bradbury (2006)
James W. Braham (1999)
Alan Breed (2010)
Joseph Breen (1980)
Howard M. Brenner (1990)
Robert G. Britz (1998)
Michael C. Brooks (1991)
Marianne Brown (2009)
Candace Browning (2008)
Samuel Butler (1974)
Barbara M. Byrne (2011)
Andrew Cader (1992)
John D. Carifa (1992)
Michael A. Carpenter (1990)
William M. Carson (1998)
Jolyne Caruso-Fitzgerald (2006)
Douglas J. Casey (1998)
Arthur D. Cashin (2000)
John K. Castle (1983)
James E. Cayne (1990)
John S. Chalsty (1990)
Alger B. Chapman, Jr. (1972)
Mac C. Chapman, Jr. (1987)
Suzanne Charnas (2011)
Adam D. Chinn (2005)
Todd J. Christie (2003)
Howard L. Clark, Jr. (1981)
Abram Claude (1970’s)
Patricia M. Cloherty (2001)
Sarah E. Cogan (2009)
Peter A. Cohen (1986)
Timothy C. Collins (2007)
Christopher M. Condron (1999)
Anthony Conroy (2011)
Jill M. Considine (2000)
Richard F. Conway (2005)
Langdon P. Cook (1984)
Gerald Corrigan (1989)
Jon S. Corzine (1990)
Michael Cosgrove (2008)
Lawrence Creel (2009)
Noreen M. Culhane (2005)
John N. Daly (1971)
John M. Damgard (1998)
Elizabeth B. (Beth) Dater (2004)
James M. Davin (1983)
Rafe de la Gueronniere (1987)
Francois de Saint Phalle (1980)
Jerry M. de St. Paer (1996)
Richard M. DeMartini (1991)
Ralph D. DeNunzio (1965)
Robert M. Devlin (2005)
Joseph S. DiMartino (1989)
Eric S. Dobkin (1996)
Carl H. Doerge, Jr. (1979)
Donald Donahue (2009)
Robert N. Downey (1988)
Stephen M. DuBrul, Jr. (1975)
Richard B. DuBusc (1984)
John Duffy (1988)
John G. Duffy (2007)
James J. Dunne III (2003)
Dexter D. Earle (1976)
John E. Eckelberry (1966)
Christine Edwards (1997)
J. Anthony Ehinger (1996)
Roger D. Elsas (1993)
Mary Farrell (2003)
Michael A.J. Farrell (2006)
Fred Federspiel (2008)
Laurence Fink (2002)
John D. Finnegan (2005)
Lawton W. Fitt (1999)
Martin Flanagan (2008)
Gregory J. Fleming (2007)
Alphonse Fletcher, Jr. (1995)
Thomas M. Flexner (2000)
Bruce S. Foerster (1983)
William E. Ford (2006)
Archibald McGhee Foster, Jr. (1992)
A. Hampton Frady, Jr. (1973)
Richard S. Fuld, Jr. (1995)
Nathan S. Gantcher (1992)
Neal S. Garonzik (2000)
John J. Gavin (1991)
Peter Georgiopoulos (2010)
Elbridge T. Gerry, Jr. (1982)
Louis V. Gerstner (1987)
William S.R. Gilbreath III (1973)
Jane Gladstone-Wheeler (2010)
Pam Goldman (2010)
Gary Goldring (2000)
Joe Goldsmith (2010)
Arthur H. Goldstone (1982)
Lesley Goldwasser (2004)
Joseph Grano (2002)
Richard A. Grasso (1990)
Peter T. Grauer (2003)
Micah Green (2003)
Alan C. Greenberg (1980)
Robert F. Greenhill (1985)
Martin Gruss (2009)
Randolph Guggenheimer, Jr. (1980)
Edmund A. Hajim (1996)
George E. Hall (2003)
Joseph Hardiman (1988)
J. Ira Harris (2004)
Jon M. Harris (2004)
Joshua Harris (2011)
William Harrison (1987)
Gates H. Hawn (1980)
Edward D. Herlihy (2003)
James F. Higgins (1993)
J. Tomilson Hill (2009)
Landon B. Hilliard III (1996)
Franklin W. Hobbs IV (1992)
Frank J. Hoenemeyer (1982)
Clark Hooper (2003)
George R. Hornig (2006)
Gedale B. Horowitz (1980)
Ruth Horowitz (2004)
Brian P. Hull (2006)
Samuel C. Hunter (1984)
James Hurlock (1989)
Bradley H. Jack (1999)
James A. Jacobson (1988)
A. James Jacoby (2000)
Francis P. Jenkins, Jr. (1988)
David Jennings (2003)
Wm. Mitchell Jennings, Jr. (2006)
Richard H. Jenrette (1976)
Thomas Johnson (1987)
Michael J. Johnston (1984)
William R. Johnston (1994)
Graham E. Jones (1977)
James Jones (1991)
Paul Tudor Jones II (2002)
Thomas M. Joyce (2005)
William M. Kearns, Jr. (1975)
Charles (Kirk) Kellogg (2004)
Peter R. Kellogg (1979)
James C. Kellogg IV (1983)
T. Richard Kendrick IV (2005)
Jerome Kenney (1989)
Hans W. Kertess (1981)
Richard Ketchum (1995)
Candace King-Weir (2010)
Mark Kingdon (2008)
James M. Kingsbury (1969)
Catherine R. Kinney (1997)
Michael S. Klein (2005)
Frederick A. Kingenstein (1973)
William Lee Knowles (1988)
David H. Komansky (2002)
Arthur Kontos (1998)
Doug Kramer (2011)
Peter S. Kraus (2007)
Sallie Krawcheck (2002)
Ron Kruszewski (2001)
Michael LaBranche (2000)
Marc E. Lackritz (1994)
Maria Elena Lagomasino (2005)
Jeffrey B. Lane (1988)
Steve Langman (2010)
Kenneth G. Langone (1996)
John J. Lauto (2007)
John G. Layng (1999)
Alexandra Lebenthal (1998)
James B. Lee, Jr. (1999)
Stephen M. Lessing (2002)
Arthur Levitt, Jr. (1979)
William Lewis (2008)
Robert D. Lindsay, Jr. (2010)
Robert V. Lindsay (1979)
Robert E. Linton (1981)
Martin Lipton (1987)
Bruce Lisman (2001)
Hugh P. Lowenstein (1990)
Nigel S. MacEwan (1972)
John G. MacFarlane III (1998)
John J. Mack (1993)
James J. Maguire (1993)
Thomas (Tom) Maheras (2004)
Andrew Malik (2011)
Amy Margolis (2011)
Donald Marron (1985)
Robert J. McCann (2003)
Robert H. McCooey, Jr. (2006)
Raymond J. McGuire (2005)
Shawn McLoughlin (2009)
Terence S. Meehan (1996)
Doris P. Meister (2001)
Carl B. Menges (1996)
Mitch M. Merin (1995)
Barrant V. Merrill (1981)
Eduardo G. Mestre (1995)
Roberto Mignone (2010)
John Miller (2010)
Howard Milstein (2006)
Joseph V. Missett III (1973)
Robert E. Munchin (1983)
Joseph H. Moglia (2005)
Samuel L. Molinaro, Jr. (2002)
Christopher S. Moore (1988)
John Moore (2009)
Charles F. Morgan (1960)
John C. (Hans) Morris (2006)
Averell Mortimer (2009)
David J. Mullan (2004)
Donald R. Mullen, Jr (2001)
Peter J. Murphy (2006)
Robert Murphy (2003)
Thomas Murphy (2011)
Jeanne L. Murtaugh (2004)
John H. Myers (2006)
Sarah E. Nash (1998)
Kenneth R. Natori (1980)
George Needham (2003)
Crocker Nevin (1970)
Donald E. Nickelson (1981)
Fares Noujaim (2005)
Seth Novatt (2010)
Michael Novogratz (2008)
Edward I. O’Brien (1977)
Timothy O’Hara (2008)
E. Stanley O’Neal (2002)
Michael J. Odrich (2006)
Morris W. Offit (1997)
Vikram S. Pandit (1884)
Paul G. Parker (2011)
Leland B. Paton (1995)
Douglas Paul (2003)
Richard S. Pechter (1991)
Joseph R. Perella (1990)
Norman H. Pessin (1984)
John R. Petty (1988)
John J. Phelan, Jr. (1979)
Peter V.N. Philip (1967)
Thomas L. Piper III (1978)
Michael Pizzuto (1982)
Grant A. Porter (2007)
Christopher Quick (2002)
Leslie C. Quick III (2002)
Peter Quick (2001)
Michael L. Quinn (1996)
Paul E. Raether (1993)
Maribeth S. Rahe (2001)
Lewis S. Ranieri (1987)
Alan C. Rappaport (2006)
Peter S. Rawlings (1976)
Robert L. Reynolds (2007)
Joseph Rice III (2006)
Reuben F. Richards (1973)
Robert Ritterseiser (1985)
Rachel Robbins (1997)
Julian H. Robertson (1987)
James D. Robinson III (1982)
James D. Robinson IV (2011)
Linda Robinson (2003)
Joe L. Roby (1992)
John Roche (1984)
E. John Rosenwald, Jr. (1982)
Wilbur L. Ross, Jr. (2006)
Mitchell J. Rubin (2010)
Robert E. Rubin (1982)
Thomas A. Russo (2002)
Heather L. Ruth (1999)
Michael Ryan (2011)
Thomas F. Ryan, Jr. (1997)
T. Timothy Ryan (2009)
Gregory E. Sacco, Jr. (1983)
William R. Salomon (1971)
Jim Sampson (2010)
Charles S. Sanford (1980)
Ralph S. Saul (1969)
Thomas A. Saunders III (1979)
Anthony Scaramucci (2011)
Peter Scaturro (2009)
Ralph Schlosstein (2003)
Richard J. Schmeelk (1983)
Joseph Schmuckler (2009)
Edward C. Schmults (1979)
Peter Schulte (2010)
Alan D. Schwartz (1989)
Robert G. Scott (1993)
Kevin R. Seth (2011)
Robert S. Shafir (2005)
Gene Shanks (1989)
Mary L. Schapiro (1997)
Robert F. Shapiro (1969)
Theodore P. Shen (1983)
Martin Siegel (1986)
Brandon Sim (2011)
Craig S. Sim (1984)
Hardwick Simmons (1989)
John C. (Hans) Sites, Jr. (1995)
Philip M. Skidmore (1980)
Alfred Smith IV (1998)
Michelle Smith (2008)
Richard A. Smith (1982)
Winthrop H. Smith, Jr. (2000)
Salvatore (Sal) Sodano (2004)
Warren J. Spector (1997)
Esta Stecher (2006)
George C. Stephenson (1991)
James Stern (1999)
James M. Stewart (1982)
Donald Stone (1975)
Thomas W. Strauss (1986)
Mark B. Sutton (2001)
Richard F. Syron (1995)
Anne Tatlock (2002)
Diana L. Taylor (2004)
Michael Tennenbaum (2010)
Pamela Thomas-Graham (2002)
Todd S. Thomson (2005)
Richard E. Thornburgh (2002)
Allen Thrope (2011)
Carl H. Tiedemann (1975)
David J. Topper (2006)
Robert A. Towbin (1975)
Jamie Townsend (2003)
Remy Trafelet (2008)
Michael K. Travers (1975)
Bruce N. Tullo (1983)
Thomas I. Unterberg (1983)
John O. Utendahl (2004)
John J. Veronis (1989)
John L. Vogelstein (2006)
Robert G. Wade, Jr. (1980)
George Walker (2008)
Andy Walter (2010)
Dennis Weatherstone (1980)
Lisa M. Weber (2005)
David Weild IV (2003)
Sanford I. Weill (1980)
Keith S. Wellin (1970)
Curtis R. Welling (1999)
Kim White (2004)
John C. Whitehead (1971)
Meredith Whitney (2010)
Frederick B. Whittemore (1968)
George Wiegers (1968)
Christopher J. Williams (2006)
Dave H. Williams (1987)
Kendrick Wilson III (1995)
Sam H. Wolcott III (1977)
James D. Wolfensohn (1979)
Kurt Wolfgruber (2006)
Frederick Wonham (1970)
Ward W. Woods, Jr. (1984)
A. Jones Yorke IV (1975)

Montgomery Street Chapter

Charles Haynor – Grand Swipe
Robert S. Basso
Richard M. Beleson
D. Kent Clayburn
James F. Dowley
John C. Helmer
Douglas C. Heske
William D. Hobi
John P. Hullar
John T. Hyland
Andrew J. Jennings
David Kavrell
George A. Miller
Francis X. Roche
John P. Roediger
John L. Sullivan
Joseph E. Sweeney

Spring Street Chapter

Warren Wibbelsman – Grand Swipe
James Ford
Michael O. Healy
Kenneth Tang

Comment:

I'm sure most of these names are unfamiliar to you.  However if you Google a few you'll be able to learn more about them.

If you take note you'll see that only about one fourth of the names are Jewish.  As we all know, many Jews change their names to make them appear more Aryan, so the actual Jewish membership is probably about one third.  That leaves two thirds who are not Jews.  A few of those are non-Whites, leaving approximately fifty percent of them being Aryans who have sold their people down the river for wealth and power.

The ANP is not in error when we say that the majority of Judeo-Capitalists are Aryan.  Judeo-Capitalism means "Jewish-style capitalism" - as opposed to true Aryan capitalism which is honest free enterprise.  Free enterprise are people opening businesses through honest hard work and providing goods and services at a fair rate of exchange.

Profit is not a dirty word - as long as it is earned honestly and fairly with both the customers and merchants each giving the other mutual respect.

Dan 88!

Monday, February 24, 2014

One-Percent Jokes and Plutocrats in Drag: What I Saw When I Crashed a Wall Street Secret Society

By Kevin Roose



Recently, our nation’s financial chieftains have been feeling a little unloved. Venture capitalists are comparing the persecution of the rich to the plight of Jews at Kristallnacht, Wall Street titans are saying that they’re sick of being beaten up, and this week, a billionaire investor, Wilbur Ross, proclaimed that “the 1 percent is being picked on for political reasons.”

Ross's statement seemed particularly odd, because two years ago, I met Ross at an event that might single-handedly explain why the rest of the country still hates financial tycoons – the annual black-tie induction ceremony of a secret Wall Street fraternity called Kappa Beta Phi.

“Good evening, Exalted High Council, former Grand Swipes, Grand Swipes-in-waiting, fellow Wall Street Kappas, Kappas from the Spring Street and Montgomery Street chapters, and worthless neophytes!”

It was January 2012, and Ross, wearing a tuxedo and purple velvet moccasins embroidered with the fraternity’s Greek letters, was standing at the dais of the St. Regis Hotel ballroom, welcoming a crowd of two hundred wealthy and famous Wall Street figures to the Kappa Beta Phi dinner. Ross, the leader (or “Grand Swipe”) of the fraternity, was preparing to invite 21 new members — “neophytes,” as the group called them — to join its exclusive ranks.

Looking up at him from an elegant dinner of rack of lamb and foie gras were many of the most famous investors in the world, including executives from nearly every too-big-to-fail bank, private equity megafirm, and major hedge fund. AIG CEO Bob Benmosche was there, as were Wall Street superlawyer Marty Lipton and Alan “Ace” Greenberg, the former chairman of Bear Stearns. And those were just the returning members. Among the neophytes were hedge fund billionaire and major Obama donor Marc Lasry and Joe Reece, a high-ranking dealmaker at Credit Suisse. [To see the full Kappa Beta Phi member list, click here.]

All told, enough wealth and power was concentrated in the St. Regis that night that if you had dropped a bomb on the roof, global finance as we know it might have ceased to exist.

During his introductory remarks, Ross spoke for several minutes about the legend of Kappa Beta Phi – how it had been started in 1929 by “four C+ William and Mary students”; how its crest, depicting a “macho right hand in a proper Savile Row suit and a Turnbull and Asser shirtsleeve,” was superior to that of its namesake Phi Beta Kappa (Ross called Phi Beta Kappa’s ruffled-sleeve logo a “tacit confession of homosexuality”); and how the fraternity’s motto, “Dum vivamus edimus et biberimus,” was Latin for “While we live, we eat and drink.”

On cue, the financiers shouted out in a thundering bellow: “DUM VIVAMUS EDIMUS ET BIBERIMUS.”

The only person not saying the chant along with Ross was me — a journalist who had sneaked into the event, and who was hiding out at a table in the back corner in a rented tuxedo.

Several Kappas at the table next to me, presumably discussing the coming plutocracy.


I’d heard whisperings about the existence of Kappa Beta Phi, whose members included both incredibly successful financiers (New York City's Mayor Michael Bloomberg, former Goldman Sachs chairman John Whitehead, hedge-fund billionaire Paul Tudor Jones) and incredibly unsuccessful ones (Lehman Brothers CEO Dick Fuld, Bear Stearns CEO Jimmy Cayne, former New Jersey governor and MF Global flameout Jon Corzine). It was a secret fraternity, founded at the beginning of the Great Depression, that functioned as a sort of one-percenter’s Friars Club. Each year, the group’s dinner features comedy skits, musical acts in drag, and off-color jokes, and its group’s privacy mantra is “What happens at the St. Regis stays at the St. Regis.” For eight decades, it worked. No outsider in living memory had witnessed the entire proceedings firsthand.

I wanted to break the streak for several reasons. As part of my research for my book, Young Money, I’d been investigating the lives of young Wall Street bankers – the 22-year-olds toiling at the bottom of the financial sector’s food chain. I knew what made those people tick. But in my career as a financial journalist, one question that proved stubbornly elusive was what happened to Wall Streeters as they climbed the ladder to adulthood. Whenever I’d interviewed CEOs and chairmen at big Wall Street firms, they were always too guarded, too on-message and wrapped in media-relations armor to reveal anything interesting about the psychology of the ultra-wealthy. But if I could somehow see these barons in their natural environment, with their defenses down, I might be able to understand the world my young subjects were stepping into.

So when I learned when and where Kappa Beta Phi’s annual dinner was being held, I knew I needed to try to go.

Getting in was shockingly easy — a brisk walk past the sign-in desk, and I was inside cocktail hour. 

Immediately, I saw faces I recognized from the papers. I picked up an event program and saw that there were other boldface names on the Kappa Beta Phi membership roll — among them, then-Citigroup CEO Vikram Pandit, BlackRock CEO Larry Fink, Home Depot billionaire Ken Langone, Morgan Stanley bigwig Greg Fleming, and JPMorgan Chase vice chairman Jimmy Lee. Any way you count, this was one of the most powerful groups of business executives in the world. (Since I was a good 20 years younger than any other attendee, I suspect that anyone taking note of my presence assumed I was a waiter.)

I hadn’t counted on getting in to the Kappa Beta Phi dinner, and now that I had gotten past security, I wasn’t sure quite what to do. I wanted to avoid rousing suspicion, and I knew that talking to people would get me outed in short order. So I did the next best thing — slouched against a far wall of the room, and pretended to tap out emails on my cell phone.


After cocktail hour, the new inductees – all of whom were required to dress in leotards and gold-sequined skirts, with costume wigs – began their variety-show acts. Among the night’s lowlights:

• Paul Queally, a private-equity executive with Welsh, Carson, Anderson, & Stowe, told off-color jokes to Ted Virtue, another private-equity bigwig with MidOcean Partners. The jokes ranged from unfunny and sexist (Q: “What’s the biggest difference between Hillary Clinton and a catfish?” A: “One has whiskers and stinks, and the other is a fish”) to unfunny and homophobic (Q: “What’s the biggest difference between Barney Frank and a Fenway Frank?” A: “Barney Frank comes in different-size buns”).

• Bill Mulrow, a top executive at the Blackstone Group (who was later appointed chairman of the New York State Housing Finance Agency), and Emil Henry, a hedge fund manager with Tiger Infrastructure Partners and former assistant secretary of the Treasury, performed a bizarre two-man comedy skit. Mulrow was dressed in raggedy, tie-dye clothes to play the part of a liberal radical, and Henry was playing the part of a wealthy baron. They exchanged lines as if staging a debate between the 99 percent and the 1 percent. (“Bill, look at you! You’re pathetic, you liberal! You need a bath!” Henry shouted. “My God, you callow, insensitive Republican! Don’t you know what we need to do? We need to create jobs,” Mulrow shot back.)

• David Moore, Marc Lasry, and Keith Meister — respectively, a holding company CEO, a billionaire hedge-fund manager, and an activist investor — sang a few seconds of a finance-themed parody of “YMCA” before getting the hook.

• Warren Stephens, an investment banking CEO, took the stage in a Confederate flag hat and sang a song about the financial crisis, set to the tune of “Dixie.” (“In Wall Street land we’ll take our stand, said Morgan and Goldman. But first we better get some loans, so quick, get to the Fed, man.”)

A few more acts followed, during which the veteran Kappas continued to gorge themselves on racks of lamb, throw petits fours at the stage, and laugh uproariously. Michael Novogratz, a former Army helicopter pilot with a shaved head and a stocky build whose firm, Fortress Investment Group, had made him a billionaire, was sitting next to me, drinking liberally and annotating each performance with jokes and insults.

“Can you fuckin’ believe Lasry up there?” Novogratz asked me. I nodded. He added, “He just gave me a ride in his jet a month ago.”

The neophytes – who had changed from their drag outfits into Mormon missionary costumes — broke into their musical finale: a parody version of “I Believe,” the hit ballad from The Book of Mormon, with customized lyrics like “I believe that God has a plan for all of us. I believe my plan involves a seven-figure bonus.” Amused, I pulled out my phone, and began recording the proceedings on video. Wrong move.


“Who the hell are you?” Novogratz demanded.

I felt my pulse spike. I was tempted to make a run for it, but – due to the ethics code of the New York Times, my then-employer – I had no choice but to out myself.

“I’m a reporter,” I said.

Novogratz stood up from the table.

"You’re not allowed to be here," he said.

I, too, stood, and tried to excuse myself, but he grabbed my arm and wouldn’t let go.

“Give me that or I’ll fucking break it!” Novogratz yelled, grabbing for my phone, which was filled with damning evidence. His eyes were bloodshot, and his neck veins were bulging. The song onstage was now over, and a number of prominent Kappas had rushed over to our table. Before the situation could escalate dangerously, a bond investor and former Grand Swipe named Alexandra Lebenthal stepped in between us. Wilbur Ross quickly followed, and the two of them led me out into the lobby, past a throng of Wall Street tycoons, some of whom seemed to be hyperventilating.

Once we made it to the lobby, Ross and Lebenthal reassured me that what I’d just seen wasn’t really a group of wealthy and powerful financiers making homophobic jokes, making light of the financial crisis, and bragging about their business conquests at Main Street’s expense. No, it was just a group of friends who came together to roast each other in a benign and self-deprecating manner. Nothing to see here.

But the extent of their worry wasn’t made clear until Ross offered himself up as a source for future stories in exchange for my cooperation.

“I’ll pick up the phone anytime, get you any help you need,” he said.

“Yeah, the people in this group could be very helpful,” Lebenthal chimed in. “If you could just keep their privacy in mind.”

I wasn’t going to be bribed off my story, but I understood their panic.  Here, after all, was a group that included many of the executives whose firms had collectively wrecked the global economy in 2008 and 2009. And they were laughing off the entire disaster in private, as if it were a long-forgotten lark. (Or worse, sing about it — one of the last skits of the night was a self-congratulatory parody of ABBA’s “Dancing Queen,” called “Bailout King.”) These were activities that amounted to a gigantic middle finger to Main Street and that, if made public, could end careers and damage very public reputations.

After several more minutes spent trying to do damage control, Ross and Lebenthal escorted me out of the St. Regis.

As I walked through the streets of midtown in my ill-fitting tuxedo, I thought about the implications of what I’d just seen.

The first and most obvious conclusion was that the upper ranks of finance are composed of people who have completely divorced themselves from reality. No self-aware and socially conscious Wall Street executive would have agreed to be part of a group whose tacit mission is to make light of the financial sector’s foibles. Not when those foibles had resulted in real harm to millions of people in the form of foreclosures, wrecked 401(k)s, and a devastating unemployment crisis.

The second thing I realized was that Kappa Beta Phi was, in large part, a fear-based organization. Here were executives who had strong ideas about politics, society, and the work of their colleagues, but who would never have the courage to voice those opinions in a public setting. Their cowardice had reduced them to sniping at their perceived enemies in the form of satirical songs and sketches, among only those people who had been handpicked to share their view of the world. And the idea of a reporter making those views public had caused them to throw a mass temper tantrum.

The last thought I had, and the saddest, was that many of these self-righteous Kappa Beta Phi members had surely been first-year bankers once. And in the 20, 30, or 40 years since, something fundamental about them had changed. Their pursuit of money and power had removed them from the larger world to the sad extent that, now, in the primes of their careers, the only people with whom they could be truly themselves were a handful of other prominent financiers.

Perhaps, I realized, this social isolation is why despite extraordinary evidence to the contrary, one-percenters like Ross keep saying how badly persecuted they are. When you’re a member of the fraternity of money, it can be hard to see past the foie gras to the real world.

Comment:

The level of  arrogance towards the Working Class is beyond contemptible.  Some may ask if this was for real.  Yes and no.  Yes this happened.  The elitists who participated would say it was all in fun and no harm was intended.  Who are they to say what harm is?  It was utterly contemptible and shows how totally detached they are from mainstream life.  

The ones who were born into wealth have absolutely no idea what it's like to work for a living. They had everything handed to them on a golden platter.  The self-made wealthy like Michael Novogratz are so filled with a superiority complex it goes beyond ordinary egomania.

I just wanted to help Mr. Roose spread this around as much as possible.  If people only knew the true level of contempt the one percent have for us, maybe it'll wake them up a bit.  Well at least until football season starts again.

BTW, the name Kappa Beta Phi is the reverse of the name of a prestigious academic fraternity called Phi Beta Kappa. 

Kevin Roose printed this article in a recent edition of the New Yorker magazine.

As this was a long post, there will be a follow up tomorrow - a list of names of those who attended and past members.  You will see there are a lot of Jewish names, but the majority of them are traitorous Aryans.  If I were not a peaceful man, I'd have just three words to say on this:  FETCH A ROPE!

Dan 88!