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Muriel Siebert & Co.



Lumps of coal a plenty for bad money-related behavior



By Dian Vujovich

Yes, there truly are many many more positive business dealings we experience each year than negative ones. But that doesn’t mean there aren’t things to grouse about in the world of money. Here are a few places I’m flinging lumps of coal this year.

Not quite sure which one is more deserving of the first lump—banks or corporate America. Given that each have displayed horribly vulgar behavior I’ll start with banks only because the letter “b” comes before “c” in the alphabet.

No shortage of places to throw lumps of coal here. But let me toss the biggest piece to this very very stingy and money-grubbing group who, instead of making loans to individuals, small businesses and entrepreneurs to get our economy jump-started, have refused to and turned them down. You know who they are. Guess this group must be suffering from the how-quickly-they-forget syndrome. After all, didn’t taxpayers just bail the biggest in the lot out? One would think turn-around would be fair play. But noooo.

BTW, 157 U.S. banks have closed so far this year. That’s the highest number since 1992, according to the FDIC. At the end of September, another 860 were considered problem banks. Now, why do we keep our money there?

The next lump of coal goes to America’s corporations. Yes, those great big companies that now have more money in their coffers than they have had for decades. With all their money, you’d think instead of mergers and acquisitions, or sitting on their wealth, they would, well, spread the wealth and say hire people. Like those living in the U.S. But nooooo, the multinationals that are hiring are doing most of it overseas. Or, hiring talent on the cheap here and not paying the salaries deserved because they can. Talk about taking advantage of the un- and under-employed. That’s awful. Simply awful.

With 96 percent of the top 500 corporations in America reporting profits this year, a huge lump of coal tossed at them is well deserved.

Then there’s oil. Heading for 100 bucks a barrel, lumps of coal go out to the oil companies and all of the fools who have allowed the slight-of-hand oil shenanigans to continue. There is plenty of oil in North America, you know.

Locally, I’m giving a lump of coal to Suburban Volvo for not keeping their word and the horrible treatment of dealing with a customer and their complaint. And, to Kooba handbags. They’re sold at Saks. I bought a lovely one last year, this fall the seam in a handle began coming apart, I made a complaint in October, had to—get this—send in pictures of the problem—and as of today, nothing has been resolved.

For those receiving lumps of coal, I hope your behavior improves in the New Year.
If not, this friendly reminder: One employee’s, client’s or customer’s complaint carries far more weight than a thousand compliments.Too many impact a company’s bottom line.


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