Friday, August 6, 2010

Wal-Mart… THE Answer?

(Editor's Note: Paul Schatz, President of Heritage Capital, LLC, in Woodbridge, will be contributing to Fi$callyFit every Friday. Read his biography here)

As a very quick follow up to the last two week’s contributions, Financial Regulation...What It Means to You and America and Financial Regulation Follow Up… Good News!, the good folks at Casey Research pointed out some hidden trap doors that those sneaky and questionable Congressmen threw in.

“Under the new financial regulatory law, the SEC is now exempt from Freedom of Information Act (FOIA) requests. So if the SEC screws up, like it did in the Madoff case and countless others, and you file a FOIA request to find out what went wrong, the SEC is under no obligation to comply.

President Obama claimed that this new financial reform bill he signed into law the other day would increase transparency. But at least one provision will do just the opposite of what the president claimed.”

Additionally, “starting on January 1, 2012, all companies will have to file a 1099 for every transaction that exceeds $600, which would create a reporting nightmare for thousands of companies and absolutely crush small businesses.”

Finally, somehow Congress even surprised me by adding language requiring Wall Street firms to hire women and minorities, as if somehow that would prevent another crisis? Put that in the column of government run amuck. Maybe we should add that provision and amend the constitution?!?! How on earth does that belong in Financial Regulation? And I would guarantee you that most of those voting “yes” had no clue it was included. Well done, Chris Dodd and Barney Frank. You’ve stooped to a new low!

Sorry for the digression…

The following email has made its way around the Internet. Thanks to Richard Mooney for sharing again. I think we can all agree that Wal-Mart is far from perfect, but it's hard to argue that they are very smart and shrewd business people. Although they clearly have hurt mom and pop businesses all over the country, they really transformed our economy in so many ways.

Here's the email text:

1. Americans spend $36,000,000 at Wal-Mart Every hour of every day.

2. This works out to $20,928 profit every minute!

3. Wal-Mart will sell more from January 1 to St. Patrick's Day (March 17th) than Target sells all year.

4. Wal-Mart is bigger than Home Depot + Kroger + Target +Sears + Costco + K-Mart combined.

5. Wal-Mart employs 1.6 million people, is the world's largest private employer.

6. Wal-Mart is the largest company in the history of the world.

7. Wal-Mart now sells more food than Kroger and Safeway combined, and keep in mind they did this in only fifteen years.

8. During this same period, 31 big supermarket chains sought bankruptcy.

9. Wal-Mart now sells more food than any other store in the world.

10. Wal-Mart has approx 3,900 stores in the USA of which 1,906 are Super Centers; this is 1,000 more than it had five years ago.

11. This year 7.2 billion different purchasing experiences will occur at Wal-Mart stores. (Earth's population is approximately 6.5 Billion.)

12. 90% of all Americans live within fifteen miles of a Wal-Mart.You may think that I am complaining, but I am really laying the ground work for suggesting that MAYBE we should hire the guys who run Wal-Mart to fix the economy. Think about what’s been going on in government over the past 10 and 20 years…
a.. The U.S. Postal Service was established in 1775. You have had 234 years to get it right and it is broke.
b.. Social Security was established in 1935. You have had 74 years to get it right and it is broke.
c.. Fannie Mae was established in 1938. You have had 71 years to get it right and it is broke.
d.. War on Poverty started in 1964. You have had 45 years to get it right; $1 trillion of our money is confiscated each year and transferred to "the poor" and they only want more.
e.. Medicare and Medicaid were established in 1965. You have had 44 years to get it right and they are broke.
f.. Freddie Mac was established in 1970. You have had 39 years to get it right and it is broke.
g.. The Department of Energy was created in 1977 to lessen our dependence on foreign oil. It has ballooned to 16,000 employees with a budget of $24 billion a year and we import more oil than ever before. You had 32 years to get it right and it is an abysmal failure.

As I mentioned earlier this summer, I am working on an interview I did with Spencer Tillman, playfully titled, Superman is Alive and Well and Living in Sugarland Texas! I hope to have more details next month.

I am scheduled to be on CNBC’s The Call this Monday, August 9th, between 11:05am and 11:20am.

Feel free to email me with any questions or comments at

Until next time…

Paul Schatz
Heritage Capital LLC

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