When the staff at a company lose confidence I top management,they do not perform as well as they could, and profits lag. Whenthe staff feels that the CEO and other top managers lie about manyissues and they do not know what is reality or what to expect next,the staff tends to just muddle along and not step out taking risksfor the business. When the CEO always takes credit for whateverhappens, and does not share the credit with those who really putthemselves on the line for the company, then the staff loses itsinterest to take the initiative, When company politics and makingthe CEO look good become the main goal of the company, and being inthe right group and saying the right thing is paramount, then stafftends to shelter and not risk saying or doing much of anything.When covering up mistakes and lying become the expected norm, thanthe staff tend to do little to avoid having to institute anothercover up. This is the same when the president and the White Houseact this way. In this case the staff is the business community.

Many wonder why this recovery is so weak and muddling along.While there was surely a deep and lasting impact from the crash,and massive crashes such as this have long lasting tails, therecovery should not have been so slow. The Participation rateremains terrible, the percentage of full time workers to thepopulation of working age is as bad as it has been in decades. Longterm unemployment remains very bad. The real unemployment rate asmeasured by U6 is still over 12%. All of this despite the Fed doingthree rounds of QE and rates being historically low year afteryear. Deficit spending continues so fiscal policy is not therestraint. It is an unwillingness of business to use the trillionsof stashed capital to invest in capital assets. The result isproductivity has lagged badly ad equipment is not updated. Moremodern factories are not built. Labor is stretched to the limit.Part time labor is at a near high due to Obamacare meaning staffare not as efficient as they would be were they full time. And nowwe get a push to raise the minimum wage, Mayors like DeBlasio andthe mayor of Seattle trying to implement long failed socialistagendas, and in Seattle pushing through a $15 minimum wage. Whywould any sane businessman hire or invest under theseconditions.

On top of all of this, we watch a very weak and confused foreignpolicy for the past 5 years where the world we need is now to thepoint they do not trust we will be there for them. They find theyneed to make new alliances to survive. Putin plays Obama like apuppet. Ukraine may seem to not be all that important, but it issimply stage one in a long term strategy by Putin to gain stronginfluence over Eastern Europe. This problem is not going away. Itis going to worsen.

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Joel Ross

Joel Ross began his career in Wall St as an investment banker in 1965, handling corporate advisory matters for a variety of clients. During the seventies he was CEO of North American operations for a UK based conglomerate, and sat on the parent company board. In 1981, he began his own firm handling leveraged buyouts, investment banking and real estate financing. In 1984 Ross began providing investment banking services and arranging financing for real estate transactions with his own firm, Ross Properties, Inc. In 1993 Ross and a partner, Lexington Mortgage, created the first Wall St hotel CMBS program in conjunction with Nomura. They went on to develop a similar CMBS program for another major Wall St investment bank and for five leading hotel companies. Lexington, in partnership with Mr. Ross established a hotel mortgage bank table funded by an investment bank, and making all CMBS hotel loans on their behalf. In 1999 he formed Citadel Realty Advisors as a successor to Ross Properties Corp., focusing on real estate investment banking in the US, UK and Paris. He has closed over $3.0 billion of financings for office, hotel, retail, land and multifamily projects. Ross is also a founder of Market Street Investors, a brownfield land development company, and has been involved in the acquisition of notes on defaulted loans and various REO assets in conjunction with several major investors. Ross was an adjunct professor in the graduate program at the NYU Hotel School. He is a member of Urban Land Institute and was a member of the leadership of his ULI council. In 1999, he conceived and co-authored with PricewaterhouseCoopers, the Hotel Mortgage Performance Report, a major study of hotel mortgage default rates.