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Stephen Pizzo

Founding Member (since August 2007)
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See CV at www.stephen.pizzo.com

About Stephen Help
Location: Sebastopol, California, United States
Occupation: Author/Journalist, Self
Interests: Politics/business
Expertise: Business, politics, white collar crime, organized crime/
Affiliations: Retired
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Address: Sebastopol, CA, 95472, US
Last Visit: Dec 9, 2010 - 7:46 AM PST
Last Edit: Jan 28, 2011 - 4:47 PM PST

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Stephen reviewed this story - Aug 3, 2009
Stephen's Rating
4.8

Shameful. Just as the annual White House correspondents gathering are shameful. Reporters should not be cavorting with the very people they are supposed to be objectively covering.

Disclosure: Stephen is involved in this story (review not included in overall rating). Help
See Full Review » (7 answers)
NT Rating: 3.8 | See All NT Reviews »
Stephen reviewed this story - Jul 14, 2009
Stephen's Rating
4.6

Excellent analysis

A strong democracy requires a loyal opposition. But not just any old loyal opposition but rather one that brings to the field of battle a platform built on strong intellectual underpinnings, not mindless dogma. Today's GOP has sold it's soul to the lowest common denominator base.

See Full Review » (7 answers)
NT Rating: 3.7 | See All NT Reviews »
Stephen reviewed this story - Jun 19, 2009
Stephen's Rating
3.8

run of the mill reporting

What chutzpah. These are the same House members who can't seem to figure out how to fix our own shattered economy/country/politics and they're giving advice to others. Really!

See Full Review » (7 answers)
NT Rating: 3.6 | See All NT Reviews »
Stephen reviewed this story - Jun 13, 2009
Stephen's Rating
4.8

Bush v. Gore, 2000, Florida

See Full Review » (6 answers)
NT Rating: 3.9 | See All NT Reviews »
Stephen reviewed this story - Jan 12, 2009
Stephen's Rating
3.1

Sometimes journalists can be too balanced.

Legacies are written in results. And the results of this man's 8-year tenure in the White House are obvious, legion and horrific. There are times when the basically sound journalistic rule of fairness and balance are defeated by the lopsided realities on the ground. The end of the Bush term is one of those times. If a reporter reports this story with 100% fairness and accuracy the resulting article would read more like an indictment than a news story... as it should

See Full Review » (7 answers)
NT Rating: 3.0 | See All NT Reviews »
Stephen reviewed this story - Dec 2, 2008
Stephen's Rating
4.1

Not deep enough.

Reporters covering this story need to go deeper than the surface quotes from the different sides. For example, the automakers claim the taxpayer is protected since the gov. gets senior status -- stocks, warrants etc -- they can exercise. Also they claim the loan agreement would call for milestones to be made or the gov could "call the loan." Well, have you ever tried calling a loan to someone who is broke? Good luck with that. And that senior stock... what will that be worth if the ... More »

See Full Review » (7 answers)
NT Rating: 3.4 | See All NT Reviews »
Stephen posted and reviewed this story - Dec 1, 2008
Stephen's Rating
4.8

Excellent piece of work by AP. Connecting the dots.

Republicans have been trying to blame the mortgage crisis on Democrats who insisted on making loans to the poor and others with low credit standing. This story blows that dodge out of the water. The Bush administration was warned but instead of regulating lenders let them run wild. Now taxpayers are bailing those same lenders out.

See Full Review » (6 answers)
NT Rating: 4.6 | See All NT Reviews »
Stephen posted and reviewed this story - Dec 1, 2008
Stephen reviewed this story - Nov 24, 2008
Stephen's Rating
4.0

Pretty good, but not deep enough.

Those of us old enough to remember the stagflation of the 1970s will find all this very familiar. The trouble started with Lyndon Johnsons "guns and butter" policies during the Vietnam War. We went deep into debt to the world and so the Fed sparked hyper inflation thereby devaluing the dollar. We paid our debt off with those bargain basement bucks then had to dig our selves out of a stagnant economy. Here we go again.

See Full Review » (7 answers)
NT Rating: 4.0 | See All NT Reviews »
Stephen posted and reviewed this story - Nov 17, 2008
Stephen's Rating
4.0

This is a good commentary on a subject that has crossed my mind several times since Nov. 4th.

I, like the author, am a baby boomer, albeit an early one, born on VJ Day, 1945. But I traveled the same emotional path as the author when it came to an uneasy relationship with patriotism and those who abused it over the years.

See Full Review » (7 answers)
NT Rating: 3.7 | See All NT Reviews »
Stephen posted and reviewed this story - Nov 17, 2008
Stephen reviewed this story - Nov 15, 2008
Stephen's Rating
4.5

An excellent analysis from a journalist who was also part of the story itself

Learning the difference between a healthy, sustainable economic expansion and a bubble seems to be something the world's No. 1 capitalist nation doesn't seem able, or willing, to do.

See Full Review » (7 answers)
NT Rating: 4.3 | See All NT Reviews »
Stephen reviewed this story - Nov 14, 2008
Stephen's Rating
4.1

PJ O'Rourke is a dying breed within the conservative movement... he thinks. And, as usual, he's a hell of writer.

It would do Republicans well to consider what O'Rourke has to say here. It is in their own interest, and the interest of the nation that the GOP jettison the far right and get back into the game as rational players.

See Full Review » (7 answers)
NT Rating: 3.1 | See All NT Reviews »
Stephen reviewed this story - Nov 9, 2008
Stephen's Rating
3.4

Fair disclosure - I voted for Obama, Having said that I find it difficult to understand those who say the coverage was unfairly too positive for Obama and too negative for McCain. I think that view is a hangover from the nonsensical "fair and balanced" theory that every story has to be exactly balanced so as not to favor any particular point of view, even if the writer has to ignore truth in favor of balance. The McCain/Palin campaign was a mess. Obama's was just the opposite of a ... More »

See Full Review » (6 answers)
NT Rating: 3.5 | See All NT Reviews »
Stephen reviewed this story - Nov 2, 2008
Stephen's Rating
5.0

This is the kind of journalism we need more of.

I covered McCain as a journalist during the Keating days. His relationship with Keating was typical of the compromised political relationships both parties engaged in during the deregulated S&L days. He was no better or worse than the dozens of other elected officials who took the money and did the bidding of the Charles Keatings of the time. And they did it to us again, which is why we are now bailing out the financial services sector to the tune of nearly a trillion bucks. Heck of ... More »

See Full Review » (6 answers)
NT Rating: 4.1 | See All NT Reviews »
Stephen reviewed this story - Oct 31, 2008
Stephen's Rating
4.7

Op Ed.

For too many elections cycles now we have allowed GOP candidates to use smear tactics of questionable relevance and fact to win. It's nice to see major media taking note of this and slapping them down for it. Besides this excellent WP piece watch this Keith Olbermann segment: http://www.msnbc.msn.com/id/21134540/vp/27464383#27464383

See Full Review » (7 answers)
NT Rating: 4.2 | See All NT Reviews »
Stephen reviewed this story - Oct 31, 2008
Stephen's Rating
4.4

I am not sure I would consider this journalism, in the strictest sense of the term. This is more a study or white paper.

Cost analysis of government regulations on private industry have been, and will continue being, one of the most hotly debated issues. Both the right and left pay lip service to regulatory cost analysis, but when push comes to shove both come up with starkly different numbers.. numbers that reflect less about actual costs and benefits and more about the wants and needs of their particular political constituencies. As the old saying goes, "Figures don't lie, but liars can figure."

See Full Review » (7 answers)
NT Rating: 4.3 | See All NT Reviews »
Stephen reviewed this story - Oct 1, 2008
Stephen's Rating
4.0

While we hear a lot of scare talk out of Washington and Wall Street about what "will happen" if we don't pump a trillion taxpayer dollars directly into economy's veins, some are warning that will only make things worse. Inflation looms as the US Treasury tries to provide liquidity in a market where the most knowledgeable players have so little confidence they won't even lend to one another.

See Full Review » (7 answers)
NT Rating: 3.2 | See All NT Reviews »
Stephen reviewed this story - Oct 1, 2008
Stephen's Rating
4.7

War with Russia? That's what McCain's VP pick, Sarah Palin told ABC in her first interview today, that if Russia continues flexing its muscle the US may have to go to war with that nuclear-armed nation. This story should be on every front page tomorrow. But will it be?

See Full Review » (7 answers)
NT Rating: 3.7 | See All NT Reviews »
Stephen reviewed this story - Oct 1, 2008
Stephen's Rating
4.4

I covered these two GSE's for almost 20 years and each time I interviewed the CEO's and other top executives I was struck by their arrogance and "our way or the highway" attitude towards those who wanted to do business with them. When they were allowed to go public, becoming a sharehold-owned company, the government made a classic -- and now we know fatal --mistake. They privatized the enormous profits but socialized the risks involved. Now those risks have come home to roost and the taxpayer will have to pick up the tab, just as we did for the S&L mess -- which should have been a warning of things to come.

See Full Review » (7 answers)
NT Rating: 4.3 | See All NT Reviews »
Stephen reviewed this story - Oct 1, 2008
Stephen's Rating
4.4

For a now aging anti-war activist of the 1960's this story was both alarming and alarmingly familiar. We survived the first bout of this kind police state nonsense under Johnson and Nixon. But I wonder if the nation has changed in ways that will allow this state of affairs to not only continue, but tighten control over everyone and everything. I wonder. The answer will come in November.

See Full Review » (7 answers)
NT Rating: 4.4 | See All NT Reviews »
Stephen reviewed this story - Oct 1, 2008
Stephen's Rating
4.5

This story cites yet another example of how McCain's choice for VP, Sarah Palin'e short record in office is filled with contradictions. She is for abstinence, for banning birth control education in schools, but claims to support young, unmarried girls who decide to go through with accidental pregnancies. Then she cuts the state programs that would allow these young mothers to raise their children properly.

See Full Review » (7 answers)
NT Rating: 3.8 | See All NT Reviews »
Stephen reviewed this story - Oct 1, 2008
Stephen's Rating
4.1

As a reporter who has been retired for a decade now, I worry about the state of my former profession. I've watched with growing concern as the new right wing media, like FOX, has bullied mainstream media into a false sense of what "balanced news" really is. It's not balance to repeat untruths or distortions simply in an effort to show your paper or channel is trying to be "fair and balanced." Instead the media's job should be to inform with facts and unmask the cheats, liars and propagandists on all sides.

See Full Review » (7 answers)
NT Rating: 4.2 | See All NT Reviews »
Stephen reviewed this story - Oct 1, 2008
Stephen's Rating
4.7

This is an important story, because it highlights the new - old - reality. We once again live in a bi-polar world. Russia is back and rounding up allies, most of whom feel hemmed in by US policies and expansionism. Maybe rather than trying to bring democracy to Iraq Mr. Bush and Mr. Clinton should have concentrated on encouraging real democracy in Russia rather than simply allow form KGB head Putin put together a Stalinist society with an exclusive upper class and a vast underclass. Of course, this may not be all that surprising since that's precisely what Bush has created in the US over the last 8 years. It seems that when Bush looked into Putin's eyes what he saw was his own reflection.

See Full Review » (7 answers)
NT Rating: 4.0 | See All NT Reviews »
Stephen reviewed this story - Oct 1, 2008
Stephen's Rating
4.1

The story is good as far as it goes. Trouble is it does not go far enough. Medicare fraud comes in several flavors. There's your generic thieving fraud that's always been around and can be easily caught with proper gov. oversight. But, as congress and the administration continue tightening the reimbursement screws on hospitals and doctors they have forced them into survival mode... to wit -- lying and cheating on billings in order to stay out of the red themselves. The only solution to America's growing health care ills is single-payer health care insurance. Because only a system that insures the largest possible actuarial pool can even begin to shoulder the inherent risks involved in health care.

See Full Review » (7 answers)
NT Rating: 4.0 | See All NT Reviews »
Stephen reviewed this story - Oct 1, 2008
Stephen's Rating
3.9

This story should have delved back into the days when the FBI had these kind of powers, and more. That would have been during the Nixon/Johnson years. I know because I was one of the leaders of the San Francisco anti-war movement and had my own FBI detail assigned to me. They intercepted my mail, they sabotaged my car, twice (the wheels fell off) and they generally made themselves as annoying and intrusive as possible. I think if the press reminded people of what it was like then the public would be more upset about reinstating such powers.

See Full Review » (7 answers)
NT Rating: 3.5 | See All NT Reviews »
Stephen reviewed this story - Oct 1, 2008
Stephen's Rating
3.7

I think most of the news coverage of this incident miss the main point. Russia has a long history of neighborly paranoia. The Russian national anthem should be "Don't Fence Me In." Russia sees NATO surrounding them as it admits one former Soviet satellite after another. While we see this as no threat to Russia's sovereignty, we have to understand that paranoia does not have to based on logic. It's an irrational fear. It'll be interesting to see how the West addresses the aspirations of countries like Georgia and Ukraine, without setting the Russian Bear into a frenzy of self-protection.

See Full Review » (7 answers)
NT Rating: 3.3 | See All NT Reviews »
Stephen reviewed this story - Oct 1, 2008
Stephen's Rating
4.1

The public and media debate over the wisdom, or lack thereof, of additional drilling offshore is missing an important point. Drilling for more oil, in and of itself, is a wise idea, if for no other reason than oil remains a strategic component of our national defense. But unless a floor is put under the price to prevent short-lived oil gluts, falling gas and other fuel prices will kill still fragile emerging alternative sources of energy in their cribs. Gasoline, for example, should not be allowed to fall below $3.50 a gallon. Otherwise Americans will simply go back to their old, wasteful and unsustainable ways. We always do.

See Full Review » (7 answers)
NT Rating: 3.7 | See All NT Reviews »
Stephen reviewed this story - Oct 1, 2008
Stephen's Rating
4.0

Recent events would suggest that when Bush looked into Putin's eyes what he saw was his own reflection.

See Full Review » (7 answers)
NT Rating: 3.7 | See All NT Reviews »
Stephen reviewed this story - Oct 1, 2008
Stephen's Rating
5.0

This story tells of anther self-financed effort to address one of the many challenges congress and the White House seem incapable of doing anything about. This effort joins the pro-wind power ads produced and paid for by Texas oil man, T. Boone Pickens. In this case another wealthy American takes on America's tumor-like national debt.

See Full Review » (7 answers)
NT Rating: 5.0 | See All NT Reviews »
Stephen reviewed this story - Oct 1, 2008
Stephen's Rating
4.0

A good overview of the power of inflation to defeat government stimulus actions, such as tax rebates. While such rebates may briefly soften the impact of inflation, they have no sustained effect and may in fact actually fuel inflation.

See Full Review » (7 answers)
NT Rating: 4.0 | See All NT Reviews »
Stephen reviewed this story - Oct 1, 2008
Stephen's Rating
4.0

This story highlights how sound lending practices can be eroded by other social/political considerations. Having covered lenders for nearly a quarter century I never once saw good come from careless, sloppy or just downright stupid lending practices. Either a borrower qualifies for a loan or they don't. And if they don't, and lender insist on pounding that square peg into a round hole, it always ends badly. The road to hell is paved with the best intentions.

See Full Review » (7 answers)
NT Rating: 3.8 | See All NT Reviews »
Stephen reviewed this story - Oct 1, 2008
Stephen's Rating
4.2

Interesting that you can pretty much bet that most of Wal-Mart's employees fall into the Democratic Party demographic. So, it's no wonder that Wal-Mart is worried the Democrats are in the ascendancy. Wal-Mart has become America's "company store," complete with nearly indentured employees who are paid so little they can't afford to shop anywhere but Wal-Mart thus completing the circle. Unionization has and remains Wal-Mart's 900 pound gorilla. It's never mentioned but always on their mind.

See Full Review » (7 answers)
NT Rating: 3.9 | See All NT Reviews »
Stephen reviewed this story - Oct 1, 2008
Stephen's Rating
4.4

An excellent and well-written overview of China and its role as host to the upcoming Olympics. It leaves one wondering "what were they thinking" when the Olympic Committee granted China the 2008 Summer games.

See Full Review » (7 answers)
NT Rating: 4.2 | See All NT Reviews »
Stephen reviewed this story - Oct 1, 2008
Stephen's Rating
4.6

Is the media tip toeing around the developing banking crisis? Could be. And it wouldn't be the first time the mainstream media hedged its bets when it came to something with wide ramifications. Remember the un-vetted WMD justifications for the Iraq War. In an over-developed mandate to "balance" stories reporters have become undependable as heralders of approaching trouble. Then, when the stuff hits the fan, they spend a lot of time asking questions that should have been asked long ago.

See Full Review » (6 answers)
NT Rating: 4.6 | See All NT Reviews »
Stephen reviewed this story - Oct 1, 2008
Stephen's Rating
4.1

The author wonders why ordinary Americans, now invested in the stock market, haven't revolted. The answer is simple -- and unstated by the author. Were they give every dollar of principal they have invested, where else would the put it? Banks? That would be frying pan to fire. Besides interest being paid on deposits is so low it could disappear as a rounding error. Keep it in cash? With inflation just beginning to roar every minute you hold a dollar in your hands it's worth less and less. No, Americans will sit tight for now and see what comes next. They will get angry at some point, and the source of that anger will be over the now yawning gap between the few very rich and the rest of us. Then there will be hell to pay.

See Full Review » (7 answers)
NT Rating: 3.7 | See All NT Reviews »
Stephen reviewed this story - Oct 1, 2008
Stephen's Rating
4.5

The stories about the real state of the US economy have grown increasingly negative in just the last couple of weeks. But the trouble has been brewing for a long time. Seven years of "guns and butter" fiscal policies coupled with open hostility towards even the most reasonable federal regulation of private sector financial services have bankrupted the US Treasury and put our grand kids into hock to the Chinese and Japanese central banks.

See Full Review » (7 answers)
NT Rating: 3.6 | See All NT Reviews »
Stephen reviewed this story - Oct 1, 2008
Stephen's Rating
3.9

Conservatives take it as a matter of faith that markets are self-correcting and that all government can do when it regulates business is to short circuit that magic process. That is until they find themselves on the losing end of investments. Then they can't get enough of government "interference."

See Full Review » (7 answers)
NT Rating: 4.3 | See All NT Reviews »
Stephen reviewed this story - Oct 1, 2008
Stephen's Rating
4.1

Good overview of the MBS mess. Just as the current banking crisis is a re-run of the S&L mess twenty years ago, the MBS mess mirrors the junk bond mess of the same time period. Junk bonds themselves were a great idea. But Mike Milken decided to push the ethical and legal envelope to make them a much better thing, for him. Same goes for MB securities. In responsible hands they provide liquidity to the mortgage markets. In the wrong hands they can throw the entire global financial machinery into chaos.

See Full Review » (7 answers)
NT Rating: 3.8 | See All NT Reviews »
Stephen reviewed this story - Oct 1, 2008
Stephen's Rating
4.0

Fannie and Freddie have been ticking time bombs since the late 1980s. As Government Sponsored Enterprises, (GSEs) they could borrow money at the lowest cost the Fed provides, buy mortgages with that money, bundle them up into securities and sell them on Wall Street raking in enormous profits. The implied government guarantee erased any investor fears of default. Many warned that sooner or later something will occur that will call the government's bluff on that and taxpayers will end up on the hook. And now it's happened.

See Full Review » (7 answers)
NT Rating: 2.9 | See All NT Reviews »
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Reviews
144
Answers
835
Comments
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Ratings Received
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Number of Raters
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Ratings Given
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Ratings given by Stephen (2) Help

5 out of 5 rating - click to see review to Beth Wellington | 06/15/2008

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