Tomorrow marks the eleventh year to the day of September 11, 2001. I remember the day quite well as many of you. I was in Washington, D.C. on business attending the annual meeting of a private equity fund headquartered there that our State Insurance Fund had invested. As was my habit, I had gotten up at my usual time that Tuesday morning, and after getting dressed, had gone downstairs into the basement of the Hotel where I was staying and in which the annual meeting was taking place to have a cup of coffee and a breakfast roll. I sat with a few men that were attending the meeting and just talking casually with a retired Secretary of Defense, who was having his morning coffee too. This was the last day of the annual meeting. A little while later that morning, I entered the large hall in the basement where the meeting was taking place and took a seat just behind the last row of tables and chairs that had a wider aisle so people could walk through. I liked having a little more room to stretch my feet. There I took my seat and placed The New York Times and The Wall Street Journal over my lap to read. At 8am, the usual introductions were made and the meeting began. After a couple of speakers, the meeting to a break so the late arrivals could get something to eat outside the meeting hall at a long table filled with an assortment of breakfast foods. Since I had already had my coffee, I stayed in my seat and started to read The Wall Street Journal. I hadn't got very fair when the two huge screens behind the podium lit up and I looked up. On the screen was New York City with a view of lower Manhattan. I remember how blue the sky was except for the black smoke that was coming from one of the World Trade Towers. The man on the TV said they thought a small plane had crashed into the tower, but no one knew how big a plane. Then I watched as a large jet came into the picture and banked and slammed into the other tower. Someone had declared war on the United States. People started coming back into the large hall and took seats or stood and watched the screen. Then the location switched to the Pentagon where another plane had hit. Now this was very close to where we were. Three planes and then talk of a fourth plane headed for D.C. A few minutes later, it was announced that the annual meeting was over. Later lunch was served next door at the athletic club and the room was filled with people talking. After lunch, I walked outside to get some fresh air and found groups of soldiers parked in vehicles on every corner. D.C. was on alert. There was no way to leave D.C. as all air travel was grounded. All except for those Saudi nationals that were permitted to leave the country. To this day, I wonder why the United States Government had to let those Saudi nationals leave so soon. Shouldn't they have been held for questioning? 15 of the 19 terrorists were from Saudi Arabia! How could 15 Saudis pull off such a terrorist attack without some help or aid from inside the United States? It is 11 years later and there are still no answers to why they had to be sent home so fast, and why they were never questioned by the FBI. What was so special about President George W. Bush and those Saudi nationals that the FBI was not given the opportunity to talk with them? Some day perhaps we will find out.
I watched several hours of the RNC this past week. The Republican Party is not my philosophical partner politically, and yet I wanted to hear what they had to say. Perhaps they do have some new ideas. Perhaps they might say something that I can connect with. The so called facts of several of the speeches I listened to this past week were filled with events that were not stated correctly. But, their convention is over, and the Democrat National Convention will begin this coming week, and I intend to watch their convention too.
My one piece of advice to all the speakers at the DNC is to check your speeches for errors and make sure that you can footnote every fact. When copies of the speeches are passed out to the press and the TV media, the footnotes with sources should be listed and numbered at the end of each speech. People do not want to listen to BS, whether it is coming from people you love or people you dislike. Do not insult the intelligence of the viewer of your political convention by making errors in dates that events took place. Be careful that you speak the truth and make sure that you can substantiate what you are saying with reliable sources for your information. It is not necessary to stretch the truth, a little understatement, in my opinion, is a lot more effective.
And, finally be civil. I don't care to see gross behavior by either delegates on the floor or the people at the podium. If you feel like fighting, fight with the strength of your ideas. I don't know how many of my suggestions will be followed, but if I were in charge, this is the way I would want the DNC to conduct their business.
Retired after working with investment securities and portfolios for over 35 years. My interest in politics, history and the economy will provide a jump off for moneythoughts. From time to time I will post pieces of my artwork. I call my artwork political satire and I welcome your comments. I am available to speak or write economic commentary for money managers, brokerage firms or anyone else that thinks my ideas offer something worth while.