President Obama and Your Money

Speaking in New York City Thursday, the president told the world that the U.S. financial system is still largely unaccountable and needs new rules to cut down on corruption and speculation.

And that will happen, as Republicans, as well as Democrats, understand that the financial system is far too easy to game. Conmen often run wild.

But the president has to be careful here because the feds cannot run Wall Street. In fact, the feds right now may be leading the country into bankruptcy.

But let's get back to the basic problem. Maybe you are like me and work hard for your money. Maybe you invest, like I do, trusting the system is fair. And maybe you got burned, like I did, when the financial system collapsed in 2008. I had no idea that my brokerage firm, Merrill Lynch, was trading bad paper, and apparently the CEO of Merrill, Stanley O'Neal, didn't know either:


STANLEY O'NEAL, FORMER MERRILL LYNCH CEO: Merrill Lynch held mortgage-backed securities, like many other financial institutions and the rating agencies as well as others, we believed carried low risks. Unfortunately, due to a number of unforeseen factors, that turned out not to be the case.


Now, I don't believe Mr. O'Neal. I have no proof he's a charlatan. I simply don't believe the man, and we sent Jesse Watters out to talk with him.


JESSE WATTERS, "FACTOR" PRODUCER: Millions of people lost millions of dollars at Merrill Lynch. You pulled a lot of money out of there and didn't do a very good job. How do you feel about that?

You know, a lot of people trusted you. Mr. O'Neal, you don't have anything to say? You had a $161.5 million golden parachute. You don't have anything to say to any of the shareholders or any of the investors, any of the employees?


No, he doesn't have anything to say, and here's how bad O'Neal is.

After running Merrill Lynch to the ground, as you heard Jesse say, they had to get rid of him, and he took out more than $160 million bucks. Now that's got to stop. That's got to stop, and that did it for me. I closed all my accounts at Merrill.

Now, I use the illustration because it's so blatant. I trusted Merrill Lynch. You probably trusted financial institutions as well. We were conned, so something has to be done.

But as "Talking Points" has said, relying on the federal government is downright scary. For example, a USA Today investigation found that the banks receiving the most federal bailout money are among those lending the least to you right now. And they pay bigger salaries to their employees and banks that didn't get the bailout money.

So why is the Obama administration permitting that? We get no answer. Reluctantly, I have to support new laws to reform the financial industry. But I have to pray, pray somebody in Washington will finally look out for the folks.

And that's "The Memo."

Pinheads & Patriots

The program "American Idol" has raised millions of dollars for charity. Wednesday night, the president and first lady acknowledged that.


FIRST LADY MICHELLE OBAMA: Over the years, this program has raised more than $140 million to help children and families here in America and around the world live healthier and happier lives.

PRESIDENT BARACK OBAMA: We want to thank "American Idol" for the example they're setting and encourage everyone watching to make a contribution. And to this year's finalists, as Randy says, y'all my dawgs.

M. OBAMA: And Simon, be nice.

B. OBAMA: Thanks, everybody.


For their charity, the "American Idol" crew are patriots.

Click here to watch "Pinheads & Patriots"!

On the pinhead front, another viewer warning. Kim Kardashian is in Australia talking about a photo shoot, and bizarre stuff is happening.


KIM KARDASHIAN, REALITY TV STAR: People have asked if it is real. You can grab it if you want.

UNIDENTIFIED FEMALE: Oh! It's juicy and real!

KARDASHIAN: Maybe a little too juicy.

UNIDENTIFIED FEMALE: We love that you are so womanly.

UNIDENTIFIED FEMALE: It's like a water bomb.


All I can say is the koala bears were frightened, and the pinhead factor was very high in that situation.

You can catch Bill O'Reilly's "Talking Points Memo" and "Pinheads & Patriots" weeknights at 8 and 11 p.m. ET on the FOX News Channel and any time on Send your comments to: