Monthly Archives: June 2011

Great “TOO BIG TO FAIL” Visual

Check this out:

http://www.creditloan.com/blog/wp-content/uploads/2011/06/TooBigToFail-Dan-062411-FINAL.jpg

And why has nobody been outed or prosecuted or gone to jail?  I guess not only the institutions, but the ‘big people’ are “too big to fail”.  That’s why this country has become, not a meritocracy, but a plutocracy.  Those who have given themselves all the money now own the government.  Oh dear.

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CBO says if Congress does nothing, the deficit will disappear by itself!!

So why do we need Congress anyway – the jokers just seem to muck it up more every time they meddle in it!  The following is from TalkingPointsMemo:

CBO juxtaposed these two alternative futures in a pair of graphs and, just as last time, it projects that deficits will disappear entirely by the end of President Obama’s second term (if he gets a second term) if Congress were to just sit on its hands and do nothing.

Take a look.

A great lecture on TED.com

I checked out TED.com again recently and watched several interesting video lectures.  This one was one that really caught my interest, given that my husband, Paul, does so much volunteer medical mission work.  FAscinating about how it develops at Google, from the bottom up, and how it affects business relationships and improves communications as well as results in the workplace.  These are completely unanticipated side-effects.

Chade-Meng Tan: Everyday compassion at Google

http://www.ted.com/talks/chade_meng_tan_everyday_compassion_at_google.html

How many times do we need to repeat – NOW IS NOT THE TIME TO WORRY ABOUT THE DEFICIT

Economist and asset manager and my favorite (and Time Magazine’s) financial blogger, Barry Ritholtz says it so well, as usual about how to jump-start the economy:

“The focus on Deficits today is absurd, forcing us towards another 1938-type recession. The time to reduce the government’s economic deficit and footprint is during a robust expansion, not during (or just after) major contractions.

During the de-leveraging following a credit crisis is the worst possible time to be deficit obsessed.”

He has some great ideas in this post about what to do.  If it weren’t for the fact that it is an election year next year, and if my cynical take on it were not that the Republicans were so hopeful that the economy would not improve at all, so that they could make the point that Obama had failed, all Barry’s ideas would be a great way to help both create jobs and grow our economy.  But the ideas have an ice-cube’s chance in hell of getting past the deadloked and partisan Congress which is not acting in the interests of the country, but in their own political interests. So where is Obama and his great rhetoric when we need him?

More wonderful reading…

 

From  The 99%.com, another new find in websites, courtesy of The Big Picture.  This one is:

9 Awesome Interviews with Creative Visionaries.

If that doesn’t get your juices flowing, nothing will.  From Ernest Hemingway to Ansel Adams to Tina Brown to Steve Jobs to Chuck Close.  WOW!  All over the map and something for every mind.  I can’t wait to have the time to sit down and explore.

Here is a brief quote to whet your appetite – from painter Chuck Close:

Inspiration is highly overrated. If you sit around and wait for the clouds to part, it’s not liable to ever happen. More often than not, work is salvation.

Virtually everything I’ve done has been a product of — or has been influenced by — my learning disabilities. I don’t recognize faces, and I don’t remember names, either. But I have almost perfect photographic memory for things that are two-dimensional.

The choice not to do something is almost always more interesting than the choice to do something.

I wasn’t a good student, I wasn’t an athlete, and I think that helped focus me early in my life. I distinguished myself by being more intensely engaged and more intensely focused because I knew if I blew this art thing, I’d be screwed.

 

Your daily laugh

A friend sent me a very funny Youtube video.  A laugh a day is therapeutic…  Enjoy!

Again, my favorite blog….

Never said it better!  Barry Ritholtz has such a way with words and of course, the fact that I happen to agree with him doesn’t hurt.

In his blog, The Big Picture, he writes that the media has finally woken up from a 10-year sleep and is coming to the “long overdue conclusion that the right wing in the US is a fantasy-based denier of reality.”  But the way Ritholtz says it just hits the nail on the head and points out the stupidity and blindness of those who should have been investigating the facts and pointing them out to us, the public.  That is what we rely on from the press. Instead all they have done is repeat the distortions and outright lies the right churns out and reports them without investigating the truth of any of it.

Do read the entire article, but his conclusion reads:

“The Retreat from Empiricism has been detailed over the years, but not by the mainstream media. It has been the alternative press — websites, blogs, critics outside of the mainstream — who have stated the obvious for many, many years. Somehow, the Media missed nearly all of it. It wasn’t until after the Katrina disaster that the scales fell from Press’ eyes. Suddenly, in the middle of George W. Bush’ second term, the Press found their voice. Years after 9/11, after the national terror alert was manipulated for political purposes, long after the Nation was lied into a war of choice through dishonest and deceptive means at great cost in blood and treasure, did the Media found [sic] its voice.

Heckuva job there, Press corps . . .”

I call them the seven dwarfs – although if Sarah joins, they will be eight – what will we call them then? Any suggestions? This is Andy Borowitz’ take on the Republican Candidates:

Viewer Poll on Republican Debate: 25% Undecided, 75% Unconscious

Worrisome News for GOP Field

NEW HAMPSHIRE (The Borowitz Report) – In what could spell trouble for the current field of GOP presidential candidates, a poll of likely voters who saw last night’s Republican debate found that 25% of viewers were undecided while 75% were unconscious.

Additionally, over half of respondents agreed with the statement, “This field of candidates comes dangerously close to qualifying as a prank.”

Despite this somewhat tepid response, the debate did have its moments of excitement, such as Rep. Michele Bachmann’s official announcement of her candidacy: “I wanted to declare my candidacy here in New Hampshire, the home of the Boston Tea Party.”

Rep. Bachmann received high marks in the poll from voters who said they found former Alaska Governor Sarah Palin “too cerebral.”

While Gov. Palin is not yet an official candidate, she told reporters today, “If I do decide to run, I’m gonna come ridin’ in like Paul Revere at the Alamo.”

Another potential candidate, Texas Gov. Rick Perry, offered this statement: “At this time, I can’t decide whether to run for President of the US or secede from the US and become President of Texas.”

Former Massachusetts Governor Mitt Romney made the most headlines last night by offering voters this guarantee: “I will never get involved in a scandal like Weinergate because Mattel did not give me genitals.”

Answering a question about the mass defection of his campaign staff, former House Speaker Newt Gingrich said, “They all simultaneously realized I was a douche.”

Finally, by a wide margin, the poll showed that the biggest winners of the GOP debate were the people who didn’t watch.

Ok, I knew this; now here’s proof!

I don’t want to say “I told you so, but…..”.   This article is about women being better investors and why, but it is really about why women are better at everything – pardon me, you men out there.  As a former biologist, I assume this is an evolutionary advantage, but I’ll take the results, whatever the reason.  Just understand that I always knew this (tongue firmly in cheek and smile firmly in place).  Enjoy!

By David Weidner, MarketWatch

NEW YORK (MarketWatch) — Anthony Weiner has put us men in a pickle.

Why is it that men so often self-destruct? In the political world, Weiner joins Eliot Spitzer, Bill Clinton, John Ensign, Arnold Schwarzenegger and John Edwards as hypocritic slimeballs who let their pants set their personal policy.

But it’s not just politics. Todd Thomson, young, married, chief financial officer at Citigroup Inc., was embroiled in a scandal a few years ago with money honey Maria Bartiromo of CNBC. Her career survived. His didn’t.

Women are better investors.

There’s Dominique Strauss-Kahn of the International Monetary Fund, who’s accused of sexual assault. There’s James McDermott, who was CEO of Keefe Bruyette & Woods until a dalliance with a porn star named Marylyn Star embarrassed him out of the company.

We men just make bad decisions. We can’t help it. We’re men.

Women, on the other hand, do almost everything better. We’ve known this intuitively for a long time. If you didn’t, just ask your wife or your mother. But now there’s a raft of evidence that suggests women are better at everything — including investing.

A new study by Barclays Capital and Ledbury Research found that women were more likely to make money in the market, mostly because they didn’t take as many risks. They bought and held. Women trade this way because they aren’t as confident — or perhaps as overconfident — as men, the study found.

Why women are better investors

MarketWatch columnist David Weidner makes the case for why women, who often play it safe and play by the rules of the investing, make better market investors. (Photo: AP.)

“Women were more likely than men to have a greater desire for self-control,” the study concluded.

In other words, they trade less and earn more.

“Women tend to have lower composure and a greater desire for financial self-control, which is associated with a desire to use self-control strategies. Women are also more likely to believe that these strategies are effective.”

And you know what? They were.

The study supported previous findings that women tend to make more. A 2005 study by Merrill Lynch found that 35% of women held an investment too long, compared with 47% of men. Moreover, an academic study in 2009 found women made 1% more annually.Read related story on female investors at WSJ.com .

Chun Xia, a finance professor in Hong Kong and one of the researchers, wrote that women reported a greater desire for self-control in their approach to financial management. They are likely to get stressed out more easily, and their awareness partially accounts for their greater desire for financial discipline.

However, the report said, it is men who actually have a greater need for discipline when it comes to investment management, as they tend to be overconfident in investing.

This probably doesn’t come as a shock to anyone. A new body of evidence is emerging that shows women are better at just about everything — or, as Dan Abrams has titled his new book, “Man Down: Proof Beyond a Reasonable Doubt That Women Are Better Cops, Drivers, Gamblers, Spies, World Leaders, Beer Tasters, Hedge Fund Managers, and Just About Everything Else.”

As Abrams notes, women are better soldiers because they complain about pain less. They’re less likely to be hit by lightning because they’re not stupid enough to stand outside in a storm. They remember words and faces better. They’re better spies because they’re better at getting people to talk candidly.

Look at the evidence: Hillary Clinton has proved a more-than-capable secretary of state. Elizabeth Warren has been a leading champion against the banks. Sheila Bair, a chairman of the Federal Deposit Insurance Corp., has played hardball with the boys’ club.

And what about Sarah Palin? There were 24,000 emails released this weekend and not one crotch shot.

This is deflating news for us men, but there is hope. We still lead the field in self-destructing because of pride, overconfidence, hubris and ego.

So, go ahead, ladies. Make the money. You’re better at it. We men will just make inappropriate comments, send you lewd photos and make asses of ourselves.

That’s why we created Facebook and Twitter.

It’s what we’re good at.

How wrong is Meredith Whitney about Muni Bonds

Just get the actual facts and know she is way off base.  Hope you bought munis when they sold off 6 months ago when she issued her apocalyptic forecast of $100 billion defaults.  Read a great analysis here:

The Big Picture – David R. Kotok