RIP Lehman Brothers

Saturday, 8 November 2008 23:54 by The Lunatic


I guess I'm still in shock at how fast Lehman Brothers went down the drain.  What's most amazing to me is one of their biggest consulting service offerings was risk management.  These guys were supposed to be the BEST in the world - if you wanted some help on how to protect your company against new competition, economic changes, currency fluctuations, or how manage your growth, you would pay Lehman Brothers all sorts of money and they would help you formulate a plan.  So if they were so good, why couldn't they come up with a plan to save THEMSELVES?

Historically, merchant bankers like Lehman primarily acted as deal makers.  They would put together huge financial packages for governments and large multi-national companies, and the commissions they received fueled their growth for 150 years.  But in the early 90's the rules were changes to allow merchant bankers to trade for their own accounts - ever since that change, three major investment banks have failed. Also, commercial banks are limited to a leverage of 13:1 of investments to deposits, but no such limit is imposed on investment banking. I haven't seen an official number, but some reports have stated that Lehman was leveraged well over More...

Categories:   Economics
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How the Economic Crisis is affecting Japan

Friday, 7 November 2008 00:22 by The Lunatic


A friend sent this to me  a few weeks ago - I'm not sure who the original author is ...


Following the problems in the financial sector in the US, uncertainty has now hit Japan.

In the last 7 days the Origami Bank has folded, the Sumo Bank has gone belly up after an “overweight” rating by analysts, and the Bonsai Bank announced plans to cut some of its branches.  Yesterday, it was announced that the Karaoke Bank is up for sale and will likely go for a song, while today’s shares in the Kamikaze Bank were in a sharp nose-dive.

While Samurai Bank is soldiering on following sharp cuts, the Ninja Bank is reported to have taken a hit but they remain in the black.

Furthermore, 500 staff at Karate Bank got the chop and analysts report that there is something fishy going on at the Sushi Bank where it is feared that customers may get a raw deal. More...

Categories:   Economics
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The role that our national debt has played in the financial crisis

Thursday, 6 November 2008 04:02 by The Lunatic


I wrote this article a month ago and submitted it to about 20 publications.  One "top ten" weekly news magazine expressed some interest, but decided to pass.


Get Off The Track – The Train Is Coming!
By David Workman
October 15, 2008

The financial crisis?  Everyone saw it coming.  Many people wrote about it and some even outlined how it would play out with a fair degree of accuracy. You are not alone if you were one of the ones screaming from the rooftop that our economy is in trouble, and our debt is killing us – even if you were saying it before the real estate bubble burst and housing prices were climbing ever higher.

The question is: what did you really do about it?  What can you say that you did to protect yourself – or better yet, what did we do as a country to avoid it?

It’s like we’ve been standing on a train track staring at an oncoming freight train – and we’re too paralyzed with fear to jump off the track!

There’s really only one reason why we are in the middle of this current financial crisis More...

Categories:   Economics
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He's "Bi-Racial", not "African American"

Wednesday, 5 November 2008 08:07 by The Lunatic


It's time for the press to stop bringing up Barack Obama's race whenever his name is mentioned.  It's only been one day, and it's already getting tiring. For one thing, Obama is bi-racial.  His mother was white and his father was African American.

But that doesn't matter.  What matters is whether or not he is the right person for the job.  I don't give a rats ass if he's green, pink, tan, black, or bluish purple. Yes, it is a big deal to be the first obviously bi-racial president - I'm not denying that (reportedly, there have been others, but they were "mostly white").

In any event, the leadup to this election has been in the works for a long time.  At one point, in some city, we must have had the first black mayor. And I'm sure that was big news at the time.  I'm not sure who/when/where it was - but no one bats an eye anymore when a black man (or woman, or Chinese, or Indian) is elected More...

Categories:   Politics | Social Issues
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Counting down the days to the new administration

Tuesday, 4 November 2008 16:42 by The Lunatic


The Bush administration will go down in history as one of the worst - make that the absolute worst  - in U.S. history.

George Bush Senior should whip the president's ass with a ping pong paddle for making such a mess of things.  In public.

In the last 8 years, the U.S. has gone from a country that was mostly admired to being universally hated. We have a government that meddles where it shouldn’t, openly provokes fights with anyone that doesn’t agree with our philosophies, and bullies our friends and enemies alike.  Ok, much of that has been going on since well before Bush became president, but he certainly has brought it to new heights.

McCain is unbelievably antagonistic, even worse than More...

Categories:   Politics
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Same Sex Marriage - why is this an issue?

Tuesday, 4 November 2008 02:28 by The Lunatic


A number of states have gay marriage on the ballot today.  Why is this even an issue?  There are people that are gay, and there always have been.  Depending on what statistics you read, the percentage of humans that are gay is somewhere between 9% and 14% (probably substantially higher among Catholic Priests).  And the percentages hold up across all races, all religions, all geographic regions of the world. On a per capita basis, there are no more gays living in San Francisco than there are in any farming town across the midwest - they're just a little more open about it. It doesn't mean they are bad people, or they'd be bad parents, or they can't fall in love and get married - or divorced.

In fact, the percentage of gay people far outnumber people with red hair - which is only 1 to 2% of the world population.  Instead of picking on homosexuals, why don't you say that redheads shouldn't marry?  That makes about as much sense! (actually, redheads were persecuted as witches in the middle ages - maybe we haven't evolved as far as everyone thinks we have)

We need to stop this widespread bigotry. This is akin to More...

Categories:   Social Issues
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Election Day 2008

Monday, 3 November 2008 00:09 by The Lunatic

* * *

I'm writing the first entry to my new blog on the day before the Presidential Election, 2008.  Whew, what a mess!

As you'll find within these pages, I have absolutely NO allegiance to either political party - but I share the nation's disgust with the mess that the Republican Party has made of things. On a personal level, I could never vote for John McCain - he is a whiney little weasel, and his whole demeanor is not what I would expect from a seasoned politician and presidential candidate.  His whole "let me tell you something my friends" shtick makes me feel like I'm listening to a used car salesman. I went in to the campaign season with an open mind, but I was REALLY turned off by McCain during the first debate. First off, when backed into a corner with a very logical and well presented argument, he always came back with a very condescending response - trying to make it look like it was Obama who didn't understand the issue.  Obviously, logic and reason don't matter much to him. I found it very insulting.

But the real capper was one sentence during the debate.  When talking about budget issues, McCain said More...

Categories:   Politics
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