From the monthly archives:

January 2009

"It is better to be roughly right than precisely wrong."

January 31, 2009

Despicable though his character may have been, Keynes said some remarkable things, the title of this post among them. He also uttered the cliched investing mottos regarding animal spirits and beauty contests -- true statements all, but widely abused by financial textbooks. My favorite, which remains somewhat unknown despite its enormous relevance, is: The market […]

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We are all Keynesians now

January 31, 2009

NPR has an interesting article titled "Obama Gives Keynes His First Real-World Test."  I'm not convinced that's entirely accurate, it appears to be missing an appropriate disclaimer -- Keynesian economics played a large role in the New Deal (though, the article suggests, not enough of one).  Richard Nixon (yes, him again) famously declared in 1972 […]

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America's Team?

January 30, 2009
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The movie makes it more dramatic

January 29, 2009

I'm reminded at this time (thanks, no doubt, to previews for Ron Howard's movie Frost/Nixon) of this gem from Richard Nixon: Well, when the president does it that means that it is not illegal. And thanks to the magic of YouTube:

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The sound of campaign promises breaking

January 29, 2009

One day after being inaugurated, President Obama made good on his campaign pledge to stop the "revolving door" and bar lobbyists from participating in his administration.  Obama's executive order covering Ethics Commitments by Executive Branch Personnel took effect on January 21, 2009, preventing anyone who had served as a registered lobbyist for the last 2 years […]

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I got better

January 26, 2009

And because I can't get enough animal transformations, here's one from Monty Python and the Holy Grail: Sir Bedevere: What makes you think she is a witch? Peasant: Well, she turned me into a newt! Sir Bedevere: A newt? Peasant:...I got better.

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Raise your hand if you want to get rich

January 26, 2009

Speaking of Nigeria, here's one of the most classic opening scenes of The Office: Toby: Didn't you lose a lot of money on that other investment? The one from the email? Michael: You know what, Toby? When the son of the deposed king of Nigeria emails you directly, asking for help, you help! His father […]

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Police 1; Black Magic Robber Goat 0

January 26, 2009

Today Nigerian police arrested a goat on suspicion of armed robbery. Yes. It seems that two men were caught trying to steal a Mazda 323.  One of them, clearly the brains of the group, ran away; the other used black magic to turn himself into a goat. Naturally, the police arrested the goat. In fairness, the BBC […]

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All that glitters...

January 26, 2009

The Wall Street Journal published an article this morning called "What You Need To Know About Gold" which epitomizes the dangers of financial journalism (or friends, family, Bernie Madoff) which may appear to recommend, encourage or in any other way invite investment in a product one is not an expert in. Consider, for a minute, […]

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YouTube > Yahoo?

January 18, 2009

An article in yesterday's NYTimes describes YouTube as the next great search engine.  As its primary evidence, it presents a 9 year old boy who used YouTube to do research for a paper on the platypus insetad of Google or Yahoo.  Key quote: “When they don’t have really good results on YouTube, then I use […]

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The Hero of 1549

January 16, 2009

The resume of Captain Chesley B. "Sully" Sullenberger III of US Airways flight 1549 has been put online.  It is amazing. (PDF link)

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Canada Geese Take Down US Airways 1549

January 15, 2009

US Airways flight 1549 crash landed in the Hudson this afternoon not far from our office. I think "crash landed" is a much better way of describing the event than the headlines you may have seen -- "Jet Crashes in Hudson River", "Jet Ditches in Hudson River", which sound considerably more violent. The pilot did […]

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Speaking of deadlines...

January 14, 2009

I love deadlines. I like the whooshing sound they make as they fly by. -Douglas Adams

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Multiple Choice PR

January 14, 2009

If you're a multi-billion dollar public company, and your revered CEO (whom many believe is your single greatest asset) becomes ill with what could be a relapse of the pancreatic cancer he dealt with 4 years earlier, do you: Announce his illness Not announce his illness Say everything is fine, but then announce his illness […]

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Tragedy in AAPLville

January 14, 2009

This tragic story popped up in red all over my Bloomberg news feeds this afternoon: 16:35 *APPLE SHARES ARE HALTED BY NASD PENDING NEWS           :AAPL US 16:36 *APPLE SAYS JOBS TO TAKE MEDICAL LEAVE UNTIL END OF JUNE 16:36 *APPLE'S JOBS SAYS TIM COOK TO BE RESPONSIBLE FOR DAY TO […]

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So you're telling me there's a chance?

January 10, 2009

Reader's Digest has written a brief piece looking at state lottery games and noting that an increased proportion of recession spending is allocated toward these games of chance. Lotteries are excellent laboratories for testing the theories of Israeli psychologist Daniel Kahneman, who won the Nobel prize in economics in 2002.  Kahneman's focus was on the cognitive errors that people […]

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