Tuesday, May 22, 2012

Facebook, again

Moral: Wherein we let Jamie be for a bit and re-look at Facebook.


In another context, we started to consider Facebook's potential for showing us the future. Well, the context changed of late. Notwithstanding all of the hype and criticism, there are realities to consider. It looks as if FB might be a better poster boy (yes, Zuck) than is that old thing run by Jamie (but, maybe not, if we keep seeing things like this blog post -- 31 billion?).


All along, we've pointed to articles in posts. Many of these, as we all know by now, can become stale, disappear, or turn out to be bogus and much more. So, we'll take a different tack from now on. The image shows headlines, today, on the Yahoo Finance page. Notice that it talks about other-than-clear activities. Yes, FB might want our information; how much is there that we ought to see beneath its opaque 'face' (pun intended to mean that we are all  much more than our faces -- FB's basic shortcoming)?

Well, given the IPO, we'll have to watch how these things unfold. The young guy ought not to have followed that ca-pital-sino route. Oh well.


One cartoon this weekend shows Zuck and his father gleefully filling a large bag of money. Didn't read the caption. Just thought about how so many (and, folks, these people have been arguing this idiocy for a couple of centuries now) see capitalism (and this type of thing as its greatest form) as the epitome. Of course, who says such nonsense (yes, Wall Street -- what you and your ilk propound) is 'capitalism' as it ought to be for a sustainable economy?


With FB as a focal point, we'll have a whole bunch of things to talk about.

  • infrastructure - people, if you look around, you'll see that the physical infrastructure has decayed. It's frightening, from several angles. Now, FB (Zuck's little thing) is part of a new type of infrastructural entity. Look, its role is really very similar to what we expect from banks. They handle our beans and pennies. The computational thingees will handle our information, communication, and much more. So, Zuck, you believe that your thing provides more than sur-face value to our needs?
  • IPO - or, milking the system. For any of these, those who are part of the system reap big rewards, usually (ought we hope that Morgan Stanley (yes, Peabody is on the ancestor list here, too) eats a little here?). Then, the hapless see the (legal, do I really need to explain this?) milking as justification for their type of mischief.   
  • so what?  - FB comes from a mind not far out of high school. What is that thing we've read? Cognitive holes don't fill in until later, and with experience (actually, some never seem to fill in). I can only wonder how little Zuck's mindset has been influenced by his first big project's dynamics. You see, Google was more an exercise of a graduate-school level mind. And, it does operate some fairly sophisticated algorithms. FB? Perhaps, with added visibility provided by the 'public' ownership, we'll see more. However, look for this theme being explored further.  
  • fictional money - nod here to an old guy from the 1800s who is vilified. But, Zuck's riches are paper, unless he can sell all of his holdings at his price to the lackless (hey, wait! -- didn't banks just do that to us the taxpayers?) who will then be left holding the bag. Think of the above-mentioned bag. First of all, the money is Ben's little faux set of beans. Secondly, even if it's removed by several degrees from reality, the 'money' represents some value that has 'reality' behind it. Just what is it about FB that draws so much of these bucks? That idiots and their money soon part, or such? 
  • computability - and, I might add, issues of the singularity. From a proper view, FB is only a little step in a very long trek. Of course, a survey of all of the capable thingees that are out and about nowadays makes one marvel (look at ieee.org and the contributors, please). Yet, a whole lot of promise has not been fulfilled. Can it without some type of architectural viewpoint (to be discussed) coming into focus?
  • yes, no - The USA Today editorial, and the opposing view, offer a nice look. Some things that FB provides: soapbox (love this), interaction (rather than passive consumption), representation (personal or even for an organization), ... We'll look at these things further.  
  • ...

These thoughts are offered within a framework of looking at how we can sustain ourselves while at the same time leaving a manageable world for our offspring, more than one generation out (okay?).


04/09/2015 -- We need to get back to the metaphor issue.

10/08/2014 -- Many, many metaphors.

11/15/2012 -- SumZero, and more.

10/13/2012 -- The FB experience is some analog of spectral (of the spectrum) experience that is beyond the visible. FB (and the delivering technology) handle the non-visible element. Or, do they?

10/04/2012 -- 1B users, give or take.

08/04/2012 -- So, the market pushers say that they need things like program trading, and whole bunch of other stuff that we'll get to. So, the idea is that we need computer-based 'gaming' in order to discover 'price' and to provide liquidity. Liquidity? Yes, like that put into the pockets of Zuck (see 7 points on FB) and his ilk after the IPO. You see, those who made money bailed when the price was high. It is estimated that if they sold now, the take would be 1/2. Notice that I didn't say return (for what? -- 'gains' obtained this way are near-zero). Whose to cheer that a few make some massive amount of bucks (well, beyond those personally involved -- even the bankers who put deals together)? This type of thing is capitalism? If so, do we really need this, folks?

05/27/2012 -- Cuban's take and $13.80 as the price

Modified: 04/09/2015

Thursday, May 10, 2012

First man (bank)

Moral: Wherein we re-look at Jamie (he deserves his own label) and his honesty.


Things have been quiet since Ben did his talking. But, you know that there is turmoil of several sorts going on. For one, a regional bank admitted that it sold mortgage-backed bonds for a big loss (millions). Better bite the bullet and let someone else have the 'toxic' asset, I suppose. And, the markets have been up and down, mostly due to Ben's largess and gaming. That whole scene (Chimera that it is) needs some toning down.


Earlier, Jamie bragged about being the last man standing. That raised some ire. Then, Jamie (see Jamie Posts) did an 'aw shucks' (see Remarks 01/16/2012) interview which seemed to brighten his image a little. At the time, was he looking for Timmy's job so he had to present other than his hot-shot, make-money-anyway-possible demeanor?

Then, today he steps up with some news. The tone was that they were going to look into this little problem of losing some money - heads will roll, he seems to imply. Jamie, why not use this as an opportunity to make Chase exemplary? Become the first bank to do so? Ah, bankers, class acts that they are.
Jamie and his peers at the rogue table


Let's look back at Jamie's bank and its history from another perspective. This is brief, but we need to deconstruct these modern (flim-flam) notions that are based upon an overly-confident attitude that we, through mathematics, science, and engineering (ah yes, STEM will save the world!), have made ourselves the master of the universe. Oh wait, it's only the finance types in their silly world, laying havoc for the rest, who think that?

Firstly, Jamie's bank (part of it) was named for a cousin-in-law (Salmon P. Chase). Wonder what the old guy would think of these modern shenanigans. Jamie talk his principles. What exactly are these (be first to the trough?, etc.)? Does he think that he could demonstrate these via Chase such that we can all marvel and exclaim Chase to be the paragon of banking virtue (yes, people, we need to run our money with monks, people of simple living, and the like -- betting, such as this news indicates, is adolescent -- wait, infantile is more appropriate -- did we not just clean up their dirty diapers?)?

Then, let's pick another old guy, cousin-in-law (George Peabody) who got the other part started. His piece of a common effort was taken over by J.P. Morgan after George retired. Of course, the Peabody connection went away (name, and all), but what else would we expect?

Again, what would George, who was beloved at death, think of the machinations that are allowed these days? And, this type of thing by what is, essentially, a utility (yeah, Jamie is the head of a service that is to provide for the commonweal)? Of course, even those utility types are acting up nowadays, too.

Both of these guys descend from early entrants to these shores. Are the dreams of their (our) ancestors (example) being fulfilled with the gaming of the chimera? Oh, some say, if we didn't, others would. Bogus argument, folks. American, the dream? Remember?


Again, why not make Chase the example of how banking ought to be done? These new instruments need to be under control and less opaque. Chase ought to help define the proper use (implying that there is an improper -- which is the current mode).

Jamie's little explanation hints at the casino aspect. Yes, hedges (on whose behalf?) gone awry. Where, pray tell, is the science of finance? Engineering? Looks more to be ad-hoc, playground activity albeit with the livelihoods, and savings, of those who most need a solid utility function (banking as infrastructure - not a source for exorbitant incomes leading to mansions, et al.).


12/13/2012 -- Don't know how long this page will be there, Daily Ticker. But, when I looked, 69% had said 'no' (hurt rather than helped) as to whether Ben has helped.

11/15/2012 -- SumZero, and more.

05/22/2012 -- We can let Jamie off the hook a little and for awhile.

05/14/2012 -- From several reports, it seems that Jamie is a talker, as in pulls the wool over "populist's" eyes. Too, he probably back-slaps, as well. That is one characteristic trait needed for those who would be 'kings' as we see with the CEOs. And, there was justification for the idiocy. Ah, they wanted to get returns greater than the cost of capital. Idiots. Ben is giving them almost free money. So, that's no excuse. As well, any take larger than a reasonable amount (already discussed and to be discussed further) is onerous to the 'populace' over whose eyes the wool has been pulled. 'near zero' is what it has been called here.

05/11/2012 -- Supposedly, the futures show some impact from the revelation. Yet, the big bucks (hedge funds, et al -- yes, Mitt needs to awaken to the issues) want opaque (they seem to love lemons - except for when these come back to bite, like this) dealings, and  more. Cover for shenanigans if truth were known (yes, fictitious - thank you, Karl -- too, Warren steps warily around these stupidities).

Modified: 01/02/2016