Tuesday, April 28, 2015

Lessons can appear everywhere one might look for them

Moral: Wherein we consider the "life and lessons" of a non-poor janitor.


The Washington Post, April 25, 2015 - column by Barry Ritholtz.


Lots to say, at some point.

In short, though, they better sell quick, otherwise the air will escape.

Remarks:  Modified: 04/28/2015

04/28/2015 -- Now, a few hours later. His collection would be a good basis for a study. All sorts of questions loom. Say, what if he had died at 84 or 85? One can always hold and hope for a good price, assuming that you don't have something like the Lehman Brothers bit that he bought. Then, more than 1/2 of the collection might be expected to pay off. ... The key issue is that equity collections do not pay off for everyone; this payout (it would be good to know the specifics of the accounting) is an exception. Has anyone done this type of analysis? ... At least the talk now is how we've seen these things go sky high with little participation. Yes, indeed. That is the whole point.

Friday, April 10, 2015

Constructive look at economics III

Moral: Wherein we can the bile (Const I, Const II) and start over, albeit slowly.

No excuse, Sir (but, must have been recoiling from Ben's somber tone).

We all know of bullies. You know. some of the bullied turn out to be nerds. Some of the bullied turn out to be CEOs. But, are more CEOs of the bullying type than not?

Silly question? Depends upon your viewpoint, but, consider that it comes from decades of observation (and involvement - actually, at one point, I thought they were all idiots - immature - look closely at yourselves, CEOs and similar ilk, ever notice that babies exhibit the same behavior? - but, who is perfect?). One prominent guy is called a wizard (some seem to see that as sage-like).

For any, I like to bring in "near zero" (have since the beginning) which enlarges the scope (yes, the types that talk "big picture" have many limits to their view - how to bring this forward to their attention?).

Well, we have a major brain now saying that mankind needs (must have) compassion (in order to cope with the future - have one, in fact). Actually, I was happy to hear that (meaning, I do not know the specifics but have pondered some of the inconsistencies that lurk). What CEO has a compassionate bone that is not tied to money or fame or other types of self-interest?

Oh gosh, Did it, again? Well, that was the last of it. Let's be serious.

You see, at the core, we have issues that are age-old, extremely gnarly, and seemingly more troublesome in this day of technology (and STEM). So, what are we to do? Sit and ponder (well, some do take that route)?

Go out and grab (well, that is the jungle way, is it not?)?

Then, overlaying that swamp (all due respects to Mr. Wonderful and the shark mind) with technology brings things to a type of boil (yes, many connotations here) that is difficult to control. But, at the same time, technology is ridden with faults (oh, yes - is it hubris that keeps that from coming to general awareness?). Yet, given that a large set (still a small minority) reaps benefit. The larger set just endures and suffers.

But, compassion would make that apparent. Why does it not? Technology (STEM) also assigns a value of very little to those who do not fit into the mold (to be discussed). I know, how does one talk to a moron if one is of the ilk that conquers things like the SAT? Condescendingly, of course? Now, we can project, extrapolate and all sorts of other operations around that little bit.

In fact, part of the success of technology is that type of ability which maps well to the type of processing that computers can do. Talk about much "ado about nothing." We will have to lay out a careful explanation about this. Quasi issues are important. But, too, we have core and boundary specifics that come into play. I don't want to use "being" due to the bad associations that we saw from the mid-1900s in that regard.

We'll get back to that. But, for now, leave it that markets are exploitative, by nature. All of the machinations that Ben talks about (several variety, many dimensions) cannot do the trick. Even Janet talking the lack of ethics is not going to do it.

That is, what to do? Well, we can talk "near zero" for awhile. Any large accumulation (yes, Warren) comes from insufficient regard for true costs (what?). Ah, don't give me grief here, folks. There are so many examples of fat cat greed (and things like declining infrastructure) that the description could be fairly simple. Let's see if we can do that.

Remarks:  Modified: 04/10/2015

04/10/2015 --  With the tea ceremony, some felt that a spiritual basis could be established. That is, for the country (lot to discuss). What is the spiritual basis for the U.S.? For business? We have already seen animal spirits invoked (ala bulls, etc.). Given this early theme, mindfulness will come forth as something of importance, in this sense: running after money is not mindful (arguable point, indeed).

Wednesday, April 8, 2015

Constructive look at economics II

Moral: Wherein we continue a constructive approach, albeit slowly.

And, while we do so, the world runs on. But, we are not dabbling, real-time, in experimenting with people's lives and well-being, either. Ben cannot say that he was not a cowboy with his creative financing/monetary schemes. Too, Janet cannot say that she has not perpetuated the errors.

So, what is the basic problem here, folks? Well, academics are running the show when it comes to the FED. That would not be so bad if it were science, but we are talking a larger set of issues. Now, business management? Well, that domain has its set of problematics, too. How did this focus on the pseudo-quantitative come to fore?

Well, even since Nash (we'll get back to this) and the advent of computing (ubiquitously so), all hell has broken loose. Not that it was better before, since before then we had mostly the politicos and their warped views. Democracy? Have you noticed that things seemed to have descended to a state of having re-election as the focus for these elected ones?

So, who's watching the baby in the bathwater? Not the academics, folks. They're after papers and fame.

Is it hopeless? No. We can start by trying to understand what is going on.


On the one hand, we have people, who are intelligent. All of them (even those of supposedly lower talents can, and do, know - we  need to get the academics/uppers to wake up to the fact that the universe did not give them brains (or whatever else is their talent) in order to make then the chief kahuna). And, these people (according to the US Declaration of Independence - if you say, it does not apply to you, then, just think of it generally) are endowed with rights, etc.

So, intelligence, and how we think of its use, needs some attention (later). Too, though, rights can conflict. That brings up an issue (the Wall Streeters have a right to get everyone else in hock - oh?).

Well, discussions about humans mostly devolve to idiocy (has always). When will we learn?

Some were happy to see STEM (and all things associated with it) advance in power (ah, politically oriented nerds - is that an oxymoron of some sort?). Yet, that which is behind STEM has problems. These are subtle, hence the conflicts that we see.

Yet, quasi-empirical notions are simple. We will start there. As, Ben has missed that boat. Janet seems to be wanting to impress the boys. Well, Janet, this boy sees those high-falutin' notions as suspect from a deep, foundation'al viewpoint. Of course, the FED deals with daily issues. Yet, it ought not do things like push us to a numeric purgatory (hell?) just because it wants to look modern and smart.

Same goes for the boys/girls playing with finances via computers. There are all sorts of issues that we need to recognize.

To wit: the idiocy of letting loose the wild-west of the web that led to commercial exploitation (all sorts of bad games - yeah, Nash) and insecure practices/states that entrap hapless people. And, a lot more.

That idiocy is not well understood but will be, at some point. That is, how can people who rate so well on standardized tests, and on other means of supposedly being the best, keep getting us, more and more, into more perdition-laden states?

Wait, there is an answer. But, later for that.

Remarks:  Modified: 04/09/2015

04/09/2015 --

Monday, April 6, 2015

Constructive look at economics I

Moral: Wherein we turn our sight away from the worries (and the game) of who's on first (actually, did we see a headline like this? Blog war, Ben and Larry) or who's on second, for that matter. The whole crust (uppers) looking at these issues is way off base (have been for some time)


Now, "constructive" has lots of meanings, such as starting over and building. Too, though, we will be defining how a sustainable economic framework ought to look if done properly. Now, fortunately, I can do this without academic support. Unfortunately, for many, this work is late as the gaming runs along five days every week down a perdition laden path (or paths) where the insidious effects just keep on getting thicker and thicker.

Aside: if you search on some of these terms in this blog (and in the related blogs: truth engineering and 7oops7) you will see that they have been used from the beginning.

This look starts from the initial state. In short, we have people (lots to look at here). Over the millennia (many, many), what can be thought of as "class differences" has been evident (since the 1630s, those heading toward Cambridge, MA versus going elsewhere, okay?). Early on, the hierarchy was based upon power (physical). The guy with the biggest stick was king (any different now? - oh yes, we elect these supposedly better classes of people who then take a crown upon their heads - ah, poor mankind).

But, even way back, the levels came about from types of ability particular to humans, namely intelligence. So, the smart guys got some dumb arses to do their dirty work of various sorts: knocking heads, providing meat, growing food stuff, ... You see, the recent off shoring was successful (actually not, near zero, folks) due to large pockets (existence usage, here) of people who can be exploited (for several reasons: they are, they do not have any power or means, they live under the cloud of the smart/capable idiots who seem to have the say and who leave the earth worse off when they croak - again, poor mankind).

Marx and others bifurcated this (type of) separability into capitalists (the smarties who pull strings) and labor (the puppets), but this little splitting (partitioning) is too simple (shallow). When one looks at the long history, lord/serf is a good characterization (age old). What is capital, by the way (actually, where is greedy accumulation seen as leading to peaceful coexistence?)?

Some MIT guy, recently, made a refutation of the french guy's little offering (twas last year - french dude wrote, in a sense, that things of finance always float above the real concerns - like, where the next meal comes from - ..., that statement is a good as any of the other arguments that I have seen). The french guy was a little off the mark, but his attempt was of an ilk that we need to see more of. I will get back to this theme since the retort has to do with land. Does not the economic view have dealings with the lowly earth's resources on its plate?

In the initial phase, we want to look at the actors in the scene, namely the people and the various mixtures that one can observe. For one thing, that statement about everything one needs is learned in early schooling (yes, interpersonal and social aspects) comes to mind. But, it is more than that. Some, like the smarties of Silicon Valley, want to get their kind duplicated artificially so as to rule. Yes, as if the knowledge of the more in-touch mind is worthless (ah, recall the above reference to leaving things worse off). Actually, even smarties (or talent holders) of the artsy type are seen as less than those who run after money and after automation for its own sake (but, again, lots to look at here).

That is, STEM is it (or IT)? Please note that "constructive" has usages there, to boot. In short, we will get back to looking at effectiveness and at how that arises (perhaps, we can do all of this without hubris coming in from around the edges). Sensitivity to "quasi" issues would, we would hope, dampen the cowboys (yes, Ben) who run amok with their experiments (yes, Zuck) on people because they can (are allowed to) and their, seemingly, heedless rush toward glory (and big pockets, different usage than above, if you must ask).

So, again, people, markets, etc. will be the theme for a bit, though there may be uncontrollable branching offs into the more complicated realms.

Remarks:  Modified: 04/16/2015

04/06/2015 -- Two books on labor economics reviewed by The Atlantic.

04/08/2015 -- The IMF weighs in on the side of Larry (essentially, a pissing contest). We really do need to get back to the basics (and, henceforth, I'll adapt a more serious, mature tone -- but, with all the screwing up going on, how can one keep the tongue from wagging? -- as in, the little people have always been trampled over the millenia; what has not been learned is how to have a peaceful, sustainable - and other words, supposedly from the flower power generation -- economy).

04/09/2015 -- We are slowly converging toward something or other.

Thursday, April 2, 2015

Good old days?

Moral: Wherein Ben's blog motivates a look back.

Ah, those days when CDs made something. Banks didn't slap you silly.  

A little bit on bonds was in order, too. Since 2008, they have softened quite a bit. That post had this:
    Let's start with a simple example. A set of savings bonds that was bought in the year of 1980 and cashed out in 2010 would have returned 422% based upon the purchase price of the bond. You see, those terms were the norm back in those days when bonds were still being sold under a patriotic guise. As in, every payday, whether you were already doing a payroll deduction for bonds, you would hear a spiel about the need for people working in the United States to buy and uphold the country.
Yes, that is right. Bought in 1980. Cashed out after 30 years with a return over 400%. Not big enough, you say? Oh, bought when the FED was trying to drive down high inflation (which is coming, folks) so not a good example? Ah, so many things to discuss here. 

Remarks:  Modified: 04/02/2015

04/02/2015 --