bluntlysaid


It makes a difference
January 31, 2009, 11:25
Filed under: Gender Fights

I just saw a few pictures of an old college friend on facebook.  He was more than a friend. He’s gained weight, but that’s besides the point. What really struck me is the confidence he exudes in his picutres. He looks….happy with himself. He looks calm. Confident. He’s always been the sort of guy that lets people come to him, but it seems like he’s more cemented in that than ever before.

Then I realized—-he’s 27.  He is 27 years old and the older he gets, the more attractive he looks to the women around him. He ages with confidence. His career grows, his prospects of being a good husband grow, his confidence grows, etc. 

I simply don’t think the world is at a place where women can age with the same mentality. At least I am not aging with the same mentality. The older I get, the more I stress out about not being with someone. The older I get, the more I fear that the dating pool is getting smaller.

Men don’t have to feel that way. These are honest observations of what it feels like to age as a woman. lets see how it goes.

UPDATE: This kid has posted more pictures up of him chilling on the beach with a bunch of friends, weekend after weekend.  Maybe he looks good because he literally lives on a caribbean island and gets sun all the time. Hm.

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Volatility
January 30, 2009, 11:25
Filed under: MBA

Let me tell you a dirty little secret that is true about business school—-it’s jam packed with emotional volatility.  You apply to a zillion positions and get on only 1 closed list.  You prepare for all of these interviews (practice interviews, case prep, etc) and do great one day, terrible the next.  You get an interview (YEAY!) then get dinged from them the next day (boo!) You get invited to a million parties one weekend, then absolutely none the next one.  Up.Down.Up.Down.Up.Down.

I know that we will all end up. That we will all get fine jobs. That we are in a great position to ride out the recession. I understand all of this.

But, the emotionaal volatility is a bitch.



Damn Politics.
January 29, 2009, 11:25
Filed under: Market Trends, Politics

This on the WSJ:

The package, which would cost more than the entire Iraq War, would reverse the Bush administration’s approach to boosting the economy. That approach relied heavily on tax cuts that tended to put money in the pockets of middle-class and more affluent Americans. The $275 billion in tax relief offered in the stimulus package focuses more on lower-income families. It also includes business incentives to spur job creation and a $500 payroll tax holiday for workers.

The 244-188 vote was not what Mr. Obama had hoped for. A week of presidential wooing — including a visit to the Capitol, a return visit to the White House by moderate House Republicans and a bipartisan cocktail party Wednesday night — did not yield a single Republican vote. The president also lost 11 Democrats.

I had many reactions to these two paragarphs. I’ll break these reactions down.

  • In less than 1 month in government, Obama will have authorized an expenditure that exceeds the cost of the Iraq war.That is insane. However, as someone who studied economics and has worked in finance I know that the capital markets are paralyzed right now, a condition that is trickling down to every person in this country.  Something must be done, and injecting enough cash in the system may stimulate liquidity again.  $800 billion is a lot of money, but nothing else seems to work.  We’ll judge this action by its results.  I can say that so far, the money spent in Iraq has been a total waste of money. Lets hope this stimulus package fares better—my sense is that it will. I approve, but only because I don’t see a better alternative.
  • The relief concentrates on lower income individuals WHILE keeping the tax cuts for the upper-middle class and wealthy income brackets.  This makes sense. Ideally, we’d give tax cuts to everyone and try to stimulate spending that way. However, it seems like that has not worked in the past….a new approach is necessary.  The small business incentives and $500 payroll tax holiday is a new approach. I approve.
  • Rebpublicans shunned the plan and 11 Democrats voted against the package. WTF is wrong with these people!!!!!  Are they really against stimulating the economy? Would they rather sit tight, bite their nails, and hope that this all goes away? Guess what, IT WILL NOT go away on its own.  Look at Japan in the 90s…really, look at Japan! They faced a similar crisis and instead of swallowing the bitter medicine, recognize losses, and move on they sat their chewing their nails waiting for it all to disappear. Japanese banks never realized any losses because their accounting system was “book value” and not “mark-to-market.” Then, the Japanese governments incentivized the banking system to keep giving loans to “zombie” companies—-give loans to businesses that didn’t deserve loans in order to keep these companies from defaulting on prior obligations.  The US has RECOGNIZED  its losses.  Banks HAVE failed. And the car industry received a loan with MAJOR stipulations.  There is no free ride going on here, failure is an option.  However, this alone has not fixed the problem which means that more must be done to stimulate demand.  That is where the new package comes in. WHY would these 11 Democrats and Republicans be against stimulating demand? Do they have a better alternative????? I REJECT ALL POLITICIANS THAT DID NOT SUPPORT THE PLAN (list of NAY votes below).
  • NOTE: Remember the TARP and how it failed to pass the fist time around. Do you know why? Was it that the plan lacked enough stipulations, did have enough order? NO.  It didnt’ pass because there wasn’t enough pork included . It did pass one week later with $120billion more pork in it.  Thanks Republicans…thanks for looking out for the greater good. I REJECT that behavior .

Again, history will prove whether Obama’s plan was a good thing or a bad thing. Those that did not vote for it on on record below.  We will hold you accountable if you were wrong. Roll call vote info from www.clerk.house.gov:

  Yeas Nays PRES NV
Democratic 244 11    
Republican   177   1
Independent        
TOTALS 244 188   1

 

—- NAYS    188 —

Aderholt
Akin
Alexander
Austria
Bachmann
Bachus
Barrett (SC)
Bartlett
Barton (TX)
Biggert
Bilbray
Bilirakis
Bishop (UT)
Blackburn
Blunt
Boehner
Bonner
Bono Mack
Boozman
Boustany
Boyd
Brady (TX)
Bright
Broun (GA)
Brown (SC)
Buchanan
Burgess
Burton (IN)
Buyer
Calvert
Camp
Campbell
Cantor
Cao
Capito
Carter
Cassidy
Castle
Chaffetz
Coble
Coffman (CO)
Cole
Conaway
Cooper
Crenshaw
Culberson
Davis (KY)
Deal (GA)
Dent
Diaz-Balart, L.
Diaz-Balart, M.
Dreier
Duncan
Ehlers
Ellsworth
Emerson
Fallin
Flake
Fleming
Forbes
Fortenberry
Foxx
Franks (AZ)
Frelinghuysen
Gallegly
Garrett (NJ)
Gerlach
Gingrey (GA)
Gohmert
Goodlatte
Granger
Graves
Griffith
Guthrie
Hall (TX)
Harper
Hastings (WA)
Heller
Hensarling
Herger
Hoekstra
Hunter
Inglis
Issa
Jenkins
Johnson (IL)
Johnson, Sam
Jones
Jordan (OH)
Kanjorski
King (IA)
King (NY)
Kingston
Kirk
Kline (MN)
Kratovil
Lamborn
Lance
Latham
LaTourette
Latta
Lee (NY)
Lewis (CA)
Linder
LoBiondo
Lucas
Luetkemeyer
Lummis
Lungren, Daniel E.
Mack
Manzullo
Marchant
McCarthy (CA)
McCaul
McClintock
McCotter
McHenry
McHugh
McKeon
McMorris Rodgers
Mica
Miller (FL)
Miller (MI)
Miller, Gary
Minnick
Moran (KS)
Murphy, Tim
Myrick
Neugebauer
Nunes
Olson
Paul
Paulsen
Pence
Peterson
Petri
Pitts
Platts
Poe (TX)
Posey
Price (GA)
Putnam
Radanovich
Rehberg
Reichert
Roe (TN)
Rogers (AL)
Rogers (KY)
Rogers (MI)
Rohrabacher
Rooney
Ros-Lehtinen
Roskam
Royce
Ryan (WI)
Scalise
Schmidt
Schock
Sensenbrenner
Sessions
Shadegg
Shimkus
Shuler
Shuster
Simpson
Smith (NE)
Smith (NJ)
Smith (TX)
Souder
Stearns
Sullivan
Taylor
Terry
Thompson (PA)
Thornberry
Tiahrt
Tiberi
Turner
Upton
Walden
Wamp
Westmoreland
Whitfield
Wilson (SC)
Wittman
Wolf
Young (AK)
Young (FL)



Google
January 28, 2009, 11:25
Filed under: MBA | Tags:

I cannot believe it. I received a call last night notifying me that I am going to have a first round interview with Google….literally, a dream come true.  One of my biggest strengths is that i’ve consistently demonstrated the ability to “see around the corner.”  This isn’t a very useful skill to have at sinking ship firms like the ones that I’ve been in, but Google is a whole different story. Anticipation at Google is a positive force. Google isn’t out there trying to avoid hitting brick walls—it’s out there building the road. It’s out there changing the rules of the game.  Seeing around the corner at Google is an opportunity to create positive value.

I want this job.



The Vehicle Fuel Efficiency Conundrum
January 27, 2009, 11:25
Filed under: Market Trends, Politics

The sky rocket gas prices we saw last summer made things very difficult for many people.  $5/gallon glass implied eating out less, filling up just one car, car pooling, etc.  Public transportation saw increased usage and people started to see the bottom line value of turning green.

Setting more aggressive fuel efficiency standards for cars will help turn this country green, will save money in the long run, and will definitely reduce the risks of global warming.  Obama’s executive order allowing states to set their own fuel efficiency standard is a step in that direction.

States like that we are a federation, they like having control over things like this…on the other hand, fi each state mandates a different efficiency standard then this promising order will instead turn into a tangled pile of mush.

This is why California will likely play a key role in defining these standards—California pick a standard, and since its the largest state we have (36 million) then the sheer consumer demand will serve as an anchor. Other states will follow, and hopefully we’ll have only 2 efficiency standard for the whole country—old standard and new standard. I assume the new standsard will weed the old one out, eventually.

Problem: The car companies are in trouble right now and asking them to deal with multiple standards is going to create even more problems.  Rebuttals:

  • Aren’t these companies supposed to be moving towards greener technology either way?
  • Why are they fighting efficiency?
  • I would assume that the standards do not have to be met immediately, there is time and the car companies can wait for the markets to improve.

Others say that Obama’s executive order is another example of “government knows best.”  BS. The whole point is that Obama has de-regulated the industry by allowing individual states to weigh in. He just made the Federal Government less relevant to this issue and left the power in the hands of more local government.  The big government argument falls flat on its face.

Overall, I think the executive order is a positive change but it must be structured appropriately so that the car companies do not fail as a result of the stricter standards (massive unemployment, etc).

The administration must (and will) strike a balance between our green aspirations and economic realities.



Student Loans for MBAs
January 26, 2009, 11:25
Filed under: Market Trends, MBA

Lending is down 1.5% this year, but at least my student loan is not in jeaprody:

In a sign that banks are feeling political heat, Citigroup is expected to announce Tuesday a plan to use some of its TARP money to finance tens of billions of dollars in new loans this year, according to people familiar with the situation. The push will include credit cards, student loans and mortgages aimed at specific segments of the population, one person said.-WSJ



Depression Mentality
January 26, 2009, 11:25
Filed under: Market Trends

The recession/possible-depression is going to affect the way I consume things in the future.  Here’s a glimpse into my thought process:

I will be graduating from business school in 2010. As much as I would love to rent a ridiculous apartment in SoHo (with a dishwasher!) I probably won’t…because it’s not wise to tie more than 30% of your income on rent….you have to save for a rainy day.

The point is: spending habits may be scarred for life as a result of this recession.

Millions of Americans were caught off guard by this recession, relying entirely too much on credit cards to consume goods (i.e. flat panel tv) they really couldn’t afford. Now, many of these individuals are practically under water wondering if they really needed all of that junk they bought over the last year.

This is a Depression Mentality…reminiscent of the stories you hear old folk tell about growing up in the 1940s and always looking for ways to save a penny after the Great Depression.  Same deal.

If you don’t agree with me, then at least read this excellent article by BCG.  These rock-star consultants think consumer spending will be influenced by the Depression Mentality for the forseeable future too.