Positive Thinking
February 27, 2009, 11:25
Filed under: Market Trends

Why does the media slant towards negative news stories? Bloomberg, WSJ, are infinitely more willing to report bad news than good news. At least report both.

For example, Citi is doing badly right now and that is hurting the market. However, Wachovia and Wells Fargo are getting a long just fine after their merger—-why not report that good news?

I’m just saying…



MBA Observations + The Fate of PE/VC

I sat in on a guest lecture today.  About 150 students packed into a room to see Mr. Chen of ____ Capital Group speak.  He’s been in the VC business for 30 years. He is brilliant.

  • He says to follow the money—-to go where the stimulus package has gone (healthcare, education, and….I forget).
  • Mr. Chen says that PE is F_cked. PEs purchase companies by using lots and lots of debt (i.e. leveraged buyouts).  Lots of this debt matures this year, and in order to keep their business model running they will have to replace old debt with new debt. This is problematic because a) it’s hard to get a loan nowadays and b) the rates on these loans are awful compared to the peak of PE (2006 and 2007).  Illiquidity + High loan rates will kill the PE model. Mr Chen expects a bloodbath.
  • It seems like Mr. Chen is okay with the government injecting cash into the system. However, it concerns him that the Fed is now managaging an unprecedented volume of assets ($1+ trillion) that it has no experience managing.  He is afraid that lack of experience to these assets class will create inefficiencies and result in problems (i.e. losses).
  • He says VC is done in that super high returns have disappeared because the tech market has become efficient.  Before, VC funds would purchase a project that other investors foolishly thought was too risky, and then make ridiculous returns. Now, investors get what they pay for because their returns are proportional to the risk of their investments.  The VC market has learned how to measure and price risk.
  • Because the VC world is less interesting, Mr. Chen decided to leave tech VC and develop a new fund that is focused on sustainable development. This is very interesting to me and I’ll probably write a little more about it in a few days….I’ll release the name of the fund and the name of this Mr. Chen then too.
  • I saw no more than 20 girls in that room. At first I didn’t bat an eye—I’m used to being outnumbered. Then I started to think about it and felt weird about it. Why are their so few females in the room? How is that okay? How does being such an obvious minority affect the females that play in that space (finance, PE/VC, etc)?  I’m not crying the feminist battle cry here, I’m just saying….it’s weird to be so obviously outnumbered in a room.

Marc Andressen on Charlie Rose
February 26, 2009, 11:25
Filed under: Market Trends

I thought this video was insanely interesting. Andressen, founder of Netscape, throws a lot of left-field ideas. I am sure that not all of them will stick, but given his entrepreneurial track record, I am sure that some of them will be executed in the market at some point.

The idea that struck me most: Newspapers should shutdown their printing presses, reengineer their business model and focus on the internet. I.Agree.

Great piece. You should watch it.

John Edwards
February 25, 2009, 11:25
Filed under: Politics | Tags:

Does anyone know what happened to him? Did Elizabeth leave him? How is she doing in terms of the cancer?

Dream Job
February 24, 2009, 11:25
Filed under: Uncategorized

I’m looking for a dream job—-and I’m open to suggestions.

To the MBA Class of 2010

On campus recruiting is over and I am _______ to say that I don’t have a summer internship yet.   Sad. Scared. Anxious. Doubtful. Insecure. Mad.

Recruiting has been tough this years. The firms that haven’t pulled out all-together most likely limited their headcount and gave offers to students that had 100% relevant background for that positoin.  Unfortunately, many of us came here to switch careers—–landing an internship as a career switcher is difficult if the employer is screening for previous experience. 

It’s easy to get down, to doubt yourself, to wonder if the opportunity cost of coming back to school (i.e. forgone salary, etc) will outweigh the benefits. It’s easy to define yourself by the rejections you have received.

Well, don’t.  Do not define yourself by these rejections. Do not define yourself by the handful of doors that have shut you out. Instead, look at the vastness of the opportunities that are ahead of you.  You have ten weeks this period to take risks, to try something new, to work in an unpaid internship at the firm you love, to try something you never thought you would try, to live somewhere new, etc.  Ten weeks is doable. Ten weeks is affordable.

Watch Steve Jobs address to Stanford and see if his words resonate….they resonate with me.

-The dots connect when you look backwards, not when you look forward.

-Trust in something, in fate, in destiny, in your gut, in karma, something that lets you know the dots will connect eventually.

-Don’t be trapped by dogma, which is living by the results of other people’s thinking.

Bad News
February 23, 2009, 11:25
Filed under: Uncategorized | Tags:

I predict I will get bad news today about a job I would have liked very much 😦