Bank Fiction

Submitted by Bill Lucas on Sun, 01/04/2009 - 20:42

Last week the Financial Times ran an excellent article called "Chronicle of a Decline Foretold" by Niall Ferguson in their FTWeekend section.  It was a work of fiction, an imaginary year-end summary of the economic events of 2009.  You should have a look.

In it, he notes:

What's Wrong with Rich Rodriguez

Submitted by Bill Lucas on Sat, 01/03/2009 - 02:25

University of Michigan football coach Rich Rodriguez has to alter at least three behaviors if he's ever going to win over U-M football fans.

1)  Quit publicly laying the blame on the players after losses.  Take it on yourself and mean it, Coach.  You may know that if certain players had eliminated certain mistakes, the outcome may have been different, but that is something to be worked out between your staff and the players at the next practice, not after the game at the press conference.

Shirtless Obama

Submitted by Bill Lucas on Tue, 12/23/2008 - 16:41

I have to wonder if there's some psychological gamesmanship going on between the incoming Obama administration and Russia's Putin regime.  You recall that Putin had his shirtless image posted on the Kremlin web site last year.  It was a supposed candid shot of him fly-fishing.  Now we are supposed to believe a papparazzi got within 200 feet of our president-elect and pointed a camera with a telephoto lens at him without the Secret Service reacting?

A Crack in China's Export Economy

Submitted by Bill Lucas on Thu, 12/11/2008 - 14:57

The value of Chinese exports dropped 2.2% in November, the first year-on-year drop since the 2001 and the biggest since 1999.  Since we are only at the beginning of what might be a long recession, there are likely further falls in line.  As domestic demand is not picking up the slack, China may be in a precarious position internally.

"Troubled Assets" Need to Be Valued

Submitted by Bill Lucas on Sun, 11/16/2008 - 18:00

The Financial Times on Monday (2008.11.10) carried an article quoting Tim Ryan, president of the Securities Industry and Financial Markets Association, as saying that the Troubled Asset Recovery Program (TARP) needed to start buying the troubled assets at the heart of the credit/financial crisis.  I completely agree.

What Could Still Be Secret in the NSA Wiretapping Story?

Submitted by Bill Lucas on Thu, 01/05/2006 - 08:00

The Bush administration has repeated many times since the New York Times exposed the warrantless wiretapping program run by the National Security Agency (NSA) that any discussion of it, whether by members of Congress or the media, or release of documents related it would weaken the security of the United States by giving the enemy intelligence on what the NSA is doing.

Capital Punishment and Reasonable Doubt

Submitted by Bill Lucas on Sat, 01/01/2005 - 12:00

On the issue of capital punishment people often position themselves either firmly for or firmly against it.  Others look at the nature of each crime, the number of offenses, and the history of the defendant as factors used in determining whether the death penalty should be available.  The argument presented here supports the availability of capital punishment as a sentencing option, but expands the breadth of a variable used prior to sentencing in capital crimes.  The variable relates not to the crime or to the defendant, but rather to the process of trying and convicting the defendant.   <