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2012 in review

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The WordPress.com stats helper monkeys prepared a 2012 annual report for this blog.

Here’s an excerpt:

The new Boeing 787 Dreamliner can carry about 250 passengers. This blog was viewed about 1,300 times in 2012. If it were a Dreamliner, it would take about 5 trips to carry that many people.

Click here to see the complete report.

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Written by Polevaulter Donkeyman

January 3, 2013 at 04:19

Posted in Uncategorized

Way to Hide the Ball BBC

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The BBC in an article about whether social media is another dotcom bubble:

Henry Blodget, editor-in-chief of Business Insider, believes the excessive valuations put on some social media companies were partly due to weakness in the economy in recent times, which left investors desperate for opportunities. …

But he says the good news is that the current technology bust is unlikely to be as serious as the one in 2000.

“To call the social media situation a bubble in the same way as the dotcom bust is almost an insult to a real bubble,” he says.

He played a controversial role promoting internet companies at that time and so is well placed to comment.


No shit, BBC. Blodget publicly bigged up stocks which he privately disparaged.[1] As the SEC stated in its settlement with Blodget:

Henry Blodget, a former managing director at Merrill Lynch, Pierce, Fenner & Smith, Incorporated and the senior research analyst and group head for the Internet sector at the firm, will be censured and permanently barred from the securities industry, and will make a total payment of $4 million to settle the charges against him.

The regulators charged that, among other things, Blodget, of New York City, issued fraudulent research under Merrill Lynch’s name, as well as research in which he expressed views that were inconsistent with privately expressed negative views. Blodget’s conduct constituted violations of the federal securities laws and NASD and NYSE rules, which require that, among other things, published research reports have a reasonable basis, present a fair picture of the investment risks and benefits, and not make exaggerated or unwarranted claims.


Footnotes


[1] Blodget’s internal e-mails

Written by Polevaulter Donkeyman

August 15, 2012 at 11:46

Posted in Uncategorized

Tagged with , ,

Chik-fil-A knows its consumers

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Seems relevant given the shenanigans over Chik-fil-A:



Source


Moral of the Story: Make sure the people you support actually do buy your products?


Written by Polevaulter Donkeyman

August 11, 2012 at 12:56

“Beware of Greeks Bearing an Olive Oil Surplus” or in this case “Beware of Greeks Bearing Balance Sheets Showing Deficits of Below 3% of GDP”

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Part III in why Yes (Prime) Minister is the Greatest Political Show Ever!
If only the Eurozone had remembered Laocoön’s warning.

As always Yes Minister also anticipated this nearly 30 years ago


Written by Polevaulter Donkeyman

August 9, 2012 at 23:57

Posted in Uncategorized

“The Ship of State is the Only Ship that Leaks from the Top”, or Why “Yes (Prime) Minister” is the Greatest Political Show Ever!

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Thanks to Brian Doherty at Reason, Wired on the US government’s mounting campaign against leakers:

The NCIS’ continued interest in an unclassified document posted over five years ago comes amid a new push by the Obama administration to crack down on leakers. The effort has been Kafka-esque from the start. It started when a pair of books revealed that the White House is intimately involved in approving drone attacks and cybersabotage operations against its foes. Days after the leaks, President Obama scolded the secret-spillers — even though the books’ authors were granted officially access to the highest levels of the administration. Congress has also stepped in with its own legislationthat would punish leakers of classified information. But the bill, recently passed by the Senate Intelligence Committee, exempts from reprisal most senior White House and administration officials — and, of course, members of Congress, as well.

As always Yes Minister anticipated this nearly 30 years ago

The Ship of State, Bernard, is the only ship that leaks from the top.


Your Lobbying Bad, My Lobbying Not … So Bad?

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Tamasin Cave, of the Alliance for Lobbying Transparency on the Today in Parliament for March 2, 2012:


Note:

  1. Tamasin Cave neatly sidesteps the lobbying by the BMA and the Royal College of Nursing
  2. Ms. Cave correctly points out the first order relationship between the lobbying for NHS reforms and the size of the NHS budget (around 100 B GBP).
  3. However Ms. Cave then fails to see the second-order relationship i.e. lobbying is directly related to and caused by the power of the government to grant special favours. As long as government has the power to dispense such special favours, groups will continue to lobby it.
  4. If you want to reduce lobbying, if you want to control it, then reduce the power and size of the government to dole out special favours.


Because of the enormous benefits that can be won from the political process, it is rational for interest groups to spend large sums on lobbying for special privileges – an activity known as ‘rent seeking’.[1]

[1] Butler, E., Public Choice — A Primer, The Institute of Economic Affairs, 2012, p. 16

The Greatest Generation

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There is a reason why they are called The Greatest Generation

Written by Polevaulter Donkeyman

August 4, 2012 at 02:35

I would do anything to save the Euro, but I won’t do that

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ECB President Mario Draghi:

Asked whether the ECB’s decisions had been unanimous, he replied: “The endorsement to do whatever it takes to preserve the euro as a stable currency has been unanimous.”

But …

“But it is clear, and it is known, that Mr Weidmann [ECB member and head of the German bank] and the Bundesbank have their reservations… about buying bonds.”

Source

Is Meat Loaf Mr. Weidmann in disguise?


P.S. Mr. Draghi either does not know “whatever it takes” means or what “unanimous” means

Written by Polevaulter Donkeyman

August 3, 2012 at 06:36

Why Yes Minister is vastly superior to The West Wing

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From the BBC Radio 4 Documentary of the Week of March 2, 2012

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Illegal Immigrants = Giving a Drug Addict a Job = Buying a house in a red light district?

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This started with a tweet by Shashi Tharoor

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Written by Polevaulter Donkeyman

July 31, 2012 at 00:25