Stay Hungry, Stay Foolish

Archive for July, 2011|Monthly archive page

Too big to fail

In Uncategorized on July 25, 2011 at 9:00 pm

“The International Monetary Fund has just admitted that “nearly four years after the start of the global financial crisis, confidence in the stability of the banking system as a whole has yet to be fully restored” . US Federal Reserve chairman Ben Bernanke described it as “the worst financial crisis in global history, including the Great Depression”, but no one in the US has been charged with any crime. Goldman Sachs, Morgan Stanley and J P Morgan all stood to gain by the collapse of the high-risk investments they warmly recommended to their clients. They got off with a fine at worst; more often they got a bonus. Now the power of the banks, increased and concentrated by restructuring, is so great that they seem immune to prosecution in any state impeded by public debt.

After three years of G20 meetings to produce a new “global harmony”, the system is still intact: a mixture of deregulation, princely rewards for the brains behind “financial innovations” and destruction paid for by state and taxpayer. In France, the Socialists complain that “governments devoted more resources to rescuing the banks and financial institutions in the year after the subprime crisis than the world spent on aid to third world countries over 50 years”  But the remedies they propose are pathetic (a 15% bank surcharge) or pious hopes (abolish tax havens, establish a public rating agency, tax financial transactions), which rely on unlikely “joint action by the member states of the European Union”.

So what should have been a crisis too far came to nothing. Andrew Cheng, chief adviser to the China Banking Regulatory Commission, says this passive attitude is connected to a “capture problem”, states in thrall to their financial system. Too often political leaders behave like bankers’ puppets, anxious not to spoil the party.”

Immune and all-powerful, le Monde diplomatique, May 2011, Serge Halimi

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good music

In Uncategorized on July 23, 2011 at 2:12 pm

I’m somewhere inbetween joy and pain
And I reach for the stars, got stuck in the clouds
Got high as a bitch and left my love on the ground
Now ain’t that about a bitch?
It ain’t never about a bitch

Markus Raetz

In Uncategorized on July 23, 2011 at 2:09 pm

Markus Raetz’s exhibition is without hesitation one of the most interesting thing I have seen recently. He presents pieces of art and sculptures ( different motifs exposed including mickey mouse head, pipes, twigs, rabbits, or human figures)  whom sense change completely while you are turning around it. It is a mix between surrealist art and children game. I was thrilled like a small kid, running around the whole museum room to find the good angle in order to discover the other sense of a piece. Raetz has compared his own work to the Greek myth of Metamorphosis by Ovid. He explains that in the myth, “a woman is changing into a laurel tree. It is not the two images—of the woman and the tree—that are interesting. The moment of change is the most fantastic.” I do not think I could make a deep analysis of his work but I just enjoyed it a lot.


 

 

 

 

Lions for Lamb

In Uncategorized on July 20, 2011 at 5:14 pm

Next!

In Uncategorized on July 20, 2011 at 5:07 pm

All the world’s a stage, And all the men and women merely players

In Uncategorized on July 19, 2011 at 6:06 pm

Belchique

In Uncategorized on July 17, 2011 at 2:34 pm

BRUS-SEL

HAL-LE

VIL-VOOR-DE

VOILA!

T’ IS GESPLITST.

Was da nu zo moeilijk ? 

In Uncategorized on July 17, 2011 at 2:19 pm

Lesson for life: If you’re wrong, I’m right.

In Uncategorized on July 10, 2011 at 3:59 am

Women, MBAs, gender wage-gap and children.

In Uncategorized on July 10, 2011 at 3:19 am

“There is a considerable economic price to pay for being a woman. For American women 25 and older who hold at least a bachelor’s degree and work full-time, the national median income is about $47.000. Similar men, meanwhile, make more than $66.000, a premium of 40%. The same is true even for women who attend the nation’s elite universities. The economists Claudia Goldin and Lawrence Katz found that women who went to Harvard earned less than half as much as the average Harvard man. They earned about 30% less than their male counterparts. ” p.21

“This is especially true in the high-flying financial and corporate sectors –where, moreover, women are vastly underrepresented: women hold less than 1.5% of all CEO positions. Among the top fifteen hundred companies in the US , only about 2.5% of the highest paying executive positions are held by women. This is especially surprising given that women have earned more than 30% of all the master’s in business administration’s (MBA) degrees at the nation’s top colleges over the past 25 years. Their share today is at its highest yet, 43%. After having identified three main factors for this wage-gap between male and female, the economists concluded that:

The big issues seems to be that many women, even those with MBA’s love kids.

The average female MBA with no children works only 3% fewer hours that the average male MBA. But female MBAs with children work 24% less. The authors write that it appears that many MBA mothers, especially those with well-off spouses, decides to slow down within a few years following their first birth.” This is a strange twist. Many of the best and brightest women in the United States get an MBA so they can earn high wages, but they end up marrying the best and brightest men, who also earn high wages- which affords these women the luxury of not having to work so much.

Does this mean the women’s investment of time and money in pursuing an MBA was poorly spent? Maybe not. Perhaps they never would have met such husbands if they hadn’t gone to business school. Rather than interpreting women’s lower wages as a failure, perhaps it should be seen as a sigh that a higher wage simply isn’t as meaningful an incentive for women as it is for men. Could it be that men have a weakness for money just as women have a weakness for children? “ p 44-46

Extract from Super Freakonomics. Steven D. Levitt & Stephen J. Dubner, 2009