I couldn’t help but share this article. Trump had a banner day for tweeting yesterday.
I was incredibly moved today by the accounts of the Paris police officer, story Ahmed Merabet, who bravely confronted the terrorists yesterday as they fled the Charlie Hebdo offices. He was killed in the process. He was a Muslim confronting Muslim terrorists who attacked the newspaper in an attempt to silence free speech. Perhaps this was expressed best by @Aboujahjah, who posted: “I am not Charlie, I am Ahmed the dead cop. Charlie ridiculed my faith and culture and I died defending his right to do so.”
This is a very good program on the inside story of the global financial crisis. See it on the Frontline web site. Pay close attention to the segment that explains of how CDO’s (collateralized debt obligations) developed and Credit Default Swaps proliferated. Also, there is a brief appearance by Brooksley Born who in the 1990’s headed the Commodity Futures Trading Commission (CFTC). In 1998 she proposed regulation of the growing market in swaps, financial instruments that are traded over the counter between banks, insurance companies or other funds or companies, and thus have no transparency except to the two counterparties and the counterparties’ regulators, if any. However CFTC regulation was strenuously opposed by Federal Reserve chairman Alan Greenspan, and by by Treasury Secretaries Robert Rubin and Lawrence Summers. Under heavy pressure from the financial lobby, legislation prohibiting regulation of derivatives by Born’s agency was passed by the Congress. Born resigned in 1999 after having issued the first, official and clearest warning that derivatives could sink the financial markets and therefore the economy. She made the right call before anyone. Click here to watch.
- S.E.C. Pursuing More Cases Tied to Financial Crisis (dealbook.blogs.nytimes.com)
- JPMorgan Used Political Influence With Fed and Treasury to Create London Loss Loophole In Volcker Rule (ilene.typepad.com)
- CDOs: Designed for Fees, Not to Fail (lawbitrage.typepad.com)
- Brooksley Born On JPMorgan Chase Loss: Nothing’s Changed Since LTCM (huffingtonpost.com)
- A NEW & IMPROVED LARRY SUMMERS? interviewed by EMILY ROONEY on WGBH (cclemens.typepad.com)
- The woman who tried to stop the financial meltdown (commonsensequotient.typepad.com)
- Naked Capitalism on Media: Frontline’s Astonishing Whitewash of the Crisis (seniorsforademocraticsociety.wordpress.com)
- Republicans Are Taking the Cops Off the Derivatives Beat (thenation.com)
- Money, Power And Wall Street On Frontline (lukeford.net)
More fallout from the financial crisis
- Jim Cramer Just Had A Complete Flip Out And Called Jamie Dimon A Loser (businessinsider.com)
- Moody’s Cuts Spain to Near-Junk Status as Europe Awaits Greek Elections: Wall Street Roundup (observer.com)
- “The Person the Hardest on Jamie Dimon Was Jamie Dimon” Testifying Before Congress This Week at the Senate Banking Committee Jon Stewart Video (ducknetweb.blogspot.com)
- Dimon Wore POTUS Cufflinks to Hearing (politicalwire.com)
- Dimon Says JPMorgan ‘Let People Down’ On Credit Trades (bloomberg.com)
The author of the definitive book on Goldman comments on the Greg Smith resignation and NY Times Op Ed.
- Goldman Sachs Launches Counterattack on Greg Smith (jhaines6.wordpress.com)
- Goldman Sachs (musingsofanolderman.com)
- Corruption Still Running Amok At Goldman Sachs (johnhively.wordpress.com)
- Goldman Sachs Mobilizes Rapid Smear Campaign Against Whistleblower (thinkprogress.org)
- The Decline of the Client (moneybigandsmall.wordpress.com)
- A break through year for LIVE online video
- Royal Wedding with 2 billion people watching, lifting the British national mood and putting on an amazing display of pageantry for the world
- Appreciating Steve Jobs. While there will never be another like him, he is already inspiring the current generation of entrepreneurs. His legacy and products will continue to inspire future generations. Thanks Steve.
- The Harvest Wine Festival and NYC Winter Wine Festival selling out, showing the draw of grass roots events and popularity of wine tastings (see video)
- Weekend in Rio, staying in Ipanema on the beach and shooting video of Samba musicians on the Corcovado tram.
- Federal Judge Jed Rakoff refusing to accept the $285 million proposed settlement between the SEC and Citigroup over the sale of toxic mortgage securities. (Too low!)
- Parallels Desktop 7 and Mac
- The continued growth of the online video business
- Occupy Wall Street — a grass roots movement, w/ video providing access worldwide
- Having the best wife and kids
- Watch Steve Jobs In JibJab’s 2011 Year In Review (iphonesavior.com)
- Google Zeitgeist 2011: Year in Review (VIDEO) (blippitt.com)
- 2011 technology year in review: Steve Jobs’ innovative force remembered (charlotte.news14.com)
- Marketers Use Online Video to Complement, Not Cannibalize, TV Ads – eMarketer (huguesrey.wordpress.com)
- Top 5 Geeky Events of 2011 (geektyrant.com)
- Top 10 videos 2011 of the buzz (mattstays.wordpress.com)
- Rare Photo Shows Steve Jobs’s Rebellious Spirit As He Flips The Bird To IBM (cultofmac.com)
- Nielsen’s Top Online Video Destinations & Web Brands Of 2011 (reelseo.com)
- YouTube stomps the competition: Streams 12 billion more clips than Hulu (thenextweb.com)
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“The Flight To Quality” is an investment term for when investors move their capital away from riskier investments to the safest possible investment vehicles. In The New Normal I write about, I believe we are seeing a flight to quality across a broad spectrum of business: media & marketing, retail, entertainment, sports and more. And I believe it takes the form of a a “Flight To Quality…and VALUE“.
Sometimes it is truly about quality and less about price…Take for example the recent case where a package of bed linens bargain-priced for $35.00 at Kmart sold significantly LESS than a quite similar package at Pottery Barn that was priced at $129.00. Was this because upper middle class shoppers at Pottery Barn are spending more freely in the recession than lower middle class shoppers at Kmart? Maybe — but actually I believe it was because the Pottery Barn product was higher quality, longer lasting and therefore ultimate a better value.
Similarly, look at what has happened to the live entertainment industry in 2010. (See WSJ article.) A shockingly large number of high profile, major tour dates were canceled by some of the world’s best selling music artists: The Eagles, Christina Aguilera, The Dixie Chicks and others. The reason? Low ticket sales. The reasons cited were (i) the artists were touring too much (over-saturating their market) and (ii) they weren’t releasing any new music (no new albums). So the public said: “These tickets are expensive, really. I saw this artist last year, and he/she doesn’t have a new record. It’s not worth it.”
“It’s not worth it.” The attitude and outlook of the New Normal is defined by the question: “Is it worth it?”
- In Sports: “Is it worth it to re-up and continue being a season ticket subscriber in the face of my team’s lousy management and escalating ticket prices?” see NY Times piece on personal seat licenses
- In Media and Marketing: “Is it worth it to re-up and spend lavishly on traditional (read: expensive) media buys like radio, TV and print? Or should I shift my focus even more to measurable media online and in the mobile space, where I can calculate my ROI?” WSJ 9/23/2010
The margin for error has gotten smaller. And whether you’re buying sheets, tickets or advertising, these days you are going to buy:
- what works
- what lasts
- what provides the most VALUE
Sometimes it is about lower price, sometimes it’s not. But making sure you get what you want and need has never been more relevant.