The gulf tragedy: Whose arrogance is the real question.

Posted: May 27th, 2010 | Author: admin | Filed under: Uncategorized | Tags: , , , , , , , | No Comments »
Gulf of Mexico
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According to this WSJ article, there was a “spat” between the BP company representative and the Trans Ocean employees who actually operated and maintained the rig, on the proper procedure to shut it down. Guess who won? So it appears that the arrogance of the BP representative on the rig is at the root of this tragedy. The more important question is, was the decision his alone or was he carrying out orders from BP executives. Regardless 12 men are dead and the damage from this disaster will impact the region for generations.  I guess the only person who wins is the captain of the Exxon Valdez as it appears that he may no longer go down in history as the man responsible for the largest man-made environmental catastrophe ever recorded.

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Greatest hits (or misses)

Posted: May 14th, 2010 | Author: admin | Filed under: Uncategorized | Tags: , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , | No Comments »
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When I started this blog in February of last year, I had no expectation that people would actually read it. At the very least it would provide a mechanism for me to record my thoughts, musings and opinions. Now 600+ people from over 70 countries read this blog. Frankly that blows me away. As there are both a lot of new readers, I decided to high-lite 5 of the more popular earlier posts that newer readers may have missed.

Once again, thank you to those that read this. Please feel free to comment, email me and recommend Consensual Delusion to your friends, colleagues, and family.

This entry on how my 1st son’s birth changed my perspective was picked up by Pulitzer Prize winning journalist, Tina Kelly and the New York Times “Local” blog last year.

This post, “Die Once”, is about my dad wrestling with his mortality.

After reading “Crisis and Opportunity”, a friend from high school asked me “when did you become so smart?” I’ll take the back-handed compliment.

I am actually grouping these 2 posts together as they both illustrate the very fuzzy boundaries that define science and mysticism. Both posts attempt to show the reader that we believe we know much more than we actually know. And that is both supremely arrogant and very dangerous; “master planned obsolescence” and  “Is your reality, really reality?”

Lastly, in my opinion, this may be one of my most useful posts from a day to day living perspective. If my kids take anything away from this blog, hopefully it will be this message, “Don’t count on 2nd chances.”

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Fat Fingers my #&%@?%!

Posted: May 7th, 2010 | Author: admin | Filed under: Uncategorized | Tags: , , , , , , , , , | No Comments »
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A trader with fat fingers caused the 1000 point drop in the DJIA yesterday. Someone made billions in about a half an hour. The timing and extent of the drop were perfect as they occurred in such a way as to avoid trading curbs. Was this an organic event or was the market manipulated? Will we ever know….

Fat fingers. OK, and President Kennedy was killed by a single shooter with a magic bullet. And we are the only intelligent life in the universe. OK, maybe I am subject to some hyperbola every now and again but this is my blog.

Call me a skeptic but I felt compelled to check all my keyboards and on every single one, the letter “N” separates “B” and “M”. So this trader in Chicago must have really really fat fingers or maybe a really really small keyboard. Oh, and the mistake just happened to occur after 2:30 when the circuit-breaker trading curbs on the NYSE end. And the drop just happened to fall short of the 10% mark that would automatically close the market. Perhaps this was just a coincidence. A “perfect storm” so to speak.

Coincidence is totally plausible. Its even more plausible if you happen to believe in “too big to fail”, Goldman-Sachs puts it’s clients and the country by just supplying liquidity and that then President of the Federal Reserve Bank of New York, Timothy Geithner just happened to be out of the room, every time the health of CitiBank, Merrill Lynch, Bear Stearns and their ilk were discussed. As a side bar, Secretary Geithner appeared to be setting himself up for a top job a Goldman, once he left the government. But now with Goldman’s image tarnished, he may have to pursue alternate exit strategy.

The stock market is a zero-sum system. Someone buys and someone else sells. I’d like to know who bought at the bottom yesterday. Someone made billions. Perhaps it was Goldman-Sachs, just acting as a simple market maker at 2:30 PM, absorbing excess inventory of companies like Accenture  or Excelon (which both dropped from the $40’s to pennies only to close back up in the $40’s), and then selling that inventory back into the market at 3:00 (as they testified ad naseum to Congress, they are just market makers and they are really careful about holding onto “aged” inventory).

Will we ever know what actually happened? Was the market manipulated? Were the computer driven systems gamed? Will Goldman be around in a few years? And if so, will Tim Geithner have an office there? Stay tuned……

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