Thursday, February 1, 2018

Years Forward

The last post I posted was four years ago and it was an unfinished draft from 2009.  Nine years since I have blogged.  I had a blog back in the early 2000's when blogging was a thing.  Now it seems blogging has faded, aside from a few stalwarts and some who have not gotten the memo.

Thirteen years ago a abruptly quit a career that, in hindsight, I should not have abruptly quit.  A decade ago I tried to revive at least a shadow of its former glory but it was not to be.  Five point seven years ago I reentered the workforce in a position a shadow of what might have been.  And here I am. 

For the next several years this is what I will do.  I will do it until I feel confident that when I stop doing it I won't face extreme hardship.  Sadly all ships will be harder as I will be that much older.  It will have been nearly 20 years since I abruptly left a career that promised vast riches if also poverty of spirit.  Some of the spirit I got back, some is long gone, and the riches became ever more elusive. 

This is a mistake.

As is this blog. 

20 years ago I thought I was so smart, but I was a fool.  And had I sat down and considered my foolishness earnestly I really think I might have gotten smarter faster.  Alas, I did not, dear Yorick.

Saturday, February 22, 2014

I offer mine own scalp

[This was left as a draft in 2009 and only published 5 years later.  I no longer work for the hedge fund]

Confession: I work for a hedge fund.

There, I said it. I am not proud of the fact. In fact, I am more than a bit embarrassed by that fact. But the fact of the matter is that I had retired from the world of finance in 2005 to become a small-time merchant, and even smaller-time farmer, and a person who would live in a small community in a small home and with few luxuries, internet service being one of the few.

In short, I had decided to downsize. During my entire Wall Street career to that time I had deep misgivings about the sector. The people who work there fall into a few camps and across the range from rather dull to extremely bright but all obsessed with money and status.... Status of various sorts, but status nonetheless. The dullards were horribly overpaid for their services, the brilliant wasted chasing basis points when they should have been inventing solar panels or cures for AIDS. Then there were the true financiers: not terribly smart but driven by the golden calf. Very slimy in general and only concerned with their personal fortune and power. In other words, verging on evil.

And aside from my personal dislike for most of my colleagues on one level or another, I did not think that more than 30% of what was being done was of very much value. And it only got worse as the market I was in started dealing in Credit Default Swaps, something that at the time I warned was no better than gambling. It should be outlawed I said four years ago before riding off into the sunset.

But this post is not about CDS either. I might write directly on that subject next time, but not right now.

I say that as background.

Tuesday, October 20, 2009

Once more into the breach!

It is time to return to the blog. I've been so busy that I've neglected it. Not that you are reading this, but in case you are, mahvelous!

It almost came to blows the other evening. I gave a neighbor a ride from Santa Fe to her house in Madrid, NM. She'd recently read Naomi Klein's "The Shock Doctrine" and proceeded to tell me how evil Milton Friedman was, how capitalism is destroying the Earth, enslaving poor Chinese, etc etc etc.....

There was no reasoning with her that Klein, a journalist with a deep ideological bent, has zero idea what Milton Friedman actually stood for and how many billions of people have been lifted out of crushing poverty by the freedoms he advocated.

In any event I really don't have time to expound on this at the present, but I may well yet do so....

Friday, August 7, 2009

This was requested

By commenter on Reason's blog so I took the 5 minutes to make it and send it to him.

Sunday, May 31, 2009

If I had a zilllion dollars

I would run this on television as an ad during the Super Bowl and American Idol....

Thursday, March 12, 2009

Economic Crisis Reaction: Liberal vs Conservative.

I live in a remote-ish mountain region in New Mexico. It is a relatively poor town – lots of people relying on the local food bank, free-cycling, odd jobs, etc. There are liberals and conservatives (I use the Common American Usage here), anarchists and libertarians, communists, socialists, hippies etc etc. In other words: people of all stripes. One thing I have noticed is the gap between liberals and conservatives in reaction to the economic crisis:

“Get a gun, stockpile canned goods and gold. Generator. Create defensive perimeter. Stockpile fuel. Self-sufficiency and self-defence”

“Community garden. Food bank. Clothing drive. New Free Box. Share firewood, water, living space. Fundraiser. Festival.”

As much as the latter group annoys with their earnestness, believe in nonsense, lack of basic economics understanding and generally poorer work ethic, conviction that “the man” is out to get them, they really do have a better attitude.

It’s amazing: the people who cannot plan, cannot organize, and generally do not exhibit the greatest skill-set are the ones who try while the planners, organizers and generally more skilled retreat into their own. If there was some way to blend the two, that would be formidable. Of course, such has been the power of the free market when times are good and the economy is growing.

Friday, March 6, 2009

Where have I been, you ask

Working in a coal mine, going downtown. Working in a coal mine, going down town.

Lord I am so tired, how long can this go on?

Seriously. Work and life has made me a bad blogger. With any luck I will get back to posting.

For now we have a picture....