Wednesday, April 28, 2010

Quotes of the day

... [the Obama] administration ... can imagine the world without the internal combustion engine but not the world without the Chrysler corporation ...--George Will

I hope Dr. ["Hide The Decline" Michael] Mann does sue us. The legal discovery process would give us an opportunity to expose Dr. Mann’s research – or lack thereof to public and legal scrutiny.--Jeff Davis, of Minnesotans 4 Global Warming

Never Hire Job Hoppers. Never. They Make Terrible Employees. ... It’s like a woman who is dating a man who has had 6 wives and cheated on all of them before divorcing them but she somehow thinks SHE will be different.--Mark Suster

Hire the best. Hire people that can leave your startup at any minute if they wanted to because they're so kick ass that they're constantly getting contacted by interested parties. Then it becomes your job to ensure that you're creating an environment that is equally as good as your people. Create a company that gives your people the most room for growth, creativity, a sense of ownership, and fun. And if you can't hire the best then hire people with any level of experience (novice, intermediate, advanced) that have promise. Then help them become the best so that they can leave any time they want. Hint: they won't. They'll be loyal because you helped them become the best. Your goal should be to help every single employee get to the point where they're the best in their field and are constantly getting job offers. And what if they aren't loyal once you've helped them become the best? People will eventually leave no matter what you do. Don't view it as a character flaw on their part. Just know that you can pick up more people because you've created a work environment that breeds the best and the word will spread. And as any job hopper can tell you, there are plenty of companies where your skill, ambition, and talent can go to die, but there are very few that help you become the best and give you real reasons to be loyal.--Paul Dix

Your parents loved you, and they did their best. But they created a false reality. Everyone isn’t above average in all they do. And in real life, only the winner gets the trophy. It’s important you understand this before we award that diploma, as there’s a good chance your boss will be just like me. Scary thought, huh?--Bill Sledzik

... children’s gender role stereotypes were more restrictive for males, than for females.--Sex Roles, DOI

Men indicate a higher interest in high-status products (study 1) and more readily noticed high-status products (study 2) after exposure to sexily, rather than plainly, dressed women. The effects are restricted to single men, suggesting that the acquisition or consumption of a luxurious product functions as a mate attraction mechanism.--Universiteit Gent working paper, March 2009

Goldman didn't do a good job defending themselves. You have to be a 'bright young thing' to get a job there, but I think their brand name and massive connections, make them appear much smarter than they really are. ... Blankfein is a crony capitalist, begging for more 'regulation' because he knows that a 1300 page bill basically only helps those with connections and extant massive legal infrastructure, and hurts potential competitors who merely have good ideas. I'd miss them as much as I'd miss Drexel, a giant which died with much schadenfreude.--Eric Falkenstein

Basically, the McCarthy era never ended. The objective of every Congressperson at every hearing is to get on the evening news by bullying a witness. The only question I have is whether McCarthy is the one who started it, or whether he happened to be the one guy who got called out on it. Too bad somebody at Goldman could not have called out a Senator. It must have been tempting to say, "Look. You can't make a market by bending over backwards giving buyers every reason not to buy and sellers every reason not to sell. Sophisticated investors understand how we operate. Just like everybody who goes to play blackjack understands that some of the cards are dealt face down. You can complain that you think all the cards should be face up, but that would totally change the game. Do you hold to such high standards in your election campaigns? Do you think your disclosure of the consequences of your votes is honest? Do you disclose how lobbyists told you to vote? Do you go out of the way in your campaigns to give people all the possible reasons not to vote for you? You want to tell me about my responsibility to my clients? How would you like to hear my opinion about your responsibility to your constituents?" Blame deflection. That is what this whole financial "reform" theater is all about.--Arnold Kling

The second big event in Washington this week is the jostling over a financial reform bill. One might have thought that one of the lessons of this episode was that establishments are prone to groupthink, and that it would be smart to decentralize authority in order to head off future bubbles. Both N. Gregory Mankiw of Harvard and Sebastian Mallaby of the Council on Foreign Relations have been promoting a way to do this: Force the big financial institutions to issue bonds that would be converted into equity when a regulator deems them to have insufficient capital. Thousands of traders would buy and sell these bonds as a way to measure and reinforce the stability of the firms. But, alas, we are living in the great age of centralization. Some Democrats regard federal commissions with the same sort of awe and wonder that I feel while watching LeBron James and Alex Ovechkin. The premise of the current financial regulatory reform is that the establishment missed the last bubble and, therefore, more power should be vested in the establishment to foresee and prevent the next one.--David Brooks

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