Sunday, August 26, 2007
Instead of President Gore trying to drag a kicking and screaming America into responsible policies and energy management, the frightening spectacle of Bush's America is driving Americans to thoughtful reflection and purposeful action. American's are waking up to the problems of an oil-based economy and its dangers for the environment, the public's health, and of course, their pocketbooks and wallets. They are also wising up to the politics of fear (Sorry Rudy!) and other national soul-destroying policies such as torture and domestic spying. After seven years of spying on American citizens, continued oil dependence and Vietnam-like quagmire in the Middle East, Americans have moved out of the post-Cold War, good times slumber of the Clinton years.
President Bush has diseased America; weakened it, tarnished its reputation around the world.
But as they say, what doesn't kill you makes you stronger.
Monday, August 20, 2007
A weaker dollar means cheaper exports. Corporate earnings due to global sales have been driving this bull stock market run. Companies such as Cisco, Caterpillar, GE, benefit from the artificial reduction of their product's price. Higher interest rates would (economically speaking) increase demand for the dollar on the FX markets and drive up its price, and thus the price of US made goods and services.
Having said that, look for the Fed to reduce interest rates (Fed Funds rate target) a quarter point to 5% to signal more love to the financial sector and provide some relief for the housing market. Any official move to reduce the rates below 5% would signal a stimulative move and the threat of a recession.
Sunday, August 19, 2007
College football is God's compensation for the end of summer. Some of the people I know may be surprised that I am a big fan - well of my alma mater anyway - the
I say UH is up because they went 11-3 last season and coming because they have a lot of players back and are in almost all the top 25 polls with the Associated Press putting it at #23 today. Despite losing at least 6 starters to the NFL, the Warriors are reloading around Colt Brennan who threw for a record 58 touchdowns last season with a NCAA record of 186 passing efficiency while throwing for 5549 yards. Three receivers with 1000 yard seasons - Davone Bess (96 rec, 1220 yds) Ryan Grice-Mullins (85, 1228), Jason Rivers (72, 1178) are back - and that may be a NCAA first, from an offense that averaged 47 points and 441 passing yards per game and racked up 7977 yards total for the season. Last season was the first time in my life when I prayed for bad field position, knowing that it would only give the QB, receivers, and running backs like Nate Ilaoa more yards to churn up.
So what does this have to do with digital media? The problem for UH is that they are based on the most geographically remote place on Earth. They travel more than any other team – college or pro. That also means that their home games start at 11 pm Saturday or 12 am Sunday morning on the East Coast, depending on daylight savings time. But digital media diversity is working in their favor. Last season I was able to watch every UH game, even though that took a utilizing a combination of Internet, audio and cable TV options. Radio from
But why my love for college football? In a word, - tribalism. Having lived in
The UH football team used to be called the Rainbow Warriors, and although the name is gone, the feeling persists of a wide spectrum of people coming together to play and support this team. Of course, every team has their following. But I’m part of this one.
Oh, and the story of
Sunday, August 12, 2007
These financial instruments have become a crucial mechanism in the new global system of financial hedging. They have become the foundation of, the collateral for, highly leveraged trading strategies that have, for instance, pushed the Dow to 14,000. Now, as their collateral gets devalued, these traders face margin calls – they have to put up more money or default on their loans. Subprime loans make up only 10% of the mortgage market and only a small percentage of them are in trouble but the bundled loans have lost their attractiveness. The combination has created a credit crisis had has only been partially alleviated by the Federal Reserve’s recent infusion of capital into the banking system.
Friday, August 10, 2007
Stock markets around the world have recently been "demutualizing" (going public) to globalize and update their technology infrastructure. The merger between NYSE and Euronext was probably the most significant move towards a new "World Wide Wall Street".
But another factor is the infosphere - the media and financial information system that provides the data, gossip and news that run these markets. Rubert Murdoch and his NewsCorp behemoth recently bought Dow-Jones - one of the most significant financial news organizations in the world and owner of the Wall Street Journal for a staggering $5 billion dollars (Dan Gross wrote that Murdoch paid a "jerk premium" of "somewhere between $760 million and $1.22 billion"). Recently, Thomson, the Canadian media conglomerate began buying Reuters, the founder of the electronic trading environment with Money Monitor Rates back in the 1970s, and the reigning trading communications system. GE who owns CNBC, the dominant financial television news network, considered the purchase but declined.
Bottom Line: As markets continue to go global, Fox is going to be there competing in the financial infostructure of globalized electronic money. God help us all.
Wednesday, August 8, 2007
I say the US has to hold the line and provide a oversight model for the rest of the world. There was a lot of opposition to the SEC when it was created but can you imagine not having the transparency that quarterly filings provide? As we move towards the end of pensions and the rise of the 401(k)s, do you want your retirement savings in companies where the CEOs would not verify the accounting? Most of the costs have already been registered and IT-financial controls are largely automated. Transparency is a good thing.
Saturday, August 4, 2007
Friday, August 3, 2007
This is something I'm thinking through. I teach a number of economic and political economy classes at NYU and have to seriously address issues dealing that abstraction "market".
By Anthony J. Pennings
That is why we have Government
That is why we have Democracy
That is why we have Journalism
That is why we have Education
That is why we have Intellectuals
That is why we have Research
That is why we have Markets…