Michael Jordan on handling a loss…  Begins at 10:20

Gratitude —–> Acceptance —–> Hunger

MJ would later go on to win six NBA Championships and six NBA Finals MVPs in the next eight years.

We should all be so hungry.

Bloomberg provides a telling example of what is wrong in DC.  Senate’s Health-Care Legislation Poised for Passage

Senate Majority Leader Harry Reid plans to win final passage by Dec. 24 now that he secured the vote of his party’s last holdout, Nebraska Senator Ben Nelson.

He finally struck a deal that satisfied his demand to keep U.S. subsidies from being used for abortion and won an agreement for more aid to help Nebraska provide coverage for the uninsured.

Nelson said the language satisfied him, though it drew criticism from antiabortion groups. The Nebraska lawmaker also won another prize, with additional Medicaid costs to his state being absorbed by the federal government.

The agreement came late on Dec. 18 over a handshake.

“It was a pretty powerful moment,” said Reid, a Nevada Democrat. “That’s what this place is built on, handshakes legalized bribery.” (emphasis Inthon)

Upon closer inspection of its “accomplishments”, we discover our government is a transparent kickback machine; something which is manipulated and used to advance one’s career and line one’s pocket.

Governments disintegrate when citizens and lawmakers reject individual, familial and community responsibility and instead believe in the goodness of “free money” (printed up or borrowed, of course) and citizens and lawmakers feel no sense of self-ownership.

What hope remains for the future when there is no incentive to encourage individual responsibility and self-ownership?

Governments stop functioning and cannibalize themselves when politicians shift from representing an informed group of constituents to becoming professional raiders for their financial backers (unions, other politicians or corporate interests).

Takeaway: Have no faith in national politics or national politicians.  Self-reliance and community reliance are more robust and sustainable.

A gem from Nassim Taleb, a trader who predicted the crash and sees more difficulties ahead:

What I am seeing and hearing on the news — the reappointment of Bernanke — is too hard for me to bear. I cannot believe that we, in the 21st century, can accept living in such a society. I am not blaming Bernanke (he doesn’t even know he doesn’t understand how things work or that the tools he uses are not empirical); it is the Senators appointing him who are totally irresponsible — as if we promoted every doctor who caused malpractice. The world has never, never been as fragile. Economics make homeopath and alternative healers look empirical and scientific.  (emphasis by Inthon)

No news, no press, no Davos, no suit-and-tie fraudsters, no fools. I need to withdraw as immediately as possible into the Platonic quiet of my library, work on my next book, find solace in science and philosophy, and mull the next step. I will also structure trades with my Universa friends to bet on the next mistake by Bernanke, Summers, and Geithner. I will only (briefly) emerge from my hiatus when the publishers force me to do so upon the publication of the paperback edition of The Black Swan.



I would go one step further; rather than blaming the Senators, blame the voters who elected these Senators (all of whom are ignorant of the dangers of fiat currencies, central planning and central banking).

The U.S. has never been this fragile.  An economy reliant on consumption, cheap energy/commodities, easy credit, entitlements, corporate welfare and social welfare is not durable or sustainable.

The years ahead will require deleveraging on a large scale and small scale.  Those grounded with an awareness of our current unsustainability will be more apt to mentally weather the future slowdown/economic pain.

Takeaway: Borrowing money to spend on entitlements, wars and handouts cannot go on forever.  Prepare yourself for the consequences of our current financial immaturity.

Tim “Strong Dollar” Geithner and Hillary Clinton teamed-up to pen an op-ed column for the Wall Street Journal

The best line:

“Raising personal incomes and strengthening the social safety net to address the reasons why Chinese feel compelled to save so much would provide a powerful boost to Chinese domestic demand and global growth.”

Of course, why should the Chinese citizens feel compelled to save their own money and be self-sufficient?  Why bother saving money when you can consume it and trust your government to take care of you?

It’s not as though their government ever lies to them, screws them over or nearly runs over its dissenters with tanks?

Takeaway: Governments of all stripes love their citizens to believe in collectivism and be at their mercy.  Don’t fall for it.  People came to this country for opportunity, not safety nets.

Sallie Krawcheck, former CFO of Citi, was on CNBC today speaking about BofA/Merrill Wealth Management.

How she has this job is amazing since during her tenure as CFO at Citi (2004 – 2007) the bank accumulated vast amount of toxic assets.

One wonders what type of information was she feeding her CEO, Chuck Prince, who stated:

“When the music stops, in terms of liquidity, things will get complicated. But as long as the music is playing, you’ve got to get up and dance. We’re still dancing.”

That was July 9, 2007.

Just one month later, the credit crunch forced Citi to borrow from the Fed Discount Window.

Just over one year later, Citi was effectively bankrupt and exists only because of corporate welfare from both Democrats and Republicans.

Interesting and disturbing that the CFO of this firm, Sallie Krawcheck, is now given a job as head of a Wealth Management division and is rumored to be in the running for Ken Lewis’s job as CEO of Bank of America.

While thinking about Wealth Management and rewarding those who make mistakes, I realized that many parents do this inadvertently when bailing out their children.

Parents often think their child is safe and secure with a trust fund and/or large sum of money upon their passing.  Wealth Management firms aggressively push this logic.

In many cases, the child would be better off with a knowledge base, clear mind and sense of responsibility rather than entitlement.

After a certain time, a parent’s failure to parent becomes irrelevant and the child, now an “adult”, needs to rationalize things for himself.

To raise a well-adjusted child, it makes sense to create an environment of self-reflection, awareness and personal responsibility, rather than one of indoctrination.

It is healthful and beneficial to let the child F-E-A-R:  Fail Early And Responsibly.

As a “child”, it is healthy to wean yourself from your parents and challenge yourself.  The rewards are worth it.

Takeaway: If you want to ruin a man, give him everything he wants. Never let him fail, struggle, grow or mature into a man.

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