Sharon Bialek, made a statement today that Herman Cain inappropriately touched her after she asked him for help looking for a job. After he touched her, Cain said, “You want a job, don’t you?” (according to Bialek). The Cain political campaign released a statement denying this, but this I think is an error on their part. I think Cain can spin this in to a job creation campaign slogan, “Hey America, you want job don’t you?”.
Personally I think he can bounce back from this; however, politically I don’t really think he is a viable candidate in the first place. So he should just enjoy being the black sheep candidate and see how much he can get away with. In addition, I have eaten at that Godfathers Pizza and luckily I lived to tell you that running that ghetto pizza chain isnothing to be proud of.
On November 2 2011, Seattle police detained 5 protestors of the Occupy Seattle movement. The protesters were demonstrating in opposition to a visit from Jamie Dimon the CEO of JP Morgan Chase who was being honored by the University Of Washington Business School. The protestors called for the arrest of Mr. Dimon claiming that he has commited “crimes against the people.” While I am all for the protestors right to demonstrate, I must offer a counter opinion that this is simply displaced anger on the part of the demonstrators. The theory that Mr. Dimon is a greedy over-paid Wall Street Gordon-Gecko like villain is not entirely warranted. One of the reasons that Mr. Dimon and other Wall Street Executives are villainized is that they are part of the wealthy elite, the upper 1% of income earners. The economic reason that Wall Street Executives are paid so much is that they are extremely productive people. JP Morgan Chase is a large and complicated organization the is involved in some of the most complex finical interactions the world has ever known, and there are an elite group of people that are capable of successfully managing such an institution.
If the protestors are correct that Mr. Dimon is over paid then they are also suggesting that anyone can replace him and match his productivity. I find it interesting that laypeople have a tendency to hate successful executives for their wealthy and exuberance, but at the same time laude Hollywood stars and professional athletes for their talents and charity work. So let us compare the two, take Peyton Manning a successful professional quarterback who earns about 20 million dollars a year (which is give or take a few million is on par with Jamie Dimon). This season Mr. Manning suffered a injury that keeps him from performing his role as quarter back; his team the Indianapolis Colts have unsuccessfully replaced him with three other quarterbacks. It seems that like Wall Street executives, successful NFL QB’s are not easy to come by, hence their high pay. With Manning as the Quarterback the Colts had 9 consecutive seasons with 12 or more wins, this season with Manning on the sidelines the Colts have not won any of the 8 games they have played thus far. The productivity and the utility of Peyton Manning is evident in his absents, and his high pay is reflected and justified by his abilities, this means that Peyton’s pay must be judged relative to his productivity and value as an asset. This is how we should think about executives like Dimon, who are on the frontline of the American Economy and lately have been in the weeds fighting to get the US back into gear.
There is also a misunderstanding that this is a zero-sum game, suggesting that because Dimon is paid so much that all his employees are thus under-paid. Again let’s go back to Peyton Manning, by this logic then Reggie Wayne, the Colt leading receiver, would be exploited and under-paid compared to Manning, but Wayne a receiver would not be as productive without Manning throwing the ball to him, case in point this current season is his statistical worst in 10 years. The arguement againts the zero-sum game image is the economic clique that a rising tide will raise all ships. If Dimon does well and is productive then all his employees will benefits as well as those industries and business that work and have accounts with JP Morgan Chase. The Occupy Wall Street and Occupy Seattle crowed tend to portray this as a zero-sum game where people like Dimon and Manning are winning big and everyone else is losing but this is not a factual accurate depiction. Such as when the Colts did well under Manning, attendance in the stadium improved, thus the local businesses around the stadium (such as bars and restaurants) benefited from this, sales of merchandise (Manning jerseys and hats) improved, as well as the boost the City receives from their Super bowl victory.
In sports, this all happens in the public space, but in the business world the benefits of Jamie Dimon’s work happens in the complex unseen, but much talked about, economy. Case in point, when Peyton Manning became injured and unable to play no protestors called for him to be arrested because now the economy surrounding the Colts stadium and merchandise sales will suffer. Give the guy a break and let him get back to work, we need him just like to Colts need Manning.
For those of you that thought that scantily clad women were doomed to sell coffee and dance on your laps for twenty dollars song, think again. Finial Hot women everywhere have an new outlet for their talents, tits, frustration, and firm-asses. The Lingerie Football League may sound like a premise that was thought up and rightfully should have died in cloudy dive-bar full of sceezy old men. “Hey, Billy, would it be great if women played football in their underwear?”. Lucky for you and me that dream is today a reality. At first the league started off with four teams a few years ago and has now grown to include twelve teams, an MTV2 sponsor with live coverage and a formidable fan base. Some my scoff at the quality of the athletes but in an interview the coach of the Seattle Mist claims that his Women are real players who hit and run hard. Further evidence suggest that the lingerie-clad ladies take the sport seriously, when 22 women resigned from the Toronto based team over a dispute involving player cuts.
Just like this Podcast, the Occupy Wall Street movement is now bi-costal. Today about one hundred dreadlock bearing, sign waving, and bullhorn shouting activists made camp in a open- square near Seattle’s Westlake Shopping Center. In a happy cluster-fuck of a coincidence, the shopping chain Target planned to host an event with Celebrity Gail Simmons in that very same open square where the smelly hipsters were now squatting. The results of this were highly entertaining. Enough even to draw me away from work to check it out. Here I actually attempted to do some on-the-street reporting. As I entered the square first by accidentally crossing the thinly stretched picket line into the Target event area, where there was a stage and red-shirted vendors giving out samples of food and receiving taunts from the protestors about corporate greed. To the rear of the stage, there was modest encampment of two dozen multi-person tents and more formidable group of protestors. After getting a free hot-cider from a vendor I entered the encampment where there were several local news crews setting up interviews with the more animated characters in the group. A young man sporting baggy pants, brown wife-beater, and a reverse mohawk hair style gave me shit for drinking the free cider. I asked the haphazardly dressed “what is this all about?”, he replied, “We want to take down Wall Street, and the Tea Party.” To this I probably too quickly retorted “But there is no Wall Street or Financial District in Seattle.”. “Well, fuck Target then.” was his reply. The next person encountered asked me if I could tell that he had urinated on himself. I informed him that I could and moved on. When Gail Simmons (or some other person, I really have no idea who she is) took the stage is when the real action took place. To this there was a modest group middle-aged women gathered for the event that erupted in applause. In response to this the masses of grimy homeless looking protesters fortified the piquet lines at the front of the event shouting a myriad of chants. There was no clear message that emerged from this group, but these people sure are passionate, I have to give them that. In a weird turn, I found that the groups of middle-aged women at the Target event were more intrigued by the protesters than angry or fearful of them. Despite the obnoxious antics and shouts from the protesters, the two diverse groups seemed to co-exist for the time I was present at the event. I even saw some protesters drinking the free cider, eating the free food, and mingling with some of the red-shirted “corporate oppressors”.
The US Justice Department is investigating the credit rating agency Standards & Poor’s approval of the sub-prime mortgage market that led the US economy in to the recent recession. Although this investigation began before the company degraded the US Credit Rating, efforts for accountability are clearly being ramped up and publicized in the wake of this harmful blow to the US economy. The US Government is sending a clear message that says “Don’t mess with the bull, young man, you’ll get the horns.” It is not clear what if any ramifications the credit agency could from this investigation, but in a volatile economy this vengeful tic-for-tact game could end up being more harmful than simply learning some humility on the part of the government.
I live in Seattle, where coffee is king, there are coffee spots everywhere: strip malls, on the side of the road drive-threw, the building I work in has over a dozen places to buy coffee ( two of them are Starbucks). But my favorite, by far, is Cowgirls Espresso. Why you ask? because there, the girls where Bikinis. But more than just the sex appeal of staring at a hot, tight, young girl slaving over an espresso machine. The girls play up their sex appeal with witty flirtatious banter and I think that more than the visual image (certainly not the bland coffee) is what makes me come back time and time again. The average Barista makes $20 in tips a day, the average Bikini-clad Barista makes $700 a day. How much do I tip? well that is between my local Cowgirl (featured above) and me.
The emissions it takes to power the average house kills 300 polar bears a day. Ok, I made that up, but seriously there are negative effects to the emissions of burning the fossil fuels that power your iPad. That is why I choose to take advantage of a program that is offered by my local power company, that allows my house to run completely on renewable energy: solar, wind, and cow shit (don’t ask me how). The program only cost an extra penny per kilowatt, or about 10% of your previous bill. All the money you pay, not just the extra, is invested back into more renewable resources. For those of you that live in the Puget Sound Region you can join for only an extra 4 or 10 dollars a month, for those who don’t live in this area contact your energy supplier and ask for this type of program. Face it, someday energy has to be renewable.
CEO Jamie Dimon and other executives of the investment and commercial bank have been lobbying around Washington that new regulations for Wall Street are too strict. JP Morgan claims credibility in the issue of regulation because it was part of the solution to the financial crisis not part of the problem. Leavening most government officials, including Ben Bernanke (Brooklyn Steve’s personal hero), to say “Oh good for you, but you still have to play by the rules.”. While JP Morgan was not as problematic as others on Wall Street institutions there is no denying that they accepted government assistance in more than one form. This logic problem evokes Parmenides fallacy and the ability to compare two different end states of a given course of action. The truth is we cannot empirical for see the end result of a choice we didn’t make. Suppose JP Morgan would have survived the financial crisis because of its intrinsic risk management in the absences of government regulation, what of the other investment firms that did not have this foresight. Could JP Morgan have survived even if all others failed?
That’s right, get ready for a fire sale on books as the gargantuan retailer Borders Books goes bankrupt and liquidates its 399 stores across the country. However, it is not all good news. Now where are dreadlock sporting hipster douche-bags going to lazily sit around, sip their Starbucks Iced Chai Latte, and read free books? From my perspective, they have two options: the first being their parents couch; read books off a Kindle or tablet where the rent might be free, but eBooks are not. The other option is their local library where books are again free and you can even take them outside; not that I think these people really have anywhere to go. I for one welcome these outcasts to my local library, which is otherwise inhabited solely with an odd pairing of annoying little kids and creepy old people.
High frequency traders catch a bad rap. Why? I certainly don’t know, and neither does Washington really. All the SEC knows, as well as other Washington regulators, is that these firms are profiting from something they cannot comprehend and therefore it must be illegal. Go ahead and read any newspaper article on the topic of high frequency trading, and you’ll see a slew of quotes from regulating officials that say something along the lines of “this practice *might* be causing instability in the markets” or “*may* be gaming the system.” How about some hard facts before you go a ruin a fair profit for these individuals!