Monthly Archives: January 2009

Consumer Product Safety Improvement Act

The CPSIA is a response to the lead found in children’s toys (made in CHINA!!), which requires third party certification that there is no lead in toys, clothing, craft products, among other things. One of the side-effects of this sweeping change is that one of my favorite sites, Etsy is going to be wildly affected. […]

Merrill Lynch

It goes without saying that we should at minimum subtract $3-4 billion from anything that B of A will receive from TARP. A 1- or 3-year across-the-board cap on finance salaries wouldn’t be terrible, frankly, and even if it creates hardship for employees, it will be temporary. And it is reasonable. We can argue about […]

Brainpower, at your service

Just a Friday thought: I have a decent (sometimes very thorough, sometimes cursory, sometimes not at all) understanding of the financial world, both current crisis, its causes, and some of the technical stuff of contemporary money matters. If there is something that you want to know, and would like me to take a shot at […]

citi, citi, citi

So, Citibank. Let’s roll the tape: I would say that there’s about an 80% chance that Citibank will not survive the next 12 months. Currently, there is a plan to break up the banking business and the brokerage business (that is, to merge Smith Barney with Morgan Stanley). Their CEO noted, “We believe there is […]

Denzel is the class

Wanna know what I like? I like celebrities with a modicum of grace. Actor Denzel Washington is among the early arrivals for the inauguration of Barack Obama and Joe Biden at the U.S. Capitol in Washington, Tuesday, Jan. 20, 2009. (AP Photo/Elise Amendola)

As an economic sociologist, I should be better at this

So, I’ve been outbid 5 times in a row on eBay, for a frickin’ frivolous item that I really want but don’t want to spend a lot of money on. Makes me a little smug that their income is down 31%. Take that, you scurrilous dogs!

A lifestyle to which I have grown accustomed

There are a small, but increasing, number of stories about fund managers and investors who are finding the recent economic collapse unbearable. I feel genuine sadness for those who have taken their own lives (and if your impulse is something like ‘good, fuck them’, then that makes you a bad person. Seriously.). They may have […]

Abstract finance: Structured Investment Vehicles and other Tricks

Once you have securitization under your belt, it’s time to move on to SIV’s, structured investment vehicles. The basic idea is that one way to securitize financial value – whether they be assets, leases, or some other future income stream – is to dump them into a trust created for that purpose.

Contemporary art, content, prices

There is a wonderful discussion of the subtle differences between modern/contemporary figurative artists over at Illustration Art. Figurative art in this case being nudes (so if you are offended by high art nudes, move on). The crux of the issue is the difference between Adrian Gottlieb and Job Currin. The former artist is, arguably, technically […]