Some posts have been more hyperbole than needed. But, the past few months have been unparalleled in the demonstration of the affects of stupidity (by the supposedly best-and-brightest) on the rest of us.
Well, it's time to get serious with a re-look at subjects covered to date. Let's start with a redo of People matters (from March 2008).
People may have abstractions imposed on them by the smarties. Hey, that's the way that the world has worked. We may have to succumb to these abstractions (any bias can be explained in this manner, call it tribal mind, if you would - being mathematically based does not make this type of thing any better). But, freedom means having the ability (and choice) to go outside of these impositions.
An example of sophisticated mis-use of us, and our resources, is the poster boys ( and their smarties) screwing us over. It's encouraging to see all the analysis being published looking at causes and culprits.
Some of this is looking at fiduciary duty and its absence from the MBA's mindset (WSJ 04/24/09). Others are looking at reforms that might make sense (WSJ 04/23/09). We also need to look at how capital structures might matter (WSJ 04/21/09).
That last is of note in this context since some views think that there are stronger equivalences (think Modigliani) than is the case except for very abstracted cases (see Remarks about Merton's talk at MIT).
And, this grappling with the abstracted overlay is the same problem people face with issues related to finance as it screws up their lives. And, that is a broad statement, including employer relations with their resources, the money peoples' efforts at extracting dollars out of our pockets, and much more.
There needs to be some position set that allows for the most probable scenarios for those who expect to retire with some dignity. Chasing after the market, and gaming, is not it.
We'll continue on the theme.
06/20/2009 -- Yes, rent can go to labor (new look at capitalism), and finance can have a higher calling.
04/27/2009 -- 'People matters' will mostly deal with the issues that cause fat cat rogues to carry out more than their share (by millions of multiples) while the populace is mostly skin draped over bone. For instance, let's talk about a technology company (of any type) who wraps the employees in very tight constraints as to intellectual property. And then, when they're no longer of use, throws them out like old rags. And, in some cases, even picks their pockets to remove the little accumulations of wealth that they may have acquired over the long years of devoted effort for the firm. Ah, there are many, many of these.
Of course, one of note is a split out from a larger company, where the favored few collected millions of bucks, the east coast fat cats ate their large portion, and much more. In that situation, oodles of workers lost their careers, their pensions, their health care, and more. Ah, and the principle guy is a Christian (oh, we're not to judge?).