Friday, November 28, 2008

A Cold River reviewer and a billionaire investment guru Warren Buffet once observed: It’s only when the tide goes out that you learn who’s been swimming naked.

Historical analysis is more than history. It is not just about recording what happened. It is about why it happened and whether it will again. Historical analysis is not just history. It is also analysis. So, it uses the philosophy of causation and the statistical techniques of correlation; with systems theory to understand the effect of feedback. As Santayana has been repeatedly quoted as saying: Those who cannot remember the past are condemned to repeat it, but noting that he meant "A man's memory may almost become the art of continually varying and misrepresenting his past, according to his interests in the present."

Thinking about the Theodore Roosevelt quote from Kevin Roberts’s inspiration post the other day also reminded me of a quotation from a completely different source: the great photographer Cecil Beaton… The credit belongs to the man who is actually in the arena, whose face is marred by dust and sweat and blood

Don't Bank On Bankers White-collar crime goes unpunished
Some characters have been railing against idiot bankers for years now. Wall Street was driven by greed, dishonesty, and dishonor.

The salaries paid were obscene and the arrogance amazing. Watching this latest meltdown from neighboring TriBeCa has been horrendous. I don’t really care what happens to the bankers. In fact, I’m more than a little pissed that so many of them have walked away with fat cat bonuses over the last three years and we found no way to get that money back.
What depresses me is what happens to the average person. Many employees at Saatchi & Saatchi have seen their retirement funds decimated by the greed, stupidity, and arrogance of these so-called 'Masters of the Universe'.

Don't Bank On These Guys; [ I came across colourful characters in cafes this week who shared this link with me they agree too that Australia is Big, Pretty, Arid, and Endless Understanding screenwriting 10 points; Meet Nulla (Brandon Walter), a mixed-race boy who seems to have inherited some magical powers from the aboriginal side of his family. Australia is narrated by Nulla, who speaks in a poetically broken English, and through his eyes and ears the movie takes on the once-upon-a-time vibe of a children's story. Ach and Hugh Jackman and Nicole Kidman have no trouble generating chemistry Aussies flock to see Baz Luhrmann's Australia ]
• · An interview with this US management thinker and author, looking at his latest book - The new, age of innovation: driving co-created value through global networks An interview with C K Prahald ; Strength is the redeeming virtue in adversity, but modern life has encouraged a nation of self-centred, consumption oriented sheep Think about World Philosophy Day
• · What is exciting about this Web 2.0 evolution is that there is an energy that comes with this new sense of freedom and connection - and companies are rapidly and wildly opening up new possibilities for collaboration.
The virtual gathering experience ; Aside from weeks when idealistic, energetic and quite appealing new political faces get elected to power in large democracies, Kubrick Week on SBS is always one of my favourites Six billion blogs and counting
• · · Currently, in Australia, there are a number of developments suggesting that some of the digital promises and challenges of the past two decades are being addressed. Welcome as these may be, such significant financial investments in resources do not, in and of themselves, herald a revolution and will not necessarily improve educational outcomes. Pdf format Digital promises and challenges ; This report argues that Australia will increasingly have to find its security in a world of power shifts and greater interconnectedness. The paper provides a global overview and considers such issues as US influence, warfare, the proliferation of WMD, terrorism, Iraq and the Middle East, Afghanistan and Pakistan, the Asian security environment, North Asia, Southeast Asia, the South Pacific, national security and Australia's strategic options. It also puts forward scenarios of what the world might look like in 2050 to encourage thinking about the possible shape of a more distant world Global jigsaw: ASPI's strategic assessment 2008#
• · · · THIS is an unusual book. It is part biographical, part anecdotal, draws on a long and detailed knowledge of Australia’s financial system, offers some intriguing insights, and mounts a consistent central argument. Essentially, it aims to resurrect Paul Keating’s reputation Unfinished Business: Paul Keating’s Interrupted Revolution; The man who is wearing Pauk Keating’s spray with badge of honour The Hon. JOHN ROBERTSON ; The North Sydney Swimmer’s Inaugural Speech: There have been many people along the way whom I also want to thank: a former President of this Chamber—and who I acknowledge is present tonight—Johno Johnson.
Mikhail Gorbachev, a Nobel laureate and a leader who has seen firsthand the impacts of significant change, said—more eloquently than I could—in a New York Times article reproduced in the Australian Financial Review on 31 October 2008:
No country, no sector of the economy, will escape the crisis. The economic model rooted in the early 1980's is falling apart. It was based on maximising profit by abolishing regulation aimed at protecting the interests of society as a whole. For decades we have been told that this benefits everyone: "a rising tide lifts all boats". Yet the statistics say that it didn't. … Without a moral component any system is doomed to fail. (The soil I ploughed for two decades at Macquarie Street) Gadigal people of the Eora nation the land
• · · · · Financial decisionmaking and human nature Teaser loans ; Mr. Buffet, Mr. Soros: Please Stop Investing in Filthy Fossil Fuels Whatever it takes even if it’s a deficit
• · · · · · ; Solar Power: Germany–1,000; Australia–1 Solar stuff-up ; Limits to our patience …ASU student Alex Botsios said he had no problem giving a nighttime intruder his wallet and guitars. When the man asked for Botsios' laptop, however, the first-year law student drew the line Whatever it takes even if it is Lap Lap top

Friday, November 21, 2008

The more things a (wo)man is ashamed of, the more respectable s/he is.
-George Bernard Shaw (unrelated to Catherine H Shaw )

What does the Peter Mandelson three-men-in-a-boat affair have to do with the price of fish? In the midst of the greatest financial crisis in human history - according the Bank of England economist Charles Bean - does it really matter who said what to whom on Oleg Deripaska's yacht in Corfu? Yes, actually it does. This affair tells us a great deal about how Britain got into its current financial mess. What may appear to be a lot of bitching by Bullingdon Berties is actually highly revealing about the relationship between political and financial power in public life. Our politicians simply can't help themselves: they are in love with wealth. And this infatuation has robbed them of their judgment. Politicians must end their love-in with the super rich - There was a failure to appropriately assess the regulatory and reputational risks. It seems to be a pattern similar to Enron Offshore secrecy jurisdictions

Leadership in the APS: its influence on workplace culture
Lynelle Briggs

Leadership and culture have an intricate relationship. Each can operate on its own, but when they operate together towards a common purpose, they become a very powerful tool. Culture is about shared ways of thinking, how people behave and interact, and what information and ideas they value as being important. In many ways it is an unspoken and unwritten aspect of an organisation - it's the way things are done around here.

A culture can work to the benefit or detriment of organisational success. So too can leadership...; [As Steve noted This is a powerful article: Past U.S. generations invented the airplane; invented the automobile; discovered penicillin; and built the Interstate highway system. The Baby Boom generation has invented credit default swaps; mortgage backed securities; the fast food drive thru window; discovered the cure for erectile dysfunction; and built bridges to nowhere. No wonder we’re in so much trouble. US Culture Our Culture – sneeze develops to cold everywhere; Life is eternal, and love is immortal, and death is only a horizon; and a horizon is nothing save the limit of our sight.
A golden heart stopped beating, hardworking hands at rest.
What moves through us is a silence, a quiet sadness, a longing for one more day, one more word, one more touch, we may not understand why you left this earth so soon, or why you left before we were ready to say good-bye, but little by little, we begin to remember not just that you died, but that you lived. And that your life gave us memories too beautiful to forget. When tragedy strikes, people are at a loss of words.]
• · Once upon a time, foes of immigration were more concentrated on the country's political left than the right. Writes Vargas Llosa: "In a radio address given in 1977, Ronald Reagan mocked 'the illegal alien fuss,' asking himself: 'Are great numbers of our unemployed really victims of the illegal alien invasion, or are those illegal tourists actually doing work our own people won't do?' If only in the interest of political survival, those who claim to idolize the Gipper -- the same guy who in 1986 legalized almost 3 million Hispanics, many of whom were driven by fear to vote for Obama -- should think again." Obama's Herculean Task; What's Ahead for Taxpayers?
• · Failure to significantly reduce poverty could eventually destabilise world peace and security; dealing with it successfully is in our national interest.The global hunger challenge: an opportunity for Australian leadership; The Chinese cheer the Democratic victor with a wary eye on his trade policy The world looks to Obama
• · · Today, cybercriminals run their operations like businesses: they outsource, watch margins, cut costs. Security managers must first understand such opponents before they can begin to defeat them. The cybercrime arms race ; You know times are tough when the rich start cutting costs on their mistresses. Tough Times
• · · · Economy; Lack of it
• · · · · The logic of capitalist crises and the 'slaughtering of capital values Financial deregulation and the sub-prime crisis; This is not a time for bureaucratic mumbling but plain, honest speech, of a type that Australians and their leaders were once noted for. Spin no cure for depression
• · · · · · On a lighter side of life Salsa Scene In Sydney ; A FORMER taxman has penned his first novel at the age of 60 after developing a love of history. Ian Bonaccorso of Eight Mile Plains has written Addio Italia - Hello Australia an historical account of Stanthorpe Italian pioneers, from 1925 to 1935 in Southern Star (Springwood), 12/11/2008 Addio Italia - Hello Australia is $49.50 at Daw Road Newsagency, Warrigal Rd, Runcorn, or order by email: bonastar@ A novel way to record history

Saturday, November 15, 2008

November as been a month filled with hens parties, bucks parties, weddings: first Ana and Rudi of Gymea fame and then Patrick and Chris of Newport fame ... So much dancing and so many blisters. Highlighs this month must be the six whales at Iceberg I watched with the ondon Mafia Robie, Tim, Sofie, etc... Monday before the Melbourne Cup will be remmembered by Mal as the time when dinner was served with the view of the Whales and the Viewed won the following day so the dinner was paid for by other punters ...

He is simply a shiver looking for a spine to run up.
-- Paul Keating (overheard at the launch of Hugh Lunn's latest wordsmith gems at French Forest)

Happy birthday Internet: click go the cheers, Agnes King, Jeanne-Vida Douglas & Mark Jones, BRW, 9 October 2008, pp.24-31. Looking back at the 20th anniversary of the transmission of the first data packets across what became the Internet. Articles discuss the beginning, and changing uses, of the Internet, 10 things coming in the next 5 years, and the Internet as the infrastructure of the digital economy. Social networking online is full of pitfalls for the unsuspecting. Don't put anything on FaceBook, MySpace, or similar web 2.0 applications, unless you'd be happy to see it broadcast or on the front page of the newspaper. Two decades or even more since Cold River took place and one still has to be aware of computer based espionage and how organisations can defend against it How to prevent cyber espionage

Hungry Media Dragon Bivings Report: American Newspapers and the Internet: Threat or Opportunity?
We have recently completed the 2007 study of America’s top 100 newspaper websites, entitled American Newspapers and the Internet; Threat or Opportunity?

As the newspaper industry continues to suffer declines in readership and circulation, using the Internet to expand a newspaper’s reach is becoming more and more important. While many industry experts fear that the Internet will spell the end of newspapers as we know them, our team here at TBG feels that the Internet presents newspapers with a unique opportunity to make up for lost circulation and readership. This study explores these concepts, as well as the difficulties facing newspapers regarding online advertising, shrinking staffs, and reaching out to consumers...research data is available in Excel format here

• Pdf formatNews of Media Dragons; [Security vendors have long been criticised for making grandiose claims about the efficacy of their wares. Calculating a specific product or solution's potential return on investment 'is mostly bunk in practice' Security can be measured ; Companies of all sizes have begun to embrace Moodle, an open source learning management system that can be downloaded free and operates with virtually every other training related software system on the market. Moodle goes corporate ]
• · Welcome to the age of globalisation, modernity and all sorts of other forms of “progressiveness”. A couple of years ago I did an assignment entitled “Progress is Always Good”. Unfortunately I didn’t know then what I know now. Progress means the Internet, no barriers, there is no time therefore there is no reality. Hello, Internet dating!; That was fast. In eight days, my mate and his girlfriend 'winked' and were seriously dating. So what constitutes an internet date exactly? Internet dating: instant love or instant disappointment?
• · The best connections are the ones that take you to new and strange places. Slate writer, Daniel Gross, certainly ventured off the map when he connected the number of Starbucks locations in a country’s financial capital with how affected the city has been by the recent economic blast. The more Starbucks stores, the worse affected. Starbucks: The world's local coffee house ; This case study focuses on the process involved in a pharmaceutical company's decision to rapidly promote and develop an existing staff member to the position of Chief Information Officer. Some valuable executive development lessons were learnt along the way High speed executive development
• · · Open-source politics is the idea that social networking and participatory technologies will revolutionize our ability to follow, support, and influence political campaigns. Forget party bosses in smoky backrooms—netroots evangelists and web consultants predict a wave of popular democracy as fundraisers meet on MySpace, YouTubers crank out attack ads, bloggers do oppo research, and cell-phone-activated flash mobs hold miniconventions in Second Life...How times changed report from 2003 AD - is a commentary on the inherent impediments to implementing enterprise-wide blogging tools due to issues such as application interoperability, the volume of data involved, and the hierarchy used for information storage. Why Blogs Haven't Stormed the Business World ; MotherJones Examines Role of Web 2.0 in Political Campaigns
• · · · I would like to announce the launch of the Texas Digital Library's (TDL) blog, The Scholar's Space, featuring a team of four contributors (including me), with more to come over the next few months. The Scholar's Space joins scholarly communications blogs sponsored by friends at other colleges and universities, and national and international organizations. We'll be providing commentary on newsworthy items related to TDL participants' local and global interests in academic processes and systems of research -- from providing access to data and information, to online collaboration and new approaches to reporting out results and public archiving of papers and data The Scholar's Space; BlawgWorld 2007 is the best way to explore and discover legal blogs (blawgs). It features 77 remarkable essays from 77 of the most influential blawgs. Each blogger handpicked their best essay of the year for inclusion in the eBook. The 2007 TechnoLawyer Problem/Solution Guide is a revolutionary new way to find Solutions to Problems your law firm is experiencing. Specifically, it contains 185 Problems and corresponding Solutions. Each Problem is written in the form of a question from the point of view of a law firm and organized by topic. Topics include case management, depositions, discovery, document management, legal research, time-billing, and many more — 58 topics in all." (366 pages, PDF) TechnoLawyer BlawgWorld 2007:
• · · · · Longer office hours and extended computer usage is increasing bad vision. Around 48 percent of officer workers suffer from computer eye fatigue, according to the Optometrists Association of Australia ; Office workers risk computer eye fatigue,
• · · · · · Some things keep resurfacing in October 2008 AD – Applies Media Exemption to Political Blogs the Commission determined that Kos Media, L.L.C., which operates the website DailyKos, did not violate the Federal Election Campaign Act. The Commission rejected allegations that the site should be regulated as a political committee because it charges a fee to place advertising on its website and it provides “a gift of free advertising and candidate media services” by posting blog entries that support candidates. Kos Media; LibWorm Beta is intended to be a search engine, a professional development tool, and a current awareness tool for people who work in libraries or care about libraries. LibWorm collects updates from about 1400 RSS feeds (and growing). The contents of these feeds are then available for searching, and search results can themselves be output as an RSS feed that the user can subscribe to either in his/her favourite aggregator or in LibWorm's built-in aggregator...Each feed searched by LibWorm has been assigned a category, so when you browse by Feed Category, you're seeing all the content from the feeds that have been assigned to that category. Subjects are pre-built searches, usually of greater complexity than the user interface currently supports, for common subjects of interest to libraryfolk." This site is free. LibWorm Beta

Thursday, November 13, 2008

The law, in its majestic equality, forbids the rich as well as the poor to sleep under bridges, to beg in the streets, and to steal bread.
-Anatole France quotes (French Writer, member of the French Academy and Nobel Prize for Literature in 1921, 1844-1924)

It is always a joy to catch up with John, Richard or Gina who jokes that she is a taxi driver to husband and 3 children. Richard is busy capturing the beauty of the Sydney Harbour on canvas, John tends to chasethe whales on the Harbour and freezes the moment on film. Gina enlightened with the most wonderful story about the Italian roots of the word company meaning with bread ... Swell

I am desperately trying to figure out why kamikaze pilots wore stolen helmets.
– Emily Sarks (misquoted)

Stolen from... was established in Emily’s final year of Tafe and became her whole life when her friends gave her a reason to reproduce her designs. If you like the designs consider voting for ES Stolen From by Emily Sarks

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Tuesday, November 11, 2008

Today is Remembrance Day – also known as Poppy Day, Armistice Day (the event it commemorates) or Veterans Day ...

This year the 90th anniversary loomed of the Armistice that ended World War One, at the 11th hour of the 11th day of the 11th month of 1918. As John Clinger noted in his tribute symbol of Remembrance, seems to demand reflection

By the way, If you haven’t heard about Gomorrah or shadow banker yet but you will.
The mad world of shadow bankers
Hedge funds and, to some extent, private equity companies are having to liquidate billions in assets as their business models collapse under the weight of falling share and house prices. The claim about SIVs, as with hedge funds and private equity companies, was that bankers had found ways to "abolish" risk through complex financial engineering.
In 1988, when two City financial whizzkids, Stephen Partridge-Hicks and Nicholas Sossidis, invented "structured investment vehicles", they inadvertently ignited the fuse that blew up the world's financial system in the Crash of 2008. Their company, called Gordian Knot, helped banks devise ingenious ways to hide their extravagant risk-taking by creating off-balance-sheet companies. They had created a Gordian knot all right - a system of financial mechanisms so complex that no one could unravel what was going on.
This past week Gordon Brown, a latter-day Alexander, tried to cut the Gordian knot, but he may have simply set the public finances adrift on a sea of debt. The state has exposed itself to the billions of pounds in liabilities held off the balance sheets of Britain's delinquent banks. This is the world of shadow banking.
The stock market crash early this month was largely a result of panic selling in this shadow banking system of structured finance. Hedge funds and, to some extent, private equity companies are having to liquidate billions in assets as their business models collapse under the weight of falling share and house prices. Until these losses work their way through the system, the British economy remains in intensive care.
The madness of the shadow banking system became apparent over a year ago when Northern Rock was nationalised, but regulators ignored the implications. The Treasury minister Yvette Cooper discovered to her dismay that Northern Rock didn't own half of its own mortgages: ?5obn had been hived off to a Jersey-based company, Granite, registered as a charity benefiting Down's syndrome children in the north-east of England. Needless to say, the charity didn't get any cash - this was a special-purpose vehicle that allowed the Rock to trade in complex securities without having to meet the stringent capitalisation requirements of a normal bank.
The mad world of shadow bankers
He dared to expose the truth about the Naples mafia in a book that has been turned into an acclaimed film. Now he is facing death threats

This was the week Roberto Saviano drank the bitter wine of his success to the dregs. The Neapolitan author is only 28, with a single blazingly vivid and courageous book to his name. This is Gomorrah, the "non-fiction novel" about Neapolitan mafia, the Camorra, which has sold 1.8 million copies in 32 languages, and is now an acclaimed film.
Garlanded with the Grand Jury Prize at Cannes, tipped for a foreign picture Oscar, Gomorrah the film has just opened to rave reviews in Britain. Shot in the degraded Naples hinterland in a gritty, documentary-like style using local people – one of whom, a Camorra gangster on the lam, was arrested this week – the film shows a mafia bereft of glamour and style but brutally masterful in its control of the Naples economy.
Roberto Saviano: Author of 'Gomorrah' the book exposing the Naples mafia

Writing Can Be a Dangerous Business; Cold River stirs real life crime drama

Monday, November 10, 2008

Film producer Antony Ginnane, back home after 15 years, wants Australian filmmakers to look outward. If WRITER Bob Ellis had his way, Antony Ginnane and his vault of films would have been burned. Phillip Adams, a key architect of the Australian film renaissance, barely suppresses sneers as he recalls Ginnane's films. At least his remarks aren't personal or litigious Phillip Adams Media Dragon Godfather Just imagine if Ben Ferris of Sydney Film School fame were to say that People who are sound of mind do not make films even films like Cold River …

Can we change the bean counters? Story of ABC's books the stuff of Hollywood movies
Neil Chenoweth who wrote Packer’s Lunch writes again insightful story in the Australian Financial Review dated 08/11/2008. Its accounting practices seem to have allowed ABC Learning its explosive growth - but only for so long.

The Eddy Groves story is straight from Hollywood. It has a little of everything, from Local Boy Makes Good to My Brilliant Career the 19-year-old with a milk run and big dreams, who builds the biggest child-care group to the world: ABC Learning. Then the inevitable sequel: life in the very fast lane and the Years of Living Quite Dangerously - Ferraris, helicopters and everything an American Express Titanium card can buy. It segued gracefully to hubris, Greek tragedy and heartache as, during the past week, the company crashed into administration. Investors have already lost $3.5 billion. Now there is uncertainty for 16,000 staff and 150,00 parents, and the government is wriggling around in severe discomfort. It pays huge subsidies to the 1200 child-care centres and clearly wants to keep them open but hardly needs, in these straitened times, another budgetary albatross. Whatever, some sort of bail-out seems inevitably painful and costly.

The Australian film industry has lurched from crisis to boom and inexplicably back to crisis throughout its short, erratic history. THE Australian film industry has lurched from crisis to boom and inexplicably back to crisis throughout its short, erratic history. Moguls including Kerry Packer and Rupert Murdoch and Hollywood studios have come and gone from the industry; locals have lamented a paucity of government funding and mourned the exodus of our best talent overseas. The Gorton and Whitlam governments formalised the nascent industry in the early 1970s, establishing among other innovations an experimental film fund, a national film school and the development body that would evolve into the Australian Film Commission.
ABC of Gorton and Whitlam Film Initiative; [The site was conceived in 1995 by Professor Tom O'Regan when the Media Dragon began to spread the parliamentary stories Cold River Research sites; He also questioned the impact Tourism Australia's link with Baz Luhrmann's film Australia, saying it was another campaign aimed at creating awareness rather ... AUSTRALIA has been named the world's No 1 country-brand for the third year running, but analysts have warned it is failing to translate that affection into a compelling case for multinationals to invest here Cold River Exile Country named the world's No 1 country-brand ]
• · The Assistant Treasurer, Chris Bowen MP, and Minister for the Arts, Peter Garrett MP, today released an issues paper on the film tax offsets contained in Division 376 of the Income Tax Assessment Act 1997. Rudd Government Seeks Views on Film Tax Offset Regime; Film Tax
• · If fairness is part of our political narrative how can we test that nebulous concept of a fair go? Australian politics: a lack of narrative; In an increasingly global business environment, only the most culturally intelligent will thrive. World get ready
• · · The Oprah of US politics: Oprah and Obama are comfortable about their past and do not let colour determine their place in the world. A different kind of black; IT is Australia's richest race and now the Melbourne Cup has become the race for the rich. Melbourne Film Cup
• · · · When the market calms down and the guarantee is lifted in three years why shouldn’t we have somewhere for people to keep their money safe? Banking on the ATO; When a public servant begins work, they will, like in any other job, come across numerous types of people. Humour & Satire
• · · · · John Hatton lived this stories in 1995 - The PIC's Operation Florida found that between 1985 and the 1995 Wood Royal Commission members of the MCSN's armed hold-ups unit planted weapons on criminal Operation Florida ; Ian Falks whose enfamous fight in US hotel with John Newman became a legend at Parliament House in early 1990s. The accused Crime Commission boss Mark Standen was an independent witness to an interview conducted with a man who gave evidence against the convicted mastermind of the murder of the Cabramatta MP John Newman Mark Standen Looking back
• · · · · · EVIDENCE the former health minister Reba Meagher gave to a judicial inquiry that she had been offered the seat of Cabramatta in preselection manoeuvres hours before the incumbent was killed has been supported by a former Cabramatta community worker Facts and Evidence; FORMER NSW health minister Reba Meagher was offered the state seat of Labor MP John Newman just hours before he was gunned down in Australia's only political assassination, an inquiry was told yesterday

Tuesday, November 04, 2008

Iceberg has a long connection with Bart Cumings (sic) and Viewed was seen by Mal as a good bet;-) (Nine months ago Obama had odds 140 to 1 ...) Imagine that!

Senator Barack Obama’s election as the next president of the United States promises a new era in America’s rocky relations with the world. But the era may be slow in dawning and President-elect Obama’s promised international initiatives - ramping up war in Afghanistan, curbing global warming - may not work out quite the way America’s allies hope. The world looks to Obama

We should expect the worst, but hope for the best The biggest fairytale We have ever seen
Yes, he could. How a man with a spindly public record leavened with a gift for oratory from God, claimed his country's highest honour.

Some princes are born in palaces. Some are born in mangers. But a few are born in the imagination, out of scraps of history and hope. Barack Obama never talks about how people see him: I'm not the one making history, he said every chance he got. You are. Yet as he looked out Tuesday night through the bulletproof glass, in a park named for a Civil War general, he had to see the truth on people's faces. We are the ones we've been waiting for, he liked to say, but people were waiting for him, waiting for someone to finish what a King began.

The Meaning of Obama's Win: How He Rewrote the Book ; [Opportunities in Crises: People who talk about a bubble are blowing smoke,” said real estate economist Michael Carney. It was February 2005 and Carney was confident that house prices in California wouldn’t fall. But by the end of the year the market turned. And between August 2007 and August 2008, California house prices fel Lessons from California’s housing bubble; In part because the construction industry has adopted a strategy of building new units only after they have secured buyers. The relative unresponsiveness of supply in the face of increasing demand has pushed real estate prices to record highs and decreased the number of households that can afford to purchase a home Deals to be made ]
• · Barack Obama's "improbable quest" gained enough steam over two years to end in a decisive victory over John McCain. It's not quite right to say the incoming president Barack Obama has no executive experience. Obama on Google; Obama Time
• · My Vladimir Putin … The Empire Has No Clothes: U.S. Foreign Policy Exposed (Updated Edition), by Ivan Eland ; Unfortunately, the registration movement teaches citizens that an uneducated vote is better than no vote at all. Such a lesson is pernicious and could have lasting effects on the electorate Don’t Rock the Vote, Baby!

• · · A MAJOR event such as the present global recession always creates a demand for explanations: Unfortunately, today the demand for an answer quickly gives way to an obsessive impulse to avoid responsibility. Public figures who tend to suffer from the disease of responsibility aversion continually assure us that "it wasn't me" before they point the finger of blame. Conspiracy theories are appealing because they provide us with a semblance of control over powerful forces that influence our lives. Even before the present financial crisis, acts of misfortune were frequently associated with intentional malevolent behaviour. Nothing happens by accident. Human malevolence is suspected to be at work behind the death of Diana, princess of Wales, in a car crash or when there is a sudden electrical blackout. Unexplained illnesses or a spillage of chemicals are frequently blamed on the self-serving irresponsible acts of politicians, public and business figures, doctors, scientists; indeed, all professionals. PLAYING the blame game is a modern version of the ancient practice of scapegoating and fuelling a maelstrom of imaginary causes; IT'S official. The Hollowmen is truth, not fiction: A paper prepared for the Democratic Audit of Australia has found political public relations has become an essential part of the policy-making process. Politics caught in spin cycle
• · · · Extraordinary upheavals throw up extraordinary risks, problems, and of course, opportunities Hold Your nerve ; I've always believed when we put our individual skills together, all of us are more powerful than any one of us. What's great is that the bigger the group you are part of, the more dramatic change you can effect. Nowhere is this more true than in changing our actions and attitudes toward creating a more sustainable world… Who's the boss?
• · · · · A speech byTony D’Aloisio, Chairman, Australian Securities and Investments Commission to the Australian Corporate Lawyers Association (ACLA) Friday, 7 November 2008 PDF ahead The new ASIC: Addressing today’s challenges and building for the longer term ; Worth a Try LESSONS FROM THE POOR: Triumph of the Entrepreneurial Spirit ; I'd like to have predicted something really nice," laughs Magnus, who at 59 has the air of a University lecturer rather than an investment banker. George Magnus does not look like a prophet. Yet this is the man widely acknowledged to have predicted that the US sub-prime mortgage crisis would trigger a global recession George Magnus: the man who predicted the sub-prime crisis
• · · · · · Australians have never forgiven Rupert Murdoch for renouncing his citizenship in order to get rich in the United States. Media mogul Rupert Murdoch has attacked his fellow Australians for laziness saying the "bludger" could soon become the national icon Media mogul Rupert Murdoch ; Media tycoon Rupert Murdoch may run one of the most profitable businesses in the UK, but it appears he has somehow managed to avoid a tax bill. Most profitable businesses