Archive for September, 2008

The bankruptcy of big financial companies

September 19, 2008

September seems like an unusual time. Seven years ago, we saw the surreal falling down of the World Trade Center; this year, the bankruptcy, or the like, of a number of financial superpowers, Lehman Brothers, Merrill Lynch, AIG, seems to be more influential in the future than 9/11.

I am still a little dumbfounded. These companies are legendary in finance for more than a century, and they clash without any sign (at least to me). They had been my dream companies. When I was taking an MB A course, my idea was that, working for these companies equals a huge success, and I did not have the tiniest ambition to be employed by them. In my view, people in these companies must be young, energetic, fluent in English, dressed formally, and with suave behaviors and speech. They work hard in big offices, dealing with millions and billions of dollars, and at night, they enjoy themselves in high-end pubs and clubs. Whatever they talk about the market, the stock, the money, or the future, may appear in the cover page of the newspaper.

How come these smart people ruin these famous names? In such a theatrical way. Well, maybe a little less than that of Nick Leeson who single-handedly cause the collapse of Barings Bank.

But I like to see the bankruptcy, or the falling down, of these big companies. It is just natural to see birth and death, of a person, or a company, or even a country. Nothing exists forever. The good thing of their bankruptcy is, they give chance to those young and small companies, whom, by nature, will not, or can not, do too much harm to others because of their size in scale, or more importantly, by their youthful mind. They are growing, they need customers, they create better service and products for their customers, they compete with each other. One day, when they become old and big, they will have to defend themselves by creating fences and destroying other small, creative, fast-growing companies, even at the cost their customers, whom, at that time, are not their first priority, because these big old companies have been revered for such a long time that they have forgot they were created to serve.

I like this atomic society of economy. Free market is the best choice that I believe. I am still a little upset about the Bush administrations’ bailout of Fannie Mae and Freddie Mac; it looks like a socialistic type of governmental behavior. There is no free lunch and no free economy. People should be responsible for their own behaviors, and the collapse of these financial big names will cause some trouble to some people in a short term, but in the long run, will give them a good lesson, that you can not depend on the government, or any others. That lesson may help American people to reduce their consumption a little, when everyone should be serious about their debt.


Update on Too Soon Old, Too Late Smart

September 13, 2008

Finally I got this book and could look into every word Dr. Livingston Gorton wrote.

I can recall vividly the moment when I was struck by the title of this book. To some degree, it was like when Michael Corleone (The Godfather) first saw the Sicily girl, who was, according to the best of my memory of the description of the book, oval in every body part, and hit Michael as a thunder light.

And every rule in his book seems like full of life wisdom, that only an old guy who has lost two of his sons and analyzed other human minds as a psychiatrist for more than 30 years can put down in simplicity and elegance.

But I don’t like much of the writing style of Livingston Gorton. It is, as per my advisor, too depressing. Or in my words, it lacks the vigor, aggression, curiosity, passion, optimism, that a person should hold on to enjoy his, or her, life. It is more like a dying person, in the total disinterested, dispassionate, nonchalant, manner, to deliver his or her life lesson. Of course they are important lessons, but the delivery lacks the ability to hook me up.

By the way, one of the most important points of this book is that, life is imperfect, but we have to strive to live better. Accept the fact that life is imperfect, accept the fact that you cannot make it perfect, accept the fact that you are not perfect, and be happy.

Say something

September 13, 2008

I used to read, not to write. To write means a lot more than mere to talk. When I talk, I don’t care much about what I am talking; or when I care, it is already too late. But I do care what I write, for the words remain, and the follies mark.

Yet time is that I have to write. I have to publish. Gladly I have  papers accepted, however, compared to others, the number is negligible. Years and years of work is needed to pile up my articles.

That is why I am in anxiety. I read, write, think, revise, everyday, and to no end. Reading and understanding is not even half of the job I need to do; to elucidate and distribute something new, some really good information, is important.

I have read numerous papers. Some good, a lot mediocre, a few bad. Bad in design, bad in writing. I have not produced work that I can be proud of, however, the bar has been raised high, my taste has become rather fine. I hope this taste will not inhibit me from doing daily boring jobs.

Say something, do something, everyday, and finally I could publish something really worthy.