July 23, 2010

Michael Lewis’ “The Big Short”: Diabolical Castles in the Sky

Voiding Credit Default Swaps In a book stuffed with scathing insights and blockbuster revelations, here’s perhaps the biggest one (courtesy of Michael Lewis, writing in The Big Short): The reason Citigroup (amongst others) is considered “Too Big Too Fail” isn’t because it holds over $1 trillion in ordinary Americans’ savings in their vaults. It’s not...
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Reason for Tougher Negotations

“What’s That House Cost?” — Vol. #42 Want to buy 100 shares of Microsoft? If the last trade was for $25.43, it’s a good bet that you’ll have to pay . . . .$25.43 (or maybe $25.42 or $25.44). Want to buy a nicely updated, four Bedroom Colonial in East Edina? That’ll be . ....
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"Locally Owned" BP Station

“I Didn’t Do It!” I guess if I owned a BP gas station, I’d do the same thing: buy a big banner reading “Locally Owned,” and display it — prominently — in front of my gas station. Which is exactly what I saw in front of the BP station on Excelsior Blvd. in St. Louis...
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(More) Goings On About Town

“It’s Bird, It’s a Plane, It’s a . . . “. . . “Nice Ride Minnesota” bike sharing station! A block from The Birchwood Cafe in Minneapolis’ Seward neighborhood, I coudn’t figure out what I was looking at. It didn’t look like a new bus stop — too big. And it didn’t look like a...
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"First Rock From the Sun"

My Own “Emily Litella” Moment “First Rock From the Sun” –that’s what the tiny headline, at the bottom of The New York Times science section, read the other day. “Holy $#%@!,” I thought. I didn’t know we had a space probe studying the Sun. And if we did, and it brought something back, why is...
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What’s Up With Uptown?

Busy Thursday Night What’s up with Uptown? A lot, it turns out. Last night, I wandered around the newly redesigned Calhoun Square (BIG improvement) while noshing on all the free food vendors were giving out; went across the street for some great Thai food (not free); and heard a new hip-hop group, called “No Bird...
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