End of the Year Round-Up

Hold on to your cynicism, kiddies, it’s my end of the year wrap-up of the highs and lows. Here’s just part of the past year’s craziness summarized in words:

“The downgrade reflects our opinion that the fiscal-consolidation plan that Congress and the Administration recently agreed Read More

The Upside

Anthony Weiner, Bernie Madoff, low economy, high unemployment, questionable housing, if you’re house hasn’t already been hit by a flood or tornado. How do you remain optimistic in an atmosphere of so much negative news?

In an intriguing TIME magazine cover story (The Science Read More

Snake Pit

“September 2005,” former AIG investment specialist Gordon Massie writes, “…the atmosphere at AIG was still toxic and oppressive.”

Of course, the real dilemma for any whistleblower is what happens after you report something wrong? Are the people at the top willing to accept and act … Read More

Snake Oil

Historically, the term applied to a Chinese painkiller originally derived from the skin of Chinese water snakes. Due to the lack of efficacy, however, the expression quickly became code for any fraudulent product.

But the vital ingredient in snake oil was not in the bottle … Read More

Greed, Arrogance and Money

Robert Spence works in the financial sector as a broker/dealer. When the company that employed him was acquired by a larger firm, he transitioned to the new organization. At the time, the company policy held that individual investments had to stand on their own merits, Read More

Once upon a time, in a country wide and beautiful, there was a very audacious and flamboyant financier who liked to wear very nice clothes. (Here he is in his gold tie and pinstripe finery.)

One day, this very daring man saw a need in … Read More

Cups and Balls, Part II

You’d look like this too, if you had to sit before Chairman Carl Levin and the Senate’s Permanent Subcommittee on Investigations looking into alleged improprieties of investments and investment procedures by Wall Street banking and investment giant Goldman Sachs.  Get a load of the … Read More