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Showing posts from January, 2014

Common Sense, Where Art Thou?

The following is something that I read in last Wednesday’s WSJ, which was itself excerpted from the Weekly Standard, that I believed warranted being highlighted here to make sure that everyone got a chance to read it.  To me, it is so well said that it doesn’t need anything more from me.  Enjoy!

QE Forever!

Volatility came back last week as the world began to contemplate a less intrusive Fed. Also, it seemed that people finally began to notice that the world might not be as stable as the financial markets had been implying.  Ukraine is erupting in social unrest as a large swath of its population has taken to the street to protest government corruption, China's economy is sputtering, and Iran's nuclear ambitions remain.

Face Time

When I was a boy the span of my lifetime seemed infinite. I’d think nothing of sitting around with my friends arguing for hours about anything, like who was the greatest guitarist of all time (Hendrix, of course), or the best pitcher (Tom Seaver) or greatest center (Wilt, although strong arguments were made for Kareem and Russell).  With age has come an increasing awareness of the finiteness of one’s time on earth.  In fact, unlike money or even health, time squandered cannot be retrieved or rebuilt.  It is literally gone for good.

What is America?

For as long as I’ve been around, and much longer, America has meant something special in the world.  Unlike the great majority of other nations, it always seemed to me that America was more than a land mass identified by its borders.  America to me stood for a set of ideals, most powerfully “Freedom.”  The social mobility that has always been so unique to America, and has been the envy around the world, is directly related to the freedoms that Americans enjoy, including freedom of speech, freedom to elect its leaders, and freedom to dream and to pursue those dreams.  None dreamed any more eloquently than Martin Luther King, who we remember today.

Is There Really a Free Lunch Out There – Part II

Last week as the opening piece for the New Year I wrote Part I of this piece.  In it I focused upon the observation that despite a lot of uncertainty and cause for concern, despite the massive amount of central bank intervention, absence of political leadership, and presence of geopolitical volatility the financial markets seem to be very strong.  I asked the question as to whether there might just be a free lunch out there after all.  I also invited all of you to share your predictions for how a variety of benchmarks would end the year 2014, and promised to share the results as well as my own forecast.

Catering to Weakness and Insecurity

Our world gets weaker daily, and this can be seen on so many levels.

Let’s start with youth sports.  When I was a kid I played little league baseball and basketball every year. There were winners and losers.  Within each team there were recognized stars, those who were more skilled and who worked harder to hone those skills.  In basketball not everyone got a “fair” or equal share of the team’s shots and in baseball not everyone got the same amount of turns at bat.   Some kids made the all-star team, recognition for their excellence, while others understood from their lack of playing time or respect that they were not as talented or, even more pertinent, not as committed to excellence.  For those of you who have raised kids in the past generation you’ll note that things are mostly not the same for them as the experience that I just described.  In the interest of not hurting anyone’s feelings there is a premium placed on a misguided notion of fairness, whereby each young athlete regard…

Thank You

The other day a friend named Michael Mantell was listed among the nation's leading 100 figures in the fitness industry. Unlike many others on the list who seem to have been included due to their celebrity names, Michael is a psychologist by training who was moved by the epidemic of poor health that he saw and has truly devoted great energies towards re-training himself and placing himself in a position to make a real positive difference in the lives of many. And, in the past decade he has really made a difference, helping both individuals with their life challenges as well as helping to rethink the fitness industry so it can better serve people's needs.

Is There Really a Free Lunch Out There?

My Granny came from the old country (a terribly cold part of Russia) and although she never received a formal education, and didn’t even read much, she seemed to possess an amazing innate intelligence.  Since her passing more than 22 years ago, I occasionally reflect upon my time with her and some of her more memorable teachings.  I’ll paraphrase one of her favorites as “You get what you pay for,” which I’ve taken to mean that there are no free lunches in life.