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Showing posts from September 29, 2002
Today's post. Dope. No. Not today. The Enron news comes thick and fast, and you know how LI laps this stuff up -- it is our personal financial porno, wish fulfillment that overwhelms the senses. Etc. But isn't it the better portion to resist the snares of the devil, especially when the devil comes bearing such unbearable proofs of the correctness of one's world view? Surely our world view is not all that correct. Surely there's something diabolic going on here. We try to diversify our little posts when we can. Actually, we had planned a post on Marilyn Monroe this week. Over the weekend, we watched the Seven Year Itch with our friend, S. We also urged her to see Some Like It Hot -- which she did. She was impressed by Jack Lemmon in the latter, and she laughed at the former, but in neither did she find Ms. Monroe the "stradivarius of sex," as Norman Mailer once pronounced that ill fated woman. Our friend S. doesn't cotton to the "flighty
Remora Kurt Eichwald, NYT's man on the spot, pens one of those baffled by it all news analyses of Enron's business structure. He notices -- as man and dog tend to do, once their noses are rubbed in it -- the nature of the stuff before him, and gently cries, why, this is not gold dust ! He takes the Cuiaba project -- which we have commented about, back in January was it? -- as an example of a fools gold mislabeled the real stuff. Here's his summary: "For example, among the examples of failed business dealings cited in the complaint is a power plant construction project in Cuiab�, Brazil. This effort, known as the Cuiab� project, was troubled from the inception, according to the complaint. It rapidly went $120 million over budget and had numerous risks and impediments to keep it from being profitable, the complaint says � problems that were well known throughout Enron. "The Cuiab� project was so problematic," the complaint says, quoting a statement
Remora The unwinding LI recommends a Schopenhauerian article in the Economist today. War, depression, and a moronic leader -- it sounds like Austria in 1935, but no, my good buds, no. It is our own beloved superpower, or hyperpower, or mononucleus macronuclear power, the US of A, which seems destined for a bad period. Although we aren�t totally convinced by this kind of talk � after all, during the last bad period, 1991, there was talk of the collapse of US banking. The better bet is that we will eke out this time. But odds wouldn�t be odds if there wasn�t a chance of the losing end: "The unwinding of America's economic and financial imbalances has barely begun. Share prices are still overvalued by many measures. Companies still need to prune much more excess capacity. Most worryingly, debts still loom dangerously large. Although much of the increase in reported profits in the late 1990s was illusory, the increase in corporate debt to finance that unprofitable invest