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    The dagbuzz for 3/17/09: (Ashton, Oprah and Generation Twitter)


    Big news today. Ashton Kutcher just attracted his one millionth follower on the microblogging service Twitter, a milestone which has generated a fair amount of fanfare, but it's only the beginning as cult leader Oprah is going to feature Twitter on her talk show today and send her first tweet over the air.

    Oh, how wonderful.

    Excuse me if I don't join in the celebration - if I'm not all, ahem, atwitter with the news - but I have very mixed feelings here.

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    Baby Boom Goes the Dynamite: The Generation's Lasting Legacy

    The Baby Boomers have blown it in spectacular fashion.

    For much of the past 20 years, they have been the ones in charge of this country. During that time, they have...

    ... ignored the looming Social Security crisis, which has been simmering for decades and is now apparently coming to a boiling point much quicker than originally estimated.

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    Playing God and Taking Shortcuts ...

    This financial crisis is more than what it appears.

    It is symptomatic of a society that at some point over the last 30 years lost its way by seeking not the road less traveled, but instead the quickest route.

    It is the culmination of a mindset that increasingly became interested in pursuing immediate gratification at any cost.

    Look around you. In every area of modern life, the shortcut has become the rule, not the exception.

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    MOFT: Episode 12 (St. Louis Blues' T.J. Oshie)

    Just a few weeks ago, I fell in love with singer Ingrid Michaelson while watching her perform an amazing concert.

    After 35 years of living, I had my first celebrity crush. I man-crush you, T.J. (courtesy of

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    Government Debt: The Final Bubble

    Could this be the beginning of the end for our markets' last great bubble?

    An auction today of $34 billion in 5-year U.S. government bonds didn't go over so well, fetching prices well under what analysts were expecting.


    Oh I know, it may not seem like that big of a deal. The debt still got sold, unlike an unsuccessful auction for 40-year bonds in the UK. The fact that our auction resulted in yields (which move in the opposite direction of the price of bonds) of 1.849% versus the expected 1.801% seems like rather unimportant, inside-baseball type of stuff.

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    MOFT: Episode 11 (McDonald's Filet-O-Fish commercial)

    Every Tuesday night after my weekly basketball game, I pick up some Mickey D's for me and Filet O Fish cartonMs. Deadman (or Deadwoman, if you prefer) to eat at home. It's a classy tradition in the Deadman household, one that we both totally look forward to, with the main source of our enjoyment being the Filet-O-Fish sandwich that always makes up the entree portion of our meals.

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    Eliot Spitzer: A thoughtful voice of reason (alas, without any power)

    I strongly encourage everyone to watch this video as former New York Governor Eliot Spitzer gives  thoughtful, reasoned insights into a whole host of recent topics related to our financial crisis, including AIG bonuses, Obama's performance, the media's impact, regulation, etc.

    I recommend the 20-minute Fareed Zakaria CNN interview in its entirety, but if you only have limited time, Spitzer offers a concise explanation into the cause of our current economic situation for a few minutes starting at about the 10:45 mark.

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    Public-private partnership proposal poses plenty of problems

    Oh goody. Looks like we're about to hear the details of Geithner's long-awaited financial stability plan, which has as one of its key components a public-private investment pool designed to help rid our system of the toxic assets rotting away on bank balance sheets.

    Apparently, the Treasury will hire four or five private investment managers to run a fund that will purchase the assets. The government will then match whatever monies the private firms manage to raise and invest.

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    The Congress AIG Bonus Bill: Bravo! (Seriously...)

    Great. Now there's a backlash to the backlash to the AIG bonuses, and everyone is scolding Congress for acting so rashly in crafting a bill designed to recover 90% of the bonuses in taxes.

    Conservatives are complaining the bill is unconstitutional and unproductive. In his Obama interview, Jay Leno said he's frightened about its implications, and our own Genghis is mocking the effort.

    Gimme a break.

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    CBS, Microsoft: Brilliant NCAA Tournament Silverlight strategy

    Well, except for a couple of close final games (sorry A-man about the Illini loss), it was a pretty uneventful first day in the 2009 NCAA March Madness tourney (you know it can't have been too interesting when your girlfriend correctly selects every game but one - she feels your pain A-man!).

    So I figured instead of discussing the actual games, I'd quickly mention an interesting side issue surrounding CBS Sports' online coverage of the tourney.

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    MOFT: Episode 10 (Ingrid Michaelson)

    I finally have a celebrity crush!

    For the first time in 35 years, there is finally a woman out there whose posters I want to plaster all over my bedroom walls, whose biographical trivia I want to accumulate like so many rare golden nuggets, whose live and TV appearances I want to schedule my life around (while still respecting all applicable stalker laws, of course).

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    AIG Chief on Bonuses: Our 'Hands are Tied...' Are You F-in Kidding Me?

    Apparently, $175 billion doesn't buy what it used to.

    AIG has decided that it has no choice but to pay out $165 million in bonuses to employees due to contractual obligations. And the government has decided it has no legal recourse to stop the payments.

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    Cramer v. Stewart: Wow!

    I have railed against CNBC host Jim Cramer for some time. I enjoy him greatly as an entertainer, and when he focuses on the inner workings of the stock market, I think he does a pretty decent job of educating regular investors as well.

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    The dagbuzz for 3/11/09: Grading Obama's Presidency??

    So some jackass reporter decided to ask White House Press Secretary Robert Gibbs to grade President Obama's performance after a whoppin' 50 days in office. Seriously? You could pass the question off as harmless, silly journalistic tripe, but I think it's symptomatic of a rush to judge and criticize anything and everything Obama is trying to accomplish. It's unhealthy, unproductive and unfair. The time to hand out grades will eventually come, but for now, how about giving the president a break and let him do his job.

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    Whaddya know?? Markets go up too! ...

    I am usually the bearer of such depressing market and economic news, I have to at least give some props when there are some good things to talk about.

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    Happy Weekend!! ...

    This is a fun chart to look at - thanks to Assuming this market meltdown proves to be a reasonable fascimilie of the big, bad one, as I believe it will, we have a long way down yet to go.

    We are so overdue for a decent-sized short-term relief rally, I think we may get one as soon as next week, but I bet when all is said and done we get much closer to that down 89% total.

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    MOFT: Episode 9 (Blue Diamond 'BOLD' Almonds)

    It was a tough battle for the My One Favorite Thing award this week, with some noteworthy candidates. Certainly, jilted bachelorette Melissa Rycroft, who was forced to undergo a breakup on national TV a  mere six weeks after being proposed to on national TV (live by the reality show sword, die by the sword, I guess) was a top runner-up.

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    Could an economic depression make us less depressed?

    The world is too much with us; late and soon,
    Getting and spending, we lay waste our powers:
    Little we see in Nature that is ours;
    We have given our hearts away, a sordid boon!

    I don't know many very happy people. I know people who are content enough, I suppose. I know plenty of people who do a decent job at hiding their discontent. (As for myself, I'm probably somewhere in between those two categories, leaning toward the former).

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    The dagbuzz for 3/2/09: (Abuse, Co-Dependency and Fear of Change)

    Today, I discuss codependent, abusive relationships, and our general resistance to change. Deadman understands the deal. He, too, just wants to relive the good old days and focus on things that will always stay the same, like the Middle East conflict.

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    The dagbuzz for 3/1/09: (Obama's War on the Wealthy)

    Been away all week on business, listening to my colleagues and the talking heads on CNBC bitch and moan about Obama's budget and economic policies. They believe he's declaring war on the wealthy and is going to destroy the economy with his increased tax hikes.

    Are you fucking kidding me?!?

    Oh yeah, I feel a rant coming on ...



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