Creative corner

    Deadman's picture

    Health care cost crisis - how about some comparison shopping?

    Our own Orlando yesterday posted an unbelievably tragic story regarding her mother and how our health care system completely failed her and her family. It's a powerful tale, one whose basic premise unfortunately could probably be told by way too many people in this country, and everyone needs to read it.

    But trying to put aside the raw emotions for a moment - albeit, a nearly impossible task when discussing people's health and/or finances - this is a crisis where the answers will not come easy.

    Deadman's picture

    MOLFT: Episode 2 (Cell phone taxes, fees and surcharges)

    I'll get back to the regularly scheduled My One Favorite Things soon enough, but right now I got a bone to pick with my cell phone company, T-Mobile.

    I mostly have positive vibes toward T-Mobile as their customer service has been very helpful and their network seems to have continually improved in New York City, but I'm annoyed with the numerous 'surcharges' the company tacks on to my monthly bill.

    Deadman's picture

    The Audacity - and Righteousness - of Citigroup

    Citigroup executives have decided in their infinite wisdom to increase base salaries for many of their employees by as much as 50 percent.

    The bank says the raises - which will be partially offset by a reduction in bonuses, though overall compensation packages could be higher or lower - are necessary to remain competitive ... in an environment where the official unemployment rate will soon be in the double digits no less.

    Deadman's picture

    iPhone 3.0: Apple's First Law of Inertia

    I've always sucked at making decisions. Leave where we're having lunch up to me and we'll likely be having dinner there.

    If there's one thing about modern life I cannot stand, it's the plethora of options we have. Sure the freedoms we now enjoy are terrific, the new opportunities exciting, the potential adventures limitless, but instead I like to focus on all the bad choices we can now make.

    Deadman's picture

    MOLFT: Episode 1 (Priceline sucks)

    I'm usually an easy customer. It doesn't take much to please me. Just treat me fair and show me respect. Work with me if you've made a mistake. Just basic, simple stuff.

    Deadman's picture

    Ring the Bell. School's back in ...

    In my recent questions column, our own dagblogger Nebton says the biggest risk he ever took was to go to graduate school after 30.

    With official unemployment nearing double digits (and the unofficial number much higher), a lot of people looking for something to do are following Nebton's example and going back to school.

    Deadman's picture

    MOFT: Episode 16 (PokerStars)

    You've seen a lot less of me on dagblog lately, and while I'd love to put all of the blame for my absence on my Beyonce and the wedding plans which have been set in hot and heavy motion (It's mostly painful, stressful stuff, but registering at Target was hella fun - come to Papa, Wii!!), but there is a much bigger badder beast than Mrs. All-Consuming Wedding at work here - and its name is PokerStars.

    Deadman's picture

    Why Facebook will be a HUGE business...

    Late last year one of my predictions for 2009 was that Facebook would go public, sparking a mini-rally in the markets.

    Deadman's picture

    Newspaper bailout? Please no ... but we do need The Watchmen

    What a shock. A reporter (fearing for his own job, perhaps?) asked White House Press Secretary Robert Gibbs if the potential imminent closure of the venerable Boston Globe calls for yet another government bailout, this time to save the flailing newspaper industry.

    Michael Wolraich's picture

    American Hegemony: What is it, Where is it going, and Who really cares anyway?

    There have been many sober pronouncements lately about the end American hegemony, both on this blog and elsewhere. Some have reacted with despondence, others with glee. It may be that the end is nigh--it has to end sometime--but we should keep in mind that the forecasters of doom emerge from their caves during every period of hardship.

    Michael Wolraich's picture

    Deflation Looms, Parte Dos: European Edition

    Last week, I wrote about the threat of deflation after the news that U.S. consumer prices dropped last year, the first time since 1955. Dagblog's Deadman played down the risk, and I agreed that current deflation levels were not a threat. But now it seems that deflation is knocking a bit harder at Europe's door, particularly Spain's.

    Deadman's picture

    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.

    Michael Wolraich's picture

    Prices Fall, Deflation Looms

    U.S. consumer prices fell unexpectedly in March and recorded their first annual drop since 1955, government data showed on Wednesday, as slumping demand pushed down energy and food costs. [Reuters]

    Falling prices? It's like a national fire-sale. What's not to like?

    Deadman's picture

    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.

    Michael Wolraich's picture

    Bankers Want Out of Bailout Conditions

    Banks are chafing under Federal bailout terms, according to today's New York Times. Fearing that they will be forced to sell off toxic assets and curtail executive compensation, some banks are trying to return bailout money. But there's a catch. In order to receive the bailout loans, the banks had to grant the Federal Government stock warrants. The warrants give the Federal Government the option to buy stock in the company at a specified price.

    Deadman's picture

    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.

    Deadman's picture

    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.

    Michael Wolraich's picture

    Don't Raise the Barricades

    A recent World Bank study indicates a disturbing rise in trade protectionism around the world in response to the economic crisis. Here are a few examples:

    Deadman's picture

    The dagbuzz for 3/23/09: (The Geithner Bank Stability Plan)

    Details of the Geithner bank stability plan came out today, and Wall Street for one loved it. And why not,  for the plan basically allows financial institutions to take the worse of the toxic assets rotting away on their balance sheets and pawn off the vast majority of the risks of nonpayment onto the U.S. government (and ultimately the U.S. taxpayer).



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