Critical Section


Monday,  01/11/16  10:21 PM

Hey, I'm back...  yeah admit it, you missed me.  I missed myself :) 

Alabama - Clemson ... for the national titleGood game tonight, entertaining and well played.  I think in some ways the college game is a little more fun; more open, more prone to have things go badly wrong or amazingly right.  I think the best team won, even though I wasn't rooting for them.  So be it.

David Bowie ... into the serious moonlightGoodbye to the Thin White Duke; David Bowie passes away from cancer at 62.  Wow.  He will be missed...

... Ch ch ch changes

The Big Short ... a good story which misses the truth by a countrywide mileHave you seen The Big Short?  It's a fun movie, well acted, with an interesting approach ... quite different from Michael Lewis' book, which I enjoyed though didn't feel was his best.  What's interesting though is that the movie *completely* ignores the real reason for the housing bubble in the early 2000s, which was the government-sponsored subsidy of subprime mortgages via FNMA and FDMC (aka "Fanny Mae" and "Freddy Mac".)  These quasi-government organizations were founded for the specific purpose of making it easier for unqualified lendees to buy houses, and they did.  The movie makes it seem like Goldman Sachs was responsible.  I know it was only a movie, but a pseudo-documentary like that should at least get the main facts right.

Related: the recent movie Truth, a sarcastically named take on the Dan Rather affair, in which a major network's effort to influence the Presidential election is made to look like serious journalism.  I don't think the producers thought it was sarcasm, though...

FNMA and FDMC ... back at their old tricksAlso related: Fannie Mae Rolls Out Easy Mortgage, Catering To High-Risk Immigrants.  "The National Association of Hispanic Real Estate Professionals is praising the move, arguing it will bring tens of thousands of Hispanic families into the home market who have been 'skipped over' by stingy (meaning prudent and responsible) lenders."  I predict this will not end well.

Worth linking:  Dilbert's One-page Guide to Everything Financial.  What to do, and in which order.

In case you're wondering:  How Elon Musk plan on reinventing the world.  I think all these articles are really interesting, but the truly amazing thing about Elon is his ability to build and run great teams, to implement his visions.  That's a story that really hasn't been told yet.

SR-71 BlackbirdThis is totally awesome: SR-71 Blackbird pilot trolls arrogant fighter pilot with ground speed check.  Any excuse to run a picture of an SR-71, but this is a great story.

JWZ reports my payphone runs Linux now.  And it doesn't make phone calls :)  I love his blog, always entertaining...

Paul Graham considers Income Inequality.  "I've become an expert on how to increase economic inequality, and I've spent the past decade working hard to do it."  Agree with this take 101%; the problem is not inequality, it's raising the standard of living for the poorest people.

Followup: an optimistic reply to Ezra Klein.

Related: Mark Suster on why I don't celebrate income inequality.  A nuanced take from Mark, as usual.

Another VC link, Brad Feld wonders what's happening today that nobody sees?  A question prompted by his watching of The Big Short.  "I'm not angry, cynical, and convinced the world is a giant, rigged, inside game. But I do believe that the vast majority of people have absolutely no idea what is really going on, especially those who are in the middle of whatever game they are playing."  Yep.

And one more from Mark Suster, regarding movies: My One Wish for all startup employees (is that you see Supermensch).

little pig in bootsFinally and for no apparent reason ... this cute little guy.
  Good night!

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