Updating Political Power

In the wake of the recent probes into Goldman Sachs and their trading operations, I thought it would be interesting to revise my discussion of the Business Networks and Political Power concept from Chapter 11 in Organizations and Organizing.  My original concept:

This section explains the cohesion among the elite in business and politics. Scott and Davis also explain the differing opinions surrounding the topic between pluralists and elite theorists.  The elites argue that there is cohesion among this capitalist class because they all come from similar backgrounds (schooling, socio-economic, etc) and that they Continue reading


The Lost Art of Travel

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Note: This post is still not complete, although it continues to grow. I will complete tomorrow and add pictures and links as I see fit. I encourage clicking on all the links, it will expand your knowledge.

The age of air travel and the on-the-go mindset have led us astray. As a society, and I’m guilty of this as well, we value the destination far more than the journey itself. 2 months ago, I would have said that the destination of any endeavor is the most important, that the results of one’s actions or journey is all that counts. I was wrong. Spring break is to thank for this. After reading this post you will: 1. appreciate your winding travels more than the destination 2. realize how awesome driving across America is and want to experience it for yourself immediately 3. gain an enlightened perspective on the human psyche 4. post lots of comments on this blog entry.

I was sitting in my room enjoying the cold filtered taste of Natural Light one evening while enjoying an especially offensive episode of South Park with my fraternity brothers. We were discussing the possibilities for spring break and how, as seniors, we needed to go out with a bang. Something epic had to be in store. Our minds were focused on some exciting foreign destination in the Caribbean or South America. We were Continue reading

The Wonderful World of Derivatives

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For my last post, I focused on the warning signs that some regulators saw years before the near collapse of our financial system. I also discussed in the post and in some comments, the role that deregulation played in the recession. For my paper, I am going to continue to explore these ideas, however, I am going to shift my focus towards the derivatives. I want to know everything about the regulatory environment that enabled the reckless and secretive trading of securities. I also want to explore where the underlying securities came from. In understanding the transformation process of mortgages, or other financial instruments, were turned into tradable securities, I will be able to place that within the regulatory framework and gain a full picture of the environment that led to the recession.

I will be looking at the differences in Over The Counter (OTC) derivative trading as compared to Exchange Traded Derivatives (ETDs). The latter are regulated like other securities and are traded on a transparent open market, whereas the OTC derivatives trading is private agreement between two parties. While it can be argued that derivatives allow investors to hedge their bets and limit potential losses, having an opaque market like the OTC trading, can lead to great systematic risk. I found an interesting study of derivatives trading in the Korean market and the role deregulation played in their financial melt down of 1997. This, I hope, will allow me to draw some parallels between what occurred in Korea in the late 1990s to what happened to our financial system last year. By understanding the process and understanding the effects of deregulation, I expect to be able to identify some of the warning signs that regulators at the CFTC saw.

An Eloquent Reflection on Innovation in The Wire

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Yo, WMD WMD. Couple brothas be innovatin her. You got Major Colvin settin up them two free zones. You step outsidadat, they gunna bang you sensless, hooked up babycakes, towed her right off. I mean they ain gunna be eating dirt, they got rights and s#!t, but yous a wind up inna er fo sho. On the otha side of the equation, Barksdale and Bell be runnin bof sides of they game, building condos and s#!t but still runnin they corners. They be learnin the hard way though. Contractor f@&$ed up, so B’s suppose to take that hit? Man he just tryin to get some s#!t built! Once he start financing that package, ain gunna see nothin but bank stacked on bank. Meanwhile, s#!ts gettin serious on them corners. Marlo flying his own colors, west side about to be all bagdad an s#!t. Bell knows he can run more than corners B, but hes knowin if he pulls one shot off, he at war. He gunna get some s#!t in this game, but he knows that s#!t ain fo free. Thing is, brother gotta innovate, he ain tweakin behind nonathis. Po 9 gotta to step up that game too. Tha witness old bruser, he blind behind that fortified halfatime. Bottom line, end a da day, I guess you just have to let it flow like you flow and do yo thang. Just get that game in you.

Brooksley Born: The Doomsday Theorist

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The recent cry for stronger financial regulation, to the surprise of some, is nothing new. While its typical of government to take a reactionary approach to any sort of  new regulation, more than 10 years before the financial meltdown there was one voice in Washington warning about an impeding financial collapse. As highlighted in the PBS Frontline Special “The Warning”, Brooksley Born, the Chairman of the relatively Continue reading

Yes, I Finally Visited Dot and Yes, She Still Loves Blorg Theory

I made my way to the library early last week, before the paper was due, to visit with our management research librarian. Unfortunately, when I arrived, I was informed that Ms. Thompson was on vacation until the 1st. Crap. This is what I get for procrastination and poor time management. Finally, last Thursday she returned from vacation and I visited her after watching The Wire in class. The first thing we looked at was the Search by Subject page on the library website. She explained that this would direct me to management related databases that would provide me with the focused results I was looking for. First we explored the ABI Continue reading

The Most Exciting Thing to Come Out of Enron! (and other corporate scandals)

This is something so captivating that Playboy, Lou Pai’s strippers, and Ken Lay conspiracy theorists can’t even shake a stick at it. That’s right, I’m talking about the Sarbanes-Oxley Act of 2002 that forever changed the way public corporations report earnings and shook up the auditing world. What is the Sarbanes-Oxley Act you may ask? Well, Sarbox or SOX as it is affectionately called in the business world, consists of 11 titles aimed at limiting conflicts of interest between auditors and clients, strengthening corporate accountability laws, and increasing penalties for people like our friends Kenny boy and Jeff.

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