Posted by: Marshall Sponder | October 9, 2008

Dow 9,000 … here we go

Wow .. doesn’t anything work anymore – now the Goverments of US and Europe are working fiendishly, to try to stem the tide – but with little effect  – Amazing – and scary too –

Posted by: Marshall Sponder | October 9, 2008

Unaplogetic Greed

I’ve decided to confine, or should I say, “segment” my personal observations and beliefs to The Analytics Guru and focus my professional beliefs and ideas on, because I’ve gotten enough feedback that some of my readers over at don’t think Analytics and Political or Ideological beliefs ought to be mixed.

I don’t know if that’s true or not, but I’ll respect that, maybe, just maybe, people want to consume certain types of information in concentrated form rather than all mixed up, and if someone wants my opinion about the world, they can come and read it here, albeit, with an Analytics slant.

Having said that – it’s actually good to see that U.S. May Take Ownership Stake in Banks as the New York Times has reported on, tonight, because we’re at the point now where financial risk needs to be regulated fully and perhaps, federalized for a time – and I got that approach reinforced through reading Paul Krugman, who probably understands this mess that Alan Greenspan got us into better than anyone else. Since 2001 I’ve been reading Krugman’s writings, and he’s one of the few voices that has any real credability and who predicted the course we’re on for several years.  

Paul Krugman was totally right about George Bush, and, again, was one of the few to speak up, when most others, drank the cool aid.

And, if you don’t believe me, take a look at an article published last April – Greenspan, Bush to blame for U.S. crisis: Stiglitz, in the CalGary Herald according to Nobel laureate economist Joseph Stiglitz:

“… This man (Greenspan) has unfortunately made a lot of mistakes,” said former World Bank chief economist Stiglitz, according to a preview of the interview to be published on Monday in profil magazine.

“His first one was to support all the tax cuts which were introduced under Bush — they didn’t stimulate the economy very much … This task was then transferred more towards monetary policy, though then (Greenspan) created a flood of credits with low interest rates,” Stiglitz was quoted as saying.

Economist and Nobel laureate Joseph Stiglitz speaks during an interview with Reuters in New York, in this September 18, 2006 file photo. Stiglitz attacked its proposed new chief Robert Zoellick as a man of protectionism and said his nomination was a “wasted opportunity” for the bank.REUTERS/Mike Segar

Earlier in April, Greenspan said in an interview with CNBC television that the U.S. economy was in recession and defended his chairmanship of the U.S. central bank against charges that his policy missteps had laid the groundwork for the crisis.

He said decisions during his charge had been rationally constructed based on evidence at the time.

Stiglitz said Bush’s government was also to blame.

“I reproach them, that the economy was not as resilient as it could have been due to the ongoing tax cuts and the huge costs incurred by the war in Iraq,” he was quoted as saying.

In fact, the New York Times has another article tonight on Taking Hard New Look at a Greenspan Legacy that examines what I’ve been saying for well over a year – the real estate bubble, Sub-Prime Meltdown, and now this mess – most of that, you can rest the blame on Alan Greenspan‘s doorstep, along with several prominent bankers and regulators who bought in to the cool-aid.

Yes, my friend Jared was right, these guys were so arrogant, they hedged a bet that the financial system could not fail, they convinced them selves that Wall Street could regulate itself,  that risk was so spread out and the financial system so resilient, that nothing could take it down.

And now, they lost the bet – and the whole world economy is falling apart and needs to be rescued by the very things that Greenspan and Bush hate the most, regulation and federal ownership – and you can blame the largest part of this mess on Alan Greenspan, who, to this day, does not even acknowlege his role, or accept the blame (I guess, why would he want to accept the blame – how does that help him?).

The Presidential Election is effectively over; even should the powers that be try to hedge their bets, again, and take on Iran or North Korea, which I suspect some would like to do, and I would not put it past those that got us into Iraq in the first place, to plan something else, I still think, with the crashing economy, their position is so weakened that whatever they’ve planned will probably end up weakening them even more – and punish the rest of us.

Still, while the entire financial system collapses and needs bailout – we can’t rule out one more roll of the dice by Bush and company – I would not put it past them … to do something this month of October to alter the train of events in their favor – but it appears their luck has run sour.

Here’s an interesting set of charts – the first from digiculturetravelexpatasia where Gallup Daily: Obama’s Lead Over McCain Expands to 11

Obama’s Lead Over McCain Expands to 11

I had some work to do with getting the Gallop Poll to match up with the dates that BlogPulse supplies – but essentially, voters have begun to decide now, where the blame for $700 Billion Dollar Bailout, that is even now being eclipsed by the World Financial System Bailout – to the current administration and those who supported it.    People want real change – the agent of change can’t by defination, be someone who’s too closely associated with the current failures.

And here’s some more data from Google Insights for Search – I had to do some creative truncation of the chart to make the dates line up.

The Search data confirms that voters have made up their mind about Sarah Palin since the Vice Presidential Debate, and now, have are beginning to make up their mind about John McCain, finally, and for sure,  – at any rate, the gap between Obama and McCain continues to widen; they’ve accepted the bailout but the next round of bad news has is helping to widen the lead that is already taking place.

New Mexico and Colorado are beginning to break towards Obama, even though they are Republican Strongholds.

My point for all of this, is the architects for financial failures on Wall Street and now Main Street, the War in Iraq, Afganistan, North Korea,  don’t see they did anything wrong – even though the evidence is staring them in the face – that’s what I call Unaplogetic Greed.   You can’t expect guilty parties to own their own failures, all they try to do is deflect and divert.

But people are fed up, it’s one thing to do it with Iraq, it’s another thing to do it with your bank account.

BTW, I’m a web analyst, and while I have beliefs, I do try, at least, to find supporting data for them – and if someone wants to argue with my point of view, at least, do it with charts, not ideology.

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Posted by: Marshall Sponder | October 7, 2008

Manufacturing Currency via Sub Prime Loans and Credit Swaps

I saw this video tonight and I am reminded of a train of thought I had for almost 2 years on moneyand how it’s generated.

Watch CBS Videos Online
Watch CBS Videos Online

Upon seeing all the construction in NYC I wondered where all the money came from or what the limits of it were – I was reminded of something my friend Jared Freedman said to me a while back about Virtual Worlds and Money.   I actually came to believe that money is now almost entirely “virtual” in that far more money exists on paper than is in any bank, or anywhere else.

And now, based on this video on A Look At Wall Street’s Shadow Market I realize that I was not far off from the truth.

In fact, without going into explainations, it occured to me why our goverment let this happen – they needed the money – to continue to expand the economy as we cut more and more taxes and waged two wars.

De-regulation is just a means to an end.

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Posted by: Marshall Sponder | September 28, 2008

SNL skit was pretty funny

I have to say, I learn more about Sarah Palin from the SNL skit than the real interviews

Posted by: Marshall Sponder | September 26, 2008

Interesting Stories

Besides having dinner last night at the Torch Club and listening to cable executives talk about The Canoe Initiative (Canoe, dinner with Arthur Orduna at NYU Torch Club) the whole country was falling apart, at least in  Washington and what’s been reported in mainstream media – and I’m sure there’s more that hasn’t been reported.

See Madness on Pennsylvania Avenue and Demolition accomplished.

I can’t wait to see Saturday night live – what kind of  comedy can they make out of all of this – too bad it’s real, all of it.

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You know – it would not be the first time ….  A sneaking suspicion

….So I just did a Nexis search trying to find out when Paulson and Bernanke started talking about price discovery, which we’re now told are at the core of the plan’s logic. And the answer is …Yesterday.

“…..One possible explanation. It wasn’t until yesterday that they realized that it would actually be necessary to explain themselves.

But there’s another possible explanation, which I find terrifyingly plausible: the plan came first, and all this stuff about price discovery is an after-the-fact rationalization, invented when people started asking questions.

It has seemed very strange to me that such a supposedly crucial economic program would be based on such an exotic argument. My sneaking suspicion is that they started with a determination to throw money at the financial industry, and everything else is just an excuse.

Is Paul Krugman saying that Bush planned to give his friends of Wall Street $700 Billion dollars of TaxPayer Money all along ….?

That’s the way  I’m reading his post – and honestly, there’s enough reason for some kind of bailout – but that’s what makes it so tricky – it’s almost like “reality” became so distorted, you step away, and examine everything a lot more closely, and Administration doesn’t want you to do that.

One thing is different about the $700 Billion Bailout Bush is proposing and the buildup to the Iraq War, The WireTapping Issue, and a bunch other things  – in this case, the Administration doesn’t control most of the sources of information – they can’t totally obscure and re manufacture information, like they have about the War, and other stuff they’ve tried to manipulate.

It still may that something will Pass this week in Congress – but you have to wonder – we didn’t get to this point of almost total collapse of the financial system overnight – why will $700 Billion Dollar bailout fix it all?

Any intelligent person can ask that question – and the answer is – it probably won’t.

And now, McCain wants to suspend his campaign this week, and the first Presidential Debate – so he can do some on Washington, at the Senate Floor.   However, the consensus seems to be that McCain’s presence is actually polarizing things more – and slowing them down.

But lets face it, what can McCain say – every thing he’s about is continuance of the problems brought this country and the world to the state it’s in today.    How is going to explain that away – I guess he can go on the offensive, or just try to avoid a confrontation – like he wants to do this week.

The funny thing is, Washington doesn’t need McCain or Obama in the Senate to do anything this week – at least, not till a vote is taken, and that probably won’t affect any scheduled debate.  So there, avoiding a debate on Friday is just a ploy.

If I were Obama, I’d go ahead anyway, do the debate right from the floor of the Senate, and take questions from anyone – if McCain doesn’t want to show up, that’s his problem.

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Posted by: Marshall Sponder | September 22, 2008

Concerned about the $700 Billion Bailout

I guess it makes sense to have a personal web analytics blog along with an industry analytics blog – while I have mixed them both up at times, my comments about Stocks Fall as Rescue Plan Is Negotiated are  best done here.

President Bush on Monday morning urged legislators to resist the temptation to add provisions that, he said, “would undermine the effectiveness of the plan.” Still, Treasury officials indicated a willingness to negotiate.

Here’s what I think – a bailout of this magnitude, using public money, needs to be examined closely – rushing it though, and perhaps, making it seem like anyone that has doubts about the $700 Billion Economic Bailout is putting the entire world economy on the brink, is bullshit.

And it looks like there’s been a lot of push back – which is good .

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Posted by: Marshall Sponder | September 20, 2008

Been so busy this week with conferences and life

One thing my readers might want to consider – is there a good reason for me to keep The Analytics Guru blog seporate from WebMetricsGuru blog that am writing to more regularly?

I think there’s a reason to keep a personal Web Analytics blog that’s different than the main blog I write to about Web Analytics, but in reality, I haven’t kept up the discipline and have put a lot of the content I might have written here over at – as I want to build it up, etc.

And I did a lot of posting in the last week at – stuff my readers here might want to check out (see below).

Personally, I’m torn about it – I am running out of the ability to post to 4 blogs every day – but that goes in waves too – sometimes I can, and sometimes I can’t.

SocialAdSummit Part 1 – branded experiences on Social Networks.

Social Ad Network Solutions – SocialAdSummit part 2

Social Media Metrics – Social Ad Summit part 3

Widget Optimization – SocialAdSummit

ative Social Advertising – SocialAdSummit part 5

OMMA day 2, Disintermedia panel

OMMA day 2 – Marketer’s Dilemma: finding and managing digital resources

Measurement 3.0 (in the next 5 years) OMMA Global – day 2

SpinScape – most exciting platform/product I saw this week

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Posted by: Marshall Sponder | September 14, 2008

The future of Wall Street – in the gutter?

Ha, Paul Krugman, in a post today says that Lehman Brothers is on the way to the Gutter – probably it’s going to happen on Monday.  Will we call it “Black Monday“?    I bet no way is found, even short term – and Krugman remarks:

They still haven’t chosen a Pope found a way to rescue Lehman.

Why should anyone bail out Lehman – Wall Street,  I think, is calling the Federal Reserve and Treasury Deptment’s bluff – they when push comes to shove, the Federal Goverment won’t intervene.

But to my way of thinking, a line is drawn in the sand, and Lehman is on the other side of it – meaning that more banks will fail soon, bring down the economy even further.

Why has the line been drawn here – why was Bear Sterns bailed out but Lehman isn’t going to be?  Where do you draw the line in the first place?

The overarching goal of the weekend talks was to prevent a quick liquidation of Lehman, a bank that is so big and so interconnected with others that its abrupt failure would send shock waves through the financial world. Of deep concern is what impact a Lehman failure would have on other securities firms, insurance companies and banks, notably Merrill Lynch and the American International Group, both of which have come under mounting pressure in the markets.

I think, given the way things are going, one or two large financial institutions will be left to fail in order to spur the others to rescue themselves – but it’s far fetched to see how any of this is going to help, even in the shortrun.

Yes, Monday is going to be a interesting day on Wall Street, won’t it?

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Posted by: Marshall Sponder | September 10, 2008

Nature of work, being effective as part of a team

Been thinking of what effectiveness is based on, especially in work and interpersonal relationships and I wrote a few posts on the subject in 2006 at focusing on the size and structure of small teams (I said when a small team has more than 6 people, being managed by one person, of needs to be split up or else you can’t effectively manage every member. Also, the Roman Army had as it’s base, small teams of 7 or 8 members, and leagions were made up of many of these).

My belief so far is “effectiveness” of a team member, and of the team, is partly made up of trust; but not as much in the actual amount of work performed, or even it’s quality, because, being seen as effective is a value judgement.

I think the real measure of effectiveness is learning how to create and nuture conversations that, ultimately, move the stakeholder, business unit, or company, forward in some tangible way.

Tying effectiveness to specific deliverables is often not realistic. In many cases, perhaps all cases, what can be achieved is circumscribed by how far those your working with or for are willing to go, the dynamics of your organization.

I am more for hiring individuals and forming teams based on roles, responsibilities and conversations the foster.

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