Friday, July 04, 2008

Human theater and Citizenship

Though I enjoy reading, I've never been a fan of biographies. But I read Ben Franklin and John Adam's back to back (on purpose). The John Adams biography most recently brought to life by HBO. The surprise of those proximate readings was my enjoyment of the Adams book over that of Franklin--not the writing, but rather the person.

Whenever we think that times have changed, people have changed and circumstances have change we need only pick up a book and be reminded that human DNA and the human theater remain intact--only the largeness of the theater and the sophistication of the props have changed. Our politicians and business men are no more flawed now than they were then. And if you think otherwise, I would tell you gently over your favorite beverage of choice that you were never a serious student of history or your powers of discernment are blunted by your own bias. But then, it would be that ole' DNA thing engaging again.

I am reminded that in business processes, a great process can achieve great results with average people. It's something that always stuck in my head in reading Peter Senge's The Fifth Discipline. In fact it was this book, which introduces the concept of "learning organizations", that greatly shaped my view of organizations. A poor process means you need extraordinary people and extraordinary processes. You can read a good overview here.

What is brilliant about our system of government is that for all of its warts, it is a process in which average people can do great things such as make laws, mete out justice, pay and provide for services, etc. I'm still happy to have the phrase: "Step into the conflict and reconcile". It ought to be the mantra of every person who desires to hold excellent outcomes over petty differences. If I were running for President, that would be my slogan.

Enjoy your holiday if you are in the US. Today is a good day to reflect on the quality of our own citizenship activities. My experience is that most people spend more typing griping about the process than becoming part of or working on behalf of positive change the process. And picking up John Adam's biography would be a wonderful way to read about a person's whose example you could model. For myself, I don't spend much if any time griping. I also don't spend anytime becoming part of the solution. I'll reflect on that and see if I cannot come up with something. At the very least, I will write my representatives and request of them to "step into the conflict and reconcile."


nice said...

Regarding the article by Henry C.K. Liu...

There is little new in this article (other than the point aptly made, that there is a crisis of confidence in the US dollar)

Most of the logic of the article is an attempt after the fact to explain rising prices... the market is ahead - it has already risen.

And all these points have been made before - over and over for years - T Boone has been harping on this all decade.. peak oil - supply demand etc.. etc...

The simple question in my mind
is this:

Why all of a sudden in March did Oil start going nuts?

Something changed in March...

Did everyone all of a sudden wake up in March and figure we are running out of oil LOL?

No, it has nothing to do with peak oil or supply/demand.

What changed?

Well that was about the time Bear went under - so a complete loss of confidence in the US dollar is the most likely culprit.

Other than that - Iran's 1st nuclear stuff is supposedly going to go online in Oct - so:
War is another culprit.

So, War or our first full fledged currency crisis since 1974 - this is what is driving oil.

In the meantime the media will amuse itself that 'the world is running out of oil' - and the cult of 'Green' will continue - and probably more celebrity politicians will be awarded Nobel Prizes for 'inconvenient truths'


nice said...

This week..

AA GE Earnings..
Plus lots of 'speak' this week..

Enough 'speak' to stop the trenddown? or accelerate it into options week?

Monday: not much
Some Fedspeak at 11:00 am

Tuesday - AA earnings.
Ben Speaks at 8 a.m.
3 pm Paulson speaks and Consumer
Credit comes out.

Wed - nada

Thurs - big day.
Ben and Paulson testify in Congress
Wonder what they are gonna say?

Fri- GE earnings
plus Trade Data etc..

So either they take the market to the cleaners one last time this week and bounce it next week -
- or we bounce now since prices have already discounted the bad earnings and the bad 'speak' before the testimony...

Choose wisely
(Key will probably be how the market reacts to GE AA earnings..)


Leisa said...

Liu has been writing about these issues for sometime. I think what was new from my perspective was (1)the cogency in which he brought several ideas together; and (2)the "beneficial" aspects of high oil which have not been explained in the venues that I read.

nice said...

I characterize this mornings action as...

"please go up - I want my money back... Oh no it is going down again - I give up..."


nice said...

Futures weren't sticking around this afternoon for the start of earnings season... so some apprehension...

No doubt the commodity players expect another bounce off $140 oil...

Canadian market had a large positive TICK divergence this PM - so also no doubt that shorters were covering after a near 1200 point decline - and also anticipating a bounce off $140 oil again...

Tough market - even for day trading today - as trading was really sloppy - managed a short on the US market in the PM and a long bounce in the Canadian market - but was whipsawed out of some morning trades - but in the green (with battle scars) ready for tomorrows action...

Anyone notice the News Release today about Lehman?

"Lehman Brothers Holdings Inc Update: Platts has put Lehman under a temporary review that bars it from trading oil contracts - unconfirmed report- the reason for the review is not immediately clear"

Very interesting...

As usual financials down...


nice said...

There was a very large liquidation of Canadian oil stocks today in the afternoon trading session - Hedge Funds getting out of 'the last hiding place' - or just profit taking?

HF's are not doing that well this year - Where will they go next?