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This Aint Nothing

"This Aint Nothing" goes the great country and western song of a few years back.  I was thinking about that song as the deadline passed for Congress to reach a budget deal.  What happens 15 years from now?  No vote can save us then.  Medicare will be out of money and social security will be bleeding as well.  Then what?  That's the real budget crisis.

In a country choking on unaffordable entitlements, the Obama Adminstration has crammed down one more unfunded entitlement on a wary public.  This simply makes the clock tick faster toward America's impending insolvency.

The US is on track to go broke.  Whatever happens now is irrelevant unless it tackles the entitlements.  Putting this off, even for a year or two, makes it almost impossible to fix and guarantees the country's eventual insolvency.

So, why not fight now?  Shut down the government.  That's better than business as usual, which simply guarantees an eventual shutdown that no Congressional vote can then a…

Career Lessons from Breaking Bad

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AMC's Breaking Bad ended with a bang last Sunday, leaving viewers generally content and definitely shell shocked. Though the ride is over, we can finally look back at the series and reflect on how we can learn from both Heisenberg's victories and mistakes. How can a meth kingpin help you and your future careers? Here are some takeaways :


1. Be hard to replace: Find a specific skill set and make sure you are good enough that nobody can quickly take your place. Whether it be modeling, analysis, writing, communication, or even a certain product with a 99.1% purity, having a specific niche or strength can ensure job security. Just try not to kill fellow associates to eliminate competition.

2. Associate with the right people : If you are the smartest person in the room, you're in the wrong room. Surround yourself with people who you believe can bring out the best in you. Doing business with a high school dropout and drug addict will certainly lead to complications in the future, …

Candy Crush Goes Public!

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We all have a love-hate relationship with the Candy Crush Saga. It's addicting to play yet equally frustrating when that one last bubble can't be popped. Well, the publisher of this game, King, has filed confidentially for an IPO. Based in London, King is following Twitter's footsteps in the IPO process. Although they filed confidentially, they announced the IPO soon before the investor roadshow begins.

Some worried skeptics predict that King could face the same fate as Zynga. Zynga started with relatively normal valuations at about $11/share. But after struggling with generating revenue and a lack of consumer demand for their games, Zynga fell off the radar. Now they're sitting at 3.78, well below their IPO price.

So what makes King a better investment? Well let's focus on Candy Crush. On my Android phone alone, I see that Candy Crush has over 100 million downloads. Let's double that for all the IPhone users out there. Then let's add a few million for the pe…

Ireland's Economic Comeback

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On Wednesday, the International Monetary Fund (IMF) released a billion dollars of financial help to Ireland, as the country complied with the requirements set up in its 2010 bailout plan. The plan, which saved Ireland from bankruptcy after it suffered a massive banking crisis starting 2008, is reaching its end, as Ireland is getting ready to start issuing sovereign debt again in December. However, the country has to reach a minimum annual growth of 2% for its debt to become sustainable.
Ireland is now out of its second recession in five years with a 0.4% second quarter expansion. This positive data, however, falls short of the optimistic 1.3% growth over the entire year predicted by the Irish government. Irish exports have grown by 4.3% over the same period, while household consumption grew by 0.7%.
The IMF decision came almost one week after other good news for Ireland: on Friday, September 20, Moody's announced positive forecasts on Ireland's sovereign debt, which it now judg…

Telangana: To be or not to be?

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The concept of statehood has always been a contentious debate in India. It’s recently gotten international press as Telangana, a region of Andhra Pradesh, is fighting a stormy battle for statehood.
When India gained independence from the British in 1947, the modern-day Indian map began to emerge. States were created and borders were drawn. The map continued to take shape in 1956 with the States Reorganization Act, a piece of legislation resulting in the single largest change in state borders since India’s independence. The act called for state boundaries based on linguistic differences.  So, Karnataka was created for Kannada speakers, Kerala was created for Malayalam speakers, Gujarat for Gujarati speakers, and so on. Modern day Andhra Pradesh was created for Telugu speakers. 
It seems despite their linguistic alignment with the other regions of Andhra Pradesh, the people of Telangana were unhappy from the start. Movements for their secession have been arising for decades, with major u…

Beats Takes the Next Big Step

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Top private equity firm, Carlyle Group, gave Beats Electronics $500 million Friday valuing the company at $1 billion. In exchange for growth capital, it will be taking two of six positions on the high end sounds and audio tech company's board.

The money will be used to buy back HTC's final twenty five percent stake in the company, ending a partnership that did not go quite as planned. The Taiwanese smart phone company bought half of Beats three years ago for $309 million dollars, and used the technology in its smart phones. As its cell phone sales have since far lagged behind Samsung, it has moved to sell its holdings in its partner, in order to focus on its most important business segment.

Beats has started to expand into the speaker business, revealing a new line of pill speakers marketed in notable pop songs "Blurred Lines" by Robin Thicke and "We Can't Stop" by Miley Cyrus. It has already captured sixty four percent of the premium headphone market, …

"You Can Keep Your Existing Health Insurance"

I wondered about this statement at the time Obama made it.  Clearly, by changing all the rules of health care insurance and mandating conformity, it was unlikely that the vast majority of Americans would not find themselves forced by 'The Affordable Care Act' to have to deal with a completely different health insurance plan and completely different set of health care providers.

I now understand what Obama meant.   He was speaking to his immediate family and (politician) friends.  They are exempt from the "Affordable Care Act."  Clearly what he meant to say was: "if you are exempt from Obamacare, like me and my family, you can keep your existing health insurance."  He never meant to mislead.