Sunday, May 20, 2012

Sotto Voce: The Week In Review

Here are some of the things I've been muttering under my breath over the last few days:

1. Maybe the Crash of '08 has left me jaded because I had a hard time getting upset over JP Morgan losing $2B in the wayward "London Whale" trade. Just doesn't seem like that much compared to Lehman/Bear/etc. Plus, isn't JP on track to earn billions in profits this quarter? 

2. For all the talk of the need for more regulation after an event like this, you wouldn't realize that the Wall Street Journal had a story about the London Whale back in April, and that they were writing only after the Whale's fellow traders had picked up on his singular activities and taken positions against his. The market and the finance media knew there was a problem. The only people who didn't were JP Morgan and the gov't.

3. In my professional life, I've definitely hewed close to the following maxim: "if I'm doing something, and everyone else (except my boss) says what you are doing is wrong, and they are putting themselves in a position to profit from your downfall, and major newspapers are writing about your activities, and you've been given a nickname that simultaneously suggests you are big, dumb, and dangerous...It's time to stop whatever it is you are doing."

4. Getting a little tired of the Rev. Wright routine where Mitt Romney is supposed to apologize every time the G*d-damner comes up in conversation. Romney doesn't have to say a word about Wright, but that doesn't mean the rest of us have to be so restrained, especially if new information comes to light. 

5. Watched some of the Lakers-OKC game last night and was struck by how tall everyone was. I mean, they were really tall, unusually so. Bynum and Gasol are 7-footers, and at least two of the Thunder have to be at least 6'11". And, the tall guys were good, not the usual lumbering lugs you'd expect from bigs.

6. You know that guy trying to get gov't assistance because he has 30+ illegitimate kids? Seems like he could make some $$ doing seminars on how to pick up girls. 

7. Gov. Brown has put on his best Very Serious Face, and announced that the state's in a bigger hole than he realized, and that we need to cut basic gov't services while also raising taxes. Yet, it's still full speed ahead on high speed rail. Govs. Christie and Walker canceled major rail projects and their states survived. Why is it so hard to cancel California's?

8. Been seeing a lot of men, including me, wearing their hair long. Obviously it's the fashion, but I gotta say there's more to it than that. For me, it's 40% fashion, 40% not-enough-time, 20% don't want to pay for a haircut. Do men's hair length correlate with economic growth (or lack thereof), in a mini-skirts-follow-stocks kind of way?

9. Speaking of women, is there a trend to wear a ton of light foundation? Been seeing a lot of alabaster faces out there.

10. More Occupiers have been arrested for domestic terrorism. I know, I know. They're not "part of Occupy," they're just kind of there. (and have attorneys from the pseudo-socialist National Lawyers Guild). 

11. I know that as a 42 year old I'm supposed to think today's music is incomprehensible noise, but I gotta say that, having spent some time listening to Top 40 radio with the Free Will Wife, the women vocalists of the last couple years have been way better than those of my youth. Back then the premium was more on dancing and looking pretty. Now, it's striking how everyone really pours themselves into their performance. You used to listen to Madonna and think "Eh, you could get a lot of girls to sing like that." Now? Adele, Katy Perry, Kelly Clarkson, Rhianna, Lady Gaga, even the girl who does that "Call Me, Maybe" song all have strong pipes and a lot of personality. 


  1. You clearly never listened to Pat Benatar or Heart :-)

  2. I'm talking Top 40, not AOR. You are right, though, that there were plenty of quality lady singers on rock radio back in ye olden days.

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