Gongol.com Archives: January 2008
Brian Gongol

January 25, 2008

Humor and Good News "I'm the one who's laughing, because I don't even have a lawn"
Will those who have more stuff be more disappointed than others in an apocalypse -- like a collision with an asteroid?

Iowa Iowa's recent preposterous cold snap really isn't that unusual
Biting wind chills and really low temperatures aren't out of the ordinary -- the only unusual thing is how mild the last half-decade has been by comparison

The United States of America The banker who's trying to keep Huckabee's campaign alive
What's odd is that he keeps copies of the Bible and Benjamin Graham's "The Intelligent Investor" side-by-side on his desk. Huckabee is an economic populist, by all appearances, which is not good: It means he's inclined to interfere with the market whenever it appears politically advantageous.

News Big fire at Monte Carlo casino in Las Vegas
The Monte Carlo is across from the MGM Grand, a previous version of which was the location of one of the worst hotel fire in US history. Related: An investment group is building a $3 billion hotel and condo complex on the Las Vegas Strip

Business and Finance How do you lose $7.2 billion?
A "low-level trader" working for Societe Generale in Paris apparently used lousy options calls and a bit of computer hacking skill to create and hide a $7.2 billion market loss. In the grand scale of things, that's almost as much as Chrysler sold for last year. Derivatives are like Hell: Easy to enter, hard to escape.

The American Way Bill Gates hopes for quasi-market answers to the world's problems
Two ways in which he could go a long way towards improving life, particularly for the very poor, would be to fund inducement prizes for big needs, like energy. The second would be to help with the initial capitalization of mutual companies -- like insurance providers and banks -- that would allow the beneficiaries to also be the owners. The mutual company has practically vanished in the United States, and that's unfortunate. It needs a domestic revival, and it could certainly go a long way towards improving life in poor countries, too.

Water News Firefighting with foam

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