Gongol.com Archives: September 2008
Brian Gongol

September 29, 2008

Business and Finance One non-governmental solution to credit problems: Making mutual funds really mutual
For decades, John Bogle has been a passionate advocate of mutual funds built exclusively around the interests of the funds' shareholders. His ideas are quite reasonable; mutual funds should be structured so that the interests of the shareholders come first. That's one of the reasons why Berkshire Hathaway has done so well; Warren Buffett has most of his money in the company, so what's good for him is good for other shareholders, and vice versa. So when he puts $5 billion into Goldman Sachs and gets a 10% guaranteed dividend, he's making money for everybody on his end of the bargaining table. The de-mutualization of mortgage savings institutions in the UK may also be to blam for many of their troubles, too. Related: The tightrope that the Federal Reserve will have to walk is between making sure that there's enough liquidity in the economy without creating high inflation. It's no small risk; the $700 billion bailout package alone represents about 5% of the entire US GDP. Once again, we ought to expect a spirited debate between inflation hawks and their opponents -- kind of like the gold-vs.-silver debate of about a hundred years ago. Also interesting: An OSU study suggests that the biggest losses in the mortgage industry have had nothing to do with individual families and their homes.

Water News Cedar Rapids brings its wastewater plant back online

Aviation News Knowing your core mission
The US Air Force is going to slowly re-introduce a program that will train Air Force Academy cadets how to fly. One would imagine that should be the kind of mission that stays central to the mission of the institution...kind of like GM remembering to build cars.

Iowa How Governor Culver thinks he can skip consulting the other branches of government

Socialism Doesn't Work Socialism is no grand solution; just ask Venezuela
Since putting Hugo Chavez into power, Venezuela has experienced shortages of important goods, high inflation, black markets for labor, government theft of private property (like oil fields), and dictatorial powers for the president which are being used to sideline his opposition. And yet, because the US government has been far too ignorant of our Latin American neighbors, we're losing allies to Chavez.

Computers and the Internet Blame online Scrabble for productivity losses at work