Gongol.com Archives: October 2008
Brian Gongol

October 24, 2008

Water News Summer floods will mean more land application of sludge this fall

Business and Finance 25% of Chrysler's white-collar jobs will be eliminated
That's a huge cut -- but it's just as predicted

Computers and the Internet Obama campaign ads show up in video games

Threats and Hazards Danger! Falling oil prices make Russia unstable
The country is losing $12 to $16 billion a week in foreign reserves -- 14% of its entire reserves just since August -- and as oil prices drop like a rock, it's going to become very difficult for Russia's government to keep other things (like the banking system) afloat. Oil and related products are 65% of Russia's exports and make up about 20% of GDP. When economies stumble badly, the people tend to get restless with their politicians.

Business and Finance Over-regulation fails the system all too often
The BBC is in trouble with commercial broadcasters, because one of its stations (Radio 1) is attracting an audience with an average age of 33 -- considerably above the 15- to 29-year-old demographic it's supposed to target. By going older, the station is eating into an advertising demographic that commercial broadcasters want for themselves. Herewith we see that government isn't even very good at regulating itself -- which is exactly why we should be painfully cautious of when it tries to regulate anything else. For all the people droning on about how much more regulation we need in the financial markets, hardly anyone seems to be acknowledging that there was a government agency whose sole job was to supervise Fannie Mae and Freddie Mac and make sure they didn't get into trouble. Seriously: Despite an annual budget in the $60 million range, OFHEO didn't stop the mortgage lenders from going bad.

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