April, 2010

Fixing The Derivatives Market

Mon Apr 19, 2010 2:46:32 pm by Dustin
Filed under Dealing with People, Finance, General

Derivatives are an interesting beast in the financial world. They can be very powerful or very hazardous.

Although I find finance fascinating, I am no expert. I do know there is some ambiguity between how GAAP applies to derivatives. This miscommunication causes investors and the public to be unaware of the true state of a company’s assets and debts. AIG is a good example of this. At its peak, it was 11 times leverages. That means $11 of debt for every $1 of assets. I personally do not feel all debt is bad. There becomes a point where my investment becomes hindered.

Chris Dodd thinks would we should publicly trade derivatives. Rather I would vote we get them completely on balance sheets. This get the numbers in the hands of investors quarterly. Public traded assets get forgot; quarterly reminders puts pressure of executives.

Telling Google To Take Its Toys And Play Somewhere Else

Thu Apr 8, 2010 9:01:41 am by Dustin
Filed under Dealing with People, General, Software, Tools and Tricks

Products like Google Apps highly interest me. On many levels really – mostly on the technical and business model levels. I assume most of the regular readers – who I know personally – know what it does. Office Live and Zimbra are other examples.

This domain actually uses it for its email purposes. Although, I would be reluctant to use it for business use.

Yale, yes that Yale, recently decided not us switch to Google Apps. The reasoning, lack of control particularly when data crosses political boarders, is one of my major dislikes of these type of services.

I did not understand how the author of this article thought flying in another country’s airspace was still governed under US law. Silly.

Yet another reason why we need an OpenData standard.

Long Live The Kindle

Mon Apr 5, 2010 6:08:07 am by Dustin
Filed under Dealing with People, Fun, General, Tools and Tricks

As the fanboys were quickly to point out, the iPad came out recently. No, I did not get one. And will not be getting any type of tablet any time soon.

Fast Company is asking if Amazon’s iPad app is a Kindle killer.

My short answer is no. The Kindle was a Kindle killer. Two reasons:

  • The medium to large sized consumer electronics users are not going to want to carry a device that does a single task, forcing them to have an additional device. Although it might do that task very well, in the long-term it was be absorbed into other products in its category. As screen technology gets better, devices will produce a black and grey retro ‘reader’ viewing mode.
  • Amazon is not a consumer electronics company. It is retailer. It sells other people’s stuff. Its core business will eventually suffer if it distracts itself.

Amazon’s iPad app is a very smart move. Their goal should be to get people to buy and read more books. Producing various mediums for folks to achieve this goal will benefit their company’s foundation.

John Ross Building Tour

Sun Apr 4, 2010 11:28:53 am by Dustin
Filed under Dealing with People, Finance, Fun, General, Household, a little about life

Yesterday, Jason and I traveled over to the John Ross building for an information session about its upcoming auction. For all of you who are wondering, wow, this is a nice building.

Going into the day, I was still leaning toward actually attending the auction. Yes, yes, I know I said I would not buy a house this year. Looking at the possible purchase prices of some of these units, I was curious enough to get more information.

The building was open to the public, so we went through about a dozen units. I found two units I was really, really, really interested in 1618 and 2018. Both are the same floor plan – one bed, bath, and study – facing Southwest.

I spoke with two realtors while traversing the building. One basically told me I would be an idiot to not – at my age – buy one of the units. The other thought anybody who bought was an idiot since purchase prices were expected to be 60% of the minimum auction price. This person also told me unit 1218 – same floor plan as I liked – was a short sale she was trying to sell. The most recent offer on that until was $215k, putting it at ~40% increase.

Those purchase prices plus huge taxes and larger HOA convinced me to not buy – again. Although it is a lovely place in an area of town that is most likely going to boom, I still should not buy.