JAN 23 2014

First as Tragedy, Then as Farce

Banking, Capitalism, Financial Services, Hedging, Infrastructure, United States, Wall Street

Wall Street investors in need of a replacement for the former cash cow of mortgage-backed securities (pre-bailout, that is) only had to look as far as a massive, bargain basement-priced stock of used houses obtained through bankruptcy sales coupled with a corresponding, unparalleled increase in prospective renters (aka former homeowners with few options for housing…

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JAN 03 2014

Some Comments on the CSB Chevron Regulatory Report Draft

California, Chemical Safety Board, Government, Industrial Accident, Infrastructure, Insurance, Liability insurance, Oil refineries, Petroleum in the Environment, United States

The safety case regulatory regime is touted as a “tripartite system consisting of active and equal participation from the regulator, workforce, and industry.” Indeed, a potentially, more socially beneficial regime would be a quadripartite system that includes the neighbors of the regulated facilities. The neighbors are often aware of problems that workers don’t or won’t…

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JUL 30 2011

Infrastructure Development – Where to Begin

Environment, Government, Infrastructure, United States, Wastewater, Water Resources

For a government, its businesses, other organizations, and citizens to flourish, its people, goods, and information must have the ability to move and interact freely in an integrated, cost efficient, resilient, and effective manner.  Reliable, responsive infrastructure helps make this possible.  Infrastructure includes the physical structure, components, and systems that provide the energy generation, transmission,…

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AUG 10 2010

Bell, California and its Comprehensive Annual Financial Reports (CAFRs)

Financial Services, Financial statements, Generally Accepted Accounting Principles (United States), Government Finance Officers Association, Local government, United States

Image via Wikipedia Bell, California “The Government Finance Officers Association [GFOA] established the Certificate of Achievement for Excellence in Financial Reporting Program (CAFR Program) in 1945 to encourage and assist state and local governments to go beyond the minimum requirements of generally accepted accounting principles to prepare comprehensive annual financial reports that evidence the spirit…

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FEB 22 2010

Recalls and Risk – Another Update

Akio Toyoda, Insurance, Toyota, United States

John Aquino points out that, in isolation, the recall information as presented is unfair to Toyota since it ignores overall fatality per vehicle statistics (certainly a fairer proxy for manufacturer safety) and it fails to address the potential conflict of interest inherent in a U.S. agency deriding an import (since it can transfer sales to…

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FEB 21 2010

Capitalism against Capitalism

Capitalism, Economic, Federal government of the United States, Germany, Market economy, Social market economy, United States

Michel Albert, author of Capitalisme contre Capitalisme, compares the neo-American model of a capitalistic market economy with the Rhenish capitalism of Germany’s social market economy. The neo-American model is based on the ideas of Hayek and Friedman, and the latter, according to Albert, is founded on principles of publicly organized social security. Albert asserts that this model is more equitable, efficient, and less…

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JAN 24 2010

Mandarins and their Protections

Federal government of the United States, United States

Image via Wikipedia Union members who work for the government now outnumber privately employed union members in the United States, according to the Bureau of Labor Statistics. Overall union membership is now 15.3 million; 51.5 percent of these members are government workers. As of December 2009, the U.S. non-farming private workforce had 108.4 million workers;…

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