Showing posts from December, 2011

Bill Black Takes on the "Fannie and Freddie Did It" Meme

I really enjoyed this piece for its knowledgeable, historical analysis. Black doesn't exactly side with the "It Wasn't Fannie and Freddie" crowd, but he's more unsparing in his criticism of ideologue Peter Wallison, whose position "It Was All Fannie and Freddie" is laughable (and Black shows us even more reasons why).

I'm willing to move up Fannie and Freddie on my list of causes of the crisis to, say, number 6 or 7 from number 11. ;)

Black frames the problem well, I think. What caused problems wasn't Fannie and Freddie's mandate to help the poor -- in other words, all those do-good liberals trying to put welfare Moms in houses they couldn't afford. It was, plain and simple, accounting fraud to lavish bonuses on the top echelon of executives -- the same problem found at investment banks that were more direct causes of the crisis.

Ashton Kutcher and Lea Michele: New Year’s Eve

New Year’s Eve! The biggest party of the year!
Kutcher and Michele are featured in the romantic comedy “New Year’s Eve” directed by Garry Marshall.  Let’s check out Ashton Kutcher’s personal plans for New Year’s Eve!

Lea Michele: What areyou going to dofor New Year's?  Why don't you come celebrate with my big Italian family and me? They would die.
Ashton Kutcher:  I don't know where I'm going to be on New Year's, I haven't sorted it out.

Talking about your future plans for New Year’s Eve is quite common at this time of year.  The common conversation question at this time of year is:
“What are you going to do for New Year’s (Eve)?” "I don't know where I'm going to be on New Year's,"
Some people have already made their plans and some people like Ashton aren’t exactly sure yet.  Often as language learners we search for more difficult ways to express ourselves.  However, in this case, the use of ‘be + going to + infinitive’ is quite common and usefu…

Joe Nocera Takes on the Big Lie

I've often thought you could make a case for Fannie Mae's and Freddie Mac's culpability in the financial crisis: a very, very small case.

So, if you started listing reasons for the crisis, they might come in, say, number 11 or thereabouts.

What amazes me is the persistence of the simple-minded Republican narrative that they were the cause of the financial crisis. Not a cause. But the cause. (And the hard-core faithful don't want any other causes entered into the record, as when the four Republicans on the FCIC voted to ban the words "shadow banking" and "deregulation" from the final report!)

This viewpoint is so ignorant and ill-informed, so contrary to "the truth on the ground" that we know from how this crisis developed and what it looked like as it unfolded, that it strains credulity. Is Peter Wallison so ideologically blinkered that he can't even process a set of historical facts in a logical way?

Joe Nocera had a good recent column ab…

A Comfortable Office Equals A Contented Workforce

There is a great variety of workplaces in every sector of business, from retail outlets to engineering shops and from warehouses to manufacturing plants. For many people, however, nothing beats the comfort and convenience of working in an office. Whether they earn their living in a call centre or a recruitment agency, they are generally happy to head into work on a daily basis.
For employers, it makes sound financial sense to ensure their employees’ working environments are as pleasant as possible. This can mean anything from providing comfortable break-out areas in which team members can enjoy a relaxing coffee during lunchtimes to installing top quality sound systems so the latest hits can be broadcast to workers throughout the day.

Redecoration is cheaper than recruitment
A relatively small investment in these areas can lead to higher levels of staff retention, and therefore less of a need for recruitment. The cost of placing vacancies with specialist agencies can be high, and of cour…

The Benefits of Long Term Care Insurance

Long term care insurance is a type of insurance that will cover you if you become ill and can no longer take care of yourself. This long term care could consist of someone coming into your home to care for you or it could provide you with the coverage you need to live in a group home setting. These situations are not always covered by Medicare or traditional health insurances.
When to Buy Long Term Care Insurance If you are interested in purchasing long term care insurance, it is best to shop around. There are many internet sites that will give you free online insurance quotes. It is best to not only compare rates but also the benefits that are covered. Don't be afraid to ask questions, you have to make sure you get a policy that will cover what you want. Many people make the choice to purchase long term care insurance while they are in their early 60s. Premiums will be cheaper the younger you are, but once you have purchased a policy, the premiums should not be raise…

How to Get Business Insurance Quotes

When you open a business, there are many things to consider. Carrying the right type and amount of insurance is one of them. It is vital to have the coverage you need, if for no other reason than your own peace of mind. By doing a little research you should be able to find the right insurance coverage for your business. In most cases a business insurance guide such as this will help you get the best business insurance quotes available. Following are a few tips on how to get business insurance quotes.
Research Is Important As an entrepreneur you are used to taking chances. You’re also used to thinking for yourself. Before you actually opened your business you more than likely took the time to research the market you entered. You needed to make sure there was a demand for your product, and you had to develop a plan to produce, sell, and deliver that product. You should approach finding the right level of business insurance in the same way--by doing research.

Ask Around One of …

Tom Cruise: A Christmas Memory

Tom Cruise Christmas is a time to share with family and friends.  Also people will be talking about Christmas memories from the past.  Let’s take a look at Tom Cruise’s favorite Christmas as a child... 

Interviewer: When I was a kid the time of year that I loved was Christmas because it was the only magic time.  Didn’t you one year, I read that there was a gift of poems.
Tom Cruise: Yeah
Interviewer: Tell me.
Tom Cruise:  As I said, a beautiful mother, and it was actually the first Christmas when my parents were divorced and we didn’t have any money. And really not enough to buy each other a present.  And all of the money kind of went to…well didn’t kind of, it went into paying for food on the table.  And so my mother said listen: “What we are going to do is we are not going to buy each other gifts.  We are going to pick names out of hat.  And for a month you are going to do something for that person and on Christmas day we are going to reveal who you are and we are going to write poems f…

mario maurer