Wall Street Change offers simple, logical solutions to tough economic problems
that appear to have been caused by Wall Street Investment Fraud.

Tuesday, December 28, 2010

Oil, the rising economy sinker. When the economy is bad, oil is priced lower, when the economy starts to heat up, oil prices go up.

Oil prices generally go lower when the economy goes bad. Oil prices seem to increase at the first sign of any economic activity, thus squashing any real economic momentum.

Even if the economy is able to survive higher oil prices, some of the additional oil profits that are created from higher oil prices may be being used to simply seed the worlds stock markets to artifical highs, before they crash again.

Gotta get the alternative energy products humping so we can get out of this lose, lose paradigm.

Sunday, December 26, 2010

Undercover Boss GSI Commerce Michael Rubin inadvertently exposes why the economy is in the tank and may never get better.

I was watching the Sixty Minutes story on the diminishing water supply in Kenya that could mean the end of the annual wildebeast run. Right after Sixty Minutes came Undercover Boss, and suddenly I saw why there are so many out of work people and why they may never find work. 

The hour long Undercover Boss episode featured Michael Rubin, (who runs GSI Commerce) and his interaction with several of his own workers while "undercover" as a new hiree.

Her name is Shannon and it rhymes with Cannon, and if you watched her pack GSI Commerce boxes one after another, you might just say, All Star softball pitcher potential. Shannon was packing boxes so fast that it indeed looked like the videotape was speeded up. 

Shannon, in my opinion worked twice as fast as what one would consider acceptable speed. Shannon's job for the day was to teach the new employee, Undercover Boss and owner of the company, Michael Rubin - who was masquerading as a new hire, how to pack boxes, quickly.

At one point, Michael Rubin asked Shannon how many boxes she could box and ship per hour. Shannon responded thatthe minimum requirement is 90 packed boxes per hour, but she normally averaged 110-130 per hour. I don't recall what she exactly said, but it was a 110 on the low end, and many more on the high end.

I noticed something else about the segment with Shannon, there seemed to be boxing work stations that were empty. This got me to thinking, if Shannon is the fastest boxer at 110 to 130 per hour, and the minimum boxes packed per hour to keep ones job was 90, it was clear to me that 90 is too high of an "average".

Shannon to me looked like she was twice as fast as a normal boxer. Ergo, one half of 120 would be 60 boxes per hour. The average boxer should be boxing 60 boxes per hour, 75 boxes per hour would solid, 90 boxes would be super fast, and 100 and over would be super human speed.

Michael Rubin got fired from his own company after just one day because he was expected to box 90 boxes per hour and he probably never did more than 45 to 60 in an hour. It seems to me that someone who works as fast as Shannon should make more money than someone who works at Michaels pace. Instead of one speed fits all, why not have pay scale categories?
Assuming Shannon is making at least 15-17 dollars an hour, pay Michael 8.50 an hour for boxing 50 boxes, and offer a pay scale for more boxes averaged per hour. 60 boxes would equal 10 bucks an hour, 70 boxes would equal 12.00 bucks an hour, 80 boxes would equal 14.00 bucks an hour, 90 boxes would equal 16.00 bucks an hour, 100 boxes would equal 18.00 bucks an hour, 110 boxes would equal 20 bucks an hour, 120 boxes would equal 23 bucks an hour.
I bet the minimum boxing requirement per hour was not always 90 boxes an hour. I bet it has slowly gone up over the years so that the executives could get bigger and bigger year end bonuses. The result is the company gets more and more selective in whom they hire, putting more pressure on fewer workers until those fewer workers burn out. Shannon may average over 100 boxes per hour, but the moment she cuts her finger and her finger bleeds, then what?

Does it take two workers to replace Shannon? Where do those workers come from if all they do is hire Shannon's only?

After the company hires only "Shannon's", they eventually discover that riding someone in fifth gear all the time wears them out PREMATURELY. Suddenly a few Shannon's quit, and there is a huge dip in production and profits drop. An executive is fired as a result, and another one is hired.

The new executive decides to drop the minimum productivity rate from 90 boxes an hour to 60 boxes an hour (where it probably was a few years ago). After a while, the new executive starts to play the same "raise the minimum boxes per hour game" that the prior executive played. 

The company now has a big enough pool of reliable employees who  can handle 60 boxes per hour, plus a few who work a lot faster, so the executive slowly starts to raise the per hour box quota rate. The executive now gets rewarded for turning the boxing division around, and the previous process of ramping up the hourly quota keeps repeating itself.

It is silly to expect a person to do any job as fast on the first day as they would do it after one week's worth of experience, one month, the sixth month, and after the first year.

If GSI commerce expects a new worker to produce at a B+ A- level by the end of day one, the U.S. economy will never recover because not every worker out there is a B+ A- level producer, especially from day one.

One more thing about Shannon, if she can box 120 boxes in an hour, and the company charges 6 bucks for shipping and handling. Shannon is generating 720 dollars worth of value per hour. Yet there are several hidden costs than enable Shannon to be hired so she can work and have benefits.

Isn't it interesting that a worker possibly generating 720 dollars of wealth per hour, even after we subtract 320 dollars per hour for her work station, power, boxes tape, space, electricity, storage space, shipping costs and handling of her boxes, and so on, might Shannon still be generating 400 dollars of wealth per hour minus the cost of her pay and benefits?

If so, profits can still be made hiring workers who aren't as fast. A mix of Shannons and those who are slower is the perfect blend, and one that fits economic landscape as well.

Monday, December 13, 2010

The Internet has changed capitalism forever, unfortunately the rich elite just don't get it and we're all going to pay a huge price because of it.

Securitization in the foreclosure industry is what happens when there is too much money on top of the economic ponzie scheme and not enough investment opportunities to go around.

Until interest rate dividends are inverted, and the poorest receive the highest rate of return on their savings, and the richest receive the smallest rate of return on their savings, we are doomed.

The internet has created a communication efficiency paradigm that cuts profit margins because of the consumer ease of cost comparisons. Because of the internet, the days of higher profit margins are basically over, unless slave labor is added in to the formula.

You want huge profits, own part of a satellite, another huge JOB KILLER. Every time a satellite sends a signal to a new subscriber, another angel gets its wings cut off. Nowadays, huge profits mean someone has figured out a way to produce the same product with less people, aka, digitalizing the process. Increased efficiency means less overall jobs, yet the banksters continue to try and indenture their customers with obscene interest rate charges.

Rich people need to back off and simply PROTECT what they already have, and leave the remaining profit crumbs for the masses to survive off of, if they don't, we are all doomed, sooner, rather than later.

Thursday, December 2, 2010

Is the U.S. Government Throwing a "Screen Pass" to deceive us with their ill Conceived Government Home Foreclosure Programs such as HAMP and EHLP?

Is the Federal Government Throwing a "Screen Pass" to deceive us with their ill Conceived Government Home Foreclosure Programs such as HAMP and EHLP?

Do you know how a screen pass works in football? The quarterback drops back to pass and the offensive linemen pretend to not let the defensive lineman rush past.

The defensive lineman gleefully rush in thinking they have outsmarted the offensive lineman and are about to sack the quarterback, when the quarterback just lofts the ball over their heads to the running back, who the defensive lineman gleefully ignored as they put their entire attention on sacking the quarterback. The running back suddenly has several of his own guys in front of him, and the defense way behind him in his rear view mirror.

When done correctly, the quarterback is able to get the pass off and also avoid the pass rush, leaving the defense to literally run in circles trying to catch the running back that they just let go by.

In many ways, the current home foreclosure debate has resulted in a lot of time spent rushing the quarterback, aka the government programs and the government rhetoric over whether the proper transfer of title was legally done, but not that much time on the actual real harm (aka the pass to the running back) that has already resulted from the improper transfer.
Is it possible that these federal programs and the ridiculous rhetoric over HAMP and EHLP are being thrown out there to create rancor and discord among "experts" on both sides of the issue so that issues that really matter, like what is a predatory loan, and the changing of terms without the expressed, written, consent of the homeowner, get obfuscated?

Friday, November 26, 2010

Credit card debt old school elitist advocate whores are destroying the world economy.

Lets face it, there are credit card debt old school elitist advocate whores who are ruining the planet. Credit Card debt old school elitist advocate whores are just as bad as those who enticed and addicted Asians to smoking cigarettes.

Because of digital technology and built up infrastructure, the world economy has expanded to the point where the less debt there is, the more agile the world and its people become. However, the Credit Card debt old school elitist advocate whores think they are doing the world a favor by allowing us to stand below them while groveling in debt.

Credit Card debt old school elitist advocate whores need to die because they are too set in their ways to change, and that is what is killing the planet. Credit Card debt old school elitist advocate whores receive the best interest rate dividends and Credit Card debt old school elitist advocate whores need to die because of this, and the sooner the better.

Credit Card debt old school elitist advocate whores are too set in their ways to understand that what worked in the past, has now devolved into an economic toxin that leaves people homeless by the tens of thousands everyday in the United States and no doubt is doing the same elsewhere.

Unfortunately, Credit Card debt old school elitist advocate whores are either too stupid to see that hardware infrastructure and digital capacitance has flowered, or too narcissistic to see that they are no longer needed.

Unless these Credit Card debt old school elitist advocate whores understand they should be receiving the lowest interest rates on their billions of dollars of wealth, not the highest, they need to die, and the sooner the better.

Wednesday, November 24, 2010

Splitting the Stock Market into Digital Products and Hardware Products would help stabilize the stock market.

A few years back I noticed that stock market analysts were big on digital software technologies, and down on hardware based technologies. The simplistic and opportunistic reason for this profit based bent was that digital software products can be easily replicated, and can be periodically upgraded as well. Whereas investor analysts saw a well made hardware product in many instances as a one time sale with a one time profit margin.

With the advent of the internet, hardware products faced an additional disadvantage. If the hardware product was well made and was given well deserved platitudes on the internet, price competitions could heat up resulting in low profit margins for the well made products. Box houses would sacrifice profit margins in exchange for large volume sales, and this tended to trickle back to the manufacturer who needed to keep market share over cheap "knock off" versions.

However, if a digital software product was "buggy", internet forum groups would spring up as a form of "support" and anytime a bug was identified and/or fixed, everybody on the forums seemed happy to have played a part in the ongoing growth and improvement of the product. The product may have been defective, but we (the forum) helped make it better, "so we like it and support it, and look forward to PAYING for the IMPROVED version!

Well, thanks for nothing wall street investor analysts who overwhelmingly chose digital over hardware. Or should I say, thanks for the negative result. It has become clear to me that no economy can only rely on creating digital software products that once made and replicated, results in huge ongoing profits.

Clamoring primarily for Digital Software products versus Hardware products is like consuming an all carbohydrate diet, or an all protein diet, or an all fat diet. At some point we should recognize and separate each type of food product into its own food group.

I see a correlation between film vs digital, and hardware (film) vs software (digital). Most people don't see a correlation and relationship between a digitally created economy versus one comprised of hardware based products. My involvement in first film, and then video production and editing, allowed me to analyze the benefits and detriments of both film and video formats, and I feel both actually have a place in our creative world.

Until the world's economy recognizes each of these two components, software versus hardware, as being separate but interdependent, the stock market will continue to twitch in a spasmodic sequence of hope and failure.

I believe separating stock market hardware products from stock market digitally based products by creating two stock markets will allow the financial experts to assess what percentage of each "food group" is necessary for an "efficient" economy.

As long as our stock markets continue to jumble together hardware and software technologies, the resulting mess will continue to obfuscate the ideal percentage of these two components that is necessasry to run an effective economy.

Saturday, November 20, 2010

Chinese build 15 story building in 6 days.

I noticed in the beginning of the video that they are using pre-fabricated components. In essence, this is lego construction come to life. So, hopefully, many of the jobs that are lost on site, are actually preserved in the pre-fabrication process.

If however, the pre-fabricated process does not produce that many well paying jobs, then the overall cost of the building has been radically reduced, and that reduction should be passed on in the form of lower costs to actually inhabit the building. Lower costs mean people won't have to work as many hours to afford their living space which means less overall pressure on the worlds resources.

It's old school billionaire thinking in which they would want to charge as much as possible no matter how inexpensively the building is made that creates economic malfeasance. Either lower the cost to live in the building, or don't bother building the building because the profit margin becomes so great that the middle class can never afford to live in the very buildings they helped prefab, and that is not progress.

Sunday, November 14, 2010

Unknown tribe found in Peru.

A couple of things about the newly discovered Tribe that was found in Peru. The first thing about this story is it comes from AlJazeera-English. The second is the story does not spend that much time on the tribe itself, but instead spends most of the time on how capitalism is encroaching on their living space.

I have questions about the visuals that were shown. How does the tribe keep all of their hair so evenly cut. Nobody had beards (perhaps they don't have facial hair), but nobody had scraggily long hair either. Where do they get the metal that appears to be pierced on their face?

I'm mystified that we barely get to know anything about this tribe, and instead we primarily hear about the encroaching forces that threaten the tribe.

Wednesday, November 3, 2010

A 2010, after the election, 4 Point Economic Plan that requires no bailout!

Here is a four point plan to reverse the economic downturn in America.

1. Reduce the interest rate on deposits of the billionaires, while increasing the interest rates on savings for those with minimal savings.

In essence an interest rate savings reverse structure, those with less wealth get a higher rate of return on their deposits than those with more wealth. We are presently in an economic ponzie scheme in which the rich demand the greatest return on their dollar, and this puts immense pressure on the servicers of those funds to create unrealistic profit margins for their tycoon clients.

2. Create a consumer credit card debt reduction incentive plan that would also lower the interest rate on existing credit card debt to 1.9% for those who are actually paying down their overall credit card debt every month (this program should also apply to student loan debt).

To keep the 1.9% interest rate, consumers simply need to lower their overall debt each month to take advantage of the consumer debt low interest rate debt reduction incentive plan.
Example, consumer has 10,000 dollars in debt. Each month, the customer'ss monthly minimum payment would be 2.5% of the total due, however, the customer would get to "re spend" 40% of the amount that the principle was reduced by.
The result would be a steady decline in the overall credit card debt while allowing the consumer to continue to make necessary, frugal purchases each month.

3. Foreclosure Homeowner Rebate Checks to anybody being foreclosed upon on a homeowners primary residence. This Foreclosure rebate check would be calculated at 80% of the original down payment plus 80% of any accrued equity if a foreclosure occurs. 

The foreclosure rebate check can be applied towards staying in the existing home until most of the rebate money is used up, (the rest going towards moving expenses for the foreclosed homeowner). Or, the homeowner can choose to take the rebate check and walk away (the homeowner would still have the right to hire an attorney if they think they lost their home because of predatory loans or unfair policies).

4. An across the board home mortgage interest rate reduction to 3.5%, effective immediately, for everybody, no questions asked. For those homeowners who are a glutton for being put through the paperwork ringer, offer a 3.0% option for those willing to deal with all the paperwork filings and potential months of delays.

Notice that none of these four suggestions requires the government actually give out any subsidies. Instead, this four point plan reduces the interest rate debt load of main street, while putting the brakes on out of control profiteering by the ultra wealthy. 
The additional monthly increase in spendable income will generate more local economic activity, and that activity will be based on EARNED INCOME. This in turn will help stabilize local governments as they see their sales tax receipts begin to rise.

UPDATE - NOV. 19, 2010 - Bernie Sanders, congressperson from Vermont just identified the same problem to the economy as I have, the billionaires, 16 days after I originally wrote my 4 point economic plan down below. However, Sanders "solution" to tax them more is not what I advocate. I advocate giving the billionaires and trillionaires less interest payment payouts on their gargantuan savings.

Thursday, October 28, 2010

Target Store tries to give away the bottom of the muffin for free, and I'm fighting back.

When I first saw the Seinfeld episode about "Top of the Muffin to you", I took the side of Elaine when the social worker from across the street did not want her free muffin stumps. In retrospect, and after recently attempting to deal with Target Store over their free muffin stump offers, I now side with the social worker.

Target Store has a promotional coupon that they give out almost monthly to their Target Credit Card customers. What separates the Target Store coupon offer from most other offers is that Target offers their customers something for nothing. However, the free item appears to always be for the most potentially unhealthy thing in the particular category that Target is offering the free product in.

For instance, a Target credit card customer might receive a coupon in the mail for a free loaf of white bread, or what I call, the bottom of the muffin. The key being that you MUST accept the cheapest quality item for free. If I want to upgrade to Whole Wheat Bread, and pay the difference in price between the white bread I was offered for free, and the whole wheat bread that I want, Target stores says, NO!

When it comes to eggs, Target offers a free coupon for non-organic, non-free range eggs. Once again, the most basic staple item that Target offers is what they will offer for free to their customers. But what if I simply want to apply my free egg coupon credit towards a better item in that same category?

Maybe I want to try the 3 dollar fifty cent free range eggs and I want to apply my coupon's 1 dollar and fifty cents value towards that 3 dollar and fifty cent free range eggs. All Target Store would have to do is simply deduct the "value" of my coupon based on what Target is willing to give me for free, from the more expensive item from that same food category that I want to purchase. This is not rocket scientist folks. I would get to use the free coupon, add my own two bucks, and get the free range eggs instead of the "bottom of the muffin" eggs.

The cashier/manager who came to my register to discuss the coupon debacle with me was very professional, especially for her age, but sadly, she could only see Target's side. What I mean by that is she asked me if I wanted to take the customer relations number and call Target myself. I said no.

The reason I said no was that I shouldn't have to do the job of someone making six figures in a corporate office who is too lame, stupid and lazy to actually figure out on their own that it is DISRESPECTFUL to GOAD customers into taking free muffin stumps without also allowing that customer an opportunity to upgrade their purchase and use the coupon as a PARTIAL payment towards the better product.

Part of the reason that my two all time favorite sit coms are Seinfeld and Everybody Loves Raymond is that their scenarios tend to mimic other real life events. Additionally, even when I have seen an episode multiple times, I really don't find flaws that scream "they should have done this, or said that", that is how well both shows have been made.

However, it now dawns on me that in the Seinfeld muffin stump episode the social worker could have really given it to Elaine by asking Elaine what she thought the bottom of the muffin was worth, then promptly using that value to trade Elaine dozens of her muffin stumps back in exchange for a few muffin tops.

Who is Target to not only dictate to me that I can only get their cheapest, presumably less healthy product for free, but to also create unfair competition among their own vendors! Target prevented me from using my coupon to upgrade my egg preference the free range egg product I really wanted, and that is not fair to the free range vendor. I doubt that Target is forcing their vendors to give out free coupons for only their lower end products...

Target further annihilates their own vendors by charging such obscene credit card interest rates that customers who have a Target store credit card debt they are struggling to pay down, (and the almost 24% interest rate does not help) are having their future buying power reduced every month because of that outrageous interest rate being charged on revolving debt. Money that could have gone to make a purchase from a Target Vendor, instead simply goes to monthly Target interest rate charges that are DOUBLE what they should be.

Who is Target to force me to get a free muffin stump when I want to try the muffin top and simply want the price discounted an equivalent amount to what I could have gotten for free. Of course Target is not set up to do such a transaction, and this gets to my point, Target sucks, and I feel they are getting worse by the month.

It's not just their coupon offers, it's other things as well. Target discontinued their gardening section because it was not "profitable enough". What can be more lame than to discourage gardening of any kind. In general, gardening is probably one of the most eco friendly things we can do within our living space. Not only that, but apparently there have been studies that show people who buy gardening supplies tend to be more reliable at paying their credit card bills!

As mentioned above, Target Store recently raised their credit card interest rate to an unheard of 23 plus percent! This is an astoundingly evil and customer unfriendly thing to do.

Please, Please, I beg of you all, all of you, Please, Please, watch the Seinfeld episode about the Muffin Stumps. When I tried to explain my gripe with Target earlier this evening, I quoted Seinfeld and the Muffin Stump episode, and the cashier/manager didn't know what I was talking about, and apparently, neither does Target corporate.

Thursday, October 21, 2010

''Karl Denninger, Tea Party Founder Blasts Palin & Gingrich'' - Auburn Journal

If you are planning on creating or broadcasting a commercial and want an objective, outsiders point of view about your commercial, contact Alessandro Machi about his consulting services at...
info at alexlogic.com
You can also view more
commercial critiques
by Alessandro Machi at

Monday, October 11, 2010

Ralph Nader starts a new blog called Fair Contracts dot org.

Ralph Nader has done it again. Fair Contracts dot org is a new website designed to put a spotlight on contracts and the fine print that deceives the honest consumer from knowing what is going on.

What trick that I have been witness/victim of was a salesperson who would hand write into a boilerplate contract additional items, never mentioning that the things they were writing in are actually supposed to be offered anyways, along with several that were never mentioned.

It was like being sold a car without wheels and brakes. In this instance, Fair Contracts dot org appears to be inspired by the banksters and the home foreclosure fraud that is being to seep out from the under the banksters shoetops.

Thursday, September 16, 2010

Natural Conspiracies separate the conspiracy theorists from those who think they are nuts.

It dawned on me the other day that the reason very few conspiracy theories ever get taken seriously is that most real conspiracies occur "naturally". An example of a natural conspiracy is the 2008 democratic presidential nominee race.

Natural conspiracies can happen when governments know something bad is going to happen, but decide to let it happen anyways because it will be easier to get their own citizens to follow what they (the government) believe needs to be done going into the future.

While many believed that the final 2008 democratic presidential result was a conspiracy against Hillary Clinton, it is more likely that television programming that highly skewed towards the young created an environment that made it "hipper" for the news stations and talks shows to over publicize Barack Obama while marginalizing Hillary Clinton.

Finding the real reason for the skewing of television programming towards the young reveals one possible disturbing motivation. Wall Street desires the indenturing our citizens at the youngest age possible because that debt will keep growing over the lifetime of the debtor. The result is a massive amount of high interest rates resulting in huge profits for the banks.

A lifelong credit card indentured citizen is likely the number one target of bankster backed television programming.

Programs rich in irresponsible behavior that are aimed at our youth will probably result in the copycatting of the irresponsible behavior which can then lead to the creation of debt, at a very young age.

Even though reality television shows are cheaper to produce, they don't hold up as well in reruns as quality non reality tv television shows do. For a reality tv show to get higher ratings in reruns, their participants must first turn into "stars", at which point these stars will demand more money and a cut of the residuals, which in turn may then weaken the shows profitability in reruns.

The point to all of this is generating programming aimed at financially indenturing the youth of our country at an early age is the "natural conspiracy" that helped change the course of the 2008 democratic presidential race, and future political races as well.

Some may say that the 2008 democratic race was a conspiracy against Hillary Clinton, the truer answer may be that yes there was a naturally occurring conspiracy based on financially indenturing our youth through the type of programming that is being produced.

Tuesday, August 24, 2010

Are Cities being two-faced when they buy things online instead of from local businesses that pay property, business, and local taxes plus licenses.

I believe the disconnect between city budget deficits and the local businesses who are being newly taxed by local governments has now reached epic proportions, specifically because of the internet. I recall hearing that the city of Los Angeles processes its parking and motor vehicle violation tickets through a firm that works out of Mexico.

But what about all the city offices that order their products online, but not from local online businesses? Is this a wise move? As the Internet creates more cut throat price wars and leaner profit margins FOR ALL, city budgets just seem to go along, bloated with ever fattening pension "obligations".

Yet at the same time, are these same city budgeteers trying to cut costs by purchasing cheaper quality products from wherever they may get it, even if it is not from a local business? While intercity commerce is usually a good thing, when it comes to using taxpayer money, that taxpayer money must be recirculated locally first, before it goes elsewhere.

Tuesday, May 25, 2010

The Gulf Oil Spill and the nervous number crunchers who caused it, something does not add up, and Everybody Loves Raymond shows us why.

The video clip link up above from Everybody Loves Raymond is meant to show how questionable the British Petroleum methodology appears to have been once an emergency situation arose. Once you click on the link you will need to go to the 9:00 minute mark and start viewing from that point.

Up above, Raymond is using a garden hose that is too short to reach the kitchen countertop fire.
(Image above from Sixty Minutes.) Oil pumping apparatus problems at the ocean's depths were basically ignored because the oil pumping parts were still partially responding. However, just like Raymond, pressing on a trigger to try and fix a problem was easier than actually going to the source and fighting the problem there.

The two situations parallel each other. One is a comedy, the other is an environmental tragedy of growing proportions.

Raymond was able to pacify himself even though his too short hose spewed water that could not reach the fire. BP was able to pacify itself because it's remote control devices still engaged the oil pumping apparatus located at the ocean's depths, however....

...The BP officials knew their oil drilling equipment located at the bottom of the ocean was not properly responding to their above sea level remote control commands, aka, they to had too short of a hose to reach the problem area properly.

Just like Raymond,
BP officials needed to handle their hot spot up close and personal,
just the way that Raymond's wife came to the rescue and handled the kitchen fire.
It certainly looks like BP kept pulling a Raymond by trying to fix their problem with a hose that was too short when what they really needed to do was fight their problem up close, down at the ocean's floor.

It amazes me how quality comedy shows can actually have incredibly important life lessons blended in, and it's a shame that BP executives either never saw that clip from Everybody Loves Raymond, or never made an association between Raymond and his too short hose and their own short comings.

Sixty Minutes ran a piece on the Gulf Oil Spill a couple of weeks ago and two things stood out to me. The first one is, what happened to Andrea?

The second one is about the internal claim made by British Petroleum and its associate companies that they were losing a million dollars a day because of delays related to the drilling. I don't believe BP was losing a million dollars a day. However, I do believe that using such a false premise to panic everybody into not following the right course of action needs to be fully investigated.
The three minute and five second mark is where you would want to start viewing the Sixty Minutes clip for purposes of this article.

Oil is a supply and demand business. If oil supplies drop below demand, the price on the remaining oil supply rises, if oil supplies out pace demand, the price drops. In either scenario, the oil company's overall revenues remain relatively stable.
Can someone explain to me how delays in oil exploration cost a company "more" money when those same delays allow them to charge more for their existing oil supply?
Unless another internal source of oil revenue for British Petroleum had dried up and needed to be replaced, there was no real financial loss to British Petroleum being caused by their schedule delays. Anybody can make up a schedule, but that does not make it a realistic schedule that must be obeyed at the expense of environmental safety. Nor does it mean that the oil company is really losing money when they can't meet an unrealistic schedule.

When it became obvious that there was a problem with the Gulf oil drilling apparatus, the premise that the problem mattered less than the loss in productivity was a lie. So why were the BP executives lying? I wonder if their lies may have been motivated by an on time schedule based bonus incentive.

Maybe prior examples abound of on time schedule based incentive bonuses that have benefited everybody from the oil company to the end consumers, but we're talking about the ocean here. The fact that land based oil pumping stations allow easier maintenance and repair access cannot be used as a guide for ocean based oil pumping.

The "next to impossible to get to because it is located on the ocean floor" oil pumping apparatus suggests that previous successful land based schedule based incentives cannot be compared to this fragile eco ocean situation.

Look at the picture of Raymond again. Would you consider Raymond and his too short garden hose your primary line of defense if you had a kitchen fire?
What if you had an oil pumping problem occurring at the bottom of the ocean's floor, would Raymond be all that protected you from the millions of gallons of petroleum spilling out into our life sustaining oceans?

Saturday, May 15, 2010

All Aboard the X-Train to Vegas.

Edit update (Friday, May 21, 2010) Andy Rooney makes a powerful case for the gambling industry offering nothing to help our economy. Good one Andy!

-------------Start of Article-----------------

Alan Mendelson of Alan's Best Buys has done it again as he reports on a new train venture that will travel between Los Angeles and Las Vegas.

The X-Train sounds interesting. It is kind of ironic that the innovators and business savvy people who are able to find a niche new business that will probably succeed will be catering to the gaming/gambling industry.

It begs the question, is this the kind of enterprise that actually "stimulates" the economy and our alleged drive towards greener technologies, or does the X-Train just grab at an existing piece of hanging economic fruit?

Is there anything about the X-train besides how it "looks" on the inside that can be pointed to as a green energy innovation? If the answer is no, could the first X-train, once it's up and running, be used to generate profits that could go towards designing the next X-Train with some type of green energy innovation?

How about making the next X-Train out of reinforced solar absorbing plastics, the kind of technology that UCLA has been working on for a few years?

I wonder how the scheduling works for something like this. Is it one rail track that has to be shared by trains going in both directions? How many turnouts are there between Los Angeles and Las Vegas? Since the X-Train will probably be pretty fast, what if it catches up to a freight train?

What I really like about the X-Train concept is how business people are using an already existing infrastructure to create a business opportunity. Too bad it will rely on speed and the use of existing energy sources rather than the greener technologies that we are supposed to be gravitating towards.

Sunday, April 25, 2010

Sandwich Board Man gets a Job after 99 Weeks of walking the streets wearing a sandwich board while seeking employment.

If we had a 99 week timeline of all of Sandwich Board Man's efforts to find a job by wearing a sandwich board in public, we would probably discover that literally tens of millions of people knew who Sandwhich Board Man was. We would probably find out that Sandwich Board Man was probably being interviewed for a television or radio show, or for a news story at least once every week.

Some may wonder if S.B.M. getting a job at week 99, just when his benefits were going to run out and just when he was about to give up, might have involved some secret manipulation to create a happy ending, but not I.

I think S.B.M. might have inadvertently been spreading job appreciation around the country for those 99 weeks that he sandwich boarded around town. Anyone who had a similar job to the one that Sandwich Board Man was in search of probably clutched on to their own job a little harder and with a little more gratitude over their own job. In other words, Sandwich Board Man probably reduced his own job opportunities in his own field because of his own actions.

If S.B.M. had consulted with me, to help him find a job, I would not have suggested the following....
I would not have have suggested that S.B.M. falsely claim he was hired after one week,

Nor would I have suggested S.B.M. hire a different Sandwich Board Man for week number two to take his place.

Neither would I have suggested that Sandwich Board Man hire a different S.B.M. for the third week to claim that the second week sandwich board man was also quickly hired as well and that now he too, the third sandwich board man, was hoping to get a job as well.

Nor would I have suggested to sandwich board man that after a few more magical one week hires by his S.B.M. offspring that he spin his own story into one of unmitigated success. No, I would not have suggested that sandwich board man go into to business consulting those interested in finding a job by using his magical "sandwich board spot method".

No way that I would suggest that S.B.M. start claiming that it was so much more gratifying to sell time share opportunities for his magic spot than the job he actually got (which he never really got) that he decided to go into business time share selling his magic sandwich board spot instead.

Word would spread about sandwich board man and his perfect spot for landing a job, and future prospective sandwich board job hunters would pre-pay for a weeks time at his magic spot. Time-share "Sandwich board spot" sales at one week intervals each would go 10 years into the future, and the original sandwich board man would then go around promoting his new franchise opportunit venture.

No, I would not recommend that S.B.M. do any of that. (ha ha ha)

Nor would I have recommended that S.B.M. run an infomercial offering a limited time only, "you too can start your own sandwich board franchise in your own city for only $ 999 promotion", but you should hurry and buy in now as there is only one truly good spot in each and every city in the country.

Although I would not recommend Sandwich board man do any the above, if he had, Sandwich Board Man would have been embraced by Wall Street; and we know that anybody Wall Street embraces is worth their weight, on the moon.

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