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Old 2013-05-12, 03:06   Link #1061
synaesthetic
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Anh_Minh View Post
But more than a few workers who would say "I'm willing to retire later provided I'm not a jobless hobo at age 40".
I would say this. So would most of the people I know. None of us can get regular jobs and all of us are a hairsbreadth away from homelessness.

I'm going to school, so I have an "excuse" and don't look quite so bad not having a job, but I've been trying to find regular work ever since I was laid off in May 2009 and I've had absolutely no luck.

I've had more luck doing odd jobs fixing computers and rooting Android phones.
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Old 2013-05-12, 10:03   Link #1062
Ledgem
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Originally Posted by willx View Post
From the perspective of a company shareholder, what do you want?
I do not have the perspective of a company shareholder, nor do I see why this conversation should be from their perspective. Are you aware that many people in America are quite irritated at the idea that shareholders take precedence over customers and workers? It ties in with the idea that the "management class" is simply trying to milk what they can for themselves, with little interest in the long term and the consequences that their short-term actions will have on others.

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Originally Posted by willx View Post
If your job was to manage millions or billions of other people's investments -- which do you prefer?
I thought their job was to run a company. Oh, I know it's all about the stock market these days, tying into the modern-day stock market becoming a perversion of what its original purpose was. Instead of investment in bringing companies into existence and products into existence it has become a casino. The existence of high-frequency trading is the most damning evidence of this development.

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Originally Posted by Sumeragi View Post
The funniest thing: I do find selective calculations of adding any and all benefits that the CEO's receive while ignoring basically every perk/benefits of the employees to hypocritical at least.
The difference is that employee benefits are locked to certain applications, whereas CEO benefits are directly translatable into currency. But if you want to add in the benefits awarded to employees, go ahead. I think you'll find that the thousands paid into things like employee health insurance don't change the stated numbers by much, if at all.
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Old 2013-05-12, 10:06   Link #1063
ganbaru
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Might be the best place to post this : Low-income U.S. students getting less college aid than better off ones: study
http://www.reuters.com/article/2013/...9480ZO20130509
Quote:
Low-income students are increasingly bypassed when colleges offer applicants financial aid, as schools compete for wealthier students who can afford rising tuition and fees, according to a public policy institute's analysis of U.S. Department of Education data.
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Old 2013-05-12, 14:29   Link #1064
willx
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@Ledgem:

You seem to have quite a few things confused here.

1) The shareholders of a copycompany are the ones that "own" the company. Whether there is 1 owner or 48 million .. they are the ones that actually own the business. It is through their influence of the board and management, primarily through pooled investments in institutional fund managers, that elect the boards who hire managers. Of course management has a lot of discretion and this system can break down -- but I'm not sure why you think their interests shouldn't be paramount.

2) My point about investment managers is not referring to management. My point was the people that control significant amounts of wealth in this country, which in turn influences the boards and management of companies, are investment managers who manage money on behalf of retirement savings and pensions of "mom & pop" as well as most people's mutual fund investments in 401Ks etc. Therefore a lot of the money out there, supporting the existing board and management style is "the money of the average person's pensions, 401Ks, savings, etc." -- a simple way of thinking about it is that it is "retail institutionalized money" .. You also appear to be mistaken about what HFT actually does. It's a system designed to arbitrage price discrepancies of individual securities across multiple exchanges or trading platforms. It's stated benefit is to provide increased market efficiency and pricing data. The problem with it, is because it operates so quickly and is built on algorithms, when issues arise, it is likely to deepen any systemic shocks to the system. IE. The "flash crash" that happened in 2010.

3) This is simply a matter of math, the denominator effect, actually. $7,000/$20 = 350 times. $7,000 / $35 = 200 times. $7,000 / $70 = 100 times.
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Old 2013-05-12, 14:39   Link #1065
Anh_Minh
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Quote:
Originally Posted by willx View Post
@Ledgem:

You seem to have quite a few things confused here.

1) The shareholders of a copy are the ones that "own" the company. Whether there is 1 owner or 48 million .. they are the ones that actually own the business. It is through their influence of the board and management, primarily through pooled investments in institutional fund managers, that elect the boards who hire managers. Of course management has a lot of discretion and this system can break down -- but I'm not sure why you think their interests shouldn't be paramount.
Same reason I posted earlier. You're trying to argue that you are not "the enemy". But the thing is, acting in the interests of the shareholders, even acting in the strictly financial interests of the "mom & pop" pensioners, isn't necessarily the same as acting for the good of the majority of society.
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Old 2013-05-12, 15:39   Link #1066
synaesthetic
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The good of the majority of humanity would be better served by more efficient resource distribution than by this adversarial system of winner-take-all and leave the "losers" to rot. That'd be fine if it were a game we could choose to play, but it's not optional, and we (the unwashed masses) don't even get to participate, yet we lose and rot regardless.

It's a deadly game we're forced to play, without being allowed to directly participate and without being given the rules.
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Old 2013-05-12, 16:04   Link #1067
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And there is a breaking point to that very game -- and it's expressed in the form of World War. While we are nowhere near that point, it still can ultimately head in that direction. It'll become more evident, when particular commodities become more depleted and the demand for them are strained.

Quote:
Originally Posted by synaesthetic
The good of the majority of humanity would be better served by more efficient resource distribution than by this adversarial system of winner-take-all and leave the "losers" to rot. That'd be fine if it were a game we could choose to play, but it's not optional, and we (the unwashed masses) don't even get to participate, yet we lose and rot regardless.
Looking back, it is seemingly more apparent as to how Communism and Marxism was deemed as culturally "evil". Those who controlled media back then fabricated the Red Scare and distributed it. Now, it has become a default position, coupled with evidence of Communism's application in other countries.

I don't advocate the United States to become Communist; but there may be some principles of Communism that can be incorporated into this Republic. Maybe.

However, this seemingly recent fear against Socialism -- now that's ridiculous. Any system working for the public can be deemed as Socialism. We all pay for the police force; we all benefit from it. Same goes for fire fighting and road maintenance. So on so forth. And then they tried to pin Socialism onto Obama? That's even more absurd.
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Old 2013-05-12, 16:05   Link #1068
Ledgem
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Quote:
Originally Posted by willx View Post
1) The shareholders of a copy are the ones that "own" the company. Whether there is 1 owner or 48 million .. they are the ones that actually own the business. It is through their influence of the board and management, primarily through pooled investments in institutional fund managers, that elect the boards who hire managers. Of course management has a lot of discretion and this system can break down -- but I'm not sure why you think their interests shouldn't be paramount.
Because in many cases they are incredibly disconnected from the corporation that they are legally considered the owners of, and what the company is actually doing doesn't matter to them. They're interested in the company doing well as far as raising the stock price goes, but those two factors aren't always linked, particularly when we look at long-term activity.

Dell is an interesting example one thing that gives me a poor opinion of the financial sector. For those who aren't aware of their story, Dell's performance overall is on the decline, they feel that the PC market is shifting, and they want to completely change their corporate strategy. Michael Dell, the founder, now wants to take the company private (buy back all shares) to give the company the freedom to go in a radical new direction. If they're successful then the company will benefit and society will benefit from something new being introduced. If they fail, well... they probably wouldn't be any worse off than where they'll be in 10-20 years anyhow.

Yet there are some key shareholders (or specifically, firms) who are opposing this idea and are doing what they can (successfully, I might add) to prevent the company from going private and instituting their plan. Tell me, how is this helping anyone? How is this helping the company, and how is it helping society? What do these stock market firms know about running a technology company?

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Originally Posted by willx View Post
2) My point about investment managers is not referring to management. My point was the people that control significant amounts of wealth in this country, which in turn influences the boards and management of companies, are investment managers who manage money on behalf of retirement savings and pensions of "mom & pop" as well as most people's mutual fund investments in 401Ks etc.
The fact that we can buy and sell "investments" is a large part of what has made the stock market one giant gambling game. That we have people whose job is to manage money in this game is another problem.

Consider what it would be like if I were investing for my own retirement. I wouldn't care much for how a company did over five, ten, perhaps even 20 years, because I'm working, have my own other source of income, and the investments aren't meant to mature for at least a few decades. On the other hand, someone who is managing other people's money does not have that luxury, because their salary is derived in part from those investments. If my retirement stocks don't earn anything or are even negative for five years it does not affect me, but for someone whose job is tied to those investments it is disastrous. Hence there is a lot of pressure on these types to find those short-term profits in the game, and this in turn causes many companies to act in the short term for those investors.

I will freely admit to you that finance is not my area, and my thoughts and opinions are pieced together from things I've read about in news and opinions. If I'm technically incorrect about anything that I've said then I'd love to read the correction.

Quote:
Originally Posted by willx View Post
You also appear to be mistaken about what HFT actually does. It's a system designed to arbitrage price discrepancies of individual securities across multiple exchanges or trading platforms. It's stated benefit is to provide increased market efficiency and pricing data.
If the time scale of investments were based around years instead of minutes and seconds (gambling) then a system like this wouldn't be necessary, would it?
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Old 2013-05-12, 16:59   Link #1069
willx
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Anh_Minh View Post
Same reason I posted earlier. You're trying to argue that you are not "the enemy". But the thing is, acting in the interests of the shareholders, even acting in the strictly financial interests of the "mom & pop" pensioners, isn't necessarily the same as acting for the good of the majority of society.
Yeah, this and other certain similar themed quotes is why it doesn't seem like it makes sense for me to continue to contribute to this topic. I am not trying to argue about being "not the enemy" at all, I'm attempting to inform people about what the reality of the world is and why it is the case and provide context on my perspective. The fact that people see this as me being the "enemy" in the first place is a little distressing.
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Old 2013-05-12, 18:15   Link #1070
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Quote:
Originally Posted by synaesthetic View Post
The good of the majority of humanity would be better served by more efficient resource distribution than by this adversarial system of winner-take-all and leave the "losers" to rot. That'd be fine if it were a game we could choose to play, but it's not optional, and we (the unwashed masses) don't even get to participate, yet we lose and rot regardless.

It's a deadly game we're forced to play, without being allowed to directly participate and without being given the rules.
Main problem is..... more efficient resource distribution only works if resource production itself can keep up. I doubt that any system would be able to do both, especially given the outlandish standards people say is necessary for living.
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Old 2013-05-12, 21:45   Link #1071
synaesthetic
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I firmly believe that there's more than enough "stuff" to go around, but the way it's being distributed (and squandered) leaves much to be desired. Of course, eventually the population will grow to the point where the "stuff" starts to be less plentiful...

Which is why we should be getting on space development pronto. We're inevitably going to outgrow our earthly confines, assuming we don't initiate self-extinction first.
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Old 2013-05-13, 02:06   Link #1072
Anh_Minh
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Quote:
Originally Posted by willx View Post
Yeah, this and other certain similar themed quotes is why it doesn't seem like it makes sense for me to continue to contribute to this topic. I am not trying to argue about being "not the enemy" at all, I'm attempting to inform people about what the reality of the world is and why it is the case and provide context on my perspective. The fact that people see this as me being the "enemy" in the first place is a little distressing.
Oh, I quite understand. Calling you "the enemy" is overstating it (I've said on other occasions that I saw finance as a force of nature, neither hostile nor friendly. Both exploitable and dangerous.)

But you act for your own interests, and those of the people who pay you. Like everyone. That means that the ones you (indirectly) outsource aren't going to have the warm and fuzzies for you, no matter how much sense it makes to you to do that, no matter how much money it brings to the pension fund of their elderly neighbor.
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Old 2013-05-13, 03:15   Link #1073
Kyuu
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Quote:
Originally Posted by willx View Post
I'm attempting to inform people about what the reality of the world is and why it is the case and provide context on my perspective. The fact that people see this as me being the "enemy" in the first place is a little distressing.
It's all fine and dandy to inform. However, just because things are "as the way they are"... that does not mean it is immune and cannot be subject to some kind of change.
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Old 2013-05-13, 08:01   Link #1074
willx
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Originally Posted by Anh_Minh View Post
Oh, I quite understand. Calling you "the enemy" is overstating it (I've said on other occasions that I saw finance as a force of nature, neither hostile nor friendly. Both exploitable and dangerous.)

But you act for your own interests, and those of the people who pay you. Like everyone. That means that the ones you (indirectly) outsource aren't going to have the warm and fuzzies for you, no matter how much sense it makes to you to do that, no matter how much money it brings to the pension fund of their elderly neighbor.
We're going to have to agree to disagree about how much or what you understand. Because, well, you seem to continue to misunderstand what it is that I do -- or you have chosen not to read previous posts.

Because, well .. I don't directly or indirectly outsource anyone. I don't manage investments. I don't advise on any operational matters at all. I specifically deal with companies in the realm of financial distress from either an advisor standpoint (to frankly rescue the company or derive as much residual value as possible) or as an advisor to an institution targeting them as an investment opportunity. I make no recommendations on operations other than from a financing or capital structure standpoint and occasionally review M&A and other transaction structure information.

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Originally Posted by Kyuu View Post
It's all fine and dandy to inform. However, just because things are "as the way they are"... that does not mean it is immune and cannot be subject to some kind of change.
I have never once stated that things are immune or cannot change, although, I'll admit I have pointed out changes may be incredibly difficult. The reason I'm "informing" is because there is a severe lack of understanding of the corporate landscape, financial markets, financial institutions and the role of corporations in the current economy. Everyone has an opinion but doesn't seem to get that the way things are, currently are there .. frankly for a reason. It doesn't mean that they cannot and should not be changed if better ideas come about, but to not address the rationale behind existing structures, or to properly comprehend how they work is a discredit to decades and centuries of development.

Anyways, I'm not going to play a victim, but neither will I sit idly by while things are attributed to be that are simply untrue. Simultaneously, I am obviously not adding value by continuing to contribute to this topic, so .. change of topic!

US tax authorities targeted Obama's political enemies // Wider Problems Found at IRS

http://blogs.telegraph.co.uk/news/ja...tical-enemies/

http://online.wsj.com/article/SB1000...Tabs%3Darticle
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Old 2013-05-13, 08:08   Link #1075
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Because, well .. I don't directly or indirectly outsource anyone. I don't manage investments. I don't advise on any operational matters at all. I specifically deal with companies in the realm of financial distress from either an advisor standpoint (to frankly rescue the company or derive as much residual value as possible) or as an advisor to an institution targeting them as an investment opportunity. I make no recommendations on operations other than from a financing or capital structure standpoint and occasionally review M&A and other transaction structure information.
To be fair, this is all you keep saying you do. You don't give detail, just a statement of some general things you do like you would see in a newspaper ad. It basically reads like "I'm a doctor. No, I do not operate, and I do not prescribe medicine. I merely have patients." Does that really tell anyone what you do, then?
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Old 2013-05-13, 08:13   Link #1076
Anh_Minh
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We're going to have to agree to disagree about how much or what you understand. Because, well, you seem to continue to misunderstand what it is that I do -- or you have chosen not to read previous posts.

Because, well .. I don't directly or indirectly outsource anyone. I don't manage investments. I don't advise on any operational matters at all. I specifically deal with companies in the realm of financial distress from either an advisor standpoint (to frankly rescue the company or derive as much residual value as possible) or as an advisor to an institution targeting them as an investment opportunity. I make no recommendations on operations other than from a financing or capital structure standpoint and occasionally review M&A and other transaction structure information.
I indeed haven't paid attention to what you, personally, do. Which is just as well, because unless there's been some weird bug in the forum software, your posts mostly haven't been about that either.
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Old 2013-05-13, 08:13   Link #1077
willx
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Originally Posted by GDB View Post
To be fair, this is all you keep saying you do. You don't give detail, just a statement of some general things you do like you would see in a newspaper ad. It basically reads like "I'm a doctor. No, I do not operate, and I do not prescribe medicine. I merely have patients." Does that really tell anyone what you do, then?
Sorry, I still don't get what the issue is, my job is to act as a financial advisor. I advise on "Finance" .. financings/refinancings, capital structure, M&A. Is there something that is unclear here? That is the detail.

Or are you saying that people don't know what "refinancing" or "advising on capital structure" or "M&A" is?

Quote:
Originally Posted by Anh_Minh View Post
I indeed haven't paid attention to what you, personally, do. Which is just as well, because unless there's been some weird bug in the forum software, your posts mostly haven't been about that either.
Ok? So you make statements specifically about a topic you admit you now knew nothing about or lacked clarity on, but that's okay? Sure. Carry on then.
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Old 2013-05-13, 08:26   Link #1078
Anh_Minh
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Ok? So you make statements specifically about a topic you admit you now knew nothing about or lacked clarity on, but that's okay? Sure. Carry on then.
From my point of view, you took it upon yourself, as someone who works in finance, to "defend" the sector against a number of accusations you felt were unfair. Which you did, not by insisting the actors weren't guilty, but by saying that what they did wasn't wrong since it was in their own interests.

If you've worked into your defense, until just now, precisely what you did, then I must have missed the turn, because from what I've seen your posts weren't about that. So rather than say I know nothing about the topic, let's start with saying we don't seem to agree on what the topic was. I assure you that if I'd thought the topic was you, and only you, I'd have stayed out.
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Old 2013-05-13, 09:27   Link #1079
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Sorry, I still don't get what the issue is, my job is to act as a financial advisor. I advise on "Finance" .. financings/refinancings, capital structure, M&A. Is there something that is unclear here? That is the detail.

Or are you saying that people don't know what "refinancing" or "advising on capital structure" or "M&A" is?



Ok? So you make statements specifically about a topic you admit you now knew nothing about or lacked clarity on, but that's okay? Sure. Carry on then.

Willx, I am on your side (also a finance guy sitting across from Wall Street), but one have to admit the shield of "In the name of shareholder interest" has been used to inflict undue-harm on rest of society.

For example, the firm I worked with a while back was debating the value of installing additional equipment to keep a lake near one of their airports clean. (They brought an Airport in Brazil-Private Equity gold label work)

In the end, they decided to install additional equipment because the plant manager complained/locals complained.

The cost was a couple hundred thousand dollars and a month and half of delays.

If this was Jack welch's school of "Chain saw everything in the name of shareholder value", the lake probably will end up a polluted mess, the private equity would eat all the value they can find, then leave the wreckage for another buyer or let it rot.

Can we say the capital market is a highly efficient allocator of resources? Yes, but can it be corrupted or other non-direct dollar costs ignored, absolutely.

As a "bean counter", I have long realized there are a ton of costs that goes to any capital investments that are "socialized" and yet will never enter into a firm's calculation. In the name of cost control, we have sold our souls to things otherwise unspeakable....

I knew this system is sending us to hell the day the economist said "It is the duty of a corporation to search for every loophole and stretch every law to the limit on behalf of their shareholders..."
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Old 2013-05-13, 09:29   Link #1080
willx
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@Anh_Minh: You can take whatever point of view you so choose despite it being completely contrary to what I was doing or even my stated intentions. As I said previously, the fact that anyone thinks I am defending the sector or need to defend myself is more a reflection of the emotions of the "attacker" than anything else. I'm just trying to increase financial literacy.

My only point about you making statements about a "topic you know nothing about" is precisely because you made a post explicitly drawing what I do into the mix. My statement about my profession is simply to lend credibility to what I'm talking about, rather than just say: "The information I provide is valuable because I have a high opinion about myself!"

@Archmage -- Glad you're on my side-..! Except I'm not on a side. In hindsight, perhaps this was an exercise in futility, or, maybe unneeded, but my initial intent, upon seeing people continue to make unsubstantiated statements with clearly a lack of understanding about how our financial system, corporations and financial markets all works is to pop in and say: "Yeah, that's all great and all, but what about X and Y->Z (how things are and why)" and this is clearly taken as my firm position as "The Man" and "a robber baron" and "the enemy." Keep in mind that there's a "take and pull" with regards to corporations, shareholder interest, etc and taxation and government regulation. If you look up the initial founding thoughts on corporations and business and it's role in "society" there is a reason corporate taxation exists and the whole profit system being viewed as in the public benefit. The question of whether government remains separate from business is a completely different and difficult to answer question.
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