Archive for 2002-09

Autumn

02002-09-21 @ 07:09

It is Autumn again and that is my favorite time in Santa Fe.
There is new snow on the mountain tops already and the morning air is crisp. Quite a few trees have died over the Summer. Some of them along the Santa Fe river were quite old and tall and it was lovely to pass in their shade.

Everyone is a Day-Trader

02002-09-19 @ 07:09

I was thinking about the stockmarket the other day.
The concept of selling shares of a company originated with the need to raise capital for research and development or expansion. Otherwise one would do like Dr. Bose who still owns 100% of BOSE and who has to answer to no one.

Over the last two decades the stockmarket has become a reality for everyone in America. People buy and sell shares over the internet. Many people love the thrill of day-trading and I have heard of many a roadie trading stocks on his wireless laptop while rushing to the next gig on a tourbus. This opportunity leads to the attitude that it doesn’t matter what I trade as long as I make money. In other words damn the consequences. Or – if it looks like the stock of Napalm Inc. is going up I will buy shares so I can make $$$.

Traders don’t care for a company itself, the well-being of their employees, their ideas, the research and goals. Instead all that matters is: will the stock rise or fall. That naturally makes the company look to the next quarter instead of the next decade. It makes companies do silly things, like hobble the bus of a computer so that a few months down the road they can sell the same computer again – without the hobble as a new achievement……It makes our corporate world incredibly short sighted. How many companies nowadays would rather fire a few thousand people to make their short term goals (in which case the executives still get their performance pay) than try to make it through a slump or come up with a better long-range plan?

Executives/presidents/CEOs have performance-oriented contracts, which means they want to please the stockholders NOW. That makes it harder to spend money on research and development.

I believe our economic climate reflects the social climate and also the political climate. Politicians now seem to start working on their re-election the moment that they are elected. The old rule of thumb was that politicians would start thinking about re-election after half of their term, which meant that they might support less popular causes that were nonetheless positive and maybe necessary in the long run.

The nineties are over, and I would like to move on…..

Organic Food

02002-09-05 @ 07:09

Sometimes I despair over the affairs of the world and its ugly politics, pollution, war…so much is upsetting. Today I remembered, instead, that when I came to America in 1979 the only way one could buy natural foods was through a co-op. Now I can walk into Whole Foods or Wild Oats and have a wonderful selection of organic foods. Sure it has become big business, but only because a grass roots movement created a demand for this kind of produce. With that demand came farmers choosing to grow organic food, and companies wanting to process and package organic foods. And that put a smile on my face….

Grandmother

02002-09-03 @ 07:09

A while ago I couldn’t help overhearing a conversation between two men, both of them unknown to me. One of them mentioned that his grandmother had recently died. I am sorry, said he other man. Well, she lived a long life and had 14 children and 18 grandchildren, answered the first.
I walked away thinking how sad, the man did not say that his grandmother was a kind woman, or happy, creative, smart or whatever…..no, he presented a count of her children and her children’s children. Sometimes I feel like I am falling through a time crack into the middle ages…

 


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