Wednesday, February 12, 2014

5 Philosophical Wisdoms From Nassim Taleb


Here are 5 quotes from Nassim Taleb. Each quote comes from his book, The Bed Of Procrustes. The book is truly remarkable and these quotes will give you a sense of its brilliance. It's a must-read and you can purchase it below:

    “To bankrupt a fool, give him information.” - Nassim Taleb

    “True humility is when you can surprise yourself more than others; the rest is either shyness or good marketing.” - Nassim Taleb

    “I suspect the I.Q., SAT, and school grades are tests designed by nerds so they can get high scores in order to call each other intelligent.” - Nassim Taleb

    "To value a person, consider the difference between how impressive he or she was at the first encounter and the most recent one." - Nassim Taleb

"The difference between magnificence and arrogance is in what one does when nobody is looking." - Nassim Taleb


- See more at: http://www.exploringmarkets.com/2014/02/5-philosophical-wisdoms-from-nassim.html?utm_content=buffer15b22&utm_medium=social&utm_source=twitter.com&utm_campaign=buffer#sthash.Bp8NWQGf.dpuf

5 Philosophical Wisdoms From Nassim Taleb And His Renowned Book Titled The Bed Of Procrustes

Here are 5 quotes from Nassim Taleb. Each quote comes from his book, The Bed Of Procrustes. The book is truly remarkable and these quotes will give you a sense of its brilliance. It's a must-read and you can purchase it below:
  1. “To bankrupt a fool, give him information.” - Nassim Taleb
  2. “True humility is when you can surprise yourself more than others; the rest is either shyness or good marketing.” - Nassim Taleb
  3. “I suspect the I.Q., SAT, and school grades are tests designed by nerds so they can get high scores in order to call each other intelligent.” - Nassim Taleb
  4. "To value a person, consider the difference between how impressive he or she was at the first encounter and the most recent one." - Nassim Taleb
  5. "The difference between magnificence and arrogance is in what one does
- See more at: http://www.exploringmarkets.com/2014/02/5-philosophical-wisdoms-from-nassim.html?utm_content=buffer15b22&utm_medium=social&utm_source=twitter.com&utm_campaign=buffer#sthash.Bp8NWQGf.dpuf

Wednesday, January 23, 2013

Nine things successful people do differently



Why have you been so successful in reaching some of your goals, but not others? 

If you aren't sure, you are far from alone in your confusion. It turns out that even brilliant, highly accomplished people are pretty lousy when it comes to understanding why they succeed or fail. 

The intuitive answer — that you are born predisposed to certain talents and lacking in others — is really just one small piece of the puzzle. 

In fact, decades of research on achievement suggests that:
successful people reach their goals not simply because of who they are, but more often because of what they do.

Nine Things Successful People Do Differently:


1. Get specific. When you set yourself a goal, try to be as specific as possible.

"Lose 5 pounds" is a better goal than "lose some weight," because it gives you a clear idea of what success looks like.

Knowing exactly what you want to achieve keeps you motivated until you get there. 

Also, think about the specific actions that need to be taken to reach your goal. 

Just promising you'll "eat less" or "sleep more" is too vague — be clear and precise. "I'll be in bed by 10pm on weeknights" leaves no room for doubt about what you need to do, and whether or not you've actually done it.


2. Seize the moment to act on your goals. Given how busy most of us are, and how many goals we are juggling at once, it's not surprising that we routinely miss opportunities to act on a goal because we simply fail to notice them


Did you really have no time to work out today? No chance at any point to return that phone call? Achieving your goal means grabbing hold of these opportunities before they slip through your fingers.

To seize the moment, decide when and where you will take each action you want to take, in advance. 


Again, be as specific as possible (e.g., "If it's Monday, Wednesday, or Friday, I'll work out for 30 minutes before work.") Studies show that this kind of planning will help your brain to detect and seize the opportunity when it arises, increasing your chances of success by roughly 300%.


3. Know exactly how far you have left to go. Achieving any goal also requires honest and regular monitoring of your progress — if not by others, then by you yourself. 

If you don't know how well you are doing, you can't adjust your behavior or your strategies accordingly.  

Check your progress frequently — weekly, or even daily, depending on the goal.


4. Be a realistic optimist. When you are setting a goal, by all means engage in lots of positive thinking about how likely you are to achieve it.  Believing in your ability to succeed is enormously helpful for creating and sustaining your motivation. 

But whatever you do, 

don't underestimate how difficult it will be to reach your goal. 

Most goals worth achieving require time, planning, effort, and persistence. 

Studies show that thinking things will come to you easily and effortlessly leaves you ill-prepared for the journey ahead, and significantly increases the odds of failure.

5. Focus on getting better, rather than being good. Believing you have the ability to reach your goals is important, but so is believing you can get the ability. 

Many of us believe that our intelligence, our personality, and our physical aptitudes are fixed — that no matter what we do, we won't improve. As a result, we focus on goals that are all about proving ourselves, rather than developing and acquiring new skills.
Fortunately, decades of research suggest that the belief in fixed ability is completely wrong — abilities of all kinds are profoundly malleable. 


Embracing the fact that you can change will allow you to make better choices, and reach your fullest potential. 

People whose goals are about getting better, rather than being good, take difficulty in stride, and appreciate the journey as much as the destination.
6. Have grit. Grit is a willingness to commit to long-term goals, and to persist in the face of difficulty. Studies show that gritty people obtain more education in their lifetime, and earn higher college GPAs. Grit predicts which cadets will stick out their first grueling year at West Point.  In fact, grit even predicts which round contestants will make it to at the Scripps National Spelling Bee.

The good news is, if you aren't particularly gritty now, there is something you can do about it.


People who lack grit more often than not believe that they just don't have the innate abilities successful people have. If that describes your own thinking .... well, there's no way to put this nicely: you are wrong. 

As I mentioned earlier, effort, planning, persistence, and good strategies are what it really takes to succeed. 

Embracing this knowledge will not only help you see yourself and your goals more accurately, but also do wonders for your grit.


7. Build your willpower muscle. Your self-control "muscle" is just like the other muscles in your body — when it doesn't get much exercise, it becomes weaker over time. But when you give it regular workouts by putting it to good use, it will grow stronger and stronger, and better able to help you successfully reach your goals.

To build willpower, take on a challenge that requires you to do something you'd honestly rather not do. 

Give up high-fat snacks, do 100 sit-ups a day, stand up straight when you catch yourself slouching, try to learn a new skill. 

When you find yourself wanting to give in, give up, or just not bother — don't. 

Start with just one activity, and make a plan for how you will deal with troubles when they occur ("If I have a craving for a snack, I will eat one piece of fresh or three pieces of dried fruit.") It will be hard in the beginning, but it will get easier, and that's the whole point. 

As your strength grows, you can take on more challenges and step-up your self-control workout.


8. Don't tempt fate.
No matter how strong your willpower muscle becomes, it's important to always respect the fact that it is limited, and if you overtax it you will temporarily run out of steam. 

Don't try to take on two challenging tasks at once, if you can help it (like quitting smoking and dieting at the same time).

And don't put yourself in harm's way — many people are overly-confident in their ability to resist temptation, and as a result they put themselves in situations where temptations abound.


Successful people know not to make reaching a goal harder than it already is.


9. Focus on what you will do, not what you won't do. 

F
Do you want to successfully lose weight, quit smoking, or put a lid on your bad temper? 

Then plan how you will replace bad habits with good ones, rather than focusing only on the bad habits themselves. 

Research on thought suppression (e.g., "Don't think about white bears!") has shown that trying to avoid a thought makes it even more active in your mind. 

The same holds true when it comes to behavior — by trying not to engage in a bad habit, our habits get strengthened rather than broken.

If you want to change your ways, ask yourself, What will I do instead? 

For example, if you are trying to gain control of your temper and stop flying off the handle, you might make a plan like "If I am starting to feel angry, then I will take three deep breaths to calm down." 

By using deep breathing as a replacement for giving in to your anger, your bad habit will get worn away over time until it disappears completely.

 

Remember, you don't need to become a different person to become a more successful one. 

It's never what you are, but what you do.







Heidi Grant Halvorson, Ph.D. is a motivational psychologist, and author of the new book Succeed: How We Can Reach Our Goals (Hudson Street Press, 2011). 

She is also an expert blogger on motivation and leadership for Fast Company and Psychology Today.

Her personal blog, The Science of Success, can be found at www.heidigranthalvorson.com.

Follow her on Twitter @hghalvorson

More blog posts by Heidi Grant Halvorson


More on: Career planning, Managing yourself






Learn more about the science of success with Heidi Grant Halvorson's HBR Single, based on this blog post.


Source:
 
by Heidi Grant Halvorson
Nine Things Successful People Do Differently - Heidi Grant Halvorson - Harvard Business Review






Stocks will not love you back - MarketWatch


Source:
Stocks will not love you back - MarketWatch



The single most important lesson I've learned about successful investing is the need to maintain emotional detachment. Any feelings you may have toward a stock are unrequited. If you love a stock, it will not love you back. And if you hate a stock, it will not give you the satisfaction of responding in kind. (As tragic as unanswered love may be, unanswered hate is often more damaging to your pride.)


A stock is like that unattainable cheerleader you had a crush on in high school. She neither loved you nor hated you. She was completely unaware you existed.


No matter how much you love a stock (and write favorably about it in MarketWatch) it will not reward your loyalty by rising in price. And heaven help you if you allow your emotions to cloud your judgment in a short position. I know of no surer way of losing your investment nest egg than to short a stock or other investment you hate.


Alas, I know from experience. I shorted the Nasdaq-100 in the fall of 2003. In an outbreak of moral high-horsing that has (thankfully) now been purged out of me, I decided that tech stocks were overpriced and needed to fall further. The Nasdaq had very different ideas , and I was forced to cover that short at a 20% loss with my tail tucked between my legs.


A closely-related investment mistake is succumbing to what I call the "Peter Lynch bias." Lynch ran the Fidelity Magellan fund from 1977 to 1990 and had one of the best performance records in history for a mutual fund manager — an annualized return of over 29% per year.


Unfortunately, he also offered some of the worst advice in history when he recommended that investors "invest in what they know."


On the surface, it seems like decent enough advice. If you stumble across a product you like — say, a particular brand of mobile phone or a new restaurant chain — then it might be reasonable to assume that others will feel the same way. If the stock is reasonably priced, it might make a good investment opportunity.


Unfortunately, "investing in what you know" tends to create muddled, emotional baggage thinking.


The fact that you like Chipotle CMG -1.25% burritos and are intimately aware of every ingredient used in the red salsa does not automatically make Chipotle a good investment, any more than your liking of Frappuccino makes Starbucks SBUX -1.78% a good investment.


Rather than give you an insightful edge, liking the product causes you to lose perspective and see only what you want to see in the stock.


How do we mitigate our emotional impulses? In a prior article, I noted that " brain damage can create superior investment results ." But short of physically rewiring our brains, what can we actually do?


I try to follow these basic guidelines and recommend them:


If you like a company's products, try using one of their competitors before seriously considering purchasing the stock. 

If I had really taken the time to learn how to use an Apple AAPL -1.56% iPhone or Google GOOG +0.66% Android device, I probably wouldn't have gotten sucked into the Research In Motion RIMM -3.53% value trap. Yes, RIMM was one of the cheapest stock in the world when I recommended it last year. But I cannot deny that my decision to recommend it was biased by my ownership of a BlackBerry phone. Likewise, many iPhone owners are probably buying Apple for similar reasons today.

To the best extent you can, try to follow trading rules and use stop losses
. What works for one investor will be very different than what works for another. Perhaps you use a hard stop loss of, say, 10% below your purchase price. Or consider using a trailing stop of 20-25%.

If you are a value investor, perhaps you base your sell decision on valuation or fundamentals rather than market price.
In any event, my point stands. Lay out the conditions under which you intend to sell and stick to them. Stock ownership is a marriage of convenience with quick, no-fault divorce if your situation changes. Don't make the mistake of falling in love.

Unleash your inner Spock. For readers who are not Star Trek fans, Spock is an alien from the planet Vulcan who is incapable of expressing emotions. When talking about a stock or watching its price fluctuate gets your heart racing, take a step back and try to look at the investment through Spock's eyes. Is it logical? Do the numbers make sense? Are the growth projections based on reasonable facts or on optimistic hope? Would you buy a different company if it were trading at the same price multiple?


Admittedly, these are not precise guidelines. But then, another lesson I learned is that it is a mistake to try to be too precise in this business. Follow the lead of great value investors like Benjamin Graham and Warren Buffett by making sure you have a wide margin of safety in your assumptions.



This commentary does not constitute individualized investment advice. The opinions offered herein are not personalized recommendations to buy, sell or hold securities.










Twelve Steps to Happiness







STEP 1 - Show gratitude 

(* There's a lot more to gratitude than saying "thank you." Emerging research shows that people who are consistently grateful are happier, more energetic and hopeful, more forgiving and less materialistic. Gratitude needs to be practised daily because it doesn't necessarily come naturally.)


STEP 2 - Cultivate Optimism


STEP 3 - Avoid overthinking and social comparison

(* Many of us believe that when we feel down we should try to focus inwardly to attain self-insight and find solutions to our problems. But numerous studies have shown that overthinking sustains or worsens sadness.)


STEP 4 - Practice kindness


STEP 5 - Nurture social relationships


STEP 6 - Develop coping skills


STEP 7 - Learn to forgive 

(* Forgiveness is not the same thing as reconciliation, pardoning or condoning. Nor is it a denial of your own hurt. Forgiveness is a shift in thinking and something that you do for yourself and not for the person who has harmed you. Research confirms that clinging to bitterness or hate harms you more than the object of your hatred. Forgiving people are less likely to be hostile, depressed, anxious or neurotic.


* Forgive yourself for past wrongs. Recognising that you too can be a transgressor will make you more empathetic to others. )


STEP 8 - Find more flow

(* "Flow" was a phrase coined by psychologist Mihaly Csikszentmihalyi in the 1960s. It means you are totally immersed in what you are doing and unaware of yourself. Happy people have the capacity to enjoy their lives even when their material conditions are lacking and even when many of their goals have not been reached.)


STEP 9 - Savour the day



STEP 10 - Commit to your goals 

(* People who strive for something personally significant, whether it's learning a new craft or changing careers, are far happier than those who don't have strong dreams or aspirations. Working towards a goal is more important to wellbeing than its attainment.)


STEP 11 - Take care of your soul

 (* A growing body of psychological research suggests that religious people are happier, healthier and recover better after traumas than nonreligious people. ...

* Find the sacred in ordinary life ...)

STEP 12 - Take care of your body

"The How of Happiness" Sonja Lyubomirsky - TalkRational



by Sonja Lyubomirsky

link: http://lyubomirsky.socialpsychology.org/




Secret Ingredients for Success

Excuse making is not the answer to moving your business forward and making a success of your efforts  -  working harder is not the answer; you need to change a losing game. 

Work differently like the successful people in this article did:
they subjected themselves to fairly merciless self-examination that prompted reinvention of their goals and the methods by which they endeavored to achieve them.

They looked inward and subjected themselves to brutal self-assessment. 

In interviews with high achievers for a book, the authors expected to hear that talent, persistence, dedication and luck played crucial roles in their success. 

Surprisingly, however, self-awareness played an equally strong role.


The authors learned that challenging our assumptions, objectives, at times even our goals, may sometimes push us further than we thought possible. 


This is  the cognitive approach that Professor Argyris called double-loop learning wherein we are advised  to  question every aspect of our approach, including our methodology, biases and deeply held assumptions. 

..........



Secret Ingredient for Success

By CAMILLE SWEENEY and JOSH GOSFIELD


WHAT does self-awareness have to do with a restaurant empire? A tennis championship? Or a rock star’s dream?

David Chang’s experience is instructive.

Mr. Chang is an internationally renowned, award-winning Korean-American chef, restaurateur and owner of the Momofuku restaurant group with eight restaurants from Toronto to Sydney, and other thriving enterprises, including bakeries and bars, a PBS TV show, guest spots on HBO’s “Treme” and a foodie magazine, Lucky Peach.  

He says he worked himself to the bone to realize his dream — to own a humble noodle bar.

He spent years cooking in some of New York City’s best restaurants, apprenticed in different noodle shops in Japan and then, finally, worked 18-hour days in his tiny restaurant,
Momofuku Noodle Bar.

Mr. Chang could barely pay himself a salary. He had trouble keeping staff. And he was miserably stressed.


He recalls a low moment when he went with his staff on a night off to eat burgers at a restaurant that was everything his wasn’t — packed, critically acclaimed and financially successful.

He could cook better than they did, he thought, so why was his restaurant failing? “I couldn’t figure out what the hell we were doing wrong,” he told us.

Mr. Chang could have blamed someone else for his troubles, or worked harder (though available evidence suggests that might not have been possible) or he could have made minor tweaks to the menu. 

Instead he looked inward and subjected himself to brutal self-assessment.

Was the humble noodle bar of his dreams economically viable? 

Sure, a traditional noodle dish had its charm but wouldn’t work as the mainstay of a restaurant if he hoped to pay his bills.

Mr. Chang changed course. 


Rather than worry about what a noodle bar should serve, he and his cooks stalked the produce at the greenmarket for inspiration. 

Then they went back to the kitchen and cooked as if it was their last meal, crowding the menu with wild combinations of dishes they’d want to eat — tripe and sweetbreads, headcheese and flavor-packed culinary mashups like a Korean-style burrito. 

What happened next Mr. Chang still considers “kind of ridiculous” — the crowds came, rave reviews piled up, awards followed and unimaginable opportunities presented themselves.

During the 1970s, Chris Argyris, a business theorist at Harvard Business School (and now, at 89, a professor emeritus) began to research what happens to organizations and people, like Mr. Chang, when they find obstacles in their paths.

Professor Argyris called the most common response single loop learning — an insular mental process in which we consider possible external or technical reasons for obstacles.


LESS common but vastly more effective is the cognitive approach that Professor Argyris called double-loop learning. 

In this mode we — like Mr. Chang — question every aspect of our approach, including our methodology, biases and deeply held assumptions. 

This more psychologically nuanced self-examination requires that we honestly challenge our beliefs and summon the courage to act on that information, which may lead to fresh ways of thinking about our lives and our goals.

In interviews we did with high achievers for a book, we expected to hear that talent, persistence, dedication and luck played crucial roles in their success. 

Surprisingly, however, self-awareness played an equally strong role.

The successful people we spoke with — in business, entertainment, sports and the arts — all had similar responses when faced with obstacles: they subjected themselves to fairly merciless self-examination that prompted reinvention of their goals and the methods by which they endeavored to achieve them.

The tennis champion Martina Navratilova, for example, told us that after a galling loss to Chris Evert in 1981, she questioned her assumption that she could get by on talent and instinct alone. 

She began a long exploration of every aspect of her game. 

She adopted a rigorous cross-training practice (common today but essentially unheard of at the time), revamped her diet and her mental and tactical game and ultimately transformed herself into the most successful women’s tennis player of her era.

The indie rock band OK Go described how it once operated under the business model of the 20th-century rock band. 

But when industry record sales collapsed and the band members found themselves creatively hamstrung by their recording company, they questioned their tactics. 

Rather than depend on their label, they made wildly unconventional music videos, which went viral, and collaborative art projects with companies like Google, State Farm and Range Rover, which financed future creative endeavors. The band now releases albums on its own label.
No one’s idea of a good time is to take a brutal assessment of their animating assumptions and to acknowledge that those may have contributed to their failure. 

It’s easy to find pat ways to explain why the world has not adequately rewarded our efforts. 


But what we learned from conversation with high achievers is that:


 challenging our assumptions, objectives, at times even our goals, may sometimes push us further than we thought possible. 












Camille Sweeney and Josh Gosfield are the authors of the forthcoming book “The Art of Doing:  How Superachievers Do What They Do and How They Do It So Well.”


Source:

Secret Ingredient for Success - NYTimes.com



http://www.nytimes.com/2013/01/20/opinion/sunday/secret-ingredient-for-success.html?_r=0





Thursday, January 10, 2013

Why Wall Street Wins Everytime - Is it a rigged game?

 
The great mystery story in American politics these days is why, over the course of two presidential administrations (one from each party), there’s been no serious federal criminal investigation of Wall Street during a period of what appears to be epic corruption.


One of those rare inside accounts about Why the Government Won't Fight Wall Street:

 "The Payoff: Why Wall Street Always Wins", a new book by Jeff Connaughton, the former aide to Senators Ted Kaufman and Joe Biden.

 He shared this quality with his boss Kaufman, the Delaware Senator who took over Biden's seat and instantly became an irritating (to Wall Street) political force by announcing he wasn’t going to run for re-election. 

"I later learned from reporters that Wall Street was frustrated that they couldn’t find a way to harness Ted or pull in his reins," Jeff writes. "There was no obvious way to pressure Ted because he wasn’t running for re-election."

Kaufman for some time was a go-to guy in the Senate for reform activists and reporters who wanted to find out what was really going on with corruption issues.

He was a leader in a number of areas, attempting to push through (often simple) fixes to issues like high-frequency trading (his advocacy here looked prescient after the "flash crash" of 2010), naked short-selling, and, perhaps most importantly, the Too-Big-To-Fail issue. 

What’s fascinating about Connaughton’s book is that we now get to hear a behind-the-scenes account of who exactly was knocking down simple reform ideas, how they were knocked down, and in some cases we even find out why good ideas were rejected, although some element of mystery certainly remains here.

There are some damning revelations in this book, and overall it’s not a flattering portrait of key Obama administration officials like SEC enforcement chief Robert Khuzami, Department of Justice honchos Eric Holder (who once worked at the same law firm, Covington and Burling, as Connaughton) and Lanny Breuer, and Treasury Secretary Tim Geithner.

Most damningly, Connaughton writes about something he calls "The Blob," a kind of catchall term describing an oozy pile of Hill insiders who are all incestuously interconnected, sometimes by financial or political ties, sometimes by marriage, sometimes by all three.

And what Connaughton and Kaufman found is that taking on Wall Street even with the aim of imposing simple, logical fixes often inspired immediate hostile responses from The Blob; you’d never know where it was coming from.

In one amazing example described in the book, Kaufman decided he wanted to try to re-instate the so-called "uptick rule," which had existed for seventy years before being rescinded by the SEC in 2007. 

The rule prevents investors from shorting a stock until the stock had ticked up in price. "Forcing short sellers to wait for the price to tick up before they sell more shares gives a breather to a stock in decline and helps prevent bear raids," Connaughton writes.

The uptick rule is controversial on Wall Street – I’ve had some people literally scream at me that it doesn’t do anything, while others have told me that it does help prevent bear attacks of the sort that appeared to help finally topple already-mortally-wounded companies like Bear Stearns and Lehman Brothers – but what’s inarguable is that Wall Street hates the rule.

Hedge fund types or employees of really any company that engages in short-selling will tend to be most venomous in their opinions of the uptick rule.

Anyway, Connaughton and Kaufman were under the impression that new SEC chief Mary Schapiro would re-instate the uptick rule after taking office. 

When she didn’t, Kaufman wrote her a letter, asking her to take action. When that didn't do the trick, he co-sponsored (with Republican Johnny Isakson) a bill that would have required the SEC to take action.

Nothing happened, and months later, Kaufman gave a grumbling interview to Politico about the issue. One June 30, the paper’s headline read: "Ted Kaufman to SEC; Do Your Job."

The next day, the Blob bit back. Connaughton was in the basement of the Russell building when a Senate staffer whose wife worked for Shapiro shouted at him. From the book:
"Hey, Jeff, you’re in the doghouse." He meant: with his wife's boss  -SEC chief Mary Schapiro.
"Why?" I asked.
"That Politico piece by your boss."
I was taken aback but tried to downplay the matter.
"We just want the SEC to get its work done."
"Remember," he said. "We all wear blue jerseys and play for the Blue Team. I just don’t think that helps."
When Connaughton told Kaufman over the phone what the staffer said, Kaufman exploded. "You call him back right now and tell him I said to go fuck himself in his ear," Kaufman said.

Similarly, when Kaufman tried to advocate for rules that would have prevented naked short-selling, Connaughton was warned by a lobbyist that it would be "bad for my career" if he went after the issue and that "Ted and I looked like deranged conspiracy theorists" for asking if naked short-selling had played a role in the final collapse of Lehman Brothers.

Naked short-selling is another controversial practice. Essentially, when you short a stock, you're supposed to locate shares of that stock before you go out and sell it short.

But what hedge funds and banks have discovered is that the rules provide "leeway" – you can go out and sell shares in a stock without actually having it, provided you have a "reasonable belief" that you can locate the shares.

This leads to the obvious possibility of companies creating false supply in a stock by selling shares they don't have.

Without getting too much into the weeds here, there is an obvious solution to the problem, which essentially would be forcing companies to actually locate shares before selling them.

In their attempt to change the system,Kaufman and Connaughton discovered that the Depository Trust Clearing Corporation, the massive quasi-private organization that clears most all stock trades in America, had come up with just such a fix on their own.

Kaufman recruited some other senators to endorse the idea, and as late as 2009, Connaughton and Kaufman were convinced they were going to get the form.

But before the change could be made, Goldman, Sachs issued "data" showing that there was "no correlation" between naked short selling and price movements.

When Connaughton asked an Isakson staffer what the data said, the staffer, intimidated by Goldman, replied, "The data proves we're full of _it."
 Connaughton looked at the data and realized instantly that---

it was a bunch of irrelevant gobbledygook, 

even firing off an angry letter to Goldman telling them the tactic was beneath even them.

But Goldman’s tactic worked. 

A roundtable to discuss the idea was scheduled by the SEC on September 24, 2009.
Of the nine invited participants, "all but one" were for the status quo.

Connaughton expected the DTCC representatives to unveil their reform idea, but they didn’t:
Afterwards, I went over to [the DTCC representatives] and asked,
"What happened?"
Sheepishly, and to their credit, they admitted:
"We got pulled back." They meant: by their board, by the
Wall Street powers-that-be.

Essentially the same thing happened in Kaufman’s biggest reform attempt, the amendment to the Dodd-Frank bill he co-sponsored with Ohio’s Sherrod Brown, which would have broken up the Too-Big-To-Fail banks.

But the Brown-Kaufman amendment, which was really the meatiest thing in the original Dodd-Frank bill, the one reform that really would have made a difference if it had passed, just died in the suffocating mass of the Blob. 

The key Democrats one after another failed to line up behind it, and in the end it was defeated soundly, with Dick Durbin, the number two man in the Democratic leadership, giving it this epitaph: "a bridge too far."

Again, those interested in understanding the mindset of the people who should be leading the anti-corruption charge ought to read this book. 

It's the weird lack of concern that shines through, like Khuzami’s comment that he’s "not losing sleep" over judges reprimanding his soft-touch settlements with banks, or then Southern District of New York U.S. Attorney Ray Lohier’s comment that the thing that most concerned him was "cyber crime."

this is the period of 2008-2009,in the middle of an 
 historic crime-wave on Wall Street.



On the outside we can only deduce the mindset from actions and non-actions...



Read more: http://www.rollingstone.com/politics/blogs/taibblog/a-rare-look-at-why-the-government-wont-fight-wall-street-20120918#ixzz27YfQPUZa

Source:
A Rare Look at Why the Government Won't Fight Wall Street | Matt Taibbi | Rolling Stone

 http://www.rollingstone.com/politics/blogs/taibblog/a-rare-look-at-why-the-government-wont-fight-wall-street-20120918#ixzz27YfQPUZa





Sunday, September 23, 2012

What Rewards Most Matter to You? - Forbes




What Rewards Most Matter to You?




“…the glad-handing, truth-bending form of sales is a relic” is in the promotional copy for Daniel H. Pink’s new book, To Sell is Human. It always has been for some and always will be for others, despite our greater ability, today, to verify what we are told. That is intrinsic to being human.

Yet I heartily agree that now, more than ever, we benefit from his timeless ABCs for persuasion: Attunement, Buoyancy and Clarity:

Attunement: Listen to understand the other person.


Buoyancy: Be an “ambivert” – mid-way between an extrovert and an introvert, in your expression of optimism and resiliency. I look forward to hearing Martin Seligman and Susan Cain’s insights on this.

Clarity: Be a succinct apt curator of the most relevant content for the person you seek to persuade. Sounds a bit like the A.I.R. formula for influential messages.

The part where we differ continues to be the overwhelming value he places on intrinsic versus extrinsic reward. Money is one signal of how an organization values it’s employees. In this uncertain economy that some say will worsen, even resourceful, upbeat people know that circumstances can shift quickly. It is crazy not to seek both financial security and meaning in work. My apologies, in advance, to Daniel Pink whom I deeply admire, and to Malcolm Gladwell and many researchers yet I have a different take, in part, on how we are motivated. It feels vulnerable to disagree with them yet my greater desire is to see if anyone else feels similarly.

Even as write this, I am not sure what proportion of intrinsic and extrinsic motivations most nudges at times — yet I know it varies.

Here’s my belief. Rather than intrinsic rewards having a stronger and more beneficial effect on us than extrinsic benefits I believe that there is a deeper interplay between these two drives, depending on the situation, what else is going on in our lives at time, and other factors. School grades are cited, for example, as a form of extrinsic recognition if students see them as a reflection of their ability yet they fall in the intrinsic bucket of motivation if they are seen as what is accomplished in class.

Often, there’s a blurry line of beliefs about what most nudges students – or any of us – to perform well. Also, as Santa Clara University professor Tim Urdan suggests, there are divergent views about the two motivations: “The realists argue that in the ‘real world’ extrinsic rewards are common, expected, and needed to enhance or maintain motivation. Idealists, on the other hand, suggest that the ‘real world’ is merely a human construction, one that might be reconstructed to de-emphasize extrinsic rewards.”

In some situations, I believe that our desire or need for extrinsic rewards does not dissipate as we become more inner-directed or accomplished.



In fact, other factors come into play, and they are changeable too. For example, what financial and other life factors are uppermost in our minds at the time? Plus our mindset, and temperament affect our view of the situation.

From a brief excerpt in Pink’s book, To Sell is Human, it seems that we draw different conclusions while viewing the same work conditions. Yes, some kinds of selling (and other work) are increasingly complex today. Yet you still place a higher value on intrinsic motivation than I do – suggesting that performance requires “incentives beyond a dangled carrot.”



I believe that the value of both varies, by situation and individual involved. That’s why lattice career options are becoming increasingly popular. I also believe that smartly-managed organizations will spur high performance by providing a varying mix of both incentives, and that employees should be involved in choosing the mix that best suits them.

This is especially vital for businesses that require complex work, where there’s a continuing war for top talent and people who can pick and choose where they want to work.

It behooves leaders to involve workers in choosing options for the design of their work, in support of what most drives each of them to perform well.

Rather than worrying about what kind of motivation most drives peak performance and happy workers, focus on creating organizational systems that enable workers thrive as they work in ways that most motivate them.

That would seem to be the surest way for any organization to understand, motivate, optimize and retain their top talent.

Money and other material advantages often do matter, especially in this wobbly economy that is still dire for many people we know. College athletes on scholarship, for example, may actually have a vital need for both so those twin desires can spur rather than hinder their increased mastery.

Our choices are deeply situational


And context matters too. A lot. Here is just one example. Many are discontented with the extreme extrinsic example of company values: the increasingly wide gap between some CEOs’ compensation and what most of us take home. That feeling is exacerbated when we keep hearing how the top one percent has managed to do increasingly well, with special tax breaks and special investment opportunities while many of us are experiencing flattened incomes or worse. The inherent unfairness and the uncertainty we feel about the economy, driven home by what we and/or friends are experiencing, moves money and other extrinsic rewards closer to the top of our minds.

For example, three talented friends of mine remain in their corporate jobs, despite feeling thwarted by supervisors, because they are afraid of losing the medical coverage that their spouses badly need.

Many others I know value both the opportunity to do meaningful work with people they respect, and be rewarded by recognition and salary increases and bonuses. Financial acknowledgement of one’s value at work will remain closely intertwined with the chance to use one’s best talents on meaningful work.

Self-aware leaders expect their colleagues to also know their strengths and motivations. They are adept at setting an “us” approach to seizing opportunities and solving problems. They are more likely to understand that, to optimize their organization’s talent, they shouldn’t presume to know what’s best for each colleague. Just as you must encourage other’s self-organizing skills in this increasingly flattened, less hierarchical and more connected world, you win when you involve those you lead in choosing the mix of what most motivates for them to perform at their peak – for your organization and for their benefit.

Perceived unfairness can cause us to act irrationally


All participants in a situation are often more satisfied when they have some freedom to choose the kind of rewards that most matter to them. This proves true at work and elsewhere, as the Ultimatum Game shows.

Let’s say, for example that you are handed $10 and told that you can split it any way you like between you and a colleague. You may value the friendship and/or feel the pressure of observing peers and split the money in half. Both of you will probably feel that’s intrinsically fair.

Alternatively, as you and a friend are walking down the street, a stranger approaches and hands you a ten- dollar bill. You may feel ok giving your friend a dollar or two of it. It’s found money, given to you, after all.

Here’s where we tend to act irrationally, focused on the extrinsic action. About half of those who received money from the one who was given it, turned down any offer of a share under 30 percent even though they knew that meant that the giver could keep all the money and they would get nothing rather than something. And men with high testosterone were more likely to reject a low share when it was offered.



Benefit from both kinds of motivation


To incorporate the most beneficial mix intrinsic and extrinsic motivation in decision making with others here are four suggestions:

1. As you learned, in the Ultimatum Game, test subjects on the receiving end often reject offers they find too low – even though, in so doing, they may get nothing. That means you should guard yourself against your instinctive resentment of unfair offers, recognizing that getting something is usually better than getting nothing.

2. In another kind of Ultimatum Game, subjects who must choose how much to give often offer more than the lowest amount. That means that asking someone to suggest how much he would charge for his product or work means you may have better chance of get a deal, as you see it, than suggesting the price.

3. Let your sales folks decide how they’ll be paid, choosing a personal balance of fixed and variable compensation. Try this approach on your children. Let them choose how to they can earn their allowance. Then they can make decisions based on their mix of motivations. You may be surprised.

4. Suggest a variety of benefits, including payment plans, when selling to prospective clients or hiring employees or contractors or reaching agreement with a possible partner to see what most matters to them. Besides discovering the most mutually beneficial approach, you will learn about the relative value that they place on intrinsic and extrinsic rewards.

That could be prlceless and very human.












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What Rewards Most Matter to You? - Forbes

Link: http://www.forbes.com/sites/kareanderson/2012/08/24/money-and-other-extrinsic-rewards-do-matter/





Friday, August 10, 2012

Define Success to properly set your compass on your single definite purpose

I found one day in school a boy of medium size ill-treating a smaller boy. I expostulated, but he replied: The bigs hit me, so I hit the babies; that's fair. In these words he epitomized the history of the human race.
- Bertrand Russell

“All you need in this life is ignorance and confidence; then success is sure. ”
― Mark Twain
 
"In the confrontation between the stream and the rock, the stream always wins
- not by strength but by perseverance."
- H. Jackson Brown 
 “Don't mistake activity with achievement.”
― John Wooden
 “Supreme excellence consists of breaking the enemy's resistance without fighting.”
― Sun Tzu, The Art of War

“Whatever the mind can conceive and believe, it can achieve.”
― Napoleon Hill, Think and Grow Rich

 
“Don't aim at success. The more you aim at it and make it a target, the more you are going to miss it. For success, like happiness, cannot be pursued; it must ensue, and it only does so as the unintended side effect of one's personal dedication to a cause greater than oneself or as the by-product of one's surrender to a person other than oneself. Happiness must happen, and the same holds for success: you have to let it happen by not caring about it. I want you to listen to what your conscience commands you to do and go on to carry it out to the best of your knowledge. Then you will live to see that in the long-run—in the long-run, I say!—success will follow you precisely because you had forgotten to think about it”
― Viktor E. Frankl, Man's Search for Meaning

“I want to do it because I want to do it. Women must try to do things as men have tried. When they fail, their failure must be but a challenge to others.”
― Amelia Earhart

“Over the years, I have come to realize that the greatest trap in our life is not success, popularity, or power, but self-rejection. Success, popularity, and power can indeed present a great temptation, but their seductive quality often comes from the way they are part of the much larger temptation to self-rejection. When we have come to believe in the voices that call us worthless and unlovable, then success, popularity, and power are easily perceived as attractive solutions. The real trap, however, is self-rejection. As soon as someone accuses me or criticizes me, as soon as I am rejected, left alone, or abandoned, I find myself thinking, "Well, that proves once again that I am a nobody." ... [My dark side says,] I am no good... I deserve to be pushed aside, forgotten, rejected, and abandoned. Self-rejection is the greatest enemy of the spiritual life because it contradicts the sacred voice that calls us the "Beloved." Being the Beloved constitutes the core truth of our existence.”
― Henri J.M. Nouwen

Monday, March 12, 2012

Seth Godin | Profile on TED.com

Seth Godin | Profile on TED.com


Seth Godin is an entrepreneur and blogger who thinks about the marketing of ideas in the digital age. His newest interest: the tribes we lead.

Why you should listen to him:

"Seth Godin may be the ultimate entrepreneur for the Information Age," Mary Kuntz wrote in Business Week nearly a decade ago. "Instead of widgets or car parts, he specializes in ideas -- usually, but not always, his own." In fact, he's as focused on spreading ideas as he is on the ideas themselves.

After working as a software brand manager in the mid-1980s, Godin started Yoyodyne, one of the first Internet-based direct-marketing firms, with the notion that companies needed to rethink how they reached customers. His efforts caught the attention of Yahoo!, which bought the company in 1998 and kept Godin on as a vice president of permission marketing. Godin has produced several critically acclaimed and attention-grabbing books, including Permission Marketing, All Marketers Are Liars, and Purple Cow (which was distributed in a milk carton). In 2005, Godin founded Squidoo.com, a Web site where users can share links and information about an idea or topic important to them.
"[Godin] is a demigod on the Web, a best-selling author, highly sought-after lecturer, successful entrepreneur, respected pundit and high-profile blogger. He is uniquely respected for his understanding of the Internet."
Forbes.com Email to a friend »

Marketing

Seth Godin on the tribes we lead | Video on TED.com





Marketer and author

Seth Godin is an entrepreneur and blogger who thinks about the marketing of ideas in the digital age. His newest interest: the tribes we lead.

Why you should listen to him:

"Seth Godin may be the ultimate entrepreneur for the Information Age," Mary Kuntz wrote in Business Week nearly a decade ago. "Instead of widgets or car parts, he specializes in ideas -- usually, but not always, his own." In fact, he's as focused on spreading ideas as he is on the ideas themselves.

After working as a software brand manager in the mid-1980s, Godin started Yoyodyne, one of the first Internet-based direct-marketing firms, with the notion that companies needed to rethink how they reached customers. His efforts caught the attention of Yahoo!, which bought the company in 1998 and kept Godin on as a vice president of permission marketing. Godin has produced several critically acclaimed and attention-grabbing books, including Permission Marketing, All Marketers Are Liars, and Purple Cow (which was distributed in a milk carton). In 2005, Godin founded Squidoo.com, a Web site where users can share links and information about an idea or topic important to them.
"[Godin] is a demigod on the Web, a best-selling author, highly sought-after lecturer, successful entrepreneur, respected pundit and high-profile blogger. He is uniquely respected for his understanding of the Internet."
Forbes.com