Risk Rap

Rapping About a World at Risk

Bankrupt Iceland Goes Fishing

The global economic crisis is serious business. Iceland the small North Atlantic island country of 400,000 is nearly broke. Like the rest of us sub-prime borrowers it seems Iceland over extended its credit line in a buying binge of UK and Russian equities.

To deal with the problem Iceland has nationalized its banks and has closed its equity market until some rationality returns. Though at present the fortunes of this volcanic isle are receding faster then its dwindling climate challenged glaciers it does have a recovery plan. Iceland’s leaders have called for the country to return to its roots as the hub of the North Atlantic fishing industry. Its always a wise move for any corporate entity to return to its center of competency when faced with adversity.

Lets hope that the fishing stocks swimming in the water and the ones listed on the exchange are sufficient to return the islands inhabitants to a well deserved prosperity.

Music Video: Billy Joel Downeaster Alexa

Risk: country default, geo risk, debtor nation

October 13, 2008 Posted by | bankruptsy, credit crisis, economics, pop | , , , , , | Leave a comment

Brother Sun, Sister Moon

I live in the burbs of Northern New Jersey. My home is nestled in the bucolic hills of the Ramapough’s. Its very woodsy and the animal population is diverse and pretty prolific considering the fact that the George Washington bridge is only 20 miles to the east.

One of the unfortunate consequences of having a large and thriving animal population is the ugly carnage of road kill that litters community streets and highways. The decaying carcasses of deers, squirrels, woodchucks, chipmunks, Canadian geese, cats, dogs, skunks, opossums, raccoons, foxes, coyotes, snakes, rabbits, turtles, assorted birds and an occasional bear are common sights one expects to encounter each time you take the car out for a spin. Needless to say, driving in my neighborhood is difficult and dangerous. Particularly for the scurrying critters that mindlessly dart into the road and are crushed under the tires of unmindful drivers.

I raise this observation this morning in reverence for the ministry of St. Francis of Assisi. St. Francis has long been associated with a love and respect for animals and a deep reverence for our environment. In today’s homily, my Episcopal priest offered that St. Francis was asking us to find more balance and more harmony in our relationship with the natural world. The rising death toll of poor creatures that litter our roads are symptoms of a radical imbalance due to habitat destruction and a broken food chain that is horrifically corrected under the unforgiving wheels of rampaging Hummers. As sentient mindful beings who are called by God to be stewards of our planet home; we can find better corrective measures to address this radical imbalance that tilts our earth away from realizing this divine call.

This election has highlighted our need to pay more attention to a changing global climate and the need to become better stewards of our environment and to equitably share the rich bounty mother earth offers all its citizens.

St. Francis reminds us to seek more balance in our lives and in our relations with others and nature. Its a worthy reminder to consider when we vote, when we drive and as we walk along the pathways of our daily life.

May the Lord’s Peace be upon you and all God’s creation this day and always.

Prayer of St. Francis, “Lord make us instruments of your peace.”

Canticle of St. Francis Canticle of Brother Sun, Sister Moon.

Film Clip: Franco Zeffirelli’s Brother Sun, Sister Moon song by Donovan.

Music: The Muppet Show, Rodger Moore Talk to the Animals

Risk: balance, proportion, stewardship, unity

October 5, 2008 Posted by | environment, faith, soundtrack | , , , , , , , , , | Leave a comment

Equinox Philosophizing

Today marks the autumnal equinox.

The day is as long as the night. The cosmic scales are perfectly balanced. The yin is a sweet muse to the yang. I like to think that everyone’s got an equal shot. All people are equally loved by God. Women should have equal rights. Grace is offered evenly to all that can perceive the miracles of the day. The chance of success has improved to equal money. The glass is just as full as it is empty but the main point is that there still plenty to drink because our blessings truly runneth over.

Don’t get even, look to straighten things out. Its the Equinox.

On the 23rd it will John Coltrane’s birthday. Reason alone to celebrate.

That is enough.

Music: John Coltrane Equinox

Risk: Support 50 50 fund raisers.

September 22, 2008 Posted by | art, holiday, jazz, seasons | , , , , | Leave a comment

September 11 in Memoriam

On the anniversary of this most tragic day we offer prayers and condolences to the family and friends of the victims of this terrible event. As an on the ground witness to the terrible effects of the terrorist attack and as a recipient of aid and shelter for that nights refuge I experienced the best and worst of humanity in the span of a day.

Its most ironic that the attackers and aid givers were both motivated by what they presumed to be God’s will. I can only say that the aid givers truly demonstrated what I understand to be moving in the holy spirit in a selfless demonstration of God’s love.

To be sure God is not a terrorist nor compels humans to kill on his behalf. I believe God wants us to live in peace and work for peace so as we can truly know and become what God will is for the people of this world.

I recall a 911 healing service held at Yankee Stadium soon after the attacks. I remember a speaker who quoted a Buddhist monk suggesting that America should respond to the attacks by dropping refrigerators on Afghanistan. The meaning being we should respond to this atrocity with kindness.

Considering what these attacks have since wrought; I believe this statement contains a kernel of sage advise. It speaks of an ageless divine wisdom that echoes the teachings of Jesus Christ to turn the other cheek, offer your coat also and the grace and blessings of peacemaking.

Sage advise indeed. Consider the dividends the world would have received had America and its coalition partners placed exclusive attention on the military, political and national development of Afghanistan and its troubled neighbor Pakistan.

A $100 B investment in Afghanistan would have gone a very long way in helping develop and build a destitute country, create good will for America abroad and help America achieve security at home.

God compels us to be peacemakers. If you remember anything concerning the meaning of this day consider the Psalmist words,

“God is our refuge and our ever present help in trouble… be still, and know that I am God. … the God of Jacob is our fortress”

May the victims of the 911 attacks rest in peace. For us that remain may we find peace in our hearts and find the strength to share it abundantly with others.

Amen

Music: Donald Byrd Cristo Redentor

Risk: security, peace, war, good will of all people on earth

September 11, 2008 Posted by | Bible, Bush, faith, holiday, jazz, terrorism | , , , , , , , | Leave a comment

SME Development Bank

Over the Labor Day Weekend Sum2 announced The Hamilton Plan. The Hamilton Plan is a ten point program to foster the development of manufacturing in the United States by tapping the entrepreneurial energy of small and mid-size enterprises (SME). The plan’s 10 points address sustainable business models, GRC best practices, capital formation initiatives, SME banking, labor union stakeholder empowerment, association syndication, cooperative formation, support for public education and cooperative learning.

This is an introduction to The Hamilton Plan, why it’s needed and the call for the creation of an SME Development Bank (SDB) to facilitate capital formation to achieve the goals of the program.

The Hamilton Plan, named after the first Secretary of the Treasury of the United States, proposes a ten point program to develop small and mid-size enterprise (SME) manufactures. The Hamilton Plan invites business owners and executives, industry associations, chambers of commerce, banks, capital market participants, labor unions, academia, non-profit organizations and governmental institutions to join forces in a concerted effort to support the reestablishment of the manufacturing infrastructure of the United States.

The vital national interest can be served by institutions representing business, labor, local communities and government to join together to foster optimal conditions to incubate and develop SME manufactures. SMEs are a natural strength of the US economy. SME represent largest most vibrant sector of the economy and by combining the entrepreneurial drive and creative energy of SME’s with the pressing need for innovative manufactures; America can reestablish its ascendancy as a preeminent power in the global economy. The Hamilton Plan is designed to provide incentives and encourage the formation of support clusters to develop SME manufacturing.

The Hamilton Plan:

1. Adoption of World Business Council Standards for Sustainable Business

2. Establish Incubators for Targeted Growth Industries

3. Adopt Sound Governance, Risk, Compliance Practices (GRC)

4. Formation of SME Development Bank / Capital Formation Initiatives

5. Partnership Lyceums for Government / Business / Academic Institutions

6. Labor Unions as Preferred Stakeholder / Association Syndication Unions

7. Establish Cooperatives for Technology / Licensing / Commodities / Energy

8. Superfund for Progressive Tax Code / Universal Health & Benefits

Infrastructure Investment / Brownfield Remediation and Reclamation

9. Expand Public Education Funding & SME COOP Program

10. Support Millennium Development Goals

Capital Formation Key to Success

The Hamilton Plan in its entirety is designed to respond to the compounding economic and political crisis that is confronting the United States. The credit crisis, energy dependence, industrial stasis, trade deficits, geo-political instabilities, aging infrastructure and climate change are the result of long term systemic problems that government and industry has failed to address effectively. The Hamilton Plan advocates the adoption of the program to squarely address these pressing issues with the full understanding that it will require the concerted cooperation of all stakeholders to assure the continued development, security and prosperity of America.

The Hamilton Plan requires concerted focus of investment capital to fund development and to make sure that assets are allocated to channels that will assure optimal returns and that equity participation of stakeholders is protected and rewarded. The establishment of an SME Development Bank (SDB) is a structured investment vehicle and corporate institution that will focus, manage and administer capital formation initiatives to incubate and develop SME manufactures.

At its core, The Hamilton Plan seeks to preserve the free flow of investment capital to finance national economic development and empower SME manufactures. The Hamilton Plan is not a substitution nor in any way seeks to supplant the American free market system. The Plan is designed to unleash, pool and focus investment capital. The Plan leverages regulatory capital, compliance and governance. The Plan seeks to achieve strategic economic goals, build wealth and prosperity in US and realize broader goals and objectives to assure sustainable economic growth, nurture innovation,  ecological balance and global competitiveness.

SME Development Bank (SDB)

The SDB would be chartered to assure that capital is deployed to meet appropriate program projects and assure effective stewardship of shareholders capital. The SDB would be the repository for economic and regulatory capital. It would maintain capital adequacy ratios in conformance with Basel II directives. The SDB would serve as a fiduciary to distribute capital through local community banking channels. SDB governance would assure that program objectives, ownership equity, credit requirements, capital allocations, shareholder rights and income distributions are made to SDB shareholders.

Government funding of the SDB would consist of share purchases financed by capital from a national development Superfund. The Superfund would receive tax receipts from a progressive national tax program, budget allocations, licensing and royalty receipts, dividend reinvestment’s and capital gains proceeds from the sale of assets.

Shareholders in the SDB would be community banks, institutional fund managers, state/local/federal government, private equity firms, business owners, company management, associations, labor unions, employees, academic institutions, non-profits organizations. Different forms of capital would be recognized and used to purchase shares in the SDB. For example, local governments can purchase shares in the SDB with tax credits or land grants or infrastructure improvement projects; labor can purchase shares with sweat equity, academic institutions with intellectual capital etc.

Securitization of SDB shares can be created to trade on public exchanges. Any secondary market listings would occur after underlying assets have been properly seasoned. Shares in the SDB would offer terms of extended time frames for investment lockup and share redemption.

Community Bankers as Risk Managers and Distribution Conduits

Community Banks have a critical role as an SDB equity partner. The community bank is the primary channel by which equity and credit capital is provided to the SME. They are front line risk managers and advisors for portfolio companies. Community banks are astute relationship managers. Community banks understand local market conditions and can link assets and service providers to build support clusters and expanded value chains for SMEs. Community bankers will help SMEs focus on capital allocation strategies and support efforts in encourage growth and profitability.

They will provide help in the following areas:

Corporate Governance
Risk Management
Business Promotion, Acceleration and Development
Corporate Advisory Services
Information Services
Performance Evaluation Services

Community banks will be offered regulatory capital relief through its equity participation in the SDB. Community banks will form a joint back office (JBO) to address regulatory capital requirements for its participation and share ownership in the SDB. Community banks must continue fulfill capital requirements for retail banking and other lines of business in accordance with regulatory requirements of its governing agency. State regulatory agencies relating to SME banking regulation, enforcement and inspection would conform to a unified national banking regulatory agency.

Community banks will share in the equity appreciation of the SME and any distributions, dividends or corporate actions the Board of the SDB effects. The differentiation of credit and equity capital participation will be accounted for at the SDB level. Administrators for hedge funds and other Alternative Investment Vehicles have developed sophisticated partnership and shareholding accounting capabilities that can address questions of share class ownership, tranche construction and attributes, asset valuation, distributions and returns.

The community bank in working in conjunction with the SDB will help SME’s effectively manage risk, improve stakeholder communication, implement effective corporate governance that create sustainable business practices to assure long term profitability and growth.

The Hamilton Plan lays the foundation for SMEs to seize market opportunities. SMEs in partnership with community bankers must assess products and markets, business functions and critical success factors. Sufficiently capitalized by the SDB, the SME and local bankers will execute an action plan to support the corporate mission in line with the larger goals of The Hamilton Plan to build wealth for its shareholders and assure the future prosperity of America.

Song: Average White Band: Work To Do

Risk: manufacturing, small and mid-size business, global competitiveness, middle class, national prosperity

September 3, 2008 Posted by | Hamilton Plan, hedge funds, manufacturing, Millennium Development Goals, pop, recession, SME | , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , | 2 Comments

The Hamilton Plan: Reindustrialization of America

Photograph By Anthony Augustine



Sum2 Announces

The Hamilton Plan:

A Ten Point Program to Develop

Small and Mid-Size Enterprise (SME) Manufactures

Great Falls Festival

Paterson NJ, Labor Day 2008

Sum2 is proud to be participating again in this year’s historic Great Falls Festival and is pleased to announce The Hamilton Plan, a ten point program to develop small and mid-size enterprise (SME) manufactures. The Paterson Great Falls Festival is the perfect opportunity for Sum2 to invite business owners and executives, industry associations, chambers of commerce, banks, capital market participants, labor unions, academia, non-profit organizations and governmental institutions to join forces in a concerted effort to support the reestablishment of the manufacturing infrastructure of the United States.

“Many of the economic, political and cultural challenges confronting the United States can be traced back to the dismantling of our industrial and manufacturing base” stated James McCallum President of Sum2. “Since the 1980’s America’s economic infrastructure has dramatically changed. The evolution of our economy to service oriented businesses has seriously eroded the manufacturing capabilities and industrial capacity of our country. This has produced a decline of higher wage paying jobs, the disincentive to develop innovative manufacturing methods and practices, deteriorating support infrastructure and the impairment of ancillary support businesses.

It’s in the vital national interest for institutions representing business, labor, communities and government cooperate to foster optimal conditions to incubate and develop SME manufactures. The SME segment is the largest most vibrant sector of our economy and by combining the entrepreneurial drive and creative energy of SME’s with our pressing need for innovative manufactures; America can reestablish its ascendancy as a preeminent power in the global economy. Sum2’s Hamilton Plan is designed to encourage the formation of support clusters to develop SME manufacturing.

The Hamilton Plan

1. WBC Standards for Sustainable Business Model
2. Establish Incubators for Targeted Growth Industries
3. Adopt Sound Governance, Risk, Compliance Practices (GRC)
4. Form SME Development Bank / Private Equity Capital Formation Initiatives
5. Partnership Lyceums for Government / Business / Academic Institutions
6. Labor Unions as Preferred Stakeholder / Association Syndication Unions
7. Establish Cooperatives for Technology / Licensing / Commodity / Energy
8. Superfund for Progressive Tax Code / Universal Health & Benefits /
Infrastructure / Brownfield Remediation and Reclamation
9. Expand Public Education Funding & SME COOP Program
10. Support Millennium Development Goals

Historical Significance of Paterson’s Great Falls

Paterson’s Great Falls Festival is an ideal venue to announce the Hamilton Plan. The Friends of the Great Falls website writes that in 1791, Alexander Hamilton and a group of investors created the S.U.M., the Society for Establishing Useful Manufactures, to harness the tremendous power of the Passaic Great Falls. It was the boldest private enterprise ever conceived in the early days of the United States. Hamilton envisioned an industrialized America and the creation of this raceway system was his ambitious example of how corporations could be organized to develop manufacturing on a large scale. With this enterprise, along with the law, finance and incentives he put in place as the nation’s first Secretary of the Treasurer, Hamilton forged the basis of American capitalism. The planned industrialization of this historic place is the realization of the Hamiltonian vision of an industrialized America. This is truly a founding father’s site.

Sum2 Sound Practice Thought Leader

Sum2’s announcement of the Hamilton Plan is in response to the compounding economic and political crisis that is confronting the United States. The credit and energy crisis, inflation pressures, trade deficits, geo-political instabilities, global warming and ecological degradation are the result of long term systemic problems that government and industry has failed to address effectively. Sum2 advocates the adoption of the program to squarely address these pressing issues with the full understanding that it will require the concerted cooperation of all stakeholders to assure the continued development, security and prosperity of America.

Sum2 offers a series of products and services to help SME’s effectively manage risk, improve stakeholder communication, implement effective corporate governance that create sustainable business practices to assure long term profitability and growth.

At last years Great Falls Festival, Sum2 announced its new product series the SMB|360°. Since that announcement the series has expended to include, the Profit|Optimizer and a soon to be announced premium product that that will expand the breath and depth of the SMB|360° product series.

The Profit|Optimizer is a qualitative risk assessment and opportunity discover tool. It assists SME’s to identify and score business vulnerabilities and opportunities. The Profit|Optimizer conducts over 200 assessments encompassing products and markets, business functions and critical success factors. The Profit|Optimizer aggregates assessment scores and presents initiatives on a series of dashboards that allows business managers to decide what action items mitigates the greatest risk and produces the greatest return. Managers can make informed capital allocation decisions to build profitability and maintain business growth.

The Profit|Optimizer demonstrates to shareholders, bankers and other stakeholders that company management are effective risk managers that are committed to practicing corporate governance excellence.

Sum2 also offers the award winning PACO™ (Patriot Act Compliance Officer). PACO™ helps financial services companies comply with the anti-money laundering provision of the Patriot Act.

About Sum2

Sum2 was founded in 2002 to promote the commercial application of sound practice programs. Sum2’s sound practice program addresses risk management, corporate governance, shareholder communications and regulatory compliance. Sum2’s objective is to assist businesses and industries to implement corporate sound practices that add exponential value for stakeholders, employees, customers and to be exemplary citizens within the communities in which they operate and serve.

Sum2 manufactures, aggregates, packages and distributes innovative digital data content products to selected channels and markets.

Music: Billy Joels Allentown

Risk: unemployment, urban decay, global competitiveness, national security, protection of middle class

August 30, 2008 Posted by | Hamilton Plan, manufacturing, pop, recession, SME, Sum2 | , , , , , , , , , , , | 4 Comments

Weedpatch

Yesterday’s post on the theme on the New American Diaspora neglected to mention the impact of mortgage foreclosures.

Diaspora is a Greek word that means “to scatter.” Yesterday we speculated on how high energy prices and climate change may impact the changing demographics and population shifts in the urban centers and rural areas of America. Today we offer a brief comment on mortgage foreclosure and its potential impact on the New American Diaspora.

Due to the excesses of the credit marketing orgy and the implosion of sub-prime lending market, it is estimated that during 2007 1.5 million mortgages were in foreclosure. The Department of Treasury estimates that during 2008 approximately 2.5 million mortgages will enter foreclosure and subsequent quarters will experience 800,000 home foreclosure run rate. That’s a staggering amount of potentially displaced people.

It is heartening to see that our governmental institutions are moving to address this growing problem. The financial and political impact on state and local governments and the economies of local communities can be severe.  Over 4 million mortgage foreclosures have been or are forecast to occur. If we surmise that each mortgage is tied to a house that shelters 3 people we are speaking about 12 million people who are being put out of their homes. This does not translate into 12 million newly homeless people. Many former homeowners will return to renting their dwellings. But the pressure that this will put on affordable housing markets ability to absorb this dramatic spike in demand will drive affordable  housing prices up and will contribute to a rise in homelessness.

State and local governments rely heavily on property tax receipts. As defaults grow the level of tax receipts will recede forcing state governments to raise taxes and cut back on critical services. State governments are moving to address this problem. The Federal government is also trying to develop market solutions to keep people in their homes. If market solutions fail the government may have to dust off some New Deal Programs to address this mass dislocation.

The California town of Weedpatch was created by the Farm Security Administration in 1935 as a settlement community for the displaced Dust Bowl dirt farmers. Lets work to create a solution to this problem so we don’t have to build these camps.

Lets listen to this Woody Guthrie Dust Bowl classic, I’m Going Down the Road Feeling Bad.

Risk: homelessness, local government, tax ratables, social programs, market solutions

July 10, 2008 Posted by | Bush, credit crisis, homelessness, recession, social unrest | , , , , , , , | Leave a comment

A New American Diaspora

Ever since our ancient ancestors first walked out of the Great Rift Valley to populate other regions of the globe our species has been on the move. Critical turning points in world history have always been marked with dramatic shifts in population and settlement of people. The Phonetians, Greeks, Polynesians, Vikings, Crusaders, Mongols, Hebrews and the Pre-Columbian Asians who crossed the Baring Strait land bridge are storied migrations, explorations and conquests that shaped civilization and continue to inform our understanding of world history.

American history is full of examples of dramatic population shifts. The arrival of European settlers, the introduction of African’s through the slave trade, the westward expansion of America, the Trail of Tears of Native American resettlements onto reservations, the arrival of Chinese laborers in San Francisco, the second wave of Ellis Island European immigrants, the migration of African Americans to northern cities at the beginning of the 20th century, the Dust Bowl migrations of Midwest farmers and the most recent immigration of Hispanics, Caribbean, Middle and Far Eastern people are dramatic examples from our country’s short history of major population shifts.

Global climate change and the economic impact of high energy prices are causing dramatic shifts and migrations of people throughout the world. The United States will not be immune from its affects. Hurricane Katrina depopulated the City of New Orleans and is altering our propensity to build houses on barrier islands. The floods along the Mississippi River Valley, drought in the Southwestern states and the devastating wildfires in California and other western states are climate influenced events that are forcing populations to resettle to more eco-friendly locations. History may be rereading and we may be witnessing a reenactment of John Steinbeck’s great historical fiction masterwork, The Grapes of Wrath .

The permanent rise in energy prices will reverse the urban exodus of the middle class to suburbia. As the car culture took hold of post war America, cheap gas, and vast highway systems encouraged the development of suburbs. Now that gas prices are skyrocketing and mass transit infrastructure continues to be neglected the middle class will migrate back to the city to live in close proximity to resources, jobs and services. Urban exclusivity will be protected by congestion pricing programs, the absence of affordable housing and high cost of services. This will create a dramatic demographic shift in the America as lower income people are forced out of the city creating a growing population of rural poor. Social service reservations may need to be created to assure subsistence for the rural poor.

The stated intention of airlines to restrict and eliminate service to second tier cities will tend to isolate these communities and create high concentrations of the economically disadvantaged. This will create tremendous strain on local city and state government’s ability to provide basic services to the new classes of disenfranchised people. High energy prices and the changing American topology due to climate change pose a multitude of risks to the fiscal viability of local governments.

Let’s close with Bruce Springsteen’s Ghost of Tom Joad.

Risk: demographic, tax base, urban, rural, climate change, population,

July 9, 2008 Posted by | bankruptsy, credit crisis, environment, folk, homelessness, social unrest | , , , , , , , , , , , , | Leave a comment

Blame it on the Muskrat Ramble

CNN was showing dramatic footage of another levee failure along the Mississippi River. The town of Winfield Missouri lost its battle to keep its town flood free due to the subversive activity of muskrats.

According to the Army Corps of Engineers, the pesky muskrats used a burrow and bore strategy to undermine the structural integrity of the levees protecting the town. The muskrats dug deep holes into the levees in search of food and safety that ultimately defeated the heroic actions and laborious efforts of townsfolk desperately fighting to defend their community from the ravages of the flood.

It appears that the muskrats used a maneuver that was similar to the unsuccessful strategy employed by the Union Army in the Siege of Petersburg’s Battle of the Crater. Unfortunately the muskrat’s natural burrowing instincts got the upper hand on the best efforts of human engineers.

When the muskrat’s holes appeared, citizens covered them with sandbags but it only seemed to postpone the inevitable and unfortunate breach of the town’s defenses. The levee failure flooded approximately 1,000 acres of land in this community of 720.

The rascally rodent may have won the battle of Winfield Levee; but this skirmish will serve as a reminder that our country needs to marshal its forces and make substantial investments in national infrastructure. This is a war we cannot afford to lose. We must redirect our national priorities to defend and protect our beloved country.

The Captain and Tennille know something about muskrats.

So too does the great Louis Armstrong.

Risk: infrastructure, flood, opportunity cost, national priorities, agriculture

June 28, 2008 Posted by | environment, infrastructure, jazz, pop, risk management | , , , , , | Leave a comment

The Summer Solstice and Quadruple Witching

The northern hemispheres longest day of the year has arrived!

On this beautiful day in New Jersey, I detect warning clouds appearing on the horizon as the markets and world events serve up a witch’s brew of bad news. Terrible natural disasters in the United States and China have lead to widespread crop losses, asset destruction and diminished industrial capacity.

Inflationary pressures for basic foodstuffs continue to rise, creating unrest in the underdeveloped world and political divisiveness in western democratic states. G7 central bankers continue to wrestle with uncertain credit markets and second guess their schizophrenic two step Tango with inflation and interest rates.

Posses of FBI agents are rounding up white collar desperadoes holed up in Ft. Lee penthouses and Greenwich Connecticut country estates, forcing Armani attired hedge fund managers to do a “Perp Walk” for crimes against the capital markets. Rampaging gas prices are immobilizing America.

Suburban driveways resemble parking lots for grounded SUV’s, growing an ugly oil stain on last years newly laid Belgian block cobblestone.

And finally, as squadrons of Israeli fighter jets commence training for a sortie to “take out Iranian nuclear facilities”; the price of oil screams danger as speculators arbitrage the unthinkable consequences of ravaged communities and Persian outrage with the capital gains tax implications on their NYMEX Light Crude positions.

New Jersey’s longest day of 2008 has arrived. We must do our best. Stay in the day. Have faith in a higher power, ourselves and our fellowman that this too shall pass and we’ll make it through the day if we are kind, learn to trust and offer respect to one another.

A day like this needs two songs.

Be mindful of the beauty and gift of life that Shirley Horn sings about in “Here’s to Life”

Risk: Thinking you won’t make it through the day. Thanks Ray.

June 20, 2008 Posted by | jazz, risk management, seasons | , , , , , , , , , | Leave a comment