Bank Employee Quotes

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It wasn’t that she expected to be known by all the bank’s employees; it was just that she had been lovely once, and had never really believed that time would make her faceless.
Denis Johnson
The currency of evolution is neither hunger nor pain, but rather copies of DNA helixes. Just as the economic success of a company is measured only by the number of dollars in its bank account, not by the happiness of its employees, so the evolutionary success of a species is measured by the number of copies of its DNA.
Yuval Noah Harari (Sapiens: A Brief History of Humankind)
Whose interest does egg freezing serve? The woman's or that of an ambitious, still pretty unforgiving culture that doesn't really ever see childbearing for female employees as convenient?
Randi Hutter Epstein (Get Me Out: A History of Childbirth from the Garden of Eden to the Sperm Bank)
In a study of employees throughout the world working for the same multinational bank, what was the most important reason cited to help someone? Among Americans it was that the person had previously helped them; for Chinese it was that the person was higher ranking; in Spain, that they were a friend or acquaintance.
Robert M. Sapolsky (Behave: The Biology of Humans at Our Best and Worst)
Bank ek Jagannath ka rath hai; sab employees haath laga kar khade hai, chala kaun raha hai pata nahi.
Ashneer Grover (Doglapan: The Hard Truth about Life and Start-Ups)
French Impressionist artist Paul Gauguin would never have become Gauguin if he had not followed this principle. He was a bank employee for a good part of his life, until the day he decided he was an artist. That day he left the bank and became a genius painter.
Alejandro Jodorowsky (The Finger and the Moon: Zen Teachings and Koans)
In many ways the effect of the crash on embezzlement was more significant than on suicide. To the economist embezzlement is the most interesting of crimes. Alone among the various forms of larceny it has a time parameter. Weeks, months, or years may elapse between the commission of the crime and its discovery. (This is a period, incidentally, when the embezzler has his gain and the man who has been embezzled, oddly enough, feels no loss. There is a net increase in psychic wealth.) At any given time there exists an inventory of undiscovered embezzlement in — or more precisely not in — the country’s businesses and banks. This inventory — it should perhaps be called the bezzle — amounts at any moment to many millions of dollars. It also varies in size with the business cycle. In good times people are relaxed, trusting, and money is plentiful. But even though money is plentiful, there are always many people who need more. Under these circumstances the rate of embezzlement grows, the rate of discovery falls off, and the bezzle increases rapidly. In depression all this is reversed. Money is watched with a narrow, suspicious eye. The man who handles it is assumed to be dishonest until he proves himself otherwise. Audits are penetrating and meticulous. Commercial morality is enormously improved. The bezzle shrinks. … Just as the boom accelerated the rate of growth, so the crash enormously advanced the rate of discovery. Within a few days, something close to a universal trust turned into something akin to universal suspicion. Audits were ordered. Strained or preoccupied behavior was noticed. Most important, the collapse in stock values made irredeemable the position of the employee who had embezzled to play the market. He now confessed.
John Kenneth Galbraith (The Great Crash 1929)
The founders of start-ups as varied as YouTube, Palantir Technologies, and Yelp all worked at PayPal. Another set of people—including Reid Hoffman, Thiel, and Botha—emerged as some of the technology industry’s top investors. PayPal staff pioneered techniques in fighting online fraud that have formed the basis of software used by the CIA and FBI to track terrorists and of software used by the world’s largest banks to combat crime. This collection of super-bright employees has become known as the PayPal Mafia—more or less the current ruling class of Silicon Valley—and Musk is its most famous and successful member.
Ashlee Vance (Elon Musk: Inventing the Future)
The way to overcome oligarchy is for the rest of us to join together and win America back. This will require a multiracial, multiethnic coalition of working-class, poor, and middle-class Americans fighting for democracy and against concentrated power and privilege, determined to rid politics of big money, end corporate welfare and crony capitalism, bust up monopolies, stop voter suppression, and strengthen the countervailing power of labor unions, employee-owned corporations, worker cooperatives, state and local banks, and grassroots politics. This agenda is neither right nor left. It is the bedrock for everything else America must do.
Robert B. Reich (The System: Who Rigged It, How We Fix It)
In a mass society where obtaining credit is as easy as it is, there’s probably no way to efficiently collect on delinquent accounts by writing real affidavits, filing legitimate, error-free lawsuits, and serving legitimate summonses in each and every individual case. Without the shortcuts, it doesn’t work. So techniques like robo-signing and sewer service are essential to the profitability of the business. Plenty of people—consumers and merchants both—are probably glad that so much credit is available, but they don’t realize that systematic fraud is part of what makes it available. Legally, there’s absolutely no difference between a woman on welfare who falsely declares that her boyfriend no longer lives in the home and a bank that uses a robo-signer to cook up a document swearing that he has kept regular records of your credit card account. But morally and politically, they’re worlds apart. When the state brings a fraud case against a welfare mom, it brings it with disgust, with rage, because in addition to committing the legal crime, she’s committed the political crime of being needy and an eyesore. Banks commit the legal crime of fraud wholesale; they do so out in the open, have entire departments committed to it, and have employees who’ve spent years literally doing nothing but commit, over and over again, the same legal crime that some welfare mothers go to jail for doing once. But they’re not charged, because there’s no political crime. The system is not disgusted by the organized, mechanized search for profit. It’s more like it’s impressed by it.
Matt Taibbi (The Divide: American Injustice in the Age of the Wealth Gap)
The currency of evolution is neither hunger nor pain, but rather copies of DNA helixes. Just as the economic success of a company is measured only by the number of dollars in its bank account, not by the happiness of its employees, so the evolutionary success of a species is measured by the number of copies of its DNA. If no more DNA copies remain, the species is extinct, just as a company without money is bankrupt. If a species boasts many DNA copies, it is a success, and the species flourishes. From such a perspective, 1,000 copies are always better than a hundred copies. This is the essence of the Agricultural Revolution: the ability to keep more people alive under worse conditions. Yet why should individuals care about this evolutionary calculus? Why would any sane person lower his or her standard of living just to multiply the number of copies of the Homo sapiens genome? Nobody agreed to this deal: the Agricultural Revolution was a trap.
Yuval Noah Harari (Sapiens: A Brief History of Humankind)
Just as the economic success of a company is measured only by the number of dollars in its bank account, not by the happiness of its employees, so the evolutionary success of a species is measured by the number of copies of its DNA. If no more DNA copies remain, the species is extinct, just as a company without money is bankrupt.
Yuval Noah Harari (Sapiens: A Brief History of Humankind)
The moment Salomon Brothers demonstrated the potential gains to be had from turning an investment bank into a public corporation and leveraging its balance sheet with exotic risks, the psychological foundations of Wall Street shifted, from trust to blind faith. No investment bank owned by its employees would have leveraged itself 35:1, or bought and held $50 billion in mezzanine CDOs.
Michael Lewis (The Big Short: Inside the Doomsday Machine)
The currency or evolution is neither hunger nor pain, but rather copies of DNA helixes. Just as the economic success of a company is measured only by the number of dollars in its bank account, not by the happiness of its employees, so the evolutionary success of a species is measured by the number of copies of its DNA... This is the essence of the Agricultural Revolution: the ability to keep more people alive under worse conditions.
Yuval Noah Harari (Sapiens: A Brief History of Humankind)
Agency could not afford to lose MNY Bank as a client. Last month, the bank amounted to $48,000 of the Stapleton Agency’s $120,000 in total billings. Alex, Sarah, and the other six employees of the Stapleton Agency needed MNY Bank. Traffic was heavy on the way across town and Alex was late for his second meeting of the day. Sandy Garmalo sat at the table sipping San Pellegrino. She ran the marketing department for a law firm and had been Alex’s client for five years. The
John Warrillow (Built to Sell: Creating a Business That Can Thrive Without You)
In the mid-1980s, Congress authorized the creation of the US Sentencing Commission to examine prison terms and codify norms to correct the arbitrary punishments meted out by unaccountable judges. First, in 1989 the commission’s guidelines for individuals went into effect, establishing a point system for how many years of prison a convicted criminal might get, based on the seriousness of the misconduct and a person’s criminal history. In 1991, amid public and congressional outrage that sentences for white-collar criminals were too light and fines and sanctions for corporations too lenient, the Sentencing Commission expanded the concept to cover organizations. It formalized the Sporkin-era regime of offering leniency in exchange for cooperation and reform. The new rules delineated factors that could earn a culprit mercy. In levying a fine, the court should consider, the sentencing guidelines said, “any collateral consequences of conviction.” 1 “Collateral consequences” was, and remains, an ill-defined concept. How worried should the government be if a punishment causes a company to go out of business? Should regulators worry about the cashiering of innocent employees? What about customers, suppliers, or competitors? Should they fret about financial crises? From this rather innocuous mention, the little notion of collateral consequences would blossom into the great strangling vine that came to be known after the financial crisis of 2008 by its shorthand: “too big to jail.” Prosecutors and regulators were crippled by the idea that the government could not criminally sanction some companies—particularly giant banks—for fear that they would collapse, causing serious problems for financial markets or the economy.
Jesse Eisinger (The Chickenshit Club: Why the Justice Department Fails to Prosecute Executives)
Security is a big and serious deal, but it’s also largely a solved problem. That’s why the average person is quite willing to do their banking online and why nobody is afraid of entering their credit card number on Amazon. At 37signals, we’ve devised a simple security checklist all employees must follow: 1. All computers must use hard drive encryption, like the built-in FileVault feature in Apple’s OS X operating system. This ensures that a lost laptop is merely an inconvenience and an insurance claim, not a company-wide emergency and a scramble to change passwords and worry about what documents might be leaked. 2. Disable automatic login, require a password when waking from sleep, and set the computer to automatically lock after ten inactive minutes. 3. Turn on encryption for all sites you visit, especially critical services like Gmail. These days all sites use something called HTTPS or SSL. Look for the little lock icon in front of the Internet address. (We forced all 37signals products onto SSL a few years back to help with this.) 4. Make sure all smartphones and tablets use lock codes and can be wiped remotely. On the iPhone, you can do this through the “Find iPhone” application. This rule is easily forgotten as we tend to think of these tools as something for the home, but inevitably you’ll check your work email or log into Basecamp using your tablet. A smartphone or tablet needs to be treated with as much respect as your laptop. 5. Use a unique, generated, long-form password for each site you visit, kept by password-managing software, such as 1Password.§ We’re sorry to say, “secretmonkey” is not going to fool anyone. And even if you manage to remember UM6vDjwidQE9C28Z, it’s no good if it’s used on every site and one of them is hacked. (It happens all the time!) 6. Turn on two-factor authentication when using Gmail, so you can’t log in without having access to your cell phone for a login code (this means that someone who gets hold of your login and password also needs to get hold of your phone to login). And keep in mind: if your email security fails, all other online services will fail too, since an intruder can use the “password reset” from any other site to have a new password sent to the email account they now have access to. Creating security protocols and algorithms is the computer equivalent of rocket science, but taking advantage of them isn’t. Take the time to learn the basics and they’ll cease being scary voodoo that you can’t trust. These days, security for your devices is just simple good sense, like putting on your seat belt.
Jason Fried (Remote: Office Not Required)
-the bank recently introduced a new system that automated many tasks in my role as a risk analyst and therefore my position has been eliminated; I’m an exemplary employee and this is in no way a reflection of my performance; the company will provide me with ample support during the “transition.” I might be the only person in the history of mankind to eat an entire banana while losing her job. The “transition” would begin immediately. As in, I wasn’t allowed to go back to my desk, to collect my things, or to say goodbye to my coworkers. I was to be walked down to the security desk like a criminal and handed my belongings in a box, then shown the curb.
K.A. Tucker (The Simple Wild (Wild, #1))
The currency of evolution is neither hunger nor pain, but rather copies of DNA helixes. Just as the economic success of a company is measured only by the number of dollars in its bank account, not by the happiness of its employees, so the evolutionary success of a species is measured by the number of copies of its DNA. If no more DNA copies remain, the species is extinct, just as a company without money is bankrupt. If a species boasts many DNA copies, it is a success, and the species flourishes. From such a perspective, 1,000 copies are always better than a hundred copies. This is the essence of the Agricultural Revolution: the ability to keep more people alive under worse conditions.
Yuval Noah Harari (Sapiens: A Brief History of Humankind)
And here’s what Barack Obama and his surrogates said about Mitt Romney: Mitt Romney is the worst guy since Mussolini. Mitt Romney is the guy who straps dogs to the top of cars. Mitt Romney is the kind of guy who wants to “put y’all back in chains.” Mitt Romney is leading a “war on women” and, in fact, has compiled a binder full of women that he can then use to prosecute his war. Mitt Romney is the type of guy who would specifically fire an employee so that five years later his wife would die of cancer thanks to lack of health insurance. Mitt Romney would take his money and put it in an overseas bank account specifically to deprive the American people of money. The Obama campaign slogan: “Romney: Rich, Sexist, Racist Jackass.
Ben Shapiro (How to Debate Leftists and Destroy Them: 11 Rules for Winning the Argument)
The problem wasn’t that the banks were, in and of themselves, critical to the success of the U.S. economy. The problem, he felt certain, was that some gargantuan, unknown dollar amount of credit default swaps had been bought and sold on every one of them. “There’s no limit to the risk in the market,” he said. “A bank with a market capitalization of one billion dollars might have one trillion dollars’ worth of credit default swaps outstanding. No one knows how many there are! And no one knows where they are!” The failure of, say, Citigroup might be economically tolerable. It would trigger losses to Citigroup’s shareholders, bondholders, and employees—but the sums involved were known to all. Citigroup’s failure, however, would also trigger the payoff of a massive bet of unknown dimensions: from people who had sold credit default swaps on Citigroup to those who had bought them.
Michael Lewis (The Big Short)
In sum," Midlife said, giving the room his best you-the-jury baritone, "Our defense will be...?" He looked to Matt for the answer/ "Blame the other guy," Matt said. "Which other guy?" "Yes." "Huh?" "We blame whoever we can," Matt said. "The CFO, the COO, the C Choose-Your-Favorite-Two-Letter-Combination, the accounting firm, the banks, the board, the lower-level employees. We claim some of them are crooks. We claim some of them made honest mistakes that steamrolled." "Isn't that contradictory?" Midlife asked, folding his hands and lowering his eyebrows. "Claiming both malice and mistakes?" He stopped, looked up, smiled, nodded. Malice and mistakes. Midlife liked the way that sounded. "We're looking to confuse," Matt said. "You blame enough people, nothing sticks. The jury end up knowing something went wrong but you don't know where to place the blame. We throw facts and figures at them. We bring up every possible mistake, every uncrossed t and dotted i. We act like discrepancy is a huge deal, even if it's not. We are skeptical of EVERYONE.
Harlan Coben
The Proofs Human society has devised a system of proofs or tests that people must pass before they can participate in many aspects of commercial exchange and social interaction. Until they can prove that they are who they say they are, and until that identity is tied to a record of on-time payments, property ownership, and other forms of trustworthy behavior, they are often excluded—from getting bank accounts, from accessing credit, from being able to vote, from anything other than prepaid telephone or electricity. It’s why one of the biggest opportunities for this technology to address the problem of global financial inclusion is that it might help people come up with these proofs. In a nutshell, the goal can be defined as proving who I am, what I do, and what I own. Companies and institutions habitually ask questions—about identity, about reputation, and about assets—before engaging with someone as an employee or business partner. A business that’s unable to develop a reliable picture of a person’s identity, reputation, and assets faces uncertainty. Would you hire or loan money to a person about whom you knew nothing? It is riskier to deal with such people, which in turn means they must pay marked-up prices to access all sorts of financial services. They pay higher rates on a loan or are forced by a pawnshop to accept a steep discount on their pawned belongings in return for credit. Unable to get bank accounts or credit cards, they cash checks at a steep discount from the face value, pay high fees on money orders, and pay cash for everything while the rest of us enjoy twenty-five days interest free on our credit cards. It’s expensive to be poor, which means it’s a self-perpetuating state of being. Sometimes the service providers’ caution is dictated by regulation or compliance rules more than the unwillingness of the banker or trader to enter a deal—in the United States and other developed countries, banks are required to hold more capital against loans deemed to be of poor quality, for example. But many other times the driving factor is just fear of the unknown. Either way, anything that adds transparency to the multi-faceted picture of people’s lives should help institutions lower the cost of financing and insuring them.
Michael J. Casey (The Truth Machine: The Blockchain and the Future of Everything)
This means, a woman might think, that the law will treat her fairly in employment disputes if only she does her part, looks pretty, and dresses femininely. She would be dangerously wrong, though. Let’s look at an American working woman standing in front of her wardrobe, and imagine the disembodied voice of legal counsel advising her on each choice as she takes it out on its hanger. “Feminine, then,” she asks, “in reaction to the Craft decision?” “You’d be asking for it. In 1986, Mechelle Vinson filed a sex discrimination case in the District of Columbia against her employer, the Meritor Savings Bank, on the grounds that her boss had sexually harassed her, subjecting her to fondling, exposure, and rape. Vinson was young and ‘beautiful’ and carefully dressed. The district court ruled that her appearance counted against her: Testimony about her ‘provocative’ dress could be heard to decide whether her harassment was ‘welcome.’” “Did she dress provocatively?” “As her counsel put it in exasperation, ‘Mechelle Vinson wore clothes.’ Her beauty in her clothes was admitted as evidence to prove that she welcomed rape from her employer.” “Well, feminine, but not too feminine, then.” “Careful: In Hopkins v. Price-Waterhouse, Ms. Hopkins was denied a partnership because she needed to learn to ‘walk more femininely, talk more femininely, dress more femininely,’ and ‘wear makeup.’” “Maybe she didn’t deserve a partnership?” “She brought in the most business of any employee.” “Hmm. Well, maybe a little more feminine.” “Not so fast. Policewoman Nancy Fahdl was fired because she looked ‘too much like a lady.’” “All right, less feminine. I’ve wiped off my blusher.” “You can lose your job if you don’t wear makeup. See Tamini v. Howard Johnson Company, Inc.” “How about this, then, sort of…womanly?” “Sorry. You can lose your job if you dress like a woman. In Andre v. Bendix Corporation, it was ruled ‘inappropriate for a supervisor’ of women to dress like ‘a woman.’” “What am I supposed to do? Wear a sack?” “Well, the women in Buren v. City of East Chicago had to ‘dress to cover themselves from neck to toe’ because the men at work were ‘kind of nasty.’” “Won’t a dress code get me out of this?” “Don’t bet on it. In Diaz v. Coleman, a dress code of short skirts was set by an employer who allegedly sexually harassed his female employees because they complied with it.
Naomi Wolf (The Beauty Myth)
What’s an IPO, exactly? A company decides it wants to “float” part of its equity on the public markets, allowing employees and founders to sell private shares to pay them off for years of service, as well as sell shares out of the corporate treasury to have some money in the bank. Large investment banks (such as my former employer Goldman Sachs) form what’s called a “syndicate” (“mafia” might be a better term) wherein they offer to effectively buy those shares from Facebook, and then sell them into the capital markets, usually by pushing it via their sales force onto wealthy clients or institutional investors. That syndicate either guarantees a price (“firm commitment”) or promises to get the best price it can (“best effort”). In the former case, the bank is taking real execution risk, and stands to lose money if it doesn’t engineer a “pop” in the stock on opening day. To mitigate the risk, the bank convinces the offering company to expect a lower price, while simultaneously jacking up what real price the market will bear with a zealous sales pitch to the market’s deepest pockets. Thus, it is absolutely jejune to think that a stock’s rise on opening day is due to clamoring and unexpected interest. Similar to Captain Renault in Casablanca, Wall Street bankers are shocked—shocked!—that there should be such a large and positive price dislocation in the market they just rigged.
Antonio García Martínez (Chaos Monkeys: Obscene Fortune and Random Failure in Silicon Valley)
Many aspects of the modern financial system are designed to give an impression of overwhelming urgency: the endless ‘news’ feeds, the constantly changing screens of traders, the office lights blazing late into the night, the young analysts who find themselves required to work thirty hours at a stretch. But very little that happens in the finance sector has genuine need for this constant appearance of excitement and activity. Only its most boring part—the payments system—is an essential utility on whose continuous functioning the modern economy depends. No terrible consequence would follow if the stock market closed for a week (as it did in the wake of 9/11)—or longer, or if a merger were delayed or large investment project postponed for a few weeks, or if an initial public offering happened next month rather than this. The millisecond improvement in data transmission between New York and Chicago has no significance whatever outside the absurd world of computers trading with each other. The tight coupling is simply unnecessary: the perpetual flow of ‘information’ part of a game that traders play which has no wider relevance, the excessive hours worked by many employees a tournament in which individuals compete to display their alpha qualities in return for large prizes. The traditional bank manager’s culture of long lunches and afternoons on the golf course may have yielded more useful information about business than the Bloomberg terminal. Lehman
John Kay (Other People's Money: The Real Business of Finance)
Emergency food has become very useful indeed, and to a very large assortment of people and institutions. The United States Department of Agriculture uses it to reduce the accumulation of embarrassing agricultural surpluses. Business uses it to dispose of nonstandard or unwanted product, to protect employee morale and avoid dump fees, and, of course, to accrue tax savings. Celebrities use it for exposure. Universities and hospitals, as well as caterers and restaurants, use it to absorb leftovers. Private schools use it to teach ethics, and public schools use it to instill a sense of civic responsibility. Churches use it to express their concern for the least of their brethren, and synagogues use it to be faithful to the tradition of including the poor at the table. Courts use it to avoid incarcerating people arrested for Driving While Intoxicated and a host of other offense. Environmentalists use it to reduce the solid waste stream. Penal institutions use it to create constructive outlets for the energies of their inmates, and youth-serving agencies of all sorts use it to provide service opportunities for young people. Both profit-making and nonprofit organizations use it to absorb unneeded kitchen and office equipment. A wide array of groups, organizations, and institutions benefits from the halo effect of 'feeding the hungry,' and this list does not even include the many functions for ordinary individuals--companionship, exercise, meaning, and purpose. . .If we didn't have hunger, we'd have to invent it.
Janet Poppendieck (Sweet Charity?: Emergency Food and the End of Entitlement)
Consider a world in which cause and effect are erratic. Sometimes the first precedes the second, sometimes the second the first. Or perhaps cause lies forever in the past while effect in the future, but future and past are entwined. On the terrace of the Bundesterrasse is a striking view: the river Aare below and the Bernese Alps above. A man stands there just now, absently emptying his pockets and weeping. Without reason, his friends have abandoned him. No one calls any more, no one meets him for supper or beer at the tavern, no one invites him to their home. For twenty years he has been the ideal friend to his friends, generous, interested, soft-spoken, affectionate. What could have happened? A week from this moment on the terrace, the same man begins acting the goat, insulting everyone, wearing smelly clothes, stingy with money, allowing no one to come to his apartment on Laupenstrasse. Which was cause and which effect, which future and which past? In Zürich, strict laws have recently been approved by the Council. Pistols may not be sold to the public. Banks and trading houses must be audited. All visitors, whether entering Zürich by boat on the river Limmat or by rail on the Selnau line, must be searched for contraband. The civil military is doubled. One month after the crackdown, Zürich is ripped by the worst crimes in its history. In daylight, people are murdered in the Weinplatz, paintings are stolen from the Kunsthaus, liquor is drunk in the pews of the Münsterhof. Are these criminal acts not misplaced in time? Or perhaps the new laws were action rather than reaction? A young woman sits near a fountain in the Botanischer Garten. She comes here every Sunday to smell the white double violets, the musk rose, the matted pink gillyflowers. Suddenly, her heart soars, she blushes, she paces anxiously, she becomes happy for no reason. Days later, she meets a young man and is smitten with love. Are the two events not connected? But by what bizarre connection, by what twist in time, by what reversed logic? In this acausal world, scientists are helpless. Their predictions become postdictions. Their equations become justifications, their logic, illogic. Scientists turn reckless and mutter like gamblers who cannot stop betting. Scientists are buffoons, not because they are rational but because the cosmos is irrational. Or perhaps it is not because the cosmos is irrational but because they are rational. Who can say which, in an acausal world? In this world, artists are joyous. Unpredictability is the life of their paintings, their music, their novels. They delight in events not forecasted, happenings without explanation, retrospective. Most people have learned how to live in the moment. The argument goes that if the past has uncertain effect on the present, there is no need to dwell on the past. And if the present has little effect on the future, present actions need not be weighed for their consequence. Rather, each act is an island in time, to be judged on its own. Families comfort a dying uncle not because of a likely inheritance, but because he is loved at that moment. Employees are hired not because of their résumés, but because of their good sense in interviews. Clerks trampled by their bosses fight back at each insult, with no fear for their future. It is a world of impulse. It is a world of sincerity. It is a world in which every word spoken speaks just to that moment, every glance given has only one meaning, each touch has no past or no future, each kiss is a kiss of immediacy.
Alan Lightman (Einstein's Dreams)
Oh, it’s perfectly safe to handle if somebody else has triggered the curse and you took it from their still-smoking body.” Eve paused. “Or if they sold it to you.” “You bought it, didn’t you?” Imp walked towards her. “Didn’t you?” “I think so. I may have screwed up that side of things,” Eve admitted. “It’s unclear.” “What’s unclear?” “It was up for auction: obvs, right? But it’s not clear that the person auctioning the location of the manuscript actually owned what they were selling, that’s the thing. Also, ancient death spells and intellectual property law don’t always play nice together. I, uh, my boss has a standard procedure he has me follow in cases of handling blackmail and extortion. We pay the ransom, then once we’ve destroyed the threat I repossess the payment from the blackmailer’s bank account. Via a Transnistrian mafiya underwriter—” This time it was Wendy who interrupted: “The Russian mafiya has underwriters?” “Transnistrian, please, and yes, criminal business models are inherently expensive because they have to pay for their own guard labor—there are no tax overheads, but no police protection for carrying out business, either—so of course they evolved parallel structures for risk management, mostly by embedding the risk in a concrete slab and dumping it in the harbor—anyway. At what stage does the book consider itself to have been legitimately acquired? And by whom? Is it safe for you to handle it, as my employee? What about as an independent freelance contractor not subject to the HMRC IR35 regulations? Am I an acceptable proxy for Bigge Enterprises, a Scottish Limited Liability Partnership domiciled in the Channel Islands, in the view of a particularly dim-witted nineteenth-century death spell attached to a codex bound in human skin by a mad inquisitor? It’s like digital rights management magic, only worse.
Charles Stross (Dead Lies Dreaming (Laundry Files #10; The New Management, #1))
We came to the city because we wished to live haphazardly, to reach for only the least realistic of our desires, and to see if we could not learn what our failures had to teach, and not, when we came to live, discover that we had never died. We wanted to dig deep and suck out all the marrow of life, to be overworked and reduced to our last wit. And if our bosses proved mean, why then we’d evoke their whole and genuine meanness afterward over vodka cranberries and small batch bourbons. And if our drinking companions proved to be sublime then we would stagger home at dawn over the Old City cobblestones, into hot showers and clean shirts, and press onward until dusk fell again. For the rest of the world, it seemed to us, had somewhat hastily concluded that it was the chief end of man to thank God it was Friday and pray that Netflix would never forsake them. Still we lived frantically, like hummingbirds; though our HR departments told us that our commitments were valuable and our feedback was appreciated, our raises would be held back another year. Like gnats we pestered Management— who didn’t know how to use the Internet, whose only use for us was to set up Facebook accounts so they could spy on their children, or to sync their iPhones to their Outlooks, or to explain what tweets were and more importantly, why— which even we didn’t know. Retire! we wanted to shout. We ha Get out of the way with your big thumbs and your senior moments and your nostalgia for 1976! We hated them; we wanted them to love us. We wanted to be them; we wanted to never, ever become them. Complexity, complexity, complexity! We said let our affairs be endless and convoluted; let our bank accounts be overdrawn and our benefits be reduced. Take our Social Security contributions and let it go bankrupt. We’d been bankrupt since we’d left home: we’d secure our own society. Retirement was an afterlife we didn’t believe in and that we expected yesterday. Instead of three meals a day, we’d drink coffee for breakfast and scavenge from empty conference rooms for lunch. We had plans for dinner. We’d go out and buy gummy pad thai and throat-scorching chicken vindaloo and bento boxes in chintzy, dark restaurants that were always about to go out of business. Those who were a little flush would cover those who were a little short, and we would promise them coffees in repayment. We still owed someone for a movie ticket last summer; they hadn’t forgotten. Complexity, complexity. In holiday seasons we gave each other spider plants in badly decoupaged pots and scarves we’d just learned how to knit and cuff links purchased with employee discounts. We followed the instructions on food and wine Web sites, but our soufflés sank and our baked bries burned and our basil ice creams froze solid. We called our mothers to get recipes for old favorites, but they never came out the same. We missed our families; we were sad to be rid of them. Why shouldn’t we live with such hurry and waste of life? We were determined to be starved before we were hungry. We were determined to be starved before we were hungry. We were determined to decrypt our neighbors’ Wi-Fi passwords and to never turn on the air-conditioning. We vowed to fall in love: headboard-clutching, desperate-texting, hearts-in-esophagi love. On the subways and at the park and on our fire escapes and in the break rooms, we turned pages, resolved to get to the ends of whatever we were reading. A couple of minutes were the day’s most valuable commodity. If only we could make more time, more money, more patience; have better sex, better coffee, boots that didn’t leak, umbrellas that didn’t involute at the slightest gust of wind. We were determined to make stupid bets. We were determined to be promoted or else to set the building on fire on our way out. We were determined to be out of our minds.
Kristopher Jansma (Why We Came to the City)
We began the show by asking: Who did more for the world, Michael Milken or Mother Teresa? This seems like a no-brainer. Milken is the greedy junk-bond king. One year, his firm paid him $550 million. Then he went to jail for breaking securities laws. Mother Teresa is the nun who spent her lifetime helping the poor and died without a penny. Her good deeds live on even after her death; several thousand sisters now continue the charities she began. At first glance, of course Mother Teresa did more for the world. But it's not so simple. Milken's selfish pursuit of profit helped a lot of people, too. Think about it: By pioneering a new way for companies to raise money, Milken created millions of jobs. The ignorant media sneered at 'junk bonds', but Milken's innovative use of them meant exciting new ideas flourished. We now make calls on a national cellular network established by a company called McCaw Cellular, which Milken financed. And our calls are cheaper because Milken's junk bonds financed MCI. CEO Bill McGowan simply couldn't get the money anywhere else. Without Milken, MCI wouldn't have grown from 11 to 50,000 employees. CNN's 24-hour news and Ted Turner's other left-wing ventures were made possible by Milken's 'junk'. The world's biggest toy company, Mattel, the cosmetics company Revlon, and the supermarket giant Safeway were among many rescued from bankruptcy by Milken's junk bonds. He financed more than 3,000 companies, including what are now Barnes & Noble, AOL Time Warner, Comcast, Mellon Bank, Occidental Petroleum, Jeep Eagle, Calvin Klein, Hasbro, Days Inn, 7-Eleven, and Computer Associates. Millions of people have productive employment today because of Michael Milken. (Millions of jobs is hard to believe, and when 'Greed' aired, I just said he created thousands of jobs; but later I met Milken, and he was annoyed with me because he claimed he'd created millions of jobs. I asked him to document that, to name the companies and the jobs, and he did.)
John Stossel (Give Me a Break: How I Exposed Hucksters, Cheats, and Scam Artists and Became the Scourge of the Liberal Media...)
Politicians are the only people in the world who create problems and then campaign against them. Have you ever wondered why, if both the Democrats and Republicans are against deficits, we have deficits? Have you ever wondered why if all politicians are against inflation and high taxes, we have inflation and high taxes? You and I don’t propose a federal budget. The president does. You and I don’t have Constitutional authority to vote on appropriations. The House of Representatives does. You and I don’t write the tax code. Congress does. You and I don’t set fiscal policy. Congress does. You and I don’t control monetary policy. The Federal Reserve Bank does. One hundred senators, 435 congressmen, one president and nine Supreme Court justices — 545 human beings out of 235 million — are directly, legally, morally and individually responsible for the domestic problems that plague this country. I excused the members of the Federal Reserve Board because that problem was created by the Congress. In 1913, Congress delegated its Constitutional duty to provide a sound currency to a federally chartered by private central bank. I exclude all of the special interests and lobbyists for a sound reason. They have no legal authority. They have no ability to coerce a senator, a congressman or a president to do one cotton-picking thing. I don’t care if they offer a politician $1 million in cash. The politician has the power to accept or reject it. No matter what the lobbyist promises, it is the legislators’ responsibility to determine how he votes. Don’t you see the con game that is played on the people by the politicians? Those 545 human beings spend much of their energy convincing you that what they did is not their fault. They cooperate in this common con regardless of party. What separates a politician from a normal human being is an excessive amount of gall. No normal human being would have the gall of Tip O’Neill, who stood up and criticized Ronald Reagan for creating deficits. The president can only propose a budget. He cannot force the Congress to accept it. The Constitution, which is the supreme law of the land, gives sole responsibility to the House of Representatives for originating appropriations and taxes. Those 545 people and they alone are responsible. They and they alone should be held accountable by the people who are their bosses — provided they have the gumption to manage their own employees.
Charley Reese
Anna Chapman was born Anna Vasil’yevna Kushchyenko, in Volgograd, formally Stalingrad, Russia, an important Russian industrial city. During the Battle of Stalingrad in World War II, the city became famous for its resistance against the German Army. As a matter of personal history, I had an uncle, by marriage that was killed in this battle. Many historians consider the battle of Stalingrad the largest and bloodiest battle in the history of warfare. Anna earned her master's degree in economics in Moscow. Her father at the time was employed by the Soviet embassy in Nairobi, Kenya, where he allegedly was a senior KGB agent. After her marriage to Alex Chapman, Anna became a British subject and held a British passport. For a time Alex and Anna lived in London where among other places, she worked for Barclays Bank. In 2009 Anna Chapman left her husband and London, and moved to New York City, living at 20 Exchange Place, in the Wall Street area of downtown Manhattan. In 2009, after a slow start, she enlarged her real-estate business, having as many as 50 employees. Chapman, using her real name worked in the Russian “Illegals Program,” a group of sleeper agents, when an undercover FBI agent, in a New York coffee shop, offered to get her a fake passport, which she accepted. On her father’s advice she handed the passport over to the NYPD, however it still led to her arrest. Ten Russian agents including Anna Chapman were arrested, after having been observed for years, on charges which included money laundering and suspicion of spying for Russia. This led to the largest prisoner swap between the United States and Russia since 1986. On July 8, 2010 the swap was completed at the Vienna International Airport. Five days later the British Home Office revoked Anna’s citizenship preventing her return to England. In December of 2010 Anna Chapman reappeared when she was appointed to the public council of the Young Guard of United Russia, where she was involved in the education of young people. The following month Chapman began hosting a weekly TV show in Russia called Secrets of the World and in June of 2011 she was appointed as editor of Venture Business News magazine. In 2012, the FBI released information that Anna Chapman attempted to snare a senior member of President Barack Obama's cabinet, in what was termed a “Honey Trap.” After the 2008 financial meltdown, sources suggest that Anna may have targeted the dapper Peter Orzag, who was divorced in 2006 and served as Special Assistant to the President, for Economic Policy. Between 2007 and 2010 he was involved in the drafting of the federal budget for the Obama Administration and may have been an appealing target to the FSB, the Russian Intelligence Agency. During Orzag’s time as a federal employee, he frequently came to New York City, where associating with Anna could have been a natural fit, considering her financial and economics background. Coincidently, Orzag resigned from his federal position the same month that Chapman was arrested. Following this, Orzag took a job at Citigroup as Vice President of Global Banking. In 2009, he fathered a child with his former girlfriend, Claire Milonas, the daughter of Greek shipping executive, Spiros Milonas, chairman and President of Ionian Management Inc. In September of 2010, Orzag married Bianna Golodryga, the popular news and finance anchor at Yahoo and a contributor to MSNBC's Morning Joe. She also had co-anchored the weekend edition of ABC's Good Morning America. Not surprisingly Bianna was born in in Moldova, Soviet Union, and in 1980, her family moved to Houston, Texas. She graduated from the University of Texas at Austin, with a degree in Russian/East European & Eurasian studies and has a minor in economics. They have two children. Yes, she is fluent in Russian! Presently Orszag is a banker and economist, and a Vice Chairman of investment banking and Managing Director at Lazard.
Hank Bracker
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In late June 1776, a week before Congress approved the Declaration of Independence, José Joaquín Moraga built a small shelter of branches on the banks of a lagoon that the Spanish called Arroyo de los Dolores. The site became Mission Dolores, the first colonial settlement in San Francisco. While the young republic took shape on the opposite side of the continent, San Francisco moved in its own direction. In 1808, shortly before James Madison became the fourth president of the United States, Ivan Kuskov, an employee of the Russian-American Company, secretly buried a copper plate in San Francisco that read, “Land belonging to Russia.” Four years later, he would found the Russian outpost of Fort Ross less than one hundred miles to the north.
Claudio Saunt (West of the Revolution: An Uncommon History of 1776)
Banks frown when employees torch the home of their principal account holder.
Kathy Bryson (Restless Spirits)
Bear had survived the crash of 1929 without shedding a single employee, but ever since subprime mortgages sank its memorably named Enhanced Leverage Fund in the summer of 2007, markets had viewed it with suspicion bordering on disdain. It was the smallest and most leveraged of the five major investment banks, with $400 billion in assets and $33 in borrowing for every dollar of capital.
Timothy F. Geithner (Stress Test: Reflections on Financial Crises)
Having failed the Civil Service entrance examinations, he had become – she recalled – a clerk at the London office of the Hong Kong and Shanghai Bank on 31 Lombard Street, at the age of eighteen – one of his ‘fellow employees’ there had been the young P. G. Wodehouse
Christopher Frayling (The Yellow Peril: Dr. Fu Manchu and the Rise of Chinaphobia: Dr. Fu Manchu & the Rise of Chinaphobia)
through self-selection or the firm’s edict. Depending on the year and the firm, this could be between 5% and 15% of employees. Although compensation generally does not vary much during the first
David Stowell (An Introduction to Investment Banks, Hedge Funds, and Private Equity)
In the 1970s, banks attempted to distribute keys by employing special dispatch riders who had been vetted and who were among the company’s most trusted employees.
Simon Singh (The Code Book: The Science of Secrecy from Ancient Egypt to Quantum Cryptography)
The currency of evolution is neither hunger nor pain, but rather copies of DNA helixes. Just as the economic success of a company is measured only by the number of dollars in its bank account, not by the happiness of its employees, so the evolutionary success of a species is measured by the number of copies of its DNA. If no more DNA copies remain, the species is extinct, just as a company without money is bankrupt. If a species boasts many DNA copies, it is a success, and the species flourishes. From such a perspective, 1,000 copies are always better than a hundred copies. This is the essence of the Agricultural Revolution:
Yuval Noah Harari (Sapiens: A Brief History of Humankind)
prevents them from deducting their rent, employee salaries, or utility bills, forcing them to pay taxes on a far larger amount of income than other businesses with the same earnings and costs. They also say the taxes, which apply to medical and recreational marijuana sellers alike, are stunting their hiring, or even threatening to drive them out of business. The issue reveals a growing chasm between the 23 states, plus the District of Columbia, that allow medical or recreational marijuana and the federal bureaucracy, from national forests in Colorado where possession is a federal crime to federally regulated banks that turn away marijuana businesses, and the halls of the IRS. The tax rule, an obscure provision known as 280E, catches many marijuana entrepreneurs by surprise, often in the form of an audit notice from the IRS. Some marijuana businesses in Colorado, California, and other marijuana-friendly states have taken the IRS to tax court. This year, Allgreens, a marijuana shop in Colorado, successfully challenged an IRS policy that imposed about $30,000 in penalties for paying its payroll taxes in cash — common in an industry in which businesses cannot get bank accounts. “We’re talking about legal businesses, licensed businesses,’’ said Rachel Gillette, the executive director of Colorado’s chapter of the National Organization for the Reform of Marijuana Laws and the lawyer who represented Allgreens. “There’s no reason that they should be taxed out of existence by the federal government.
Banks commit the legal crime of fraud wholesale; they do so out in the open, have entire departments committed to it, and have employees who’ve spent years literally doing nothing but commit, over and over again, the same legal crime that some welfare mothers go to jail for doing once. But they’re not charged, because there’s no political crime. The system is not disgusted by the organized, mechanized search for profit. It’s more like it’s impressed by it.
Matt Taibbi (The Divide: American Injustice in the Age of the Wealth Gap)
This resulted in a model of the macroeconomy as consisting of a single consumer, who lives for ever, consuming the output of the economy, which is a single good produced in a single firm, which he owns and in which he is the only employee, which pays him both profits equivalent to the marginal product of capital and a wage equivalent to the marginal product of labor, to which he decides how much labor to supply by solving a utility function that maximizes his utility over an infinite time horizon, which he rationally expects and therefore correctly predicts. The economy would always be in equilibrium except for the impact of unexpected ‘technology shocks’ that change the firm’s productive capabilities (or his consumption preferences) and thus temporarily cause the single capitalist/worker/consumer to alter his working hours. Any reduction in working hours is a voluntary act, so the representative agent is never involuntarily unemployed, he’s just taking more leisure. And there are no banks, no debt, and indeed no money in this model. You think I’m joking? I wish I was.
Steve Keen (Debunking Economics: The Naked Emperor Dethroned?)
email to the target-company’s employees. If just one employee clicked the email’s attachment (and all it took was one), the computer would download a webpage crammed with malware, including a “Remote Access Trojan,” known in the trade as a RAT. The RAT opened a door, allowing the intruder to roam the network, acquire the privileges of a systems administrator, and extract all the data he wanted. They did this with economic enterprises of all kinds: banks, oil and gas pipelines, waterworks, health-care data managers—sometimes to steal secrets, sometimes to steal money, sometimes for motives that couldn’t be ascertained. McAfee,
Fred Kaplan (Dark Territory: The Secret History of Cyber War)
Sec. Particulars Amount 80C Tax saving investments1 Maximum up to Rs. 1,50,000 (from FY 2014-15) 80D Medical insurance premium-self, family Individual: Rs. 15,000 Senior Citizen: Rs. 20,000 Preventive Health Check-up Rs. 5,000 80E Interest on Loan for Higher Education Interest amount (8 years) 80EE Deduction of Interest of Housing Loan2 Up to Rs.1,00,000 total 80G Charitable Donation 100%/ 50% of donation or 10% of adjusted total income, whichever is less 80GGC Donation to political parties Any sum contributed (Other than Cash) 80TTA Interest on savings account Rs. 10,000 1              Tax saving investments includes life insurance premium including ULIPs, PPF, 5 year tax saving FD, tuition fees, repayment of housing loan, mutual fund (ELSS) (Sec. 80CCB), NSC, employee provident fund, pension fund (Sec. 80CCC) or pension scheme (Sec. 80CCD), etc. NRIs are not allowed to invest in certain investments, such as PPF, NSC, 5 year bank FD, etc. 2              Only to the first time buyer of a self-occupied residential flat costing less than Rs. 40 lakhs and loan amount of less than 25 lakhs sanctioned in financial year 2013-14 Clubbing of other’s income Generally, the taxpayer is taxed on his own income. However, in certain cases, he may have to pay tax on another person’s income.  Taxpayers in the higher tax bracket (e.g. 30%) may divert some portion
Jigar Patel (NRI Investments and Taxation: A Small Guide for Big Gains)
The top employees of the five largest investment banks divided a bonus pool of over $36 billion in 2007. Leaders in the financial sector argued that in fact their high returns were the result of innovation and genuine value-added products, and they tended to grossly understate the latent risks their firms were taking. (Keep in mind that an integral part of our working definition of the this-time-is-different syndrome is that “the old rules of valuation no longer apply.”) In their eyes, financial innovation was a key platform that allowed the United States to effectively borrow much larger quantities of money from abroad than might otherwise have been possible. For example, innovations such as securitization allowed U.S. consumers to turn their previously illiquid housing assets into ATM machines, which represented a reduction in precautionary saving.13
Carmen M. Reinhart (This Time Is Different: Eight Centuries of Financial Folly)
PARTNERS IN CRIME HOW THE CLINTONS WENT FROM DEAD BROKE TO FILTHY RICH And the money kept rolling in from every side. —Song from the musical Evita The quotation above refers to the Juan and Evita Peron Foundation, established in 1948 by Evita Peron for the purpose of helping Argentina’s poor. Evita professed to be a champion of the campesinos—the wretched workers who lived in shanties on the outskirts of Buenos Aires—and they trusted Evita. She had, after all, risen up herself from poverty and obscurity. Her fame was the result of her marriage to the general who became the military leader of the country, Juan Peron. Long before the Clintons, Argentina had its own power couple that claimed to do good and ended up doing very well for themselves. There are, obviously, differences between the Clintons and the Perons. Despite her personal popularity, Evita remained an appendage of her husband, seeking but never obtaining political office. At one point, Evita had her eye on an official position, but the political establishment vigorously opposed her, and her husband never supported her in this effort. Hillary, by contrast, was elected senator and now, having deployed her husband on the campaign trail, seeks election to the nation’s highest office previously held by him. The Perons also had a foundation that took in millions of pesos—the equivalent of $200 million—from multiple foreign sources, Argentine businesses, as well as contributions from various individuals and civic groups. With its 14,000 employees, the foundation was better equipped and more influential than many agencies within the Argentinian government. Evita and her cronies were experts at shaking down anyone who wanted something from the government; donations became a kind of tax that opened up access to the Peron administration. Trade unions sent large contributions because they saw Evita and her husband as champions of their cause. In 1950, the government arranged that a portion of all lottery, movie, and casino revenues should go to the foundation. While the foundation made symbolic, highly publicized gestures of helping the poor, in reality only a fraction of the money went to the underprivileged. Most of it seems to have ended up in foreign bank accounts controlled by the Perons, who became hugely wealthy through their public office profiteering. When Evita died in 1954 and the foundation was shut down, Argentines discovered stashes of undistributed food and clothing. No one from the foundation had bothered to give it away, so it sat unused for years. Helping the poor, after all, wasn’t the real reason Evita set up her foundation. No, she had a different set of priorities. Like so many Third World potentates, the Perons used social justice and provision for the poor as a pretext to amass vast wealth for themselves. The Clintons have done the same thing in America; indeed, Hillary may be America’s version of Evita Peron.
Dinesh D'Souza (Hillary's America: The Secret History of the Democratic Party)
But pure technological solutions can never stoke the emotional connection between employee and customer—the kind of connection that characterizes positive moments in complex frontline situations. Some German banks, for example, find that customers who rely on remote-banking services are conspicuously disloyal despite the high quality of the offering. These banks attribute this disloyalty to the absence of any opportunity to form an emotional bond.
Secondly, bank representatives were observed to exaggerate and misrepresent Know Your Customer (KYC) documentation requirements. We find that 83% of banks required the investigator to bring his PAN Card as primary ID proof, despite the fact that only formal sector employees tend to possess such documentation and that a PAN card is only one of the six acceptable ID proof under KYC norms at the time of the survey. Furthermore, our investigators were required to submit a letter of introduction from a current account-holder in 11 out of the 42 banks (26%), despite presenting complete identity and address proof.
Not surprisingly, nearly all Greeks think poorly of their public administration. In a 2012 EU survey, 96 percent of polled Greeks characterized it as “bad”—the worst result in the EU. The sentiment is so pervasive that one can assume most of the public administrators share it. The poll result was similar in the years preceding the financial crisis, and therefore cannot be attributed to subsequent cuts in services. Despite Greeks’ dissatisfaction with the way their government works, public employees in the decade leading up to the crisis received very large pay raises. During that time, public sector wages per employee grew by over 100 percent, near the highest increase in the eurozone, according to a report published by the European Central Bank. By contrast, in Germany, where people were satisfied with the way the state bureaucracy functioned, public wages grew around 13 percent. (That low rate, when one factors in inflation, essentially meant a pay cut.) Greek civil servants also received an array of benefits that sweetened their jobs. Until 2013, when the Greek government put an end to it, those working in front of computers—a condition considered a hardship—received an extra six days off a year in order to provide them some relief.
James Angelos (The Full Catastrophe: Travels Among the New Greek Ruins)
It was clear that only a handful of banks would emerge as winners in our changing, consolidating industry. And the winners likely would be those whose employees could take risks and innovate, who could work smoothly on teams and motivate colleagues, and who could not only cope with change but also spur change. In short, leadership would separate the winners from the losers.
Chris Lowney (Heroic Leadership: Best Practices from a 450-Year-Old Company That Changed the World)
PayPal staff pioneered techniques in fighting online fraud that have formed the basis of software used by the CIA and FBI to track terrorists and of software used by the world’s largest banks to combat crime. This collection of super-bright employees has become known as the PayPal Mafia—more or less the current ruling class of Silicon Valley—and Musk is its most famous and successful member.
Ashlee Vance (Elon Musk: Tesla, SpaceX, and the Quest for a Fantastic Future)
As Alec Karakatsanis observes in Usual Cruelty: The Complicity of Lawyers in the Criminal Injustice System, people with race and class privilege are generally shielded from criminal prosecution, even though their crimes often cause far greater harm than the crimes of the poor. The most obvious example is the prosecutorial response to the financial crisis of 2008 and the related scandals: “Employees at banks committed crimes including lying to investigators and regulators, fraudulently portraying junk assets as valuable assets, rate-rigging, bribing foreign officials, submitting false documents, mortgage fraud, fraudulent home foreclosures, financing drug cartels, orchestrating and enabling widespread tax evasion, and violating international sanctions.” The massive criminality caused enormous harm. African Americans lost over half their wealth due to the collapse of real estate markets and the financial crisis. By the end of the crisis, in 2009, median household wealth for all Americans had declined by $27,000, leaving almost 44 million people in poverty. While some banks were eventually prosecuted (and agreed to pay fines that were a small fraction of their profits), the individuals who committed these crimes were typically spared. Despite engaging in forms of criminality that destroyed the lives and wealth of millions, they were not rounded up, dragged away in handcuffs, placed in cages, and then stripped of their basic civil and human rights or shipped to another country. Their mug shots never appeared on the evening news and they never had to wave goodbye to their children in a courtroom, unable to give them a final embrace.
Michelle Alexander (The New Jim Crow: Mass Incarceration in the Age of Colorblindness)
Buying a bond only for its yield is like getting married only for the sex. If the thing that attracted you in the first place dries up, you’ll find yourself asking, “What else is there?” When the answer is “Nothing,” spouses and bondholders alike end up with broken hearts. On May 9, 2001, WorldCom, Inc. sold the biggest offering of bonds in U.S. corporate history—$11.9 billion worth. Among the eager beavers attracted by the yields of up to 8.3% were the California Public Employees’ Retirement System, one of the world’s largest pension funds; Retirement Systems of Alabama, whose managers later explained that “the higher yields” were “very attractive to us at the time they were purchased”; and the Strong Corporate Bond Fund, whose comanager was so fond of WorldCom’s fat yield that he boasted, “we’re getting paid more than enough extra income for the risk.” 1 But even a 30-second glance at WorldCom’s bond prospectus would have shown that these bonds had nothing to offer but their yield—and everything to lose. In two of the previous five years WorldCom’s pretax income (the company’s profits before it paid its dues to the IRS) fell short of covering its fixed charges (the costs of paying interest to its bondholders) by a stupendous $4.1 billion. WorldCom could cover those bond payments only by borrowing more money from banks. And now, with this mountainous new helping of bonds, WorldCom was fattening its interest costs by another $900 million per year!2 Like Mr. Creosote in Monty Python’s The Meaning of Life, WorldCom was gorging itself to the bursting point. No yield could ever be high enough to compensate an investor for risking that kind of explosion. The WorldCom bonds did produce fat yields of up to 8% for a few months. Then, as Graham would have predicted, the yield suddenly offered no shelter: WorldCom filed bankruptcy in July 2002. WorldCom admitted in August 2002 that it had overstated its earnings by more than $7 billion.3 WorldCom’s bonds defaulted when the company could no longer cover their interest charges; the bonds lost more than 80% of their original value.
Benjamin Graham (The Intelligent Investor)
Cash is king. It takes cash to pay the bills, repay bank loans, compensate employees, purchase supplies and equipment, fund research and development, etc. If the money isn’t there or coming in, don’t expect the business to last.
James Pattersenn Jr. (You Can Invest Like A Stock Market Pro: How to Use Simple and Powerful Strategies of the World's Greatest Investors to Build Wealth)
what gets defined as crime, and who gets surveilled and punished, generally has more to do with the politics of race and class than the harm that any particular behavior or activity causes. As Alec Karakatsanis observes in Usual Cruelty: The Complicity of Lawyers in the Criminal Injustice System, people with race and class privilege are generally shielded from criminal prosecution, even though their crimes often cause far greater harm than the crimes of the poor. The most obvious example is the prosecutorial response to the financial crisis of 2008 and the related scandals: “Employees at banks committed crimes including lying to investigators and regulators, fraudulently portraying junk assets as valuable assets, rate-rigging, bribing foreign officials, submitting false documents, mortgage fraud, fraudulent home foreclosures, financing drug cartels, orchestrating and enabling widespread tax evasion, and violating international sanctions.” The massive criminality caused enormous harm. African Americans lost over half their wealth due to the collapse of real estate markets and the financial crisis. By the end of the crisis, in 2009, median household wealth for all Americans had declined by $27,000, leaving almost 44 million people in poverty. While some banks were eventually prosecuted (and agreed to pay fines that were a small fraction of their profits), the individuals who committed these crimes were typically spared. Despite engaging in forms of criminality that destroyed the lives and wealth of millions, they were not rounded up, dragged away in handcuffs, placed in cages, and then stripped of their basic civil and human rights or shipped to another country. Their mug shots never appeared on the evening news and they never had to wave goodbye to their children in a courtroom, unable to give them a final embrace.
Michelle Alexander (The New Jim Crow: Mass Incarceration in the Age of Colorblindness)
Labor also dominates stories of elite income at the next rung down. Although only three hedge fund managers took home over $1 billion in 2017, more than twenty-five took home $100 million or more, and $10 million incomes are so common that they do not make the papers. Even only modestly elite finance workers now receive huge paydays. According to one survey, a portfolio manager at a midsized hedge fund makes on average $2.4 million, and average Wall Street bonuses exploded from roughly $14,000 in 1985 to more than $180,000 in 2017, a year in which the average total salary for New York City’s 175,000 securities industry workers reached over $420,000. These sums reflect the fact that a typical investment bank disburses roughly half of its revenues after interest paid to its professional workers (making it a better three decades to be an elite banker than to be an owner of bank stocks). Elite managers in the real economy also do well. CEO incomes—the wages paid to top managerial labor—regularly reach seven figures; indeed, the average 2017 income of the CEO of an S&P 500 company was nearly $14 million. In a typical recent year the total compensation paid to the five highest-paid employees of each S&P 1500 firm (7,500 workers overall) might amount to 10 percent of S&P 1500 firms’ collective profits. These workers do not own the assets—the portfolios or the companies—that they manage. Their incomes constitute wages paid for managerial labor rather than a return on invested capital. The enormous paydays reflect what prominent business analysts recently called a war between talent and capital—a war that talent is winning.
Daniel Markovits (The Meritocracy Trap: How America's Foundational Myth Feeds Inequality, Dismantles the Middle Class, and Devours the Elite)
In other words, the laziness of a few bank employees—“sheep,” as Read sometimes called them—meant that ICAP’s run-throughs had a startling amount of real power.
David Enrich (The Spider Network: How a Math Genius and a Gang of Scheming Bankers Pulled Off One of the Greatest Scams in History)
In 2009 Lloyd Blankfein, CEO of Goldman Sachs, claimed that ‘The people of Goldman Sachs are among the most productive in the world.’3 Yet, just the year before, Goldman had been a major contributor to the worst financial and economic crisis since the 1930s. US taxpayers had to stump up $125 billion to bail it out. In light of the terrible performance of the investment bank just a year before, such a bullish statement by the CEO was extraordinary. The bank laid off 3,000 employees between November 2007 and December 2009, and profits plunged.4 The bank and some its competitors were fined, although the amounts were small relative to later profits: fines of $550 million for Goldman and $297 million for J. P. Morgan, for example.5 Despite everything, Goldman–along with other banks and hedge funds–proceeded to bet against the very instruments which they had created and which had led to such turmoil.
Mariana Mazzucato (The Value of Everything: Making and Taking in the Global Economy)
With the markets and Goldman’s earnings recovering, Goldman went public on May 3, 1999, pricing the stock at $53 per share, implying an equity market valuation of over $30 billion. In the end, Goldman decided to offer only a small portion of the company to the public, with some 48 percent still held by the partnership pool, 22 percent of the company held by nonpartner employees, and 18 percent held by retired Goldman partners and Sumitomo Bank and the investing arm of Kamehameha Schools in Hawaii. This left approximately 12 percent of the company held by the public.
Steven G. Mandis (What Happened to Goldman Sachs: An Insider's Story of Organizational Drift and Its Unintended Consequences)
SoftBank, however, had invested more than $10 billion into WeWork and gotten nothing in return. The Vision Fund was down nearly $2 billion in the most recent quarter, during which Uber’s stock had slipped. SoftBank shares were down 10 percent since Wingspan’s release. Both WeWork and SoftBank executives were coming to grips with the realization that its IPO might be priced at a level far below its $47 billion valuation. While SoftBank’s preferred shares gave it some protection—it could get its money out before the company’s employees—a valuation below what SoftBank paid for its shares would mean that the firm’s investment was underwater, much as
Reeves Wiedeman (Billion Dollar Loser: The Epic Rise and Spectacular Fall of Adam Neumann and WeWork)
There are many different Sponsor Programs available including several that give you a competition-free exclusive position. Sponsors are needed for each hour for the phone banks; for the Interview Area, where guests are interviewed by celebrity hosts; for table banners; and much more. There are even a few 1 and 2 minute Video Presentation Opportunities (company exposure) available. In all cases, representatives of your firm come on the show for you, your people, and your products. We will also assist you every step of the way with your employee fundraising event or other promotion, to raise the funds for your sponsorship. There really is no good reason not to participate. As a sponsor, you'll be showing your concern for the community, in connection with a situation that, at one time or another, will affect over 35% of all families! Arthritis is one of the most common, frustrating, debilitating diseases. It is understandably of great concern to a great many people. Also, the Arthritis Foundation has an excellent track record in terms of appropriate use of funds for research and education (rather than organizational overhead). We believe that real cures for arthritis are just around the corner; you can help get us there! With our Telethon on Channel 10, we will benefit from their superior production capability, involvement of their popular celebrities, and advance promotional opportunities. Our Telethon will be on for several hours immediately before and again immediately after an NBA Basketball Game, which we believe will increase our viewership. And, of course, we're mixing our live, local show with a “feed” from the National Telethon, featuring major Hollywood entertainers. Everything points to our highest, most responsive viewership ever! You'll be in good company, too, with local and national sponsors like: Thrifty, Sears, Allstate, Greyhound, Prudential, and Procter & Gamble. To summarize, you have an opportunity to … Help a good, worthy cause Gain valuable TV exposure and publicity Get all the benefits with little or no money out of your present budget — we'll work with your employees to raise the funds! Possibly have exclusive position, if you act quickly Have complete, step-by-step assistance from our staff Why not give me a call; let's arrange a meeting where I can personally explain the different “standard opportunities” available and then “brainstorm” with you about the best way for your business to participate. There's no obligation, of course, and certainly no pressure, but, together, we just may figure out the perfect situation for your business. Thank you for you consideration, Joel L. Beck Telethon Chairman for the Arthritis Foundation JLB/va _______ Letter reprinted with permission of Dan Kennedy (writer) and Joel Beck, former telethon chairman, Arizona.
Dan S. Kennedy (The Ultimate Sales Letter: Attract New Customers. Boost your Sales.)
One of the crucial documents for the Ordine dei Medici, it turned out, was an Italian passport. Until then nobody had bothered to mention this potentially insurmountable obstacle. It happened I did have a right to citizenship, but since it would be bestowed on me automatically by my Italian husband (Italian husbands are less powerful nowadays), the passport logically hung on Italian recognition of our American marriage, which was in turn predicated on Italian recognition of my husband’s American divorce from a prior marriage. The divorce certification, based on various Byzantine legal fictions, was a long time coming. One time there was a false sighting of his Italian divorce, and I optimistically went down to the Anagrafe or Central Registry to see whether I could get my citizenship papers. At the end of the forty-five-minute line a small man with slicked-down hair took my documents with a yawn and disappeared into the dark forest of files. When the clerk emerged, the bored look was gone from his face. He invited me to follow him along the long bank of teller windows, he on his side me on mine, and then pass through a little gate to the employee side. He sat me down, then paced between piled-up dossiers for a minute, no grille window to screen him off, before speaking. “Ms. Levenstein,” he said kindly, “You have applied for Italian citizenship on the grounds of being married to a certain Andrea Di Vecchia.” I admitted that was true. He paced a little more, lit a cigarette. “Ms. Levenstein,” he said again, even more gently, and I should have caught on from the way he repeated it. “I must tell you something. This Mr. Di Vecchia—he is already married to another woman!” His hand was already out to give a comforting squeeze to my shoulder, but it dropped when I laughed and explained that the problem was red tape, not bigamy. I thought later, high drama must be rare behind the certificate window, and he had risen to its call. How many American file clerks would have been so ready for their unexpected moment of glory? Another problem involved my residence papers, a crucial component in any pile of documents. All residents in Italy must communicate changes of address to the State within three months, and when we left my mother-in-law’s for our own place eight months earlier we had duly registered the move. But when I went to pick up an identity document I was told it couldn’t be issued because I was still listed at my old address. I slyly told the clerk in the cage to hold on, scurried over from his Identity Card window to the Certificate window three paces away, had the printer spit out a Residence Certificate bearing my name and the new address, and carried it back in triumph. He wasn’t impressed. “Oh, that certificate. That’s from the computer, it’s not worth anything. Your address has been changed in the computer, but the computerized part of the system doesn’t count.
Susan Levenstein (Dottoressa: An American Doctor in Rome)
Beyond that, I don’t buy the idea that if you dangle cash in front of your high-performing employees, they try harder. High performers naturally want to succeed and will devote all resources toward doing so whether they have a bonus hanging in front of their nose or not. I love this quote from former chief executive of Deutsche Bank John Cryan: “I have no idea why I was offered a contract with a bonus in it because I promise you I will not work any harder or any less hard in any year, in any day because someone is going to pay me more or less.” Any executive worth her paycheck would say the same.
Reed Hastings (No Rules Rules: Netflix and the Culture of Reinvention)
Just as the economic success of a company is measured only by the number of dollars in its bank account, not by the happiness of its employees, so the evolutionary success of a species is measured by the number of copies of its DNA.
Yuval Noah Harari (Sapiens: A Brief History of Humankind)
Each bank has its own culture and while the official version is printed on websites and annual reports, the culture really manifests when you meet employees, insiders and banking sector veterans. For example, ICICI Bank’s aggressive, sink-or-swim culture is legendary. Similarly, HDFC Bank is highly respected for its focus on systems and processes, so much so that one insider called it SOP bank, where SOP stands for Standard Operating Procedure.
Saurabh Mukherjea (The Unusual Billionaires)
H. Srikrishnan, then head of transactional banking and operations, gave me an example, ‘We looked at funds transfer—which was manual—such as MTs (mail transfers) and TTs (telegraphic transfers). When we implemented a centralized banking solution, the key things we could do were to sweep across multiple locations and get the balances of customers or transfer funds from one location to another using core banking. Those were big problems we solved.’ HDFC Bank was thus the first among Indian banks to have a centralized system. Whilst foreign banks like Citibank had centralized systems, they lacked the branch strength to fully leverage them. It is worth remembering that in the mid-1990s, banking didn’t really exist in the form that we know of today. Customers could open bank accounts, but the whole gamut of products (home loan, car loan, etc.) and services (Internet banking) was just not available. Salaries would still be paid by cheque and employees would have to take time off from their jobs to go to the bank, write a deposit slip, hand it over to the teller and then wait for the cheque to get cleared. Also, the employer would have to take time off to sit and sign numerous salary cheques to be given to all the employees. Compare this to the instant, online credit of salary today and a notification by SMS and email at the end of every month! HDFC Bank’s centralized technology platform allowed it to kick-off a revolution in how employees were paid their salaries.
Saurabh Mukherjea (The Unusual Billionaires)
The chairman of Merck took home $17.9 million in 2010, as Merck laid off sixteen thousand workers and announced layoffs of twenty-eight thousand more. The CEO of Bank of America raked in $10 million, while the bank announced it was firing thirty thousand employees. Even
Robert B. Reich (Beyond Outrage: Expanded Edition: What has gone wrong with our economy and our democracy, and how to fix it)
Tax systems are essentially the mechanisms by which societies decide what people have to share with each other versus what they can keep for themselves. Instead of taxing production and consumption, we can simply capture land value instead. Maxim: Keep what you earn, pay for what you use. In such a system, employees, consumers, business owners, business investors, homeowners, farmers and even retirees would be better off. Only those who use land inefficiently or seek to profit from it directly would lose - land speculators, banks, mining companies, extractive industries.
Martin Adams (Land: A New Paradigm for a Thriving World)
The campaign drew heavily from the American anti-apartheid movement of the 1980s, which led to the dismantling of racial segregation programs in South Africa by targeting the one thing which—unlike protests or letters or phone calls—no government can ignore: money ... SHAC set out to make Huntington the South Africa of the corporate world. They identified banks, suppliers, customers and employees—anyone with any financial ties to the lab, from Fortune 500 companies to toilet paper suppliers. They focused on businesses with no vested interest in animal experimentation, either philosophically or economically; Huntington needed them, but they did not need Huntington.
Will Potter (Green Is the New Red: An Insider's Account of a Social Movement Under Siege)
I had several friends from law school who were very enterprising guys, much more so than the average law student. They each started businesses after practicing law at large firms for multiple years. What kind of businesses did they start? They started boutique law firms. This is completely unsurprising if you think about it. They’d spent years becoming good at delivering legal services. It was a field that they understood and could compete in. Their credentials translated too. People learn from what they’re doing and do it again on their own. It’s not just lawyers; the consulting firm Bain and Company was started by seven former partners and managers from the Boston Consulting Group. Myriad boutique investment banks and hedge funds have spun out of large financial organizations. You can see the same pattern in the startup world. After PayPal was acquired by eBay in 2002, its founders and employees went on to found or cofound LinkedIn (Reid Hoffman), YouTube (Steve Chen, Jawed Karim, and Chad Hurley), Yelp (Russel Simmons and Jeremy Stoppelman), Tesla Motors (Elon Musk), SpaceX (Musk again), Yammer (David Sacks), 500 Startups (Dave McClure), and many other companies. PayPal’s CEO, Peter Thiel, famously made a $500,000 investment in Facebook that grew to over $1 billion. In this sense, PayPal is one of the most prolific companies of recent times. But if you look at any successful growth company you’ll start to see their alumni show up doing parallel things. Former Apple employees founded or cofounded Android, Palm, Nest, and Handspring, companies that revolve around devices. Former Yahoo! employees founded Ycombinator, Cloudera,, AppNexus, Polyvore, and many other web-oriented companies. Organizations give rise to other organizations like themselves.
Andrew Yang (Smart People Should Build Things: How to Restore Our Culture of Achievement, Build a Path for Entrepreneurs, and Create New Jobs in America)
Net wages: “It’s not what you make, but what you net” after paying the FIRE sector, basic utilities and taxes. The usual measure of disposable personal income (DPI) refers to how much employees take home after income-tax withholding (designed in part by Milton Friedman during World War II) and over 15% for FICA (Federal Insurance Contributions Act) to produce a budget surplus for Social Security and health care (half of which are paid by the employer). This forced saving is lent to the U.S. Treasury, enabling it to cut taxes on the higher income brackets. Also deducted from paychecks may be employee withholding for private health insurance and pensions. What is left is by no means freely available for discretionary spending. Wage earners have to pay a monthly financial and real estate “nut” off the top, headed by mortgage debt or rent to the landlord, plus credit card debt, student loans and other bank loans. Electricity, gas and phone bills must be paid, often by automatic bank transfer – and usually cable TV and Internet service as well. If these utility bills are not paid, banks increase the interest rate owed on credit card debt (typically to 29%). Not much is left to spend on goods and services after paying the FIRE sector and basic monopolies, so it is no wonder that markets are shrinking. (See Hudson Bubble Model later in this book.) A similar set of subtrahends occurs with net corporate cash flow (see ebitda). After paying interest and dividends – and using about half their revenue for stock buybacks – not much is left for capital investment in new plant and equipment, research or development to expand production.
Michael Hudson (J IS FOR JUNK ECONOMICS: A Guide To Reality In An Age Of Deception)
The World Bank has its own term for the phenomenon: they call it "technocratic insulation." So if you read World Bank studies, they talk about the importance of having "technocratic insulation"―meaning a bunch of technocrats,who are essentially employees of the big transnational corporations, have to be working somewhere in "insulation" from the public to design all the policies, because if the public ever gets involved in the process they may have bad ideas, like wanting the kind of economic growth that does things for people instead of profits, all sorts of stupid stuff like that. So therefore what you want to have is insulated technocrats—and once they're insulated enough, then you can have all the "democracy" you like, since it's not going to make any difference. In the international business press, this has all been described pretty frankly as "The New Imperial Age." And that's quite accurate: it's certainly the direction things are going in.
Noam Chomsky (Understanding Power: The Indispensable Chomsky)
HDFC Bank was the first of the private lenders to go public— even before it completed a full year. 'It was a mistake,' Deepak told me. The RBI required the new banks to go public within a year but all other lenders went back to the regulator and got extensions. 'We didn't ask for it. We were too naive,' Deepak said. 'Everybody took time as they wanted to get a premium. We sold at par, ₹10. But I have no regrets.' Deepak pushed for a par issue as the bank had nothing to show. And the disaster of parent HDFC's listing was still haunting him, though that had happened a decade and a half ago. In 1978, India's capital market was in a different shape and mortgage was a new product, not understood by many. HDFC put the photograph of its first borrower on the cover of its balance sheet, a D. B. Remedios from Thane, who took a loan of ₹35,000 to build his house. The public issue of HDFC bombed. In an initial public offering (IPO) of ₹10 crore, the face value of one share was ₹100. ICICI, IFC (Washington) and the Aga Khan Fund took 5% stakes each in the mortgage lender and the balance 85% equity was offered to the public, but there were few takers. The stock quoted at a steep discount on listing. For the bank, Deepak did not want to take any chance. So portions of the issue were reserved for the shareholders and employees of HDFC as well as the bank's employees. HDFC decided to own close to a 26% stake in the bank and NatWest 20%. Satpal was offered about 5% and the public 25%. The size of the public issue was ₹50 crore. 'We didn't know whether it would succeed. Our experience with HDFC had been a disaster,' Deepak said. But Deepak had grossly underestimated investors' appetite for the new bank. The issue, which opened on 14 March 1995, was subscribed a record fifty-five times. The stock was listed on the Bombay Stock Exchange (now known as BSE Ltd) on 26 May that year at ₹39.95, almost at a 300% premium.
Tamal Bandopadhyaya (A Bank for the Buck)
This can have devastating consequences for the fast-growing company. Over a short period of time, say a year, the number of employees can leap from 50 to 150 in a startup, or from 150 to 500 or more during a later phase of rapid growth when the business model is promising and the funding is in the bank. Seemingly overnight, the new employees can vastly outnumber their predecessors, and this dynamic can permanently redefine the corporate culture. Brent Gleeson, a leadership coach and Navy SEAL combat veteran, writes, “Organizational culture comes about in one of two ways. It’s either decisively defined, nurtured and protected from the inception of the organization; or—more typically—it comes about haphazardly as a collective sum of the beliefs, experiences and behaviors of those on the team. Either way, you will have a culture. For better or worse.”2
Colin Bryar (Working Backwards: Insights, Stories, and Secrets from Inside Amazon)
By influencing the private and public pronouncements of economists, Beijing shapes global perceptions of China’s economic outlook. When financial risks to the Chinese economy became serious in 2015, the CCP began exerting subtle influence on international banks not to rock the boat with bad news. UBS, the largest Swiss bank, has a long history in China and has been actively pursuing a deeper role in its financial system.103 It too has been pressured to rein in its public commentary, and in 2018 one of its employees was detained in China, for no apparent reason, causing UBS management to bar travel by its staff to China.
Clive Hamilton (Hidden Hand: Exposing How the Chinese Communist Party is Reshaping the World)
X gave most of its customers checking accounts, and so those customers who were able to get their mail would sometimes immediately take advantage by writing a series of bad checks. “I was thinking, ‘What the hell did I step into,’ ” said an early hire who was tasked with handling fraud. “There was no sort of risk mitigation in place.” When employees told Musk that the bank that X had partnered with to handle the checking accounts was complaining about bounced checks, Musk seemed confused by the concept. “I don’t understand,” Musk said. “If you don’t have money in your account, why would you write a check?
Max Chafkin (The Contrarian: Peter Thiel and Silicon Valley's Pursuit of Power)
Most of my career has been spent selling “plans of action and programmes of collaboration,” whether to Rexall to start up Pronto Markets; or Bank of America to buy out Pronto; or landlords; or vendors, many of whom have been very skeptical of, if not outright hostile to, my plans; and above all to my employees. If you want to know what differentiates me from most managers, that’s it. From the beginning, thanks to Ortega y Gasset, I’ve been aware of the need to sell everybody.
Joe Coulombe (Becoming Trader Joe: How I Did Business My Way and Still Beat the Big Guys)
If the roads, the railways, the banks, the insurance offices, the great joint-stock companies, the universities, and the public charities, were all of them branches of the government; if, in addition, the municipal corporations and local boards, with all that now devolves on them, became departments of the central administration; if the employees of all these different enterprises were appointed and paid by the government, and looked to the government for every rise in life; not all the freedom of the press and popular constitution of the legislature would make this or any other country free otherwise than in name.
John Stuart Mill (On Liberty)
In 2002–2003, the World Bank conducted a World Absenteeism Survey in Bangladesh, Ecuador, India, Indonesia, Peru, and Uganda and found that the average absentee rate of health workers (doctors and nurses) was 35 percent (it was 43 percent in India).28 In Udaipur, we found that these absences are also unpredictable, which makes it even harder for the poor to rely on these facilities. Private facilities offer the assurance that the doctor will be there. If he isn’t, he won’t get paid, whereas the absent government employee on a salary will.
Abhijit V. Banerjee (Poor Economics: A Radical Rethinking of the Way to Fight Global Poverty)
No publisher. No agent. They had told him that sales had not been good. Markets had changed. Same old shit. Well, fuck them. Fuck them all. Something different was needed, apparently. Something original but easily pigeon-holed. Books by celebrities were very popular. Models, second-rate comedians, has-been soap stars (those that weren’t trying to make it in the music business), even footballers were writing books. Any talentless cunt with enough money to pay a ghost-writer and a good editor was capable of churning out a book and earning shit-loads of cash for it. And then there were the household names who milked their own brand of repetitious bullshit while fawning publishers knelt at their feet to push ever-larger cheques into their grasping hands. Add to these the comfortable middle-class writers who lectured on real life from the security of knowing it was a world they would never have to inhabit. People with millions in the bank who crowed that money wasn’t everything, who complained about invasion of privacy during their six-page interviews, who were proud of how they’d been single mothers or record-shop employees or advertising men before they’d made it big. And who whined about how hard they’d had to work to get published when all it took was a generous publisher and an even more generous publicity department. Ward despised them all. Even when he’d been successful he’d despised them. The whole fucking business stank. It stank of cowardice. Of duplicity. Of betrayal.
Shaun Hutson (Hybrid (Heathen, #2))
Woodism - “We are all people of value, no matter our titles, roles, positions, or bank accounts. Value yourself more than any opportunity or asshole.
Kathleen Wood (Founderology: The Ultimate Employee Guide to Succeed with any Boss in any Workplace)
You work for the company. Employees make their business owner or the shareholders rich, not themselves. Your efforts and success will help provide for the owner’s success and retirement. 2.​You work for the government. The government takes its share from your paycheck before you even see it. By working harder, you simply increase the amount of taxes taken by the government. Most people work from January to May just for the government. 3.​You work for the bank. After taxes, your next largest expense is usually your mortgage and credit-card debt. The problem with simply working harder is that each of these three levels takes a greater share of your increased efforts. You need to learn how to have your increased efforts benefit you and your family directly.
Robert T. Kiyosaki (Rich Dad Poor Dad: What the Rich Teach Their Kids About Money That the Poor and Middle Class Do Not!)
In Japan, businesses like banks & convenience stores visibly keep baseball-sized orange orbs behind the counter. These "anticrime color balls" are filled with bright pigment that burst on impact & are for employees to throw at robbers to improve the chance of arrest.
Charles Klotz (1,077 Fun Facts: To Leave You In Disbelief)
Because of Wall Street companies are afraid to reinvest profits in research, job creation and increased employee wages. Instead, they use their cash to buyback stocks or sit on it in banks accounts just to appease Wall Street analytics. These actions hurt the economy, and they hurt the average American by keeping money out of circulation. Spending is the engine of any economy.
Mark Mullen (Who Controls America)
Oddly, the creator of Morgan Stanley was not a person, but a law. In response to the speculative bubble of the 1920s, the 1929 Crash, and the Great Depression, Congress enacted the Glass-Steagall Act of 1933. Glass-Steagall addressed the public concern about the comingling of the commercial banking and securities businesses, and it required U.S. banks to choose one business or the other. When J. P. Morgan & Company, a private bank and a member of the New York Stock Exchange, opted to remain a commercial bank, several J. P. Morgan employees split off to organize a securities firm. Thus, Morgan Stanley was born.
Frank Partnoy (FIASCO: Blood in the Water on Wall Street)
The history of DPG, like the history of derivatives, is not well known, even at Morgan Stanley. Most people there have heard of DPG because the group is such a huge moneymaker. However, few employees, including me, realized how new the group was. DPG did not exist before 1990. In fact, Morgan Stanley didn’t even sell many types of derivatives until a few years ago. Previously, the firm’s limited derivatives activities had been scattered throughout the bank, and overall profits from such sales had been relatively low. In fact, although certain types of derivatives have existed for thousands of years—farmers used forwards to hedge and the ancient Greeks used options to speculate—most derivatives innovation has occurred in the past decade, and most of the derivatives Morgan Stanley was selling in 1994 were new. The majority of derivatives DPG sold—including structured notes and interest rate swaps, which I will describe in detail later—didn’t exist before 1980.
Frank Partnoy (FIASCO: Blood in the Water on Wall Street)
The whole process was so intricate that the Medici Bank took to writing lengthy manuals instructing employees on how to structure it. In 1417, one employee of the bank, upon finishing a new draft of the manual, appended a word of advice at the end: “He who deals in exchanges and he who deals in merchandise is always anxious and beset by worries. I will instead give you a recipe for lasagna and macaroni.
William Magnuson (For Profit: A History of Corporations)
From mid-2011 to about mid-2016, employees at Wells Fargo Bank opened over three and a half million fake bank accounts. As The New York Times reported in 2016, “Some customers noticed the deception when they were charged unexpected fees, received credit or debit cards in the mail that they did not request, or started hearing from debt collectors about accounts they did not recognize. But most of the sham accounts went unnoticed, as employees would routinely close them shortly after opening them.” Ultimately, 5,300 Wells Fargo employees were fired as a result of their involvement in these deceptive practices. Practices that then CEO John Stumpf told Congress “go against everything regarding our core principles, our ethics and our culture.
Simon Sinek (The Infinite Game)
If you haven’t had the pleasure of physically comparing different Wall Street trading floors, you needn’t bother. They are all basically alike. The floor itself is a checkerboard of stained carpet squares covering a maze of twisted wires and electronic equipment. These removable squares serve as the lid of a massive trash can, and hidden below are dozens of half-empty Chinese food containers and mice. (Mice love trading floors, and banking employees are constantly discussing creative ways to trap and kill them.) If you stop by virtually any trading floor on Wall Street, this is what you will inevitably encounter: Hundreds of telephones are ringing. Television monitors are blasting news and flashing scattered bond quotes. One of the checkerboard squares is upended, and several maintenance men are taking a break to yell at each other in front of a pile of circuits and cables. Dozens of traders and salespeople are standing at three-foot intervals face-to-face at several long rectangular desks, which are stacked with a rainbow of colorful computers, flashing monitors, blue Reuters and green Telerate screens, beige Bloomberg data systems, and customized black broker quote boxes.
Frank Partnoy (FIASCO: Blood in the Water on Wall Street)
Most investment banking employees are rational economic actors who know that once they’ve received a bonus payment, they’ll have to wait an entire year for another. If you were planning to leave a firm, you never stayed more than an hour or so past bonus time if you could help it.
Frank Partnoy (FIASCO: Blood in the Water on Wall Street)
Having a bank account in the United States or China won't make any difference as a business owner but people who don't have enough money and time to travel long distances and test the system for themselves, want to believe in illusions. Many banks are actually happy to steal people's money due to their nationality, like they did with Russian people now. And this while the masses consider it to be normal. Imagine if countries stole your money every time your government did something they don't like! Actually they do, which is why your government promises one thing before being elected and then does another. The employees of these governments and big companies are like little Nazis. They will simply repeat: it's the "policy of the company" or "it's the law". Nobody cares to question laws or policies because they think smart people are the ones who obey. Well, you will get nowhere in life by obeying a system that is manipulated against you, which is why so many frustrated people, seeing others in jet planes and traveling the world, are turning to crime and prostitution. This tendency will keep increasing. Yet if I tell people to learn to use a gun, they will say that a spiritual guru would never say such things. Well, I would never trust any guru or religious person who said to me to wait until someone knocks me off with a hammer or that I must accept the misfortunes of life as an opportunity to meditate on karma. As a matter of fact, that's exactly what I got in all religions where I sought answers to this problem, which means even religions have been corrupted by illusions and ignorance. They empower a very toxic demon around these lies called guilt. But this demon is kept alive with dogma.
Dan Desmarques
we need simply look at how capitalism changed after the idea of shareholder supremacy took over—which only happened in the final decades of the twentieth century. Prior to the introduction of the shareholder primacy theory, the way business operated in the United States looked quite different. “By the middle of the 20th century,” said Cornell corporate law professor Lynn Stout in the documentary series Explained, “the American public corporation was proving itself one of the most effective and powerful and beneficial organizations in the world.” Companies of that era allowed for average Americans, not just the wealthiest, to share in the investment opportunities and enjoy good returns. Most important, “executives and directors viewed themselves as stewards or trustees of great public institutions that were supposed to serve not just the shareholders, but also bondholders, suppliers, employees and the community.” It was only after Friedman’s 1970 article that executives and directors started to see themselves as responsible to their “owners,” the shareholders, and not stewards of something bigger. The more that idea took hold in the 1980s and ’90s, the more incentive structures inside public companies and banks themselves became excessively focused on shorter-and-shorter-term gains to the benefit of fewer and fewer people. It’s during this time that the annual round of mass layoffs to meet arbitrary projections became an accepted and common strategy for the first time. Prior to the 1980s, such a practice simply didn’t exist. It was common for people to work a practical lifetime for one company. The company took care of them and they took care of the company. Trust, pride and loyalty flowed in both directions. And at the end of their careers these long-time employees would get their proverbial gold watch. I don’t think getting a gold watch is even a thing anymore. These days, we either leave or are asked to leave long before we would ever earn one.
Simon Sinek (The Infinite Game)
Ford sent company investigators to where employees lived to ensure they had clean homes and bank savings accounts, and weren’t prone to drunkenness or mistreating their wives.
Tori Whitaker (A Matter of Happiness)
Approximately three thousand people work for the Bureau of Engraving. It takes 490 notes to make a pound, and it would require 14.5 million notes to make a stack one mile high. Coin and paper account for only about 8 percent of all the dollars in the world. The rest are merely numbers in a ledger or tiny electronic blips on a computer chip. At the end of the process, the workers bundle the bills into packages of 100, which they then stack into bricks of 4,000. These bricks are loaded onto a pallet for transport to the basement from where they will be sent to the various Federal Reserve offices around the nation for distribution to banks and the public. Along the way, the curious visitors pepper the guides with questions: Q. Why are so many employees listening to music on headphones? A. To block the loud sound of the printing, cutting, and stacking machines. Q. Why are some of them eating? A. They are on break. Q. Why are all of the checkers so fat? A. Because they sit all day and watch money go by with little chance for exercise.
Jack Weatherford (The History of Money)
Many years later, this idea has trickled down to the impoverished countryside of Bangladesh when Mohammed Yunus and the Grameen Bank brought microcredit to starving peasants with disastrous consequences. The poor of the subcontinent have always lived in debt, in the merciless grip of the local village usurer—the Bania. But microfinance has corporatized that, too. Microfinance companies in India are responsible for hundreds of suicides—two hundred people in Andhra Pradesh in 2010 alone. A national daily recently published a suicide note by an eighteen-yearold girl who was forced to hand over her last 150 rupees (three dollars), her school fees, to bullying employees of the microfinance company. The note read, “Work hard and earn money. Do not take loans.” There’s a lot of money in poverty, and a few Nobel Prizes, too.
Arundhati Roy (My Seditious Heart: Collected Nonfiction)
What does it cost me if I have a hundred times the amount I donate still sitting in the bank?” “I don’t recall anyone turning down the donations.” “But what did I accomplish? What does it say about me?” “That you’re more generous than I am?” “No! You’re not listening.” Greg’s idea sounded better to him by the second. He’d been restless and bored lately. With the holiday season looming before them, things would be quiet at work. Besides he always closed the offices over Christmas week so his employees could spend time with their families. The timing of this venture couldn’t be better. His pulse accelerated. Anticipation filled him with energy as he contemplated embarking on the adventure of a lifetime. “Think about it.” Harrison said. “What’s the real measure of a man? Where does he find his strength? Build his character?” He slapped his hand on the desk. “It’s in life’s challenges. The hardships.
Diane Burke (The Amish Suspect)
Before that moment in the cafeteria, Chapman was able to make hard decisions far too easily. The St. Louis–based company with the hard-to-spell name was saddled with debt and close to bankruptcy when Chapman took over after his father died in 1975. And given the dire situation, he did what any responsible CEO would do in his position. He laid off employees when he felt it was needed to achieve the desired financial goal, renegotiated his debt obligations, was dependent on banks to support growth and took big risks that would create growth that any high-flying executive would have understood. And as a result the company slowly built back up to profitability.
Simon Sinek (Leaders Eat Last: Why Some Teams Pull Together and Others Don't)
The stock market crash of 1929, which marked the beginning of the Great Depression of the United States, came directly from wild speculation which collapsed and brought the whole economy down with it. But, as John Galbraith says in his study of that event (The Great Crash), behind that speculation was the fact that “the economy was fundamentally unsound.” He points to very unhealthy corporate and banking structures, an unsound foreign trade, much economic misinformation, and the “bad distribution of income” (the highest 5 percent of the population received about one-third of all personal income). A socialist critic would go further and say that the capitalist system was by its nature unsound: a system driven by the one overriding motive of corporate profit and therefore unstable, unpredictable, and blind to human needs. The result of all that: permanent depression for many of its people, and periodic crises for almost everybody. Capitalism, despite its attempts at self-reform, its organization for better control, was still in 1929 a sick and undependable system. After the crash, the economy was stunned, barely moving. Over five thousand banks closed and huge numbers of businesses, unable to get money, closed too. Those that continued laid off employees and cut the wages of those who remained, again and again.
Howard Zinn (A People's History of the United States)