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Sunday, July 22, 2012

• • What to Expect From US Markets: From Airlines to Other Favorable Stocks 
Atlas Shrugged  | For those of us familiar with Ayn Rand’s classic book (Atlas Shrugged), recent events eerily mirror her writings about the economic carnage caused by big government running amok.

Thursday, May 31, 2012

• • What The Post-Crisis Novel Can Teach Us About Finance 
Alan Greenspan  |Atlas Shrugged  |Capitalism  | It's no secret that fiction has played influential rolls in finance before. Ayn Rand's Atlas Shrugged, for example, which glorified laissez-faire economics, is well know to have influenced former Fed chairman Alan Greenspan, whose free-money policies were (at least) partially responsible for the sub-prime mortgage crisis.

Wednesday, February 29, 2012

• • Bad Business: 10 Outrageous Company Image Busters 
Atlas Shrugged  |Capitalism  | Many yoga enthusiasts have been confused and turned off by the capitalistic streak that drives Lululemon’s famously cultish corporate culture. Most recently, the store’s new shopping bags, featuring the slogan “Who is John Galt?”, have raised many the yogi eyebrow. According to Wilson, Galt, the fictional protagonist of Ayn Rand’s capitalist manifesto Atlas Shrugged, is a major source of inspiration. Some might think that the pursuit of yoga and its ideals exists as an alternative to consumerism, but for Wilson, it’s all great.

Friday, November 18, 2011

• • • “Atlas Shrugged” DVD Grievously Mislabeled as Tale of “Self-Sacrifice” 
Atlas Shrugged movie  |Atlas Shrugged  |Egoism  |Image  | Today is supposed to be the day the DVD for the new film adaptation of Ayn Rand’s capitalism-celebrating tome, Atlas Shrugged, hits retail shelves. But if you happen to pass through a Best Buy or Wal-Mart, you probably won’t find the film, and it’s not because some Occupy Wall Streeter has hidden it behind copies of Michael Moore’s Capitalism: A Love Story. It turns out some 100,000 Atlas Shrugged: Part One DVDs are being replaced because of a grievous labeling mistake.

Friday, September 02, 2011

 As Policy Changes Fail to Boost Economy, We Must Rely on Tech Innovation 
Atlas Shrugged  | In reality we really have two economies globally. We have the economy of “perverse conditions” and the economy of the innovators. Note I’m not using the producers and don’t worry, I’m not going to get all Atlas Shrugged in this piece.

Wednesday, July 27, 2011

• • George Soros Follows His Own Advice 
Atlas Shrugged  | The younger, more nimble professionals are selling businesses, unwinding trading operations, or otherwise distancing themselves from the capital markets. The thematic reasoning is straight out of an Ayn Rand novel: “I can’t compete and when I do, the rules of engagement change in the middle of the game. I’ll let the powers that be vanquish themselves and return in three to five years to sift through the remains.”

Tuesday, January 25, 2011

 Monday morning quarterback: Tech-wrecks, black swans, and the Jets 
Atlas Shrugged  | Atlas Shrugged! We’ve long spoken about the cumulative bar bill that’s building as a function of the transference of risk from one perception to the next. Through that lens, we would be wise to watch the Jedi Mind Tricks implemented by the powers that be.

Thursday, September 30, 2010

 Scanning the world into quarter-end 
Capitalism  | I learned an expensive lesson in 2003 and it’s one I remind myself of often; the powers that be are powerful indeed. This dovetails into another common theme this year -- The War on Capitalism -- and it’s a dynamic we must respect. If you doubt for a moment the resolve and tenacity of the folks sitting on the other side of the table, ask a few of the savvy seers on Wall Street who have chosen to channel Sun Tzu and Ayn Rand. They’ve gone dark, and for good reason.

Friday, August 06, 2010

 Financial virus permeates the system 
Atlas Shrugged  | As we navigate unchartered waters and sail through The Eye of the Financial Storm, an increasing number of people are weighing their options -- and some of the smarter folks I know are “going dark.” What does that mean? They’re selling businesses, unwinding trading operations, or otherwise insulating themselves from the capital markets. The underlying reasoning is straight out of an Ayn Rand novel: “I can’t compete and when I do, the rules of engagement change in the middle of the game. I’ll let the powers that be vanquish themselves and return in three to five years to sift through the remains.”

Saturday, June 05, 2010

• • The moody state of Moody’s 
Capitalism  | To quote Ayn Rand, only because this particular passage is uncanny in its accuracy: “When government controls are introduced into a free economy, they create economic dislocations, hardships and problems which, if the controls are not repealed, necessitate still further controls, which necessitate still further controls. Thus a chain reaction is set up: the victimized groups seek redress by imposing controls on the profiteering groups, who retaliate in the same manner, on an ever widening scale.”

Monday, May 31, 2010

• • Most influential CEOs: Whole Foods’ John Mackey resists conventional label 
John Mackey, CEO of Whole Foods (WFMI), is something of a paradox. The “right-wing hippie” as he’s been described, is one part flower child (the flowers being organically grown, of course) and one part libertarian free-marketeer who counts himself among the followers of Ayn Rand’s objectivist movement.

Tuesday, August 25, 2009

 The scholarship search: A guide 
Ayn Rand Institute  | Don't overlook various contests such as the Ayn Rand Institute Essay Contests, Illustrators of the Future Contest and shamelessly promotional awards such as the Duck Brand Duct Tape Stuck at Prom Contest.

• • • How altruism lifts your spiritual profit center 
Altruism  |The Virtue of Selfishness  |Egoism  |Inaccurate  | Ayn writes a lot about the negatives of altruism versus the benefits of materialism in her famed book of essays The Virtue Of Selfishness -- a book I found both fascinating and downright offensive. Personally, I am a big supporter of taking time to give back to our world through charity and service. And infinite research studies prove the benefits of doing altruistic acts -- not only for the world at large -- but for the altruistic individual's personal happiness.

Tuesday, August 18, 2009

• • • Tap your strengths to find happiness—and money! 
Atlas Shrugged  |The Fountainhead  |Capitalism  | Life’s truest theories are ones that can withstand the test of time. So let’s re-explore the very interesting business tips from the famous and infamous author Ayn Rand.

Wednesday, May 06, 2009

 Decade-defining brands: Google 
The sun never sets on the Google Empire. Its massive scope has been likened to Nineteen Eighty-Four's Big Brother. Its seemingly endless supply of information reminds one of the Encyclopedia Galactica from The Hitchhiker's Guide to the Galaxy. Its versatility and ease of use is like something out of Star Trek. Its unshakable megalomania has the feel of an Ayn Rand novel.

Wednesday, February 25, 2009

• • Market reaching point of recognition 
Atlas Shrugged  |Capitalism  | In the book Atlas Shrugged by Ayn Rand, Mr. Thompson, the head of state, is set to address the nation regarding its dire economic conditions. But before he begins to speak, he is preempted, cut off the air by a motor of incalculable power. John Galt addressed the nation instead. Galt informs citizens that the men of the mind are on strike, that they require freedom of thought and action, and that they refuse to work under the dictatorship in power.

Friday, February 13, 2009

 Seek opportunity outside the box 
The Fountainhead  | I find myself thinking of Howard Roark often these days, perhaps a function of operating a media concern in a world dominated by agendas and spin. When Minyanville was birthed in 2001, most of my peers thought I was nuts to step down from a lucrative perch as president of a $400 million hedge fund.

Thursday, January 15, 2009

• • Bank of America huddling under TARP 
Atlas Shrugged  |Capitalism  | The similarities are so striking, it almost seems like regulators are using Atlas Shrugged as a playbook for their policy response to the crisis. They must not have waded through all 1,000 pages to see how the story ended.

Thursday, September 04, 2008

• • Pimco’s Gross lets the freak out 
I'm no fan of Rand's Objectivism. Apart from being badly written, her philosophy, such that it is, flaps angrily in the wind, rootless, mistaking mere success at something for heroism.

Thursday, March 06, 2008

• • Greenspan’s loathsome legacy 
Atlas Shrugged  | We all hope Alan [Greenspan] is getting well paid on his speaking tour. One can only imagine what Ayn Rand would think. I can’t help pondering whether John Galt asks, “Who the hell is Alan Greenspan?”