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So What Did I Miss?

Wow! A whole month off. I feel like my WSO muscles have atrophied a bit from disuse. The rest did me some good, I got a little tiny bit of travel in, I managed to save a deal that appeared to be going sideways in a hurry, and I kicked off a little start-up of my own (which so far has taught me some pretty surprising things about Facebook).

So what did I miss around here? Obama walked through Romney to no one's surprise other than Romney himself, apparently. As much as I don't particularly care for the guy, I had to throw some grudging respect to Obama over the way he handled election day. While Romney was out running around trying to drum up votes like a madman, Obama was shooting hoops with Scottie Pippen, OG-style. I'm guessing he wasn't worried about Romney for a single minute during the campaign.

What else big happened? Oh yeah, AAPL got clobbered. What's up with that? Fortunately, I bought it all the way down and now my average cost is $593. Yeah, yeah, I know. You own it at $40 a share and started buying it when you were eight years old with your paper route money. Shut up. Some of us were late to the party.

Is Marriage Useless Today?

mod (Andy) note: "Blast from the past - Best of Eddie" - This one is originally from November 2010. If there's an old post from Eddie you'd like to see up again shoot me a message.

Has marriage become obsolete? According to a recent Time Magazine/Pew poll, 40% of Americans believe that marriage is obsolete today, and 44% of Americans under 30 believe the institution of marriage is soon to be extinct.

I can't think of a better topic to write about on my 8th anniversary.

You guys know how I feel about marriage from a practical standpoint: there's no percentage in it. Clearly, Prince William is not a WSO reader. All joking aside, though, is marriage dead? For someone in a lopsided income/asset relationship (where one partner earns or is worth far more than the other), how could it be to the advantage of the more financially successful partner to get married?

Harvard Scammed by 23-Year Old

mod (Andy) note: "Blast from the past - Best of Eddie" - This one is originally from May 2010. If there's an old post from Eddie you'd like to see up again shoot me a message.

You'd think creativity would count for something. Adam Wheeler, a 23-year old from Delaware, is being charged with larceny, identity theft, and fraud after faking his way into Harvard and taking the school for $45,000 in scholarships, grants, and financial aid. Step aside Jeffrey Chiang. Take a seat Aleksey Vayner. There's a new kid in the bullshitter's Cooperstown.

Wheeler didn't take any half-steps in his scam, either. He not only claimed to have earned a perfect academic record at Phillips Academy to gain admission to Harvard in 2007, he backed up the claim with a falsified transcript from MIT. He might have gotten away with it too, if he hadn't pushed the envelope by later applying for Rhodes and Fulbright scholarships.

Quote:
"This defendant's actions cheated those who competed honestly and fairly for admissions and for the scholarships that this defendant fraudulently obtained," Leone said.

For Those About to Propose

mod (Andy) note: "Blast from the past - Best of Eddie" - This one is originally from January 2011. If there's an old post from Eddie you'd like to see up again shoot me a message.

With Valentine's Day two short weeks away, some of your girlfriends are no doubt ratcheting up the pressure on you to pop the question on the most romantic day of the year. Maybe you already live together. Maybe you've been going out for a few years. Maybe you met her in a Chelsea dive bar on Tuesday. It's no matter. They all want the same thing.

Allow me to introduce Charles Brandes. Sure, he's a big shot today pulling in an estimated $16 million a month, but he wasn't always. He was once just a young monkey like all of you. And therein lies his cautionary tale. For it was at that point in his career that he met Linda King Formo, a single mother earning $6 an hour as a librarian.

Bonus Bananas October 26, 2012

Sorry I'm late, guys, but I actually caught somebody trying to steal $11,000 from me this morning. Bizarre. The balls on some people. Here we go:

1) ‘Rogue trader’ Jérôme Kerviel loses appeal (France24) - Poor, poor Jerome. Looks like he's gonna do three years and cough up five billion after all.

2) Robin Hood tax gains traction in Europe (CNN Money) - They're referring to a transaction tax on trading, an idea that is being kicked around on this side of the pond as well. It'll be interesting to see if this idea catches on. I don't particularly subscribe to the view that HFTs provide a huge social benefit through increased liquidity, and it wouldn't break my heart to see them lose some influence in day to day fluctuations.

3) Catarina Migliorini Sells Virginity For $780,000; Male Virgin Alex Stepanov Gets $3,000 (Huffington Post) - Okay, so she's 9ish and she's doing it for a good cause, but almost a million bucks? C'mon, man! Somebody please explain the ROI here. Women really are sitting on a goldmine.

I Just Wasted My Vote

I'm taking the next month off and I won't be around when Obama gets reelected, so I thought I'd let you guys know that I was a good citizen and mailed in my absentee ballot earlier this week.

I'd initially intended to abstain this year, but the debates really turned me around. For the record, I think abstention is a perfectly legitimate vote in and of itself, and is really the only way for the American people to signal to the rest of the world that we have no faith in our government. Be that as it may, I've only ever abstained once (2004) since reaching legal voting age. On top of that, I firmly believe that anyone who ever voted for George W. Bush (as I did in 2000) should have their voting privileges revoked for life, so any voting I do from now on is pretty much gravy.

So what was it that got me off the schneid and forced me to download a ballot and mail it in? I think it was the case laid out by both candidates for their respective viewpoints, actually. Watching the debates drove home one thing for me:

I had to vote this time around for the sake of my own conscience.

Check Out the New JDOasis.com!

For those of you wondering what's going on over at JDOasis.com, I've got some exciting news for you. The site is going through a total re-launch, complete with a full team of writers dedicated to making JDO the WSO of the legal world. Do me a favor and help them out by Liking them below:

Did I mention the suit giveaway over there? You can get up to 20 entries to win another suit from Indochino by liking jdOasis.com+ other simple ways to enter. Be sure to check it out. Also, if you're considering a career in law or you're contemplating law school, there is already a ton of helpful content on JDOasis. You'll recognize some familiar faces over there who help make JDO as lively as WSO. It's no secret that landing a job in Big Law is no mean feat, and JDO can help you put your best foot forward in the same way WSO generates more Wall Street success stories than any other site on the web.

The Obsession with Investment Banking

mod (Andy) note: "Blast from the past - Best of Eddie" - This one is originally from January 2011. If there's an old post from Eddie you'd like to see up again shoot me a message.

Do you have an investment banking obsession? Especially those of you still in college, do you spend every waking moment angling for a job in investment banking? Does the networking utility of those with whom you interact play a part in whether or not you'll become friends? Do you have a Chinese mother?

Okay, that last question may seem a little off the wall for those who haven't read the commentary in this weekend's Journal. But David Weidner at Bloomberg took it a step further and analyzed the drive to achieve on Wall Street, a drive top investment bankers possess almost to the exclusion of every other social skill. He gives the examples of Lloyd Blankfein, Jamie Dimon, and Henry Kravis - mostly dour guys focused on only one thing: money.

Bonus Bananas October 19, 2012

1) Greg Smith Quit Goldman After ‘Unrealistic’ Pitch for $1M (Bloomberg) - Greg Smith definitely got the last laugh. Goldman launched an internal investigation into him and Bloomberg got their hands on it. It's pure gold, and no one will ever be able to tell Smith he didn't have balls. When GS balked at his demand for a million dollar bonus, he quit and wrote a book that'll probably pay him two million.

2) Stalker App? Facebook Kills Friend Finding Feature (CNBC) - When something's too creepy for even Facebook, you know it must be bad. This kind of thing can't be helping the stock.

3) The Only Earthling With a Facebook 'Dislike' Button (BusinessWeek) - Speaking of Facebook, where's my Dislike button? This guy has one. I want one. Seriously. If anything could save the stock, giving everyone a Dislike button would surely do it.

Google Earnings Miss

Just a quick note to update you guys on how I'm playing this Google fiasco.

First of all, it looks like the reporting service they use to release earnings screwed the pooch and released them during market hours when they were supposed to release after the close. The stock is down 10% and tripped a circuit breaker, so it's halted. The company is filing SEC paperwork now and once it's in the stock will resume trading (hopefully in the next 30 mins).

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