Bonus Bananas Mar 11, 2011

1) The World's Billionaires (Forbes) - Thought I'd start this week off with a little porn for the avaricious among us. This year's Forbes 400 revealed that Mexico's Carlos Slim made everyone else on the list his pool boy by increasing his net worth over $20 billion in a year to top out at a staggering $74 billion. Bill Gates runs a distant second at $56 billion, and it looks like it might be the Walton family's last appearance in the Top 10. Extra Special Bonus Bonus Banana: Billionaires Under 30.

2) Debit cards: $50 spending limit coming? (CNN) - Jamie Dimon seems determined to play Darth Vader to Lloyd Blankfein's Emperor Palpatine. Not content to just foreclose on homeowners who've never missed a payment, JP Morgan Chase is now considering limiting debit card transactions to $50. At issue are the now-limited interchange fees on debit cards - capped at 12 cents per transaction. So I guess the bank's strategy is to make consumers swipe the card four times for a $200 purchase, thus generating four interchange fees. Nice.

3) Most admired for talent (Fortune) - Goldman Sachs ranks #1 on the Top 10 list of companies known for grooming talent, besting Apple, Google, Disney, and Amazon among others. Reputation notwithstanding, the firm has no trouble finding candidates and still has the pick of the proverbial litter. Following my earlier example, does this make rank-and-file Goldmanites imperial stormtroopers? Cool outfits, anyway.

4) Dead soldier Liam Tasker and Army dog return home (BBC) - Incredibly sad but poignant story of a British soldier and his bomb-sniffing dog who died within hours of one another in Afghanistan and are being laid to rest together. Now they're both at peace. I feel sorry for people who've never shared the obvious bond between dog and man that these two shared.

5) The Happiest Man in America (NY Times) - This one made me chuckle. The New York Times recently published a hypothetical profile of the happiest man in America based on statistics that indicated he was a tall, Asian-American, observant Jew, 65 and married with kids, living in Hawaii, running his own business, and making over $120,000 a year. Then they decided to see if he actually exists. Meet Alvin Wong.

6) Trading Wall Street For Life In A Monastery (NPR) - Fascinating story about Henry Quinson, a currency trader managing a $15 billion portfolio who threw in the towel to join a Trappist monastery at age 27. He gave all of his money to charity, took vows of poverty, obedience, and silence and lived in a monastery in France for six years. He now teaches Muslim kids in Marseille and recently served as a monastic consultant on a French film. Talk about the road less traveled.

7) Budding Hedge Fund Manager Arrested In Grade-Fixing Scam (FIN Alternatives) - Bess covered this earlier in the week over at Dealbreaker, but it's just too funny to risk anyone missing it. This was a kid who decided in high school that he wanted to be a hedge fund manager and part of his strategy was to hack the school's computer system and raise his grades to a 4.54 gpa - making him his class salutatorian. Then he decided to sell his grade-fixing services to other high school kids and got busted earlier this week. Looks like he was making fake id's, too. Sounds like he'd fit right in over at Galleon.

8) How Business School Killed the Entrepreneur (Reading For Your Success) - What is the purpose of B-school? What used to be a boot camp for entrepreneurs has become a stepping stone to getting a raise in banking and consulting. Anyone considering business school should read this article. Guys like Patrick are the exception, not the rule.

9) How Twitter Is Transforming Trading in Commodities (CNBC) - I've been promising to do a post comparing the relative valuations of Facebook and Twitter and why they're way off, and I will get to it soon, but in the meantime CNBC shows how Twitter is changing the way people trade commodities. While I generally regard Facebook as self-obsessed navel gazing, Twitter and sub-sites like StockTwits are changing the way financial information is disseminated.

10) Homeowner Suffers Horrific Injustice at the Hands of JPMorgan Chase (Mandelman Matters) - I alluded to this earlier, but here is the actual story of a family who had their house sold out from under them by JP Morgan Chase after paying every cent the bank asked for on time. What makes it even worse is that Chase kept telling them to ignore the various notices of default while the bank was selling their house out from under them - all the while insisting everything was fine and telling them to continue to make the payments. Despicable.

This week's video is the trailer for Limitless, which opens next week. Looks pretty great to me. If you could take a pill to access 100% of your brain, would you do it? I'm not sure. There's some pretty dark shit in this head of mine. Enjoy:

Comments (15)

 
Mar 11, 2011 - 8:11am

How many billionaires do you guys suspect Forbes misses?

 
Mar 11, 2011 - 8:13am

Edmundo Braverman:
8) How Business School Killed the Entrepreneur (Reading For Your Success) - What is the purpose of B-school? What used to be a boot camp for entrepreneurs has become a stepping stone to getting a raise in banking and consulting. Anyone considering business school should read this article. Guys like Patrick are the exception, not the rule.

I'm glad you found this gem. I haven't read it yet, but I've been thinking about this a lot lately.

 
Mar 11, 2011 - 4:22pm

Edmundo Braverman:
It's hard to hide when you get to that level. Speaking to Randall Lane (who used to help compile the list and do the fact checking for Forbes) I got the sense that they were very thorough.

What about a guy like Mubarak that controlled a $70B fortune in stolen goods? That kind of thing interests me. How do they account for that?
Get busy living
 
Mar 11, 2011 - 8:31am

Number 10, I could not imagine a situation more frustrating or a feeling more helpless than that.

If I had asked people what they wanted, they would have said faster horses - Henry Ford
 
Mar 11, 2011 - 12:12pm

I think #8 about B-School killing the entrepreneur applies to undergrad as well. My university is a breeding ground for big 4 accountants and back office/operations for BB's. Not exactly every kid's dream job. Plenty of my friends talk about how they'd love to do x,y, or z, but we're instilled with the necessity to "get a real job" and put our "unrealistic" dreams aside.

I have a great deal of respect for the kids that seriously pursue the entrepreneurial route. But out of my 50 closest friends in college, I'd be amazed if 1 of them even attempted it after graduation. I'd imagine the pressure from their parents alone would make them cave.

 
Mar 11, 2011 - 12:59pm

CiroCorp:
I think #8 about B-School killing the entrepreneur applies to undergrad as well. My university is a breeding ground for big 4 accountants and back office/operations for BB's. Not exactly every kid's dream job. Plenty of my friends talk about how they'd love to do x,y, or z, but we're instilled with the necessity to "get a real job" and put our "unrealistic" dreams aside.

I have a great deal of respect for the kids that seriously pursue the entrepreneurial route. But out of my 50 closest friends in college, I'd be amazed if 1 of them even attempted it after graduation. I'd imagine the pressure from their parents alone would make them cave.

http://www.businessinsider.com/967-of-the-time-i-spent-at-business-school-was-completely-wasted-2010-7
(watch the short video/clip at the bottom)

 
Mar 11, 2011 - 12:35pm

I would definitely swallow a pill that gave me access to 100% of my brain...there has got to be something worthwhile going on in there.

Regards

"The trouble with our liberal friends is not that they're ignorant, it's just that they know so much that isn't so." - Ronald Reagan
 
Mar 11, 2011 - 9:28pm

Number 10 was so hopeless. How is that even possible?

I am not cocky, I am confident, and when you tell me I am the best it is a compliment. -Styles P
 
Mar 12, 2011 - 1:10am

Here's the thing, much of your brain controls unconscious activity, like heartbeat, blood flow, etc. One would think it could be deadly to have access to that consciousness. But if they could get a way to boost our brain usage from 10% to 20%, that could be freakish.

Assuming humans don't destroy themselves, artificial intelligence, computers and methods of opening up our brains like in this movie could eventually allow us the knowledge and technology to travel through time, to travel through the universe, and to do other fantastically absurd things. Wish I had been born 200 years later.

Array
 
Mar 13, 2011 - 7:53pm

Virginia Tech 4ever:
Here's the thing, much of your brain controls unconscious activity, like heartbeat, blood flow, etc. One would think it could be deadly to have access to that consciousness. But if they could get a way to boost our brain usage from 10% to 20%, that could be freakish.

Assuming humans don't destroy themselves, artificial intelligence, computers and methods of opening up our brains like in this movie could eventually allow us the knowledge and technology to travel through time, to travel through the universe, and to do other fantastically absurd things. Wish I had been born 200 years later.

I'm not a 2012 conspiracy theorist, or anything crazy like that, but in all honesty, there's a pretty good chance we'll all kill each other before then. Biological warfare is a terrible thing and I would hate to see what would happen if an extremist group got a hold of biological weapons.

Men are so simple and so much inclined to obey immediate needs that a deceiver will never lack victims for his deceptions. -Niccolo Machiavelli
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