Waltz Into Spring

The sun is shining and spring has arrived for many in the Northern Hemisphere.  A Strauss waltz and a coloratura soprano seem like a delightful way to honor the season.

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Published in: on April 14, 2009 at 11:11  Comments Off on Waltz Into Spring  
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Renaissance

Tizziano Vecellio (1488-1576), Madonna and Child with St. Catherine and a Rabbit, Oil on Canvas, 1530, Musée du Louvre, Paris

Disparate elements brought together for a sacra conversazione.  Starting over.  Life when there is no more life.  Saving others and being saved.  The triumph of knowledge over darkness.  Many themes for the Cowboy to ponder, and an Easter Bunny to boot.

The Cowboy likes a fresh start.  Light does come from darkness.  And there’s nothing like bringing together diverse elements to create something beautiful.

Published in: on April 12, 2009 at 21:02  Comments Off on Renaissance  
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Short & Sweet

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This short film was made using stop-motion by Carlos Lascano, an Argentine filmmaker who now resides in Spain.  Lascano completed his studies to be a lawyer, but he decided to dream a little instead.

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Published in: on April 11, 2009 at 22:56  Comments Off on Short & Sweet  
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Nip / Tuck

Nice guys, those plastic surgeons.With every one trying to pay down debt, we’re trapped in a vicious cycle.  If we’re all getting liposuction, eventually there’s no need for plastic surgeons.  So, it’s great that we’re on a diet and everything – suddenly concerned about our past excesses.  And it’s okay that we want to look good.  But how do we maintain that healthy weight?  How do we stop our anorexic spiral?  And what about those poor surgeons?

I know – weird analogy, but it’s what came to me.  Richard Koo, the Chief Economist at the Nomura Research Institute (part of one of Japan’s major conglomerates that includes Japan’s best known, eponymous securities firm), did a presentation last month that has been floating around the economic dens of iniquity.  There has been much talk for a while about the “balance sheet recession” that Koo describes.

With all of the talk about Japan’s lost decade, and how the current crisis has so many similarities, Koo lays out a comparison very nicely.  He even tosses in some Asian vaqueros by the names of Yin and Yang (one wears a white hat, the other a black one).

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Published in: on April 10, 2009 at 15:30  Comments Off on Nip / Tuck  
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Cowboy Sol

One of the Cowboy’s earliest and deepest memories – a recurring theme that has played throughout the Cowboy’s life – is a piece of music by the Mexican composer José Pablo Moncayo.

The Cowboy has much to say about this piece, but for the moment, let’s just focus on the bridge.

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Published in: on April 9, 2009 at 22:03  Comments Off on Cowboy Sol  
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Finale: Keep Your Balance

Part 4

We keep reading that as a big lender to the U.S., China has this immense power.  Well, how does it use that power?  Any banker knows this game.  If you have loaned a lot of money to someone, you can ask for it back, but that may not be in your best interest.  Why?  First, you have to find someone else to borrow it with an equivalent risk/return profile, and second, you might not get it back at all.

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Published in: on April 8, 2009 at 20:59  Comments Off on Finale: Keep Your Balance  

Rocky Road

Part 3

Now don’t get too comfortable, the trail keeps going for a bit.

As we asked in the last post, why would the Chinese government want to deprive its citizens?

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Published in: on April 8, 2009 at 20:48  Comments Off on Rocky Road  

Following The G2 Trail

Part 2

In the Cowboy’s humble estimation, the column that presents sounder economic thinking is Martin Wolf’s on the same page as Taleb’s piece (here without registration).  Perhaps the biggest disappointment of the recent G20 conference is that it was not the Bretton Woods redux that many had hoped for last Fall.  Clearly, the goal of this one-day conference was not to rewrite the rules for the global economic system.  Such grandiose aims were wisely scaled back.  Evaluated as a one-day meeting of 20 countries, however, the Cowboy would call it a success.

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Published in: on April 8, 2009 at 20:43  Comments Off on Following The G2 Trail  

Swans On The Trailhead

Part 1

On the heels of yesterday’s silly Easter-egg hunt, today the Cowboy wants to follow a trail of a different kind.  By the way, the object of yesterday’s hunt was to find the beginning.  Don’t work too hard.  Think simple, not complex.  Just follow the trail.

Nassim Taleb has a column in today’s FT (here without registration) that is being promoted extensively by the newspaper and will inevitably get lots of play.  Taleb is the author of the economics bestseller and seemingly prescient book on the “long tail” of statistical distributions – in other words, those very unlikely events that can, and sometimes do, occur.  Taleb raises a number of very controversial points, so one can expect to see his column discussed widely.

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Published in: on April 8, 2009 at 20:29  Comments Off on Swans On The Trailhead  

Finale: Enough Already

Part 6

Cogito ergo

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Published in: on April 7, 2009 at 18:54  Comments Off on Finale: Enough Already