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Thursday, September 28, 2017

Contradictory Comments on Health Insurance as Unethical: The Case of Newt Gingrich

Newt Gingrich said on May 15, 2011 that people should be required to buy health-insurance. He added that he would like to see the mandate implemented at the state rather than the federal level. These comments unleashed a torrent of criticism from Republicans, so the former Speaker of the U.S. House of Representatives spent the following week “walking” his comments back by denying that he had said that he was for a mandate.  The media was in a feeding frenzy, astounded that the former Speaker could simply deny that he might get away with the contradiction. However, in such cases, is it the person or logical contradiction itself that gets us so steamed?

The full essay is at "Health Insurance Mandate."

Too Big to Fail: The Trillion Dollar Club

Banks with assets over $50 billion are considered “systemically important” according to the Dodd-Frank law of 2010. The act is geared to shoring up protection against systemic risk. The U.S. Government deems certain banks (and companies) systemically important if they are big enough to threaten the entire financial system should they fail. Such enterprises are subject to higher capital standards and stricter rules. Roughly three dozen banks in the U.S. had been classified as systemically important by mid-May 2011.

The full essay is at "Too Big to Fail."

Lehman's Dick Fuld as the Antagonist in the film, "Too Big to Fail"

The reporter-author of Too Big to Fail, Andrew Ross Sorkin, expressed the following fear as his 600-plus-page book was being made into a movie: "I went into the process I think worried – as I imagine most writers would be – that it would be sexed up and hollywoodized in some other way." To be sure, putting the Dick Fuld (CEO of Lehman Brothers) character into any sort of sex scene would have been counterproductive at best.

The full essay is at "Lehman's Dick Fuld."

Writing an Original Screenplay

Jay Fernandez of The Hollywood Reporter asks, “Who’s to blame for the lack of original movie projects being submitted to film studios these days?” He points to vertical integration and a bottom-line reliance on pre-branded franchises, plus diminished film slates, producer deals, and writing jobs. Indeed, in early 2011, spec submissions were down by more than half.

The full essay is at "Writing an Original Screenplay."

Wednesday, September 27, 2017

Pandora: An IPO Eclipsing Fiscal Gravity?

Pandora, an internet-based radio company oriented to music, sold its initial public offering at $16 per share late on June 14, 2011. The shares opened the next day at $20 and rose as high as $26, only to fall into the teens before market close. At $26, the company had a market value of $4.2 billion, more than the value of AOL at the time. Just two weeks earlier, Pandora’s management had been looking at the $7 to $9 range.  Despite offering only 9 percent of its shares to the public, the company raised twice as much money as it had expected.

The full essay is at Pandora