Ground zero for AIG’s spectacular implosion, which has soaked up more federal bailout money than any other entity, appears to have been a small London branch office that may have lost nearly half a trillion dollars in bad deals.
The disastrous deals were built up in a decade and, when the crisis hit, the man who ran the unit for the last eight years retired after making $280 million for himself and leaving with a $1 million-a-month consulting contract.
Sugar described the American fiscal atmosphere before the crisis as “over enthusiasms in business, greed. You maxed out over there, as you say.”
“You went mad, financial Disney World, slot machine in Vegas and every time you pulled a lever someone won, and it usually was a bank executive.”
Boldrin and Levine promote a drastic reform of the patent system in their book. They propose the law should be restored to match the intent of the U.S. Constitution which states: Congress may “promote the progress of science and useful arts, by securing for limited times to authors and inventors the exclusive right to their respective writing and discoveries.”
They call on Congress to reverse the burden of the proof on patent seekers by granting patents only to those capable of proving that:
• their invention has social value
• a patent is not likely to block even more valuable innovations
• the innovation would not be cost-effective absent a patent
Having too much fun playing Tetris? Why not suck all the enjoyment out of it by playing it in HD?
Any economy which charges ever less for ever more intrusive ads will eventually be successful not in creating wealth but in driving the readers away, until the only ones left to heed the ads are all the other ads, the cell phones searching in vain for a target market among the cellulite.
This “camera” mounts up on your ceiling and looks like it’s taking video of any potential intruders. It goes so far as to have a motion detector that makes it swivel back and forth whenever somebody passes nearby. It doesn’t, however, actually capture any video, so you’d better hope that just seeing a camera will be enough to deter any potential thieves.
The list of customer account names found by the court-appointed trustee in the records of Bernard L. Madoff’s wealth management firm, as well as names of people who contacted the trustee to say they believed they had been Madoff customers and wanted to file a claim. Some of the names on the list are those of lawyers, accountants, foundation trustees and agents who set up the accounts on behalf of the actual investors in the Madoff fund, which investigators are calling the biggest Ponzi scheme ever. Some people on the list have said publicly that they were included in error.
And, according to Madoff, if you add your name to the list, and send it to five friends….