|The founder of a top Silicon Valley startup got interrupted during a board meeting when he showed a slide of 5 new women hires, and it offers a lesson to other companies Cache Translate Page Web Page Cache|
The moment Heidi Roizen knew she'd backed the right startup happened in the middle of a board room meeting. After 20 years working as a venture capitalist, she had never seen a slide like the one presented to her by Uma Valeti, the founder of cultured meat startup Memphis Meats.
Before her were photos of five of the company's most recent hires — all of whom were scientists or managers by training, and all of whom also happened to be women.
"I stopped him right at that moment to tell him I'd never seen a slide like that in my career," Roizen told Business Insider. "And he looked at me like something was wrong, which partially explains why Memphis Meats is such a leader when it comes to diversity."
Based in Silicon Valley, Memphis Meats kicked off with funding from leading biotech hub IndieBio in 2015. Today, it's backed by investors like Bill Gates, Richard Branson, Twitch cofounder Kyle Vogt, and Kimbal Musk (Elon Musk's brother). Two food giants — Tyson Foods and Cargill — are other notable investors.
Like a handful of other enterprising startups in the meat alternative space, Memphis Meats' mission is to grow real meat from animal cells to minimize the environmental waste and ethical problems linked with factory farming.
But unlike the majority of the startup world, more than half of the company's team identify as women; 40% of them are in leadership roles.
The reason that is significant isn't merely because it's novel. It's also a key indicator of the company's core values, Roizen said.
'Great resumes are the price of admission, not the focus of our hiring process'
Memphis Meats is committed to hiring a diverse team of people who hail from a variety of backgrounds, Megan Pittman, Memphis Meats' director of people operations, told Roizen in an interview for a blog post she wrote about the experience.
To do that, they look beyond traditional hiring practices that focus exclusively on things like resumes, which can be biased toward white men because of institutional racism and sexism. For decades, policies like redlining (the process by which banks refuse loans or insurance to people of color because an area is determined to be too financially risky) and immigration practices favoring European countries have limited the resources available to women and people of color.
Those policies and behaviors also contribute to limiting the amount of money that goes to women and people of color. Last year, all-female startup teams got just 2% of all venture capital investment dollars. Fewer than 1% of American venture capital-backed founders are black.
Instead of sitting down to a traditional interview, hiring managers at Memphis Meats ask all job candidates to begin by giving a 30-minute talk focused on an accomplishment or a topic they're familiar with.
Hiring managers at Memphis do other things that help to make diversity an entrenched part of the process. They all ask one question, for example, when looking for a new hire: "What do we need our next person to bring that our team doesn’t already have?,” Pittman said.
Roizen said it's critical that more startups prioritize inclusion like Memphis Meats did — from the beginning — because not doing so can trap a company in a vicious cycle.
“If you suddenly wake up one day and you look around the room and it’s all guys, it’s much harder to back things in than to build that gender diversity from the beginning," Roizen said.
Memphis Meats' question about bringing in someone who can speak to a skill or attribute that the company doesn't already have hits this nail on the head. It emphasizes that what the company needs is not more of the same, but instead a variety of perspectives from a variety of backgrounds. The practice has paid off, Pittman said.
"We’ve seen plenty of data showing that companies that hire based on resumes and checkboxes end up with homogenous workforces," said Pittman. "Don’t get me wrong — great resumes and hard skills are requirements at Memphis Meats, but they’re the price of admission and not the focus of our hiring process."
|“Your most unhappy customers are your greatest source of learning.” -Bill Gates Cache Translate Page Web Page Cache||“Your most unhappy customers are your greatest source of learning.” -Bill Gates Ouch! If we take the emotion out of Bill’s quote we can see it for what it is, take down our masks, and have a conversation for the good of the whole. When we, as a #personalbrand or #corporatebrand, make a mistake no shame or guilt […]|
|Increase Your Productivity with the 5-Hour Rule, Used By The World's Most Successful People Cache Translate Page Web Page Cache||
Think of someone who epitomizes a successful career. Bill Gates? Oprah? Elon Musk? A healthy chunk of the names that come to mind are people who abide by one common principle: the five-hour rule. We're not saying this will make you the next Warren Buffett, but, hey, it's definitely the place to start.
|If You Are Born Poor It’s Not Your Mistake, But If You Die Poor It’s Your Mistake Cache Translate Page Web Page Cache||Bill Gates? Muriel Strode? Ella Wheeler Wilcox? Joey Adams? Apocryphal? Anonymous? Dear Quote Investigator: Bill Gates, the co-founder of Microsoft, is one of the richest people in the world. A provocative remark about poverty has been ascribed to him: If you are born poor it’s not your mistake but if you die poor it’s your … Continue reading If You Are Born Poor It’s Not Your Mistake, But If You Die Poor It’s Your Mistake|
|Mechanical Design Engineer - System One - Bellevue, WA Cache Translate Page Web Page Cache||Familiarity with FEA analysis – ANSYS, SW Simulation or ABACUS - is a plus. Our client, located in Bellevue, WA, has Bill Gates as the founder and Chairman of... $60.00 - $67.16 an hour|
From System One - Fri, 25 May 2018 14:05:47 GMT - View all Bellevue, WA jobs
|biography in hindi of bill gates Cache Translate Page Web Page Cache||
biography in hindi of bill gates
|The Richest People In History #Infographic Cache Translate Page Web Page Cache|
For most of recorded human history, in fact, the lines around wealth were quite blurred. Leaders like Augustus Caesar or Emperor Shenzong had absolute control of their empires – while bankers like Jakob Fogger and Cosimo de Medici were often found pulling the strings from behind.
|A Day May Come When Slate Fails to Post a Televised Performance of “John Jacob Jingleheimer Schmidt.” But It Is Not This Day! Cache Translate Page Web Page Cache|
Here at Slate we have two closely related but distinct missions. The first is to be the internet’s most trusted source of news and opinion when it comes to politics, business, technology, and the arts. The second—internally known as the “covert” or “unspeakable” mission—is to provide our readers video footage whenever someone performs the traditional children’s song “John Jacob Jingleheimer Schmidt” (or any variation thereof) on national television. Initially, this was a contractual obligation imposed by Bill Gates at Slate’s founding—in the 1990s, Gates had no interest in news organizations and an all-consuming interest in building what he called the “John Jacob Jingleheimer Schmidt Alert Service”—but over time, we have come to view our covert mission as an extension of, or even a pre-condition for, the more traditional journalistic work we do. Anyway, here’s Stephen Colbert briefly bursting into song:
NATO has already classified this as a Jingleheimer Level Orange incident, which obligates Slate, under various treaties we are forbidden to discuss, to immediately deploy the appropriate countermeasures. Unfortunately Colbert’s reckless act of John Jacob Jinglegression leaves us no choice but to respond with the Dave Howard Singers’ music video for “Yon Yonson.” May God have mercy on all of our souls:
A strange game. The only winning move is not to play.
|Οι Επιστήμονες το Επιβεβαίωσαν. Τελικά οι Αριστερόχειρες Έχουν το Χάρισμα! Cache Translate Page Web Page Cache||Για πολύ καιρό, οι αριστερόχειρες θεωρούνταν παράξενοι γιατί «όλοι» ήταν δεξιόχειρες. Οι αριστερόχειρες αποτελούν περίπου το 10% του πληθυσμού. Ωστόσο, εάν είστε αριστερόχειρας, αυτό θα μπορούσε να είναι πολύ καλό καθώς έρευνες δείχνουν πως οι αριστερόχειρες είναι πιο πιθανό να γίνουν ιδιοφυΐες. Πολλά γνωστά πρόσωπα είναι αριστερόχειρες όπως ο Barack Obama και ο Bill Gates. […]|
|Alex Jones: gigantes da tecnologia punem criador de teorias da conspiração Cache Translate Page Web Page Cache|
Cerca de 2,5 milhões de seguidores no Youtube; diversas páginas no Facebook — uma delas com 1,7 milhão de curtidas —; milhares de downloads no Google Play e na Apple Store: esses números representam apenas parte do público de Alex Jones, um dos braços da extrema-direita norte-americana que, no início desta semana, teve contas e conteúdos banidos por algumas das principais gigantes da tecnologia mundial.
Em meio ao debate sobre o papel das redes sociais na distribuição da desinformação, a Apple, o Youtube, o Facebook e o Spotify se posicionaram e apagaram ao menos parte do conteúdo produzido por Jones, um dos principais criadores e disseminadores de “fake news", as "notícias falsas".
Em comunicado, o Facebook anunciou nesta segunda-feira (6) a exclusão de quatro contas vinculadas a Jones, autor de teorias bizarras como a de que o show de Lady Gaga no Super Bowl teria sido um ritual satânico e de que as vítimas no tiroteio na escola primária de Sandy Hook eram atores mirins.
“Nós derrubamos as páginas por glorificarem a violência, o que viola a nossa política de violência gráfica, e por usarem uma linguagem desumanizada para descrever pessoas transexuais, muçulmanas e imigrantes, que viola nossas políticas contra discursos de ódio”, justifica a empresa. A conta pessoal de Jones está bloqueada por 30 dias e foram excluídas as páginas “Alex Jones”, “Alex Jones Channel”, “Infowars” e “Infowars Nightly News”. As duas últimas pertenciam ao seu principal portal de desinformação.
Na mesma linha, o Youtube já havia bloqueado o conspirador por 90 dias, mas ele continuou participando da rede ativamente ao usar contas de terceiros para transmitir vídeos ao vivo. Algumas horas após o anúncio do Facebook, a plataforma de vídeos também retirou o canal de Jones do ar, que tinha mais de um bilhão de visualizações. O Spotify, umas das plataformas onde o conspiracionista difundia seus podcasts, também excluiu completamente a conta de Jones.
A Apple, no entanto, retirou apenas alguns episódios do iTunes, mas o aplicativo do portal Infowars ainda está disponível na plataforma e têm crescido na lista de mais baixados desde o anúncio das proibições. Atualmente, ele é o terceiro aplicativo mais procurado na categoria de Notícias, apesar de divulgar desinformação. O Google também não retirou o app da sua loja virtual, mesmo que o Youtube, que é propriedade da empresa, tenha banido o principal canal de Jones.
Dessa forma, os conteúdos criticados por organizações de direitos humanos e por projetos de checagem de fatos ainda podem ser distribuídos por terceiros nas redes, mesmo que o alcance, teoricamente, seja reduzido pelas proibições. Além disso, o norte-americano também reforçou o uso do Twitter, onde tem uma conta com mais de 859 mil seguidores que permanece sem punições.
“Para muitos, Jones é uma piada de mal gosto”, escreveu a organização de advocacia Southern Poverty Law Center, que descreveu Jones como “quase certamente o mais prolífico teórico de conspiração da América contemporânea”. “Mas a triste realidade é que ele tem milhões de seguidores que ouvem seu programa de rádio, assistem os seus ‘documentários’ e leem os seus sites, e alguns deles, como o terrorista da maratona de Boston Tamerlan Tsarnaev, se utilizam da violência mortal.”
Aos 44 anos, Alex Jones é considerado pela organização de direitos humanos Liga Antidifamação “o mais influente criador de teorias da conspiração da direita nos Estados Unidos hoje”.
Tudo começou nos anos 1990, ao entrar em contato com os trabalhos de teóricos da conspiração como Gary Allen, defensor da teoria da Nova Ordem Mundial. Foi nesse contexto que Jones ganhou públicos nas rádios e, após ser demitido, criou o site InfoWars. A partir daí, sua lista de teorias bizarras apenas cresceu e nem mesmo personalidades tão distintas quanto Bill Gates e Lady Gaga foram poupadas.
Nos últimos dois anos, ele, que também acredita que o atentado de 11 de setembro teve o apoio do governo norte-americano, têm sido apontado como um dos principais articuladores da eleição de Donald Trump. Em dezembro de 2016, suas teorias falaciosas contra a campanha da candidata Hillary Clinton culminaram em uma tentativa de ataque armado em uma pizzaria de Washington que supostamente estava envolvida em uma rede de maltrato infantil. Tudo foi desmentido ao final do episódio.
Ironicamente, Trump, que conta com uma média de 5,6 declarações duvidosas por dia, participou de um dos programas de Jones e classificou a reputação do apresentador como “ótima”.
Curte o conteúdo da GALILEU? Tem mais de onde ele veio: baixe o app Globo Mais para ler reportagens exclusivas e ficar por dentro de todas as publicações da Editora Globo. Você também pode assinar a revista, a partir de R$ 4,90, e ter acesso às nossas edições.
|Lối sống giản dị, tích cực của CEO công ty công nghệ 1.000 tỷ USD đầu tiên trên thế giới: dậy làm việc từ 3 giờ sáng, mua đồ lót giảm giá, tập gym hàng ngày Cache Translate Page Web Page Cache|
CEO Apple, Tim Cook, hiện đã 57 tuổi và đang lãnh đạo công ty độc nhất trên thế giới có giá trị 1 nghìn tỷ USD. Apple cũng là công ty công nghệ đầu tiên trên thế giới đạt cột mốc này.
Thế nhưng, tài sản của Cook ít hơn nhiều so với CEO của các công ty khác có giá trị và doanh thu thấp hơn Apple. Cook hiện tại chỉ có trong tay khối tài sản 625 triệu USD, kém hơn rất nhiều so với mức hàng trăm, hàng chục tỷ của Jeff Bezos, Mark Zuckerberg, Larry Page...
Cook là con trai của một công nhân nhà máy đóng tàu và một dược sĩ. Ông tuyên bố rằng độc lực thúc đẩy ông làm việc không phải là tiền nong. Và những gì ông làm hay những nếp của ông đã chứng minh điều ấy.
Dưới đây là cách Tim Cook kiếm được số tiền hàng trăm triệu USD và cách ông ăn tiêu chúng:
Theo ước lượng năm 2017 của công ty Equilar, tài sản của Tim Cook rơi vào khoảng 625,37 triệu USD.
Số tài sản này chính yếu là cổ phiếu và cổ phần của Apple mà Cook nắm giữ, lên tới khoảng 622 triệu USD. ngoại giả, Cook còn có chân trong hội đồng quản trị của Nike, nơi ông nắm giữ số cổ phiếu trị giá khoảng 3,4 triệu USD.
Tài sản thực của Cook có thể cao hơn con số trên nhưng thông báo về bất động sản ông sở hữu, các khoản đầu tư ông thực hiện và tiền mặt ông có không được công khai.
Với 625 triệu USD, tài sản của Cook chẳng đáng gì so với các CEO công nghệ khác. Jeff Bezos, Bill Gates, Mark Zuckerberg và Larry Page có trong tay khối tài sản hàng trăm, hàng chục tỷ USD.
Và dù rằng là công ty có giá trị lớn nhất thế giới hiện tại nhưng Apple chỉ tạo ra độc nhất một tỷ phú. Người đó chính là Laurene Powell Jobs, vợ của đồng sáng lập, CEO kí vãng Steve Jobs.
Trong năm 2017, Cook nhận lương 3 triệu USD từ Apple. Mức lương này cao hơn nhiều so với con số 900.000 USD mà ông nhận trong năm 2011, năm trước tiên nhận chức CEO.
Cook dìm mình là người đồng tính vào năm 2014 và không kết hôn, không có con. Ông sống một cuộc sống đơn thân, khép kín và đây là cách ông tiêu pha số tài sản triệu USD của mình.
Dù là triệu phú USD với hơn nửa tỷ USD trong tay nhưng Cook khá tằn tiện. Ông mua đồ lót trong đợt giảm giá hàng năm của Nordstrom.
"Tôi luôn muốn nhớ về khởi hành điểm của mình và sống trong môi trường khiêm tốn giúp tôi làm điều đó", Cook nói. "tiền bạc không phải là động lực của tôi".
Theo thông báo từ năm 2012, Cook sống trong căn biệt thự rộng hơn 220 mét vuông trị giá 1,9 triệu USD ở Palo Alto. Đây là một căn nhà tương đối khiêm tốn trong khu vực Bay Area với giá nhà trung bình hiện tại ở mức 3,3 triệu USD.
Cook ở văn phòng trong phần nhiều thời gian một ngày, ông thức dậy từ 3 giờ 45 sáng để đọc sách báo và đáp email.
Vì các lý do công việc, Cook chuyển di khá nhiều. Năm ngoái, riêng hoài phi cơ cá nhân của Tim Cook cũng đã lên tới 93.109 USD.
Với các chuyến du lịch cá nhân chủ nghĩa, Cook thường chọn những địa điểm trong nước như Công viên Quốc gia Yosemite.
Trong một chuyến du lịch năm 2016, Cook đã đưa cháu trai của mình thi bang lai moto a2 tới thăm trọng tâm Giao dịch Chứng khoán New York.
Cook cũng rất tích cực tập dượt, ông rất thích tập thể dục, leo núi và đạp xe đạp.
Cook tới phòng tập gym vào lúc 5 giờ mỗi sáng nhưng không phải phòng tập gym của Apple để đảm bảo sự tây riêng.
Ngoài số tiền cho cháu trai học xong đại học, Cook nguyện hiến sờ soạng tài sản của mình cho từ thiện khi ông chết thật.
|Branchless banks and low data costs: Michael Jordaan, a man with social change on his agenda Cache Translate Page Web Page Cache||As the great Bill Gates once said “Banking is necessary, but banks are not”; Michael Jordaan echoes those same sentiments with regards to marketing. He believes marketing is important, but the way it functions and is structured in typical businesses is not. “Having marketing departments in-house isn’t sensible anymore when you can get the best people […]|
|Bill Gates, Warren Buffett, and Other Remarkably Successful Entrepreneurs on What They Would Do If They Had to Start Over Cache Translate Page Web Page Cache||Today, the average person may change jobs 10 to 15 times within their career. What would you do if you had the chance to start over? Or had to?|
|America for sale Cache Translate Page Web Page Cache|
Let's review some news from the first half of the week.
Monday: The trial of President Trump's former campaign chairman Paul Manafort revealed jaw-dropping crimes, and continues to do so. His key lieutenant in his former lobbying business, Rick Gates, testified that they committed multiple instances of bank and tax fraud together.
Also on Monday, The Associated Press reported that as part of a quasi-genocidal, U.S.-supported war in Yemen, Saudi Arabia is providing quiet assistance to al Qaeda, including funding, arming, and straight-up recruiting jihadis into their coalition. What's more, America was in on it: "Key participants in the pacts said the U.S. was aware of the arrangements and held off on any drone strikes."
Tuesday: Former business partners of Secretary of Commerce Wilbur Ross (who has been overtly profiting from his office) filed suit alleging he stole $123 million from the business he used to run. Later, ProPublica published an astounding report detailing how the Department of Veterans Affairs is being run by a cabal of Mar-a-Lago members, bizarrely including Marvel Entertainment CEO Ike Perlmutter, none of whom are public officials of any kind or even veterans.
Wednesday: Rep. Chris Collins (R-N.Y.) was arrested by the FBI for insider trading — which was allegedly so blatant reporters overheard him boasting about it in the Capitol itself. Meanwhile it turns out New York Gov. Andrew Cuomo (D) is turning his regulatory powers seemingly only on local news outlets that ask him tough questions.
This is modern American politics, folks: rotten to its very marrow. Corruption is eating the United States alive. As the Numidian King Jugurtha supposedly said of the Roman Republic: "Yonder lies a city put up for sale, and its days are numbered if it finds a buyer."
Let's walk through a few of the major sellers.
The foreign policy "Blob"
In Ben Rhodes' famous phrase, the "Blob" refers to the D.C. foreign policy establishment and its mystifying habit of constantly arguing for the use of military force, usually in the Middle East, and often before the charred pile of corpses from their last failed war of aggression have even stopped smoldering.
The Saudi example, which might seem like an outlier on the above list, is actually quite instructive in how money fuels the Blob. As John R. MacArthur wrote back in 2007, America had long tolerated the brutal and repressive Saudi monarchy — and sold it enormous quantities of weapons — in return for its toleration of American military hegemony and, more importantly, its oil sales. Cheap gas was regarded as necessary for the American way of life, and therefore we could look past just about anything.
Yet from about the 1980s onward, the Saudi alliance has made less and less sense. For one, oil-based energy has become a large and increasing liability for any possible conception of the American national interest. Climate change is a clear and present danger to American security — a fact broadly recognized even within the U.S. military. And with the rise of fracking technology starting around 2010, Saudi oil imports have become less and less necessary to maintain current supplies in any case. And now the Saudis are supporting literally al Qaeda. What gives?
The truth is that today, American foreign policy is to a great degree dictated by who can offer the largest bribes.
The Saudis have spent billions of dollars of their vast cash hoard hiring various well-connected lobbying firms with ties to both parties. This effort was dramatically scaled up last year, in concert with the rise of the new Saudi crown prince, Mohammed bin Salman. He ruthlessly consolidated his power in a sort of thinly-disguised palace coup in late 2017, eliminating most contenders for power while claiming to be simply rooting out corruption (somehow his $500 million personal yacht escaped notice). He then undertook some token liberal reforms, allowing women to drive, opening some movie theaters, and holding a couple of concerts. In the background, of course, violent repression of human rights activists continued or even accelerated.
Then bin Salman went on a grand tour of the United States, trying to sell his liberal reformer shtick.
The awesome rottenness of the American elite was well demonstrated by their response to this transparent fraud. A veritable parade of politicians, bigshot media figures, and various businessmen swallowed bin Salman's story hook, line, and sinker. It wasn't just President Trump and various other Republicans — though the president has been a loyal Saudi stooge ever since they put his face up on a fancy hotel — but also many centrists and liberals. Bin Salman got cordial meetings with Bill and Hillary Clinton, Mike Bloomberg, Bill Gates, Jeff Bezos, Elon Musk, and sundry other Big Tech CEOs. David Ignatius in The Washington Post, Thomas Friedman in The New York Times, and Jeffrey Goldberg in The Atlantic all gave him extensive and credulous coverage.
Of course, that is only one of many examples of the Blob's corruption. Qatar, Israel, Morocco, the U.A.E., Kazakhstan, and many other countries have purchased American influence or toleration by spreading money around Washington, D.C. Corrupt Investor-State Dispute Settlement trade deals have led the U.S. to sign away a huge chunk of its economic sovereignty to international corporations. Defense contractors create an enormous bias in favor of imperial aggression overseas, benefiting themselves while costing the nation as a whole trillions in war spending. And so on.
The Republican Party
The Trump administration is so saturated with corruption that it would take several books to describe it all in detail. Aside from Ross, there's Treasury Secretary Steven Mnuchin, former Health and Human Services Secretary Tom Price, and former EPA Administrator Scott Pruitt wildly abusing their powers of office for personal gain, including millions of dollars in government-funded flights. And Trump himself is directly using the presidency to enrich his vast business empire.
Then there is the recent Republican tax bill, which not only stuffed hundreds of billions of dollars directly into the Sarlacc maw of the top 1 percent as a direct payoff for campaign donations, but also personally benefited most members of Congress who voted for it. Sen. Bob Corker (R-Tenn.) seemingly got a personal kickback in the form of tax benefits for real estate (one of his major assets) for his vote.
But there is also Russiagate, the unfolding drama over the extent of the Trump campaign's admitted collaboration with Russian electoral espionage in 2016 (which is a crime) — and the possibility that Vladimir Putin has compromising information on the president.
Russia is the proximate main actor here. But at bottom, this is a story about American corruption. The Russians learned it's trivially easy to buy or suborn the American political establishment, particularly on the right, and perhaps even turn the vast power of the American state to their own devices. In a democracy, authority should be derived from the consent of the governed, but it turns out the Republican Party — in between purple-faced shrieks about defending the Constitution from liberal tyranny — will absolutely forsake the most elementary American political principles in a heartbeat for partisan advantage.
Russiagate is a story about a criminal-riddled presidential campaign that was positively eager to trade foreign policy favors for hacked oppo research from a foreign power; a story of a political party leadership that laughed over the idea behind closed doors and successfully intimidated the incumbent government from discussing the story fully; and a story of a party electorate that has fed on bilious hatred for liberals and nutball conspiracy theories for so long they have completely lost sight of basic democratic values.
The Democratic Party
Before Democrats get too self-righteous about Trump and his cronies, let's consider the Great Recession and the ensuing weak recovery, which has left the United States something like $3 trillion below the 1945-2007 growth trend (and fueled the rise of right-wing extremism around the globe). As Frank Rich writes, we are still living today with the devastating consequence of this crisis — an economic anchor chain that has inaugurated an age of anxiety, hopelessness, and despair.
Now, Republicans refusing any kind of stimulus or investment package after they took the House in 2010 — indeed, actually demanding economy-crushing austerity — is one major culprit here.
But there were three gigantic and totally avoidable policy disasters committed by Democrats and the Obama administration when they had big congressional majorities in 2009-10, which helped lock in our current economy of weak growth, stagnant wages, and enormous corporate profits. The first was lowballing the Recovery Act stimulus package, and making it about one-third tax cuts in a moronic attempt to get Republican votes. To be fair, that was mainly an error of political judgment.
But the second two disasters were more or less straight-up corruption.
First was failing to use the tremendous leverage granted by the bank bailout to help the American citizenry. Remember, at this time the government owned multiple important financial institutions, like the world's largest insurer AIG. For years, the rest of the financial system was utterly dependent on government assistance (especially a hodgepodge of Federal Reserve programs that jammed trillions in credit into the financial system). But instead of using that leverage to, say, force the largest banks to break themselves up, or accept an aggressive financial reform package (instead of the milquetoast one they actually passed), or some other reform, the Obama administration just sold those companies back into the private market as soon as they possibly could. They didn't even prevent AIG employees from paying themselves outrageous bonuses after their epic management failure required a $184 billion bailout.
The third disaster was even worse: the foreclosure crisis. A big part of the bank bailout granted sweeping powers to help struggling homeowners caught in the financial storm. But the Obama administration used its homeowner assistance program to help the banks even more, by simply slowing the rate of foreclosures — to "foam the runway" for the banks, in then-Treasury Secretary Tim Geithner's infamous phrase. From 2010-11, it probably enabled foreclosures on net rather than stopping them.
And then, when it came to light that these foreclosures had been conducted mostly with forged papers, and the banks had whole floors of entry-level employees committing document fraud hundreds of times per day, Obama did not seize the opportunity to force them to help homeowners, as suggested by then-FDIC chief Sheila Bair. Instead this administration pushed through a wrist-slap fine whose headline figure was heavily inflated by including mortgage relief that would have been illegal to collect anyway. In the midst of perhaps the worst corporate crime spree in a century, the rate of white-collar prosecutions fell steadily to less than two-thirds of what it had been in the early Bush II years:
The foreclosure machine grinds on to this day, forgeries and all.
The banks were restored to health (and enormous profitability), while homeowners were left to drown. The result was that between 2007 and 2016, the average wealth of the bottom 99 percent decreased by $4,500, while the average wealth of the top 1 percent increased by $4.9 million.
This undoubtedly sharply worsened the Democrats' political carnage in the 2010 midterms. So why on Earth did they bend over backward to help the people who had caused the worst economic crisis in 80 years?
By far the most convincing answer can be found in the post-administration careers of key Obama officials. Former Federal Reserve Chairman Ben Bernanke (a Republican, but reappointed by Obama) is working for a hedge fund. Geithner is working for the absolutely odious private equity firm Warburg Pincus which makes its money by, among other things, tricking poor people into taking hugely high-interest loans.
Former chief of the Department of Justice's Criminal Division Lanny Breuer (who was instrumental in quashing proposed bank prosecutions) is back at law firm Covington & Burling, which specializes in corporate defense. So is former Attorney General Eric Holder (who testified before a congressional committee that banks had become too big to prosecute) — and they even held his office open for him while he was in public service, how nice. Other former Obama staffers are cashing out shilling for defense contractors, Uber, or Amazon. And Obama himself is giving buckraking speeches to financial firms for $400,000 a pop.
Now, Democratic Party corruption is not so blatant or egregious as the Republican variety. It tends to be more about cultural and social capture (and the associated head-spinning doublethink) than it is about sacks of cash being exchanged in a cynical quid pro quo. But at bottom, it is simply impossible to avoid drawing a straight line between Democrats failing to rein in a Black Death-level plague of corporate crime and later falling into the warm and lucrative embrace of that same corporate elite.
One way to summarize the various severe problems afflicting American society is that the government is barely even pretending to function on behalf of the voting public anymore. Part of that is ideological. But another large and growing part is corruption. Today's American elite by and large line their own pockets, or those of their ruling class cohort, instead of attempting to serve virtuously as representatives of the citizenry and the nation. It's an age of moral bankruptcy.
A country simply can't survive this level of corruption forever. The results in terms of citizen welfare speak for themselves. As the Ottoman Empire or Ancien Régime France discovered long ago, a nation which cannot clean up a thoroughly corrupt self-dealing elite will eventually fail. America needs fresh, virtuous leaders, and a great many people need to go to jail.
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Originally posted on: http://geekswithblogs.net/archive/2008/01/07/bill-gates-last-day-video.aspx
|The Case for Introverts Cache Translate Page Web Page Cache||A recent piece in the Washington Post by a UPenn prof asserts that the admissions policies of the ivy league schools misguidedly favor extroverted kids:
That preference for the outgoing, the gregarious and the talkative is at the heart of the case against Harvard by Asian Americans, but the author wants to make a larger point - that there's "zero evidence" for the proposition that leadership and ability are linked to extroversion. Some of the best leaders - he cites Charles Schwab and Bill Gates - are introverts, who "govern by example rather than charisma, by listening rather than talking."
It was interesting to hear that case made. In an earlier era these extroverted types - sometimes stigmatized as "organization men" or the "other-directed" - were not so universally admired. There's room for all types, of course, and there is more fluidity among types than is commonly recognized. Still, I trust that at the U of C the introverted still hold the place of honor.|
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