Saturday, January 26, 2008

What? A Day Without Work?

Seriously here folks... what is this? A Saturday without work? That cannot be true.
Well what did I do with myself? Easy question.
Sleep. Sleep. Woke up with Rachel Ray... I mean isn't that any foodie's dream? To wake up to a cute woman cooking in the kitchen? (I kidd folks) So after sleeping and watching some Food Network, I decided that I must cook for the Super Bowl next weekend.
So for tomorrow, there is an orange tequila chicken in the refridgerator. It should be tasty.
Tonight, I made a chili from scratch. It isn't bad. A little on the sweet side, but the kick hits you at the end...
Not the world's most exciting post. But, perhaps I will have something interesting to write a little later on.

Thursday, January 24, 2008

This Falls Under The "NO $HIT" Category

From Reuters:

LONDON - Work really can kill you, according to a study on Wednesday providing the strongest evidence yet of how on-the-job stress raises the risk of heart disease by disrupting the body's internal systems.

The findings from a long-running study involving more than 10,000 British civil servants also suggest stress-induced biological changes may play a more direct role than previously thought, said Tarani Chandola, an epidemiologist at University College London.

"This is the first large-scale population study looking at the effects of stress measured from everyday working life on heart disease," said Chandola, who led the study. "One of the problems is people have been skeptical whether work stress really affects a person biologically."

Heart disease is the world's leading cause of death. It is caused by fatty deposits that harden and block arteries, high blood pressure which damages blood vessels, and other factors.

The researchers measured stress among the civil servants by asking questions about their job demands such as how much control they had at work, how often they took breaks, and how pressed for time they were during the day.

The team conducted seven surveys over a 12-year period and found chronically stressed workers — people determined to be under severe pressure in the first two of the surveys — had a 68 percent higher risk of developing heart disease.

The link was strongest among people under 50, Chandola said.

"This study adds to the evidence that the work stress-coronary heart disease association is causal in nature," the researchers wrote in the European Heart Journal.

Behavior and biological changes likely explain why stress at work causes heart disease, Chandola said. For one, stressed workers eat unhealthy food, smoke, drink and skip exercise — all behaviors linked to heart disease.

In the study, stressed workers also had lowered heart rate variability — a sign of a poorly-functioning weak heart — and higher-than-normal levels of cortisol, a "stress" hormone that provides a burst of energy for a fight-or-flight response.

Too much cortisol circulating in the blood stream can damage blood vessels and the heart, Chandola said.

"If you are constantly stressed out these biological stress systems become abnormal," Chandola said.

No Kidding... Ok, truth be told I didn't do more than briefly scan this and post. However.. any analyst should know that "work can kill you." First off, there are rumors of analysts dying, or passing out in client meetings and being taken away to the hospital. Por ejemplo (you like that use of Spanglish there dontcha), the rumor of the Lazard analyst who died. Well, while these rumors all float about, I did live with a Lazard analyst who would spend weeks away from the apartment, coming home but for a shower and clean clothes. I know a former BoA Securities analyst who had to take two months off for ulcers. And, I have met a plethora of other analysts who are physically impacted by their tenure in the cube. As for myself, while I do not work 100 hour weeks (70-80) or suffer the general insane stress of The Street, I still do find myself in contempt of my current state of athletic being. Bottom line - high finance is not good for the body unless you have the body of superman or you are rocking out at the top of the game where you are a BSD and have all the time in the world to exercise and be healthy and fit. This game is not for the weak of heart or those lacking fortitude and grace under pressure.

Now, you all may be wondering why I am posting at this hour:
1) I'm an analyst.. this is not even close to bed time
2) This damn pitch is making me sick... I just cannot believe how I have had to rewrite the entire damn thing. (gag motion)

To bed in an hour? Yes? Maybe?

Wednesday, January 23, 2008


I must offer a sincere and most heart-felt congratuations to my dear friend on his engagement. Yes, I knew this was coming all along, but it is indeed a most joyous occasion. While I am sad he will be moving out in a matter of months to settle down with his (soon-to-be) wonderful bride, I could not be happier. I shall miss the deep and intellectual conversation, along with the drinking and joking moments. I will be making many a trip to the 'burbs once this happens to spend quality time with him and the wife.

But this isn't about my "loss", no, this is about his gain. He has a wonderful woman. She is radient, loving, sweet, and hard-nosed when she has to be. Fantastic qualities and I truly believe this is a great match. I am proud to have them both as friends and look forward to the wedding.

Congratulations my Intellectual Arbitrageur. You deserve it.

Wednesday, January 2, 2008

A New Year

I cannot believe that a new year is already under way.

New year, new goals, new dreams, new aspirations.

I am not usually one for all of that junk, however this year will be most certainly new.

Now, onwards to more important things.
There is much to write and much has happened since my last post. However, I will stick with a recent insight. I just wish I knew how to share it. I can't think of the right words.
(I'll get back to this in a bit)

Another subject.
I am definitely not one who has much if any tolerance for the populists and the populist movement. As far as I am concerned, these people have little insight, little logic and little foresight for future events and consequences. Populism is merely a tool which capitalizes on people's fears and on current, inflamed passions. Arguments made by populists often lack substance, rather using these inflamed passions to fuel their arguments. For example - Lou Dobbs. All he does is ride the wave of public opinion about economics, Wall Street, immigration, etc. He adds nothing to the argument. He merely repeats what people what to hear in a slightly more verbose and arrogant manner. Sad, but true. The same can be said for almost all of the commentators. Navarrette, etc. They all, for the most part, waffle, refuse to take solid stands and play to popular opinion (and race bait / play the race card). Look, I believe in the value of the opinion of the common man. I am not an elitist. However, with many issues such as immigration, finances, personal finances, mortgage crisis, etc., your Joe Schmo opinions lack reason, tact, and fact-based, rational analysis. j
However, for a brief moment, no matter how much I dislike these individuals playing to public opinion (although, who are we kidding, all they are doing is what politicians do) and refuse to call what they write "journalism", Mr. Navarrette made an excellent point today -
For the record, I'm glad that Arizona is bearing down on employers. It's nice to see government pick on someone its own size for a change. Besides, I can't wait to see what happens when Arizonans realize that the same folks who built all those resorts, restaurants, and houses are no longer around to maintain them.
Of course, there is always the chance that Americans -- especially those in their teens and 20s -- will step in and fill the void by leaving their air-conditioned homes, video games, and $3 coffees and going to work in 110-degree weather.
But whom are we kidding? That's just more wishful thinking.

Sad to say it, but he is right. As much as the majority of people want to crack down on illegal immigration, these same people lack the courage to tell their lazy ass kids to get out of the damn house. The current 16-30 age demographic is, for the most part, lazy as all f*cking hell. They spend at least 2x what they earn, demand outrageous benefits compared to what they add in value, have no stomach for actual work and sacrifice, and have mooching tendencies off of parents / relatives. Here is what I think - your degree from a state school (or even worse off - from an expensive Ivy League or Liberal Arts school) in anthropology, sociology, women's studies, etc. entitles you to NOTHING. Sorry folks... an easy degree in a subject where the only real path is academia... your fault for picking it. Heaven forbid if you were some lame basket weaving major. My specialized degree entitled me to nothing. However, it served a purpose to position me for a career. I then went out and earned every single thing I have, own, etc. I believe in education, in learning, but I also believe that if you are going to pursue subject matter that does not have immediate payoff potential, you sure as hell better back it up with something that will secure your future. A degree entitles you to NOTHING; AT ALL; WHATSOEVER. You need to EARN it for yourself through hard hard work and sacrifice.
Even more importantly, parents (for the most part) need to shove these slackers out the door. I understand if you are under 25, living at home and saving and planning for the future. But, if the kid is 25+, no ambition, no aspiration, no goals and no foresight - cut his lazy ass off; throw him out the door; and make his sorry ass work. Why? Because at that point, as much as he looks down his nose at hard labor, at minimum wage work, etc. he is less deserving of those jobs than potential illegals holding them. So, if we are really serious about enforcing our immigration laws and booting the current ones out - PUT THE LAZY, SLACKING 16-30 DEMOGRAPHIC TO WORK NOW. Make them build houses, cut lawns and flip burgers. A dose of reality will do them and this country far better than the coddling they receive. And if they fall on their faces and have ridiculous amounts of debt? So be it. Let them suffer and fail... then they can become adults. Because, after being in the world for 2 years now... I worry about the maturity of many adults 28+ who are having families and still have no grasp on reality or maturity. As for failure. If you are flipping burgers and think you can have a nice apartment, used BMW and dress in Juicy and have Coach bags... you deserve to crash and burn. Tough love folks.. tough love.

And the bottom line, when you go to work in the professional world - that company owes you jack$hit. You work for them. Your job is to make them money and add to their bottom line. Just because you waltz in the door means nothing. They owe you nothing until you have worked your ass off and produced for them. Stop worrying about your bennies package and start worrying about to make the company better so that many down the road, something nice comes your way. You work for them, not the other way around.

I would start to launch about how lazy HS kids have become, but will save for another time.