The Government of the United States

I have heard many US Americans complain about the Government here and its flaws. I dare you to read this post, if by the end of it, you can draw me an organization chart of the Government I am about to compare the US Government to, I shall owe you a home-cooked South Asian meal.

This article relates to a current event. Click Here to follow these developments.

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Dwight Howard’s Top 10 Career Dunks

Does achieving goals mean success?

As the swim season comes to a close after six months of intense training and meets, it is time to evaluate our success. Success in swimming can be measured on a variety of levels: the number of meets won, the number of individual best times, the number of people that qualified for NCAA’s, the number of records broken, etc. Though each a sufficient method, evaluating success based on team and individual goals is an easy way that encompasses many of the fore stated quantitative results as well as other non-measurable aspects of the sport.

At the start of each season the women’s team captains arrange a meeting in which we discuss our aspirations and objectives for the season. Continue reading

When the wind blows, the house of cards will fall

Regulators say Mr. Madoff himself estimated that $50 billion in personal and institutional wealth from around the world was gone……

Even though Enron was a legitimate business, its finances were all a scam. Many of its financial workarounds were legal, but all had the intention to make assets appear on the balance sheet or debt to disappear off the books. When Enron finally crashed in December 2001, the world was shocked that such a large corporation could fail so quickly. A house of cards can only get so big before a gust wind blows it over. Just like Enron, Bernie Madoff was managing a $50 billion house of cards that fell down hard and fast.

As many who have watched the news over the past months know, Bernie Madoff ran his own investment firm or scam, whatever you would like to call it. Called a Ponzi scheme (after an immigrant con man named Charles Ponzi who ran a similar scam in 1919) , Madoff took money from investors all over the world and promised a fixed return, in some cases as high as 20%. Continue reading

Enron’s Population

The population of Enron was unrivaled—and maybe that was the problem. That probably doesn’t make much sense, so let me explain.

From a population perspective or organizational analysis, for any given actor, whether ant or multinational corporation, the most relevant occupants of the environment are other actors of the same kind (Scott and Davis). Populations can share habits, interests, even company structure. Similar populations offer the most direct competition for a scarce resource and therefore provide the main source of competitive pressure. Who were the other organizations in Enron’s “population” as it created and expanded Enron Energy Services (EES) and its broadband business? A well organized, experienced, patient utility companies in one case, and nobody (from what I understand) in the second case.

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Mensalao – a product of Loose Coupling?

Mensalao- the term became a familiar one in Brazilian politics after the 2005 scandal when a congressman told the newspaper about a scheme of monthly payments to congressmen of two political parties in the amount of fifteen thousand dollars, to vote in favor of what the “Workers Party” brought to the floor.

After reading about Enron and how their upper management manipulated every investment to self-benefit them, and how they were using these non-existing companies to turn liability in equity, I remembered this scandal that was the subject of many economic newspapers. Congressmen were using money coming from ‘ghost’ companies, or companies that they owned to buy votes and manipulate decisions made at the Congress level.

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Preventing Human Nature

While reading about the debacle and collapse of Enron, I find myself constantly drawing connections between the largest bankruptcy in U.S history, and the pending doom faced by our nation’s banks. Before the U.S began to expirience an economic downturn, both Enron, and our nations banking powerhouses, such as Citigroup, both strongly resisted government regulation. Instead, companies perfered a free market without government rules and regulations. Enron, and other companies during the late 90’s, stressed the importance of free market trading and deregulation, because quite simply, thats how the big bucks are made, and to Enron, thats all that really mattered. Although free markets create massive amounts of wealth, as we saw with Enron (and now our nations banking system), thay can also create huge problems. Continue reading