January 11th, 2008

Advice to graduating seniors.

Yesterday I mentioned to dpolicar my advice to graduating seniors:

"You can do anything you want with your life. Yes, anything. I mean, you can even graduate and go rob banks if you want to. Just remember that there are consequences.

(If you do decide to rob banks, I strongly suggest you do it in the time-honored way of becoming the CEO and looting the thing from inside. It's a long-term strategy, but it has the advantage of being legal.)"

(As a matter of fact, I seem to remember saying this almost verbatim, to emilymorgan a couple of years ago.)

Today comes the latest example of what I mean. From http://bigpicture.typepad.com/comments/2008/01/mozilo-payday.html:
Nothing like a combination of reckless lending standards, aggressive stupidity and irresponsible behavior being rewarded.

For pushing no doc, no money down loans, emphasizing the sub-prime market, oh, and dumping $414 million of Countrywide shares before the stock tanked 85%, Countrywide Financial CEO Angelo Mozilo stands to get a severance package valued at more than $110 million, according to this LA Times blog (http://latimesblogs.latimes.com/laland/2008/01/mozilo-severanc.html).

Forget SEC investigations and shareholder lawsuits -- where are the townspeople with pitchforks and torches?

I guess after building up Countrywide over 40 years, he gets some sort of a pass. I don't understand why . . .
Nice payoff, even if it did take him 40 years. Sure pays better than sticking up bank branches.

Edit: Mozilo joins such illustrious ex-bankers as Stanley O'Neal of Merrill Lynch ($161.5 million) and Charles Prince of Citicorp ($94 million) who "resigned" in the 4th quarter of 2007. (sources: http://money.cnn.com/galleries/2007/fortune/0712/gallery.101_dumbest.fortune/5.html and http://www.nytimes.com/2007/11/03/business/03bank.html)
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No Pants 2k8, Saturday, January 12 (tomorrow)

From http://www.improveverywhere.com/2007/12/29/no-pants-2k8-in-your-city/:
This year, we’re encouraging folks to organize No Pants Subway Rides in their home towns. If you’ve got a subway system, or some form of mass transportation (bus? trolley?) then get involved on our Facebook group and organize your own ride.

The key here is for someone to step forward and take on the responsibility of being a leader in each town. Agent Sablich took the reigns in Boston and started an event for it and now has over 110 people confirmed to attend! If you want to be the leader for your town’s ride, create a Facebook event and email it to us so we can promote it on this page.

So far there are 10 regional events planned for Saturday, January 12. Here are there Facebook event pages:
New York
Washington DC
Portland, OR
San Francisco
Adelaide, Australia(!)
Baltimore, MD
Salt Lake City

UPDATE: For those without Facebook, I’ve posted all of the information on the regional events below and will continue to update this page as information comes in.

New York: Details on ImprovEverywhere.com
Boston: 3:00 PM, Sharp! Location: Meet at ALEWIFE STATION, Indoors. You can park there ($5) or take the subway out to Alewife, but we will be meeting just before the platform, downstairs, in the large open area. If you are coming from the parking garage, you will have to purchase your subway ticket and go through the turnstiles first, and you will see us. (MAP) Bring: A backpack and a charliecard/cash.
Washington DC: 4:00pm - Location: Dupont Circle fountain.
San Francisco: 3:00pm - Location: across the street from Embarcadero station
Portland, OR: 4:30 PM - Location: at the park by Lloyd Center MAX stop
Chicago: 2:00 PM - Location: Granville CTA Red Line Stop at Granville and Magnolia
Adelaide, Australia: 12:00 PM - Location: Train/Tram leaving city
Toronto, Canada: 3:00 PM - Location Bloor Street Boxing at 2295 Dundas Street West (meet there and then walk to the train.)
Baltimore, MD: 3:00 PM - Location: Near the Lexington Market Subway / Light Rail Stop (SW Corner of Howard & Saratoga)
Salt Lake City: 3:00 PM - Location: We will be meeting at the Delta Center Station (301 W. South Temple). We will meet near the water fountain of the Triad Center, on the corner of 300 W and South Temple.
I'd give serious thought to participating if I weren't sick. But I am, so I'm merely posting this as a public service.
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