Independent in All Things, Neutral in Nothing

Archive for the ‘Investing’ Category

Investing Illusions and Delusions

leave a comment »

The latest issue of my company’s newsletter, Chiefist Positions, went out today. In it, we examine “investing illusions and delusions,” through the lens of two powerful and outstanding books:

  • Thinking, Fast and Slow, by Daniel Kahneman
  • The Halo Effect, by Phil Rosenzweig

You can find Kahneman’s book on Amazon or in most bookstores. You can find Rosenzweig’s book in used bookstores, Amazon marketplace,, or With shipping, it will cost you about $6, which will be the best $6 you spend all year. Get them both, and read them.


Written by Russell S.

January 12, 2012 at 2:28 pm

“Exorbitant Privilege:” The Future of the US Dollar

with 2 comments

Michael Crittenden and Barry Eichengreen had a fascinating debate over the future of the US dollar in last week’s edition of the Wall Street JournalCrittenden avers that the dollar, despite talk to the contrary, will remain the global reserve currency because nothing presents itself as a legitimate alternative to the dollar at this point.  However, the US will experience diminishing returns for the status of the dollar.  On the contrary, Eichengreen posits that the US dollar will lose its global reserve status due to long-term deficits and competition from China’s renminbi and the Euro. Read the rest of this entry »

Karnani on CSR

leave a comment »

Aneel Karnani writes in today’s Wall Street Journal on corporate social responsibility (CSR). Excellent piece.

Written by Russell S.

August 23, 2010 at 5:01 pm

GE’s Financial Situation

leave a comment »

Now The Economist examines Secretary Paulson’s conversation with Jeffrey Immelt in September 2008.

Written by Russell S.

February 10, 2010 at 8:32 pm

Credit Unions Act Like Lottery to Drive Savings

leave a comment »

A friend sent this article to me about some Michigan credit unions which have begun a creative savings program. The article also contains some startling statistics about saving practices among low-income individuals. Many of them believe that playing the lottery “is the most practical way” to save. As another way to look at it, many of these low-income people do not pay income tax (on a net basis), but they contribute to state finances through the lottery.  This cancels out the tax benefit they receive; they de facto pay taxes. If they simply paid taxes, and the states did not run a lottery, I wonder, would state tax receipts decline?

Written by Russell S.

February 10, 2010 at 7:04 pm

Posted in Economics, Investing

Tagged with , ,

Immelt on GE’s Financial Situation

with 2 comments

If General Electric CEO Jeffrey Immelt did, in fact, act as Henry Paulson’s book alleges, he and the company could face some uncomfortable discussions with regulators and in court. I have stated on this blog before that Mr. Immelt has enjoyed more than eight years to prove he can succeed as chief executive. He has done little good for GE, either financially or in the public’s perception. At what point does he recognize this, or does the board decide a change makes sense? (Full disclosure: I am a GE shareholder.)

Written by Russell S.

February 7, 2010 at 9:57 pm

Revised: About Capitolism

leave a comment »

I have revised the About page, to more fully explain what Capitolism is, er, about. I have elucidated upon the goals of Capitolism and the issues in view. As I mentioned in a previous post, I am in the process of drafting a strategic plan for Capitolism in 2010, and will share that on the blog when I complete the plan.

About Capitolism:

Capitolism addresses, explores and focuses on issues concerning business, trade, leadership, management, economics and small business. Issues at the intersection of these topics will attract Capitolism’s particular interest. In probing these matters, Capitolism will rely on lessons from philosophy, history, literature, current events, great speeches, newspapers, magazines, sports, academia, science, theology, military history, poetry and the authors’ own experiences, as appropriate. The aims of Capitolism are threefold:

1. To explore challenging and even subterranean issues pertaining to business, economics and leadership

2. To offer a hopefully interesting and unique perspective on these issues to readers

3. To create a venue for wide-ranging, thoughtful, penetrating discussion on these issues

You, the reader, will judge how well or poorly Capitolism achieves these aims. We encourage your comments, whether you agree, disagree or violently disagree with our writings.

Written by Russell S.

February 6, 2010 at 5:20 pm