In Defense of CNBC

| March 30, 2009

I’m a little tired of Jon Stewart’s CNBC-bashing. It’s hard to feel sorry for Jim Cramer, but enough already. He’s an entertainer who happens to have a financial background. For many, he makes the world of investing accessible, a little less arcane, and I think that’s a good thing. Following his advice? Well, caveat emptor.

Should We Hate the Rich?

| March 30, 2009

Yes, we should hate the Ponzi-scheming, bonus-binging, financial-engineering, value-destroying, tax-evading rich. The Madoffs, Stanfords, Kosloskis, Ebberses and Skillings of the world, who created their wealth and all-too-lavish lifestyles by perpetrating fraud and stealing from others rightfully should be detested. We should hate the Wall Street bonus-grabbers, and we should question the shadowy world of huge hedge funds and private equity wealth. But we should not tar all the rich with the same brush.

The American Dream Is Alive, Damn It

| March 25, 2009

Don’t get me wrong—I know that people are hurting financially. It’s devastating that our 401(k)s have lost half their value. It hurts to see the unemployment numbers growing. I get it—uncertainty is unpleasant. But the only certainty in life is, well, uncertainty. Let’s drop the doom-mongering and do something productive. The three most important words in America are Go To Work. This may be the perfect time to build your own company—your own American dream. It may be the perfect time to reassess your life and your profession. At the very minimum, use this time to assess your talents, skills, and passions. Take Maya Angelou’s wise advice: “Pursue the things you love doing, and then do them so well that people can’t take their eyes off you.” I think you’ll see the American Dream in all its vivid colors.

The Rich Live Longer, Too. How Unfair Is That?

| March 24, 2009

Healthy, wealthy, wise: Studies say the rich are smarter than the poor when it comes to taking care of themselves. They don’t smoke; they are proactive in managing their health; they take their prescription medications properly. And they live longer as a result. But will economic stress narrow that gap? And more important, how can the rich and intelligent help to spread their good health and longevity down the socioeconomic chain? Thoughts?