Thursday, March 26, 2009

A Little Of The Old In And Out

In: Secretary of State Hillary Clinton. Clinton, standing down Kim Jong "Pass the Henny" il -- who, unfortunately, will probably fire that rocket -- and having a tough dialogue with Mexico is the "Iron Lady" that these times require. An alum of the East Wing of the White House and the Senate Armed Services Committee has given Clinton a sophisticated understanding of both soft and hard power -- she called her philosophy on the cusp of her confirmation "smart power."

And if there is any merit to the rumors of an intramural-intracabinet feud between Madame Secretary and the rhetorically Tim Geithner over whose portfolio should Chinese Trade relations include, let us say for the record that we would rather Clinton handle Beijing (The Corsair sips a peppery cognac). Geithner's gaffe, which dipped the dollar, would never have happened under the disciplined Hillary's watch.

Let Geithner focus with laser-like precision on the American economy. And let Hillary Clinton, and, of course, President Barack Obama, handle US-China trade relations.

Out: Money Managers. The conventional wisdom of money managers was once that they were Wise Old Men -- they were often men -- who understood the arcana of investing. Less so now, after Madoff. We are all now upping our Financial IQ's -- our "FQs" -- in this economic crisis. From Bloomberg:

"U.S. Securities and Exchange Commission Chairman Mary Schapiro said she will impose new rules on money managers to safeguard client holdings after Bernard Madoff’s $65 billion fraud shattered investor confidence.

"The SEC will propose that all investment advisers who have custody of customer assets undergo annual audits that are 'unannounced,' Schapiro told members of the Senate Banking Committee today. Money managers may also be subject to compliance audits by professional examiners to make sure they are adhering to securities laws, she said.

"'For our markets to be fair and efficient and to operate in the best interests of investors, those who control access to our capital markets must be competent, financially capable and honest,' Schapiro said."

(image via howard-stern-radio)

In: Howard Stern. Stern, who will attend David Lynch's pro-meditation "Change Begins Within" concert next week, has proven irreplaceable on terrestrial radio, according to David Hinkley of the NYDailyNews:

"Radio hosting is a fluid business in which most hosts, to be blunt, are considered replaceable.

"But a few are not. While a thousand people read news on the radio, no one will replace Paul Harvey, who died last month.

"Similarly, the arrival of the new top-40 station '92.3 Now' is in a sense final proof that no one has figured out how to replace Howard Stern and what he did over 20 years on terrestrial radio.

"Stern's on Sirius XM satellite radio these days, in the fourth year of a five-year deal. He says he loves it, though he's less in the daily conversation. He also says he doesn't know what he'll do when his contract expires. It's safe to say he can do pretty much whatever he wants - and that too reflects how much he accomplished on 'regular' radio."

According to the article, Stern generated upwards of 75% of the revenue for his New York station. Since his leaving for satellite they replaced him with David Lee Roth and Opie and Anthony, both shows were cancelled.

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