March 15th, 2012

Godzilla, default

The Soviet War in Afghanistan and its curious legacy:

As the USA's evidently considering a withdrawal in Afghanistan, I think it's worth bringing up something curious about the start of the Afghan Civil War: namely that the first ten years of that war were concurrent with a Soviet invasion that was perhaps the longest war in Soviet history, and which did much to create the 1991 collapse.

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Your thoughts? Why do you think that globally the Soviet war in Afghanistan has become a great blank spot in the world's memory? I'll have a related post on a similar, contemporary war tomorrow.

Ex goldman sachs director burns bridges, states the obvious

TODAY is my last day at Goldman Sachs. After almost 12 years at the firm — first as a summer intern while at Stanford, then in New York for 10 years, and now in London — I believe I have worked here long enough to understand the trajectory of its culture, its people and its identity. And I can honestly say that the environment now is as toxic and destructive as I have ever seen it.

It doesn't help that there is momentum on the right to denounce the crisis as caused by 'too much regulation', when from the horse's own mouth you hear the opposite.

It makes me ill how callously people talk about ripping their clients off.Over the last 12 months I have seen five different managing directors refer to their own clients as “muppets,” sometimes over internal e-mail. Even after the S.E.C., Fabulous Fab, Abacus, God’s work, Carl Levin, Vampire Squids? No humility? I mean, come on. Integrity? It is eroding. I don’t know of any illegal behavior, but will people push the envelope and pitch lucrative and complicated products to clients even if they are not the simplest investments or the ones most directly aligned with the client’s goals? Absolutely. Every day, in fact.

It's apparent at this point that damage mitigation we conducted in 2008/9 was not enough. We need to make these people more accountable and protect investors and consumers. What can we do to stop these corrupt business practices? Is it even possible anymore, in this political climate, to reform our banking system?

The important thing to note is this isn't really about some specific culture at Goldman Sachs- it's about capitalism itself, taken to its extreme it's nothing but exploitation.


New Generation of Russians

Hey, I can see loots of talks about the elections in the US.

And, we - in Russia- have just got done with the Presidential Elections.
you know the results.

But what's going to be the consequences - allow me to share couple of opinions.

1. A short Manifesto of modern urban Russian middle-class
(hey, we're less than 5% of total population - who owuld ever listen to us here?
No wonder we're that much focused on building personal and professional connections with the West)

OK, here it is:
We're, young smart, talented, educated generation of Russa, are suffocating today in non-humanous political and economical environment.
We are the generation of professionals who never steal and cheat.
We're educated in that way - cheating and stealing are the thinhgs that lay lower than our cultural level and the sense of self-respect.

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2. An article in "The Guardian"

this is an interview of Yevgeny Chichvarkin - Russian ex-businessman.

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Well, what do you think? Seriously.

OK. Trolls are also welcome - add some excitement to this post.
Слушам и не вярвам на очите си!
  • htpcl

Tarator in UNESCO!? As easy as shelling peas...

Greetings, my fellow gluttons health-obsessed folks! A certain sense of national pride has whiffed into our poor Balkan souls in the recent days, one coming from the imposing headquarters of UNESCO in Paris. Wohow, turns out we happen to have some strong lobby over there, eh? Just three blocks away from the Eiffel tower, right in the middle of the world capital of gluttony, a new scroll is being written for the coming generations: UNESCO's List of Intangible Cultural Heritage. That is, of things that only exist in the minds of people and that are passed from mouth to ear.

The reason for all this hubbub? Those Euros have finally acknowledged the awesomeness of some of the most typical Bulgarian meals: "Tarator", to begin with. This poor man's version of the Milk Salad (another East European invention) will join a few other delights and make it into the list.

You already know the exercise - first play this for atmosphere.

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