Monday, June 10, 2013

Random Notes from a Crank

Of all the analysis out there about the Cubs' drafting of Kris Bryant with the second overall pick in the MLB draft, Tim Huwe's post on the selection of Bryant on Bleed Cubbie Blue provides solid points. 

In a recent issue of Harper's, I read about the accounting firm Ernst & Young's "Fraud Triangle Analytics" software that looks at emails in corporate settings to find possible wrongdoing. Here are some words and phrases that raise red flags in their system:
  • gray area
  • facilitation fee
  • offshore
  • adjust invoices
  • hush money
  • friend fee
  • massage earnings
  • want no part of this
  • Everyone does it
  • too stupid to figure it out
  • tired of this
  • It's immaterial
  • play ball
  • sweetener
  • Don't worry about it
  • I don't get paid enough

In the same May issue in the regular "The Anti-Economist" column, Jeff Madrick provides some commentary that fits with my point of view:
  • The reverence in which Americans of all political persuasion seem to hold Reagan today is absurd. As president, he created a phony -- if romantic --picture of America's past, a schoolboy's fiction of a country forged by individualism. From this fiction came the dream that we could return to an earlier moral order in which citizens were supposedly freer. Of course, America was in part built by both individualists, but it was also built by government investment in canals and railroads, in public water and urban sanitation systems, in highways, scientific research, free K-12 education, college subsidies, and a legal system that encouraged competition while protecting private property. If Reagan brought Americans optimism, it was optimism based on false hopes and misleading facts.
  • If Obama must use Reagan as a guide[,] it should be as a guide to what not to do.

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