Archive for the ‘Uncategorized’ Category

The crooks at Citi

Published under Uncategorized Mar 11, 2011

Is it just me or is it totally unethical for a bank to charge you $3 to just see your balance on their ATM – particularly when their ATM offers you at multiple points to see your balance before or after withdrawing money but never tells you it will charge you an additional and separate $3 just to see that balance?!

image

I happen to have caught this in my bank statement but couldn’t believe it. So last night I went by the Citi bank ATM again and paid attention and indeed they try multiple times to get you to see your balance but never once explain they’ll charge you $3 separately and additionally for this silly service. Not sure if other ATMs do this but I bet the overwhelming majority of consumers have no idea of this abuse.

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Quote of the week: Michael Porter

Published under Uncategorized Nov 13, 2009

“Strategy is what you don’t do.”

- Michael Porter, as quoted by Drew Gilpin Faust (Harvard’s President)
in NYT art.

Sent from my iPhone – pardon typos
.

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Too close for wisdom

Published under Uncategorized Aug 21, 2009

The Chinese symbol for Danger is composed of crisis plus opportunity.

Westerners love this beautiful insight.

Yet when you ask a Chinese person if they know it, they all know how
to write danger, and when asked, they all know what each of the
components mean, but most have never stopped to think of the wisdom
and inherent lesson contained therein.

Some times we are too close to things to notice.

Sent from my iPhone – pardon typos
.

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Quote of the week: hiring values

Published under Uncategorized May 11, 2009

“When you hire someone, you look for brains, energy and integrity,
and if they don’t have the third, integrity, you better watch out,
because the first two will kill you.”

- Warren Buffett, as told by Robert A. Iger, who also added
‘curiosity’ as a valuable trait (NYT 5/3/09, B2)

Sent from my iPhone – pardon typos
.

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Government changes every 2-4-8 years in democracies. In dictatorships,
it changes every two to four (or even eight) decades.

Sent from my iPhone – pardon typos
.

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Some Palestinian intellectuals understand a one state pursuit is not
feasible or advisable bc Israelis will never accept it and bc it
doesn’t even address the core Pal aspirations (ie refugee rights,
Palestinian national symbols/Statehood). Yet they nevertheless find it
useful to advocate it as a tactic to scare Israelis into moving
towards a two state solution.

But the danger with this tactic is twofold. First, Palestinian
citizens will be sold on this grand unachievable take-all vision,
feeding into absolutist impossibilites that people have been sold by
their pandering leadership (on both sides) for far too long. This is
precisely the opposite of what we need: to say to both sides what
needs to be said: peace will not come without necessary compromises.

Second, this plays straight into Israeli suspicions about Palestinian
intentions to reject Israel’s right to exist as the sole homeland of
the Jewish people.

Palestinians who still cling to this phased approach – and Israelis
who feel they can continue the occupation and ‘manage the conflict’ –
need to bear in mind the Gaza tragedy. So long as one side cannot live
with security and freedom, the other side will also face tragic
consequences.

Peace, security, freedom, respect and dignity CAN come to all, and
only to all, people in the region.

Sent from my iPhone – pardon typos
.

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Taxi ride with Suleiman

Published under Uncategorized Nov 07, 2008

On a ride to the airport around 5am, my taxi driver was listening to
melodic Muslim morning prayers. I wanted to see how he related to the
elections campaign, where much was made about whether Obama “is a
Muslim” or “an Arab.” He is not, but why should that have been seen as
such a threat? And how do Muslims relate to the way pundits and
politicians treated a religion or ethnicity with such suspicion?

How does an average devout Muslim immigrant from Egypt see it?

I asked him open-ended questions so as not to bias him, and his first
reply was:

“well, you see he just selected a Jew”

He was referring, disapprovingly, to Obama’s selection of Rham Emanuel
as his incoming Chief of Staff.

We have a long way to go – across all communities – to reach post-
racial politics that acknowledge our shared fate and responsibility to
tackle the big challenges that our globe will be facing.

Sent from my iPhone – pardon typos
.

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You only learn who has been swimming naked when the tide goes out – and what we are witnessing at some of our largest financial
institutions is an ugly sight."

- Warren Buffett

Sent from my iPhone – pardon typos

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How Refreshing

Published under Uncategorized Sep 16, 2008

Having dinner at Candle 79, the waitress introduced herself by asking
if we’d like to start the evening with ‘some filtered tap water.’

She won us over.

That this felt unusual is a sign of how ridiculous our world gas
gotten. NY restaurants nowadays make big profits from selling you
bottled water, even though Ny tap is as good as any, and far more
environmentally sound.

Sent from my iPhone – pardon typos
.

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Hillary and Fox’s Twilight Zone

Published under Uncategorized Aug 27, 2008

After Senator Clinton gave an extraordinary speech at the DNC, hitting
every chord in endorsing Senator Obama for President, I flipped
channels between the different news stations to listen to reactions to
what to me qualified as mastery.

CNN & MSNBC seemed in agreement this was an epochal, historic speech.
But it was striking to hear the interpretations that the FOX team was
ascribing to her speech. Bill Kristol led by claiming it was an almost
shockingly minimalist endorsement that reflected her lack of trust in
Obama. Everyone followed like a chorus of propaganda you’d expect to
hear from Saddam Hussein’s military attache, or from Soviet or Chinese
officials disconnected from independent thought. Did we listen to the
same speech?

I wondered if I had lost the nuance. So today I listened to the entire
speech again. It was even better than I imagined. It was warm, it was
selfless, it was sincere and passionate in its strong endorsement of
Obama.

As an independent, I am often struck at how partisan extremists lose
sight of reality and see things the way they want to. This was a prime
example.

Sent from my iPhone – pardon typos
.

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