Entries Tagged 'Economics and Investing' ↓

Snakes in Suits – When Psychopaths Go To Work – a book review

Snakes in Suits – When Psychopaths Go To Work (by Paul Babiak and Robert D. Hare 2006)

Snakes in Suits

Once upon a time, I was employed to run a department within a non-profit organization funded by grants.

The other department heads along with the director often worked away from our office.

Moreover, the director lived in a far away town. He only came into work two times a week and slept overnight in the building. He needed an Administrative Assistant to take over day-to-day operations, and quickly.

I was on the hiring committee along with another department head. My job was to check out applicant references.

When “Cynthia” was being considered, I reported to my boss, “They liked her, but they all said they didn’t work directly with her. That’s a red flag, you know.” He grunted and said nothing.

Charmed by this tall elegant-looking woman, he and the other department head hired her. She became the bane of my life, not only my life but the lives of all of the other employees.

The director gave Cynthia unlimited power over purchasing as well as day-to-day operations. Starting with an expensive silver pitcher on her desk Cynthia spent money like water…

Within a couple of weeks, Cynthia took the organization’s credit card and went to Europe for a month, claiming she couldn’t come back because she had picked up a disease that’s only found in tropical areas of the world. Continue reading →

Bannon Is Gone – Or Is He?

On January 19th of this year, two days after the inauguration, among a small group of friends, I was talking about what was going on the in US. One of these friends was an immigrant who had fled to to America to escape a regime of terror that took the lives of her family members.

When I asked how she’d dealt with what was going on, she replied that she chose to not have a TV. We discussed American TV news, and I decided to refrain from watching news stations, including CSPAN for the week.

However, as a sports fan, I wasn’t about to give up watching games. Or for that matter travel shows or movies on TV.

So there I was on Direct TV late at night flipping through the channel guide in the under-100’s among our local stations to see what might be on.

There on PBS channel 32, KMPA, was a listing for “Classic Movies, Short Films”. I pushed the button to check what was playing—and found myself saying, “What the heck?”

The show opened with a small bunch of protesters trying to force their way into a small room full of people. A second later here were three guys in a room sitting around a table.

One tall thin older white guy on the left of the screen was clearly the moderator of the discussion. He seemed to be a Democrat.

The other two on the right were a youg short white guy and a young fat white guy, both in white shirts. One young guy was a libertarian; the other a conservative Republican.

They were discussing the topic that concerned me most this year—the repeal of Obamacare without an equivalent or better replacement. So I broke my vow not to watch news.

And then I noticed the banner across the bottom of the screen

“RT Left Wing Members of the Tea Party”

Mouth agape, I watched the same kind of media discussion that we’ve all watched on MSNBC, FOX and CNN, etc. But I was now looking at the Russian-government-financed TV station called RT (Russian Television). Continue reading →

Trump’s Axe Beats Abe Lincoln’s

Donald Trump has managed to make not only the media, but the vast majority of other Americans turn back into teenagers again.

Remember when we were at the age when we began to obsess about what our peers were doing and why? Passing notes or texting in class with BFFs about this boy or that girl? Or about our teachers? Self-absorbed and other-absorbed while the rest of the world didn’t matter.

I’m fascinated with the addictive way many of us are reacting, either for or against Donald Trump. This weekend the violence that erupted in the South seems to have usurped every other thing going on the world.

In a recent post, “Divided They Fall – Right Wing Regulation,” I discussed how Trump’s actions and those of his right-hand man Steve Bannon were at odds with each other. Now Trump’s even at odds with his own base!

There are all kinds of conflicts going on, inside the White House, in Congress, between Congress and the White House, inside the media, and now, even in the streets. What’s amazing is that these splinterings all seem to be stemming from one individual – President Donald Trump.

How could one person create such chaos and bitter division? What kind of person is capable of that? Continue reading →