We’re getting to crunch time on moving the blog!

I just finished the book, Blogging All in One for Dummies. I got it on Monday and finished it tonight. It answered most of the questions I had about moving the blog. So, I will go ahead. Tomorrow, I will buy the new domain name and once I receive it, I will buy an online service to host my blog for a year in advance.  Once this is done, I will buy the theme I have picked out and I have decided to pay a little extra (thirty dollars) and have them set up the principal elements of the web site for me.

I’d like the prototype up and running by Saturday morning, so I can begin setting it up.

I’m still on schedule for a September 1st start.

James Pilant

5 Most Costly Lies in Finance (via Kathy Kristof at CBS Money Watch)

Kathy Kristof
I am not always kind to Ms. Kristof. I find her writing fluffy with topics better associated with one of those women’s magazines like “Seven Better Ways to Make Your Man Appreciate You.”

Nevertheless I like this one and she has a done a service by hitting the golden oldies in business lies. I teach college and am often surprised how few of my students understand the most basic lies, cons and fallacious offers in the business world.

Here’s an excerpt. –

Unfortunately this confusing Wall Street-speak could put you in in a fog when approaching financial transactions. And that can make you vulnerable to people who would like to trick you out of your money. When salesmen and con artists see that your normal radar for bad advice, toxic investments and outright scams is getting nothing but fog (the potential result of all the hot air on Wall Street), they ramp up clever lies to separate you from your cash.

I recommend you go to CBS and read the five lies. You might say something nice about Ms. Kristof while you are there.

James Pilant

Steven Mintz Responds To My Post – $250,000 And Poor

Steven Mintz
Steven Mintz also known as The Ethics Sage commented on my earlier post about a Internet publication’s post about the difficulty of living on a quarter of a million a year.

James, I agree with your sentiments. The divide between rich and poor with a growing middle class is expanding rapidly. I wouldn’t classify all billionaires as greedy. The pursuit of self-interest is always a factor and often at the cost of others as too often occurs in corporations. There are, however, a few good people that either use their money to better society, improve our educational system, help those who can’t help themselves, and even fight world hunger and illiteracy. We know of Warren Buffet and Bill Gates in the business world who have started foundations for these purposes. They seem to be trying to do the right thing. The jury is still out on Mark Zuckerberg, founder of Facebook, who has pledged to donate a significant amount of his money. Oprah Winfrey comes to mind and her charitable efforts as well as using personal gravitas to improve conditions around the world. Perhaps we can include someone like Angelina Jolie who seems genuinely concerned about the unfortunate circumstances of way too many people in other countries. That said, you are absolutely right that the fabric of our nation has changed and not for the better. The middle class get squeezed more and more. The sad part is nothing has be done, even with the financial crisis, to address these issues and I fear nothing will be done because of the influence and desire of those with the billions to continue the trend and the willingness of our Congressional leaders, many of whom are already wealthy (or hope to be so after leaving office)to support the obsessively rich because they hope to join their ranks some day.

I recommend you add The Ethics Sage to your favorites.

James Pilant

The Second Great Depression?

In The Business Insider, The Money Game, there is a series of charts comparing the stock market numbers from 1929 crash and the 2008 market disaster. There are a good number of other charts, graphs and numbers demonstrating similarities between our situation and that of the 1930’s.

I have pointed out repeatedly to my classes of Business Law Students that the 1929 stock crash did not immediately result in the Great Depression. It was a spiral downwards that culminated in 1933. There were stock market rallies from time to time but the numbers never reached the previous rally high. That’s what I watch for. We started at around 14,000 in 2007. We dropped at the worst of the crisis to above 7,000 and then rallied back to around 10,000. If we continue to cycle down (if the crisis continues), we will fall to some disastrous number but never make it back to 10,000, and then we will fall again and rally and never make it back and so on. I am in no way confident that there is a sustainable recovery. Our government has never in any way fixed the problems in our banking system. I hope that we all do well and prosper but those individuals who have the power to defend the nation against disaster have failed in their duty and little more than luck defends us from another or a continuing financial disaster.

James Alan Pilant

Business Ethics Blogs, Who I Follow

I currently follow the postings on the following blogs:

Chris MacDonald – The Business Ethics Blog

Lauren Bloom’s Blog

Gael O’Brien The Week in Ethics

Jonathon Tasini Working Life

Karen Fraser  Ethical Reputations

Julian Friedland Business Ethics Memo

Robert A. G. Monks

Jeffrey Seglin The Right Thing

Jeffrey Pfeffer Rational Rants

Richard Eskow Night Light

Karl Stephan Engineering Ethics Blog

Shel Horowitz Principled Profit

David Gebler Blog: Business Ethics