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Would you like me to give you a formula for success? It’s quite simple, really. Double your rate of failure. You are thinking of failure as the enemy of success. But it isn’t at all. You can be discouraged by failure or you can learn from it, so go ahead and make mistakes. Make all you can. Because remember that’s where you will find success.

–Thomas J. Watson, (1874-1956), former President of IBM, one of the richest men of his time and called the world’s greatest salesman when he died in 1956

when a writer’s education on a topic consists in interviewing an expert, he is apt to offer generalizations that are banal, obtuse or flat wrong.

Steven Pinker on Malcolm Gladwell

We are in a fairly advanced stage of economic mutual interdependence. I think the Chinese can pull the rug out from under our economy only if they want to pull the rug out from under themselves…I think it is neither of our interests to see that unravel. If we can find ways to manage our differences and cooperate where we can, we both win. If not, we both lose.

Kenneth Lieberthal, a China specialist with the Brookings Institution

We are really put in a corner. China will not take any irrational action. We don’t want to hurt you — because if we hurt you, we hurt ourselves first. It’s a kind of synergy.

Yu Yongding, an economist with the Chinese Academy of Social Sciences

They’re in the dollar trap. There’s no easy way out of it.

Nicholas Lardy

China is a big customer for U.S. debt, but it is not America’s banker. Nor is the United States dependent on China to finance its budget deficits.

Steven Dunaway, CFR

Look for the stories about Lou Dobbs’s departure from CNN to say that he was controversial figure. No doubt he is. But that’s not really the main point about Mr. Dobbs. The main point is that he has a long history of not telling the truth.

David Leonhardt

“Fantastic Mr. Fox” is rated PG (Parental guidance suggested). It has danger, sorrow and an awareness of mortality.

NYT

Sometimes what looks bad on the surface is actually quite good and I think that’s the case this time around. Exports are growing strongly and imports are turning up because domestic spending has turned the corner.

Sal Guatieri, a senior economist at BMO Capital Markets in Toronto, on the 18% rise in the US trade deficit to $36b, the highest since January

There is real tension surrounding the free versus pay debate. It will play out in the next two years. We believe that the value of high quality content is not recognised online [by giving its away for free] so something needs to happen. I don’t believe the media industry can continue to exist in this way….The traffic which comes in from Google brings a consumer who more often than not read one article and then leaves the site. That is the least valuable of traffic to us… the economic impact [of not having content indexed by Google] is not as great as you might think. You can survive without it….We will lead. There is a pent up need for this. There has to be a resolution for the free versus pay debate otherwise we cannot afford to pay for things like news bureaus in Kabul.

Jonathan Miller, Chief Digital Officer, News Corp, at the Monaco Media Forum on Friday, 13 November, 2009

The foreclosure problem is still with us and will keep prices down. The real issue is we don’t know what inventory banks are holding that they have yet to put on the market.

Stephen Miller, chairman of the economics department at the University of Nevada at Las Vegas

The fundamental forces driving foreclosure activity in this housing downturn — high-risk mortgages, negative equity, and unemployment — continue to loom over any nascent recovery. We continue to see foreclosure activity levels that are substantially higher than a year ago in most states.

James Saccacio, chief executive officer of RealtyTrac, in a release, which was selected from his statement and quoted in Bloomberg. The release was titled, “Foreclosure Activity Slows for Third Straight Month,” and Saccacio began his quote with: “Three consecutive monthly declines is unprecedented for our report, and on first blush an indication that the foreclosure tide may be turning.”

  • The top three states by foreclosure-rate, California, Nevada and Florida, accounted for almost half of the 330k foreclosures in October.
  • The top five exceeded half of all foreclosures in October, including Arizona and Idaho
  • The top ten exceeded 65% of all foreclosures in October, including Illinois, Michigan, Georgia, Maryland, and Utah.
  • And the top twenty exceeded 80%, belying the 80/20 rule

To control the reference sources that people use is to control the way people comprehend the world. Wikipedia may have a benign, even trivial face, but underneath may lie a more sinister and subtle threat to freedom of thought.

Martin Cohen, who would go on to say, “If anyone disagrees with the Wikipedian consensus, their edits are “reverted” and they can be banned – “indefinitely”.” These comments illustrate his underlying frustration with what really matters for Wikipedia: “not your sources but the ‘support of the community’.”

Christie inherits a state that’s in arguably the worst financial condition in its 233- year history. Last year’s $7 billion shortfall, closed with stimulus dollars and tax hikes, has resurfaced at an even larger $8 billion for 2010. Residents face crippling property taxes (an average of $7,000 per capita), high income and sales taxes, $45 billion in debt and the net loss of 400,000 people since 2000.

Eileen Norcross: NY Post. She contends that the Property Tax Relief Fund (PTRF) and unfunded municipal mandates are to blame.

So far, 15,918 New Jerseyans have reached the county boards or the state tax court — nearing the record of 16,300 set in 1992, said Lynne Allsop, court executive with the state’s Tax Court Management Office in Trenton.

NJ Star Ledger

During a revaluation, emotions run high. It’s simply a redistribution. There are always people who go down. There are always people who go up.

Rick Del Guercio Jr. of Appraisal Systems Inc

The longer you go, the worse it gets. This is really good. They’re on top of things. Everyone’s paying attention. … This whole last 10 years have been a learning curve for everybody.

Joan Durkin, Essex County’s tax administrator, on the pledge by Maplewood to conduct another assessment in 2011, after 10 years. Victor DeLuca, Mayor of Maplewood, remarked, “Isn’t that ironic? Back in the hot seat again. We did say we’d do it every ten years.”

The Speculations of Mr. Spectator

  • the Folly of him who lets his Fancy place him in distance Scenes untroubled and uninterrupted, is preferable to that of him forcing a Belief... 12 years ago
  • Books...are the Presents to Posterity of those who are yet unborn.... 12 years ago
  • the World is a Copy or a Transcript of those Ideas which are in the Mind of the first Being...those Ideas...are a Transcript of the World... 12 years ago
  • 'The Time was when all the honest Whore-masters in the Neighborhood would have rose against the Cuckolds to my Rescue' -letter... 12 years ago
  • a father, who having arrived at great Riches by his own Industry, took delight in nothing but his Money... 12 years ago
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