Political meetup in Provo

I updated my Financial Crisis Reading List today with two must read books: Republic, Lost: How Money Corrupts Congress and a Plan to Stop It by Lawrence Lessig. (http://amzn.to/IbaKyL) Throw Them All Out by Peter Schweitzer. (http://amzn.to/HLOVu8) A week or so ago, I had lunch with someone who has read almost everything on my reading list. My first question was, “are you depressed?” We quickly turned the discussion to, “what can be done about the corruption of...
Read More

Who is looking at your profile on LinkedIn?

Who is looking at your profile on LinkedIn? If you are in the job market, or are an entrepreneur building a new company, or if you create value through business development partnerships, there is a feature on LinkedIn that you should probably know about. It’s pretty powerful and could lead you to explore opportunities that you otherwise wouldn’t have considered. But it might also seem a little spooky, as it did to me earlier today....
Read More

Tim Draper keynote at OnDC ’09–“Land of the free, home of the brave”

How free are we? The government spends 40% of what we make. We spend more for our average prisoner than for an average student. Going through the airports, almost every time I get the probe. Some construction permits take more than 6 years. How brave are we? There are more lawyers per worker than any other country. More bureaucrats per worker than any other country. Average salary for a public worker is higher than for...
Read More

Liveblogging OnDC — David Boaz, EVP Cato Institute

Entrepreneurism and free markets work. Johann Norberg from Sweden at Cato institute says entrepreneur is a hero. A hero makes the world better for people. That’s what entrepreneurs need. They need freedom to create and freedom for consumers to choose. There are obstacles to that. Corruption is the biggest obstacle in many countries. Because we eliminated more obstacles than anyone else, we led the world in prosperity. For my lifetime, half the world was free,...
Read More

Liveblogging: AlwaysOn: Tapping the Trillions

Moderator: Michael Zolandz, Partner, Sonnenschein Owen Barwell, Deputy CFO, Dept. of Energy; Christine Tezak, Senior Analyst, Energy & Environmental Policy Research, Robert W. Baird & Co; Wes Coulum, Exec. Dir Gov’t Relations, Morgan Stanley. Owen. Out of our $24-25 billion budget, most of our money doesn’t go to what is reported in the press today. We spend around $9 billion as stewards of nations nuclear stockpile. $6 billion cleaning up from cold war activities. $4-5...
Read More

Liveblogging: OnDC panel, Entrepreneurs March on Washington

Moderator: Bill Schnoor, Goodwin Procter. Panelists: Henrik Fisker, CEO Fisker Automotive; Jonathan Wolfson, CEO of Solazyme; Wes Bolsen, CMO of Coskata; Andrew Perlman, GreatPoint Energy. Coskata has raised $40 million in funding. Fisker has raised nearly $200 million in equity. Solazyme and GreatPoint Energy have also raised capital. Solazyme does algae fuel. Fisker: some ventures need government support because they require hundreds of millions of upfront capital. We applied for the federal loan so we...
Read More

Perfect Score on Pew News IQ Quiz — Whew!

via pewresearch.org In addition to my day job, trying to build FamilyLink.com into a technology company that helps families connect online, I’m spending more and more time studying politics, history, and economics. (My college major was originally political science, until I switched to Russian.) I search in the Congressional Record often and watch CSPAN regularly. I’ve purchased about 30 books (mostly on my Kindle) on the derivatives industry, the great depression, the Federal Reserve, history,...
Read More

Marriner Eccles and Franklin D. Roosevelt

via flickr.com This is getting fun! I now have pictures on my blog! My blog traffic has declined a lot in the past couple of years. I used to have thousands of readers back when I posted articles every week on internet marketing and entrepreneurship. But my consistency wore off and my readership waned. I heard recently (I think it was at the CrunchUp in Redwood City) that blog posts with images get like 3...
Read More

Solve Nation’s Problems with Citizen 20% Time

Google is the most innovative company in the world, in large part because they hire smart people who get things done, and they give their engineers 20% time to work on any project they want. Google has found a powerful way to unleash creativity to solve incredible technical problems. I wonder what would happen if enough Americans did the same thing — devoted 20% of their work week — to finding solutions to our nations...
Read More

Becoming Informed

I'm having a hard time sleeping lately. I keep waking up at 3 am or 4 am feeling compelled to investigate the root causes of the national and global financial crisis we are experiencing. I don't have a lot of time, because I'm also running a startup company, but I have to carve out some time if I want to be part of the solution as we try to fix our government and our country, and get it back on track. I've got to become better informed.

I have several books now on derivatives trading, and I have come to believe they truly are "financial weapons of mass destruction" as Warren Buffett called them in 2003. I think unbridled use of OTC derivatives is the primary cause of the worldwide economic melt-down. The Wikipedia article on derivatives is a good starting point.