Tuesday, February 28, 2006

links for 2006-03-01

Monday, February 27, 2006

links for 2006-02-28

links for 2006-02-28

A9 "Instant" Reward

Hmm, I've been faithfully searching on A9.com every single day and it looks like they've permanently turned off my 1.57% discount!!

I wonder why that is?? Supposedly this is how you qualify:
"You can save an additional 1.57% (π/2%) on virtually all your purchases at Amazon.com by simply becoming a regular user of A9.com. Once you join and use A9.com for a few days you will automatically be eligible for the A9 Instant Reward...

While we are not revealing the exact criteria, they are minimal. If this is your first time at A9.com, you will be eligible after a few days of use. If you are already eligible, as little as a few searches a week will keep you eligible. (We reserve the rights to change the eligibility criteria at any time.) The total number of searches is not important; your eligibility depends on your regular use of A9.com."

Sigh, perhaps I should just go back to Google. I just prefer the interface more.

Okay, I just went back to the sign-up page and it says I need to "enroll" in the program. Even though I enrolled months ago and have had the discount before, I need to re-enroll??? Isn't that odd?

I'm going to try this for a week, otherwise, it's back to Google!

P.S. Not to be critical or anything, but I noticed that Amazon gave out a bunch of free subscriptions to Amazon Prime in November. I got one, my friends got offers and a lot of bloggers mentioned it, too. Well on Amazon's most recent earnings conference call, they noted how subscribers to Amazon Prime have really risen! Well, duh, if you are giving it away for free, of course it will rise! How many of those new subs are paying subscribers?! Isn't it a bit disingenuous of them to not mention they *gave* away subscriptions on their call or highlight how the service is so popular?

Thursday, February 23, 2006

links for 2006-02-24

Wednesday, February 22, 2006

links for 2006-02-23

Spam Karma 2 Implementation

I have been getting a *ton* of track-back spam and comment spam lately, and I finally noticed that my Spam Karma wasn't updating its blacklist!

Luckily, the unknown genius has released Spam Karma 2 -- which was just finalized a week ago. I just installed it and I hope I don't get any more advertisements for boob implants or anti-wrinkle treatment. Yes, I know I'm getting old, but stop sending me annoying spam!!!

Hopefully this new thing will work.

Tuesday, February 21, 2006

links for 2006-02-22

Thursday, February 16, 2006

links for 2006-02-17

Monday, February 13, 2006

links for 2006-02-14

Friday, February 10, 2006

links for 2006-02-11

Thursday, February 9, 2006

links for 2006-02-10

Wednesday, February 8, 2006

links for 2006-02-09

Tuesday, February 7, 2006

links for 2006-02-08

Monday, February 6, 2006

links for 2006-02-07

Hedge Funds and Private Equity

Interview with Jeremy Grantharm, investment strategist at Grantham Mayo Van Otterloo [Barron's]. Grantharm is founder and investment strategist of a fund that manages $115bn fo institutions and wealthy individuals. What does he think about hedge funds and private equity?

"What are your thoughts on the big push into hedge funds and private equity?

It is much more complicated when you get to private equity and hedge funds, because these are not really asset classes. These are just a repackaging of existing asset classes, which for hedge funds include commodities and bonds and the kitchen sink.

Private equity is a subset of public equity; it is all interrelated. When do you go public? You go public when IPOs [initial public offerings] are hot. When is that? When the stock market is hot and so on. They are very closely aligned.

What happens there when you push a lot of money out? It flows through to very liquid asset classes, so it doesn't drive the asset class that much, but you are pulling money out of U.S. equities and pushing money into private equity in the U.S. That doesn't change a whole lot. What it does is create a huge business environment for the private-equity and hedge-fund managers, and it allows them to charge very handsome fees and it increases competition. It draws in huge quantities of talent that our money-management industry never saw 20 years ago.

Money management was a real backwater 30 years ago to an amazing degree, and now it's not. The hottest shots used to get snapped up by Goldman Sachs, now Goldman Sachs is bidding with hot-shot hedge funds and often losing.

This has become the best daydream for any graduating MBA, and it might be better than a daydream. In many cases, it gives MBAs the best real shot at making an inevitable fortune in five years, and a lot of fortunes will be made. But the bad news is that it is not just a competition between hedge-fund managers, and that will make it tougher for everybody. Dreary and conservative long-only managers will find it tougher to make money."

Thursday, February 2, 2006

links for 2006-02-03

Wednesday, February 1, 2006

links for 2006-02-02