Wednesday, February 06, 2013


I had to make a sudden trip, I just arrived in Cyprus, I'm in a fix and I need your help. Can I get a loan of $2500? You 'll have it as soon as I get home next week. I lost my cell phone and my bank card, I can't access the atm as planned. I 'll appreciate what you can give if not all. It 's really urgent, please get back to me asap, I 'll advise on how to send it.
Steve Peterson.

Wednesday, October 28, 2009

A Snowy Day in Denver

It is October 28th and we are having a sizable snow event in Denver.

Wednesday, August 10, 2005

Carnival of the Capitalists

This week's Carnival of the Capitalists comes from View From A Height.

Friday, August 05, 2005

Summer Time

Like many who blog, I have found it pretty hard to sit in front of a computer in a hot little room and write this summer. As I wander around my favorite blog sights, this appears to be a common malady. During this time of year, I really don't want to think much about politics. Having grown up in Chicago I have no shortage of friends and family that are a little bit farther to the left than myself politically. This week we have had the opportunity to visit and share some time with one of my sisters and her family. One discussion this week brought me back to the omnipresent Ms. Clinton.

Over the years my sister, much like myself has become an increasingly conservative person, but my brother-in-law, who has worked in the television news industry all of his adult life has not. As we discussed the pros and cons of Hillary, my sister had one simple question for her husband, which never was answered. "You really won't be able to vote for her, will you?"

This brings me to my own question. Before last year's Iowa Caucus Howard Dean looked unstoppable within the democratic party, but when the time came to stop talking and start voting, real democrats could not pull the lever for Dr. Dean. One has to wonder if Ms. Clinton isn't destine for the same fate. As my sister and my wife put it, could we ever feel safe?

The Carnival of the Capitalists

The latest edition of The Carnival of the Capitalists can be found at Michael Cage Small Business Systems. Next week, you will find it at Colorado blogger View From A Height.

The Carnival Of Education: Week 26

Summer vacation is almost over, the back to school supplies have been bought and its once again time to think about school. The latest edition of the The Carnival Of Education can be found here.

Monday, July 25, 2005

The Carnival of the Capitalists

The Carnival of the Capitalists is up and running this week at Political Calculations. Rocky Mountain Alliance blogger Joshua, at A View From a Height, has a posting linked this week entitled "How Not to Diversify."

Friday, July 08, 2005

Found My Way Back

I finally found my way back from Cozumel this week. Although I haven't seen a newspaper, news show or news wire for the past two weeks its comforting to know that nothing has really changed.

The Democrats are still talking filibuster.

Lance Armstrong is still wearing the Yellow Jersey in France.

The Rockies are still in last place.

And, of course, al Qaeda is still killing the innocent.

I believe one English gentleman I heard yesterday probably summed up the typical British reaction to yesterday's attach quite well when he asked the following question of al Qaeda.

"Is this the best you can do?"

Does al Qaeda believe they created terror or resolve yesterday?

I would bet on resolve.

Monday, June 20, 2005

25 Years and Going Strong

Twenty five years ago tomorrow my beautiful bride and I joined on our odyssey. Happy anniversary sweetheart! Nothing could be better! So its off to Cozumel for two weeks.

Maybe you will hear from us and maybe you won't.

Maybe we will remember to come back and maybe we won't.

Only time will tell!

Thursday, June 16, 2005

Internal Control Failures

Add the SEC to the list of entities that failed their internal control obligations this past year. At the same time that William Donaladson was resigning his position as Chairman of the SEC, he had also just received this report regarding his own accounting and internal control practices from the GAO. It seems that justice has its own irony sometimes.

The GAO reports that for the fiscal year ended September 30, 2004 the SEC's financial data was presented fairly in all material respects. The report then goes on to state:

"However, because of material internal control weaknesses in the areas of recording and reporting disgorgements and penalties, preparing financial statements and related disclosures, and information security, in GAO's opinion, SEC did not maintain effective internal control over financial reporting as of September 30, 2004."

Discouraging news in a year when the SEC was collecting record amounts of penalties and disgorgements from so many corporate offenders. The GAO goes on to report that beside the lack of control over these funds, some of which should be finding their way back into the accounts of defrauded investors, the SEC simply has inadequate policies and proceduress to assure that their financial accounting is accurate.

"SEC prepared its first complete set of financial statements for fiscal year
2004 and made significant progress during the year in building a financial
reporting structure for preparing financial statements for audit. However,
GAO identified inadequate controls over SEC's disgorgements and civil
penalties activities, increasing the risk that such activities will not be
completely, accurately, and properly recorded and reported for
management's use in its decision making. In addition, GAO identified
inadequate controls over SEC's financial statement preparation process
including a lack of sufficient documented policies and procedures, support,
and quality assurance reviews, increasing the risk that SEC management
will not have reasonable assurance that the balances presented in the
financial statements and related disclosures are supported by SEC's
underlying accounting records."

This whole internal control issue must be harder than it sounds. For corporations, one of the most perplexing and expensive issues that they have had to deal with to try and comply with the Sarbanes-Oxley Act has been documenting and controlling their information systems. The GAO had this glowing report on the SEC's shortcomings.

"GAO also found that SEC has not effectively implemented information
system controls to protect the integrity, confidentiality, and availability of its
financial and sensitive data, increasing the risk of unauthorized disclosure,
modification, or loss of the data, possibly without detection. The risks
created by these information security weaknesses are compounded because
the SEC does not have a comprehensive monitoring program to identify
unusual or suspicious access activities."

Well misery loves company and as I plow through my own internal control documentation headaches, I can only hope that there are at least a few people back in our Capitol that are losing nights and weekends with their families, but somehow I doubt it.

Wednesday, June 15, 2005

The Carnival Of Education: Week 19

This week's Carnival Of Education is up for your review.

Tuesday, June 14, 2005

Carnival of the Capitalists!

For the business minded, you can visit this week's Carnival of the Capitalists at Byrne's Marketview.

Friday, June 03, 2005

An Encouraging Word

For those of you that Are fans of the Rocky Mountain Alliance group of bloggers, I am sure you already know that Jim Cannon of Thinking Right has been very ill. Today comes some very encouraging news via Clay Calhoun that Jim is finally out of ICU. From Clay's description Jim will face a very long and trying recuperation. Clay has posted an address where we can all send a few words of encouragement to Jim. If you miss Jim's writings as much as I have, please take a few moments to drop Jim A word.

We all need Jim's voice back in the blogoshere as soon as possible!

Thursday, June 02, 2005

Donaldson Leaving The SEC

I can't hardly let this event pass without comment. William Donaldson was given a tough job given the scandals of the time. He believed that he needed to get tough. Eliot Spitzer and the Attorney General's office of New York was essentially doing the SEC's job and upstaging the SEC at every turn. But now we have had our capital markets regulated back into a corner.

Over the past six months Mr. Donaldson has been telling the financial heads of small public companies that he believes that the rules that the SEC wrote for compliance with the internal control provisions of the Sarbanes-Oxley Act need to be revised for smaller companies. Yet every time he testifies to Congress about the Sarbanes-Oxley Act, he tells those ladies and gentlemen that they have written the greatest piece of legislation ever and that there is no need for change.

Similarly, he started out backing shareholder rights reforms that would allow various shareholder groups more freedom in nominating director candidates. Mr. Donaldson realized later that this plan was probably going to create more chaos, greenmailing and fueding within public companies without ever really creating better governance.

The mutual fund scandals blew up on Mr. Donaldson's watch. The answer again, more governance reform. Mr. Donaldson believed that adding independent directors to focus on regulatory issues on each fund was the answer. Little has been done to address the real issues of these fund abuses, which lies in the fund company's top management who timed trades for themselves and friends. The individual fund boards have no real power to address these types of corporate decisions.

And hedge funds, don't even get me started. These funds are trading securities like any other mutual fund, except their clientele is a lot more exclusive and they are much more aggressive. The SEC should simply start regulating these funds until the courts tell them where their limits are.

Mr. Donaldson's real failures have come from his desire to be a friend to all. He has had something good and encouraging to say to every audience he speaks. This of course has led to many conflicts in his own agenda. Now that he has finally backed himself too far into the corner, he really has no choice but to walk out of the room across the newly painted floor. Mr. Donaldson has expressed his hope that we don't step backwards on his newly minted reforms. Personally, I pray we do.

Wednesday, June 01, 2005

The Carnival Of Education: Week 17

This weeks edition of the Carnival Of Education.