Monday, June 29, 2009

I Knew It Was Too Ridiculous To Be True

In my January 6, 2009 post, I commented that it was ridiculous that luxury sports car maker Porsche was acquiring "The Peoples Wagon," as was famously designated by Hitler himself.

Hell, I don't even see that many Porsches these days even though I live in the richest city in America.

Well, today, my instincts were affirmed. It turns out that Volkswagen doesn't like this arrangement at all and that THEY are the ones who are doing the acquiring...which to me is much more sensible.

Notwithstanding all this...people still aren't buying Porsches or Volkswagens or anything else for that matter.

Here's the link:

Sunday, June 28, 2009

Invent...According To Craig Barrett And Others...The Way Out Of This Mess...And Where Did Venture Capital Go, Really?

Thomas Friedman, a NY Times columnist and also a best-selling author (Hot, Flat and Crowded, among other things) recently published an article entitled "Invent, Invent, Invent" which is anchored largely by his interview with Craig Barrett, former Intel Chairman while the two were at a conference in St. Petersburg, Russia.

According to Friedman, Barrett and others (Jeff Immelt from GE is also quoted) the financial adversity we are facing allows America, "with its unrivaled freedoms, venture capital industry, research universities and openness to new immigrants, has the best assets to be taking advantage of this moment - to out innovate our competition."

Barrett goes on to end, "sometimes I worry, though, that what oil money is to Russia, our ability to print money is to America. Look at the billions we just printed to bail out two dinosaurs, General Motors and Chrysler."

I think this is interview represents an excellent viewpoint and I will now stop paraphrasing the can read it yourself by following the link below.

My partners at Arrowpoint ( and I generally agree with what is being said here, and we have been making similar observations for the past year or so in private meetings, conferences and in statements to the press. But when Barrett highlights venture capital, a subject that my partners and I believe we understand intimately well, I feel compelled to offer some disagreement.

Venture Capital In America Today

As with most intellectual endeavors, venture capital (VC) describes a concept, a plan and that plan's execution. I am confident that the VC CONCEPT is as robust today as it was when the Knights Templar came up with it in the 1100's. Back then it might have more aptly been called Ad-venture capital. And Columbus did pretty well with Ad-venture capital provided by Spain's Queen Isabella.

The concept is shockingly simple. Find a nascent enterprise which has the promise to change the world in an important way, put small amounts of (ordinarily borrowed) capital to work to allow the enterprise's leaders to acquire resources, help them as best as is possible and then monitor their progress. If things work out as desired then the world, the enterprise and its backers all prosper. If the venture doesn't fare well, then investors, if they are prudent, will stop supporting it well before all the capital disappears. As a concept, VC has always been and will continue to be a compelling business idea.

The PLAN for VC is equally simplistic. A successful enterprise will grow, create new employment, stimulate R&D, expand markets, develop a loyal customer base and eventually, it will be worth many times the initial investment. The liquidity that ultimately arrives (and this can take much patience) has the potential to make all the enterprise's constituents prosperous.

EXECUTION is the nightmare. In VC (as it has been through the ages) there are so many elements that can scuttle the best plans. If investors select the wrong investment subject, or imprudently deploy too much capital into a company, they can be annihilated. Conversely, if the enterprise is under funded, it may wither and die. The best designed products are often riddled with costly defects. Markets may not develop, for many, sometimes uncontrollable reasons (including the economic environment.) Competition is a necessary but potentially deadly evil. The management team directing the enterprise may turn out to be berserk, or merely incompetent. Candidly, there is so much that can go wrong with a VC backed company that it makes this investment area one of the riskiest on earth. Yet when it works well, the results are magnificent.

Ironically, since the problem categories involved in VC are generally well-understood, and the capital under management is normally extremely limited, the systemic risks to society are highly constrained and the systemic benefits have historically been well worth the risks. If contrasted with other investment classes such as exotic or derivative securities (one small example) where the risks are very misunderstood and the capital (with the government's help) is seemingly limitless, VC looks like a walk in the park.

Nevertheless, much has been written about VC and its performance during the past decade or so. Some argue that the financial returns to limited partners have been so dismal that the entire industry has become dysfunctional. Others say that this is just a cyclical phenomenon. There are many opinions and apologies out there but I think if we layer the issues, a clearer image emerges. And let's just assume that the VC that Mr. Barrett speaks about, that which sparks innovation, concerns only early-stage and early-emerging organizations (those that have their feet on the ground but can't get running just yet.)

Issue #1 (The Cornerstone) The industry has raised $100s of billions from their limited partners (predominately large institutions) and this is far too much money for true, early stage VC.

Issue #2 (Excessive Greed) The general partners who manage VC firms almost always charge a management fee, which is a percentage (customarily 2-3% per year) of the institutional capital committed to the VC firm. You can do the math here. If a fund, with say 5-10 partners manages $500M or $1B at a crack (and several funds within a firm can and do coexist...I call that "cascading,") then the general partners can become pretty rich without returning one cent to their investors.

Issue #3 (Limited Supply) There simply aren't enough early stage companies around that can absorb all this capital. For the best opportunities, in the past, VC competitors bid up prices to the point where it may be hard to ever see an investment return. Often the VC firms (collectively) attempt to plow too much money into the exceptional opportunities because they want to increase their investment allocations, with respect to the numerator governed by fund size.

Issue #4 (Swimming Upstream) VC partners are usually smart about most things (often in hindsight) and they have, for a while now come to grips with the three issues listed above. Accordingly they have often sought investments like buyouts, building manufacturing plants, and such that were usually appropriate for large corporations and/or investment vehicles organized for those purposes. But in years past, we've seen VCs pour $50-$100 million in trying to build a chip fabrication plant or for that matter, a Segway scooter that never had a viable market.

Because the investment funds need to be spent in order to justify all those management fees, and since usually there is a pretty tight timetable to disburse investment money, many VC firms who traditionally embraced early stage markets changed their business footprint to accommodate larger deals, even though they may not be qualified for this new business model. In fairness, some VC firms recognized their dilemma and returned unused capital back to their investors, the limited partners.

Issue #5 (Money For Early-Stage Investments Is Now Scarce) I think we can take that as a fact not only because it makes logical sense, but also because many (perhaps most) early-stage entrepreneurs are screaming about it.

What Is Happening Now And What Might Happen In The Future?

1. There are numerous excellent, former VC firms who have successfully made the move upstream, and I believe that they ought to stay there because the early-stage dynamics and investment profile no longer fits their fund sizes or their business temperament.

2. The financial press has reported that other, well-established firms are unable to secure limited partner commitments for future funding. Essentially, this means that those firms will slowly wind down.

3. Some new early-stage firms may spring up to fill the void. Their parameters regarding (small) fund size will be very strict, and they will avoid capital-intensive investment opportunities. In all likelihood, they will require a longer timetable for making initial investments. Moreover, I suspect that they will be pretty stringent when pressed for additional capital by their companies. They will be more active/creative in seeking earlier exits for their investments, and they may even retain some equity in a situation where a portfolio company is acquired.

4. The firms that moved upstream should then welcome developments as suggested by the above scenario since that would bring new, more mature companies to the large firms' attention.

5. I have to credit my entrepreneur friend David Spitz for this one. "We may well see a dramatic contraction in the supply of LP funds – maybe 40-60% of recent levels – as endowments, pension funds, etc. are all staring once-in-a-career 20-40% declines in asset value, driving a fundamental re-evaluation of asset allocation and appetite for “risk” capital. I (David) wouldn’t be surprised to see 40%-50% fewer discrete VC firms in the next five years as funds die off and liquidate, with an increased concentration of capital at the top (old school – Sequoia, KP, etc.) and bottom (new firms) of the pyramid."

Finally, if I happen to rub elbows with Mr. Barrett at a fancy convention somewhere (yeah, right?) I promise that I will give him this blog address and will ask him if he can help make 3 and 4 above happen!

Friday, June 26, 2009

The "Be Careful What You Wish For" Club

Hi there. First an editorial note. I wonder if you are like I am, getting sick from all these trivial blogs that are out there, written about "touchy-feely" subjects, and with no definitive viewpoint or conviction. Worse are the adoring followers who seem to thrive on making sycophantic comments. With all the crap that is going on, the fact that the world continues to fall apart (which I will address momentarily) it strikes me that all this blogging is a video game for those who aren't skilled enough to play such games. What's worse...most blog publishers can't even write well. Yuck.

So on to the main subject. Obama clearly wanted to be President, he campaigned hard for the job and he won it fairly. My conjecture is that he is now the most prominent member in the world's "Be Careful What You Wish For Club." Look, I have no political ambitions whatsoever; never have and never will, but if somehow I could "beam down" into the presidency, I would like to have been the head honcho when the Berlin Wall fell. Or when the commander-in-chief Bush-I (made possible by Colin Powell and executed by Stormin Norman (I will never forget the TV coverage)) annihilated the Iraqis when they invaded Kuwait. It might even be pleasant to be Bill Clinton, surfing down an enormous Internet wave and his predecessors favorable policies so that I could bang young White House interns with reckless abandon. Bush-II after 9-11 wasn't such a bad performance either. But to be the USA's CEO today is a nightmare. Let's explore some themes that we're reviewed in the past.

True Reform

In two NY Times articles and one WSJ piece, the stage is eloquently set to (1) debunk any comparison with FDR, (2) demonstrate that the present Washington staffers don't have the experience to cope with today's problems and (3) that Obama has a very limited time frame to work with.

The FDR comparison is particularly damaging because it highlights that unlike Obama, FDR was actually willing to piss people off, not the least being the banking establishment in power at the time. Congressional bills were passed (Glass-Steagall) among others that were wildly unpopular with the power brokers, and the fox (Joe Kennedy) was appointed to supervise other predators. Today we get every conciliatory phrase and more oratory than action. Incidentally, although I won't quote it here, if you want a fascinating description about the many decades involving Wall Street corruption and government complicity back then, as it is today, you'll seek out the most recent "Rolling Stone" issue for an extremely comprehensive (12 page) expose...enough said.

On the inexperience issue...I have a trick question. Which current Washington "financial architect" has actually run a real (nuts and bolts) business? I won't keep you guessing...the answer is none. How many have been investment bankers, economists, academics, theoreticians and the like...the answer is all. So the Journal editorial correctly points this out, as well as the perils for all Americans because we are dealing with so much hogwash.

Finally, on the immediate Obama front, I had a lovely (and inexpensive) brunch in New York City today in which I ended up debating three nice young gentlemen who exeuded optimism and were willing to let the new, admittedly popular and photogenic President nearly as much time as needed to get the situation under control. I listened politely and finally opined, as has been my decades-long experience that the new CEO can't blame the old one for too long...honestly, only a few months or so before the problems he "inherits" become his to solve. "Make It Or Break It Obama Summer" neatly explores that issue.

Here are the three links:


This one is brief. The Harvard endowment, which has lost many billions thanks to Mr. Summers et al announced recently that a bond trader has departed the organization, with $6.3 million in compensation. This is genuinely beyond belief. Call me old-fashioned, but if I ever worked for an company that reported a 30% diminishment in total assets, there would be no bonuses nor anything beyond a sharp kick in the ass. Even Citigroup, that citadel representing corporate greed rescinded egregious "severance payments" some as high as $43 million dollars. Let me get this straight. Either you quit or got fired. If you quit, why do you deserve any severance and if you're fired, then isn't $40+M a little rich to get you to hold your tongue? To its credit, Citigroup, no doubt fearing massive public backlash, unilaterally canceled the arrangement, but it may not end there...if I were the affected executives, I would fight tooth and nail to reinstate things that I did not conjure up in the first place. But in the old days, we all worked as a team, and despite the fact that I did not entirely appreciate all my colleagues, if the company did well then I did well, and if not, then not. Don't know what ever happened to that one.

Here's the link:

Job Counting And Recovery

Unemployment is set to be announced at +10%. This is the biggest lie being told to the American public. When one really calculates the unemployed, the number is much closer to the Depression-Era 20+% because we simply (as has been stated in earlier blogs) don't account for those who have abandoned looking for work; temporary workers and the like. So the reported unemployment rate is terrible, but it is much more horrible than what the press would have you believe.

Worse yet, in many prior recessions, job loss was transitory...this time it is permanent. I have been a college instructor for many years and the number of young adults that are not finding employment right now is utterly alarming, including those with strong resumes in disciplines such as Accounting.

Here are links that provoke these thoughts:

Interest Rates

These are going through the roof because, despite the Fed's attempts at subsidizing the financial industry, nobody in the rational world believes that this is non-inflationary and most all believe that it is possibly deflationary. Have fun. One of the elements that depresses me the most is that American's (unlike Iranians) are in denial about all this. But the destruction occurring in all investing forms from Venture Capital, to Private Equity to Real Estate (residential and commercial) confirms my instincts.

Man-Made Climate Change

For years I have asserted that the climate may be changing, although recent studies have shown that the world's temperature has "flat-lined since 2001," and that the main problem is three-fold. (1) We don't have enough data to track these trends through the ages, (2) the world only crossed the 1B population threshold in the late 1890's and (3) the worst polluters in modern history (in absolute terms) are the Chinese and the Indians.

Having said all that, and unless you are willing to entertain a 5B reduction in the world's population, there is no solid evidence that all the efforts that we are voting on and proposing spending money for will have one iota of efficacy. Hey, I like clean air and such, but the "science" that has attended this thing for years has been seriously much so that at least 1000 scientists who previously endorsed the thing are backtracking faster than a 4-wheel drive. The world may or may not be getting warmer; but be honest with yourself, who the hell knows the real causes? I confess that I have never liked Al Gore, but the fraud and puppetry that they have engaged in are really damaging.

Here's a credible article. (Incidentally, for a time I was chairman of a world-class weather prediction company, and we routinely made the above argument, but finally abandoned it because no one would listen...just like what the lady PhD says in the article.)

Check out the read:


This has been highlighted by me before, and it continues to be an enormous problem. North Korea is scheduled (you can bet on it) to launch a dud at Hawaii. I don't think it will make it all the way, but the US has a major issue at hand. Ignore it and let it fall into the ocean (probably the wise course) try to intercept it and succeed (a great but unlikely victory) or try to stop it in flight and fail (a huge catastrophe.) The Taliban forces are not, per the popular wisdom (see the link below) contained and I am still predicting a 100% chance that they will steal a nuclear weapon. North Korea and Iran move forward on the Nuke front, and so it looks to me like we are going to be living in a world with a nuclear awareness as heightened as it was during the Cuban missile crisis. But the devices are smaller and easier to deploy now. I live in New York City...ground zero for God's sake for the first terrorist nuke attempt and I sure hope that all you happy faces out there have your precautions in order.

In summary, I marvel at American optimism but it also scares me to death. We somehow seem to like to produce and read trivial blogs, pursue idle thoughts and ignore clear and present dangers when they are utterly obvious in business, politics, the military et al.

So if you ask me what I am goes...I am preparing myself to live in a condition that has not existed in America before. I can't get into specifics, but you can probably imagine what this means.

Here's the Taliban (not gone yet) link:

Thank you

John A.

Monday, June 15, 2009

Fear And Loathing In Las Vegas

My apologies to Dr. Hunter S. Thompson (RIP) but I couldn't resist his book title which, for this particular post is most appropriate in both a literal and figurative sense.

I spent this past (long) weekend in Vegas with my twin boys, celebrating their 21st birthday. This is a 3+ decades-old Abraham-family tradition, begun by my father who took me, my sister and my brother, respectively when we each became "legal" adults. Never mind that at 18, I narrowly missed being drafted and sent to Vietnam; but that is another story altogether.

Our trip was greatly enhanced by my 84 year old father's presence in tow with my much younger brother. My beautiful baby sister has long departed this life, but I felt that she was there with us in spirit.

Vegas is a great spot for a short vacation. Owing to the poor economy, travel and lodging were dirt cheap and while there, we were never extravagant with spending on meals, shows and such. I think the twins learned many lessons in Vegas, not the least being that if you can't afford to play a game correctly, you are betting too much in the first place (this lesson has great applicability way beyond casino games.) They also put their high-priced college educations to work in calculating the payoff odds for craps, and in employing basic blackjack playing/betting strategies (please don't ask me how I learned all that.) Their risk-taking function was amplified when they (finally) realized that in video poker, sometimes you have to throw away a winning hand in order to play for the monster jackpot that comes from scoring a royal flush. They also received the 100-level tutorial in casino design. For experimental purposes only, I tried, with very mixed results, to teach them how to spot the high-class hookers that adorn all the gaming establishments. The boys and I also got to shoot machine guns with live ammo...that's not something (I hope) that you can do every day. Taken as a vacation and a memorable life experience, we all had a great time in Vegas.

However, after acclimating for a day or so (it takes that long to see past the glitz and action) I began to get a queasy feeling in my stomach. Is Vegas a proxy for the "American Dream," and if so, it seems that this dream is fleeting. I saw many gargantuan, partly-finished structures where construction had been halted, and the banks have refused to complete the financing. It's easy to determine that if the crane is idle on a Friday morning, and there are no workers to be found on the structure, that this sucker isn't going to be finished at any time soon. Casino floors were relatively empty except on Saturday night and the fashion places with names from 5th Avenue in New York seemed abandoned by customers. We had a terrific empirical exercise going because we had to pass the "shop with a thousand Rolex watches" every time we went to our elevator bank. The family "poll" indicated that in three days, collectively we had only seen one couple in the store; I doubt that they bought anything . We visited other, swankier and newer casinos that had even fancier boutiques, and again, we saw no prospective customers.

Then the next "wave" hit me. Who builds these places and what are they expecting? Is the "American Dream" forged by going into the Cartier store in Vegas (of all places) and buying a huge diamond? How many hotel rooms are enough? Who is financing all this excess? Why aren't people showing up like they did before, and why are those who did show up, there now? I know why we were there and I also know what we spent and what we (mostly) didn't.

Then I started to understand. This was the "American Dream" and it is no longer that. With people the world over suffering from the recent financial catastrophes, Vegas and all the fancy emporiums are a very distant afterthought. Those that propagated this town had no clue that the "bubble days" would ever end, and they had bankers who were willing to go along with that vision. Now the bankers, mostly, are left holding the bag. Let's be clear here, there is and there always will be a place in this world for a recreational mecca like Las Vegas, but when you go into a fancy hotel, and each chandelier on the ceiling has the promise to feed an entire village in Somalia for a year, then you begin to fathom the largesse that we have, as a society, been living with.

I first visited Las Vegas 33 years ago and it was very entertaining back then, but not so outrageous. I think the same can be said for the American consumer. We have always been eager to buy things, but in the past, we were more circumspect.

As I have said frequently in my earlier blogs, and confirmed by the evidence presented to me in Las Vegas, our society is rightfully pulling back, reverting to solid basics and avoiding the overindulgence that has guided us so often in the recent past.

So if Las Vegas is a proxy, it offers both caution and hope.

Sunday, June 7, 2009

An Ethical Ray Of Hope

For more years than I can remember, every fall and spring I taught a two-hour session in a semester-long ethics class conducted at a major university located in New York City. The students are seniors in the undergraduate business school, and the ethics offering is a graduation prerequisite.

The material I present is original; I researched and developed it specifically for this particular institution. I eschew speaking about Aristotle and Plato; I am trying to bring a more modern slant to the lessons. Ergo, I suggest that most people are born with the potential to become ethical, upstanding individuals, and other than lowlife sociopaths like Bernie Madoff (see my January 8, 2009 blog post) people throughout the world want to behave within the acceptable limits set by their society's mores. So what makes normally good people become ethically derelict, or worse? My short course suggests that there are five forces at work here. Without going into too much detail, these forces are: Pressure, Power, Advocacy, Habituation and Challenge. You can't allow too many driving factors into the equation or soon "the devil made me do it" becomes an admissible excuse. My exercise's didactic purpose is to get the students to debate the subject and I hope, to apply my lessons to the working careers that they are all initiating. If you would like to receive the class materials, please send me an email ( and I'll send you a WinZip file (but I'll wait about one week so that I can batch up the requests, if any.)

This past year, I stopped teaching my section because (1) Given all that's been going on in the world, I didn't feel all that pumped up about being pedagogical and (2) With all the thievery on Wall Street and such, I began to sense a systemic breakdown in ethical structures which might eventually capture my students, almost no matter what. I was starting to question ethics' relevance in society today.

When I read the NY Times article linked to below, my eyes nearly bugged out. It seems that at MBA schools like Harvard, Columbia and Wharton, they have seriously augmented their ethics teachings, and get this, business students are binding together to adopt oaths about ethical behavior, somewhat like what doctors do when they follow the Hippocratic tenets. Here's a quote from the article and it almost convinces me to resume my ethical-teaching assignment.

"In the post-Enron and post-Madoff era, the issue of ethics and corporate social responsibility has taken on greater urgency among students about to graduate."

My readers know that when things are bad, I am brutally candid about saying so. Well in this particular instance, a grass-roots movement by MBA students from the finest programs (can others be far behind?) to promote ethical (and legal) behavior is a wonderful consequence that, if it persists, has the power to markedly improve the business climate during the next decade or two. Are these kids really kissing off Gordon Gekko? I sure hope so and I pray that this is a lasting trend. Please read the article...I think it will be an uplifting experience for you.

By contrast, Lewis and Cohen (one of whom was convicted of stock manipulation in 1989) in a NY Times Op-Ed piece, provide scathing condemnation that implicates not only Wall Street and its compensation schemes, but also the government's complicity with the abhorrent practices. The article speaks for itself, and it more than amplifies the themes that I have been writing about in various, earlier blogs. Again, this is a must-read for those who want to know what really is going on with all this opaque government spending nonsense.

Thank you for reading and if you are so inclined, please subscribe to the blog using Google Reader, and pass it along to your friends and associates.

Thursday, June 4, 2009

Potpourri...Follow Up From Some Prior Blog Posts

I have been sitting on some recent articles that are covering themes that I laid out in blog posts going all the way back to January. I thought that it might be interesting to annotate and review these recent articles, which are linked to in each section.

Crazy Executive Compensation

On January 24th and April 28th (and in other blogs), I railed about the insane compensation practices promulgated by Wall Street and the financial industry, as well as the mortgage origination business. My argument's gist is that (1) if you pay people on a current time scale for transactions that have the proverbial "long tail" then you are playing with a time bomb. Here's the scenario. Traders make their trades and at year-end (an artificial boundary) the trade looks profitable, so the traders get their bonuses. Six months after year-end, the trade tanks. Do the traders return their bonuses? (2) The system is stacked to promote reckless risk taking since those taking the risks, generally have no skin in the game.

In the article linked to below, Alan Blinder, a Princeton professor and a former Fed Reserve Vice Chairman makes the case better than I ever could. If you haven't read this one, it's certainly worth your time to do so.

As a footnote, incidentally Citigroup just reported that it unilaterally canceled severance package payouts for several of whom was slated to get more than $42 million of your taxpayer money. It seems like all the public outrage on this topic may be having the intended effect...we'll see what the situation looks like when Q1, 2010 rolls around.

Here is Blinder's editorial piece:

New Car Sales

On January 22, February 2 and February 19, I stated that new car sales worldwide are anemic, that the US car companies would go through bankruptcy and that the outlook for the industry as it is presently constituted is extremely poor.

Well both Chrysler and GM have now entered bankruptcy albeit a little later and many more billions flushed than I had imagined (and Ford is probably not far behind.) So now we have Obama Motors. I think that a government populated with officials from public service, academia and such has no clue about what it's like to run a business. They concentrate on "structural" items like cutting costs, providing financing and the like without taking head-on the major culprits, namely, market forces and corporate culture. So the "new" GM will be profitable if the industry sells 10 million new cars per year. What if that doesn't happen?

I strongly believe that a new car purchase is a luxury that unemployed people cannot afford; hence, I have been harping constantly about job creation, not only in America but throughout the world. And the existing new car inventory is staggering.

If our society "re-bases" their behavior, as I think we are doing, then we will see comparatively very few new car sales for years to come.

The following seminal article from the NY Times adeptly discusses exactly this issue.

Here's the link:

Harvard's (and others) Troubles

On February 9th, I described the mess that Harvard and other big-name, highly endowed institutions are facing given the dismal financial status of their endowments, coupled with years of new infrastructure construction and profligate spending that has caused tuition to skyrocket.

In any event, Boston Magazine produced an excellent, extensive piece that details the trouble that Harvard is in, and how unprepared the new president and administration are in dealing with all the forces that are work here.

You can check it out by following the link below:

Foreclosures, No End In Sight

On May 25th, in "Condition Yellow If Not Red," I worried that borrowers who had been prudent, not speculative, were starting to default on their mortgages. This is becoming a colossal problem for both lenders and borrowers, and the government's "mortgage intervention" program has been an utter fiasco.

The NY Times explores this theme comprehensively:

Pakistan And The Bomb

On May 4th, and in other posts, I have opined that the Nuke situation in Pakistan alarms me greatly. We'll it appears I am not alone. Several weeks later, the WSJ published an article that explores all the dangers that are being faced over there, despite the Pakistani army's putative successes.

Here's the link:

That's it for this segment. In my next post, I will write about some hopeful developments on the ethical front coming from, MBA graduates no less. I'll write that one soon, but I have to go eat dinner now.

Thanks for reading, if you like this stuff, please recommend it to your friends, and they can get automatic notification by signing up for Google Reader (preferable) or by opting for a similar service on Blogspot.

John A.