GU IS NOW 11-6, (2-3 BIG EAST).
BUFFY NOTE: For all you Buffy fans out there, the Season 1 DVD compilation is now out and for sale at a host of fine video stores and establishments. Seasons 2 and 3 are available only in the UK through Region 2 DVD coding. Still, Season 1 was a blast!
God, if you are the Glazer family in Tampa right now, you sure are miffed that Bill Parcells didn't take the Bucs' job. How, shall I say, surprising.
The Pilgrimmage Begins
Sunday Morning as you are reading ZoNotes and eating breakfast, I will be in New York City for a trip to see all that there is to see. I will of course go to pay my respects to the fallen of 9.11, and I have heeded the call from former NYC Mayor Sir Rudy Guliani and spend some of my hard-earned cash in an effort to help boost the Big Apple's Big Economy.
Snow on The Hilltop
The hills are alive with the sight of the white stuff, with DC's first significant snowfall in 2002. Alexandria and the surrounding environs got 2-4 inches, it depends on where you were on Saturday afternoon. When I mosied on over to Ballston Mall to get my hair cut, I didn't even have to wait in line, it was virtually empty. A bit of icy wintry rain mixed in earlier this afternoon as I was watching yet another Buffy rerun.
ZoNotes is very lucky to have such a deep pool of intellectual capital that he can draw from. Ranging from the leftist solioquies of R. Livingston Keithley (C'98) to the "taxing" witticisms of Sean Mullaney (B'00), we aim to please. Anyway... here are some comments from Danny Alvarez (F'00), Simon J. Torres (F'00), and Sean.
Simon Says: (Simon is from El Paso, if there's anybody that knows how TX politics works, it's Simon. I met Simon on Day 1 at Georgetown.)
"Yeah, it's insider trading. It's also called covering your ass. Danny Alvarez and I were talking about this, and we've basically come to two conclusions: 1) Enron and their executives are all screwed. Leavenworth or another cozy federal pen might be the new HQ for this bunch. The Justice Department is now assembling a case against Enron that will aim to show knowledge of shoddy bookkeeping, willful silence about said shoddiness, and a conspiracy of silence when it become known the ship was going down. 2) Arthur Andersen's fate lies directly in the hands of the SEC (the Securities Exchange Commission, not the athletic conference). As Danny pointed out, there's not a whole lot that congressional panels and inquires can do to Andersen, other than publicly flog them. The SEC, on the other hands, can total Andersen, through fines, penalties, or (gulp) decertification. My money is that it won't happen given Harvey Pitt's ties to big accounting firms. But I can also bet that offering up the lead auditor isn't going to cut it. Andersen made many mistakes. It remains to be seen whether those mistakes are also illegal and make them a party to the defrauding of a great many shareholders and pension fund recipients.
So we come to the government. Let's face it: those of us from Texas know that Enron and energy conglomerates grease the wheels of Texas politics and have been financially instrumental in the Lazurus-like rise of the Republican party in Texas. Enron and others give money to Democrats, too, but Big Oil and the GOP just seem to go together, and cross from the board room to the cabinet room and the caucus room quite frequently. Our Vice President of this country was the CEO of Haliburton. The Secretary of Commerce (a good Midland boy) was the head of his own energy production company. This isn't me going on a Green Party rant about the influence of big business on politics, or the make-up of the current administration. I know that is just how it is. I am saying, though, is that I am positive that there are many mid-level or senior-level policymakers who a) had Enron stock and/or b) had a notion of what was going down in Houston and/or c) didn't say a thing until it was too late, but still moved their stock regardless. There will be some people here in Washington that might have to answer to somebody, and not just the media. Perhaps maybe even a grand jury."
Daniel: (Daniel hails from the home of the Spurs, San Antonio. He studied in the Science and Technology concentration of Georgetown's venerable School of Foreign Service) BTW, I love my Spurs.
"The basic rules about insider trading go like this:
If you have a piece of information, and that piece of information is (a) not
public knowledge (i.e., you have acquired said information through some
privileged relationship with the company or with individuals who work for or
with the company), and (b) information a reasonable investor would use in
deciding whether to buy, hold, or sell a security (stock), then you cannot
use that information in making your own investment decisions. sprint is
pretty big on telling us peons all about insder trading rules (which made it
seem very odd that all the exec's were selling their stock like hotcakes the
week before the worldcom deal fell through....not that i'm bitter...)
Not sure where you're getting your enron news from, but i've been reading
the Wall Street Journal, and some of the shit these guys pulled is
absolutely fantastic (and not in a good way). Talk about "new math"!
anyway, I can't imagine that these types of stories are making their way
into the Washington Post or New York Times, because they require
intelligence and some form of thinking on the part of the reader. As such,
if you're interested, i would highly recommend the journal for all your
Sean: (Sean is your quickest way through a 1040. He eats, breathes, and sleeps tax code! He is also the only man I know who dismissed the vaunted Intermediate Accounting class at Georgetown's McDonough School of Business with an olympian flick.)
"It is if they sold and/or bought stock themselves based on this inside information (highly unlikely that Paul O'Neill or his immediate subordinates would themselves buy/sell stocks, since most of their non-tangible assets are now in a blind trust). Some have said, "well, if they knew Enron was in trouble, why didn't they tell the shareholders?" Well, one it is not the government's job to make "buy/hold/sell" recommendations to the public. However, to better illustrate the point, let's say Paul O'Neill came out and said Enron got big time issues, not looking good." The stock would tank immediately, and all the shareholders would still be out big time."
Thanks to Simon, Daniel, and Sean for their insights!
"Before you can soar with the eagles, you have to get down with the dogs."