"An era can be said to end when its basic illusions are exhausted." - Arthur Miller

Sunday, May 03, 2009

Links of the Day

Credit Card Legislation - A new bill "Credit Cardholders’ Bill of Rights" has passed the House that might help relieve some of the more harsh credit card practices. Sadly it does not go so far as re-enable usury laws so 30% interest rates are probably going to remain the norm. However, it does offer protection such as banning universal default (late on a different bill increases your CC interest rate), APR can only increase in certain circumstances such as promo rate expired or index increases, bans double cycle billing, and other things. Sad this is something that Republicans never did for their 8 years in power and Democrats are doing it in the first few months.

CEO Perks as Pay Falls - As expected, while CEO's are getting less, they have made it up with perks, bonuses etc. Quite literally too as pay went down 7% but perks increased 7%. Why shareholders put up with this I will never understand as with few exceptions (Apple and Jobs) CEOs are rarely a driving force in a company’s success. Most seem easily replaced with almost little effort, proving how irrelevant they are to day to day operations. It’s also why companies continue to endure problems as the perk system rewards short term improvements rather than long term planning. In effect, including getting "fired" a CEO will make more money improving a company for a year but killing it in the long term then they would building it over the years. Basically it is a system in real need of reform and now is a good time as any to do it.

2009 TV Lands Award Intro - Neil Patrick Harris hosted the awards and met a heck of a reel on why he should probably be in the running for Emmy or Oscar host as he brings a depth of skill, intelligence and humor as the intro shows.

New G.I. Joe Trailer - A new trailer for the movie coming out in August hit the web and the result is a movie that might actually be worth watching.

Condoleeza Rice Admits to Torture? - In an exchange with Stanford students, former Secretary of State Rice might have admitted to breaking the law. The argument, of course, comes down to how you define torture. The Bush administration went through some massive hoops to define it differently than it has been for the last 100 years. So if go by their definition, then she did nothing right. If go by conventional wisdom, she did.

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