Say of the Day: Sony’s Howard Stringer

July 12, 2009

From the LA Times, covering the Allen & Co. Annual Media Mogul Petting Zoo in Sun Valley:

Sony Corp. Chief Executive Howard Stringer may have had the best quip of the day. Asked about the success of Twitter and other social networking sites, Stringer said: “A lot of people are doing very well at making very little money. It’s not a club I’m looking to join.”

Say of the Day: Thomas Carlyle

April 27, 2009

After reading today’s excerpt in the NYT Magazine, I’m very much looking forward to reading Christopher Buckley’s memoir, Losing Mum and Pup.  It’s quite a family of letters when the son despairs of having written only 14 books, becasue the father wrote more than  50 to complement  45 volumes of columns in his day job.

But I epsecially loved this quote from Thomas Carlyle, which son says described father perfectly, forming “the solopsist’s definitive credo:”

Let me have my own way in everything and a sunnier and pleasanter creature does not exist.

Well, even we solopsists need words to live by.

Say of the Day: John M. Daniel

February 20, 2009

Circa 1850 in the Richmond Examiner:

too many of our gazettes are in the hands of persons destitute at once of the urbanity of gentlemen, the information of scholars, and the principles of virtue”,

Say of the Day: The New Yorker from Palm Beach

January 15, 2009

Full ‘Talk of the Town piece here:

It’s like everybody’s in mourning.   It’s like a member of the family has died, and its name is Money.


Say of the Day: Barney Frank

January 15, 2009

Quoted in a recent New Yorker profile:

Conservatives believe that life begins at conception and ends at birth.

Say of the Day: Pimco’s Bill Gross

December 31, 2008

“The only willing risk taker is the government,” said William H. Gross, the chief investment officer of the Pacific Investment Management Company, or Pimco, the giant bond trading firm. Speaking of the epicenter of the financial world, he added: “It is no longer New York, it’s Washington.”

Full NYT article here.

Say of the Day: James Surowiecki on Newspapers

December 15, 2008

The peculiar fact about the current crisis is that even as big papers have become less profitable they’ve arguably become more popular. The blogosphere, much of which piggybacks on traditional journalism’s content, has magnified the reach of newspapers, and although papers now face far more scrutiny, this is a kind of backhanded compliment to their continued relevance. Usually, when an industry runs into the kind of trouble that Levitt was talking about, it’s because people are abandoning its products. But people don’t use the Times less than they did a decade ago. They use it more. The difference is that today they don’t have to pay for it. The real problem for newspapers, in other words, isn’t the Internet; it’s us. We want access to everything, we want it now, and we want it for free. That’s a consumer’s dream, but eventually it’s going to collide with reality: if newspapers’ profits vanish, so will their product.

Full post from the New Yorker here.

Say of the Day: George Will Channels Ambrose Bierce

November 13, 2008


One of the things that keeps me optimistic about an Obama administration is that by temperament, he doesn’t seem the type to claim a mandate.  One of the things that makes me cautious about an Obama administration is that he damned well better govern as if he has one.  Will:

For now, the president-elect is coming to terms with something noted by Ambrose Bierce, the 19th-century American wit who wrote “The Devil’s Dictionary.” He defined “president” as the leading figure in a small group of persons of whom it is positively known that immense numbers of their countrymen did not want them to be president. Tuesday night, Obama, in his agreeably subdued speech in Grant Park, seemed to feel the weight of that.

Say of the Day: Judith Warner in NYT

November 9, 2008

The glory of Barack Obama is that there are so many different kinds of us who can claim a piece of that “our.” African-Americans, Democrats, post-boomers, progressives, people who rose from essentially nowhere and through hard work and determination succeeded beyond their parents’ wildest dreams are the most obvious.

Say of the Day: Jeremy Grantham

October 12, 2008

In Barron’s:

I have a theory that people who find themselves running major-league companies are real organization-management types who focus on what they are doing this quarter or this annual budget. They are somewhat impatient, and focused on the present. Seeing these things requires more people with a historical perspective who are more thoughtful and more right-brained — but we end up with an army of left-brained immediate doers.

So it’s more or less guaranteed that every time we get an outlying, obscure event that has never happened before in history, they are always going to miss it. And the three or four-dozen-odd characters screaming about it are always going to be ignored.

If you look at the people who have been screaming about impending doom, and you added all of those several dozen people together, I don’t suppose that collectively they could run a single firm without dragging it into bankruptcy in two weeks. They are just a different kind of person.

So we kept putting organization people — people who can influence and persuade and cajole — into top jobs that once-in-a-blue-moon take great creativity and historical insight. But they don’t have those skills


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