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October 2008

Nobody Likes a Bailout

The Treasury Department's financial rescue bill suffered loss in part due to bad branding.

I mean, who among us wants to actually fund a "bailout"?

If only they had called it a "work-out," like the banks do on their own bad loans, then maybe it wouldn't have seemed like such a bad idea.

Not much of the bill would need to have been changed, but once it was dubbed a bailout, it was doomed. Especially during an election season.

Congress is taking a couple of days off, probably to cover their short positions before someone introduces a Workout Bill. 

Buy When Blood Is Running in the Streets

...unless it's your own blood, of course.

The quote "buy when blood is running in the streets" is attributed to Baron Rothschild as his advice to accumulating great wealth.  Today the Dow dropped 504 points, Merrill Lynch is being rescued by Bank of America, Lehman Brothers files Chapter 11, AIG is on the brink, and General Motors recently traded under $10 per share.

I'm not sure how deep the blood has to run, but this could either be an historic opportunity, or the beginning of the end.  I'm guessing opportunity.  Don't mortgage the home and dump it into mutual funds, but don't be too scared by all the storms in the Gulf and on Wall Street.

"If you can keep your head when all about you are losing theirs..." - Rudyard Kipling

Tomorrows big stories are germinating in obscurity today. 

Perhaps you are one of the central characters?

A Test of Authenticity

067 A few weeks ago I was considering living in a cave until the morning of November 4, when I would emerge to vote and then re-enter society, thereby avoiding what seemed destined to be a painfully lackluster campaign season.

Then McCain nominated Palin in a move that would fit under my definition of strategically outrageous.  There’s still plenty of time for it to backfire, but even if it does, it was a sound strategic move, much like Chamberlain’s ammunition-less charge at Gettysburg.

I’ve written here often about the shifting culture and the emergence of a new more civic generation to supplant the idealistic cycle that ended in 2003.  One of the bywords of the civic generation is “authentic”.  Being authentic, not just appearing to be authentic, is a key to winning hearts and votes in this rapidly morphing culture.

Back in primary season, I thought Obama had the authenticity to overcome the old school tactics of Hillary.  But suddenly and stunningly, I believe the key perception regarding authenticity has tipped to McCain’s favor.  And here’s why.

Obama is a great orator and an excellent performer on stage.  Those are generally wonderful qualities for a candidate.  They were enough to dislodge a powerful Clinton.  But perhaps Barack came across with a little too much spit and polish?  His speech at the DNC was a brilliant performance.  Was it too brilliant?

Then there’s his selection of Joe Biden.  For me this is a real yawner.  If there’s a bastion of old school politics, and someone who comes across as a plastic and even pompous communicator, it’s Joe.

McCain on the other hand was a rather mediocre performer in oration.  But, his lack of polish and the imperfections along with his conversational style in talking about his country, his service, and his motivation… I think he actually came across as more authentic than Obama.

And Palin is at this point a rather refreshing portrait of authenticity, in the totally surprising package of conservative womanhood.  She’s hot in a very cool way. We’ll see how it turns out, but Grandpa John may actually turn back the popular and youthful Senator.  In the 60’s when Kennedy won, the country was in the early stage of the emerging idealistic generation.  People wanted Camelot, and the Kennedy’s delivered.

But now, it’s about being real, somewhat flawed, and having cogent and realistic plans about how to solve real problems.

I’m putting the cave plans on hold… for now.

Tragedy in Haiti

066_2 I've just read a first-hand report on the tragic aftermath of the multiple storms that have hit Haiti.  I know there has also been a lot of destruction along the Gulf Coast as I follow the relief efforts there through friends in Baton Rouge.

Our company, LightQuest Media, represents Love a Child Ministries and their founders Bobby and Sherry Burnette who are full-time missionaries in Haiti.  Sherry has been keeping a journal and if you have the stomach for it, you can see some glimpses of the terrible toll the storms are extracting from the Haitian people by reading her latest entry, Hurricane Ike's Deadly Blow to Haiti.

If you have any desire to help the Haitian relief effort, you can donate by going here.

My suggestion for helping the people of Baton Rouge would be HPC.