Detail from Ancient Greek black-figured dinos (wine-bowl) with the first chariot in the procession

Detail from Ancient Greek black-figured dinos (wine-bowl) with the first chariot in the procession
“Sophilos Dinos” (wine-bowl) showing guests arriving at the wedding of Thetis and Peleus. In the first car -Zeus and Hera, 2nd-Poseidon and Amphitrite. Source: British Museum (Wikicommons)

Wednesday, April 26, 2017

I slept with my boss and this is what happened [boss's tale]

What is about the forbidden fruit that makes it so sweet ? Is is because it's forbidden ? Is it because is breaking an ethical rule ? The forbidden is getting the excitement women crave for ? Is is the pear shape fruit that makes it so appealing ? -The anatomy of the female breasts, if the're not round, some of them are pear shaped. And so are the buttocks. "According to Matthew Schulman, women's bottoms fall into five categories. They are either square, V-shape, A-shape, round or upside-down heart"- Daily News. Lingerie experts identified 9 types of breasts: athletic, relaxed, round, east west, slender, side set, bell shaped, slender and tear dropped.- Daily News NSFW

Let's have this e-mail speak, 

[made changes to the names to protect the innocent]

"I thought affairs happen to other people. More importantly I thought this never happens to a career-minded independent woman who has been happily and I stress, happily, married for over 8 years. I love my husband ! His name is Larry is a well respected member of the community who's integrity is never in question. He is on the Board of our local Children's Hospital. I'm in my thirties and I keep myself in shape, I exercise five days a week. The Soul Cycle studio is my second home. Besides Soul Cycle sweat sessions I have equipment I use at home.

Five months ago a young man got hired at work. His name is John, he is 25 years old, started as an Inside Sales Rep. He has blue eyes, dark hair, is deep-voiced and well -spoken. He came to me one day with a question on editing a report in the newer Salesforce  internal chatter, as we were communicating between departments. I am a Chief Engineer. He said hello, and afterwords invited me to join him for lunch which we took outside the building on the grounds. He he had recently broke up with his college girlfriend and was living at home with his parents. He then asked if I ever went paddle boarding, which I didn't. He started to hold my hand and invited to me on Saturday to go paddle boarding. Then he said: Race you to your desk ! and he raced me to the 5th floor where we work. I won. I never took the stairs before.

On Sat. I went to meet John and we paddle boarded ! I fell of the board five times and he caught me every time. How did such an Angel came into my life ? We made plans to meet at night and go to a dive bar or something. The problem is that I had to tell my husband something. So I told him I was going out shopping for a lamp I needed, and that I'll be back in the hour and 15 minutes I max had. Be back before 9 PM, because that's when the store closed. Imagine even as I met him, I still had to come back home with a lamp ! I met him, and in a hurry we started kissing outside the beer bar, and it went from there..in my car. Then rushing over to the home goods store that sold lamps to buy one.

Have you ever had a crazy Sat. like that ?

After that day, we me got intimate in many occasions. Mostly public places. One night I could take my baby to my house when my husband Larry was away. It was the best night ever. At work, my lips are tight and try not to show my affection for him, However, he does show off. So this is another riddle I have, him showing off at work while me trying to control it.

What do you think ? John wants me to divorce Larry and marry him. I broke Larry's trust ! I can't look at Larry like before ! What can I do ?

Max responds:

Tuesday, April 25, 2017

Greenlight Capital Q1 2017 Letter

Most of you have seen this already, I am pinging back of Valuewalk.

Highlights:
  • Painful shorts with a big position in Tesla (TSLA) :
"Our shorts generated losses but added alpha, and gold gave us a small profit in macro. Apple (AAPL), Chemours (CC) and gold were the biggest winners; the bubble basket, Rite Aid (RAD), and a short position in Tesla (TSLA) were the biggest losers."
Notwithstanding the loss, the market's short interest is TSLA "is now $9.2 billion, up from $7.2 billion at the beginning of the year."
  • Einhorn is happy and dandy with Apple (AAPL), Cemours (CC) and gold.
  • The bubble basket is having its Spring momentum. [The Dow today topped 20,000].
"the market has regained enthusiasm for profitless companies that aren’t at risk of paying taxes. A number of these stocks are back in full-blown momentum mode. Analysts continue to raise “target prices” which the market treats as news. The bulls explain that traditional valuation metrics no longer apply to certain stocks...With holders reluctant to sell, the stocks can only go up – seemingly to infinity and beyond."
  • New longs: Xerox spin-off Conduent (CNDT) and manufacturer of private label OTC Perrigo (PRGO)




Sunday, April 23, 2017

Harvey Specter: close, but not close enough ?

Those that never watched "Suits" may wish to pause this one. Harvey Specter is a lawyer in the Suits series obsessed with winning. He's not even a hard-ass but he is pretty good. How good do you think he is ? Please go though the survey below and answer it !





Create your own user feedback survey


Selected best users Survey comments [updated 04.23.2017]:



  1. The only thing I like about Harvey is his paycheck.
  2. I'll pass on Harvey. My boss is better than him, he is first at happy hour and the drinks are on him !
  3. Vote No on Harvey. I'm afraid that Harvey might steal the lunch my wife packed me.
  4. I won't swap Harvey for my boss, but I'll swap my girlfriend for his.
  5. Harvey is overrated. I like Patrick Bateman [American Psycho] better.

Friday, April 21, 2017

Infrastructure investment needed in airports

There is talk about Trump's infrastructure investment plan but the details are sketchy.  When we talk about infrastructure we need to see investment in our airports.

The estimates show 86% of the world airports are owned and operated exclusively by a government. While having a small 14% share of global airports under private ownership, that share is responsible for 44% of worldwide expenditure in 2014. (BCA, Feb. 2017)

In Europe, 53% of airports were publicly-owned as of 2016, a much lower percentage than in America.  Europe has the highest percentage of privately-owned or operated airports. It is time America privatized its airports ! 

Models of privatized airport (from BCA )

  • Freehold -full private-sector ownership and management.
  • Listed companies -full or partially listed on the stock exchanges.
  • Concessions or leases -good for a limited time, include BOT [built-operate-transfer] schemes where the private sector finances and builds projects and has contracts with public sector governments to purchase those assets at a later time.
  • Management contracts - private sector manages but doesn't own those assets.
  • Government-owned companies -participation of government-owned companies in other airports as private investments or for a fee.
History

Congress passed the Airport Privatization Pilot Program in 1996. However, little has been done under that pilot project. The path ahead to privatization is long and arduous. In a future post, I will explain what a PPP is and how they've been successfully used for large infrastructure projects.



Thursday, April 20, 2017

When the boss is sabotaging you

This is an e-mail I received:

"Hi Max,

My name is Tom. I am an Executive Director of Information Technology at a known brand company, have been in this position for about three years. I am asking for your opinion on a touchy work issue that has me upset. I sleep poorly and have started having trouble with my health-my asthma. I feel trapped. My department head, the CTO, is a woman who detracts my work consistently; everything she does is office politics and somehow I don't fit in. She knows close to nothing about IT architecture and procedural improvements, yet she has built a reputation on the results of people such as myself. She recently hired a friend of hers from her college days and is trying to get her my job. Pretty soon everyone around her is going to be a friend of hers. Recently she embraced the adjective of "efficiency guru" but the laurels rest on people like myself. She's not giving the credits to those that deserve it.

It is our company policy not to discuss compensation at work. Despite my high quality work I haven't been given a raise in the last three years while my peers have gotten raises ! I am afraid of touching the subject with her, because she is looking for ways to remove and replace me."

Answer:


I understand she has been digging your hole for three years. You shouldn't have given that much time for the situation to deteriorate.

I've heard about those "efficiency gurus" that are praised in Silicon Valley: for the most they are bull***t artists. For those that don't know, "efficiency gurus" are people who claim to take a company 10X [or 14X or whatever] in a relatively short period of time. Efficiency gurus have a 90% failure rate coming in a new industry, and for those that do succeed the results are independent of their making. I call efficiency gurus "moon kangaroos" [the moon landscape is similar to Australia's deserts and you could make high jumps because of low gravity on the Moon, there are no kangaroos on the Moon, anyone can jump high].

Bosses that want the workplace filled with "buddies" are not new.

What you can do:


1. Face your worst fear and face her. Call her out. Have a private meeting where you confront her. The outcome: she either fires you or you[r situation] will improve in some way. Transfer to another city if you can. The confrontation, however, would be coming in late and the odds are not in your favor.

2. Report her to her superiors, but make sure you collect evidence. You can't do anything without evidence to back your claims.

3. Protect yourself by following the company's codes of conduct to the letter. Under no circumstances you should make sexist remarks, because a woman will unscrupulously turn this against you and accuse you of sexism. Women often paint themselves being the victims to the default -female- sexual harassment standard.


Sunday, April 16, 2017

Cocktails party do's and don'ts: party with the rich

Place: Star Island, South Beach, Miami

Time: Wild, wild mid. 20's

Occasion: Fundraiser

Price: the right price

Estimated Crowd: 70 +


So I walked into this foyer with a marble flooring starring down the Biscayne Bay aquamarine waters.

Task Number 1: Get a drink. Eat good food with minimum caloric intake. I'm looking around the tables, there's crab cakes, lots of cheese cubes, Beluga caviar, smoked salmon. I'm thinking to myself: I'm doing some damage to their caviar, no crackers or cheese. Raw caviar, after all, I'm a fish lover.  I end up eating way more than I though, couldn't resist dried fruit.

Onto drinks: I picked a Martini. For those that don't know, it's gin with a sprinkle of vermouth. Stirred with a spoon, no James Bond bullshit. For a nice guide to drinks, go to The Guide to The Good Life (GAYOT).

I introduce myself to the bartender: My name is Sprinkles. She: really ? Me: yes, really.
What happened, for the rest of the night not only she remembered my name, she was happy with me. Probably having something to do with cupcakes, ice cream toppings or cats.  Try it sometimes: if you wanna pick up a bartender, tell her your name is Sprinkles.

Task Number 2:  Meet the host and hostess, get introduced, introduce myself, cut through the butter. "Cut through the butter" is my expression of getting to the people who I wanted to meet. The moneybags. Things have changed over the years, used to be the moneybags were the oldest people in the room, now they are the youngest. At a cocktail party you can always tell who the bosses are, everyone is gravitating to them. Since I didn't have a friend there, I decided to introduce myself, with a vague reference to my employer. The guy can't just back out, he'll look like shit to his fans.

Another thing you can do if you don't know anyone at a party is to spot the "social engineer", the life of the party. Use that person to introduce you to the host and hostess. Or introduce yourself to the hostess first, hostesses are often very graceful women. If you brought a gift, that's easy to do. Women oblige and understand it is their role to lube up the party. The only thing a woman needs to get your attention is a generous compliment. If a woman is older, I like to say: "Were you a dancer, a performer ?" If it is young girl, I tell her I race horses. 9 out 10 she has never met someone like that. If she has, I say my horse is sick so me and her can commiserate together.

Task Number 3: Pretend I can dance (although I don't really). Dancing is like a foreign language: if you don't practice it, you lose it.

Task Number 4: Try not to get drunk. If you get drunk, you've lost. It's that simple. The logic of going to a cocktail party is to stay sober.





Task Number 5: Understanding the cocktail party effect

Saturday, April 15, 2017

Dating: The importance of the redpill

I briefly touched on relationships before, but I never articulated the importance of going "redpill" for men that are dating or that are in any kind of  an amorous relationship.

This week The NY Post had an article "Why I won't date hot women anymore". by Christian Gollayan. In this article, a PE executive is quoted as saying:

"Beautiful women who get a fair amount of attention get full of themselves,” he says. Eventually, I was dreading getting dinner with them because they couldn’t carry a conversation.”

.The man in question eventually stopped dating bikini models and found a compatible girl he is now engaged to, who is the VP of her mother's company. He is "enthusiastic" about giving up "high-maintenance hotties". The articles tries to put women on the same level  playing field, giving the example of a girl who gave up a "hot" guy for the same reason the male banker did, suggesting hot men are much alike their hot women counterparts.

What does it mean going "redpill" for men ? It is seeing women as their are rather then how they want to be seen and how they are made in cultural programming. Women are, by far and large, "flighty, selfish and vapid", each to a degree. That degree is exacerbated in the "hot looking" category. Women are driven by their solipsism [self-fixation] and hypergamy [seeking higher status in men]. So a "hot" woman with a lot of options will inevitably be divisive, manipulative and narcissistic. To expect otherwise is to live in the unreal world of the consumerism society where women reign supreme. Dan Rochkind -and countless others- would have saved himself a lot of heartache and money had he understood this early on. I will incorporate three Max Cantor truths that will hopefully make men and the women they date at ease with themselves and their expectations.

Women, not men, control most of the world resources.- Max Cantor redpill truth #1


That's right. Women sit atop the consumer pyramid and consume more resources (all things being equal) than men do. That includes everything, not (just) purses and clothing, but all basic commodities: oil, gas, food and services: education. Everything and more 9i.i. black market economy) that makes up the GDP of a state or nation.

All things being equal, a woman, not a man, will get a high paying (i.e. "corner office") job.-Max Cantor redpill #2.


How so ? By playing the "minority" card, the woman will get a pass a male will not. Hard to prove, and let's be serious, 99.99% of males are not living life at their full potential as yours truly. They won't initiate an inquiry or even whisper about it.

Back to the original issue of dating "hotties", what should a man do ?


Thursday, April 13, 2017

Looking for a good logo

I was thinking what would make a good logo for my blog. In the animal kingdom, an obvious choice would be the bull, but the bull is everywhere and its image has been sullied by a "fearless girl". Would a lionheart or a lion do ? What about a saber-toothed tiger ? The wolf ? The wolf is overdone, there are even [financial] firms named Wolf Capital and variations thereof.

I think the best and down-to-earth symbol is the American pitbull. Ferocious. Pure bred (and not always). Active listener. Boss killer. Foot soldier. Goes where no one has gone before. Does what no one has done before. Really strong teeth. Loves blood sports. Goodwill ambassador.

From the pictures below, please select which one you like the best. Thank you !

-Max

Note: In order for the polling vote to become visible, you'd need to exit the secure SSL view mode (https:http://wallstreetfinancier.blogspot.com/2017/04/looking-for-good-logo.html)

1. Graph clipart



2. Red nose pitbull



3. Other graphical art



4. Standup guy




Saturday, April 8, 2017

HBS: promoting money, greed and immorality above society’s needs ?

There is a new book coming out "The Golden Passport: Harvard Business School, the Limits of Capitalism, and the Moral Failure of the MBA Elite" written by Duff McDonald to be published by Harper Business on April 25, 2017. "To the author, who spent two and one-half years reporting and writing The Golden Passport, HBS is an institution that promotes money, greed and immorality above society’s needs, a school whose teachings are complicit in the moral failings of Western capitalism. It is the most critical work on HBS since the publication of the New York Times’ bestseller Ahead of the Curve by Philip Delves Broughton who chronicled his two-year experience as an MBA at the school." (John A. Byrne)

Harvard Business School apparently didn't cooperate with the author in allowing him access to their archives, and chose to regard his work as critic towards the school, even though the largest portion of the book is dedicated to the school's history. From John A. Byrne's interview with McDonald:
"The school did not do a good enough job at providing a sense of values to the masters of the universe they trained. They didn’t have a full course on ethics until 2003 or something."
In that same interview McDonald says that the case method (pioneered at Harvard but now widely used nationally) warps everything around the money narrative. MacDonald passes on a critique of HBS guru Michael Porter, a familiar name to all business students.

John A. Byrne calls Duff McDonald the "Barbarian" at Harvard Business School's gates. McDonald himself thinks he has written a book on constructive criticism.



Criticism, in general, accomplishes very little. And "blame is a tool employed by the weak-minded".-Max Cantor quote. Criticism of what ? Of building an elite factory ?

Here is how Harvard, and any other large institution of higher ed works: the school receives money from corporations that have the largest percentage of alumni. So HBS and its endowment investors and grantors are former alumni with the largest share of wealth -you can download the Wealth X Billionaire Census 2017 here. "Harvard has the highest number of billionaires with 52 and the largest number of UHNW individuals with 2,964. That group has $622 billion in net worth. The University of Pennsylvania, which has 1,502 UHNW graduates with a total of $242 billion in assets, is a distant second in aggregate UHNW assets. Of the top 20 universities in the world ranked by the number of UHNW alumni, the three that aren’t in the U.S. are the University of Oxford with 401, the University of Mumbai with 372 and the University of Cambridge with 361. (WealthX, 2013 Report).

Reinforcing money and raising moneymakers is not unique to Harvard. In fact, all institutions do it. There is only one reason, I suppose, to single out HBS: their disproportionate share of wealth, worldwide. It's what the "golden passport status" title of this book is about. To even think that HBS is interested in teaching anything but profit logging is to be thick as two short planks. HBS alumni push for hire from the school to the exclusion of the weaker, less known schools graduates. It is called my tribe, building a close knit community of influencers and powerbrokers.


"I don't have a shot at this job at -[Silicon Valley co name omitted]- because I didn't go to an elite top 20 school" -that's an email I got.

Monday, April 3, 2017

Real CEO talk exposé

A few years back  I was on the 9th Green at Pebble Beach Golf Course (link) playing a heavy hitter. When he introduced himself I found out he was a major company CEO. I recall specific moments of that conversation because the guy spoke of what it takes to be a CEO. Back then, I was frustrated, my downswing was horrible. I shanked the ball because I was hitting from the outside instead of the inside.

Where did you NOT learnt it ?" he asked me.

-I took some lessons last summer at Edgewood.

Guess what: If you don't know where your head, is you lose it. In golf, like life: you need great balance, focus. If your mind narrows to the path ahead, you lose concentration.

-So, coach [I started addressing him affectionately by "coach"], what does it take to be a CEO ? Other than balance and walking confidently on any path, no matter how narrow?

How many can you take with one hit.

-What exactly do you mean ?

Having meetings and people coming in saying their things. Obviously I can't go each way everybody wants, so I'll chose the one way that works for most. Not all. 

-Let me guess: yours is the loudest voice around [in meetings, A/N].

My voice is not only the loudest, but the surest. I have to clear the air of all the fluff and smoke and mirrors.

-And who's bringing all the smoke and mirrors ?

All the bull***t artists. The leadership management experts. My point is slow and steady wins the race.

-I think there is a place for all the Mckinseys of the the world...

These are gamers who've never build anything in their lives. These people introduce self doubt, they are dream killers. Anybody who has ever done anything exceptional has issues and roadblocks, to think otherwise is foolish. They think if sales are down you are going to fade away. Foolish ! 

-???

I've had thousands in my life saying NO to me ! You can't do it ! You can't get there ! What separates a real CEOs from the rest is drive that he has, the patterns and the choices. I get more done than others, that's why I run a company.  I can get any resources I need before anyone else does. That's why I have my title.

-Ok, can I buy you lunch ? -I said

Yes, you may.

-Can I write a book featuring you and title it "Real CEOs are not the pussies you read about",  or "Anti-pussy CEOs" ?

No, you're not.