Michael Hassett

Michael Hassett

Posts by This Writer

10 years 2 months ago

We need to start this performance with introductions for the non-baseball fan.  Stan Musial (Stan the Man) is one of the greatest players in the history of baseball - 3,630 hits, three world championships, three MVPs, seven batting titles, twenty seasons as an all star..  Musial was a line drive hitter, he led the league in doubles eight times,  who didn't have that slight uppercut swing that produces a natural home run king like Ken Griffey, Jr. (Musial and both Griffeys are natives of Donora, Pa).  All Stan the Man did was smash line drives so hard and so often that he hit 475 home runs without even trying.  He looks...


10 years 2 months ago

Please look for other Gulf oil spill related posts today at all the great Justmeans News locations.
An earlier post here suggested BP stock might, SRI or not, be a buy at $51, based on the decline in market cap in relation to an estimated spill liability of $14 Billion.  Crow is on today's menu, and not because the price has slipped to $46 (as of May 13) - all other things being equal, that would be a reason to buy more – but because this is an SRI blog that somehow missed the SRI boat..

What has changed are...


10 years 2 months ago


Asset manager TIAA-CREF is sponsoring a Raise the Rate contest on Facebook, and a first prize of $50,000 should spur performance.  The prize goes to the best idea for improving the personal savings rate in the United States.  Judges include Maria Bartiromo, but  her judicial duties do not include a date with the contest winner, so you will have to be satisfied with the cash and recognition.  Second prize goes to anyone who knows what TIAA-CREF stands for.

Here's my entry:

First, the obvious, sponsor a contest on Facebook (and/or Justmeans) for the best idea to raise the savings rate.  Will be...


10 years 2 months ago

Two recent headlines in the world of SRI stirred some speculation here on the performance of business in dealing with climate change.   First, American Businesses for Clean Energy came out with a study on

business support for climate change legislation, showing 6,000 companies support energy and climate legislation, based on an analysis of membership in six  environmental business organizations.  The study indicates these 6,000 companies employ an estimated 3.5 million workers, represent more than $2.6 trillion in market capitalization, and totaled $3.5 trillion in estimated revenue in 2009...


10 years 2 months ago

Need funds?  What are you doing and where do you live?  In some countries it's been common for years to pay a vending machine or a parking fee with funds transferred by cell phone although for some reason, this hasn't caught on as quickly in the US.  In  emerging  markets,  cell phones are hot cakes all over,  but mobile payments are syrup only in some.  In both the developed and developing world, mobile payment systems are poised for takeoff.

Pay Pal and now Mastercard have announced that software...


10 years 2 months ago

With a nod to Kafka (fear not - SRI but  no spiders today),  you, Adam,  have awoken to find yourself transformed into an employee of a major corporation, Widgco, the world's largest widget company.  You are overjoyed to discover that you have been adding regularly to your 401(k), and Widgco has partially matched your savings, but you have a nagging feeling that somewhere in a prior life you were committed to making only socially responsible investments.   Somehow your account has been split between two funds – both...


10 years 2 months ago

Maybe Steve Job's performance at a product introduction is  more dramatic than Eric Schmidt's.  Maybe there's  a lot of hurdles for tv that is truly integrated with the pc and Internet, hurdles like recruiting more electronics manufactures and retailers as “partners”, finding a market at a high price point then gradually building volume to drive that price point down.  Hurdles or no, if I had to choose between iPad and Google TV for long term performance, my money is on Google.

First, Google's...


10 years 2 months ago

On a scale of 10 (best) to 1, the performance of the major credit rating agencies in the years leading up to the bursting mortgage security bubble earned a 0, and that is generous.  Most, this blogger included, assign much of the blame to a fee system in which the issuer of a proposed security is responsible for selecting the rating agency and paying the fee.  The same basic conflict is inherent in every deal, give this security a high rating or I won't come back next time.  To compound...


10 years 2 months ago

This continues yesterday's post.

Blankfein was even more impressive on Charlie Rose, where he didn't have to fend off naked hostility while answering questions that required remedial finance rephrasings before he could even attempt an answer.  He seemed genuinely concerned, maybe even remorseful, about the way the firm's role as a market maker had created conflict, or at least the appearance of conflict, with it's clients. 

Blankfein is worried about the first criticism, and maybe the third (which is related,...


10 years 2 months ago

The last Goldman post to appear in this space included a conflicts disclosure that turned into a mini-therapy session.  This time, you can forget the mini.

If you filter out the generalized anti-Wall Street, anti-elite, anti-semitic hatred there seems to be four major strains to the popular criticism of Goldman:  1) it bet against its own clients; 2) it's promoting crazy casino-like transactions that don't provide any benefit to the real economy; 3) its errors were a major contributor to the market crash and...


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