Monday, March 1, 2010


It is not yet Spring here in New York City, but the most recent snowstorm has passed, and the streets and sidewalks are clear. Accordingly, Your Humble Blogosopher has decided to dust off the shelves and clear out some dead wood at this site. Some of these adjustments represent a natural evolution of the site and reflect changes which have already occurred. Some of them are designed to make the site more useful and comprehensible to the occasional traveler on the information superhighway who stumbles into the brackish backwater that is TED.

Regular readers need not fear, however, that I have made this portal less abstruse, recondite, or incomprehensible to the average web-surfing troll who crashes our party uninvited. The main roads, byways, and parking spots in this gated community remain poorly lighted and confusingly marked, if at all. This is by design. I wish to discourage high-speed through-travelers in favor of those who come here with an open mind and a curiosity which is piqued by serendipity, humor, and Your Dedicated Correspondent's refusal to write down to the lowest common denominator. These pages are your playground to explore, and I continue to encourage you to do so. Perhaps the cleverer among you will realize that the obscurity, arrogance, and unapproachability of your guide is an intentional inducement to thinking for yourself and drawing your own conclusions.

Without further ado, what follows is a brief description of the changes I have made and their justification. No returns, exchanges, or refunds will be allowed.

* * *

I have altered the blog title from its previous incarnation to more accurately describe the breadth and focus of subject matter already covered in these pages. When I started this egregious exercise in onanistic peroration over three years ago, I expected to focus the bulk of my attention and writing on the world of mergers and acquisitions, which is my longstanding professional occupation. While I have indeed posted some material on this subject, I discovered that not only is it less interesting to me as a topic to write on than many of the other follies roiling our markets and society,1 but also that my professional obligation (and personal ethic) of client confidentiality has rendered it impossible to convey the best M&A stories I know to the general public.

While it is true that I could conceal the identities of my clients and other parties involved pretty effectively from the average layperson, the M&A world is small enough that I am convinced my peers and competitors could suss out their true identities—and therefore mine—in a heartbeat. Not only would that threaten to violate the duty of confidentiality and trust I owe to clients and colleagues, but it would also likely bring the SEC down upon my newly unmasked head like a ton of bricks. Notwithstanding my longstanding scorn of the effectiveness of the SEC, I have a healthy reluctance to taunt that bumbling colossus quite so blatantly.

Anyway, it has been quite some time since I broadened my field of vision beyond my own little sandbox. Besides, like most pundits, I find limited familiarity with a particular subject to be tremendously liberating in terms of what I can write about it. The less you know, the freer you can be from the tedious and banal constraints of the facts. And Dedicated Readers of this blog already know that I am a stickler for freedom from the facts.

So: title changed. If we cannot have advertising on this site, at least we can have truth in advertising in the editorial material.

No material change, other than the addition of "Recommended Reading" to link to my more extensive list of blog sites by other authors which I find worthy of my and my readers' attention. See below.

I have completely revamped my blogroll and replaced the previous static list with's dynamic list, which I have found from other sites to be far more useful. Not only does the new list show the title of the most recent post on each blog, it indicates when it was published. I find this immensely helpful for my own purposes, since it shows me which blogs I regularly consult have published material I have not read and therefore should visit. I don't know about you, Dear Reader, but this saves me a lot of time and unproductive clicking back and forth.

Of course, this convenience comes at a cost in screen real estate. Therefore, I have relocated most of the sites previously in my recommended list to their own page, Recommended Reading, which can be reached via the About this Site section. This format not only allows me to categorize less-frequently visited sites into more helpful buckets, but also to provide some color on their peculiar merits.

I make this change primarily for my own benefit. I do not expect many of my readers use my blogsite as a portal to other sites.2 Rather, TED seems to be a site people click through to from readers or links on other sites, and then return to originating sites upon exit. That being said, there may be some among you who occasionally become curious as to the nature and extent of my online "reading list." This new page is for you, and I will do my best to keep it reasonably updated.

Sorry. This blog site is not a democracy, nor is it an attempt to generate a dialogue.3 If this offends your sense of what a blog should be, I apologize. But it still ain't gonna change. There's always email.

1 M&A also seems to be one of the least interesting topics for my readers, as well, based on pageview traffic. Not that I plan on becoming a slave to popular opinion or anything, but I do take comfort that I will not be depriving millions of avid M&A junkies of their daily bread.
2 In fact, I know of only one regular reader who uses this site as his regular portal into the econoblogosphere. I am sure he is now franticly trying to reconstruct my previous link list in his own RSS feeds while cursing my traitorous name. I hope he will be satisfied with bookmarking the new "Recommended Reading" page instead.
3 Although I do hope that it does occasionally contribute to the broader dialogue taking place out there. I am indeed interested in what other sensible minds think about the issues that concern me. I just don't want to have to moderate a peanut gallery in these pages. Call me lazy: you would be correct.

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