Venture Capital has been in steady decline.
Make no mistake, venture capital has been falling consistently, despite all the positive spin the media hype machine used last year — tumbling and spinning numbers, comparing apples to oranges. Feels Bad to be Right: VC Funding (Still) Falling
Private Equity in U.S. is declining.
The industry’s focus on exits has reduced volumes of leveraged buyouts this year, with the number of private-equity deals announced declining 20 percent to 3,047 worldwide from the same period last year. Bloomberg
But credit is heating up and equity prices are high.
Now is the time to divest!
"We think it’s a fabulous environment to be selling. We’re selling everything that’s not nailed down in our portfolio" - Apollo CEO Leon Black
Obama “Disappointed” He Didn’t Get Chinese Delivery of Snowden with Side Order of Chow Mein Noodles
Earth is not the United Globe of America. Other countries have their own laws. Also, some countries occasionally follow their own laws — a practice that your hip and forward administration probably considers “old school.”
Perhaps your lack of regard for rule of law in America makes you feel icky when other countries abide by their own laws, prompting you to do the following:
President Barack Obama told Chinese officials that he’s disappointed with China’s treatment of U.S. demands.
This whole “oops, I approve of the government violating all your rights” thing must be embarrassing for you, Mr. President, particularly since you’ve always campaigned on your solidarity with the American peoples’ interest in civil liberty and the constitutional right of privacy.
Your newly admitted disrespect for rule of law and the rights of Americans creates a truly humorous opportunity for CHINA (of all nations!) to take a turn on the podium and charade itself as a country that respects rule of law:
"With regard to Snowden case, the central government of China has always respected the Hong Kong government’s handling of cases in accordance with law… . Hong Kong handled the Snowden case in accordance with law and its approach is beyond reproach," Yang said.
Mr. President, we hope you find this just as funny as the rest of us do. But don’t laugh, because China might find that rude, and you’re gonna need China to keep giving America allowance money to buy Obama economy lunchboxes. Sorry Barry, no noodles.
I’ve been fascinated by Myanmar for about 5 years, when I met a political refugee who was mutual friends with some of my friends in Singapore. As a descendant from a once powerful and wealthy family, he narrowly escaped death and believed that he’d never see his family members again.
Little did either of us know that just a few years later, Myanmar would open itself to the world. Yet after 20 years of isolation and military control that thwarted education, infrastructure development, and government systems, Myanmar is hardly ready to open for business.
Faced with some of the world’s most expensive start-up costs, many companies will decide Myanmar isn’t worth the trouble. Read more …
Additionally, the country is still plagued by extreme tension and violence between ethnic groups. Violence against Chinese merchants runs high, parallel to violence against Muslims.
While President Barack Obama praised Myanmar’s progress after meeting with Thein Sein yesterday, he expressed “deep concern” about violence against ethnic and religious minorities and said abuse of human rights “needs to stop.” Myanmar Sanctions Won’t be Extended
-Senator Rand Paul
Make no mistake, venture capital has been falling consistently, despite all the positive spin the media hype machine used last year — tumbling and spinning numbers, comparing apples to oranges. You read about this last year on the Diligent Venture blog and again briefly here. And here’s where we are now:
U.S. venture capital investment has fallen for three straight quarters and is now at the lowest level since the third quarter of 2010 Read more …
Worse still, there hasn’t been any significant, positive change to the fundamentals to indicate that the situation will get significantly better any time soon. The JOBS Act was pitched to the public as some amazing, silver-bullet legislation that would reinvigorate investment. After passing it, all we’ve seen is consistent decline in venture capital.
Part of the blame lies with the Securities Exchange Commission (SEC), which can’t find the time or resources to publish the rules that are required to implement the JOBS Act. In fact, the SEC has already missed its deadlines for producing such rules. SEC Misses Two Key JOBS Act Deadlines.
But this is not just a U.S. phenomenon, so we can’t simply blame the SEC or the United States economy. Check out the parallel bad news on the other side of the world:
For only the second time since 2008, more than half of Israeli venture-capital funds — some 51% — made no investment in the quarter. Israeli Venture Capital Funding Slips
Are VC funds eyeballing the global slowdown, deflation in commodities, dragging sales reports, and deciding to wait and see?
AIG CEO Robert Benmosche told students complaining about the economy and unemployment “You have to accept the hand that’s been dealt you in life.” Lame. Yes, in general this advice is true, but the context and source of such words is more than a bit hypocritical.
AIG certainly didn’t “accept its hand” when it should have gone bankrupt and left shareholders and bondholders empty-handed. Instead, AIG went crying to the U.S. government again and again and again, ultimately netting more than a $182 billion dollar bailout. These bailouts were used to pay out bad derivative investments 100 cents on the dollar — so the counter-parties to AIG’s bad business deals also didn’t have to “accept the hand” that was dealt to them.
So just to be clear, Mr. Benmosche — your company helped wreck the global economy, your company cried to the government for huge bailouts (which also helped wreck the country’s balance sheet), your company accelerated job destruction through AIG unit sales and shut-downs in addition to AIG’s overall contribution to the collapse of the US the economy, and your business partners all got to do the same — BUT you think students who haven’t even had the chance to work as adults should get “tough-love” treatment while they pay for the sins of AIG?
Fuck you very much, Mr. Benmosche.
*Yes, I’m fully aware that Benmosche did not start running AIG until after the economic collapse. That doesn’t change my opinion. He is speaking as the CEO of AIG, and he must acknowledge that AIG certainly does not live by the standards that he preaches, nor would he have the CEO position if AIG did live honestly by the “deal with it” philosophy. The only reason AIG exists (as anything other than a bankruptcy zombie, e.g. Lehman), and the only reason why Mr. Benmosche is CEO of AIG, is because AIG didn’t have to “deal with it” the way honest, rule-of-law citizens and businesses must deal with their own situations.
Most of the bands returning to Austin or visiting SXSW for the first time plug in to its quirky, frenetic, and friendly atmosphere with a positive attitude. You are a huge part of what makes SX so great! A small minority of bands are still learning how to “play well with others.” A single incident I witnessed yesterday illustrated these three pro tips:
1. Be nice to the sound guy. Austin is welcoming community where folks don’t take themselves too seriously and friendliness is the daily juice. There’s no room for divas at SX. Rude or disrespectful attitudes, gestures, and comments won’t motivate your sound tech, and your audience will think you’re a jerk.
2. Austin has an indoor smoking ban. You light up a cigarette just to stick it between your guitar strings while you play? It’s not as cool looking as you think, and it’s against the law, so cut it out!
3. Give us original music. Leave your cover songs at home. Above all things, avoid playing Stevie Ray Vaughan or Jimi Hendrix — we have local artists that shred these classics at our favorite watering holes every single week, and your version likely pales in comparison.
Austin is wide open for as much creativity, sound, and adrenalin as you can muster. Keep these pro tips in mind and you’ll be on your way to a better SXSW experience that connects with your audience and the community.
Defense Contractor Shares Social Media Spy Technology with US Government, and You Only Think Your Privacy Settings Are Real
Keep on posting. Everything you say can - and will - be used against you.
The sophisticated technology demonstrates how the same social networks that helped propel the Arab Spring revolutions can be transformed into a “Google for spies” and tapped as a means of monitoring and control. Read More …
And don’t get fooled into thinking that your privacy settings keep your info private. Third party apps on Facebook allow your friends (even friends you’ve excluded with FB privacy settings) to trade your data to third parties, who can exploit it any way they choose:
Facebook privacy settings said to be bypassed by Storify app. Read More …