What a bad transition would look like

So now we get a presidential transition, one that is likely–given the fragile state of the financial system and the economy–to pose challenges unlike any we’ve seen in decades. Challenges similar, although as yet far less severe, to those that faced Herbert Hoover and Franklin Roosevelt during the long, horrible handoff of 1932 and …

How the president’s job is just like ours

In all the hoopla surrounding the election of our next president, it occurs to me that what Barack Obama won is a job. The world’s most powerful job, yes. But it’s a job like yours and mine. He’ll wake up in the morning (even after a 3 a.m. call on a red phone), get dressed, eat breakfast, and go to work. Just like you and me.

He’ll get …

Tuesday night’s winners

1. Barack Obama. Obviously.

2. Sasha and Malia. They get a puppy. They also get (up to) eight years of unceasing scrutiny. But still: a puppy!

3. Nate Silver. His FiveThirtyEight gave a much better sense of how this election would play out than any other media outlet. Of course, now he’ll go and get the next election totally wrong. For …

Even Vatican workers have to clock in

From the Italian news service ANSA:

The tiny state on the Tiber has issued new cards to all employees from the lowest office staff to the grandest heads of departments – even if they are priests or bishops.

The swipe cards have reportedly been received without complaint by the lay staff but some older clerics have been heard

We’re winning!

“We” being people who want to keep talking about the economy. Seems that’s what’s most on people’s minds according to early exit polls. Surprising? No. Good news for future traffic to the Curious Capitalist? Yes!

If you’re in the mood for some more in-depth and up-to-the-minute election commentary, I’d suggest checking out the liveblog

They’re doing yoga in the office

Sounds like a perfectly nice idea, right? We’re all too busy to exercise, too stressed to function, desperately in need of a sun salutation. So why not a yoga class right here in the office?

Me, I’m still on maternity leave, so I don’t have to respond to the friendly e-mails inviting one and all to join in. But I’ll be frank. I don’t …

The layoffs have begun

I voted this morning. By sometime tonight, if democracy functions, we should have a new president-elect. And none too soon. The economy’s in the Dumpster, and our employers need to know someone out there has a plan to fish us out.

I write this as I hear from a dear friend that she’s been laid off. Time Inc. announced impending changes …

Yet another lie we told: “Sure, I live there”

I had a great chat this afternoon with Bill Erbey, the CEO of Ocwen, one of the largest servicers of subprime loans. We talked at length about what it’s like to be in the loan modification business these days. I’m writing a story, and I don’t want to get ahead of myself, but I can’t resist sharing one piece of data.

Erbey was talking …

If kids could vote…

…apparently, they would. A lot. For Obama. Check out Time for Kids‘ election webtravaganza. Here’s what I learned on the Electionary:

Ballot initiative (n)
A proposed law or policy that is voted on directly by the public. It is also sometimes called a referendum, proposition, or ballot measure. Ballot initiatives are different in each

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