The Strategist: Certification Services for the Cloud – Reliability, Continuity, and Indemnification Against Outages

The Strategist: Certification Services for the Cloud – Reliability, Continuity, and Indemnification Against Outages

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I am going to write about a project that got stranded on my research pile when a well funded client decided that they did not wish to complete the contractual research allocation. The research directives encompassed finding a preliminary business model for underwriting business continuity risk within the rubric of cloud applications and hosting services. A concomitant directive was to research new and existing technological models that would offset the risk of such underwriting programs.

So there was an insurance underwriting and actuarial side, and a real systems side. I was to uncover the insurance industry‘s perspective on underwriting SAAS /PAAS / Cloud, etc. I was to bring to the partner underwriters technical proposals that would offset the risk. The project was on a roll and then still birthed. I think it still has merit. I think that the failure of several VC funded net storage start ups points to this, and that even recent hours-long outages in the ‘clouds of the mighty’, should indicate that this analysis was not a complete waste of time. I certainly uncovered gaping holes in the standard insurance industry lines when underwriting business interruptions and continuity for advanced hosting and SAAS.

I am under NDA as to the identity and specific plans of the client, but what I learned, and the contacts I made, cannot encumber my portfolio of analysis and career endeavors. I have that in writing, and the former client, admitting to the invocation of an early termination clause,  is cool with that – bigger crises on the home front and all.

We analysts wouldn’t be worth much if we couldn’t (at least sometimes) feel things coming ’round the bend. Before the words “economic crisis” became a meme for all subsequent business failures, many esteemed colleagues felt there was excess capital flowing into redundant business models (YASN and YAVSS, for the initiated). This was an evil wind with bad portents. Too much VC cake was handed over to the ‘Valley Undertakers”, i.e., entrepreneurs who had fostered serial failures, break-evens, and maybe one or two small M&A’s, but who in the big picture had no business getting that much access to capital. So that’s the tableaux we have set at around 3/07.

I was working for an R&D lab in South San Francisco when my self-billed services (product strategy under contract) started softening. I was counting on an implied renewal to extend a six month term to 18-24 months. Well, they said they loved me.I was not alone in the exodus from Gateway Blvd. Continue reading


I call out CNBC on the bailout

Fast Money (CNBC)

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The initial overheated tone of this post has been edited to better reflect my points and remove the bad words and unreasoned insults that were placed there in the heat of the moment. I’m glad that the commenter, posing as the real Macke, called me out. AW

10/05/2008 I am removing any references to Mr. Jeff Macke. I am retracting my indictment of him in any way. Instead, I refer people to the CNBC Program Fast Money – to the episode archive where Mr. Macke comments on Senator Shelby’s review of the the first ‘no’ vote on the rescue plan. I will endeavor to get that clip posted. It really set me off. There was no need, however, to put Jeff Macke in the greater mix of my emotions on the dirty deal. I will let the comments stand.

Many financial commentators on CNBC seem to be very free with your money. Some recent comments on Fast Money, tend to say that the Fed and the Treasury should give your money to the banks that screwed us. Despite the fact that professional traders have generally profited and watched while the entire market was leveraged up, that the professional equities trading and management business is taking a beating, (unless the cake is handed out), it is an insult that professional commentators are taking a pro-position on the legislation just passed. Mr. Taxpayer, they got it done. Lambasting Senator Shelby for putting the brakes on this benighted plan to take money out of your pocket and placing it at the disposal of the Fed has me very angry.

The CNBC commentators, it seems to me, dispense superficial commentary. They talk fast and say nothing, covering the same talking points and revealing no insight whatsoever. The only things we hear out of their mouth seems to be positions that bolster what is good for Wall Street.

I usually expect more reasoned argument from Karen Finerman; in the last analysis, however, Ms. Finerman is a trader, and she needs to keep her cake in the oven. Dylan Ratigan seems to be the most level headed of the group, expressing and exposing the counter position sometimes, but overall, he takes the pro position and explains the best he can that this was a necessary deal.

There are other CNBC anchors that take a reasoned approach and who seem to be opposed, if not to the deal itself, to the “hurry up” nature of the deal.

People, we have been taken  down this bad road by the people and pols that actually engineered the seeds of the disaster. These are the selfsame people who could have regulated the processes. Instead, they actually watched as it unfolded over a period of years. This is legacy of the Bush administration, their friends the wealthy, and professional traders. They berate those who dare pour cold water on this abominable deal. This was an insult…and more injurious to you the taxpayer, than doing nothing and letting the market take its toll. Let the private equity market make good what it made bad.

Numerous financial commentators have been so wrong on this subject; This should have been a market driven solution that limited the taxpayer’s participation. Many economists have advocated an open, transparent electronic exchange for the distressed assets. That would be a start. Most of the taking heads on networks like CNBC want the cake to be pumped into the selfsame corrupt investment banks that engineered the crisis, and also want interest rates to be essentially  cut to approach zero. These are all bad ideas.

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Brian Darling, Professional Liar, Heritage Foundation

On CNBC, the center for misinformation for all things regarding commodities futures trading, Brian Darling, a paid liar for the Heritage Foundation says that increasing margin requirements for oil futures speculators will destroy the economy.

Mr. Darling needs to be beaten with an oil field pipe wrench  – he is paid by the foundation to convey misinformation. The entire run up in crude prices is due to the number of speculators that hold contracts on dry barrels. These evil folks could never hope to take delivery of the commodities that they are bidding on. Worse, they are bidding with a near zero investment backing their long positions. Could it get worse that this?

Yes. In most cases, they are not even placing the 5% margin requirement that is called for (it should be 50% margin). They are allowed to trade for free, with no need to take delivery, and with what is essentially no margin requirement.

Brian Darling – you are an evil traitor to this country you bastard.

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CNBC and a Crude Discussion – talking fast and saying nothing

Before you read me, please read Tom Kloza, who is a real authority:

CNBC and a Crude Discussion – talking fast and saying nothing

Maria Bartiromo

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Have you ever noticed that the anchors and analysts on CNBC talk very fast. Especially the ‘money bunnies’, Maria Bartiromo and Erin Burnett, they talk really fast. One reason for this rapid repartee is that they have no idea what they are talking about, and they don’t want you to notice.

While this can be forgiven when applied to a financial news anchor, it is unforgivable when dished up by a sector analyst. Specifically, the energy sector experts on CNBC should be beaten with a pipe.

A horrible lie is being circulated (via CNBC in particular), stating that the current price of crude oil could be due to any number of factors; it is just not known precisely what is causing the constant rise in the price of oil. Some analysts featured by CNBC say demand is the cause, some say speculation; they are both correct, but the role that speculation via crude futures trading plays in the price of crude is being deliberately hidden from public discussion, until now. I will enlighten you.

While there is no doubt that demand has played its part, we are seeing a new dynamic in the old commodity trader’s bag of dirty tricks – this is the trading of ‘dry contracts’.

Read on, babes, you are being had. Continue reading