Expense Account, Mint
Regulating junk food, TV hours, time on the Internet and phone are parent bugbears. Parenting experts talk about starting small and not using either size or presence to regulate. Because the parent is larger, it tends to use the advantage of size to get the kid to follow rules. And because the parent will police or catch it doing what it is not supposed to, the kid will use the hours without the parent to break the rules. We all did and so will they. But both size and presence have downsides. Size is a transient advantage and, at some point, the knee-high will grow and look you in the eye. And they grow very fast these days. And this stock is taller too. Policing is costly in terms of time, effort and family happiness. What seems to work are broad guidelines with very clear rules. Defined outcomes—if this, then that—and an implementation of the rules with a benevolent eye on a one-off blowout. Then policing reduces from moment to moment to occasional footprint checks.
Expense Account, Mint
So we have the leader of the largest economy in the world, whose currency parallels gold as a store of value and a medium of exchange—the highest mark of respect in the non-real universe of finance—whose bonds fill vaults in China and the Oil bloc, whose people consume so that the world can grow. He. Saying many, many times. I will fight!
Nope, this is not George W. Bush lifting a fist against those with weapons of mass destruction. This is US President Barack Obama, publicly livid at those who turned money into a weapon of global destruction. As he tries to push Bills (the opinion of whether these Bills go far enough is still totally split between those who say no and those who moan about curbing the natural instincts of entrepreneurship and getting over-regulated) through the Senate seeking to fix the structural problems on Wall Street that have caused such deep Main Street anguish, he finds the push-back from incumbents quick and strong. In a statement a fortnight back, he talked of an army of industry lobbyists from Wall Street descending on Capitol Hill and that “if these folks want a fight, it’s a fight I’m ready to have”.