Bill Romanos Blog

Aerospace | Cyberspace | Defense

Amazon Vine Voice

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I have been invited to be a member of Amazon Vine Voice due to my book reviews.

Just Google Bill Romanos Amazon Profile.

Written by Bill Romanos

September 14, 2008 at 7:39 pm

CISLUNAR SPACE = My new blog.

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Here is the link to my CISLUNAR SPACE blog.

PS: The term CISLUNAR or CIS-LUNAR SPACE is a term sometimes used in space warfare or space activities generally to refer to the space between the Earth and the Moon.

Written by Bill Romanos

February 22, 2009 at 9:09 pm

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My Other Blog – CISLUNAR SPACE

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I am also blogging under CISLUNAR SPACE. I’ve had the name and blog for a while, but I am only know beginning to really use it. So essentially I just started it. I think I will use CISLUNAR SPACE as my primary blog as I find Google blogger easier and with more options than this WordPress blog. So check it out: http://cislunarspace.blogspot.com/

Written by Bill Romanos

February 22, 2009 at 9:05 pm

Bill Romanos

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This blog is in part provided here so that you can get more information about me if you choose.

Check the right-hand side.  You can see my Amazon.com Profile or more biographical material at http://www.romanoslaw.com, etc.

*Please feel free to add me as a friend on FriendFeed, Facebook, LinkedIn, etc.

Sincerely,

Bill Romanos

Written by Bill Romanos

January 1, 2009 at 10:24 pm

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MALCOLM GLADWELL’S BOOK “OUTLIERS”

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Outliers is an excellent book about some of the often overlooked factors that drive success. He investigates factors other than the personal meritocratic view of success. You may not agree with all of his conclusions, but the book does help bring to your attention factors that may not always be taken into account.

Malcolm Gladwell argues through a variety of stories that structural factors often drive who becomes a success – who becomes an “outlier.” For example, Canadian superstar hockey players are often born in the first three months of the year. They often rise to the top because they are the most physically mature of their peers and thus get selected for extra training and better leagues and this intense training that occurs over years helps these players rise to the top of the sport of hockey.

Mr. Gladwell also shows how the year in which a person is born also determines in certain cases the persons chance for success. This is often driven by demographic troughs in which there are fewer people competing to get into elite institutions. He also discusses Jewish immigrants and their experience in the New York garment district, New York City lawyers, and also a small town in Pennsylvania in which heart disease is virtually non-existent, among other examples of cases in which structural factors dominate over our conventional views of personal success or accomplishment.

He also discusses experts and expert performance and how it usually takes 10,000 hours for a person to become a true expert. He ties early selection of young people for “gifted” and other programs and how how such early selection earmarks the person for additional learning, training, etc. enabling them to achieve the 10,000 hours of “practice” needed to become an expert.

If you are interested in understanding community, sociology, personal success, structural anthropology, or are just interested in learning generally, this is an excellent book. It provides excellent insights into how factors that we have neglected to take into account of our analysis of “success” and what drives people or allows people to become very successful or to become an expert or other “outlier.” Just like Mr. Gladwell’s other books “The Tipping Point” and “Blink” which became best sellers, this book brings to the forefront of our understanding new concepts that we may not have been aware of and thus is a welcome addition to our public discussion and debate about structuring institutions, providing people with “second chances” for selection, and other opportunities for “corrected” individual selection these institutions should undertake to select from a larger pool of people. I highly recommend this book.

See Malcolm Gladwell’s Outliers on Amazon.com by clicking this Link.

Written by Bill Romanos

November 23, 2008 at 12:11 am

Pharmaceutical Research and Manufacturers of America has revised its PhRMA code

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In a major revision to its code of conduct, the Pharmaceutical Research and Manufacturers of America has revised its PhRMA code, banning the distribution of non-educational branded leave behinds. “This updated code fortifies the our companies’ commitment to ensure their medicines are marketed in a manner that benefits patients and enhances the practice of medicine,” explained Billy Tauzine, president and CEO of PhRMA in a statement announcing the changes.

The new code promises to have immediate on pharmaceutical sales reps. One of the biggest changes is the prohibition of handing out non-educational items like pens, pads, and mugs with a company or drug logo. Although such items tend to have minimal value, PhRMA notes that gifts “may foster misperceptions that company interactions with healthcare professionals are not based on informing them about medical and scientific issues.” The revised code also discourages pharmaceutical sales representatives from offering meals in restaurants to physicians and other healthcare professionals. Meals provided in the physician’s office when combined with informational information are still permissible. The new guidelines strengthen earlier admonitions that pharmaceutical companies should not provide entertainment or recreational benefits.

Another new provision will directly impact pharmaceutical sales rep training. Representative should be sufficiently trained about laws, regulations and industry codes of practice that govern interactions with healthcare professionals, according to the revised code. PhRMA suggests that companies assess reps periodically about the new standards of conduct and take actions against reps who do not meet the guidelines.

PhRMA is also asking pharmaceutical company CEO’s and compliance officers to certify each year that they have proceses in place to comply with the code of conduct. PhRMA even suggests that companies should look to hire outside firms to verify that they have processes in place.

See Press Release.

Written by Bill Romanos

October 10, 2008 at 1:12 am

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Bill Romanos on Twitter

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Bill Romanos on Twitter.

Written by Bill Romanos

October 7, 2008 at 1:30 am

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Book Review of Financial Shock

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This is a very timely look at the current subprime lending implosion.
I believe this book would be a good introduction and one work to consider reading if you are interested in understanding the economic crisis we are in.

It provides a good background for people unfamiliar with the basics of what has been occurring in the real estate market and credit markets. Essentially this book provides a tour of the crisis going back several years.

One explanation of the current crisis is the decoupling of loan origination decision making from the ultimate holder of the loan. Financial Shock makes the case that lenders were essentially lending without a careful analysis of repayment risk. They simply did not care. They did not care, because the mortgages were simply originated by them and resold into the credit markets. So the more loans they originated, the more profits they made – even if the lendee was a bad credit risk and thus led to eventual non-repayment (known as non-performing loans). These lenders did not hold the loans. They sold them. It was not just normal banks and thrifts that were in the mortgage lending business. Others such as private mortgage lenders, real estate investment trusts, and eventually even newly formed subsidiaries of large investment banks got into the action.

The book also details how former Chairman of the Federal Reserve Alan Greenspan believed the housing markets were dissimilar to most other asset markets in that they were less subject to bubbles and “irrational exuberance.” If the author’s case is correct (which he cites Greenspan’s speeches), after the Internet bubble burst, global central bankers were concerned more with disinflation than inflation and the US Federal Reserve stimulating the housing market by lower interest rates. Both the US and many global central banks lowered interest rates to unprecedented levels. Asset markets were then awash with cash and liquidity and much of this global liquidity found its way into US securities backed by mortgages.

This is just part of the story. The book also provides a good introduction to some basic aspects of global capital flows based on trade flows (and thus trade deficits); and for people who haven’t studied much economics, I believe this book will be good in providing some basic economics and some basic understanding of securitization and the shifting of risks that the securitization of mortgages resulted in.

Sometimes when risks are shifted, the economic actor that is best to evaluate such risks and mitigate them or minimize them – such as a local lender – abdicates responsibility, because they have no need to properly evaluate the risk. Thus, this dislocation can cause and apparently has caused a serious economic and financial problem that we are no dealing with.
When the housing market’s bubble burst, liquidity drained out of the credit markets. Most structured credit products based on collateralized debt obligations and other securities based on mortgages cannot be priced now. Many mortgages are no longer truly secured by the underlying collateral as housing prices declined and buyers have evaporated out of the market – i.e., properties cannot be sold. Many people have walked away from their mortgages.

These are some of the issues that this book deals with and it does provide a good introduction to some of the basic concepts in the current crisis. If you are interested in learning more about the current crisis and a obtaining a good background in order to understand some of the issues in the current crisis (as well as a little about past crises) or future crises – although all such crises are different from each other, certain aspects do recur – I highly recommend this book as a good starting point in gaining an understanding.

See Amazon Financial Shock.

Written by Bill Romanos

September 30, 2008 at 11:33 pm

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