Copyright © 2003 - 2008, AIG Private Bank - A Member of American International Group, Inc.
It looks like it has been sold to an Abu Dhabi holding company, probably since the book was written, but it was formerly owned by AIG. I'm not sure why their website says they're still owned by AIG. Strangely, for a bank he claims has multiple billionaire clients, it was sold for only $254 million.
Not really. Chase has ~800 billion in deposits. You don't see it being valued at $800 billion. That is because every deposit is a liability just like how cash is an asset and most of the cash is loaned out which turns it into more assets. In a well run bank, these assets and liabilities cancel each-other out very closely (wrt banking reserve requirements etc...) and don't factor directly into the value of the bank.
As it so happens, CS people are much better at computers than economists etc... though there are some excellent econ. blogs on the internet which I enjoy reading.
Its a matter of specialization. I just happen to have banks as on of the things I try to specialize in.
Same with Iceland, that may not be the country of choice anymore, but the concept remains the same.
Obviously not ideal, but not a reason to ditch the book. Strauss' writing is entertaining, so I'll probably pick it up for the enjoyment factor :)
Same with Iceland, that may not be the country
of choice anymore, but the concept remains the
This is all a serious matter in the west, because it's becoming easier for governments to steal people's money, and to construct justifications for it that make compelling headlines.
BTW I think the original term is PUA = Pick Up Artist:
But since you already corrected it for me, I'll leave it. And give you my upvote, sir.
Ferriss sells hope about the better life, living a life that would normally be above your means. The secret agent life is part of that dream.
Neil chases stories and ideas that are both a little crazy and secretly appealing to most men. Let's face it, all of us guys have wished at some point or other that they could seduce any women they wanted. In the same way, a lot of us have probably wondered what it would be like to live a spy lifestyle, or to have bank accounts in exclusive foreign countries. This is basically just the equivalent of a harlequin novel, but for guys.
I found it eye-opening in a lot of ways, and it brings a host of new questions: what is "genuine" social interaction? How much of people's personality is learned and internalized behavior? How much of sexual attraction is? Should you try to change your personality for something that is supposedly better, and can it be done? In relation to dominance/submission in social situation (the implicit structure of command and leadership that automatically arises when a group of people meets), how much is genuine (or "natural" - what does "natural" even mean?) and to what degrees do natural leaders actively manipulate the people around them?
You shouldn't read books just for some supposed literary value, the real value comes from the questions you have when you're done.
Similar to the old koan about how many businesses a successful entrepreneur most fail at before they succeed, I think after hundreds of encounters - you start to gain the benefits of experience. I've met and talked to a couple of these pick up artists - and they've pretty much told me they can analyze an interaction in real-time at a meta-level and know what they can do (or more likely, what their client should be doing).
There is one downside to all of the pickup techniques - it emphasizes that there is a method to the madness (and encourages subscription-based revenue - e.g. get the latest book/podcast etc.) - while from what I've observed, successful pick up artists could basically walk up to any woman (if they wanted) and say "I like peanut butter." and go from there.
Aside from "canned acts/memorized responses" they also rely on something called Neurolinguistic programming, which is basically a way of phrasing questions to get a desired answer. Rather than ask "What don't you like about me?", they might ask something along the lines of "What about me intimidates you?" NLP allows the other person think they decided to sleep with you, not the other way around.
If you saw Magnolia (by Paul Thomas Anderson) then you'd recognize that Tom Cruise's character is loosely based off Ross Jefferies, the creator of "Speed Seduction", which was the first pick-up-routine to be based off NLP.
My take on Strauss is that he's a prep school kid trying to play Hunter S. Thompson. His writing is good. His topics are slightly edgy but still pretty safe. They're also the things nerds fantasize about... being a casanova or rock star or james bond or hanging out with porn stars.
+1 for nailing it. He's not nearly as insufferable as Tim Ferriss, but it certainly seems like he's in the same zip code sometimes.
The story though is entertaining.
I'm not supporting the concept, but it's got an allure. To learn to be a Casanova, could - according to these people he talks about, and in a sense, him - be within the grasp of any guy. It's learning how to be more attractive without having to get in shape (though getting in shape is a major boost.)
It's probably not a book for everyone, but if you read it for entertainment and not knowledge, you'll enjoy it I think.
The only one I didn't care for was the Marilyn Manson one. It may have just been my distaste for the subject, but I felt like the whole thing came off as too whiny (not to mention boring) which is at least partially Neil's fault for not controlling the tone better.
While I can totally relate to the adolescent fantasy of having super-fugitive skills and money stashed all over the world, it seems wasteful if folks take it too seriously.
If this guy had put all this effort and cleverness into a startup rather than paranoia, he would probably have made off quite nicely. Who knows, maybe he will with his book and that was the whole point.
It's funny to see this kinda stuff coming from Tim Ferriss though. Even though his stuff can be pretty cheesy - I love the usual emphasis on simplicity, experimenting, and outsourcing. While a post like this drives traffic, it seems counter to his "message".
Yeah that's the point at which I would have declared the billionaire to be a complete fucking nutbar, and would decide to immediately stop trying to replicate his behavior.
Count me out!
I once heard that some, if not many, of the Chinese all-you-can-eat-buffet restaurants are/were fronts for the Chinese mafia. Makes you wonder - as a lot of them go out of business in 6 months - 1 year.
My hunch is that they use the losses from the coffee shop to offset their profits at their other cash-flow businesses. Is this a common practice (if it is so)? I know Microsoft's Office and Operating System businesses effectively subsidize the rest of the company (Internet, etc.)
This has been posted here before but "My cofeehouse nightmare" is a good read
Wait...you mean cooking the books and making it seem like both businesses are doing just okay so they're taxed less...right?
$10 profit - $8 loss = $2 - $.50 tax $1.50 net
$10 profit - no loss = $10 - $2.50 tax = $7.50 net + your gov has more money to help everyone out for example those homeless blocking the doorway to your coffee shop
My own philosophy is that, if the feces doth impact the rotary blades, I'd rather minimize the damage as much as possible. Most might consider it paranoia; I consider it an ingrained distrust of about 90 percent of humanity. As they say, the best defense is a good offense.
Come on guys.
Sometimes cracking is just mindless. I'm guessing most people here don't respect that. Had the book been a series of "...and then I paid this dude $N and he handed me a new passport", I don't think it would have hit the front page.
It is funny we're having this conversation, considering Jason Calacanis's open letter, "Why I hired a felon" relating to one of his employees at Mahalo: http://calacanis.com/2009/03/05/why-i-employed-a-felon/
Stallman also considers clever use of chopsticks a 'hack'; mileage varies on that one.
But catch up here: http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Cryptonomicon
We'll see you in Sealand.