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Archive for November 22nd, 2008

Dark Day

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Forty five years ago this afternoon, I was nearing the end of a day of classes in the 5th grade at Limerick Elementary School in Pennsylvania. Mrs. Bean, one of my favorite teachers throughout all my schooling even up through college, was called to the door, where an aide from the school office engaged her for a moment in hushed conversation. To this day, it impulsively chokes me to the verge of tears recalling the image of how Mrs. Bean looked instantly deflated and gray, as though she had been punched. She did pass the news to her classroom in a very brief, hollow-voiced statement as we cleared out early to our buses. Even at the age of 10, I didn’t really understand what it meant that our president had been killed, except how Mrs. Bean’s own very obvious shock felt so contagious, blanketing all the students and teachers and bus drivers in a deep quiet fog.

Our family had gone for years without TV, but two days later we did visit my grandparents to watch the following solemn procession –

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Written by macheide

22 November 2008 at 12:30 pm

Posted in DRAM

Future Reading

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A story that hasn’t yet made it to the pages of the Wall Street Journal, to any other business or trade press, or to any of the reports of various outfits that rely on flawed data to publish glossy reports with misguided “insights”: how the already weak corporate profits for 2008 have supposedly been overstated by billions and billions of dollars via reference to expected returns on pension assets in the calculation of net periodic pension cost. Those inevitable articles and reports typically to be accompanied by rants alleging the existing accounting rules to be illogical and archaic. But absent of explanations why we never saw a solitary complaint on the flip side the past few years, when using actual pension asset returns in lieu of expected returns on plan sponsors’ income statements would have significantly improved corporate profits for those years.

(Remember, as I’ve previously disclaimed, posts such as this represent efforts of my favorite pastime. My formal work does not involve any of this, and none of it represents any position or comment that should in any way be attributed to my employer. Likewise, as always, it represents general personal impressions and should not be treated or used as formal professional advice.)

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Written by macheide

22 November 2008 at 7:39 am

Posted in άctuary