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The Bottom Line


Cut to the chase, my brother, speak on it!

  • The take on news, commentary and opinion from around the world:

A group of Cincinnati Country Day Middle School students recently had the opportunity to take a field trip to Procter & Gamble (PG) as part of a new middle school class, introduction to finance, according to

  • Bottom Line: Great, middle school students introduced to P&G 5/30 swap, or how to obtain four-and-half year's of money at commercial paper less 40 basis points, (cough... cough...) assuming stable rates and volatility. "Kids, this is how the big boys ride the gravy train."

You Down With ODF? Not MSFT

"Software appears to give us all the control we need over our documents -- until it doesn't," writes Sun Microsystems (SUNW) CEO Scott McNealy in the Wall Street Journal. "It seems to me that this is one of those times when a government mandate makes sense," he concludes. What would he want to see mandated? "An open, international standard for common personal productivity applications -- spreadsheet, presentation and word-processing programs -- called the OpenDocument Format (ODF)."

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"For Southeast Asia, long under the United States' political and economic influence, the future of India-China relations will arguably have a bigger future impact on the region's stability and prosperity," writes Michael Vatikiotis in the Asia Times. "The United States, Japan and Southeast Asia would do well to support Sino-Indian rapprochement," he says.
  • Bottom Line: You talkin' to me? You talkin' to me? You talkin' to me? Then who the hell else are you talkin' to? You talkin' to me? Well, I'm the only one here.

Housing Heresy?

"John, a chiropractor in Los Altos, California, has just committed the financial equivalent of heresy. To the surprise of many of his friends, he has defied the cult of home ownership, selling his historic five-bedroom house in favor of renting, writes Christopher Swann in the Financial Times. ""We pay about 40 per cent less in rent than our mortgage and don't have to spend a cent on repairs," he says. Meanwhile, Nic Retsinas, director of the Joint Center for Housing Studies at Harvard University, says "Renters tend to have lower social status in the eyes of many Americans."
  • Bottom Line: Heresy? Lower social status? What's next, The Mortgage Inquisition?

Mercury in Retrograde: Local Astrologist Predicts Confusion, Lucky Numbers 3, 7, 11

About three times a year, for a roughly three-week period, Mercury goes retrograde," writes Sara House, astrologist for the Asheville Citizens-Times. As the planet of mental energy, communication and short-distance travel, Mercury in retorgrade often creates havoc in all of our communications tools and gadgets over the next few weeks.

  • Bottom Line: If today is your birthday, an unexpected encounter this evening with liquor and Vicodin could be key to finding the right balance between work and play. Pay attention to your feelings and that numbness in your left hand. Avoid men with peg legs.

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