Eric Wiesen's Ideas

Jul 17

Schlaf Notes: I'm joining RRE Ventures! -

schlafnotes:

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After two exceptional years of seed investing at Lerer Ventures, I’m excited to announce that I’ll be joining RRE Ventures in September as a Principal focused on Series A investments.

RRE has been at the center of New York’s start-up community since the early 90s and now manages…

So excited to have Steve on our team.

(Source: schlafnotes)

May 13

“Republican lawmakers have become reflexive in rejecting every extended hand from the administration, even if the ideas were ones that they themselves once welcomed. Under the circumstances, Mr. Obama would be best advised to stop making peace offerings. Only when the Republican Party feels public pressure to become a serious partner can the real work of governing begin.” — Who Can Take Republicans Seriously on the Budget? - NYTimes.com

Mar 11

“These are the employees who could never keep a job in the private sector. I wouldn’t trust them to walk my dog.” — EXCLUSIVE: Former Newark TSA screener dishes on lax security at what may be America’s most unsafe airport - NYPOST.com

Mar 08

Snow Poem

Snow, Aldo

by Kate DiCamillo

Once, I was in New York,
in Central Park, and I saw
an old man in a black overcoat walking
a black dog. This was springtime
and the trees were still
bare and the sky was
gray and low and it began, suddenly,
to snow:
big fat flakes
that twirled and landed on the
black of the man’s overcoat and
the black dog’s fur. The dog
lifted his face and stared
up at the sky. The man looked
up, too. “Snow, Aldo,” he said to the dog,
"snow." And he laughed.
The dog looked
at him and wagged his tail.

If I was in charge of making
snow globes, this is what I would put inside:
the old man in the black overcoat,
the black dog,
two friends with their faces turned up to the sky
as if they were receiving a blessing,
as if they were being blessed together
by something
as simple as snow
in March.

Aug 30

“Ryan’s claims weren’t even arguably true. You simply can’t say the president hasn’t released a deficit reduction plan. The plan is right here. You simply can’t say the president broke his promise to keep your GM plant open. The decision to close the plant was made before he entered office — and, by the way, the guy at the top of your ticket opposed the auto bailout. You simply can’t argue that the Affordable Care Act was a government takeover of the health-care system. My doctor still works for Kaiser Permanente, a private company that the government does not own. You simply can’t say that Obama, who was willing to follow historical precedent and sign a clean debt ceiling increase, caused the S&P downgrade, when S&P clearly said it was due to congressional gridlock and even wrote that it was partly due to the GOP’s dogmatic position on taxes.” — A not-very-truthful speech in a not-very-truthful campaign

On the other hand, to anyone paying the slightest bit of attention to facts, Ryan’s speech was an apparent attempt to set the world record for the greatest number of blatant lies and misrepresentations slipped into a single political speech. On this measure, while it was Romney who ran the Olympics, Ryan earned the gold.

The good news is that the Romney-Ryan campaign has likely created dozens of new jobs among the legions of additional fact checkers that media outlets are rushing to hire to sift through the mountain of cow dung that flowed from Ryan’s mouth. Said fact checkers have already condemned certain arguments that Ryan still irresponsibly repeated.

Fact: While Ryan tried to pin the downgrade of the United States’ credit rating on spending under President Obama, the credit rating was actually downgraded because Republicans threatened not to raise the debt ceiling.

Fact: While Ryan blamed President Obama for the shut down of a GM plant in Janesville, Wisconsin, the plant was actually closed under President George W. Bush. Ryan actually asked for federal spending to save the plant, while Romney has criticized the auto industry bailout that President Obama ultimately enacted to prevent other plants from closing.

Fact: Though Ryan insisted that President Obama wants to give all the credit for private sector success to government, that isn’t what the president said. Period. Fact: Though Paul Ryan accused President Obama of taking $716 billion out of Medicare, the fact is that that amount was savings in Medicare reimbursement rates (which, incidentally, save Medicare recipients out-of-pocket costs, too) and Ryan himself embraced these savings in his budget plan.

Elections should be about competing based on your record in the past and your vision for the future, not competing to see who can get away with the most lies and distortions without voters noticing or bother to care. Both parties should hold themselves to that standard. Republicans should be ashamed that there was even one misrepresentation in Ryan’s speech but sadly, there were many.

” — Paul Ryan’s speech in 3 words | !!!Fox News!!!

Jun 05

“The startups that really get hosed are going to be the ones that have easy money built into the structure of their company: the ones that raise a lot on easy terms, and are then led thereby to spend a lot, and to pay little attention to profitability. That kind of startup gets destroyed when markets tighten up. So don’t be that startup. If you’ve raised a lot, don’t spend it; not merely for the obvious reason that you’ll run out faster, but because it will turn you into the wrong sort of company to thrive in bad times.” — Paul Graham’s Letter to YC Companies | Hacker News

Jun 04

“in 2006, for example, the 25 highest-paid hedge fund managers in America earned $14bn, three times the combined salaries of New York City’s 80,000 school teachers.” — Paul Krugman: ‘I’m sick of being Cassandra. I’d like to win for once’ | Business | The Guardian

May 02

“How awesome is this treasure trove of emails, documents, files et. al placed online by the NY Fed? Some of the emails between Lehman execs are laughable — naive, silly, hubristic, childish. But my favorite piece simply has to be the Morgan Stanley research report from June 30 2008 “Overweight Rating” on Lehman Brothers — “Bruised, Not Broken, Poised for Profitability“. 60 days later, Lehman Brothers filed what was thent he largest bankruptcy in the United States. This is (literally) what the category “Really Really Bad Call” was invented for. Who was the author of this steaming piece of shit, and where is he today? Why, he is Patrick Pinschmidt, and he is a Senior Policy Advisor at U.S. Treasury Department! (You could not make up stuff this un-fucking-believable even if you tried). Total awesomeness!” — The Lehman Bankruptcy Docs (Buy LEH!) | The Big Picture

Apr 30

“More than 1 million Americans who have taken out mortgages in the past two years now owe more on their loans than their homes are worth, and Federal Housing Administration loans that require only a tiny down payment are partly to blame.” —

U.S. house price declines dragging more homeowners under water | Mortgages | Personal Finance | Financial Post

Don’t try to catch a falling knife.