Saturday, July 31, 2010

DANCE DAY! Get your groove on...

Total is Dance Day! I spent about 2 hours yesterday with my daughter and niece learning this routine so we could officially participate. Drop that newspaper, ignore the nagging emails, stop thinking about what you should do, think you have to do, and just get your groove on! Have a great day. ( to see the whole routine just skip to the end)

Here are a couple of my fav "So You Think You Can Dance Routines" for inspiration.

PS - I just bought our family tickets for the live show in Salt Lake City on November 4th. We went last year and it is about the most fun you can have at a live show. They went on sale yesterday so check to see if the show is coming to your town at .

Monday, July 26, 2010

David Rosenburg from his Daily Musings...

I have not written much on the markets of late, mainly because I have struggled to stay up to date with our move to Utah, but I am trying to get my head back in to it. My favorite commentators remain in the bearish camp, in particularly David Rosenburg from Gluskin Sheff. (formerly of ML) David has a FREE newsletter with is excellent. Click here to subscribe. Below you will find an excerpt from today.


"Congress moved to extend jobless benefits seven times, as has been the case over the past two years, at a time when almost half of the ranks of the unemployed have been looking for at least a half year.

The unemployment rate for adult males (25-54 years) hit a post-WWII this cycle and is still above the 1982 recession peak, and the youth unemployment rate is stuck near 25%. These developments will have profound long-term consequences – social, economic and political.

The fiscal costs of the depression continue to mount, with the White House on Friday raising its deficit projection for 2011 to $1.4 trillion from $1.267 trillion. That gap in the forecast – $133 billion – was close to the size of the entire budget deficit back in 2002. Amazing.

You also know it is a depression when you find out on the weekend that the FDIC seized and shuttered another seven banks, making it 103 closures for the year. What a recovery! "

Not exactly great news for a Monday morning. Sorry... This deficit number is haunting. I go back to something I wrote in one of my very first blog entries years ago. I fail to see how you can "spend your way out of a problem created by too much spending." Printing money and monetizing the debt continues to seem likely.

Friday, July 23, 2010

Nicholas Kristof (NYT) - "Don't Write Off Men Just Yet"

If you are regular reader of this blog you will know that I am a big Nick Kristof fan. BIG. He has been called the moral conscience of this generation as he writes on issues that truly matter. Earlier this year I co-hosted a book party for him and his wonderful wife, Sheryl WuDunn, for their new and best-seller book, "Half The Sky." If you have not read it yet, do. This book has been a best-seller and there is more to come. It is not just a book, it is a movement! (Picture from the WFN Conference - April 2009)

Most of the time Nick writes on gender and human rights issues outside the US, but not yesterday. Yesterday he addressed an issue I recently blogged on as well, the article in the Atlantic called "The End of Men." Not surprisingly we had a similar take, and that is that we have to stop seeing the ascent of women causing or being correlated with the decent in the position of men. We need to embrace these demographic changes to create the best possible outcomes for all. Nick is not ready to write-off half the population, nor am I. A new and better world will come about through partnerships and shared power. Men and women need to work together supporting, serving and helping one another in the family, in the workplace and in the world at large. The problems we face at the micro and the macro level are big, so it is in maximizing the talents of both genders and all generations that solutions are possible.

Nick, thank you for a great take on this important issue.

Thursday, July 22, 2010

A Global Standard for Gender Equality

Greetings from Kelowna BC, Canada!
Should there be a global corporate standard for gender equality? Nicole Schwab thinks so, and I agree with her! In this recent article on the Huffington Post Nicole explains how she plans on creating this measurement tool and why she thinks it could have incredible impact.

"...We set out to develop an assessment methodology that would enable companies to gain a comprehensive understanding of where they stand in terms of gender equality. This methodology can serve as a management tool and at the same time form the basis for setting a global standard in gender equality, and benchmarking companies against it. Companies that meet the standard will be recognized through a global label in gender equality, to be launched in January 2011 by our foundation, The Gender Equality Project."

Nicole was in New York yesterday and I joined by conference call for a meeting with the National Council for Research on Women, where I continue to serve as Board Member
Emeriti. I had the pleasure of meeting Nicole briefly last year in Deauville France for the Women's Forum for the Economy and Society where Linda Basch ( NCRW President) and I presented our Women in Fund Management paper. The purpose of the meeting was to gain a greater understanding of each others work in this area and where possible, to collaborate for greater impact. Momentum is certainly building for greater accountability on the part of large corporations for equitably gender practises and I thank Nicole for her incredible work.

Saturday, July 10, 2010

Newsweek - Women Will Rule the World

Women Will Rule the World claims Newsweek - well no, we won't, nor should that be our goal. Access, opportunity and shared power should be the goal, not this old,tired and frankly dumb model of 'ruling' one another. I am getting sick of the headlines of these types of articles that pit men against women, suggesting that when women rise men will fall. Yes it makes a catchy headline, but what good purpose does it serve?

This article is full of amazing statistics that illustrate this shift of economic force that is happening, but these stories need to be framed differently. We need to understand these changes that are happening and imagine how we can proactively embrace them to create the best possible outcomes for all. For example, take the issue of childcare. If women are increasingly becoming the primary breadwinners for a variety of reasons are the childcare options keeping pace? No. Though I am no expert on this issue my policy friends tell me that this is one of the biggest issues that needs addressing at all levels. Also women are more likely to be employed in jobs that are part-time or don't offer benefits, so what does this mean in terms of health care for families? What is being done to help men get retrained from old world jobs that are never going to come back, to new world ones? It is time to embrace the facts and think through the implications, again, for better outcomes for all.

Thank you Newsweek for some great facts, but can you stop with the damaging headlines!

Friday, July 9, 2010

Forbes Best Web-sites for Women

Forbes recently published a list of the 100 top-websites for women. If you did not see it, print it out, and make reference to it click here and do so ASAP! Sadly Pursepundit was not mentioned ( ha ha ) but maybe next year! I am converting to where you will find a list of resources, upcoming events and more.

Many of my fav sites were listed including Learnvest ( I am an investor ) and 85 Broads. This is a great list! Enjoy.

Thursday, July 8, 2010

"The Female Factor" plus a Theory of Change...

The International Herald Tribune continues it's great series - The Female Factor. This recent article reflects on the findings of the PEW Research Center study on Gender Equality. The article is called "Equal Rights for Women? Survey Says: Yes, but ..." The study found that in general both women and men believe in the concepts of equal rights and equal opportunity, though there are country differences. Despite that belief, the survey found that in reality of we do not have that, so the real question is then why? Why despite the belief, are we not there yet, and particularly I ask for 'advanced' economies? My answer is fueled by the theory of change that I learned from the Women's Funding Network. To create change a number of things have to happen. First the issue needs to be framed in a way that creates for awareness and engagement by the masses, both men and women. Next that framing fuels behavior change. People start to do things differently because they realize that doing so will make a difference. This behavior change works alongside or to motivate structural and institutional change, which often means laws change. That change is then protected so you don't start rolling back once forward movement is created.

Think about this in the context of the environmental movement. Folks did a great job telling us why we need to care about our planet, so we know are more likely to pick up garbage, recycle, bring our own bags to the grocery store. Laws have also changed so companies are much more accountable for their carbon footprint.

So what does this mean for advancing gender equality? Lots of things. For example lets consider the Critical Mass Principle - which is a voluntary goal to have a minimum of 30% women on all corporate boards and governmental committees and boards. The fact that diversity of background and perspective improves the quality of decision making has led some organizations seeking this balance, but of course not enough. So what we want to change, is the composition of these boards. We are working on a campaign to lift up the research and encourage companies to do this, while at the same time pushing for a possible mandatory requirement that has already been instituted in some countries. We are framing the issue, then trying to encourage to mandate behavior change.

Bottom line if YOU believe that men and women, boys and girls should have equal rights and access then what are YOU doing to help make that happen? What behaviors support YOUR beliefs and what can you do differently to be part of the change you want to see in the world? What is your social action plan? You can fill in the blank with anything you want to see different. It is one thing to believe something, it is quite another thing to be part of making that belief a reality. Go for it.

Tuesday, July 6, 2010

Shelby Knox on the New Wonder Woman! ( and a bit on the markets)

I just read a great essay by Shelby Knox on the new WW that is certainly worth sharing. ( thanks Gloria for sending it to me!) Check out more on Shelby in the about section - one super cool young feminist! The essay also links to a page on Facebook where you can join the movement to reclaim WW. Love it.

The Markets - Sorry for the lack of commentary of late but the whole moving process has been a bear and I have not been keeping up on all my reading. That said, my views have not changed that much. I continue to be quite bearish on the equity markets overall, but have started to sell puts to create some entry points below current levels. I see a few major problems domestically. The first is housing. Prices remain low and soft with inventory high. This has a major wealth and spending effect. The second is the upcoming tax increases. This again will hit spending and restrict growth. The third issue I worry alot about is our deficit. I am not in the Krugman camp that thinks deficits don't really matter. The good news is the US can fund cheaply at the moment and I am sure they are issueing as many long dated treasuries as possible. I continue to be somewhat obsesssed with the problems at Fannie Mae and Freddie Mac. This debacle of epic proportions will cost the American taxpayer hundreds of billions of dollars and as long as housing remains a mess, the losses will mount. Heartbreaking.

That said, it is a beautiful day in Park City! Sending you all my best...

Sunday, July 4, 2010

So You Think You Can Dance!

I love this show. I love watching it with my kids. But more then anything, I just love DANCE. This is the best routine evah!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!! Click here. Twitch and Alex to HIP HOP.

Happy July 4th to everyone!

Saturday, July 3, 2010

Gloria Steinem on the new Wonder Woman

Gloria Steinem sent me an email yesterday containing her comments to the Associated Press regarding the new Wonder Woman. Gloria, as previously mentioned, has a very long history with the WW character that you can read about in "Wonder Woman: The Complete History." She is one of the world's experts and has worked hard for decades to keep her character authentic. Here are her comments...

"There are at least two things about the Wonder Woman change that are in the Olympics of blunders.

First, the guys doing this -- and they seem to be all guys -- cite no research from the generations of girls and women who've loved Wonder Woman ever since she was invented during World War II; an alternative to the sadism and gore in boys' comic books that were so extreme, they inspired a Congressional hearing. Instead, Wonder Woman converted her adversaries, compelled them to tell the truth with her magic lasso, and otherwise made the world safe for girls, women and democracy.

I don't have a big issue with jeans versus skirt -- though jeans give us the idea that only pants can be powerful -- tell that to Greek warriors and sumo wrestlers -- and though in fact, they're so tight that they've just painted her legs blue; hardly a cover-up. I have an issue with changing her clothes and destroying home and family on what seems to be the brainstorming of a very limited group pf brains.

Second, the new Wonder Woman birth myth has her arriving as a baby after her Amazon home of Paradise Island is destroyed; an exact copy of Superman who came as a baby from the exploding planet Crypton. This destroys her home, her Amazon mother and sisters, and gives her no place to go to gain strength and create an inspiring story line; something the original Wonder Woman often did.

As in the late '60s when Wonder Woman creators took away all her magical powers -- and would have perished along with them, had not Ms. magazine come to the rescue with a lobbying campaign to restore them -- I wouldn't be surprised if it happens again.

The original Wonder Woman was changing the world to fit women. This one seems changed to fit the world."

Gloria Steinem

If you want to read a little about the history of WW online check out the entry in Wikipedia. She was created in 1944 by"Marston as a distinctly feminist role model whose mission was to bring the Amazon ideals of love, peace and sexual equality to a world torn by the hatred of men."

The campaign has started - Reclaim Wonder Woman!!!!!!!

A message to you Gloria - I cannot imagine anything more spectacular then YOU getting involved in creating the screenplay for the new WW movie. The screenplay that has been in the works for over a decade. They can't seem to find a good story line despite repeated tries by a variety of writers. Perhaps it is meant to be? I so believe in fate, in destiny, in all that. You are the expert. You love the character of Wonder Woman. You will keep the character honest and authentic and and..... I just got chills. Gloria. You must do this and if you need an assistant, I am right there with ya!

(Pictured right - Gloria and me and my recent going away party in NYC - the cuffs I am wearing were a gift from Gloria - gold cuffs to add to my WW collection ... read yesterday's post for more.)

Jan 2009 post on WW - link at the bottom to some other WW posts. This has been a theme!

Friday, July 2, 2010

"DC Comics Has Ruined Wonder Woman!"

If you know me you know that I love Wonder Woman! I collect WW memorabilia, and in fact thanks to my good friend BL I have the original Linda Carter outfit from her hit TV show! I have loved WW since I was a child when I used to wake up early Saturday mornings to watch cartoons. Remember when that was the only time there were on? Superfriends was my fav. I also loved the TV series of course and I cannot believe they have not relaunched it yet.

The big news this week is the release of the new WW comic book - issue 600! This internet writer hates the new appearance ( me too!!!!!!!! this other photo is just plain ridiculous ) There are making her out to look like a porn star. Great, just what our kids need. I have heard the main readers of comics are young adult males, but really do they have to do this to the classic character of WW? If this is a preview of what the lead character in a possible movie might look like... pllleeeassee........................

My passion for WW runs deep and it may be about time I did something about it besides collect stuff. 8 years ago I had an idea for a WW screenplay. I still have it. Over the years I have talked to Gloria Steinem about getting together and taking a stab at it, as she is one of the world's experts on WW! With my move to Utah and heck of a lot more time on my hands soon, I hope, the time may have come! If a trashy, dumb, offensive movie comes out about WW I will truly be heartbroken. Warner Brothers has struggled for a decade to create a screenplay for the film and maybe it has all been for a reason. There is SUCH an opportunity to create a truly iconic new character that redefines FEMALE super heroism. Hmm... getting a meeting with the studio execs at Warner Brothers has just gone to the top of my to do list for the fall. I will report back!

P.S. My second favorite WW possession is a children's WW pop-up book given to me by Gloria to add to my collection. I cried when I opened the box.

Hmm...I may have to start a whole WW section on this blog dedicated to both news on the comic, the TV show, the movie!!!!! but more importantly the WW in my life. Lots to do... but the boxes are not going to unpack themselves.

Have a great weekend!

Link to more blog entries about the new Wonder Woman.