Beantown & Other Remains of The Week

The post Big-Dig Boston is actually a pretty and lovely town – I walked around in what could best be described as weepy October rain, looking at some of the older buildings and near empty streets. Unlike New York or London or New Delhi, Boston doesn’t pulsate with energy; instead you can feel the weight of its history.

There were a lot of fantastic people I met on this trip, reminding me why I got into this business in the first place: people. Of course, it was also a great refresher in the economic reality of our times. When you walk around the Boston financial district and find two people sitting in a massive Starbucks and no one waiting to pick up their coffee, you know there is an economic slowdown happening. Out here in the SF Bay Area we are living in a cocoon and don’t really have a grasp on the magnitude of the problem.

It was a refreshing trip, reminding me that we need to build a presence in Boston and bring better stories from that part of the world. Meanwhile, if you want to keep in touch with what is going on in the Boston area, I would recommend reading Jeff Bennett, who is the founder of NameMedia. He was one of the five panelists on the panel put together by Charles River Ventures. Thank you guys for inviting me to your event and being great hosts, and hopefully I will see you soon.

Looking back, the short enjoyable visit brought home the message – flying cross-country on a Red Eye is not an option for me. It was a good reminder why the doctors have me on a strict travel diet and I need to conserve my and our planet’s energy.

Of course, you can’t blame me from getting out of Beantown as quickly as I wanted to – after all the marauding Red Sox keep reminding me of the feckless 2008 Yankees. They are crushing the LA Angels, a team that has tormented the Yankees forever.

Now if the Tampa Bay Rays win (and they should), it would be a great American League championship game. An ideal end to the 2008 Baseball season – Manny versus Red Sox in the World Series with Joe Torre’s Dodgers emerging victors. Even FOX can’t write a better script that that.

Anyway the trip left little time for me to catch up with my web reading. Regardless, here is an absolute gem from David Galbraith, one of my absolutely favorite people/thinkers. On the current economic meltdown, he argues that sending CEOs of errant banks to the jail makes absolute sense and keeps the shareholders of the newly nationalized banking system happy.

In addition, when you effectively nationalize banking, the shareholders are the country’s voters and they need to be kept happy. Creating a mechanism to put people like Wachovia’s Robert Steel in jail makes both good business sense and keeps the shareholders in a country happy.

Of course, David is a Scotsman and hence he was born with the gene for irony. Too bad he doesn’t write more often – he is missing his true calling.

Photo courtesy of Danielle Walquist via Flickr