Corporate Logos Reflect Recession

From Flickr, originally published by Business Pundit, and re-discovered by Jeff Nolan.  (Oh, yeah, I did my not-so-artistic-but-realistic rendering of the Apple logo a year ago.)

Update:  Will some of these Web 2.0 logos change in 2009?


A Fine Day in America

What a fine day in America:

smile_omgWe’re marching towards a socialist system… or at least a partially nationalized one.  After the financial sector now the Government will likely take a stake in Big 3 Auto.  Governments are not exactly known for running businesses well, let alone when they start with already ailing ones…

smile_baringteethIllinois Governor Rod Blagojevich was taken in Federal custody this morning, straight from his home, on corruption charges.  Allegedly he wanted to cash in on his right to appoint the replacement for Senator Obama, who as we know moves to the White House. A line from the FBI affidavit, based on court-approved wiretap on his phones: 

(the Senate seat ) "is a fucking valuable thing, you just don’t give it away for nothing."

There are juicier details here.   My first reaction was shock … I know about arrests of former politicians but has an active sitting Governor been arrested before? 

Apparently yes, and it gets better (actually worse):  MSNBC keeps track:

If Blago goes to prison, and former Gov. George Ryan isn’t commuted by President Bush, you’d have two Illinois governors in prison AT THE SAME TIME. What’s more, by our count, Blagojevich would become the FOURTH Illinois governor to go to prison (following Ryan, Otto Kerner, and Dan Walker).

Hm, Jeff Nolan beats MSNBC:

Gov Len Small, also of Illinois, was arrested while in office in 1921 for corruption.

This must be a good Illinois tradition…

What a fine day in America…

On a brighter note, Costco profits are up… must be all my purchases. smile_wink


What a Friday

But no worries, here comes the iPhone 3G. smile_omg


Zimbabwe Going After Hungary’s World Record in Hyperinflation


Zimbabwe’s currency plunged to a new record low on Thursday, trading at an average 1 billion to the U.S. dollar on a recently introduced interbank market and triggering massive price increases.

That’s one Billion, with a B. Unimaginable… almost. The world has seen worse.

Until now Hungary held the rather unpleasant world record for the most extreme hyperinflation ever. After World War II, in July 1946 the monthly rate was 41,900,000,000,000,000% (4.19 × 1016%). I can’t even read out such a large number, and it’s monthly, not annual.

The currency in Hungary for decades was the Pengo. The first banknote I’m showing on the right is 1 Billion Millpengo. (Millpengo = 1 Million Pengos). Crazy enough? It was soon followed by 100 Million Bilpengo, where Bilpengo = 1 Billion Pengos. But it’s not over yet: the highest denomination ever printed, but fortunately not issued ( new currency was issued instead) was 1 Billion Bilpengo. Again, I don’t even know what number it translates to, but Wikipedia says it would be one sextillion or 1021 pengo. Another indication of how surreal it was is the fact that all these banknotes were printed on the same day…

Instead of the large numbers, let’s try to imagine what such hyperinflation means in everyday life. Wikipedia says it amounted to prices doubling every fifteen hours. My parents’ recollection is even worse: employees were paid daily in large wads of cash and they had to rush to the stores to spend their earnings before it would become worthless. They would join endless lines, and by the time they got to buy their bread, it cost double the amount it was when they joined the line.

In Zimbabwe, a loaf of bread, which cost about Z$15 million before the polls (in which Mugabe lost but does not give up) now costs about Z$600 million. Will Zimbabwe displace Hungary’s world record?

Update: Hungary also holds the world record of kissing.

Update (6/16/09): Mint has the story of nine hyperinflationary currencies.