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Alex L. - Intern Winter 2010

There Goes the Gas Money

Will there be Blood?

The average price of gasoline, as reported by the US Department of Energy has jumped to over $3.00 per gallon.  Compared to a year ago, this price increase means that filling up a 16 gallon tank has risen $7.20 from last year, to $48.80.  This price increase is unusual for the wintertime, as consumers usually drive less during these snowy months.  It primarily reflects increased demands from developing nations.

                Coupled with the increasing price of Crude Oil, which is comfortably over $90 a barrel, these rising fuel costs could begin to hinder the already unsteady economic economy.  Consumer spending is already expected to decrease after a robust holiday shopping season.  Additionally, one of the positive effects of increased oil prices is commonly said to be increased purchases of newer, more efficient or hybrid vehicles.  I doubt this will have much of an effect because of the Cash for Clunkers program, which may have already met this demand.   If energy prices continue to rise, expect economic recovery to be ever weaker than previously predicted.  Additionally, the public’s memory of the Deepwater Horizon spill may be clouded when they are shelling it out at the pump.

More Tejas

            The census data is in. Our population is 308.7 million, which is the slowest growth rate since the 1930s.  The distribution of that population also changed, leading to congressional reapportionment.  Some states are winners and some are big losers.  Winners gained seats in the House of Representatives and votes in the Electoral College.  Even more importantly, the share of federal dollars flowing to the states will adjust based on the census data.

States losing seats include Illinois, Iowa, Louisiana, Massachusetts, Missouri, Michigan, New Jersey, New York, Ohio and Pennsylvania.  New York and Ohio each lost 2 seats. 

States gaining seats were predominantly republican strongholds.  They include Arizona, Florida, Georgia, Nevada, South Carolina, Texas, Utah and Washington.  Texas gained an astounding 5 more representatives.  To celebrate, Chevron is up .81% and Exxon is up .33%. 

Reapportionment 2010

Weekend Update

What I'm wearing because of the NASDAQ

Some highlights for this coming weekend include: 

NY Knicks- MIA Heat: 7PM Friday; After 8 straight wins followed by a buzzer beater loss to the Celtics, the Knicks are the hottest team in the east.  A win against everybody’s least favorite all-star team would legitimize the Knickerbockers.  Tickets are priced $134 to $1300 if you’ve cashed in this week, but for the rest of us, the game is on ESPN

Tron: Legacy- Looks to be a crazy 3-D movie about actually being inside a videogame.  And its PG and made by Disney, so it sounds like a perfect thing to dump the tikes at for an hour of rest. 

Jets- Steelers- Sunday 4:15pm on CBS- Is it possible for the Jets to lose out and still make the playoffs? Lets hope so.  I just hope they score a touchdown this week.

Eagles- Giants Sunday 1pm on FOX- Giants are favored by 2.5, so this could shape up to be an excellent game.  In related news, Michael Vick said all he wants for Christmas is a new puppy. Really.

Also, stay updated on the weather for this Sunday.  Preliminary forecasts include a snowstorm, so maybe we’ll have a white Christmas.  Happy holidays and have a good weekend.

Chrome OS goes to the Cloud

                One of the growth sectors that the firm here is invested in cloud computing.  Prominent players in this sector include Citrix, Red Hat, VMWare, Equinex, and Google.  So I checked out the Journal, and the first article I read was about Google’s new Chrome OS, which is due to be released Summer 2011. The article was all about the computer that the new OS will actually run on.  First impression: piece of crap.  The system is still far from finished, but lacks much of the functionality that make computers useful.  Their prototype laptop, the CR-48, was released to a few thousand of the hippest techies.  Sadly, Hedge Fund Live wasn’t in that first release.  It looks exactly like a macbook.

                But the whole appeal of the OS is that everything is hosted on the cloud- That includes all programs, data, music, etc.  Which just sounds amazingly inconvenient.  So with no internet connection, a Google computer is only good as a paper weight.   Also, they avoided mentioning viruses or malware.  That almost seems like a challenge for computer nuts, like Saad who actually spent ten minutes debating me that I could not crash a cloud.  Can’t wait to give it a try when this computer comes out.


Day one

Hello.  Let me introduce myself as the new intern for the winter.  My name is Alex and I’m currently a Junior at Cornell University.  My major there is Industrial and Labor relations, which is a nice mix of law, government, history, and economics.  Most aspects of classes focus on the organized labor movement and management’s responses to labor, which acts as a unifying theme throughout the curriculum.  Now that finals are done for the semester, I’m happy to be home for break.  Outside of academics, I enjoy playing basketball, running, and going to concerts.

Day one at Hedge Fund Live was an engaging and challenging day.  I spent my morning editing and compiling elearn notes and trying to acclimate myself to the structure and pace of the desk.  Listening in to the conversations of the traders was immensely educational.  The world of technical trading is replete with completely unique terminology.  What little market knowledge I possessed previously paled in comparison to what I’ve already learned.  So day one was a success and I look forward to doing it all tomorrow.

Day one