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Stay Strong You Can Make It
  Posted by: Team Campus Connect 12 years, 5 months ago 25 Comments
  What is your deepest fear? I have heard the poem that asks this question in recent movies and it has touched me on a deep level. I watched the movie Akeelah and the Bee over this past week while watching cable and this poem was quoted. So many of us try and do what is simple and take the path of least resistance because it suits us. This journey of life is filled with many obstacles and road blocks. It is intended to be that way in order to make you into the exact you you are to be.

Most people miss the opportunity to grow and give up and give in to pressure. A few years ago I preached a sermon at my fathers church in Mechanicsville, VA and I dealt with pressure. I said to the congregation that a diamond is one of the most valuable things that we have. It comes from a piece of coal. Well how is a diamond formed? It is formed by pressure. Every piece of coal does not become a diamond. Only the ones that stand up under pressure are able to be formed into this valuable stone. You need to be a diamond.

Most people look externally to the reasons why they fail in life. In order for you to be just what God intends for you to be, you must stand against the pressure of life and come out on the other end as a diamond. The first line of that poem starts like this, "Our deepest fear is not that we are inadequate, our deepest fear is that we are powerful beyond measure, it is our light, not our darkness that most frightens us, ..."

When we are young, we have dreams and goals that are lofty. I say lofty because most people do not even believe that you will go after what you want. Let's face it, most people just wind up settling for what life throws at them instead of going out and getting what is rightfully theirs to begin with. You have a right, more than that a promise from God himself that you will be able to have peace, joy, and prosperity. We have these promises from our creator and we do not take full advantage of them. Why? Because when times get hard, most give up. You can not be a blessing to me if you do not do what God called you to do.

You can not be a blessing to the world unless you stand the pressure and become a diamond. In part my success is dependent on you playing your part in the world. If Martin or Malcolm did not stand up, I would not be where I am today. If Harriet Tubman, Frederick Douglass, and other black leaders did not risk death, my freedom may have never come. If you do not do what you were created to do, who will you hold back? The bible says that wide is the way that leads to destruction. The path to Him is called strait (not straight). This word means hard or difficult. This path builds character. This path builds leaders. Stop looking at challenges as give up points. Look at them as the way to create something precious in you. You have everything you need inside of you to be a great person. Never give up because of circumstances. You can not grow with out some struggle.


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  Posted by: Team Campus Connect 12 years, 5 months ago 7 Comments

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  Posted by: Team Campus Connect 12 years, 5 months ago 2 Comments

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How to Think More Clearly.
  Posted by: Team Campus-Connect 12 years, 5 months ago 8 Comments
  The art of clear thinking is a learnable technique that will help you to sharpen your mind and allow you to cut through rhetoric and evaluate the reasoning (if any) behind the words.

To initiate this process, I want to show you six common fallacies, which blur accurate analysis of ideas. Learn them and apply them every day.

Democratic fallacy:

Unreliable reasoning that stems from the idea that the "majority opinion" is a source of truth and a reliable guide for action. This is a very dodgy way to discover "Truth"
For example; Imagine a passenger aircraft is having engine trouble. Would it be right for the pilot to hold a vote as to whether they should attempt an emergency landing?
If not, why not? Is the majority opinion in the office a reliable guide to intelligent action? Can a million people be wrong?

Be careful if you are tempted to reinforce your argument with the cry "everyone else thinks so, too."

Correlation-cause confusion:

Correlation-Cause confusion is a common trap that people fall into. Just because two things occur at the same time does not necessarily mean that one caused the other. It is a mistake to treat a correlation as a causal connection. If I put on my lucky ring, and I go out and find a ten pound note, did the ring cause it to happen? If a new boss comes to work and the sales next month go down, what does it mean?

Getting personal:

Getting personal is the mistake of dismissing an idea because of the person suggesting it. Imagine an overweight scientist has done research to prove that exercise reduces the risk of heart disease. You could be tempted to say, "What does he know? Look at the state of him ! " Or you could say "He should practice what he preaches" and dismiss the valuable idea.

Halo effect:

Halo effect is the reverse of the above. It means that you give extra credibly to an idea because of the person. For example Elvis Presley was asked whether he thought the Americans were right to be at war in Vietnam. He wisely answers " I don't want to get into that. I am an entertainer. Ask me about my music".

I remember a radio program asking agony-aunt Claire Raynor what she thought about the state of the criminal justice system in England and Wales. What specialized knowledge does her opinion carry?

Separate ideas from the person proposing them and evaluated an idea as a "thing"

Arbitrary assertion:

Is an unsubstantiated statement of belief with no principle, reasoning or sensory evidence to support it. It is a mistake to grant plausibility to an assertion simply because it is forcefully delivered or repeated. Frequency and volume should never take the place of logic in your decision to accept an idea as true.

Napoleon once quipped "Repetition is my strongest argument" (and then lost 250,000 in his disastrous Russian campaign).

Equally, it follows that you should avoid trying to convince someone else by simply becoming louder and more passionate. Instead strive to make your reasoning inescapable.

Gamblers fallacy:
Is the mistaken belief that your chances of winning increases the longer you play.
This is a false idea. If you are doing the wrong thing it makes no difference how long you do it. It still will not work. If your current plan has not been yielding any meaningful results, it will not change fortunes tomorrow.

in its own right. Determine if the idea can act as a guide to intelligent action.
  • Change your ideas.
  • Change the plan.
  • Change the actions.
  • The results must and will change.

Critical reasoning to develop clarity of thought will cause you to do three things:

  • Listen more intently
  • Ask more questions
  • Think more before you make your decision

All of these will help you get better results.

Four step formula for constructing an argument

  • Make sure that the reasons/evidence you offer are relevant to the conclusion. (Ensure your reasoning has no fallacies).
  • Is your conclusion the best based on the reasons or evidence? Ask, Is this conclusion justified.
  • If your conclusion is for some new action or policy, can the policy be carried out practically?
  • Consider the counter arguments that could weaken your position. Make sure you have accessed all relevant information.

In the US, even those against the deal like India
  Posted by: Team Campus Connect 12 years, 6 months ago 4 Comments
New Delhi: Brookings Institution senior fellow of foreign policy Stephen P. Cohen embarked upon a serious study of South Asia in 1963, much before it was fashionable to do so.

In the decades since, he has written on India and Pakistan, nuclear non-proliferation issues and the changing social context in both countries, and is considered closer to the Democrats than the Republicans. Cohen's Idea of Pakistan, published in 2005, and was an intellectual tour de force on the Pakistan army, a state within the state.
In an interview in Delhi around the time the Indo-US nuclear deal finally cleared its last hurdles in the US Congress and was signed into law by US President George Bush last week, Cohen dwells on the Indo-US nuclear deal, the China context around the deal, and how precarious he thinks the Pakistani democracy is.

You've been coming to India for several years now. Can you tell us how it was then and now?

I first came to Delhi in 1963. We're sitting in the India International Centre and not too far from us there were wild leopards running around. So I've seen Delhi grow, India being transformed. Till about 1992-93, there wasn't much change, everything seemed familiar. From 1992-93 onward, the change accelerated and India entered into a series of revolutions.

This coincided with the economic reform?

Yes, also social reform, social and economic transformation. The Congress party lost power. The way I characterize it, India was undergoing five or six revolutions at the same time. One was the economic revolution, another in foreign policy, no longer non-alignment, a class transformation, a caste revolution. Mayawati is the chief minister (of Uttar Pradesh), something I would have never expected or understood when I was here in 1963.

You've overseen in a sense the transformation of the Indo-US relationship. Two countries which barely spoke to each other in the 1960s now went to a very strong and vibrant relationship today.

I go back a little before that. In 1962-63, there was a US military aid programme to India and we were backing India against China. The Americans were very gung-ho about India, but the Indians were somewhat lukewarm about America and both of us were undecided about China. In a sense, history is repeating itself. Both of us are united strategically today, concerned about China's rise, ambivalent about a growing China, but in both countries I think there's a more mature understanding of the possibilities of cooperating as well as competing with China.

Two incidents that defined the Indo-US relationship in the 1960s: the first was the "ship-to-mouth" import of grain under PL 480 and the second, the infamous tilt against India and towards Pakistan. Can you tell us a little about that?


Tata Nano- Smallest Car With Big Issues.
  Posted by: Team Campus Connect 12 years, 6 months ago 9 Comments
  Tata motors Ltd. have launched much hyped TATA NANO at the 9th Auto Expo 2008 show in New Delhi which claims to be worlds cheapest car priced at 1 lakh Indian rupees. Ratan Tata talks about the vision and conviction, the innovation and improvisation, and the leap of faith that went into creating the People's Car. The launch of the People's Car by Tata Motors is a defining moment in the history of India's automotive industry. For Tata Motors, the car -- christened the Nano, because it is a small car with high technology -- is the next big step in a journey that began with the Indica.

TATA claims TATA NANO to be PEOPLES CAR as it cheapest among all the existing cars. Bajaj has also launched small sized car but it is expected to slightly costlier than Tata's Nano car. Tata Motors drive to produce a cheap, no-nonsense, small car was inspired from close observation of a local market where millions often carry families of four, plus baggage on motorbikes or scooters.

This car is expected to hit the market soon but the points of debate regarding the Nano itself are the issues that it will cause such as

  • Serious Environmental concerns
  • Traffic Congestion
  • Parking Problems
  • Increase in Accidents

Many environmentalists are opposing the launch of this car due to adverse effect on environment when everyone starts buying this car. Only way to counter is this by encouraging public transport system. Other way those economists are suggesting is to tax this car 'LIKE CRAZY'. But, now that will not be able to solve the problem now, would it?

There has been widespread acceptance and resistance amongst many in India itself regarding the Nano and moreover the production of the Nano. The car is currently under final development, ongoing opposition to Tata's Singur factory has put construction of the factory on hold, disappointing many, including prospective customers as well as Tata Motors. Several sources now report that the whole issue has been deliberately "politicized" to gain popularity for elections, particularly by Mamata Banerjee of Trinamool Congress, and this controversial non-compromising and hostile attitude of hers has hit back (at least temporarily as Tata's decision to resume work at Singur is unclear) at West Bengal's economy and jobs because immediate startup of Tata's Singur plant could have led to a severe boost to the state's as well as India's economy. Mamata Banerjee has also been severely criticized in the media and by the people for not even trying to resolve the issue, thus leading to a setback to industrialization in West Bengal. She has said whether Tata's move out of Singur or not would not change her stand. Many say that she is only focusing only on making political-statements to promote and progress her party, no matter whether West Bengal and India progress or not. "Educated youths will stand up against her," veteran leader Benoy Konar said, outlining his own party's line of campaign.

Tata Motors is now expected to take some stern and revolutionary measures to start the car-production in full-swing, and this includes even starting the project forcefully in Singur under strict-security as well as to temporary start the production from its other plants, mainly Pantnagar unit. However, this political-agitation might even conclude in a good-result because it might get Tata Motors to build additional plant(s) that could boost production-capacity drastically, but this will happen only if work at Singur plant is resumed soon.

"If ever there were a symbol of India's ambitions to become a modern nation, it would surely be the Nano, the tiny car with the even tinier price-tag. A triumph of homegrown engineering, the $2,200 (Euro1,490, Pound1,186) Nano encapsulates the dream of millions of Indians groping for a shot at urban prosperity." -- Financial Times


LEHMAN BROTHERS -The most serious financial crisis since the Great Depression
  Posted by: Team Campus Connect 12 years, 6 months ago 7 Comments
  Lehman Brothers Holdings Inc. was a global financial-services firm. The firm did business in investment banking, equity and fixed-income sales, research and trading, investment management, private equity, and private banking. It was a primary dealer in the U.S. Treasury securities market On September 15, 2008, the firm filed for Chapter 11 bankruptcy protection; the filing marks the largest bankruptcy in U.S. history. The following day, Barclays plc announced its agreement to purchase, subject to regulatory approval, Lehman's North American investment-banking and trading divisions along with its New York headquarters building. On September 20, 2008, a revised version of that agreement was approved by Judge James Peck


  • In 2003, the company was one of ten firms which simultaneously entered into a settlement with the U.S. Securities and Exchange Commission (SEC.
  • In August 2007, the firm closed its subprime lender, BNC Mortgage, eliminating 1,200 positions in 23 locations, and took an after-tax charge of $25 million and a $27-million reduction in goodwill.
  • Lehman said that poor market conditions in the mortgage space "necessitated a substantial reduction in its resources and capacity in the subprime space".
  • In 2008, Lehman faced an unprecedented loss to the continuing subprime mortgage crisis. Lehman's loss was apparently a result of having held on to large positions in subprime and other lower-rated mortgage tranches when securitizing the underlying mortgages; whether Lehman did this because it was simply unable to sell the lower-rated bonds, or made a conscious decision to hold them, is unclear. In any event, huge losses accrued in lower-rated mortgage-backed securities throughout 2008.
  • In the second fiscal quarter, Lehman reported losses of $2.8 billion and was forced to sell off $6 billion in assets.[ In the first half of 2008 alone, Lehman stock lost 73% of its value as the credit market continued to tighten.
  • In August 2008, Lehman reported that it intended to release 6% of its work force, 1,500 people, just ahead of its third-quarter-reporting deadline in September.
August 22, 2008, shares in Lehman closed up 5% (16% for the week) on reports that the state-controlled Korea Development Bank was considering buying the bank.

September 9, when Lehman's shares plunged 45% to $7.79, after it was reported that the state-run South Korean firm had put talks on hold. Investor confidence continued to erode as Lehman's stock lost roughly half its value and pushed the S&P 500 down 3.4%. TheDow Jones lost 300 points the same day on investors' concerns about the security of the bank. The U.S. government did not announce any plans to assist with any possible financial crisis that emerged at Lehman.

September 10 , Lehman announced a loss of $3.9 billion and their intent to sell off a majority stake in their investment-management business, which includes Neuberger Berman. The stock slid 7 percent that day. Lehman, after earlier rejecting questions on the sale of the company, was reportedly searching for a buyer as its stock price dropped another 40 percent on September 11, 2008

September 13
, Timothy F. Geithner, the president of the Federal Reserve Bank of New York called a meeting on the future of Lehman, which included the possibility of an emergency liquidation of its assets. Lehman reported that it had been in talks with Bank of America and Barclays for the company's possible sale.

September 14,
The New York Times reported that Barclays had ended its bid to purchase all or part of Lehman and a deal to rescue the bank from liquidation collapsed. Leaders of major Wall Street banks continued to meet late that day to prevent the bank's rapid failure. Bank of America's rumored involvement also appeared to end as federal regulators resisted its request for government involvement in Lehman's sale.
The International Swaps and Derivatives Association (ISDA) offered an exceptional trading session on Sunday, to allow market participants to offset positions in various derivatives on the condition of a Lehman bankruptcy later that day.
In New York, shortly before 1 a.m. the next morning, Lehman Brothers Holdings announced it would file for Chapter 11 bankruptcy protection citing bank debt of $613 billion, $155 billion in bond debt, and assets worth $639 billion. It further announced that its subsidiaries will continue to operate as normal. A group of Wall Street firms agreed to provide capital and financial assistance for the bank's orderly liquidation and the Federal Reserve, in turn, agreed to a swap of lower-quality assets in exchange for loans and other assistance from the government.

September 15, Lehman shares tumbled over 90% .The Dow Jones closed down just over 500 points on the same day. This was the largest drop in a single day since the days following the attacks on September 11, 2001.The conditions on Lehman's trading floors that day appeared grim; one-third of the sales force were absent.

September 16, In the United Kingdom, the investment bank went into administration with Price waterhouse Coopers appointed as administrators. In Japan, the Japanese branch, Lehman Brothers Japan Inc., and its holding company filed for civil reorganization in Tokyo District Court.
Barclays plc announced that they will acquire a "stripped clean" portion of Lehman for $1.75 billion. This portion includes the Lehman headquarters building in the Times Square area of New York City, two data centers and the bulk of Lehman's trading and debt security operations, which will become part of Barclays Capital, a division of Barclays plc.

September 17,The New York Stock Exchange delisted Lehman Brothers. Its old symbol, "LEH", has been replaced by the new symbol, "LEHMQ" on the Pink Sheets.

18 September, Paul Brough, Edward Middleton and Patrick Cowley of KPMG China become the provisional liquidators appointed over Lehman's two Hong Kong based units - Lehman Brothers Securities Asia Limited and Lehman Brothers Futures Asia Limited. They are also appointed as the provisional liquidators for three further Hong Kong based Lehman Brothers companies, Lehman Brothers Asia Holdings Limited, Lehman Brothers Asia Limited and Lehman Brothers Commercial Corporation Asia Limited.

September 20, The transaction was approved by U.S. Bankruptcy Judge James Peck, who stated that, "I have to approve this transaction because it is the only available transaction" with a final reduced price of $1.3 billion after re-evaluation of asset prices.

Lehman's bankruptcy is the largest failure of an investment bank since Drexel Burnham Lambert collapsed amid fraud allegations 18 years ago.
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