Friday, February 26, 2010
Today is my birthday - I'm 50.
Apparently, many people attach some special significance to nice round numbers like this, but, to tell you the truth, if not for everyone else telling me how important this birthday is, I wouldn't have thought much of it.
Maybe that has something to do with the fact that when people ask me how old I am I have to stop and think about it a bit before answering - it should be much easier now, at least for the next year.
I received birthday wishes from two friends from highschool today who I haven't spoken with for more than 20 years. Weird!
Other notable birthdays on this day are John Harvey Kellogg (1852 - Kellog's cereal), Victor Hugo (1802), William F. "Buffalo Bill" Cody (1846), Johnny Cash (1932), Fats Domino (1928), and Robert Novak (1931).
Seventeen years ago on February 26th, 1993, the World Trade Center was bombed and, on this day in 1995, Barings PLC, Britain's oldest investment banking firm, collapsed after a securities dealer lost more than $1.4 billion by gambling on Tokyo stock prices.
That seemed like a big number at the time.
A year ago, just before the worst of the financial market decline in the beginning of March, the headlines read:
Not much has really changed since then, the notable exception being that the big banks that survived and the Wall Street firms who survived are much bigger, healthier, and more profitable than they were last year at this time.
Today, the headlines read:
Cue the music...