Wednesday, August 31, 2011

So...Still Waiting

Although there is still much waiting going on in FSOWannabeland, there are some things I am not waiting on.

Like this!!! Mike Doughty's new album arrived yesterday. Very happy.

The State Department ended language testing for candidates pre-OA passage. Not sure what to think about it. Some people on the A-100 boards are running around thinking the dire-est. That this is the clearest sign that hiring is about to drop precipitously. They're probably right. Or it could just be budget-cutting.

Also, ran across this. The comments on this seem way overblown. I can't imagine any job that doesn't have its stretches of boredom/non-challenging moments. You should see me when it's time to grade the 1L's legal memo's.

Anyhow, hopefully we'll see some results soon. Whatever they may be.

Sunday, August 7, 2011

My Big Girl!

She had her first day of kindergarten last week! I can't wrap my mind around the fact I have a school age child now.

On another note, not much time to blog. My apologies for appearing and disappearing. I'm currently knee deep in hornbooks and powerpoints as I prep a course for our LLM students. Hopefully, things will ease off over the next week.

Friday, August 5, 2011

Never Thought I'd Live to See This

Despite decades in the finance world, and being disturbingly familiar with rating agencies and their rating requirements, I never thought this would happen. Not in my lifetime. Even though it's been inevitable, literally inevitable, for a couple of years now. The only thing preventing an earlier downgrade has been political pressure. And, obviously, even that won't work anymore.

Expect Moody's to downgrade the US in the next six months.* And I'm not even really sure what's going to happen next. There are literally BILLIONS and BILLIONS (maybe even TRILLIONS) of dollars that are required, absolutely required, to be invested in AAA debt - particularly pension funds. And there's not a lot of AAA debt to be purchased anymore. So who the hell knows what's going to happen when the Moody's downgrade comes (most finance/debt investment deals need downgrades from 2 or more rating agencies before triggers require the money to be invested elsewhere). I have no idea what money will chase - maybe German debt? This will impact the banking system - expect banks to get downgraded, too. And I imagine on Monday the market will sink (unless the last couple of days it has been pricing this in).


The only positive things I can see about this, which doesn't help my FSO dreams at all, is that this might...maybe...God I hope so...get the politicians to get their heads out of their asses and manage both the debt and the budget in a meaningful way. Also, counter-intuitively, there might be a flight to treasuries - a lot of investors will go where they think there is safety, no matter what the return may be.

Can I say it again? Never thought I'd live to see this. But then, I never thought I'd see Lehman...frickin' Lehman, go the way of the dodo bird.

*For those not familiar with rating agencies, S&P is generally the leader in establishing ratings and Moody's generally rates in lock-step or soon follows S&P - Fitch, in my opinion, is a me-too rating agency that does whatever the other two do.

Tuesday, August 2, 2011


Another of my old OA study buddies has left the States for his new post in Beijing. The last of my study group leaves for Sao Paulo in a couple of months. I'm now waiting for the results of the PNQ, and I can't imagine I'll have much to post about until I find out.

On a related note, ITMTGP has the greatest (and saddest) post on seeing one's time on the registry come and go with no offer. I'll probably re-link to it when my current candidacy expires, sometime in September.

Mission: Foreign Service, who had disappeared after not getting through the QEP stage, has made a reappearance. Hopefully for some time to come.

Coincidentally, Valdesse also has a recent posting on his immersion program in Turkish. Sadly, the Mrs. and I are also thinking learning a .4 language might be the only route to go to be "guaranteed" an offer over the next couple of years.

No real plot or purpose to this post, I'm just waiting. Anyhew, best of luck everyone on getting through the next stage.