peHUB Second Opinion 5.17.10

Behind the battle for Psychiatric Solutions: a moral fable on bidding technique, in auction form.

Default: California’s default risk is now higher than that of Thailand – which, you’ll remember, is a blood-spattered, coup-plagued war zone. The lesson: sunny complacency is as bad for a municipality’s economic health as the prospect of widespread civil unrest.

Startups: For success in the startup world, fail early and often, at least one expert advises. But don’t forget to succeed, or your VCs will be incandescent with rage. Or maybe they’ll write a rock song about you.

Sovereign wealth funds: They tightened the spigots in 2009; their assets are expected to grow; not earning fees for banks; Prince Alwaleed is not doing as well as Warren Buffett; a general overview here.

Blogging: While we encourage private equity pros to get on Twitter, Larry Ellison tells his executives to stop blogging. We still maintain that microblogging is the answer.

I love the smell of TARP in the morning: Is the meltdown this generation’s Vietnam?

Morgan Stanley: Deposed chief executive Phil Purcell still has a bone to pick with the Group of Eight.

Fundraising: The financial industry is holding fundraisers for politicians at the rate of roughly one per business day. The elections are in November and it’s only May; how is the industry affording this? Is this being paid for by all those perfect trading quarters? Well, do you know who else had perfect trading quarters? Lehman Brothers.

Catastrophe: The federal debt is projected to reach 100% of GDP by 2023. The Milken Institute looks at the potential ramifications, and theorizes that only catastrophic budget failure will cure our deficit addiction. Spoiler: it includes a potential invasion of Taiwan by China.

Autocrats: Dealing with the blowhard boss, via Bloomberg BusinessWeek.

Speaking of the end times: General Motors is making money. Now.

Ben Bernanke: In his youth, he had a handlebar mustache that pointed down, as down as current interest rates. It is a testament to his gravitas and standing in the community that this picture has never been used against him.