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    Missile Defense

Russian military leaders have expressed concern about US plans for a national missile defense system. Will defense technology be limited by possibilities for a strategic imbalance? Is this just SDI all over again?

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rshowalter - 08:01am Mar 28, 2001 EST (#1591 of 1593) Delete Message
Robert Showalter

Key Reasons for Carefulness - And to Favor Factually and Logically Correct Approaches and Communications:

The issues of reliability, and expected rates of return for sociotechnical investment decision by real people set out in #1394-1406 seem especially important now, and Im trying to proceed with care, and enough time to do key things right, because of a concern for right answers and stability.

Quick, cocksure, easy answers can seem the best ones, in the short term, but when they start to fail, the costs can be immense. Id like to refer to an ongoing business story, an aspect of which made the NYT today:

. Lucent Confronts Diminishing Expectations in Effort to Raise Cash .... ........ by SIMON ROMERO and RIVA D. ATLAS

" Lucent Technologies began selling $3.6 billion of shares yesterday in Agere Systems, its semiconductor unit, to capitalize on a window of optimism in the stock market even as concern mounted about Lucent's financial situation.

" Underscoring woes in the communications industry, and especially at Lucent, the company sold 600 million shares at only $6 each. Originally, Lucent had hoped to sell 370.3 million shares for as much as $20 each. Instead of raising $7.4 billion, Lucent will receive only $3.6 billion from the offering.

" Obviously, Lucent is in a weak position" with a need to raise cash, said Susan Kalla, a telecommunications analyst with, an online brokerage firm. "You have to wonder how they're going to make up for the shortfall from the offering."

> . . . . .

" Lucent and Morgan Stanley declined to comment on the share offering and on their financial dealings with each other.

. . . . . . . .

" Assuming that Lucent does not come up with a plan to raise the additional $2.5 billion in the next few days, S.& P. will most likely place the company's debt on watch for a possible downgrade, he said. A downgrade from the agency would mean that Lucent's debt would fall from investment grade to junk bond status.

" Lucent did announce earlier this month that it planned to sell its optical fiber unit, and that could raise enough money to satisfy S.& .P's concerns, Mr. Hyman said.

" We need to see some execution from management," he said. "Once the Agere deal is done and they sell the fiber business, I'll breathe easier, but it's all on a wing and a prayer right now."

" Robert Ray, the analyst who covers Lucent at Moody's Investors Service, said yesterday that he was not reviewing the company's ratings.

(Note: Players are likely to delete the "not" from the previous sentence as a matter of course.)

" If both rating agencies downgraded the company to junk bond status, it could raise the cost of the company's bank financing.

" Lucent filed the most recent version of the deal's offering document with the Securities and Exchange Commission on Monday. One notable change was that the company confirmed that Agere would have a "significant operating loss" in the company's fiscal second quarter, said Steven Levy, an analyst at Lehman Brothers.

Mistakes, whether due to inadvertent misjudgement, or deception, carry very large penalties.

Those penalites occur when the percieved risk discount on what is said or promised, which corresponds to a in #1394-1406 rshowalter 3/23/01 5:30pm shift significantly below 1.

Significant rewards occur in the other direction, when the percieved credibility of an "economic actor" (and in America, all are economic actors) moves upward.

I'm moving, as carefully as I can, to guard my own credibility, and to

rshowalter - 08:07am Mar 28, 2001 EST (#1592 of 1593) Delete Message
Robert Showalter

I'm moving, as carefully as I can, to guard my own credibility, and to act in honorable, careful ways that augment it. If others on the side of peace, stability, and clear information do this, and carefully point out the deceptions, mistakes, cynicisms, and brutalities of the forces of death in the world, including, I'm sad to say, some forces in my own country -- then, after a time, major shifts in power may occur. And they could be rapid.

It is taking me time to be adequately careful about some things. This is a time of danger, but also a time of hope -- and a time for work, and taking care.

Some positions of the U.S. Department of Defense and its leaders are, on important issues, are as devoid of merit or honor as a herringfish is of fur -- and there will be ways, with care, to show that to a wider and wider group of people and organizations -- eventually including enough elected American officials, and enough American voters, to make a decisive difference.

There are limits to how long it will be sustainable for Department of Defense and its leaders to maintain the position that

. "we are right, because we say so, and you can't check us."

That position can work for a while. Perhaps a long while. But it is much less workable than it used to be, because in the new internet world, less can be hidden. And the position is, inherently, dynamically unstable.

Pardon me for moving slowly. I'm being careful. The arguments for peace and effective communication are overwhelming in the world, and we need to make them -- as I believe we ARE making them -- carefully, with stability, in a solid, logically incremental fashion.


Right now, one of the things that means is that I have a lot of reading, and preparation, to do. I'm working. And the recent posts are most admirable and interesting !

rshowalter - 08:09am Mar 28, 2001 EST (#1593 of 1593) Delete Message
Robert Showalter

Amazing how fast my computer gets penetrated, after a period of quiescence, when I make some of these postings.

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