Tuesday, July 30, 2002

Lawyerly yours wins first disbarment case

I received today the ruling of the Committee on Bar Discipline dismissing the charges of unethical conduct filed against me by a rich businessman who lost a case that I worked on as a junior lawyer. I hate that guy. He filed all the cases he could file against my client and when there was nothing else to file, he filed a case against me.

Of course, there was no doubt on my mind that I would win that case. But I suffered from just the thought that I was being disbarred. This time I wasn't just the lawyer for the accused -- I was the accused. Days and nights I worried about the outcome of the case. I didn't know a thing outside of my profession. What was I to do if I lost? Worse, cheapskate that I am, I was my own lawyer. My boss (who was included in the suit) reviewed my work but since he was suffering the same anxiety I was suffering, I couldn't really trust him. I remember when the deadline for writing our answer approached, I couldn't write a single word. Gone was the legendary pleading writer that I fancied myself to be. I was the lawyer who could churn out pages and pages of law in a few minutes. I was the lawyer who quoted Shakespeare in his pleadings and got away with it. But for the case that involved my career, I was mute. I didn't know a single law. Indeed, the hardest pleading to write was the pleading I wrote for myself.

I'm glad I survived that -- and how. Now, it's pay back time. I am going to sue this guy and I will make sure he suffers the same ordeal I went through. See you in court you filthy businessman. May God have mercy on your soul.

Friday, July 26, 2002

No Hope in Concepts: The Reason I Stay Away from the Stock Market

I have to credit my metaphysics teacher Rev. Fr. Roque Ferriols, S.J., who instilled in me the habit of asking "Meron ba?" In English, the nearest translation I can think of is "Is it there?" Does it exist or is it just hot air? The habit is based on the principle that there exists a reality. And human beings that we are, we nestle in reality. That's where we live. But there are a lot of non-truths out there that deceive us in to believing what is not reality.

And these non-truths are not necessarily lies or accounting scams. Non-truths can be innocent things like concepts. Concepts are products of our minds. They come out of our minds based on our experience of reality but concepts are not reality. The function of concepts is to point us to reality. If we say moon, for example, we have a concept of the moon. But the word moon itself is not reality. The real moon is up in the sky. To be fascinated with the moon, is to be fascinated with reality. That looks okay. But to be fascinated with concepts -- such as earnings per share -- is to be fascinated with nothing. That is not okay.

The stock market is one place where everything is concepts -- and not just concepts but concepts of concepts of concepts. Take the concept of debt to equity ratio for example. It looks simple. Conventional wisdom tells us that a company with a high debt to equity ratio means it has more debts than capital. This means a large part of its costs will be interest payments. A company with low equity ratio is one with less debts than capital. Interest might not be eating up its profits that much. So which one has better prospect of making more profits?

Dig deeper and see where the labyrinth of concepts bring you. Debts: What does the company owe? Well -- loans from banks, advances from stockholders, bonds, commercial papers, promissory notes, purchases on credit, etc… still with me? What is capital? Money, property, goodwill? How do you value this money? Based on inflation? How do you value property? Based on market conditions? What is the market condition? Then, we realize a lot of things are not really clear. How does one classify, for example, between a debt and equity. Preferred shares -- is that equity or debt. Convertible bonds -- is it debt or equity. What about warrants or option contracts. Then we find out that a lot of the underlying items are based on opinions and opinions no matter where they are coming from are not truths. So we ask, is it really there? Meron ba?

Just look at the moon. No matter what the people say, you are sure it is there. Unlike the stock market, the moon is not susceptible to the whims of the crowd. In the stock market, if the crowd believes there is a value, everything goes up. If the crowd believes there is no value, everything goes down. Then, creative accountants and corporate honchos with appetites for large sums of money (and everyone in the stock market has that appetite) start playing around with the concepts and masquerade losses with profits until they are caught. Then, everything crumbles. People realize all they really had was concepts -- concepts of concepts of concepts.

I never thought of playing with the stock market crowd. There are many people way ahead me who drumbeat the perceptions of this crowd. No hope it putting one over them. No hope in concepts.

So, I stay away from the stock market. The truth is hard to find there -- with or without accounting scams.

Tuesday, July 23, 2002

OOPS SORRY. Aceron.net is on back up mode pending re-installation by our regular service provider cyberwings.com.

If your are looking for aceron.net email please go here.
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What you're reading now is my site www.aceron.net/~marvin.I am one of the members of the Aceron Family of Oriental . Mindoro, Philippines.

Friday, July 05, 2002


Just to clarify my earlier post that would seem that I am professing some sort of cult for lawyers, I believe that even if law is considered a religion it is an inferior one at that. Why? Simple -- it bears no message of hope. Law is confined to the hear and now. Law has no answer if you ask about the after life. I remember in civil law class, our eminent Prof. and former Court of Appeals Justice Hector Hofilena asked if the body of a deceased can be considered property? We were all aghast at how casually the law would classify things between property and non-property. Death means you become a corpse susceptible for appropriation. Law offers no salvation beyond the here and now.

Which brings us to the point: why do we tie our lives to the law when it has no message of hope? Why do we insist that our legal system be free from religious color when by doing so we offer our citizens nothing to look forward to but the cold concepts of classification and segregation.

It is a sad society that has nothing that binds itself but the religion of the law.