Wednesday, February 3, 2010


I'm increasingly glad that I quit when I did. Toyota was already loosing money, and this can do nothing but hurt their sales.

When I visited the Audi plant in Germany, they talked very specifically about how Audi was still recovering their reputation in the US market as a result of a very similar issue with sudden acceleration in the 1980's. Apparently its taken them twenty years to get over the bad publicity. The concerns turned out to be unsubstantiated in Audi's case, and they told us that they suspected foul play. That is to say: there was never any good evidence that there was actually such a problem with Audi's, and the news hype that it received may have been a deliberate campaign to malign them.

Toyota's already acknowledged that their was a quality problem with the parts, so the conspiracy theory doesn't fly here. But it is beginning to have a witch-hunt sound to it; what with the US Transportation Secretary saying he wants to meet face to face with Toyota's CEO to talk about it. I can't help but wonder if there's any real-politicking going on; the old guard car makers trying to hurt Toyota by maligning them. I imagine they're not shedding any tears, at any rate.

in reference to:

"U.S. Transportation Secretary Seeks Meeting With Toyota CEO"
- U.S. Transportation Secretary Ray LaHood Seeks Meeting With Toyota CEO - (view on Google Sidewiki)

Thesis progress

My adviser says I'm done (almost). She recommended that I take what I've got and write a report on it, and that will satisfy the masters requirements. If this one last thing turns out to be significant, we'll spend next quarter preparing it to publish.

The last thing is to take a matched sample of non-bankrupt firms and compare their break point behavior to the bankrupt firms breakpoints for each indicator. If it's significant, we should see randomness in the non-bankrupt firms. However, as I'm typing this, I'm thinking that the time-frames might be an issue: the point of reference for bankrupt firms is the date of bankruptcy; the only thing I could use as a point of reference for non-bankrupt firms is the current date. Comparing the two might be confounding; I might get randomness as an artifact. We'll see.

I got a nice reaction from my adviser when I showed her the work I had done while she was away. She was having trouble interpreting a plot, I explained it, there was a thoughtful pause, then a big smile and: "This is really good work!"

Now Officially a VW fan blog

Look at this video.

Just look at it.