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Ever wonder just who's fattening who's wallet? The Transnational Corporations Observatory [multilingual] seems to know quite a bit. Now if i can only figure out how the ad council gets their money...
posted by phylum sinter on Sep 29, 2002 - 3 comments

Want your independent coffeehouse to be a success? Pray for a Starbucks to open next door.
posted by NortonDC on Sep 24, 2002 - 54 comments

Boston is having a real brouhaha over grass-roots efforts to return to rent control. Here in D.C., some folks aren't happy about a massive vending machine in Adam's Morgan. Meanwhile, D.C. braces for protests surrounding the upcoming meeting of the International Monetary Fund and World Bank.

Is there, in this day and age, a debate raging about the equity, and even the efficacy, of capitalism? Is Marxism still a viable vein of thought in the modern age? Are free markets as self-policing as some folks argue? Or does industry require a more arduous watchdog?
posted by NedKoppel on Sep 13, 2002 - 33 comments

Republicans' economic policy is now closer to that associated with the Democrats, and vice versa.

Republicans' economic policy is now closer to that associated with the Democrats, and vice versa. "Since the 1960s, the Republican and Democrat administrations have switched places on economic policy. The pattern is so well established that the generalisation can no longer be denied: the Republicans have become the party of fiscal irresponsibility, trade restriction, big government and bad microeconomics." Who'd have ever thought Bush would follow a Keynesian economic policy? Meanwhile, as the budget deficit grows, Greenspan cautions fiscal responsibility.
posted by Kneebiter on Sep 13, 2002 - 8 comments

Screw you

Screw you worldcom, enron. In Australia we know how to make a loss. AU$11,962,000,000 in fact. One has to wonder how much of this is a "paper loss" or how much of this is "creative accounting for tax purposes". Or just where the hell did the money go?
posted by Neale on Aug 14, 2002 - 17 comments

What a real depression looks like. Total collapse of the middle class, malnutrition, starving bands of marauders eating road-kill, it's every survivalists dream come true. Until last year, Argentines were part of the richest, best-educated and most cultured nation in Latin America. Not anymore.
posted by stbalbach on Aug 6, 2002 - 47 comments

Economic migrants

Economic migrants trying to cross into the U.S from Mexico are being driven to risk ever more hazardous routes. Bizarrely, the clampdown on illegal border crossing has led to an Indian (Asian) hanging himself in a Guatemalan jail. Where was that border again?
posted by Fat Buddha on Jul 25, 2002 - 32 comments

The CEO White House

The CEO White House has yet another CEO with credibility problems. On Mr. O'Neill: "Administration officials "need to bring in someone with real credibility, with a good understanding of economics and who understands politics," said Stephen Moore, president of the Club for Growth, a conservative political action committee."
posted by nofundy on Jul 18, 2002 - 2 comments

Someone we trust says something reassuring.

Someone we trust says something reassuring. Fed Chairman Alan Greenspan, arguably the most powerful man in the world, blames "infectious greed" for the recent panic-like tail-spins on Wall Street, but says that the economy is on the way to recovery. One comment held that Greenspan was finally able to let out how he feels about what's going on, without shrouding his opinion in economic jibber-jabber.
"For once he really spoke his mind. He usually tends to obfuscate things quite a bit."
But really, how many of you expected Greenspan to say anything other than "the fundamentals are in place for a return to sustained healthy growth"? Does Greenspan actually feel this way? Could it be that he is actually majorly pessimistic, but is using his soothing sweet-song voice and obvious clout and earned respect to somehow buck recent trends? Bush's speech didn't do much for our faltering economy, but will Greenspan's? Can one man's mere words possibly change the course of history? Well?
posted by Hammerikaner on Jul 16, 2002 - 27 comments

"The bigger the binge,

"The bigger the binge, the longer and more severe the hangover." A short history of accounting scandals and fraudulent bankruptcies that follow bubble economies.
posted by raaka on Jul 10, 2002 - 3 comments

Outside of traditional IP structures, there has been ongoing research by WIPO and other organizations to develop a system of remuneration for the use of Traditional Knowledge and Folklore. How could lines be drawn fairly so indigenous cultures could see some kind of return? If you think it's fair to compensate a tribe for technological and pharmaceutical contributions to patents, what about a royalty for that Maori tattoo design on your shoulder? What about drumming styles that have localized roots somewhere in Africa? What would you say is reasonable?
posted by anathema on Jul 9, 2002 - 28 comments

"Nobel Prize-winning economist Joseph Stiglitz talks about the corporate looting spree and Bush's woeful mismanagement of the economy."

"Nobel Prize-winning economist Joseph Stiglitz talks about the corporate looting spree and Bush's woeful mismanagement of the economy." "The fiscal mismanagement of the current administration -- leading to a change in the fiscal position of the United States over the past year -- is absolutely phenomenal; going from huge surpluses to huge deficits and the deficits are probably going to be larger than people anticipated."
posted by semmi on Jul 6, 2002 - 26 comments

The New Gilded Age and its Discontents.

The New Gilded Age and its Discontents. Nobel Prize-winning economist Joseph Stiglitz began explaining why markets fail long before Enron and WorldCom rose, exploded and crashed. But not many people wanted to listen during the boom-boom '90s; Stiglitz was even fired from his position as chief economist at the World Bank after he repeatedly criticized the organization's free-market obsessions.
posted by Ty Webb on Jul 3, 2002 - 8 comments

J.K. Galbraith shocked at scale of corporate failures.

J.K. Galbraith shocked at scale of corporate failures. "I can only say I hadn't expected to see this problem on anything like the magnitude of the last few months – the separation of ownership from management, the monopolisation of control by irresponsible personal money-makers." Myself and chrispy came to the same conclusion on the drive home from the resolutely un- (rather than anti-) corporate Glastonbury Festival today. Profit is valued and rewarded by the vast majority of corporations above all else. As a consquence, people with the same values dominate executive positions, to the exclusion of those with more 'humanitarian' or longer-term outlooks. Where is the balance? Should we make hippie non-exec directors compulsory? Or should I just go back to bed and let the drugs wear off???
posted by barnsoir on Jul 1, 2002 - 9 comments

"No national railway of a developed country has ever run a profit.

"No national railway of a developed country has ever run a profit. They're not supposed to. The correlative economic and social benefits they throw off -- bringing commuters to taxpaying corporations daily, for one thing -- more than offset any net loss they suffer." [via camworld]

You don't run your home's central heating, air conditioning or plumbing at a profit, so why should a country try to run its infrastructure that way, be it rail, health service, water, ...? Is it forced on us because nationalised services always seem to become fantastically inefficient and bureaucratic?
posted by southisup on Jun 26, 2002 - 63 comments

More from the Textual Analysis Department: Spiderman as class warrior. "This battle of good vs. evil features the alter egos of an orphan raised by financially-strapped working class relatives versus an egotistical corporate executive."
posted by raaka on May 17, 2002 - 16 comments

"Trade with x only benefits the repressive government of x; it does not get into the hands of the people." How does the White House policy towards x make sense in light of Bush's statement that "Free trade supports and sustains freedom in all its forms. When we open trade, we open minds. We trade with x because trade is good policy for our economy, because trade is good policy for democracy"? Well that's because the first x refers to Cuba and the second x is for China. How's that economic engagement working out with China? Why don't we ask the Tibetans, Falun Gong or the Uighurs? Which foreign policy is the right way to go? Economic isolation or engagement?
posted by buddha9090 on May 16, 2002 - 17 comments

Enron cheated California

Enron cheated California - The Los Angeles Times is reporting the discovery of a memo detailing how Enron manipulated prices by fraud during the power crisis while blaming the problem on powerplants.

One of their strategies was actually called 'Death Star'. Look like the Enron Empire has suffered the same fate as the Palpatine's Empire.

LA Times login: cpunks password: cpunks
posted by Argyle on May 7, 2002 - 18 comments

Understanding what makes America tick

Understanding what makes America tick "The belief that America is exceptional, in the double sense that it is superior and that it is different...The United States had a mission, a manifest destiny, to change the world in its image. This conviction echoes down through American history....Other countries—France, Britain, Russia—have from time to time in their history felt a sense of mission, of carrying their civilisation to other peoples and territories. But in their cases it has been episodic and not deeply rooted—usually limited to when their power was at its zenith and usually clearly recognisable as a rationalisation for what they were doing for other reasons. In the case of the United States, it has been constant and central." [Centre of Independent Studies in Sydney via aldaily] American Exceptionalism. Mix it with sole super power status and massive military might. Should make it quite an intoxicating ride these next few years.
posted by Voyageman on Apr 4, 2002 - 26 comments

''That's a handsome looking beef you've got there.'' (NYT)

''That's a handsome looking beef you've got there.'' (NYT)
Long and involved explication of something I've always wanted to do: raise a cow from birth to slaughter inside of an american factory farm. How does a cow get from being a cute little cow to my dinner plate? Is it safe? Is it moral? Is it yummy?
posted by zpousman on Mar 30, 2002 - 31 comments

on a budget madame, well incarceration is our cheaper plan.

on a budget madame, well incarceration is our cheaper plan. Yes it seeems that the economics suggest that life imprisonment is the prudent option rather than the wanton excess of execution.
posted by johnnyboy on Feb 28, 2002 - 17 comments

Looks like

Looks like the Olympics isn't the boon to business Salt Lake City expected it to be. It might be convenient to blame the terror scare, but the same thing happened to Atlanta a while back. Businesses hired extra workers and spent money to prepare for crowds that never showed. Is all the money to be made taken in through corporate sponsorship deals and television? How have other cities fared financially during and after past Olympics?
posted by troybob on Feb 14, 2002 - 19 comments

The world of the laid-off techie.

The world of the laid-off techie. "Human resource experts say the underemployment trend in the current economic cycle is just starting to emerge. Many workers got the ax when mass layoffs peaked in the summer and fall of 2001, and they coasted on several months of severance and unemployment insurance, which generally lasts six months. With the tech job market still in the doldrums, they're now considering new gigs as waitresses, bartenders, forklift drivers or baby sitters--anything to pay the rent. " I wish the media hadn't/didn't focus so much attention on the suits who seem to only be able to "fail upwards" versus the folks in the trenches. (via /.)
posted by owillis on Feb 11, 2002 - 64 comments

How geeks can do away with cash and be their own banks. We've been around the topic of alternative economics a few times before on MeFi, but this piece from the reliably clever Shift makes it all clear to me. How you can do it, and why. And it actually suggests that programmers are the best people to manage a new money system. There's even a Bay Area monetary guru to hand. Does this make as much sense to anyone else as it does to me?
posted by theplayethic on Feb 6, 2002 - 6 comments

Wealth Spawns Corruption. Socialist economies could be more at risk from corruption than Liberal ones. Ironically, wealth condensation poses the greatest danger to economies that impose constraints on the accumulation of great wealth - broadly speaking, Socialist economies. Liberal economies that maintain free and unrestricted trade are less susceptible.
posted by stbalbach on Jan 28, 2002 - 8 comments

The "Pardon Effect" - economic theory applied to the death penalty

The "Pardon Effect" - economic theory applied to the death penalty Pardons increase homicide rates. "The pardon effect is a matter of simple market economics... pardons reduce the chances that convicted killers will pay the ultimate price for committing murder. Thus a pardon represents a decrease in the cost of committing the crime and is accompanied by an increase in the homicide rate. Conversely, if you increase the "cost" of committing murder by executing a larger share of convicted killers, then economic theory suggests that the murder rate will fall" . The chairman of the economics department at the University of Colorado claims to have the data to support the theory from their analysis of all 6,143 death sentences handed out between 1977 and 1997 in the United States.
posted by Voyageman on Jan 24, 2002 - 23 comments

Crime in the Suites.

Crime in the Suites. William Greider claims that the Enron collapse demonstrates the failure of market orthodoxy.
posted by Ty Webb on Jan 22, 2002 - 29 comments

CD prices to drop

CD prices to drop due to competition from the net? "(We) believe music software CD prices may soon permanently decline to $9.99 given weak sell-through of new artists and continued Internet piracy that appears unstoppable."

Is there an economic model for competition from piracy pushing prices down? This seems to contradict the rhetoric about the rest of us paying more because of pirates.
posted by NortonDC on Dec 28, 2001 - 53 comments

What do Greenspan, Enron and the number 11 all have in common? Economist and NYT colimnist Paul Krugman notes with not too much irony that "Just one month ago the James A. Baker III Institute presented Alan Greenspan with its Enron Prize." (a big wince over regretable timing, and the emphasis is mine) No big conspiracy here, but the general thrust of Krugman's column (NYT link) is that somethings got to give if things are to again get real (good). Lots of interesting under-reported economic factoids in the article make for enlightening reading.
posted by BentPenguin on Dec 14, 2001 - 3 comments

The Nash equilibrium

The Nash equilibrium
So at the present time I seem to be thinking rationally again in the style that is characteristic of scientists. However this is not entirely a matter of joy as if someone returned from physical disability to good physical health. One aspect of this is that rationality of thought imposes a limit on a person's concept of his relation to the cosmos....from John F. Nash Jr.'s autobiography for the 1994 Nobel Prize for Economics.
posted by riley370 on Dec 12, 2001 - 8 comments

Walk for Capitalism

Walk for Capitalism is scheduled for this weekend (Sunday, December 2nd) in over 100 cities around the world. One of the few rallies actually for something, and certainly first global campaign for capitalism in history. Will you stand up for the principles set forth in their position statement?
posted by dagny on Nov 29, 2001 - 34 comments

White House predicts budget deficits until 2005.

White House predicts budget deficits until 2005. Uh... cause of the war, not monster tax cuts to businesses and billionaires... yeah, that's the ticket!
posted by mattpusateri on Nov 28, 2001 - 19 comments

Recession? What recession?

Recession? What recession? "An economic research group declared Monday that the United States has been in a recession since March of this year." It's official.
posted by shoepal on Nov 26, 2001 - 7 comments

Does an appearance in the 1997 Disney flop "Flubber" make a classic T-bird worth more?


Here's

Here's an interesting article about the economics of globalization.
posted by electro on Nov 13, 2001 - 12 comments

Why the world needs America to cheer up

Why the world needs America to cheer up This article claims America and New York in particular have lost faith in an economic recovery. Can any New Yorkers tell me whether this is true? A side note: The (London) Times has been excellent since 9/11 IMO, although the site desperately needs a redesign. I'll do it! Employ me!
posted by Summer on Oct 25, 2001 - 8 comments

Speaking of Tokyo Rose:

Speaking of Tokyo Rose: AOL/Time Warner, with assistance from the Bush administration, signed a "landmark deal" with China. AOL/TW gets to broadcast a Chinese-language station in the area of China that already gets Western programming (although illegally), and in exchange AOL/TW agrees to broadcast a Chinese state sponsored English language channel in Los Angeles, New York and Houston. "We are very pleased to have achieved this landmark agreement, which represents a significant step in the growing relationship between AOL Time Warner and the people of China," said CEO Gerald Levin in a statement. Why does this make my skin crawl?
posted by bclark on Oct 23, 2001 - 17 comments

Recognising "Renegage Economics"?

Recognising "Renegage Economics"? Joseph Stiglitz, who was famously cast into the wilderness by the IMF and World Bank, walked off with a share of this year's Nobel Prize for Economics, for his work on the asymmetric benefits of unrestricted "open markets": in short, the way that promoting "free trade" favours the developed nations over the developing. A calculated fuck-you to the neo-liberal mainstream, or a recognition that the critique of globalisation extends well beyond street protesters?
posted by holgate on Oct 10, 2001 - 8 comments

The Mullings Plan for Global Economic Recovery

The Mullings Plan for Global Economic Recovery - Would this plan effectively stimulate the economy and also benefit the world at large? What do you think will get us out of this slump?
posted by revbrian on Sep 9, 2001 - 11 comments

Is Wage Insurance the Answer?

Is Wage Insurance the Answer? Central to the ongoing debate on globalization is whether free trade is a good thing or not because it pits capital against labor. Like a lot of policy issues (and politics :) trade helps some but hurts others, while polarizing and often making enemies of people on either side of the debate. Wage insurance might provide a middle ground where people can come together. (more inside!)
posted by kliuless on Sep 6, 2001 - 6 comments

Percent of World Military Spending.

Percent of World Military Spending. The US and its allies dwarf the rest of the world in what it spends on defense. On the one hand I see the need to bring overwhelming force in a conflict and I think just having it is in itself stabilizing. But I can also see money and resources put to better use elsewhere (e.g. healthcare, education, basic research) the effects of which I think might even do more to affect global peace and prosperity than any loss that may obtain from a reduced defense budget. (other Thoughts of the Fortnight by J. Bradford DeLong including this draft he presented with Larry Summers! at the Fed symposium in Jackson Hole :)
posted by kliuless on Sep 1, 2001 - 36 comments

The American Worker:

The American Worker: Labor Day is coming up, so its an opportune time for the AFL-CIO to release a poll saying how unhappy workers are. But is this just a by-product of a (basically) stagnant economy with the drumbeat of layoffs ever present, business running roughshod over their employees, employees not realizing how good they have it - ready to sue at the drop of a hat, or business as usual? (plus: Unions in Hollywood doing their own thing)
posted by owillis on Aug 31, 2001 - 49 comments

Argentine Peso Crashing, Provinces Pay in 'Patacon'

Argentine Peso Crashing, Provinces Pay in 'Patacon'
The new scrip will be accepted, officials hope, until the recent US bailout makes it possible to print pesos. The IMF posted 8B dollars last week, at which time 'patacon' was being used in ATMs (Surprise!) I like the above articles noting that it "fits into a wallet like money" --- was there ever a case of design problems in emergency paper currency?
posted by rschram on Aug 27, 2001 - 6 comments

F*ckedEconomy?

F*ckedEconomy? Cuts in interest rates don't seem to be helping. Layoffs persist (and not just tech/dotcoms). The market bounces, but can it sustain itself? Some say the market will rebound in the 2nd quarter of next year, but these are the same people who saw an uptick coming this fall. Are we headed towards a recession, again? Lucent even had to sell their golf course.
posted by owillis on Jul 31, 2001 - 12 comments

Alberta will face a disastrous competitive and economic disadvantage

Alberta will face a disastrous competitive and economic disadvantage if Canada signs the Kyoto accord. Meanwhile, this year has been one of the worst for smog in Toronto. Some municipalities in Ontario are voluntarily looking towards alternate energy sources because they feel, in the long run the costs will be lower (lower health costs, avoiding higher fossil fuel costs, etc. - sorry, no link) What do you think? Is it possible to have economically viable alternative energy, and is the US setting a bad example for countries that feel they need to compete?
posted by nprigoda on Jul 24, 2001 - 12 comments

This is truly awesome.

This is truly awesome. Awesome. Awesome. Awesome. Awesome. Awesome.

Just the best use of flash, collaborative model/data building and use of interactive interface to explain a complex issue... i.e. the interconnections of money, influence and power in boardrooms of the global economy.

Conceived designed and built by Josh ON and the FutureFarmers I think it's going to move to a more permanent and snappier URL once it's fully ready for prime-time... I hope Josh and the gang don't mind me posting it here... but it's just too good not too... It genuinely deserves a lot of praise and attention, IMHO.
posted by blackbeltjones on Jul 19, 2001 - 24 comments


Smoking creates "indirect positive effects."

Smoking creates "indirect positive effects." A report from tobacco giant Philip Morris concluded that the Czech government saved money because of the "indirect positive effects" of the early deaths of cigarette-smokers. PM makes about 80 percent of the cigarettes smoked in the Czech Republic. Said a Philip Morris spokesman: "Tobacco is a controversial industry, but we are still an industry and sometimes we need some economic data on our industry."
posted by tranquileye on Jul 17, 2001 - 39 comments

The Economics of Aesthetics

The Economics of Aesthetics Warning, free registration is required
This article points out an interesting problem with calculating how much a product is worth... How much is aesthetics worth to the consumer? How do you even calculate that? (via Signal vs. Noise.)
posted by chason on Jul 12, 2001 - 1 comment

B.C.'s top commodity: marijuana

B.C.'s top commodity: marijuana New police statistics suggest marijuana has become one of B.C.'s largest industries -- even bigger than logging -- with annual production valued at $6 billion.

...Imagine 6 billion in lost tax revenues...
posted by cburton on Jul 7, 2001 - 27 comments


Optimism:

Optimism: Was the bust really a Bust (See below)? Douglas Rushkoff doesn't think so. But then, he's a pretty optimistic guy, if you ask me. (Warning, his article links to MetaFilter... Does that count as a self-link?)
posted by LAM on Jul 5, 2001 - 6 comments

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