China rates its own citizens - including online behaviour
: "The Chinese government is currently implementing a nationwide electronic system, called the Social Credit System
, attributing to each of its 1,3 billion citizens a score for his or her behavior. The system will be based on various criteria, ranging from financial credibility and criminal record to social media behavior. From 2020 onwards each adult citizen should, besides his identity card, have such a credit code." [more inside]
The End of Banking: Money, Credit, and the Digital Revolution
- "Unregulated banking with access to government guarantees is an enticing business model. It offers the profits of excessive risk-taking in good times, and allows passing on the inevitable losses to taxpayers in bad times." [more inside]
The Economic Risks of Climate Change in the United States
); press coverage
) - "The signature effects of human-induced climate change
—rising seas, increased damage from storm surge, more frequent bouts
of extreme heat—all have specific, measurable impacts on our nation's current assets and ongoing economic activity. [The report] uses a standard risk-assessment approach to determine the range of potential consequences
for each region of the U.S.—as well as for selected sectors of the economy—if we continue on our current path..." [more inside]
... You seem to think everyone's worried about robots
. But what everyone's worried about is you
, Marc. Not just you, but people like you. Robots aren't at the levers of financial and political influence today, but folks like you sure are. People are scared of so much wealth and control being in so few hands... Unless we collectively choose to pay for a safety net
, technology alone isn't going to make it happen." [more inside]
How did Pathfinder become the only table-top role-playing game ever
to outsell Dungeons & Dragons, outpacing it 2:1? What were the economics of the Open Gaming License, whereby Wizards of the Coast effectively gave away
the rules to its flagship D&D product? Why did the table-top market collapse?
This and more on Episode 73 of the Game Design Roundtable
podcast, with guest Ryan Dancey, architect of the Open Gaming License strategy at Wizards of the Coast, and former marketing exec at CCP Games (makers of EVE Online). Dancey is now the business lead on Pathfinder Online, an upcoming sandbox fantasy RPG broadly in the mold of EVE and Ultima Online.
is usually about game design, but this episode is a fascinating look into the business side of the RPG world, both online and off -- from someone who has been at the heart of the most interesting business cases in the space. The first 30 minutes are all about business history and economics. [more inside]
Want to get away with not paying taxes but don't have the money to make your own offshore company in the Cayman Islands? Fret not - you can hijack an existing offshore company starting from the low low price of 99 cents! [more inside]
Few industries would routinely pay millions per unit of an item, sight unseen, with minimal (and sometimes no) market research. So how can the TV business afford to operate this way? To understand the economics of scripted television, we need to examine the idiosyncratic journey of a show from concept, to pitch, to script, to screen. And we’ll see why, in a business where only a few hits stand out any given year, lavish spending is the cost of staying relevant. -- The Economics of a Hit TV Show
Of all the occupational golden ages to come and go in the twentieth century—for doctors, journalists, ad-men, autoworkers—none lasted longer, felt cushier, and was all in all more golden than the reign of the law partner.
Noam Schreiber on The Last Days of Big Law: You can't imagine the terror when the money dries up
. Former law partner Steven J. Harper
, author of The Lawyer Bubble
the profession to be in existential crisis
. Another former partner weighs in
. Libertarian law professor Richard Epstein
presents a more sanguine view
Mike Merrill decided to sell shares in his life
. He now has 160 shareholders who can tell him what to do.
The Incentive Bubble
) - "The fraying of the compact of American capitalism by rising income inequality and repeated governance crises is disturbing. But misallocations of financial, real, and human capital arising from the financial-incentive bubble are much more worrisome to those concerned with the competitiveness of the American economy." [more inside]
This is why I don't give you a job.
Hungarian blogger Jakab Andor
breaks down the numbers and explains why taxes and regulations make it highly unappealing for him to start a small business employing people in Hungary. He also argues that these same factors make women and older people particularly unappealing prospects. His comments generated quite a bit of controversy
(warning: most comments in Hungarian), to which he responded with an offer
Economics blog VoxEU debates Why do we need a financial sector
? Serious, important and very dull articles discuss the trade-offs
and myths of innovation
, and whether the sector is overrated
or a contributor
to the wider economy.
Are small theaters punching a ticket to oblivion?
Radical changes in the traditional structure
of the lab processing
sides of the film industry have been filling the lives of small theater operators
with uncertainty and worry for the last few years. Will filmstock
be the next Kodachrome
? (And what will that mean for the future of film preservation
?) [more inside]
Made in America: small businesses buck the offshoring trend
- "For US manufacturing to make sense, factories must make extensive use of automation. That's getting easier, given that the cost of robots with comparable capabilities has decreased precipitously in the past two decades." [more inside]
"The rich are different than you and me."
A new study out of the Harvard Business School suggests that frequent use of luxury goods and services may encourage a narrower, more self-interested view of the world. Here's a link to the report itself
. (Achtung! it's a PDF.)
Ken Lay & Enron. Bernie Madoff. Bernie Ebbers & WorldCom. What is it about CEOs that makes them uniquely capable of pulling off the most audacious & expensive kind of white collar crime? Control Fraud Theory
has the answer. Via the ever-enlightening Bruce Schneier
Shared social responsibility
- When customers could pay what they wanted in the knowledge that half of that would go to charity, sales and profits went through the roof ... Gneezy describes the combination of charitable donations and paying what you like as 'shared social responsibility', where businesses and customers work together for the public good.
) [also see 1
Silicon Sweatshops is a five-part investigation of the supply chains that produce many of the world’s most popular technology products, from Apple iPhones, to Nokia cell phones, Dell keyboards and more. The series examines the scope of the problem, including its effects on workers from the Philippines, Taiwan and China. It also looks at a novel factory program that may be a blueprint for solving this perennial industry problem.
The Gervais Principle
, Or The Office According to “The Office”.
Warning: link may evoke baleful despair!
10 out of 13 million tracks available for purchase online didn't sell a single copy.
Jut how Long can that Tail
be, after all?
Is the length of the tail mentioned in the article down to piracy or the state of the music industry as a whole? Is it possible to make a profit or break even on a niche website based on sales alone, and not on advertising revenue?
I asked Nathan Myhrvold, C.E.O. of Intellectual Ventures and widely considered to be one of the smartest people in technology, if he is brilliant. "If you put yourself in that camp, you might be correct," he teased. "But then, you're also an asshole." The Brilliant Issue
profiles Porfolio's picks for best game-changers, upstarts, rebels, connectors and other influencers. [more inside]
- the trouble with Enron
Plunging into the shadows:
"In thinly traded, lightly regulated and untransparent markets
, the bold
can make an awful lot of money—and they can lose it
on an even more extravagant scale... In today's caffeine-fuelled dealing rooms, a barely regulated private-equity group could very well borrow money from syndicates of private lenders, including hedge funds, to spend on taking public companies private. At each stage, risks can be converted into securities
, sliced up, repackaged, sold on and sliced up again. The endless opportunities to write contracts on underlying debt instruments
explains why the outstanding value of credit-derivatives contracts has rocketed
to $26 trillion—$9 trillion more than six months ago, and seven times as much as in 2003."
John T. Reed’s analysis of Robert T. Kiyosaki’s book 'Rich Dad, Poor Dad'.
has spun a business empire off his book, including follow up publications, TV appearances and columns
that make suprisingly broad statements about what's worth doing.
How Powerful Is Productivity?
TCS interviews Former Carter Staffer (and Democrat) William Lewis, who makes some interesting remarks about worker productivity: There were many disparaging comments made in the US and maybe even stronger abroad, (and especially in Japan) about how the US labor force was getting what it deserved because it was lazy, uneducated and maybe even dumb. And of course, the Japanese then showed -- the really capable, competent Japanese manufacturing companies -- showed that was wrong by coming here, building their own factories, managing American labor and taking a lot of other local inputs and coming within five percent of reproducing their home country productivity.
Hans Hoppe is in trouble.
Why? In one of his lectures at UNLV
, the world-renowned economist stated that homosexuals plan less for the future than heterosexuals.
According to Hoppe, homosexuals tend not to have children, so they have little stake in the world beyond their own time. Other poor future planners include the very young (no concept of the future) and the very old (their time is almost up).
A student filed a compaint against Hoppe for his "anti-gay" remarks, and UNLV wants to issue a letter of reprimand and force Hoppe to give up his next pay increase.
So should an economics professor be forced to consider his students feelings prior to presenting economic theories? As Hoppe fights back
, the libertarian community voices its support
predicted by Stephen Roach
, the chief economist at investment banking giant Morgan Stanley. He's been right before
An Oligopoly tracking weblog.
A group of over 300 residents and merchants in California’s Bay Area has established a local currency called BREAD (a rough acronym for Bay Area Regional Exchange and Development), based on hours of work valued at $12 an hour. Through the BREAD network, which now has over $20,000 worth of currency in circulation, members can pay for dinner, carpentry, childcare, tutoring, clerical assistance or organic produce. Tired of traditional activism, founder Miyoko Sakashita wanted to create a positive local economy and “stop our resources from supporting global corporations that are not accountable to people and the environment.” Check it out at Breadhours.org
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...
Want your independent coffeehouse to be a success? Pray for a Starbucks to open next door.
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
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?
"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."
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???
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.
"At some point
Yahoo! will shift emphasis towards a billing relationship, that is as good as fact. What they need to decide, however, is whether to lead with a subscription or ISP model."
¿Headed south anytime soon?
This fun, if somewhat depressing, little site is the work of the South to the Future
gang. These wicked, evil folks have taken it upon themselves to try and educate
the masses here in the SF bay area. What troubles me is despite the pervasive nature of the dang ol' Innernet
on our everyday lives, I don't see a lot of people buying into causes of this nature. Maybe I am just jaded and exhausted from dodging SUVs all over town. I mean, there are a lot of hills in SF so why shouldn't people have monster 4X4s? On a lighter note, this seems to be a neat little side project
One Year After Seattle
-- "A year has passed since the World Trade Organization's "Millennium Round" collapsed under clouds of tear gas in Seattle," writes Mark Weisbrot
, in this useful overview of what was -- and is -- at stake. "The debate over globalization has been altered, perhaps permanently, to include some of the concerns of civil society: poverty and inequality, economic instability, and the environmental costs of globalization...."