business climate

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pages: 318 words: 85,824

A Brief History of Neoliberalism by David Harvey

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affirmative action, Asian financial crisis, Berlin Wall, Bretton Woods, business climate, capital controls, centre right, collective bargaining, creative destruction, crony capitalism, debt deflation, declining real wages, deglobalization, deindustrialization, Deng Xiaoping, Fall of the Berlin Wall, financial deregulation, financial intermediation, financial repression, full employment, George Gilder, Gini coefficient, global reserve currency, illegal immigration, income inequality, informal economy, labour market flexibility, land tenure, late capitalism, Long Term Capital Management, low-wage service sector, manufacturing employment, market fundamentalism, mass immigration, means of production, Mexican peso crisis / tequila crisis, Mont Pelerin Society, mortgage tax deduction, neoliberal agenda, new economy, Pearl River Delta, phenotype, Ponzi scheme, price mechanism, race to the bottom, rent-seeking, reserve currency, Ronald Reagan, Silicon Valley, special economic zone, structural adjustment programs, the built environment, The Chicago School, transaction costs, union organizing, urban renewal, urban sprawl, Washington Consensus, Winter of Discontent

While there was considerable unevenness (Japan’s markets remained highly protected, for example), the general thrust was towards standardization of trade arrangements through international agreements that culminated in the World Trade Organization agreements that took effect in 1995 (more than a hundred countries had signed on within the year). This greater openness to capital flow (primarily US, European, and Japanese) put pressures on all states to look to the quality of their business climate as a crucial condition for their competitive success. Since degree of neoliberalization was increasingly taken by the IMF and the World Bank as a measure of a good business climate, the pressure on all states to adopt neoliberal reforms ratcheted upwards.2 Thirdly, the Wall Street–IMF–Treasury complex that came to dominate economic policy in the Clinton years was able to persuade, cajole, and (thanks to structural adjustment programmes administered by the IMF) coerce many developing countries to take the neoliberal road.3 The US also used the carrot of preferential access to its huge consumer market to persuade many countries to reform their economies along neoliberal lines (in some instances through bilateral trade agreements).

It is only when the internal power structure has been reduced to a hollow shell and when internal institutional arrangements are in total chaos, either because of collapse (as in the ex-Soviet Union and central Europe), or because of civil wars (as in Mozambique, Senegal, or Nicaragua), or because of degenerative weakness (as in the Philippines), that we see external powers freely orchestrating neoliberal restructurings. And in these instances the success rate tends to be poor precisely because neoliberalism cannot function without a strong state and strong market and legal institutions. It has undoubtedly also been the case that the burden on all states to create ‘a good business climate’ to attract and retain geographically mobile capital has played its part, particularly in the advanced capitalist countries (such as France). But what is odd here is the way in which neoliberalization and a good business climate are so often held as equivalent, as in the 2004 World Bank Development Report.41 If neoliberalization produces social unrest and political instability of the order of that in Indonesia or Argentina in recent years, or if it results in depression and restrictions on the growth of internal markets, then it could just as easily be said that neoliberalization repels rather than encourages investment.42 Even when some aspect of neoliberal policy with respect to, say, flexible labour markets or financial liberalization has been solidly implanted it is not clear that this is in itself sufficient to lure mobile capital.

This entailed confronting trade union power, attacking all forms of social solidarity that hindered competitive flexibility (such as those expressed through municipal governance, and including the power of many professionals and their associations), dismantling or rolling back the commitments of the welfare state, the privatization of public enterprises (including social housing), reducing taxes, encouraging entrepreneurial initiative, and creating a favourable business climate to induce a strong inflow of foreign investment (particularly from Japan). There was, she famously declared, ‘no such thing as society, only individual men and women’—and, she subsequently added, their families. All forms of social solidarity were to be dissolved in favour of individualism, private property, personal responsibility, and family values. The ideological assault along these lines that flowed from Thatcher’s rhetoric was relentless.17 ‘Economics are the method’, she said, ‘but the object is to change the soul.’


pages: 145 words: 43,599

Hawai'I Becalmed: Economic Lessons of the 1990s by Christopher Grandy

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Bretton Woods, business climate, dark matter, endogenous growth, inventory management, Long Term Capital Management, market bubble, Maui Hawaii, minimum wage unemployment, open economy, purchasing power parity, Silicon Valley, Telecommunications Act of 1996

If as many people as possible who affected Hawai‘i public opinion could be brought into the process, then the recommendations, however they turned out, would stand a better chance of surviving. 66 Hawai‘i Becalmed With luck, the Economic Revitalization task force (ERTF) could present the legislature with a political mandate for important changes that would prevent the disintegration of proposals through the contention of different interests. The desire for buy-in explained why so much time was devoted to assembling a series of five working groups to discuss issues and make general recommendations. The planners created working groups for five general economic areas: (1) education and workforce development, (2) taxation, (3) business climate, (4) role of government, and (5) economic development. Functionally, the groups were to assemble a list of issues under each topic and forward recommendations to the task force. Politically, the groups were to extend the concept of buy-in further than the task force could. Ideally, the working groups would broaden the support for the ultimate proposals that would go to the legislature. Over a period of six weeks in the fall of 1997 the working groups met with facilitators while comment sheets and e-mail solicited public opinion.

The ad, titled “The Lingle Plan,” purported to offer Lingle’s detailed program to fix what was wrong with Hawai‘i, and especially with Hawai‘i’s economy. Table 2 reproduces the content of the ad pertaining to the economy.4 A more detailed explanation of the potential responses available to Cayetano appears in Appendix 2. The Lingle Plan had three elements. First, it called for improving Hawai‘i’s business climate by eliminating unnecessary regulations, establishing zero tolerance for favoritism in government contracting, introducing privatization and performance-based budgeting, and establishing a small-business preference program in government contracts. Second, the plan proposed tax reform that would include cash rebates for increasing payroll, reducing the general excise tax on commercial leases, returning the counties’ share of the transient accommodations tax (TAT), and eliminating the GET on exported professional services.

The advertisement’s blunder is clear: The Cayetano administration could claim to have addressed or seriously considered nearly every item on the list. As a result, the ad did little more than highlight the breadth of the administration’s response to the economic crisis. By implication, it revealed 80 Table 2 Hawai‘i Becalmed The Lingle Plan and Potential Response* Lingle Proposal Potential Response* 1. Improve the Business Climate Eliminate unnecessary regulations ✓ Addressed Zero tolerance for favoritism ✓ Addressed performance-based budgeting ✓ Addressed Small business preference program ✓ Addressed Selective privatization and 2. Tax Reform Cash rebate for Hawai‘i businesses that increase payroll ✓ Addressed Reduce 4% GET on commercial leases to 1% ✓ Addressed Eliminate GET on exported professional services ✓ Addressed Fight attempts to tax pensions X Rejected Return counties’ share of TAT X Rejected ✓ Addressed Addressed 3.


pages: 466 words: 127,728

The Death of Money: The Coming Collapse of the International Monetary System by James Rickards

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Affordable Care Act / Obamacare, Asian financial crisis, asset allocation, Ayatollah Khomeini, bank run, banking crisis, Ben Bernanke: helicopter money, bitcoin, Black Swan, Bretton Woods, BRICs, business climate, capital controls, Carmen Reinhart, central bank independence, centre right, collateralized debt obligation, collective bargaining, complexity theory, computer age, credit crunch, currency peg, David Graeber, debt deflation, Deng Xiaoping, diversification, Edward Snowden, eurozone crisis, fiat currency, financial innovation, financial intermediation, financial repression, fixed income, Flash crash, floating exchange rates, forward guidance, G4S, George Akerlof, global reserve currency, global supply chain, Growth in a Time of Debt, income inequality, inflation targeting, information asymmetry, invisible hand, jitney, John Meriwether, Kenneth Rogoff, labor-force participation, labour mobility, Lao Tzu, liquidationism / Banker’s doctrine / the Treasury view, liquidity trap, Long Term Capital Management, mandelbrot fractal, margin call, market bubble, market clearing, market design, money market fund, money: store of value / unit of account / medium of exchange, mutually assured destruction, obamacare, offshore financial centre, oil shale / tar sands, open economy, Plutocrats, plutocrats, Ponzi scheme, price stability, quantitative easing, RAND corporation, reserve currency, risk-adjusted returns, Rod Stewart played at Stephen Schwarzman birthday party, Ronald Reagan, Satoshi Nakamoto, Silicon Valley, Silicon Valley startup, Skype, sovereign wealth fund, special drawing rights, Stuxnet, The Market for Lemons, Thomas Kuhn: the structure of scientific revolutions, Thomas L Friedman, too big to fail, trade route, uranium enrichment, Washington Consensus, working-age population, yield curve

The Berlin Consensus cannot be fully implemented without structural adjustments in order to make the periphery receptive and complementary to the German model. The Berlin Consensus, as conceived in Germany and applied to the Eurozone, consists of seven pillars: Promotion of exports through innovation and technology Low corporate tax rates Low inflation Investment in productive infrastructure Cooperative labor-management relations Globally competitive unit labor costs and labor mobility Positive business climate Each one of the seven pillars implies policies designed to promote specific goals and produce sustained growth. These policies, in turn, presuppose certain monetary arrangements. At the heart of the Berlin Consensus is a recognition that savings and trade, rather than borrowing and consumption, are the best path to growth. Taking the elements of the Berlin Consensus singly, one begins with the emphasis on innovation and technology as the key to a robust export sector.

However, Europe has lagged behind the rest of the developed world in mobility-of-labor terms, partly due to linguistic and cultural differences among the national populations. This problem is widely recognized, and because steps are being taken to improve labor mobility within the EU, prospects for growth are greater than many observers believe. This brings the analysis to the final element of the Berlin Consensus—a positive business climate. What economists call regime uncertainty is a principal differentiator between long, anemic depressions and short, sharp ones. Monetary policy and fiscal policy uncertainty can negatively impact an economy, as was seen in the United States during the Great Depression of 1929 to 1940, and as is being seen again in the depression that began in 2007. But policy cannot improve an economy if businesses are unwilling to invest capital and create the new jobs associated with such investment.

Once the panic phase of a financially induced depression is over, the greatest impediment to capital investment is uncertainty about policy regimes related to matters such as taxes, health care, regulation, and other costs of doing business. Both the United States and the EU suffer from regime uncertainty. The Berlin Consensus is designed to remove as much uncertainty as possible by providing for price stability, sound money, fiscal responsibility, and uniformity across Europe on important regulatory matters. In turn, a positive business climate becomes a magnet for capital not just from local entrepreneurs and executives but also from abroad. This points to an emerging driver of EU growth harnessed to the Berlin Consensus—Chinese capital. As the Beijing Consensus collapses and Chinese capital seeks a new home, Chinese investors looks increasingly to Europe. Chinese leaders realize they have overinvested in U.S.-dollar-denominated assets; they also know they cannot divest those assets quickly.


pages: 369 words: 94,588

The Enigma of Capital: And the Crises of Capitalism by David Harvey

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accounting loophole / creative accounting, anti-communist, Asian financial crisis, bank run, banking crisis, Bernie Madoff, Big bang: deregulation of the City of London, Bretton Woods, British Empire, business climate, call centre, capital controls, creative destruction, credit crunch, Credit Default Swap, David Ricardo: comparative advantage, deindustrialization, Deng Xiaoping, deskilling, equal pay for equal work, European colonialism, failed state, financial innovation, Frank Gehry, full employment, global reserve currency, Google Earth, Guggenheim Bilbao, Gunnar Myrdal, illegal immigration, indoor plumbing, interest rate swap, invention of the steam engine, Jane Jacobs, joint-stock company, Joseph Schumpeter, Just-in-time delivery, land reform, liquidity trap, Long Term Capital Management, market bubble, means of production, megacity, microcredit, moral hazard, mortgage debt, Myron Scholes, new economy, New Urbanism, Northern Rock, oil shale / tar sands, peak oil, Pearl River Delta, place-making, Ponzi scheme, precariat, reserve currency, Ronald Reagan, sharing economy, Silicon Valley, special drawing rights, special economic zone, statistical arbitrage, structural adjustment programs, the built environment, the market place, The Wealth of Nations by Adam Smith, Thomas L Friedman, Thomas Malthus, Thorstein Veblen, too big to fail, trickle-down economics, urban renewal, urban sprawl, white flight, women in the workforce

Where those arrangements are defective or do not exist, capital will encounter serious barriers. While ways can be found for capital to operate successfully under, say, conditions of lawlessness, corruption and indeterminate property rights, this does not in general constitute an optimal environment in which capital can flourish. What to do about ‘failed states’ and how to ensure the creation of ‘a good business climate’ (including the suppression of corruption and lawlessness) have therefore become leading missions of international financial institutions such as the IMF and the World Bank, as well as a project of various arms of contemporary US and European imperialist practices in many parts of the world. The WTO agreements, for example, codify ‘good behaviour’ for the states that have signed up (and many states have no option except to sign if they wish to continue to trade with the US and Europe) in such a way as to favour the freedoms of corporations to do business without excessive state regulation or interference.

By territorial logic I mean the political, diplomatic, economic and military strategies deployed by the state apparatus in its own interest. The first aim of these strategies is to control and manage the activities of the population within the territory and to accumulate power and wealth within the state borders. That power and wealth can be used either internally for the benefit of the people (or more narrowly to create a good business climate for capital and a local capitalist class) or externally to exert influence or exercise power over other states. Tribute can be extracted, for example, from colonial possessions or from weak states falling within the sphere of influence of some dominant state. Failing that, access to the resources, markets, labour power and productive capacity that exists in other countries can be secured so that surplus capital has some place to go when conditions at home are unfavourable for further accumulation.

The ‘moral hazard’ that was the immediate trigger for the financial failures is being taken to new heights in the bank bail-outs. The actual practices of neoliberalism (as opposed to its utopian theory) always entailed blatant support for finance capital and capitalist élites (usually on the grounds that financial institutions must be protected at all costs and that it is the duty of state power to create a good business climate for solid profiteering). This has not fundamentally changed. Such practices are justified by appeal to the dubious proposition that a ‘rising tide’ of capitalist endeavour will ‘lift all boats’, or that the benefits of compound growth will magically ‘trickle down’ (which it never does except in the form of a few crumbs from the rich folks’ table). Throughout much of the capitalist world, we have lived through an astonishing period in which politics has been depoliticised and commodified.


pages: 251 words: 63,630

The End of Cheap China: Economic and Cultural Trends That Will Disrupt the World by Shaun Rein

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business climate, credit crunch, Deng Xiaoping, Donald Trump, facts on the ground, glass ceiling, high net worth, illegal immigration, income per capita, indoor plumbing, job-hopping, Maui Hawaii, price stability, quantitative easing, Silicon Valley, Skype, South China Sea, Steve Jobs, thinkpad, trade route, trickle-down economics, upwardly mobile, urban planning, women in the workforce, young professional, zero-sum game

While the rest of us listened, the man doing tai chi started to talk about the business environment and the economic problems facing the country due to the financial crisis in America and Europe. The man’s name was Guo Guangchang, the founder of the Fosun Group. The Hurun Report, which tracks the net worth of the Chinese rich, estimates Guo’s wealth at nearly $5 billion. As I listened to Guo and the others discuss the business climate, I looked around the room at their faces. All seemed to have the intensity of Olympic athletes about to compete. Optimism and confidence, born from being raised with nothing but making it big through their own sweat and grit, seemed to ooze from their pores. They knew they could overcome any challenges with enough hard work and patience. To my left a number of the executives gathered to talk about joining forces to lobby the government more.

People who are not making money are too often looked down on because they lack ambition, potential, and social status. In many cases, the drive to make money has resulted in excesses, including many unscrupulous businessmen who lie, cheat, and cut corners as they try to get rich. Many Shanghainese girls told me they would not even consider marrying someone who has not already bought a house (without a mortgage) and car. An electric business climate is pulling and pushing everyone to pursue money. Everyone knows someone, or maybe even has a relative, who was formerly a peasant raising pigs or tilling rice paddies covered in night soil, but who now drives a Mercedes and owns multiple villa-style townhouses. Fifteen years ago you only needed $6 million in total assets to make the top 100 on the Forbes China Rich List; last year the mark was $120 million.


pages: 288 words: 76,343

The Plundered Planet: Why We Must--And How We Can--Manage Nature for Global Prosperity by Paul Collier

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agricultural Revolution, Berlin Wall, business climate, Doha Development Round, energy security, food miles, information asymmetry, Kenneth Arrow, megacity, new economy, offshore financial centre, oil shock, profit maximization, rent-seeking, Ronald Coase, Scramble for Africa, sovereign wealth fund, stem cell, Stewart Brand

That problem really struck me only in March 2009 when I was invited to address a meeting of Africa’s resource-rich governments. An official from the International Monetary Fund had also been invited to address the meeting. As I listened to her well-crafted PowerPoint presentation I realized that her talk could equally have been delivered to virtually any government audience in the world. Budget deficits should be moderate; the business climate should be conducive to investment; and so forth. There was nothing much wrong with it, but it did not take into account the distinctive nature of the decisions facing a resource-rich, low-income country. Yet each of these decisions poses difficulties. For example, it is easy to say “capture the value of nature assets for the government” but doing it involves technically complex incentive problems.

(For the moment I will park discussion of the ethics of using aid to force compliance with global carbon standards and turn to the other countries that might potentially free-ride.) The low-income countries are not the core of the free-rider problem. Between them they do not emit much carbon, and even if they offered global industry a haven from action against carbon other aspects of their business climate might deter relocation. The key problem group is the emerging market countries, which collectively emit a lot of carbon. They offer credible havens for the evasion of global carbon policy, and do not receive significant amounts of aid. What stick could be used against such countries? Regrettably, the only credible leverage is likely to be trade restrictions. I say “regrettably” because trade restrictions are a stick to which governments are all too tempted to resort: they provide the attractive political illusion that the restrictions benefit “us” by penalizing foreigners.

Poisoned Wells: The Dirty Politics of African Oil by Nicholas Shaxson

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Asian financial crisis, Berlin Wall, blood diamonds, business climate, central bank independence, clean water, colonial rule, energy security, Exxon Valdez, failed state, Fall of the Berlin Wall, Hernando de Soto, income per capita, inflation targeting, Martin Wolf, mobile money, offshore financial centre, old-boy network, Ronald Reagan, Scramble for Africa, Yom Kippur War, zero-sum game

More judicial transparency and global 227 P o i s o n e d We l l s cooperation in this would also fundamentally alter political power in poor countries. African politicians loot their treasuries, knowing that once their plunder is offshore, it is safe—theirs for keeps. If they knew that their successors could get the looted cash back, they would suddenly find new incentives for getting the business climate right. This is one way to break radically from a vicious circle of oil dependence. Supporters of offshore secrecy use several arguments in their defense. First, the system delivers prosperity, so why fix it? Next, the problem is already being tackled, with initiatives from the United Nations, the OECD, the European Union, and others. The Cato Institute in Washington articulates a third: “Information exchange raises serious issues of financial privacy and national sovereignty.”16 Fourth, capital flows to lower-tax countries force governments to cut taxes competitively, keeping them on their toes.

It would also, crucially, make disenfranchised Nigerians citizens again—for the state would be serving them once more. Personally, I could imagine a radical zero percent tax rate on citizens’ share of the oil revenues. To get the money for schools, roads, and police forces, the politicians would have to tax the telephone and internet companies, hairdressers and taxi drivers that spring up to cater for the newly wealthier citizens’ needs. It would become urgent for politicians to get the business climate right—meaning better lives for all. Citizens wanting to get ahead would no longer look upward to their rulers, like chicks in a nest looking to their mother, but sideways to their fellow citizens. They would trade and deal with each other more, helping rebuild the trust that oil has eroded. This matters not only for Africans, but it should concern everyone in the West, too. Think of Hugo Chavez of Venezuela, Mahmoud Ahmadinejad of Iran, Osama bin Laden, Dokubo-Asari—and many other characters from oil-rich states: why do they hate the West so much, especially now that their governments have wrested the main oil profits away from western companies?

Poor countries routinely achieve countrywide vaccination campaigns, voter registration, and other mass grassroots schemes, and rich places like Alaska already do distribute oil income directly to citizens. With modern technology—fingerprint and iris recognition and the like—direct distribution should get easier, from a practical point of view. As for the idea that giving people free money makes them lazy: people in poor countries are idle not because they are lazy, but because they lack opportunities. Fix the business climate, and they will work. 233 P o i s o n e d We l l s How could the international community back this, if it has so little influence? A good way might be with a demonstration model, perhaps using foreign aid instead of oil money. The clean slate in Iraq after the American invasion would have been an ideal opportunity. Unfortunately, it may be too late now to try. “The Iraqi people should embed in their constitution an arrangement for the direct distribution of oil revenues to all Iraqi households,” two academics wrote in a banner article in the journal Foreign Affairs in 2004.23 “Such systems minimize opportunities for corruption and misappropriation, since windfall revenue stays out of the hands of public officials . . . success in Iraq would provide a powerful example for other resource-rich countries to follow . . . change, even radical change, is less risky than maintaining the status quo, in which oil continues to wreak the kind of damage it has so often around the world.”


pages: 411 words: 114,717

Breakout Nations: In Pursuit of the Next Economic Miracles by Ruchir Sharma

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3D printing, affirmative action, Albert Einstein, American energy revolution, anti-communist, Asian financial crisis, banking crisis, Berlin Wall, BRICs, British Empire, business climate, business process, business process outsourcing, call centre, capital controls, Carmen Reinhart, central bank independence, centre right, cloud computing, collective bargaining, colonial rule, corporate governance, creative destruction, crony capitalism, deindustrialization, demographic dividend, Deng Xiaoping, eurozone crisis, Gini coefficient, global supply chain, housing crisis, income inequality, indoor plumbing, inflation targeting, informal economy, Kenneth Rogoff, knowledge economy, labor-force participation, labour market flexibility, land reform, M-Pesa, Mahatma Gandhi, Marc Andreessen, market bubble, mass immigration, megacity, Mexican peso crisis / tequila crisis, new economy, oil shale / tar sands, oil shock, open economy, Peter Thiel, planetary scale, quantitative easing, reserve currency, Robert Gordon, Shenzhen was a fishing village, Silicon Valley, software is eating the world, sovereign wealth fund, The Great Moderation, Thomas L Friedman, trade liberalization, Watson beat the top human players on Jeopardy!, working-age population, zero-sum game

This pace suggests that the tycoons are increasingly worried about slow growth and the decay of the business climate at home. Sometimes it’s clear where this money is going—one Russian magnate recently made real estate headlines by paying $78 million for a mansion in Silicon Valley. Sometimes it’s murky. One of the anomalies in the books kept by Russian companies is that high profits are not always reflected in cash flow, suggesting that the cash has been diverted to debatable purchases. I suspect it is no coincidence that realtors in the South of France say that many of the top-end villas in Cap Ferrat and Monte Carlo—those in the $200 million to $400 million range—have been purchased by Russian oligarchs and big state companies as retreats for the top brass. The Russian business climate is equally maddening for foreigners. World Bank surveys rank Russia 120th out of 183 countries for the ease of doing business.

Though his country is still known by a name that evokes the bygone influence of the Soviet Union—“Democratic Socialist Republic of Sri Lanka”—Rajapaksa’s regime is working to trim the fat left over from the socialist experiments of the 1970s, including high taxes and government debts that still equal 80 percent of GDP. It aims to raise Sri Lanka from 102nd to 30th in the World Bank rankings of nations by business climate before 2014. It is working to bring the vast swaths of formerly rebel-held territory back into play, and to exploit the country’s long-standing strengths, including a highly literate population and an advantageous location along key shipping routes to India and China. Most economists tend to ignore war because their data sets don’t capture it. The numbers may say a lot about prices and debt, but on the subject of what body counts or no-fly zones can do to growth they are usually silent.


pages: 394 words: 85,734

The Global Minotaur by Yanis Varoufakis, Paul Mason

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active measures, banking crisis, Berlin Wall, Big bang: deregulation of the City of London, Bretton Woods, business climate, capital controls, Carmen Reinhart, central bank independence, collapse of Lehman Brothers, collateralized debt obligation, colonial rule, corporate governance, correlation coefficient, creative destruction, credit crunch, Credit Default Swap, credit default swaps / collateralized debt obligations, debt deflation, declining real wages, deindustrialization, endogenous growth, eurozone crisis, financial innovation, first-past-the-post, full employment, Hyman Minsky, industrial robot, Joseph Schumpeter, Kenneth Rogoff, labour market flexibility, light touch regulation, liquidity trap, London Interbank Offered Rate, Long Term Capital Management, market fundamentalism, Mexican peso crisis / tequila crisis, money market fund, mortgage debt, Myron Scholes, negative equity, new economy, Northern Rock, paper trading, Paul Samuelson, planetary scale, post-oil, price stability, quantitative easing, reserve currency, rising living standards, Ronald Reagan, special economic zone, Steve Jobs, structural adjustment programs, systematic trading, too big to fail, trickle-down economics, urban renewal, War on Poverty, Yom Kippur War

It also echoes John Maynard Keynes’ famous description of investment decisions as a realm ‘where we devote our intelligences to anticipating what average opinion expects average opinion to be’.6 The alert reader will have noticed that something important is missing from this story of growth and crisis: wages and the interest rate! They do not feature at all. While CEOs, employers, industrialists, etc. would love to pay lower wages and less interest on their loans, neither gets much of a look in when it comes to the large investment decisions, which depend on the overall business climate. If the business climate is positive, and expectations are buoyant, CEOs will give the green light to large investment projects. If not, no drop in the wage rate and no fall in the rate of interest can persuade them to invest. Period. As if this were not enough, once a recession has begun, following a Crisis, falling wage and interest rates may cause corporations to panic, to fire workers and to cancel whatever investment projects are already in train.


pages: 125 words: 28,222

Growth Hacking Techniques, Disruptive Technology - How 40 Companies Made It BIG – Online Growth Hacker Marketing Strategy by Robert Peters

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Airbnb, bounce rate, business climate, citizen journalism, crowdsourcing, digital map, Google Glasses, Jeff Bezos, Lean Startup, Menlo Park, Network effects, new economy, pull request, revision control, ride hailing / ride sharing, search engine result page, sharing economy, Skype, TaskRabbit, turn-by-turn navigation

Both movies and television programs are available for purchase and are stored in the user’s online video library, as is purchased music. As more and more mobile users are becoming accustomed to streaming content from their devices, this is an excellent value-added proposition for the Prime subscription. Side-by-side with its offering of new books, Amazon allows sellers to market used books and small businesses can apply to sell their items on the site as well. While not as robust or active a small business climate as eBay or Etsy, the potential to earn money with sales on Amazon does still exist and given the size of the marketplace is attractive to individual entrepreneurs. The Amazon API has long been available to outside sources so products listed on the company site can be sold elsewhere on the web, with the poster earning small commissions on each sale. Through the company’s companion Createspace and KDP sites, authors can self-publish their works in both paper and electronic formats.


pages: 124 words: 30,520

Rebooting Democracy: A Citizen's Guide to Reinventing Politics by Manuel Arriaga

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banking crisis, business climate, David Graeber, financial innovation, first-past-the-post, Gunnar Myrdal, Occupy movement, principal–agent problem, Slavoj Žižek

If—because of either general political uncertainty or the adoption of particularly strict regulations—some companies decide to stop operating in a given country, the relative scarcity of the products or services those companies used to provide will lead to an increase in their price until other companies that are well-positioned to provide those products or services enter that market because of the increased opportunity for profit. Because managers and entrepreneurs differ both in their judgment of situations and their appetite for risk-taking, what some regard as a less attractive business climate, others will invariably see as offering unexplored business opportunities. This is the very essence of how a market economy operates, and it makes the economy robust to any sort of political change. This is not, of course, to say that an economy will be unaffected by an increase in the perceived cost of (or uncertainty associated with) conducting business there. Adjustments are likely to occur and, depending on the situation, the result might well be lower output or higher prices.

The Global Citizen: A Guide to Creating an International Life and Career by Elizabeth Kruempelmann

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Berlin Wall, business climate, corporate governance, Fall of the Berlin Wall, follow your passion, global village, job satisfaction, Menlo Park, money market fund, young professional

Although salaries in Poland were quite low at the time, I earned two to three times the average salary, which was enough to live on. I didn’t get rich, but the experience made up for it in full. Read more about Elizabeth Kruempelmann’s international experiences in chapters two, five, and seven. This is an excellent online connection to chamber of commerce offices worldwide that can provide you with information about local business climates. • Learn the Language Among the things you should do sooner rather than later is get signed up for a language class, if necessary. If you wait too long, you’ll get too much in the habit of speaking English. University courses are cheap and allow you to meet locals. You could also arrange a language exchange with a local student who gives you an hour of language lessons in exchange for an hour of English lessons.

Furthermore, if your company paid for your house, car, and other expenses in addition to salary, stock options, and bonuses, it might be difficult to find a job that offers as much as your total expat package. If you want an expat-type package, working overseas might be the only way to get it. Otherwise, you’ll have to mold your expectations to the current job market at home. That’s reality. H O M E S W E E T H O M E : R E PAT R I AT I O N R E A L I T Y 351 A final challenge is when you find yourself job hunting in a changed business climate. This is precisely why keeping your network alive throughout your life is important. You never know when and who you may need to call on. You might have left during an economic boom and returned during a recession, or vice versa. Your company could have been restructured and key colleagues might have left the firm, or your company might have grown and added a lot of new employees with whom you must now build new relationships.


pages: 602 words: 120,848

Winner-Take-All Politics: How Washington Made the Rich Richer-And Turned Its Back on the Middle Class by Paul Pierson, Jacob S. Hacker

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accounting loophole / creative accounting, active measures, affirmative action, asset allocation, barriers to entry, Bonfire of the Vanities, business climate, carried interest, Cass Sunstein, clean water, collective bargaining, corporate governance, Credit Default Swap, David Brooks, desegregation, employer provided health coverage, financial deregulation, financial innovation, financial intermediation, fixed income, full employment, Home mortgage interest deduction, Howard Zinn, income inequality, invisible hand, knowledge economy, laissez-faire capitalism, Martin Wolf, medical bankruptcy, moral hazard, Nate Silver, new economy, night-watchman state, offshore financial centre, oil shock, Powell Memorandum, Ralph Nader, Ronald Reagan, shareholder value, Silicon Valley, The Wealth of Nations by Adam Smith, too big to fail, trickle-down economics, union organizing, very high income, War on Poverty, winner-take-all economy, women in the workforce

When Reagan came to power, he reinforced the message by breaking a high-profile strike by air-traffic controllers, as well as stacking the National Labor Relations Board (NLRB) in favor of management. Within a few years, it was evident to all involved that the established legal framework for recognizing unions—the National Labor Relations Act, or NLRA—placed few real limits on increasingly vigorous antiunion activities. Writing in the Wall Street Journal in 1984, a prominent “union avoidance” consultant observed that the “current government and business climate presents a unique opportunity for companies… to develop and implement long-term plans for conducting business in a union-free environment.” The “critical test,” he continued, was whether corporations had the “intellectual discipline and foresight to capitalize on this rare moment in our history.”29 They did. Reported violations of the NLRA skyrocketed in the late 1970s and early 1980s.30 Meanwhile, strike rates plummeted, and many of the strikes that did occur were acts of desperation rather than indicators of union muscle.31 Nor did the assault abate in subsequent years.

Indeed, from the beginning, just as the DLC’s membership was limited to elected officials, its base of support was similarly select… In that sense, the DLC was an elite organization in every regard.31 The DLC’s economic message stressed the need for adjustment to “the new realities of the postindustrial global economy.” It emphasized that government should work with a soft touch to foster a strong business climate, promoting free trade and investments in technology, infrastructure, and training to enhance the productivity of the workforce.32 Perhaps most significant, the DLC placed heavy stress on deficit reduction as a key element of economic policy. Moreover, DLC leaders framed the deficit issue in a way that is now familiar but was at the time a substantial change, identifying “entitlements” as the biggest problem.


pages: 490 words: 150,172

The Pencil: A History of Design and Circumstance by Henry Petroski

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business climate, Douglas Hofstadter, Gödel, Escher, Bach, Isaac Newton, James Watt: steam engine, Khartoum Gordon, Menlo Park, On the Economy of Machinery and Manufactures, Ralph Waldo Emerson, Richard Feynman, the scientific method, The Wealth of Nations by Adam Smith, Thorstein Veblen

Their only ambition is to sink their individuality, and to destroy all records of their past, in order that they may keep their jobs. Nevertheless, the government agents and spies are constantly tracing their lineage and former careers, and insisting on their being turned into the streets to make room for the genuine proletariat. As the introduction of capitalism through profit sharing and piecework began to come under fire in the Russian press, there were also other indications that the business climate was changing. The difficulty of obtaining financing in a worsening world economy and the new attitudes of the Soviets toward foreign interests made it a good time to begin negotiating with the Russians for the sale of the factories to the government. Besides, complaints in the press about the large profits of the plants had forced Hammer to drop the prices of his pencils even further. In 1930 a deal was closed, and under Soviet control the Moscow plant came to be called the Sacco and Vanzetti Pencil Factory, after the Italian immigrant workers Nicola Sacco and Bartolomeo Vanzetti, who were executed in 1927 for murders that occurred during a 1920 robbery in a Massachusetts shoe factory, and who had been the cause of worldwide socialist protests.

In 1932 the sales manager of the Eberhard Faber Pencil Company wrote to his account representative at the J. Walter Thompson advertising agency explaining the “severance of our business relationship.” It was not the fault of either the agency or its representative, but rather was because Faber was “not in a position to do a sufficient amount of advertising to warrant your continuing to serve us.” In spite of the dark business climate, the company’s five-cent tipped yellow pencil floats proudly in a bright cloud on the letterhead, and the sales manager’s signature, which slants optimistically upward, is signed decisively in pencil, perhaps a Mongol. The Eberhard Faber Mongol in 1932, as it appeared on the company’s letterhead (photo credit 19.2) In 1931 Johann Faber, A. W. Faber-Castell, and L. & C. Hardtmuth were operating their European plants at only 60 percent of capacity, so to eliminate competition among themselves and reduce costs, the Big Three, as they were known, combined into a single holding company chartered in Switzerland.


pages: 651 words: 161,270

Global Spin: The Corporate Assault on Environmentalism by Sharon Beder

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American Legislative Exchange Council, battle of ideas, business climate, centre right, clean water, corporate governance, Exxon Valdez, Gary Taubes, global village, Intergovernmental Panel on Climate Change (IPCC), invisible hand, laissez-faire capitalism, oil shale / tar sands, old-boy network, price mechanism, profit maximization, Ralph Nader, RAND corporation, Ronald Reagan, shareholder value, telemarketer, The Bell Curve by Richard Herrnstein and Charles Murray, the market place, The Wealth of Nations by Adam Smith, urban planning

By suggesting that the underlying rationale of a given advocacy message emanates from and is supported by traditional American values, the sponsor of the message expects to insulate himself from critical attack, for his adversaries must implicitly criticize these values in order to raise objections to the ad message.68 Pioneered by Mobil Oil, advocacy advertisements allow corporations to editorialise.69 Mobil spends millions of dollars a year on this form of advertising. Take, for example, the following Mobil ad: Business, generally, is a good neighbour, and most communities recognize this fact. . .From time to time, out of political motivations or for reasons of radical chic, individuals try to chill the business climate. On such occasions we try to set the record straight. . . And the American system, of which business is an integral part, usually adapts. . . So when it comes to the business climate, we’re glad that most people recognize there’s little need to tinker with the American system.70 Many other companies use advocacy ads, including Union Carbide, the Chase Manhattan Bank, W. R. Grace and Co. and Bethlehem Steel. During the 1970s oil, chemical and steel companies actively campaigned through advertisements on the themes of environmentalism, energy or “explanations of the capitalistic system”.

Falling Behind: Explaining the Development Gap Between Latin America and the United States by Francis Fukuyama

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Andrei Shleifer, Atahualpa, barriers to entry, Berlin Wall, British Empire, business climate, Cass Sunstein, central bank independence, collective bargaining, colonial rule, conceptual framework, creative destruction, crony capitalism, European colonialism, Fall of the Berlin Wall, first-past-the-post, Francis Fukuyama: the end of history, Francisco Pizarro, Hernando de Soto, income inequality, income per capita, labour market flexibility, land reform, land tenure, Monroe Doctrine, moral hazard, New Urbanism, oil shock, open economy, purchasing power parity, rent-seeking, Ronald Reagan, The Wealth of Nations by Adam Smith, total factor productivity, trade liberalization, transaction costs, upwardly mobile, Washington Consensus, zero-sum game

This image of an inclined plane, which is very close to the reality of different persons’ conduct, is the one least similar to an order of justice, or of equity. This sum of contradictions highlights a paradoxical fact. If we undertake a rapid overview, looking not at the U.S. case but at countries with an even higher tax burden of direct and progressive taxes, such as Norway, Sweden, and Denmark, we can find, based on international comparisons, that the force applied to the taxpayer does not appear to have a negative impact on the business climate nor on initiative for Why Institutions Matter 261 establishing new firms.60 This means, then, that the better the guarantee of property rights, the greater the likelihood that taxes will not be evaded. This does not mean that the above-mentioned countries are free of serious fiscal problems. The aging of the population, the saturation in the taxpayer of the tax burden that undercuts incentives to work, the ever-higher health costs, also visible in the United States— all of these challenges present monumental unknowns for the twentyfirst century.

See Antonio María Hernández, Daniel Zovatto, and Manuel Mora y Araujo, Argentina una sociedad anómica: Encuesta de cultura constitucional (Mexico City: Universidad Nacional Autónoma de México, Instituto de Investigaciones Jurídicas, 2005), pp. 81ff. 60. For example, see the study by the International Finance Corporation of the World Bank, Doing Business in 2006: Creating Jobs (Washington, DC: World Bank, 2006). This situation also has to do with the business climate, for it is affected by the high corporate taxes imposed on companies (typical of poor countries that do not tax individuals as much as in the rich countries), which create incentives for evasion. 61. With respect to this notion, see the second section, “El desafío: De una democracia de electores a una democracia de ciudadanos,” of United Nations Development Program, La democracia en América Latina: Hacia una democracia de ciudadanos y ciudadanas (New York: UNDP, 2004), pp. 33ff. 62.


India's Long Road by Vijay Joshi

Affordable Care Act / Obamacare, barriers to entry, Basel III, basic income, blue-collar work, Bretton Woods, business climate, capital controls, central bank independence, clean water, collapse of Lehman Brothers, collective bargaining, colonial rule, congestion charging, corporate governance, creative destruction, crony capitalism, decarbonisation, deindustrialization, demographic dividend, demographic transition, Doha Development Round, eurozone crisis, facts on the ground, failed state, financial intermediation, financial repression, first-past-the-post, floating exchange rates, full employment, germ theory of disease, Gini coefficient, global supply chain, global value chain, hiring and firing, income inequality, Indoor air pollution, Induced demand, inflation targeting, invisible hand, land reform, Mahatma Gandhi, manufacturing employment, Martin Wolf, means of production, microcredit, moral hazard, obamacare, Pareto efficiency, price mechanism, price stability, principal–agent problem, profit maximization, profit motive, purchasing power parity, quantitative easing, race to the bottom, randomized controlled trial, rent-seeking, reserve currency, rising living standards, school choice, school vouchers, secular stagnation, Silicon Valley, smart cities, South China Sea, special drawing rights, The Future of Employment, The Market for Lemons, too big to fail, total factor productivity, trade liberalization, transaction costs, universal basic income, urban sprawl, working-age population

A ‘commercial courts bill’ is said to be in the works to set up judicial mechanisms for quicker resolution of commercial disputes. But no improvement has been reported on a major spoiler of the business climate, viz. the arbitrary and high-​handed behaviour of the tax authorities. The government has announced a phased reduction in the corporation tax from 30 per cent to 25 per cent over the next few years, along with rationalization/​removal of unnecessary exemptions. This will be a step forward if and when it comes to pass.15 There has been significant liberalization in the limits and procedures for foreign direct investment (see below). This is all to the good but the government’s emphasis on ‘ease of doing business’ should not obscure an obvious point: improving the business climate will also depend on making a success of other aspects of the reform process, such as rectifying infrastructure deficits and making factor markets function more smoothly.


pages: 219 words: 61,334

Brit-Myth: Who Do the British Think They Are? by Chris Rojek

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Bob Geldof, British Empire, business climate, colonial rule, deindustrialization, demand response, full employment, Gordon Gekko, Isaac Newton, Khartoum Gordon, Live Aid, Mahatma Gandhi, mass immigration, means of production, post-industrial society, Red Clydeside, sceptred isle, Stephen Hawking, the market place, urban planning, Winter of Discontent

The ‘Third Way’ principles espoused and practised by New Labour sought to generate relevant policies to deal with the central dilemmas of globalization, the new individualism (the retreat of custom and precedent as arbiters of life choice), ecological risks, multiculturalism and multi-ethnicity. The Third Way relied on evidence-based research to identify problems requiring state intervention. The same mechanism was used to monitor the practice of regulation and provide transparency and accountability to the public. A positive business climate for corporations and individual enterprise was encouraged. New Labour’s revitalization of the market principles introduced 182 BRIT-MYTH into the public sector during the Thatcher/Major years symbolized the break with Old Labour policies of centralized management and high taxation. The concordat of 1945 promised a stable new Britain organized around the welfare state. Post-1945, the nation has been pulled from pillar to post in a series of seemingly never-ending doctrinal policy changes between Left and Right.


pages: 179 words: 42,006

Startup Weekend: How to Take a Company From Concept to Creation in 54 Hours by Marc Nager, Clint Nelsen, Franck Nouyrigat

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Amazon Web Services, barriers to entry, business climate, invention of the steam engine, James Watt: steam engine, Mark Zuckerberg, minimum viable product, pattern recognition, Silicon Valley, transaction costs, web application, Y Combinator

He wanted to “create hope for victims who lost their belongings.” Users of the site are able to upload pictures of any object they find to a database via a mobile app, while others are able to search for missing objects on the website. Additionally, the whole service is being provided free of charge. We read recently about something called the Legatum Prosperity Index—a global study that looks at the business climates in a variety of countries. We were not surprised to find that a country's ability to foster a climate of entrepreneurship has a significant effect on that country's overall well-being. An atmosphere of trust is at the heart of both. It can be scary trying to be an entrepreneur. But we need to help people come together and move beyond that feeling. All you need are the right people and the right resources to begin creating solutions.


pages: 282 words: 69,481

Road to ruin: an introduction to sprawl and how to cure it by Dom Nozzi

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business climate, car-free, Jane Jacobs, New Urbanism, Parkinson's law, place-making, Ray Oldenburg, ride hailing / ride sharing, Ronald Reagan, skinny streets, The Death and Life of Great American Cities, The Great Good Place, transit-oriented development, urban decay, urban renewal, urban sprawl, walkable city, zero-sum game

Despite overwhelming evidence of increased property values and safety for children and seniors, we regularly fight vigorously to oppose a local government proposal to install, say, a sidewalk on our neighborhood street. Most of us are, after all, using our car travel to isolate and wall off ourselves in suburbia from the in-town threat of “strangers,” and sidewalks potentially attract unknown characters to our street. Notwithstanding nationwide examples of how traffic-taming practices (such as narrowing roads) result in overnight improvements to the business climate of a street, businessperson after businessperson vociferously opposes local government effort to create a more livable street. Conservative and liberal alike, we join hands to support road widening and oppose road narrowing—to “ease congestion.” (Ironically, in the face of efforts to restrain excessive, reckless car travel, which are actually in the best interests of the motoring public, our knee-jerk, “commonsense” conclusion is that such restraint is detrimental.


pages: 295 words: 66,824

A Mathematician Plays the Stock Market by John Allen Paulos

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Benoit Mandelbrot, Black-Scholes formula, Brownian motion, business climate, butterfly effect, capital asset pricing model, correlation coefficient, correlation does not imply causation, Daniel Kahneman / Amos Tversky, diversified portfolio, Donald Trump, double entry bookkeeping, Elliott wave, endowment effect, Erdős number, Eugene Fama: efficient market hypothesis, four colour theorem, George Gilder, global village, greed is good, index fund, intangible asset, invisible hand, Isaac Newton, John Nash: game theory, Long Term Capital Management, loss aversion, Louis Bachelier, mandelbrot fractal, margin call, mental accounting, Myron Scholes, Nash equilibrium, Network effects, passive investing, Paul Erdős, Paul Samuelson, Ponzi scheme, price anchoring, Ralph Nelson Elliott, random walk, Richard Thaler, Robert Shiller, Robert Shiller, short selling, six sigma, Stephen Hawking, survivorship bias, transaction costs, ultimatum game, Vanguard fund, Yogi Berra

Whatever the validity of these beliefs and of technical analysis in general (and I’ll get to this shortly), I must admit to an a priori distaste for the herdish behavior it often seems to counsel: Figure out where the pack is going and follow it. It was this distaste, perhaps, that prevented me from selling WCOM and that caused me to sputter continually to myself that the company was the victim of bad public relations, investor misunderstanding, media bashing, anger at the CEO, a poisonous business climate, unfortunate timing, or panic selling. In short, I thought the crowd was wrong and hated the idea that it must be obeyed. As I slowly learned, however, disdaining the crowd is sometimes simply hubris. Technical Analysis: Following the Followers My own prejudices aside, the justification for technical analysis is murky at best. To the extent there is one, it most likely derives from psychology, perhaps in part from the Keynesian idea of conventionally anticipating the conventional response, or perhaps from some as yet unarticulated systemic interactions.


pages: 330 words: 77,729

Big Three in Economics: Adam Smith, Karl Marx, and John Maynard Keynes by Mark Skousen

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Albert Einstein, banking crisis, Berlin Wall, Bretton Woods, business climate, creative destruction, David Ricardo: comparative advantage, delayed gratification, experimental economics, financial independence, Financial Instability Hypothesis, full employment, Hernando de Soto, housing crisis, Hyman Minsky, inflation targeting, invisible hand, Isaac Newton, John Maynard Keynes: Economic Possibilities for our Grandchildren, John Maynard Keynes: technological unemployment, Joseph Schumpeter, Kenneth Arrow, laissez-faire capitalism, liberation theology, liquidity trap, means of production, microcredit, minimum wage unemployment, money market fund, open economy, paradox of thrift, Pareto efficiency, Paul Samuelson, price stability, pushing on a string, rent control, Richard Thaler, rising living standards, road to serfdom, Robert Shiller, Robert Shiller, rolodex, Ronald Coase, Ronald Reagan, school choice, secular stagnation, Simon Kuznets, The Chicago School, The Wealth of Nations by Adam Smith, Thomas Malthus, Thorstein Veblen, Tobin tax, unorthodox policies, Vilfredo Pareto, zero-sum game

As we shall see in the next chapter, this was a crucial mistake that led to much mischief and misunderstanding in economics in the postwar era. Keynes Offers a Drastic Measure to Stabilize Capitalism The Cambridge leader was not satisfied with temporary measures such as public works and deficit spending to reestablish full employment. Once maximum output was reached, he reasoned, there is no reason to believe it will stay there. Investment is unpredictable and ephemeral, Keynes said. Long-term expectations, a stable business climate, and savings equal to investment could never be guaranteed as long as irrational "animal spirits" operated in a laissez-faire financial marketplace. What was Keynes's solution? He favored a gradual but comprehensive "socialisation of investment" as the "only means of securing an approximation to full employment" (1973a, 378). This was by no means "state socialism," but it could mean government ownership of the entire capital market.


pages: 309 words: 78,361

Plenitude: The New Economics of True Wealth by Juliet B. Schor

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Asian financial crisis, big-box store, business climate, carbon footprint, cleantech, Community Supported Agriculture, creative destruction, credit crunch, Daniel Kahneman / Amos Tversky, decarbonisation, dematerialisation, demographic transition, deskilling, Edward Glaeser, en.wikipedia.org, Gini coefficient, global village, income inequality, income per capita, Intergovernmental Panel on Climate Change (IPCC), Isaac Newton, Joseph Schumpeter, Kenneth Arrow, knowledge economy, life extension, McMansion, new economy, peak oil, pink-collar, post-industrial society, prediction markets, purchasing power parity, ride hailing / ride sharing, Robert Shiller, Robert Shiller, sharing economy, Simon Kuznets, single-payer health, smart grid, The Chicago School, Thomas L Friedman, Thomas Malthus, too big to fail, transaction costs, Zipcar

Nevertheless, a 2009 review by Geoffrey Heal of Columbia, a leading environmental economist, characterized the profession at large as holding a presumption against the need for strong action. Apparently trade-off economics is alive and well. Environmental protection has been pitted against growth, incomes, jobs, and well-being. The thinking has been short-term, and the basic assumption is that interventions do not shift the frontier out but either move us along it or, even worse, push us inside by skewing incentives and undermining the business climate. Is the assumption that we’re on the curve with respect to ecological limits the right one? Since the downturn began, the answer has obviously been no. In a recession, workers are idle, businesses are running below capacity, and we’re operating inside the frontier. That’s why there were fewer economists than usual opposing stimulus dollars for green-jobs proposals. The opportunity cost of redeploying labor to home insulation or building wind turbines is low.


pages: 262 words: 66,800

Progress: Ten Reasons to Look Forward to the Future by Johan Norberg

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agricultural Revolution, anti-communist, availability heuristic, Bartolomé de las Casas, Berlin Wall, British Empire, business climate, clean water, continuation of politics by other means, Daniel Kahneman / Amos Tversky, demographic transition, desegregation, Donald Trump, Flynn Effect, germ theory of disease, Gini coefficient, Gunnar Myrdal, Haber-Bosch Process, Hans Island, Hans Rosling, Ignaz Semmelweis: hand washing, income inequality, income per capita, indoor plumbing, Isaac Newton, Jane Jacobs, John Snow's cholera map, Kibera, Louis Pasteur, Mahatma Gandhi, meta analysis, meta-analysis, Mikhail Gorbachev, more computing power than Apollo, moveable type in China, Naomi Klein, open economy, place-making, Rosa Parks, sexual politics, special economic zone, Steven Pinker, telerobotics, The Wealth of Nations by Adam Smith, transatlantic slave trade, very high income, working poor, Xiaogang Anhui farmers, zero-sum game

After colonialism there was a period when the regional economy grew and the first steps towards industrialization were taken, but this was often based on protected companies that could not compete globally and were financed by debt. In the 1980s they suffered a debt crisis, and it has taken the region a long time to recover. Between 1981 and 2000, while the East Asian economy doubled in size, the African economy did not grow at all. However, many African countries brought spending and inflation under control and began to improve the business climate. Many armed conflicts ended. Since then, growth has picked up strongly. A continent once synonymous with stagnation has grown by around five per cent annually since 2000. It is often assumed that this was just a commodity boom, but natural resources generated just a third of the growth, with the rest coming from sectors such as manufacturing, telecommunications, transportation and retail. In fact, African countries had similar growth rates regardless of whether they had natural resources to export or not.

Deep Work: Rules for Focused Success in a Distracted World by Cal Newport

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8-hour work day, Albert Einstein, barriers to entry, business climate, Cal Newport, Capital in the Twenty-First Century by Thomas Piketty, Clayton Christensen, David Brooks, David Heinemeier Hansson, deliberate practice, Donald Knuth, Donald Trump, Downton Abbey, en.wikipedia.org, Erik Brynjolfsson, experimental subject, follow your passion, Frank Gehry, informal economy, information retrieval, Internet Archive, Jaron Lanier, knowledge worker, Mark Zuckerberg, Marshall McLuhan, Merlin Mann, Nate Silver, new economy, Nicholas Carr, popular electronics, remote working, Richard Feynman, Richard Feynman, Ruby on Rails, Silicon Valley, Silicon Valley startup, Snapchat, statistical model, the medium is the message, Watson beat the top human players on Jeopardy!, web application, winner-take-all economy, zero-sum game

But the metric black hole prevents such clarity and allows us instead to elevate all things Internet into Morozov’s feared “uber-ideology.” In such a culture, we should not be surprised that deep work struggles to compete against the shiny thrum of tweets, likes, tagged photos, walls, posts, and all the other behaviors that we’re now taught are necessary for no other reason than that they exist. Bad for Business. Good for You. Deep work should be a priority in today’s business climate. But it’s not. I’ve just summarized various explanations for this paradox. Among them are the realities that deep work is hard and shallow work is easier, that in the absence of clear goals for your job, the visible busyness that surrounds shallow work becomes self-preserving, and that our culture has developed a belief that if a behavior relates to “the Internet,” then it’s good—regardless of its impact on our ability to produce valuable things.

Rethinking Money: How New Currencies Turn Scarcity Into Prosperity by Bernard Lietaer, Jacqui Dunne

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3D printing, agricultural Revolution, Albert Einstein, Asian financial crisis, banking crisis, Berlin Wall, BRICs, business climate, business process, butterfly effect, carbon footprint, Carmen Reinhart, clockwork universe, collapse of Lehman Brothers, complexity theory, conceptual framework, credit crunch, discounted cash flows, en.wikipedia.org, Fall of the Berlin Wall, fear of failure, fiat currency, financial innovation, Fractional reserve banking, full employment, German hyperinflation, happiness index / gross national happiness, job satisfaction, liberation theology, Marshall McLuhan, microcredit, mobile money, money: store of value / unit of account / medium of exchange, more computing power than Apollo, new economy, Occupy movement, price stability, reserve currency, Silicon Valley, the payments system, too big to fail, transaction costs, trickle-down economics, urban decay, War on Poverty, working poor

We had all the major ministers convinced— there are five ministers in the economic cluster in the cabinet, such as finance, labor, and economy. At the moment we were ready to take off, there was a change in government,” recalls Van Arkel. Currently, what is operational in Uruguay and El Salvador is a subset version of the full-blown C3 program. Koen de Beer, project manager for STRO in El Salvador, makes an interesting observation about the business climate in South America in comparison with the United States or Europe. “Something that has fascinated me is there are so many businesses and entrepreneurial activities here. When I was living in Europe, you think about setting up a business, and after 10 minutes you decide not to do it because there are so many rules, regulations, and laws. And you need so much money. Then you come over here, and everybody’s thinking of setting up Strategies for Business and Entrepreneurs 125 a business.


pages: 270 words: 79,992

The End of Big: How the Internet Makes David the New Goliath by Nicco Mele

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3D printing, 4chan, A Declaration of the Independence of Cyberspace, Airbnb, Amazon Web Services, Any sufficiently advanced technology is indistinguishable from magic, Apple's 1984 Super Bowl advert, barriers to entry, Berlin Wall, big-box store, bitcoin, business climate, call centre, Cass Sunstein, centralized clearinghouse, Chelsea Manning, citizen journalism, cloud computing, collaborative consumption, collaborative editing, commoditize, creative destruction, crony capitalism, cross-subsidies, crowdsourcing, David Brooks, death of newspapers, Donald Trump, Douglas Engelbart, Douglas Engelbart, en.wikipedia.org, Exxon Valdez, Fall of the Berlin Wall, Filter Bubble, Firefox, Galaxy Zoo, global supply chain, Google Chrome, Gordon Gekko, Hacker Ethic, Jaron Lanier, Jeff Bezos, jimmy wales, John Markoff, Julian Assange, Kevin Kelly, Khan Academy, Kickstarter, Lean Startup, Mark Zuckerberg, minimum viable product, Mohammed Bouazizi, Mother of all demos, Narrative Science, new economy, Occupy movement, old-boy network, peer-to-peer, period drama, Peter Thiel, pirate software, publication bias, Robert Metcalfe, Ronald Reagan, Ronald Reagan: Tear down this wall, sharing economy, Silicon Valley, Skype, social web, Steve Jobs, Steve Wozniak, Stewart Brand, Stuxnet, Ted Nelson, Telecommunications Act of 1996, telemarketer, The Wisdom of Crowds, transaction costs, uranium enrichment, Whole Earth Catalog, WikiLeaks, Zipcar

They didn’t understand the Internet’s power; it had no place in their landscape of power, and no familiar analogue existed that would make it easy to grasp. Mitch Kapor noted in an April 2012 interview, “Nobody in Washington DC took [the Internet] seriously, so it was allowed to happen. By the time anybody noticed, it had already won.”23 In effect, the Internet was released into the wild in a strong pro-business climate pushed by conservatives who wanted one big institution—government—to get out of free markets. The following year, Congress passed the Telecommunications Act of 1996, which deregulated the radio spectrum, allowing, among other things, the rise of huge media conglomerates like Clear Channel (paradoxical, I know). The underlying philosophy received memorable expression in a piece written by the technologist, cattle rancher, and Grateful Dead lyricist John Perry Barlow called “A Declaration of the Independence of Cyberspace.”


pages: 219 words: 65,532

The Numbers Game: The Commonsense Guide to Understanding Numbers in the News, in Politics, and inLife by Michael Blastland; Andrew Dilnot

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Atul Gawande, business climate, correlation does not imply causation, credit crunch, happiness index / gross national happiness, Intergovernmental Panel on Climate Change (IPCC), moral panic, pension reform, pensions crisis, randomized controlled trial, school choice, very high income

It was judged incorrect in temperate countries, correct in very cold countries (where putting in “more windows” was assumed to mean more layers of glazing—triple-glazing is common), and a stupid question in very hot countries (why would you want to stop heat from escaping from a building?). International rankings are proliferating. We can now read how the United States compares with other countries on quality of governance, business climate, health, education, transport, and innovation, to name a few, as well as more frivolous surveys like an international happiness index—”the world grump league,” as one tabloid reported it. “Welcome,” says Christopher Hood from Oxford University, who leads a research project into international comparisons, “to Ranking World.” The number of international governance rankings, he says, has roughly doubled every decade since the 1960s.


pages: 296 words: 78,112

Devil's Bargain: Steve Bannon, Donald Trump, and the Storming of the Presidency by Joshua Green

4chan, Affordable Care Act / Obamacare, Ayatollah Khomeini, Bernie Sanders, business climate, centre right, collateralized debt obligation, conceptual framework, corporate raider, crony capitalism, currency manipulation / currency intervention, Donald Trump, Fractional reserve banking, Goldman Sachs: Vampire Squid, Gordon Gekko, guest worker program, illegal immigration, immigration reform, liberation theology, low skilled workers, Nate Silver, nuclear winter, obamacare, Peace of Westphalia, Peter Thiel, quantitative hedge fund, Renaissance Technologies, Ronald Reagan, Silicon Valley, speech recognition, urban planning

He can be toppled through a frontal assault that pierces his bravado and exposes the shortcomings of his tenure, as well as his lack of leadership. He presides over the corruption and lack of progress that is Albany. While there is plenty of good news here for Cuomo, there is little guarantee that he will escape the misfortunes of 2014 that may be visited on Democrats (thanks to Obamacare), and his own man-made problems plaguing New York (including high taxes and a poor business climate, and a “lack of frack”). Rather than kill off the idea of Trump running for governor, Conway’s memo had the opposite effect. “She thought that it was possible for him to win New York,” said Caputo. Stone called Conway’s analysis “an enormous crock of shit,” and Bossie a “major douchebag devoid of any political talent—and that’s on the record.” But that didn’t stop Trump from moving ahead.


pages: 287 words: 82,576

The Complacent Class: The Self-Defeating Quest for the American Dream by Tyler Cowen

affirmative action, Affordable Care Act / Obamacare, Airbnb, Alvin Roth, assortative mating, Bernie Sanders, Black Swan, business climate, circulation of elites, clean water, David Graeber, declining real wages, deindustrialization, desegregation, Donald Trump, drone strike, East Village, Elon Musk, Ferguson, Missouri, Francis Fukuyama: the end of history, gig economy, Google Glasses, Hyman Minsky, Hyperloop, income inequality, intangible asset, Internet of things, inventory management, knowledge worker, labor-force participation, labour mobility, low skilled workers, Marc Andreessen, Mark Zuckerberg, medical residency, meta analysis, meta-analysis, obamacare, offshore financial centre, Paul Samuelson, Peter Thiel, purchasing power parity, Richard Florida, security theater, sharing economy, Silicon Valley, Silicon Valley ideology, Skype, South China Sea, Steven Pinker, Stuxnet, The Great Moderation, total factor productivity, Tyler Cowen: Great Stagnation, upwardly mobile, Vilfredo Pareto, working-age population, World Values Survey

As early as mid-September 2015, the total value of large (over $10 billion) transactions reached $1.19 trillion, breaking the previous record from the dot-com bubble of 1999. So the cash piles of corporations are going somewhere, just not always into creating new ideas. Companies would rather buy up other, already established companies than try to succeed with new ideas or their own new product lines. That is another sign of how our contemporary business climate, like our broader society, is more about stability than most media stories let on.14 FEWER AMERICANS DIRECTLY INVOLVED IN INNOVATION Another way of thinking about corporate innovation is to look at how much companies spend explicitly toward that goal, namely research and development expenditures. Right now a metric known as R&D intensity—the ratio of research and development expenditure to GDP—is about the same for America as it was at its early to mid-1960s peak.


pages: 829 words: 229,566

This Changes Everything: Capitalism vs. The Climate by Naomi Klein

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1960s counterculture, activist fund / activist shareholder / activist investor, battle of ideas, Berlin Wall, big-box store, bilateral investment treaty, British Empire, business climate, Capital in the Twenty-First Century by Thomas Piketty, carbon footprint, clean water, Climategate, cognitive dissonance, colonial rule, Community Supported Agriculture, complexity theory, crony capitalism, decarbonisation, deindustrialization, dematerialisation, Donald Trump, Downton Abbey, energy security, energy transition, equal pay for equal work, Exxon Valdez, failed state, Fall of the Berlin Wall, feminist movement, financial deregulation, food miles, Food sovereignty, global supply chain, hydraulic fracturing, ice-free Arctic, immigration reform, income per capita, Intergovernmental Panel on Climate Change (IPCC), Internet Archive, invention of the steam engine, invisible hand, Isaac Newton, James Watt: steam engine, light touch regulation, market fundamentalism, moral hazard, Naomi Klein, new economy, Nixon shock, Occupy movement, offshore financial centre, oil shale / tar sands, open borders, patent troll, Pearl River Delta, planetary scale, post-oil, profit motive, quantitative easing, race to the bottom, Ralph Waldo Emerson, Rana Plaza, Ronald Reagan, smart grid, special economic zone, Stephen Hawking, Stewart Brand, structural adjustment programs, Ted Kaczynski, the scientific method, The Wealth of Nations by Adam Smith, trade route, transatlantic slave trade, transatlantic slave trade, trickle-down economics, Upton Sinclair, uranium enrichment, urban planning, urban sprawl, wages for housework, walkable city, Washington Consensus, Whole Earth Catalog, WikiLeaks

And no society, no matter how well financed or managed, can truly adapt to massive natural disasters when one comes fast and furious on the heels of the last. II. In early 2011, Joe Read, a newly elected representative to the Montana state legislature, made history by introducing the first bill to officially declare climate change a good thing. “Global warming is beneficial to the welfare and business climate of Montana,” the bill stated. Read explained, “Even if it does get warmer, we’re going to have a longer growing season. It could be very beneficial to the state of Montana. Why are we going to stop this progress?” The bill did not pass. III. In a telling development, the American Freedom Alliance hosted its own conference challenging the reality of climate change in Los Angeles in June 2011.

In the final months before deadline, Alleen Brown and Lauren Sutherland went above and beyond, helping enormously with the fact-check on absurdly tight deadlines. Lauren also did dynamite research for the billionaires chapter. Dave Oswald Mitchell contributed wise and comprehensive research on the growth imperative, and Mara Kardas-Nelson did the same on local power movements in Germany and Boulder. Rajiv and I are also deeply grateful to the team of very busy climate scientists who agreed to read sections of the book relating to climate change impacts and projections. Our readers ended up being an all-star cast of scientific experts including: Kevin Anderson (Tyndall Centre for Climate Change Research), Alice Bows-Larkin (Tyndall Centre), James Hansen (Columbia University), Peter Gleick (Pacific Institute), and Sivan Kartha (Stockholm Environment Institute), all of whom vetted large sections of the book for accuracy.

Understanding Power by Noam Chomsky

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anti-communist, Ayatollah Khomeini, Berlin Wall, Bretton Woods, British Empire, Burning Man, business climate, cognitive dissonance, continuous integration, Corn Laws, cuban missile crisis, dark matter, David Ricardo: comparative advantage, deindustrialization, Deng Xiaoping, deskilling, European colonialism, Fall of the Berlin Wall, feminist movement, global reserve currency, Howard Zinn, labour market flexibility, liberation theology, Mahatma Gandhi, Mikhail Gorbachev, Monroe Doctrine, mortgage tax deduction, Paul Samuelson, Ralph Nader, reserve currency, Ronald Reagan, Rosa Parks, school choice, strikebreaker, structural adjustment programs, the scientific method, The Wealth of Nations by Adam Smith, union organizing, wage slave, women in the workforce

But if you look at ten million people who are still alive, it does seem like a victory. It depends where you’re looking. You don’t win what you’d like to win, but you could have lost a lot more. For example, take El Salvador in the 1980s. The purpose of U.S. policies there was to wipe out the popular organizations and support a traditional Latin American-style regime that would ensure the kind of business climate we expect in the region. So the independent press was destroyed, the political opposition was murdered, priests and labor organizers were murdered, and so on and so forth—and U.S. planners figured they had the problem licked. Well, today it’s right back, it’s right back where it was. New people came up, the organizations are forming again. It’s at a lower level, of course, because there’s been so much destruction, but they’re right back.

So if you read the small left-wing press in the United States back in 1937, they were reporting this all the time, but the big American newspapers just have never had the resources to find out about things like this, so they never said a word. 63 I mean, years later people writing diplomatic history sort of mention these facts in the margins—but at the time there was nothing in the mainstream. 64 And that’s exactly what we just saw in Haiti: the American press would not tell people that the U.S. was actively undermining the sanctions, that there never were any sanctions, and that the U.S. was simply trying to get back the old pre-Aristide business climate once again—which was pretty much achieved. Averting Democracy in Italy MAN: Noam, since you mentioned the U.S. opposing popular democracy and supporting fascist-type structures in Spain and Haiti—I just want to point out that that also happened in Italy, France, Greece, and other allied Western countries after World War II. I mean, there’s a big history of the U.S. undermining democracy and supporting fascist elements in the past half century or so, even in the rich European societies.

The Washington Connection and Third World Fascism by Noam Chomsky

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anti-communist, business climate, colonial rule, declining real wages, deliberate practice, European colonialism, friendly fire, Gini coefficient, income inequality, income per capita, land reform, land tenure, new economy, RAND corporation, strikebreaker, union organizing

U.S. economic interests in the Third World have dictated a policy of containing revolution, preserving an open door for U.S. investment, and assuring favorable conditions of investment. Reformist efforts to improve the lot of the poor and oppressed, including the encouragement of independent trade unions, are not conducive to a favorable climate of investment. Democracy is clearly not conducive to a favorable business climate. As noted by Edward A. Jesser, Jr., chairman of the United Jersey Banks, in a speech to the American Bankers Association: “Quick and tough decisions can be made in a relatively short time in a country such as Brazil compared to the difficulty there is in reaching agreement on what actions to take in a democracy.”39 So much for democracy. Democratic threats to the interests of foreign investors, such as a Philippines Supreme Court ruling prior to the 1972 coup prohibiting foreigners from owning land, or a Brazilian dispute over a mineral concession to Hanna Mining Company, or agrarian reform in Guatemala, or nationalization of oil in Iran, are expeditiously resolved in favor of the foreigner by dictators and military juntas.

Grant finds U.S. support for the bloodier dictators “puzzling,” though she notes that “North American, British, and Dutch Oil Companies, vying for prerogatives in Latin America, found dictatorships highly amenable to their courtships.” There is nothing “puzzling” in the support of Nazi-style dictatorships by the country that has taken upon itself the international role of maintaining a favorable climate for oil companies and other corporations. The business climate of Paraguay has not been ideal, with corruption and terror of almost suffocating levels, but on such details the United States is tolerant—especially since, as Arens was informed by his hosts in Paraguay, Stroessner’s is a very anti-Communist regime which “tolerated no iron-curtain embassies or missions and was a haven for U.S. investment, which was not subject to the fluctuations of less carefully regulated markets like North America.”66 Well-taken points.


pages: 782 words: 245,875

The Power Makers by Maury Klein

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Albert Einstein, Albert Michelson, Augustin-Louis Cauchy, British Empire, business climate, invention of radio, invention of the telegraph, Isaac Newton, James Watt: steam engine, Louis Pasteur, luminiferous ether, margin call, Menlo Park, price stability, railway mania, Right to Buy, the scientific method, trade route, transcontinental railway, working poor

Both Edison and Westinghouse found themselves squeezed not only by the bitter competition in the industry but also by a deteriorating financial climate that shifted their attention from safety to the more basic problem of survival. The failure in November 1890 of the prestigious London banking firm Baring Brothers sent financial markets into turmoil and led to a sell-off of American securities by British holders. As gold flowed out of the United States, credit grew tighter and an already slow business climate grew gloomier. In this darkening atmosphere the fierce competition among the three leading electrical firms could not help but bruise them even more severely.67 CHAPTER 14 MONEY, MERGERS, AND MOTORS With the advent of the dynamo electricity has taken a new and very much larger place in the commercial activities of the world. It runs and warms our cars, it furnishes our light, it plates our metals, it runs our elevators, it electrocutes our criminals; and a thousand other things it performs for us with secrecy and dispatch in its silent and forceful way.

Westinghouse stock was far less in play because it was more tightly held, there was less of it, and the company maintained a much lower profile.26 Ironically, General Electric suffered the same kind of cash-flow squeeze that had plagued Westinghouse earlier. A large portion of its assets consisted of the securities taken from utilities by both Thomson-Houston and Edison General Electric in exchange for equipment. Their value dropped steadily in a declining market, and few customers were prompt in making cash payments on their equipment in a deteriorating business climate. This left GE with a treasury full of securities on which it could not realize any cash. As its floating debt mounted, Wall Street buzzed with rumors of financial weakness. During the winter of 1893, even before the depression hit in earnest, bears began to hammer GE stock, claiming that its “policy of crushing out opposition is leading to complications which must eventually do the company more harm than good, because of animosities and hostile legislation which it is arousing.”27 That April, in the company’s first annual report, Charles Coffin tried to put the best possible spin on the financial situation.


pages: 381 words: 101,559

Currency Wars: The Making of the Next Gobal Crisis by James Rickards

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Asian financial crisis, bank run, Benoit Mandelbrot, Berlin Wall, Big bang: deregulation of the City of London, Black Swan, borderless world, Bretton Woods, BRICs, British Empire, business climate, capital controls, Carmen Reinhart, Cass Sunstein, collateralized debt obligation, complexity theory, corporate governance, Credit Default Swap, credit default swaps / collateralized debt obligations, currency manipulation / currency intervention, currency peg, Daniel Kahneman / Amos Tversky, Deng Xiaoping, diversification, diversified portfolio, Fall of the Berlin Wall, family office, financial innovation, floating exchange rates, full employment, game design, German hyperinflation, Gini coefficient, global rebalancing, global reserve currency, high net worth, income inequality, interest rate derivative, John Meriwether, Kenneth Rogoff, labour mobility, laissez-faire capitalism, liquidity trap, Long Term Capital Management, mandelbrot fractal, margin call, market bubble, Mexican peso crisis / tequila crisis, money market fund, money: store of value / unit of account / medium of exchange, Myron Scholes, Network effects, New Journalism, Nixon shock, offshore financial centre, oil shock, one-China policy, open economy, paradox of thrift, Paul Samuelson, price mechanism, price stability, private sector deleveraging, quantitative easing, race to the bottom, RAND corporation, rent-seeking, reserve currency, Ronald Reagan, sovereign wealth fund, special drawing rights, special economic zone, The Myth of the Rational Market, The Wealth of Nations by Adam Smith, The Wisdom of Crowds, Thomas Kuhn: the structure of scientific revolutions, time value of money, too big to fail, value at risk, War on Poverty, Washington Consensus, zero-sum game

China would have to make all of the adjustments, with regard to their currency, their social safety net and twenty-five hundred years of Confucian culture, while the United States would do nothing and reap the benefits of increased net exports to a fast-growing internal Chinese market. This was a particularly soft option for the United States. It required no tangible effort by the United States to improve its business climate by reducing corporate taxes and regulation, providing for sound money or promoting savings and investment. Some of what the United States wanted may have been in China’s best interests, but China could not be blamed for believing it was being bullied on behalf of a U.S. plan that above all suited the United States. In the parlance of the G20, “rebalancing” became code for doing what the United States wanted.


pages: 358 words: 106,729

Fault Lines: How Hidden Fractures Still Threaten the World Economy by Raghuram Rajan

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accounting loophole / creative accounting, Andrei Shleifer, Asian financial crisis, asset-backed security, assortative mating, bank run, barriers to entry, Bernie Madoff, Bretton Woods, business climate, Clayton Christensen, clean water, collapse of Lehman Brothers, collateralized debt obligation, colonial rule, corporate governance, credit crunch, Credit Default Swap, credit default swaps / collateralized debt obligations, crony capitalism, currency manipulation / currency intervention, diversification, Edward Glaeser, financial innovation, fixed income, floating exchange rates, full employment, global supply chain, Goldman Sachs: Vampire Squid, illegal immigration, implied volatility, income inequality, index fund, interest rate swap, Joseph Schumpeter, Kenneth Rogoff, knowledge worker, labor-force participation, Long Term Capital Management, market bubble, Martin Wolf, medical malpractice, microcredit, money market fund, moral hazard, new economy, Northern Rock, offshore financial centre, open economy, price stability, profit motive, Real Time Gross Settlement, Richard Florida, Richard Thaler, risk tolerance, Robert Shiller, Robert Shiller, Ronald Reagan, school vouchers, short selling, sovereign wealth fund, The Great Moderation, the payments system, The Wealth of Nations by Adam Smith, too big to fail, upwardly mobile, Vanguard fund, women in the workforce, World Values Survey

If the central bank had a policy of inducing high inflation, producers would rationally expect that all prices would go up and would not exert more effort when they saw the prices of their own products go up. Rather, they would understand that the additional dollar they earned was actually worth less in terms of its ability to purchase goods and services. The long-run level of employment of the economy would be determined by factors like the business climate, incentives to innovate, and the ability of firms to hire or lay off workers easily, not by inflation. This view eliminated the incompatibility in the long run between the economic goals of low inflation and maximum sustainable employment. According to the new orthodoxy, by keeping inflation low and thus eliminating all the uncertainty and distortions associated with high and variable inflation, central bankers would give the economy its best chance of achieving its potential growth rate and thus maximum sustainable employment.


pages: 347 words: 88,114

The Zero-Waste Lifestyle: Live Well by Throwing Away Less by Amy Korst

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airport security, business climate, carbon footprint, delayed gratification, if you build it, they will come, Mason jar, Parkinson's law

Customers can eat their meals with the real deal, then return used utensils to a station staffed by volunteers. The FSSM group has contracted with a food vendor that provides weekly washing in a commercial kitchen. So far, the utensils program has been a great success. The zero-waste movement is all about taking responsibility for one’s own trash, and this is a remarkable thing. In today’s business climate, in which profit reigns supreme, it is admirable for these many companies to stand up and collectively say they will work to clean up their own mess. Ultimately there are many benefits to adopting zero waste. After an initial transition period, zero-waste companies tend to operate with fewer expenses. They discover new, innovative ways to do business, and there’s the added PR benefit of promoting a company’s environmental practices.


pages: 276 words: 82,603

Birth of the Euro by Otmar Issing

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accounting loophole / creative accounting, Bretton Woods, business climate, capital controls, central bank independence, currency peg, financial innovation, floating exchange rates, full employment, inflation targeting, information asymmetry, labour market flexibility, labour mobility, market fundamentalism, money market fund, moral hazard, oil shock, open economy, price anchoring, price stability, purchasing power parity, reserve currency, Y2K, yield curve

Stability-oriented monetary policy strategy • 109 egy of the ECB is therefore founded on two pillars, the monetary together with the economic pillar in which all other information is analysed. In the short to medium term, prices are determined by non-monetary factors such as wages (unit labour costs), the exchange rate, energy and import prices, indirect taxes, etc. Indicators of developments in the real economy include data on employment and unemployment, data from surveys (such as the Ifo Business Climate Index), incoming orders, and so on. This economic analysis also encompasses financial sector data such as the yield curve, stock prices and real estate prices. Asset price trends can yield information, for example, on how the wealth effect is expected to influence the growth of demand of private households. As part of its economic analysis, the ECB takes a broad look at developments in macroeconomic demand and its structure, in costs and in the labour market.


pages: 364 words: 102,528

An Economist Gets Lunch: New Rules for Everyday Foodies by Tyler Cowen

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agricultural Revolution, big-box store, business climate, carbon footprint, cognitive bias, creative destruction, cross-subsidies, East Village, en.wikipedia.org, food miles, guest worker program, haute cuisine, illegal immigration, informal economy, iterative process, mass immigration, oil shale / tar sands, out of africa, pattern recognition, Peter Singer: altruism, price discrimination, refrigerator car, The Wealth of Nations by Adam Smith, Tyler Cowen: Great Stagnation, Upton Sinclair, winner-take-all economy, women in the workforce

Berlin was, in the early part of the twentieth century, a center for German business, but that was a long time ago. Very often it is businessmen and financiers who sustain expensive restaurants. Today the financial capital of Germany is Frankfurt, not Berlin. Berlin also does not have wealthy multilateral institutions to sustain its fine dining scene, as do Geneva and Brussels and Washington, D.C. What Berlin does have is remarkably cheap rents. Because of the weak business climate in the city, there are not so many jobs. A disproportionate share of the population either works for the government or receives subsidy income from the government; or young people live there while they try their hand at art, design, music, and so on. That supports cultural riches, but the city itself is not economically vital. Yet it is a city that was originally built up to be a major commercial center, and as a result it is considerably overbuilt.


pages: 349 words: 114,038

Culture & Empire: Digital Revolution by Pieter Hintjens

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4chan, airport security, anti-communist, anti-pattern, barriers to entry, Bill Duvall, bitcoin, blockchain, business climate, business intelligence, business process, Chelsea Manning, clean water, commoditize, congestion charging, Corn Laws, correlation does not imply causation, cryptocurrency, Debian, Edward Snowden, failed state, financial independence, Firefox, full text search, German hyperinflation, global village, GnuPG, Google Chrome, greed is good, Hernando de Soto, hiring and firing, informal economy, intangible asset, invisible hand, James Watt: steam engine, Jeff Rulifson, Julian Assange, Kickstarter, M-Pesa, mass immigration, mass incarceration, mega-rich, mutually assured destruction, Naomi Klein, national security letter, new economy, New Urbanism, Occupy movement, offshore financial centre, packet switching, patent troll, peak oil, pre–internet, private military company, race to the bottom, rent-seeking, reserve currency, RFC: Request For Comment, Richard Feynman, Richard Feynman, Richard Stallman, Satoshi Nakamoto, security theater, selection bias, Skype, slashdot, software patent, spectrum auction, Steve Crocker, Steve Jobs, Steven Pinker, Stuxnet, The Wealth of Nations by Adam Smith, The Wisdom of Crowds, trade route, transaction costs, union organizing, wealth creators, web application, WikiLeaks, Y2K, zero day, Zipf's Law

Drug money of course didn't stop flowing in the 1990's, and it doesn't take a genius to see how to get around the AML controls. Say a street dealer sell drugs -- sugar-coated croissants, perhaps -- in Paris for EUR 1 million in undeclared cash. He drives with this dirty cash in a bag to Vienna, then hops across the border to Bratislava, the capital of Slovakia, famous for its investor-friendly business climate. There he starts a new small high-cash business on paper, say a fashion shop or nightclub. He rings up lots of transactions and creates EUR 1.00 million in new profit. He pays taxes on that, at the flat rate of 19%, after a deductible of EUR 500,000 investment bonus (which cost him only EUR 2,500 in a large envelope). He now has around EUR 900,000 of clean money, which he wires to his holding company in France, as an "Indefinite business loan."


pages: 311 words: 99,699

Fool's Gold: How the Bold Dream of a Small Tribe at J.P. Morgan Was Corrupted by Wall Street Greed and Unleashed a Catastrophe by Gillian Tett

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accounting loophole / creative accounting, asset-backed security, bank run, banking crisis, Black-Scholes formula, break the buck, Bretton Woods, business climate, collateralized debt obligation, commoditize, creative destruction, credit crunch, Credit Default Swap, credit default swaps / collateralized debt obligations, diversification, easy for humans, difficult for computers, financial innovation, fixed income, housing crisis, interest rate derivative, interest rate swap, locking in a profit, Long Term Capital Management, McMansion, money market fund, mortgage debt, North Sea oil, Northern Rock, Renaissance Technologies, risk tolerance, Robert Shiller, Robert Shiller, Satyajit Das, short selling, sovereign wealth fund, statistical model, The Great Moderation, too big to fail, value at risk, yield curve

They also agreed that they needed to communicate frequently, even though Black was in the headquarters on Park Avenue and Winters was in London. “Making this work is really like making a marriage work. You have to think about communication,” Black later observed with a wry, knowing smile. “At the beginning, we were just too polite to each other. But then we learnt to communicate better, as we went along. We just talked, talked, and talked.” The task facing them was daunting. On paper, the wider business climate in 2004 should have been playing to all of J.P. Morgan’s strengths. The new decade was shaping up to be the Era of Credit, and credit was supposed to be J.P. Morgan’s strength. By late 2004, the bank could still claim a leading position in the trading of interest-rate derivatives, foreign exchange, and corporate loans, and a respectable operation in the arena of corporate bonds, too. But the situation in securitization—or the selling of asset-backed securities—looked poor.


pages: 355 words: 92,571

Capitalism: Money, Morals and Markets by John Plender

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activist fund / activist shareholder / activist investor, Andrei Shleifer, asset-backed security, bank run, Berlin Wall, Big bang: deregulation of the City of London, Black Swan, bonus culture, Bretton Woods, business climate, Capital in the Twenty-First Century by Thomas Piketty, central bank independence, collapse of Lehman Brothers, collective bargaining, computer age, Corn Laws, corporate governance, creative destruction, credit crunch, Credit Default Swap, David Ricardo: comparative advantage, deindustrialization, Deng Xiaoping, discovery of the americas, diversification, Eugene Fama: efficient market hypothesis, eurozone crisis, failed state, Fall of the Berlin Wall, fiat currency, financial innovation, financial intermediation, Fractional reserve banking, full employment, God and Mammon, Gordon Gekko, greed is good, Hyman Minsky, income inequality, inflation targeting, information asymmetry, invention of the wheel, invisible hand, Isaac Newton, James Watt: steam engine, Johann Wolfgang von Goethe, John Maynard Keynes: Economic Possibilities for our Grandchildren, John Meriwether, joint-stock company, Joseph Schumpeter, labour market flexibility, liberal capitalism, light touch regulation, London Interbank Offered Rate, London Whale, Long Term Capital Management, manufacturing employment, Mark Zuckerberg, market bubble, market fundamentalism, mass immigration, means of production, Menlo Park, money market fund, moral hazard, moveable type in China, Myron Scholes, Nick Leeson, Northern Rock, Occupy movement, offshore financial centre, paradox of thrift, Paul Samuelson, Plutocrats, plutocrats, price stability, principal–agent problem, profit motive, quantitative easing, railway mania, regulatory arbitrage, Richard Thaler, rising living standards, risk-adjusted returns, Robert Gordon, Robert Shiller, Robert Shiller, Ronald Reagan, savings glut, shareholder value, short selling, Silicon Valley, South Sea Bubble, spice trade, Steve Jobs, technology bubble, The Chicago School, The Great Moderation, the map is not the territory, The Wealth of Nations by Adam Smith, Thorstein Veblen, time value of money, too big to fail, tulip mania, Upton Sinclair, Veblen good, We are the 99%, Wolfgang Streeck, zero-sum game

To the extent that systemic choices are available, they lie on a spectrum that runs from the market-driven model of capitalism in the US, via the social democratic models of Europe, to the heavily statist, authoritarian form of capitalism that prevails in China and much of the rest of the developing world – a model nonetheless characterised by extensive exposure to the global trading system. Does this mean that the general discontent with capitalism will ensure a permanent anti-business climate and policy that is inimical to economic growth? I sincerely hope not. Having pondered these questions over a 45-year career in journalism and in business, I am, with caveats, pro-business and pro-capitalism. For, in the end, it is the efforts of business people working within a market system that have lifted millions from poverty all across the world over the past two and a half centuries.


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The Elusive Quest for Growth: Economists' Adventures and Misadventures in the Tropics by William R. Easterly

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Andrei Shleifer, business climate, Carmen Reinhart, central bank independence, clean water, colonial rule, correlation does not imply causation, creative destruction, endogenous growth, financial repression, Gini coefficient, Gunnar Myrdal, Hernando de Soto, income inequality, income per capita, inflation targeting, interchangeable parts, inventory management, invisible hand, Isaac Newton, Joseph Schumpeter, Kenneth Arrow, Kenneth Rogoff, large denomination, manufacturing employment, Network effects, New Urbanism, open economy, Productivity paradox, purchasing power parity, rent-seeking, Ronald Reagan, selection bias, Silicon Valley, Simon Kuznets, The Wealth of Nations by Adam Smith, Thomas Malthus, total factor productivity, trade liberalization, urban sprawl, Watson beat the top human players on Jeopardy!, Yogi Berra, Yom Kippur War

For example, Brazil moved more slowly into the computer revolution than necessary because of a government ban on PC imports, a misguidedattempttopromotethedomestic PC industry,a classic attempt by vested interests to hijack technological progress. In general, imitation responds to the same kind of incentives that innovationdoes. The governmentshouldsubsidize technological imitation because it brings benefits to other firms in the economy besides the imitator.And of course, the business climate has to favor foreign direct investment and imports of machines, not to mention entrepreneurs in general. Bangalore Bangalore, India, is the capitalof Karnataka state in the southIndia. It’s an inland plateaucity, long famous for its refreshing climate and manygardens. It wasasleepy place wherehoneymooners and retirees went to get away.36 But gardening is not whatBangalore is famous for today.


pages: 273 words: 34,920

Free Market Missionaries: The Corporate Manipulation of Community Values by Sharon Beder

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anti-communist, battle of ideas, business climate, corporate governance, en.wikipedia.org, full employment, income inequality, invisible hand, liquidationism / Banker’s doctrine / the Treasury view, minimum wage unemployment, Mont Pelerin Society, new economy, old-boy network, popular capitalism, Powell Memorandum, price mechanism, profit motive, Ralph Nader, rent control, risk/return, road to serfdom, Ronald Reagan, school vouchers, shareholder value, spread of share-ownership, structural adjustment programs, The Chicago School, the market place, The Wealth of Nations by Adam Smith, Thomas L Friedman, Torches of Freedom, trade liberalization, traveling salesman, trickle-down economics, Upton Sinclair, Washington Consensus, wealth creators, young professional

Friedman was credited with being the leader of the Chicago School economists and was taken up and promoted by Hayek-inspired networks: ‘more than anyone else, he was responsible for reviving’ and popularizing free market ideas.16 For many years these free market economic ideas were considered marginal and obsolete in other universities. But they gradually moved from the margins of economic thought towards the centre of orthodoxy because these ideas became useful to business interests seeking to minimize government interference in their activities; achieve a better low-tax business climate; and expand markets into realms PRO-BUSINESS POLICIES AS IDEOLOGY 97 of government business. Both Hayek and Friedman received Nobel prizes in the 1970s. Friedman went on to be an adviser to several government leaders, including US Presidents Richard Nixon and Ronald Reagan, UK Prime Minister Margaret Thatcher and, most controversially, Chilean dictator Augusto Pinochet, who had overthrown the democratically elected Allende government (see Chapter 10).17 MONETARISM AND THE NATURAL RATE OF UNEMPLOYMENT Friedman was most closely identified with monetarism, a theory that had been discredited following the Great Depression.18 Its renewed appeal in the 1970s came because it claimed to explain the stagflation that many countries were experiencing.


pages: 297 words: 98,506

Deep Survival: Who Lives, Who Dies, and Why by Laurence Gonzales

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business climate, butterfly effect, complexity theory, Edward Lorenz: Chaos theory, impulse control, Lao Tzu, loose coupling, Louis Pasteur, V2 rocket

She did it anyway, including having to down-climb vertical rock races with a broken arm. Survivors don’t expect or even hope to be rescued. They are coldly rational about using the world, obtaining what they need, doing what they have to do. 12. Never give up (let nothing break your spirit). There is always one more thing that you can do. Survivors are not easily frustrated. They are not discouraged by setbacks. They accept that the environment (or the business climate or their health) is constantly changing. They pick themselves up and start the entire process over again, breaking it down into manageable bits. Survivors always have a clear reason for going on. They keep their spirits up by developing an alternate world made up of rich memories to which they can escape. They mine their memory for whatever will keep them occupied. They come to embrace the world in which they find themselves and see opportunity in adversity.


pages: 325 words: 110,330

Creativity, Inc.: Overcoming the Unseen Forces That Stand in the Way of True Inspiration by Ed Catmull, Amy Wallace

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Albert Einstein, business climate, buy low sell high, complexity theory, fear of failure, Golden Gate Park, iterative process, Menlo Park, rolodex, Rubik’s Cube, Sand Hill Road, Silicon Valley, Silicon Valley startup, Steve Jobs, Wall-E

I knew that none of these people on Monster’s, Inc. thought that detail was so important that they should waste time to achieve it. And of course they knew that there were limits—they just couldn’t see them. This was a failure on management’s part; the truth is, we have consistently struggled with how we set useful limits and also how we make them visible. Many of our limits are imposed not by our internal processes but by external realities—finite resources, deadlines, a shifting economy or business climate. Those things, we can’t control. But the limits we impose internally, if deployed correctly, can be a tool to force people to amend the way they are working and, sometimes, to invent another way. The very concept of a limit implies that you can’t do everything you want—so we must think of smarter ways to work. Let’s be honest: Many of us don’t make this kind of adjustment until we are required to.


pages: 370 words: 102,823

Rethinking Capitalism: Economics and Policy for Sustainable and Inclusive Growth by Michael Jacobs, Mariana Mazzucato

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3D printing, balance sheet recession, banking crisis, basic income, Bernie Sanders, Bretton Woods, business climate, Carmen Reinhart, central bank independence, collaborative economy, complexity theory, conceptual framework, corporate governance, corporate social responsibility, creative destruction, credit crunch, Credit Default Swap, crony capitalism, David Ricardo: comparative advantage, decarbonisation, deindustrialization, dematerialisation, Detroit bankruptcy, double entry bookkeeping, Elon Musk, endogenous growth, energy security, eurozone crisis, factory automation, facts on the ground, fiat currency, Financial Instability Hypothesis, financial intermediation, forward guidance, full employment, G4S, Gini coefficient, Growth in a Time of Debt, Hyman Minsky, income inequality, information asymmetry, Intergovernmental Panel on Climate Change (IPCC), Internet of things, investor state dispute settlement, invisible hand, Isaac Newton, Joseph Schumpeter, Kenneth Rogoff, knowledge economy, labour market flexibility, low skilled workers, Martin Wolf, mass incarceration, Mont Pelerin Society, neoliberal agenda, Network effects, new economy, non-tariff barriers, paradox of thrift, Paul Samuelson, price stability, private sector deleveraging, quantitative easing, QWERTY keyboard, railway mania, rent-seeking, road to serfdom, savings glut, Second Machine Age, secular stagnation, shareholder value, sharing economy, Silicon Valley, Steve Jobs, the built environment, The Great Moderation, The Spirit Level, Thorstein Veblen, too big to fail, total factor productivity, transaction costs, trickle-down economics, universal basic income, very high income

Pearce, ‘An intellectual history of environmental economics’, Annual Review of Energy and the Environment, vol. 27, 2002, pp. 57–81, doi: 10.1146/annurev.energy.27.122001.083429. 12 R. Perman, Y. Ma, M. Common, D. Maddison and J. Mcgilvray, Natural Resource and Environmental Economics, London, Pearson Education, 2011. 13 See for example Global Commission on the Economy and Climate, Better Growth, Better Climate, and the conclusions of the Business and Climate Summit, May 2015, http://www.businessclimatesummit.com/wp-content/uploads/2015/05/Business-Climate-Summit-Press-release.pdf (accessed 14 April 2016). 14 See P. M. Romer, ‘The origins of endogenous growth’, The Journal of Economic Perspectives, vol. 8, no. 1, 1994, pp. 3–22, doi:10.1257/jep.8.1.3. JSTOR 2138148. See also D. Acemoglu, Endogenous Technological Change. Introduction to Modern Economic Growth, Princeton, NJ, Princeton University Press. pp. 411–533. Romer notes that it was intensive—not extensive—use of resources which drove economic output growth: ‘We don’t really produce anything.

Nation-Building: Beyond Afghanistan and Iraq by Francis Fukuyama

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Berlin Wall, business climate, colonial rule, conceptual framework, en.wikipedia.org, failed state, Fall of the Berlin Wall, Francis Fukuyama: the end of history, Gunnar Myrdal, informal economy, land reform, microcredit, open economy, unemployed young men

Individual freedoms, a vibrant civil society, and an open economy are prescribed and several familiar benchmarks indicating progress have been laid out. The United States and other Western countries tend to put a high premium on holding elections to provide greater legitimacy for those in authority. Under the best of circumstances, elections can be a means of coalition-building and reconciliation. Great significance is also given to agreement on a constitution that parcels out powers and enshrines rights. Laws that create a marketfriendly business climate and protect investors usually get high marks. But many of these measures can, in fact, convey a false picture of progress and even set back the recovery process. Elections that are poorly planned or rushed can be discredited and prove to be destabilizing. By their nature, contentious elections can create stresses that the political system may not be prepared to handle. The legitimacy of elections depends on • 142 • Rebuilding Afghanistan • rules and norms that may be slow to take hold.


pages: 438 words: 109,306

Tower of Basel: The Shadowy History of the Secret Bank That Runs the World by Adam Lebor

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banking crisis, Basel III, Berlin Wall, Big bang: deregulation of the City of London, Bretton Woods, British Empire, business climate, central bank independence, corporate governance, corporate social responsibility, deindustrialization, eurozone crisis, fiat currency, financial independence, financial innovation, forensic accounting, Goldman Sachs: Vampire Squid, haute cuisine, IBM and the Holocaust, Occupy movement, offshore financial centre, Ponzi scheme, price stability, quantitative easing, reserve currency, special drawing rights, V2 rocket

The BIS is a unique institution: an international organization, an extremely profitable bank and a research institute founded, and protected, by international treaties.14 The BIS is accountable to its customers and shareholders—the central banks—but also guides their operations. The main tasks of a central bank, the BIS argues, are to control the flow of credit and the volume of currency in circulation, which will ensure a stable business climate, and to keep exchange rates within manageable bands to ensure the value of a currency and so smooth international trade and capital movements. This is crucial, especially in a globalized economy, where markets react in microseconds and perceptions of economic stability and value are almost as important as reality itself. The BIS also helps to supervise commercial banks, although it has no legal powers over them.

Au Contraire: Figuring Out the French by Gilles Asselin, Ruth Mastron

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affirmative action, business climate, feminist movement, haute cuisine, old-boy network, rolodex, Rosa Parks

They need to show you they are made of stern intellectual stuff, and they usually do this in a combative, in-your-face way. Paradoxically, they can also be charming while they’re doing it. The French usually begin a business negotiation by “setting the stage” with a series of general considerations and statements before getting down to the details. For example, they want to discuss the general business climate, economic trends, market conditions, competing companies, and industry sales figures before discussing the financial details of the proposal. The inclusion of considerable background information is important to the French because they like to know exactly where they stand at all times, and where they are going. Americans, on the other hand, tend to get right to the business at hand, concentrating on the “bottom-line” details of how to reduce costs and increase profits from the deal under negotiation.


pages: 330 words: 91,805

Peers Inc: How People and Platforms Are Inventing the Collaborative Economy and Reinventing Capitalism by Robin Chase

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3D printing, Airbnb, Amazon Web Services, Andy Kessler, banking crisis, barriers to entry, basic income, Benevolent Dictator For Life (BDFL), bitcoin, blockchain, Burning Man, business climate, call centre, car-free, cloud computing, collaborative consumption, collaborative economy, collective bargaining, commoditize, congestion charging, creative destruction, crowdsourcing, cryptocurrency, decarbonisation, don't be evil, Elon Musk, en.wikipedia.org, ethereum blockchain, Ferguson, Missouri, Firefox, frictionless, Gini coefficient, hive mind, income inequality, index fund, informal economy, Intergovernmental Panel on Climate Change (IPCC), Internet of things, Jane Jacobs, Jeff Bezos, jimmy wales, job satisfaction, Kickstarter, Lean Startup, Lyft, means of production, megacity, Minecraft, minimum viable product, Network effects, new economy, Oculus Rift, openstreetmap, optical character recognition, pattern recognition, peer-to-peer, peer-to-peer lending, peer-to-peer model, Richard Stallman, ride hailing / ride sharing, Ronald Coase, Ronald Reagan, Satoshi Nakamoto, Search for Extraterrestrial Intelligence, self-driving car, shareholder value, sharing economy, Silicon Valley, six sigma, Skype, smart cities, smart grid, Snapchat, sovereign wealth fund, Steve Crocker, Steve Jobs, Steven Levy, TaskRabbit, The Death and Life of Great American Cities, The Future of Employment, The Nature of the Firm, transaction costs, Turing test, turn-by-turn navigation, Uber and Lyft, Zipcar

Some countries seem to have figured out a way to deliver balance, giving both companies and people flexibility. For the ninth year, Forbes magazine ranked 146 nations on eleven different factors to produce a list of the “Best Countries for Business.” For the fourth time (2008, 2009, 2010, 2014) Denmark came up in first place. According to John Weis, an economist at Moody’s Analytics with an expertise on the Danish economy, Denmark’s pro-business climate stems in large part due to its long-standing policy of “Flexicurity,” a multi-pronged approach supported by the European Commission. Flexicurity combines flexible and reliable contractual arrangements with lifelong learning strategies and adequate social benefits, supporting the needs of both employers and employees. “The model encourages economic efficiency where employees end up in the job they are best suited for,” says Weis.


pages: 318 words: 93,502

The Two-Income Trap: Why Middle-Class Parents Are Going Broke by Elizabeth Warren, Amelia Warren Tyagi

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activist fund / activist shareholder / activist investor, business climate, Columbine, declining real wages, equal pay for equal work, feminist movement, financial independence, labor-force participation, late fees, McMansion, mortgage debt, new economy, New Journalism, payday loans, school choice, school vouchers, telemarketer, urban sprawl, women in the workforce

The number of frail elderly, most of whom must depend on family for daily care, spiraled upward. Hospitals began discharging patients “quicker and sicker,” expecting the family to pick up the task of nursing them back to health. With Mom in the workforce, parents were faced with a painful choice between paying for expensive care and taking time off work. At the same time, the divorce rate continued its upward climb. This situation was compounded by a leaner-and-meaner business climate that closed plants and laid off workers with alarming frequency. In this tougher world, millions of two-income families learned the price of living without a safety net. Inevitably, the Two-Income Trap affected the one-income family too. When millions of mothers entered the workforce, they ratcheted up the price of a middle-class life for everyone, including families that wanted to keep Mom at home.

Frugal Innovation: How to Do Better With Less by Jaideep Prabhu Navi Radjou

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3D printing, additive manufacturing, Affordable Care Act / Obamacare, Airbnb, Albert Einstein, barriers to entry, Baxter: Rethink Robotics, Bretton Woods, business climate, business process, call centre, Capital in the Twenty-First Century by Thomas Piketty, carbon footprint, cloud computing, collaborative consumption, collaborative economy, Computer Numeric Control, connected car, corporate social responsibility, creative destruction, crowdsourcing, Elon Musk, financial exclusion, financial innovation, global supply chain, income inequality, industrial robot, intangible asset, Internet of things, job satisfaction, Khan Academy, Kickstarter, late fees, Lean Startup, low cost carrier, M-Pesa, Mahatma Gandhi, megacity, minimum viable product, more computing power than Apollo, new economy, payday loans, peer-to-peer lending, Peter H. Diamandis: Planetary Resources, precision agriculture, race to the bottom, reshoring, ride hailing / ride sharing, risk tolerance, Ronald Coase, self-driving car, shareholder value, sharing economy, Silicon Valley, Silicon Valley startup, six sigma, smart grid, smart meter, software as a service, Steve Jobs, supply-chain management, TaskRabbit, The Fortune at the Bottom of the Pyramid, The Nature of the Firm, transaction costs, unbanked and underbanked, underbanked, women in the workforce, X Prize, yield management, Zipcar

In 2013, Caterpillar announced the expansion of its US operations with the construction of a 600,000 square foot hydraulic excavator manufacturing facility in Victoria, Texas. Once operational, the plant will employ more than 500 people and triple its US-based excavator capacity. Gary Stampanato, a vice-president at Caterpillar, says:6 Victoria’s proximity to our supply base, access to ports and other transportation, as well as the positive business climate in Texas, made this the ideal site for this project. In late 2009, NCR, a US electronics company, announced it was bringing its ATM (automated teller machine) production back to Columbus, Georgia, to decrease time to market, increase internal collaboration and lower operating costs. Even low-value toy manufacturers are going this way. In 2013, Wham-O returned half of its frisbee and hula hoop production from Mexico and China to the US.


pages: 146 words: 43,446

The New New Thing: A Silicon Valley Story by Michael Lewis

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Albert Einstein, Andy Kessler, business climate, Chance favours the prepared mind, creative destruction, data acquisition, family office, high net worth, invention of the steam engine, invisible hand, Jeff Bezos, Marc Andreessen, Menlo Park, pre–internet, risk tolerance, Sand Hill Road, Silicon Valley, Silicon Valley startup, the new new thing, Thorstein Veblen, wealth creators, Y2K

There had been no road show this time around. Instead, Mike Long had sat down with a handful of large institutional investors that the Morgan Stanley bankers felt would lead public opinion about the company. Long had decided in his mind that he deserved some of the blame for the failure of the IPO the first time around. ''The story in the fall was too complex," he said. He had learned that, in a business climate that changed as rapidly as this one did, no one on the outside had time to "study the details" of the business. That was a polite way of saying that a lot of potential investors had no idea what Healtheon actually did. Healtheon, like a lot of Internet companies, was an ever-shifting abstraction. When asked what advice he might give to other Serious American Executives who were talked into running one of these Silicon Valley businesses, he'd say, "It's not about business plans.


pages: 356 words: 91,157

The New Urban Crisis: How Our Cities Are Increasing Inequality, Deepening Segregation, and Failing the Middle Class?and What We Can Do About It by Richard Florida

affirmative action, Airbnb, basic income, Bernie Sanders, blue-collar work, business climate, Capital in the Twenty-First Century by Thomas Piketty, clean water, Columbine, congestion charging, creative destruction, David Ricardo: comparative advantage, declining real wages, deindustrialization, Donald Trump, East Village, edge city, Edward Glaeser, failed state, Ferguson, Missouri, Gini coefficient, Google bus, high net worth, income inequality, income per capita, industrial cluster, informal economy, Jane Jacobs, jitney, Kitchen Debate, knowledge economy, knowledge worker, land value tax, low skilled workers, Lyft, megacity, Menlo Park, mortgage tax deduction, Nate Silver, New Economic Geography, new economy, New Urbanism, occupational segregation, Paul Graham, Plutocrats, plutocrats, RAND corporation, rent control, rent-seeking, Richard Florida, rising living standards, Ronald Reagan, secular stagnation, self-driving car, Silicon Valley, sovereign wealth fund, superstar cities, the built environment, The Chicago School, The Death and Life of Great American Cities, the High Line, The Wealth of Nations by Adam Smith, Thorstein Veblen, trickle-down economics, Uber and Lyft, universal basic income, upwardly mobile, urban decay, urban planning, urban renewal, urban sprawl, white flight, young professional

Instead, I told them, enduring success in the new people-driven, place-based economy turned on doing the smaller things that made cities great places to live and work—things like making sure there were walkable, pedestrian-friendly streets, bike lanes, parks, exciting art and music scenes, and vibrant areas where people could gather in cafés and restaurants. Cities needed more than a competitive business climate; they also needed a great people climate that appealed to individuals and families of all types—single, married, with children or without, straight or gay. In time, my work generated a considerable following among mayors, arts and cultural leaders, urbanists, and even some enlightened real estate developers who were looking for a better way to spur urban development in their communities. But my message also generated a backlash on both sides of the ideological spectrum.


The Metropolitan Revolution: How Cities and Metros Are Fixing Our Broken Politics and Fragile Economy by Bruce Katz, Jennifer Bradley

3D printing, additive manufacturing, Affordable Care Act / Obamacare, British Empire, business climate, carbon footprint, clean water, cleantech, collapse of Lehman Brothers, deindustrialization, demographic transition, desegregation, double entry bookkeeping, edge city, Edward Glaeser, global supply chain, immigration reform, income inequality, industrial cluster, intermodal, Jane Jacobs, jitney, Kickstarter, knowledge economy, lone genius, Mark Zuckerberg, Masdar, megacity, Menlo Park, Moneyball by Michael Lewis explains big data, Network effects, new economy, New Urbanism, Occupy movement, place-making, postindustrial economy, purchasing power parity, race to the bottom, Richard Florida, Shenzhen was a fishing village, Silicon Valley, smart cities, smart grid, sovereign wealth fund, the built environment, The Death and Life of Great American Cities, the market place, The Spirit Level, Tony Hsieh, too big to fail, trade route, transit-oriented development, urban planning, white flight

As federal and state resources diminished, private and civic investment would increase, unlocking not only capital but expertise. Imagine, finally, if metros aggregated their political power to bend state and federal policies and investments to their pragmatic, distinctive visions of advanced industries, global trade, transformative infrastructure, and skilled workers. States would compete not just over their tax or business climate but also over the extent to which they were fully supportive of their metropolitan engines. Metro Deals would proliferate throughout the country, substituting imaginative and productive solutions for legislative obstructionism and inaction. Representative democracy in the service of place and people rather than party or ideology would triumph. This is the way the United States fixes its broken politics and renews its fragile economy, from the bottom up.


pages: 489 words: 111,305

How the World Works by Noam Chomsky, Arthur Naiman, David Barsamian

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affirmative action, anti-communist, Ayatollah Khomeini, Berlin Wall, Bernie Sanders, Bretton Woods, British Empire, business climate, capital controls, clean water, corporate governance, deindustrialization, Fall of the Berlin Wall, feminist movement, glass ceiling, Howard Zinn, income inequality, interchangeable parts, Isaac Newton, joint-stock company, labour market flexibility, land reform, liberation theology, Monroe Doctrine, offshore financial centre, Plutocrats, plutocrats, race to the bottom, Ralph Nader, Ronald Reagan, Rosa Parks, single-payer health, strikebreaker, Telecommunications Act of 1996, transfer pricing, union organizing, War on Poverty, working poor

When you read their literature, it’s all full of the danger of the masses and their rising power and how we have to defeat them. It’s kind of vulgar, inverted Marxism. The other group is the high planning sectors of the government. They talk the same way—how we have to worry about the rising aspirations of the common man and the impoverished masses who are seeking to improve standards and harming the business climate. So they can be class-conscious. They have a job to do. But it’s extremely important to make other people, the rest of the population, believe that there is no such thing as class. We’re all just equal, we’re all Americans, we live in harmony, we all work together, everything is great. Take, for example, the book Mandate for Change, put out by the Progressive Policy Institute, the Clinton think tank.


pages: 564 words: 153,720

Uncommon Grounds: The History of Coffee and How It Transformed Our World by Mark Pendergrast

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business climate, commoditize, Edward Lloyd's coffeehouse, Honoré de Balzac, land reform, microcredit, Mikhail Gorbachev, new economy, open economy, out of africa, profit motive, Ray Oldenburg, Ronald Reagan, The Great Good Place, trade route, transcontinental railway, traveling salesman, women in the workforce

Although he was talking about Mexico, that also described conditions in many other coffee-producing nations. By e-mail I receive “Coffee Talk’s Daily Dose of News,” which ends with a section called “News from Origin.” The news is mostly awful in the poverty-stricken coffee-growing countries. Here is a random sampling of headlines from August 19-20, 2009, but every day brings such news:Latin Leftists Fear a Honduras Coup Domino Effect Colombia Arrests Ex-security Head Ethiopia’s Business Climate Worsening, Chamber of Commerce Says Mexico: Gunmen Attack Newspaper Offices UN Official: Zimbabwe’s Woes “Pose Significant Challenge” Kenya Drought Worsens Hunger Risk Yemen Rebels Kidnap 15 Red Crescent Aid Workers Indonesia Militants Plotted Obama Attack Group Finds More Unmarked Graves in Indian Kashmir Quake Hits Sumatra, Indonesia Ana Remnants May Regain Strength in Gulf of Mexico Coffee-growing regions seem plagued with more than their fair share of natural disasters.


pages: 566 words: 144,072

In the Graveyard of Empires: America's War in Afghanistan by Seth G. Jones

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business climate, clean water, colonial rule, cuban missile crisis, drone strike, failed state, friendly fire, invisible hand, Khyber Pass, Mikhail Gorbachev, Murray Gell-Mann, open borders, purchasing power parity, RAND corporation, Ronald Reagan, trade route, zero-sum game

Lieutenant General David Barno argued that a critical pillar in counterinsurgency efforts in Afghanistan was “good governance,” which included the provision of essential services to the population.1 International organizations such as the World Bank were equally keen to support governance. One World Bank assessment emphasized “investments in physical infrastructure (especially roads, water systems, and electricity), agriculture, securing land and property arrangements, creating a healthy business climate with access to skills and capital, good governance, health, and education.”2 The problem was not that Afghan and international leaders failed to understand the importance of governance and its impact on the insurgency. Virtually everyone paid lip service to governance. Rather, it was prioritizing governance over other efforts and translating this into reality. “Most people complained about policy,” explained Ronald Neumann, reflecting on his tenure as U.S. ambassador in Afghanistan over coffee one day in downtown Washington, DC.


pages: 550 words: 154,725

The Idea Factory: Bell Labs and the Great Age of American Innovation by Jon Gertner

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Albert Einstein, back-to-the-land, Black Swan, business climate, Claude Shannon: information theory, Clayton Christensen, complexity theory, corporate governance, cuban missile crisis, Edward Thorp, horn antenna, Hush-A-Phone, information retrieval, invention of the telephone, James Watt: steam engine, Karl Jansky, knowledge economy, Leonard Kleinrock, Metcalfe’s law, Nicholas Carr, Norbert Wiener, Picturephone, Richard Feynman, Richard Feynman, Robert Metcalfe, Sand Hill Road, Silicon Valley, Skype, Steve Jobs, Telecommunications Act of 1996, traveling salesman, uranium enrichment, William Shockley: the traitorous eight

Something else, in other words, that could do what only tubes could do.12 IN THE LATE 1920S, work at the tube shop, as well as at Bell Labs, boomed along with the rest of the American economy. In the months after the stock market crash of 1929, when the black depths of the Great Depression weren’t yet apparent, Kelly and a few other colleagues belonged to a buoyant “three-hours-for-lunch” club, a group of Labs employees intent on trying the newest Manhattan speakeasies (Prohibition was still in force) before the police could shut them down. But the business climate grew ever more dire. The astonishing drop in manufacturing jobs and the unrelenting misery in the American farm belt drove down phone subscriptions—and with them AT&T’s revenue. In the course of three years, between 1930 and 1933, more than 2.5 million households, most of them Bell subscribers, disconnected from the phone grid. In 1932 alone, the number of telephones with Bell service dropped by 1.65 million.


pages: 481 words: 120,693

Plutocrats: The Rise of the New Global Super-Rich and the Fall of Everyone Else by Chrystia Freeland

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activist fund / activist shareholder / activist investor, Albert Einstein, algorithmic trading, assortative mating, banking crisis, barriers to entry, Basel III, battle of ideas, Bernie Madoff, Big bang: deregulation of the City of London, Black Swan, Branko Milanovic, Bretton Woods, BRICs, business climate, call centre, carried interest, Cass Sunstein, Clayton Christensen, collapse of Lehman Brothers, commoditize, conceptual framework, corporate governance, creative destruction, credit crunch, Credit Default Swap, crony capitalism, Deng Xiaoping, don't be evil, double helix, energy security, estate planning, experimental subject, financial deregulation, financial innovation, Flash crash, Frank Gehry, Gini coefficient, global village, Goldman Sachs: Vampire Squid, Gordon Gekko, Guggenheim Bilbao, haute couture, high net worth, income inequality, invention of the steam engine, job automation, John Markoff, joint-stock company, Joseph Schumpeter, knowledge economy, knowledge worker, liberation theology, light touch regulation, linear programming, London Whale, low skilled workers, manufacturing employment, Mark Zuckerberg, Martin Wolf, Mikhail Gorbachev, Moneyball by Michael Lewis explains big data, NetJets, new economy, Occupy movement, open economy, Peter Thiel, place-making, Plutocrats, plutocrats, Plutonomy: Buying Luxury, Explaining Global Imbalances, postindustrial economy, Potemkin village, profit motive, purchasing power parity, race to the bottom, rent-seeking, Rod Stewart played at Stephen Schwarzman birthday party, Ronald Reagan, self-driving car, short selling, Silicon Valley, Silicon Valley startup, Simon Kuznets, Solar eclipse in 1919, sovereign wealth fund, stem cell, Steve Jobs, the new new thing, The Spirit Level, The Wealth of Nations by Adam Smith, Tony Hsieh, too big to fail, trade route, trickle-down economics, Tyler Cowen: Great Stagnation, wage slave, Washington Consensus, winner-take-all economy, zero-sum game

“Europe—and London in particular—is already ahead of the U.S. and New York in OTC [over the counter—which is to say difficult for regulators to monitor] derivatives, which drive broader trading flows and help foster the kind of continuous innovation that contributes heavily to financial services leadership,” the McKinsey report cautioned. “‘The U.S. is running the risk of being marginalized’ in derivatives, to quote one business leader, because of its business climate, not its location. The more amenable and collaborative regulatory environment in London in particular makes businesses more comfortable about creating new derivative products and structures there than in the U.S.” Moreover, the report sounded an alarm about the future. America’s overly zealous regulators were on the verge of another colossal mistake: they were planning to raise capital requirements for U.S. banks, a measure McKinsey warned was unnecessary and would weaken the country’s financial champions in the fierce global competition for business.


pages: 487 words: 139,297

Dancing in the Glory of Monsters: The Collapse of the Congo and the Great War of Africa by Jason Stearns

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Berlin Wall, business climate, clean water, colonial rule, failed state, Fall of the Berlin Wall, land tenure, Mahatma Gandhi, means of production, microcredit, technology bubble, transfer pricing, unemployed young men, working-age population, éminence grise

Several banks were set up to manage the cash flows to and from these various projects, and shares in the front companies were reserved for parliamentarians and ministers in both governments.18 The management of Mugabe’s corporation OSLEG included the commander of the Zimbabwean Defense Forces, General Vitalis Zvinavashe, as well as the minister of defense, along with top officials in the state mining company and minerals marketing board.19 This kind of business climate favored enterprising, rough-mannered, and unscrupulous businessmen. Billy Rautenbach fit this mold. A former race car driver and the son of a wealthy Zimbabwean trucking magnate, Rautenbach took over the family business when his older brother died in an accident, and he set up lucrative car dealerships throughout southern Africa. He was known for his sharp temper. “He used to run the company by yelling at people.


pages: 464 words: 116,945

Seventeen Contradictions and the End of Capitalism by David Harvey

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accounting loophole / creative accounting, bitcoin, Branko Milanovic, Bretton Woods, BRICs, British Empire, business climate, California gold rush, call centre, central bank independence, clean water, cloud computing, collapse of Lehman Brothers, colonial rule, creative destruction, Credit Default Swap, David Ricardo: comparative advantage, deindustrialization, demographic dividend, Deng Xiaoping, deskilling, drone strike, end world poverty, falling living standards, fiat currency, first square of the chessboard, first square of the chessboard / second half of the chessboard, Food sovereignty, Frank Gehry, future of work, global reserve currency, Guggenheim Bilbao, Gunnar Myrdal, income inequality, informal economy, invention of the steam engine, invisible hand, Isaac Newton, Jane Jacobs, Jarndyce and Jarndyce, John Maynard Keynes: Economic Possibilities for our Grandchildren, Joseph Schumpeter, Just-in-time delivery, knowledge worker, low skilled workers, Mahatma Gandhi, market clearing, Martin Wolf, means of production, microcredit, new economy, New Urbanism, Occupy movement, peak oil, phenotype, Plutocrats, plutocrats, Ponzi scheme, quantitative easing, rent-seeking, reserve currency, road to serfdom, Robert Gordon, Ronald Reagan, short selling, Silicon Valley, special economic zone, The Wealth of Nations by Adam Smith, Thomas Malthus, Thorstein Veblen, transaction costs, Tyler Cowen: Great Stagnation, wages for housework, Wall-E, women in the workforce, working poor, working-age population

The sovereign powers of the state over capital and money flows have definitively been eroded over the last few decades. This does not mean the state is powerless, but rather that its power is more contingent on that of finance capital and the bondholders. State powers and practices have been more and more directed to satisfying the demands of corporations and bondholders, often at the expense of citizens. This entails strong state support for the creation of a good business climate favourable to capital. The result in many instances is that states can be doing very well while their populations fare poorly. This even applies, somewhat surprisingly, to countries like Germany, where wage repression contains working-class consumption at the same time as German-based capital and the country’s financial state look to be in very good shape. Changes in the molecular movement of capital are also putting strong pressures upon the scale at which state power might be constructed.


pages: 452 words: 150,785

Business Adventures: Twelve Classic Tales From the World of Wall Street by John Brooks

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banking crisis, Bretton Woods, business climate, cuban missile crisis, Ford paid five dollars a day, Gunnar Myrdal, invention of the wheel, large denomination, margin call, Marshall McLuhan, Plutocrats, plutocrats, short selling, special drawing rights, tulip mania, upwardly mobile, very high income

Then the tape returned to Plumley, who was now warming to his task and blaming the stock-market plunge on “the coincidental impact of two confidence-upsetting factors—a dimming of profit expectations and President Kennedy’s quashing of the steel price increase.” Then came a longer interruption, chock-full of reassuring facts and figures. At its conclusion, Plumley was back on the tape, hammering away at his theme, which had now taken on overtones of “I told you so.” “We have had an awesome demonstration that the ‘right business climate’ cannot be brushed off as a Madison Avenue cliché but is a reality much to be desired,” the broad tape quoted him as saying. So it went through the early afternoon; it must have been a heady time for the Dow-Jones subscribers, who could alternately nibble at the caviar of higher stock prices and sip the champagne of Plumley’s jabs at the Kennedy administration. IT was during the last hour and a half on Tuesday that the pace of trading on the Exchange reached its most frantic.


pages: 444 words: 151,136

Endless Money: The Moral Hazards of Socialism by William Baker, Addison Wiggin

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Andy Kessler, asset allocation, backtesting, bank run, banking crisis, Berlin Wall, Bernie Madoff, Black Swan, Branko Milanovic, break the buck, Bretton Woods, BRICs, business climate, capital asset pricing model, commoditize, corporate governance, correlation does not imply causation, credit crunch, Credit Default Swap, crony capitalism, cuban missile crisis, currency manipulation / currency intervention, debt deflation, Elliott wave, en.wikipedia.org, Fall of the Berlin Wall, feminist movement, fiat currency, fixed income, floating exchange rates, Fractional reserve banking, full employment, German hyperinflation, housing crisis, income inequality, index fund, inflation targeting, Joseph Schumpeter, laissez-faire capitalism, land reform, liquidity trap, Long Term Capital Management, McMansion, mega-rich, money market fund, moral hazard, mortgage tax deduction, naked short selling, negative equity, offshore financial centre, Ponzi scheme, price stability, pushing on a string, quantitative easing, RAND corporation, rent control, reserve currency, riskless arbitrage, Ronald Reagan, school vouchers, seigniorage, short selling, Silicon Valley, six sigma, statistical arbitrage, statistical model, Steve Jobs, The Great Moderation, the scientific method, time value of money, too big to fail, upwardly mobile, War on Poverty, Yogi Berra, young professional

At wartime in 1944, only half of the prices in the United States were marketbased; a study by Hugh Rockoff, Milton Friedman, and Anna Schwartz tried to estimate economic activity based upon an estimation of actual 92 ENDLESS MONEY prices, which showed that real consumer outlays fell from 1931 to 1943 (in contrast to official government statistics as depicted in Figure 4.5), and they did not return to the 1941 level until 1946.15 16 Higgs states that the economy wallowed in the late 1930s up through the war and was plagued by very low levels of private investment, this being caused by the reservations concerning government intervention. A Fortune magazine survey of November 1941 asked about 1,000 businessmen to predict the political and business climate after the war, and the result characterizes the depth of this suspicion. Just 7 percent thought a system of free enterprise would emerge; the majority (52%) predicted there would be a system under which government would take over much but leave many opportunities to the private sector. However, 37 percent believed there would be a semi-socialized society with little room for the private economy, and 4 percent felt a fascist regime would emerge.17 If one can’t go so far to accuse the Roosevelt administration of advancing the cause of socialism, at the very least Private Debt Government Debt GDP 600 500 ($ Billions) 400 300 200 100 Figure 4.5 Economic Output and Private & Government Debt (1916–1960) Source: Historical Statistics of the United States. 1960 1950 1940 1930 1920 1916 0 Flat-Earth Economics 93 the government, being friendly to labor, had encouraged wages to rise 10 percent from 1929 to 1937 while prices of finished goods were 8 percent lower, a dyspeptic recipe for business.18 It is little wonder why businessmen remained discouraged in 1940.


pages: 437 words: 115,594

The Great Surge: The Ascent of the Developing World by Steven Radelet

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Admiral Zheng, agricultural Revolution, Asian financial crisis, bank run, Berlin Wall, Branko Milanovic, business climate, business process, call centre, Capital in the Twenty-First Century by Thomas Piketty, clean water, colonial rule, creative destruction, demographic dividend, Deng Xiaoping, Dissolution of the Soviet Union, Doha Development Round, Erik Brynjolfsson, European colonialism, F. W. de Klerk, failed state, Francis Fukuyama: the end of history, Gini coefficient, global supply chain, income inequality, income per capita, Intergovernmental Panel on Climate Change (IPCC), invention of the steam engine, James Watt: steam engine, John Snow's cholera map, Joseph Schumpeter, Kenneth Arrow, land reform, low skilled workers, M-Pesa, megacity, Mikhail Gorbachev, off grid, oil shock, out of africa, purchasing power parity, race to the bottom, randomized controlled trial, Robert Gordon, Second Machine Age, secular stagnation, Simon Kuznets, South China Sea, special economic zone, Steven Pinker, The Wealth of Nations by Adam Smith, Thomas Malthus, trade route, women in the workforce, working poor

That conclusion is no surprise—of course it cannot. The real illusion is the idea that there is anyone that claims that aid—by itself—can eliminate global poverty or that the total elimination of global poverty is the appropriate standard against which the effectiveness of aid should be judged. There is no silver bullet for development and no single approach that can solve global poverty—not trade, foreign investment, a better business climate, improved health, better education, democracy, better governance, or lower population growth. The test of whether aid can solve poverty all by itself is an impossible standard. Although some aid proponents make strong statements about its potential benefits (especially charities trying to raise money), no one in donor organizations or in the academic community claims that aid—by itself—can eliminate global poverty.


pages: 566 words: 163,322

The Rise and Fall of Nations: Forces of Change in the Post-Crisis World by Ruchir Sharma

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3D printing, Asian financial crisis, backtesting, bank run, banking crisis, Berlin Wall, Bernie Sanders, BRICs, business climate, business process, call centre, capital controls, Capital in the Twenty-First Century by Thomas Piketty, Carmen Reinhart, central bank independence, centre right, colonial rule, Commodity Super-Cycle, corporate governance, creative destruction, crony capitalism, currency peg, dark matter, debt deflation, deglobalization, deindustrialization, demographic dividend, demographic transition, Deng Xiaoping, Doha Development Round, Donald Trump, Edward Glaeser, Elon Musk, eurozone crisis, failed state, Fall of the Berlin Wall, falling living standards, Francis Fukuyama: the end of history, Freestyle chess, Gini coefficient, hiring and firing, income inequality, indoor plumbing, industrial robot, inflation targeting, Internet of things, Jeff Bezos, job automation, John Markoff, Joseph Schumpeter, Kenneth Rogoff, knowledge economy, labor-force participation, liberal capitalism, Malacca Straits, Mark Zuckerberg, market bubble, mass immigration, megacity, Mexican peso crisis / tequila crisis, mittelstand, moral hazard, New Economic Geography, North Sea oil, oil rush, oil shale / tar sands, oil shock, pattern recognition, Paul Samuelson, Peter Thiel, pets.com, Plutocrats, plutocrats, Ponzi scheme, price stability, Productivity paradox, purchasing power parity, quantitative easing, Ralph Waldo Emerson, random walk, rent-seeking, reserve currency, Ronald Coase, Ronald Reagan, savings glut, secular stagnation, Shenzhen was a fishing village, Silicon Valley, Silicon Valley startup, Simon Kuznets, smart cities, Snapchat, South China Sea, sovereign wealth fund, special economic zone, spectrum auction, Steve Jobs, The Future of Employment, The Wisdom of Crowds, Thomas Malthus, total factor productivity, trade liberalization, trade route, tulip mania, Tyler Cowen: Great Stagnation, unorthodox policies, Washington Consensus, WikiLeaks, women in the workforce, working-age population

“In Brazil, Chafing at Economic Restraints.” New York Times, March 17, 2004. “A Strongman Cometh.” JP Morgan Research, November 2012. Summers, Lawrence. “Second-Term Presidents Cost America 40 Lost Years” Financial Times, August 10, 2014. ——. “Bold Reform Is the Only Answer to Secular Stagnation.” Financial Times, September 7, 2014. “Technocrats—Minds Like Machines.” Economist, November 19, 2011. “Turkey: Business Climate Will Gradually Erode with Erdogan Presidency.” Eurasia Group, July 2014. “Turkey’s Delight: A Growing Economy.” Bloomberg News, August 31, 2003. “Turkish PM’s Top Aide Says Erdoan One of Only Two World Leaders.” Today’s Zaman, August 29, 2013. Wang, Zhengxu. “China’s Leadership Succession: New Faces and New Rules of the Game.” European Institute for Security Studies, 2012. Wolf, Martin.


pages: 432 words: 127,985

The Best Way to Rob a Bank Is to Own One: How Corporate Executives and Politicians Looted the S&L Industry by William K. Black

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accounting loophole / creative accounting, affirmative action, Andrei Shleifer, business climate, cognitive dissonance, corporate governance, corporate raider, Donald Trump, fear of failure, financial deregulation, friendly fire, George Akerlof, hiring and firing, margin call, market bubble, money market fund, moral hazard, offshore financial centre, Ponzi scheme, race to the bottom, Ronald Reagan, short selling, The Market for Lemons, transaction costs

There was only one way our war could be rational: there would have to be hundreds of control frauds; they would have to be massively overstating income and understating losses; and this had to be happening because the most prestigious accounting firms were giving clean opinions to fraudulent financials. Control frauds are human; they enjoy the psychological rewards of running one of the most “profitable” firms. The press, local business elites, politicians, employees, and the charities that receive (typically large) contributions from the company invariably label the CEO a genius. In fact, they are pathetic businessmen. If they had been able to run a profitable, honest company in a tough business climate, they would have done so. Control frauds who take money from the company through normal mechanisms (with the blessing of auditors) and receive the adulation of elite opinion makers are extremely difficult to prosecute. The control frauds we convicted became too greedy and began to take funds through “straw” borrowers.3 A prosecutor who detects the straw can win a conviction. The CEO who owns a controlling interest in the company maximizes the seeming legitimacy of his actions.


pages: 612 words: 200,406

The Last Spike: The Great Railway, 1881-1885 by Pierre Berton

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banking crisis, business climate, California gold rush, centre right, Columbine, financial independence, God and Mammon, Khartoum Gordon, mass immigration, transcontinental railway, unbiased observer, young professional

Stephen set off immediately for London to attempt the impossible: to find buyers for the new issue in a market which, as Macdonald’s confidant, the British financier Sir John Rose, wired, was “practically shut against Canada Pacific.” Stephen succeeded. He convinced financial houses in London, Amsterdam, and Paris that they should purchase blocks of the stock from the Americans (CPR shares were listed on the New York exchange but not in London). It was a considerable piece of financial legerdemain, given the business climate, “almost entirely due,” Rose told the Prime Minister, “to the untiring efforts of our friend Stephen, whose zeal, energy, confidence in himself and the enterprise seemed to inspire everybody else with like confidence.” The first instalment of ten million shares was paid on February 1, 1883, netting the company five millions in cash – a payment that arrived almost at the eleventh hour. The Canadian Pacific Railway was now, on paper at least, in the hands of Americans; as of October 28, 1883, when the final instalment was taken up, 50.3 per cent of all CPR shares were held in the United States.


pages: 552 words: 168,518

MacroWikinomics: Rebooting Business and the World by Don Tapscott, Anthony D. Williams

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accounting loophole / creative accounting, airport security, Andrew Keen, augmented reality, Ayatollah Khomeini, barriers to entry, bioinformatics, Bretton Woods, business climate, business process, car-free, carbon footprint, citizen journalism, Clayton Christensen, clean water, Climategate, Climatic Research Unit, cloud computing, collaborative editing, collapse of Lehman Brothers, collateralized debt obligation, colonial rule, commoditize, corporate governance, corporate social responsibility, creative destruction, crowdsourcing, death of newspapers, demographic transition, distributed generation, don't be evil, en.wikipedia.org, energy security, energy transition, Exxon Valdez, failed state, fault tolerance, financial innovation, Galaxy Zoo, game design, global village, Google Earth, Hans Rosling, hive mind, Home mortgage interest deduction, interchangeable parts, Internet of things, invention of movable type, Isaac Newton, James Watt: steam engine, Jaron Lanier, jimmy wales, Joseph Schumpeter, Julian Assange, Kevin Kelly, knowledge economy, knowledge worker, Marc Andreessen, Marshall McLuhan, mass immigration, medical bankruptcy, megacity, mortgage tax deduction, Netflix Prize, new economy, Nicholas Carr, oil shock, old-boy network, online collectivism, open borders, open economy, pattern recognition, peer-to-peer lending, personalized medicine, Ray Kurzweil, RFID, ride hailing / ride sharing, Ronald Reagan, Rubik’s Cube, scientific mainstream, shareholder value, Silicon Valley, Skype, smart grid, smart meter, social graph, social web, software patent, Steve Jobs, text mining, the scientific method, The Wisdom of Crowds, transaction costs, transfer pricing, University of East Anglia, urban sprawl, value at risk, WikiLeaks, X Prize, young professional, Zipcar

Conscious of its pariah status, SLORC changed its name to the State Peace and Development Council (SPDC) and launched a worldwide PR offensive. To attract legitimate sources of foreign currency, the regime promoted Burma as a haven for tourists and aggressively pursued foreign investment from companies that are not bound by national sanctions or local purchasing laws. Most of these efforts were in vain. The business climate is still widely perceived as opaque, corrupt, and highly inefficient. The foreign investors coveted by Burma’s rulers stayed away from nearly every sector except for natural gas and power generation. The country still suffers from pervasive government controls, inefficient economic policies, and stifling rural poverty. Rising inflation hurts even those with jobs in the urban centers. Which Way Forward?


pages: 537 words: 200,923

City: Urbanism and Its End by Douglas W. Rae

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agricultural Revolution, barriers to entry, business climate, City Beautiful movement, complexity theory, creative destruction, desegregation, edge city, ghettoisation, Gunnar Myrdal, income per capita, informal economy, interchangeable parts, invisible hand, James Watt: steam engine, Jane Jacobs, joint-stock company, Joseph Schumpeter, manufacturing employment, New Economic Geography, new economy, New Urbanism, Plutocrats, plutocrats, Saturday Night Live, the built environment, The Death and Life of Great American Cities, the market place, urban planning, urban renewal, War on Poverty, white flight, Works Progress Administration

Several large groceries were looted and then gutted by fire, as were perhaps two dozen smaller shops, whose lines of trade ran from bicycles to women’s clothing. Altogether, about 225 arrests occurred, as city, state, and National Guard forces overwhelmed the streets. Armored personnel carriers rolled down streets, giving the impression of military occupation. Three hundred Hill residents, black and white, fled to a suburban Congregational church for shelter from the firestorm. New Haven’s riot did irreparable harm to the business climate in the affected neighborhoods. A central reason for the Lee revolution in city government had of course been the commercial decline of the central city, both in the CBD and in the neighborhoods. Competition from suburban retailing was rising sharply, bank credit for business investment in increasingly black neighborhoods was scarce, and then the much-publicized trashing of existing stores seemed one problem too many.


pages: 518 words: 170,126

City for Sale: The Transformation of San Francisco by Chester W. Hartman, Sarah Carnochan

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affirmative action, Albert Einstein, Bay Area Rapid Transit, big-box store, business climate, Golden Gate Park, Haight Ashbury, housing crisis, illegal immigration, John Markoff, Loma Prieta earthquake, manufacturing employment, new economy, New Urbanism, profit motive, Ralph Nader, rent control, Ronald Reagan, Silicon Valley, South of Market, San Francisco, strikebreaker, union organizing, urban planning, urban renewal, very high income, young professional

.; $4,000 from the Campeau Corporation of California; $3,000 each from Am Fac and the First Interstate Bank of California; $2,500 from Citicorp; and others as well.38 Based on analysis of the first $345,000 of the $600,000 Feinstein raised, 63 percent was accounted for by forty-eight contributions exceeding $1,000. (“The companies want stability in government. They want to make sure that there isn’t a bad business climate in the city,” said a Feinstein spokesperson.)39 “No contributions on that scale have ever been made public in a campaign for a S.F. city office,” observed the March 18, 1983, Chronicle. “Downtown officials seem genuinely angered and embarrassed for the city’s image by the recall. But some also have confided privately that it makes sense to put money on the mayor during the recall that she is expected to win, rather than playing favorites among competing candidates in a regular mayoral election,” the story went on to explain.


pages: 924 words: 198,159

Blackwater: The Rise of the World's Most Powerful Mercenary Army by Jeremy Scahill

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air freight, anti-communist, Berlin Wall, Bernie Sanders, business climate, business intelligence, centralized clearinghouse, collective bargaining, Columbine, facts on the ground, Fall of the Berlin Wall, Naomi Klein, private military company, Project for a New American Century, Robert Bork, Ronald Reagan, school choice, school vouchers, stem cell, urban planning, zero-sum game

The group recommended that President Bush “direct the Secretaries of Commerce, State, and Energy to continue working with relevant companies and countries to establish the commercial conditions that will allow oil companies operating in Kazakhstan the option of exporting their oil via the BTC pipeline” instead of through the Russian controlled pipeline. It called for the Administration to “deepen [its] commercial dialogue with Kazakhstan, Azerbaijan, and other Caspian states to provide a strong, transparent, and stable business climate for energy and related infrastructure projects.”49 The BTC pipeline was inaugurated in May 2005, and President Bush dispatched his new Energy Secretary Samuel Bodman to represent him at the ceremony. “BTC opens a new era in the Caspian Basin’s development. It ensures Caspian oil will reach European and other markets in a commercially viable and environmentally sound way,” Bush said in a letter read by Bodman at the ceremony.50 The letter was addressed to the dictator of Azerbaijan, whom Bush praised.


pages: 618 words: 180,430

The Making of Modern Britain by Andrew Marr

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anti-communist, banking crisis, Bernie Madoff, British Empire, business climate, Corn Laws, Etonian, garden city movement, illegal immigration, imperial preference, New Journalism, New Urbanism, Plutocrats, plutocrats, Red Clydeside, rent control, strikebreaker, trade liberalization, V2 rocket, wage slave, women in the workforce

Yet this was an argument bigger than governments. Modern Britain became a country with a strong financial and City tradition, always trying to break down trading barriers and shaped by outside connections, not least with the United States. That Britain was the one that tariff reform would have killed at birth. And in the end Asquith was proved right. Chamberlain was pulverized. It was partly that the business climate improved, so that the spectre of unemployment and mass bankruptcies that had helped him in the early days faded away by 1905. But it was also that he simply lost the argument. When the election was finally called in 1906 it produced a huge Liberal landslide. Even Balfour, the prime minister, lost his seat, though another was soon found for him. The Liberals would stay in office deep into the First World War and, so far as Edwardian Britain was concerned, the Conservatives became merely an embittered opposition.


pages: 585 words: 165,304

Trust: The Social Virtue and the Creation of Prosperity by Francis Fukuyama

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barriers to entry, Berlin Wall, blue-collar work, business climate, capital controls, collective bargaining, corporate governance, corporate raider, creative destruction, deindustrialization, Deng Xiaoping, deskilling, double entry bookkeeping, equal pay for equal work, European colonialism, Francis Fukuyama: the end of history, Frederick Winslow Taylor, full employment, George Gilder, glass ceiling, global village, Gunnar Myrdal, hiring and firing, industrial robot, Jane Jacobs, job satisfaction, joint-stock company, joint-stock limited liability company, Joseph Schumpeter, Kenneth Arrow, labour market flexibility, labour mobility, land reform, liberal capitalism, liberation theology, low skilled workers, manufacturing employment, mittelstand, price mechanism, profit maximization, RAND corporation, rent-seeking, Ronald Coase, Silicon Valley, Steve Jobs, Steve Wozniak, The Death and Life of Great American Cities, The Nature of the Firm, the scientific method, The Wealth of Nations by Adam Smith, transaction costs, transfer pricing, traveling salesman, union organizing

Both the WordPerfect Corporation (now owned by Novell) and Novell itself, the nation’s leading networking software company, were started and initially staffed by Mormons.25 The story is told of Novell’s CEO, Ray Noorda—one of the richest men in the United States—that a potential business partner once went to meet a Novell executive in a dingy hotel in Austin, Texas, and could not find the executive’s name in the register. He examined the list of guests registered and found the name Noorda listed; Noorda was sharing a room because he did not want to pay for two rooms.26 Despite a difficult business climate in the 1980s due to turndowns in mining and steel, Utah has emerged as a center of high-tech development in large measure because of Mormon entrepreneurship.27 Just as in the case of the Japanese, the Germans, and all other communities that have sharply defined insides and outsides, the downside of this extremely strong Mormon sense of community is hostility to outsiders. The Mormon church openly discriminated against African-Americans until 1978, not permitting them to become members of the priesthood, and was frequently (though wrongly) accused of evangelizing only in European countries to preserve the racial character of the Mormons.28 Although the Mormon community has expanded enormously in the Third World in recent years, Mormons in their home base in Utah are anything but diverse in the contemporary American sense: there are few openly gay people, feminists, blacks, or other minorities.29 The Mormons, then, exemplify the strange paradox of American individualism and communitarianism.

When Cultures Collide: Leading Across Cultures by Richard D. Lewis

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Ayatollah Khomeini, British Empire, business climate, business process, colonial exploitation, corporate governance, global village, haute cuisine, hiring and firing, invention of writing, Mahatma Gandhi, mass immigration, new economy, oil shale / tar sands, old-boy network, open borders, profit maximization, profit motive, Scramble for Africa, Silicon Valley, trade route, transaction costs, upwardly mobile, urban sprawl, women in the workforce

Should Germans, with their firm concepts of orderliness and Gründlichkeit, try to install solid systems and a greater sense of respect, or will they just be regarded as Teutonic, heavy, inflexible, or even old-fashioned or outdated? Modern Finnish managers, though usually decisive, are good team workers. To sum up, Finnish leadership practices are sound. Finnish managers, like Finnish army officers, usually lead from the front and they generally strike the right balance between authoritarianism and consultative style. Although the ice breaks slowly, foreign managers in Finland will find that the informal business climate gives them freedom of action. They will not be encumbered by too many manuals, systems or hierarchical paths. Finns leave work early, but they start early and can have achieved a fine day’s work by the time most Britons are heading for lunch. Finnish employees are honest, reliable, punctual and generally loyal, and their sisu qualities are well documented. Bureaucracy is kept at a minimum.

The Chomsky Reader by Noam Chomsky

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anti-communist, Bolshevik threat, British Empire, business climate, cognitive dissonance, conceptual framework, cuban missile crisis, Deng Xiaoping, European colonialism, feminist movement, Howard Zinn, interchangeable parts, land reform, land tenure, means of production, Monroe Doctrine, RAND corporation, Ronald Reagan, strikebreaker, theory of mind, Thomas L Friedman, union organizing, War on Poverty, zero-sum game, éminence grise

The better the climate for business operations, the more American aid—the more we support the foreign government. That gives you a plausible theory. U.S. foreign policy is in fact based on the principle that human rights are irrelevant, but that improving the climate for foreign business operations is highly relevant. In fact, that flows from the central geopolitical conception. Now how do you improve the business climate in a Third World country? Well, it’s easy. You murder priests, you torture peasant organizers, you destroy popular organizations, you institute mass murder and repression to prevent any popular organization. And that improves the investment climate. So there’s a secondary correlation between American aid and the deterioration of human rights. It’s entirely natural that we should tend to aid countries that are egregious violators of fundamental human rights and that torture their citizens, and that’s indeed what we find.


The Art of Scalability: Scalable Web Architecture, Processes, and Organizations for the Modern Enterprise by Martin L. Abbott, Michael T. Fisher

always be closing, anti-pattern, barriers to entry, Bernie Madoff, business climate, business continuity plan, business intelligence, business process, call centre, cloud computing, combinatorial explosion, commoditize, Computer Numeric Control, conceptual framework, database schema, discounted cash flows, en.wikipedia.org, fault tolerance, finite state, friendly fire, hiring and firing, Infrastructure as a Service, inventory management, new economy, packet switching, performance metric, platform as a service, Ponzi scheme, RFC: Request For Comment, risk tolerance, Rubik’s Cube, Search for Extraterrestrial Intelligence, SETI@home, shareholder value, Silicon Valley, six sigma, software as a service, the scientific method, transaction costs, Vilfredo Pareto, web application, Y2K

Even if you left your old job for a terrific new position and brought all your old buddies with you, you won’t be able to 125 126 C HAPTER 7 U NDERSTANDING W HY P ROCESSES A RE C RITICAL TO S CALE transport your previous company’s culture. You are all somewhat older now, have had new experiences in and out of work, have new business peers, and a new office environment. Regardless of whether you left your old job, even that organization is forever in flux. People quit, new people get hired, the business climate changes, people get promoted, and so on. The same organization two years ago compared to today is different. There is no stopping the change that is forever taking place. If all organizations are different and all organizations are in a constant state of change, what does this mean for an organization’s processes? The answer is that there is no single right answer when it comes to processes.


pages: 1,117 words: 305,620

Dirty Wars: The World Is a Battlefield by Jeremy Scahill

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active measures, air freight, anti-communist, blood diamonds, business climate, citizen journalism, colonial rule, crowdsourcing, Donald Trump, drone strike, failed state, friendly fire, Google Hangouts, indoor plumbing, Islamic Golden Age, land reform, Mohammed Bouazizi, Naomi Klein, private military company, Project for a New American Century, rolodex, Ronald Reagan, Saturday Night Live, WikiLeaks

With Blackwater under intense investigation and his top deputies indicted on federal conspiracy and weapons charges, Prince left the United States in 2010 and relocated to Abu Dhabi in the United Arab Emirates, a major hub for the mercenary industry and the war-contracting business as a whole. Prince had close ties to the royals, particularly the crown prince of Abu Dhabi. He said he chose Abu Dhabi because of its “great proximity to potential opportunities across the entire Middle East, and great logistics,” adding that it has “a friendly business climate, low to no taxes, free trade and no out of control trial lawyers or labor unions. It’s pro-business and opportunity.” From his adopted home in the UAE, Prince continued his mercenary activities. He left the United States, he said, to “make it harder for the jackals to get my money,” adding that he wanted to explore new opportunities in “the energy field.” A few days before Christmas 2010, Prince landed at Mogadishu’s international airport, disembarked a private jet and was taken to the VIP lounge, where he met with unidentified individuals for an hour.


pages: 892 words: 91,000

Valuation: Measuring and Managing the Value of Companies by Tim Koller, McKinsey, Company Inc., Marc Goedhart, David Wessels, Barbara Schwimmer, Franziska Manoury

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activist fund / activist shareholder / activist investor, air freight, barriers to entry, Basel III, BRICs, business climate, business process, capital asset pricing model, capital controls, Chuck Templeton: OpenTable, cloud computing, commoditize, compound rate of return, conceptual framework, corporate governance, corporate social responsibility, creative destruction, credit crunch, Credit Default Swap, discounted cash flows, distributed generation, diversified portfolio, energy security, equity premium, fixed income, index fund, intangible asset, iterative process, Long Term Capital Management, market bubble, market friction, meta analysis, meta-analysis, Myron Scholes, negative equity, new economy, p-value, performance metric, Ponzi scheme, price anchoring, purchasing power parity, quantitative easing, risk/return, Robert Shiller, Robert Shiller, shareholder value, six sigma, sovereign wealth fund, speech recognition, survivorship bias, technology bubble, time value of money, too big to fail, transaction costs, transfer pricing, value at risk, yield curve, zero-coupon bond

We then translate the base case scenario into a financial forecast. For this case study, we use a five-year detailed forecast, followed by a summary forecast for 10 years. The continuing value follows after the 15-year explicit forecast period (discussed in Chapter 12). Creating Scenarios For valuing Heineken, we develop three scenarios that can describe the company’s potential strategy and business climate: 534 CASE STUDY: HEINEKEN 1. Business as usual: Under the business-as-usual scenario, the industry experiences no major shocks, Heineken continues to grow organically at a modest rate, and its margins and capital efficiency remain constant at 2013 levels. 2. Business improvement: In this scenario, Heineken rigorously improves its operations and increases its margins by as much as six percentage points in 2018, thereby closing half of the performance gap with SABMiller, its nearest competitor in size. 3.