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The Grid: The Fraying Wires Between Americans and Our Energy Future by Gretchen Bakke
Any sufficiently advanced technology is indistinguishable from magic, autonomous vehicles, back-to-the-land, big-box store, Buckminster Fuller, demand response, dematerialisation, distributed generation, energy security, energy transition, full employment, illegal immigration, indoor plumbing, Internet of things, laissez-faire capitalism, Menlo Park, Negawatt, new economy, post-oil, profit motive, Ronald Reagan, self-driving car, Silicon Valley, smart grid, smart meter, the built environment, too big to fail, washing machines reduced drudgery, Whole Earth Catalog
at the same rate as a watt made: Brett Feldman, “All’s Quiet on the DR Front, but a Storm Is Brewing,” Navigant Research Blog, October 7, 2015, http://www.navigantresearch.com/blog/alls-quiet-on-the-dr-front-but-a-storm-is-brewing. See also Katherine Hamilton, “SPEER Releases Report on Benefits of Demand Response,” Advanced Energy Management Alliance, October 29, 2015, http://aem-alliance.org/speer-releases-report-on-benefits-of-demand-response/. “generators to increase supply”: Mooney (2015). He goes on: “In particular, the objection before the Supreme Court is that this scheme of compensation gets FERC into regulating retail electricity markets, the ones that you and I are familiar with, because that’s where we buy our own electricity from power providers. And FERC doesn’t govern those—state public utility commissions do. What’s complicated is that while demand response companies participate and bid into the wholesale markets—governed by FERC—their own clients are companies buying electricity on the retail markets, just like you and me (but generally on a much larger scale).
Within five years of the rollout, the data produced by smart meters was proving essential to the creation of predictive models of electricity use, minute by minute, as well as providing occasional real-time data about peaks and troughs in variable and distributed electricity production. And they were enabling real-time “demand-response,” which is to say that they gave the utility the capacity to ask big electricity consumers to ramp down consumption as a means of balancing the grid. Rather than going offline and using diesel generators to provide backup power for a bit while the utility straightened things out, smart meters can be linked to efficient buildings that automatically deploy grid-scale conservation. At times this is accomplished by something as simple as dimming the lights. Negawatts, in other words, can now be ordered up by the utility and delivered by an Albertsons. Network enough of these power-savers into a flexible, smart piece of software, and you have your platform. This demand-response capacity, called DR in the business, not only brings energy saved into the mix of resources available to grid operators by literally making conservation count, but it is another non-thing slowly taking grid governance by storm.
The Federal Energy Regulatory Commission, the only regulatory body with a mandate to govern our electrical system, felt that a “commitment to reduce demand” should “be compensated the same amount as an equivalent commitment by generators to increase supply.” This was not just about fairness, but also a means of making the grid a more integrative machine. Or, in their words, “paying demand response providers the full value of their contribution to the market would help overcome preexisting barriers to demand-response participation and increase the reliability and competitiveness of wholesale markets.” Legislation can be used to wrench open rather than delimit who participates in our grid, whether as producers of power or of savings. FERC selected the more difficult path, but the one that will force an inclusivity—a technological as well as a financial problem—into the substrate of our grid.
Industrial Internet by Jon Bruner
autonomous vehicles, barriers to entry, computer vision, data acquisition, demand response, en.wikipedia.org, factory automation, Google X / Alphabet X, industrial robot, Internet of things, job automation, loose coupling, natural language processing, performance metric, Silicon Valley, slashdot, smart grid, smart meter, statistical model, web application
Sunil Cherian, founder of Spirae, which produces electricity-distribution software, observes: “I’m not interested in electricity. I’m interested in illumination. I’m interested in comfort in the room. The delivery of those services, and who delivers those services, is really the fundamental problem. How do you take a copper infrastructure and transform that into a system that delivers the services or the end results that you’re actually interested in?” Building controls and demand response Buildings — heating them, cooling them, lighting them, filling them with entertainment — make up 74% of U.S. electricity demand and 56% of natural gas usage. Much of that energy is used to heat, cool, light and entertain rooms much more than their occupants need. The industrial internet will connect to building controls to moderate the relationship between people and the buildings they inhabit, balancing the sometimes-conflicting goals of reducing energy usage and keeping occupants comfortable.
The industrial internet will connect to building controls to moderate the relationship between people and the buildings they inhabit, balancing the sometimes-conflicting goals of reducing energy usage and keeping occupants comfortable. Software that sits on top of building controls will build thermal models and learn about occupants’ preferences, then gently manage buildings. At an abstract level, coordinating buildings with their occupants is a familiar problem. “Lots of appliances and other building systems are more or less asynchronous with occupants,” says Mary Ann Piette, director of the Demand Response Research Center at Lawrence Berkeley National Laboratory. Home air conditioners run while we’re at work, offices are cooled to uncomfortably low temperatures, lights stay on when we leave the room. Bringing these under better control will make it possible to form buildings to their occupants. “We have to go from components to systems,” she adds. “That is an IT issue.” Efforts to moderate energy consumption through building controls have sometimes backfired because they’re uncomfortable or inconvenient.
Peak-hour output, which relies on expensive and dirty power plants that can be switched on quickly, is vastly more expensive to produce than the baseline power that comes from always-on sources like nuclear plants, and it consumes large amounts of capital investment than can’t be widely amortized. (In California, for instance, state-wide electricity demand stays below 30,000 megawatts about 80% of the time. For about 20 hours every year, though, it exceeds 47,580 megawatts — capacity that must be built and maintained for use only a few times every summer.) The object of demand response is to flatten the demand curve along the course of each day, week, and year, which in turn means less capacity will be necessary. It’s an example of better controls standing in for machines. Utilities and their customers will both benefit from better connections between buildings and the grid. Advanced meters already improve operations for utilities and help customers understand and reduce their electricity usage; they might eventually become the data interfaces between utilities and their customers.
2013 Report for America's Infrastructure - American Society of Civil Engineers - 19 March 2013, Affordable Care Act / Obamacare, Airbnb, American Society of Civil Engineers: Report Card, asset-backed security, Bakken shale, banking crisis, BRICs, British Empire, business process, business process outsourcing, call centre, Carmen Reinhart, clean water, collapse of Lehman Brothers, collateralized debt obligation, credit crunch, currency manipulation / currency intervention, demand response, Donald Trump, Frederick Winslow Taylor, high net worth, housing crisis, hydraulic fracturing, If something cannot go on forever, it will stop, illegal immigration, index fund, intermodal, inventory management, Kenneth Rogoff, labor-force participation, LNG terminal, low skilled workers, Mark Zuckerberg, Martin Wolf, Maui Hawaii, McMansion, mortgage debt, Network effects, new economy, obamacare, oil shale / tar sands, oil shock, peak oil, Plutocrats, plutocrats, price stability, quantitative easing, race to the bottom, reserve currency, reshoring, Richard Florida, rising living standards, risk tolerance, risk/return, Silicon Valley, Silicon Valley startup, six sigma, Skype, sovereign wealth fund, Steve Jobs, superstar cities, the High Line, transit-oriented development, Wall-E, Yogi Berra, Zipcar
It’s far better to invest in measures that can cut use by 5 or 10 percent at peak periods (90-degree days in August) than to build and maintain a standby power plant that will be called into action for just a few days per year. The concept of encouraging some users to dial down their electrical loads at a time when other users are ramping it up is called “demand response.” In recent years, information and communications technology has enabled much greater use of demand response. Utilities negotiate deals with big users, who agree to dim lights and turn down air-conditioning or heating when asked. They also pay companies like EnerNOC to do it for them. EnerNOC has effectively created a very large virtual power plant by obtaining commitments from companies that let it reach into their systems and dial down energy usage.
It then calculates how buildings can shed load quickly without disrupting operations, by turning off the lights in a rarely used hall, or maybe running air-conditioning a few degrees higher when called upon to do so. There’s no installation cost for the user. EnerNOC shares the payments it gets from the utilities with customers who agree to be part of the plan to reduce usage. When customers actually cut their usage, they receive additional payments. The demand-response model has proved attractive in a recessionary environment of pinched capital spending. EnerNOC’s demand-response program grew from 800 customers with 2,200 sites at the end of 2007 to 4,750 customers at 11,150 sites by September 2011. From the beginning of 2008, when the recession started, to the third quarter of 2011 EnerNOC expanded its ability to supply power nearly sixfold without stringing up a single line. Its “megawatts under management” rose from 1,100 at the end of 2007 to more than 7,000 in September 2011.
That’s equivalent to the energy produced by three and a half nuclear plants, enough to power about 7 million homes. Time and again this plant has been called into action by utilities—300 times in the first three quarters of 2011 and 225 times in the summer alone. On July 22, 2011, EnerNOC’s network “delivered approximately 1,230 megawatts of demand response capacity,” helping to reduce the risk of blackouts and lessening the need for utilities and power users to buy electricity on the spot market. EnerNOC has expanded operations to Canada, New Zealand, and Australia. EnerNOC has a second, smaller line of business that pivots off its main line of demand response. It sells software that analyzes buildings and generates ideas on how to cut energy use. In effect it promises that the service will be free to customers. “We’re guaranteeing that they’ll be able to identify energy savings opportunities worth at least twice what they pay us on an annual basis,” said Healy.
AI winter, call centre, carbon footprint, crowdsourcing, demand response, discovery of DNA, Erik Brynjolfsson, future of work, Geoffrey West, Santa Fe Institute, global supply chain, Internet of things, John von Neumann, Mars Rover, natural language processing, optical character recognition, pattern recognition, planetary scale, RAND corporation, RFID, Richard Feynman, Richard Feynman, smart grid, smart meter, speech recognition, Turing test, Von Neumann architecture, Watson beat the top human players on Jeopardy!
And you have to understand the current and future demands for those resources. So the way to think about improving the operations of cities is through resource management, matching supply with demand.7 This concept is well known to people in the electric utility business. They create demand-response models with data and analytics that make it possible to manage vast grids with multiple types of supplies and myriad consumers of electricity, as well as variables such as weather and earthquakes. Now, Guru says, we need to create much larger demand-response models for improving the livability and economic vitality of cities. He thinks of these models as cognitive engines for city management. The first step is to continuously gather vast quantities of data of all types about available resources. This would essentially be an evolving digital copy of the city in all its complexity.
Nerds on Wall Street: Math, Machines and Wired Markets by David J. Leinweber
AI winter, algorithmic trading, asset allocation, banking crisis, barriers to entry, Big bang: deregulation of the City of London, butterfly effect, buttonwood tree, buy low sell high, capital asset pricing model, citizen journalism, collateralized debt obligation, corporate governance, Craig Reynolds: boids flock, credit crunch, Credit Default Swap, credit default swaps / collateralized debt obligations, Danny Hillis, demand response, disintermediation, distributed generation, diversification, diversified portfolio, Emanuel Derman, en.wikipedia.org, experimental economics, financial innovation, Gordon Gekko, implied volatility, index arbitrage, index fund, information retrieval, Internet Archive, John Nash: game theory, Khan Academy, load shedding, Long Term Capital Management, Machine translation of "The spirit is willing, but the flesh is weak." to Russian and back, market fragmentation, market microstructure, Mars Rover, moral hazard, mutually assured destruction, natural language processing, Network effects, optical character recognition, paper trading, passive investing, pez dispenser, phenotype, prediction markets, quantitative hedge fund, quantitative trading / quantitative ﬁnance, QWERTY keyboard, RAND corporation, random walk, Ray Kurzweil, Renaissance Technologies, Richard Stallman, risk tolerance, risk-adjusted returns, risk/return, Ronald Reagan, semantic web, Sharpe ratio, short selling, Silicon Valley, Small Order Execution System, smart grid, smart meter, social web, South Sea Bubble, statistical arbitrage, statistical model, Steve Jobs, Steven Levy, Tacoma Narrows Bridge, the scientific method, The Wisdom of Crowds, time value of money, too big to fail, transaction costs, Turing machine, Upton Sinclair, value at risk, Vernor Vinge, yield curve, Yogi Berra
Source: GridPoint (www.gridpoint.com). 334 Nerds on Wall Str eet GridPoint explains how its simple blue box on the wall addresses all the key issues in our electricity future: The platform applies information technology to the electric grid to enable distributed energy resources to perform the same as central-station generation. During peak periods, utilities efficiently balance supply and demand by discharging stored power from distributed generation assets or reducing customers’ non-essential loads through demand response programs. Additionally, utilities effectively optimize baseload generation assets and relieve stress on transmission and distribution systems. The platform enables utilities to deploy proven technologies, (e.g., load control devices and advanced batteries) while creating a practical path for integrating new technologies (e.g., plug-in hybrid electric vehicles [PHEVs] and fuel cells). For consumers, the platform provides protection from power outages, increases energy efficiency through online energy management, and integrates renewable energy, paving the way for the commercial success of solar and wind energy sources.
Jim Rogers, CEO of Duke Energy, has it spot on: Efficiency programs can deliver at a lower cost than new power plants, we can deploy them faster than new power plants, and they can provide savings over relatively short periods of one to three years, as well as over the longer term. From an environmental perspective, we should view energy efficiency as a basic building block in reducing the industry’s emissions profile. In 2004 alone, efficiency programs in place saved more than 29 million metric tons of carbon equivalent greenhouse gas emissions.10 The Brattle Group attached some numbers: Demand response programs based on advanced metering and dynamic pricing could reduce peak load in the United States by at least 5% over the next few years for a savings of approximately $3 billion per year in electricity costs. The discounted present value of these savings would be $35 billion over the next 20 years.11 Remember the good old days when $35 billion was a large number? With a return to a reality-based view of the world’s problems and their solutions, there are ample opportunities for people with skills in market technology to apply them outside traditional financial markets.
Brit-Myth: Who Do the British Think They Are? by Chris Rojek
British Empire, business climate, colonial rule, deindustrialization, demand response, full employment, Gordon Gekko, Isaac Newton, Khartoum Gordon, Mahatma Gandhi, means of production, post-industrial society, Red Clydeside, Stephen Hawking, the market place, urban planning, Winter of Discontent
But they are expressed at such a high level of generality that they are more properly described as 202 BRIT-MYTH gestures rather than contractual duties and responsibilities. The Home Office primer that accompanies the citizenship test, ‘Life in the United Kingdom’, is anodyne. It submits that the British offer equal opportunity for everyone to fulfil their talents irrespective of class, colour or creed. In return, they expect and demand responsibility and an acceptance of common standards, rules of behaviour and mutual tolerance. Many of the aspiring citizens will have come from disadvantaged sections of the community where the claim to offer equal opportunity is routinely regarded as an example of British humbug. As a result, the acceptance of common standards and rules is probably practised strategically and tactically as a matter of life politics.
Good Prose: The Art of Nonfiction by Tracy Kidder, Richard Todd
The passage from Orwell and the contemporary code expressed by Kramer—“Truth is in the details of real lives”—represent a spectrum of possibility for a writer. No one should presume to tell anyone where to fit on this spectrum, but one should recognize that it exists. Even those who have been trained in a language of distance and irony toward everything institutional, and especially toward government, must feel from time to time that there is something that justifies thinking in Orwell’s terms—that there is something about one’s own time that demands response. But what response, and how to make it? One can only say it is possible that writers live most fully when their work moves beyond performance, beyond entertainment or information, beyond pleasing audience and editor, when it does all that and yet represents their most important beliefs. * * * *I read the first paragraph and flung the magazine across the room, and picked it up again about twenty years later.
State-Building: Governance and World Order in the 21st Century by Francis Fukuyama
Asian financial crisis, Berlin Wall, Bretton Woods, centre right, corporate governance, demand response, Doha Development Round, European colonialism, failed state, Fall of the Berlin Wall, Francis Fukuyama: the end of history, George Akerlof, Hernando de Soto, Nick Leeson, Potemkin village, price stability, principal–agent problem, rent-seeking, road to serfdom, Ronald Coase, structural adjustment programs, technology bubble, The Market for Lemons, The Nature of the Firm, transaction costs, Washington Consensus
Another example of ways in which informal habits affect formal institutions concerns the role of social capital in a government’s relations to its beneﬁciaries. Holding government agencies accountable to the public is to some extent a matter of institutional design and internal checks and balances, but ultimately, it is the people whom government supposedly serves who are responsible for monitoring its performance and demanding responsive behavior. Society organized into cohesive groups—whether in the form of parent-teacher associations (PTAs), watchdog groups, or advocacy organizations—is much more likely to demand and receive accountability than one consisting of disorganized individuals. On the other hand, civil society can degenerate into rent-seeking interest groups whose goal is not greater accountability but an increase in the scope of government subsidies or the substitution of government for civil society.
Everyware: The Dawning Age of Ubiquitous Computing by Adam Greenfield
augmented reality, business process, defense in depth, demand response, demographic transition, facts on the ground, game design, Howard Rheingold, Internet of things, James Dyson, knowledge worker, late capitalism, Marshall McLuhan, new economy, Norbert Wiener, packet switching, pattern recognition, profit motive, recommendation engine, RFID, Steve Jobs, technoutopianism, the built environment, the scientific method
And we also have abundant reason to believe that governmental regulation of development, by itself, is unlikely to produce the most desirable outcomes. But in the saga of Web standards, we have an object lesson in the power of bottom-up self-regulation to achieve ends in technological development that are both complex and broadly beneficial. So I see a real hope in the idea that a constituency of enlightened developers and empowered users will attend the rise of everyware, demanding responsible and compassionate design of ubiquitous technology. I further hope that the principles I've offered here are a meaningful contribution to the discussion, that they shed some light on what responsible and compassionate everyware might look like. I have one final thought on the question of principles and self-guided development. It's clear that an approach such as the one I've outlined here will require articulate, knowledgeable, energetic, and above all visible advocacy if it has any chance of success.
Groundswell: Winning in a World Transformed by Social Technologies by Charlene Li, Josh Bernoff
He has fifty-five thousand followers and follows zero other people. He never responds here (and for that matter, doesn’t take comments on his very popular blog). Until you get as popular (and insightful) as Seth, you can’t get away with this. More typical are companies like Southwest Airlines (@SouthwestAir, one million followers) that tweet deals and news but also respond to others. Southwest has recognized that, like McDonald’s, its presence will demand responses to service questions, not just tweeting news. On the day we looked, Southwest was tweeting “Ready to celebrate ‘12 Days of LUV?’ We’re giving away a $1,000 SWA Gift Card each day! Read the rules http://cot.ag/h16orp#12DaysofLUV.” But it was also responding to people with questions about its planes, its flights, and its promotions. For example, when a twitterer complained that it has “some dirty ass planes,” @SouthwestAir responded by asking which flight number and city, indicating that it cared and would fix the problem.
The Entrepreneurial State: Debunking Public vs. Private Sector Myths by Mariana Mazzucato
Apple II, banking crisis, barriers to entry, Bretton Woods, California gold rush, call centre, carbon footprint, Carmen Reinhart, cleantech, computer age, credit crunch, David Ricardo: comparative advantage, demand response, deskilling, energy security, energy transition, eurozone crisis, everywhere but in the productivity statistics, Financial Instability Hypothesis, full employment, Growth in a Time of Debt, Hyman Minsky, incomplete markets, information retrieval, invisible hand, Joseph Schumpeter, Kenneth Rogoff, knowledge economy, knowledge worker, natural language processing, new economy, offshore financial centre, popular electronics, profit maximization, Ralph Nader, renewable energy credits, rent-seeking, ride hailing / ride sharing, risk tolerance, shareholder value, Silicon Valley, Silicon Valley ideology, smart grid, Steve Jobs, Steve Wozniak, The Wealth of Nations by Adam Smith, Tim Cook: Apple, too big to fail, total factor productivity, trickle-down economics, Washington Consensus, William Shockley: the traitorous eight
The ICT revolution that created digitized communications not only created new commercial opportunities (such as through the medium of the Internet), but has provided an invaluable platform for the generation, collection, access and dissemination of knowledge of all forms. Given time and broad deployment, the smart grid could change the way we think about energy, create new commercial opportunities and improve the economics of renewable energy by establishing new tools for optimal energy supply management and demand response. To begin the green industrial revolution and to tackle climate change we are again in need of an active State that takes on the high uncertainty of its early stages, which the business sector fears. Yet, despite the buzz surrounding ‘clean technology’ as the ‘new economic frontier’, and the ‘green revolution’ as the imminent third ‘industrial revolution’, there is in reality little that is truly new about many clean technologies.
Digital Bank: Strategies for Launching or Becoming a Digital Bank by Chris Skinner
algorithmic trading, Amazon Web Services, Any sufficiently advanced technology is indistinguishable from magic, augmented reality, bank run, Basel III, bitcoin, business intelligence, business process, business process outsourcing, call centre, cashless society, clean water, cloud computing, corporate social responsibility, credit crunch, crowdsourcing, cryptocurrency, demand response, disintermediation, don't be evil, en.wikipedia.org, fault tolerance, fiat currency, financial innovation, Google Glasses, high net worth, informal economy, Infrastructure as a Service, Internet of things, Jeff Bezos, Kevin Kelly, Kickstarter, M-Pesa, margin call, mass affluent, mobile money, Mohammed Bouazizi, new economy, Northern Rock, Occupy movement, platform as a service, Ponzi scheme, prediction markets, pre–internet, quantitative easing, ransomware, reserve currency, RFID, Satoshi Nakamoto, Silicon Valley, smart cities, software as a service, Steve Jobs, strong AI, Stuxnet, trade route, unbanked and underbanked, underbanked, upwardly mobile, We are the 99%, web application, Y2K
This is where you need strong leadership in order to be organisationally aligned. You need product, marketing, sales and service, working together in a co-ordinated fashion to allow this to work. A good example is social media. You cannot roll out an app, launch a blog or establish a Facebook presence if you are not committed to interaction and dedication of agents to these areas, as these are now channels just as much as mobile, branch and call centre. Customers will demand responses when you launch these services and will expect interaction. This means that you cannot open these media channels without the right structure to respond. Most banks know that we will eventually be in a position where no physical contact would be required for financial services or servicing, but they also believe that the physical channel needs to remain in place. This may seem strange in that, if banks all believe that remote channels augment and eventually replace physical channels, what is the physical channel there for?
Relations between the senior management of legacy carriers and the pilots’ union—the Air Line Pilots Association (known as ALPA)—have worsened since deregulation. Some industry analysts argue that the pilots are largely to blame. Oddly, the salaries of those who fly for the legacy carriers, besides being too high, are based on the size—actually, the weight—of the aircraft they fly. Hence, a pilot who normally flies a four-engine wide-bodied airplane nonstop between two cities set far apart is better paid than one who has the more demanding responsibility of taking off and landing a smaller airplane at sundry airports on a given day or evening. Of course, the pilots do have plenty of leverage. For the airline, a strike means watching its revenue stream dry up as heavily mortgaged aircraft sit idly on the ground. And pilots have other weapons. They can burn high-cost fuel by letting engines idle overlong. They can slow down operations. For example, United Airlines pilots staged a slowdown in the summer of 2000, when weather and air traffic congestion already had put the carrier under heavy pressure.
The Facebook Effect by David Kirkpatrick
Andy Kessler, Burning Man, delayed gratification, demand response, don't be evil, global village, happiness index / gross national happiness, Howard Rheingold, Jeff Bezos, Mark Zuckerberg, Marshall McLuhan, Menlo Park, Network effects, Peter Thiel, rolodex, Sand Hill Road, sharing economy, Silicon Valley, Silicon Valley startup, Skype, social graph, social software, social web, Startup school, Steve Ballmer, Steve Jobs, Stewart Brand, the payments system, The Wealth of Nations by Adam Smith, Whole Earth Review, winner-take-all economy, Y Combinator
When there was a request for some special treatment from an advertiser, Saverin would bring it to Zuckerberg and Moskovitz. He frequently met a brick wall. What was the chance his investment was ever going to amount to much if Thefacebook couldn’t be turned into a proper business? Zuckerberg seemed content that there merely be enough money to pay the bills and keep the site operating. Saverin had a difficult job at Thefacebook. Advertisers demand responsiveness. They want recipients of their money to be available if they have a question or problem—usually immediately. It was thus harder for Saverin to set his own hours as Zuckerberg and Moskovitz could. His job, unlike theirs, required interacting with customers. It wasn’t easy to do that and still keep up with his courses at Harvard. But he did share one thing with Zuckerberg—ambivalence about Thefacebook’s likelihood of future success.
Why We Can't Afford the Rich by Andrew Sayer
accounting loophole / creative accounting, Albert Einstein, asset-backed security, banking crisis, banks create money, Bretton Woods, British Empire, call centre, capital controls, carbon footprint, collective bargaining, corporate social responsibility, credit crunch, Credit Default Swap, crony capitalism, David Graeber, David Ricardo: comparative advantage, debt deflation, decarbonisation, declining real wages, deglobalization, deindustrialization, delayed gratification, demand response, don't be evil, Double Irish / Dutch Sandwich, en.wikipedia.org, Etonian, financial innovation, financial intermediation, Fractional reserve banking, full employment, Goldman Sachs: Vampire Squid, high net worth, income inequality, investor state dispute settlement, Isaac Newton, James Dyson, job automation, Julian Assange, labour market flexibility, laissez-faire capitalism, low skilled workers, Mark Zuckerberg, market fundamentalism, Martin Wolf, means of production, moral hazard, mortgage debt, neoliberal agenda, new economy, New Urbanism, Northern Rock, Occupy movement, offshore financial centre, oil shale / tar sands, patent troll, payday loans, Plutocrats, plutocrats, predatory finance, price stability, pushing on a string, quantitative easing, race to the bottom, rent-seeking, Ronald Reagan, shareholder value, short selling, sovereign wealth fund, Steve Jobs, The Nature of the Firm, The Spirit Level, The Wealth of Nations by Adam Smith, Thorstein Veblen, too big to fail, transfer pricing, trickle-down economics, universal basic income, unpaid internship, upwardly mobile, Washington Consensus, Winter of Discontent, working poor, Yom Kippur War
As the surveys of public opinion on economic inequality show,20 this question concerns many people greatly: everyone, they feel, should contribute what they can, at least while they are young and fit enough to do so, and income should, where possible, be earned by doing something useful. It seems that what people contribute to the economy varies enormously: don’t some work, while others are unemployed? Don’t some do simple, unskilled work that anyone can do, while others do complex, demanding, responsible work? Surely some are not pulling their weight? In fact, aren’t they scrounging – free-riding on others’ labour? Yet, as we shall see, these unequal contributions have little to do with motivation and effort, or even intelligence and merit. All our own work? It’s often hard to assess what is ‘all our own work’. The economy does not consist of self-sufficient Robinson Crusoes, but of people whose work is interdependent through divisions of labour, whether within households, places of employment or between different locations.
Thinking, Fast and Slow by Daniel Kahneman
Albert Einstein, Atul Gawande, availability heuristic, Black Swan, Cass Sunstein, Checklist Manifesto, choice architecture, cognitive bias, complexity theory, correlation coefficient, correlation does not imply causation, Daniel Kahneman / Amos Tversky, delayed gratification, demand response, endowment effect, experimental economics, experimental subject, Exxon Valdez, feminist movement, framing effect, hindsight bias, index card, job satisfaction, John von Neumann, libertarian paternalism, loss aversion, medical residency, mental accounting, meta analysis, meta-analysis, nudge unit, pattern recognition, pre–internet, price anchoring, quantitative trading / quantitative ﬁnance, random walk, Richard Thaler, risk tolerance, Ronald Reagan, The Chicago School, The Wisdom of Crowds, transaction costs, union organizing, Walter Mischel, Yom Kippur War
riskless and risky decisions: A review of the price of risk, based on “international data from 16 different countries during over 100 years,” yielded an estimate of 2.3, “in striking agreement with estimates obtained in the very different methodology of laboratory experiments of individual decision-making”: Moshe Levy, “Loss Aversion and the Price of Risk,” Quantitative Finance 10 (2010): 1009–22. effect of price increases: Miles O. Bidwel, Bruce X. Wang, and J. Douglas Zona, “An Analysis of Asymmetric Demand Response to Price Changes: The Case of Local Telephone Calls,” Journal of Regulatory Economics 8 (1995): 285–98. Bruce G. S. Hardie, Eric J. Johnson, and Peter S. Fader, “Modeling Loss Aversion and Reference Dependence Effects on Brand Choice,” Marketing Science 12 (1993): 378–94. illustrate the power of these concepts: Colin Camerer, “Three Cheers—Psychological, Theoretical, Empirical—for Loss Aversion,” Journal of Marketing Research 42 (2005): 129–33.
Expected Returns: An Investor's Guide to Harvesting Market Rewards by Antti Ilmanen
Andrei Shleifer, asset allocation, asset-backed security, availability heuristic, backtesting, balance sheet recession, bank run, banking crisis, barriers to entry, Bernie Madoff, Black Swan, Bretton Woods, buy low sell high, capital asset pricing model, capital controls, Carmen Reinhart, central bank independence, collateralized debt obligation, commodity trading advisor, corporate governance, credit crunch, Credit Default Swap, credit default swaps / collateralized debt obligations, debt deflation, deglobalization, delta neutral, demand response, discounted cash flows, disintermediation, diversification, diversified portfolio, dividend-yielding stocks, equity premium, Eugene Fama: efficient market hypothesis, fiat currency, financial deregulation, financial innovation, financial intermediation, fixed income, Flash crash, framing effect, frictionless, frictionless market, George Akerlof, global reserve currency, Google Earth, high net worth, hindsight bias, Hyman Minsky, implied volatility, income inequality, incomplete markets, index fund, inflation targeting, interest rate swap, invisible hand, Kenneth Rogoff, laissez-faire capitalism, law of one price, Long Term Capital Management, loss aversion, margin call, market bubble, market clearing, market friction, market fundamentalism, market microstructure, mental accounting, merger arbitrage, mittelstand, moral hazard, New Journalism, oil shock, p-value, passive investing, performance metric, Ponzi scheme, prediction markets, price anchoring, price stability, principal–agent problem, private sector deleveraging, purchasing power parity, quantitative easing, quantitative trading / quantitative ﬁnance, random walk, reserve currency, Richard Thaler, risk tolerance, risk-adjusted returns, risk/return, riskless arbitrage, Robert Shiller, Robert Shiller, savings glut, Sharpe ratio, short selling, sovereign wealth fund, statistical arbitrage, statistical model, stochastic volatility, systematic trading, The Great Moderation, The Myth of the Rational Market, too big to fail, transaction costs, tulip mania, value at risk, volatility arbitrage, volatility smile, working-age population, Y2K, yield curve, zero-coupon bond
Besides irrational sentiment (animal spirits, the cycle of fear and greed) and extrapolation of recent performance, as well as feedback loops between the real economy and financial markets, here are several rational and purely financial mechanisms that boost procyclicality:• time-varying risk premia due to wealth-dependent risk aversion or risk (falling wealth, and rising volatilities and/or correlations, raise required returns with the result that today’s asset prices need to fall); • leverage/loss/margin spirals (losses prompt financial intermediaries to shrink their own balance sheets, while margin calls due to losses, higher “haircuts”, and investor redemptions force hedge funds and other levered customers to reduce positions, with the result that selling pressure pushes risky assets even lower); • liquidity spirals (waning trust and worsening funding conditions cause forced liquidations; a synchronous rush for the exit causes market liquidity to potentially dry up); • risk control spirals (VaR-based risk management, stop-loss rules, portfolio insurance strategies, and mark-to-market accounting combined with regulatory and rating pressures lead to risk reduction when market prices fall and measured volatilities and/or correlations rise). Recent research emphasizes the interactions between these various mechanisms as well as the central role of financial intermediaries and their funding constraints. Higher volatility pushes haircuts higher and thereby hurts funding liquidity. The wealth effect makes the demand responses of leveraged investors for risky assets upward sloping and their supply responses amidst meltdowns downward sloping. Higher leverage expands the economy’s risk-bearing capacity, procyclicality, and systemic risks. Position unwinds can suddenly transform stabilizing arbitrageurs (liquidity suppliers) into destabilizing liquidators (liquidity demanders). Combining leverage and illiquid assets is particularly dangerous because, when credit conditions tighten, distressed selling of crowded positions is more likely to occur at fire sale prices.
Thank You for Being Late: An Optimist's Guide to Thriving in the Age of Accelerations by Thomas L. Friedman
3D printing, additive manufacturing, affirmative action, Airbnb, AltaVista, Amazon Web Services, autonomous vehicles, Ayatollah Khomeini, barriers to entry, Berlin Wall, Bernie Sanders, bitcoin, blockchain, business process, call centre, centre right, Clayton Christensen, clean water, cloud computing, corporate social responsibility, crowdsourcing, David Brooks, demand response, demographic dividend, demographic transition, Deng Xiaoping, Donald Trump, Erik Brynjolfsson, failed state, Fall of the Berlin Wall, Ferguson, Missouri, first square of the chessboard / second half of the chessboard, Flash crash, game design, gig economy, global supply chain, illegal immigration, immigration reform, income inequality, indoor plumbing, Internet of things, invention of the steam engine, inventory management, Jeff Bezos, job automation, John von Neumann, Khan Academy, Kickstarter, knowledge economy, knowledge worker, land tenure, linear programming, low skilled workers, Lyft, Mark Zuckerberg, Maui Hawaii, Menlo Park, Mikhail Gorbachev, mutually assured destruction, pattern recognition, planetary scale, pull request, Ralph Waldo Emerson, ransomware, Ray Kurzweil, Richard Florida, ride hailing / ride sharing, Robert Gordon, Ronald Reagan, Second Machine Age, self-driving car, shareholder value, sharing economy, Silicon Valley, Skype, smart cities, South China Sea, Steve Jobs, TaskRabbit, Thomas L Friedman, transaction costs, Transnistria, urban decay, urban planning, Watson beat the top human players on Jeopardy!, WikiLeaks, women in the workforce, Y2K, Yogi Berra
., before employees arrive, and when the wind is generating the most electricity. Buildings are good storehouses of cooling. So that stored cooling keeps the building comfortable most of the day. As a result, the amount of wind power that utility generates, rather than being insufficient, perfectly matches the demand—without having to worry about storing it on batteries or needing to call in coal-generated power. An incredibly complex demand-response challenge was solved at a cost of … zero—just by bringing intelligence to all the machines and optimizing the whole system. All the complexity was abstracted away by the software, and it is starting to happen everywhere today. Show Me the Money But if these transformations are real, why is it taking so long for them to show up in the productivity figures, as economists define them—the ratio of the output of goods and services to the labor hours devoted to the production of that output?
Piracy : The Intellectual Property Wars from Gutenberg to Gates by Adrian Johns
banking crisis, Berlin Wall, British Empire, Buckminster Fuller, business intelligence, Corn Laws, demand response, distributed generation, Douglas Engelbart, Edmond Halley, Ernest Rutherford, Fellow of the Royal Society, full employment, Hacker Ethic, Howard Rheingold, informal economy, invention of the printing press, Isaac Newton, James Watt: steam engine, John Harrison: Longitude, Marshall McLuhan, Mont Pelerin Society, new economy, New Journalism, Norbert Wiener, pirate software, Republic of Letters, Richard Stallman, road to serfdom, Ronald Coase, software patent, South Sea Bubble, Steven Levy, Stewart Brand, Ted Nelson, the scientific method, traveling salesman, Whole Earth Catalog
The story of piracy has two major implications in this context. The first derives from the point that intellectual property exists only insofar as it is recognized, defended, and acted upon. That is, it is a practical matter. It takes shape not only through the stipulation of laws and treaties, but also through the actions societies take to put those laws and treaties into effect in homes, offices, factories, and colleges. Challenges demand responses, and the roles of intellectual property in everyday life reflect the history of their interaction. But in recent years the character of that interaction has changed. As piracy has grown and diversified, so a counterindustry has emerged, dedicated to combating it. The coherence and scope of this industry are relatively new and remarkable. In previous centuries, particular groups or industries mounted efforts against piracy; but they did not generally regard them as fronts in one common cause.
The Sum of All Fears by Tom Clancy
accounting loophole / creative accounting, airport security, Benoit Mandelbrot, British Empire, colonial exploitation, complexity theory, cuban missile crisis, demand response, financial independence, index card, mandelbrot fractal, trade route, uranium enrichment
Jack grunted in his chair and reached for his wine. "It's just how things go, babe. There are rules for this sort of thing just as there are for opera. You have to follow the formula. Besides, it is a major - hell, a colossal development. Peace is breaking out again." "When are you leaving?" Cathy asked. "Soon," Jack replied. "Of course, there is a price we must pay for this, but history demands responsibility from those who forge it," Fowler said on the TV. "It is our task to guarantee the peace. We must send American men and women to protect the State of Israel. We are sworn to defend that small and courageous country against all enemies." "What enemies are they?" Cathy asked. "Syria isn't happy with the treaty as yet. Neither is Iran. As far as Lebanon goes, well, there isn't any Lebanon in any real sense of the word.