disintermediation

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pages: 791 words: 85,159

Social Life of Information by John Seely Brown, Paul Duguid

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AltaVista, business process, Claude Shannon: information theory, computer age, cross-subsidies, disintermediation, double entry bookkeeping, Frank Gehry, frictionless, frictionless market, future of work, George Gilder, global village, Howard Rheingold, informal economy, information retrieval, invisible hand, Isaac Newton, Just-in-time delivery, Kevin Kelly, knowledge economy, knowledge worker, loose coupling, Marshall McLuhan, medical malpractice, moral hazard, Network effects, new economy, Productivity paradox, rolodex, Ronald Coase, shareholder value, Silicon Valley, Steve Jobs, Superbowl ad, Ted Nelson, telepresence, the medium is the message, The Nature of the Firm, The Wealth of Nations by Adam Smith, Thomas Malthus, transaction costs, Turing test, Vannevar Bush, Y2K

The landscape is more complex. Infocentricity represents it as disarmingly simple. The direction of organizational change is especially hard to discern. The 6-Ds present it as a foregone conclusion. Page 28 More Dimensions Similarly, despite talk of disintermediation and decentralization, the forces involved are less predictable and unidirectional than a quick glance might suggest. 32 First, the evidence for disintermediation is far from clear. Organizations, as we shall see, are not necessarily becoming flatter. And second, where it does occur, disintermediation doesn't necessarily do away with intermediaries. Often it merely puts intermediation into fewer hands with a larger grasp. The struggle to be one of those few explains several of the takeovers that we mentioned above. It also explains the "browser wars" between Netscape and Microsoft, the courtship of AT&T and Microsoft, and the continuing struggle for dominance between Internet Service Providers (ISPs).

It also explains the "browser wars" between Netscape and Microsoft, the courtship of AT&T and Microsoft, and the continuing struggle for dominance between Internet Service Providers (ISPs). Each of these examples points not to the dwindling significance but to the continuing importance of mediation on the 'Net (as does the new term infomediary, another case of infoprefixation). Moreover this kind of limited disintermediation often leads to a centralization of control. These two Ds, then, are often pulling not together, but against one another. Not Flatter. Francis Fukuyama and Abram Shulsky conducted a RAND study in 1997 into the relationship between disintermediation, flat organizations, and centralization on behalf of the army. They began by studying the private sector. Here they give little hope for any direct link between information technology and flatter organizations. Indeed, like us, they believe that the conventional argument that information technology (IT) will lead to flatter organizations is an infocentric one [that]focuses on a single, if very important, function of middle management: the aggregation, filtering, and transmission of information.

When they do their job well, they do it more or less invisibly. But without them, there would have been no story. Similarly, those who talk about having direct, unmediated access to the news sometimes sound equally oblivious to how news is made. They sound as if to find the "real" news on Russia, for example, they would expect to pick up the phone and get Boris Yeltsin on the other end of the line. But it requires a profoundly naïve belief in "disintermediation" (see chapter 1) to assume that all the links that fall between Yeltsin and the news are somehow interference in the information channel. Rather, it is in these stepsfrom sources to reporters to editors and news organizationsthat news is made. Without them, again, there would be no story. Nonetheless, when information takes center stage and lights dim on the periphery, it's easy to forget these necessary intermediaries.


pages: 274 words: 75,846

The Filter Bubble: What the Internet Is Hiding From You by Eli Pariser

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A Declaration of the Independence of Cyberspace, A Pattern Language, Amazon Web Services, augmented reality, back-to-the-land, Black Swan, borderless world, Build a better mousetrap, Cass Sunstein, citizen journalism, cloud computing, cognitive dissonance, crowdsourcing, Danny Hillis, data acquisition, disintermediation, don't be evil, Filter Bubble, Flash crash, fundamental attribution error, global village, Haight Ashbury, Internet of things, Isaac Newton, Jaron Lanier, Jeff Bezos, jimmy wales, Kevin Kelly, knowledge worker, Mark Zuckerberg, Marshall McLuhan, megacity, Netflix Prize, new economy, PageRank, paypal mafia, Peter Thiel, recommendation engine, RFID, sentiment analysis, shareholder value, Silicon Valley, Silicon Valley startup, social graph, social software, social web, speech recognition, Startup school, statistical model, stem cell, Steve Jobs, Steven Levy, Stewart Brand, technoutopianism, the scientific method, urban planning, Whole Earth Catalog, WikiLeaks, Y Combinator

But though it’s playing some of the same roles, the filter bubble does not. A New Middleman New York Times critic Jon Pareles calls the 2000s the disintermediation decade. Disintermediation—the elimination of middlemen—is “the thing that the Internet does to every business, art, and profession that aggregates and repackages,” wrote protoblogger Dave Winer in 2005. “The great virtue of the Internet is that it erodes power,” says the Internet pioneer Esther Dyson. “It sucks power out of the center, and takes it to the periphery, it erodes the power of institutions over people while giving to individuals the power to run their own lives.” The disintermediation story was repeated hundreds of times, on blogs, in academic papers, and on talk shows. In one familiar version, it goes like this: Once upon a time, newspaper editors woke up in the morning, went to work, and decided what we should think.

And as a result, powerful people got off the hook, and the interests of the media tilted against the interests of everyday folk, who were at their mercy. Then the Internet came along and disintermediated the news. All of a sudden, you didn’t have to rely on the Washington Post’s interpretation of the White House press briefing—you could look up the transcript yourself. The middleman dropped out—not just in news, but in music (no more need for Rolling Stone—you could now hear directly from your favorite band) and commerce (you could follow the Twitter feed of the shop down the street) and nearly everything else. The future, the story says, is one in which we go direct. It’s a story about efficiency and democracy. Eliminating the evil middleman sitting between us and what we want sounds good. In a way, disintermediation is taking on the idea of media itself. The word media, after all, comes from the Latin for “middle layer.”

The word media, after all, comes from the Latin for “middle layer.” It sits between us and the world; the core bargain is that it will connect us to what’s happening but at the price of direct experience. Disintermediation suggests we can have both. There’s some truth to the description, of course. But while enthrallment to the gatekeepers is a real problem, disintermediation is as much mythology as fact. Its effect is to make the new mediators—the new gatekeepers—invisible. “It’s about the many wresting power from the few,” Time magazine announced when it made “you” the person of the year. But as law professor and Master Switch author Tim Wu says, “The rise of networking did not eliminate intermediaries, but rather changed who they are.” And while power moved toward consumers, in the sense that we have exponentially more choice about what media we consume, the power still isn’t held by consumers.


pages: 402 words: 110,972

Nerds on Wall Street: Math, Machines and Wired Markets by David J. Leinweber

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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

The useful takeaways from eAnalyst are the ideas of generality and specificity, and the use of returns, rather than a priori assumptions, to classify news. News systems are seeing something of a revival now, and those evaluating them can perhaps extract some ideas from this work. Pre-News and Disintermediation The democratization and disintermediation of information is a key part of the explanation of why news is largely reflected in prices before it appears in the newspapers and their electronic outlets. People can do for themselves much of what reporters have traditionally done. News organizations feel the same kind of pressure as brokers from disintermediated customers. People can eliminate the middlemen, and go directly to primary sources. These are the same sources used by reporters to write the “just the facts” stories that have been the mainstay of the news business.

Consequently, a basic algo wars tactic is to improve the timeliness, scope, and accuracy of market data. Anyone using more than one data service notices lags from one service to another, and they all lag the actual event. There is disintermediation, removing the intermediary, going on in these businesses as well as in brokerages. Companies like Wombat Financial Software11 will sell you the docking adapter to sidle right up to the Securities Industry Automation Corporation mother ship12 rather than rely on consolidators like Reuters and Bloomberg. Being able to do this disintermediates13 the data vendors, at least for the raw material. In the algo wars, as in real wars, it’s a good idea to control your communications, avoiding those slow satellite links. Communication satellites are in geosynchronous equatorial orbits (GEOs), 22,240 miles over the equator.

The information is now impounded in prices in less than one day (i.e., minutes to hours), and the leakage is even larger for negative surprises. This is an early example of the democratization of information brought about by the Web. The Internet is a threat to people who make their living as intermediaries. Direct market access has disintermediated brokers, many of whom are now in other lines of work. Direct access to primary sources of financially relevant information is disintermediating reporters, who now have to provide more than just a conduit to earn their keep. We would be hard-pressed to find more innovation than we see today on the Web. Google Finance, Yahoo! Finance, and their brethren have made more advanced information retrieval and analysis tools available for free than could be purchased for any amount in the notso-distant past.


pages: 742 words: 137,937

The Future of the Professions: How Technology Will Transform the Work of Human Experts by Richard Susskind, Daniel Susskind

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23andMe, 3D printing, additive manufacturing, AI winter, Albert Einstein, Amazon Mechanical Turk, Amazon Web Services, Andrew Keen, Atul Gawande, Automated Insights, autonomous vehicles, Big bang: deregulation of the City of London, big data - Walmart - Pop Tarts, Bill Joy: nanobots, business process, business process outsourcing, Cass Sunstein, Checklist Manifesto, Clapham omnibus, Clayton Christensen, clean water, cloud computing, computer age, computer vision, conceptual framework, corporate governance, crowdsourcing, Daniel Kahneman / Amos Tversky, death of newspapers, disintermediation, Douglas Hofstadter, en.wikipedia.org, Erik Brynjolfsson, Filter Bubble, Frank Levy and Richard Murnane: The New Division of Labor, full employment, future of work, Google Glasses, Google X / Alphabet X, Hacker Ethic, industrial robot, informal economy, information retrieval, interchangeable parts, Internet of things, Isaac Newton, James Hargreaves, John Maynard Keynes: Economic Possibilities for our Grandchildren, John Maynard Keynes: technological unemployment, Joseph Schumpeter, Khan Academy, knowledge economy, lump of labour, Marshall McLuhan, Narrative Science, natural language processing, Network effects, optical character recognition, personalized medicine, pre–internet, Ray Kurzweil, Richard Feynman, Richard Feynman, Second Machine Age, self-driving car, semantic web, Skype, social web, speech recognition, spinning jenny, strong AI, supply-chain management, telepresence, the market place, The Wealth of Nations by Adam Smith, The Wisdom of Crowds, transaction costs, Turing test, Watson beat the top human players on Jeopardy!, young professional

The main challenge they have faced is whether or not the human service that they have traditionally provided is more valuable than can be delivered, crudely, by some online service. If it is not more valuable, then intermediaries will, in due course, be disintermediated, which means they will be removed from the supply chain in which they work. Just as it is now commonplace for travel arrangements to be made and insurance policies purchased without the involvement of human agents, then so too with professionals—if recipients of their services can secure a more affordable, higher-quality, or more convenient service online, then professionals will face the prospect of being disintermediated. For example, to some extent at least, tax advisers are already being disintermediated by online tax preparation software, lawyers by document assembly systems, doctors by diagnostic apps, teachers by MOOCs, architects by online CAD systems, and journalists by bloggers.

keyword=k77982&tabgroupid=icb.tabgroup143448> (accessed 7 March 2015). 92 <https://www.duolingo.com>. 93 Larry Summers, ‘What You (Really) Need to Know’, New York Times, 20 Jan. 2012 <http://www.nytimes.com> (accessed 27 March 2015). 94 Saad Rizvi, Katelyn Donnelly, and Michael Barber, ‘An Avalanche is Coming’, IPPR, 11 Mar. 2013. 95 Jonathan Rose, The Intellectual Life of the British Working Classes (2001), 13. 96 Marc MacWilliams, ‘Techno-Ritualization—The Gohonzon Controversy on the Internet’, Heidelberg Journal of Religions on the Internet, 2.01 (2006) <http://archiv.ub.uni-heidelberg.de/volltextserver/6959/> (accessed 7 March 2015). 97 <https://twitter.com> (accessed 7 March 2015). 98 Bianca Bosker, ‘Hook of Mormon: Inside the Church’s Online-Only Missionary Army’, Huffington Post, 4 Sept. 2014 <http://www.huffingtonpost.co.uk> (accessed 7 March 2015). 99 Rick Gladstone and Vindu Goel, ‘ISIS Is Adept on Twitter, Study Finds’, New York Times, 5 Mar. 2015 <http://www.nytimes.com> (accessed 7 March 2015). 100 Brian Johnson, ‘This Week in the Future: Religion & Tech: A Match Made in Heaven’, Shelly Palmer Blog, 13 Dec. 2012 <http://www.shellypalmer.com/2012/2012/12/twtf-religion-and-tech> (accessed 27 March 2015). 101 We are grateful to Rabbi Gideon Sylvester for this point. Thus, the orthodox rabbi can never be ‘disintermediated’ (see Ch. 3). 102 Heidi Campbell (ed.), Digital Religion: Understanding Religious Practice in New Media Worlds (2013). 103 Heidi Campbell, ‘Considering the Performance of Religious Indentity Online’, Presentation at Faith 2.0: Religion and the Internet, The Royal Society of Arts, 14 Apr. 2011. 104 The Anglican Cathedral of Second Life <https://slangcath.wordpress.com> (accessed 14 April 2015). 105 Heinz Scheifinger, ‘Hindu Worship Online and Offline’, in Digital Religion, ed.

Patterns and trends The end of an era • the move from bespoke service • the bypassed gatekeepers • shift from reactive to proactive • the more-for-less challenge Transformation by technology • automation • innovation Emerging skills and competences • different ways of communicating • mastery of data • new relationships with technology • diversification Professional work reconfigured • routinization • disintermediation and reintermediation • decomposition New labour models • labour arbitrage • para-professionalization and delegation • flexible self-employment • new specialists • users • machines More options for recipients • online selection • online self-help • personalization and mass customization • embedded knowledge • online collaboration • realization of latent demand Preoccupations of professional firms • liberalization • globalization • specialization • new business models • fewer partnerships and consolidation Demystification Many of the patterns and trends that are noted in this chapter challenge mainstream thinking about professional work and professional service.


pages: 406 words: 88,820

Television disrupted: the transition from network to networked TV by Shelly Palmer

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barriers to entry, call centre, disintermediation, en.wikipedia.org, hypertext link, interchangeable parts, invention of movable type, James Watt: steam engine, linear programming, market design, pattern recognition, recommendation engine, Saturday Night Live, shareholder value, Skype, spectrum auction, Steve Jobs, subscription business, Telecommunications Act of 1996, Vickrey auction, yield management

To succeed and prosper during and after this technological transition, almost every organization along the value chain will have to fundamentally change how they do business. For example, as previously described, almost all producers are manufacturers/wholesalers. u Producers will need new Their sales relationships are with distributors.In a networked television world, the technology allows skills and new infrastructure to for a significant disintermediation of the master take advantage of networked tele- distributors. vision’s new business rules and In a non-linear universe, the broadcast network interactive technology. brands become almost meaningless to consumers. After all, people watch shows, not networks. The programs are the brands, and producers are empowered to become B2C companies. There’s only one problem. Most producers do not have the skills or infrastructure to take advantage of this technology.

As a practical matter, the public Internet could not be used instead of the Fox Television Network to watch an NFL football game on a typical Sunday afternoon. Were millions of viewers to attempt to watch it streamed live or even delayed a few minutes so it could be progressively downloaded, the public Internet would go “tilt.” That being said, networked television has the opportunity and the available technology to substantially disintermediate entire distribution verticals. Copyright © 2006, Shelly Palmer. All rights reserved. 161 12-Television.Chap Twelve v3.qxd 3/20/06 7:28 AM Page 162 162 C H A P T E R 1 2 Television Disrupted Content Contact Branded Network Satellite Wireless Telephone Voice Company Studio Content Cabler Video Aggregator Content Operator Viewer Creator Internet Access to Video Service Public Voice Provider Internet Data Analog Unbranded Television Broadcast Broadcast Affiliate Network Digital Television P2P FIGURE 12.1 Consumer Media Choices in the Networked Television Era.

Personal Networked Television One probable future is the advent of a GUI that will enable viewers to easily search for content and automatically create adaptive playlists that relate to personal preferences or behaviors. An interface like this would create the equivalent of personal television networks for each individual viewer. It would combine VOD, DVR, search, P2P and high-speed Internet access to significantly disintermediate the existing cable, telephone and satellite infrastructure. Controlling Access by Limiting Bandwidth To combat this probable future, systems operators who offer Internet access may try to limit bandwidth outside the walled gardens. Limiting bandwidth can have an impact on certain types of P2P networks. However, it is much less of an issue with torrent files. In this arms race, the prey (file-sharing networks) will always be just a little ahead of the predators (systems operators).


pages: 225 words: 11,355

Financial Market Meltdown: Everything You Need to Know to Understand and Survive the Global Credit Crisis by Kevin Mellyn

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asset-backed security, bank run, banking crisis, Bernie Madoff, bonus culture, Bretton Woods, collateralized debt obligation, credit crunch, Credit Default Swap, credit default swaps / collateralized debt obligations, cuban missile crisis, disintermediation, diversification, fiat currency, financial deregulation, financial innovation, financial intermediation, fixed income, Francis Fukuyama: the end of history, global reserve currency, Home mortgage interest deduction, Isaac Newton, joint-stock company, liquidity trap, London Interbank Offered Rate, margin call, market clearing, moral hazard, mortgage tax deduction, Northern Rock, offshore financial centre, paradox of thrift, pattern recognition, pension reform, pets.com, Plutocrats, plutocrats, Ponzi scheme, profit maximization, pushing on a string, reserve currency, risk tolerance, risk-adjusted returns, road to serfdom, Ronald Reagan, shareholder value, Silicon Valley, South Sea Bubble, statistical model, The Great Moderation, the payments system, too big to fail, value at risk, very high income, War on Poverty, Y2K, yield curve

No big-time banker could ‘‘just say no’’ to the sovereign lending and be certain of keeping his job. DISINTERMEDIATION BITES One of the reasons that the largest U.S. banks turned to the Euromarkets for profit growth in the 1960s and 1970s was simply that the 3-6-3 business back home was getting killed. This was occurring for two reasons. First, Wall Street had made a comeback in the post-war decade and with it came more corporate bonds and equity financing for big companies. Second, the commercial paper market began to recover after nearly disappearing in the 1930s, and it offered a non-bank source of financing that was often cheaper than bank loans for companies with good credit. Banks responded by taking more risks in areas like commercial real estate to cope with ‘‘disintermediation’’ of their core commercial loan business. They were setting themselves up for a fall.

The alternative to using bank balance sheet intermediation is using the financial markets. The financial markets allow people with money and people who need money to contract directly with each other using financial instruments and thus reduce or avoid one-sided financial contracts with a bank intermediary. Perhaps believing that the profits of balance sheet intermediation were ordained by God, bankers coined an especially ugly The Financial Market Made Simple word—‘‘disintermediation’’—some thirty years ago to describe the process by which large and sophisticated corporate borrowers bypass them altogether to obtain funds from the public. In fact, over the last two generations or more, the story of finance in the United States and in the broader global economy has been one of the gradual but accelerating shift of financial contracting from banks to tradable financial instruments or contracts whose value (or lack thereof) is established in the market.

Basically, only the largest and most well-capitalized banks and companies used to have ‘‘access’’ to the commercial paper market. Even these needed commitment from banks to lend them the money to pay off their paper to get top ratings. Most of us have no idea what commercial paper is, but it was the most important financial instrument in bringing about our current financial crisis. It did so in two ways. First, it supercharged bank disintermediation. Big credit-worthy companies found it much cheaper 41 42 FINANCIAL MARKET MELTDOWN and easier to obtain the money they needed directly from the market using CP than by borrowing from banks. This led banks to search for new ways to make money. Twenty-five years of searching had gotten the banks to the poor position they are today, many of them circling the drain. Second, CP had been a building block in a Rube Goldberg scheme called ‘‘asset securitization,’’ another ugly phrase, this time relating to complicated financial machinery that transforms bank loans into marketable ‘‘financial instruments.’’


pages: 233 words: 66,446

Bitcoin: The Future of Money? by Dominic Frisby

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3D printing, altcoin, bank run, banking crisis, banks create money, barriers to entry, bitcoin, blockchain, capital controls, Chelsea Manning, cloud computing, computer age, cryptocurrency, disintermediation, ethereum blockchain, fiat currency, friendly fire, game design, Isaac Newton, Julian Assange, litecoin, M-Pesa, mobile money, money: store of value / unit of account / medium of exchange, Occupy movement, Peter Thiel, Ponzi scheme, prediction markets, price stability, quantitative easing, railway mania, Ronald Reagan, Satoshi Nakamoto, Silicon Valley, Skype, slashdot, smart contracts, Snapchat, Stephen Hawking, Steve Jobs, Ted Nelson, too big to fail, transaction costs, Turing complete, War on Poverty, web application, WikiLeaks

‘Bitcoin was an exploration of how can we build a decentralized value system. And if you want to call it money, call it money – but a decentralized money system where we dis-intermediate the government from the generation of money, okay. Ethereum is extracting that and saying what else can we dis-intermediate? Can we remove Dropbox from storage? Can we remove Rackspace and Amazon from hosting? Can we remove Las Vegas from gambling? Can we remove Wall Street from finance? And instead can we run these things in a decentralized way? ‘It’s a continuation of that experiment and we’re seeing how many other things in society we can actually decentralize in nature so that they’re not controlled by any one actor. We want to let people choose and program whatever disintermediation they want.’ It’s revolutionary stuff. The implications to existing internet business models are substantial.

And if people want to create their own apps, they can do that. And they can do it in a matter of days, if not weeks. ‘And so that’s our hope, that’s what we want to do. And the app catalogue is totally decentralized just like the network. So even we don’t control it – so we can’t take apps down or anything and the government can’t take apps down or something like that. So, that’s what we’re trying to do: mainstream this dis-intermediation technology’. The implications of Ethereum – if it takes off – are clearly enormous. For more information about Ethereum, visit ethereum.org. 10 Should You Buy In? You can’t stop things like Bitcoin. It’s like trying to stop gunpowder. It will be everywhere and the world will have to readjust. John McAfee, computer scientist, founder of McAfee Inc In the 1830s and 1840s a mania gripped the UK.

How on earth will copyright be enforced with decentralized viewing platforms? Existing business models will have to adapt or die. Even the American-controlled system of domain name registration, ICANN, for all its non-profit status and good intentions, is under threat from something genuinely independent – the decentralized Namecoin. The implications are enormous – not just to corporations, but to governments as well. If everything can be dis-intermediated and decentralized, what about the services governments provide – healthcare, welfare and education? The bureaucratic middleman megalith that makes them so inefficient and expensive could be circumvented altogether. It will even bring into question our system of representative democracy. The tech is there for people’s identity to be proven and for them to vote instantly on just about any issue that comes up – gay marriage, abortion law, planning permission, military intervention.


pages: 348 words: 99,383

The Financial Crisis and the Free Market Cure: Why Pure Capitalism Is the World Economy's Only Hope by John A. Allison

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Affordable Care Act / Obamacare, bank run, banking crisis, Bernie Madoff, clean water, collateralized debt obligation, correlation does not imply causation, Credit Default Swap, credit default swaps / collateralized debt obligations, crony capitalism, disintermediation, fiat currency, financial innovation, Fractional reserve banking, full employment, high net worth, housing crisis, invisible hand, life extension, low skilled workers, market bubble, market clearing, minimum wage unemployment, moral hazard, obamacare, price mechanism, price stability, profit maximization, quantitative easing, race to the bottom, reserve currency, risk/return, Robert Shiller, Robert Shiller, The Bell Curve by Richard Herrnstein and Charles Murray, too big to fail, transaction costs, yield curve

A major factor was the entry of foreign competitors into the U.S. market. Also, unions and government pension plans (for example, CalPERS) and university investment arms wanted higher and higher returns and were willing to dramatically increase their alternative investment portfolios, driving assets from the commercial banking system. To the degree that this disintermediation process was driven by market forces, it is a rational allocation of resources. To the degree that the disintermediation was driven by regulatory policy and politically motivated public employee pension plans, it is unhealthy from an economic perspective. As an observer of the process, I believe that regulatory policy and political allocations were the primary drivers, although I cannot prove this point. Prior to the crisis of 2007–2009, the regulatory perception was that the traditional commercial banking business was becoming less risky because of the ability of banks to sell many credit products in the secondary market.

The simple answer is that government rules and regulations made commercial banks less and less competitive by driving up their cost of operations. Since the early 1970s, regulated financial institutions have faced dramatically increased costs on a multitude of “politically correct” fronts. These costs have driven commercial banks to focus on areas with higher levels of profits, such as real estate lending, which can also be more risky. Another factor has been the disintermediation of deposits caused by money market mutual funds. These funds often pay higher interest rates on deposits than banks pay. The money market funds also claimed to be as low risk as bank certificates of deposit. Of course, when the financial crisis started, many money funds were under water because in fact they had taken more risk. Unfortunately, the Federal Reserve chose to save the money funds, which created an illusion that they are not risky.

., 183 government debt in, 200 manufacturing in, 10, 25–26, 161 market-based pricing in, 34 military spending in, 198 stimulus fund use, 181–182 trade with, 204–205 U.S. investment by, 29, 159 Chrysler, 130, 179–180 Citigroup: bailout of, 50, 104, 130, 177 CDOs of, 125–126 credit decisions, 238 crony capitalism, 6 funding of shadow banking system, 120 long-term debt of, 71 and panic during financial crisis, 163 pragmatism at, 217–218 reason at, 245 “too-big-to-fail” firms, 173 Clearing, 104 Clinton, Bill: lending reforms, 42–44, 56 subprime lending requirements, 58–60 Collateralized debt obligations (CDOs), 124–126 Colonial Bank, 47–48 Commercial real estate, 11, 97 Common good, 215–216 Community Reinvestment Act (CRA), 42, 55–57, 59 Compensation, 50, 83–84, 197–198 Confidence, 84–87, 184–185 Conservatives, 108 Consumer compliance, 193 Consumer Price Index (CPI), 26–27 Consumption: borrowing for, 57–58 housing as, 9–12, 54–55, 73–74 Contagion risk, 123 Corporate debt, 107 Counterparty risk, 123, 124 Countrywide: crony capitalism at, 6 and fair-value accounting change, 114, 118 and FDIC insurance, 39, 41, 46 necessary failure of, 159 pick-a-payment mortgages of, 91–93 subprime business at, 99 thrift history of, 98 CPI (see Consumer Price Index) CRA (see Community Reinvestment Act) Creativity, 7, 247 Credit default swaps (CDSs), 126–128 Credit rating agencies (see Rating agencies) Crony capitalism, 6, 102, 129, 179 Cross-guarantor insurance fund, 48–52 Cuba, 34, 247, 252 Cuomo, Andrew, 58 Currency, debasing, 22 Debt, 21–22, 107 Declaration of Independence, 220, 252 Defaults, 90–91, 126–128 Defense spending, 198–199, 227 Deflation, 22 Demand, supply and, 104, 185, 209, 210 Department of Housing and Urban Development (HUD), 15, 58 Deposits, disintermediation of, 120–121 Derivatives, 3, 120, 122–124 Disclosure requirements, 150–152 Dodd, Christopher, 7, 46, 61, 63, 64 Dodd-Frank Wall Street Reform and Consumer Protection Act: deficiencies of, 193 introduction of, 63–64, 183 as misregulation, 147 results of, 130 and TARP, 173, 174 Dollar, U.S., 77, 188, 229 Durbin amendment, 193 Earnings, operating, 103–106 East Germany, 34, 247 Eastern Europe, 34, 252 Economic cycles, 108, 189–193 Economic health, 159–161 Economic recovery, 1, 207–208 Economy, banking industry in, 67–69 Edison, Thomas, 19, 158–159 Education, 230–235, 247 Egypt, ancient, 230 Elitism, 7 Ely, Bert, 48 Employee Retirement Income Security Act (ERISA), 82, 149 Enron, 60, 109, 133, 149 Entitlement programs, reforms for, 199–204 Equal Credit Opportunity Act, 42, 55 ERISA (Employee Retirement Income Security Act), 82, 149 Ethical incentives, lending, 57–58 Euro, 189 European banking crisis, 51–52, 137 Expensing (stock options), 114–117 Experiential learners, 244–245 Fair Housing Act, 55 Fair-value accounting, 103–118 asset valuation in, 106–108 and expensing of stock options, 114–117 and losses on CDSs, 126–127 private accounting systems vs., 177–178 SEC involvement in, 151–152 for selling vs. servicing mortgages, 113–114 Fannie Mae: accounting scandal, 112–113, 149 in current environment, 251 and disintermediation of deposits, 121 failure of, 61–65, 164 and fair-value accounting, 118 in housing policy, 58–61 misallocation of resources by, 14 misleading of rating agencies by, 83 mortgage lending by, 97–101 reforms for, 190–192 selling mortgages to, 113–114 subprime lending by, 58, 99–101 FASB (see Financial Accounting Standards Board) FDIC (see Federal Deposit Insurance Corporation) FDIC insurance, 37–52 and bank liquidity, 171 and failing banks, 140 and fractional reserve banking, 68–69 and pick-a-payment mortgages, 91 reform of, 190 and S&L failures, 97 Federal Deposit Insurance Corporation (FDIC), 37–38 as external auditors, 134 and failing banks, 47–48 misallocation of resources by, 14 and pick-a-payment mortgages, 91 as regulator, 41–48, 143 take over of Washington Mutual, 75–77 Federal Housing Administration (FHA), 15, 190–192, 252 Federal Reserve, 22–23, 102, 189 antitrust policy, 174 bailouts by, 120–121, 190, 192 and banking industry reforms, 187–188 as external auditors, 134 and federal debt, 21–22 and leverage, 72 mathematical modeling by, 136 misallocation of resources by, 14, 208 misleading information from, 46, 83, 101, 125 monetary policy of, 17–20, 31–35, 96 overreaction by, 154 stimulus from, 152, 153, 208 and TARP, 165, 167–168, 171 and unemployment, 213 and Washington Mutual, 75 Federal Reserve Board, 18 Federal Reserve Open Market Committee, 31 Federal Savings and Loan Insurance Corporation (FSLIC), 37–38, 50, 96 FHA (see Federal Housing Administration) Financial Accounting Standards Board (FASB), 105, 106, 114–117 Financial crisis (2007-2009), 1–3, 251–254 banking industry in, 70–72 derivatives in, 122–124 Freddie Mac and Fannie Mae in, 65 free-market response to, 177–186 and Great Depression, 25 lessons from, 251–252 SEC role in, 154–155 Financial reporting requirements, SEC, 150–152 Financial Services Roundtable (FSR), 32, 61–62 First Horizon, 237 Fitch, John Knowles, 150 Fitch Ratings: investor confidence in, 84–87 misratings by, 82–84, 101, 125, 126 and SEC, 81–82, 149–150 Flat tax, 197 Forbes, Steve, 197 Ford, 179 Foreclosure laws, 77–80 Fractional reserve banking, 69–70 Frank, Barney, 7, 61, 63, 64 Fraud, 109–113 Freddie Mac: accounting scandal, 112–113, 149 current environment, 251 and disintermediation of deposits, 121 failure of, 61–65, 164 in housing policy, 58–61 misallocation of resources by, 14 misleading information from, 83 mortgage lending by, 97–101 reforms for, 190–192 selling mortgages to, 113–114 subprime lending by, 58, 99–101 Free markets: experimentation in, 19 justice in, 92, 177 market corrections in, 157–159 and monetary policy, 31–35 risk taking by banks in, 40–41 wage rates in, 210–211 Free trade, 204–205 Friedman, Milton, 20, 189 FSLIC (see Federal Savings and Loan Insurance Corporation) FSR (Financial Services Roundtable), 32, 61–62 GAAP accounting, 116, 117 Gates, Bill, 216 GDP, 183, 197–199 General Electric, 168, 169 General Motors (GM), 169, 178–180 General Theory of Employment, Interest and Money, The (Keynes), 181 Germany, 52 GM (General Motors), 169, 178–180 GMAC, 168, 169, 178–180 Gold standard: and deflation, 25–26 and economic future of U.S., 188–189 Greenspan’s view of, 32 Golden West, 39, 91, 92, 98, 159 Goldman Sachs, 71, 173 as AIG counterparty, 128–129 bailout of, 104, 164, 179 CDSs of, 126 counterparty risk at, 124 crony capitalism at, 6 financial “innovations” of, 101 Government policy: as cause of financial crisis, 1, 5–6, 251 and residential real estate bubble, 6 (See also Housing policy; Policy reforms) Government regulation, 5–8, 41–48, 204 Government spending, 180–183, 197–199 Government-sponsored enterprises (GSEs), 59, 64–65, 98, 137 (See also Fannie Mae; Freddie Mac) Great Depression: and avoidance of stock market, 74 banking industry in, 70–72 economic policies after, 161 and Federal Reserve, 19–20, 24, 188 and gold standard, 188 and government interference, 170 and Smoot-Hawley Tariff Act, 205 Great Recession, 1, 251–254 and Federal Reserve, 188 Freddie Mac and Fannie Mae in, 65 and interest-rate variation, 33 market corrections and depth of, 160 and monetary policy, 17 and residential real estate, 9–15 Great Society, 6, 55, 96 Greece, 51, 52, 137, 228 Greenspan, Alan, 23–30, 32, 33, 160 Gross domestic product, 183, 197–199 Hamilton, Alexander, 19 Harvard University, 43, 131 Hayek, Friedrich, 31 Health insurance, 201–202 High-net-worth shareholders, 93 Home Builders Association, 60 Home foreclosure laws, 77–80 Homeownership, 53–55 Hoover, Herbert, 24, 161, 205 Housing: as consumption, 9–12, 54–55, 73–74 government support of, 12 Housing policy, 53–65 HUD (Department of Housing and Urban Development), 15, 58 Human Action (von Mises), 238 Immigration, 19, 205–206 India, 10, 25, 205 IndyMac, 39, 75, 98 Inflation: CPI as indicator of, 26–27 and fair-value accounting, 103 and Federal Reserve, 21–22 and prices, 24–25 (See also Monetary policy) Initial public offerings, 150 Insurance: bond, 86–87 cross-guarantor, 48–52 FDIC (see FDIC insurance) health, 201–202 private deposit, 48–52 self-insurance at banks, 48–52 unemployment, 212–213 Interest rates, 26–27, 31–35 Inverted yield curves, 27–29 Investment banks: disclosure requirements for, 151 government bailout of, 162 “innovations” of, 101–102 leverage ratios of, 71–72 IPOs, 150 Iran, 198, 199, 227 Iraq, 198 Ireland, 77 Isaac, Bill, 107–108, 161–162 Italy, 51, 52 Japan, 159, 200, 205 Jefferson, Thomas, 19, 220 Johnson, Lyndon Baines, 6, 55, 96, 161, 188 JPMorgan Chase, 75 and Bear Stearns, 162 and shadow banking system, 120 as “too-big-to-fail” firm, 173 and Washington Mutual, 163 Keynes, John Maynard, 181 Labor: allocation of, 10–11, 14 minimum-wage laws, 209–212 Lehman Brothers, 71, 76, 101, 104, 129, 164 and Bear Stearns bailout, 162–163 corporate debt at, 107 counterparty risk at, 124 derivatives from, 123 Limited government, 182–183, 195, 231, 253 Liquidity: of banks, 68–69 and FDIC insurance, 171 and financial crises, 70–72 and housing prices, 74–75 and TARP, 171–172 Loan loss reserves accounting, 152–154 Loans: capital standards for, 51–52 qualified, 98 substandard, 140–141 Madoff, Bernie, 149, 225 March of Dimes, 241 Market corrections, 157–165 Federal Reserve’s prevention of, 23, 32 prevention of, 13 residential real estate, 78 and response to financial crisis, 177–180 Market discipline, 21, 38 Market-based monetary policy, 31–35 Market-clearing price, 209 Mathematical modeling: for loan loss reserves, 152–153 by ratings agencies, 82–83 for risk management, 136–138 MBIA, 86 Medicaid, 6, 55, 201 Medicare, 6, 8, 55, 201, 203 Meltdown (Michaels), 35 Merrill Lynch, 101, 124–125 Michaels, Patrick J., 35 Microsoft, 217 Military spending, 198–199, 227 Minimum-wage laws, 209–212 Mises, Ludwig von, 34, 238 Monetary policy, 17–35 of Bernanke, 27–31, 33, 35, 40, 125, 213 and federal debt, 21–22 and Federal Reserve, 17–23 of Greenspan, 23–27 market-based, 31–35 and unemployment, 208–209 Money market mutual funds, bailout of, 120–121, 192 Money supply, 21–22, 24, 189 Moody, John, 83, 150 Moody’s, 81–87 investor confidence in, 84–87 misratings by, 82–84, 101, 125, 126 and SEC, 81–82, 149–150 Morgan Stanley, 71, 101, 124, 173 Mortgage lending, 95–102 by Fannie Mae and Freddie Mac, 97–101 and investment bank innovations, 101–102 prime, 59, 97–99 by private banks, 97–99 savings and loan industry in, 95–97 subprime, 43, 56–57, 99–101 Mortgages: by BB&T Corporation, 97–98 jumbo, 62 pick-a-payment (see Pick-a-payment mortgages) selling vs. servicing, 113–114 Mozilo, Angelo, 46 Multiplier effect, 181 Naked shorting, 127–128, 151 Nationally recognized statistical rating organizations, 82 Negative real interest rates, 26–27 Neo-Keynesian response to financial crisis, 185–186 Neutral taxes, 197 New Deal, 53, 170, 232 Nixon, Richard, 96, 161, 188 North Korea, 34, 198, 227, 247, 252 NRSROs, 82 Obama administration, 142–144: and Dodd-Frank Act, 64 economic policies of, 15, 161 healthcare bill, 183, 201 and Patriot Act, 45 stimulus plan, 181–182 Office of the Comptroller of the Currency (OCC), 40, 154 Office of Thrift Supervision, 40, 41, 45–46 Operating earnings, 103–106 OTS, 40, 41, 45–46 Panics, 137–138, 161–165 Patriot Act, 45, 46, 48, 133–136, 147 Paulson, Henry: in 2008 panic, 164, 167 and AIG bailout, 128, 129 credibility of, 164 development of TARP, 76, 168–170, 172 Pick-a-payment mortgages, 89–93 borrowers using, 90–91 and FDIC, 91 and rise of Fannie Mae/Freddie Mac, 98 Policy reforms, 195–206 for entitlement programs, 199–204 and free trade, 204–205 and government regulations, 204 for government spending, 197–199 for immigration, 205–206 for political system, 206–207 and tax rate, 196–197 Politics: in banking regulation, 42–46 and crony capitalism, 129 and failure of Fannie Mae/Freddie Mac, 59–62 and Federal Reserve appointments, 18 policy reforms for, 206–207 Poor, Henry Varnum, 150 Portugal, 51 Price fixing, 31, 193 Price setting, 31–32 Prime lending, 59, 97–99 Prince, Charlie, 217 Principles-based accounting, 109 Privacy Act, 133, 135 Private accounting systems, 177–178 Private banks, 97–99, 187–188 Private deposit insurance, 48–52 Public schools, 228, 233–235 Racial discrimination (in lending), 42–45 Raines, Frank, 59 Rand, Ayn, 225, 231 Rating agencies, 81–87 investor confidence in, 84–87 mathematical modeling by, 136 and subprime mortgage bonds, 82–84 and “too-big-to-fail” firms, 173 and SEC, 81–82, 149–150 Real estate: commercial, 11, 97 residential (see Residential real estate market) Recessions, 28, 29, 160 Recovery (see Economic recovery) Reforms: banking industry (see Banking industry reforms) government policy (see Policy reforms) Regions Bank, 237 Regulation: of banking industry (see Banking regulation) by government (see Government regulation) Reporting, financial, 150–152 Reserve currency, U.S. dollar as, 77, 188, 229 Residential real estate market: economics of, 73–74 misinvestment in, 9–15 Residential real estate market bubble, 73–80 and government policy, 6 international impact of, 77 and job creation, 80 and state home foreclosure laws, 77–80 Risk: contagion, 123 counterparty, 123, 124 with derivatives, 122–124 diversification of, 67–69 and economic cycles, 189–193 and FDIC insurance, 38–41 and government regulation, 50–51 liquidity, 68–70 mathematical modeling for, 136–138 and “originate and sell” model, 100 systemic, 50–51 RMBS (residential mortgage-backed securities), 81 Roman empire, fall of, 230 Roosevelt, Franklin D., 24, 37, 103, 161 Rules-based accounting, 109 Russia, 198 Samuelson, Paul, 238 Sarbanes-Oxley Act, 133–134 and fair-value accounting, 106 and Fannie Mae/Freddie Mac, 99 misregulation by, 48, 147 and SEC, 150 violations of, 136 SARs (Suspicious Activity Reports), 136 Satchwell, Jack, 57 Savings and loan (S&L) industry, 95–97, 110, 191 Securities and Exchange Commission (SEC), 149–155 capital ratio guidelines, 71–72 and complexity of accounting rules, 116–117 and expensing of stock options, 114, 115 loan loss reserves accounting for, 152–154 misallocation of resources by, 14 and rating agencies, 81–82, 149–150 requirements for shorting stock, 127–128, 151 and rules-based accounting, 109, 110 and Sarbanes-Oxley Act, 150 Self-insurance, 48–52 Selgin, George, 189 Senate Banking Committee, 46 Shadow banking system, 119–131 and AIG bailout, 128–130 credit default swaps in, 126–128 and derivatives, 122–124 Federal Reserve’s role in, 30 losses from, 131 S&L industry, 95–97, 110, 191 Small businesses, 144–147, 183–184 Smoot-Hawley Tariff Act, 205 Social Security, 8, 199–204 South Financial, 237 South Korea, 247 Soviet Union, 34, 195–196, 252, 254 S&P (see Standard & Poor’s) Spain, 51, 52, 77 Spitzer, Eliot, 71, 134–135, 151 Stagflation, 181, 208 Standard & Poor’s (S&P), 81–87 investor confidence, 84–87 misratings by, 82–84, 101, 125, 126 and SEC, 81–82, 149–150 Standard of living, 6–7, 10, 161, 177 Start-up banks, 38–39 State home foreclosure laws, 77–80 Stimulus plan, 181–182 Stock options, expensing of, 114–117 Stocks, shorting, 127–128, 151 Stress tests, banks, 171 Subprime lending: and CRA, 56–57 by Fannie Mae and Freddie Mac, 99–101 and racial discrimination in lending study, 43 Subprime mortgage bonds, 82–87 Substandard loans, 140–141 SunTrust, 152, 237 Suspicious Activity Reports (SARs), 136 Tails (mathematical models), 137 TARP (see Troubled Asset Relief Program) Tax rate, 196–197 Tea Party Movement, 218, 231 Technology industry, 5 “Too-big-to-fail” firms, 130, 173, 193 Trader principle, 92, 223–224 Troubled Asset Relief Program (TARP), 167–175 and 2008 panic, 165 and FDIC, 37 Underwriters Laboratories, 117, 150 Unemployment, 207–213 in economic recovery, 207–208 and minimum-wage laws, 209–212 and misinvestment in residential real estate, 10–11 and monetary policy, 208–209 Unemployment insurance, 212–213 Unions, 179, 180, 212 United Auto Workers, 179, 180 United States: demographic problem in, 228 economic future of, 8, 227–230, 252–253 educational system of, 230–235 founding concepts of, 219–220 as free trade zone, 204–205 GDP of China vs., 183 mixed economy of, 5–6 public schools of, 233–235 university system of, 230–233 United Way, 224, 241 University system, 230–233 U.S.


pages: 576 words: 105,655

Austerity: The History of a Dangerous Idea by Mark Blyth

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accounting loophole / creative accounting, balance sheet recession, bank run, banking crisis, Black Swan, Bretton Woods, capital controls, Carmen Reinhart, Celtic Tiger, central bank independence, centre right, collateralized debt obligation, correlation does not imply causation, credit crunch, Credit Default Swap, credit default swaps / collateralized debt obligations, currency peg, debt deflation, deindustrialization, disintermediation, diversification, en.wikipedia.org, ending welfare as we know it, Eugene Fama: efficient market hypothesis, eurozone crisis, financial repression, fixed income, floating exchange rates, Fractional reserve banking, full employment, German hyperinflation, Gini coefficient, global reserve currency, Growth in a Time of Debt, Hyman Minsky, income inequality, interest rate swap, invisible hand, Irish property bubble, Joseph Schumpeter, Kenneth Rogoff, liquidationism / Banker’s doctrine / the Treasury view, Long Term Capital Management, market bubble, market clearing, Martin Wolf, moral hazard, mortgage debt, mortgage tax deduction, Occupy movement, offshore financial centre, paradox of thrift, price stability, quantitative easing, rent-seeking, reserve currency, road to serfdom, savings glut, short selling, structural adjustment programs, The Great Moderation, The Myth of the Rational Market, The Wealth of Nations by Adam Smith, Tobin tax, too big to fail, unorthodox policies, value at risk, Washington Consensus

When this happens, banks either borrow money to stay liquid and halt the panic or they go under. The repo market emerged in the 1980s when traditional banks lost market share because of a process called “disintermediation.”6 Banks, as intermediaries, traditionally sit in the middle of someone else’s prospective business, connecting borrowers and lenders, for example, and charging fees for doing so. Before disintermediation, banks engaged in what was often called “3-6-3 banking”: they would borrow at 3 percent, lend at 6 percent, and hit the golf course by 3 p.m. It was safe, steady, and dull. But as financial markets became more deregulated in the 1980s, large corporations began to use their own cash reserves, lending them to one another directly—they disintermediated—bypassing banks and squeezing bank profits. What further squeezed 3-6-3 banking was a parallel process called securitization.

But if the whole system had melted down as was feared, the immediate cost could have been the sum of those bank assets, some 61 percent of GDP, which does not factor in the secondary costs in lost output, unemployment, and the damage that you can do with 70 million handguns. The crisis started in America because this system had become too big to fail. Banking was transformed from its sleepy 3-6-3 origins. Disintermediation, securitization, and the rise of repo markets made funding cheaper and lending more plentiful but riskier. Those risks were supposed to be controlled by financial derivatives and risk-management tools, but instead these technologies seemed to amplify and spread, rather than reduce and control, the risk in the system. We were blinded to the possibility of crisis, as both the regulators and the regulated accepted the logic of efficient markets, rational expectations, Ricardian equivalence, and all the rest, as a description of the actual world rather than a stylized theory about the world.

These efforts to get us out of this mess may not be popular, but one, or both, is coming. The End of Banking The story of the crisis reconstructed in chapters 2 and 3 can, and perhaps should, be seen in a bigger context. At the end of the Bretton Woods era, when the United States finally went off gold in 1971, states around the world had to adjust to what Eric Helleiner has called “the reemergence of global finance.”3 Floating exchange rates, deregulation, disintermediation, and the rest, which made finance the most profitable sector of the American and British economies by the 2000s, was the new order of things. But what was it all really based upon? After all, finance is most properly thought of as a part of the information system of the economy: linking borrowers and lenders while sitting in the middle collecting a fee. It’s not an industry in the traditional sense, and it certainly should not have been producing 40 percent of corporate profits in the United States on the eve of the crisis—so why was it able to do just that?


pages: 179 words: 43,441

The Fourth Industrial Revolution by Klaus Schwab

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3D printing, additive manufacturing, Airbnb, Amazon Mechanical Turk, Amazon Web Services, augmented reality, autonomous vehicles, barriers to entry, Baxter: Rethink Robotics, bitcoin, blockchain, Buckminster Fuller, call centre, clean water, collaborative consumption, conceptual framework, continuous integration, crowdsourcing, disintermediation, distributed ledger, Edward Snowden, Elon Musk, epigenetics, Erik Brynjolfsson, future of work, global value chain, Google Glasses, income inequality, Internet Archive, Internet of things, invention of the steam engine, job automation, job satisfaction, John Maynard Keynes: Economic Possibilities for our Grandchildren, John Maynard Keynes: technological unemployment, life extension, Lyft, megacity, meta analysis, meta-analysis, more computing power than Apollo, mutually assured destruction, Narrative Science, Network effects, Nicholas Carr, personalized medicine, precariat, precision agriculture, Productivity paradox, race to the bottom, randomized controlled trial, reshoring, RFID, rising living standards, Second Machine Age, secular stagnation, self-driving car, sharing economy, Silicon Valley, smart cities, smart contracts, software as a service, Stephen Hawking, Steve Jobs, Steven Levy, Stuxnet, The Spirit Level, total factor productivity, transaction costs, Uber and Lyft, Watson beat the top human players on Jeopardy!, WikiLeaks, winner-take-all economy, women in the workforce, working-age population, Y Combinator, Zipcar

http://www.automotiveworld.com/analysis/automotive-grade-graphene-clock-ticking/ 7 Sarah Laskow, “The Strongest, Most Expensive Material on Earth”, The Atlantic, http://www.theatlantic.com/technology/archive/2014/09/the-strongest-most-expensive-material-on-earth/380601/ 8 Some of the technologies are described in greater detail in: Bernard Meyerson, “Top 10 Technologies of 2015”, Meta-Council on Emerging Technologies, World Economic Forum, 4 March 2015. https://agenda.weforum.org/2015/03/top-10-emerging-technologies-of-2015-2/ 9 Tom Goodwin, “In the age of disintermediation the battle is all for the consumer interface”, TechCrunch, March 2015. http://techcrunch.com/2015/03/03/in-the-age-of-disintermediation-the-battle-is-all-for-the-customer-interface/ 10 K.A. Wetterstrand, “DNA Sequencing Costs: Data from the NHGRI Genome Sequencing Program (GSP)”, National Human Genome Research Institute, 2 October 2015. http://www.genome.gov/sequencingcosts/ 11 Ariana Eunjung Cha, “Watson’s Next Feat? Taking on Cancer”, The Washington Post, 27 June 2015.

Many senior executives expect industry convergence to be the primary force impacting their business in the next three to five years.39 Once a customer has established a track record of trust and confidence on the platform, it becomes easy for the digital provider to offer other products and services. Fast-moving competitors provoke a disaggregation of the more traditional industry silos and value chains, and also disintermediate the existing relationship between businesses and their customers. New disruptors can rapidly scale at a much lower cost than the incumbents, generating in the process a rapid growth in their financial returns through network effects. Amazon’s evolution from a bookseller to a $100 billion a year retail conglomerate shows how customer loyalty, combined with insights on preferences and solid execution can lead to selling across multiple industries.

In “The Robot Reality: Service Jobs Are Next to Go”, Blaire Briody, 26 March 2013, The Fiscal Times, http://www.cnbc.com/id/100592545 Shift 16: Bitcoin and the Blockchain The tipping point: 10% of global gross domestic product (GDP) stored on blockchain technology By 2025: 58% of respondents expected this tipping point to have occurred Bitcoin and digital currencies are based on the idea of a distributed trust mechanism called the “blockchain”, a way of keeping track of trusted transactions in a distributed fashion. Currently, the total worth of bitcoin in the blockchain is around $20 billion, or about 0.025% of global GDP of around $80 trillion. Positive impacts – Increased financial inclusion in emerging markets, as financial services on the blockchain gain critical mass – Disintermediation of financial institutions, as new services and value exchanges are created directly on the blockchain – An explosion in tradable assets, as all kinds of value exchange can be hosted on the blockchain – Better property records in emerging markets, and the ability to make everything a tradable asset – Contacts and legal services increasingly tied to code linked to the blockchain, to be used as unbreakable escrow or programmatically designed smart contracts – Increased transparency, as the blockchain is essentially a global ledger storing all transactions The shift in action Smartcontracts.com provides programmable contracts that do payouts between two parties once certain criteria have been met, without involving a middleman.


pages: 448 words: 142,946

Sacred Economics: Money, Gift, and Society in the Age of Transition by Charles Eisenstein

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Albert Einstein, back-to-the-land, bank run, Bernie Madoff, big-box store, Bretton Woods, capital controls, clean water, collateralized debt obligation, credit crunch, David Ricardo: comparative advantage, debt deflation, deindustrialization, delayed gratification, disintermediation, diversification, fiat currency, financial independence, financial intermediation, floating exchange rates, Fractional reserve banking, full employment, global supply chain, happiness index / gross national happiness, hydraulic fracturing, informal economy, invisible hand, Jane Jacobs, land tenure, Lao Tzu, liquidity trap, lump of labour, McMansion, means of production, money: store of value / unit of account / medium of exchange, moral hazard, mortgage debt, new economy, oil shale / tar sands, Own Your Own Home, peak oil, phenotype, Ponzi scheme, profit motive, quantitative easing, race to the bottom, Scramble for Africa, special drawing rights, spinning jenny, technoutopianism, the built environment, Thomas Malthus, too big to fail

All of these changes cause economic shrinkage: fewer “goods” such as roads, gasoline, lumber, and so on are needed. With more vibrant public spaces, people also have less need to live in huge private spaces. People living in community depend less on externally produced entertainment and have more occasion to share and assist each other. All of that means a decrease in money-mediated activity. DISINTERMEDIATION AND THE P2P REVOLUTION Another source of economic shrinkage is the disintermediation that the internet has made possible. Disintermediation refers to the elimination of intermediaries: agents, brokers, middlemen, and so forth. Consider the example of Craigslist, which according to one estimate has destroyed $10 billion of annual revenue from classified ads, replacing it with only $100 million of its own revenues.5 Google has also made advertising more efficient (cheaper), not only seizing ad revenue from existing media but also reducing total industrywide advertising expenditures.

Similarly, the blogosphere has taken over many of the functions of traditional news distribution, but again at much less cost. The same is true of travel agency, stock brokerage, and many other industries where brokers and agents are no longer necessary. All of these factors contribute to economic deflation. Disintermediation and open source software are both part of a more general phenomenon: the peer-to-peer (P2P) revolution. The older hierarchical and centralized structures of distribution, circulation, and production required a lot of money and human effort to administer. Moreover, their very nature isolated people from each other within narrow specialties, making gift exchange impossible. Disintermediation is even affecting the credit system and subverting banks’ traditional role as financial intermediaries connecting investors and borrowers. Corporations bypass banks by obtaining financing directly from money markets, while new P2P lending websites such as LendingClub and Prosper.com now allow individuals to borrow directly from each other.

TABLE OF CONTENTS Cover Title Page Copyright Dedication Author’s Note Introduction PART I: THE ECONOMICS OF SEPARATION Chapter 1: The Gift World Chapter 2: The Illusion of Scarcity Chapter 3: Money and the Mind Chapter 4: The Trouble with Property Chapter 5: The Corpse of the Commons Cultural and Spiritual Capital The Strip-Mining of Community The Creation of Needs The Money Power Chapter 6: The Economics of Usury An Economic Parable The Growth Imperative The Concentration of Wealth Wealth Redistribution and Class War Inflation More for You Is Less for Me Chapter 7: The Crisis of Civilization Chapter 8: The Turning of the Age Money: Story and Magic Humanity’s Coming-of-Age Ordeal PART II: THE ECONOMICS OF REUNION Chapter 9: The Story of Value Chapter 10: The Law of Return Chapter 11: Currencies of the Commons Chapter 12: Negative-Interest Economics History and Background Modern Application and Theory The Debt Crisis: Opportunity for Transition Thinking for the Future More for Me Is More for You Chapter 13: Steady-State and Degrowth Economics Sustainability Reconsidered Transition to Steady-State: Bump or Crash? Shrinking Money, Growing Wealth Disintermediation and the P2P Revolution Chapter 14: The Social Dividend The Paradox of Leisure The Obsolescence of “Jobs” The Will to Work Who Shall Remove the Garbage? Chapter 15: Local and Complementary Currency The Catch-22 of Local Currency Experiments in Local Money Reclaiming the Credit Commons Chapter 16: Transition to Gift Economy Chapter 17: Summary and Roadmap 1. Negative-Interest Currency 2.


pages: 606 words: 157,120

To Save Everything, Click Here: The Folly of Technological Solutionism by Evgeny Morozov

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3D printing, algorithmic trading, Amazon Mechanical Turk, Andrew Keen, augmented reality, Automated Insights, Berlin Wall, big data - Walmart - Pop Tarts, Buckminster Fuller, call centre, carbon footprint, Cass Sunstein, choice architecture, citizen journalism, cloud computing, cognitive bias, crowdsourcing, data acquisition, Dava Sobel, disintermediation, East Village, en.wikipedia.org, Fall of the Berlin Wall, Filter Bubble, Firefox, Francis Fukuyama: the end of history, frictionless, future of journalism, game design, Gary Taubes, Google Glasses, illegal immigration, income inequality, invention of the printing press, Jane Jacobs, Jean Tirole, Jeff Bezos, jimmy wales, Julian Assange, Kevin Kelly, Kickstarter, license plate recognition, lone genius, Louis Pasteur, Mark Zuckerberg, market fundamentalism, Marshall McLuhan, Narrative Science, Nicholas Carr, packet switching, PageRank, Paul Graham, Peter Singer: altruism, Peter Thiel, pets.com, placebo effect, pre–internet, Ray Kurzweil, recommendation engine, Richard Thaler, Ronald Coase, Rosa Parks, self-driving car, Silicon Valley, Silicon Valley ideology, Silicon Valley startup, Skype, Slavoj Žižek, smart meter, social graph, social web, stakhanovite, Steve Jobs, Steven Levy, Stuxnet, technoutopianism, the built environment, The Chicago School, The Death and Life of Great American Cities, the medium is the message, The Nature of the Firm, the scientific method, The Wisdom of Crowds, Thomas Kuhn: the structure of scientific revolutions, Thomas L Friedman, transaction costs, urban decay, urban planning, urban sprawl, Vannevar Bush, WikiLeaks

As far as intermediaries go, this sounds very impressive: a single Californian company makes decisions over what counts as hate speech and profanity for some of the world’s most popular sites without anyone ever examining whether its own algorithms might be biased or excessively conservative. Instead of celebrating the mythical nirvana of disintermediation, we should peer inside the black boxes of Impermium’s spam algorithms. The belief in the emancipatory potential of disintermediation is most pronounced in the vast literature on the future of book publishing, a field that is itself constantly defying the trends it predicts (someone ought to publish a book about the doomsayers who keep publishing books about the end of publishing). The questions occasioned by the Internet-centrist perception of a new epoch are many: Who needs libraries and bookstores when books can be borrowed and bought online?

., 44. 164 “Better-targeted ads produce economic benefits”: Matthew Yglesias, “Me Want Cookies!,” Slate, March 5, 2012, http://www.slate.com/articles/business/moneybox/2012/03/apple_vs_google_the_war_over_third_party_cookies_.html. 164 “in a world of user tracking”: ibid. 165 easily one of the ugliest words in the English language: I’ve discussed the myth of disintermediation in a Slate column, from which this section partly draws. See Evgeny Morozov, “Muzzled by the Bots,” Slate, October 26, 2012, http://www.slate.com/articles/technology/future_tense/2012/10/disintermediation_we_aren_t_seeing_fewer_gatekeepers_we_re_seeing_more.html . 165 The company claims to have developed a technology: Mark Risher, “The Dark Side of Social: Protect Your Brand from Abusive Social Spam,” The Allied Front (Impermium’s corporate blog), October 10, 2012, http://www.impermium.com/blog/2012/10/10/the-dark-side-of-social-protect-your-brand-from-abusive-social-spam. 166 “is chock-full of books”: Jeff Bezos, “The Power of Invention,” SEC.gov, April 2012, http://sec.gov/Archives/edgar/data/1018724/000119312512161812/d329990dex991.htm. 167 The Shock of the Old: David Edgerton, Shock of the Old: Technology and Global History Since 1900 (London: Profile Books, 2011), 35. 167 A study by a team of Scandinavian researchers: Karl-Erik Sveiby, Pernilla Gripenberg, and Beata Segercrantz, eds., “The Unintended and Undesirable Consequences: Neglected by Innovation Research,” in Challenging the Innovation Paradigm (London: Routledge, 2012). 168 “The innovator was a heretic”: Benoit Godin, “Kοτομία: An Old Word for a New World, or the De-Contestation of a Political and Contested Concept,” in ibid., Challenging the Innovation Paradigm, 37. 168 “Innovation got a positive hearing”: ibid., 53. 169 “Depending on what is created”: Allen Buchanan, Tony Cole, and Robert O.

Yglesias’s is a fairy tale that, in some abstract quest for efficiency, overlooks the actual dynamics of the contemporary digital publishing world and operates simply by projecting the positive features of a technology—targeted advertising in this case—onto some highly theoretical economic model of the world. “Down with the Gatekeepers!” . . . Say the Gatekeepers Faith in the neutrality, objectivity, and self-evidence of filters and algorithms is not the high point of cybernaïveté, though. That dubious honor goes to the widespread belief that “the Internet” is ridding us of gatekeepers and intermediaries. “Disintermediation”—easily one of the ugliest words in the English language—is often heralded as the defining feature of the digital age. Thanks to innovative new technologies, middlemen of all stripes are believed to be going the way of the dodo. Once editors, publishers, and bookstores wither, the story goes, our public life will finally be liberated from their biases, inefficiencies, and hidden agendas. There are elements of truth to this, but we shouldn’t miss a far more important and less visible development: the digitization of our public life is also giving rise to many new intermediaries that are mostly invisible—and possibly suspect.


pages: 361 words: 81,068

The Internet Is Not the Answer by Andrew Keen

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3D printing, A Declaration of the Independence of Cyberspace, Airbnb, AltaVista, Andrew Keen, augmented reality, Bay Area Rapid Transit, Berlin Wall, bitcoin, Black Swan, Burning Man, Cass Sunstein, citizen journalism, Clayton Christensen, clean water, cloud computing, collective bargaining, Colonization of Mars, computer age, connected car, cuban missile crisis, David Brooks, disintermediation, Downton Abbey, Edward Snowden, Elon Musk, Erik Brynjolfsson, Fall of the Berlin Wall, Filter Bubble, Francis Fukuyama: the end of history, Frank Gehry, Frederick Winslow Taylor, frictionless, full employment, future of work, gig economy, global village, Google bus, Google Glasses, Hacker Ethic, happiness index / gross national happiness, income inequality, index card, informal economy, information trail, Innovator's Dilemma, Internet of things, Isaac Newton, Jaron Lanier, Jeff Bezos, job automation, Joseph Schumpeter, Julian Assange, Kevin Kelly, Kickstarter, Kodak vs Instagram, Lean Startup, libertarian paternalism, Lyft, Mark Zuckerberg, Marshall McLuhan, Martin Wolf, move fast and break things, Nate Silver, Network effects, new economy, Nicholas Carr, nonsequential writing, Norbert Wiener, Occupy movement, packet switching, PageRank, Paul Graham, Peter Thiel, Plutocrats, plutocrats, Potemkin village, precariat, pre–internet, RAND corporation, Ray Kurzweil, ride hailing / ride sharing, Second Machine Age, self-driving car, sharing economy, Silicon Valley, Silicon Valley ideology, Skype, smart cities, Snapchat, social web, South of Market, San Francisco, Steve Jobs, Steve Wozniak, Steven Levy, Stewart Brand, TaskRabbit, Ted Nelson, telemarketer, the medium is the message, Thomas L Friedman, Tyler Cowen: Great Stagnation, Uber for X, urban planning, Vannevar Bush, Whole Earth Catalog, WikiLeaks, winner-take-all economy, working poor, Y Combinator

Phrases like “media democracy,” “the democratization of media,” and “democratic media” were chanted ad nauseam by the young white male FOO Campers. The speeches—or the “conversation,” to use the digitally correct term—were all variations upon a single theme. What can help us create a better world in the digital age? everyone at FOO Camp asked. The Internet was the answer, they all agreed, because it “democratized” media, giving a voice to everyone, thereby making it more diverse. By “disintermediating” traditional media, FOO Campers all agreed, Web 2.0 companies like YouTube, Flickr, Blogger, and Wikipedia circumvented what they pejoratively called “the gatekeepers”—those guys like Larry Kay, my old boss at Fi, who had historically controlled the printing presses, recording studios, and movie studios. What was particularly annoying about FOO Camp was how all the powerful, wealthy campers—from Silicon Valley investors to entrepreneurs to technologists—assumed that their self-interest in transforming the Web into a platform for user-generated content automatically squared with the general interest of everybody else in the world.

In Spain, eighteen thousand people used Twitter in May 2014 to post tweets with a hateful anti-Semitic hashtag after a Madrid team was beaten by Maccabi Tel Aviv in the final of the European basketball tournament.32 It wasn’t, of course, supposed to turn out this way. According to Internet evangelists like Jay Rosen, Tim O’Reilly, and the FOO Camp unestablishment, the Internet’s so-called disintermediation of media gatekeepers would inspire a democratic enlightenment in which anyone could voice their opinion online through free networks like Reddit, Twitter, or Facebook. The old media, they said, was parochial, self-interested, and sexist; new media, in contrast, would reflect a broad diversity of opinion outside the stuffy old elites at the New York Times, the BBC, and CNN. Old media represented power and privilege, they claimed; new media would empower the weak, the unfortunate, those traditionally without a voice.

Back then, you’ll remember, it was believed that networked technology could enable anyone to become the owner of a vast record store. Now, with 3-D printers, we can supposedly set up factories in our own homes and, with the appropriate software, create anything we like. Technology is once again the great liberator. And, inevitably, Chris Anderson has written a book hyping a revolution that supposedly “empowers” us to “disintermediate” the industrial factory and manufacture our own products. In his 2012 manifesto, Makers, Anderson, spouting an unholy mashup of libertarianism and Marxism, argues that this “new industrial revolution” democratizes the tools of invention and production. Now that the digital revolution has “reached the workshop, the lair of Real Stuff,” Anderson breathlessly promises us, it will have “its greatest impact yet.”63 Makers of the world unite!


pages: 271 words: 52,814

Blockchain: Blueprint for a New Economy by Melanie Swan

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23andMe, Airbnb, altcoin, Amazon Web Services, asset allocation, banking crisis, bioinformatics, bitcoin, blockchain, capital controls, cellular automata, central bank independence, clean water, cloud computing, collaborative editing, Conway's Game of Life, crowdsourcing, cryptocurrency, disintermediation, Edward Snowden, en.wikipedia.org, ethereum blockchain, fault tolerance, fiat currency, financial innovation, Firefox, friendly AI, Hernando de Soto, Internet Archive, Internet of things, Khan Academy, Kickstarter, litecoin, Lyft, M-Pesa, microbiome, Network effects, new economy, peer-to-peer lending, personalized medicine, post scarcity, prediction markets, ride hailing / ride sharing, Satoshi Nakamoto, Search for Extraterrestrial Intelligence, SETI@home, sharing economy, Skype, smart cities, smart contracts, smart grid, software as a service, technological singularity, Turing complete, unbanked and underbanked, underbanked, web application, WikiLeaks

This is obviously useful for organizations like WikiLeaks (where national governments prevented credit card processors from accepting donations in the sensitive Edward Snowden situation) as well as organizations that are transnational in scope and neutral in political outlook, like Internet standards group ICANN and DNS services. Beyond these situations in which a public interest must transcend governmental power structures, other industry sectors and classes can be freed from skewed regulatory and licensing schemes subject to the hierarchical power structures and influence of strongly backed special interest groups on governments, enabling new disintermediated business models. Even though regulation spurred by the institutional lobby has effectively crippled consumer genome services,3 newer sharing economy models like Airbnb and Uber have been standing up strongly in legal attacks from incumbents.4 In addition to economic and political benefits, the coordination, record keeping, and irrevocability of transactions using blockchain technology are features that could be as fundamental for forward progress in society as the Magna Carta or the Rosetta Stone.

Users can trust the system of the public ledger stored worldwide on many different decentralized nodes maintained by “miner-accountants,” as opposed to having to establish and maintain trust with the transaction counterparty (another person) or a third-party intermediary (like a bank). The blockchain as the architecture for a new system of decentralized trustless transactions is the key innovation. The blockchain allows the disintermediation and decentralization of all transactions of any type between all parties on a global basis. The blockchain is like another application layer to run on the existing stack of Internet protocols, adding an entire new tier to the Internet to enable economic transactions, both immediate digital currency payments (in a universally usable cryptocurrency) and longer-term, more complicated financial contracts.

Blockchain 3.0: Justice Applications Beyond Currency, Economics, and Markets Blockchain Technology Is a New and Highly Effective Model for Organizing Activity Not only is there the possibility that blockchain technology could reinvent every category of monetary markets, payments, financial services, and economics, but it might also offer similar reconfiguration possibilities to all industries, and even more broadly, to nearly all areas of human endeavor. The blockchain is fundamentally a new paradigm for organizing activity with less friction and more efficiency, and at much greater scale than current paradigms. It is not just that blockchain technology is decentralized and that decentralization as a general model can work well now because there is a liquid enough underlying network with the Web interconnecting all humans, including for disintermediated transactions: blockchain technology affords a universal and global scope and scale that was previously impossible. This can be true for resource allocation, in particular to allow for increasingly automated resource allocation of physical-world assets and also human assets. Blockchain technology facilitates the coordination and acknowledgment of all manner of human interaction, facilitating a higher order of collaboration and possibly paving the way for human/machine interaction.


pages: 254 words: 14,795

Poorly Made in China: An Insider's Account of the Tactics Behind China's Production Game by Paul Midler

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barriers to entry, corporate social responsibility, currency peg, Deng Xiaoping, disintermediation, full employment, illegal immigration, new economy, out of africa, price discrimination, unpaid internship, urban planning

Business know-how did not only involve product specifications; it also involved the knowledge of who the players in the industry were. Johnson Carter was working with most of the biggest retailers in the country. This included supermarkets, drugstores, and discount chains—all of which were willing to sell soap and shampoo products made in China. The factory wanted access to these players; at the same time, retailers also got it in their heads that they could disintermediate or remove the importer. When disintermediation took place, it tended to benefit the Chinese company more often. An importer who was purchasing a product at $2.25, for example, might have sold that product to a retailer for $4.40. The retailer then got the idea: I’ll go around the importer, straight P1: OTA/XYZ P2: ABC c22 JWBT075/Midler February 11, 2009 13:10 Printer Name: Courier Westford, Westford, MA Profit Zero to his supplier, and I’ll pick up the same product for $2.25.

Chinese factories could take any product and move it quickly into production (“All we need is your sample”), and they showed an incredible willingness and enthusiasm for getting a relationship started. Many of those new importers streaming into China did not necessarily have prior experience in international trade. They were P1: OTA/XYZ P2: ABC c03 JWBT075/Midler March 29, 2009 13:52 Printer Name: Courier Westford, Westford, MA “All We Need Is Your Sample” in some cases retailers and distributors who decided to disintermediate those agents who had previously sourced merchandise for them. Others were coming from completely unrelated industries. Many were leaving professional careers to jump into the trade game. To do business in China required no special business license or certification. China manufacturing required no tests or qualifications, and traders were arriving—and often staying—on simple tourist visas that could be extended without difficulty.

Once the supplier and the retailer had burned their bridge, the supplier was then, of course, free to raise prices further. Johnson Carter had customers that were looking to go around it to purchase direct, but the importer held a key advantage that its customers did not; it had buying power. In the area of private label soap and shampoo products, Johnson Carter bought in larger volumes than any one of its customers. Companies that disintermediated the middleman quite often suffered, if only because they did not have as much volume. Manufacturers naturally welcomed the possibility of customers losing buying power because it gave them the chance to charge more for their products. Manufacturers entered into business relationships where they earned almost no profit, knowing that they could find a profit opportunity down the road. China’s nonperforming loan ratio was high, in part because lenders were passing out cheap money in support of this profit zero strategy—and it did work.


pages: 421 words: 110,406

Platform Revolution: How Networked Markets Are Transforming the Economy--And How to Make Them Work for You by Sangeet Paul Choudary, Marshall W. van Alstyne, Geoffrey G. Parker

Amazon: amazon.comamazon.co.ukamazon.deamazon.fr

3D printing, Affordable Care Act / Obamacare, Airbnb, Amazon Mechanical Turk, Amazon Web Services, Andrei Shleifer, Apple's 1984 Super Bowl advert, autonomous vehicles, barriers to entry, big data - Walmart - Pop Tarts, bitcoin, blockchain, business process, buy low sell high, chief data officer, clean water, cloud computing, connected car, corporate governance, crowdsourcing, data acquisition, data is the new oil, discounted cash flows, disintermediation, Edward Glaeser, Elon Musk, en.wikipedia.org, Erik Brynjolfsson, financial innovation, Haber-Bosch Process, High speed trading, Internet of things, inventory management, invisible hand, Jean Tirole, Jeff Bezos, jimmy wales, Khan Academy, Kickstarter, Lean Startup, Lyft, market design, multi-sided market, Network effects, new economy, payday loans, peer-to-peer lending, Peter Thiel, pets.com, pre–internet, price mechanism, recommendation engine, RFID, Richard Stallman, ride hailing / ride sharing, Ronald Coase, Satoshi Nakamoto, self-driving car, shareholder value, sharing economy, side project, Silicon Valley, Skype, smart contracts, smart grid, Snapchat, software is eating the world, Steve Jobs, TaskRabbit, The Chicago School, the payments system, Tim Cook: Apple, transaction costs, two-sided market, Uber and Lyft, Uber for X, winner-take-all economy, Zipcar

Now Waterfind is setting up a subsidiary based in Sacramento, hoping to apply the same platform-based solution to American agriculture.11 Re-intermediation. During the first stage of Internet-driven disruption, many business commentators predicted that the biggest impact of the new information and communication technologies would be widespread disintermediation—the elimination of middlemen, or intermediate layers, from industries, establishing direct connections between producers and consumers. Experts pointed to the decline of traditional businesses like travel agents and insurance brokers, as consumers learned to shop for airline tickets and insurance policies without intermediaries. The same process of disintermediation was expected to sweep many other industries over time. The reality has proven to be somewhat different. Across numerous industries, platforms have repeatedly re-intermediated markets, introducing new kinds of middlemen rather than simply eliminating layers of market participants.

Bill Gurley, “A Rake Too Far: Optimal Platform Pricing Strategy,” Above the Crowd, April 18, 2013, http://abovethecrowd.com/2013/04/18/a-rake-too-far-optimal-platformpricing-strategy/. 2. Thomas Steenburgh, Jill Avery, and Naseem Dahod, “HubSpot: Inbound Marketing and Web 2.0,” Harvard Business School Case 509-049, 2009. 3. Tom Goodwin, “The Battle Is for the Customer Interface,” TechCrunch, March 3, 2015, http://techcrunch.com/2015/03/03/in-the-age-of-disintermediation-the-battle-is-all-for-the-customer-interface/. CHAPTER 2: NETWORK EFFECTS 1. Aswath Damodaran, “Uber Isn’t Worth $17 Billion,” FiveThirty- EightEconomics, June 18, 2014, http://fivethirtyeight.com/features/uber-isnt-worth-17-billion/. 2. Bill Gurley, “How to Miss By a Mile: An Alternative Look at Uber’s Potential Market Size,” Above the Crowd, July 11, 2014, http://abovethecrowd.com/2014/07/11/how-to-miss-by-a-mile-an-alternative-look-at-ubers-potential-market-size/. 3.

., 58, 178–79 Damodaran, Aswath, 16–18 data: accountability based on, 253–56 aggregators for, 141, 145–46, 244–48, 254, 255, 262–63, 278 big, 11, 247–48, 276 brokers of, 244–45 capture and collection of, 218–19, 264, 296 in communications, 176–78 flow of, 170, 246–48 leveraging of, 217–20 manipulation of, 251–53 in nationalism, 247–48, 260 platforms for, 200 profiles derived from, 48, 119, 127 security of, 230, 243–46, 260 software for, 91–92, 107, 255, 269, 270–71, 275, 276–77, 278, 284, 286 storage of, 54, 56, 56, 59, 102, 171–73, 177–78 strategic, 217–20 tactical, 217–18 tools for, 10–11, 48, 49, 71 databases, 24–25, 42–44, 63, 72–75, 76, 91–92, 107 “Data Brokers: A Call for Transparency and Accountability,” 245 Data.gov, 283 Data Jams, 282 dating services, 26–28, 30, 93, 97–98, 120, 123, 166, 194 De Beers, 208–9 decentralization, 159, 171–73, 272–74 deep design, 179–80 defaults, 170, 263, 276 Delicious, 95–96 demand-side economies of scale, 18–20, 32, 34, 226 democracy, 149–50, 257, 283 department stores, 264, 287 designers, graphic, 66, 72, 106, 118–19, 267 design structure matrices, 57–58 diabetes, 269–70 diamond industry, 208–9 digital currency, 171, 274–78 digital message deliveries, 94–95 digital real estate, 174–75, 216 digital rights management (DRM), 31 Diners Club, 84 direct-to-consumer channels, 264 discounts, 22, 25–26 disintermediation, 68–69, 71–72, 78, 161–62, 170–71, 298 disk defragmentation, 200 dispute resolution, 169–70 Djankov, Simeon, 238, 239 doctors, 263, 268, 269, 271, 279 Dorsey, Jack, 97 dot-com bubble, x, 22, 79, 80, 113, 288 Dribbble, 37, 66, 118–19 driverless cars, 284 driver ratings, 254, 264 driving records, 232–33, 277 Dropbox, 32, 102, 109 Drucker, Peter, 210 drug trafficking, 162 Duhigg, Charles, 146 Duracell, 162 DVDs, 63, 111, 139 e-commerce, 56, 91, 111, 124–25, 145, 204–5 Earth Class Mail, 94–95 eBay, vii, ix, 2, 3, 17, 24, 36, 38, 40, 83–84, 85, 91, 93, 111, 112–13, 125, 135, 161–62, 163, 169–71, 172, 173, 196n, 205, 206, 207, 215, 262 economics, 72, 78, 230, 234–39 economies of scale, 18–20, 206 Edison, Thomas, 19, 284 editors, 7, 10, 68, 72, 93, 129–30, 262 education, 7–8, 77, 96, 111, 122, 124, 212, 233, 261, 263, 265–68, 269, 288, 289 education platforms, 96, 111, 265–68, 289 Eisenmann, Thomas R., ix, 130 electric lighting, 19, 285 electric power, 19, 69, 247, 284–85 Electronic Arts (EA), 94, 124, 240 electronic health records, 270 electronics, 75, 178, 206 email, 81, 85, 101–4, 185 Encyclopaedia Britannica, 10–11 encyclopaedias, 10–11, 129–30, 133, 149–51 Endomondo, 75 end-to-end design principle, 52–54 energy: efficiency of, 254, 284–85, 286 industry for, 261, 272–74, 289 resources of, 69–70, 254, 272–74 enhanced access, 112, 118, 119–21, 126, 127, 296 enhanced curation, 121–22, 126–27 enhanced design, 223–24 enterprise management, 173–75 enterprise resource planning (ERP), 11 entrepreneurs, 79–83, 86, 96, 111, 205, 282 environmental issues, 62, 70–71, 233, 237, 272, 274 Equal Credit Opportunity Act (1974), 243–44 Equity Bank, 277–78 e-readers, 178 eToys, 22 Etsy, 65, 73, 149, 212, 262, 299 European Union (EU), 242, 247–48 events listings, 112–15, 126 Excel, 216 excess inertia, 241, 296 exclusive access, 213–15 expert networks, 30, 36, 68, 93, 96, 99, 117–18 extension developers, 141, 142–45, 147, 148–49, 153–54 external networks, 100–101, 102, 103–4, 105 Facebook, 3, 12, 20, 32, 33, 37, 39, 41–50, 66, 90–91, 98–103, 104, 112, 121, 126, 131–35, 132, 133, 145, 151, 159, 163, 168, 181, 184, 185, 197, 204, 216–18, 221, 226, 245, 251–52, 267, 270–71 Fair Credit Reporting Act (1970), 175 fairness, 179–81, 230 fair use doctrine, 259 farm prices, 42–44, 60 FarmVille, 221 Fasal, 42–44 Federal Reserve, 174 Federal Trade Commission (FTC), 242, 243–44, 245 FedEx, 61, 249–50, 278 feedback loops, 21, 28, 45–46, 68, 71, 72, 100–101, 108, 139, 167–70, 218–19, 223, 296 feet on street (FOS) sales forces, 43–44, 91 files, 63, 166 encryption of, 200 formats for, 29–30 film industry, 9, 66, 138–39, 163, 178, 259, 267 filters, 38–41, 42, 59, 133, 295, 296–97 financial crash of 2008, 178, 230 financial services industry, 11, 16–18, 33, 164, 171–73, 178, 230, 261, 274–78, 289 fitness and sports activities, 74–76, 245, 270–71 five forces model, 207–10, 212, 213, 221 500px, 37, 47 Fiverr, 116, 193 fixed costs, 9–10, 209, 224–25, 278 follow-the-rabbit strategy, 89–91, 105 food industry, 76, 254, 255, 278 Ford, Henry, 19, 32 Ford Motor Co., 19 Fortune 500, 65 Foursquare, 97, 98 fragmented industries, 131, 262, 265, 268–69, 289 fraud, 175, 196–97, 255, 257, 276 Free: The Future of a Radical Price (Anderson), 22 freelancers (independent contractors), 21, 36, 37, 64, 65, 117–18, 193–94, 196, 210, 213, 233–34, 249–51, 279, 280, 287, 297, 299 free trade, 205, 206, 235 Friedersdorf, Conor, 236 Friendster, 98 FuelBand, 74, 75 full-time employees, 249–50 FUSE Labs, 252–53 games, gaming, 94, 103, 124, 132, 159, 163, 178, 211, 212, 217, 221, 240 “Gangnam Style,” 84, 147 gatekeepers, 7–8, 151–52, 171–73, 243, 253, 262, 265, 268, 275–76, 281, 289, 298 Gawer, Annabelle, 58, 178–79 Gebbia, Joe, 1–2 General Electric (GE), 4, 13, 19, 76, 78, 86, 110, 201, 204, 208, 247, 284 Generally Accepted Accounting Principles, 238–39 geographic focus, 98–99, 271 Germany, 96–97, 161, 205 Gillette, King, 109–10 Global 500, 209–10 Go-Jek, 278 Goldberg, Whoopi, 23 Goodwin, Tom, 11–12 Google, vii, 3–7, 21–25, 30–33, 49–50, 55, 58, 64, 72, 111, 112, 120, 121, 125, 134, 137, 140–41, 148, 153–54, 159, 198–99, 214–17, 226, 240, 242, 250, 267, 270–71 Google AdWords, 72, 120, 121, 125 Google Maps, 49–50, 55, 148, 200 Google Play, 154 government platforms, 261, 281–83, 289 graphical processing units (GPUs), 56, 57, 58 graphic design, 67, 226 Great Britain, 160, 205 gross domestic product (GDP), 160, 161 Grossman, Nick, 253, 254, 255, 256 Guardian, 144–45 Gurley, Bill, 16–18, 21 Haber-Bosch process, 19 Hachette Book Group, 251 Haier Group, vii, 76, 125, 198–99, 222 Halo, 94, 240 Halo: Combat Evolved, 94 Hammurabi, Code of, 274 hard drives (HDs), 56, 57, 58 hardware, 56, 57–58, 136, 152–53, 178–79 Harvard University, 98–99, 266 hashtags, 58, 104 Havas Media, 11–12 health care, 32–33, 35, 69, 71, 77, 200, 233, 234, 238, 245, 261, 263, 265, 268–72, 277, 280, 289 health insurance, 234, 263, 271–72, 277, 280 Heiferman, Scott, 113–14, 126 heirlooms, 161–62 Here, 49–50 Hertz, 9 heuristics, 123–24 Hilton Hotels, 8, 64 Hipstamatic, 100 homeowners’ insurance, 175, 232 horizontal integration, 33, 74–76, 208 hospitals, 69, 71, 233, 270, 271–72 hosting sites, 88, 198, 223–24 hotel industry, 1–2, 8–9, 10, 12, 64, 67, 101, 111, 142–43, 198, 224, 229–33, 236, 253, 287 Hotmail, 103, 104 Houghton Mifflin Harcourt, 204, 208, 225 HTTP, 177 Huffington Post, 90 human resources, 14, 39 human rights, 159, 160–61 hypercompetition, 209–10, 213 IBM, x, 137, 152, 179, 284 iCloud, 75 identity theft, 244 InCloudCounsel, 279 income streams, 139–41, 143, 144, 215 India, 73, 91 Indiegogo, 96, 124 Indonesia, 278 Industrial Awakening, 285–86 industrial development, 205–10, 224–25, 268 industrial-era firms, 19, 32, 34, 256, 285, 288 Industrial Revolution, 288 Industry Standard Architecture (ISA), 58 information, 40, 42 agencies for, 243–44 age of, 253, 256, 260 asymmetries of, 161–62, 164, 181, 182, 220, 228, 258–59, 262–63, 265, 269, 281, 289 exchange of, 36, 37, 39, 41, 47–48, 51, 134 intensive need for, 262–63, 265, 268, 281, 289 mis-, 129–30 platforms for, 190, 200, 287 units of, 296–97 initial public offerings (IPOs), ix, 91, 204–5 Instagram, 3, 13, 32, 46, 47, 66, 85, 100, 102–3, 104, 204, 217, 218, 299 instant messaging, 131, 198, 211 insurance industry, 9, 62, 71, 142, 164, 175–76, 232, 268, 277 integrated systems, 33, 74, 131 Intel, vii, x, 57–58, 89, 137, 178–81, 270–71, 284 Intel Architecture Labs (IAL), 179–81 intellectual property (IP), 33, 57, 167, 174–75, 180, 258 interaction failures, 190, 192, 196–97 Interbrand, 198–99 interest rates, 170, 244, 276 Internal Revenue Service (IRS), 93 internal transparency, 176–79 International Financial Reporting Standards, 238–39 Internet, 24–25, 32, 60–63, 76–79, 95–96, 107–13, 121, 167, 201, 204, 205, 209, 244, 249, 250, 263, 264, 283–89, 299 Internet of things, 76, 201, 204, 283–86, 289 inventory, 9, 11–12, 25, 42, 141, 184, 186, 262 investment, ix, 16, 63, 164, 168–69, 184–86, 209, 278 iPads, 95 iPhone, 3, 6–7, 72, 131, 140, 147, 148, 178, 211, 213–14, 222 iStockphoto, 167–68, 173 iTunes, 75, 131, 142, 153, 164, 214, 231 Japan, 66, 205–6 Jassy, Andrew, 177–78 Java programming language, 140 Jawbone, x, 77, 245 job listings, 39, 49, 50, 51, 63, 111, 118–19, 120, 131, 133–34, 137, 184–86, 196, 201, 218 Jobs, Steve, viii, 53, 131, 214 joint venture model, 137, 138 judiciary, 237, 238, 250 JVC, 138–39 Kalanick, Travis, 18, 62 Kelley, Brian P., 157 Kenya, 277–78 Kercher, Meredith, 129–30, 149–50 Keurig Green Mountain, 143, 157–58, 159, 181 Kickstarter, 40, 92, 96, 102, 111 Kindle, 7, 10, 67, 140, 154, 243 Kindle Fire, 140 Knox, Amanda, 129–30, 149–50 Korengold, Barry, 61 Kozmo, 22–23 Kretschmer, Tobias, 257 Kuraitis, Vince, 270, 271 labor: child, 164 division of, 280 market for, 39, 49, 50, 51, 63, 111, 118–19, 120, 131, 133–34, 137, 196, 201, 218, 235 platforms for, 200, 201, 213, 233–34, 248–51, 279–81, 289 regulation of, 230, 249–51, 260, 288 self-employed, 21, 36, 37, 64, 65, 117–18, 193–94, 196, 210, 213, 233–34, 249–51, 279, 280, 287, 297, 299 unions for, 280, 288 Laffont, Jean-Jacques, 235, 237 law firms, 8, 204, 279 laws and legal systems, 88, 164–70, 182, 230, 247–49, 257, 258, 260, 281 lead generation, 113, 117 Lean Analytics (Croll and Yoskovitz), 191, 196 lean startups, 199, 201–2 Lee Kuan Yew, 160–61 LegalZoom, 204, 225 Lending Club, 77, 275, 276 Lessig, Lawrence, 164–65, 166 Levchin, Max, 79–81 Lexis, 204, 225 liability coverage, 175, 232 libertarianism, 79, 80, 236, 238 licensing fees, 61, 131, 258–59 licensing model, 136–37, 138, 139, 214, 235, 296 lightbulbs, 284–85 linear value chains (pipelines), 6, 183–84, 297, 298 LinkedIn, 39, 41–42, 48, 50–51, 103, 111, 119, 170, 173, 184, 197, 218–19, 223, 226, 245 Linux, 137, 138, 154, 200 liquidity, 189–91, 193, 194–95, 201–2, 297 local content regulations, 246–47 logos (icons), 82, 83 “long tail” (software adoption), 216–17, 219 Lyft, 49, 50–51, 67, 213, 227, 250–51, 297 Ma, Jack, 125, 206, 215 MacCormack, Alan, 57 magazines, 72, 151, 197, 244, 264, 275 magnetic resonance imaging (MRI), 69, 71 mail, 63, 94–95, 171 MailChimp, 109 Malaysia, 160 Management Science (MacCormack and Baldwin), 57 mandis (market-makers), 42–44 Manghani, Ravi, 273–74 manufacturing efficiencies, 208, 209, 261 MapMyFitness, 75 mapping services, 49–50, 55, 148, 200 marginal economics, 72, 78 Marini, Rick, 184–85 marketing, 14, 19, 25, 52–53, 72, 73–74, 84–85, 100, 101, 105, 183–84, 209–10, 267 Marketplace Fairness Act (2013), 249 marketplaces, 60, 91, 190, 204, 249 markets: access to, 87–88, 98, 194, 215, 218, 220 aggregation of, 68–69, 72–73, 78, 262, 297 controls for, 164–65 data on, 42–44 emerging, 210–11 entry barriers to, 207–8, 215, 219–20 expansion of, 4, 20, 31–32 failure of, xiii, 161–63, 164, 170–71, 182, 234–35, 256, 257, 258–59, 263, 289 free, 149, 161–65, 173–76, 180, 182, 234–36 frictionless entry into, 25–26, 34, 81, 107–8, 111, 117, 124–25, 130, 168, 206, 297 incumbent advantage in, 86, 218, 261, 263 late-mover problem in, 87–88, 98 liquidity of, 171, 196 local, 70–71, 117–18, 264 manipulation of, 238, 251–53, 260, 287 micro-, 98–99, 105 multi-sided, 159, 164 new entrants to, 207–10, 262, 296 niche, 88, 216, 223–24, 228, 300 one-sided, 157–58, 159 share of, 16–22, 33, 53, 60–62, 65, 81, 87–88, 112–13, 131–33, 132, 133, 137–40, 152–53, 157, 222–26, 260, 287 strategy for, viii, xi, 10, 16–18, 20, 21, 31–32, 33, 42–44, 57–58, 69–73, 77, 78, 89, 111, 124, 173, 210–11, 272–74, 278 supply and demand in, 69–71, 173, 210–11, 272–74, 278 “thickness” of, 164, 171, 173 two-sided, 81, 89, 93, 110, 119, 175, 196, 215, 218, 295, 298 winner-take-all, viii, 224–27, 228, 279–80, 300 marquee strategy, 94–95, 105 Marriott Hotels, 8–9 massive open online courses (MOOCs), 266–67 mass media, 40, 63, 72, 77, 262, 264 MasterCard, 226, 275 matching services, 17, 47–48 Matharu, Taran, 4–5 McCormick Foods, 76 McGraw-Hill, 204, 208 Mechanical Turk, 249, 280 Medicare, 250 Medicast, 269, 279 Medium, 71–72 Meetup, 113–15, 126 Megaupload, 87–88 membership fees, 123, 125 Mercateo, 96–97 mergers and acquisitions, 208, 216, 220–21, 228 Metcalfe, Robert, 20, 297 Metcalfe’s law, 20, 21, 295, 297 metering tools, 272–73 Microsoft, vii, x, 3, 13, 20, 29, 33, 52–53, 94, 103–4, 110, 124, 131, 140, 152–53, 179, 181, 200, 211, 216, 226, 240, 241, 252, 267, 270–71 Microsoft Outlook, 103–4 Microsoft Vista, 52–53 Microsoft Windows, 30, 53, 140, 152–53, 200, 222, 240 Microsoft Windows XP, 53 middlemen, 68–69, 71–72, 78, 161–62, 170–71, 298 Minerva Project, 268 mining, 225, 263 mislabeled bargains, 161–62, 170–71 MIT, ix–x, xi, 214, 266, 267 MIT Initiative on the Digital Economy, ix–x MIT Platform Strategy Summit, xi, 214 moderators, 151–52 modular design, 54–57, 221 monetary policy, 159, 173–74 monetization, 38, 63, 106–27, 188, 215 MonkeyParking, 233, 234 monopolies, 18–19, 162, 163, 172–73, 182, 208–9, 227, 237, 238, 240–41, 242 Monster, 218–19, 223, 226 mortgages, 237, 243, 263 Mount, David, 285–86 MP3 players, 178 multidirectional platforms, 272–74 multihoming, 213–15, 223–28, 250–51, 297, 300 multinational corporations, 246–48 multi-sponsor decision-making, 139–40 multi-user feedback loop, 46, 100–101 music industry, 63, 71, 75, 87, 111, 134–35, 147, 178, 213, 226, 231, 258, 287, 297 MyFitnessPal, 75, 245 Myspace, 87, 92, 98, 125–26, 131–34, 132, 133, 135, 143, 204, 221, 226 Nakamoto, Satoshi, 171–73 Nalebuff, Barry J., 212 NASDAQ, ix, 80 National Transportation Safety Board (NTSB), 237 navigation tools, 191, 297 NBC, 204, 225 negative cross-side effects, 30–32, 34, 295 negative externalities, 163, 229–34, 257, 287 negative feedback, 28, 157–58, 166–67 negative network effects, 17, 26–32, 34, 47, 49, 51, 68, 112–15, 120, 121, 123, 126, 151, 229–34, 287, 298 negative same-side effects, 30, 298 Nest, 204, 225 Netflix, 63, 163, 204, 225 Netscape, 62, 110 network matching, 26–28 network orchestrators, 32 News Corp., 126 news feeds, 121, 168, 251–52 newspapers, 63, 144–45, 264, 287 New York City, 61, 113, 123, 229–30, 231, 258–59 New York State, 69–70, 274 New York Stock Exchange, 55, 171 New York Times, 205 NeXT, 53 Nigeria, 247 Nike, 4, 74–76, 78, 205, 271 9/11 attacks, 113 99designs, 66, 106 Nintendo, 94, 211, 240 noise, 28, 114, 120, 199, 200 Nokia, 49–50, 64, 131, 226 Novel Writing Month, 4–5 NTT, 89 oDesk, 201 oil and gas industry, 225, 235, 259, 263, 272 OkCupid, xi, 26–28, 30, 195–96 oligopolies, 209, 238 on-boarding effect, 90–91, 97 online courses, 96, 111, 265–68, 289 Open Data, 282 “open in” vs.


pages: 366 words: 94,209

Throwing Rocks at the Google Bus: How Growth Became the Enemy of Prosperity by Douglas Rushkoff

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3D printing, Airbnb, algorithmic trading, Amazon Mechanical Turk, Andrew Keen, bank run, banking crisis, barriers to entry, bitcoin, blockchain, Burning Man, business process, buy low sell high, California gold rush, Capital in the Twenty-First Century by Thomas Piketty, carbon footprint, centralized clearinghouse, citizen journalism, clean water, cloud computing, collaborative economy, collective bargaining, colonial exploitation, Community Supported Agriculture, corporate personhood, crowdsourcing, cryptocurrency, disintermediation, diversified portfolio, Elon Musk, Erik Brynjolfsson, ethereum blockchain, fiat currency, Firefox, Flash crash, full employment, future of work, gig economy, Gini coefficient, global supply chain, global village, Google bus, Howard Rheingold, IBM and the Holocaust, impulse control, income inequality, index fund, iterative process, Jaron Lanier, Jeff Bezos, jimmy wales, job automation, Joseph Schumpeter, Kickstarter, loss aversion, Lyft, Mark Zuckerberg, market bubble, market fundamentalism, Marshall McLuhan, means of production, medical bankruptcy, minimum viable product, Naomi Klein, Network effects, new economy, Norbert Wiener, Oculus Rift, passive investing, payday loans, peer-to-peer lending, Peter Thiel, post-industrial society, profit motive, quantitative easing, race to the bottom, recommendation engine, reserve currency, RFID, Richard Stallman, ride hailing / ride sharing, Ronald Reagan, Satoshi Nakamoto, Second Machine Age, shareholder value, sharing economy, Silicon Valley, Snapchat, social graph, software patent, Steve Jobs, TaskRabbit, trade route, transportation-network company, Turing test, Uber and Lyft, Uber for X, unpaid internship, Y Combinator, young professional, Zipcar

Favor banks and LETS systems are great for those who are willing to work and keep working, but does escaping the growth trap mean that regular people lose any ability to invest and accumulate capital for the long term? Initially, it appeared that digital technologies would be a boon for the individual investor—the little guy. The net would make markets more transparent, spread financial information more democratically, and let people trade for themselves, just like the pros. It should provide a way to disintermediate the bankers and brokers—cutting out the middlemen and keeping more autonomy and cash for oneself. Digitally powered trading seems to be further along an ever-improving continuum of agency for individual investors. But for all this to be true, we have to accept the underlying premise that individuals taking charge of their own future security is a winning proposition. Unfortunately, the best evidence indicates that it’s not, nor was it ever really meant to be.

In some cases, this earns them a discount on the final product. In others, early backers pay a premium in return for a souvenir, a token of thanks, or some other confirmation of their participation in the project. They get the satisfaction of driving production—of tastemaking and participation—instead of simply pulling from the consumption side of things. They have a share in the greater enterprise. From a business perspective, the lender has been disintermediated. Instead of pitching their ideas to a banker, creators get to pitch directly to their audiences. (Yes, it helps to have an audience in the first place—but more than a few talents and products have been discovered through these platforms, which let users spread news of worthy campaigns easily on social media.) The point is not whether this is a better vetting process for new art and products.

The only risk is that the project is never completed, but the open market seems pretty good at evaluating competence: 98 percent of projects that meet just 60 percent of their funding goals are fully completed. Startups funded by venture capital do about the reverse, with more than 90 percent of fully funded enterprises failing.59 The same crowdsourcing dynamics that Upwork or 99designs* use to shift risk onto freelancers can also shift risk off the table altogether. The less risk, the less money is owed to the risk taker. So, used appropriately, the net disintermediates the funder, eliminates the need to abandon ongoing productivity in favor of a quick exit, spares the marketplace from having to pay back investors, keeps cash in circulation instead of being extracted, and gives regular people the opportunity to put their money toward what they want to see happen. Although crowdfunding platforms may solve many an entrepreneur’s dilemma, they don’t address the investor’s.


pages: 286 words: 82,065

Curation Nation by Rosenbaum, Steven

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Amazon Mechanical Turk, Andrew Keen, barriers to entry, citizen journalism, cognitive dissonance, crowdsourcing, disintermediation, en.wikipedia.org, future of journalism, Jason Scott: textfiles.com, means of production, PageRank, pattern recognition, postindustrial economy, pre–internet, Sand Hill Road, Silicon Valley, Skype, social graph, social web, Steve Jobs, Tony Hsieh, Yogi Berra

Imagine a time when your love of travel, fine wines, and collectable lunch boxes each provides a revenue stream. Okay, maybe not a full-blown stream, but a revenue trickle; when these microcareers are knit together, your curated knowledge can evolve from a hobby to an avocation to one of the many gigs that pay the rent, keep your kitty in cat food, or help you save for a college tuition. Which is to say, curation is about something different than disintermediation. In fact, it’s about re-mediation. It’s about adding quality back into the equation and putting a human filter between you and the overwhelming world of content abundance that is swirling around us every day. Curation replaces noise with clarity. And it’s the clarity of your choosing; it’s the things that people you trust help you find. Curation is an exhilarating, fast-moving, evolving idea that addresses two parallel trends: the explosive growth in data, and our need to be able to find information in coherent, reasonably contextual groupings.

THE FUTURE OF JOURNALISM Every formerly powerful editorial structure, it seems, is having a fit over loss of its centralized control: how dare people without history degrees pick what they like, or how dare those without journalism degrees share what they know! The nerve! If you are wondering why there’s so much hand-wringing over the future of journalism in a curated world and less Sturm and Drang over, for example, how Etsy is disintermediating the local arts and crafts fair, there’s a simple answer. Journalists who see themselves as victims of technology have the currently dominant media outlets to broadcast kvetching. Clay Shirky is the ideal observer of all this noisy change. An actual adult who’s almost preter-naturally youthful, he teaches at New York University’s interactive telecommunications program (ITP). “I’m a hybrid,” says the writer, thinker, and professor.

And when it’s that easy, why will my girls choose to watch One Tree Hill via DVR when they can just as easily get it via BitTorrent?” And Jeff Jarvis, the founding editor of Entertainment Weekly, has pretty strong feelings about TV as well. Jarvis sees the “exploding” of TV in a number of critical ways. First, he proclaims, “At some point, soon, content producers will get rid of all middlemen,” and there’s lots of reasons to believe this is true. After all, the Web is disintermediating lots of businesses that used to have middlemen. But Jarvis goes on to connect all this to Madison Avenue, seeing a battle ensuing between old-media companies moving online and emerging complete new-media outlets. Says Jarvis, “What excites me most is that reduced cost of production. That’s really what drove Weblogs: history’s cheapest publishing tool reduced the barrier to entry-to-media and allowed anyone to produce and distribute text content.


pages: 532 words: 139,706

Googled: The End of the World as We Know It by Ken Auletta

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23andMe, AltaVista, Anne Wojcicki, Apple's 1984 Super Bowl advert, bioinformatics, Burning Man, carbon footprint, citizen journalism, Clayton Christensen, cloud computing, Colonization of Mars, corporate social responsibility, death of newspapers, disintermediation, don't be evil, facts on the ground, Firefox, Frank Gehry, Google Earth, hypertext link, Innovator's Dilemma, Internet Archive, invention of the telephone, Jeff Bezos, jimmy wales, Kevin Kelly, knowledge worker, Long Term Capital Management, Mark Zuckerberg, Marshall McLuhan, Menlo Park, Network effects, new economy, Nicholas Carr, PageRank, Paul Buchheit, Peter Thiel, Ralph Waldo Emerson, Richard Feynman, Richard Feynman, Sand Hill Road, Saturday Night Live, semantic web, sharing economy, Silicon Valley, Skype, slashdot, social graph, spectrum auction, stealth mode startup, Stephen Hawking, Steve Ballmer, Steve Jobs, strikebreaker, telemarketer, the scientific method, The Wisdom of Crowds, Upton Sinclair, X Prize, yield management

Google would call these content Web sites partners, and give them about two-thirds of the ad dollars, with Google pocketing the rest. Many small businesses would be discovered and thrive. It was largely overlooked at the time that automated AdSense cut out the advertising middleman. Or as Wojcicki told me, “It changed the way content providers think about their business. They know they can generate revenues without having their own sales team.” In the online world, Google was potentially dis-intermediating not just the media buying agency but the sales forces of content companies. AdWords and AdSense would solve the mystery of how Google could monetize its search engine. For the first time, in 2001, Google turned a profit: $7 million on revenues of $86 million. The next year, revenues more than quadrupled to $439 million, and profits jumped to $100 million. Google’s search index included three billion Web documents.

Google was free, but it was not building a community. While Google warily watched Facebook, a real skirmish broke out between Google and the bear that is the advertising industry. Ad executives had been uneasy for some time that Google would displace media-buying agencies. But there were additional concerns. How many more ad dollars would Google siphon from traditional media companies? Would Google disintermediate the sales forces of these companies? Might Google bypass advertising agencies and develop a direct relationship with advertisers? If Google’s automated auction system brought the cost efficiencies Larry Page touted, would it not inevitably lower old media’s advertising rates as well as the fees ad agencies charged clients? Perhaps the overriding concern was the one identified by Herbert Allen III, who said of Google: “They want to be the digital advertising network for all forms of advertising.

“We’re watching it,” said Verizon’s Ivan Seidenberg, who added, “We said we’d be willing to consider something like that”—an open-source Android—but he said he was worried more about maintaining the quality of the Verizon system. “We want an open network where we can ensure quality,” he said. “Google’s vision of Android is Microsoft’s vision of owning the operating system in every PC,” Seidenberg said. “Guys like me want to make sure that there is a distribution of platforms and devices. Is it in Google’s interest to disintermediate us? Yeah.” He let his voice trail off, not wanting to engage in verbal warfare. But he said his job is to “make sure we are never out-positioned,” never a “captive.” Neither Seidenberg’s power nor Schmidt’s skepticism deterred Google from plunging ahead. (In late 2008, T-Mobile ordered two million units in the hope that its Google-powered smart phone could rival iPhone.) If mobile’s growth prospects are clear, the data questions are not.


pages: 700 words: 201,953

The Social Life of Money by Nigel Dodd

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accounting loophole / creative accounting, bank run, banking crisis, banks create money, Bernie Madoff, bitcoin, blockchain, borderless world, Bretton Woods, BRICs, capital controls, cashless society, central bank independence, collapse of Lehman Brothers, collateralized debt obligation, computer age, conceptual framework, credit crunch, cross-subsidies, David Graeber, debt deflation, dematerialisation, disintermediation, eurozone crisis, fiat currency, financial innovation, Financial Instability Hypothesis, financial repression, floating exchange rates, Fractional reserve banking, German hyperinflation, Goldman Sachs: Vampire Squid, Hyman Minsky, illegal immigration, informal economy, interest rate swap, Isaac Newton, John Maynard Keynes: Economic Possibilities for our Grandchildren, joint-stock company, Joseph Schumpeter, Kula ring, laissez-faire capitalism, land reform, late capitalism, liquidity trap, litecoin, London Interbank Offered Rate, M-Pesa, Marshall McLuhan, means of production, mental accounting, microcredit, mobile money, money: store of value / unit of account / medium of exchange, mortgage debt, new economy, Nixon shock, Occupy movement, offshore financial centre, paradox of thrift, payday loans, Peace of Westphalia, peer-to-peer lending, Ponzi scheme, post scarcity, postnationalism / post nation state, predatory finance, price mechanism, price stability, quantitative easing, quantitative trading / quantitative finance, remote working, rent-seeking, reserve currency, Richard Thaler, Robert Shiller, Robert Shiller, Satoshi Nakamoto, Scientific racism, seigniorage, Skype, Slavoj Žižek, South Sea Bubble, sovereign wealth fund, special drawing rights, The Wealth of Nations by Adam Smith, too big to fail, trade liberalization, transaction costs, Wave and Pay, WikiLeaks, Wolfgang Streeck, yield curve, zero-coupon bond

., the state and/or banks) at the top of a hierarchy, responsible for issuing and regulating money. Critics of such a system advocate a horizontal arrangement. Proudhon’s proposal for a Bank of the People is a good example. His arguments are intriguing because they touch upon one of the most prominent and controversial themes in contemporary discussions of financial regulation and monetary reform, namely, the issue of disintermediation. Proudhon proposed his scheme for two banks—a Bank of Exchange and a Bank of the People—in Solution of the Social Problem, completed one year after the 1848 revolutions in France. Although he had participated in those revolutions, Proudhon had misgivings about the provisional government, which he believed was neglecting vital economic questions. “Utopia needs for its realization capital accumulated, credit opened, circulation established and a prosperous state,” he wrote (Proudhon 1927: 45).

Technically, this was made possible by a subprotocol that ensured that only a finite quantity of money is created within any given time period. This latter feature is crucial to Bitcoin. At around the same time, Nick Szabo developed the notion of “bit gold” (Szabo 2008), widely seen as the precursor to Bitcoin. Like B-money, bit gold sought to use secure cryptography that made it possible to combine anti-inflationary monetary creation (it would be strictly limited and controlled) with the principle of disintermediation. In other words, bit gold as Szabo conceived it would consist of valuable electronic bits (created through a “proof of work” generated from a public string of bits, called a challenge string) that cannot be forged, and whose creation is both finite and independent of any third party such as government or a central bank. The technical problems that need to be overcome to achieve this combination are considerable.

As we have discussed a number of times in this book, hoarded money is of limited usefulness qua money. The very feature of Bitcoin that renders it attractive as an open and democratic monetary system that is free from asymmetrical power structures—the software that controls exactly how many Bitcoins will be produced—undermines its operation as a form of money. Reflecting some of these concerns, a new variant of Bitcoin is under development, which exploits its perceived virtue of disintermediation while specifically seeking to avoid hoarding.40 This is Freicoin, which is essentially Bitcoin plus demurrage. The new currency is being promoted through the Freicoin Foundation, which is linked to Occupy Wall Street. Although having such an organization at the “center” of a P2P currency seems odd, its organizers claim that there is no other way of dispersing coins across society.41 Freicoin uses a combination of organizational modes: vertically, the foundation distributes coins through grants; horizontally, the coins are mined through a network of rigs.


pages: 515 words: 126,820

Blockchain Revolution: How the Technology Behind Bitcoin Is Changing Money, Business, and the World by Don Tapscott, Alex Tapscott

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Airbnb, altcoin, asset-backed security, autonomous vehicles, barriers to entry, bitcoin, blockchain, Bretton Woods, business process, Capital in the Twenty-First Century by Thomas Piketty, carbon footprint, clean water, cloud computing, cognitive dissonance, corporate governance, corporate social responsibility, Credit Default Swap, crowdsourcing, cryptocurrency, disintermediation, distributed ledger, Donald Trump, double entry bookkeeping, Edward Snowden, Elon Musk, Erik Brynjolfsson, ethereum blockchain, failed state, fiat currency, financial innovation, Firefox, first square of the chessboard, first square of the chessboard / second half of the chessboard, future of work, Galaxy Zoo, George Gilder, glass ceiling, Google bus, Hernando de Soto, income inequality, informal economy, interest rate swap, Internet of things, Jeff Bezos, jimmy wales, Kickstarter, knowledge worker, Kodak vs Instagram, Lean Startup, litecoin, Lyft, M-Pesa, Mark Zuckerberg, Marshall McLuhan, means of production, microcredit, mobile money, Network effects, new economy, Oculus Rift, pattern recognition, peer-to-peer lending, performance metric, Peter Thiel, planetary scale, Ponzi scheme, prediction markets, price mechanism, Productivity paradox, quantitative easing, ransomware, Ray Kurzweil, renewable energy credits, rent-seeking, ride hailing / ride sharing, Ronald Coase, Ronald Reagan, Satoshi Nakamoto, Second Machine Age, seigniorage, self-driving car, sharing economy, Silicon Valley, Skype, smart contracts, smart grid, social graph, social software, Stephen Hawking, Steve Jobs, Steve Wozniak, Stewart Brand, supply-chain management, TaskRabbit, The Fortune at the Bottom of the Pyramid, The Nature of the Firm, The Wisdom of Crowds, transaction costs, Turing complete, Turing test, Uber and Lyft, unbanked and underbanked, underbanked, unorthodox policies, X Prize, Y2K, Zipcar

Network participants who run fully operating bitcoin nodes—called miners—gather up recent transactions, settle them in the form of a block of data, and repeat the process every ten minutes. Each block must refer to the preceding block to be valid. The protocols also include a method for reclaiming disk space so that all nodes can efficiently store the full blockchain. Finally, the blockchain is public. Anyone can see transactions taking place. No one can hide a transaction, and that makes bitcoin more traceable than cash. Satoshi sought not only to disintermediate the central banking powers but also to eliminate the ambiguity and conflicting interpretations of what happened. Let the code speak for itself. Let the network reach consensus algorithmically on what happened and record it cryptographically on the blockchain. The mechanism for reaching consensus is critical. “Consensus is a social process,” blogged Vitalik Buterin, pioneer of the Ethereum blockchain.

What interests Andreas about the blockchain is that we can execute this financial obligation in a decentralized technological environment with a built-in settlement system. “That’s really cool,” he said, “because I could actually pay you for the pen right now, you would see the money instantly, you would put the pen in the mail, and I could get a verification of that. It’s much more likely that we can do business.” The law profession is slowly plugging into this opportunity. Like everyone in the middle, lawyers may become subject to disintermediation and will eventually need to adapt. Expertise in smart contracts could be a big opportunity for law firms that want to lead innovation in contract law. However, the profession isn’t known for breaking new ground. Legal expert Aaron Wright, coauthor of a new book about the blockchain, told us, “Lawyers are laggards.”21 Multisignature: Smart Complex Contracts But, you say, wouldn’t the costs of complex and time-consuming negotiations of smart contracts outweigh the benefits of open boundaries?

Why do those people wait in line to send money via a physical point of sale using decades-old technology instead of what they have at their fingertips? Dollars are a lot less data intensive than HD video. In fact, according to Skype, video calling consumes 500 kilobits per second.43 Sending one bitcoin takes about 500 bits, or roughly one one-thousandth the data consumption of one second of video Skype! By disintermediating traditional third parties and radically simplifying processes, blockchain can finally enable instant, frictionless payments, so that people don’t wait in line for an hour or more, travel great distances, or risk life and limb venturing into dangerous neighborhoods at night just to send money. Today, a number of companies and organizations are leveraging the bitcoin protocol to lower remittance costs.


pages: 299 words: 91,839

What Would Google Do? by Jeff Jarvis

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23andMe, Amazon Mechanical Turk, Amazon Web Services, Anne Wojcicki, barriers to entry, Berlin Wall, business process, call centre, cashless society, citizen journalism, clean water, connected car, credit crunch, crowdsourcing, death of newspapers, disintermediation, diversified portfolio, don't be evil, fear of failure, Firefox, future of journalism, Google Earth, Googley, Howard Rheingold, informal economy, inventory management, Jeff Bezos, jimmy wales, Kevin Kelly, Mark Zuckerberg, moral hazard, Network effects, new economy, Nicholas Carr, PageRank, peer-to-peer lending, post scarcity, prediction markets, pre–internet, Ronald Coase, search inside the book, Silicon Valley, Skype, social graph, social software, social web, spectrum auction, speech recognition, Steve Jobs, the medium is the message, The Nature of the Firm, the payments system, The Wisdom of Crowds, transaction costs, web of trust, Y Combinator, Zipcar

I’d assume that just as it has gotten easier and cheaper to create content and media, it will get easier to create other kinds of companies. I’d manage abundance. All that, of course, assumes that I have an abundance of money. I don’t. Oh, well. The First Bank of Google: Markets minus middlemen Banking is the ultimate middleman business, pooling money and need and profiting on the connections. In small ways—as in small is the new big—the internet is already disintermediating the industry by making direct connections. Take peer-to-peer lending. At Prosper.com, as of 2008, 750,000 members had borrowed and lent more than $150 million in amounts as small as $50, supporting anything from launching new businesses to paying off college loans to getting out from under credit card debt. It’s wonderfully simple and magnificently human. You see the person and the story: “It has been my dream to open a Neapolitan Pizzeria ever since I moved to the United States 9 years ago.

Still, because they only advise, PR people aren’t often in a position to change how a company is managed. I’m sure lawyers and PR people—like real-estate agents—will be glad to tell me where I’m wrong and I welcome that discussion on my blog: Let’s have at it, and if there are ways to Googlify these trades, then congratulations. In the meantime, both fields need to watch out, for the tools of Google and the internet enable others to disintermediate, undercut, and expose them. The law and its execution are aided by obfuscation. The internet can fix that. A small number of volunteers could, Wikipedia-like, publish simple, clear, and free explanations of laws and legal documents online. All it takes is one generous lawyer—not an oxymoron—to ruin the game for a thousand of them. I’ve seen a few such sites. They’re not very good yet—none worth recommending—but they’re a start.

Better yet, public.resource.org is fighting to get laws and regulations online for free. Patents are online now, and Google has made them searchable (go to google.com/patents and, for entertainment, look up pooper scooper—aka “Apparatus for the sanitary gathering and retention of animal waste for disposal” or “perpetual motion machine” or Google itself). Laws, regulations, and government documents are prime meat for Google’s disintermediation. Sometimes lawyers are employed merely to intimidate—but now the internet’s power to gather flash mobs enables those targeted by attorneys to return the intimidation. I’ve seen many cases of bloggers pleading openly for help against big organizations that are threatening or suing them. They received offers of pro bono representation from lawyers, often thanks to the Media Bloggers Association.


pages: 283 words: 85,824

The People's Platform: Taking Back Power and Culture in the Digital Age by Astra Taylor

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A Declaration of the Independence of Cyberspace, Andrew Keen, barriers to entry, Berlin Wall, big-box store, Brewster Kahle, citizen journalism, cloud computing, collateralized debt obligation, Community Supported Agriculture, conceptual framework, corporate social responsibility, cross-subsidies, crowdsourcing, David Brooks, digital Maoism, disintermediation, don't be evil, Donald Trump, Edward Snowden, Fall of the Berlin Wall, Filter Bubble, future of journalism, George Gilder, Google Chrome, Google Glasses, hive mind, income inequality, informal economy, Internet Archive, Internet of things, invisible hand, Jane Jacobs, Jaron Lanier, Jeff Bezos, job automation, Julian Assange, Kevin Kelly, Kickstarter, knowledge worker, Mark Zuckerberg, means of production, Naomi Klein, Narrative Science, Network effects, new economy, New Journalism, New Urbanism, Nicholas Carr, oil rush, Peter Thiel, Plutocrats, plutocrats, pre–internet, profit motive, recommendation engine, Richard Florida, Richard Stallman, self-driving car, shareholder value, sharing economy, Silicon Valley, Silicon Valley ideology, slashdot, Slavoj Žižek, Snapchat, social graph, Steve Jobs, Stewart Brand, technoutopianism, trade route, Whole Earth Catalog, WikiLeaks, winner-take-all economy, Works Progress Administration, young professional

The cultural field has become increasingly controlled by companies “whose sole contribution to the creative work,” to borrow Cory Doctorow’s biting expression, “is chaining children to factories in China and manufacturing skinny electronics” or developing the most sophisticated methods for selling our data to advertisers. It wasn’t supposed to be this way. One natural consequence of Web-based technologies was supposed to be the elimination of middlemen, or “disintermediation.” “The great virtue of the Internet is that it erodes power,” the influential technologist Esther Dyson said. “It sucks power out of the center, and takes it to the periphery, it erodes the power of institutions over people while giving to individuals the power to run their lives.”26 The problem, though, is that disintermediation has not lived up to its potential. Instead, it has facilitated the rise of a new generation of mediators that are sometimes difficult to see. As much as networked technology has dismantled and distributed power in more egalitarian ways, it has also extended and obscured power, making it less visible and, arguably, harder to resist.

Dismissing stability as the refusal to innovate (or rather cut costs), business leaders cast aspersions on the steadying tenets of the first half of the twentieth century, including social provisions and job security. Instead of lifetime employment, the new system valorized adaptability, mobility, and risk; in the place of full-time employment, there were temporary contracts and freelance instability. In this context, the wish for expressive, worthwhile work, the desire to combine employment and purpose, took on a perverse form. New-media thinkers, with their appetite for disintermediation and creative destruction, implicitly endorse and advance this transformation. The crumbling and hollowing out of established cultural institutions, from record labels to universities, and the liberation of individuals from their grip is a fantasy that animates discussions of amateurism. New technologies are hailed for enabling us to “organize without organizations,” which are condemned as rigid and suffocating and antithetical to the open architecture of the Internet.


pages: 407 words: 103,501

The Digital Divide: Arguments for and Against Facebook, Google, Texting, and the Age of Social Netwo Rking by Mark Bauerlein

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Amazon Mechanical Turk, Andrew Keen, centre right, citizen journalism, collaborative editing, computer age, computer vision, corporate governance, crowdsourcing, David Brooks, disintermediation, Frederick Winslow Taylor, Howard Rheingold, invention of movable type, invention of the steam engine, invention of the telephone, Jaron Lanier, Jeff Bezos, jimmy wales, Kevin Kelly, knowledge worker, late fees, Mark Zuckerberg, Marshall McLuhan, means of production, meta analysis, meta-analysis, Network effects, new economy, Nicholas Carr, PageRank, pets.com, Results Only Work Environment, Saturday Night Live, search engine result page, semantic web, Silicon Valley, slashdot, social graph, social web, software as a service, speech recognition, Steve Jobs, Stewart Brand, technology bubble, Ted Nelson, The Wisdom of Crowds, Thorstein Veblen, web application

The major political parties, along with labor unions, are part of the hierarchical framework of American politics that is under great pressure in the digital era. Even as traditional hierarchies are breaking apart, powerful, consolidated interests still play a disproportionate role in politics, especially in America. Strong brands still have it in their power to make or break candidates. As in the commercial space, the Internet often causes first disintermediation, then reintermediation. The forums are slightly different in the digital age and modestly more diverse. Cable networks like Fox and CNN have expanded the group of networks with the power to influence elections; people like Glenn Reynolds of Instapundit, Markos Moulitsas Zúniga of the Daily Kos, Matt Drudge of the Drudge Report, Charles Johnson of Little Green Footballs, and Arianna Huffington and her colleagues at the Huffington Post are giving the mainstream newspapers a run for their money in the online text media world; and even small bloggers and video creators can become stars with the power to move discussions in elections.

See also Net Geners activism by attention in education by attention spans of brains of civic engagement by cognitive differences of communication culture of Digital Immigrant accent and educational methodologies for information skills of participatory media and politics and reflection and as students thinking patterns in “Digital Natives, Digital Immigrants” (Prensky) Digital piracy Digital production Digital singularity Discman Disintermediation Distributed parallel-processing computers DNS Doom (video game) Dot-com collapse Dot-com dropouts DoubleClick Dougherty, Dale Dove Drudge, Matt eBay E-commerce development of dot-com collapse growth of as pyramid scheme social interaction displaced by Education attention and computer games for by Digital Immigrants Digital Natives in Digital Natives methodologies for freedom and legacy and future content in Net Geners and Wales, J., on Edwards, John Eliot, T.

Hypertext minds IBM Ibuka, Masaru Icebox ICQ Identity Individualism Industrial Revolution Information architecture Information cascades Infosys Technologies Innovation, Net Geners and Instant messaging Instapundit Institute for the Future of the Book Integrity Intel Intellectual technologies Interactivity Internet academic scholarship and activism on advertising on brain impact from cognition and collaboration through commerce displacing social interaction on creation of as direct-marketing platform disintermediation and reintermediation through do-it-yourself mentality and evolving rule systems and freedom through grassroots campaigns on interactivity and isolation and in Kenya loneliness and mainstream culture and medium absorbed by participatory media and participatory nature of political media and politics and post-Gutenberg economics and radio stations on reading and research skills and Sleeper Curve and social interaction channels in social side effect of social value of teen use of television series fan sites on time spent using traditional media changed by transparency and as universal medium Wikipedia impact on Internet Explorer Internet Project Kosovo (IPKO) Interruption science iPhone iPhoto IPKO.


pages: 171 words: 54,334

Barefoot Into Cyberspace: Adventures in Search of Techno-Utopia by Becky Hogge, Damien Morris, Christopher Scally

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A Declaration of the Independence of Cyberspace, back-to-the-land, Berlin Wall, Buckminster Fuller, Chelsea Manning, citizen journalism, cloud computing, corporate social responsibility, disintermediation, Douglas Engelbart, Fall of the Berlin Wall, game design, Hacker Ethic, informal economy, Jacob Appelbaum, jimmy wales, Julian Assange, Kevin Kelly, Menlo Park, Mother of all demos, Naomi Klein, Network effects, New Journalism, Norbert Wiener, Richard Stallman, Silicon Valley, Skype, Socratic dialogue, Steve Jobs, Steve Wozniak, Steven Levy, Stewart Brand, technoutopianism, Telecommunications Act of 1996, Vannevar Bush, Whole Earth Catalog, Whole Earth Review, WikiLeaks

Apparently, I’d rather spend my time thinking about freedom in the abstract, talking to nice, safe hippies about the dreams some of them had once and what happened to them. I don’t regret my decision to write myself out of this story, to decline the invitation to Reykjavik. It turns out I’m not any kind of revolutionary. The hopes that many held for the redemptive potential of the internet lay in the fact that the internet was a disintermediating force. The many-to-many communications environment would allow individuals to bypass outmoded cultural gatekeepers and to smash corrupt institutions. The assumption was twofold – that those institutions would be unable to fight back, and that the ordinary people at the bottom of society, the edges of the network, were somehow worthier than the centralised elites at the top. Internet thinkers like to talk about “network effects”, about how networks that connect everyone to everyone double in value each time they add one more connection, how the value of a network, and thus its power, can increase exponentially and at a rapid pace.

Just as the Screen Actors Guild and Equity stipulate that no two of their members may have the same stage name to avoid confusion, Facebook and Twitter make sure no two of their users have the same handle or identifying code, meaning you can always find the exact Ethan Zuckerman or Becky Hogge you’re looking for. What all this means is that although the rhetoric behind the ’net was one of radical decentralisation, disintermediation and the chance at a truly plural public sphere, the reality of it pens us into what are essentially a handful of corporate pseudo-public spaces. “It’s terrifying,” says Ethan. “And the reason it’s terrifying is that much of the thinking that we’ve done about the internet is thinking about open standards, autonomous agents, all able to make our own decisions. But if you are using a social media platform or a blogging platform to publish your thoughts, you are within one of these large spaces.


pages: 161 words: 44,488

The Business Blockchain: Promise, Practice, and Application of the Next Internet Technology by William Mougayar

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Airbnb, airport security, Albert Einstein, altcoin, Amazon Web Services, bitcoin, Black Swan, blockchain, business process, centralized clearinghouse, Clayton Christensen, cloud computing, cryptocurrency, disintermediation, distributed ledger, Edward Snowden, en.wikipedia.org, ethereum blockchain, fault tolerance, fiat currency, global value chain, Innovator's Dilemma, Internet of things, Kevin Kelly, Kickstarter, market clearing, Network effects, new economy, peer-to-peer lending, prediction markets, pull request, ride hailing / ride sharing, Satoshi Nakamoto, sharing economy, smart contracts, social web, software as a service, too big to fail, Turing complete, web application

The central question is: can the blockchain give us Trust 2.0, a better form of trust that does not always depend on central intermediaries who may have become too big to fail, too bureaucratic to see risk, or too slow to change? Here are seven principles that we will need to believe in, if we are to believe in the future of decentralized trust: It would be inaccurate to label blockchains as a tool for the disintermediation of trust. In reality, they only enable a re-intermediation of trust. Blockchains enable a degree of trust unbundling. The blockchain challenges the roles of some existing trust players and reassigns some of their responsibilities, sometimes weakening their authority. The blockchain does not eliminate trust. It shifts it. It moves it around. Trust is always needed. What changes with the blockchain is how trust is delivered and how it is earned.

At the risk of not naming all of them, here are the largest segments that will affected: Bonds Swaps Derivatives Commodities Unregistered/Registered securities Over-the-counter markets Collateral management Syndicated loans Warehouse receipts Repurchase market STRATEGIC QUESTIONS FOR FINANCIAL SERVICES Theme 1: Blockchains Touch the Core of Banking, Can They React? In Chapter 2, we introduced the word ATOMIC as a way to remember the programmability aspect of blockchains along six interrelated areas: Assets, Trust, Ownership, Money, Identity, Contracts. Add to these concepts the fact the blockchain is about decentralization, disintermediation, and distributed ledgers, and you quickly realize that these subjects are very much part of the core of banking. When a single technology touches almost every core part of your business model, you need to pay attention, as it will be a challenging encounter. Banks will be required to apply rigorous thinking to flush out their plans and positions vis-à-vis each one of these major blockchain parameters.


pages: 411 words: 80,925

What's Mine Is Yours: How Collaborative Consumption Is Changing the Way We Live by Rachel Botsman, Roo Rogers

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Airbnb, barriers to entry, Bernie Madoff, bike sharing scheme, Buckminster Fuller, carbon footprint, Cass Sunstein, collaborative consumption, collaborative economy, Community Supported Agriculture, credit crunch, crowdsourcing, dematerialisation, disintermediation, en.wikipedia.org, experimental economics, George Akerlof, global village, Hugh Fearnley-Whittingstall, information retrieval, iterative process, Kevin Kelly, Kickstarter, late fees, Mark Zuckerberg, market design, Menlo Park, Network effects, new economy, new new economy, out of africa, Parkinson's law, peer-to-peer lending, Ponzi scheme, pre–internet, recommendation engine, RFID, Richard Stallman, ride hailing / ride sharing, Robert Shiller, Robert Shiller, Ronald Coase, Search for Extraterrestrial Intelligence, SETI@home, Simon Kuznets, Skype, slashdot, smart grid, South of Market, San Francisco, Stewart Brand, The Nature of the Firm, The Spirit Level, The Wealth of Nations by Adam Smith, The Wisdom of Crowds, Thorstein Veblen, Torches of Freedom, transaction costs, traveling salesman, ultimatum game, Victor Gruen, web of trust, women in the workforce, Zipcar

Based on this principle of not putting all your eggs in one basket, peer-to-peer lending sites such as Zopa minimize risk by dividing a loan into small amounts and spreading it over a wide range of a dozen or more borrowers. But why is the default rate so low? After all, major credit card companies don’t put all their eggs in the same basket, either. In Zopa, money moves from Person A to Person C (without the need for Big Bank B in the middle). This path follows the basic economic law of disintermediation, the removal of middlemen from a process or supply chain to create more efficient markets. But it’s not the concept of the efficiency behind disintermediation that is important in collaborative lifestyles. It’s the significant shift the transparency creates in generating new levels of peer-to-peer trust, even between strangers. “Ten years ago some people thought it would be mad to send money to someone in the post in the expectation that they would receive a parcel in return, but that collaboration led to the development of the largest retailer in the world,” current CEO Giles Andrews says.


pages: 423 words: 149,033

The fortune at the bottom of the pyramid by C. K. Prahalad

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barriers to entry, business process, call centre, cashless society, clean water, collective bargaining, corporate social responsibility, deskilling, disintermediation, farmers can use mobile phones to check market prices, financial intermediation, Hernando de Soto, hiring and firing, income inequality, late fees, Mahatma Gandhi, market fragmentation, microcredit, new economy, profit motive, purchasing power parity, rent-seeking, shareholder value, The Fortune at the Bottom of the Pyramid, time value of money, transaction costs, working poor

The ITC e-Choupal Story: Profitable Rural Transformation 339 The Samyojak The commission agents earned profit from two sources. The first was through provision of value-added logistical services that substituted for the lack of rural infrastructure. The second was by blocking information flow and market signals on the trading transactions. Complete disintermediation would result in the loss of a legitimate and essential service in the rural context. The goal was selective disintermediation so that agents would participate, but only as providers of essential services, not as principals in a trading transaction. In this incarnation, the agent was christened the samyojak. The samyojak’s collaboration began right from the selection of the first sanchalaks. Because of their long association with the business, samyojaks knew village dynamics.

The farmers we spoke with evinced great emotion for the dignity accorded to them by a professional process. Farmers mentioned simple touches such as a shaded area with chairs to await their paperwork as indicators of ITC’s respect for them and their produce. Even though intangible in the short term, the self-confidence created by the professional treatment is changing the way farmers conduct themselves. Sanchalaks and even a commission agent noted this change in farmer attitudes. ITC Gains ■ Disintermediation savings. The commissions paid to the agents were not excessive, but the true cost of intermediation, including the rent seeking, was between 2.5 percent and 3 percent of procurement costs. A 0.5 percent commission to the sanchalak has replaced this. ■ Freight costs. Direct reimbursement of transport costs to the farmer is estimated to be half of what ITC used to pay the commission agents for transport to their factory


pages: 483 words: 141,836

Red-Blooded Risk: The Secret History of Wall Street by Aaron Brown, Eric Kim

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Albert Einstein, algorithmic trading, Asian financial crisis, Atul Gawande, backtesting, Basel III, Benoit Mandelbrot, Bernie Madoff, Black Swan, capital asset pricing model, central bank independence, Checklist Manifesto, corporate governance, credit crunch, Credit Default Swap, disintermediation, distributed generation, diversification, diversified portfolio, Emanuel Derman, Eugene Fama: efficient market hypothesis, experimental subject, financial innovation, illegal immigration, implied volatility, index fund, Long Term Capital Management, loss aversion, margin call, market clearing, market fundamentalism, market microstructure, money: store of value / unit of account / medium of exchange, moral hazard, natural language processing, open economy, pre–internet, quantitative trading / quantitative finance, random walk, Richard Thaler, risk tolerance, risk-adjusted returns, risk/return, road to serfdom, Robert Shiller, Robert Shiller, shareholder value, Sharpe ratio, special drawing rights, statistical arbitrage, stochastic volatility, The Myth of the Rational Market, too big to fail, transaction costs, value at risk, yield curve

None of this information was available to the public, or even to corporate management or large investors. The government certainly didn’t know, not even the quasi-governmental Federal Reserve Board. So everyone was forced to do business with banks, on the banks’ terms. The monopoly was broken in the 1970s, but that didn’t mean information hoarding went away. Today it is done by a variety of institutions in different ways. Competition, also known as disintermediation, has brought costs down dramatically. For example, in the 1960s an individual would typically pay 3 percent more interest on a mortgage loan than he could earn on his savings account backed by mortgage loans. The difference was net revenue to the bank. It was protected by information hoarding. Only a few local institutions had the information necessary to make the loans, and individuals found it difficult to get the information necessary to make better financial investments than a savings account.

It’s true that underlying assets have their cash flows cut up—sliced if you will—but they are not then sliced twice more in orthogonal directions—diced (technically, the Veg-O-Matic didn’t dice either; it worked only in two dimensions). The slices are instead pasted together with other slices, more like making plywood than cutting vegetables. Logs in a sawmill are bathed before thin veneers for plywood are cut with a lathe. So “bathed and lathed” makes more sense than “sliced and diced.” I can also live with “hewed and glued” or “plied and dried.” Securitization takes the institution out of finance—disintermediation is the technical term. Providers and users of capital are linked directly. The reason that requires financial engineering is most providers of capital want to provide a different type of capital than most users need. Providers want diversified, liquid instruments that pay off cash at predictable times. Users have specific projects that are illiquid with unpredictable cash flows. The traditional way to solve this is to set up a financial institution.

See Bayesians/Bayesian concepts; Frequency vs. degree of belief Demon of Our Own Design, A, (Bookstaber) Derivatives/derivative money: capital creation and clearinghouses definition derivative money energy sector and exposure from derivatives liquidity and as the new money numeraire and spread trade and as store of value Derivatives Models on Models (Haug) Derman, Emanuel Desrosières, Alain Dexter, Andrew Diogenes Disintermediation Dissertation (Brown) Dorner, Dietrich Drobny, Steven Druckenmiller, Stanley Duffie, Darrell Earle, Timothy Economic Function of Futures Markets, The (Williams) Economics of Risk and Time, The (Gollier) Econophysics Education of a Speculator, The (Niederhoffer) Efficient markets hypothesis (EMH) Efficient markets theory: empirical evidence equilibrium price and father of efficient markets generally market inefficiencies and misrepresentations and myth about Efron, Brad Eichengreen, Barry Einhorn, David Eisenhower, Dwight Emergence of Probability, The (Hacking) EMH.


pages: 588 words: 131,025

The Patient Will See You Now: The Future of Medicine Is in Your Hands by Eric Topol

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23andMe, 3D printing, Affordable Care Act / Obamacare, Anne Wojcicki, Atul Gawande, augmented reality, bioinformatics, call centre, Clayton Christensen, clean water, cloud computing, computer vision, conceptual framework, connected car, correlation does not imply causation, crowdsourcing, dark matter, data acquisition, disintermediation, don't be evil, Edward Snowden, Elon Musk, en.wikipedia.org, Erik Brynjolfsson, Firefox, global village, Google Glasses, Google X / Alphabet X, Ignaz Semmelweis: hand washing, interchangeable parts, Internet of things, Isaac Newton, job automation, Joseph Schumpeter, Julian Assange, Kevin Kelly, license plate recognition, Lyft, Mark Zuckerberg, Marshall McLuhan, meta analysis, meta-analysis, microbiome, Nate Silver, natural language processing, Network effects, Nicholas Carr, obamacare, pattern recognition, personalized medicine, phenotype, placebo effect, RAND corporation, randomized controlled trial, Second Machine Age, self-driving car, Silicon Valley, Skype, smart cities, Smart Cities: Big Data, Civic Hackers, and the Quest for a New Utopia, Snapchat, social graph, speech recognition, stealth mode startup, Steve Jobs, the scientific method, The Signal and the Noise by Nate Silver, The Wealth of Nations by Adam Smith, Turing test, Uber for X, Watson beat the top human players on Jeopardy!, X Prize

With more information at their fingertips, patients can truly be in the driving seat.”96 As we reviewed in Chapter 7, we will get away from keyboards in the office, also known as “death by a thousand clicks,” and replace them with computer processing of natural language into notes.98–100 This sort of data, combined with a machine-learning powered app to turn spoken words into notes, will truly revolutionize the doctor’s visit of the future—assuming, of course, that we need the routine visits at all. Doctors Disintermediated? We’ve already seen some examples of how physicians react to the threat of being marginalized, along with their general reluctance to adapt to new technology. Now we get into the “Second Machine Age”101 question as to whether the new digital landscape will reboot the need for doctors and health professionals. Kevin Kelly, a cofounder of Wired, has asserted: “The role tasks of any information-intensive job can be automated.

FIGURE 9.3: Projection by American Association of Medical Colleges of physician shortage in the United States. Source: Adapted from “Physician Shortages to Worsen Without Increases in Residency Training,” American Association of Medical Colleges, 2014, https://www.aamc.org/download/153160/data/physician_shortages_to_worsen_without_increases_in_residency_tr.pdf. Smartphone Medicine to the Rescue? Unfortunately, most physicians don’t get it yet and are somewhat vulnerable to being marginalized or disintermediated. They haven’t gone digital. Jay Parkinson, who originated and runs a progressive primary care physician practice, wrote in the New Yorker, “I’ve hired two generations of doctors—one from my parents’ generation and one from my own. The differences are striking. One feels right at home, empowered and enabled, and the other thinks she’s going to break something. The older physician still loves what she does, and enjoys learning out of curiosity, but computers just aren’t hardwired into her brain like the younger one.”108 Earlier in the chapter I mentioned that about half of the physicians in the United States are over age fifty-five.

It doesn’t matter if you are a doctor, lawyer, architect, reporter, or even programmer.”102 The Economist weighed in on this too: “The machines are not just cleverer, but they also have access to far more data. The combination of big data and smart machines will take over some occupations wholesale.”153 But smart doctors need not feel threatened, for their occupation is secure. Letting go and competing on embracing digital medicine may turn out to be the best way to prevent disintermediation and disillusionment in the long run. SECTION THREE The Impact Chapter 10 The Edifice Complex “Start delivering healthcare farther and farther from the hospital setting and even out of doctors’ offices.” —GEORGE HALVORSON, FORMER CEO OF KAISER PERMANENTE1 “The hospital of the future will not be a hospital at all.” —DEBORAH DISANZO, FORMER CEO OF PHILIPS HEALTHCARE2,3 “In a typical hospital, overheads account for 85 to 90 percent of total costs because of the complexity of offering a ‘one size fits none’ offering.


pages: 598 words: 134,339

Data and Goliath: The Hidden Battles to Collect Your Data and Control Your World by Bruce Schneier

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23andMe, Airbnb, airport security, AltaVista, Anne Wojcicki, augmented reality, Benjamin Mako Hill, Black Swan, Brewster Kahle, Brian Krebs, call centre, Cass Sunstein, Chelsea Manning, citizen journalism, cloud computing, congestion charging, disintermediation, Edward Snowden, experimental subject, failed state, fault tolerance, Ferguson, Missouri, Filter Bubble, Firefox, friendly fire, Google Chrome, Google Glasses, hindsight bias, informal economy, Internet Archive, Internet of things, Jacob Appelbaum, Jaron Lanier, Julian Assange, Kevin Kelly, license plate recognition, linked data, Lyft, Mark Zuckerberg, Nash equilibrium, Nate Silver, national security letter, Network effects, Occupy movement, payday loans, pre–internet, price discrimination, profit motive, race to the bottom, RAND corporation, recommendation engine, RFID, self-driving car, Silicon Valley, Skype, smart cities, smart grid, Snapchat, social graph, software as a service, South China Sea, stealth mode startup, Steven Levy, Stuxnet, TaskRabbit, telemarketer, Tim Cook: Apple, transaction costs, Uber and Lyft, urban planning, WikiLeaks, zero day

music promotion and distribution: Mike Masnick (19 Jun 2013), “Hollywood’s new talking point: Gatekeepers are awesome,” Tech Dirt, https://www.techdirt.com/articles/20130613/18243923466/hollywoods-new-talking-point-gatekeepers-are-awesome.shtml. airline tickets: Alina M. Chircu and Robert J. Kauffman (1998), “Analyzing market transformation in the presence of Internet-driven disintermediation: The case of online travel reservation providers,” Management Information Systems Research Center, http://citeseerx.ist.psu.edu/viewdoc/download? doi=10.1.1.196.4820&rep=rep1&type=pdf. in some cases—advertising: Tim Williams (3 Jun 2013), “The disintermediation of the advertising agency business,” LinkedIn, http://www.linkedin.com/today/post/article/20130603205503-2042198-the-disintermediation-of-the-agency-business. Google CEO Eric Schmidt said: Eric Schmidt and Jared Cohen (2013), The New Digital Age: Reshaping the Future of People, Nations and Business, Knopf, http://www.newdigitalage.com.


pages: 515 words: 142,354

The Euro: How a Common Currency Threatens the Future of Europe by Joseph E. Stiglitz, Alex Hyde-White

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bank run, banking crisis, barriers to entry, battle of ideas, Berlin Wall, Bretton Woods, capital controls, Carmen Reinhart, cashless society, central bank independence, centre right, cognitive dissonance, collapse of Lehman Brothers, collective bargaining, corporate governance, correlation does not imply causation, credit crunch, Credit Default Swap, currency peg, dark matter, David Ricardo: comparative advantage, disintermediation, diversified portfolio, eurozone crisis, Fall of the Berlin Wall, fiat currency, financial innovation, full employment, George Akerlof, Gini coefficient, global supply chain, Growth in a Time of Debt, housing crisis, income inequality, incomplete markets, inflation targeting, investor state dispute settlement, invisible hand, Kenneth Rogoff, knowledge economy, labour market flexibility, labour mobility, manufacturing employment, market bubble, market friction, market fundamentalism, Martin Wolf, Mexican peso crisis / tequila crisis, moral hazard, mortgage debt, neoliberal agenda, new economy, open economy, paradox of thrift, pension reform, pensions crisis, price stability, profit maximization, purchasing power parity, quantitative easing, race to the bottom, risk-adjusted returns, Robert Gordon, Robert Shiller, Robert Shiller, Ronald Reagan, savings glut, secular stagnation, Silicon Valley, sovereign wealth fund, the payments system, The Wealth of Nations by Adam Smith, too big to fail, transaction costs, transfer pricing, trickle-down economics, Washington Consensus, working-age population

It is that the financial markets have failed in their basic task of recycling the savings, making sure that the savings are used productively. This function is referred to as “intermediation”—intermediating between savings and investment. Financial systems in both Europe and America have failed to perform this key role well. Indeed, in the United States, the financial sector has been engaged in disintermediation, taking money out of the corporate sector, resulting in fewer funds available for investment. Huge amounts, for instance, are leaving firms in the form of share buybacks—in 2014, some 4 percent of GDP, and in 2015, 3.5 percent. Moreover, much of the savings is being done by “long-term savers,” those saving for their retirement or money put aside by countries in their sovereign wealth funds.

., 266 Camdessus, Michel, 314 campaign contributions, 195, 355 Canada, 96 early 1990s expansion of, 209 in NAFTA, xiv railroad privatization in, 55 tax system in, 191 US’s free trade with, 45–46, 47 capital, 76–77 bank, 284–85 human, 78, 137 return to, 388 societal vs. physical, 77–78 tax on, 356 unemployment increased by, 264 capital adequacy standards, 152 capital budget, 245 capital controls, 389–90 capital flight, 126–34, 217, 354, 359 austerity and, 140 and labor flows, 135 capital flows, 14, 15, 25, 26, 27–28, 40, 116, 125, 128, 131, 351 economic volatility exacerbated by, 28, 274 and foreign ownership, 195 and technology, 139 capital inflows, 110–11 capitalism: crises in, xviii, 148–49 inclusive, 317 capital requirements, 152, 249, 378 Caprio, Gerry, 387 capture, 158–60 carbon price, 230, 260, 265, 368 cash, 39 cash flow, 194 Catalonia, xi CDU party, 314 central banks, 59, 354, 387–88 balance sheets of, 386 capture of, 158–59 credit auctions by, 282–84 credit creation by, 277–78 expertise of, 363 independence of, 157–63 inequality created by, 154 inflation and, 153, 166–67 as lender of last resort, 85, 362 as political institutions, 160–62 regulations and, 153 stability and, 8 unemployment and, 8, 94, 97, 106, 147, 153 CEO compensation, 383 Chapter 11, 259–60, 291 childhood poverty, 72 Chile, 55, 152–53 China, 81, 98, 164, 319, 352 exchange-rate policy of, 251, 254, 350–51 global integration of, 49–50 low prices of, 251 rise of, 75 savings in, 257 trade surplus of, 118, 121, 350–52 wages controlled in, 254 as world’s largest economy, 318, 327 chits, 287–88, 290, 299–300, 387, 388–389 Citigroup, 355 climate change, 229–30, 251, 282, 319 Clinton, Bill, xiv, xv, 187 closing hours, 220 cloves, 230 cognitive capture, 159 Cohesion Fund, 243 Cold War, 6 collateral, 364 collective action, 41–44, 51–52 and inequality, 338 and stabilization, 246 collective bargaining, 221 collective goods, 40 Common Agricultural Policy, 338 common regulatory framework, 241 communism, 10 Community Reinvestment Act (CRA), 360, 382 comparative advantage, 12, 171 competition, 12 competitive devaluation, 104–6, 254 compromise, 22–23 confidence, 95, 200–201, 384 in banks, 127 in bonds, 145 and structural reforms, 232 and 2008 crisis, 280 confirmation bias, 309, 335 Congress, US, 319, 355 connected lending, 280 connectedness, 68–69 Connecticut, GDP of, 92 Constitutional Court, Greek, 198 consumption, 94, 278 consumption tax, 193–94 contract enforcement, 24 convergence, 13, 92–93, 124, 125, 139, 254, 300–301 convergence criteria, 15, 87, 89, 96–97, 99, 123, 244 copper mines, 55 corporate income tax, 189–90, 227 corporate taxes, 189–90, 227, 251 corporations, 323 regulations opposed by, xvi and shutdown of Greek banks, 229 corruption, 74, 112 privatization and, 194–95 Costa, António, 332 Council of Economic Advisers, 358 Council of State, Greek, 198 countercyclical fiscal policy, 244 counterfactuals, 80 Countrywide Financial, 91 credit, 276–85 “divorce”’s effect on, 278–79 excessive, 250, 274 credit auctions, 282–84 credit bubbles, 122–123 credit cards, 39, 49, 153 credit creation, 248–50, 277–78, 386 by banks, 280–82 domestic control over, 279–82 regulation of, 277–78 credit default swaps (CDSs), 159–60 crisis policy reforms, 262–67 austerity to growth, 263–65 debt restructuring and, 265–67 Croatia, 46, 331, 338 currency crises, 349 currency pegs, xii current account, 333–34 current account deficits, 19, 88, 108, 110, 120–121, 221, 294 and exit from euro, 273, 285–89 see also trade deficit Cyprus, 16, 30, 140, 177, 331, 386 capital controls in, 390 debt-to-GDP ratio of, 231 “haircut” of, 350, 367 Czech Republic, 46, 331 debit cards, 39, 49 debtors’ prison, 204 debt restructuring, 201, 203–6, 265–67, 290–92, 372, 390 of private debt, 291 debts, xx, 15, 93, 96, 183 corporate, 93–94 crisis in, 110–18 in deflation, xii and exit from eurozone, 273 with foreign currency, 115–18 household, 93–94 increase in, 18 inherited, 134 limits of, 42, 87, 122, 141, 346, 367 monetization of, 42 mutualization of, 242–43, 263 place-based, 134, 242 reprofiling of, 32 restructuring of, 259 debt-to-GDP ratio, 202, 210–11, 231, 266, 324 Declaration of Independence, 319 defaults, 102, 241, 338, 348 and debt mutualization, 243 deficit fetishism, 96 deficits, fiscal, xx, 15, 20, 93, 96, 106, 107–8, 122, 182, 384 and balanced-budget multiplier, 188–90, 265 constitutional amendment on, 339 and exit from euro, 273, 289–90 in Greece, 16, 186, 215, 233, 285–86, 289 limit of, 42, 87, 94–95, 122, 138, 141, 186, 243, 244, 265, 346, 367 primary, 188 problems financing, 110–12 structural, 245 deficits, trade, see trade deficits deflation, xii, 147, 148, 151, 166, 169, 277, 290 Delors, Jacques, 7, 332 democracy, lack of faith in, 312–14 Democracy in America (Tocqueville), xiii democratic deficit, 26–27, 35, 57–62, 145 democratic participation, xix Denmark, 45, 307, 313, 331 euro referendum of, 58 deposit insurance, 31, 44, 129, 199, 301, 354–55, 386–87 common in eurozone, 241, 242, 246, 248 derivatives, 131, 355 Deutsche Bank, 283, 355 devaluation, 98, 104–6, 254, 344 see also internal devaluation developing countries, and Washington Consensus, xvi discretion, 262–63 discriminatory lending practices, 283 disintermediation, 258 divergence, 15, 123, 124–44, 255–56, 300, 321 in absence of crisis, 128–31 capital flight and, 126–34 crisis policies’ exacerbation of, 140–43 free mobility of labor and, 134–36, 142–44, 242 in public investment, 136–38 reforms to prevent, 243 single-market principle and, 125–26 in technology, 138–39 in wealth, 139–40 see also capital flows; labor movement diversification, of production, 47 Dodd-Frank Wall Street Reform and Consumer Protection Act, 355 dollar peg, 50 downsizing, 133 Draghi, Mario, 127, 145, 156, 158, 165, 269, 363 bond market supported by, 127, 200, 201 Drago, Luis María, 371 drug prices, 219 Duisenberg, Willem Frederik “Wim,” 251 Dynamic Stochastic Equilibrium model, 331 East Asia, 18, 25, 95, 102–3, 112, 123, 202, 364, 381 convergence in, 138 Eastern Europe, 10 Economic Adjustment Programme, 178 economic distortions, 191 economic growth, xii, 34 confidence and, 232 in Europe, 63–64, 69, 73–74, 74, 75, 163 lowered by inequality, 212–13 reform of, 263–65 and structural reforms, 232–35 economic integration, xiv–xx, 23, 39–50 euro and, 46–47 political integration vs., 51–57 single currency and, 45–46 economic rents, 226, 280 economics, politics and, 308–18 economic security, 68 economies of scale, 12, 39, 55, 138 economists, poor forecasting by, 307 education, 20, 76, 344 investment in, 40, 69, 137, 186, 211, 217, 251, 255, 300 electricity, 217 electronic currency, 298–99, 389 electronics payment mechanism, 274–76, 283–84 emigration, 4, 68–69 see also migration employment: central banks and, 8, 94, 97 structural reforms and, 257–60 see also unemployment Employment Act (1946), 148 energy subsidies, 197 Enlightenment, 3, 318–19 environment, 41, 257, 260, 323 equality, 225–26 equilibrium, xviii–xix Erasmus program, 45 Estonia, 90, 331, 346 euro, xiv, 325 adjustments impeded by, 13–14 case for, 35–39 creation of, xii, 5–6, 7, 10, 333 creation of institutions required by, 10–11 divergence and, see divergence divorce of, 272–95, 307 economic integration and, 46–47, 268 as entailing fixed exchange rate, 8, 42–43, 46–47, 86–87, 92, 93, 94, 102, 105, 143, 193, 215–16, 240, 244, 249, 252, 254, 286, 297 as entailing single interest rate, 8, 85–88, 92, 93, 94, 105, 129, 152, 240, 244, 249 and European identification, 38–39 financial instability caused by, 131–32 growth promised by, 235 growth slowed by, 73 hopes for, 34 inequality increased by, xviii interest rates lowered by, 235 internal devaluation of, see internal devaluation literature on, 327–28 as means to end, xix peace and, 38 proponents of, 13 referenda on, 58, 339–40 reforms needed for, xii–xiii, 28–31 risk of, 49–50 weakness of, 224 see also flexible euro Eurobond, 356 euro crisis, xiii, 3, 4, 9 catastrophic consequences of, 11–12 euro-euphoria, 116–17 Europe, 151 free trade area in, 44–45 growth rates in, 63–64, 69, 73–74, 74, 75, 163 military conflicts in, 196 social models of, 21 European Central Bank (ECB), 7, 17, 80, 112–13, 117, 144, 145–73, 274, 313, 362, 368, 380 capture of, 158–59 confidence in, 200–201 corporate bonds bought by, 141 creation of, 8, 85 democratic deficit and, 26, 27 excessive expansion controlled by, 250 flexibility of, 269 funds to Greece cut off by, 59 German challenges to, 117, 164 governance and, 157–63 inequality created by, 154–55 inflation controlled by, 8, 25, 97, 106, 115, 145, 146–50, 151, 163, 165, 169–70, 172, 250, 256, 266 interest rates set by, 85–86, 152, 249, 302, 348 Ireland forced to socialize losses by, 134, 156, 165 new mandate needed by, 256 as political institution, 160–62 political nature of, 153–56 quantitative easing opposed by, 151 quantitative easing undertaken by, 164, 165–66, 170, 171 regulations by, 249, 250 unemployment and, 163 as unrepresentative, 163 European Commission, 17, 58, 161, 313, 332 European Court of Human Rights, 45 European Economic Community (EEC), 6 European Exchange Rate Mechanism (ERM), 30, 335 European Exchange Rate Mechanism II (ERM II), 336 European Free Trade Association, 44 European Free Trade Association Court, 44 European Investment Bank (EIB), 137, 247, 255, 301 European Regional Development Fund, 243 European Stability Mechanism, 23, 246, 357 European Union: budget of, 8, 45, 91 creation of, 4 debt and deficit limits in, 87–88 democratic deficit in, 26–27 economic growth in, 215 GDP of, xiii and lower rates of war, 196 migration in, 90 proposed exit of UK from, 4 stereotypes in, 12 subsidiarity in, 8, 41–42, 263 taxes in, 8, 261 Euro Summit Statement, 373 eurozone: austerity in, see austerity banking union in, see banking union counterfactual in, 235–36 double-dip recessions in, 234–35 Draghi’s speech and, 145 economic integration and, xiv–xx, 23, 39–50, 51–57 as flawed at birth, 7–9 framework for stability of, 244–52 German departure from, 32, 292–93 Greece’s possible exit from, 124 hours worked in, 71–72 lack of fiscal policy in, 152 and move to political integration, xvi, 34, 35, 51–57 Mundell’s work on dangers of, 87 policies of, 15–17 possible breakup of, 29–30 privatization avoided in, 194 saving, 323–26 stagnant GDP in, 12, 65–68, 66, 67 structure of, 8–9 surpluses in, 120–22 theory of, 95–97 unemployment in, 71, 135, 163, 177–78, 181, 331 working-age population of, 70 eurozone, proposed structural reforms for, 239–71 common financial system, see banking union excessive fiscal responsibility, 163 exchange-rate risks, 13, 47, 48, 49–50, 125, 235 exchange rates, 80, 85, 288, 300, 338, 382, 389 of China, 251, 254, 350–51 and competitive devaluation, 105–6 after departure of northern countries, 292–93 of euro, 8, 42–43, 46–47, 86–87, 92, 93, 94, 102, 105, 215–16, 240, 244, 249, 252, 254, 286, 297 flexible, 50, 248, 349 and full employment, 94 of Germany, 254–55, 351 gold and, 344–45 imports and, 86 interest rates and, 86 quantitative easing’s lowering of, 151 real, 105–6 and single currencies, 8, 42–43, 46–47, 86–87, 92, 93, 94, 97–98 stabilizing, 299–301 and trade deficits, 107, 118 expansionary contractions, 95–96, 208–9 exports, 86, 88, 97–99, 98 disappointing performance of, 103–5 external imbalances, 97–98, 101, 109 externalities, 42–43, 121, 153, 301–2 surpluses as, 253 extremism, xx, 4 Fannie Mae, 91 farmers, US, in deflation, xii Federal Deposit Insurance Corporation (FDIC), 91 Federal Reserve, US, 349 alleged independence of, 157 interest rates lowered by, 150 mandate of, 8, 147, 172 money pumped into economy by, 278 quantitative easing used by, 151, 170 reform of, 146 fiat currency, 148, 275 and taxes, 284 financial markets: lobbyists from, 132 reform of, 214, 228–29 short-sighted, 112–13 financial systems: necessity of, xix real economy of, 149 reform of, 257–58 regulations needed by, xix financial transaction system, 275–76 Finland, 16, 81, 122, 126, 292, 296, 331, 343 growth in, 296–97 growth rate of, 75, 76, 234–35 fire departments, 41 firms, 138, 186–87, 245, 248 fiscal balance: and cutting spending, 196–98 tax revenue and, 190–96 Fiscal Compact, 141, 357 fiscal consolidation, 310 fiscal deficits, see deficits, fiscal fiscal policy, 148, 245, 264 in center of macro-stabilization, 251 countercyclical, 244 in EU, 8 expansionary, 254–55 stabilization of, 250–52 fiscal prudence, 15 fiscal responsibility, 163 flexibility, 262–63, 269 flexible euro, 30–31, 272, 296–305, 307 cooperation needed for, 304–5 food prices, 169 forbearance, 130–31 forecasts, 307 foreclosure proposal, 180 foreign ownership, privatization and, 195 forestry, 81 France, 6, 14, 16, 114, 120, 141, 181–82, 331, 339–40, 343 banks of, 202, 203, 231, 373 corporate income tax in, 189–90 euro creation regretted in, 340 European Constitution referendum of, 58 extreme right in, xi growth in, 247 Freddie Mac, 91 Freefall (Stiglitz), 264, 335 free mobility of labor, xiv, 26, 40, 125, 134–36, 142–44, 242 Friedman, Milton, 151, 152–53, 167, 339 full employment, 94–97, 379 G-20, 121 gas: import of, 230 from Russia, 37, 81, 93 Gates Foundation, 276 GDP-indexed bonds, 267 German bonds, 114, 323 German Council of Economic Experts, 179, 365 Germany, xxi, 14, 30, 65, 108, 114, 141, 181–82, 207, 220, 286, 307, 331, 343, 346, 374 austerity pushed by, 186, 232 banks of, 202, 203, 231–32, 373 costs to taxpayers of, 184 as creditor, 140, 187, 267 debt collection by, 117 debt in, 105 and debt restructuring, 205, 311 in departure from eurozone, 32, 292–93 as dependent on Russian gas, 37 desire to leave eurozone, 314 ECB criticized by, 164 EU economic practices controlled by, 17 euro creation regretted in, 340 exchange rate of, 254–55, 351 failure of, 13, 78–79 flexible exchange of, 304 GDP of, xviii, 92 in Great Depression, 187 growing poverty in, 79 growth of, 78, 106, 247 hours worked per worker in, 72 inequality in, 79, 333 inflation in, 42, 338, 358 internal solidarity of, 334 lack of alternative to euro seen by, 11 migrants to, 320–21, 334–35, 393 minimum wage in, 42, 120, 254 neoliberalism in, 10 and place-based debt, 136 productivity in, 71 programs designed by, 53, 60, 61, 202, 336, 338 reparations paid by, 187 reunification of, 6 rules as important to, 57, 241–42, 262 share of global employment in, 224 shrinking working-age population of, 70, 78–79 and Stability and Growth Pact, 245 and structural reforms, 19–20 “there is no alternative” and, 306, 311–12 trade surplus of, 117, 118–19, 120, 139, 253, 293, 299, 350–52, 381–82, 391 “transfer union” rejected by, 22 US loans to, 187 victims blamed by, 9, 15–17, 177–78, 309 wages constrained by, 41, 42–43 wages lowered in, 105, 333 global financial crisis, xi, xiii–xiv, 3, 12, 17, 24, 67, 73, 75, 114, 124, 146, 148, 274, 364, 387 and central bank independence, 157–58 and confidence, 280 and cost of failure of financial institutions, 131 lessons of, 249 monetary policy in, 151 and need for structural reform, 214 originating in US, 65, 68, 79–80, 112, 128, 296, 302 globalization, 51, 321–23 and diminishing share of employment in advanced countries, 224 economic vs. political, xvii failures of, xvii Globalization and Its Discontents (Stig-litz), 234, 335, 369 global savings glut, 257 global secular stagnation, 120 global warming, 229–30, 251, 282, 319 gold, 257, 275, 277, 345 Goldman Sachs, 158, 366 gold standard, 148, 291, 347, 358 in Great Depression, xii, 100 goods: free movement of, 40, 143, 260–61 nontraded, 102, 103, 169, 213, 217, 359 traded, 102, 103, 216 Gordon, Robert, 251 governance, 157–63, 258–59 government spending, trade deficits and, 107–8 gravity principle, 124, 127–28 Great Depression, 42, 67, 105, 148, 149, 168, 313 Friedman on causes of, 151 gold standard in, xii, 100 Great Malaise, 264 Greece, 14, 30, 41, 64, 81, 100, 117, 123, 142, 160, 177, 265–66, 278, 307, 331, 343, 366, 367–68, 374–75, 386 austerity opposed by, 59, 60–62, 69–70, 207–8, 392 balance of payments, 219 banks in, 200–201, 228–29, 231, 270, 276, 367, 368 blaming of, 16, 17 bread in, 218, 230 capital controls in, 390 consumption tax and, 193–94 counterfactual scenario of, 80 current account surplus of, 287–88 and debt restructuring, 205–7 debt-to-GDP ratio of, 231 debt write-offs in, 291 decline in labor costs in, 56, 103 ECB’s cutting of funds to, 59 economic growth in, 215, 247 emigration from, 68–69 fiscal deficits in, 16, 186, 215, 233, 285–86, 289 GDP of, xviii, 183, 309 hours worked per worker in, 72 inequality in, 72 inherited debt in, 134 lack of faith in democracy in, 312–13 living standards in, 216 loans in, 127 loans to, 310 migrants and, 320–21 milk in, 218, 223, 230 new currency in, 291, 300 oligarchs in, 16, 227 output per working-age person in, 70–71 past downturns in, 235–36 pensions in, 16, 78, 188, 197–98, 226 pharmacies in, 218–20 population decline in, 69, 89 possible exit from eurozone of, 124, 197, 273, 274, 275 poverty in, 226, 261, 376 primary surplus of, 187–88, 312 privatization in, 55, 195–96 productivity in, 71, 342 programs imposed on, xv, 21, 27, 60–62, 140, 155–56, 179–80, 181, 182–83, 184–85, 187–88, 190–93, 195–96, 197–98, 202–3, 205, 206, 214–16, 218–23, 225–28, 229, 230, 231, 233–34, 273, 278, 308, 309–11, 312, 315–16, 336, 338 renewable energy in, 193, 229 social capital destroyed in, 78 sovereign spread of, 200 spread in, 332 and structural reforms, 20, 70, 188, 191 tax revenue in, 16, 142, 192, 227, 367–368 tools lacking for recovery of, 246 tourism in, 192, 286 trade deficits in, 81, 194, 216–17, 222, 285–86 unemployment in, xi, 71, 236, 267, 332, 338, 342 urgency in, 214–15 victim-blaming of, 309–11 wages in, 216–17 youth unemployment in, xi, 332 Greek bonds, 116, 126 interest rates on, 4, 114, 181–82, 201–2, 323 restructuring of, 206–7 green investments, 260 Greenspan, Alan, 251, 359, 363 Grexit, see Greece, possible exit from eurozone of grocery stores, 219 gross domestic product (GDP), xvii decline in, 3 measurement of, 341 Growth and Stability Pact, 87 hedge funds, 282, 363 highways, 41 Hitler, Adolf, 338, 358 Hochtief, 367–68 Hoover, Herbert, 18, 95 human capital, 78, 137 human rights, 44–45, 319 Hungary, 46, 331, 338 hysteresis, 270 Iceland, 44, 111, 307, 354–55 banks in, 91 capital controls in, 390 ideology, 308–9, 315–18 imports, 86, 88, 97–99, 98, 107 incentives, 158–59 inclusive capitalism, 317 income, unemployment and, 77 income tax, 45 Independent Commission for the Reform of International Corporate Taxation, 376–377 Indonesia, 113, 230–31, 314, 350, 364, 378 industrial policies, 138–39, 301 and restructuring, 217, 221, 223–25 Industrial Revolution, 3, 224 industry, 89 inequality, 45, 72–73, 333 aggregate demand lowered by, 212 created by central banks, 154 ECB’s creation of, 154–55 economic performance affected by, xvii euro’s increasing of, xviii growth’s lowering of, 212 hurt by collective action, 338 increased by neoliberalism, xviii increase in, 64, 154–55 inequality in, 72, 212 as moral issue, xviii in Spain, 72, 212, 225–26 and tax harmonization, 260–61 and tax system, 191 inflation, 277, 290, 314, 388 in aftermath of tech bubble, 251 bonds and, 161 central banks and, 153, 166–67 consequences of fixation on, 149–50, 151 costs of, 270 and debt monetization, 42 ECB and, 8, 25, 97, 106, 115, 145, 146–50, 151, 163, 165, 169–70, 172, 255, 256, 266 and food prices, 169 in Germany, 42, 338, 358 interest rates and, 43–44 in late 1970s, 168 and natural rate hypothesis, 172–73 political decisions and, 146 inflation targeting, 157, 168–70, 364 information, 335 informational capital, 77 infrastructure, xvi–xvii, 47, 137, 186, 211, 255, 258, 265, 268, 300 inheritance tax, 368 inherited debt, 134 innovation, 138 innovation economy, 317–18 inputs, 217 instability, xix institutions, 93, 247 poorly designed, 163–64 insurance, 355–356 deposit, see deposit insurance mutual, 247 unemployment, 91, 186, 246, 247–48 integration, 322 interest rates, 43–44, 86, 282, 345, 354 in aftermath of tech bubble, 251 ECB’s determination of, 85–86, 152, 249, 302, 348 and employment, 94 euro’s lowering of, 235 Fed’s lowering of, 150 on German bonds, 114 on Greek bonds, 4, 114, 181–82 on Italian bonds, 114 in late 1970s, 168 long-term, 151, 200 negative, 316, 348–49 quantitative easing and, 151, 170 short-term, 249 single, eurozone’s entailing of, 8, 85–88, 92, 93, 94, 105, 129, 152, 240, 244, 249 on Spanish bonds, 114, 199 spread in, 332 stock prices increased by, 264 at zero lower bound, 106 intermediation, 258 internal devaluation, 98–109, 122, 126, 220, 255, 388 supply-side effects of, 99, 103–4 International Commission on the Measurement of Economic Performance and Social Progress, 79, 341 International Labor Organization, 56 International Monetary Fund (IMF), xv, xvii, 10, 17, 18, 55, 61, 65–66, 96, 111, 112–13, 115–16, 119, 154, 234, 289, 309, 316, 337, 349, 350, 370, 371, 381 and Argentine debt, 206 conditions of, 201 creation of, 105 danger of high taxation warnings of, 190 debt reduction pushed by, 95 and debt restructuring, 205, 311 and failure to restore credit, 201 global imbalances discussed by, 252 and Greek debts, 205, 206, 310–11 on Greek surplus, 188 and Indonesian crisis, 230–31, 364 on inequality’s lowering of growth, 212–13 Ireland’s socialization of losses opposed by, 156–57 mistakes admitted by, 262, 312 on New Mediocre, 264 Portuguese bailout of, 178–79 tax measures of, 185 investment, 76–77, 111, 189, 217, 251, 264, 278, 367 confidence and, 94 divergence in, 136–38 in education, 137, 186, 211, 217, 251, 255, 300 infrastructure in, xvi–xvii, 47, 137, 186, 211, 255, 258, 265, 268, 300 lowered by disintermediation, 258 public, 99 real estate, 199 in renewable energy, 229–30 return on, 186, 245 stimulation of, 94 in technology, 137, 138–39, 186, 211, 217, 251, 258, 265, 300 investor state dispute settlement (ISDS), 393–94 invisible hand, xviii Iraq, refugees from, 320 Iraq War, 36, 37 Ireland, 14, 16, 44, 113, 114–15, 122, 178, 234, 296, 312, 331, 339–40, 343, 362 austerity opposed in, 207 debt of, 196 emigrants from, 68–69 GDP of, 18, 231 growth in, 64, 231, 247, 340 inherited debt in, 134 losses socialized in, 134, 156–57, 165 low debt in, 88 real estate bubble in, 108, 114–15, 126 surplus in, 17, 88 taxes in, 142–43, 376 trade deficits in, 119 unemployment in, 178 irrational exuberance, 14, 114, 116–17, 149, 334, 359 ISIS, 319 Italian bonds, 114, 165, 323 Italy, 6, 14, 16, 120, 125, 331, 343 austerity opposed in, 59 GDP per capita in, 352 growth in, 247 sovereign spread of, 200 Japan, 151, 333, 342 bubble in, 359 debt of, 202 growth in, 78 quantitative easing used by, 151, 359 shrinking working-age population of, 70 Java, unemployment on, 230 jobs gap, 120 Juncker, Jean-Claude, 228 Keynes, John Maynard, 118, 120, 172, 187, 351 convergence policy suggested by, 254 Keynesian economics, 64, 95, 108, 153, 253 King, Mervyn, 390 knowledge, 137, 138–39, 337–38 Kohl, Helmut, 6–7, 337 krona, 287 labor, marginal product of, 356 labor laws, 75 labor markets, 9, 74 friction in, 336 reforms of, 214, 221 labor movement, 26, 40, 125, 134–36, 320 austerity and, 140 capital flows and, 135 see also migration labor rights, 56 Lamers, Karl, 314 Lancaster, Kelvin, 27 land tax, 191 Latin America, 10, 55, 95, 112, 202 lost decade in, 168 Latvia, 331, 346 GDP of, 92 law of diminishing returns, 40 learning by doing, 77 Lehman Brothers, 182 lender of last resort, 85, 362, 368 lending, 280, 380 discriminatory, 283 predatory, 274, 310 lending rates, 278 leverage, 102 Lichtenstein, 44 Lipsey, Richard, 27 liquidity, 201, 264, 278, 354 ECB’s expansion of, 256 lira, 14 Lithuania, 331 living standards, 68–70 loans: contraction of, 126–27, 246 nonperforming, 241 for small and medium-size businesses, 246–47 lobbyists, from financial sector, 132 location, 76 London interbank lending rate (LIBOR), 131, 355 Long-Term Refinancing Operation, 360–361 Lucas, Robert, xi Luxembourg, 6, 94, 142–43, 331, 343 as tax avoidance center, 228, 261 luxury cars, 265 Maastricht Treaty, xiii, 6, 87, 115, 146, 244, 298, 339, 340 macro-prudential regulations, 249 Malta, 331, 340 manufacturing, 89, 223–24 market failures, 48–49, 86, 148, 149, 335 rigidities, 101 tax policy’s correction of, 193 market fundamentalism, see neoliberalism market irrationality, 110, 125–26, 149 markets, limitations of, 10 Meade, James, 27 Medicaid, 91 medical care, 196 Medicare, 90, 91 Mellon, Andrew, 95 Memorandum of Agreement, 233–34 Merkel, Angela, 186 Mexico, 202, 369 bailout of, 113 in NAFTA, xiv Middle East, 321 migrant crisis, 44 migration, 26, 40, 68–69, 90, 125, 320–21, 334–35, 342, 356, 393 unemployment and, 69, 90, 135, 140 see also labor movement military power, 36–37 milk, 218, 223, 230 minimum wage, 42, 120, 254, 255, 351 mining, 257 Mississippi, GDP of, 92 Mitsotakis, Constantine, 377–78 Mitsotakis, Kyriakos, 377–78 Mitterrand, François, 6–7 monetarism, 167–68, 169, 364 monetary policy, 24, 85–86, 148, 264, 325, 345, 364 as allegedly technocratic, 146, 161–62 conservative theory of, 151, 153 in early 1980s US, 168, 210 flexibility of, 244 in global financial crisis, 151 political nature of, 146, 153–54 recent developments in theory of, 166–73 see also interest rates monetary union, see single currencies money laundering, 354 monopolists, privatization and, 194 moral hazard, 202, 203 mortgage rates, 170 mortgages, 302 multinational chains, 219 multinational development banks, 137 multinationals, 127, 223, 376 multipliers, 211–12, 248 balanced-budget, 188–90, 265 Mundell, Robert, 87 mutual insurance, 247 mutualization of debt, 242–43, 263 national development banks, 137–38 natural monopolies, 55 natural rate hypothesis, 172 negative shocks, 248 neoliberalism, xvi, 24–26, 33, 34, 98–99, 109, 257, 265, 332–33, 335, 354 on bubbles, 381 and capital flows, 28 and central bank independence, 162–63 in Germany, 10 inequality increased by, xviii low inflation desired by, 147 recent scholarship against, 24 Netherlands, 6, 44, 292, 331, 339–40, 343 European Constitution referendum of, 58 New Democracy Party, Greek, 61, 185, 377–78 New Mediocre, 264 New World, 148 New Zealand, 364 Nokia, 81, 234, 297 nonaccelerating inflation rate of unemployment (NAIRU), 379–80 nonaccelerating wage rate of unemployment (NAWRU), 379–80 nongovernmental organizations (NGOs), 276 nonperforming loans, 241 nontraded goods sector, 102, 103, 169, 213, 217, 359 North American Free Trade Agreement (NAFTA), xiv North Atlantic Treaty Organization (NATO), 196 Norway, 12, 44, 307 referendum on joining EU, 58 nuclear deterrence, 38 Obama, Barack, 319 oil, import of, 230 oil firms, 36 oil prices, 89, 168, 259, 359 oligarchs: in Greece, 16, 227 in Russia, 280 optimal currency area, 345 output, 70–71, 111 after recessions, 76 Outright Monetary Transactions program, 361 overregulate, 132 Oxfam, 72 panic of 1907, 147 Papandreou, Andreas, 366 Papandreou, George, xiv, 60–61, 184, 185, 220, 221, 226–27, 309, 312, 366, 373 reform of banks suggested by, 229 paradox of thrift, 120 peace, 34 pensions, 9, 16, 78, 177, 188, 197–98, 226, 276, 370 People’s Party, Portugal, 392 periphery, 14, 32, 171, 200, 296, 301, 318 see also specific countries peseta, 14 pharmacies, 218–20 Phishing for Phools (Akerlof and Shiller), 132 physical capital, 77–78 Pinochet, Augusto, 152–53 place-based debt, 134, 242 Pleios, George, 377 Poland, 46, 333, 339 assistance to, 243 in Iraq War, 37 police, 41 political integration, xvi, 34, 35 economic integration vs., 51–57 politics, economics and, 308–18 pollution, 260 populism, xx Portugal, 14, 16, 64, 177, 178, 331, 343, 346 austerity opposed by, 59, 207–8, 315, 332, 392 GDP of, 92 IMF bailout of, 178–79 loans in, 127 poverty in, 261 sovereign spread of, 200 Portuguese bonds, 179 POSCO, 55 pound, 287, 335, 346 poverty, 72 in Greece, 226, 261 in Portugal, 261 in Spain, 261 predatory lending, 274, 310 present discount value, 343 Price of Inequality, The (Stiglitz), 154 prices, 19, 24 adjustment of, 48, 338, 361 price stability, 161 primary deficit, 188, 389 primary surpluses, 187–88 private austerity, 126–27, 241–42 private sector involvement, 113 privatization, 55, 194–96, 369 production costs, 39, 43, 50 production function, 343 productivity, 71, 332, 348 in manufacturing, 223–24 after recessions, 76–77 programs, 17–18 Germany’s design of, 53, 60, 61, 187–88, 205, 336, 338 imposed on Greece, xv, 21, 27, 60–62, 140, 155–56, 179–80, 181, 182–83, 184–85, 187–88, 190–93, 195–96, 197–98, 202–3, 205, 206, 214–16, 218–23, 225–28, 229, 230, 231, 233–34, 273, 278, 308, 309–11, 312, 315–16, 336, 338 of Troika, 17–18, 21, 155–57, 179–80, 181, 182–83, 184–85, 187–93, 196, 202, 205, 207, 208, 214–16, 217, 218–23, 225–28, 229, 231, 233–34, 273, 278, 308, 309–11, 312, 313, 314, 315–16, 323–24, 346, 366, 379, 392 progressive automatic stabilizers, 244 progressive taxes, 248 property rights, 24 property taxes, 192–93, 227 public entities, 195 public goods, 40, 337–38 quantitative easing (QE), 151, 164, 165–66, 170–72, 264, 359, 361, 386 railroads, 55 Reagan, Ronald, 168, 209 real estate bubble, 25, 108, 109, 111, 114–15, 126, 148, 172, 250, 301, 302 cause of, 198 real estate investment, 199 real exchange rate, 105–6, 215–16 recessions, recovery from, 94–95 recovery, 76 reform, 75 theories of, 27–28 regulations, 24, 149, 152, 162, 250, 354, 355–356, 378 and Bush administration, 250–51 common, 241 corporate opposition to, xvi difficulties in, 132–33 of finance, xix forbearance on, 130–31 importance of, 152–53 macro-prudential, 249 in race to bottom, 131–34 Reinhardt, Carmen, 210 renewable energy, 193, 229–30 Republican Party, US, 319 research and development (R&D), 77, 138, 217, 251, 317–18 Ricardo, David, 40, 41 risk, 104, 153, 285 excessive, 250 risk markets, 27 Rogoff, Kenneth, 210 Romania, 46, 331, 338 Royal Bank of Scotland, 355 rules, 57, 241–42, 262, 296 Russia, 36, 264, 296 containment of, 318 economic rents in, 280 gas from, 37, 81, 93, 378 safety nets, 99, 141, 223 Samaras, Antonis, 61, 309, 377 savings, 120 global, 257 savings and loan crisis, 360 Schäuble, Wolfgang, 57, 220, 314, 317 Schengen area, 44 schools, 41, 196 Schröeder, Gerhard, 254 self-regulation, 131, 159 service sector, 224 shadow banking system, 133 shareholder capitalism, 21 Shiller, Rob, 132, 359 shipping taxes, 227, 228 short-termism, 77, 258–59 Silicon Valley, 224 silver, 275, 277 single currencies: conflicts and, 38 as entailing fixed exchange rates, 8, 42–43, 46–47, 86–87, 92, 93, 94, 97–98 external imbalances and, 97–98 and financial crises, 110–18 integration and, 45–46, 50 interest rates and, 8, 86, 87–88, 92, 93, 94 Mundell’s work on, 87 requirements for, 5, 52–53, 88–89, 92–94, 97–98 and similarities among countries, 15 trade integration vs., 393 in US, 35, 36, 88, 89–92 see also euro single-market principle, 125–26, 231 skilled workers, 134–35 skills, 77 Slovakia, 331 Slovenia, 331 small and medium-sized enterprises (SMEs), 127, 138, 171, 229 small and medium-size lending facility, 246–47, 300, 301, 382 Small Business Administration, 246 small businesses, 153 Smith, Adam, xviii, 24, 39–40, 41 social cohesion, 22 Social Democratic Party, Portugal, 392 social program, 196 Social Security, 90, 91 social solidarity, xix societal capital, 77–78 solar energy, 193, 229 solidarity fund, 373 solidarity fund for stabilization, 244, 254, 264, 301 Soros, George, 390 South Dakota, 90, 346 South Korea, 55 bailout of, 113 sovereign risk, 14, 353 sovereign spreads, 200 sovereign wealth funds, 258 Soviet Union, 10 Spain, 14, 16, 114, 177, 178, 278, 331, 335, 343 austerity opposed by, 59, 207–8, 315 bank bailout of, 179, 199–200, 206 banks in, 23, 186, 199, 200, 242, 270, 354 debt of, 196 debt-to-GDP ratio of, 231 deficits of, 109 economic growth in, 215, 231, 247 gold supply in, 277 independence movement in, xi inequality in, 72, 212, 225–26 inherited debt in, 134 labor reforms proposed for, 155 loans in, 127 low debt in, 87 poverty in, 261 real estate bubble in, 25, 108, 109, 114–15, 126, 198, 301, 302 regional independence demanded in, 307 renewable energy in, 229 sovereign spread of, 200 spread in, 332 structural reform in, 70 surplus in, 17, 88 threat of breakup of, 270 trade deficits in, 81, 119 unemployment in, 63, 161, 231, 235, 332, 338 Spanish bonds, 114, 199, 200 spending, cutting, 196–98 spread, 332 stability, 147, 172, 261, 301, 364 automatic, 244 bubble and, 264 central banks and, 8 as collective action problem, 246 solidarity fund for, 54, 244, 264 Stability and Growth Pact, 245 standard models, 211–13 state development banks, 138 steel companies, 55 stock market, 151 stock market bubble, 200–201 stock market crash (1929), 18, 95 stock options, 259, 359 structural deficit, 245 Structural Funds, 243 structural impediments, 215 structural realignment, 252–56 structural reforms, 9, 18, 19–20, 26–27, 214–36, 239–71, 307 from austerity to growth, 263–65 banking union, 241–44 and climate change, 229–30 common framework for stability, 244–52 counterproductive, 222–23 debt restructuring and, 265–67 of finance, 228–29 full employment and growth, 256–57 in Greece, 20, 70, 188, 191, 214–36 growth and, 232–35 shared prosperity and, 260–61 and structural realignment, 252–56 of trade deficits, 216–17 trauma of, 224 as trivial, 214–15, 217–20, 233 subsidiarity, 8, 41–42, 263 subsidies: agricultural, 45, 197 energy, 197 sudden stops, 111 Suharto, 314 suicide, 82, 344 Supplemental Nutrition Assistance Program (SNAP), 91 supply-side effects: in Greece, 191, 215–16 of investments, 367 surpluses, fiscal, 17, 96, 312, 379 primary, 187–88 surpluses, trade, see trade surpluses “Swabian housewife,” 186, 245 Sweden, 12, 46, 307, 313, 331, 335, 339 euro referendum of, 58 refugees into, 320 Switzerland, 44, 307 Syria, 321, 342 Syriza party, 309, 311, 312–13, 315, 377 Taiwan, 55 tariffs, 40 tax avoiders, 74, 142–43, 227–28, 261 taxes, 142, 290, 315 in Canada, 191 on capital, 356 on carbon, 230, 260, 265, 368 consumption, 193–94 corporate, 189–90, 227, 251 cross-border, 319, 384 and distortions, 191 in EU, 8, 261 and fiat currency, 284 and free mobility of goods and capital, 260–61 in Greece, 16, 142, 192, 193–94, 227, 367–68 ideal system for, 191 IMF’s warning about high, 190 income, 45 increase in, 190–94 inequality and, 191 inheritance, 368 land, 191 on luxury cars, 265 progressive, 248 property, 192–93, 227 Reagan cuts to, 168, 210 shipping, 227, 228 as stimulative, 368 on trade surpluses, 254 value-added, 190, 192 tax evasion, in Greece, 190–91 tax laws, 75 tax revenue, 190–96 Taylor, John, 169 Taylor rule, 169 tech bubble, 250 technology, 137, 138–39, 186, 211, 217, 251, 258, 265, 300 and new financial system, 274–76, 283–84 telecoms, 55 Telmex, 369 terrorism, 319 Thailand, 113 theory of the second best, 27–28, 48 “there is no alternative” (TINA), 306, 311–12 Tocqueville, Alexis de, xiii too-big-to-fail banks, 360 tourism, 192, 286 trade: and contractionary expansion, 209 US push for, 323 trade agreements, xiv–xvi, 357 trade balance, 81, 93, 100, 109 as allegedly self-correcting, 98–99, 101–3 and wage flexibility, 104–5 trade barriers, 40 trade deficits, 89, 139 aggregate demand weakened by, 111 chit solution to, 287–88, 290, 299–300, 387, 388–89 control of, 109–10, 122 with currency pegs, 110 and fixed exchange rates, 107–8, 118 and government spending, 107–8, 108 of Greece, 81, 194, 215–16, 222, 285–86 structural reform of, 216–17 traded goods, 102, 103, 216 trade integration, 393 trade surpluses, 88, 118–21, 139–40, 350–52 discouragement of, 282–84, 299–300 of Germany, 118–19, 120, 139, 253, 293, 299, 350–52, 381–82, 391 tax on, 254, 351, 381–82 Transatlantic Trade and Investment Partnership, xv, 323 transfer price system, 376 Trans-Pacific Partnership, xv, 323 Treasury bills, US, 204 Trichet, Jean-Claude, 100–101, 155, 156, 164–65, 251 trickle-down economics, 362 Troika, 19, 20, 26, 55, 56, 58, 60, 69, 99, 101–3, 117, 119, 135, 140–42, 178, 179, 184, 195, 274, 294, 317, 362, 370–71, 373, 376, 377, 386 banks weakened by, 229 conditions of, 201 discretion of, 262 failure to learn, 312 Greek incomes lowered by, 80 Greek loan set up by, 202 inequality created by, 225–26 poor forecasting of, 307 predictions by, 249 primary surpluses and, 187–88 privatization avoided by, 194 programs of, 17–18, 21, 155–57, 179–80, 181, 182–83, 184–85, 187–93, 196, 197–98, 202, 204, 205, 207, 208, 214–16, 217, 218–23, 225–28, 229, 231, 233–34, 273, 278, 308, 309–11, 312, 313, 314, 315–16, 323–24, 348, 366, 379, 392 social contract torn up by, 78 structural reforms imposed by, 214–16, 217, 218–23, 225–38 tax demand of, 192 and tax evasion, 367 see also European Central Bank (ECB); European Commission; International Monetary Fund (IMF) trust, xix, 280 Tsipras, Alexis, 61–62, 221, 273, 314 Turkey, 321 UBS, 355 Ukraine, 36 unemployment, 3, 64, 68, 71–72, 110, 111, 122, 323, 336, 342 as allegedly self-correcting, 98–101 in Argentina, 267 austerity and, 209 central banks and, 8, 94, 97, 106, 147 ECB and, 163 in eurozone, 71, 135, 163, 177–78, 181, 331 and financing investments, 186 in Finland, 296 and future income, 77 in Greece, xi, 71, 236, 267, 331, 338, 342 increased by capital, 264 interest rates and, 43–44 and internal devaluation, 98–101, 104–6 migration and, 69, 90, 135, 140 natural rate of, 172–73 present-day, in Europe, 210 and rise of Hitler, 338, 358 and single currency, 88 in Spain, 63, 161, 231, 235, 332, 338 and structural reforms, 19 and trade deficits, 108 in US, 3 youth, 3, 64, 71 unemployment insurance, 91, 186, 246, 247–48 UNICEF, 72–73 unions, 101, 254, 335 United Kingdom, 14, 44, 46, 131, 307, 331, 332, 340 colonies of, 36 debt of, 202 inflation target set in, 157 in Iraq War, 37 light regulations in, 131 proposed exit from EU by, 4, 270 United Nations, 337, 350, 384–85 creation of, 38 and lower rates of war, 196 United States: banking system in, 91 budget of, 8, 45 and Canada’s 1990 expansion, 209 Canada’s free trade with, 45–46, 47 central bank governance in, 161 debt-to-GDP of, 202, 210–11 financial crisis originating in, 65, 68, 79–80, 128, 296, 302 financial system in, 228 founding of, 319 GDP of, xiii Germany’s borrowing from, 187 growing working-age population of, 70 growth in, 68 housing bubble in, 108 immigration into, 320 migration in, 90, 136, 346 monetary policy in financial crisis of, 151 in NAFTA, xiv 1980–1981 recessions in, 76 predatory lending in, 310 productivity in, 71 recovery of, xiii, 12 rising inequality in, xvii, 333 shareholder capitalism of, 21 Small Business Administration in, 246 structural reforms needed in, 20 surpluses in, 96, 187 trade agenda of, 323 unemployment in, 3, 178 united currency in, 35, 36, 88, 89–92 United States bonds, 350 unskilled workers, 134–35 value-added tax, 190, 192 values, 57–58 Varoufakis, Yanis, 61, 221, 309 velocity of circulation, 167 Venezuela, 371 Versaille, Treaty of, 187 victim blaming, 9, 15–17, 177–78, 309–11 volatility: and capital market integration, 28 in exchange rates, 48–49 Volcker, Paul, 157, 168 wage adjustments, 100–101, 103, 104–5, 155, 216–17, 220–22, 338, 361 wages, 19, 348 expansionary policies on, 284–85 Germany’s constraining of, 41, 42–43 lowered in Germany, 105, 333 wage stagnation, in Germany, 13 war, change in attitude to, 38, 196 Washington Consensus, xvi Washington Mutual, 91 wealth, divergence in, 139–40 Weil, Jonathan, 360 welfare, 196 West Germany, 6 Whitney, Meredith, 360 wind energy, 193, 229 Wolf, Martin, 385 worker protection, 56 workers’ bargaining rights, 19, 221, 255 World Bank, xv, xvii, 10, 61, 337, 357, 371 World Trade Organization, xiv youth: future of, xx–xxi unemployment of, 3, 64, 71 Zapatero, José Luis Rodríguez, xiv, 155, 362 zero lower bound, 106 ALSO BY JOSEPH E.

., 51–57 single currency and, 45–46 economic rents, 226, 280 economics, politics and, 308–18 economic security, 68 economies of scale, 12, 39, 55, 138 economists, poor forecasting by, 307 education, 20, 76, 344 investment in, 40, 69, 137, 186, 211, 217, 251, 255, 300 electricity, 217 electronic currency, 298–99, 389 electronics payment mechanism, 274–76, 283–84 emigration, 4, 68–69 see also migration employment: central banks and, 8, 94, 97 structural reforms and, 257–60 see also unemployment Employment Act (1946), 148 energy subsidies, 197 Enlightenment, 3, 318–19 environment, 41, 257, 260, 323 equality, 225–26 equilibrium, xviii–xix Erasmus program, 45 Estonia, 90, 331, 346 euro, xiv, 325 adjustments impeded by, 13–14 case for, 35–39 creation of, xii, 5–6, 7, 10, 333 creation of institutions required by, 10–11 divergence and, see divergence divorce of, 272–95, 307 economic integration and, 46–47, 268 as entailing fixed exchange rate, 8, 42–43, 46–47, 86–87, 92, 93, 94, 102, 105, 143, 193, 215–16, 240, 244, 249, 252, 254, 286, 297 as entailing single interest rate, 8, 85–88, 92, 93, 94, 105, 129, 152, 240, 244, 249 and European identification, 38–39 financial instability caused by, 131–32 growth promised by, 235 growth slowed by, 73 hopes for, 34 inequality increased by, xviii interest rates lowered by, 235 internal devaluation of, see internal devaluation literature on, 327–28 as means to end, xix peace and, 38 proponents of, 13 referenda on, 58, 339–40 reforms needed for, xii–xiii, 28–31 risk of, 49–50 weakness of, 224 see also flexible euro Eurobond, 356 euro crisis, xiii, 3, 4, 9 catastrophic consequences of, 11–12 euro-euphoria, 116–17 Europe, 151 free trade area in, 44–45 growth rates in, 63–64, 69, 73–74, 74, 75, 163 military conflicts in, 196 social models of, 21 European Central Bank (ECB), 7, 17, 80, 112–13, 117, 144, 145–73, 274, 313, 362, 368, 380 capture of, 158–59 confidence in, 200–201 corporate bonds bought by, 141 creation of, 8, 85 democratic deficit and, 26, 27 excessive expansion controlled by, 250 flexibility of, 269 funds to Greece cut off by, 59 German challenges to, 117, 164 governance and, 157–63 inequality created by, 154–55 inflation controlled by, 8, 25, 97, 106, 115, 145, 146–50, 151, 163, 165, 169–70, 172, 250, 256, 266 interest rates set by, 85–86, 152, 249, 302, 348 Ireland forced to socialize losses by, 134, 156, 165 new mandate needed by, 256 as political institution, 160–62 political nature of, 153–56 quantitative easing opposed by, 151 quantitative easing undertaken by, 164, 165–66, 170, 171 regulations by, 249, 250 unemployment and, 163 as unrepresentative, 163 European Commission, 17, 58, 161, 313, 332 European Court of Human Rights, 45 European Economic Community (EEC), 6 European Exchange Rate Mechanism (ERM), 30, 335 European Exchange Rate Mechanism II (ERM II), 336 European Free Trade Association, 44 European Free Trade Association Court, 44 European Investment Bank (EIB), 137, 247, 255, 301 European Regional Development Fund, 243 European Stability Mechanism, 23, 246, 357 European Union: budget of, 8, 45, 91 creation of, 4 debt and deficit limits in, 87–88 democratic deficit in, 26–27 economic growth in, 215 GDP of, xiii and lower rates of war, 196 migration in, 90 proposed exit of UK from, 4 stereotypes in, 12 subsidiarity in, 8, 41–42, 263 taxes in, 8, 261 Euro Summit Statement, 373 eurozone: austerity in, see austerity banking union in, see banking union counterfactual in, 235–36 double-dip recessions in, 234–35 Draghi’s speech and, 145 economic integration and, xiv–xx, 23, 39–50, 51–57 as flawed at birth, 7–9 framework for stability of, 244–52 German departure from, 32, 292–93 Greece’s possible exit from, 124 hours worked in, 71–72 lack of fiscal policy in, 152 and move to political integration, xvi, 34, 35, 51–57 Mundell’s work on dangers of, 87 policies of, 15–17 possible breakup of, 29–30 privatization avoided in, 194 saving, 323–26 stagnant GDP in, 12, 65–68, 66, 67 structure of, 8–9 surpluses in, 120–22 theory of, 95–97 unemployment in, 71, 135, 163, 177–78, 181, 331 working-age population of, 70 eurozone, proposed structural reforms for, 239–71 common financial system, see banking union excessive fiscal responsibility, 163 exchange-rate risks, 13, 47, 48, 49–50, 125, 235 exchange rates, 80, 85, 288, 300, 338, 382, 389 of China, 251, 254, 350–51 and competitive devaluation, 105–6 after departure of northern countries, 292–93 of euro, 8, 42–43, 46–47, 86–87, 92, 93, 94, 102, 105, 215–16, 240, 244, 249, 252, 254, 286, 297 flexible, 50, 248, 349 and full employment, 94 of Germany, 254–55, 351 gold and, 344–45 imports and, 86 interest rates and, 86 quantitative easing’s lowering of, 151 real, 105–6 and single currencies, 8, 42–43, 46–47, 86–87, 92, 93, 94, 97–98 stabilizing, 299–301 and trade deficits, 107, 118 expansionary contractions, 95–96, 208–9 exports, 86, 88, 97–99, 98 disappointing performance of, 103–5 external imbalances, 97–98, 101, 109 externalities, 42–43, 121, 153, 301–2 surpluses as, 253 extremism, xx, 4 Fannie Mae, 91 farmers, US, in deflation, xii Federal Deposit Insurance Corporation (FDIC), 91 Federal Reserve, US, 349 alleged independence of, 157 interest rates lowered by, 150 mandate of, 8, 147, 172 money pumped into economy by, 278 quantitative easing used by, 151, 170 reform of, 146 fiat currency, 148, 275 and taxes, 284 financial markets: lobbyists from, 132 reform of, 214, 228–29 short-sighted, 112–13 financial systems: necessity of, xix real economy of, 149 reform of, 257–58 regulations needed by, xix financial transaction system, 275–76 Finland, 16, 81, 122, 126, 292, 296, 331, 343 growth in, 296–97 growth rate of, 75, 76, 234–35 fire departments, 41 firms, 138, 186–87, 245, 248 fiscal balance: and cutting spending, 196–98 tax revenue and, 190–96 Fiscal Compact, 141, 357 fiscal consolidation, 310 fiscal deficits, see deficits, fiscal fiscal policy, 148, 245, 264 in center of macro-stabilization, 251 countercyclical, 244 in EU, 8 expansionary, 254–55 stabilization of, 250–52 fiscal prudence, 15 fiscal responsibility, 163 flexibility, 262–63, 269 flexible euro, 30–31, 272, 296–305, 307 cooperation needed for, 304–5 food prices, 169 forbearance, 130–31 forecasts, 307 foreclosure proposal, 180 foreign ownership, privatization and, 195 forestry, 81 France, 6, 14, 16, 114, 120, 141, 181–82, 331, 339–40, 343 banks of, 202, 203, 231, 373 corporate income tax in, 189–90 euro creation regretted in, 340 European Constitution referendum of, 58 extreme right in, xi growth in, 247 Freddie Mac, 91 Freefall (Stiglitz), 264, 335 free mobility of labor, xiv, 26, 40, 125, 134–36, 142–44, 242 Friedman, Milton, 151, 152–53, 167, 339 full employment, 94–97, 379 G-20, 121 gas: import of, 230 from Russia, 37, 81, 93 Gates Foundation, 276 GDP-indexed bonds, 267 German bonds, 114, 323 German Council of Economic Experts, 179, 365 Germany, xxi, 14, 30, 65, 108, 114, 141, 181–82, 207, 220, 286, 307, 331, 343, 346, 374 austerity pushed by, 186, 232 banks of, 202, 203, 231–32, 373 costs to taxpayers of, 184 as creditor, 140, 187, 267 debt collection by, 117 debt in, 105 and debt restructuring, 205, 311 in departure from eurozone, 32, 292–93 as dependent on Russian gas, 37 desire to leave eurozone, 314 ECB criticized by, 164 EU economic practices controlled by, 17 euro creation regretted in, 340 exchange rate of, 254–55, 351 failure of, 13, 78–79 flexible exchange of, 304 GDP of, xviii, 92 in Great Depression, 187 growing poverty in, 79 growth of, 78, 106, 247 hours worked per worker in, 72 inequality in, 79, 333 inflation in, 42, 338, 358 internal solidarity of, 334 lack of alternative to euro seen by, 11 migrants to, 320–21, 334–35, 393 minimum wage in, 42, 120, 254 neoliberalism in, 10 and place-based debt, 136 productivity in, 71 programs designed by, 53, 60, 61, 202, 336, 338 reparations paid by, 187 reunification of, 6 rules as important to, 57, 241–42, 262 share of global employment in, 224 shrinking working-age population of, 70, 78–79 and Stability and Growth Pact, 245 and structural reforms, 19–20 “there is no alternative” and, 306, 311–12 trade surplus of, 117, 118–19, 120, 139, 253, 293, 299, 350–52, 381–82, 391 “transfer union” rejected by, 22 US loans to, 187 victims blamed by, 9, 15–17, 177–78, 309 wages constrained by, 41, 42–43 wages lowered in, 105, 333 global financial crisis, xi, xiii–xiv, 3, 12, 17, 24, 67, 73, 75, 114, 124, 146, 148, 274, 364, 387 and central bank independence, 157–58 and confidence, 280 and cost of failure of financial institutions, 131 lessons of, 249 monetary policy in, 151 and need for structural reform, 214 originating in US, 65, 68, 79–80, 112, 128, 296, 302 globalization, 51, 321–23 and diminishing share of employment in advanced countries, 224 economic vs. political, xvii failures of, xvii Globalization and Its Discontents (Stig-litz), 234, 335, 369 global savings glut, 257 global secular stagnation, 120 global warming, 229–30, 251, 282, 319 gold, 257, 275, 277, 345 Goldman Sachs, 158, 366 gold standard, 148, 291, 347, 358 in Great Depression, xii, 100 goods: free movement of, 40, 143, 260–61 nontraded, 102, 103, 169, 213, 217, 359 traded, 102, 103, 216 Gordon, Robert, 251 governance, 157–63, 258–59 government spending, trade deficits and, 107–8 gravity principle, 124, 127–28 Great Depression, 42, 67, 105, 148, 149, 168, 313 Friedman on causes of, 151 gold standard in, xii, 100 Great Malaise, 264 Greece, 14, 30, 41, 64, 81, 100, 117, 123, 142, 160, 177, 265–66, 278, 307, 331, 343, 366, 367–68, 374–75, 386 austerity opposed by, 59, 60–62, 69–70, 207–8, 392 balance of payments, 219 banks in, 200–201, 228–29, 231, 270, 276, 367, 368 blaming of, 16, 17 bread in, 218, 230 capital controls in, 390 consumption tax and, 193–94 counterfactual scenario of, 80 current account surplus of, 287–88 and debt restructuring, 205–7 debt-to-GDP ratio of, 231 debt write-offs in, 291 decline in labor costs in, 56, 103 ECB’s cutting of funds to, 59 economic growth in, 215, 247 emigration from, 68–69 fiscal deficits in, 16, 186, 215, 233, 285–86, 289 GDP of, xviii, 183, 309 hours worked per worker in, 72 inequality in, 72 inherited debt in, 134 lack of faith in democracy in, 312–13 living standards in, 216 loans in, 127 loans to, 310 migrants and, 320–21 milk in, 218, 223, 230 new currency in, 291, 300 oligarchs in, 16, 227 output per working-age person in, 70–71 past downturns in, 235–36 pensions in, 16, 78, 188, 197–98, 226 pharmacies in, 218–20 population decline in, 69, 89 possible exit from eurozone of, 124, 197, 273, 274, 275 poverty in, 226, 261, 376 primary surplus of, 187–88, 312 privatization in, 55, 195–96 productivity in, 71, 342 programs imposed on, xv, 21, 27, 60–62, 140, 155–56, 179–80, 181, 182–83, 184–85, 187–88, 190–93, 195–96, 197–98, 202–3, 205, 206, 214–16, 218–23, 225–28, 229, 230, 231, 233–34, 273, 278, 308, 309–11, 312, 315–16, 336, 338 renewable energy in, 193, 229 social capital destroyed in, 78 sovereign spread of, 200 spread in, 332 and structural reforms, 20, 70, 188, 191 tax revenue in, 16, 142, 192, 227, 367–368 tools lacking for recovery of, 246 tourism in, 192, 286 trade deficits in, 81, 194, 216–17, 222, 285–86 unemployment in, xi, 71, 236, 267, 332, 338, 342 urgency in, 214–15 victim-blaming of, 309–11 wages in, 216–17 youth unemployment in, xi, 332 Greek bonds, 116, 126 interest rates on, 4, 114, 181–82, 201–2, 323 restructuring of, 206–7 green investments, 260 Greenspan, Alan, 251, 359, 363 Grexit, see Greece, possible exit from eurozone of grocery stores, 219 gross domestic product (GDP), xvii decline in, 3 measurement of, 341 Growth and Stability Pact, 87 hedge funds, 282, 363 highways, 41 Hitler, Adolf, 338, 358 Hochtief, 367–68 Hoover, Herbert, 18, 95 human capital, 78, 137 human rights, 44–45, 319 Hungary, 46, 331, 338 hysteresis, 270 Iceland, 44, 111, 307, 354–55 banks in, 91 capital controls in, 390 ideology, 308–9, 315–18 imports, 86, 88, 97–99, 98, 107 incentives, 158–59 inclusive capitalism, 317 income, unemployment and, 77 income tax, 45 Independent Commission for the Reform of International Corporate Taxation, 376–377 Indonesia, 113, 230–31, 314, 350, 364, 378 industrial policies, 138–39, 301 and restructuring, 217, 221, 223–25 Industrial Revolution, 3, 224 industry, 89 inequality, 45, 72–73, 333 aggregate demand lowered by, 212 created by central banks, 154 ECB’s creation of, 154–55 economic performance affected by, xvii euro’s increasing of, xviii growth’s lowering of, 212 hurt by collective action, 338 increased by neoliberalism, xviii increase in, 64, 154–55 inequality in, 72, 212 as moral issue, xviii in Spain, 72, 212, 225–26 and tax harmonization, 260–61 and tax system, 191 inflation, 277, 290, 314, 388 in aftermath of tech bubble, 251 bonds and, 161 central banks and, 153, 166–67 consequences of fixation on, 149–50, 151 costs of, 270 and debt monetization, 42 ECB and, 8, 25, 97, 106, 115, 145, 146–50, 151, 163, 165, 169–70, 172, 255, 256, 266 and food prices, 169 in Germany, 42, 338, 358 interest rates and, 43–44 in late 1970s, 168 and natural rate hypothesis, 172–73 political decisions and, 146 inflation targeting, 157, 168–70, 364 information, 335 informational capital, 77 infrastructure, xvi–xvii, 47, 137, 186, 211, 255, 258, 265, 268, 300 inheritance tax, 368 inherited debt, 134 innovation, 138 innovation economy, 317–18 inputs, 217 instability, xix institutions, 93, 247 poorly designed, 163–64 insurance, 355–356 deposit, see deposit insurance mutual, 247 unemployment, 91, 186, 246, 247–48 integration, 322 interest rates, 43–44, 86, 282, 345, 354 in aftermath of tech bubble, 251 ECB’s determination of, 85–86, 152, 249, 302, 348 and employment, 94 euro’s lowering of, 235 Fed’s lowering of, 150 on German bonds, 114 on Greek bonds, 4, 114, 181–82 on Italian bonds, 114 in late 1970s, 168 long-term, 151, 200 negative, 316, 348–49 quantitative easing and, 151, 170 short-term, 249 single, eurozone’s entailing of, 8, 85–88, 92, 93, 94, 105, 129, 152, 240, 244, 249 on Spanish bonds, 114, 199 spread in, 332 stock prices increased by, 264 at zero lower bound, 106 intermediation, 258 internal devaluation, 98–109, 122, 126, 220, 255, 388 supply-side effects of, 99, 103–4 International Commission on the Measurement of Economic Performance and Social Progress, 79, 341 International Labor Organization, 56 International Monetary Fund (IMF), xv, xvii, 10, 17, 18, 55, 61, 65–66, 96, 111, 112–13, 115–16, 119, 154, 234, 289, 309, 316, 337, 349, 350, 370, 371, 381 and Argentine debt, 206 conditions of, 201 creation of, 105 danger of high taxation warnings of, 190 debt reduction pushed by, 95 and debt restructuring, 205, 311 and failure to restore credit, 201 global imbalances discussed by, 252 and Greek debts, 205, 206, 310–11 on Greek surplus, 188 and Indonesian crisis, 230–31, 364 on inequality’s lowering of growth, 212–13 Ireland’s socialization of losses opposed by, 156–57 mistakes admitted by, 262, 312 on New Mediocre, 264 Portuguese bailout of, 178–79 tax measures of, 185 investment, 76–77, 111, 189, 217, 251, 264, 278, 367 confidence and, 94 divergence in, 136–38 in education, 137, 186, 211, 217, 251, 255, 300 infrastructure in, xvi–xvii, 47, 137, 186, 211, 255, 258, 265, 268, 300 lowered by disintermediation, 258 public, 99 real estate, 199 in renewable energy, 229–30 return on, 186, 245 stimulation of, 94 in technology, 137, 138–39, 186, 211, 217, 251, 258, 265, 300 investor state dispute settlement (ISDS), 393–94 invisible hand, xviii Iraq, refugees from, 320 Iraq War, 36, 37 Ireland, 14, 16, 44, 113, 114–15, 122, 178, 234, 296, 312, 331, 339–40, 343, 362 austerity opposed in, 207 debt of, 196 emigrants from, 68–69 GDP of, 18, 231 growth in, 64, 231, 247, 340 inherited debt in, 134 losses socialized in, 134, 156–57, 165 low debt in, 88 real estate bubble in, 108, 114–15, 126 surplus in, 17, 88 taxes in, 142–43, 376 trade deficits in, 119 unemployment in, 178 irrational exuberance, 14, 114, 116–17, 149, 334, 359 ISIS, 319 Italian bonds, 114, 165, 323 Italy, 6, 14, 16, 120, 125, 331, 343 austerity opposed in, 59 GDP per capita in, 352 growth in, 247 sovereign spread of, 200 Japan, 151, 333, 342 bubble in, 359 debt of, 202 growth in, 78 quantitative easing used by, 151, 359 shrinking working-age population of, 70 Java, unemployment on, 230 jobs gap, 120 Juncker, Jean-Claude, 228 Keynes, John Maynard, 118, 120, 172, 187, 351 convergence policy suggested by, 254 Keynesian economics, 64, 95, 108, 153, 253 King, Mervyn, 390 knowledge, 137, 138–39, 337–38 Kohl, Helmut, 6–7, 337 krona, 287 labor, marginal product of, 356 labor laws, 75 labor markets, 9, 74 friction in, 336 reforms of, 214, 221 labor movement, 26, 40, 125, 134–36, 320 austerity and, 140 capital flows and, 135 see also migration labor rights, 56 Lamers, Karl, 314 Lancaster, Kelvin, 27 land tax, 191 Latin America, 10, 55, 95, 112, 202 lost decade in, 168 Latvia, 331, 346 GDP of, 92 law of diminishing returns, 40 learning by doing, 77 Lehman Brothers, 182 lender of last resort, 85, 362, 368 lending, 280, 380 discriminatory, 283 predatory, 274, 310 lending rates, 278 leverage, 102 Lichtenstein, 44 Lipsey, Richard, 27 liquidity, 201, 264, 278, 354 ECB’s expansion of, 256 lira, 14 Lithuania, 331 living standards, 68–70 loans: contraction of, 126–27, 246 nonperforming, 241 for small and medium-size businesses, 246–47 lobbyists, from financial sector, 132 location, 76 London interbank lending rate (LIBOR), 131, 355 Long-Term Refinancing Operation, 360–361 Lucas, Robert, xi Luxembourg, 6, 94, 142–43, 331, 343 as tax avoidance center, 228, 261 luxury cars, 265 Maastricht Treaty, xiii, 6, 87, 115, 146, 244, 298, 339, 340 macro-prudential regulations, 249 Malta, 331, 340 manufacturing, 89, 223–24 market failures, 48–49, 86, 148, 149, 335 rigidities, 101 tax policy’s correction of, 193 market fundamentalism, see neoliberalism market irrationality, 110, 125–26, 149 markets, limitations of, 10 Meade, James, 27 Medicaid, 91 medical care, 196 Medicare, 90, 91 Mellon, Andrew, 95 Memorandum of Agreement, 233–34 Merkel, Angela, 186 Mexico, 202, 369 bailout of, 113 in NAFTA, xiv Middle East, 321 migrant crisis, 44 migration, 26, 40, 68–69, 90, 125, 320–21, 334–35, 342, 356, 393 unemployment and, 69, 90, 135, 140 see also labor movement military power, 36–37 milk, 218, 223, 230 minimum wage, 42, 120, 254, 255, 351 mining, 257 Mississippi, GDP of, 92 Mitsotakis, Constantine, 377–78 Mitsotakis, Kyriakos, 377–78 Mitterrand, François, 6–7 monetarism, 167–68, 169, 364 monetary policy, 24, 85–86, 148, 264, 325, 345, 364 as allegedly technocratic, 146, 161–62 conservative theory of, 151, 153 in early 1980s US, 168, 210 flexibility of, 244 in global financial crisis, 151 political nature of, 146, 153–54 recent developments in theory of, 166–73 see also interest rates monetary union, see single currencies money laundering, 354 monopolists, privatization and, 194 moral hazard, 202, 203 mortgage rates, 170 mortgages, 302 multinational chains, 219 multinational development banks, 137 multinationals, 127, 223, 376 multipliers, 211–12, 248 balanced-budget, 188–90, 265 Mundell, Robert, 87 mutual insurance, 247 mutualization of debt, 242–43, 263 national development banks, 137–38 natural monopolies, 55 natural rate hypothesis, 172 negative shocks, 248 neoliberalism, xvi, 24–26, 33, 34, 98–99, 109, 257, 265, 332–33, 335, 354 on bubbles, 381 and capital flows, 28 and central bank independence, 162–63 in Germany, 10 inequality increased by, xviii low inflation desired by, 147 recent scholarship against, 24 Netherlands, 6, 44, 292, 331, 339–40, 343 European Constitution referendum of, 58 New Democracy Party, Greek, 61, 185, 377–78 New Mediocre, 264 New World, 148 New Zealand, 364 Nokia, 81, 234, 297 nonaccelerating inflation rate of unemployment (NAIRU), 379–80 nonaccelerating wage rate of unemployment (NAWRU), 379–80 nongovernmental organizations (NGOs), 276 nonperforming loans, 241 nontraded goods sector, 102, 103, 169, 213, 217, 359 North American Free Trade Agreement (NAFTA), xiv North Atlantic Treaty Organization (NATO), 196 Norway, 12, 44, 307 referendum on joining EU, 58 nuclear deterrence, 38 Obama, Barack, 319 oil, import of, 230 oil firms, 36 oil prices, 89, 168, 259, 359 oligarchs: in Greece, 16, 227 in Russia, 280 optimal currency area, 345 output, 70–71, 111 after recessions, 76 Outright Monetary Transactions program, 361 overregulate, 132 Oxfam, 72 panic of 1907, 147 Papandreou, Andreas, 366 Papandreou, George, xiv, 60–61, 184, 185, 220, 221, 226–27, 309, 312, 366, 373 reform of banks suggested by, 229 paradox of thrift, 120 peace, 34 pensions, 9, 16, 78, 177, 188, 197–98, 226, 276, 370 People’s Party, Portugal, 392 periphery, 14, 32, 171, 200, 296, 301, 318 see also specific countries peseta, 14 pharmacies, 218–20 Phishing for Phools (Akerlof and Shiller), 132 physical capital, 77–78 Pinochet, Augusto, 152–53 place-based debt, 134, 242 Pleios, George, 377 Poland, 46, 333, 339 assistance to, 243 in Iraq War, 37 police, 41 political integration, xvi, 34, 35 economic integration vs., 51–57 politics, economics and, 308–18 pollution, 260 populism, xx Portugal, 14, 16, 64, 177, 178, 331, 343, 346 austerity opposed by, 59, 207–8, 315, 332, 392 GDP of, 92 IMF bailout of, 178–79 loans in, 127 poverty in, 261 sovereign spread of, 200 Portuguese bonds, 179 POSCO, 55 pound, 287, 335, 346 poverty, 72 in Greece, 226, 261 in Portugal, 261 in Spain, 261 predatory lending, 274, 310 present discount value, 343 Price of Inequality, The (Stiglitz), 154 prices, 19, 24 adjustment of, 48, 338, 361 price stability, 161 primary deficit, 188, 389 primary surpluses, 187–88 private austerity, 126–27, 241–42 private sector involvement, 113 privatization, 55, 194–96, 369 production costs, 39, 43, 50 production function, 343 productivity, 71, 332, 348 in manufacturing, 223–24 after recessions, 76–77 programs, 17–18 Germany’s design of, 53, 60, 61, 187–88, 205, 336, 338 imposed on Greece, xv, 21, 27, 60–62, 140, 155–56, 179–80, 181, 182–83, 184–85, 187–88, 190–93, 195–96, 197–98, 202–3, 205, 206, 214–16, 218–23, 225–28, 229, 230, 231, 233–34, 273, 278, 308, 309–11, 312, 315–16, 336, 338 of Troika, 17–18, 21, 155–57, 179–80, 181, 182–83, 184–85, 187–93, 196, 202, 205, 207, 208, 214–16, 217, 218–23, 225–28, 229, 231, 233–34, 273, 278, 308, 309–11, 312, 313, 314, 315–16, 323–24, 346, 366, 379, 392 progressive automatic stabilizers, 244 progressive taxes, 248 property rights, 24 property taxes, 192–93, 227 public entities, 195 public goods, 40, 337–38 quantitative easing (QE), 151, 164, 165–66, 170–72, 264, 359, 361, 386 railroads, 55 Reagan, Ronald, 168, 209 real estate bubble, 25, 108, 109, 111, 114–15, 126, 148, 172, 250, 301, 302 cause of, 198 real estate investment, 199 real exchange rate, 105–6, 215–16 recessions, recovery from, 94–95 recovery, 76 reform, 75 theories of, 27–28 regulations, 24, 149, 152, 162, 250, 354, 355–356, 378 and Bush administration, 250–51 common, 241 corporate opposition to, xvi difficulties in, 132–33 of finance, xix forbearance on, 130–31 importance of, 152–53 macro-prudential, 249 in race to bottom, 131–34 Reinhardt, Carmen, 210 renewable energy, 193, 229–30 Republican Party, US, 319 research and development (R&D), 77, 138, 217, 251, 317–18 Ricardo, David, 40, 41 risk, 104, 153, 285 excessive, 250 risk markets, 27 Rogoff, Kenneth, 210 Romania, 46, 331, 338 Royal Bank of Scotland, 355 rules, 57, 241–42, 262, 296 Russia, 36, 264, 296 containment of, 318 economic rents in, 280 gas from, 37, 81, 93, 378 safety nets, 99, 141, 223 Samaras, Antonis, 61, 309, 377 savings, 120 global, 257 savings and loan crisis, 360 Schäuble, Wolfgang, 57, 220, 314, 317 Schengen area, 44 schools, 41, 196 Schröeder, Gerhard, 254 self-regulation, 131, 159 service sector, 224 shadow banking system, 133 shareholder capitalism, 21 Shiller, Rob, 132, 359 shipping taxes, 227, 228 short-termism, 77, 258–59 Silicon Valley, 224 silver, 275, 277 single currencies: conflicts and, 38 as entailing fixed exchange rates, 8, 42–43, 46–47, 86–87, 92, 93, 94, 97–98 external imbalances and, 97–98 and financial crises, 110–18 integration and, 45–46, 50 interest rates and, 8, 86, 87–88, 92, 93, 94 Mundell’s work on, 87 requirements for, 5, 52–53, 88–89, 92–94, 97–98 and similarities among countries, 15 trade integration vs., 393 in US, 35, 36, 88, 89–92 see also euro single-market principle, 125–26, 231 skilled workers, 134–35 skills, 77 Slovakia, 331 Slovenia, 331 small and medium-sized enterprises (SMEs), 127, 138, 171, 229 small and medium-size lending facility, 246–47, 300, 301, 382 Small Business Administration, 246 small businesses, 153 Smith, Adam, xviii, 24, 39–40, 41 social cohesion, 22 Social Democratic Party, Portugal, 392 social program, 196 Social Security, 90, 91 social solidarity, xix societal capital, 77–78 solar energy, 193, 229 solidarity fund, 373 solidarity fund for stabilization, 244, 254, 264, 301 Soros, George, 390 South Dakota, 90, 346 South Korea, 55 bailout of, 113 sovereign risk, 14, 353 sovereign spreads, 200 sovereign wealth funds, 258 Soviet Union, 10 Spain, 14, 16, 114, 177, 178, 278, 331, 335, 343 austerity opposed by, 59, 207–8, 315 bank bailout of, 179, 199–200, 206 banks in, 23, 186, 199, 200, 242, 270, 354 debt of, 196 debt-to-GDP ratio of, 231 deficits of, 109 economic growth in, 215, 231, 247 gold supply in, 277 independence movement in, xi inequality in, 72, 212, 225–26 inherited debt in, 134 labor reforms proposed for, 155 loans in, 127 low debt in, 87 poverty in, 261 real estate bubble in, 25, 108, 109, 114–15, 126, 198, 301, 302 regional independence demanded in, 307 renewable energy in, 229 sovereign spread of, 200 spread in, 332 structural reform in, 70 surplus in, 17, 88 threat of breakup of, 270 trade deficits in, 81, 119 unemployment in, 63, 161, 231, 235, 332, 338 Spanish bonds, 114, 199, 200 spending, cutting, 196–98 spread, 332 stability, 147, 172, 261, 301, 364 automatic, 244 bubble and, 264 central banks and, 8 as collective action problem, 246 solidarity fund for, 54, 244, 264 Stability and Growth Pact, 245 standard models, 211–13 state development banks, 138 steel companies, 55 stock market, 151 stock market bubble, 200–201 stock market crash (1929), 18, 95 stock options, 259, 359 structural deficit, 245 Structural Funds, 243 structural impediments, 215 structural realignment, 252–56 structural reforms, 9, 18, 19–20, 26–27, 214–36, 239–71, 307 from austerity to growth, 263–65 banking union, 241–44 and climate change, 229–30 common framework for stability, 244–52 counterproductive, 222–23 debt restructuring and, 265–67 of finance, 228–29 full employment and growth, 256–57 in Greece, 20, 70, 188, 191, 214–36 growth and, 232–35 shared prosperity and, 260–61 and structural realignment, 252–56 of trade deficits, 216–17 trauma of, 224 as trivial, 214–15, 217–20, 233 subsidiarity, 8, 41–42, 263 subsidies: agricultural, 45, 197 energy, 197 sudden stops, 111 Suharto, 314 suicide, 82, 344 Supplemental Nutrition Assistance Program (SNAP), 91 supply-side effects: in Greece, 191, 215–16 of investments, 367 surpluses, fiscal, 17, 96, 312, 379 primary, 187–88 surpluses, trade, see trade surpluses “Swabian housewife,” 186, 245 Sweden, 12, 46, 307, 313, 331, 335, 339 euro referendum of, 58 refugees into, 320 Switzerland, 44, 307 Syria, 321, 342 Syriza party, 309, 311, 312–13, 315, 377 Taiwan, 55 tariffs, 40 tax avoiders, 74, 142–43, 227–28, 261 taxes, 142, 290, 315 in Canada, 191 on capital, 356 on carbon, 230, 260, 265, 368 consumption, 193–94 corporate, 189–90, 227, 251 cross-border, 319, 384 and distortions, 191 in EU, 8, 261 and fiat currency, 284 and free mobility of goods and capital, 260–61 in Greece, 16, 142, 192, 193–94, 227, 367–68 ideal system for, 191 IMF’s warning about high, 190 income, 45 increase in, 190–94 inequality and, 191 inheritance, 368 land, 191 on luxury cars, 265 progressive, 248 property, 192–93, 227 Reagan cuts to, 168, 210 shipping, 227, 228 as stimulative, 368 on trade surpluses, 254 value-added, 190, 192 tax evasion, in Greece, 190–91 tax laws, 75 tax revenue, 190–96 Taylor, John, 169 Taylor rule, 169 tech bubble, 250 technology, 137, 138–39, 186, 211, 217, 251, 258, 265, 300 and new financial system, 274–76, 283–84 telecoms, 55 Telmex, 369 terrorism, 319 Thailand, 113 theory of the second best, 27–28, 48 “there is no alternative” (TINA), 306, 311–12 Tocqueville, Alexis de, xiii too-big-to-fail banks, 360 tourism, 192, 286 trade: and contractionary expansion, 209 US push for, 323 trade agreements, xiv–xvi, 357 trade balance, 81, 93, 100, 109 as allegedly self-correcting, 98–99, 101–3 and wage flexibility, 104–5 trade barriers, 40 trade deficits, 89, 139 aggregate demand weakened by, 111 chit solution to, 287–88, 290, 299–300, 387, 388–89 control of, 109–10, 122 with currency pegs, 110 and fixed exchange rates, 107–8, 118 and government spending, 107–8, 108 of Greece, 81, 194, 215–16, 222, 285–86 structural reform of, 216–17 traded goods, 102, 103, 216 trade integration, 393 trade surpluses, 88, 118–21, 139–40, 350–52 discouragement of, 282–84, 299–300 of Germany, 118–19, 120, 139, 253, 293, 299, 350–52, 381–82, 391 tax on, 254, 351, 381–82 Transatlantic Trade and Investment Partnership, xv, 323 transfer price system, 376 Trans-Pacific Partnership, xv, 323 Treasury bills, US, 204 Trichet, Jean-Claude, 100–101, 155, 156, 164–65, 251 trickle-down economics, 362 Troika, 19, 20, 26, 55, 56, 58, 60, 69, 99, 101–3, 117, 119, 135, 140–42, 178, 179, 184, 195, 274, 294, 317, 362, 370–71, 373, 376, 377, 386 banks weakened by, 229 conditions of, 201 discretion of, 262 failure to learn, 312 Greek incomes lowered by, 80 Greek loan set up by, 202 inequality created by, 225–26 poor forecasting of, 307 predictions by, 249 primary surpluses and, 187–88 privatization avoided by, 194 programs of, 17–18, 21, 155–57, 179–80, 181, 182–83, 184–85, 187–93, 196, 197–98, 202, 204, 205, 207, 208, 214–16, 217, 218–23, 225–28, 229, 231, 233–34, 273, 278, 308, 309–11, 312, 313, 314, 315–16, 323–24, 348, 366, 379, 392 social contract torn up by, 78 structural reforms imposed by, 214–16, 217, 218–23, 225–38 tax demand of, 192 and tax evasion, 367 see also European Central Bank (ECB); European Commission; International Monetary Fund (IMF) trust, xix, 280 Tsipras, Alexis, 61–62, 221, 273, 314 Turkey, 321 UBS, 355 Ukraine, 36 unemployment, 3, 64, 68, 71–72, 110, 111, 122, 323, 336, 342 as allegedly self-correcting, 98–101 in Argentina, 267 austerity and, 209 central banks and, 8, 94, 97, 106, 147 ECB and, 163 in eurozone, 71, 135, 163, 177–78, 181, 331 and financing investments, 186 in Finland, 296 and future income, 77 in Greece, xi, 71, 236, 267, 331, 338, 342 increased by capital, 264 interest rates and, 43–44 and internal devaluation, 98–101, 104–6 migration and, 69, 90, 135, 140 natural rate of, 172–73 present-day, in Europe, 210 and rise of Hitler, 338, 358 and single currency, 88 in Spain, 63, 161, 231, 235, 332, 338 and structural reforms, 19 and trade deficits, 108 in US, 3 youth, 3, 64, 71 unemployment insurance, 91, 186, 246, 247–48 UNICEF, 72–73 unions, 101, 254, 335 United Kingdom, 14, 44, 46, 131, 307, 331, 332, 340 colonies of, 36 debt of, 202 inflation target set in, 157 in Iraq War, 37 light regulations in, 131 proposed exit from EU by, 4, 270 United Nations, 337, 350, 384–85 creation of, 38 and lower rates of war, 196 United States: banking system in, 91 budget of, 8, 45 and Canada’s 1990 expansion, 209 Canada’s free trade with, 45–46, 47 central bank governance in, 161 debt-to-GDP of, 202, 210–11 financial crisis originating in, 65, 68, 79–80, 128, 296, 302 financial system in, 228 founding of, 319 GDP of, xiii Germany’s borrowing from, 187 growing working-age population of, 70 growth in, 68 housing bubble in, 108 immigration into, 320 migration in, 90, 136, 346 monetary policy in financial crisis of, 151 in NAFTA, xiv 1980–1981 recessions in, 76 predatory lending in, 310 productivity in, 71 recovery of, xiii, 12 rising inequality in, xvii, 333 shareholder capitalism of, 21 Small Business Administration in, 246 structural reforms needed in, 20 surpluses in, 96, 187 trade agenda of, 323 unemployment in, 3, 178 united currency in, 35, 36, 88, 89–92 United States bonds, 350 unskilled workers, 134–35 value-added tax, 190, 192 values, 57–58 Varoufakis, Yanis, 61, 221, 309 velocity of circulation, 167 Venezuela, 371 Versaille, Treaty of, 187 victim blaming, 9, 15–17, 177–78, 309–11 volatility: and capital market integration, 28 in exchange rates, 48–49 Volcker, Paul, 157, 168 wage adjustments, 100–101, 103, 104–5, 155, 216–17, 220–22, 338, 361 wages, 19, 348 expansionary policies on, 284–85 Germany’s constraining of, 41, 42–43 lowered in Germany, 105, 333 wage stagnation, in Germany, 13 war, change in attitude to, 38, 196 Washington Consensus, xvi Washington Mutual, 91 wealth, divergence in, 139–40 Weil, Jonathan, 360 welfare, 196 West Germany, 6 Whitney, Meredith, 360 wind energy, 193, 229 Wolf, Martin, 385 worker protection, 56 workers’ bargaining rights, 19, 221, 255 World Bank, xv, xvii, 10, 61, 337, 357, 371 World Trade Organization, xiv youth: future of, xx–xxi unemployment of, 3, 64, 71 Zapatero, José Luis Rodríguez, xiv, 155, 362 zero lower bound, 106 ALSO BY JOSEPH E.


pages: 424 words: 121,425

How the Other Half Banks: Exclusion, Exploitation, and the Threat to Democracy by Mehrsa Baradaran

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access to a mobile phone, affirmative action, asset-backed security, bank run, banking crisis, banks create money, barriers to entry, British Empire, call centre, Capital in the Twenty-First Century by Thomas Piketty, cashless society, credit crunch, David Graeber, disintermediation, diversification, failed state, fiat currency, financial innovation, financial intermediation, Goldman Sachs: Vampire Squid, housing crisis, income inequality, Internet Archive, invisible hand, Kickstarter, M-Pesa, McMansion, microcredit, mobile money, moral hazard, mortgage debt, new economy, Own Your Own Home, payday loans, peer-to-peer lending, price discrimination, profit maximization, profit motive, quantitative easing, race to the bottom, rent-seeking, Ronald Reagan, Ronald Reagan: Tear down this wall, savings glut, the built environment, the payments system, too big to fail, trade route, transaction costs, unbanked and underbanked, underbanked, union organizing, white flight, working poor

Unit banking and the restrictions and prohibitions of the fifty years following the Great Depression had allowed banks to profit modestly by keeping their balance sheets focused on deposits and loans. But suddenly, technological advances, financial innovation, capital markets, and commercial paper markets started to offer safe and enticing alternatives to banks. Banks started hemorrhaging customers, a process called disintermediation, which means cutting out the middleman. Deposits went directly to high-yield markets and sidestepped highly regulated banks.99 Concerns about banks’ waning profitability led to growing pressure on the government to deregulate banks and allow them to compete more freely with other institutions. For example, Glass-Steagall’s Regulation Q prohibited banks from paying interest on deposits in order to limit competition between banks for deposit funds—and so banks started offering toasters and umbrellas instead.

Federal Deposit Insurance Corporation, “What is Economic Inclusion?,” accessed March 19, 2015, www.economicinclusion.gov/whatis/. 98. For example, a central tenet of Professor Muhammad Yunus’s microcredit model is that “credit is a fundamental right.” See, e.g., Randeep Ramesh, “Credit is a Basic Human Right,” Guardian, January 5, 2007, accessed March 19, 2015, www.theguardian.com/world/2007/jan/05/outlook.development. 99. Disintermediation describes the elimination of financial intermediaries, such as banks, resulting from high inflation rates and stagnant interest offered by banks (due to regulatory caps). Depositors can get better returns by investing in mutual funds or securities and thus, banks lose customers and revenue. 100. “These agencies are designed with a primary mission to protect the safety and soundness of the banking system.

P2P loans, 180 CUMAA (Credit Union Membership Access Act), 75 CUNA (Credit Union National Association), 72, 73 Currency: national, 14, 35–39; fiat, 35, 241nn52,55, 241–242n56; paper, 35, 36, 242n60; specie-backed, 35, 36; states’ rights and, 36–37; omitted in Constitution, 237–238n16 Davis, Milton, 163 Debit cards, prepaid, 174–175 Debt: amnesty for, 104; connotations of, 107; of average American, 110, 120–121; stigma associated with, 118–119; moral outrage about, 118–120; using to make money, 119, 273n74; of wealthy, 119–120; punishments for, 120; view of, 255n68; and religion, 266n19; of large commercial firms, 268n35 Debtor’s prison, 120 Default rates, 132, 179 Democracy: and debate about national bank, 32; threats to, 44, 210, 212; and postal service, 183, 184, 185–186; and credit access, 224–225 Democracy in America (Tocqueville), 184 Democrats, and postal banking, 193, 194, 200 Demographics, and interest rates, 131–132 Department of Justice (DOJ), 50, 127–129, 160, 290n86 Deposit insurance, 12, 17–18, 44, 45, 62, 205, 219, 228n8, 232n17, 244n80. See also Federal Deposit Insurance Corporation Deposit interest rates, deregulation of, 52 Deposits, 13–14, 231nn12,13 Depression. See Great Depression Deregulation, 7, 52–63, 64, 91–94, 146 Derivatives, 246n101 Desjardins, Alphonse, 65–66 Dickens, Charles, 107 DiLorenzo, Thomas, 156 Discrimination, 49, 50–52, 284n35, 290n86. See also credit access, inequality in; redlining Disintermediation, 52, 245n99 Disparate impact, 50–51 Distrust, of banks, 190, 191, 202, 203, 218 Dodd-Frank Wall Street Reform and Consumer Protection Act, 147–148 DOJ (Department of Justice), 50, 127–129, 160, 290n86 Dostoyevsky, Fyodor, 107 Douglas, Paul, 145, 146 Douglas Amendment, 145 Douglass, Frederick, 81, 82–83, 185 Dual plan, 96, 262n164 Du Bois, W. E. B., 84 Durbin, Richard, 58 Dyal-Chand, Rashmi, 170 Economies of scale, 148, 149, 218 Economies of scope, 148, 149, 218 Edward I, 104 Efficiency, 144–145, 147, 148, 223 Efficiency hypothesis, 149 Equal Credit Opportunity Act of 1974, 49 Exclusion, financial, 138–139, 151–152, 195.

The End of Power: From Boardrooms to Battlefields and Churches to States, Why Being in Charge Isn’t What It Used to Be by Moises Naim

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additive manufacturing, barriers to entry, Berlin Wall, bilateral investment treaty, business process, business process outsourcing, call centre, citizen journalism, Clayton Christensen, clean water, collapse of Lehman Brothers, collective bargaining, colonial rule, conceptual framework, corporate governance, crony capitalism, deskilling, disintermediation, don't be evil, failed state, Fall of the Berlin Wall, financial deregulation, Francis Fukuyama: the end of history, illegal immigration, immigration reform, income inequality, income per capita, intermodal, invisible hand, job-hopping, Joseph Schumpeter, Julian Assange, Kickstarter, Martin Wolf, megacity, Naomi Klein, Nate Silver, new economy, Northern Rock, Occupy movement, open borders, open economy, Peace of Westphalia, Plutocrats, plutocrats, price mechanism, price stability, private military company, profit maximization, Ronald Coase, Ronald Reagan, Silicon Valley, Skype, Steve Jobs, The Nature of the Firm, Thomas Malthus, too big to fail, trade route, transaction costs, Washington Consensus, WikiLeaks, World Values Survey

Migration and urbanization have created new political, social, cultural, and professional networks, concentrating them in urban nodes invested with new and growing power. Global norms have achieved a new reach, and individual aspirations and expectations have been turbo-charged by social media, fiber optics, satellite dishes, and smartphones. It is as if a political centrifuge had taken the elements that constituted politics as we knew it and scattered them across a new and broader frame. Here are a few of its key effects. Disintermediating Parties For centuries, politics operated on the premise that it channels the interests of the masses (expressed through votes, or asserted by rulers) into coherent outcomes. Representative 94 government meant the channeling of the public will up from the neighborhood or town level, through regions or provinces, and, ultimately, to the sovereign state. Political parties, or organized groups within a single party, together with unions and civic associations, promised to represent ordinary people and convey their views up these channels.

The leveling of hierarchy means that a small number of dominant nations (let alone a single hegemon) no longer hold sway over the direction of international cooperation and how the world will handle present and future crises. It also means the bypassing of the traditional diplomatic establishment—foreign ministries, embassies and their staff, national aid agencies, and other bilateral services—that has controlled the terms of engagement across borders. Diplomats were once the gatekeepers and guardians of certain norms of interaction. Now they have been disinter-mediated, and the advantages of traditional statecraft blunted, in a landscape of small-country initiatives, promotion by nonstate actors, and channels of direct access to overseas public opinion. The edifice of cooperation and deterrence built in the last seven decades has been strong enough to see through decolonization, ward off invasions and conquests, and limit secessions. The dissolution of unwieldy unions that had been held together by ideology and force—the Soviet Union, Yugoslavia—stand as the exceptions that confirm the rule.

As Tom Munnecke, head of Uplift Academy and a pioneer in new philanthropy, put it to a British newspaper: “Instead of having to go to one big, centralized bureaucracy such as the Red Cross or Oxfam, we can now go to the edge and take control.”35 At the edge, donors forged in Silicon Valley–style venture capitalism apply a broad range of tools from that milieu to vet projects, while would-be recipients make their proposals in the knowledge that they are competing with peers around the world. The boards and program officers of the big foundations and bureaucrats of large aid agencies have seen their influence lessened—whether by the new tools that aim to disintermediate them or by the celebrity activists, such as U2 frontman Bono or Senegalese singer Youssou N’Dour, who have used global media and communications platforms to 176 advance their own views and priorities. That said, the lines are not completely rigid, and the traditional players are capable of adapting—or at least trying to adapt. The Rockefeller Foundation, for example, is one of the original investors in the venture-philanthropy Acumen Fund.


pages: 840 words: 202,245

Age of Greed: The Triumph of Finance and the Decline of America, 1970 to the Present by Jeff Madrick

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accounting loophole / creative accounting, Asian financial crisis, bank run, Bretton Woods, capital controls, collapse of Lehman Brothers, collateralized debt obligation, credit crunch, Credit Default Swap, credit default swaps / collateralized debt obligations, desegregation, disintermediation, diversified portfolio, Donald Trump, financial deregulation, fixed income, floating exchange rates, Frederick Winslow Taylor, full employment, George Akerlof, Hyman Minsky, income inequality, index fund, inflation targeting, inventory management, invisible hand, laissez-faire capitalism, locking in a profit, Long Term Capital Management, market bubble, minimum wage unemployment, Mont Pelerin Society, moral hazard, mortgage debt, new economy, North Sea oil, Northern Rock, oil shock, price stability, quantitative easing, Ralph Nader, rent control, road to serfdom, Robert Shiller, Robert Shiller, Ronald Coase, Ronald Reagan, Ronald Reagan: Tear down this wall, shareholder value, short selling, Silicon Valley, Simon Kuznets, technology bubble, Telecommunications Act of 1996, The Chicago School, The Great Moderation, too big to fail, union organizing, V2 rocket, value at risk, Vanguard fund, War on Poverty, Washington Consensus, Y2K, Yom Kippur War

In 1961, the Federal Reserve was concerned that banks have enough funds to prevent an economic slowdown then under way from getting worse. When interest rates rose in an overheating economy—or were raised by the Fed to forestall inflation—depositors put their money elsewhere because banks could not raise their own rates under Regulation Q. This diversion of funds was known as disintermediation, and the result was a credit crunch as bank lending to businesses would dry up. Wriston realized that the Fed now feared disintermediation and the economy needed him as much as he needed the economy. But not all his competitors were in favor of the negotiable CD. Unlike Wriston, they feared challenging the Federal Reserve and were also concerned with a possible rate war, in which banks would keep raising rates competitively to attract depositors. Why pay for deposits when you get them for free?

By the mid-1960s, the volume of these CDs surpassed the volume of commercial paper, the short-term loans to large corporations, to cover immediate business needs usually due to fluctuations in sales, issued directly to major investors through investment bankers. Now, with CDs, banks could more effectively compete. There were still restrictions on the rates paid, and the minimum size of a CD was $100,000, but bank credit increased far faster than the economy in these years, lending rising from $30 billion to $200 billion between 1962 and 1965. By the mid-1960s, new negotiable CDs were not adequate to ward off likely disintermediation and resulting credit crunches. Spending on the Vietnam War was pushing the federal budget into deficit at a time when the economy was growing strongly, new social programs were under way, and U.S. business was booming. The negotiable CDs actually contributed to higher inflation and interest rates, a fact that was not well recognized by either policymakers or economists. Even as rates rose, “banks began to bid for funds aggressively,” wrote Salomon Brothers’ influential former economist Henry Kaufman, “driving open market rates to the maximum allowable under Regulation Q.”

“The year 1966 was a dress rehearsal for disaster,” according to one history of the period, reflecting the common view at the time. Inflation kept rising, doubling in 1966, to 3.5 percent. The Federal Reserve, eager to staunch inflation, raised its discount rate sharply to suppress the ongoing business lending. When the banks raised rates to the maximum allowed to be paid even on the negotiable CDs, and market rates went still higher, disintermediation again began and a credit crunch was unavoidable. Large depositors fled the banks, and placed their money in commercial paper or in overseas investments. The volume of CDs shrank rapidly. Corporate lending and mortgage underwriting dried up, and the economy slowed down. A recession seemed likely. In the tightening circumstances, Wriston, with Moore’s encouragement, initiated another practice to find the bank more deposits, one that would soon be adopted industry-wide.


pages: 843 words: 223,858

The Rise of the Network Society by Manuel Castells

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Apple II, Asian financial crisis, barriers to entry, Big bang: deregulation of the City of London, borderless world, British Empire, capital controls, complexity theory, computer age, Credit Default Swap, declining real wages, deindustrialization, delayed gratification, dematerialisation, deskilling, disintermediation, double helix, Douglas Engelbart, edge city, experimental subject, financial deregulation, financial independence, floating exchange rates, future of work, global village, Hacker Ethic, hiring and firing, Howard Rheingold, illegal immigration, income inequality, industrial robot, informal economy, information retrieval, intermodal, invention of the steam engine, invention of the telephone, inventory management, James Watt: steam engine, job automation, job-hopping, knowledge economy, knowledge worker, labor-force participation, labour market flexibility, labour mobility, laissez-faire capitalism, low skilled workers, manufacturing employment, Marshall McLuhan, means of production, megacity, Menlo Park, new economy, New Urbanism, offshore financial centre, oil shock, open economy, packet switching, planetary scale, popular electronics, post-industrial society, postindustrial economy, prediction markets, Productivity paradox, profit maximization, purchasing power parity, RAND corporation, Robert Gordon, Silicon Valley, Silicon Valley startup, social software, South China Sea, South of Market, San Francisco, special economic zone, spinning jenny, statistical model, Steve Jobs, Steve Wozniak, Ted Nelson, the built environment, the medium is the message, The Wealth of Nations by Adam Smith, Thomas Kuhn: the structure of scientific revolutions, total factor productivity, trade liberalization, transaction costs, urban renewal, urban sprawl

Electronic communication networks and the widespread use of the Internet revolutionized financial trade between firms, between investors and firms, between sellers and buyers, and, ultimately, the stock exchange markets.127 One major consequence of the transformation of finance was the global integration of financial markets, as analyzed above in this chapter. Another major development was the process of financial disintermediation; that is, the direct relationships between investors and securities markets, bypassing traditional brokerage firms, on the basis of electronic communication networks (ECNs). While Internet technology was crucial in allowing this trend to happen, a major institutional change made possible electronic trading. This was the creation of Nasdaq in 1971, as an electronic marketplace built on computer networks, without a central trading floor.

., actively entered electronic trade: in 1998, 14 percent of all equity trades in the US were on-line, a 50 percent increase over 1997. The on-line brokerage industry in the US in 1999 had about 9.7 million accounts, three times the number in 1997, with customers’ assets of nearly half a trillion dollars – a figure that is likely to be dwarfed in the early twenty-first century. Electronic trading quickly spread from stocks to bonds. In November 1999, the city of Pittsburgh used the opportunity of electronic disintermediation to offer $55 million worth of municipal bonds directly to institutional investors over the Internet, thus bypassing Wall Street. This was the first time municipal bonds were directly sold electronically. The entry of electronic trading into the $13.7 trillion bond market is likely to change financial markets even further. Indeed, while in 1995 only 0.6 percent of US bonds were electronically traded, the projected share of electronic trading for 2001 is 37 percent, with the share of electronic trading for US government bonds reaching even higher, at 55 percent.129 Stock exchange markets around the world moved toward electronic trading in the second half of the 1990s.

On the other hand, if there is trust in the institutions underlying the market, then expectations of the potential future value of a future stock will increase its value. In the case of Russia, neither trust nor expectations were inducers of value in 1999. In the case of Amazon, in spite of losing money, the institutional environment of the new economy (essentially characterized by deregulation and disintermediation) had won the approval and trust of investors. And expectations were high on the ability of the on-line selling pioneer to move into e-commerce beyond books. This is why, for firms that bring together a “new economy” flavor with traditional virtues in profit-making and corporate respectability, the rewards are the highest, as shown in Exhibit one. But how are expectations created? It seems to be partly a subjective process, made up of a vague vision of the future, some insider knowledge distributed on-line by financial gurus and economic “whispers” from specialized firms (such as Whisper.com), conscious image-making, and herd behavior.


pages: 364 words: 99,897

The Industries of the Future by Alec Ross

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23andMe, 3D printing, Airbnb, algorithmic trading, AltaVista, Anne Wojcicki, autonomous vehicles, banking crisis, barriers to entry, Bernie Madoff, bioinformatics, bitcoin, blockchain, Brian Krebs, British Empire, business intelligence, call centre, carbon footprint, cloud computing, collaborative consumption, connected car, corporate governance, Credit Default Swap, cryptocurrency, David Brooks, disintermediation, Dissolution of the Soviet Union, distributed ledger, Edward Glaeser, Edward Snowden, en.wikipedia.org, Erik Brynjolfsson, fiat currency, future of work, global supply chain, Google X / Alphabet X, industrial robot, Internet of things, invention of the printing press, Jaron Lanier, Jeff Bezos, job automation, knowledge economy, knowledge worker, litecoin, M-Pesa, Mark Zuckerberg, Mikhail Gorbachev, mobile money, money: store of value / unit of account / medium of exchange, new economy, offshore financial centre, open economy, peer-to-peer lending, personalized medicine, Peter Thiel, precision agriculture, pre–internet, RAND corporation, Ray Kurzweil, recommendation engine, ride hailing / ride sharing, Satoshi Nakamoto, self-driving car, sharing economy, Silicon Valley, Silicon Valley startup, Skype, smart cities, social graph, software as a service, special economic zone, supply-chain management, supply-chain management software, technoutopianism, underbanked, Vernor Vinge, Watson beat the top human players on Jeopardy!, women in the workforce, Y Combinator, young professional

Citing the lack of a mechanism for high-value trusted transactions, Charlie adds, “Conversely, from 1995 to the present day there has been almost no impact by the Internet on the financial services or legal industries. The process of performing a wire transfer, opening a bank account, or setting up a will has remained unchanged.” Joi Ito, director of the MIT Media Lab, expands on this idea: “My hunch is that The Blockchain will be to banking, law and accountancy as The Internet was to media, commerce and advertising. It will lower costs, disintermediate many layers of business and reduce friction. As we know, one person’s friction is another person’s revenue.” Charlie forecasts the elimination of commissions for the sale of stocks or bonds, since they can be transferred on the ledger. He imagines that contracts can also be embedded on the ledger, including proof of ownership for hard assets like land. This is yet another example of how digital networks and digital trust can do away with traditional middlemen as arbiters and authorities.

Much as the Internet was a confusing space largely populated by technologists prior to the creation of the World Wide Web, once the blockchain has safer and more user-friendly wallets, trading platforms, and pricing indexes, its use will expand beyond those who are very adept technologically. As blockchain technology takes off, its impact will be like that of the sharing economy and other forces of digital disintermediation: it will force a rewrite of the compact between corporation, citizen, and government. It is bringing frontier economies onto the global playing field while destroying middlemen and traditional authorities. Amid his enthusiasm, Charlie still cautions, “The unknown unknowns of an experiment like this are massive. We have to remember to be humble.” FOUR THE WEAPONIZATION OF CODE The world has left the Cold War behind only to enter into a Code War.


pages: 302 words: 83,116

SuperFreakonomics by Steven D. Levitt, Stephen J. Dubner

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agricultural Revolution, airport security, Andrei Shleifer, Atul Gawande, barriers to entry, Bernie Madoff, call centre, clean water, cognitive bias, collateralized debt obligation, credit crunch, Daniel Kahneman / Amos Tversky, deliberate practice, disintermediation, endowment effect, experimental economics, food miles, indoor plumbing, John Nash: game theory, Joseph Schumpeter, loss aversion, Louis Pasteur, market design, microcredit, Milgram experiment, oil shale / tar sands, patent troll, presumed consent, price discrimination, principal–agent problem, profit motive, randomized controlled trial, Richard Feynman, Richard Feynman, Richard Thaler, South China Sea, Stephen Hawking, The Wealth of Nations by Adam Smith, too big to fail, trickle-down economics, ultimatum game, urban planning, women in the workforce, young professional

In the old days, Allie probably would have worked for someone like the Everleigh sisters, who paid their girls handsomely but took enough off the top to make themselves truly rich. The Internet let Allie be her own madam and accumulate the riches for herself. Much has been said of the Internet’s awesome ability to “disintermediate”—to cut out the agent or middleman—in industries like travel, real estate, insurance, and the sale of stocks and bonds. But it is hard to think of a market more naturally suited to disintermediation than high-end prostitution. The downside was that Allie had no one but herself to screen potential clients and ensure they wouldn’t beat her up or rip her off. She hit upon a solution that was as simple as it was smart. When a new client contacted her online, she wouldn’t book an appointment until she had secured his real name and his work telephone number.


pages: 677 words: 206,548

Future Crimes: Everything Is Connected, Everyone Is Vulnerable and What We Can Do About It by Marc Goodman

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23andMe, 3D printing, additive manufacturing, Affordable Care Act / Obamacare, Airbnb, airport security, Albert Einstein, algorithmic trading, artificial general intelligence, augmented reality, autonomous vehicles, Baxter: Rethink Robotics, Bill Joy: nanobots, bitcoin, Black Swan, blockchain, borderless world, Brian Krebs, business process, butterfly effect, call centre, Chelsea Manning, cloud computing, cognitive dissonance, computer vision, connected car, corporate governance, crowdsourcing, cryptocurrency, data acquisition, data is the new oil, Dean Kamen, disintermediation, don't be evil, double helix, Downton Abbey, Edward Snowden, Elon Musk, Erik Brynjolfsson, Filter Bubble, Firefox, Flash crash, future of work, game design, Google Chrome, Google Earth, Google Glasses, Gordon Gekko, high net worth, High speed trading, hive mind, Howard Rheingold, hypertext link, illegal immigration, impulse control, industrial robot, Internet of things, Jaron Lanier, Jeff Bezos, job automation, John Harrison: Longitude, Jony Ive, Julian Assange, Kevin Kelly, Khan Academy, Kickstarter, knowledge worker, Kuwabatake Sanjuro: assassination market, Law of Accelerating Returns, Lean Startup, license plate recognition, litecoin, M-Pesa, Mark Zuckerberg, Marshall McLuhan, Menlo Park, mobile money, more computing power than Apollo, move fast and break things, Nate Silver, national security letter, natural language processing, obamacare, Occupy movement, Oculus Rift, offshore financial centre, optical character recognition, pattern recognition, personalized medicine, Peter H. Diamandis: Planetary Resources, Peter Thiel, pre–internet, RAND corporation, ransomware, Ray Kurzweil, refrigerator car, RFID, ride hailing / ride sharing, Rodney Brooks, Satoshi Nakamoto, Second Machine Age, security theater, self-driving car, shareholder value, Silicon Valley, Silicon Valley startup, Skype, smart cities, smart grid, smart meter, Snapchat, social graph, software as a service, speech recognition, stealth mode startup, Stephen Hawking, Steve Jobs, Steve Wozniak, strong AI, Stuxnet, supply-chain management, technological singularity, telepresence, telepresence robot, Tesla Model S, The Wisdom of Crowds, Tim Cook: Apple, trade route, uranium enrichment, Wall-E, Watson beat the top human players on Jeopardy!, Wave and Pay, We are Anonymous. We are Legion, web application, WikiLeaks, Y Combinator, zero day

Multiple inbound UAVs launched from East Potomac Park and traveling at 160 miles per hour under the radar would strike their targets in mere minutes, leaving no time for evacuation or response. As the use of drones and other robotic technologies becomes more commonplace, we can expect them to be leveraged by all members of society, for both good and ill. While 9/11 1.0 was about human beings’ seizing aircraft and flying them into occupied buildings for terrorist effect, 9/11 2.0 makes it possible to disintermediate the humans and use robots in their stead. We, Robot In the future, I’m sure there will be a lot more robots in every aspect of life. If you told people in 1985 that in 25 years they would have computers in their kitchen, it would have made no sense to them. RODNEY BROOKS Throughout the history of film and television, we’ve seen robots presented in a variety of lights. Some were lovable and helpful such as WALL-E, Johnny Number 5 of Short Circuit, and C-3PO and R2-D2 from Star Wars.

At a few billion yeast cells per milliliter, a small vial could be replicated time and time again under controlled conditions and should stock Crime, Inc. well into the next century. Those who find such a future implausible need only look at the strides already made with synthetic biology and engineered drugs. E. coli bacteria have been genetically engineered and reprogrammed to produce THC (the active ingredient in cannabis), and others have been able to coax baker’s yeast into making LSD and opium. Rapidly advancing changes in digital biology may also disintermediate existing incumbents in the narcotics trade. Just as Microsoft took the personal PC away from IBM, and Apple took the mobile phone from Nokia and BlackBerry, it may be a student at MIT who obviates the need for a Colombia-based Pablo Escobar of tomorrow. Moreover, if Craig Venter is right and we will all have bio-printers at home, why not just print my own THC or oxycodone—evaporating billions in profits from legacy players and creating new leaders in the bio-cartels of tomorrow.

As the MIT researcher Ethan Zuckerman has proclaimed, “Advertising is the original sin of the web. The fallen state of our Internet is a direct, if unintentional, consequence of choosing advertising as the default model to support online content and services.” Though our data pay for Gmail, YouTube, and Facebook today, we could just as easily support Internet companies whose goal was to store as little personal data of ours as possible, in exchange for minute sums of cash. Why not just disintermediate the middle man altogether for a much more logical system? We would become Facebook’s and Google’s clients for a dollar a month and could go on to enjoy our lives. Unfortunately today, just as is the case with software vendors, the incentives are misaligned from a public safety and security perspective. Facebook is incentivized to gather an ever-growing amount of personally identifiable data on its customers that it can sell on to thousands of data brokers around the world at a profit.


pages: 903 words: 235,753

The Stack: On Software and Sovereignty by Benjamin H. Bratton

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1960s counterculture, 3D printing, 4chan, Ada Lovelace, additive manufacturing, airport security, Alan Turing: On Computable Numbers, with an Application to the Entscheidungsproblem, algorithmic trading, Amazon Mechanical Turk, Amazon Web Services, augmented reality, autonomous vehicles, Berlin Wall, bioinformatics, bitcoin, blockchain, Buckminster Fuller, Burning Man, call centre, carbon footprint, carbon-based life, Cass Sunstein, Celebration, Florida, charter city, clean water, cloud computing, connected car, corporate governance, crowdsourcing, cryptocurrency, dark matter, David Graeber, deglobalization, dematerialisation, disintermediation, distributed generation, don't be evil, Douglas Engelbart, Edward Snowden, Elon Musk, en.wikipedia.org, Eratosthenes, ethereum blockchain, facts on the ground, Flash crash, Frank Gehry, Frederick Winslow Taylor, future of work, Georg Cantor, gig economy, global supply chain, Google Earth, Google Glasses, Guggenheim Bilbao, High speed trading, Hyperloop, illegal immigration, industrial robot, information retrieval, intermodal, Internet of things, invisible hand, Jacob Appelbaum, Jaron Lanier, Jony Ive, Julian Assange, Khan Academy, linked data, Mark Zuckerberg, market fundamentalism, Marshall McLuhan, Masdar, McMansion, means of production, megacity, megastructure, Menlo Park, Minecraft, Monroe Doctrine, Network effects, new economy, offshore financial centre, oil shale / tar sands, packet switching, PageRank, pattern recognition, peak oil, performance metric, personalized medicine, Peter Thiel, phenotype, place-making, planetary scale, RAND corporation, recommendation engine, reserve currency, RFID, Sand Hill Road, self-driving car, semantic web, sharing economy, Silicon Valley, Silicon Valley ideology, Slavoj Žižek, smart cities, smart grid, smart meter, social graph, software studies, South China Sea, sovereign wealth fund, special economic zone, spectrum auction, Startup school, statistical arbitrage, Steve Jobs, Steven Levy, Stewart Brand, Stuxnet, Superbowl ad, supply-chain management, supply-chain management software, TaskRabbit, the built environment, The Chicago School, the scientific method, Torches of Freedom, transaction costs, Turing complete, Turing machine, Turing test, universal basic income, urban planning, Vernor Vinge, Washington Consensus, web application, WikiLeaks, working poor, Y Combinator

One version of this presumes a general inversion of government's data-capturing mission now outward toward the exterior-facing world of active constituents. This might lead to a greater modularization and even outsourcing of governmental services to constituents interested in providing and innovating these.38 However, the PRISM/Snowden affair and the general revelation of the core role that consultants like Booz-Allen Hamilton and Palantir play in the federal information complex demonstrate that this disintermediation of the work of the Cloud-based state is not only well underway, and that the more individualistic-entrepreneurial story of “government as a platform,” as told by publisher, Tim O’Reilly and others, is at most a supplemental augmentation of a well-established apparatus. In fact, one shudders at the thought of what a more individually distributed subcontracting of state Cloud surveillance might look like.

Speaking of reserve currencies, Bitcoin introduces addressable scarcity not in direct relation to the sum of mined minerals or national currencies, but by the mathematics of solving increasingly difficult problems toward an eventual arbitrary limit of 21 million “coins.” There is much to explore with Bitcoin, blockchains and related initiatives, such as Ethereum, but it is also the monetary platform of choice of secessionist projects for which the metaphysical expulsion of externalities is the paramount program, as important if not more than the disintermediation of central banks. The version of Bitcoin that we have (other currencies may fork or follow) is exemplary of the future-archaic quality of many Stack innovations. It is, as Paul Krugman puts it, “both a 17th century and 21st century currency at once,” a currency mechanism that would freeze the sum total of possible liquid value tokens in the world, now and forever.64 In this regard, for certain persuasions, it is better than magic rocks (like gold) because incrementally more gold can always be mined, allowing rootless cosmopolitans to upset “the natural order” of hierarchical hereditary accumulation.

A pinch of governance now saves a pound later, and so the filibustering inaction actually does more to guarantee the arrival of what the right (supposedly) fears most.Responses like this are by no means confined to the right. Now that The Stack has emerged as a globally hegemonic system, we see on the left an unfortunate knee-jerk antidigital technology politics. When “the Internet” was seen as a way to decentralize and distribute power horizontally, disintermediating older institutions, then a “net politics” for the multitude was essential, but now that it is seen instead as an architecture for the consolidation and instrumentalization of power in volumetric space, then the Left falls into familiar stances well suited to critique but not to design or to the possession of power. Some discourses have trouble keeping straight whether the chief critique is “client side” (that neoliberalism foists all governing responsibility onto atomized individuals who cannot possibly decide on systemic problems) or “server side” (that massive state-scale platforms control systems-scale governance, leaving individuals no ability to maneuver autonomously).


pages: 289 words: 113,211

A Demon of Our Own Design: Markets, Hedge Funds, and the Perils of Financial Innovation by Richard Bookstaber

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affirmative action, Albert Einstein, asset allocation, backtesting, Black Swan, Black-Scholes formula, Bonfire of the Vanities, butterfly effect, commodity trading advisor, computer age, disintermediation, diversification, double entry bookkeeping, Edward Lorenz: Chaos theory, family office, financial innovation, fixed income, frictionless, frictionless market, George Akerlof, implied volatility, index arbitrage, Jeff Bezos, London Interbank Offered Rate, Long Term Capital Management, loose coupling, margin call, market bubble, market design, merger arbitrage, Mexican peso crisis / tequila crisis, moral hazard, new economy, Nick Leeson, oil shock, quantitative trading / quantitative finance, random walk, Renaissance Technologies, risk tolerance, risk/return, Robert Shiller, Robert Shiller, rolodex, Saturday Night Live, shareholder value, short selling, Silicon Valley, statistical arbitrage, The Market for Lemons, time value of money, too big to fail, transaction costs, tulip mania, uranium enrichment, yield curve, zero-coupon bond

No matter how quickly the price was dropped, the decision making 20 ccc_demon_007-032_ch02.qxd 2/13/07 1:44 PM THE DEMONS Page 21 OF ’87 by the equity investors took time; unlike the twitch-quick futures pit traders, they made portfolio adjustments only after reasoned consideration. With their limited capital, the specialists were not willing to wait for the process to unfold, and their increasingly aggressive offers ended up backfiring. Prices dropped so violently that many potential buyers started to wonder what was happening and backed off completely. The root dynamic was what I call time disintermediation—the time frame for being able to do transactions in the futures market was substantially different from the time frame in the the equity market, yet these two markets had been linked together through market arbitrageurs. We could see the effect on our trading floor. One of our institutional clients in Boston was bullish on IBM and had discussed strategies for adding more of the stock to his substantial portfolio.

., 165, 189, 243 Shiller, Robert, 179 Shopkorn, Stan, 181 Shuttle disasters, 159–161 Simon, Jim, 165 Singapore International Monetary Exchange (SIMEX), Osaka Exchange (matched positions), 39 Smith Barney, 75 Solow, Robert, 208–209 Soros, George, 179–180 Speculative traders, economic service, 219 Spread trades, holding periods, 83 Standard & Poor’s (S&P) futures contracts, sale, 20 Statistical arbitrage concept, 194 emergence, 182–188 origination, 184 traders, 191–192 Statistics, objective, 134–135 Stavis, Rob, 53, 59, 70–80, 84 Stock clearance/finance, 27–28 StockGeneration, web site, 168 Stock market crash (1929), 137 Stock market crash (1987), 1–2 demons, 7 impact/meditation, 18–20 mechanism, understanding, 28 meltdown, physics, 25–30 postmortem, 13–14 warning signs, 16–18 Strauss, Thomas, 196 resignation, 199 STRIPS, 40–41 Sunbeam, restatements/liability, 135 SuperDOT, linkage, 189 Swap maturity/rate level, interaction, 47 Systems, interactive complexity, 155 Takeovers, impact, 15–16 Tartaglia, Nunzio, 187–189 Thorp, Ed, 188 Three Mile Island, 159 safety systems, dangers, 147–150 Tight coupling, 143 accidents, 154–157 complexity, combination, 256 failure, cascade, 145–146 interactive complexity, relationship, 157–159 origination, 144–145 reduction, 260 Tilley, Jim, 8–9, 46 Time disintermediation, 21 Toevs, Alden, 9 Too big to fail doctrine, 113 Top-down approach, 167 Travelers brokerage unit, 75 Citigroup merger, 125, 140 Shearson American Express, merger, 78 Tribeca Investments, 204 Tulip mania, 174–177 Turnover, demand satisfaction, 173 Two-plus model, 85–86 U.K. tax code, change (1997), 117, 118 Ukraine Radiological Institute, 163 Unanticipated events, 239 Uncertainty, implications, 257 Uncertainty Principle, 223–227 behavioral analogue, 226 Undecidability Theorem, 223–224 Underwriting, profitability, 33–34 Union Bank of Switzerland (UBS), 48 Epstein, impact, 48–49 Goldstein, impact, 116–118 LTCM impact, 118–120 LTCM losses, 113–116, 120 monetary loss, 49 Swiss Bank Corporation, merger, 49 Unwind/unrealized losses, 68 275 bindex.qxd 7/13/07 2:44 PM Page 276 INDEX U.S. arbitrage, losses, 100 U.S. swap market, 92 U.S.


pages: 457 words: 128,838

The Age of Cryptocurrency: How Bitcoin and Digital Money Are Challenging the Global Economic Order by Paul Vigna, Michael J. Casey

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3D printing, Airbnb, altcoin, bank run, banking crisis, bitcoin, blockchain, Bretton Woods, California gold rush, capital controls, carbon footprint, clean water, collaborative economy, collapse of Lehman Brothers, Columbine, Credit Default Swap, cryptocurrency, David Graeber, disintermediation, Edward Snowden, Elon Musk, ethereum blockchain, fiat currency, financial innovation, Firefox, Flash crash, Fractional reserve banking, hacker house, Hernando de Soto, high net worth, informal economy, Internet of things, inventory management, Julian Assange, Kickstarter, Kuwabatake Sanjuro: assassination market, litecoin, Long Term Capital Management, Lyft, M-Pesa, Mark Zuckerberg, McMansion, means of production, Menlo Park, mobile money, money: store of value / unit of account / medium of exchange, Network effects, new economy, new new economy, Nixon shock, offshore financial centre, payday loans, peer-to-peer lending, pets.com, Ponzi scheme, prediction markets, price stability, profit motive, RAND corporation, regulatory arbitrage, rent-seeking, reserve currency, Robert Shiller, Robert Shiller, Satoshi Nakamoto, seigniorage, shareholder value, sharing economy, short selling, Silicon Valley, Silicon Valley startup, Skype, smart contracts, special drawing rights, Spread Networks laid a new fibre optics cable between New York and Chicago, Steve Jobs, supply-chain management, Ted Nelson, The Great Moderation, the market place, the payments system, The Wealth of Nations by Adam Smith, too big to fail, transaction costs, tulip mania, Turing complete, Tyler Cowen: Great Stagnation, Uber and Lyft, underbanked, WikiLeaks, Y Combinator, Y2K, Zimmermann PGP

Users wouldn’t merely be transferring balances between accounts within a closed system such as PayPal’s, but could exchange full-fledged digitized dollars with anyone, anywhere, as if they were cash. Also like bitcoin and other cryptocurrencies, Rosen’s project ran off a permanent ledger of transactions and allowed for the digital dollar to be cut into smaller pieces so that commerce could occur in whatever denomination was required. Citi’s e-cash was in this sense a disruptive, disintermediating, peer-to-peer currency. It wouldn’t need the extensive network of communications that underpins credit-card payments, so transaction costs would be kept low, providing gains for both consumers and businesses and making micropayments viable. But this is not to say Rosen wanted to cut banks out from the system as, say, Satoshi Nakamoto did. Far from it. Banks would sit at the heart of his system, reflecting a deep-felt view that he’d developed on the theory of money by reading the likes of Milton Friedman and the nineteenth-century financial journalist Walter Bagehot.

Yes, that removes inflationary risks and means central banks no longer need to manage the money supply with imperfect policy tools such as interest rates, but bitcoin’s critics will counter, with some merit, that shackling credit would starve economies of growth. Still, it might not have to be so stark. If we consider that banks simply act as middlemen aggregating the funds of those seeking to lend their excess savings and delivering them to those who are short of money and need to borrow, there’s nothing to say such matching of lenders and borrowers can’t occur in a disintermediated fashion with cryptocurrencies. The new trend of peer-to-peer loans, exemplified by the Lending Club, offers one model that easily scales to cryptocurrency systems, with the checks and balances of the blockchain potentially helping to enhance a system of credit checks and credit reputations. Either way, the flow of credit and money in a cryptocurrency-led financial system would take on a very different form if banks were removed from those flows

Jennifer Morgue by Stross, Charles

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call centre, correlation does not imply causation, disintermediation, dumpster diving, Etonian, haute couture, interchangeable parts, Maui Hawaii, mutually assured destruction, planetary scale, RFID, Silicon Valley, Skype, slashdot, stem cell, telepresence, traveling salesman, Turing machine

Sockets for vacuum tubes stud its surface, one of them occupied by the broken base of a component; numerous diodes and resistors connect it to an odd, stellate design in gold that covers most of the surface of the board. "This board was taken from a GRU-issued Model 60 oneiromantic convolution engine found aboard the K-129. As you can see, it spent rather longer in the water than was good for it. Ellis reverse-engineered the basic schematic and pieced together the false vacuum topology that the valves disintermediated. Incidentally, these aren't your normal vacuum tubes — isotope imbalances in the thorium-doped glass sleeves suggest that they were evacuated by exposure in a primitive wake-shield facility, possibly aboard a modelthree Sputnik satellite similar to the one first orbited in 1960. That would have given them a starting pressure about six orders of magnitude cleaner than anything available on Earth at the time, at a price per tube of about two million rubles, which suggests that someone in the GRU's scientific directorate really wanted a good signal, if that wasn't already obvious.

At least her eyeballs aren't glowing blue and she isn't levitating. I shake my head and point down at the moon pool: "Help me! We've got to stop him!" "Who's the target?" Mo ducks out and stands beside me. "Him!" I pull the trigger. There's an ear-stinging ricochet a fraction of a second after the shot. I'm nowhere near the target. "Damn, missed. "Bob, we've got to get out of here! Can you still feel that Black Chamber bitch? The chromatic disintermediator should have broken your entanglement, but — why are you trying to shoot that cat" "Because — " I squeeze off another shot " — it's possessed!" "Bob." She looks at me as if I'm mad. There's a loud bang from inside the control room, and a human figure in a black beret runs out onto the sealed doors flooring the pool: I shoot instinctively and miss, and he dives for cover. "Leave the fucking cat — hey, that's Billington down there!"


pages: 494 words: 142,285

The Future of Ideas: The Fate of the Commons in a Connected World by Lawrence Lessig

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AltaVista, Andy Kessler, barriers to entry, business process, Cass Sunstein, computer age, dark matter, disintermediation, Erik Brynjolfsson, George Gilder, Hacker Ethic, Hedy Lamarr / George Antheil, Howard Rheingold, Hush-A-Phone, HyperCard, hypertext link, Innovator's Dilemma, invention of hypertext, inventory management, invisible hand, Jean Tirole, Jeff Bezos, Joseph Schumpeter, linked data, Menlo Park, Network effects, new economy, packet switching, price mechanism, profit maximization, RAND corporation, rent control, rent-seeking, RFC: Request For Comment, Richard Stallman, Richard Thaler, Ronald Coase, Search for Extraterrestrial Intelligence, SETI@home, Silicon Valley, smart grid, software patent, spectrum auction, Steve Crocker, Steven Levy, Stewart Brand, Ted Nelson, Telecommunications Act of 1996, The Chicago School, transaction costs

Preface In 1999, in a book entitled The Control Revolution, journalist and legal scholar Andrew Shapiro described two futures that the Internet might take.1 The first was the familiar story of increased individual freedom, as the network gave us greater control over our lives, and over the institutions, including government, that regulate our lives. The second was a less familiar warning—of the rebirth of technologies of control, as institutions “disintermediated” by the Internet learned how to alter the network to reestablish their control. Shapiro saw good and bad in both futures. Too much dis-intermediation, he warned, would interfere with collective governance; some balance was needed. But likewise, efforts to rearchitect the Net to reenable control threatened to undermine its potential for individual freedom and growth. Shapiro did not predict which future would be ours. Indeed, his argument was that bits of each future were possible, and that we must choose a balance between them.


pages: 390 words: 114,538

Digital Wars: Apple, Google, Microsoft and the Battle for the Internet by Charles Arthur

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AltaVista, Build a better mousetrap, Burning Man, cloud computing, credit crunch, crowdsourcing, disintermediation, don't be evil, en.wikipedia.org, Firefox, gravity well, Jeff Bezos, John Gruber, Mark Zuckerberg, Menlo Park, Network effects, PageRank, pre–internet, Robert X Cringely, Silicon Valley, Silicon Valley startup, skunkworks, Skype, slashdot, Snapchat, software patent, speech recognition, stealth mode startup, Steve Ballmer, Steve Jobs, the scientific method, Tim Cook: Apple, upwardly mobile

The other group for whom the iPhone presented disruption was the mobile carriers. They were intermediates between the handset makers and the users: they controlled pricing of devices and data contracts, the timing of software updates, device branding, everything. Within Nokia and other handset makers, the thinking had become more about keeping the carriers happy than delighting the customers who would make calls. To Jobs, they were both ripe for disintermediation. The deal that he negotiated with Cingular (soon to be renamed AT&T) was unprecedented in the history of mobile networks: Apple would control the iPhone’s branding and marketing and the timing of software updates. It was the expression of Jobs’s desire to control the presentation of every item he sold – you can’t let just anyone sell your ties. Free as in data A crucial aspect of the iPhone that Steve Jobs didn’t talk about in his Macworld speech that January, because it hadn’t been settled, was the iPhone’s data plan: how much data users would be able to get each month on their contract.

‘There are basically no companies that have good slow decisions. There are only companies that have good fast decisions.’1 Where Apple hadn’t heard of Google 13 years before, now it had gone from having a common cause against Microsoft to being just a business acquaintance, and frequent opponent; Apple and Microsoft bid together against Google for patents covering the mobile business. Apple was seeking to disintermediate Google from search with the cloud-based voice search of its upcoming iPhone. And they were constantly niggling each other in smartphones and tablets. Even so, by September 2011 the majority of mobile search still came from iPhones, according to Google testimony at the US Senate. Apple had changed. From just under 10,000 full- and part-time staff in September 1998,2 it had grown to being 50,000-strong, though around 30,000 were in its retail store chain; the core of the company in Cupertino remained small and relatively tight-knit.


pages: 426 words: 115,150

Your Money or Your Life: 9 Steps to Transforming Your Relationship With Money and Achieving Financial Independence: Revised and Updated for the 21st Century by Vicki Robin, Joe Dominguez, Monique Tilford

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asset allocation, Buckminster Fuller, buy low sell high, credit crunch, disintermediation, diversification, diversified portfolio, fiat currency, financial independence, fudge factor, full employment, Gordon Gekko, high net worth, index card, index fund, job satisfaction, Menlo Park, Parkinson's law, passive income, passive investing, profit motive, Ralph Waldo Emerson, Richard Bolles, risk tolerance, Ronald Reagan, Silicon Valley, software patent, strikebreaker, Thorstein Veblen, Vanguard fund, zero-coupon bond

If you think prices will stay flat or decrease, often referred to economically as deflation, conventional treasury bonds would be best suited for you. Treasury bonds, when they are newly issued, can be bought directly from the Federal Reserve, with no commissions whatsoever, through a program called Treasury Direct. This cuts out the middleman: no broker, no added brokerage house fees. Cutting out the middleman by buying bonds directly is called “disintermediation”; it is the act of buying a given security, such as a treasury bond, yourself rather than investing your money in an intermediary (such as a fund, bank or other institution) that will turn around and put it into the same investments while taking a big chunk for itself. You can also buy existing treasury bonds through a broker (for a minimal fee). The other way for an individual to buy treasuries (any issue, not just the most recent one) is through the “secondary market.”

See Consumer Price Index (CPI) craigslist credit cards crossover point cultural perspective of money cushion for emergencies Dacyczyn, Amy and Jim daily decompression daily money log sample of Dalai Lama Danko, William D. debt denial about getting out of levels of consumer and national See also liabilities Debtors Anonymous decompression, daily Depression, The diet analogy Diets Don’t Work (Schwartz) discernment discount buying discrimination vs. recrimination disintermediation do it yourself investment management job expenditures and learn basic living skills Dominguez, Joe Dovey, Catherine Downshifting: Reinventing Success on a Slower Track (Saltzman) dreams durability, in purchases earnings. See income earth. See planet earth Ebay Ecks, Fred Ecological Footprint economic growth consumerism and full employment doctrine and limits to as recipe for well-being education, college Ehrlich, Paul emergencies, cushion for emotional/psychological perspective of money employment full, doctrine of paid part-time unpaid See also work empowerment end-of-month balancing enjoyment of material world enough components of concept of for everyone and then some entertainment environment.


pages: 209 words: 63,649

The Purpose Economy: How Your Desire for Impact, Personal Growth and Community Is Changing the World by Aaron Hurst

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3D printing, Airbnb, Atul Gawande, barriers to entry, big-box store, business process, call centre, carbon footprint, citizen journalism, corporate social responsibility, crowdsourcing, disintermediation, Elon Musk, Firefox, glass ceiling, greed is good, housing crisis, informal economy, Jane Jacobs, jimmy wales, Khan Academy, Kickstarter, Lean Startup, means of production, new economy, pattern recognition, Peter Singer: altruism, Peter Thiel, Ray Oldenburg, remote working, Richard Feynman, Ronald Reagan, sharing economy, Silicon Valley, Silicon Valley startup, Steve Jobs, TaskRabbit, Tony Hsieh, too big to fail, underbanked, women in the workforce, young professional, Zipcar

The people Debbie picked up at the end of the day were different from those she had dropped off. They had gotten a taste of true leadership—courage, empathy, and service. Work Without Managers Debbie is now thinking bigger. Can Mozilla can be a community without managers? How can she create a culture of coaching and support that doesn’t require a top-down hierarchy? How can she build the kind of company that truly serves its community—employees, customers, and investors? A disintermediated workforce is not as radical as it sounds, and is an idea that several companies are experimenting with, most notably Evan Williams’ new company, Medium. Evan wanted to boost creativity from his whole team, solve problems more quickly, spend less time in meetings, speed production, and have the entire team truly understand the business. As Evan describes it, as a team they define the game they are playing and how they keep scope.


pages: 218 words: 44,364

The Starfish and the Spider: The Unstoppable Power of Leaderless Organizations by Ori Brafman, Rod A. Beckstrom

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Atahualpa, barriers to entry, Burning Man, disintermediation, experimental economics, Firefox, Francisco Pizarro, jimmy wales, Kibera, Lao Tzu, Network effects, pez dispenser, shareholder value, Silicon Valley, Skype, The Wisdom of Crowds, union organizing

As the Napster II CEO puts it, "The record labels have been out there for about a hundred years. And for a hundred years they've been paying the artists cents on the dollar, if that. They are starting to try to recharacterize what they do for a living as marketing companies, but you know, how many times have you seen print ads or TV ads or outdoor billboards for music artists? Rarely. They're going to be completely disintermediated at some point." It seems like everyone associated with the labels is losing money. Well, almost everyone. As Sam tells us, "You have to remember who's making money right now in this whole process over the last few years—hands down, it's the lawyers." Don Verrilli isn't complaining. For lawyers, it's a lot of the same old same old—more and more lawsuits. For the record industry, however, things will never be the same.


pages: 172 words: 46,104

Television Is the New Television: The Unexpected Triumph of Old Media in the Digital Age by Michael Wolff

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barriers to entry, disintermediation, hiring and firing, Joseph Schumpeter, Mark Zuckerberg, Marshall McLuhan, Silicon Valley, Steve Jobs, telemarketer, the medium is the message

Kvamme, sure that Funny or Die would trump in its over-the-top distribution and bare-bones economics the $2-million-an-episode South Park with its cumbersome and costly Viacom–Comedy Central relationship (the South Park creators had just negotiated a 50/50 deal to split digital profits with Viacom, which had committed to handling advertising), got up and went to the whiteboard and brusquely erased “media companies” on the triangle, replacing it with just “consumer”—emphasizing this new, disintermediated world. The Google guys were even more direct, pointing out, with some impatience, that there was quite some lack of understanding in the room about the nature of the revolution that was under way. It was Andreessen, whose word alone would come nearly to have the power to create tech success, who was perhaps most daunting and in the end most frightening—signaling how far apart the two sides were, and how precarious the television business suddenly seemed.


pages: 144 words: 43,356

Surviving AI: The Promise and Peril of Artificial Intelligence by Calum Chace

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3D printing, Ada Lovelace, AI winter, Airbnb, artificial general intelligence, augmented reality, barriers to entry, bitcoin, blockchain, brain emulation, Buckminster Fuller, cloud computing, computer age, computer vision, correlation does not imply causation, credit crunch, cryptocurrency, cuban missile crisis, dematerialisation, discovery of the americas, disintermediation, don't be evil, Elon Musk, en.wikipedia.org, epigenetics, Erik Brynjolfsson, everywhere but in the productivity statistics, Flash crash, friendly AI, Google Glasses, industrial robot, Internet of things, invention of agriculture, job automation, John Maynard Keynes: Economic Possibilities for our Grandchildren, John Maynard Keynes: technological unemployment, John von Neumann, Kevin Kelly, life extension, low skilled workers, Mahatma Gandhi, means of production, mutually assured destruction, Nicholas Carr, pattern recognition, Peter Thiel, Ray Kurzweil, Rodney Brooks, Second Machine Age, self-driving car, Silicon Valley, Silicon Valley ideology, Skype, South Sea Bubble, speech recognition, Stanislav Petrov, Stephen Hawking, Steve Jobs, strong AI, technological singularity, theory of mind, Turing machine, Turing test, universal basic income, Vernor Vinge, wage slave, Wall-E

Salptre became uneconomic overnight, and you can see trains that were carrying loads of it to the port which were simply abandoned mid-journey. Today’s disruption is caused by the digital revolution – the internet, in short – and it is unusual in that it is affecting so many industries simultaneously. During the dotcom boom and bust at the turn of the century there was much talk of companies being “disintermediated” by the internet, and a continuing example of that is the publishing industry, where publishers no longer dictate whose books get read because Amazon has enabled authors to publish themselves. Kodak The poster child of digital disruption is Kodak. At its peak in the late 1980s it employed 145,000 people and had annual sales of $19bn. Its 1,300-acre campus in Rochester, New York had 200 buildings, and George Eastman was as revered there a few decades ago as Steve Jobs is in Silicon Valley today.


pages: 209 words: 13,138

Empirical Market Microstructure: The Institutions, Economics and Econometrics of Securities Trading by Joel Hasbrouck

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barriers to entry, conceptual framework, correlation coefficient, discrete time, disintermediation, distributed generation, experimental economics, financial intermediation, index arbitrage, interest rate swap, inventory management, market clearing, market design, market friction, market microstructure, martingale, price discovery process, price discrimination, quantitative trading / quantitative finance, random walk, Richard Thaler, second-price auction, short selling, statistical model, stochastic process, stochastic volatility, transaction costs, two-sided market, ultimatum game

On the other hand, if inventory control is more broadly interpreted as position management, the issues are as pertinent as ever. The underlying concerns of risk and credit exposure, formerly viewed as important mostly (or solely) for dealers, are in fact pertinent for a large number of agents that may, in the course of their trading decisions, act as liquidity suppliers. Finally, although trade has become disintermediated in many markets (such as actively traded equities), dealers remain important in many other markets (bonds, foreign exchange, swaps, etc.). The role they play and how they should be regulated are ongoing concerns of practical interest. 117 12 Limit Order Markets The worldwide proliferation of limit order markets (LOMs) clearly establishes a need for economic and statistical models of these mechanisms.


pages: 183 words: 17,571

Broken Markets: A User's Guide to the Post-Finance Economy by Kevin Mellyn

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banking crisis, banks create money, Basel III, Bernie Madoff, Big bang: deregulation of the City of London, Bonfire of the Vanities, bonus culture, Bretton Woods, BRICs, British Empire, call centre, Carmen Reinhart, central bank independence, centre right, cloud computing, collapse of Lehman Brothers, collateralized debt obligation, corporate governance, credit crunch, crony capitalism, currency manipulation / currency intervention, disintermediation, eurozone crisis, fiat currency, financial innovation, financial repression, floating exchange rates, Fractional reserve banking, global reserve currency, global supply chain, Home mortgage interest deduction, index fund, joint-stock company, Joseph Schumpeter, labor-force participation, labour market flexibility, liquidity trap, London Interbank Offered Rate, lump of labour, market bubble, market clearing, Martin Wolf, means of production, mobile money, moral hazard, mortgage debt, mortgage tax deduction, Ponzi scheme, profit motive, quantitative easing, Real Time Gross Settlement, regulatory arbitrage, reserve currency, rising living standards, Ronald Coase, seigniorage, shareholder value, Silicon Valley, statistical model, Steve Jobs, The Great Moderation, the payments system, Tobin tax, too big to fail, transaction costs, underbanked, Works Progress Administration, yield curve, Yogi Berra

In a world without financial innovation—and, it might be added, financial markets insisting on very high returns on capital—such a regime might have produced a more stable financial system. But the United States had already developed a finance-driven economy in which both governments at all levels and the top tier of corporations had direct access to the capital markets. This process, called by the ugly term “disintermediation,” had become entrenched well before the Basel process. In fact, it was a factor in the embrace of sovereign debt lending by the largest US banks whose core corporate banking franchise had been eroding throughout the 1970s due to competition from the bonds and commercial paper issued by Wall Street firms—a competition that banking systems in other countries did not face to any degree. The Birth of Consumer Banking Walt Wriston, who had spotted the sovereign-debt El Dorado, became at about the same time in the early 1970s one of the first bankers to notice a key development in the US “flow-of-funds” data.


pages: 272 words: 64,626

Eat People: And Other Unapologetic Rules for Game-Changing Entrepreneurs by Andy Kessler

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23andMe, Andy Kessler, bank run, barriers to entry, Berlin Wall, British Empire, business process, California gold rush, carbon footprint, Cass Sunstein, cloud computing, collateralized debt obligation, collective bargaining, computer age, disintermediation, Eugene Fama: efficient market hypothesis, fiat currency, Firefox, Fractional reserve banking, George Gilder, Gordon Gekko, greed is good, income inequality, invisible hand, James Watt: steam engine, Jeff Bezos, job automation, Joseph Schumpeter, knowledge economy, knowledge worker, libertarian paternalism, low skilled workers, Mark Zuckerberg, McMansion, Netflix Prize, packet switching, personalized medicine, pets.com, prediction markets, pre–internet, profit motive, race to the bottom, Richard Thaler, risk tolerance, risk-adjusted returns, Silicon Valley, six sigma, Skype, social graph, Steve Jobs, The Wealth of Nations by Adam Smith, transcontinental railway, transfer pricing, Yogi Berra

I’m sure Mexico is proud of its wealthy “entrepreneur,” but he’s no such thing, having taxed his already poor countrymen even further into poverty. Nice guy. Easy money forever. But then again, maybe not. Because for every stroke of the pen, for every piece of legislation, for every paid-off congressman, there now exists a price umbrella that overvalues what he or any political entrepreneur is doing. Real entrepreneurs, “market entrepreneurs,” recognize the price-to-value gap and jump in. Ignoring legislation, they innovate, disintermediate, compete, stay up all night coding, and offer something better and cheaper until the market starts to shift. Author and Loyola University professor Thomas DiLorenzo defined it best: “A political entrepreneur succeeds primarily by influencing government to subsidize his business or industry, or to enact legislation or regulation that harms his competitors. A market entrepreneur succeeds financially by selling a newer, better, or less expensive product on the free market without any government subsidies, direct or indirect.”


pages: 326 words: 74,433

Do More Faster: TechStars Lessons to Accelerate Your Startup by Brad Feld, David Cohen

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augmented reality, computer vision, corporate governance, crowdsourcing, disintermediation, hiring and firing, Inbox Zero, Jeff Bezos, knowledge worker, Lean Startup, Ray Kurzweil, recommendation engine, risk tolerance, Silicon Valley, Skype, slashdot, social web, software as a service, Steve Jobs

He is also the founder of BlueMountainArts.com and ProFlowers, among many other companies. Jared is also currently serving as a U.S. Congressman for the second district of Colorado. Ideas are easy to come by. I have had many that I never had time to see through and heard many other good ones from flakes and drifters, but I believe the key to success is focusing on a good idea and implementing it well. In the case of ProFlowers, my idea was to disintermediate the supply chain by sending flowers directly from the grower to the customer, delivering fresher flowers at a better price. From there, it became a matter of focusing on the implementation. I had to invent a system to get the orders to the growers. Since many flower growers were extremely low tech at the time and couldn't be relied upon for Internet access, we created a foolproof way of faxing FedEx labels directly to the growers right on sticky peel-off paper for them to affix to the boxes.


pages: 270 words: 79,180

The Middleman Economy: How Brokers, Agents, Dealers, and Everyday Matchmakers Create Value and Profit by Marina Krakovsky

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Affordable Care Act / Obamacare, Airbnb, Al Roth, Black Swan, buy low sell high, Credit Default Swap, cross-subsidies, crowdsourcing, disintermediation, diversified portfolio, experimental economics, George Akerlof, Goldman Sachs: Vampire Squid, income inequality, index fund, Jean Tirole, Lean Startup, Lyft, Mark Zuckerberg, market microstructure, Martin Wolf, McMansion, Menlo Park, moral hazard, multi-sided market, Network effects, patent troll, Paul Graham, Peter Thiel, pez dispenser, ride hailing / ride sharing, Sand Hill Road, sharing economy, Silicon Valley, social graph, supply-chain management, TaskRabbit, The Market for Lemons, too big to fail, trade route, transaction costs, two-sided market, Uber for X, ultimatum game, Y Combinator

Such early conversations probably explain why The Merchant of Venice left such a deep impression when I encountered it in high school: with its multiple merchants, Shakespeare’s most economically oriented play got me thinking more deeply about why some middlemen are admired while others are reviled. Later, living in Silicon Valley during the dot-com boom, I saw my share of headlines about disintermediation—and sensed that the elimination of middlemen was more wishful thinking than economic reality. The rise of companies like Airbnb and Uber in recent years has made it clear to me that the Internet was helping make middlemen more important than ever. The economist Kay-Yut Chen, with whom I had the privilege to collaborate on Secrets of the Moneylab, was an inspiration as well. Kay-Yut has an infectious enthusiasm for economic modeling, economic experiments, and operations research: he is the sort of person who can make supply chains sound interesting.

The Singularity Is Near: When Humans Transcend Biology by Ray Kurzweil

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additive manufacturing, AI winter, Alan Turing: On Computable Numbers, with an Application to the Entscheidungsproblem, Albert Einstein, anthropic principle, Any sufficiently advanced technology is indistinguishable from magic, artificial general intelligence, augmented reality, autonomous vehicles, Benoit Mandelbrot, Bill Joy: nanobots, bioinformatics, brain emulation, Brewster Kahle, Brownian motion, business intelligence, c2.com, call centre, carbon-based life, cellular automata, Claude Shannon: information theory, complexity theory, conceptual framework, Conway's Game of Life, cosmological constant, cosmological principle, cuban missile crisis, data acquisition, Dava Sobel, David Brooks, Dean Kamen, disintermediation, double helix, Douglas Hofstadter, en.wikipedia.org, epigenetics, factory automation, friendly AI, George Gilder, Gödel, Escher, Bach, informal economy, information retrieval, invention of the telephone, invention of the telescope, invention of writing, Isaac Newton, iterative process, Jaron Lanier, Jeff Bezos, job automation, job satisfaction, John von Neumann, Kevin Kelly, Law of Accelerating Returns, life extension, linked data, Loebner Prize, Louis Pasteur, mandelbrot fractal, Mikhail Gorbachev, mouse model, Murray Gell-Mann, mutually assured destruction, natural language processing, Network effects, new economy, Norbert Wiener, oil shale / tar sands, optical character recognition, pattern recognition, phenotype, premature optimization, randomized controlled trial, Ray Kurzweil, remote working, reversible computing, Richard Feynman, Richard Feynman, Rodney Brooks, Search for Extraterrestrial Intelligence, semantic web, Silicon Valley, Singularitarianism, speech recognition, statistical model, stem cell, Stephen Hawking, Stewart Brand, strong AI, superintelligent machines, technological singularity, Ted Kaczynski, telepresence, The Coming Technological Singularity, transaction costs, Turing machine, Turing test, Vernor Vinge, Y2K, Yogi Berra

Yes, it's true that historically low unemployment, high asset values, economic growth, and other such factors are inflationary, but these factors are offset by the exponential trends in the price-performance of all information-based technologies: computation, memory, communications, biotechnology, miniaturization, and even the overall rate of technical progress. These technologies deeply affect all industries. We are also undergoing massive disintermediation in the channels of distribution through the Web and other new communication technologies, as well as escalating efficiencies in operations and administration. Since the information industry is becoming increasingly influential in all sectors of the economy, we are seeing the increasing impact of the IT industry's extraordinary deflation rates. Deflation during the Great Depression in the 1930s was due to a collapse of consumer confidence and a collapse of the money supply.

Despite dramatic mood swings on Wall Street, the extraordinary values ascribed to so-called e-companies during the 1990s boom era reflected a valid perception: the business models that have sustained businesses for decades are in the early phases of a radical transformation. New models based on direct personalized communication with the customer will transform every industry, resulting in massive disintermediation of the middle layers that have traditionally separated the customer from the ultimate source of products and services. There is, however, a pace to all revolutions, and the investments and stock market valuations in this area expanded way beyond the early phases of this economic S-curve. The boom-and-bust cycle in these information technologies was strictly a capital-markets (stock-value) phenomenon.


pages: 523 words: 111,615

The Economics of Enough: How to Run the Economy as if the Future Matters by Diane Coyle

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accounting loophole / creative accounting, affirmative action, bank run, banking crisis, Berlin Wall, bonus culture, Branko Milanovic, BRICs, call centre, Cass Sunstein, central bank independence, collapse of Lehman Brothers, conceptual framework, corporate governance, correlation does not imply causation, Credit Default Swap, deindustrialization, demographic transition, Diane Coyle, disintermediation, Edward Glaeser, Eugene Fama: efficient market hypothesis, experimental economics, Fall of the Berlin Wall, Financial Instability Hypothesis, Francis Fukuyama: the end of history, George Akerlof, Gini coefficient, global supply chain, Gordon Gekko, greed is good, happiness index / gross national happiness, Hyman Minsky, If something cannot go on forever, it will stop, illegal immigration, income inequality, income per capita, invisible hand, Jane Jacobs, Joseph Schumpeter, Kenneth Rogoff, knowledge economy, labour market flexibility, low skilled workers, market bubble, market design, market fundamentalism, megacity, Network effects, new economy, night-watchman state, Northern Rock, oil shock, principal–agent problem, profit motive, purchasing power parity, railway mania, rising living standards, Ronald Reagan, Silicon Valley, South Sea Bubble, Steven Pinker, The Design of Experiments, The Fortune at the Bottom of the Pyramid, The Market for Lemons, The Myth of the Rational Market, The Spirit Level, transaction costs, transfer pricing, tulip mania, ultimatum game, University of East Anglia, web application, web of trust, winner-take-all economy, World Values Survey

Artists innovated—there were more of them as a larger market can sustain many more producers and making music became a viable career for many more people than had been the case in the past. Different genres emerged, and record companies became big business. The technology has moved on again. The Internet has made the cost of distributing music digitally essentially free. But artists still want to make a living—or preferably a fortune—and the record companies and some musicians are even more upset about being disintermediated. U2’s lead singer Bono sounded off about it in the New York Times: “A decade’s worth of music file-sharing and swiping has made clear that the people it hurts are the creators.”13 Is this true? They (or their record companies) do have to cover some high upfront costs. Marketing to turn an artist into a big name and publicize new albums is expensive, and there are costs in the initial recording.


pages: 397 words: 102,910

The Idealist: Aaron Swartz and the Rise of Free Culture on the Internet by Justin Peters

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4chan, Any sufficiently advanced technology is indistinguishable from magic, Brewster Kahle, buy low sell high, corporate governance, crowdsourcing, disintermediation, don't be evil, global village, Hacker Ethic, hypertext link, index card, informal economy, information retrieval, Internet Archive, invention of movable type, invention of writing, Isaac Newton, Lean Startup, Paul Buchheit, Paul Graham, profit motive, RAND corporation, Republic of Letters, Richard Stallman, semantic web, Silicon Valley, social web, Steve Jobs, Steven Levy, Stewart Brand, strikebreaker, Vannevar Bush, Whole Earth Catalog, Y Combinator

Today, the Internet is an information smorgasbord, an endless buffet of data sets, research papers, essays, news articles, instruction manuals, annual reports, and myriad other materials that the curious soul can use for edification and self-improvement. But much of this content is inaccessible, consigned to subscription databases or hidden behind paywalls or subject to other impediments. The Internet has simultaneously shrunk and expanded the world with its hyperlinked data and its decentralized, disintermediated communications. And it has consistently confused and frustrated legislators and capitalists who don’t understand why so many users are so insistent on flouting The Rules. Aaron Swartz broke The Rules, consistently and creatively. He did not always explain why, but he broke them, and now his death has led many people to question those rules and wonder why they seem so incongruous with the realities of the digital era, in which information has become untethered to physical formats and it takes only moments for news and legend to permeate the cultural brain.


pages: 398 words: 108,889

The Paypal Wars: Battles With Ebay, the Media, the Mafia, and the Rest of Planet Earth by Eric M. Jackson

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bank run, business process, call centre, disintermediation, Elon Musk, index fund, Internet Archive, iterative process, Joseph Schumpeter, market design, Menlo Park, moral hazard, Network effects, new economy, offshore financial centre, Peter Thiel, Sand Hill Road, shareholder value, Silicon Valley, Silicon Valley startup, telemarketer, The Chicago School, Turing test

Besides once again demonstrating eBay’s ability to flex its muscles whenever a competitor threatened its dominance, it also marked the first time that eBay controlled a trading platform that limited a seller’s payment options. Half.com collected a credit card payment directly from the buyer and told the seller to ship the item with the knowledge that the seller would later receive a check from Half. This disintermediation of the buyer and seller froze PayPal out of the process. If it wanted, eBay could make Billpoint the mandatory payment processor for Half.com, compelling all of Half’s buyers and sellers to open Billpoint accounts while giving PayPal no chance to compete. Fortunately for us, the same slow development cycle that prevented eBay from building its own version of Half.com also impeded Billpoint.

Remix: Making Art and Commerce Thrive in the Hybrid Economy by Lawrence Lessig

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Amazon Web Services, Andrew Keen, Benjamin Mako Hill, Berlin Wall, Bernie Sanders, Brewster Kahle, Cass Sunstein, collaborative editing, disintermediation, don't be evil, Erik Brynjolfsson, Internet Archive, invisible hand, Jeff Bezos, jimmy wales, Kevin Kelly, late fees, Netflix Prize, Network effects, new economy, optical character recognition, PageRank, recommendation engine, revision control, Richard Stallman, Ronald Coase, Saturday Night Live, SETI@home, sharing economy, Silicon Valley, Skype, slashdot, Steve Jobs, The Nature of the Firm, thinkpad, transaction costs, VA Linux

Correa, “The Digital Economy—Internet Domain Names,” The 2007 State New Economy Index (2007): 40, available at link #48. 3. U.S. Census Bureau, “E-Stats-Measuring the Electronic Economy,” available at link #49. 4. Sony Corp. v. Universal City Studios, 464 U.S. 417 (1984). 5. See Julie Niederhoff, “Video Rental Developments and the Supply Chain: Netflix, Inc.,” Washington University, St. Louis (2002); Michael K. Mills and Jon Silver, “Analysing the Effect of Digital Technology on Channel Strategy, Power and Disintermediation in the Home Video Market: The Demise of the Video Store?” Video Technology magazine (February 2005); IRS, “Retail Industry ATG— Chapter 3: Examination Techniques for Specific Industries (Video/DVD Rental Business),” Small Business and Self-Employed One-Stop Resource, August 2005, available at link #50; “Videotape Rental—Background and Development,” All Business, available at link #51; “Videotape Rental— Current Conditions,” All Business, available at link #52. 80706 i-xxiv 001-328 r4nk.indd 307 8/12/08 1:56:23 AM 308 NO T E S 6.


pages: 404 words: 113,514

Atrocity Archives by Stross, Charles

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airport security, anthropic principle, Berlin Wall, brain emulation, British Empire, Buckminster Fuller, defense in depth, disintermediation, experimental subject, glass ceiling, haute cuisine, hypertext link, Khyber Pass, mandelbrot fractal, Menlo Park, NP-complete, the medium is the message, Y2K, yield curve

"A Hand of Glory is fabricated from the hand and wrist of someone who has been wrongly executed. A fairly simple circuit is inscribed around the radius and ulna and the fingertips are ignited. What it does is a limited invocation that results in the bearer becoming invisible. In effect. There are variations, like the inversion laser--stick a phase-conjugate mirror on the base and it makes a serious mess of whatever the hand's pointed at--but the original use of the hand is as a disintermediating tool for observer/subject interactions. Or so Eugene Wigner insisted. How many people have you got?" The airlock door is cycling: Alan crouches, gun levelled on the door. He waves me off to one side impatiently. It's Howe. No luminous worms behind his face plate; he hefts a lumpy, misshapen sack and my basilisk gun as he steps through the door. "Seven, plus yourself. You were saying?"


pages: 323 words: 95,939

Present Shock: When Everything Happens Now by Douglas Rushkoff

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algorithmic trading, Andrew Keen, bank run, Benoit Mandelbrot, big-box store, Black Swan, British Empire, Buckminster Fuller, cashless society, citizen journalism, clockwork universe, cognitive dissonance, Credit Default Swap, crowdsourcing, Danny Hillis, disintermediation, Donald Trump, double helix, East Village, Elliott wave, European colonialism, Extropian, facts on the ground, Flash crash, game design, global supply chain, global village, Howard Rheingold, hypertext link, Inbox Zero, invention of agriculture, invention of hypertext, invisible hand, iterative process, John Nash: game theory, Kevin Kelly, laissez-faire capitalism, Law of Accelerating Returns, loss aversion, mandelbrot fractal, Marshall McLuhan, Merlin Mann, Milgram experiment, mutually assured destruction, Network effects, New Urbanism, Nicholas Carr, Norbert Wiener, Occupy movement, passive investing, pattern recognition, peak oil, price mechanism, prisoner's dilemma, Ralph Nelson Elliott, RAND corporation, Ray Kurzweil, recommendation engine, Silicon Valley, Skype, social graph, South Sea Bubble, Steve Jobs, Steve Wozniak, Steven Pinker, Stewart Brand, supply-chain management, the medium is the message, The Wisdom of Crowds, theory of mind, Turing test, upwardly mobile, Whole Earth Catalog, WikiLeaks, Y2K

Consumers no longer understand why they should settle for frozen bacon during certain parts of the year, and pork suppliers have learned how to accommodate the demand for constant flow. With no need for their ability to translate flow into storage and back again, commodity traders left the pork bellies pit, and the oldest existing livestock futures contract was delisted. Futures traders became disintermediated by a marketplace looking for direct access to an always-on reality. So while local merchants in depressed European economies are abandoning storage-based euros because it is too expensive for them to use, the pork industry stopped using futures because their focus on freshness and flow was no longer compatible with a spring-loaded strategy. Still other businesses are learning that moving from storage to flow helps them reduce their overleveraged dependence on the past and to take advantage of feedback occurring in the moment.


pages: 329 words: 95,309

Digital Bank: Strategies for Launching or Becoming a Digital Bank by Chris Skinner

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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

The world has given the customer the ability to create and share their lives through technology, and it is their creativity in design that is changing the process, the system,, the structure and the interaction. Banks should give thanks to Google, Apple and Facebook for enabling our customers to create and share anything at anytime with anyone. Anyone can create anything and, if it’s popular, it is valuable. By way of example, software and information design companies like you (talking about Polaris et al) are now able to design and create anything for banking. In fact, you have the ability to disintermediate IT. You can design new services for banks, you can create and you can put it out there before we, as banks, are even thinking about it. The biggest challenge then is: How to convert the business? How to persuade the bank to change? How to get the organisation to move? How to make the elephant dance? The only way to do this is to cannibalise the organisation and create friction within the bank to renew the bank.

Crisis and Dollarization in Ecuador: Stability, Growth, and Social Equity by Paul Ely Beckerman, Andrés Solimano

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banking crisis, banks create money, barriers to entry, capital controls, Carmen Reinhart, carried interest, central bank independence, centre right, clean water, currency peg, declining real wages, disintermediation, financial intermediation, floating exchange rates, Gini coefficient, income inequality, income per capita, labor-force participation, land reform, London Interbank Offered Rate, Mexican peso crisis / tequila crisis, microcredit, money: store of value / unit of account / medium of exchange, offshore financial centre, open economy, pension reform, price stability, rent-seeking, school vouchers, seigniorage, trade liberalization, women in the workforce

The president’s Democracia Popular Party, although the largest in the Congress, had far less than a majority of the seats in the Congress and relied for support on other parties. The next largest party, the Partido Social Cristiano, opposed tax reform generally but was willing to substitute the transactions tax for the income tax. Although it proved an effective revenue source during 1999 and 2000, the transactions tax encouraged financial disintermediation and set an added incentive for deposit withdrawals at a moment when the banks were already in severe crisis. B. The Deepening Crisis, 1999 In February 1999 the Central Bank floated the exchange rate to limit international-reserve loss.23 Because the 1999 budget incorporated an exchange-rate assumption that the float would have made implausible, the Central Bank delayed the float, at a substantial cost in reserve loss, until the moment the Congress approved the budget.


pages: 275 words: 84,418

Dogfight: How Apple and Google Went to War and Started a Revolution by Fred Vogelstein

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Apple II, cloud computing, disintermediation, don't be evil, Dynabook, Firefox, Google Chrome, Google Glasses, Googley, Jony Ive, Mark Zuckerberg, Peter Thiel, pre–internet, Silicon Valley, Silicon Valley startup, Skype, software patent, spectrum auction, Steve Ballmer, Steve Jobs, Steve Wozniak, Steven Levy, Tim Cook: Apple, web application

By the spring of 2007, when Google announced it was buying online ad firm DoubleClick, these worries had crept into executive suites worldwide as well as into the halls of antitrust regulators in Washington and the European Union. “Google’s vision of Android is Microsoft’s vision of owning the operating system of every PC,” a platform monopoly, former Verizon CEO Ivan Seidenberg told author Ken Auletta. “Guys like me want to make sure that there is a distribution of platforms and devices. Is it in Google’s interest to disintermediate us? Yeah.” * * * When Rubin and the Android team were done dealing with the initial shock of how good the iPhone was, little drama surrounded what needed to be done. Rubin is at his core a start-up CEO—messianically convinced that his path is the best one regardless of whether people and circumstance agree with him. He was used to setbacks. The iPhone was good, but what he was doing was going to be different—and better.

Future Files: A Brief History of the Next 50 Years by Richard Watson

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Albert Einstein, bank run, banking crisis, battle of ideas, Black Swan, call centre, carbon footprint, cashless society, citizen journalism, computer age, computer vision, congestion charging, corporate governance, corporate social responsibility, deglobalization, digital Maoism, disintermediation, epigenetics, failed state, financial innovation, Firefox, food miles, future of work, global supply chain, global village, hive mind, industrial robot, invention of the telegraph, Jaron Lanier, Jeff Bezos, knowledge economy, linked data, low skilled workers, M-Pesa, Northern Rock, peak oil, pensions crisis, precision agriculture, prediction markets, Ralph Nader, Ray Kurzweil, rent control, RFID, Richard Florida, self-driving car, speech recognition, telepresence, the scientific method, The Wisdom of Crowds, Thomas Kuhn: the structure of scientific revolutions, Turing test, Victor Gruen, white flight, women in the workforce, Zipcar

Indeed, the insurance business will grow significantly in the future in response to new risks and fears, although quite what companies and individuals will be insuring themselves against is far from clear. Equally, while banks and credit-card companies will be damaged by the digitization of cash and the increase in mobile payments, micro-payments, pre-pay and contactless payments, I don’t foresee banks being disintermediated entirely. They will hold on to larger transactions simply because big-ticket payments require risk management and default and dispute systems, which are generally too expensive and complicated from a compliance point of view for non-banks. Nevertheless, digital money will turn parts of the financial services industry on its head because the banks and credit-card companies will no longer be in sole charge of checkbooks, credit cards, ATMs and branches.


pages: 261 words: 86,905

How to Speak Money: What the Money People Say--And What It Really Means by John Lanchester

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asset allocation, Basel III, Bernie Madoff, Big bang: deregulation of the City of London, bitcoin, Black Swan, blood diamonds, Bretton Woods, BRICs, Capital in the Twenty-First Century by Thomas Piketty, Celtic Tiger, central bank independence, collapse of Lehman Brothers, collective bargaining, credit crunch, Credit Default Swap, crony capitalism, Dava Sobel, David Graeber, disintermediation, double entry bookkeeping, en.wikipedia.org, estate planning, financial innovation, Flash crash, forward guidance, Gini coefficient, global reserve currency, high net worth, High speed trading, hindsight bias, income inequality, inflation targeting, interest rate swap, Isaac Newton, Jaron Lanier, joint-stock company, joint-stock limited liability company, Kodak vs Instagram, liquidity trap, London Interbank Offered Rate, London Whale, loss aversion, margin call, McJob, means of production, microcredit, money: store of value / unit of account / medium of exchange, moral hazard, neoliberal agenda, New Urbanism, Nick Leeson, Nikolai Kondratiev, Nixon shock, Northern Rock, offshore financial centre, oil shock, open economy, paradox of thrift, Plutocrats, plutocrats, Ponzi scheme, purchasing power parity, pushing on a string, quantitative easing, random walk, rent-seeking, reserve currency, Richard Feynman, Richard Feynman, road to serfdom, Ronald Reagan, Satoshi Nakamoto, security theater, shareholder value, Silicon Valley, six sigma, South Sea Bubble, sovereign wealth fund, Steve Jobs, The Chicago School, The Wealth of Nations by Adam Smith, The Wisdom of Crowds, trickle-down economics, Washington Consensus, working poor, yield curve

Indeed it’s a story we’ve seen many times over, in forms as different as the mechanization of cotton picking, the factory mass-production line, and the disappearance of electronics repair shops (in that case, because goods got so cheap it was simpler just to chuck a faulty item away and buy a new one). Some change is cyclical, and some isn’t. But as the world is getting flatter and more digitized, the prospect for what once were comfortable and secure means of making a living is much bleaker. We look ahead at the prospect of ferocious competition, remorseless downward pressure on pay, the constant prospect of outsourcing, and the incessant press of technological change threatening to disintermediate and—to use the cant term beloved of Silicon Valley—“disrupt” traditional forms of employment. Flat living standards, flat median income, the disappearance of secure employment. We are told, in the title of a lively recent book by Tyler Cowen, that “average is over.” But most of us in our hearts know that in most important aspects, we are average. That’s the whole basis of prosperity in our societies: it provides good livelihoods and life prospects to the ordinary citizen.


pages: 291 words: 90,200

Networks of Outrage and Hope: Social Movements in the Internet Age by Manuel Castells

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access to a mobile phone, banking crisis, call centre, centre right, citizen journalism, cognitive dissonance, collective bargaining, conceptual framework, crowdsourcing, currency manipulation / currency intervention, disintermediation, en.wikipedia.org, housing crisis, income inequality, microcredit, Mohammed Bouazizi, Occupy movement, offshore financial centre, Port of Oakland, social software, statistical model, We are the 99%, web application, WikiLeaks, World Values Survey, young professional

What is clear, nonetheless, is that M5S is not an autonomous networked social movement like the ones I observed in other countries because it was created and tightly controlled throughout its existence by one leader, Beppe Grillo, with absolute power over the practice of the movement, using the pulpit of his blog. In this sense, it is closer to the tradition of populist movements that ultimately become political actors on the basis of a frontal challenge to a delegitimized political system. Yet, M5S is a most revealing symptom of the crisis of representative democracy in Italy and in Europe, and it also shows the potential of the Internet as an organizing and mobilizing medium with the power to disintermediate traditional forms of political action dependent on party machines and the control of institutions through manipulated electoral systems. It is important to observe that, in Italy, in the midst of the economic and political crises, there were no autonomous social movements similar to those taking place in Spain, Portugal, or Greece. Citizen’s outrage was directly channeled into a political strategy, implemented by a movement-party, inspired by a skillful communicator able to capture the attention of the people at large.


pages: 487 words: 151,810

The Social Animal: The Hidden Sources of Love, Character, and Achievement by David Brooks

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Albert Einstein, asset allocation, Atul Gawande, Bernie Madoff, business process, Cass Sunstein, choice architecture, clean water, Daniel Kahneman / Amos Tversky, David Brooks, delayed gratification, deliberate practice, disintermediation, Donald Trump, Douglas Hofstadter, Emanuel Derman, en.wikipedia.org, fear of failure, financial deregulation, financial independence, Flynn Effect, George Akerlof, Henri Poincaré, hiring and firing, impulse control, invisible hand, Joseph Schumpeter, labor-force participation, loss aversion, medical residency, meta analysis, meta-analysis, Monroe Doctrine, Richard Thaler, risk tolerance, Robert Shiller, Robert Shiller, school vouchers, six sigma, Steve Jobs, Steven Pinker, the scientific method, The Spirit Level, The Wealth of Nations by Adam Smith, Thorstein Veblen, transaction costs, Walter Mischel, young professional

“I owe it to myself to live up to the highest standards. I owe it to myself to provide legendary excellence.” This phrase was apparently a buzzword that had been circling around in the company propaganda. As the session went on, he turned into a little jargon machine. “At the end of the day, we try not to boil the ocean but just look for the best win-wins,” he told her. Apparently people at this company were always drilling down and disintermediating the dialogue. They were driving maximum functionality, with end-to-end mission-critical competence to incent high-level blue-ocean change. Erica sat there with a smile pasted on her face. She appeared eager and supplicating. She debased herself. When he asked her what she wanted to do at the company, she slipped into the argot and threw it all back at him. She would save self-loathing for after she got the job.


pages: 349 words: 134,041

Traders, Guns & Money: Knowns and Unknowns in the Dazzling World of Derivatives by Satyajit Das

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accounting loophole / creative accounting, Albert Einstein, Asian financial crisis, asset-backed security, Black Swan, Black-Scholes formula, Bretton Woods, BRICs, Brownian motion, business process, buy low sell high, call centre, capital asset pricing model, collateralized debt obligation, complexity theory, corporate governance, Credit Default Swap, credit default swaps / collateralized debt obligations, cuban missile crisis, currency peg, disintermediation, diversification, diversified portfolio, Eugene Fama: efficient market hypothesis, financial innovation, fixed income, Haight Ashbury, high net worth, implied volatility, index arbitrage, index card, index fund, interest rate derivative, interest rate swap, Isaac Newton, job satisfaction, locking in a profit, Long Term Capital Management, mandelbrot fractal, margin call, market bubble, Marshall McLuhan, mass affluent, merger arbitrage, Mexican peso crisis / tequila crisis, moral hazard, mutually assured destruction, new economy, New Journalism, Nick Leeson, offshore financial centre, oil shock, Parkinson's law, placebo effect, Ponzi scheme, purchasing power parity, quantitative trading / quantitative finance, random walk, regulatory arbitrage, risk-adjusted returns, risk/return, shareholder value, short selling, South Sea Bubble, statistical model, technology bubble, the medium is the message, time value of money, too big to fail, transaction costs, value at risk, Vanguard fund, volatility smile, yield curve, Yogi Berra, zero-coupon bond

In the RAROC age, it was heresy to ask these questions. CDOs were just a capital idea. The arbitrage age The party almost never got started – the banks stopped selling credit risk almost as soon as they started. They didn’t actually have a lot of the better quality risks needed to make CDOs work; these clients had long ago bypassed the banks and raised money from investors directly. The banks had been ‘dis-intermediated’. The capital freed up proved difficult to redeploy. Opportunities didn’t seem to be abundant. Repurchasing shares was okay but it was starting to reach absurd levels. CDOs also reduced reported earnings. Equity analysts wanted banks to improve RAROC and keep earnings growing at an unrealistic rate. Bank CEOs who followed RAROC too literally were in danger of ‘shrinking themselves to greatness’.


pages: 393 words: 115,263

Planet Ponzi by Mitch Feierstein

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Affordable Care Act / Obamacare, Albert Einstein, Asian financial crisis, asset-backed security, bank run, banking crisis, barriers to entry, Bernie Madoff, centre right, collapse of Lehman Brothers, collateralized debt obligation, credit crunch, Credit Default Swap, credit default swaps / collateralized debt obligations, Daniel Kahneman / Amos Tversky, disintermediation, diversification, Donald Trump, energy security, eurozone crisis, financial innovation, financial intermediation, Flash crash, floating exchange rates, frictionless, frictionless market, high net worth, High speed trading, illegal immigration, income inequality, interest rate swap, invention of agriculture, Long Term Capital Management, moral hazard, mortgage debt, Northern Rock, obamacare, offshore financial centre, oil shock, pensions crisis, Plutocrats, plutocrats, Ponzi scheme, price anchoring, price stability, purchasing power parity, quantitative easing, risk tolerance, Robert Shiller, Robert Shiller, Ronald Reagan, too big to fail, trickle-down economics, value at risk, yield curve

That turbocharged growth was fueled by two principal ingredients. First, the advent of floating exchange rates in 1971 had gradually led to the dismantling of international controls on the movement of capital. As capital started to become ever more mobile, Wall Street firms were ideally placed to skim a little froth from the river of money as it passed on through.2 Secondly, Wall Street had perfected the art of ‘disintermediation.’ The term is ugly and obscure, but its meaning is startlingly simple. In the old days, if large borrowers‌—‌industrial companies, for example‌—‌wanted to borrow money, they were, on the whole, obliged to get it from banks. Banks, for their part, acted as middlemen: taking money on deposit from investors, lending it on, making a spread. That old system had worked well enough for a long time, but it was inefficient.


pages: 382 words: 120,064

Bank 3.0: Why Banking Is No Longer Somewhere You Go but Something You Do by Brett King

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3D printing, additive manufacturing, Albert Einstein, Amazon Web Services, Any sufficiently advanced technology is indistinguishable from magic, asset-backed security, augmented reality, barriers to entry, bitcoin, bounce rate, business intelligence, business process, business process outsourcing, call centre, capital controls, citizen journalism, Clayton Christensen, cloud computing, credit crunch, crowdsourcing, disintermediation, en.wikipedia.org, George Gilder, Google Glasses, high net worth, I think there is a world market for maybe five computers, Infrastructure as a Service, invention of the printing press, Jeff Bezos, jimmy wales, London Interbank Offered Rate, M-Pesa, Mark Zuckerberg, mass affluent, microcredit, mobile money, more computing power than Apollo, Northern Rock, Occupy movement, optical character recognition, performance metric, platform as a service, QWERTY keyboard, Ray Kurzweil, recommendation engine, RFID, risk tolerance, self-driving car, Skype, speech recognition, stem cell, telepresence, Tim Cook: Apple, transaction costs, underbanked, web application

In South Africa, on the other hand, where the regulator insisted on cash-in and cash-out functions being handled by banks alone, mobile money has not grown anywhere near as quickly as Kenya. Which approach is right? By the measure of financial inclusion alone, then Kenya has shown a far more constructive and socially responsible approach to the community. It has also produced more positive economic activity, reduced crime (with respect to cash) and increased the savings of participating constituents. What has the South African approach done? Well, it has reduced the risk of disintermediation of the banks, and reduced the risk of possible fraud in the mobile payments space. I would argue that the Kenyan approach is therefore far more positive for the economy and individuals. The emergence of the mobile wallet This is what Visa and MasterCard already know: that mobile payments and the behaviour required to drive mobile payment adoption are already widespread. The mass market loves the ease of use and modality of a mobile payment compared with plastic, cash and cheques.


pages: 413 words: 117,782

What Happened to Goldman Sachs: An Insider's Story of Organizational Drift and Its Unintended Consequences by Steven G. Mandis

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algorithmic trading, Berlin Wall, bonus culture, BRICs, business process, collapse of Lehman Brothers, collateralized debt obligation, complexity theory, corporate governance, Credit Default Swap, credit default swaps / collateralized debt obligations, crony capitalism, disintermediation, diversification, Emanuel Derman, financial innovation, fixed income, friendly fire, Goldman Sachs: Vampire Squid, high net worth, housing crisis, London Whale, Long Term Capital Management, merger arbitrage, new economy, passive investing, performance metric, risk tolerance, Ronald Reagan, Saturday Night Live, shareholder value, short selling, sovereign wealth fund, The Nature of the Firm, too big to fail, value at risk

Moreover, consolidation significantly increased the capital base and geographic reach of some of its competitors. It wasn’t only Goldman’s US competitors; foreign banks were buying US banks (Deutsche Bank bought Bankers Trust/Alex Brown, UBS bought Warburg and Dillon Read, etc.). Goldman also faced competition from the advent of electronic execution and alternative trading systems, lowering commissions. It also faced disintermediation by hedge funds, alternative asset management companies, and other unregulated firms in providing or raising capital. Goldman also began facing stiff competition in attracting and retaining employees. “We live in a competitive environment,” said David Viniar during his tenure. “We still have people leaving for multiyear offers away from us, some from our competitors, some from other industry participants.”47 Goldman’s client base also began to change.

How I Became a Quant: Insights From 25 of Wall Street's Elite by Richard R. Lindsey, Barry Schachter

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Albert Einstein, algorithmic trading, Andrew Wiles, Antoine Gombaud: Chevalier de Méré, asset allocation, asset-backed security, backtesting, bank run, banking crisis, Black-Scholes formula, Bonfire of the Vanities, Bretton Woods, Brownian motion, business process, buy low sell high, capital asset pricing model, centre right, collateralized debt obligation, corporate governance, correlation coefficient, Credit Default Swap, credit default swaps / collateralized debt obligations, currency manipulation / currency intervention, discounted cash flows, disintermediation, diversification, Emanuel Derman, en.wikipedia.org, Eugene Fama: efficient market hypothesis, financial innovation, fixed income, full employment, George Akerlof, Gordon Gekko, hiring and firing, implied volatility, index fund, interest rate derivative, interest rate swap, John von Neumann, linear programming, Loma Prieta earthquake, Long Term Capital Management, margin call, market friction, market microstructure, martingale, merger arbitrage, Nick Leeson, P = NP, pattern recognition, pensions crisis, performance metric, prediction markets, profit maximization, purchasing power parity, quantitative trading / quantitative finance, QWERTY keyboard, RAND corporation, random walk, Ray Kurzweil, Richard Feynman, Richard Feynman, Richard Stallman, risk-adjusted returns, risk/return, shareholder value, Sharpe ratio, short selling, Silicon Valley, six sigma, sorting algorithm, statistical arbitrage, statistical model, stem cell, Steven Levy, stochastic process, systematic trading, technology bubble, The Great Moderation, the scientific method, too big to fail, trade route, transaction costs, transfer pricing, value at risk, volatility smile, Wiener process, yield curve, young professional

Although the new techniques were interesting to learn, my primary motivation was to answer the challenging questions that were only partially being addressed by the industry at the time. The Great Strategy Debate: From the 1990s to Today In parallel with the development of the derivatives market in the early 1990s, many traditional commercial banks were faced with a fundamental strategic issue: After watching the corporate loan market become commoditized due to intense competition and disintermediation in the capital markets, many commercial banks seriously considered changing their strategic focus. Some leaders such as Bankers Trust and JP Morgan underwent a fundamental transformation from a commercial bank to trading institutions. As with any transformation of this magnitude, the process was difficult and required strong commitment by senior management. Raroc models, used to make the risk-adjusted return from different businesses or loans directly comparable, were developed by these leading institutions in an effort to sharpen their strategies and build the commitment of senior management.


pages: 475 words: 155,554

The Default Line: The Inside Story of People, Banks and Entire Nations on the Edge by Faisal Islam

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Asian financial crisis, asset-backed security, balance sheet recession, bank run, banking crisis, Basel III, Ben Bernanke: helicopter money, Berlin Wall, Big bang: deregulation of the City of London, British Empire, capital controls, carbon footprint, Celtic Tiger, central bank independence, centre right, collapse of Lehman Brothers, credit crunch, Credit Default Swap, crony capitalism, dark matter, deindustrialization, Deng Xiaoping, disintermediation, energy security, Eugene Fama: efficient market hypothesis, eurozone crisis, financial deregulation, financial innovation, financial repression, floating exchange rates, forensic accounting, forward guidance, full employment, ghettoisation, global rebalancing, global reserve currency, hiring and firing, inflation targeting, Irish property bubble, Just-in-time delivery, labour market flexibility, London Whale, Long Term Capital Management, margin call, market clearing, megacity, Mikhail Gorbachev, mini-job, mittelstand, moral hazard, mortgage debt, mortgage tax deduction, mutually assured destruction, North Sea oil, Northern Rock, offshore financial centre, open economy, paradox of thrift, pension reform, price mechanism, price stability, profit motive, quantitative easing, quantitative trading / quantitative finance, race to the bottom, regulatory arbitrage, reserve currency, reshoring, rising living standards, Ronald Reagan, savings glut, shareholder value, sovereign wealth fund, The Chicago School, the payments system, too big to fail, trade route, transaction costs, two tier labour market, unorthodox policies, uranium enrichment, urban planning, value at risk, working-age population

That piggy bank in China was connected to the 125 per cent mortgage which indebted and nearly upended Esther, a young single mum from Surrey whom I interviewed in late 2008. I remember sitting in her living room with her children’s belongings boxed up ready for repossession, as I commentated on various elements of global financial crisis, including the sharpest collapse in world trade in a century. I thought: ‘How did we get here? Who let this happen?’ The answer was, a chain of disintermediation that started with savings in the East, and in particular in China. This book follows the root canals of Esther’s mortgage up through the securitisation department at Northern Rock, the shadow banking system centred on London, bad regulators, conflicted politicians, broken formulaic self-regulation emerging out of Basel, mistakes in the setting of interest rates by central bankers, concurrent problems in Spain, Cyprus, Iceland and Greece, and the prolonging of the crisis in a reluctant Berlin.

The Future of Technology by Tom Standage

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air freight, barriers to entry, business process, business process outsourcing, call centre, Clayton Christensen, computer vision, connected car, corporate governance, disintermediation, distributed generation, double helix, experimental economics, full employment, hydrogen economy, industrial robot, informal economy, interchangeable parts, job satisfaction, labour market flexibility, market design, Menlo Park, millennium bug, moral hazard, natural language processing, Network effects, new economy, Nicholas Carr, optical character recognition, railway mania, rent-seeking, RFID, Silicon Valley, Silicon Valley ideology, Silicon Valley startup, six sigma, Skype, smart grid, software as a service, spectrum auction, speech recognition, stem cell, Steve Ballmer, technology bubble, telemarketer, transcontinental railway, Y2K

Katsumi Ihara, the company’s president, says about one-third of the company’s handsets are now made by Flextronics, an ems firm based in Singapore. “We are looking for the best mixture,” he says. Similarly, Motorola went too far down the outsourcing route and has since retreated to gain more control: around 35% of its manufacturing is now outsourced, says Mr Lynch. Northstream predicts that, in the long run, odms will account for around half of all handsets manufactured. Another extreme outcome – the complete disintermediation of handset-makers by operators – also seems highly unlikely. Operators like to have someone to blame when handsets go wrong, and with handsets becoming ever more complex and more reliant on software they are unlikely to want to take on servicing and support. So while some operators will use some own-branded odm handsets in particular niches, they will not want to do away with traditional handset-makers altogether.


pages: 1,088 words: 228,743

Expected Returns: An Investor's Guide to Harvesting Market Rewards by Antti Ilmanen

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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

As a result, financial companies’ share of total equity market capitalization doubled from 13% to 26% between 1988 and 2006. These unsustainable developments reversed sharply in 2008 (see Figure 27.4). Figure 27.4. U.S. financial sector’s share of corporate profits and market cap. Source: Haver Analytics. Financialization is related to several other trends: rising leverage and asset richening; securitization and its flip side (i.e., disintermediation from banks); deregulation and active financial innovations; expansion of the delegated asset management industry (institutionalization of asset holding and trading); the finance sector’s increasing political influence; widening income inequality within countries; and globalization and integration of capital markets. Some of these trends are now reversing. For example, certain securitized asset classes have not recovered their liquidity since both the 2008 crisis and the “flight to simplicity”.


pages: 823 words: 206,070

The Making of Global Capitalism by Leo Panitch, Sam Gindin

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accounting loophole / creative accounting, airline deregulation, anti-communist, Asian financial crisis, asset-backed security, bank run, banking crisis, barriers to entry, Basel III, Big bang: deregulation of the City of London, bilateral investment treaty, Branko Milanovic, Bretton Woods, BRICs, British Empire, call centre, capital controls, Capital in the Twenty-First Century by Thomas Piketty, Carmen Reinhart, central bank independence, collective bargaining, continuous integration, corporate governance, Credit Default Swap, crony capitalism, currency manipulation / currency intervention, currency peg, dark matter, Deng Xiaoping, disintermediation, ending welfare as we know it, eurozone crisis, facts on the ground, financial deregulation, financial innovation, Financial Instability Hypothesis, financial intermediation, floating exchange rates, full employment, Gini coefficient, global value chain, guest worker program, Hyman Minsky, imperial preference, income inequality, inflation targeting, interchangeable parts, interest rate swap, Kenneth Rogoff, land reform, late capitalism, liquidity trap, London Interbank Offered Rate, Long Term Capital Management, manufacturing employment, market bubble, market fundamentalism, Martin Wolf, means of production, money: store of value / unit of account / medium of exchange, Monroe Doctrine, moral hazard, mortgage debt, mortgage tax deduction, new economy, non-tariff barriers, Northern Rock, oil shock, precariat, price stability, quantitative easing, Ralph Nader, RAND corporation, regulatory arbitrage, reserve currency, risk tolerance, Ronald Reagan, seigniorage, shareholder value, short selling, Silicon Valley, sovereign wealth fund, special drawing rights, special economic zone, structural adjustment programs, The Chicago School, The Great Moderation, the payments system, The Wealth of Nations by Adam Smith, too big to fail, trade liberalization, transcontinental railway, trickle-down economics, union organizing, very high income, Washington Consensus, Works Progress Administration, zero-coupon bond

See also Barry Eichengreen, The European Economy since 1945: Coordinated Capitalism and Beyond, Princeton: Princeton University Press, 2008, Chapter 8. 53 Quoted in Robert Flanagan, David Soskice, and Lloyd Ulman, Unionism, Economic Stabilization and Incomes Policies, Washington, DC: Brookings Institution, 1983, pp. 141–2. 54 Eichengreen, Globalizing Capital, p. 128. 55 Giovanni Arrighi, “The Social and Political Economy of Global Turbulence,” New Left Review I/20 (March–April 2003), pp. 35–6. 56 Department of Commerce, Bureau of Economic Analysis, National Income and Product Accounts, Table 3.1. Available at bea.gov. 57 Edwin Dickens, “A Political-Economic Critique of Minsky’s Financial Instability Hypothesis: The Case of the 1966 Financial Crisis,” Review of Political Economy 11: 4 (1999), pp. 392–3. 58 “In addition to limiting the buildup of dollar assets in foreign official hands, these goals included easing Treasury financing operations, limiting financial disintermediation, promoting the growth of bank credit, especially mortgage loans, discouraging inflation, and clearly the top priority, encouraging a more complete utilization of the nation’s [resources].” Richard N. Cooper and Jane Sneddon Little, “US Monetary Policy in an Integrating World: 1960 to 2000,” New England Economic Review 3 (2001), p. 86. 59 Quoted in Hawley, Dollars and Borders, p. 97. 60 See Aaron Major, “The Fall and Rise of Financial Capital,” Review of International Political Economy 15: 5 (December 2008). 61 Hawley, Dollars and Borders, pp. 112, 119–20. 62 Joanne Gowa, Closing the Gold Window: Domestic Politics and the End of Bretton Woods, Ithaca: Cornell University Press, 1983, p. 99. 63 These are the words of a Federal Reserve official interviewed in Gowa, Closing the Gold Window, p. 145. 64 Ibid., pp. 63, 129.


pages: 695 words: 194,693

Money Changes Everything: How Finance Made Civilization Possible by William N. Goetzmann

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Albert Einstein, Andrei Shleifer, asset allocation, asset-backed security, banking crisis, Benoit Mandelbrot, Black Swan, Black-Scholes formula, Bretton Woods, Brownian motion, capital asset pricing model, Cass Sunstein, collective bargaining, colonial exploitation, compound rate of return, conceptual framework, corporate governance, Credit Default Swap, David Ricardo: comparative advantage, debt deflation, delayed gratification, Detroit bankruptcy, disintermediation, diversified portfolio, double entry bookkeeping, Edmond Halley, en.wikipedia.org, equity premium, financial independence, financial innovation, financial intermediation, fixed income, frictionless, frictionless market, full employment, high net worth, income inequality, index fund, invention of the steam engine, invention of writing, invisible hand, James Watt: steam engine, joint-stock company, joint-stock limited liability company, laissez-faire capitalism, Louis Bachelier, mandelbrot fractal, market bubble, means of production, money: store of value / unit of account / medium of exchange, moral hazard, new economy, passive investing, Paul Lévy, Ponzi scheme, price stability, principal–agent problem, profit maximization, profit motive, quantitative trading / quantitative finance, random walk, Richard Thaler, Robert Shiller, Robert Shiller, shareholder value, short selling, South Sea Bubble, sovereign wealth fund, spice trade, stochastic process, the scientific method, The Wealth of Nations by Adam Smith, Thomas Malthus, time value of money, too big to fail, trade liberalization, trade route, transatlantic slave trade, transatlantic slave trade, tulip mania, wage slave

Easterly and others have argued that the failure of the institutions has its roots in the Keynesian presumption that a top-down regulatory structure—as opposed to the invisible hand of the marketplace—is more effective in allocating resources to projects. Easterly’s argument is simple. Alignment of incentives to promote growth works a lot better than a control-and-command approach. Keynes, of course, posited a central role for government in solving the disjunctions caused by unchecked financial globalization and bad savings habits. His legacy is a financial architecture designed to blunt the potential for colonial exploitation by disintermediating lenders and sovereign borrowers—replacing that relationship with a collective institutional financial organization. Did Bretton Woods save the world from a revival of imperialism? Did it bring more nations into the fold of prosperity? Whether it did or not, it undeniably altered the way that nations interact with one another and with the capital markets. By introducing the IMF and World Bank as lenders of last resort, it blunted the sharp needs for nations to negotiate terms that reduced sovereignty.