hiring and firing

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pages: 317 words: 101,475

Chavs: The Demonization of the Working Class by Owen Jones

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Asperger Syndrome, banking crisis, Berlin Wall, British Empire, call centre, collapse of Lehman Brothers, credit crunch, deindustrialization, Etonian, facts on the ground, falling living standards, first-past-the-post, ghettoisation, Gini coefficient, hiring and firing, housing crisis, Hugh Fearnley-Whittingstall, illegal immigration, income inequality, informal economy, low skilled workers, low-wage service sector, Occupy movement, pension reform, place-making, Plutocrats, plutocrats, race to the bottom, rising living standards, The Bell Curve by Richard Herrnstein and Charles Murray, The Spirit Level, too big to fail, unpaid internship, upwardly mobile, We are the 99%, Winter of Discontent, women in the workforce, working-age population

'Full-time work is still falling, driven by continued job losses in manufacturing and construction,' according to Ian Brinkley, associate director at The Work Foundation. When I discussed the rise of the hire-and-fire service sector with leading Tory MP David Davis, he was soothingly sceptical. 'There's no real reason to believe that, let's say, Sainsbury's would have any less job security than somebody working in Ford. It's the reverse in many ways, because they're growing. So I think the hire-and-fire ideayou've just run past me a piece of 0 ld Labour mythology, frankly. The idea that the only good jobs are ones where you have to lift a half-ton weight every day is unmitigated crap.' But the evidence contradicts him: every passing day sees the further consolidation of a hire-and-fire workforce in Britain. Many of the new jobs are not only more insecure than the ones they've replaced; the pay is often worse.

But I think, definitely, the wages aren't representative of the amount of work you put in.' Both Mary and Carl work with a number of part-time and temporary staff. Their numbers have soared over the last thirty years as successive governments have striven to create a 'flexible' workforce. In part, they have made it far easier and cheaper for bosses to hire and fire workers at will. But we have also been witnessing the slow death of the secure, fulltime job. There are up to 1.5 million temporary workers in Britain. A 'temp' can be hired and fired at an hour's notice, be paid less for doing the same job, and lacks rights such as paid holidays and redundancy pay. Agency work is thriving in the service sector, but an incident at a car plant near 0xford in early 2009 illustrates where the rise of the temp has brought us. Eight hundred and fifty temps-many of whom had worked inthe factory for years-were sacked by BMW with just one hour's notice.

My point, however, was a different one: that the vacuum left by the massive disappearance in industrial work was often not filled properly, leaving entire communities bereft of secure, well-regarded work. Service-sector jobs are on the whole cleaner, less physically arduous, and are better at including women (even if they are still disproportionately concentrated in the lowest paid and most insecure work). But such work is often less well paid, lacks the same prestige, and is more likely to be hire-and-fire. Call centres and supermarkets do not form the basis of communities in the same way that the mine, factory, or dock did. I was not, though, calling for young men to be sent down the pits again. Just because I was arguing that what replaced these industries was in some important ways worse doesn't mean that I advocated a return to a vanished world. It was also suggested that I had a very one-dimensional view of the working class: that what I was actually talking about was a male, white working class.

 

pages: 257 words: 71,686

Swimming With Sharks: My Journey into the World of the Bankers by Joris Luyendijk

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bank run, barriers to entry, Bonfire of the Vanities, bonus culture, collapse of Lehman Brothers, collective bargaining, credit crunch, Credit Default Swap, Emanuel Derman, financial deregulation, financial independence, Flash crash, glass ceiling, Gordon Gekko, high net worth, hiring and firing, inventory management, job-hopping, London Whale, Nick Leeson, offshore financial centre, regulatory arbitrage, shareholder value, sovereign wealth fund, the payments system, too big to fail

In his classic book Liar’s Poker, the American writer and former front-office banker Michael Lewis summarises the mentality behind this hire-and-fire system as: ‘You want loyalty? Hire a cocker spaniel.’ And why shouldn’t bankers act like footballers and seek out the most prestigious or best-paying club? Particularly since the financial sector is extremely sensitive to the ups and downs of the economy; the easier banks can get rid of people in bad times, the more likely they are to hire them again when the economy swings back. That is the commonly accepted argument in favour of zero job security. In all the interviews, virtually no front-office bankers made the case for employment rights or any form of job protection. At the same time many spoke extremely negatively about the atmosphere in their banks and, digging deeper into the causes of the ‘toxic culture’, they often hit on the hire-and-fire mentality. People are not appliances; a machine that might be discarded at any point is unaware of this fact and will function exactly like a machine that has a cosy spot reserved in the factory until the end of its days.

‘I remember that if I voiced an opinion based on moral considerations, I’d get looked at as if I were an alien,’ said one former investment banker, while a risk and compliance officer recalled being branded a ‘socialist’ for asking about the social purpose of a financial product. Most interviewees, however, seemed to take the logic governing their sector for granted and pointed to the equally amoral hire-and-fire culture: this is simply how it works around here. The pattern of scandals and crashes that had dominated the past few decades began to make more sense in this context. Consider what happened to the financial products developed in the 1970s to deal with increasing swings (‘volatility’) in the value of interest rates and currencies. Corporations, institutions and pension funds can be hit very hard by fluctuations of this kind so banks invented and developed derivatives that allowed these parties to protect themselves.

The issue is not whether outsiders can be made to understand how these complex products worked but rather why, before the crash, so few insiders took an interest. The answer to that question can be found in the CDO banker’s story: vast trading floors where mercenaries survive in a haze of complexity and caveat emptor; an atmosphere of deep mutual distrust; a relentless and amoral focus on profit and ‘revenue responsibility’; a brutal hire and fire culture … Why would people on a trading floor worry about the risks or ethics of the complex financial products they were selling, let alone about the long-term financial health of their own bank? Why would they even think about it as ‘their’ bank, knowing they could be out of the door in five minutes – either fired without prior warning or poached by a competitor? Why would a risk manager or compliance officer in such an environment sound the alarm?

 

pages: 497 words: 150,205

European Spring: Why Our Economies and Politics Are in a Mess - and How to Put Them Right by Philippe Legrain

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3D printing, Airbnb, Asian financial crisis, bank run, banking crisis, barriers to entry, Basel III, battle of ideas, Berlin Wall, Big bang: deregulation of the City of London, Bretton Woods, BRICs, British Empire, business process, capital controls, Capital in the Twenty-First Century by Thomas Piketty, Carmen Reinhart, Celtic Tiger, central bank independence, centre right, cleantech, collaborative consumption, collapse of Lehman Brothers, collective bargaining, corporate governance, credit crunch, Credit Default Swap, crony capitalism, currency manipulation / currency intervention, currency peg, debt deflation, Diane Coyle, Downton Abbey, Edward Glaeser, Elon Musk, en.wikipedia.org, energy transition, eurozone crisis, fear of failure, financial deregulation, first-past-the-post, forward guidance, full employment, Gini coefficient, global supply chain, Growth in a Time of Debt, hiring and firing, hydraulic fracturing, Hyman Minsky, Hyperloop, immigration reform, income inequality, interest rate derivative, Irish property bubble, James Dyson, Jane Jacobs, job satisfaction, Joseph Schumpeter, Kenneth Rogoff, labour market flexibility, labour mobility, liquidity trap, margin call, Martin Wolf, mittelstand, moral hazard, mortgage debt, mortgage tax deduction, North Sea oil, Northern Rock, offshore financial centre, oil shale / tar sands, oil shock, open economy, price stability, private sector deleveraging, pushing on a string, quantitative easing, Richard Florida, rising living standards, risk-adjusted returns, Robert Gordon, savings glut, school vouchers, self-driving car, sharing economy, Silicon Valley, Silicon Valley startup, Skype, smart grid, smart meter, software patent, sovereign wealth fund, Steve Jobs, The Death and Life of Great American Cities, The Wealth of Nations by Adam Smith, too big to fail, total factor productivity, Tyler Cowen: Great Stagnation, working-age population, Zipcar

“We invest in quality, comfort and a product that is different from others out there.”90 A final mistake has been to assume that reforms to boost the supply side of the economy in the longer term could substitute for short-term measures to boost demand. Even in good times, most reforms take time to bear fruit. Often, in fact, their initial impact is negative. For example, making it easier to hire and fire workers will lead to a shake-out of unproductive workers, pushing up unemployment, worsening public finances (as tax revenues fall and spending on benefits increases) and depressing the economy, because the newly unemployed workers will spend less. Eventually, those workers will be redeployed to more productive uses – but in a recession when demand is depressed, credit is crunched and barriers to starting new businesses are high, this will take much longer than usual.

Adaptable As well as coping with unexpected change and predictable variability, an adaptable economy needs to be able to adjust to changes that seem more enduring: the rise of emerging economies, the spread of new digital technologies, a desire for more eco-friendly products. To do so, people, businesses, organisations and governments need the freedom, the capacity and the willingness to adapt. At least four types of barrier may impede them. Laws and regulations may restrict hiring and firing, prevent businesses from growing or shrinking, or forbid them from deploying a new technology. A lack of competition may also impede adjustment: dominant players may stifle the growth of nimbler upstarts or the deployment of technologies that undermine their core business. The absence of suitable labour, capital and supportive infrastructure is a third barrier: companies may not be able to find people with the right skills locally, attract the investment they need to grow or access the competitively priced high-speed internet (or efficient ports) that they need.

Once demand for labour picks up, there will still be three broad obstacles to getting people into work. In many European countries, the availability of jobs is artificially restricted even in good times by taxes that make it prohibitively expensive to hire people and employment regulations that make it difficult and costly to fire them. Jobseekers may also lack the skills and attributes that employers are looking for – and because hiring and firing is expensive, employers are deterred from taking a chance on them and training them. Last but not least, some are dissuaded from working by welfare rules that penalise work, while others do not want to work and welfare gives them the option of remaining idle. In order to succeed, reforms need to tackle all three aspects of the problem together. Politicians agree that decent work is a good thing.

 

pages: 403 words: 105,431

The death and life of the great American school system: how testing and choice are undermining education by Diane Ravitch

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David Brooks, desegregation, hiring and firing, invisible hand, Jane Jacobs, Menlo Park, Ralph Waldo Emerson, RAND corporation, Robert Gordon, Ronald Reagan, school choice, school vouchers, The Death and Life of Great American Cities

Free of direct government control, the schools would be innovative, hire only the best teachers, get rid of incompetent teachers, set their own pay scales, compete for students (customers), and be judged solely by their results (test scores and graduation rates). Good schools under private management would proliferate, while bad schools would be closed down by market forces (the exit of disgruntled parents) or by a watchful government. Some of the new generation of reformers—mainly Republicans, but not only Republicans—imagined that the schools of the future would function without unions, allowing management to hire and fire personnel at will. With the collapse of Communism and the triumph of market reforms in most parts of the world, it did not seem to be much of a stretch to envision the application of the market model to schooling. Like many others in that era, I was attracted to the idea that the market would unleash innovation and bring greater efficiencies to education. I was certainly influenced by the conservative ideology of other top-level officials in the first Bush administration, who were strong supporters of school choice and competition.

He repeatedly decried the lack of a national curriculum, national testing, and “stakes” attached to schooling; these, he said, were huge problems that would not be solved by letting a thousand flowers bloom or by turning over the schools to entrepreneurs. Ironically, as charter schools evolved, the charter movement became increasingly hostile to unions. Charter operators wanted to be able to hire and fire teachers at will, to set their own salary schedule, to reward teachers according to their performance, to control working conditions, and to require long working hours; with few exceptions, they did not want to be subject to a union contract that interfered with their prerogatives as management. The Green Dot charter organization was one of the few that was willing to accept teachers’ unions in its schools.

Data-driven education leaders say that academic performance lags because we don’t have enough “effective” teachers, the ones whose students consistently improve their standardized test scores. The major obstacle to getting enough effective teachers and getting rid of ineffective teachers, they say, is the teachers’ unions. Union contracts provide job security that prevents administrators from hiring and firing teachers at will. If there were no unions, no union contracts, and no tenure, then superintendents could get rid of bad teachers and hire only effective teachers. Without the union, teachers’ salaries would be based on the test scores of their students, rather than on their seniority and credentials. According to theory, the higher compensation would attract outstanding teachers—the kind whose students will get higher scores—to the nation’s classrooms.

 

pages: 283 words: 73,093

Social Democratic America by Lane Kenworthy

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affirmative action, Affordable Care Act / Obamacare, barriers to entry, Celtic Tiger, centre right, clean water, collective bargaining, corporate governance, David Brooks, desegregation, Edward Glaeser, full employment, Gini coefficient, hiring and firing, Home mortgage interest deduction, illegal immigration, income inequality, invisible hand, labor-force participation, manufacturing employment, market bubble, minimum wage unemployment, new economy, postindustrial economy, purchasing power parity, race to the bottom, rent-seeking, rising living standards, Robert Gordon, Robert Shiller, Robert Shiller, Ronald Reagan, school choice, shareholder value, sharing economy, Skype, Steve Jobs, too big to fail, Tyler Cowen: Great Stagnation, union organizing, universal basic income, War on Poverty, working poor, zero day

Moreover, the existence of insurance increases the incentive for people to engage in risky behavior or to avoid employment. Given these costs, it isn’t surprising that some object to the expansion of public insurance. At the same time, insurance has economic benefits. Schooling and medical insurance improve productivity via better knowledge, creativity, and health. Bankruptcy protection encourages entrepreneurship. Unemployment compensation reduces efforts to restrict employers’ flexibility in hiring and firing, and it facilitates employees’ skill upgrading and geographic mobility.10 Programs that boost the income of poor households, such as the Child Tax Credit and the EITC, increase the future employment and earnings of children in those households.11 Many insurance programs reduce stress and anxiety, enhancing productivity. Insurance also lessens conflict within firms and within society as a whole, contributing to economic stability.12 Finally, the de facto choice often isn’t insurance or no insurance.

We can see this in some prominent measures of economic liberty. The Heritage Foundation, a conservative think tank, partners with the Wall Street Journal to score countries on ten dimensions of economic freedom: security of property rights, freedom from corruption, business freedom (the right to establish and run an enterprise without interference from the state), labor freedom (absence of hiring and firing restrictions and other limitations on work conditions), monetary freedom (a stable currency and market-determined prices), trade freedom (absence of regulatory barriers to imports and exports), investment freedom (absence of restrictions on the movement of capital), financial freedom (a transparent and unrestricted financial system), low taxes (“fiscal freedom”), and low government spending.

Data source: Heritage Foundation, www.heritage.org/index. Government spending: total government expenditures as a share of GDP, in 2007. Data source: OECD, stats.oecd.org. The correlation is –.14 (with Italy excluded). “Asl” is Australia; “Aus” is Austria. In other words, a nation can tax and spend quite heavily while still giving economic actors considerable freedom to start and operate a business, allocate capital, hire and fire employees, and engage in all manner of economic activities. This approach is sometimes called “flexicurity.” Government allows individuals and firms substantial freedom, with one exception: they pay a significant share of their earnings to the collectivity. This revenue is used to enhance security and opportunity and to ensure that prosperity is widely shared across the society. Economic freedom is abridged in one important respect, but is kept at a high level in all others.

 

pages: 77 words: 18,414

How to Kick Ass on Wall Street by Andy Kessler

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Andy Kessler, Bernie Madoff, buttonwood tree, call centre, collateralized debt obligation, family office, fixed income, hiring and firing, invention of the wheel, invisible hand, London Whale, margin call, NetJets, Nick Leeson, pets.com, risk tolerance, Silicon Valley, sovereign wealth fund, time value of money, too big to fail, value at risk

The flip side is that the price of companies in doing all the wrong things, think General Motors and now Kodak, go down, starving them of capital, a punishment for screwing up until they disappear or do something to turn themselves around. By finding the right price and heaping capital to those it thinks deserve it and starving those that it thinks suck wind, the stock market does the dirty work of forcing the hiring and firing managers and green-lighting or killing projects. Pretty cool. On the street level, of course, Wall Street is a lot nastier. When I think of Wall Street, I think of alpha dogs generating revenue at all cost, getting deals done, fighting for market share against all the other firms, and then at the end of the year, the political knives come out trying to carve up the ever growing bonus pool, though often each other

 

pages: 222 words: 75,778

Delivering Happiness: A Path to Profits, Passion, and Purpose by Tony Hsieh

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call centre, crowdsourcing, hiring and firing, Jeff Bezos, Lao Tzu, pre–internet, Ralph Waldo Emerson, Saturday Night Live, science of happiness, Silicon Valley, Tony Hsieh, Y2K

We’ve formally defined the Zappos culture in terms of 10 core values: Deliver WOW Through Service Embrace and Drive Change Create Fun and a Little Weirdness Be Adventurous, Creative, and Open-Minded Pursue Growth and Learning Build Open and Honest Relationships with Communication Build a Positive Team and Family Spirit Do More with Less Be Passionate and Determined Be Humble Many companies have core values, but they don’t really commit to them. They usually sound more like something you’d read in a press release. Maybe you learn about them on day 1 of orientation, but after that it’s just a meaningless plaque on the wall of the lobby. We believe that it’s really important to come up with core values that you can commit to. And by commit, we mean that you’re willing to hire and fire based on them. If you’re willing to do that, then you’re well on your way to building a company culture that is in line with the brand you want to build. You can let all of your employees be your brand ambassadors, not just the marketing or PR department. And they can be brand ambassadors both inside and outside the office. At the end of the day, just remember that if you get the culture right, most of the other stuff—including building a great brand—will fall into place on its own.

As I mentioned in my “Your Culture Is Your Brand” blog post, a lot of corporations have “core values” or “guiding principles,” but the problem is that they’re usually very lofty sounding and they read like a press release that the marketing department put out. A lot of times, an employee might learn about them on day 1 of orientation, but then the values just end up being part of a meaningless plaque on the wall of the corporate lobby. We wanted to make sure that didn’t happen with our core values. We wanted a list of committable core values that we were willing to hire and fire on. If we weren’t willing to do that, then they weren’t really “values.” We eventually came up with our final list of ten core values, which we still use today: Deliver WOW Through Service Embrace and Drive Change Create Fun and a Little Weirdness Be Adventurous, Creative, and Open-Minded Pursue Growth and Learning Build Open and Honest Relationships with Communication Build a Positive Team and Family Spirit Do More with Less Be Passionate and Determined Be Humble Integrity was a value that had been suggested by some employees, but I made a conscious choice to leave it out.

 

pages: 257 words: 68,143

Waiting for Superman: How We Can Save America's Failing Public Schools by Participant Media, Karl Weber

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collective bargaining, feminist movement, hiring and firing, index card, knowledge economy, Menlo Park, Robert Gordon, school choice, Silicon Valley, Upton Sinclair

If the leader makes a mistake, everyone knows who is responsible. Schools should be run on the same basis. Otherwise, problems give rise to finger-pointing and blame-shifting rather than a simple search for solutions. Giving both power and responsibility to school administrators and teachers means a real shift in how we think about school management. It impacts union work rules, performance measurements, and hiring and firing practices. Willingness to experiment and to change is required on the part of everyone involved in school leadership—teachers, union leaders, administrators, school board members, active parents, local political leaders, and citizens’ groups. Change can be challenging, even painful—but the alternative path leads only to continued failure, which is not an acceptable option. We also need to become more creative and open-minded when it comes to recruiting faculty.

I have learned enough in the years since to conclude that Garfield’s success despite a lack of leadership was a fluke. Super schools need super principals. KIPP has shown that a school cannot reach the necessary level of success, at least in inner-city neighborhoods, unless the school leader has been an effective teacher and can identify other effective teachers. That leader must also have the power to hire and fire teachers without interference from unions or headquarters rules. At KIPP schools, even the best principals sometimes discover someone they have hired is unable to keep to KIPP’s standards. Such teachers are given a great deal of help, but if they don’t improve they are dismissed, sometimes as early as Thanksgiving. The standard probation system, giving teachers two or three years to prove themselves, makes no sense to KIPP leaders.

 

pages: 72 words: 21,361

Race Against the Machine: How the Digital Revolution Is Accelerating Innovation, Driving Productivity, and Irreversibly Transforming Employment and the Economy by Erik Brynjolfsson

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Amazon Mechanical Turk, Any sufficiently advanced technology is indistinguishable from magic, autonomous vehicles, business process, call centre, combinatorial explosion, corporate governance, crowdsourcing, David Ricardo: comparative advantage, easy for humans, difficult for computers, Erik Brynjolfsson, factory automation, first square of the chessboard, first square of the chessboard / second half of the chessboard, Frank Levy and Richard Murnane: The New Division of Labor, hiring and firing, income inequality, job automation, John Maynard Keynes: technological unemployment, Joseph Schumpeter, Khan Academy, Kickstarter, knowledge worker, labour mobility, Loebner Prize, low skilled workers, minimum wage unemployment, patent troll, pattern recognition, Ray Kurzweil, rising living standards, Robert Gordon, self-driving car, shareholder value, Skype, too big to fail, Turing test, Tyler Cowen: Great Stagnation, Watson beat the top human players on Jeopardy!, winner-take-all economy

Increase funding for basic research and for our preeminent government R&D institutions including the National Science Foundation, the National Institutes of Health, and the Defense Advanced Research Projects Agency (DARPA) with a renewed focus on intangible assets and business innovation. Like other forms of basic research, these investments are often underfunded by private investors because of the spillovers they create. Laws, Regulations, and Taxes 12. Preserve the relative flexibility of American labor markets by resisting efforts to regulate hiring and firing. Banning layoffs paradoxically can lower employment by making it riskier for firms to hire in the first place, especially if they are experimenting with new products or business models. 13. Make it comparatively more attractive to hire a person than to buy more technology. This can be done by, among other things, decreasing employer payroll taxes and providing subsidies or tax breaks for employing people who have been out of work for a long time.

 

pages: 561 words: 114,843

Startup CEO: A Field Guide to Scaling Up Your Business, + Website by Matt Blumberg

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airport security, Albert Einstein, bank run, Broken windows theory, crowdsourcing, deskilling, fear of failure, high batting average, high net worth, hiring and firing, Inbox Zero, James Hargreaves, Jeff Bezos, job satisfaction, Kickstarter, knowledge economy, knowledge worker, Lean Startup, Mark Zuckerberg, minimum viable product, pattern recognition, performance metric, pets.com, rolodex, shareholder value, Silicon Valley, Skype

Fred Wilson has regularly written that “the success of an investment is in inverse proportion to the number of VCs on the board.” Though it hasn’t been my experience, I see Fred’s point. I’d argue that the same statement is true of founders or management as well. Boards help govern the company and watch out for shareholder interests. Boards give outside perspectives and strategic advice to the company’s leadership. Boards hire and fire the CEO. More and more every day with large public companies, boards keep management honest. How can these critical functions occur when a board has too many members of the management team on it? They can’t. We have had outside directors only, other than me, from Day 1. I’m not advocating that boards meet 100 percent apart from senior management; just that other members of the management team aren’t officially directors.

We ended up in a conversation about some challenges one of his boards is having with their CEO and the question to some extent boiled down to this: a board is responsible for hiring/firing the CEO and for being the guardians of shareholder value but what does a board do when it doesn’t like the CEO’s style? The biggest challenge I’ve had over the years sitting on other boards is trying to figure out the line of proper governance between being a director and being a CEO. My natural instinct is to speak up, to define and solve problems. That’s not necessarily the right role for an outside director who is there to help guide management (and, sure, ultimately hire and fire management). There are lots of different kinds of CEOs and corporate cultures. Some are command-and-control, others are more open, flat and transparent. I like to think I and Return Path are the latter and of course my bias is that that kind of culture leads to a more successful company. I’ve worked in environments that are the former and while less fun and more stressful, they can also produce very successful outcomes for shareholders and for employees as well.

Some of the more professional groups cost real money to join and have even more rigid structures, time commitments and formal presentations. As with most things like this, it’s less important what kind of peer group you form or join than it is that you form or join one. PROBLEM SOLVING IN TANDEM The kinds of topics that a peer group can tackle together are extremely varied. My group usually ends up focusing on things that are challenges unique to the CEO job: managing a board or investors or a financing; hiring and firing executives; setting/changing strategy; organizational and cultural challenges; and, in a couple of cases, selling companies. Sometimes we just share best practices on things that are maybe less weighty. It occurs to me that my CEO forum is kind of like a live version of this book—and in fact the members of the group are all represented among the different outside contributors here. Once, one member of my CEO forum had an offer to sell his company and he was really struggling with whether or not to take the offer.

 

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

The prices are not lower though. It’s a bit of pressure on us,’ he says. At this point the boss of the job agency turns up. He looks down at Yi Bin and two of his friends, barking questions about their experience and what wage they would be willing to work for. Here, in nominally Communist China, this is what an extreme free-market labour force looks like. There are very few social protections, and workers are hired and fired at will. Wages are entirely dictated by supply and demand for workers, and for the products they produce. Europe and North America did not just outsource production, they also outsourced the sharpest edges of the free market. It can be no mystery that workers save as much as they can. Despite the cut-throat nature of the labour market, people keep flooding from the fields to the factories.

Now Spain’s highest skilled sons and daughters are leaving, seeing no future in their domestic economy. The millions of jobs created in the boom proved to be fleeting. From January 2003 to January 2008, Spain added 3.3 million jobs. By January 2013 it had lost those 3.3 million jobs, returning almost exactly to where it was a decade before. A former minister puts it slightly differently: ‘In Spain we are very good at hiring and firing. We created more jobs than anywhere else in the EU between 2000 and 2007. And then we fired them all.’ The 3.3 million jobs lost over the past half decade also mask a remarkable generational inequity. Almost all the jobs were lost by those aged 34 and under: 8 million of these young people had jobs in 2008, but by 2013 this figure had fallen to 5.1 million, a loss of 2.9 million. Those in the age range 35–50 were much more likely to keep their jobs: less than half a million were shed at this age range, with the workforce remaining around 8 million.

The following day the ECB’s then and future presidents, Trichet and Draghi, wrote an extraordinary secret letter, in English, to Berlusconi, outlining steps they required the Italian government to take in order ‘to urgently underpin the standing of its sovereign signature’. Existing budget plans were ‘important steps, but not sufficient’. Large-scale privatisations, reform of wage bargaining, a review of hiring and firing laws, and a speeding up of spending cuts were all specified as ‘essential’ for something – implicitly the ECB’s purchase of Italian bonds – though that was left unsaid. For good measure the letter also specified the legal method through which Berlusconi should make the changes: ‘as soon as possible with decree-laws, followed by parliamentary ratification by end September 2011’. The letter concluded with a terse sign-off: ‘We trust that the government will take all appropriate actions.

 

pages: 284 words: 92,688

Disrupted: My Misadventure in the Start-Up Bubble by Dan Lyons

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Airbnb, Bernie Madoff, bitcoin, call centre, cleantech, cloud computing, corporate governance, dumpster diving, fear of failure, Filter Bubble, Golden Gate Park, Google Glasses, Googley, Gordon Gekko, hiring and firing, Jeff Bezos, Lean Startup, Lyft, Mark Zuckerberg, Menlo Park, minimum viable product, new economy, Paul Graham, pre–internet, quantitative easing, ride hailing / ride sharing, Rosa Parks, Sand Hill Road, sharing economy, Silicon Valley, Silicon Valley ideology, Silicon Valley startup, Skype, Snapchat, software as a service, South of Market, San Francisco, Steve Ballmer, Steve Jobs, Steve Wozniak, telemarketer, tulip mania, Y Combinator, éminence grise

“All the money in the world as payment would not be enough to work for this moron,” another commenter writes. “Someone has a power/ego problem,” says a third. Cranium perceives himself as being skilled at recruiting and hiring, yet turnover in his department is so high that people in other parts of HubSpot refer to the marketing department as “the French Revolution.” People are constantly being hired and fired, or “graduated,” as Cranium says in his emails to the group. I keep making friends, only to have them disappear. These “graduations” sometimes happen suddenly, with no warning. In my second week at HubSpot I have lunch with a woman named Bettina. She’s right out of college, working in her first job, and wants to write a book about marketing to Millennials. That night everyone in the department gets an email saying Bettina has “graduated” and will not be back in the morning.

Even some of the biggest and best-known new tech companies are totally dysfunctional. Twitter, for example, seems to have survived in spite of its management rather than because of it. The company is valued at $13 billion and not long ago was valued at more than $30 billion. Yet Twitter has never reported an annual profit, and has lost billions of dollars. For nine years Twitter has undergone wave after wave of management upheaval, hiring and firing CEOs, reshuffling, reorganizing, announcing new business plans, making acquisitions. The people responsible for this mess have become incredibly wealthy. Two of Twitter’s co-founders, Evan Williams and Jack Dorsey, are billionaires. Dorsey once had blue hair and played music in the street. For a while he went around dressing like Steve Jobs. Then he was obsessed with Japanese culture. Then he was going to become a fashion designer.

 

pages: 371 words: 101,792

Skygods: The Fall of Pan Am by Robert Gandt

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airline deregulation, Ayatollah Khomeini, Berlin Wall, collective bargaining, hiring and firing, invisible hand, Maui Hawaii, RAND corporation, Tenerife airport disaster, yield management, Yogi Berra, Yom Kippur War

Never would Trippe, the aloof tycoon, consider loosening his tie and walking into a crew room to join a flying-with-the-hands bull session. More often than not, Trippe was at odds with his pilots. To Trippe, pilots were pampered specialists who complained too much about work rules and pay and benefits. In the thirties he had to endure the specter of a union on his property—ALPA, the Air Line Pilots Association. As ALPA members, pilots were no longer hired and fired at the company’s whim. Their salaries and working rules were negotiated for them by their union. Their place on the company roster was fixed by a seniority list. Their grievances were adjudicated by union and company mediators. Gradually Trippe distanced himself from the crew room and the cockpit and the seaplane ramp. More and more he became the aloof executive. To oversee Pan American’s flight operations, he hired a small, gnomelike Dutchman named Andre Priester.

Baker elbowed his way into Eastern’s territory, bidding on its mail routes, undercutting its fares, stealing its customers. Eddie Rickenbacker, who headed Eastern, hated George Baker’s guts. National’s fly-to-Florida advertising theme, the “Route of the Buccaneers,” had to be changed when Rickenbacker started denouncing Baker as “an old pirate.” Rickenbacker was not alone. Most of Baker’s employees hated his guts too. Baker was a bully who constantly changed his company officers’ titles and salaries, hiring and firing them at whim. At lunchtime he conducted what they called “noon bloodlettings,” at which he verbally pistol-whipped every errant executive who had screwed up in the past twenty-four hours. And he was cheap. Instead of buying shades, Baker covered the windows of his headquarters with wrapping paper and masking tape. He went over the records of all the company’s long-distance calls. He was in a constant range war with his employees, who formed themselves into seven separate snarling unions to do combat with Baker.

 

pages: 298 words: 95,668

Milton Friedman: A Biography by Lanny Ebenstein

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affirmative action, banking crisis, Berlin Wall, Bretton Woods, Deng Xiaoping, Fall of the Berlin Wall, fiat currency, floating exchange rates, Francis Fukuyama: the end of history, full employment, Hernando de Soto, hiring and firing, inflation targeting, invisible hand, Joseph Schumpeter, labour market flexibility, Lao Tzu, liquidity trap, means of production, Mont Pelerin Society, Ponzi scheme, price stability, rent control, road to serfdom, Ronald Coase, Ronald Reagan, school choice, school vouchers, secular stagnation, Simon Kuznets, stem cell, The Chicago School, The Wealth of Nations by Adam Smith, Thorstein Veblen

It has high-quality products that are valued all over the world. It has every opportunity to be a productive, growing state. It just has to give its entrepreneurs a chance. It has to let them make money, hire and fire, and act like entrepreneurs. Instead, what you have as a result of past policies is that German entrepreneurs go outside of Germany for many of their activities. They are investing abroad instead of at home because there isn’t the openness, fluidity and opportunity they find outside their borders. Interviewer: British Prime Minister Tony Blair argues there is a “third way”—for example, flexible labor markets without hire-and-fire American-style. This, he argues, is more suitable to the “European social model” with its enduring concern with social justice. Is there an inbetween way, or must it be all or nothing?

 

pages: 128 words: 38,187

The New Prophets of Capital by Nicole Aschoff

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3D printing, affirmative action, Affordable Care Act / Obamacare, Airbnb, Bretton Woods, clean water, collective bargaining, crony capitalism, feminist movement, follow your passion, Food sovereignty, glass ceiling, global supply chain, global value chain, helicopter parent, hiring and firing, income inequality, Khan Academy, late capitalism, Lyft, Mark Zuckerberg, means of production, performance metric, profit motive, rent-seeking, Ronald Reagan, Rosa Parks, school vouchers, shareholder value, sharing economy, Silicon Valley, Slavoj Žižek, structural adjustment programs, Thomas L Friedman, Tim Cook: Apple, urban renewal, women in the workforce, working poor

The idea is that by applying a market logic to the public school system, educational entrepreneurs will want to get involved, creative people will get interested in education, and the resulting competition will force all schools to do a better job. As one reformer put it, by treating schools the same way we treat companies we can create a system where “every public school will have a performance contract where [the] people running it will have the freedom … to manage it well, hire and fire based on performance, [and] design their schools in a way that is successful … If they’re not successful, they should be closed.”24 The Race to the Top (RTTT) contest—President Obama’s multibillion-dollar initiative to replace Bush’s No Child Left Behind program—is a central part of this marketization strategy. The contest is designed to spur innovation, “scale-up entrepreneurial activity” and “encourage the creation of new markets for both for-profit and nonprofit investors” by forcing states to compete for education funding.

 

pages: 740 words: 217,139

The Origins of Political Order: From Prehuman Times to the French Revolution by Francis Fukuyama

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Admiral Zheng, agricultural Revolution, Andrei Shleifer, Asian financial crisis, Ayatollah Khomeini, barriers to entry, Berlin Wall, blood diamonds, California gold rush, cognitive dissonance, colonial rule, conceptual framework, correlation does not imply causation, currency manipulation / currency intervention, demographic transition, Deng Xiaoping, double entry bookkeeping, equal pay for equal work, European colonialism, failed state, Fall of the Berlin Wall, Francis Fukuyama: the end of history, Francisco Pizarro, Hernando de Soto, hiring and firing, invention of agriculture, invention of the printing press, Khyber Pass, labour market flexibility, land reform, land tenure, means of production, offshore financial centre, out of africa, Peace of Westphalia, principal–agent problem, RAND corporation, rent-seeking, Scramble for Africa, spice trade, Stephen Hawking, Steven Pinker, the scientific method, The Wealth of Nations by Adam Smith, Thomas L Friedman, Thomas Malthus, trade route, transaction costs, Washington Consensus

The ruler is not sovereign; the law is sovereign, and the ruler gains legitimacy only insofar as he derives his just powers from the law. Before our more secular modern age, the most obvious source of just laws outside the political order was religion. But religiously based laws constrained rulers only if religious authority was constituted independently of political authority. If religious authorities were poorly organized, if the state controlled their property and the hiring and firing of priests, then religious law was more likely to bolster political authority than to limit it. So to understand the development of the rule of law, one must look not to just the source and nature of religious rules themselves but also the specific ways religious authority is organized and institutionalized. The rule of law in Europe was rooted in Christianity. Long before there were European states, there was a Christian pontiff in Rome who could establish authoritative laws of the church.

One of Samuel Huntington’s criteria for institutional development is autonomy, and no organization can be autonomous if it does not have control over the appointment of its own officials. This is why the controversy over investiture was so central. After the Concordat of Worms, the pope through the church hierarchy became, for the time being, its undisputed chief executive officer, who with the advice of the College of Cardinals could hire and fire bishops as he pleased. The church cleaned up its own act. The celibacy of the priesthood removed the temptations of the patrimonial awarding of lucrative benefices to kinsmen and descendants, and set a new moral tone with regard to the sale of church offices. The church could also collect its own taxes in the form of the tithe, and with the disentangling of the priesthood from local clan politics it was better able to dispose of its own fiscal resources.

They were also increasingly characteristic of the church bureaucracy after its liberation from lay investiture and the imposition of celibacy on the priesthood. The church, for example, began to distinguish between officium and beneficium—office and benefice—in the early twelfth century. No longer would officeholders necessarily receive feudal benefices; they could now simply be salaried employees of the church, who could be hired and fired based on their performance in their office. These bureaucrats began to staff new offices like the Papal Chancery that soon became the model for the chanceries of secular rulers.20 LAW AND THE RISE OF THE MODERN STATE The political order in Europe at the time of the Gregorian reform saw the beginnings of a reversal of the extreme decentralization of power that had taken place after the breakup of the Carolingian Empire in the ninth century.

 

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

One meeting she tried to explain the Varieties of Capitalism approach pioneered by Peter Hall and David Soskice. Different national cultures, she said, have different motivational systems, different relationships to authority and to capitalism. Germany, for example, has tight interlocking institutions like work councils. It also has labor markets that make it hard to hire and fire people. These arrangements mean that Germany excels at incremental innovation—the sort of steady improvements that are common in metallurgy and manufacturing. The United States, on the other hand, has looser economic networks. It is relatively easy to hire and fire and start new businesses. The United States thus excels at radical innovation, at the sort of rapid paradigm shifts prevalent in software and technology. Harrison dismissed her with a wave of the hand. Different countries excelled at different things because of different government regulations.

 

pages: 545 words: 137,789

How Markets Fail: The Logic of Economic Calamities by John Cassidy

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Albert Einstein, Andrei Shleifer, anti-communist, asset allocation, asset-backed security, availability heuristic, bank run, banking crisis, Benoit Mandelbrot, Berlin Wall, Bernie Madoff, Black-Scholes formula, Bretton Woods, British Empire, capital asset pricing model, centralized clearinghouse, collateralized debt obligation, Columbine, conceptual framework, Corn Laws, correlation coefficient, credit crunch, Credit Default Swap, credit default swaps / collateralized debt obligations, crony capitalism, Daniel Kahneman / Amos Tversky, debt deflation, diversification, Elliott wave, Eugene Fama: efficient market hypothesis, financial deregulation, financial innovation, Financial Instability Hypothesis, financial intermediation, full employment, George Akerlof, global supply chain, Haight Ashbury, hiring and firing, Hyman Minsky, income per capita, incomplete markets, index fund, invisible hand, John Nash: game theory, John von Neumann, Joseph Schumpeter, laissez-faire capitalism, liquidity trap, London Interbank Offered Rate, Long Term Capital Management, Louis Bachelier, mandelbrot fractal, margin call, market bubble, market clearing, mental accounting, Mikhail Gorbachev, Mont Pelerin Society, moral hazard, mortgage debt, Naomi Klein, Network effects, Nick Leeson, Northern Rock, paradox of thrift, Ponzi scheme, price discrimination, price stability, principal–agent problem, profit maximization, quantitative trading / quantitative finance, race to the bottom, Ralph Nader, RAND corporation, random walk, Renaissance Technologies, rent control, Richard Thaler, risk tolerance, risk-adjusted returns, road to serfdom, Robert Shiller, Robert Shiller, Ronald Coase, Ronald Reagan, shareholder value, short selling, Silicon Valley, South Sea Bubble, sovereign wealth fund, statistical model, technology bubble, The Chicago School, The Great Moderation, The Market for Lemons, The Wealth of Nations by Adam Smith, too big to fail, transaction costs, unorthodox policies, value at risk, Vanguard fund

If you believe this story is true, it means the market is more fragile and unstable. If everybody acts on their own opinion, you’d have a diversity of opinion in the marketplace, whereas this way everybody is following the group. If the group shifts, then everybody shifts.” Following the publication of the Scharfstein and Stein paper, other researchers provided empirical evidence that supported it. After analyzing the hiring and firing of fund managers at mutual fund firms such as Fidelity, Franklin Templeton, and T. Rowe Price, Judith Chevalier, who is now at the Yale School of Management, and Glenn Ellison, of MIT, concluded that young fund managers who followed investment strategies that deviated significantly from their peers were more likely to lose their jobs, regardless of how their funds performed. The threat of being fired gave the fund managers a strong incentive to invest in popular sectors even if they believed they were overvalued, Chevalier and Ellison concluded.

The threat of being fired gave the fund managers a strong incentive to invest in popular sectors even if they believed they were overvalued, Chevalier and Ellison concluded. In another paper that supported the rational herding model, Harrison Hong, of Princeton, Jeffrey D. Kubik, of Syracuse University, and Amit Solomon, who was then at Salomon Smith Barney, found a similar pattern in the hiring and firing of Wall Street securities analysts—the folks who produce quarterly earnings forecasts that investors rely on. Looking at the period from 1983 to 1996, the researchers found that inexperienced analysts who produced forecasts that differed significantly from the industry consensus tended to lose their jobs at higher rates. Not surprisingly, most young analysts tended to stick close to the consensus forecasts.

 

pages: 401 words: 112,784

Hard Times: The Divisive Toll of the Economic Slump by Tom Clark, Anthony Heath

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Affordable Care Act / Obamacare, British Empire, Carmen Reinhart, credit crunch, Daniel Kahneman / Amos Tversky, debt deflation, deindustrialization, Etonian, eurozone crisis, falling living standards, full employment, Gini coefficient, hiring and firing, income inequality, interest rate swap, invisible hand, John Maynard Keynes: Economic Possibilities for our Grandchildren, Kenneth Rogoff, labour market flexibility, low skilled workers, mortgage debt, new economy, Northern Rock, obamacare, oil shock, Plutocrats, plutocrats, price stability, quantitative easing, Ronald Reagan, science of happiness, statistical model, The Wealth of Nations by Adam Smith, unconventional monetary instruments, War on Poverty, We are the 99%, women in the workforce, working poor

Across most dimensions, the OECD ranks America close to the bottom of the table of its 34 members (frequently actually bottom); Britain is generally only a place or two higher than the US.34 Reviewing the shielding of permanent staff from being singled out for the sack, the OECD comments: ‘the US stands out as the least regulated country’.35 The relatively minimal rights of this sort enjoyed by British and American workers are in marked contrast to the stronger protections enjoyed in France and Germany.36 Britain and the US offer more typical protection against collective redundancies, but the light-touch (and sometimes non-existent) regulation of fixed-term contractors and agency workers reinforces the caricature of the Anglo-Saxon labour market as a realm where bosses are free to do as they will.37 Of course, flexibility to hire and fire at will does not necessarily mean that workers will end up more insecure. After all, the avowed basis of the flexible labour market agenda is to give employers confidence to take on more workers. Where businesses are rendered unviable by onerous regulation then, in the end, all workers will feel the chill; protection for people in permanent jobs would then come at the expense of those with less-secure work or no job at all.

This is where those self-reinforcing dynamics really kick in. In the US between the 1970s and the 1990s, for example, employers invested far less in kit to raise the output of lowly workers than did their counterparts in West Germany, where institutions pushed up low pay to the point where firms’ minds were focused on how to get more bang for their Mark.63 Across a wider set of countries, too, a free-for-all in hiring and firing has been shown to be associated with diminished productivity.64 A recent reform in Italy underlines the point: the deregulation of traditional restrictions was undertaken with the aim of stimulating a temporary jobs boom; however, the details were botched and the most notable consequence has been reduced capital investment and productivity.65 And if orthodox microeconomic theory is correct, this lower productivity will soon feed back into lower pay and worse terms.

 

Crisis and Leviathan: Critical Episodes in the Growth of American Government by Robert Higgs, Arthur A. Ekirch, Jr.

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Alistair Cooke, clean water, collective bargaining, credit crunch, declining real wages, endowment effect, fiat currency, full employment, hiring and firing, income per capita, Joseph Schumpeter, laissez-faire capitalism, manufacturing employment, means of production, minimum wage unemployment, Plutocrats, plutocrats, post-industrial society, price discrimination, profit motive, rent control, rent-seeking, Richard Thaler, road to serfdom, Ronald Reagan, Simon Kuznets, strikebreaker, The Wealth of Nations by Adam Smith, total factor productivity, transaction costs, transcontinental railway, union organizing, Upton Sinclair, War on Poverty, Works Progress Administration

Employment Service and the Selective Service System and granting it authority to regulate the hiring and recruitment of workers in areas it designated as critical. In a related action, on December 5, almost all voluntary enlistments in the armed forces were terminated; henceforward the draft would provide personnel for the Navy and the Marines as well as the Army. Although private employers retained their prerogatives to hire and fire (subject, of course, to any restrictions imposed by collective labor contracts), the WMC could now exert a powerful influence on the allocation of labor. 53 The WMC moved on several fronts. In January 1943 McNutt issued a "work-or-fight" order, threatening men in "nonessential" jobs with conscription. The directive met resistance from the largely autonomous local draft boards, who preferred to make family status rather than occupation the touchstone for deferment.

Unionists, who ranted about "slave labor" and "involuntary servitude," did not oppose military conscription-surely a more reprehensible form of involuntary servitude than assignment to a safe, well-paid civilian job. Union leaders knew that national service would put an end to genuine collective bargaining and render them personally superfluous. Philip Murray warned the CIO executive board: destroy collective bargaining "and see how effective you will be with your people back home. You will find out how quick they will tell you to go to hell." Businessmen, of course, wanted to retain control over hiring and firing. They also perceived that drafting civilian labor would lead directly to demands for "conscription of profits"-that is, confiscatory taxation-and governmental takeovers of their production facilities. 57 Stimson and those in his camp had little regard for individual liberty in wartime, but they had at least the virtue of moral (immoral?) consistency. The leaders of the History 220 labor unions and the spokesmen for the business interests preferred the hypocrisy of defending their own privileges and property rights while supporting the conscription of men for service in the armed forces.

 

pages: 388 words: 125,472

The Establishment: And How They Get Away With It by Owen Jones

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anti-communist, Asian financial crisis, bank run, battle of ideas, Big bang: deregulation of the City of London, bonus culture, Bretton Woods, British Empire, call centre, capital controls, Capital in the Twenty-First Century by Thomas Piketty, centre right, citizen journalism, collapse of Lehman Brothers, collective bargaining, don't be evil, Edward Snowden, Etonian, eurozone crisis, falling living standards, Francis Fukuyama: the end of history, full employment, glass ceiling, hiring and firing, housing crisis, inflation targeting, investor state dispute settlement, James Dyson, laissez-faire capitalism, market fundamentalism, Monroe Doctrine, Mont Pelerin Society, moral hazard, night-watchman state, Northern Rock, Occupy movement, offshore financial centre, open borders, Plutocrats, plutocrats, profit motive, quantitative easing, race to the bottom, rent control, road to serfdom, Ronald Reagan, shareholder value, short selling, sovereign wealth fund, stakhanovite, statistical model, The Wealth of Nations by Adam Smith, transfer pricing, union organizing, unpaid internship, Washington Consensus, Winter of Discontent

‘But it also means that you’ve got loads of people who have no independent support or voice within their own workplaces and it’s no surprise to us that in the places where the worst abuses have happened, they’re workplaces where the NUJ has got no meaningful presence.’ It is not just the crushing of the unions that has ensured compliance from within. The workforce has become increasingly casualized, making them easy to hire and fire at a whim. Those who step out of line face being tossed aside with barely a moment’s thought. ‘So sticking your head above the parapet and challenging something you’ve been told to do or speaking out against some ill-thought story or editorial approach the next day is career suicide,’ says Stanistreet. ‘You’re actually just putting yourself up to lose your job and it’s incredibly difficult to walk into another position on Fleet Street at the moment.

In Germany, workers elect representatives who promote their interests on company boards, or ‘co-determination’ as it is called. If it is good enough for German workers, it is surely good enough for British workers, and would give them a voice in their supermarkets, call centres, offices and other places of work, instead of treating them as chattels to be exploited. It would need to be complemented by other policies to stop workers being reduced to hire-and-fire fodder to be disposed of at will by employers, such as scrapping zero-hour contracts. An official policy of building full employment is also critical, which has the advantage of best guaranteeing the negotiating power of labour. Bosses would no longer be economic despots in Britain’s workplaces. Privatization has become a form of corporate welfare, with the likes of rail companies being subsidized by taxpayers’ money.

 

pages: 401 words: 119,488

Smarter Faster Better: The Secrets of Being Productive in Life and Business by Charles Duhigg

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Air France Flight 447, Asperger Syndrome, Atul Gawande, Black Swan, cognitive dissonance, Daniel Kahneman / Amos Tversky, David Brooks, epigenetics, Erik Brynjolfsson, framing effect, hiring and firing, index card, John von Neumann, knowledge worker, Lean Startup, Malcom McLean invented shipping containers, meta analysis, meta-analysis, new economy, Saturday Night Live, Silicon Valley, Silicon Valley startup, statistical model, Steve Jobs, the scientific method, theory of mind, Toyota Production System, Yom Kippur War

The company’s executives believed that was because, even as it had grown to fifty-three thousand employees, Google had devoted enormous resources to studying workers’ happiness and productivity. The People Analytics group, part of Google’s human resources division, helped examine if employees were satisfied with their bosses and coworkers, whether they felt overworked, intellectually challenged, and fairly paid, whether their work-life balance was actually balancing out, as well as hundreds of other variables. The division helped with hiring and firing decisions, and its analysts provided insights into who should be promoted and who, perhaps, had risen too fast. In the years before Julia joined the group, People Analytics had determined that Google needed to interview a job applicant only four times to predict, with 86 percent confidence, if they would be a good hire. The division had successfully pushed to increase paid maternity leave from twelve to eighteen weeks because computer models indicated that would reduce the frequency of new mothers quitting by 50 percent.

What I’ve realized is that as long as everyone feels like they can talk and we’re really demonstrating that we want to hear each other, you feel like everyone’s got your back.” Over the last two decades, the American workplace has become much more team focused. The average worker today might belong to a sales team, as well as a group of unit managers, a special team planning future products, and the team overseeing the holiday party. Executives belong to groups that oversee compensation and strategy and hiring and firing and approving HR policies and figuring out how to cut costs. These teams might meet every day in person or correspond via email or telecommute from all over the world. Teams are important. Within companies and conglomerates, government agencies and schools, teams are now the fundamental unit of self-organization. And the unwritten rules that make teams succeed or fail, it turns out, are the same from place to place.

 

pages: 432 words: 127,985

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

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

Keating placed the accountants in an advocacy role requiring them to attack the FHLBSF examination and examiners in order to help Keating retain control of Lincoln Savings. Andersen’s resignation letter and Atchison’s letter to the Keating Five were blatant, false advocacy pieces. Auditors are supposed to be independent and objective; they must never become advocates for the client. Here, they became advocates for the individual destroying the client because he was the person who hired and fired them (and in Atchison’s case, quadrupled his salary). Keating bragged to the FHLB-Seattle that he spent $50 million hiring outside professionals to fight the 1986 FHLBSF examination (U.S. House Banking Committee 1989, 3:776). Some of that was for consultants such as Fischel and Benston, but it went overwhelmingly to Arthur Young and to Keating’s top outside law firms: Kaye, Scholer and Jones, Day.

Conversely, as I explained earlier, conflicts of interest matter. Real estate developers who bought S&Ls during 1981–1984 were the CEOs most likely to become control frauds. They had serious conflicts of interest and few institutional or personal loyalties. Whistle-blowers were rare at S&L control frauds. One of the lessons we should have learned from the debacle is that control frauds’ ability to hire and fire personnel makes whistle-blowing an extremely risky act. True whistle-blowers—those who inform the public or the authorities of control fraud—have been rare during the current wave of financial scandals. We cannot rely on whistle-blowers to do the work regulators and the criminal justice system should do against control fraud. 11. DEREGULATION MATTERS AND ASSETS MATTER. Deregulation can aid control fraud in four ways.

 

pages: 197 words: 59,946

The Thank You Economy by Gary Vaynerchuk

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Apple's 1984 Super Bowl advert, augmented reality, business process, call centre, crowdsourcing, en.wikipedia.org, hiring and firing, Jeff Bezos, new economy, pre–internet, Skype, social software, Tony Hsieh

And if his handlers or agents had been smart, they would have been watching Twitter while LeBron made his announcement, seen the public reaction, given him a talking-to during a commercial break, and allowed him to express his regret on the spot for upsetting so many people. That would have been news! In any scenario, however, his apology would have to be genuine. There’s never a time when real doesn’t work. Hiring and Firing I value good teamwork more than almost anything. Though I rarely fire anyone, over the years I’ve had to let go of five of the most talented employees that have ever worked at Wine Library, because they just couldn’t play nice with the other boys and girls. That was culturally unacceptable in my company. Leadership and Culture Bill Parcells is the best coach of all time. Screw Phil Jackson—I could have won a few championships with Jordan, Shaq, and Kobe on my teams.

 

pages: 184 words: 54,833

Why Orwell Matters by Christopher Hitchens

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anti-communist, British Empire, colonial rule, deindustrialization, Etonian, hiring and firing, land reform, Louis Pasteur, Mahatma Gandhi, nuclear winter, road to serfdom, Ronald Reagan, sensible shoes

And I have selected their synopsis because it is free of the Orwell-hatred that disfigures many other versions of the story. Just as a matter of record, then:1. The existence of Orwell’s list of Stalinized intellectuals was not ‘revealed’ in 1996. It appears in Professor Bernard Crick’s biography, which was first published in 1980. 2. A blacklist is a roster of names maintained by those with the power to affect hiring and firing. To be blacklisted is to be denied employment for political reasons unconnected to job-performance. The word does not now, and never has had, any other meaning. 3. Even if the Daily Telegraph says so, and even if it has chosen not to specify the ‘some’ who chose to think it, the Information Research Department was unconnected to any ‘Thought Police’, to say nothing of the Thought Police as they actually feature in the pages of Nineteen Eighty-Four.

 

pages: 207 words: 63,071

My Start-Up Life: What A by Ben Casnocha, Marc Benioff

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affirmative action, Albert Einstein, barriers to entry, Bonfire of the Vanities, business process, call centre, David Brooks, don't be evil, fear of failure, hiring and firing, index fund, informal economy, Jeff Bezos, Lao Tzu, Menlo Park, Paul Graham, place-making, Ralph Waldo Emerson, Sand Hill Road, side project, Silicon Valley, Steve Jobs, Steven Pinker, technology bubble, traffic fines

Our newly hired COO Dave Richmond and I had a similar goal, but instead of a Japanese hot bath we spent days on end in close physical proximity, mostly in rental cars, on airplanes, in stuffy conference rooms, in hotel rooms. We talked for hours about the business in between dozens of sales pitches. In our conversations, I tried to bring him up to speed as fast as possible. I didn’t, however, want to destroy the precious window of time when his unknowingness made us revisit basic assumptions. The two best moments to receive high-quality feedback from people are when they are hired and fired. At the start they ask many 90 LIFE AS A ROAD WARRIOR 91 “dumb questions,” which usually have gone foolishly unchecked for years, and at the end, in an exit interview, they can deliver feedback with the most possible candor. This is another mistake I made with our interim CEO: I inundated him with so much information that it probably squelched any fresh creative bursts he might have had after initial exposure to Comcate ideas. >> I learned a lot about Dave and he became someone for whom I developed a great deal of fondness.

 

pages: 193 words: 47,808

The Flat White Economy by Douglas McWilliams

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access to a mobile phone, banking crisis, Big bang: deregulation of the City of London, bonus culture, cleantech, cloud computing, computer age, correlation coefficient, Edward Glaeser, en.wikipedia.org, Erik Brynjolfsson, eurozone crisis, George Gilder, hiring and firing, income inequality, informal economy, knowledge economy, low skilled workers, Network effects, new economy, offshore financial centre, Peter Thiel, Productivity paradox, Silicon Valley, smart cities, special economic zone, Steve Jobs, working-age population

This was especially true since labour market restrictions that are conventional in continental Europe tend, in a recession, to protect existing jobs at the expense of new entrants to the labour force – which causes the employment burden of recession to be felt much more intensely in youth unemployment. The solution for many unemployed youths in continental Europe was to come to London. English is generally the second language for most of Europe so there isn’t much of a language barrier. Because of the more flexible (read greater hiring and firing) nature of the UK’s labour market, there are many more jobs available there, and especially in London. The city also has a well-deserved reputation as being the party capital of Europe (excluding holiday resorts like Ibiza) – as early as the 1990s once the Eurostar had got into full operation, as many as 50,000 French youths visited London every weekend to go to the clubs, bars and pubs and enjoy the 24 hour weekend city.

 

pages: 187 words: 58,839

Status Anxiety by Alain de Botton

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hiring and firing, invention of the steam engine, invisible hand, means of production, Plutocrats, plutocrats, Ralph Waldo Emerson, The Wealth of Nations by Adam Smith, Thorstein Veblen

It can, for example, be heard no less clearly, nearly a century and a half after Stendhal’s lament, in Charles Bukowski’s poem “Something for the To uts, the Nuns, the Grocery Clerks and You” (1965), which evokes the lives of wealthy businessmen: with bad breath and big feet, men who look like frogs, hyenas, men who walk as if melody had never been invented, men who think it is intelligent to hire and fire and profit, men with expensive wives they possess like sixty acres of ground to be drilled or shown-off or to be walled away from the incompetent … … men who stand in front of windows thirty feet wide and see nothing, men with luxury yachts who can sail around the world and yet never get out of their vest pockets, men like snails, men like eels, men like slugs, and not as good. Just as money cannot purchase honour within the bohemian value system, neither can possessions command it: seen through bohemian eyes, yachts and mansions are merely symbols of arrogance and frivolity.

 

Cold Hands by John J. Niven

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centre right, Firefox, hiring and firing, Mason jar, Maui Hawaii

But in the end the old man begged her, offered her crazy money and the chance to become editor by the time she was thirty. Sammy made a real go of the job though, overcoming the prejudices of a lot of hard-nosed subs and section editors in the process. She upped the circulation by 20 per cent over five years and dragged the paper out of the eighties and into the new technology of the nineties, hiring and firing quite a bit in the process. I met Sammy at the college in Regina, back in 1998, where I was a mature student on the journalism programme. I’d been in Canada maybe five years then, Toronto first, then out here in Saskatchewan. Sammy came to talk to my class. Even though she was only a few years older than me she seemed impossibly sophisticated and assured, a real journalist, someone living the life I was aspiring to.

 

pages: 196 words: 57,974

Company: A Short History of a Revolutionary Idea by John Micklethwait, Adrian Wooldridge

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affirmative action, barriers to entry, Bonfire of the Vanities, borderless world, business process, Corn Laws, corporate governance, corporate social responsibility, credit crunch, crony capitalism, double entry bookkeeping, Etonian, hiring and firing, invisible hand, James Watt: steam engine, joint-stock company, joint-stock limited liability company, Joseph Schumpeter, knowledge economy, knowledge worker, laissez-faire capitalism, manufacturing employment, market bubble, mittelstand, new economy, North Sea oil, race to the bottom, railway mania, Ronald Coase, Silicon Valley, six sigma, South Sea Bubble, Steve Jobs, Steve Wozniak, strikebreaker, The Nature of the Firm, The Wealth of Nations by Adam Smith, Thorstein Veblen, trade route, transaction costs, tulip mania, wage slave, William Shockley: the traitorous eight

The American government also increased its grip on the company through laws governing health, safety, the environment, employee and consumer rights, and affirmative action. Often the effect was not just more red tape but also more lawsuits. The 1991 Civil Rights Act, signed by George Bush senior, imposed huge regulatory burdens on businesses. It also created a litigation bonanza by increasing attorneys’ fees and allowing claims for “emotional injury.” American managers were more restricted than ever before in performing one of their most basic functions—hiring and firing. They could not ask about such things as an applicant’s family or his health. Bill Clinton was a still more fervent micromanager. By the end of the century, the cost of meeting social regulations to American firms was $289 billion a year, according to the Office of Management and Budget, a figure that other experts reckon was only a third of the real amount.31 And there were other “costs” to America—particularly the ever-growing amount of time that companies put into political lobbying (both in Washington, D.C., and in various state capitals) to twist this sprawling thicket of rules to their own advantage.

 

pages: 196 words: 53,627

Let Them In: The Case for Open Borders by Jason L. Riley

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affirmative action, David Ricardo: comparative advantage, declining real wages, deindustrialization, desegregation, guest worker program, hiring and firing, illegal immigration, immigration reform, income inequality, labor-force participation, labour market flexibility, low skilled workers, lump of labour, open borders, RAND corporation, Ronald Reagan, school choice, Silicon Valley, trade liberalization, War on Poverty, working poor, working-age population

In a typical year, a third of our workforce is turning over. In about half of those cases the separation is voluntary; in the other half, the worker has been shown the door. But either way, this messy churn, which can disrupt lives and even make obsolete entire industries, has positive macroeconomic consequences in the long run. That’s because flexible labor markets, the kind that minimize the costs to a business of hiring and firing employees, enable workers and employers alike to find the employment situation that suits them best. Flexible labor markets make it easier for an employee who doesn’t like a job, is let go, or simply feels underappreciated by his boss to find another position somewhere else. And flexible labor markets make it more likely that an employer will expand his workforce, or take a chance on a job seeker who isn’t very skilled or perhaps has a spotty record.

 

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

While Gawker is owned entirely by Denton and has been self-financing for most of its history, BuzzFeed has needed vast investment. While Denton has rebuffed all offers to buy his profitable business, BuzzFeed searches the market for a greater fool. Gawker, or the Gawker identity, Denton seemed to acknowledge in his memo, is a casualty in the race for traffic: Gawker succeeded because it was a carefully molded product (a small band of young people overseen by Denton—with Denton constantly hiring and firing his editors). But then it morphed into a business with a much larger number of ever-younger people having to produce more and more, and working with less and less editorial vision or leadership. Gawker began to focus on an open area of parallel writing (i.e., free writing) designed to enhance its traffic base—but, too, with the natural effect of diluting quality and confusing purpose. Curiously, or ludicrously, The New Republic, the one-hundred-year-old Washington magazine, with a circulation of under fifty thousand, announced at the end of 2014 that it wanted to transform itself into a digital media business.

 

pages: 177 words: 60,412

Everest the Cruel Way: Climbing Mount Everest at Its Hardest: The 1980 Winter Attempt on the Infamous West Ridge by Joe Tasker, Chris Bonington

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hiring and firing

This was the role of Dawa, whom we had left to bring up the rear with the remaining loads. We were completely in the hands of our Base Camp staff, as we could not keep a check on all our equipment all of the time. Fortunately Nepalese generally and the Sherpas in particular have a high reputation for honesty. On Kangchenjunga to we had handed over the money to Ang Phurba, our Sirdar; and he had hired and fired the porters as necessary; presenting us with a detailed, if crudely written, set of accounts from time to time. We therefore struggled against admitting to ourselves the possibility that this time our Base Camp staff might be dishonest. Dawa, who was reputed to be a very capable and experienced Sherpa, arrived with the remaining loads. He resembled, with his tanned complexion, reflective sunglasses, gleaming smile and elegant clothes, a continental ski-instructor rather than a rugged man of the hills.

 

pages: 216 words: 61,061

Without Their Permission: How the 21st Century Will Be Made, Not Managed by Alexis Ohanian

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Airbnb, barriers to entry, carbon-based life, cloud computing, crowdsourcing, en.wikipedia.org, Hans Rosling, hiring and firing, Internet Archive, Kickstarter, Mark Zuckerberg, means of production, Menlo Park, minimum viable product, Occupy movement, Paul Graham, Silicon Valley, Skype, slashdot, social web, software is eating the world, Startup school, Tony Hsieh, unpaid internship, Y Combinator

Congress had abysmal approval ratings back then—worse than colonoscopies1—yet the Internet public realized that the connected web could give them leverage over even the richest and most entrenched lobbying groups. We had our congressional representatives and senators on speed dial. We would call them to check up on things and correct them when they did something bad—just as a good boss should. We paid their salaries, we hired and fired them—why shouldn’t we know what they’re up to? Social media, which gave us unprecedented access into the mundane lives of strangers, made us feel entitled to know what our elected officials were doing and helped us to hold them accountable. It even looked like we were going to develop better politicians in the process, as their attention became more focused on their voters than on the biggest donors to their campaigns.

 

pages: 177 words: 50,167

The Populist Explosion: How the Great Recession Transformed American and European Politics by John B. Judis

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affirmative action, Affordable Care Act / Obamacare, Albert Einstein, anti-communist, back-to-the-land, Bernie Sanders, Bretton Woods, capital controls, centre right, collapse of Lehman Brothers, deindustrialization, desegregation, Donald Trump, eurozone crisis, financial deregulation, first-past-the-post, full employment, ghettoisation, glass ceiling, hiring and firing, illegal immigration, immigration reform, income inequality, invisible hand, laissez-faire capitalism, means of production, neoliberal agenda, obamacare, Occupy movement, open borders, Plutocrats, plutocrats, Post-materialism, post-materialism, rolodex, Ronald Reagan, Silicon Valley, War on Poverty, We are the 99%, white flight, Winter of Discontent

After being highly critical during the election of the EU’s growth and stability pact limiting the size of deficits, Jospin adhered to it. After taking office in Germany in 1999, Social Democratic Chancellor Gerhard Schröeder oversaw an agreement between German unions and management in 1999 to hold down wages. In 2003, Schröeder championed the controversial Hartz laws that made it easier for firms to hire and fire workers. Labour Prime Minister Tony Blair, who took office in 1995, continued Thatcher’s policy of deregulating finance and business. Asked in 2002 what her greatest achievement was, Thatcher replied, “Tony Blair and New Labour. We forced our opponents to change their minds.” Some of the Socialist, Social Democratic, and Labour parties succeeded in winning office and even reelection, as Blair did, but in abandoning their support for an expanding public sector and for viable manufacturing industries in favor of supporting free trade, deregulated finance, and a globalized capitalism, they began to forfeit the loyalty of their working-class constituents.

 

pages: 249 words: 77,027

Glock: The Rise of America's Gun by Paul M. Barrett

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airport security, forensic accounting, hiring and firing, interchangeable parts, offshore financial centre, Ralph Nader, Ronald Reagan, union organizing

In her mid-twenties at the time, she knew nothing about guns or the firearm business and was not particularly interested in learning. But she wanted a better life and sensed that Glock was offering her something. “I didn’t know how to say no,” she said. The tour of Glock, Inc., turned into an offer of an administrative job, which Monika accepted. The post evolved into overseeing human resources: hiring and firing lower-level employees and complying with regulatory paperwork. Glock sponsored her work visa, allowing her to remain in the country with her mother, who had become a citizen. The pay was generous compared to hotel and restaurant jobs, and the hours were more reasonable. At first, Bereczky enjoyed being a favorite of the company’s owner. When he was in town, Glock went out of his way to talk with her privately about how other employees conducted themselves in the office.

 

pages: 252 words: 80,636

Bureaucracy by David Graeber

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3D printing, Affordable Care Act / Obamacare, airport security, Albert Einstein, banking crisis, barriers to entry, borderless world, Bretton Woods, British Empire, collateralized debt obligation, Columbine, conceptual framework, Corn Laws, David Graeber, George Gilder, High speed trading, hiring and firing, late capitalism, means of production, music of the spheres, new economy, obamacare, Occupy movement, Parkinson's law, Peter Thiel, planetary scale, price mechanism, Ronald Reagan, self-driving car, Silicon Valley, South Sea Bubble, transcontinental railway, union organizing, urban planning

Anyone who has ever worked in a restaurant kitchen, for example, knows that if something goes terribly wrong and an angry boss appears to size things up, he is unlikely to carry out a detailed investigation, or even to pay serious attention to the workers all scrambling to explain their version of what happened. He is much more likely to tell them all to shut up and arbitrarily impose a story that allows instant judgment: i.e., “you, Joe, you wouldn’t have made a mistake like that; you, Mark, you’re the new guy, you must have screwed up—if you do it again, you’re fired.” It’s those who do not have the power to hire and fire who are left with the work of figuring out what actually did go wrong so as to make sure it doesn’t happen again. The same thing usually happens with ongoing relations: everyone knows that servants tend to know a great deal about their employers’ families, but the opposite almost never occurs. The second element is the resultant pattern of sympathetic identification. Curiously, it was Adam Smith, in his Theory of Moral Sentiments, who first observed the phenomenon we now refer to as “compassion fatigue.”

 

pages: 270 words: 79,068

The Hard Thing About Hard Things: Building a Business When There Are No Easy Answers by Ben Horowitz

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Airbnb, business intelligence, cloud computing, financial independence, Google Glasses, hiring and firing, Isaac Newton, Jeff Bezos, Mark Zuckerberg, move fast and break things, new economy, nuclear winter, Peter Thiel, Productivity paradox, random walk, Ronald Reagan, Silicon Valley, six sigma, Steve Ballmer, Steve Jobs

Perhaps the most important thing that I learned as an entrepreneur was to focus on what I needed to get right and stop worrying about all the things that I did wrong or might do wrong. This section encapsulates the various parts of those lessons and provides guidance on how to get the important things right. THE MOST DIFFICULT CEO SKILL By far the most difficult skill I learned as CEO was the ability to manage my own psychology. Organizational design, process design, metrics, hiring, and firing were all relatively straightforward skills to master compared with keeping my mind in check. I thought I was tough going into it, but I wasn’t tough. I was soft. Over the years, I’ve spoken to hundreds of CEOs, all with the same experience. Nonetheless, very few people talk about it and I have never read anything on the topic. It’s like the fight club of management: The first rule of the CEO psychological meltdown is don’t talk about the psychological meltdown.

 

pages: 237 words: 64,411

Humans Need Not Apply: A Guide to Wealth and Work in the Age of Artificial Intelligence by Jerry Kaplan

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Affordable Care Act / Obamacare, Amazon Web Services, asset allocation, autonomous vehicles, bank run, bitcoin, Brian Krebs, buy low sell high, Capital in the Twenty-First Century by Thomas Piketty, combinatorial explosion, computer vision, corporate governance, crowdsourcing, en.wikipedia.org, Erik Brynjolfsson, estate planning, Flash crash, Gini coefficient, Goldman Sachs: Vampire Squid, haute couture, hiring and firing, income inequality, index card, industrial robot, invention of agriculture, Jaron Lanier, Jeff Bezos, job automation, John Maynard Keynes: Economic Possibilities for our Grandchildren, Loebner Prize, Mark Zuckerberg, mortgage debt, natural language processing, Own Your Own Home, pattern recognition, Satoshi Nakamoto, school choice, Schrödinger's Cat, Second Machine Age, self-driving car, sentiment analysis, Silicon Valley, Silicon Valley startup, Skype, software as a service, The Chicago School, Turing test, Watson beat the top human players on Jeopardy!, winner-take-all economy, women in the workforce, working poor, Works Progress Administration

And, like the staff of that supersecret project to develop the atom bomb, only a few are cognizant of the breathtaking potential of their work to transform lives and livelihoods, right down to altering our concept of who we are and our proper place in the universe. It’s one thing to make a cute little robot that reads names and addresses, then tootles down the hall delivering intramural mail, but quite another when incrementally more capable versions of this technology operate our farms, manage our pension funds, hire and fire workers, select which news stories we read, scan all our communications for subversive ideas, and fight our wars. Sure, but that’s science fiction. We’ve seen this kind of stuff in the movies for decades and nothing terrible has happened in real life. So what’s the big deal? Why all the fuss now? HUMANS NEED NOT APPLY INTRODUCTION Welcome to the Future In a nutshell, after fifty years of effort and billions spent on research, we’re cracking the code on artificial intelligence.

 

Kill Your Friends by John Niven

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accounting loophole / creative accounting, Etonian, hiring and firing, illegal immigration, nuclear winter, sensible shoes, Stephen Hawking

“Fuck you,” I say, taking two Scotches from his minibar. I take a seat by the open window, the chill September breeze filling the room as Trellick strides around, simultaneously talking on his mobile, smoking a cigarette and putting on his suit. I’m wearing a suit too, by the way. I flip through Trellick’s copy of Music Week. As has been known for a couple of weeks now, Neil Ferris, recently installed as MD over at EMI, has been hiring and firing people like a madman. He’s made Tris Penna Head of A&R. Incredibly Nick Robinson, the previous Head of A&R, has not been fired. He’s been demoted. He’s going to work under Penna. I mean, where’s your fucking self-respect? Wouldn’t you just top yourself? “What’s your problem, loser?” Trellick asks, hanging up. “Nothing,” I say. “When did you get here?” “Just now.” “Anyone around downstairs?”

 

pages: 236 words: 67,953

Brave New World of Work by Ulrich Beck

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affirmative action, Asian financial crisis, Berlin Wall, collective bargaining, conceptual framework, Fall of the Berlin Wall, feminist movement, full employment, future of work, hiring and firing, illegal immigration, income inequality, informal economy, job automation, knowledge worker, labour market flexibility, labour mobility, low skilled workers, McJob, means of production, mini-job, postnationalism / post nation state, profit maximization, purchasing power parity, rising living standards, Silicon Valley, working poor, working-age population

For part-timers are welcome cheap labour in America's universities, which suffer from diminishing budgets and sharper competition. Roughly 45 per cent of university teachers share Hoeller's fate, twice as many as in the 1950s. The colleges save in several ways at once: the pay is only 40 per cent or so of a regular professor's; the sizeable pension and health contributions do not apply; and part-timers, unlike professors with tenure, can be hired and fired. This makes it possible for colleges to react swiftly and flexibly to changing preferences on the part of their customers, the students. It is a good deal for the universities, but it splits the country's faculties into two classes. Keith Hoeller feels ‘underpaid and overworked’. Only his presence in the lecture room is remunerated. He does not get a cent for the hours spent marking exams and preparing courses.

 

Just Listen: Discover the Secret to Getting Through to Absolutely Anyone by Mark Goulston M. D., Keith Ferrazzi

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hiring and firing, index card, Jeff Bezos, Mikhail Gorbachev, Ronald Reagan

And after that he backed down—proving that if you don’t play a bully’s game, he usually doesn’t have a backup plan. The lesson is simple: Bullies come after you because they think you’re easy prey. Refuse to follow their script, and they’ll usually give up and seek an easier target. Sometimes, of course, there’s no good way to stand up to a bully. For instance, if you desperately need your current job and your boss has the power to hire and fire on a whim, your only real options may be to lay low, minimize contact with the person, and look for a less toxic work environment. Even in this case, however, you’ll be a less desirable target if you stop looking vulnerable. When a bully tries to intimidate you by verbally attacking you, do this. Make eye contact. Act perfectly polite but ever-so-slightly bored, as if your mind is elsewhere.

 

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

However you do it, the important thing is to decide it up front and not put off the discussion. How will decisions get made? This is often tied to the number of shares, but not necessarily. You can have voting and non-voting shares. You can set up a board. You'll need to decide what kinds of decisions the board makes, and which ones it won’t. Common areas to address are decisions around capitalization, executive hiring and firing, share issuance (dilution), and acquisitions. What happens if one of us leaves the company? Although it may seem like a bad idea to be talking about this when you're starting the company—it's not. In the evolution of any startup, there will be good times and bad times and there will likely be times when one or more co-founders are simply not happy and not committed. You should decide how to treat this situation early when it is easier and everyone is at least semi-rational and optimistic about their future involvement in the company.

 

pages: 244 words: 79,044

Money Mavericks: Confessions of a Hedge Fund Manager by Lars Kroijer

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Bernie Madoff, capital asset pricing model, diversification, diversified portfolio, family office, fixed income, forensic accounting, Gordon Gekko, hiring and firing, implied volatility, index fund, Jeff Bezos, Just-in-time delivery, Long Term Capital Management, merger arbitrage, new economy, Ponzi scheme, risk-adjusted returns, risk/return, shareholder value, Silicon Valley, six sigma, statistical arbitrage, Vanguard fund, zero-coupon bond

Nonetheless, to Lennart and many others with an industrial background, there was something odd about a system that allowed someone like me with no industry experience to find himself in effective control of a company like Bure that employs thousands of people with families and mortgages. And there I was, a guy in his early thirties telling experienced company management what to buy and sell, who to hire and fire, and having the power to back up those demands with action. What we wanted was simple. The company needed to reduce its overheads as much as possible. It was bloated, and future investment was unlikely as long as Bure’s shares were so cheap. The company should then look to reduce or sell its stakes to raise more cash, although with the new financing this was less urgent. The cash should then be used to buy back warrants and bonds while maintaining a conservative gearing level.

 

pages: 247 words: 74,612

For the Love of Money: A Memoir by Sam Polk

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carried interest, Credit Default Swap, hiring and firing, Northern Rock, nuclear winter, Rosa Parks

He was one of those guys you could envision having his brain cryogenically frozen, so that he might bring it back online a hundred years in the future, atop a wheeled robot with a microprocessor heart. It was widely believed he could have cured cancer, or fixed the situation in the Middle East, if only he’d focused on it. But he didn’t—he focused on investing, and he was a legend. His job was to know everything about everything, and he did. Peter was the CEO of the firm and handled the hiring and firing. He was trim and tan, and his hair looked as if it had been clipped that morning, every day. His ties were worth more than I’d paid in monthly rent down in Charlotte. And then there was Sean. He was ten years younger than the two managing partners, and not yet a billionaire. But with his talent, intensity, and instincts, he would likely ascend to that esteemed rank. For the first six months I was there, I loved Pateras.

 

pages: 218 words: 67,330

Kelly: More Than My Share of It All by Clarence L. Johnson

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hiring and firing, RAND corporation, Ronald Reagan

And for dealing with the technology of the future, we cannot quickly reassign engineers from conventional aircraft design. Engineers still will be required to design and build our defense systems. But the discipline now that will determine what these are is physics. The Russians are graduating five times as many engineers each year as the United States. There is no unemployment of them. Here, unfortunately, there is little or no stability in our programs. It’s train, hire, and fire. The defense of this country and the Free World requires an operations analysis approach—looking at the entire area from scratch, objectively. What would a war be like? Nuclear? Non-nuclear? What weapons will we really need? Expensive nuclear-powered aircraft carriers which might last two or three days? Should we put the carrier underseas—as a submarine? Do we need manned aircraft when a missile can be fired and controlled accurately from the ground?

 

pages: 193 words: 19,478

Memory Machines: The Evolution of Hypertext by Belinda Barnet

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augmented reality, Benoit Mandelbrot, Bill Duvall, British Empire, Buckminster Fuller, Claude Shannon: information theory, collateralized debt obligation, computer age, conceptual framework, Douglas Engelbart, game design, hiring and firing, Howard Rheingold, HyperCard, hypertext link, information retrieval, Internet Archive, linked data, mandelbrot fractal, Marshall McLuhan, Menlo Park, nonsequential writing, Norbert Wiener, publish or perish, semantic web, Steve Jobs, Stewart Brand, technoutopianism, Ted Nelson, the scientific method, Vannevar Bush, wikimedia commons

Wells’s imaginings. 14 ‘The 1980 classic version is entirely different from the entangled technical versions since 1987, and I hope to make them separately available real soon now’ (Nelson 2012). 15 With characteristic wit, he calls the two sides the ‘fluffies’ and the ‘technoids’, respectively. 16 Nelson now believes the visit was in 1966, according to notes he found while writing Possiplex – notes that have since been lost. 17 Only later did I learn that Steve Jobs and Bill Gates also took a directorial role in software development, but they had the power to hire and fire, thus much more leverage (Nelson 2012). 18 As we will see in the chapter on HES, Nelson still feels angry about this experience; ‘they could at least have treated me like a guest’ (Nelson 2011). 19 Nelson asserts in response, ‘The principles of xu88 and the Ent were secret until 1999 – is that Quite Recent? Since then the problem has been getting anyone to understand them!’ (Nelson 2012). 20 On reading that sentence again, Nelson wrote, ‘GOD that is awful.

 

pages: 251 words: 76,225

The Geek Feminist Revolution by Kameron Hurley

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affirmative action, Affordable Care Act / Obamacare, clean water, desegregation, en.wikipedia.org, Ferguson, Missouri, game design, Google Hangouts, hiring and firing, Kickstarter, means of production, Skype, women in the workforce

In some cases, “acting uppity” will be met not with mere job loss or scowling, but violence. You can fight all you want for individual wins, and fight to be the “exceptional” woman, but so long as there’s institutionalized oppression, bias, and unregulated, out-of-control capitalism that treats people as disposable objects, you’re an exception, not a rule. So long as the people with the power—to hire and fire you, approve or deny your loan, or write up your speeding ticket—look at you through the lens of institutionalized racism, sexism, homophobia, or any other -ism they’ve learned from stories, videos, media, and other biased individuals, a single win means nothing. We cannot effect true change alone. * * * Every writer is an island. Often, we get tangled up in thinking our experiences are somehow singular, that no one before us walked this road or tackled these problems or felt this kind of angry woe at the state of their chosen profession as a writer of fiction, or anything else.

 

pages: 934 words: 232,651

Iron Curtain: The Crushing of Eastern Europe, 1945-1956 by Anne Applebaum

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affirmative action, anti-communist, Berlin Wall, centre right, deindustrialization, Fall of the Berlin Wall, falling living standards, hiring and firing, illegal immigration, indoor plumbing, Internet Archive, Johann Wolfgang von Goethe, land reform, language of flowers, means of production, New Urbanism, Potemkin village, price mechanism, road to serfdom, Ronald Reagan, Slavoj Žižek, stakhanovite, strikebreaker, union organizing, urban planning

He never made it to college, and remained a radio journalist until 1955.43 Still others were recruits. Among them was Gyula Schöpflin, a communist party member since the 1930s, who became the first program director. In his memoirs—he defected from Hungary in 1949—Schöpflin remembered that although Hungary was still in theory a multiparty democracy in 1945, Ortutay’s personnel decisions were already influenced by his secret communist party membership: “The hiring and firing of people had an entirely political character.” Ortutay also set political guidelines for programming: “Avoid anything that could disturb the harmony and agreement between the great powers; beware of party politics; publicize, promote anti-Fascist international politics; promote the program of the democratic government, reconstruction, land reform; always emphasize the Hungarian and international progressive traditions …” Schöpflin himself visited the Hungarian party headquarters “at least once a week,” asking for “guidelines, detailed party lines” for his broadcasts.

As John Connelly points out in his definitive study of High Stalinist Eastern European universities, the culture of Polish academic life was also different. Many academics who survived had worked in the “flying universities” during the war, teaching students in secret, and the habits of patriotism were strong. It was quite common for academic administrators to pay lip service to the regime, but to teach, lecture, hire, and fire without any regard to politics. Even in the late 1940s and early 1950s, older professors habitually protected younger students and colleagues from police investigation.31 Ties of family, loyalty, and academic influence often proved stronger, at least behind the scenes, than fear of the party or the secret police. But the proletarianization of the student body was, for the communist parties, far more important.

 

pages: 328 words: 100,381

Top Secret America: The Rise of the New American Security State by Dana Priest, William M. Arkin

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airport security, business intelligence, dark matter, friendly fire, Google Earth, hiring and firing, illegal immigration, immigration reform, index card, Julian Assange, profit motive, RAND corporation, Ronald Reagan, WikiLeaks

Many senior officials in his administration did not think the reorganization was even necessary. Still, the week before Christmas 2004, Bush signed into law the most sweeping changes in the intelligence world since the National Security Act of 1947. The law was so obviously problematic that the president of Texas A&M University, Robert Gates, turned down the position of director, in part because the job description didn’t even include the power to hire and fire. Ambassador John D. Negroponte, a respected diplomat but not an expert in the more contentious field of intelligence, was the backup choice. Even before Negroponte reported for work, turf battles began. The Defense Department shifted billions of dollars out of one budget (the national intelligence budget) and into another (the military intelligence program) so that the Office of the Director of National Intelligence would have only advisory status, according to two senior officials who watched the process.

 

pages: 237 words: 72,716

The Inequality Puzzle: European and US Leaders Discuss Rising Income Inequality by Roland Berger, David Grusky, Tobias Raffel, Geoffrey Samuels, Chris Wimer

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Branko Milanovic, Celtic Tiger, collective bargaining, corporate governance, corporate social responsibility, double entry bookkeeping, equal pay for equal work, fear of failure, financial innovation, full employment, Gini coefficient, hiring and firing, illegal immigration, income inequality, invisible hand, labour market flexibility, labour mobility, Long Term Capital Management, microcredit, offshore financial centre, principal–agent problem, profit maximization, rent-seeking, shareholder value, Silicon Valley, Silicon Valley startup, time value of money, very high income

I think the more critical part is really to establish some sort of claw-back mechanism in the system such that if people make a lot of money in one year with very risky activities, they do not get the full pay-out if the company loses money on these activities in the following years. (Josef Ackermann) Government controls over how businesses compensate management and employees should be limited to preventing discrimination, tax evasion, and other irregularities. Governments already participate extensively in private contracts between corporations and their employees, for example through such measures as setting minimum wages, hiring and firing regulations, and pension plan obligations. Pay scales, which closely reflect market movements, corporate strategy, and priorities, are not a market economy government’s responsibility. Another aspect of compensation, however, deserves much more attention, which is the artificial divide between senior management and the rest of the company with respect to company share ownership and long-term performance incentives.

 

pages: 339 words: 100,075

Pump Six and Other Stories by Paolo Bacigalupi

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Columbine, hiring and firing, price stability, profit maximization

She had enough pregnancy hang-ups without seeing the trogs breeding. I wouldn't have minded throwing Suze to the trogs, though. She was about as dumb as one. Christ, I was surrounded by dummies. I needed a new job. Someplace that attracted better talent than sewage work did. I wondered how serious Suze had been about trying to fire me. If there really was something in the manuals that we'd all missed about hiring and firing. And then I wondered how serious I was about quitting. I sure hated Suze. But how did you get a better job when you hadn't finished high school, let alone college? I stopped short. Sudden enlightenment: College. Columbia. They could help. They'd have some sharpie who could understand all the PressureDyne information. An engineering department, or something. They were even dependent on Pump Six.

 

pages: 350 words: 107,834

Halting State by Charles Stross

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augmented reality, call centre, forensic accounting, game design, Google Earth, hiring and firing, illegal immigration, impulse control, indoor plumbing, invention of the steam engine, Necker cube, Potemkin village, RFID, Schrödinger's Cat, Vernor Vinge, zero day

The spooks in Guoanbu probably are professional, they wouldn’t mess with the European SCADA infrastructure short of an outright shooting war…but are they likely to realize that they’ve almost certainly been pwn3d by their own pet griefer clan, and all their electronic armoured divisions are in the hands of a dozen Asperger’s cases with attention-deficit disorder and a quantum magic wand? It’s not a risk you can take. And it’s not a risk you can explain to Barry Michaels, because you know his type, and after seventy years of data processing, they still think that coders can be hired and fired; that the engineers who ripped out the muscles and nerves of the modern world and replaced it with something entirely alien under the skin are still little artisans who will put their tools down and go home if you tell them to leave the job half-done. You’re half-worried that Elaine will make a big deal of it, but instead she nods quickly, walks up behind your chair, and pecks you on top of the head.

 

pages: 366 words: 109,117

Higher: A Historic Race to the Sky and the Making of a City by Neal Bascomb

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buttonwood tree, California gold rush, hiring and firing, margin call, market bubble, Ralph Waldo Emerson, transcontinental railway, Works Progress Administration

Chrysler scoffed off the suggestion, but after stepping away from the scene with a colleague, he remarked, “Actually, I had two.” Over the past month Chrysler had wavered on whether to use the plans as Van Alen had drawn them. As the meeting continued, Chrysler must have sensed in Van Alen the kindred spirit of a maverick. Obviously he knew his craft and liked to push the envelope. Chrysler had hired and fired legions of people, many times on projects that cost millions and whose success depended on such decisions. Once asked how he picked his people, he responded, “I don’t know. You just do it.” In that way, Chrysler decided Van Alen was the architect for him. Yet although he hired Van Alen, Chrysler didn’t intend to use the skyscraper designs presented to him. Van Alen was to abandon the plans he’d drawn for Reynolds.

 

pages: 370 words: 112,602

Poor Economics: A Radical Rethinking of the Way to Fight Global Poverty by Abhijit Banerjee, Esther Duflo

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Albert Einstein, Andrei Shleifer, business process, business process outsourcing, call centre, Cass Sunstein, charter city, clean water, collapse of Lehman Brothers, congestion charging, demographic transition, diversified portfolio, experimental subject, hiring and firing, land tenure, low skilled workers, M-Pesa, microcredit, moral hazard, purchasing power parity, randomized controlled trial, Richard Thaler, school vouchers, Silicon Valley, The Fortune at the Bottom of the Pyramid, Thomas Malthus, urban planning

In the face of the state’s clear failure to deliver public services to the poor, as documented in various chapters of this book, the logic of handing anti-poverty policy back to the poor is superficially irresistible. The beneficiaries are directly hurt by bad services, and they should therefore care the most; moreover, they have better information, both on what they want and on what is happening on the ground. Giving them the power to control the service providers (teachers, doctors, engineers)—either the ability to hire and fire them or, at least, the power to complain about them—ensures that those who have the right incentives and the right information are the ones making the decisions. “If the stakes are high enough,” the World Bank wrote in its 2004 World Development Report, devoted to the delivery of social services, “communities tackle the problem.”26 Moreover, the very act of working together on a collective project may help communities rebuild their social ties after a major civil conflict.

 

pages: 471 words: 109,267

The Verdict: Did Labour Change Britain? by Polly Toynbee, David Walker

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banking crisis, Big bang: deregulation of the City of London, call centre, central bank independence, congestion charging, Corn Laws, Credit Default Swap, decarbonisation, deglobalization, deindustrialization, Etonian, failed state, first-past-the-post, Frank Gehry, gender pay gap, Gini coefficient, high net worth, hiring and firing, illegal immigration, income inequality, knowledge economy, labour market flexibility, market bubble, millennium bug, North Sea oil, Northern Rock, offshore financial centre, pension reform, Plutocrats, plutocrats, Ponzi scheme, profit maximization, purchasing power parity, shareholder value, Skype, smart meter, stem cell, The Spirit Level, too big to fail, University of East Anglia, working-age population, Y2K

Portuguese settlers were followed by an East European influx into Fenland. Between 2004 and 2009 the number of young East Europeans living in the UK grew fivefold. During the Labour years Boston income per head had risen, as everywhere else, but still remained £90 less per week (gross weekly earnings) than the UK average. High employment rates did not produce higher income. Because employment law was flexible – a coy way of saying in the UK it was easier to hire and fire staff – French, German, Spanish and other job-seekers came and often stayed. Brits of course also worked in Paris, Madrid and Frankfurt am Main but on the Paseo del Prado your waiter was not going to be a UK migrant. British plumbers did not fix the blocked drains of Wroclaw. The UK was far from unique; mass migration affected the Netherlands and Sweden and 13 per cent of Germany’s population was foreign-born.

 

pages: 364 words: 99,613

Servant Economy: Where America's Elite Is Sending the Middle Class by Jeff Faux

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back-to-the-land, Bernie Sanders, Black Swan, Bretton Woods, BRICs, British Empire, call centre, centre right, cognitive dissonance, collateralized debt obligation, collective bargaining, Credit Default Swap, credit default swaps / collateralized debt obligations, crony capitalism, currency manipulation / currency intervention, David Brooks, David Ricardo: comparative advantage, falling living standards, financial deregulation, financial innovation, full employment, hiring and firing, Howard Zinn, Hyman Minsky, illegal immigration, indoor plumbing, informal economy, invisible hand, John Maynard Keynes: Economic Possibilities for our Grandchildren, lake wobegon effect, Long Term Capital Management, market fundamentalism, Martin Wolf, McMansion, medical malpractice, mortgage debt, Naomi Klein, new economy, oil shock, Plutocrats, plutocrats, price mechanism, price stability, private military company, Ralph Nader, reserve currency, rising living standards, Robert Shiller, Robert Shiller, rolodex, Ronald Reagan, school vouchers, Silicon Valley, single-payer health, South China Sea, statistical model, Steve Jobs, Thomas L Friedman, Thorstein Veblen, too big to fail, trade route, Triangle Shirtwaist Factory, union organizing, upwardly mobile, urban renewal, War on Poverty, We are the 99%, working poor, Yogi Berra, Yom Kippur War

The notion that low-income parents who are struggling to survive economically have the time and capacity to adequately oversee the complicated task of educating children and managing a school was itself problematic. Predictably, it has been largely abandoned in favor of turning the schools over to “professional” school managers, some of whom are sponsored by foundation-supported nonprofits and some by private for-profit corporations. Not only can the managers of charter schools hire and fire teachers as they see fit, they can rent, buy, and sell buildings; lease contracts for management consulting, accounting and legal services, food concessions, and transportation; and pay their managers far more than public school principals are paid. Moreover, they can do it all with public money. In states where charter schools are required to be nonprofit, profit-making companies can still set them up and then organize a board of neighborhood residents who will give them the right to manage the school with little or no interference.

 

pages: 284 words: 85,643

What's the Matter with White People by Joan Walsh

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affirmative action, Affordable Care Act / Obamacare, banking crisis, clean water, collective bargaining, David Brooks, desegregation, Donald Trump, Edward Glaeser, full employment, global village, Golden Gate Park, hiring and firing, impulse control, income inequality, invisible hand, knowledge worker, labor-force participation, new economy, obamacare, Occupy movement, Plutocrats, plutocrats, Ralph Nader, Ronald Reagan, upwardly mobile, urban decay, War on Poverty, We are the 99%, white flight, women in the workforce

Nine of 10 new governors were Republican. Newsweek declared that on Election Day 1966 “the thousand-day reign of Lyndon I came to an end.” In New York, we watched all of those issues explode the next year in the devastating Ocean Hill/Brownsville conflict, when black parents in that poverty-stricken, heavily black Brooklyn neighborhood demanded community control over their low-achieving schools, including the right to hire and fire teachers. The Jewish-dominated United Federation of Teachers (UFT) fought them, while Lindsay backed the parents, and the battle raged under a national spotlight, through multiple teachers’ strikes, for nearly two years. The teachers believed they were fighting for old liberal values: hiring teachers by seniority and testing, not cronyism, and standing up for the free expression of ideas. Michael Harrington later lamented that the conflict prefigured “the split in the liberal-labor-black movement, which was the precondition of Republican presidential power for the next two decades,” according to his biographer Maurice Isserman.

 

pages: 313 words: 101,403

My Life as a Quant: Reflections on Physics and Finance by Emanuel Derman

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Berlin Wall, bioinformatics, Black-Scholes formula, Brownian motion, capital asset pricing model, Claude Shannon: information theory, Emanuel Derman, fixed income, Gödel, Escher, Bach, haute couture, hiring and firing, implied volatility, interest rate derivative, Jeff Bezos, John von Neumann, law of one price, linked data, Long Term Capital Management, moral hazard, Murray Gell-Mann, pre–internet, publish or perish, quantitative trading / quantitative finance, Richard Feynman, Sharpe ratio, statistical arbitrage, statistical model, Stephen Hawking, Steve Jobs, stochastic volatility, technology bubble, transaction costs, value at risk, volatility smile, Y2K, yield curve, zero-coupon bond

The restaurant was shut down in 1994, too, and it was high time; it harkened back to an age when being a vice president was something rare and significant. Ten years later during the dot-com boom of 2000, when casual clothing ruled, free snacks made a temporary come back and every day each floor received Snapples, bottled water, and very fancy, presliced, Harry-and-David-style fruit. This, too, disappeared when the technology IPO market collapsed.You could see Will Street's behavior-its manic depressive, feast-or-famine style of hiring and firing, expanding and contracting, large raises followed by large cuts-all mirrored in the waxing and waning of the food supply. My boss was Dexter Earle, a partner at Goldman and a salesperson. This was the time in my life when I began quite unselfconsciously to refer to the person I worked for as "my boss" My wife didn't like to hear me use the phrase; she was still in academic life and thought it a dysphemism, but I had learned over the years to regard it as merely realistic.

 

pages: 328 words: 92,317

Machinery of Freedom: A Guide to Radical Capitalism by David Friedman

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back-to-the-land, Fractional reserve banking, hiring and firing, jitney, laissez-faire capitalism, Machinery of Freedom by David Friedman, means of production, rent control, road to serfdom, Ronald Coase, Ronald Reagan, Stewart Brand, The Wealth of Nations by Adam Smith, transaction costs, urban renewal, Vernor Vinge, Whole Earth Catalog

There might be companies providing privately run dormitories for those students who wished to live in them. The essential characteristic of this scheme is that, like any market system, it produces what the consumer wants. To the extent that the students, even with the assistance of professional counselors and written evaluations of courses, are less competent to judge what they are getting than are the people who now hire and fire teachers, that may be a disadvantage. But it does guarantee that it is the students' interest, not the interest of the university as judged by the university, that determines what teachers are employed. Under the sort of market system I have described, a majority of students, even a large majority, can have only a positive, not a negative, effect on what is taught. They can guarantee that something will be taught but not that something will not be.

 

pages: 349 words: 114,038

Culture & Empire: Digital Revolution by Pieter Hintjens

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

Why and how do the bakers win? They need a few key things. Principally, they need freedom, and they need access to markets. When the bandits want to stop the bakers from taking power, their first tool is to block trade. Freedom can mean many things. My definition in “Freedom in Chains” is, "the ability to do interesting things with other people." And if you're a baker, that means to buy and sell, hire and fire, without undue taxes, tolls, delays, or theft. Extraction Economies When a country doesn't develop a commercial middle class, industrial technologies, a strong military, and strong institutions, it is particularly vulnerable to a certain form of theft that I call "extraction." This is when a bunch of foreigners land on your shores, buy up some local chiefs, chop down your forests, rip the minerals out of your soil, enslave a few generations, and eventually go home, leaving their half-caste bastards in charge.

 

pages: 223 words: 10,010

The Cost of Inequality: Why Economic Equality Is Essential for Recovery by Stewart Lansley

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banking crisis, Basel III, Big bang: deregulation of the City of London, Bonfire of the Vanities, borderless world, Branko Milanovic, Bretton Woods, British Empire, business process, call centre, capital controls, collective bargaining, corporate governance, correlation does not imply causation, credit crunch, Credit Default Swap, crony capitalism, David Ricardo: comparative advantage, deindustrialization, Edward Glaeser, falling living standards, financial deregulation, financial innovation, Financial Instability Hypothesis, floating exchange rates, full employment, Goldman Sachs: Vampire Squid, high net worth, hiring and firing, Hyman Minsky, income inequality, James Dyson, Jeff Bezos, job automation, Joseph Schumpeter, Kenneth Rogoff, knowledge economy, laissez-faire capitalism, Long Term Capital Management, low skilled workers, manufacturing employment, market bubble, Martin Wolf, mittelstand, mobile money, Mont Pelerin Society, new economy, Nick Leeson, North Sea oil, Northern Rock, offshore financial centre, oil shock, Plutocrats, plutocrats, Plutonomy: Buying Luxury, Explaining Global Imbalances, rising living standards, Robert Shiller, Robert Shiller, Ronald Reagan, savings glut, shareholder value, The Great Moderation, The Spirit Level, The Wealth of Nations by Adam Smith, Thomas Malthus, too big to fail, Tyler Cowen: Great Stagnation, Washington Consensus, Winter of Discontent, working-age population

‘It was clear that the quickest way to add 5 points to your stock price was to lay off 50,000 workers.’177 There is little doubt that the sustained bull run of the 1990s—the Dow Jones index of leading American shares rose from 3000 in April 1991 to 9000 in May 1999—was in part the product of a decade of lay-offs. Under the mantra of shareholder value, labour, instead of being seen as an invaluable asset, became a mere cost of production, an essentially expendable commodity, to be hired and fired according the needs of the companies and the whims of their executives. Business had no intrinsic social dimension. The key to success lay in keeping wages low and workforces small. The weakening of the unions had paved the way for a revolution in workforce size and pay. The policy continued after the millennium and during the 2008-2009 recession. One study, by the Washington-based Institute for Policy Studies, found that during the downturn ‘slash and burn’ executives were by far the best rewarded.

 

pages: 292 words: 85,151

Exponential Organizations: Why New Organizations Are Ten Times Better, Faster, and Cheaper Than Yours (And What to Do About It) by Salim Ismail, Yuri van Geest

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23andMe, 3D printing, Airbnb, Amazon Mechanical Turk, Amazon Web Services, augmented reality, autonomous vehicles, Baxter: Rethink Robotics, bioinformatics, bitcoin, Black Swan, blockchain, Burning Man, business intelligence, business process, call centre, chief data officer, Clayton Christensen, clean water, cloud computing, cognitive bias, collaborative consumption, collaborative economy, corporate social responsibility, cross-subsidies, crowdsourcing, cryptocurrency, dark matter, Dean Kamen, dematerialisation, discounted cash flows, distributed ledger, Edward Snowden, Elon Musk, en.wikipedia.org, ethereum blockchain, Galaxy Zoo, game design, Google Glasses, Google Hangouts, Google X / Alphabet X, gravity well, hiring and firing, Hyperloop, industrial robot, Innovator's Dilemma, Internet of things, Iridium satellite, Isaac Newton, Jeff Bezos, Kevin Kelly, Kickstarter, knowledge worker, Kodak vs Instagram, Law of Accelerating Returns, Lean Startup, life extension, loose coupling, loss aversion, Lyft, Mark Zuckerberg, market design, means of production, minimum viable product, natural language processing, Netflix Prize, Network effects, new economy, Oculus Rift, offshore financial centre, p-value, PageRank, pattern recognition, Paul Graham, Peter H. Diamandis: Planetary Resources, Peter Thiel, prediction markets, profit motive, publish or perish, Ray Kurzweil, recommendation engine, RFID, ride hailing / ride sharing, risk tolerance, Ronald Coase, Second Machine Age, self-driving car, sharing economy, Silicon Valley, skunkworks, Skype, smart contracts, Snapchat, social software, software is eating the world, speech recognition, stealth mode startup, Stephen Hawking, Steve Jobs, subscription business, supply-chain management, TaskRabbit, telepresence, telepresence robot, Tony Hsieh, transaction costs, Tyler Cowen: Great Stagnation, urban planning, WikiLeaks, winner-take-all economy, X Prize, Y Combinator

First computing, then tools and manufacturing. Today, that same rent-not-own philosophy even encompasses employees. Individual “temps” are nothing new, of course, but the concept now includes groups of temporary workers. Organizations can rent staff on demand from Gigwalk and other companies when a large amount of work needs to be done quickly, relieving them of the traditional, nightmarish practice of serial hiring and firing. In this instance, there is no distinction between “rented” staff and the ExO attribute, Staff on Demand. Be it facilities, equipment, computing or people, the concept of renting rather than owning is a major factor contributing to an ExO’s agility and flexibility, and thus its success. This too can be seen as the culmination of a long-term trend. Over the decades business owners have steadily moved from viewing business through the lens of a balance sheet to instead focusing on P&L—that is, emphasizing the primacy of profits over ownership.

 

pages: 362 words: 99,063

The Education of Millionaires: It's Not What You Think and It's Not Too Late by Michael Ellsberg

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affirmative action, Black Swan, Burning Man, corporate governance, financial independence, follow your passion, future of work, hiring and firing, job automation, knowledge worker, Lean Startup, Mark Zuckerberg, means of production, meta analysis, meta-analysis, new economy, Peter Thiel, profit motive, race to the bottom, Sand Hill Road, shareholder value, side project, Silicon Valley, Skype, Steve Ballmer, telemarketer, Tony Hsieh

People with the entrepreneurial mind-set take responsibility for making sure that every experience they have, no matter how challenging, is an opportunity for expanding their learning and their capacity for leadership. They don’t shield themselves from responsibility; they take responsibility for seeking out roles of greater responsibility. Brian kept making mistakes in his business and learning from them, kept growing as a businessperson and a leader, growing step-by-step. “I was dealing with the responsibility of having a business to run and customers to serve. I was learning how to hire and fire people when I made mistakes and brought the wrong people on board. I was learning the logistics of managing a business, of making phone calls, doing jobs, and learning about customer service. I was learning how to market the business and take responsibility for my own actions, saying, ‘Okay, I’ve got a business to grow here and there are no phone calls coming in. What am I going to do?’” With all this learning and growth, Brian had four trucks under operation within a year, then five the next year.

 

pages: 313 words: 95,077

Here Comes Everybody: The Power of Organizing Without Organizations by Clay Shirky

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Andrew Keen, Berlin Wall, bioinformatics, Brewster Kahle, c2.com, crowdsourcing, en.wikipedia.org, hiring and firing, hive mind, Howard Rheingold, Internet Archive, invention of agriculture, invention of movable type, invention of the printing press, invention of the telegraph, jimmy wales, Kuiper Belt, lump of labour, Mahatma Gandhi, means of production, Merlin Mann, Nash equilibrium, Network effects, Nicholas Carr, Picturephone, place-making, Pluto: dwarf planet, prediction markets, price mechanism, prisoner's dilemma, profit motive, Richard Stallman, Ronald Coase, Silicon Valley, slashdot, social software, Stewart Brand, supply-chain management, The Nature of the Firm, The Wealth of Nations by Adam Smith, The Wisdom of Crowds, transaction costs, ultimatum game, Yogi Berra

The best you could do is have one of you could open a bank account, and add the others as cosigners, and if the original member disappears, the account disappears with her. Now imagine you and those five friends go off and form a company, and then return to that bank saying, “We’ve incorporated. Please give us a bank account.” The bank would say, “Sign here.” An incorporated group can do a number of things an unincorporated group can’t, like drafting contracts and bylaws that have legal standing, raising and spending money, hiring and firing employees, and so on. These things are possible in part because incorporation creates both social density and continuity. The act of incorporation, literally “embodiment,” is the way the government recognizes the work of groups, analogous to copyright being the way it recognizes creators. So why don’t more groups using social media for long-term goals incorporate? At least part of the answer seems to be that the current corporate structures require things like paper filings, physical headquarters, in-person board meetings, hierarchical management structures, and so on.

 

pages: 320 words: 96,006

The End of Men: And the Rise of Women by Hanna Rosin

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affirmative action, call centre, cognitive dissonance, David Brooks, delayed gratification, edge city, facts on the ground, financial independence, hiring and firing, housing crisis, income inequality, informal economy, job satisfaction, low skilled workers, manufacturing employment, meta analysis, meta-analysis, new economy, New Urbanism, Northern Rock, postindustrial economy, purchasing power parity, Results Only Work Environment, Silicon Valley, Steven Pinker, union organizing, upwardly mobile, women in the workforce, young professional

Barely two generations later, the housewife is a rare breed on American television, unless you count the Real Housewives of anywhere, who would not be caught dead in a flowered apron that wasn’t part of a kinky maid’s costume. During the intervening years, the real-life Lucys and Rickys sat down at the American kitchen table and Lucy laid down the new rules. At this point Lucy was working, perhaps as a headhunter or a publicist or a Hollywood agent. Ricky meanwhile was still nurturing his “creative pursuits.” Lucy was bringing home at least as much money as Ricky, and some years more. Lucy was a woman reborn, hiring and firing, getting promotions, then coming home to put little Ricky to bed. Big Ricky was helping out, too, picking up from day care every once in a while or making a playground run on a Saturday morning so Lucy could go to a spin class. And by now he’d learned to roast a chicken. Wasn’t that something? But Lucy, newly attuned to the cadences of her own satisfaction, wanted still more. By now, going “back to the way we were” was no longer an option.

 

pages: 561 words: 87,892

Losing Control: The Emerging Threats to Western Prosperity by Stephen D. King

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Admiral Zheng, asset-backed security, barriers to entry, Berlin Wall, Bernie Madoff, Bretton Woods, BRICs, British Empire, capital controls, Celtic Tiger, central bank independence, collateralized debt obligation, corporate governance, credit crunch, crony capitalism, currency manipulation / currency intervention, currency peg, David Ricardo: comparative advantage, demographic dividend, demographic transition, Deng Xiaoping, Diane Coyle, Fall of the Berlin Wall, financial deregulation, financial innovation, Francis Fukuyama: the end of history, full employment, George Akerlof, German hyperinflation, Gini coefficient, hiring and firing, income inequality, income per capita, inflation targeting, invisible hand, Isaac Newton, knowledge economy, labour market flexibility, labour mobility, low skilled workers, market clearing, Martin Wolf, Mexican peso crisis / tequila crisis, Naomi Klein, new economy, Ponzi scheme, price mechanism, price stability, purchasing power parity, rent-seeking, reserve currency, rising living standards, Ronald Reagan, savings glut, Silicon Valley, Simon Kuznets, sovereign wealth fund, spice trade, statistical model, technology bubble, The Great Moderation, The Market for Lemons, The Wealth of Nations by Adam Smith, Thomas Malthus, trade route, transaction costs, Washington Consensus, women in the workforce, working-age population, Y2K, Yom Kippur War

This is a true issue of economic scarcity. At the individual country level, markets can adjust. A shortage of workers will push up real wages. Potential retirees may, as a result, choose to delay their retirement. Other workers may choose to work longer hours. Perhaps policymakers will deliver more flexible labour markets by encouraging more part-time work, increasing the provision of crèches and by adopting a more explicit ‘hire and fire’ mentality (the risk to a company of hiring a worker is reduced if workers can more easily be fired, thereby increasing the demand for workers and, hence, lowering the structural rate of unemployment). Workers in company pension schemes may find themselves having to take on board greater pension risk as defined-benefit pension schemes are shut down. In theory, capital-market reforms might boost investment returns and, hence, lift productivity.

 

pages: 209 words: 89,619

The Precariat: The New Dangerous Class by Guy Standing

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8-hour work day, banking crisis, barriers to entry, Bertrand Russell: In Praise of Idleness, call centre, Cass Sunstein, centre right, collective bargaining, corporate governance, crony capitalism, deindustrialization, deskilling, fear of failure, full employment, hiring and firing, Honoré de Balzac, housing crisis, illegal immigration, immigration reform, income inequality, labour market flexibility, labour mobility, land reform, libertarian paternalism, low skilled workers, lump of labour, marginal employment, Mark Zuckerberg, means of production, mini-job, moral hazard, Naomi Klein, nudge unit, pensions crisis, placebo effect, post-industrial society, precariat, presumed consent, quantitative easing, remote working, rent-seeking, Richard Thaler, rising living standards, Ronald Coase, Ronald Reagan, science of happiness, shareholder value, Silicon Valley, The Market for Lemons, The Nature of the Firm, The Spirit Level, Tobin tax, transaction costs, universal basic income, unpaid internship, winner-take-all economy, working poor, working-age population, young professional

For our purposes, the precariat consists of people who lack the seven forms of labour-related security, summarised in the Box, that social democrats, labour Forms of labour security under industrial citizenship Labour market security – Adequate income-earning opportunities; at the macro-level, this is epitomised by a government commitment to ‘full employment’. Employment security – Protection against arbitrary dismissal, regulations on hiring and firing, imposition of costs on employers for failing to adhere to rules and so on. Job security – Ability and opportunity to retain a niche in employment, plus barriers to skill dilution, and opportunities for ‘upward’ mobility in terms of status and income. Work security – Protection against accidents and illness at work, through, for example, safety and health regulations, limits on working time, unsociable hours, night work for women, as well as compensation for mishaps.

 

pages: 376 words: 109,092

Paper Promises by Philip Coggan

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accounting loophole / creative accounting, balance sheet recession, bank run, banking crisis, barriers to entry, Berlin Wall, Bernie Madoff, Black Swan, Bretton Woods, British Empire, call centre, capital controls, Carmen Reinhart, carried interest, Celtic Tiger, central bank independence, collapse of Lehman Brothers, collateralized debt obligation, credit crunch, Credit Default Swap, credit default swaps / collateralized debt obligations, currency manipulation / currency intervention, currency peg, debt deflation, delayed gratification, diversified portfolio, eurozone crisis, Fall of the Berlin Wall, falling living standards, fear of failure, financial innovation, financial repression, fixed income, floating exchange rates, full employment, German hyperinflation, global reserve currency, hiring and firing, Hyman Minsky, income inequality, inflation targeting, Isaac Newton, joint-stock company, Kenneth Rogoff, labour market flexibility, Long Term Capital Management, manufacturing employment, market bubble, market clearing, Martin Wolf, money: store of value / unit of account / medium of exchange, moral hazard, mortgage debt, Nick Leeson, Northern Rock, oil shale / tar sands, paradox of thrift, peak oil, pension reform, Plutocrats, plutocrats, Ponzi scheme, price stability, principal–agent problem, purchasing power parity, quantitative easing, QWERTY keyboard, railway mania, regulatory arbitrage, reserve currency, Robert Gordon, Robert Shiller, Robert Shiller, Ronald Reagan, savings glut, short selling, South Sea Bubble, sovereign wealth fund, special drawing rights, The Chicago School, The Great Moderation, The Wealth of Nations by Adam Smith, time value of money, too big to fail, trade route, tulip mania, value at risk, Washington Consensus, women in the workforce

‘Inflation is always and everywhere a monetary phenomenon,’ he said.1 Just as the New World discoveries of silver had pushed up prices in the sixteenth century, the printing of paper money did so in the twentieth. Fiscal policy would have no effect on unemployment, according to the monetarists. The answer, instead, was to improve the workings of the economy by making it easier for employers to hire and fire labour. These so-called ‘supply side’ reforms would improve productivity. By the early 1980s, with Margaret Thatcher in power in Britain and Ronald Reagan in America, Friedman’s influence was at its peak. The government role in the economy was to control inflation and to ensure the rule of law and property rights. Otherwise, markets should be given free rein to allocate resources, which they would inevitably do in a more efficient way than bureaucrats.

 

pages: 290 words: 98,699

Wealth Without a Job: The Entrepreneur's Guide to Freedom and Security Beyond the 9 to 5 Lifestyle by Phil Laut, Andy Fuehl

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British Empire, business process, declining real wages, fear of failure, hiring and firing, index card, job satisfaction, Menlo Park, Silicon Valley, women in the workforce

By the 1980s the computer manufacturer had laid off more than 30,000 of its workers. These are both examples of misperceptions of risk. Owning your own business transforms you into a capitalist. If you have always had a job in the past, then your participation in the capitalist system has been as a provider of labor. As a business owner, you negotiate for yourself on a frequent basis; you decide which people to hire and fire; and you invest your capital, your time, and your energy. Most important, you must sell to your customers the products and services you provide. In today’s world of downsizing, temporary jobs, and part-time employment, even people who stay in the job market are pretty close to entrepreneurship anyway. Use Technology to Speed Up and to Multiply Your Work If you are still a technophobe, get over it.

 

The Power Surge: Energy, Opportunity, and the Battle for America's Future by Michael Levi

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American energy revolution, Berlin Wall, British Empire, Carmen Reinhart, crony capitalism, deglobalization, energy security, Exxon Valdez, full employment, global supply chain, hiring and firing, hydraulic fracturing, Kenneth Rogoff, manufacturing employment, oil shale / tar sands, oil shock, peak oil, RAND corporation, Ronald Reagan, Silicon Valley, South China Sea

The latest boom in U.S. oil production emerged within a depressed economy. It’s plausible that many of the people newly employed in the oil sector would otherwise have been unemployed. But a healthier economy doesn’t work that way. Jobs gained from strength in one sector are usually offset by jobs lost in others.44 Economists have long agreed that the unemployment rate is determined by more fundamental factors such as how easy it is to hire and fire people, how well the education system works, and whether workers can easily move to jobs in new places. Booming oil production won’t change any of that. It can, however, make Americans richer. Think about a barrel of oil as if it’s a hundred dollars that’s buried deep underground. Now imagine you suddenly discover a massive deposit of a billion barrels that can be dug up at a cost of sixty dollars each.

 

pages: 285 words: 86,174

Twilight of the Elites: America After Meritocracy by Chris Hayes

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affirmative action, Affordable Care Act / Obamacare, asset-backed security, barriers to entry, Berlin Wall, Bernie Madoff, carried interest, Climategate, Climatic Research Unit, collapse of Lehman Brothers, collective bargaining, Credit Default Swap, dark matter, David Brooks, David Graeber, deindustrialization, Fall of the Berlin Wall, financial deregulation, fixed income, full employment, George Akerlof, hiring and firing, income inequality, Jane Jacobs, jimmy wales, Julian Assange, Mark Zuckerberg, mass affluent, means of production, meta analysis, meta-analysis, moral hazard, Naomi Klein, Nate Silver, peak oil, Plutocrats, plutocrats, Ponzi scheme, Ralph Waldo Emerson, rolodex, The Spirit Level, too big to fail, University of East Anglia, We are the 99%, WikiLeaks, women in the workforce

It is, in other words, the story of Enron, the story of the housing bubble and the crash, the story of much of the decade as a whole. To understand the steroids era, you first need to understand Marvin Miller, the man who turned the Major League Baseball Players Association into one of the country’s most effective unions. For the majority of baseball’s history, the players union was a toothless beast. Owners more or less owned players outright; they were able to trade, hire, and fire at will. There was no free agency, and though the league was quite profitable (the only legal monopoly in the country), most players merely scraped by, working odd jobs in the off-season to make ends meet. It was a classic system of exploitation, one the owners were single-mindedly committed to maintaining. Enter Miller. “The beginning was absolutely the worst because to the hard-line owners of that day unionism was treason, there’s no other way to describe it,” Miller, now in his nineties and combative as ever, recounts.

 

Industry 4.0: The Industrial Internet of Things by Alasdair Gilchrist

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3D printing, additive manufacturing, Amazon Web Services, augmented reality, autonomous vehicles, barriers to entry, business intelligence, business process, chief data officer, cloud computing, connected car, cyber-physical system, deindustrialization, fault tolerance, global value chain, Google Glasses, hiring and firing, industrial robot, inflight wifi, Infrastructure as a Service, Internet of things, inventory management, job automation, low skilled workers, millennium bug, pattern recognition, platform as a service, pre–internet, race to the bottom, RFID, Skype, smart cities, smart grid, smart meter, smart transportation, software as a service, stealth mode startup, supply-chain management, trade route, web application, WebRTC, WebSocket, Y2K

The other value chain component that must not be overlooked is the support function, and it comprises these reputational features: • Company infrastructure—This relates to how stable the company is and how reputable are its products, the quality of goods, and their serviceability. • Human resources—HR relates to how the company manages their workforce. Reputation is built on many factors such as how a company treats their employees. This is a major factor that should never be overlooked. For example, if the company gets a reputation for hiring and firing, the word will soon get around. • Technology development—This factor relates to the innovation and quality of the technology and engineering teams and their subsequent reputation for producing good, fit for purposeful products. • Procurement—This is the ability to source and access at reasonable costs a reliable source of raw material or component parts, and this requires good vendor reputations within the business.

 

words: 49,604

The Weightless World: Strategies for Managing the Digital Economy by Diane Coyle

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barriers to entry, Berlin Wall, Big bang: deregulation of the City of London, blue-collar work, Bretton Woods, clean water, computer age, Corn Laws, cross-subsidies, David Ricardo: comparative advantage, dematerialisation, Diane Coyle, Edward Glaeser, everywhere but in the productivity statistics, financial deregulation, full employment, global village, hiring and firing, Howard Rheingold, income inequality, informal economy, invisible hand, Jane Jacobs, Joseph Schumpeter, knowledge economy, labour market flexibility, laissez-faire capitalism, lump of labour, Marshall McLuhan, McJob, microcredit, Network effects, new economy, Nick Leeson, night-watchman state, North Sea oil, offshore financial centre, pension reform, pensions crisis, Ronald Reagan, Silicon Valley, spinning jenny, The Death and Life of Great American Cities, the market place, The Wealth of Nations by Adam Smith, Thorstein Veblen, Tobin tax, two tier labour market, very high income, War on Poverty, winner-take-all economy, working-age population

As the MIT economist Paul Krugman sees it, anecdotes and headlines cannot do justice to the full picture — much as reports of plane crashes make us over-estimate the risks of air travel. He writes: ‘The destruction of good jobs by American corporations is just not an important part of what is happening to the American worker ... The people who are doing really badly are those who do not have good jobs and never did’.4 Creative destruction? Turning to fact rather than anecdote, large-scale hiring and firing is simply what happens in Western capitalism (at least outside Japan, although increasingly there too). But we are clearly a lot more worried about it now. One detailed study of job turnover patterns in American manufacturing5 finds that recessions are marked by a sharp increase in average job destruction rates and little change in job creation rates, meaning that job turnover rises during recessions too.

 

pages: 1,152 words: 266,246

Why the West Rules--For Now: The Patterns of History, and What They Reveal About the Future by Ian Morris

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Admiral Zheng, agricultural Revolution, Albert Einstein, anti-communist, Arthur Eddington, Atahualpa, Berlin Wall, British Empire, Columbian Exchange, conceptual framework, cuban missile crisis, defense in depth, demographic transition, Deng Xiaoping, discovery of the americas, Doomsday Clock, en.wikipedia.org, falling living standards, Flynn Effect, Francisco Pizarro, global village, hiring and firing, indoor plumbing, invention of agriculture, Isaac Newton, James Watt: steam engine, knowledge economy, market bubble, Menlo Park, Mikhail Gorbachev, mutually assured destruction, New Journalism, out of africa, Peter Thiel, phenotype, pink-collar, place-making, purchasing power parity, RAND corporation, Ray Kurzweil, Ronald Reagan, Scientific racism, Silicon Valley, Sinatra Doctrine, South China Sea, special economic zone, Steve Jobs, Steve Wozniak, Steven Pinker, strong AI, The Wealth of Nations by Adam Smith, Thomas Kuhn: the structure of scientific revolutions, Thomas L Friedman, Thomas Malthus, trade route, upwardly mobile, wage slave, washing machines reduced drudgery

Anthropology departments on America’s most famous campuses degenerated into something resembling bad marriages, until, broken down by years of mutual recriminations, the couples started leading separate lives. “We no longer [even] call each other names,” one prominent anthropologist lamented in 1984. In the extreme case—at Stanford, my own university—the anthropologists divorced in 1998, formally splitting into the Department of Anthropological Sciences, which liked evolution, and the Department of Cultural and Social Anthropology, which did not. Each did its own hiring and firing and admitted and trained its own students; members of one group had no need to acknowledge members of the other. They even gave rise to a new verb, to “stanfordize” a department. The woes—or joys, depending on who was talking—of stanfordization kept anthropologists entertained in bars at professional conferences for several years, but stanfordizing is not much of a solution to one of the biggest intellectual problems in the social sciences.* If we are going to explain why the West rules we need to confront the arguments on both sides of this issue.

KINGSHIP ON THE CHEAP In a nutshell, the Eastern and Western cores avoided collapse in the first millennium BCE by restructuring themselves, inventing new institutions that kept them one step ahead of the disruptions that their continuing expansion itself generated. There are basically two ways to run a state, what we might call high-end and low-end strategies. The high end, as its name suggests, is expensive. It involves leaders who centralize power, hiring and firing underlings who serve them in return for salaries in a bureaucracy or army. Paying salaries requires a big income, but the bureaucrats’ main job is to generate that income through taxes, and the army’s job is to enforce its collection. The goal is a balance: a lot of revenue goes out but even more comes in, and the rulers and their employees live off the difference. The low-end model is cheap.

 

pages: 430 words: 140,405

A Colossal Failure of Common Sense: The Inside Story of the Collapse of Lehman Brothers by Lawrence G. Mcdonald, Patrick Robinson

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asset-backed security, bank run, collateralized debt obligation, credit crunch, Credit Default Swap, credit default swaps / collateralized debt obligations, cuban missile crisis, diversification, fixed income, high net worth, hiring and firing, if you build it, they will come, London Interbank Offered Rate, Long Term Capital Management, margin call, moral hazard, mortgage debt, naked short selling, new economy, Ronald Reagan, short selling, sovereign wealth fund, value at risk

And throughout the time you hold that bond, receiving, say, a 5 percent rate of interest on that $1 million investment ($50,000 a year, free of state tax if it’s a government bond), you have powers denied to the regular stockholder. In the great scheme of things, bondholders matter, with many carefully written covenants to protect them. Stockholders are cannon fodder. If the shares go up, they win. If the shares go down, no one cares. But bonds … ah, those golden-edged bonds. They are just the ticket, because the large corporation that took your money is duty bound to give it back. Bondholders can have people hired and fired. If a few of them get together, they can throw out the board, unload the top executives. They can demand that the assets of the corporation be sold, and they rate real high on the pecking order for repayment if a corporation goes bankrupt. And it’s important to understand that a large corporation going bankrupt is not the same as a person throwing up his hands in the face of a couple of low-flying creditors and declaring personal bankruptcy.

 

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

We are constantly evaluating requests to see if they make sense for Casas Bahia and are feasible. Casas Bahia works very hard to foster an environment of trust where people feel safe to share their ideas. —Frederico Wanderley, CIO Human Resources Management Casas Bahia has approximately 20,000 employees. The company employs an additional 2,500 contract installers. Until 1996, all human resources (HR)related decisions, including training, hiring, and firing, were made at the corporate level. After rapid expansion began in 1996, all HR-related functions, except for specialized training and the administrative aspect of the function, moved to the local stores. All policy decisions are still centralized at headquarters. Most employees spend their entire career at Casas Bahia and believe they have good jobs. Average employee turnover is only 1 percent.

 

pages: 872 words: 135,196

The Market for Force: The Consequences of Privatizing Security by Deborah D. Avant

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barriers to entry, corporate social responsibility, failed state, hiring and firing, interchangeable parts, Mikhail Gorbachev, Peace of Westphalia, private military company, profit motive, RAND corporation, rent-seeking, rolodex, the market place, The Nature of the Firm, trade route, transaction costs

Indeed, the authority of the transnational community over personnel was unclear.130 While one might imagine that the infusion of additional resources would enhance the capacity of forces, there was little improvement. This was primarily due to the unclear legal status of the conservation organizations in Garamba and the effect this had on the chain of command.131 Officially, the government in Kinshasa hired and fired the Park personnel, but they were supervised and paid by the expatriate staff from WWF. What the expatriate staff was authorized to do in this supervisory role was unclear, though. This lack of clarity extended to the qualifications for being a guard, including even basic operating objectives and performance standards.132 Without standards, a good portion of the guard force was unqualified to carry out many tasks – for instance, guards were unable to field strip or clean their weapons.

 

pages: 586 words: 159,901

Wall Street: How It Works And for Whom by Doug Henwood

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accounting loophole / creative accounting, affirmative action, Andrei Shleifer, asset allocation, asset-backed security, bank run, banking crisis, barriers to entry, borderless world, Bretton Woods, British Empire, capital asset pricing model, capital controls, central bank independence, corporate governance, correlation coefficient, correlation does not imply causation, credit crunch, currency manipulation / currency intervention, David Ricardo: comparative advantage, debt deflation, declining real wages, deindustrialization, dematerialisation, diversification, diversified portfolio, Donald Trump, equity premium, Eugene Fama: efficient market hypothesis, experimental subject, facts on the ground, financial deregulation, financial innovation, Financial Instability Hypothesis, floating exchange rates, full employment, George Akerlof, George Gilder, hiring and firing, Hyman Minsky, implied volatility, index arbitrage, index fund, interest rate swap, Internet Archive, invisible hand, Isaac Newton, joint-stock company, Joseph Schumpeter, kremlinology, labor-force participation, late capitalism, law of one price, liquidationism / Banker’s doctrine / the Treasury view, London Interbank Offered Rate, Louis Bachelier, market bubble, Mexican peso crisis / tequila crisis, microcredit, minimum wage unemployment, moral hazard, mortgage debt, mortgage tax deduction, oil shock, payday loans, pension reform, Plutocrats, plutocrats, price mechanism, price stability, prisoner's dilemma, profit maximization, Ralph Nader, random walk, reserve currency, Richard Thaler, risk tolerance, Robert Gordon, Robert Shiller, Robert Shiller, shareholder value, short selling, Slavoj Žižek, South Sea Bubble, The Market for Lemons, The Nature of the Firm, The Predators' Ball, The Wealth of Nations by Adam Smith, transaction costs, transcontinental railway, women in the workforce, yield curve, zero-coupon bond

Jensen changed his mind in the 1980s, becoming the scourge of the public corporation and the typical CEO. A paper written just seven years later with Richard Ruback Qensen and Ruback 1983) celebrated the virtues of the market for corporate control as a market in which "alternative managerial teams compete for the rights to manage corporate resources." This marked a shift, said Jensen and Ruback, from the classic view in which stockholders hired and fired management: [Tjhe managerial competition model instead views competing management teams as the primary activist entities, with stockholders (including institutions) playing a relatively passive...judicial role.... [Sltockholders in this system have relatively little use for detailed knowledge about the firm or the plans of competing management teams beyond that normally used for the market's price setting function.

 

pages: 440 words: 117,978

Cuckoo's Egg by Clifford Stoll

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affirmative action, call centre, Golden Gate Park, hiring and firing, Menlo Park, Paul Graham, Richard Stallman, Silicon Valley

Unless he owned a Cray supercomputer, he couldn’t invert the trapdoor function, and our passwords remained safe. Wayne was still worried. “Maybe this guy’s stumbled on some brilliant way to reverse the trapdoor function. Let’s be a tad careful and change our important passwords.” I could hardly object. The system password hadn’t been changed for a couple years, and outlasted people who had been hired and fired. I didn’t mind changing my password; to make sure, I used a different password on each computer. If the hacker managed to figure out my password from the Unix-4 computer, he’d still have no way to guess it on the others. Before pedaling home, I again studied the printout of the previous day’s session. Buried in the ten pages were clues to the hacker’s persona, location, and intentions. But too much conflicted: we traced him through Tymnet into Oakland, California.

 

pages: 363 words: 28,546

Portfolio Design: A Modern Approach to Asset Allocation by R. Marston

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asset allocation, Bretton Woods, capital asset pricing model, capital controls, carried interest, commodity trading advisor, correlation coefficient, diversification, diversified portfolio, equity premium, Eugene Fama: efficient market hypothesis, family office, financial innovation, fixed income, German hyperinflation, high net worth, hiring and firing, housing crisis, income per capita, index fund, inventory management, Long Term Capital Management, mortgage debt, passive investing, purchasing power parity, risk-adjusted returns, Robert Shiller, Robert Shiller, Ronald Reagan, Sharpe ratio, Silicon Valley, superstar cities, transaction costs, Vanguard fund

P1: a/b c14 P2: c/d QC: e/f JWBT412-Marston T1: g December 8, 2010 18:59 302 Printer: Courier Westford P1: a/b c15 P2: c/d QC: e/f JWBT412-Marston T1: g December 20, 2010 17:6 Printer: Courier Westford CHAPTER 15 Investing and Spending in Retirement fter a foundation chooses its asset allocation, it should be able to leave that allocation unchanged for the indefinite future. As the last chapter showed, a foundation can set up a spending plan and choose a long-run strategic asset allocation to support it. Unless there is major distress in the markets, the foundation should be able to carry out its plans without making changes to its allocation. It will hire and fire managers, but the overall investment plan should remain unchanged. Some foundations, of course, will pursue tactical asset allocation in an attempt to take advantage of shortterm opportunities to overweight or underweight specific asset classes. But usually the tactical asset shifts are relative to a strategic (i.e., long-run) asset allocation that remains unchanged. Individual investors are different.

 

pages: 320 words: 87,853

The Black Box Society: The Secret Algorithms That Control Money and Information by Frank Pasquale

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Affordable Care Act / Obamacare, algorithmic trading, Amazon Mechanical Turk, asset-backed security, Atul Gawande, bank run, barriers to entry, Berlin Wall, Bernie Madoff, Black Swan, bonus culture, Brian Krebs, call centre, Capital in the Twenty-First Century by Thomas Piketty, Chelsea Manning, cloud computing, collateralized debt obligation, corporate governance, Credit Default Swap, credit default swaps / collateralized debt obligations, crowdsourcing, cryptocurrency, Debian, don't be evil, Edward Snowden, en.wikipedia.org, Fall of the Berlin Wall, Filter Bubble, financial innovation, Flash crash, full employment, Goldman Sachs: Vampire Squid, Google Earth, Hernando de Soto, High speed trading, hiring and firing, housing crisis, informal economy, information retrieval, interest rate swap, Internet of things, invisible hand, Jaron Lanier, Jeff Bezos, job automation, Julian Assange, Kevin Kelly, knowledge worker, Kodak vs Instagram, kremlinology, late fees, London Interbank Offered Rate, London Whale, Mark Zuckerberg, mobile money, moral hazard, new economy, Nicholas Carr, offshore financial centre, PageRank, pattern recognition, precariat, profit maximization, profit motive, quantitative easing, race to the bottom, recommendation engine, regulatory arbitrage, risk-adjusted returns, search engine result page, shareholder value, Silicon Valley, Snapchat, Spread Networks laid a new fibre optics cable between New York and Chicago, statistical arbitrage, statistical model, Steven Levy, the scientific method, too big to fail, transaction costs, two-sided market, universal basic income, Upton Sinclair, value at risk, WikiLeaks

If workers knew that thirty-three-word e-mails littered with emoticons scored highest, they might write that way all the time. Thus a new source of tension arises: workers want and need to learn the rules of success at a new workplace, but management worries that if the rules are known, they’ll lose their predictive value. The Fair, the Foul, and the Creepy. Automated systems claim to rate all individuals the same way, thus averting discrimination. They may ensure some bosses no longer base hiring and firing decisions on hunches, impressions, or prejudices.94 But software engineers construct the datasets mined by scoring systems; they define the parameters of data-mining analyses; they create the clusters, links, and decision trees applied; they generate the predictive models applied. Human biases and values are embedded into each and every step of development. Computerization may simply drive discrimination upstream. 36 THE BLACK BOX SOCIETY Moreover, even in spheres where algorithms solve some problems, they are creating others.

 

pages: 372 words: 152

The End of Work by Jeremy Rifkin

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banking crisis, Bertrand Russell: In Praise of Idleness, blue-collar work, cashless society, collective bargaining, computer age, deskilling, Dissolution of the Soviet Union, employer provided health coverage, Erik Brynjolfsson, full employment, future of work, general-purpose programming language, George Gilder, global village, hiring and firing, informal economy, interchangeable parts, invention of the telegraph, Jacques de Vaucanson, job automation, John Maynard Keynes: technological unemployment, knowledge economy, knowledge worker, land reform, low skilled workers, means of production, new economy, New Urbanism, pink-collar, post-industrial society, Productivity paradox, Richard Florida, Ronald Reagan, Silicon Valley, speech recognition, strikebreaker, technoutopianism, Thorstein Veblen, Toyota Production System, trade route, trickle-down economics, women in the workforce, working poor, working-age population, Works Progress Administration

Angry over wage freezes imposed during the war and anxious to make up for ground lost in collective bargaining because of the no-strike pledge during the conflict, organized labor began to challenge management on a wide front. Between 1945 and 1955, the United States experienced over 43,000 strikes in the most concentrated wave of labor/management confrontations in industrial history.27 Crossing into the High-Tech Frontier 67 Management were growing concerned over what they perceived as organized labors invasion of their traditional terrain. Issues of hiring and firing, promotions, discipline actions, health benefits, and safety concerns were brought into the collective bargaining process in every industry. Business Week warned that "the time has come to take a stand ... against the further encroachment into the province of management."28 Menaced by the increasing intensi ty of labor's demands and determined to maintain its long-standing control over the means of production, America's industrial giants turned to the new technology of automation as much to rid themselves of rebellious workers as to enhance their productivity and profit.

 

pages: 526 words: 155,174

Sixty Days and Counting by Kim Stanley Robinson

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dumpster diving, energy security, full employment, Golden Gate Park, hiring and firing, McMansion, megacity, mutually assured destruction, place-making, Ralph Waldo Emerson, RFID, Richard Feynman, Richard Feynman, Saturday Night Live, urban decay, Works Progress Administration

For a second Charlie couldn’t even remember what Roy looked like. So; call to arrange for “extended stay” for Joe, a development his teachers were used to. Another exception to the supposed schedule. Because they needed the World Bank executing Phil’s program; in the war of the agencies, now fully engaged, the World Bank and the International Monetary Fund were among the most mulish of their passive-aggressive opponents. Phil had the power to hire and fire the upper echelons in both agencies, which was good leverage, but it would be better to do something less drastic, to keep the midlevels from shattering. This meeting with the Intergovernmental Panel on Climate Change, a UN organization, might be a good venue for exerting some pressure. The IPCC had spent many years advocating action on the climate front, and all the while they had been flatly ignored by the World Bank.

 

pages: 493 words: 145,326

Fire and Steam: A New History of the Railways in Britain by Christian Wolmar

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accounting loophole / creative accounting, Beeching cuts, carbon footprint, collective bargaining, computer age, Corn Laws, cross-subsidies, financial independence, hiring and firing, James Watt: steam engine, joint-stock company, railway mania, rising living standards, Silicon Valley, South Sea Bubble, strikebreaker, union organizing, upwardly mobile, working poor, yield management

Originally most of the workmen’s trains charged the same 2d for a return fare, a real bargain for up to twenty-two miles’ travel, but later there was a differentiation between times, with earlier trains before 6.30 a.m. remaining at tuppence while the later ones, catering for a more affluent clientele who could be in their offices a bit later, cost 3d, 4d or even 5d return. The workmen’s trains may have helped the great cities to expand and their workforces to live in better conditions, but they were not a panacea. The poorest labourers, a significant proportion of the workforce, who were paid meagre rates and were hired and fired by the day, could not take advantage of these services. Even those who could often struggled to pay the tuppence or so for their daily fare, and many people suffered great inconvenience because the cheap trains were timetabled only to run very early in the morning, which meant that many passengers had to hang around near the termini, possibly in the wet and cold, until their places of work opened.

 

pages: 566 words: 155,428

After the Music Stopped: The Financial Crisis, the Response, and the Work Ahead by Alan S. Blinder

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Affordable Care Act / Obamacare, asset-backed security, bank run, banking crisis, banks create money, Carmen Reinhart, central bank independence, collapse of Lehman Brothers, collateralized debt obligation, conceptual framework, corporate governance, Credit Default Swap, credit default swaps / collateralized debt obligations, Detroit bankruptcy, diversification, double entry bookkeeping, eurozone crisis, facts on the ground, financial innovation, fixed income, friendly fire, full employment, hiring and firing, housing crisis, Hyman Minsky, illegal immigration, inflation targeting, interest rate swap, Isaac Newton, Kenneth Rogoff, liquidity trap, London Interbank Offered Rate, Long Term Capital Management, market bubble, market clearing, market fundamentalism, McMansion, moral hazard, naked short selling, new economy, Nick Leeson, Northern Rock, Occupy movement, offshore financial centre, price mechanism, quantitative easing, Ralph Waldo Emerson, Robert Shiller, Robert Shiller, Ronald Reagan, shareholder value, short selling, South Sea Bubble, statistical model, the payments system, time value of money, too big to fail, working-age population, yield curve, Yogi Berra

Prior to Lehman, I was relatively optimistic—relative, that is, to the prevailing gloom and doom. In particular, while the economy was clearly somewhat wounded, I was not convinced we were headed for a serious recession. After all, real GDP growth averaged 2.2 percent in 2007 and just slightly below zero in the first two quarters of 2008. But on September 15, 2008, I turned deeply pessimistic. So did lots of other people—perhaps most important, business-people who make hiring and firing decisions. Layoffs skyrocketed. The two panels of figure 6.1, one for quarterly GDP growth (on the left), the other for monthly job growth (on the right), are repeated from chapter 1. They show the dramatic worsening of an already-weak economy after September 2008. Lehman’s failure precipitated a near cataclysm in the financial markets and shattered confidence everywhere. It literally changed everything—for the worse.

 

pages: 436 words: 141,321

Reinventing Organizations: A Guide to Creating Organizations Inspired by the Next Stage of Human Consciousness by Frederic Laloux, Ken Wilber

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Albert Einstein, augmented reality, blue-collar work, Buckminster Fuller, call centre, carbon footprint, conceptual framework, corporate social responsibility, crowdsourcing, failed state, future of work, hiring and firing, index card, interchangeable parts, invisible hand, job satisfaction, Johann Wolfgang von Goethe, Kenneth Rogoff, meta analysis, meta-analysis, pattern recognition, post-industrial society, quantitative trading / quantitative finance, randomized controlled trial, shareholder value, Silicon Valley, the market place, the scientific method, Tony Hsieh

Believing that bad things start to happen when any site becomes too big, they also tried to limit the number of employees in a site to a maximum of 300 to 400 (15 to 20 teams of 15 to 20 people)?the natural limit, they felt, for colleagues to more or less put names and faces together and enter into a casual discussion with any colleague. Like their counterparts at FAVI and Sun, teams at AES were responsible for decisions relating to all aspects of day-to-day operations: budgets, workload, safety, schedules, maintenance, hiring and firing, working hours, training, evaluations, compensation, capital expenditures, purchasing, and quality control, as well as long-term strategy, charitable giving, and community relations. Let me invite you to pause for a second, as you would be forgiven for having read through that long list of responsibilities too quickly. AES is an energy provider, operating thermal and hydroelectric power plants as well as electrical grids.

 

pages: 514 words: 152,903

The Best Business Writing 2013 by Dean Starkman

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Asperger Syndrome, bank run, Basel III, call centre, clean water, cloud computing, collateralized debt obligation, Columbine, computer vision, Credit Default Swap, credit default swaps / collateralized debt obligations, crowdsourcing, Erik Brynjolfsson, eurozone crisis, Exxon Valdez, factory automation, full employment, Goldman Sachs: Vampire Squid, hiring and firing, hydraulic fracturing, income inequality, jimmy wales, job automation, late fees, London Whale, low skilled workers, Mahatma Gandhi, market clearing, Maui Hawaii, Menlo Park, Occupy movement, oil shale / tar sands, price stability, Ray Kurzweil, Silicon Valley, Skype, sovereign wealth fund, stakhanovite, Steve Jobs, Stuxnet, the payments system, too big to fail, Vanguard fund, wage slave, Y2K

It’s like the military. They have to break you down so they can turn you into what they want you to be. So they’re going to tell you, ‘You’re not good enough, you’re not good enough, you’re not good enough,’ to make you work harder. Don’t say, ‘This is the best I can do.’ Say, ‘I’ll try,’ even if you know you can’t do it. Because if you say, ‘This is the best I can do,’ they’ll let you go. They hire and fire constantly, every day. You’ll see people dropping all around you. But don’t take it personally and break down or start crying when they yell at you.” Several months prior, I’d reported on an Ohio warehouse where workers shipped products for online retailers under conditions that were surprisingly demoralizing and dehumanizing, even to someone who’s spent a lot of time working in warehouses, which I have.

 

pages: 632 words: 159,454

War and Gold: A Five-Hundred-Year History of Empires, Adventures, and Debt by Kwasi Kwarteng

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accounting loophole / creative accounting, anti-communist, Asian financial crisis, asset-backed security, Atahualpa, balance sheet recession, bank run, banking crisis, Big bang: deregulation of the City of London, Bretton Woods, British Empire, California gold rush, capital controls, Carmen Reinhart, central bank independence, centre right, collapse of Lehman Brothers, collateralized debt obligation, credit crunch, currency manipulation / currency intervention, Deng Xiaoping, discovery of the americas, Etonian, eurozone crisis, fiat currency, financial innovation, floating exchange rates, Francisco Pizarro, full employment, German hyperinflation, hiring and firing, income inequality, invisible hand, Isaac Newton, John Maynard Keynes: Economic Possibilities for our Grandchildren, joint-stock company, joint-stock limited liability company, Joseph Schumpeter, Kenneth Rogoff, labour market flexibility, market bubble, money: store of value / unit of account / medium of exchange, moral hazard, new economy, oil shock, Plutocrats, plutocrats, Ponzi scheme, price mechanism, quantitative easing, rolodex, Ronald Reagan, South Sea Bubble, the market place, The Wealth of Nations by Adam Smith, too big to fail, War on Poverty, Yom Kippur War

He believed that the ‘true Reagan Revolution never had a chance’. True revolution ‘defied all of the overwhelming forces, interests, and impulses of American democracy’. The supply-side revolution was all about lower taxes. In Stockman’s simple formulation, higher taxes ‘caused less work’, while low tax rates ‘caused more’. More generally, ‘supply-siders’ favoured deregulation and labour-market flexibility, characterized as easier ‘hire and fire’ policies in order to boost production, or the supply side. This contrasted with the Keynesian emphasis on aggregate demand, often promoted by government spending, as a key driver of economic growth. As early as November 1981, Stockman became convinced that the Reagan administration had ‘locked the door on its own disastrous fiscal policy jail cell’ and had thrown away the key. The problem was that leading administration officials, from the President downwards, were unwilling to give up pet projects which inevitably cost money.

 

pages: 445 words: 129,068

The Speed of Dark by Elizabeth Moon

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bioinformatics, gravity well, hiring and firing, industrial robot, life extension, theory of mind

She is the one who stands up first. She tells us her name is Hendricks; she tells us she is heading the research team and that she wants only willing participants. She sits down. A man in a dark suit stands up and tells us his name is Godfrey Arakeen , an attorney from the company’s legal division, and we have nothing to worry about. I am not worried yet. He talks about the regulations that govern hiring and firing of handicapped employees. I did not know that the company got a tax credit for hiring us, dependent on the percentage of disabled workers by division and specialty. He makes it seem that our value to the company is that we are a tax credit, not the work we do. He says that Mr. Crenshaw should have informed us of our right to talk to a company ombudsman. I do not know what an ombudsman is, but Mr.

 

pages: 462 words: 142,240

Iron Sunrise by Stross, Charles

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blood diamonds, dumpster diving, gravity well, hiring and firing, industrial robot, life extension, loose coupling, mutually assured destruction, phenotype, planetary scale, postindustrial economy, RFID, side project, speech recognition, technological singularity, trade route, uranium enrichment, urban sprawl

“Is that all?” Steffi asked disbelievingly. He’d outlined enough work there to keep someone occupied for a week. With passenger churn approaching 40 percent per destination, they’d gone through six or seven thousand embarkations, not to mention the Entertainments staff: they’d shipped an entire chamber orchestra from Rosencrantz to Eiger, never mind the other irregular performers that Ents kept hiring and firing. “I’d better get you sorted out right away. If you don’t mind, I’m going to boot you upstairs to my CO — I’m due off duty in two hours with shore leave tomorrow.” “Well, I won’t keep you — but let’s get started. I’m supposed to report back within twenty-four hours. With results. And then I may have to call on you to help me arrest someone.” Meanwhile, Frank was groundside and frustrated.

 

Bootstrapping: Douglas Engelbart, Coevolution, and the Origins of Personal Computing (Writing Science) by Thierry Bardini

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Apple II, augmented reality, Bill Duvall, conceptual framework, Douglas Engelbart, Dynabook, experimental subject, Grace Hopper, hiring and firing, hypertext link, index card, information retrieval, invention of hypertext, Jaron Lanier, Jeff Rulifson, John von Neumann, knowledge worker, Menlo Park, Mother of all demos, new economy, Norbert Wiener, packet switching, QWERTY keyboard, Ralph Waldo Emerson, RAND corporation, RFC: Request For Comment, Silicon Valley, Steve Crocker, Steve Jobs, Steve Wozniak, Steven Levy, Stewart Brand, stochastic process, Ted Nelson, the medium is the message, theory of mind, Turing test, unbiased observer, Vannevar Bush, Whole Earth Catalog

In spite of their participation In the country's leading experi- ment In networkIng, the staff members at PRL were as vulnerable to this psycho- logical pressure as any other group. . . . The First and Second Waves looked for other victims. They thought the task would be pretty easy because they had be- ARPANET, E-matl, and est 207 come the overwhelming majority. They formed a block around Stanley, who could hire and fire. They expected no organIzed resistance and they found none. Instead, they found individuals who could stand on their two feet and simply tell them to get lost. (Vallee 1982, 10-12) These "individuals who could stand on their two feet," the few who are able to resist the pressure to realize themselves, are those who already have done so, those who are secure in their independent identities.

 

Practical OCaml by Joshua B. Smith

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cellular automata, Debian, domain-specific language, general-purpose programming language, Grace Hopper, hiring and firing, John Conway, Paul Graham, slashdot, text mining, Turing complete, type inference, web application, Y2K

Demonstrating multiple inheritance requires a few classes to be created. These classes do not really do anything, but they serve as good examples of what multiple inheritance is, what problems it solves, and why people think it is a bad idea. Suppose that you are designing an HR system. You start to work on the parts that deal with employees, so you start with an employee base class. This class has hire and fire methods, and holds information common to all employees. class employee = object val mutable hiredate = "" val mutable isactive = false val mutable firedate = "" method hireDate () = hiredate method isActive () = isactive method terminationDate () = firedate method hire x = hiredate <- x;isactive <- true method fire x = firedate <- x;isactive <- false end;; The company is a trading firm, so you also have to create a specific class for employees who are traders.

 

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

BARRA was a wonderful place to begin a career in finance. The firm’s leaders, Andrew Rudd and Richard Grinold, were academics who fostered a learning environment. The firm was organized around a unifying framework for thinking about investing and applying that framework to all investments from stocks to bonds, domestic and international to activities from portfolio management to trading to hiring and firing portfolio managers. Research at BARRA differed from that at broker/dealers or investment managers in that it was less proprietary, since BARRA sold risk models and not actively managed investment products. The firm ran well-known annual research seminars at JWPR007-Lindsey 36 May 7, 2007 16:30 h ow i b e cam e a quant Pebble Beach, California—part client education, part presentation of new results from quantitative analyses of investment issues.

 

pages: 566 words: 163,322

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

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

When commentators talk about “structural reform” in emerging countries, they are generally talking about writing and enforcing sensible rules, following the basic lessons of Econ 101. These lessons say that an economy’s output is the simple sum of basic inputs, including land, labor, and capital. So what “structural reform” often entails is the creation of an efficient legal regime governing the purchase of land to build factories, the lending of capital to finance the construction of those factories, and the hiring and firing of workers to staff them. In Indonesia, a recent increase in public investment was made possible by the passage of a law that speeds the acquisition of land for everything from police stations to power plants and youth sports camps by setting deadlines of days or weeks for every step in a process that used to drag on for years. Though it is politically incorrect to say so, some cultures seem more eager than others to embrace sensible rules governing land, labor, and capital.

 

pages: 518 words: 147,036

The Fissured Workplace by David Weil

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accounting loophole / creative accounting, affirmative action, Affordable Care Act / Obamacare, banking crisis, barriers to entry, business process, call centre, Carmen Reinhart, Cass Sunstein, Clayton Christensen, clean water, collective bargaining, corporate governance, Daniel Kahneman / Amos Tversky, David Ricardo: comparative advantage, declining real wages, employer provided health coverage, Frank Levy and Richard Murnane: The New Division of Labor, George Akerlof, global supply chain, global value chain, hiring and firing, income inequality, intermodal, inventory management, Jane Jacobs, Kenneth Rogoff, law of one price, loss aversion, low skilled workers, minimum wage unemployment, moral hazard, Network effects, new economy, occupational segregation, performance metric, pre–internet, price discrimination, principal–agent problem, Rana Plaza, Richard Florida, Richard Thaler, Ronald Coase, shareholder value, Silicon Valley, statistical model, Steve Jobs, supply-chain management, The Death and Life of Great American Cities, The Nature of the Firm, transaction costs, ultimatum game, union organizing, women in the workforce, Y2K, yield management

Blurring lines of responsibility increase the risks for bad health and safety outcomes. And the pressure to cut corners and not comply with basic labor standards intensifies. A public policy agenda must look for ways to address these problems. However, crafting responses for the fissured workplace presents its own dilemmas, for a simple reason: federal and state policies are based on a model of employment with a single, well-defined employer with direct responsibility in hiring and firing, managing, training, compensation, and development of its workforce. But that does not conform to the way the workplace is currently organized. Part III addresses the question of mending the fissured workplace.2 The emergence of fissuring requires rethinking our basic definitions of employment. It also requires different approaches to how government agencies, labor unions and other worker advocates, and employer associations address its repercussions.

 

pages: 468 words: 123,823

A People's History of Poverty in America by Stephen Pimpare

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affirmative action, British Empire, car-free, clean water, cognitive dissonance, Columbine, Daniel Kahneman / Amos Tversky, deindustrialization, delayed gratification, dumpster diving, East Village, Frederick Winslow Taylor, George Gilder, hiring and firing, Howard Zinn, illegal immigration, impulse control, income inequality, index card, Jane Jacobs, low skilled workers, Mahatma Gandhi, meta analysis, meta-analysis, Naomi Klein, New Urbanism, payday loans, Ralph Waldo Emerson, Ronald Reagan, The Bell Curve by Richard Herrnstein and Charles Murray, The Death and Life of Great American Cities, The Wealth of Nations by Adam Smith, Thomas Malthus, union organizing, urban renewal, War on Poverty, white flight, working poor, Works Progress Administration

My old man’s in the men’s side, next door.” Some had been there only a few days, others for months. Most of them came periodically. When they got a job they would leave, and when it failed they came back. Between jobs they looked upon the Municipal Lodging House as a home. I heard no dramatic, tragic stories. They accepted without resentment the fact that they were the product of “the system,” a society that hires and fires, of a society in which landlords must have their rent. There were only a few like me who didn’t need the place, just tramps on a little excursion. We slept in double-decked cots with comfortable mattresses, clean sheets, blankets and pillows. I didn’t sleep much. Many of the women were hacking and coughing, many of them groaning and talking in their sleep.19 Some poor women and their children have lived in what we have recently called “welfare hotels,” longer-term residences for those with no access to public housing and no better options.

 

pages: 456 words: 123,534

The Dawn of Innovation: The First American Industrial Revolution by Charles R. Morris

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air freight, British Empire, business process, California gold rush, clean water, colonial exploitation, computer age, Dava Sobel, en.wikipedia.org, glass ceiling, hiring and firing, if you build it, they will come, interchangeable parts, Isaac Newton, Jacquard loom, Jacquard loom, James Hargreaves, James Watt: steam engine, John Harrison: Longitude, joint-stock company, lone genius, manufacturing employment, new economy, New Urbanism, On the Economy of Machinery and Manufactures, purchasing power parity, QWERTY keyboard, refrigerator car, Robert Gordon, spinning jenny, Stephen Hawking, The Wealth of Nations by Adam Smith, trade route, transcontinental railway, traveling salesman

Each foreman was effectively the master of his house. Baldwin and Hufty would establish a production schedule, set the timelines for each of the shops, and order the required components and raw materials. From that point, the shop foremen were on their own. In effect, they were running sizeable businesses with about fifty workers each, and like Baldwin, they had mastered every detail of their shop work, hired and fired their workers, purchased their own shop supplies, and organized their internal work flow as they saw fit—with the major difference that they had only a single customer. The relation with major suppliers was somewhat similar. Over the years they must have developed high levels of trust, and Baldwin could not have met its schedules without top-priority treatment by all its vendors. But as the 1850s opened with a surge of new sales, the company’s productivity could not keep pace.

 

pages: 540 words: 168,921

The Relentless Revolution: A History of Capitalism by Joyce Appleby

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1919 Motor Transport Corps convoy, agricultural Revolution, anti-communist, Asian financial crisis, asset-backed security, Bartolomé de las Casas, Bernie Madoff, Bretton Woods, BRICs, British Empire, call centre, collateralized debt obligation, collective bargaining, Columbian Exchange, corporate governance, credit crunch, Credit Default Swap, credit default swaps / collateralized debt obligations, David Ricardo: comparative advantage, deindustrialization, Deng Xiaoping, deskilling, Doha Development Round, double entry bookkeeping, epigenetics, equal pay for equal work, European colonialism, facts on the ground, failed state, Firefox, Ford paid five dollars a day, Francisco Pizarro, Frederick Winslow Taylor, full employment, Gordon Gekko, Henry Ford's grandson gave labor union leader Walter Reuther a tour of the company’s new, automated factory…, Hernando de Soto, hiring and firing, illegal immigration, informal economy, interchangeable parts, interest rate swap, invention of movable type, invention of the printing press, invention of the steam engine, invisible hand, Isaac Newton, James Hargreaves, James Watt: steam engine, Jeff Bezos, joint-stock company, Joseph Schumpeter, knowledge economy, land reform, Livingstone, I presume, Long Term Capital Management, Mahatma Gandhi, Martin Wolf, moral hazard, Ponzi scheme, profit maximization, profit motive, race to the bottom, Ralph Nader, refrigerator car, Ronald Reagan, Scramble for Africa, Silicon Valley, Silicon Valley startup, South China Sea, South Sea Bubble, special economic zone, spice trade, spinning jenny, strikebreaker, the built environment, The Wealth of Nations by Adam Smith, Thomas L Friedman, Thorstein Veblen, total factor productivity, trade route, transatlantic slave trade, transatlantic slave trade, transcontinental railway, union organizing, Unsafe at Any Speed, Upton Sinclair, urban renewal, War on Poverty, working poor, Works Progress Administration, Yogi Berra, Yom Kippur War

The threat from old enemies faded slowly—at least in the imagination. Paine continued to lash out at England’s aristocrats while the new industrialists were consolidating much greater power than they had had. Ordinary laborers lost a lot of liberty in this era. In the nineteenth century factory owners, newly solidified into a powerful class, exercised control over them through their right to hire and fire at will and without cause. Making private property the premium social good, they rejected the idea that freedom is just as precious to workers as to themselves. Because it took laws to protect workers trying to organize on the private property of their bosses, owners have often treated workingmen’s campaigns as attacks on liberty. For others, the protracted battle between labor and management over safety, wages, hours, and working conditions has called into question the linkage of economic and political freedom that once appeared unproblematic when capitalists were fighting against an entrenched landed class.

 

pages: 598 words: 172,137

Who Stole the American Dream? by Hedrick Smith

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Affordable Care Act / Obamacare, airline deregulation, anti-communist, asset allocation, banking crisis, Bonfire of the Vanities, British Empire, business process, clean water, cloud computing, collateralized debt obligation, collective bargaining, corporate governance, Credit Default Swap, credit default swaps / collateralized debt obligations, currency manipulation / currency intervention, David Brooks, Deng Xiaoping, desegregation, Double Irish / Dutch Sandwich, family office, full employment, global supply chain, Gordon Gekko, guest worker program, hiring and firing, housing crisis, Howard Zinn, income inequality, index fund, informal economy, invisible hand, Joseph Schumpeter, Kenneth Rogoff, knowledge economy, knowledge worker, laissez-faire capitalism, late fees, Long Term Capital Management, low cost carrier, manufacturing employment, market fundamentalism, Maui Hawaii, mortgage debt, new economy, Occupy movement, Own Your Own Home, Peter Thiel, Plutonomy: Buying Luxury, Explaining Global Imbalances, Ponzi scheme, Ralph Nader, RAND corporation, Renaissance Technologies, reshoring, rising living standards, Robert Shiller, Robert Shiller, rolodex, Ronald Reagan, shareholder value, Shenzhen was a fishing village, Silicon Valley, Silicon Valley startup, Steve Jobs, The Chicago School, The Spirit Level, too big to fail, transaction costs, transcontinental railway, union organizing, Unsafe at Any Speed, Vanguard fund, We are the 99%, women in the workforce, working poor, Y2K

But the Times of India dug out the news that IBM’s Indian workforce—a mere 6,000 in 2003—had catapulted to 100,000, maybe even 130,000, by August 2010. In those same seven years, IBM cut its American workforce by 30 percent or more, from 135,000 in 2003 to under 100,000 in early 2011, according to piecemeal corporate announcements plus inside information provided by the Alliance@IBM/CWA Local 1701, an IBM employee group trying to unionize the workforce and track IBM’s hiring and firing. Close behind IBM came a rush of other U.S. firms in IT, finance, insurance, accounting, and corporate services. Accenture, a technology and consulting firm, jumped from a tiny workforce in India to 50,000 by 2010. Computer giant Hewlett-Packard also now has roughly 50,000 employees in India. Dell Computer doubled its Indian head count in one year alone. In 2009, the major accounting firm Deloitte disclosed plans to triple its Indian staff to nearly 35,000 by the end of 2012.

 

pages: 812 words: 180,057

The Generals: American Military Command From World War II to Today by Thomas E. Ricks

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affirmative action, airport security, amateurs talk tactics, professionals talk logistics, Columbine, cuban missile crisis, hiring and firing, RAND corporation, Ronald Reagan, South China Sea, Yom Kippur War

The second was a lesson Eisenhower himself was mulling. He told Patton “to be cold-blooded about removal of inefficient officers. If a man fails, send him back to General Ike and let him worry about it.” When Ike met the British intelligence officer who would replace the one he had fired, he instructed him that “if I thought anyone was not making the grade or was creating difficulties I was fully empowered to sack him on the spot. ‘Hire and fire’ was the slogan.” Patton made an impression on the frontline troops. It was hard not to notice him. Lt. Col. Westmoreland, leading his artillery battalion, was struck that “Patton would parade around with his boots, yellow britches, his Ike jacket, two pearl-handled revolvers, and a shiny helmet with three stars all over it. His jeep looked like a motorized Christmas tree sprinkled with stars.”

 

pages: 607 words: 185,228

Antarctica by Kim Stanley Robinson

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Exxon Valdez, Fermat's Last Theorem, gravity well, hiring and firing, late capitalism, Occam's razor, Turing test, Zeno's paradox

When Sylvia called on him in her strict schoolteacher style, he said, "Sylvia, I want to emphasize that what we're talking about here is not just a question of what technologies we use in Antarctica, or of whether we're abiding by the strict letter of the Treaty or not. The treatment of Antarctica will never be respectful and environmentally aware if the people living down here continue to be organized in the same way they always have been-that is to say, in hierarchies where the majority of the workers have no power or responsibility, and are merely doing what they're told to do, for wages and nothing else. As it stands now, we're hired and fired at the whim of people back in the world, and the people who love Antarctica the most end up suffering the most, because they keep coming back here when that wrecks the overall shape of their lives, back and forth with no continuity or security, no career advantage so to speak. So there's a feeling of helplessness that creates a carelessness, which a lot of us wouldn't have if we were more in control of our destinies down here.

 

pages: 678 words: 216,204

The Wealth of Networks: How Social Production Transforms Markets and Freedom by Yochai Benkler

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affirmative action, barriers to entry, bioinformatics, Brownian motion, call centre, Cass Sunstein, centre right, clean water, dark matter, desegregation, East Village, fear of failure, Firefox, game design, George Gilder, hiring and firing, Howard Rheingold, informal economy, invention of radio, Isaac Newton, iterative process, Jean Tirole, jimmy wales, market bubble, market clearing, Marshall McLuhan, New Journalism, optical character recognition, pattern recognition, pre–internet, price discrimination, profit maximization, profit motive, random walk, recommendation engine, regulatory arbitrage, rent-seeking, RFID, Richard Stallman, Ronald Coase, Search for Extraterrestrial Intelligence, SETI@home, shareholder value, Silicon Valley, Skype, slashdot, social software, software patent, spectrum auction, technoutopianism, The Fortune at the Bottom of the Pyramid, The Nature of the Firm, transaction costs

On the eve of the second reconstruction era, which was to overhaul the legal framework of race relations over the two decades beginning with the desegregation of the armed forces in the late 1940s and culminating with the civil rights acts passed between 1964-1968, the two sides of the debate over desegregation and the legacy of slavery were minting new icons through which to express their most basic beliefs about the South and its peculiar institutions. As the following three decades unfolded and the South was gradually forced to change its ways, the cultural domain continued to work out the meaning of race relations in the United States and the history of slavery. The actual slogging of regulation of discrimination, implementation of desegregation and later affirmative action, and the more local politics of hiring and firing were punctuated throughout this period by salient iconic retellings of the stories of race relations in the United States, from Guess Who's Coming to Dinner? to Roots. The point of this chapter, however, is not to discuss race relations, but to understand culture and cultural production in terms of political theory. Gone with the Wind and Strange Fruit or Guess Who's Coming to Dinner? offer us intuitively accessible instances of a much broader and more basic characteristic of human understanding and social relations.

 

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

According to the government’s labor status definitions, “part-time” workers are those considered as such by the company.125 In fact, they work almost full-time (6 hours a day, compared to 7.5 hours for regular workers), although the number of working days in a month is slightly less than for regular workers. Yet they receive, on average, about 60 percent of a regular worker’s salary, and about 15 percent of the annual bonus. More importantly, they have no job security, so they are hired and fired according to the company’s convenience. Part-timers and temporary workers provide the required labor flexibility. Their role has substantially increased since the 1970s, when the oil shock induced major economic restructuring in Japan. In the 1975–90 period, the number of part-time workers increased by 42.6 percent for male workers and by 253 percent for female workers. Indeed, women account for two-thirds of part-timers.

 

pages: 585 words: 165,304

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

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

An astonishing variety of institutions in Germany contributes to the training system: federal, state, and local governments, towns, churches, and unions, to name some of them. To opt out of this system, then, is to reject the value placed on work by the culture as a whole. If moral pressure is not enough, the works councils—those enterprise-level labor-management groups whose precedents lay in the Weimar period—have the legal power to establish rules that sharply limit the ability of employers to hire and fire workers at will. Companies seeking to downsize must submit plans for compensating, retraining, or relocating workers to be laid off. This restricts the ability of free riders to “poach” the skilled labor of other companies.19 These works councils have effects somewhat similar to the Japanese lifetime employment system insofar as they impede labor mobility. Were institutions with similar powers to exist in different cultural settings—in Britain, say, or Italy—they would likely use their political power to hold on to jobs at any cost, regardless of the effect on productivity.

 

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

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

CATEGORIZING CULTURES 41 The entirely disparate worldviews of linear-active and multi-active people pose a problem of great magnitude in the early years of a new century of international trade and aspiring globalization. Can the pedantic, linear German and the voluble, exuberant Brazilian really share a “globalized” view of, for instance, duty, commitments or personnel policies? How do the French reconcile their sense of intellectual superiority with cold Swedish logic or American bottomline successes? Will Anglo-Saxon hiring and firing procedures ever gain acceptability in people-orientated, multi-active Spain, Portugal or Argentina? When will product-oriented Americans, Britons and Germans come to the realization that products make their own way only in linear-active societies and that relationships pave the way for product penetration in multi-active cultures? One can well say, “Let’s concentrate on selling to the 600 million linear-active customers in the world,” but what about multi-active and reactive customers?

 

pages: 670 words: 194,502

The Intelligent Investor (Collins Business Essentials) by Benjamin Graham, Jason Zweig

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accounting loophole / creative accounting, air freight, Andrei Shleifer, asset allocation, buy low sell high, capital asset pricing model, corporate governance, Daniel Kahneman / Amos Tversky, diversified portfolio, Eugene Fama: efficient market hypothesis, hiring and firing, index fund, Isaac Newton, Long Term Capital Management, market bubble, merger arbitrage, new economy, passive investing, price stability, Ralph Waldo Emerson, Richard Thaler, risk tolerance, Robert Shiller, Robert Shiller, Ronald Reagan, shareholder value, sharing economy, short selling, Silicon Valley, South Sea Bubble, Steve Jobs, the market place, transaction costs, tulip mania, VA Linux, Vanguard fund, Y2K, Yogi Berra

But the latest epidemic of scandal—allegations of managerial misbehavior, shady accounting, or tax maneuvers at major firms like AOL, Enron, Global Crossing, Sprint, Tyco, and WorldCom—is a stark reminder that Graham’s earlier warnings about the need for eternal vigilance are more vital than ever. Let’s bring them back and discuss them in light of today’s events. Theory Versus Practice Graham begins his original (1949) discussion of “The Investor as Business Owner” by pointing out that, in theory, “the stockholders as a class are king. Acting as a majority they can hire and fire managements and bend them completely to their will.” But, in practice, says Graham, the shareholders are a complete washout. As a class they show neither intelligence nor alertness. They vote in sheeplike fashion for whatever the management recommends and no matter how poor the management’s record of accomplishment may be…. The only way toinspire the average American shareholder to take any independently intelligent action would be by exploding a firecracker under him….

 

pages: 1,073 words: 302,361

Money and Power: How Goldman Sachs Came to Rule the World by William D. Cohan

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asset-backed security, Bernie Madoff, buttonwood tree, collateralized debt obligation, corporate governance, credit crunch, Credit Default Swap, credit default swaps / collateralized debt obligations, diversified portfolio, fear of failure, financial innovation, fixed income, Ford paid five dollars a day, Goldman Sachs: Vampire Squid, Gordon Gekko, high net worth, hiring and firing, hive mind, Hyman Minsky, interest rate swap, London Interbank Offered Rate, Long Term Capital Management, margin call, market bubble, merger arbitrage, moral hazard, mortgage debt, paper trading, passive investing, Ponzi scheme, price stability, profit maximization, risk tolerance, Ronald Reagan, Saturday Night Live, South Sea Bubble, time value of money, too big to fail, traveling salesman, value at risk, yield curve, Yogi Berra

The crux of the government’s case was that these seventeen firms conspired against the rest of the investment banking industry and their corporate clients to control the fees and other financial benefits that could be gained through the underwriting of the debt and equity securities of their corporate clients. As to the fact that executives at the corporations issuing the securities would be able to decide, at their sole discretion, which banks to hire and fire and when, the complaint alleged that to “preserve and enhance their control over the business of merchandising securities,” the banks kept “control over the financial and business affairs of the issuers, by giving free financial advice to issuers, by infiltrating the boards of directors of issuers, by selecting officers of issuers who were friendly to them [and] by utilizing their influence with commercial banks with whom issuers do business.”

 

pages: 1,088 words: 297,362

The London Compendium by Ed Glinert

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1960s counterculture, anti-communist, Big bang: deregulation of the City of London, British Empire, Corn Laws, Dava Sobel, double entry bookkeeping, Edward Lloyd's coffeehouse, Exxon Valdez, hiring and firing, invention of the telegraph, Isaac Newton, John Harrison: Longitude, John Snow's cholera map, Khartoum Gordon, Mahatma Gandhi, Nick Leeson, price stability, Ronald Reagan, South China Sea, South Sea Bubble, spice trade, the market place, trade route, union organizing, V2 rocket

The following year Christina, William’s nineteen-year-old daughter, launched Foyle’s famous literary lunches, and when in the mid-1930s she heard that Hitler’s brownshirts were burning books she cabled him with the message: ‘Don’t burn books, we’ll give you a very good price.’ Christina Foyle took over as owner of the shop in 1963, after her father died, and over the next thirty years Foyle’s became a byword for cultivated chaos, the art of finding volumes made more enticing by the vast size of the shop, but also more exasperating by the arranging of novels by publisher, rather than author. Staff were hired and fired on an erratic basis, successful applicants rarely stayed, or were allowed to stay, longer than six weeks, trade unions were outlawed, women were confined to cashier jobs, and there was a glut of people with unusual classical names. (When one customer asked where he could find Ulysses he was told he had just gone out to lunch.) Foyle also steadfastly refused to modernize the shop’s bureaucracy and customers were obliged to take part in a Kafkaesque queuing system if they wished to leave the store with a book by legal means.

 

pages: 1,118 words: 309,029

The Wars of Afghanistan by Peter Tomsen

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airport security, Ayatollah Khomeini, Berlin Wall, British Empire, facts on the ground, failed state, friendly fire, glass ceiling, hiring and firing, Internet Archive, Khyber Pass, land reform, Mikhail Gorbachev, Plutocrats, plutocrats, RAND corporation, Ronald Reagan, trade route, union organizing, uranium enrichment, women in the workforce

So did the funding of rapacious warlords after 9/11 by both the CIA and the U.S. military. American policymakers should know by now that foreign cash outlays to Afghans cannot buy their loyalty, induce them to support the government, or unify the country. Stop choosing Afghan leaders. This practice was rampant during the Bush administration, boosting the image of Afghanistan as, once again, a foreignoccupied country. The outside pressures to hire and fire senior Afghan officials diminished after the food fight President Karzai conducted with Washington during President Obama’s first fifteen months in office. Now, as the U.S.-led coalition reduces its presence in Afghanistan, its diplomats and generals should privately convey their opinions on personnel matters to the Afghan leadership, President Karzai and his successors, then honor their legitimate authority to make the final decision.

 

pages: 889 words: 433,897

The Best of 2600: A Hacker Odyssey by Emmanuel Goldstein

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affirmative action, Apple II, call centre, don't be evil, Firefox, game design, Hacker Ethic, hiring and firing, information retrieval, late fees, license plate recognition, optical character recognition, packet switching, pirate software, place-making, profit motive, QWERTY keyboard, RFID, Robert Hanssen: Double agent, rolodex, Ronald Reagan, Silicon Valley, Skype, spectrum auction, statistical model, Steve Jobs, Steve Wozniak, Steven Levy, Telecommunications Act of 1996, telemarketer, Y2K

The hostnames I found were: • • • • toolkit: 168.94.67.20 tagzone: 168.94.67.11 msizone: 168.94.3.46 cf: 168.94.9.17 toolkit, from my experience, isn’t viewable from a floor computer at least. tagzone is a corporate home page, giving you the latest news on the company and the market. msizone is some type of retailer information center, which requires a login/password pair. cf is either customer fulfillment or computer fulfillment—I’m not sure since it’s called both on the site. tagzone and cf are the two coolest sites to browse. tagzone, as was mentioned, is a corporate home page. But as you explore it, more than just news is available. I was able to get instructions on how to log on to the company’s VPN, how to hire and fire employees, and how the company is structured. Let us assume for a second that Best Buy didn’t want the public to see this. Then who the hell didn’t think that maybe putting floor machines behind the corporate firewall is a bad idea? But I digress.... cf is a site that allows employees to order items not in store to be shipped from the mysterious “Warehouse 87.” I ordered a nice flat panel monitor and had it shipped to the store I was at.