old-boy network

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pages: 831 words: 98,409

SUPERHUBS: How the Financial Elite and Their Networks Rule Our World by Sandra Navidi

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activist fund / activist shareholder / activist investor, assortative mating, bank run, barriers to entry, Bernie Sanders, Black Swan, Bretton Woods, butterfly effect, Capital in the Twenty-First Century by Thomas Piketty, Carmen Reinhart, central bank independence, cognitive bias, collapse of Lehman Brothers, collateralized debt obligation, commoditize, conceptual framework, corporate governance, Credit Default Swap, credit default swaps / collateralized debt obligations, crony capitalism, diversification, East Village, Elon Musk, eurozone crisis, family office, financial repression, Gini coefficient, glass ceiling, Goldman Sachs: Vampire Squid, Google bus, Gordon Gekko, haute cuisine, high net worth, hindsight bias, income inequality, index fund, intangible asset, Jaron Lanier, John Meriwether, Kenneth Arrow, Kenneth Rogoff, knowledge economy, London Whale, Long Term Capital Management, Mark Zuckerberg, mass immigration, McMansion, mittelstand, money market fund, Myron Scholes, NetJets, Network effects, offshore financial centre, old-boy network, Parag Khanna, Paul Samuelson, peer-to-peer, performance metric, Peter Thiel, Plutocrats, plutocrats, Ponzi scheme, quantitative easing, Renaissance Technologies, rent-seeking, reserve currency, risk tolerance, Robert Gordon, Robert Shiller, Robert Shiller, rolodex, Satyajit Das, shareholder value, Silicon Valley, sovereign wealth fund, Stephen Hawking, Steve Jobs, The Future of Employment, The Predators' Ball, too big to fail, women in the workforce, young professional

Network Plutocracy: “The Old Boys’ Club” Elite schools directly tie in with another aspect of career advancement: the old boys’ network. The term originates from the connections formed at all-male private schools; indeed, to this day alumni associations of prestigious schools are a crucial component of the superhub network. Ivy League universities have seen record donations in recent years. In 2014, hedge fund executive Kenneth Griffin made a donation of $150 million to his alma mater, Harvard, and private equity guru Steve Schwarzman gifted Yale with $150 million in 2015. Over time, an informal system developed in which affiliations ensure that “members of the club” help one another in advancing their interests. They interact at work, golf clubs, think tanks, and any other platforms with high barriers to entry, be they financial, status-wise, or both. The old boys’ network is less conservative and stereotypical than it used to be, but it is still alive and well.

$uperHubs takes you behind the scenes to their exclusive platforms: the World Economic Forum (WEF); the meetings of the International Monetary Fund (IMF); and think tank gatherings, power lunches, charity events, and private parties. We learn how the superhubs’ alpha personalities, inexorable quest for power, and desire to leave a legacy propel them to top network positions that come with access to unprecedented opportunities. We see the core characteristics most of them seem to share, such as a high degree of emotional intelligence, charisma, and charm. Molded by similar backgrounds within elite schools, the old boys’ network, and exclusive social circles, they understand and trust each other, form deep and resilient alliances, and employ their relational capital to maximize the return on their relationships. $uperHubs also draws the curtain on the personal sacrifices, pressures, and struggles that come with power and privilege. Women are grossly underrepresented in the highest ranks of finance despite the clear business case in their favor, because they are largely excluded from the predominantly male networks.

Based on loyalty, they provide mentoring, introductions, and favors. Since both old and young club members share similar views, they reinforce one another, thereby becoming even more conformist. Although the financial system has gradually become more meritocratic, increasing focus on grades and performance, it still skews in favor of those with connections. In the insider-outsider dynamic, members of the old boys’ network—without premeditation and perhaps subconsciously—exclude others merely by sticking together. They give special consideration to those of their ilk while passing over others who do not fit the mold. This results in the distinct lack of women and other minorities in leadership positions. (We will take a closer look at this in Chapter 9.) Without any checks and balances, the system continues to self-perpetuate these biases.

Working the Street: What You Need to Know About Life on Wall Street by Erik Banks

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accounting loophole / creative accounting, borderless world, corporate governance, estate planning, fixed income, greed is good, old-boy network, risk/return, rolodex, telemarketer

It’s kind of sad that on Wall Street you can get to a level of seniority at which your professional skills and contributions matter less than your connections. But we won’t feel too bad for those getting squeezed out. They’ll be sipping tropical drinks at their villas in Bermuda or hot chocolate at their chateaus in the Swiss Alps. 1 1 4 | W o r k i n g th e S tr e e t THE COZY OLD BOYS’ NETWORK AT THE TOP Let’s press on with that last thought by talking about something unpopular, something that some regard as absolutely shocking and positively untrue: Wall Street is still driven by a cozy “Old Boys’ network.” Who you know, what school you went to, and how you play the game is more important than what you know, what you do, and what sort of character you have. Wall Street is still primarily run by older men, men who have been in the business a long time and have very firm ideas about the way the world works.

., maybe managing director, but almost certainly not executive management) or you can fight the system, kicking and screaming all the way. A select few have fought it successfully. Many others have not. Just remember that if you fight and lose, you’re finished at the firm, and you may be finished on The Street (funny how word gets around). It’s for you to decide how to play it. Fasten Your Seat Belt | 115 GOOD POLITICAL CONNECTIONS MEAN PAST MISTAKES DON’T MATTER Politics and the Old Boys’ network mean that if you’re in the right political camp, past job mistakes don’t matter all that much. If you know the right folks you can afford to have a couple of black marks beside your name because the system lets your sponsors gloss over them. Whatever you may have done that wasn’t particularly good or nice—maybe you accidentally blew up a client or let some key deals fall apart, maybe you failed to notice some control problems that could have prevented a loss—tends to get insulated and sanitized so that you can carry on with your career.


pages: 440 words: 108,137

The Meritocracy Myth by Stephen J. McNamee

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affirmative action, Affordable Care Act / Obamacare, Bernie Madoff, British Empire, collective bargaining, computer age, conceptual framework, corporate governance, deindustrialization, delayed gratification, demographic transition, desegregation, deskilling, equal pay for equal work, estate planning, failed state, fixed income, gender pay gap, Gini coefficient, glass ceiling, helicopter parent, income inequality, informal economy, invisible hand, job automation, joint-stock company, labor-force participation, low-wage service sector, marginal employment, Mark Zuckerberg, mortgage debt, mortgage tax deduction, new economy, New Urbanism, obamacare, occupational segregation, old-boy network, pink-collar, Plutocrats, plutocrats, Ponzi scheme, post-industrial society, prediction markets, profit motive, race to the bottom, random walk, school choice, Scientific racism, Steve Jobs, The Bell Curve by Richard Herrnstein and Charles Murray, The Spirit Level, The Wealth of Nations by Adam Smith, too big to fail, trickle-down economics, upwardly mobile, We are the 99%, white flight, young professional

This problem is compounded by the departure of middle-class families from black inner-city areas, which has depleted the social capital of the remaining population and contributed to high levels of unemployment and welfare dependency (Wacquant and Wilson 1989; Wilson 1987, 1996). Women, likewise, have also historically confronted restricted access to privileged social networks, sometimes derisively referred to as “the good old boy network” that has contributed to a “glass ceiling” of limited (nonmerit) opportunities for advancement (McDonald, Lin, and Ao 2009). The process of this restriction is often subtle and can come in many forms. Women in business settings, for instance, may be restricted from inner male sanctums such as the golf course, the racquetball court, the bar, the poker game, or other arenas of mostly male interaction in which insider information is shared and business deals are often cut outside of “official” work environments.

Segregative tracking into “job ghettos”—dead-end jobs in departments or units with short mobility ladders, as well as organizational rules that do not permit movement out of such units—can be discriminatory. Assignments to “fast-track” jobs are often based on nonmerit criteria. Discriminatory informal workplace relations can create a “hostile workplace environment.” Selective mentoring, sponsorship, and exclusion from “old boy” networks can be discriminatory. Beyond these forms of discrimination, basic characteristics of the American industrial structure produce differentiated occupational opportunities that are allocated in discriminatory ways. As discussed in chapter 6, wages and benefits received for doing essentially the same job vary by the type of organization, industry, and region in which the job is performed. Large, capital-intensive, high-profit firms with large market shares in the “core” economic sector pay employees the most.

For example, though women now are graduating from law schools at rates comparable to men, for instance, few women occupy judgeships or senior partnerships in major law firms, in part because few women graduated from law schools twenty or thirty years ago, and those who did were often subjected to much more severe discrimination than occurs now, derailing their prospects for advancement. The same pattern is reflected in other professions in which women have more recently approached parity with males at the entry level, including medicine and the professoriate. On top of these lag effects, however, discrimination continues. Even among younger cohorts, research shows that women do not ascend as often or as quickly as men. Old Boy Networks Regardless of where women are located in the labor force (i.e., be they doctors or secretaries), women as a group face unique nonmerit impediments that make it more difficult to compete evenly with men. One of these impediments is lack of sponsorship—one form of social capital. Since the most powerful and influential positions are usually held by men, women are at a critical disadvantage.


pages: 319 words: 89,477

The Power of Pull: How Small Moves, Smartly Made, Can Set Big Things in Motion by John Hagel Iii, John Seely Brown

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Albert Einstein, Andrew Keen, barriers to entry, Black Swan, business process, call centre, Clayton Christensen, cleantech, cloud computing, commoditize, corporate governance, creative destruction, Elon Musk, en.wikipedia.org, future of work, game design, George Gilder, intangible asset, Isaac Newton, job satisfaction, knowledge economy, knowledge worker, loose coupling, Louis Pasteur, Malcom McLean invented shipping containers, Maui Hawaii, medical residency, Network effects, old-boy network, packet switching, pattern recognition, peer-to-peer, pre–internet, profit motive, recommendation engine, Ronald Coase, shareholder value, Silicon Valley, Skype, smart transportation, software as a service, supply-chain management, The Nature of the Firm, the new new thing, too big to fail, trade liberalization, transaction costs

But the “productive friction”7 generated by unfamiliar circumstances can be surprisingly beneficial, as can surrounding ourselves with people whose ways of perceiving the world and solving problems differ from our own.8 Note that while serendipity often occurs in social networks, where we unexpectedly encounter friends of friends or even total strangers who prove helpful, we’re not simply talking about old-style networking, where you “work” a party or a conference for anybody and everybody who might prove useful to you. We’re not talking about the mutual back-scratching of the old-boys’ network, either, to fix parking tickets or an embarrassing situation with a relative. Nor are we talking about pulling strings behind the scenes, or making Machiavellian use of information. Anyone approaching pull in a mercenary, “what’s-in-it-for-me” fashion is likely to get burned. In fact, he or she will not really be practicing pull at all, as they will offer no reciprocal benefits to the people and institutions with whom they interact.

Rather than dictating the actions that people must take, pull platforms provide people with the tools and resources (including connections to other people) required for them to take initiative and creatively address opportunities as they arise. Common Misperceptions of Pull When we talk to people about pull platforms, we sometimes run into the misperception that pull is somehow manipulative, below-board, taking place behind the scenes in a smoke-filled room. But this is not your father’s old boys’ network. Academics often harbor the same assumption, figuring that pull involves the classic “broker” who, for his own gain, acts as an unreliable, duplicitous go-between among unsuspecting innocents. Shakespeare’s plays are full of such characters: Othello’s “friend” Iago, to name one. Some academics call such a broker Tertius Gaudens, “the third who benefits.” Instead, we’re talking about what David Obstfeld has named Tertius Iungens, “the third who joins”—and who in so doing creates value for all concerned. 6 The model of behavior we’re interested in is Iungens, not Gaudens.

Microsoft as example of shaping view motivates third-party investments Mindsets for management of collaboration of control, threatened by change Minnick, Mary Mirabilis Mobile phone industry Modular design of pull platforms described Li & Fung’s specific activities, outputs motivates passionate individuals to success Moore’s Law Mor ville, Peter Motorola Mousavi, Mir-Hossein Myanmar (Burma) Saffron Revolution National Scholastic Surfing Association “The Nature of the Firm” essay (Coase) NetWeaver Networks types of, described Newspapers 9/11 attacks Noll, Greg Nonprofit organizations experiencing performance pressures shaping strategies in Novell Oahu, Hawaii Obama, Barack Obstfeld, David The Office television program Old-boy networks Online communities. See Online social networks Online role-playing games as creation spaces Online social networks attracting, sustaining, quality attention complementary talent generated by serendipity with edge connections as environments for serendipitous encounters and findability See also Social networks; World of Warcraft (WoW) Open innovation beyond, to broad forms of collaboration defined model of product development catalyzed by shaping Shai Agassi pulls SAP and Web 2.0 into teams emerge naturally Open innovation platforms form teams offline to research solutions as specialized, connecting people unknown to each other See also InnoCentive open innovation platform Open-source software sites Orbitz Ortolano, Glauco Outsourcing Pace accelerated by technology, social networking as actions and assets for shaping strategies amplified by outside-in IT architectures amplified through IT investment amplified through mindset as element of journey toward pull igigig individualized as maximizing return on attention Page, Larry Participants as element in creation spaces as influencers in shaping platforms persuaded by shaping actions roles for pursuing shaping strategies See also Individuals Passion defining professions as of employees pursuing, with questing dispositions shared within geographic spikes as transforming, motivating Pasteur, Louis Payne, Dusty with edge connections becoming part of core network introduced wins Kustom Air Strike Payne, Lisa Payne, Wendell Peres, Shimon Perez, Carlota Performance declines of corporations Performance improvement in digital infrastructures driven, increased, by new knowledge flows and experience curves through pull techniques Performance measures.

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

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

. • Ties between business and government are very close in France. Relations between the two are collegial rather than adversarial, as is often the case in the United States. It is not unusual to find a major privatesector company managed by graduates of the same grande école with considerable public-sector experience. Their background in l’Administration (of the country) allows them to build particularly effective old-boy networks of power and influence, which can be used to advantage in their new roles. • Competence and performance are not the only considerations for being a successful manager in France. Your personal background, seniority, education, and other intangible elements, such as your personal network of information sources, might play at least an equally important role. This may seem terribly hierarchical and class-oriented if you come from a society that in principle values egalitarianism, and you may have trouble integrating these elements into your personal way of reasoning.

See de Gramont, Sanche Muslims, 127–28, 132 N Napoléon, 14, 15, 26–27, 128 Napoleonic Code, 27, 136 National Front Party (F.N.), 26, 113, 114 national identity, 115, 155, 157, 158, 159–61 national independence, 29, 156 National School of Administration (ENA), 115, 126 native language (safety valve), 188, 193 NATO (North Atlantic Treaty Organization), 29, 156 negotiations, business, 201, 210–13 newspapers: Le Canard Enchaîné, 143 Libération, 130 Non merci, Oncle Sam, 157 296 O old-boy network, 21, 221, 232 Orleman, Paul, 166, 195 P pan-European identity, 159–60 Paris, 15, 28, 47, 63, 105, 183 Pascal, Blaise, 74 Pépe Le Pew, 35 perfection, attainment of: attitudes toward, 36, 138–41 performance appraisals. See job performance appraisals personal assessment vs. impartial test, 152–54 personality development, influences on, 69–70 pessimism vs. optimism, 137–38 as reflected in language, 138 Peyrefitte, Alain, 131 political leaders, 217 authority vested in strong, 15, 118 as examples of individualism, 156 requirements for, 115–17 response to American hegemony, 29, 157–58, 161–62 political parties, 113–115 political role, international, 154–56 politicians: attitudes toward, 117–20 media focus on private lives of, 118–20, 142 politics, 89, 111–21 ethnic minorities underrepresented in, 130–31 influence on daily life of, 111–13, 115, 156 women in, 120–21, 256 polychronism vs. monochronism, 194–96, 198, 233 deadlines and, 36, 180, 193, 195 Index 297 Polytechnique, 253, 256 Poulidor, Raymond, 204 power: in corporate setting, 183, 209–10 networks/blocs, 199–200, 237, 242 presentation styles, 37, 107, 180, 196–97 privacy, psychological, 22, 43, 53–57, 70, 77, 82, 178, 183–84, 189 private vs. public spheres, 22, 56, 67, 83, 135, 183–84 Protestantism, 127, 162 Pyramide du Louvre, 28 Q qualitative vs. quantitative evaluations, 152–54 quality vs. production schedules (speed), 201, 213–14 quoted remarks of prior sojourners, 264–67 R Rally for France (R.P.F. party), 114 Rally for the Republic (R.P.R. party), 114 rationalism, 13–14 deductive vs. inductive reasoning, 75, 137, 149–50 intellectual vs. pragmatic approaches, 146–49, 233 logic, 14, 149, 196, 211 theoretical vs. empirical analyses, 149–52, 169, 256 realism vs. idealism, 138–41, 142 regional identity, 14, 74, 160, 162 regions: Alsace, 14, 160 Alsace-Lorraine, 105 Basque, 10, 14, 160, 161, 162 Brittany, 14, 160, 162 Burgundy, 141 298 Co^ té d’Azur, 61 Gascony, 160 relationship-oriented vs. action-oriented societies, 235.


pages: 371 words: 108,317

The Inevitable: Understanding the 12 Technological Forces That Will Shape Our Future by Kevin Kelly

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3D printing, A Declaration of the Independence of Cyberspace, AI winter, Airbnb, Albert Einstein, Amazon Web Services, augmented reality, bank run, barriers to entry, Baxter: Rethink Robotics, bitcoin, blockchain, book scanning, Brewster Kahle, Burning Man, cloud computing, commoditize, computer age, connected car, crowdsourcing, dark matter, dematerialisation, Downton Abbey, Edward Snowden, Elon Musk, Filter Bubble, Freestyle chess, game design, Google Glasses, hive mind, Howard Rheingold, index card, indoor plumbing, industrial robot, Internet Archive, Internet of things, invention of movable type, invisible hand, Jaron Lanier, Jeff Bezos, job automation, John Markoff, Kevin Kelly, Kickstarter, lifelogging, linked data, Lyft, M-Pesa, Marc Andreessen, Marshall McLuhan, means of production, megacity, Minecraft, multi-sided market, natural language processing, Netflix Prize, Network effects, new economy, Nicholas Carr, old-boy network, peer-to-peer, peer-to-peer lending, personalized medicine, placebo effect, planetary scale, postindustrial economy, recommendation engine, RFID, ride hailing / ride sharing, Rodney Brooks, self-driving car, sharing economy, Silicon Valley, slashdot, Snapchat, social graph, social web, software is eating the world, speech recognition, Stephen Hawking, Steven Levy, Ted Nelson, the scientific method, transport as a service, two-sided market, Uber for X, Watson beat the top human players on Jeopardy!, Whole Earth Review, zero-sum game

Indeed, a close examination of the governing kernel of, say, Wikipedia, Linux, or OpenOffice shows that these efforts are a bit further from the collectivist nirvana than appears from the outside. While millions of writers contribute to Wikipedia, a smaller number of editors (around 1,500) are responsible for the majority of the editing. Ditto for collectives that write code. A vast army of contributions is managed by a much smaller group of coordinators. As Mitch Kapor, founding chair of the Mozilla open source code factory, observed, “Inside every working anarchy, there’s an old-boy network.” This isn’t necessarily a bad thing. Some types of collectives benefit from a small degree of hierarchy while others are hurt by it. Platforms like the internet, Facebook, or democracy are intended to serve as an arena for producing goods and delivering services. These infrastructural courtyards benefit from being as nonhierarchical as possible, minimizing barriers to entry and distributing rights and responsibilities equally.

tried to harness readers’ reports: Rachel McAthy, “Lessons from the Guardian’s Open Newslist Trial,” Journalism.co.uk, July 9, 2012. OhMyNews in South Korea: “OhMyNews,” Wikipedia, accessed July 30, 2015. Fast Company signed up 2,000: Ed Sussman, “Why Michael Wolff Is Wrong,” Observer, March 20, 2014. smaller number of editors: Aaron Swartz, “Who Writes Wikipedia?,” Raw Thought, September 4, 2006. “an old-boy network”: Kapor first said this about the internet pre-web in the late 1980s. Personal communication. not exactly a bastion of equality: “Wikipedia: WikiProject Countering Systemic Bias,” Wikipedia, accessed July 31, 2015. 9,000 startups in 2015: Mesh, accessed August 18, 2015, http://meshing.it. Babylonian chants: Stef Conner, “The Lyre Ensemble,” StefConner.com, accessed July 31, 2015.


pages: 613 words: 151,140

No Such Thing as Society by Andy McSmith

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anti-communist, Ayatollah Khomeini, Berlin Wall, Big bang: deregulation of the City of London, Bob Geldof, British Empire, Brixton riot, call centre, cuban missile crisis, Etonian, F. W. de Klerk, Farzad Bazoft, feminist movement, fixed income, Francis Fukuyama: the end of history, friendly fire, full employment, glass ceiling, God and Mammon, greed is good, illegal immigration, index card, John Bercow, liberal capitalism, light touch regulation, Live Aid, loadsamoney, long peace, means of production, Mikhail Gorbachev, mortgage debt, mutually assured destruction, negative equity, Neil Kinnock, North Sea oil, Northern Rock, old-boy network, popular capitalism, Right to Buy, Ronald Reagan, Rubik’s Cube, Sloane Ranger, South Sea Bubble, spread of share-ownership, strikebreaker, The Chicago School, union organizing, upwardly mobile, urban decay, Winter of Discontent, young professional

This was crudity of a kind not seen before on mainstream television, and it was not to everyone’s taste. The show owed a comic debt to Spike Milligan; he was not flattered, however. He once said: ‘Rik Mayall is putrid – absolutely vile. He thinks nose-picking is funny and farting and all that. He is the arsehole of British comedy.’14 That, of course, was part of his appeal to the young target audience. Mayall rivalled Rowan Atkinson as the most popular comic of his generation. There were old-boy networks even in this meritocratic world. Ben Elton, who had known Mayall and Edmondson at Manchester University, had his first big break when he was drafted in as a scriptwriter on The Young Ones. Afterwards, he teamed up with Richard Curtis, one of the regular writers from Not the Nine O’Clock News, to create a new vehicle for Rowan Atkinson, whom Curtis had known at Oxford. The producer, again, was John Lloyd.

Enfield, a Labour supporter, did not mind that, but he did not like it when the Sun took it up as a celebration of Thatcherism, using ‘£oadsamoney’ to plug its Lotto and Bingo games. He instructed his solicitors to try to warn them off, but gave up after the Sun counterattacked, telling him to ‘buy yourself a sense of humour’.1 The phenomenon that Enfield was observing did not originate in Tottenham’s White Hart Lane. It came out of the City of London, which in a few dramatic years was transformed from a club run by an old-boy network of public-school alumni to a place where the ambitious sons of working-class families were given free rein to make a great deal of money quickly. This development could be said to have begun when Margaret Thatcher called Cecil Parkinson to her office in June 1983 to reward him for his valiant work as chairman of the Conservative Party, presiding over the party’s best election result since the 1930s.


pages: 190 words: 53,970

Eastern standard tribe by Cory Doctorow

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airport security, call centre, forensic accounting, high net worth, moral panic, offshore financial centre, old-boy network, pirate software, Silicon Valley, the payments system

Now he was pushing for the abolishment of "core hours," Corporate Eurospeak for the time after lunch but before afternoon naps when everyone showed up at the office, so that they could get some face-time. Enough of this, and GMT would be the laughingstock of the world, and so caught up in internecine struggles that the clear superiority of the stress-feeding EST ethos would sweep them away. That was the theory, anyway. Of course, there were rival Tribalists in every single management consulting firm in the world working against us. Management consultants have always worked on old-boys' networks, after all -- it was a very short step from interning your frat buddy to interning your Tribesman. "That's it? A meeting? Jesus, it's just a meeting. He probably wants you to reassure him before he presents to the CEO, is all." "No, I'm sure that's not it. He's got us sniffed -- both of us. He's been going through the product-design stuff, too, which is totally outside of his bailiwick.

Interventions by Noam Chomsky

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Albert Einstein, Ayatollah Khomeini, cuban missile crisis, energy security, facts on the ground, failed state, Monroe Doctrine, nuremberg principles, old-boy network, Ralph Nader, Thorstein Veblen, uranium enrichment, Washington Consensus, éminence grise

The editor of the page, Michael Kinsley, shook his head at the mathematical difficulties of any attempt to broaden the debate and on March 20, 2005 wrote in the Los Angeles Times: If pressure for more women succeeds—as it will—there will be fewer black voices, fewer Latinos, and so on. Why should this be so? Aren’t there black women and conservative Latinos? Of course there are. There may even be a wonderfully articulate disabled Latina lesbian conservative who is undiscovered because she is outside the comfortable old-boy network. But there probably aren’t two. It’s not a question of effort, it’s mathematics. Each variable added to the equation subverts efforts to maximize all the other variables. That sort of thinking is unfortunately common. Writing in the New York Times in 1990, Anna Quindlen recalled that one editor had told her, “I’d love to run your column, but we already run Ellen Goodman”—presumably one female writer was all the page could handle.


pages: 268 words: 76,709

Tomatoland: How Modern Industrial Agriculture Destroyed Our Most Alluring Fruit by Barry Estabrook

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Bernie Sanders, biofilm, collective bargaining, Columbian Exchange, McMansion, medical malpractice, old-boy network, urban sprawl, women in the workforce

After dropping out of high school, Cisneros took a series of jobs and eventually found herself employed by a crew boss as the driver of a bus that transported farmworkers from Immokalee to the fields. Within a few years, she had managed to save enough money for a down payment on a used school bus and became the boss of her own crew of ten to forty workers. At the time, she was the only female crew leader in the area. “It was a good old boy network,” she told me. The “boys,” however, turned out to be not very “good” and didn’t take kindly to having a woman among their ranks. Frequently, they hired employees away from Cisneros. Or taunted them: “Oh, you work for a prissy woman’s crew.” She was given an often-used nickname, “The Bitch.” On occasion, she was threatened with physical harm, but she persisted. Farm managers knew that her crew members were good workers.


pages: 252 words: 70,424

The Self-Made Billionaire Effect: How Extreme Producers Create Massive Value by John Sviokla, Mitch Cohen

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Cass Sunstein, Colonization of Mars, corporate raider, Daniel Kahneman / Amos Tversky, Elon Musk, Frederick Winslow Taylor, game design, global supply chain, James Dyson, Jeff Bezos, John Harrison: Longitude, Jony Ive, loss aversion, Mark Zuckerberg, market design, old-boy network, paper trading, RAND corporation, randomized controlled trial, Richard Thaler, risk tolerance, self-driving car, Silicon Valley, smart meter, Steve Ballmer, Steve Jobs, Steve Wozniak, Tony Hsieh, Toyota Production System, young professional

For more detail about Yan Cheung, see Evan Osnos, “Wastepaper Queen: She’s China’s Horatio Alger Hero. Will Her Fortune Survive?” New Yorker, March 30, 2009. 2. Ibid.: ‘They had to fight their way in,’ Maurice (Big Moe) Colontonio, a paper recycler in South Jersey, told me. . . . ‘The Chinese came to us packers, and they said, “Will you sell to us?”’ Colontonio told me one afternoon as we sat in the plant office. ‘But it was always an old-boy network in this business. I sold to someone I knew, and that person sold to people he knew. And now we’ve got these people—we don’t know them—and they’re selling to China? How are we going to be paid? Who are we going to chase?’ 3. http://onlinenevada.org/kirk_kerkorian. 4. Michael Specter, “Branson’s Luck,” New Yorker, May 14, 2007. 5. The original paper was published by Econometrica.


pages: 226 words: 69,893

The Accidental Billionaires: The Founding of Facebook: A Tale of Sex, Money, Genius and Betrayal by Ben Mezrich

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Mark Zuckerberg, old-boy network, Peter Thiel, rolodex, side project, Silicon Valley, social web

It was, arguably, the most elite and secretive club in America—comparable to the Skull and Bones at Yale. Founded in 1791, named in 1794 in honor of a bacchanalian pig roast that the graduating members had thrown for themselves—feasting on a pig, the story goes, that one member had brought to classes with him, hiding the porcine pet in a window box whenever a professor came near—the Porcellian was the ultimate old boys’ network on a campus that had defined the term. The clubhouse—“the old barn,” as the members referred to it—was a place of legend and history. Teddy Roosevelt had been a Porc, along with many members of the Roosevelt clan; FDR had been rejected from the club, and had called the incident “the greatest disappointment of his life.” The Porcellian’s motto—dum vivimus, vivamus, “while we live, let’s live”—did not apply simply to a member’s experience at college, but well after, as he went out and made his way into the world.


pages: 244 words: 76,192

Execution: The Discipline of Getting Things Done by Larry Bossidy

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Albert Einstein, business process, complexity theory, Iridium satellite, Long Term Capital Management, NetJets, old-boy network, shareholder value, six sigma, social software, Socratic dialogue, supply-chain management

As a result, the organization below is totally confused. At EDS, Dick Brown moved quickly to make sure the performers got rewarded more than the nonperformers. Lack of accountability had been a major problem in the company, as the leadership ranks well understood. “There were no negative consequences for poor performance,” recalled one executive. “Not only no consequences, but if you were part of the good old boy network, there really wasn’t accountability for negative behavior toward the company.” Added another, “It was always somebody else’s problem.” Brown instituted a system that ranked all executives in quintiles by how well they performed compared with their peers, and rewarded them accordingly. It is similar to the “vitality curve” Jack Welch introduced at GE to differentiate “A,” “B,” and “C” players.


pages: 230 words: 71,320

Outliers: The Story of Success by Malcolm Gladwell

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affirmative action, Bill Gates: Altair 8800, computer age, corporate raider, crew resource management, medical residency, old-boy network, Pearl River Delta, popular electronics, Silicon Valley, Steve Ballmer, Steve Jobs, union organizing, upwardly mobile, why are manhole covers round?

Among Silicon Valley insiders, Joy is spoken of with as much awe as someone like Bill Gates of Microsoft. He is sometimes called the Edison of the Internet. As the Yale computer scientist David Gelernter says, "Bill Joy is one of the most influential people in the modern history of computing/' The story of Bill Joy's genius has been told many times, and the lesson is always the same. Here was a world that was the purest of meritocracies. Computer programming didn't operate as an old-boy network, where you got ahead because of money or connections. It was a wide-open field in which all participants were judged solely on their talent and their accomplishments. It was a world where the best men won, and Joy was clearly one of those best men. It would be easier to accept that version of events, however, if we hadn't just looked at hockey and soccer players. Theirs was supposed to be apure meritocracy as well.


pages: 270 words: 79,992

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

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

Although inarguably elitist, the parties (and the old-boy systems that comprised them) made sure candidates for major office deserved to be leaders—that they possessed some essential mettle or fitness for office. Bad apples aside, most of party rank and file evinced a strong sense of morality and social responsibility born of a class-based mentality—quite a shift from what we see today. As the New York Times columnist David Brooks has observed: Today’s elite lacks the self-conscious leadership ethos that the racist, sexist and anti-Semitic old boys’ network did possess. If you went to Groton a century ago, you knew you were privileged. You were taught how morally precarious privilege was and how much responsibility it entailed. You were housed in a spartan 6-foot-by-9-foot cubicle to prepare you for the rigors of leadership. … The best of the WASP elites had a stewardship mentality, that they were temporary caretakers of institutions that would span generations.5 Before the age of radio and television, it was pretty hard to see candidates up close, so the political parties and their grand political conventions functioned as a process that delivered trustworthy leaders and policies to America.


pages: 257 words: 64,763

The Great American Stickup: How Reagan Republicans and Clinton Democrats Enriched Wall Street While Mugging Main Street by Robert Scheer

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banking crisis, Bernie Madoff, Bernie Sanders, collateralized debt obligation, corporate governance, Credit Default Swap, credit default swaps / collateralized debt obligations, facts on the ground, financial deregulation, fixed income, housing crisis, invisible hand, Long Term Capital Management, mega-rich, mortgage debt, new economy, old-boy network, Ponzi scheme, profit motive, Ralph Nader, Ronald Reagan, too big to fail, trickle-down economics

Such outdated gender ideas were still common in the 1950s, of course, and Born soon realized she was not going to achieve much if she continued to listen to such naysayers. So, armed with what she later recalled for Washington Lawyer as a “ferocious sense of injustice,” and urged on by her mother, she entered Stanford Law School, where she would become the first female editor of the Stanford Law Review, a prestigious honor for which she was nationally recognized. To understand how Born years later could go toe-to-toe with the intimidating old boys’ network of Greenspan, Rubin, and Summers, one must realize that she had been doing that sort of thing her entire life. She became an attorney at a time when only 3 percent of the country’s lawyers were women. She entered Stanford Law in a class of 155 men and 10 women—only 4 of whom would graduate from this bastion of testosterone three years later, in 1961. Born was not a quitter. Nor was she a political neophyte.


pages: 241 words: 78,508

Lean In: Women, Work, and the Will to Lead by Sheryl Sandberg

affirmative action, business process, Cass Sunstein, constrained optimization, experimental economics, fear of failure, gender pay gap, glass ceiling, job satisfaction, labor-force participation, Mark Zuckerberg, meta analysis, meta-analysis, old-boy network, Richard Thaler, risk tolerance, Silicon Valley, social graph, women in the workforce, young professional

Asking for input is not a sign of weakness but often the first step to finding a path forward. Mentoring and sponsoring relationships often form between individuals who have common interests or when the junior members remind the more senior members of themselves.7 This means that men will often gravitate toward sponsoring younger men, with whom they connect more naturally. Since there are so many more men at the top of every industry, the proverbial old-boy network continues to flourish. And since there are already a reduced number of women in leadership roles, it is not possible for the junior women to get enough support unless senior men jump in too. We need to make male leaders aware of this shortage and encourage them to widen their circle. It’s wonderful when senior men mentor women. It’s even better when they champion and sponsor them. Any male leader who is serious about moving toward a more equal world can make this a priority and be part of the solution.


pages: 564 words: 178,408

Citizens of London: The Americans Who Stood With Britain in Its Darkest, Finest Hour by Lynne Olson

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Alistair Cooke, Bretton Woods, British Empire, colonial rule, European colonialism, financial independence, full employment, imperial preference, indoor plumbing, jobless men, old-boy network, South China Sea, V2 rocket

In addition to his own tough reports on Chamberlain’s policies, he invited Winston Churchill and other members of a small band of anti-appeasement Conservative MPs to broadcast to America via CBS. It was the only radio outlet for most of the parliamentary rebels, who had been barred from BBC broadcasts because of their views. Most of Chamberlain’s critics in the Conservative Party were members of the public school old-boy network that dominated British society and government, and they welcomed Murrow and his wife into their upper-class circle. Throughout the Murrows’ stay in England, they were frequent guests at elegant Mayfair dinner parties, lunches at exclusive private clubs, and weekend get-togethers at grand country houses. A crack shot, Murrow hunted grouse and pheasant with Lord Cranborne, the future Marquess of Salisbury and scion of one of the most noted aristocratic families in England, at Cranborne’s family estate in Hertfordshire.

“He would get whatever he needed—the best horses, coaches, equipment, his own bowling alley or croquet lawn—and work like the devil to win.” While his grades were as mediocre at Yale as they had been at Groton, Harriman’s education at those two schools gave him a priceless advantage. Like the sons of British industrialists who attended Eton and Oxford, he was given an entrée into his country’s elite old-boy network, which presided over the business, social, and government establishments. Among his fellow Yale alumni were Lovett and Dean Acheson, who, like Harriman himself, would go on to play major roles in the emergence of the United States as the leading world power in the 1940s and 1950s. Four years after Harriman’s graduation from Yale, the United States entered World War I, but, unlike most of his college classmates, he chose not to enlist.


In the Age of the Smart Machine by Shoshana Zuboff

affirmative action, blue-collar work, collective bargaining, computer age, Computer Numeric Control, conceptual framework, data acquisition, demand response, deskilling, factory automation, Ford paid five dollars a day, fudge factor, future of work, industrial robot, information retrieval, interchangeable parts, job automation, linked data, Marshall McLuhan, means of production, old-boy network, optical character recognition, post-industrial society, RAND corporation, Shoshana Zuboff, social web, The Wealth of Nations by Adam Smith, Thorstein Veblen, union organizing, zero-sum game

The conference quickly became one of the most popular, with 130 members sharing information aimed at "helping pro- fessional women cope with life in a male-dominated corporation." The Panoptic Power and the Social Text 383 conference often addressed issues related to the conflicting demands of work and family life. Many women described it as "our effort to build our own 'old boy's network.' " The "old boy's network" drew a good deal of its power from its invisibility, but the Women's Professional Improvement conference, despite its technical precautions, was all too visible. A number of inci- dents in the conference created a stir within the management hierar- chy. In one case, a member had posted information about affirmative action in the conference. In another case, some members discussed a personal issue with little business relevance.


pages: 255 words: 90,456

Frommer's Irreverent Guide to San Francisco by Matthew Richard Poole

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Bay Area Rapid Transit, Chuck Templeton: OpenTable, game design, glass ceiling, Golden Gate Park, Haight Ashbury, haute cuisine, Loma Prieta earthquake, Maui Hawaii, old-boy network, pez dispenser, sensible shoes, Silicon Valley, South of Market, San Francisco, Torches of Freedom, upwardly mobile

La Rondalla (Valencia St.) is fun for lunch or early dinner because of the goofy decorations and the traditional Mexican food, familiar to most kids— and not too fiery. (Later in the evening, the bar livens up and the atmosphere is less suitable for younger children.) If the kids do like hot-and-spicy treats, take them to Coriya Hot Pot City (Richmond District), where they can have a ball playing chef and cooking their own meat on the grills. Where to seal a deal... This, of course, depends upon the client. The Old Boy network tends to be wary of fancy food and effusive waiters, which you’ll never find at Harris’ (Van Ness Ave.). Old-school attorneys love the Fly Trap Restaurant, the traditional San Francisco grill (with a few culinary updates) across from the courthouse. If your clients are food lovers who don’t want to be bothered with trendy trappings, take them to my favorite small French bistro, Fringale (South of Market).


pages: 287 words: 86,919

Protocol: how control exists after decentralization by Alexander R. Galloway

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Ada Lovelace, airport security, Berlin Wall, bioinformatics, Bretton Woods, computer age, Craig Reynolds: boids flock, discovery of DNA, Donald Davies, double helix, Douglas Engelbart, Douglas Engelbart, easy for humans, difficult for computers, Fall of the Berlin Wall, Grace Hopper, Hacker Ethic, informal economy, John Conway, John Markoff, Kevin Kelly, late capitalism, linear programming, Marshall McLuhan, means of production, Menlo Park, moral panic, mutually assured destruction, Norbert Wiener, old-boy network, packet switching, phenotype, post-industrial society, profit motive, QWERTY keyboard, RAND corporation, Ray Kurzweil, RFC: Request For Comment, Richard Stallman, semantic web, SETI@home, stem cell, Steve Crocker, Steven Levy, Stewart Brand, Ted Nelson, telerobotics, the market place, theory of mind, urban planning, Vannevar Bush, Whole Earth Review, working poor

If they are deemed uninteresting or unnecessary, they simply disappear after their expiration date of six months. They are not RFCs and receive no number. If an Internet-Draft survives the necessary revisions and is deemed important, it is shown to the IESG and nominated for the standards track. If the IESG agrees (and the IAB approves), then the specification is handed off to the RFC editor and put in the queue for future publication. Cronyism is sometimes a danger at this point, as the old-boys network—the RFC editor, the IESG, and the IAB—have complete control over which Internet-Drafts are escalated and which aren’t. 31. That said, there are protocols that are given the status level of “required” for certain contexts. For example, the Internet Protocol is a required protocol for anyone wishing to connect to the Internet. Other protocols may be given status levels of “recommended” or “elective” depending on how necessary they are for implementing a specific technology.


pages: 316 words: 105,384

Moneyball by Michael Lewis

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Cass Sunstein, high batting average, Norman Mailer, old-boy network, placebo effect, RAND corporation, Richard Thaler, systematic trading, the new new thing, the scientific method, upwardly mobile

Next to Feiny, at one end of the video room, sat David Forst, twenty-five-year-old former Harvard shortstop. Two years earlier, after he’d graduated with an honors degree in sociology, Forst had been invited to the Red Sox spring training camp. Dismissed in the final cut, he sent his résumé around big league front offices and it caught Paul DePodesta’s eye. And so, surely for the first time since the dead ball era, the Harvard Old Boys’ network came to baseball. Paul himself sat at the desk on the other end of the room. I ask them if it ever troubled them to devote their lives, and expensive educations, to a trivial game. They look at me as if I’ve lost my mind, and Paul actually laughed. “Oh, you mean as opposed to working in some deeply meaningful job on Wall Street?” he said. It wasn’t hard to see what Billy had seen in Paul when he’d hired him: an antidote to himself.


pages: 261 words: 103,244

Economists and the Powerful by Norbert Haring, Norbert H. Ring, Niall Douglas

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accounting loophole / creative accounting, Affordable Care Act / Obamacare, Albert Einstein, asset allocation, bank run, barriers to entry, Basel III, Bernie Madoff, British Empire, central bank independence, collective bargaining, commodity trading advisor, corporate governance, creative destruction, credit crunch, Credit Default Swap, David Ricardo: comparative advantage, diversified portfolio, financial deregulation, George Akerlof, illegal immigration, income inequality, inflation targeting, information asymmetry, Jean Tirole, job satisfaction, Joseph Schumpeter, Kenneth Arrow, knowledge worker, labour market flexibility, law of one price, light touch regulation, Long Term Capital Management, low skilled workers, mandatory minimum, market bubble, market clearing, market fundamentalism, means of production, minimum wage unemployment, moral hazard, new economy, obamacare, old-boy network, open economy, Pareto efficiency, Paul Samuelson, pension reform, Ponzi scheme, price stability, principal–agent problem, profit maximization, purchasing power parity, Renaissance Technologies, rolodex, Sergey Aleynikov, shareholder value, short selling, Steve Jobs, The Chicago School, the payments system, The Wealth of Nations by Adam Smith, too big to fail, transaction costs, ultimatum game, union organizing, Vilfredo Pareto, working-age population, World Values Survey

Outside directors are people who are not and have not been employees of the company. This has not proven overly successful. It disregards a phenomenon that sociologists (particularly Bourdieu) have long recognized but economists have eschewed, the “corporate small world” phenomenon. Each knows each other and respects each other’s sphere of influence and authority of decision making. 116 ECONOMISTS AND THE POWERFUL For France, where old boys’ networks based on elite academic institutions are particularly important, Nguyen-Dang (2008) found that the firm performs worse if the CEO and at least one board member are graduates from the same elite college than it does if the board has no graduates from elite colleges. Furthermore, if at least two directors have graduated from the same elite college with the CEO, the normal relationship between poor CEO performance and more firings disappears.


pages: 299 words: 91,839

What Would Google Do? by Jeff Jarvis

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

It would make them ask questions before they are told answers. It could reveal to them their own talents and needs. The skeptic will say that not every student is responsible enough or a self-starter. Perhaps. But how will we know students’ capabilities unless we put them in the position to try? And why structure education for everyone around the lowest denominator of the few? Another byproduct of a university’s society is its network—its old-boy network, as we sexistly if accurately called it. That club has long held value for getting jobs, hiring, and making connections. But now that we have the greatest connection machine ever made—the internet—do we still need that old mechanism for connections? LinkedIn, Facebook, and other services enable us to create and organize extended networks (any friend of yours…) springing out of not just school but employment, conferences, introductions, even blogs.


pages: 385 words: 99,985

Pattern Recognition by William Gibson

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carbon-based life, Frank Gehry, Mars Rover, Maui Hawaii, offshore financial centre, old-boy network, pattern recognition

"Then what does he sell?" Cayce asks. "Sometimes," Voytek says, lowering his voice slightly, "I think he locates information for people." "He's a spy!" declares Magda, gleefully. Voytek winces. "He perhaps has retained certain connections," Ngemi qualifies, "and can find certain things out. I imagine there are men in the City…" His wide black brow creases with seriousness. "Nothing illegal, one hopes. Old-boy networks are something one understands, here. One doesn't ask. We assume Hobbs has his own, still." "Sig-int," Magda says, triumphantly. "Voytek says he sells sig-int." Voytek stares gloomily at his glass. SIGINT, Cayce knows. Signals intelligence. She decides to change the subject. Whatever this is about, it's detracting from what pleasure she's able to take in the evening. AFTER leaving the restaurant, they stop at a crowded pub near the station.


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, creative destruction, 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, Myron Scholes, Naomi Klein, new economy, oil shock, old-boy network, Paul Samuelson, 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

Reducing the serendipity involved in making the connections to help one up the career ladder has long been a middle-class preoccupation. Dale Carnegie’s 1936 book, How to Win Friends and Influence People, the granddaddy of self-help books, was a milestone. It legitimized the manipulation of human relationships in the service of career and provided the psychological techniques for doing it. Selling themselves with these techniques, clever ambitious outsiders might bypass the “old boys’” network in their ascent up their career ladders. The Internet has revolutionized networking—Rolodexes replaced by e-mail lists replaced by Facebook and Twitter—and according to Slaughter, therein lies America’s great advantage. Slaughter notes, “Every CEO advice manual published in the past decade has focused on the shift from the vertical world of hierarchy to the horizontal world of networks. Media are networked: online blogs and other forms of participatory media depend on contributions from readers to create a vast, networked conversation.


pages: 241 words: 90,538

Unequal Britain: Equalities in Britain Since 1945 by Pat Thane

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Ayatollah Khomeini, British Empire, call centre, collective bargaining, equal pay for equal work, full employment, gender pay gap, mass immigration, moral panic, Neil Kinnock, old-boy network, pensions crisis, sexual politics, Stephen Hawking, unpaid internship, women in the workforce

The growth of commercially successful ethnic minority media in the 1980s and 1990s may have been a factor in the increasing ability of minority communities to influence the language used to describe them. Publications like The Voice and Asian Age have also provided ethnic minority journalists with a route into the mainstream media, although research suggests that ‘low-level racism’ still pervades the culture of the newsroom.33 A heavy reliance on unpaid internships and personal contacts as ways into the media tends to exclude those who are outside the ‘old boys’ network’ and those with fewer financial resources. Television has a better record than newspapers, with the success of pioneers such as Trevor MacDonald and Moira Stewart in the 1970s, replicated by Krishnan Guru-Murthy and Zeinab Badawi since the 1990s, although minority ethnic groups remain under-represented in the mainstream media. It is difficult to determine whether these trends have had a significant effect on the way in which minority ethnic groups are represented in newspapers and on television or are perceived by viewers and readers.


pages: 273 words: 34,920

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

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

At the time, Australia was facing some economic problems such as high inflation and low economic growth, and these think tanks represented the situation as an economic crisis caused by a failure of the welfare state. They attacked government and union power and spending and praised the virtues of free and unimpeded enterprise.31 Although these corporate-funded pro-market think tanks still used the ‘old boys networks’ of ‘the club, the state, the media, the university, etc.’, they ‘developed new ways of operating, for example, the conference circuit, and the journal’ as well as the submission, the report, and the consultancy; all used to apply ‘focused pressure on target bodies’.32 A number of Australian think tanks are modelled on US think tanks and have close ties with some of them, including the Heritage Foundation, the Cato Institute and the American Enterprise Institute.33 Millions of dollars were being channelled into these organizations each year for the promotion of conservative, market-oriented ideas.34 132 FREE MARKET MISSIONARIES PROLIFERATING THINK TANKS The Centre for Policy Studies (CPS), based at Monash University, was founded and headed by Professor Michael Porter, a member of the Mont Pèlerin Society.

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

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

Also see World Bank 2001. 28. According to estimates for other countries, Ecuador presents a moderate salary gap. For instance, in 1994 women’s average wage was 75 percent that of men’s average wage; in Brazil, women’s wages were 60 percent that of men’s (FLACSO 1995). 29. These may be the result of unmeasurable productivity factors (for example, differential treatment in schooling, family expectations, “old boys’ networks”, and so on) that could not be statistically removed from the numbers, or from “market-induced” differences, that is, discrimination. When the researchers looked at industries that were typically female (food production, textiles, clothes, small commerce, restaurants, public sector, teachers, medical, and domestic labor), women actually earned more than men, with similar, observable characteristics in the food, textile, teaching, and domestic services industries.


pages: 297 words: 89,206

Social Class in the 21st Century by Mike Savage

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call centre, Capital in the Twenty-First Century by Thomas Piketty, Clapham omnibus, Corn Laws, deindustrialization, deskilling, Downton Abbey, financial independence, gender pay gap, Gini coefficient, income inequality, liberal capitalism, Mark Zuckerberg, megacity, moral panic, New Urbanism, Occupy movement, old-boy network, precariat, psychological pricing, Sloane Ranger, The Spirit Level, unpaid internship, upwardly mobile, very high income, winner-take-all economy, young professional

Notwithstanding the languor of the Oxbridge college, the late-summer glory of country estates and the proliferation of ‘gentry’ brands, the symbolic power of these icons needs to be understood as a foil against which an ‘ordinary’ wealth-elite can define itself in more meritocratic ways. The fact that this aristocratic class is so routinely caricatured and lampooned is now central to its ongoing significance. By classifying this supposed stereotypical group as cohesive, socially inward, even inbred, and by characterizing the upper class as a nepotistic ‘old boys’ network’ where informal contacts developed at school and university often act as pivotal lubricants of prestigious professional trajectories, a wider, ordinarily wealthy elite class can emphasize its distance from those wellsprings of old elitedom and claim a more modest place for themselves. The ‘ordinary’ elite class is fundamentally marked by meritocratic motifs – but in ways which should not be taken at face value, but which instead mark today’s performance of privilege.


pages: 452 words: 110,488

The Cheating Culture: Why More Americans Are Doing Wrong to Get Ahead by David Callahan

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1960s counterculture, affirmative action, corporate governance, corporate raider, creative destruction, David Brooks, deindustrialization, East Village, fixed income, forensic accounting, full employment, game design, greed is good, high batting average, housing crisis, illegal immigration, income inequality, job satisfaction, mandatory minimum, market fundamentalism, McMansion, microcredit, moral hazard, new economy, New Urbanism, offshore financial centre, oil shock, old-boy network, Plutocrats, plutocrats, postindustrial economy, profit maximization, profit motive, RAND corporation, Ray Oldenburg, Robert Bork, rolodex, Ronald Reagan, shareholder value, Shoshana Zuboff, Silicon Valley, Steve Jobs, The Bell Curve by Richard Herrnstein and Charles Murray, The Chicago School, Thorstein Veblen, War on Poverty, winner-take-all economy, World Values Survey, young professional, zero-sum game

Labor unions are also less corrupt, while the influence of organized crime has declined notably in many sectors. And believe it or not, stronger ethical codes have been enacted in nearly all of society's major institutions over the past quarter century—especially in the business world. Another major victory for fairness and equal justice has come from the triumphs of feminism and multiculturalism since the '60s, which have slowly weakened the exclusionary bonds of old-boy networks in numerous sectors of society. Still, amid all these important gains, "the Brazilianization" of American society marches forward and could grow worse.38 If vast income gaps are left unaddressed, as they are in Brazil; if so many Americans continue to feel economically insecure, as so many Brazilians do; and if a two-tier system of justice continues to prevail—one for the rich and one for everyone else—as it does in Brazil, more and more people will question the basic legitimacy of the social contract governing our society, as many long have in Brazil.

Powers and Prospects by Noam Chomsky

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anti-communist, Berlin Wall, Bretton Woods, colonial rule, declining real wages, deindustrialization, deskilling, Fall of the Berlin Wall, invisible hand, Jacques de Vaucanson, John von Neumann, liberation theology, Monroe Doctrine, old-boy network, RAND corporation, Ronald Reagan, South China Sea, theory of mind, Tobin tax, Turing test

Concerned about ‘the creation of an entrenched underclass’, she is running a training class to teach proper attitudes to people who had ‘egalitarian values drilled into their minds’ in the days when ‘the proud slogan used to be: “I am a miner, who else is better?”’. The fast learners now know the answer to that question: the ex- Nomenklatura, rich beyond their wildest dreams as they become the agents of foreign enterprises, which naturally favour them because of their skills and experience; the bankers set up in business through the ‘old boy network’; the Polish women enjoying consumer delights; the government-assisted manufacturers of elegant dresses for export to other rich women. In brief, the right kind of people. Those are the successes of American values. Then there are the failures, still on the slow lane. Perlez selects as her example a 43-year-old coal miner, who ‘sits in his wood-paneled living room admiring the fruits of his labor under Communism—a television set, comfortable furniture, a shiny, modern kitchen’, now unemployed after 27 years in the mines and thinking about the years before 1989.


pages: 1,013 words: 302,015

A Classless Society: Britain in the 1990s by Alwyn W. Turner

Berlin Wall, Bob Geldof, British Empire, call centre, centre right, deindustrialization, demand response, Desert Island Discs, endogenous growth, Etonian, eurozone crisis, facts on the ground, Fall of the Berlin Wall, falling living standards, first-past-the-post, Francis Fukuyama: the end of history, friendly fire, full employment, global village, greed is good, inflation targeting, means of production, millennium bug, minimum wage unemployment, moral panic, negative equity, Neil Kinnock, offshore financial centre, old-boy network, period drama, Ronald Reagan, sexual politics, South Sea Bubble, Stephen Hawking, upwardly mobile, Winter of Discontent, women in the workforce

This was the result, said Brown, of ‘an interview system more reminiscent of an old boy network and the old school tie than genuine justice for society’. He added: ‘It is about time we had an end to the old Britain, where all that matters is the privileges you were born with, rather than the potential you actually have. It is time that these old universities opened their doors to women and people from all backgrounds.’ Unfortunately, Brown had garbled the facts. He referred to Spence’s A-level results, when she had yet to sit the exams, and he failed to notice that of the twenty-seven applicants for five places to study medicine at Magdalen, all had comparable GCSE results, while three of the successful applicants were from ethnic minorities and three were women. It wasn’t quite so clear a case of an ‘old boy network’ as it seemed from the initial newspaper reports, which appeared to be the only information from which Brown was working.


pages: 374 words: 114,600

The Quants by Scott Patterson

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Albert Einstein, asset allocation, automated trading system, beat the dealer, Benoit Mandelbrot, Bernie Madoff, Bernie Sanders, Black Swan, Black-Scholes formula, Bonfire of the Vanities, Brownian motion, buttonwood tree, buy low sell high, capital asset pricing model, centralized clearinghouse, Claude Shannon: information theory, cloud computing, collapse of Lehman Brothers, collateralized debt obligation, commoditize, computerized trading, Credit Default Swap, credit default swaps / collateralized debt obligations, diversification, Donald Trump, Doomsday Clock, Edward Thorp, Emanuel Derman, Eugene Fama: efficient market hypothesis, fixed income, Gordon Gekko, greed is good, Haight Ashbury, I will remember that I didn’t make the world, and it doesn’t satisfy my equations, index fund, invention of the telegraph, invisible hand, Isaac Newton, job automation, John Meriwether, John Nash: game theory, law of one price, Long Term Capital Management, Louis Bachelier, mandelbrot fractal, margin call, merger arbitrage, money market fund, Myron Scholes, NetJets, new economy, offshore financial centre, old-boy network, Paul Lévy, Paul Samuelson, Ponzi scheme, quantitative hedge fund, quantitative trading / quantitative finance, race to the bottom, random walk, Renaissance Technologies, risk-adjusted returns, Rod Stewart played at Stephen Schwarzman birthday party, Ronald Reagan, Sergey Aleynikov, short selling, South Sea Bubble, speech recognition, statistical arbitrage, The Chicago School, The Great Moderation, The Predators' Ball, too big to fail, transaction costs, value at risk, volatility smile, yield curve, éminence grise

He’d also warned that quants might someday blow the financial system to smithereens. In “The Use, Misuse and Abuse of Mathematics in Finance,” published in 2000 in Philosophical Transactions of the Royal Society, the official journal of the United Kingdom’s national academy of science, he wrote: “It is clear that a major rethink is desperately required if the world is to avoid a mathematician-led market meltdown.” Financial markets were once run by “the old-boy network,” he added. “But lately, only those with Ph.D.’s in mathematics or physics are considered suitable to master the complexities of the financial market.” That was a problem. The Ph.D.’s might know their sines from their cosines, but they often had little idea how to distinguish the fundamental realities behind why the market behaved as it did. They got bogged down in the fine-grained details of their whiz-bang models.


pages: 629 words: 142,393

The Future of the Internet: And How to Stop It by Jonathan Zittrain

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A Declaration of the Independence of Cyberspace, Amazon Mechanical Turk, Andy Kessler, barriers to entry, book scanning, Brewster Kahle, Burning Man, c2.com, call centre, Cass Sunstein, citizen journalism, Clayton Christensen, clean water, commoditize, corporate governance, Daniel Kahneman / Amos Tversky, distributed generation, en.wikipedia.org, Firefox, game design, Hacker Ethic, Howard Rheingold, Hush-A-Phone, illegal immigration, index card, informal economy, Internet Archive, jimmy wales, John Markoff, license plate recognition, loose coupling, mail merge, national security letter, old-boy network, packet switching, peer-to-peer, Post-materialism, post-materialism, pre–internet, price discrimination, profit maximization, Ralph Nader, RFC: Request For Comment, RFID, Richard Stallman, Richard Thaler, risk tolerance, Robert Bork, Robert X Cringely, SETI@home, Silicon Valley, Skype, slashdot, software patent, Steve Ballmer, Steve Jobs, Ted Nelson, Telecommunications Act of 1996, The Nature of the Firm, The Wisdom of Crowds, web application, wikimedia commons, zero-sum game

in 1998 for $49 million.23 He finished his degree and is now a tenured professor at MIT24 As a postmortem to the Morris worm incident, the Internet Engineering Task Force, the far-flung, unincorporated group of engineers who work on Internet standards and who have defined its protocols through a series of formal “request for comments” documents, or RFCs, published informational RFC 1135, titled “The Helminthiasis of the Internet.”25 RFC 1135 was titled and written with whimsy, echoing reminiscences of the worm as a fun challenge. The RFC celebrated that the original “old boy” network of “UNIX system wizards” was still alive and well despite the growth of the Internet: teams at university research centers put their heads together—on conference calls as well as over the Internet—to solve the problem.26 After describing the technical details of the worm, the document articulated the need to instill and enforce ethical standards as new people (mostly young computer scientists like Morris) signed on to the Internet.27 These reactions to the Morris worm may appear laughably inadequate, an unwarranted triumph of the principles of procrastination and trust described earlier in this book.


pages: 390 words: 119,527

Armed Humanitarians by Nathan Hodge

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Andrei Shleifer, anti-communist, Berlin Wall, British Empire, clean water, colonial rule, European colonialism, failed state, friendly fire, IFF: identification friend or foe, jobless men, Khyber Pass, kremlinology, land reform, Mikhail Gorbachev, old-boy network, Potemkin village, private military company, profit motive, RAND corporation, Ronald Reagan, Silicon Valley, South China Sea, The Wealth of Nations by Adam Smith, too big to fail, walking around money

The counterinsurgents were talking about something bigger. They were framing the problem in terms of nation building. And the set of tools they wanted to develop could apply as easily to Haiti as they could to Iraq. Part of the problem was cultural. In January of 2006, Hillen flew out to Iraq for a short fact-finding trip. The brief stay of about five days was frustrating. To get around the country, Hillen had to draw on the old-boy network from his days in the military, hitching rides on helicopters and a C-12 transport plane. He spent one night out in the field with the Third Armored Cavalry Regiment, commanded by his old friend, Colonel H. R. McMaster. The visit to Iraq cemented Hillen’s views: The 80 percent political side of counterinsurgency was missing from the equation. A traditional mind-set still prevailed: Diplomats should stay inside the Green Zone, while the military conducted its business out in the Red Zone—all of the rest of Iraq.


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, John Markoff, Menlo Park, old-boy network, Paul Graham, Richard Stallman, Silicon Valley

I warned her that, as a peon, I had no authority to even be talking to her, let alone asking for legal services. She reassured me, “Don’t be silly. This is more fun than worrying about patent law.” The laboratory police wanted to know all about the phone trace. I told them to prepare to stake out the entire state of Virginia. Despite my cynicism, they were surprisingly sympathetic to my problem with the Virginia search warrant, and offered to use their old-boy-network to get the information through some informal channel. I doubted it would work, but why not let them try? The phone company might conceal the hacker’s phone number, but my printers showed his every move. While I talked to Tymnet and the telephone techs, the hacker had prowled through my computer. He wasn’t satisfied reading the system manager’s mail; he also snooped through mail for several nuclear physicists.


pages: 459 words: 118,959

Confidence Game: How a Hedge Fund Manager Called Wall Street's Bluff by Christine S. Richard

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activist fund / activist shareholder / activist investor, Asian financial crisis, asset-backed security, banking crisis, Bernie Madoff, cognitive dissonance, collateralized debt obligation, corporate governance, corporate raider, credit crunch, Credit Default Swap, credit default swaps / collateralized debt obligations, diversification, Donald Trump, family office, financial innovation, fixed income, forensic accounting, glass ceiling, Long Term Capital Management, market bubble, money market fund, moral hazard, old-boy network, Ponzi scheme, profit motive, short selling, statistical model, white flight, zero-sum game

Ackman was far from the only investor to make money on the collapse of the financial system, Blumenthal says. Many people made money betting against financial firms, but they did it without ever going public, he says, describing the conventional wisdom: “‘Why should I be the bearer of bad news? Why should I have everyone at the country club or the commuter train or the downtown eating club upset with me? It’s the old boys’ network, and they won’t let me in on deals. I know this is going to come crashing down. Why warn the world?’” Ackman adopted a different tactic, Blumenthal says. Ackman and Katzovicz were getting some traction in Washington as well. Ackman had written to Massachusetts congressman Barney Frank, reminding him that the bond insurers’ situation had continued to deteriorate since Ackman and Frank met in June.


pages: 404 words: 124,705

The Village Effect: How Face-To-Face Contact Can Make Us Healthier, Happier, and Smarter by Susan Pinker

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assortative mating, Atul Gawande, Bernie Madoff, call centre, cognitive dissonance, David Brooks, delayed gratification, Edward Glaeser, epigenetics, Erik Brynjolfsson, estate planning, facts on the ground, game design, happiness index / gross national happiness, indoor plumbing, invisible hand, Mark Zuckerberg, medical residency, Menlo Park, meta analysis, meta-analysis, neurotypical, Occupy movement, old-boy network, place-making, Ponzi scheme, Ralph Waldo Emerson, randomized controlled trial, Ray Oldenburg, Silicon Valley, Skype, Steven Pinker, The Great Good Place, The Wisdom of Crowds, theory of mind, Tony Hsieh, urban planning, Yogi Berra

I called his house and his wife told me he was at “Urology Patel’s” house, and when I called there I learned he and “Pulmonary Patel” had gone to “Gastroenterology Patel’s” house. Gastroenterology Patel’s teenage daughter, a first generation Indian American, told me in a perfect Appalachian accent that she “reckoned they’re over at the Mehtas’ playing rummy,” which they were.40 If Verghese were white and from Boston instead of from Addis Ababa, his splendid achievements might seem diminished by the suggestion that he simply tapped into an old boys’ network. But he and the medical Patels had intuitively done what successful immigrants do: make the most of their weak bonds. Whether it’s how to be a good doctor or how to find one, we’re more likely to discover redemptive solutions to concrete problems through people we see only occasionally or who are friends of friends of friends. This loosely linked network is what largely powered the roaring Silicon Valley engine in its early days, according to Granovetter, who has written extensively about how individual social networks alter business or cultural horizons on a grand scale.


pages: 412 words: 113,782

Business Lessons From a Radical Industrialist by Ray C. Anderson

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Albert Einstein, banking crisis, carbon footprint, centralized clearinghouse, clean water, cleantech, corporate social responsibility, Credit Default Swap, dematerialisation, distributed generation, energy security, Exxon Valdez, fear of failure, Gordon Gekko, greed is good, Indoor air pollution, Intergovernmental Panel on Climate Change (IPCC), intermodal, invisible hand, late fees, Mahatma Gandhi, market bubble, music of the spheres, Negawatt, new economy, oil shale / tar sands, oil shock, old-boy network, peak oil, renewable energy credits, shareholder value, Silicon Valley, six sigma, supply-chain management, urban renewal, Y2K

So, you can divide our efforts into two parts: what happens inside the circle, and what we can do to bring more people into it from the outside. Let’s talk about what happens inside, first. Our own culture shift in the direction of sustainability has many components. It begins with constant emphasis on safety in the workplace. It extends to organizing women’s networks within the company, to counterbalance any good old boy networks still in place. And it includes diversity efforts, both inside the company and outside in our marketplace. It includes our Fairworks™ program, which purchases carpeting from traditional weavers in poor, rural Indian villages. These beautiful, handwoven products are adapted into modular flooring designs that find a natural home in some of the most elegant buildings in the world’s greatest cities.


pages: 651 words: 161,270

Global Spin: The Corporate Assault on Environmentalism by Sharon Beder

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

“For the first time since the 1930s, business found its political influence seriously challenged by a new set of interest groups.”5 Grefe and Linsky describe the traditional business approach in their book The New Corporate Activism: Back then, it was standard for organizations to conduct their government relations in accordance with a “fix-it” mentality. They had a problem. They hired a lobbyist. They said, “Fix-it!” What they meant was “Kill it or make it go away”. . . It was ‘influence peddling’, quite simply—that is, finding the person who knew the legislator or regulator and getting him (it was always a ‘him’ in those days of the old-boy network) to bury the problem.6 The First Wave of Corporate Activism in the US In various business meetings, corporate executives lamented their decline in influence. “The truth is that we’ve been clobbered”, the Chief Executive Officer of General Motors told chiefs from other corporations. The Chairman of the Board of General Foods asked “How come we can’t get together and make our voices heard?”


pages: 537 words: 149,628

Ghost Fleet: A Novel of the Next World War by P. W. Singer, August Cole

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3D printing, Admiral Zheng, augmented reality, British Empire, digital map, energy security, Firefox, glass ceiling, global reserve currency, Google Earth, Google Glasses, IFF: identification friend or foe, Just-in-time delivery, Maui Hawaii, new economy, old-boy network, RAND corporation, reserve currency, RFID, Silicon Valley, Silicon Valley startup, South China Sea, sovereign wealth fund, stealth mode startup, trade route, Wall-E, We are Anonymous. We are Legion, zero day, zero-sum game

It was that particular screen that held Secretary Claiburne’s attention, a pitcher’s-cap-cam focusing in on the squinting eyes behind the catcher’s faceplate. The pitcher then pivoted and threw out the runner on first, ending the inning. “All right, let’s light it up,” she said. The secretary of defense, who’d been an aerospace executive before she was brought into the administration, casually held a cigar in her right hand. It was part of her shtick, that she was more of an old boy than anyone in the old boys’ network she’d knocked down on her way to the top of the business. Simmons noticed the cigar was the real thing, not the e-cigar his former mentor smoked indoors. Admiral Murray seemed unfazed by the purple smoke starting to cloud up the room, but this was the first time anybody had smoked inside the Z during his command. He had no idea where she would put it out. There was no ashtray aboard the ship.


pages: 547 words: 148,799

Market Forces by Richard K. Morgan

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call centre, land reform, old-boy network, Ronald Reagan, strikebreaker, urban decay

Or maybe it was just the energy again. ‘Now. You transfer that idea, not just for trainees but for everyone. Think about the times. The domino recessions are scratching at the door, you’ve got to do something. Most investment houses and major corporations are waterlogged with top-end personnel. Ex-politicians on sinecure non-executive directorships, useless executive directors shipped around on the old-boy network from golden handshake to golden handshake, headhunted bright young things staying the obligatory two years then shipping out for the next move up on rep vapour and nothing else, because I ask you what, in two years, have you really achieved in a corporate post? And that’s just how we were fucking things up at the anglo end of the cultural scale. Elsewhere, you’ve got fuckwit younger sons and daughters being cut in on Daddy’s pie straight out blatantly, because in those cultures who’s going to tell Daddy otherwise?


pages: 497 words: 153,755

The Power of Gold: The History of an Obsession by Peter L. Bernstein

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Albert Einstein, Atahualpa, Bretton Woods, British Empire, California gold rush, central bank independence, double entry bookkeeping, Edward Glaeser, falling living standards, financial innovation, floating exchange rates, Francisco Pizarro, German hyperinflation, Hernando de Soto, Isaac Newton, joint-stock company, joint-stock limited liability company, Joseph Schumpeter, large denomination, liquidity trap, long peace, money: store of value / unit of account / medium of exchange, old-boy network, Paul Samuelson, price stability, profit motive, random walk, rising living standards, Ronald Reagan, seigniorage, the market place, The Wealth of Nations by Adam Smith, Thomas Malthus, too big to fail, trade route

Although much of this chapter applies equally to Europe and the United States, the differences between what happened on the opposite sides of the Atlantic Ocean may have been more profound than the similarities. The key distinctions were political in nature. All of these differences were shaped by the unique character of a brand-new country only one hundred years old when all of these events were taking place. The United States was also situated far away from Europe's two thousand years of shared history and the old-boy network that dominated its financial institutions. On top of all that, American society was more open and fluid than European society, the forces of democracy and the passion for liberty and equality were more vocal and more determined, and most of the wealth was "new wealth" rather than wealth handed down by a landed aristocracy or the ancestral fortunes like those of the Rothschilds or Barings. Until the very end of the nineteenth century, therefore, many Americans were reluctant to join in the European enthusiasm for the system, especially with the constraints it imposed on freedom of action.


pages: 367 words: 122,140

A Very Strange Way to Go to War: The Canberra in the Falklands by Andrew Vine

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clockwatching, old-boy network, Ronald Reagan, trade route

As May began, and Canberra prepared to sail south from Ascension, the chairman of P&O, the Earl of Inchcape, wrote to the Secretary of State for Trade, Lord Cockfield, saying, ‘We have become increasingly anxious about our inability to reach firm agreements with your officials on a number of pressing commercial and legal matters.’ Those matters were to be addressed over lunch between the noble lords two days before Canberra anchored in Bomb Alley, the unspoken understanding being that the old boys’ network would reach a gentlemanly agreement. It did, Inchcape setting out a series of headline costs that P&O was incurring in the service of the country. The company was £4m out of pocket so far from the loss of the £8m that its four ships under requisition earned every month. Insurance premiums for them already ran to £1.7m, and a further round would be due in June. Now he came to Canberra, this irreplaceable, iconic liner born of a lost age, reinvented as its most profitable cruise ship.


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, G4S, glass ceiling, hiring and firing, housing crisis, inflation targeting, Intergovernmental Panel on Climate Change (IPCC), investor state dispute settlement, James Dyson, laissez-faire capitalism, light touch regulation, market fundamentalism, mass immigration, Monroe Doctrine, Mont Pelerin Society, moral hazard, Neil Kinnock, night-watchman state, Northern Rock, Occupy movement, offshore financial centre, old-boy network, open borders, Plutocrats, plutocrats, popular capitalism, 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, wealth creators, Winter of Discontent

A yellow badge meant that you were a trainee, you could run around, ask prices, but couldn’t deal, and you spent a lot of time getting sandwiches, taking phone calls.’ Back then, two strands dominated: one from public school, and the other from ‘barrowboy’ backgrounds in the East End, with few university graduates. ‘The Big Bang changed everything massively,’ says Darren, who became a trader in derivatives, or complex financial products. The public school ‘old boys’ network was broken up: after all, this new Establishment was not bound together by personal backgrounds, but by a shared way of thinking. The trading floor disappeared in favour of electronic transactions. The City after Big Bang could cater for higher demand than it had previously, and money surged into London’s financial heart. ‘Britain became a semi-offshore financial sector,’ says Ha-Joon Chang.


pages: 372 words: 115,094

Reagan at Reykjavik: Forty-Eight Hours That Ended the Cold War by Ken Adelman

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anti-communist, Berlin Wall, British Empire, cuban missile crisis, Deng Xiaoping, Dissolution of the Soviet Union, Donald Trump, F. W. de Klerk, Fall of the Berlin Wall, Haight Ashbury, Kitchen Debate, kremlinology, Mikhail Gorbachev, mutually assured destruction, old-boy network, Ronald Reagan, Ronald Reagan: Tear down this wall, Saturday Night Live, Sinatra Doctrine, War on Poverty, Yogi Berra

The brilliant theorist and historian was academic enough to think that some high school kid in a bathing suit might be interested in hearing his latest theories on the role of nuclear weapons in postwar U.S. security. In this case, he was right. In fact, Perle became interested enough to specialize in strategic theory at the University of Southern California. After a year at the London School of Economics, he attended Princeton to earn a master’s degree and was well on his way to a doctorate when Wohlstetter steered him to Nitze, then looking for a bright researcher. Before long, the old boys’ network kicked in again when Nitze introduced Perle to Senator Henry Jackson, who quickly hired him to focus on U.S. relations with the Soviet Union. Perle joined Scoop Jackson’s staff in 1969, just after losing both of his parents. The senator became not only his boss but a father figure, with deep affection flowing both ways until Scoop’s sudden death in 1983. The two constituted a formidable force against Presidents Nixon, Ford, and Carter when they pursued détente with the Soviet Union.

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

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

It is a tremendous cultural difference.”9 Joly found that Elf Gabon, the local subsidiary of the French state oil firm Elf Aquitaine, had been funneling cash through Switzerland and Luxembourg to the industrialist Maurice Bidermann (whom she was probing),10 to pay for a divorce settlement for the head of Elf, one of Bidermann’s friends. She had opened up a paper trail that would reveal Elf Gabon—also part-owned by the Gabonese state and by Bongo—as the origin of giant, oily offshore slush funds for funneling cash to French political parties, and for tides of corrupt money sluicing around the globe. Joly faced an intimidating old-boy network, a caste of mandarins from elite finishing schools like the École Nationale d’Administration, who have controlled political power and the bureaucracy for centuries, rotating among political posts, the secret services, and state companies like Air France, Thomson-CSF, and, of course, Elf. The system of revolving doors is sometimes known as pantouflage—from the French word for slippers— because moving from one post to the next is so easy that when you get to your next job, your slippers are waiting for you.


pages: 422 words: 113,830

Bad Money: Reckless Finance, Failed Politics, and the Global Crisis of American Capitalism by Kevin Phillips

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algorithmic trading, asset-backed security, bank run, banking crisis, Bernie Madoff, Black Swan, Bretton Woods, BRICs, British Empire, collateralized debt obligation, computer age, corporate raider, creative destruction, credit crunch, Credit Default Swap, credit default swaps / collateralized debt obligations, crony capitalism, currency peg, diversification, Doha Development Round, energy security, financial deregulation, financial innovation, fixed income, Francis Fukuyama: the end of history, George Gilder, housing crisis, Hyman Minsky, imperial preference, income inequality, index arbitrage, index fund, interest rate derivative, interest rate swap, Joseph Schumpeter, Kenneth Rogoff, large denomination, Long Term Capital Management, market bubble, Martin Wolf, Menlo Park, mobile money, money market fund, Monroe Doctrine, moral hazard, mortgage debt, Myron Scholes, new economy, oil shale / tar sands, oil shock, old-boy network, peak oil, Plutocrats, plutocrats, Ponzi scheme, profit maximization, Renaissance Technologies, reserve currency, risk tolerance, risk/return, Robert Shiller, Robert Shiller, Ronald Reagan, Satyajit Das, shareholder value, short selling, sovereign wealth fund, The Chicago School, Thomas Malthus, too big to fail, trade route

Kevin Phillips casts his keen eye upon the making of the Bush family dynasty across four generations, documenting how it has perfectly exemplified many of the growing trends in American political life—political and economic dynastization, favoritism to the top 1 percent even after a tight election, paper entrepreneurialism and crony capitalism à la Enron (Bush-Enron dealings go back to 1986), and the further rise of the military-industrial complex. In this devastating book, onetime Republican strategist Phillips reveals how four generations of Bushes have ascended the ladder of national power since World War I, becoming entrenched within the American establishment—Yale, Wall Street, the Senate, the CIA, the vice presidency, and the presidency—through a recurrent flair for old-boy networking, national security involvement, and political deception. “Fresh and damning . . . Phillips’s marshaling of evidence has cumulative power. None of the other recent critical, liberal books about George W. Bush have this sort of sweep or impact. American Dynasty is so sober and steeped in learning that readers will wonder how President Bush, or any man’s family, could stand this depth of exposure. . . .


pages: 1,335 words: 336,772

The House of Morgan: An American Banking Dynasty and the Rise of Modern Finance by Ron Chernow

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always be closing, bank run, banking crisis, Big bang: deregulation of the City of London, Bolshevik threat, Boycotts of Israel, Bretton Woods, British Empire, California gold rush, capital controls, collective bargaining, corporate raider, Etonian, financial deregulation, fixed income, German hyperinflation, index arbitrage, interest rate swap, margin call, money market fund, Monroe Doctrine, North Sea oil, oil shale / tar sands, old-boy network, paper trading, Plutocrats, plutocrats, Robert Gordon, Ronald Reagan, short selling, strikebreaker, the market place, the payments system, too big to fail, transcontinental railway, Yom Kippur War, young professional

The Knickerbocker’s failure triggered runs on other trusts, especially the Trust Company of America, which was just down Wall Street from the Morgan bank. On Wednesday, October 23, Pierpont summoned the trust presidents and tried to prod them into a rescue pool. It turned out they didn’t know one another, making it difficult for them to band together in a crisis. The situation illustrated why bankers believed implicitly in their old-boy networks. After Ben Strong delivered a favorable report on the Trust Company of America, Pierpont made his ex cathedra pronouncement: “This is the place to stop the trouble, then.”7 Morgan, George F. Baker of First National Bank, and James Stillman of National City Bank provided $3 million to save the Trust Company of America. For two weeks, Morgan and his associates stood fast against a spreading typhoon.

After Guinness, reformers wanted to toughen up the SIB, making it more like the SEC and less of a City-dominated body. There were proposals to outlaw guarantees for third parties who bought shares during a takeover (the “Seelig clause”) and to avert share buying by companies with a commercial stake in the outcome (the “Riklis clause,” after Meshulam Riklis of Schenley Industries). The City shifted further from the old-boy network to a strictly policed financial center. Awaiting the outcome of the interminable government investigations, Morgan Grenfell found itself in a terrible limbo. In May 1987, Ernest Saunders was arrested for allegedly destroying and fabricating Guinness documents. Later that year, Roger Seelig was arrested and charged with faking £2.5 million in invoices that were used, at least in part, as covers to indemnify members of the “fan club.”


pages: 552 words: 168,518

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

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

Yet many VCs won’t even look at a business plan, let alone hear a pitch, from someone who doesn’t come highly referred. The theory is that if a VC relies on a trusted network of contacts s/he can effectively lessen the number of crappy ideas that s/he has to sift through to find a golden nugget. But in today’s global knowledge economy, the next Facebook, Google, or Tesla Motors is as likely to be born in Tel Aviv as it is to be born in Silicon Valley, as likely in Bangalore as in Boston. And while the “old boys’ network” is good if you are an old boy, it’s not so good if you are a young woman from Brazil with a billion-dollar business innovation. Unfortunately, an unfavorable economic climate has prevented many VCs from exploring new opportunities. Due to the recession, fewer companies are going public and the ones that do are taking longer to become profitable. VCs have been forced to keep their money locked in for longer than usual, which means fewer start-ups can get funding.


pages: 898 words: 253,177

Cadillac Desert by Marc Reisner

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affirmative action, Albert Einstein, California gold rush, clean water, Golden Gate Park, hacker house, jitney, Maui Hawaii, oil shale / tar sands, old-boy network, RAND corporation, Ronald Reagan, Rosa Parks, Silicon Valley, trade route, transcontinental railway, uranium enrichment, Works Progress Administration, yellow journalism

In 1978, before he had even set foot in Washington, Senator-elect Alan Simpson of Wyoming was paid a special visit by three high-ranking officers in the Corps of Engineers asking if there was anything they could “do” for him. Once in Washington, Simpson was approached again, this time by the leaders of the appropriate committees, who made him the same offer. Every freshman Senator and Congressman got the same treatment, even Bob Edgar. “The old-boy network comes to you,” says Edgar, who was elected to the House of Representatives in 1974, at the age of thirty-one. “They say, ‘You’ve got a water project in your district? You want one? Let us take care of it for you.’ Then they come around a few months later and get their pound of flesh. You actually risk very little by going along. You get a lot of money thrown into your district for a project that few of your constituents oppose.


pages: 619 words: 197,256

Apollo by Charles Murray, Catherine Bly Cox

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cuban missile crisis, fault tolerance, index card, old-boy network, The Bell Curve by Richard Herrnstein and Charles Murray, V2 rocket, War on Poverty, white flight

O’Malley soon decided that North American had been running what he called a “country club” down at the Cape. One of the first days after he took the job, an engineer came to him to get a routine signature on a travel order—he was going out to a convention of retired Air Force officers in San Francisco. O’Malley told him that they weren’t doing business that way any more. The engineer was outraged—those conventions were an important way for a company like North American to tie into the old-boy network, and such trips had always been one of the perks. He got hold of an ex-general who was a senior executive at Downey. The ex-general complained to Bill Bergen. Bill Bergen chewed out the ex-general for interfering with O’Malley, and said that anyway O’Malley was right. The word quickly spread that the old days were over. O’Malley was out at the pad one day, watching liquid oxygen being pumped from a tank up onto the umbilical tower.


pages: 563 words: 179,626

A Life in Secrets by Sarah Helm

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anti-communist, British Empire, clockwatching, haute couture, large denomination, old-boy network

Former colleagues still remembered him as the grand old man of F Section, but ever since his death in 1992 there had been much talk of his “gullibility” and “naivety.” Some said he had arrived at SOE with a chip on his shoulder—perhaps because he had not taken his exhibition up to Oxford. Then when he unexpectedly secured the post as head of F Section, he felt a need to prove himself and secure, in the words of Colin Gubbins, “the highest possible dividend” for F Section—but zeal and patriotism, and a link to the old-boy network, were not enough. Perhaps Buckmaster sensed, as Gubbins said after the war, that he got the job “because there was nobody else.” When things went wrong, Buckmaster, rather than face up to reality, retreated into fantasy, from which he rarely seems to have emerged. In his later years, when confronted with the facts of his gaffes, he, like others, took refuge in conspiracy theories, saying, for example, that he had known all along that Déricourt was a double agent but he had been following orders from on high.

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

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

The area for bargaining may be somewhat greater with the British (remember that they have hundreds of years of experience with India, the Middle East and the Far East). Representatives of a British company will make normal use of their firm’s reputation, size and wealth in their negotiating hand, and you can do likewise in dealing with them. What they do not reveal so readily is the strength of their behind-the-scenes connections. The “old school tie,” or the “old-boys’ network,” is very much a reality in British executive life and should not be underestimated. It is particularly active in the City, the ministries and in legal circles, and nationals from a small country should always bear in mind that they may be dealing with greater influences than are apparent on the surface. Finally, there is the question of British insularity. Brits generally have a feeling that “foreigners” intend to outsmart them.


pages: 600 words: 165,682

The Accidental Empire: Israel and the Birth of the Settlements, 1967-1977 by Gershom Gorenberg

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anti-communist, bank run, colonial rule, facts on the ground, illegal immigration, old-boy network, urban planning, Yom Kippur War

A committee recommended slashing the size of the department.84 Building settlements to create facts belonged to the era of ethnic struggle, not to a time when a state existed, marked on the map, with an army on its borders. YEHIEL ADMONI reported back for work at the Settlement Department on June 12. A forty-year-old Palmah veteran and agricultural adviser, Admoni had spent the last two years studying at Purdue University in Indiana. Through the old boys’ network, he managed to get a flight home in mid-war. He found the department office ruled by euphoria and chaos. The decade of decline was over. “Within six days, the fullness of the land had become ours,” he later wrote. A fever to work seized bored bureaucrats. Plans blossomed. “The golden opportunity had fallen into our hands to go out to the open expanses,” says Admoni, who was particularly impressed by how quickly Meir Shamir, the head of the department’s Galilee office, got to work on settling the high ground taken from Syria.85 Admoni, who took over as the department’s number-two man, under Mapai politician Ra’anan Weitz, explains that after the war, settlement “was again needed, as in the ’30s, to share in the political and defense effort by settling…regions that the state saw as essential to its security.”86 The comment is remarkable in two ways.


Adaptive Markets: Financial Evolution at the Speed of Thought by Andrew W. Lo

Albert Einstein, Alfred Russel Wallace, algorithmic trading, Andrei Shleifer, Arthur Eddington, Asian financial crisis, asset allocation, asset-backed security, backtesting, bank run, barriers to entry, Berlin Wall, Bernie Madoff, bitcoin, Bonfire of the Vanities, bonus culture, break the buck, Brownian motion, business process, butterfly effect, capital asset pricing model, Captain Sullenberger Hudson, Carmen Reinhart, Chance favours the prepared mind, collapse of Lehman Brothers, collateralized debt obligation, commoditize, computerized trading, corporate governance, creative destruction, Credit Default Swap, credit default swaps / collateralized debt obligations, cryptocurrency, Daniel Kahneman / Amos Tversky, delayed gratification, Diane Coyle, diversification, diversified portfolio, double helix, easy for humans, difficult for computers, Ernest Rutherford, Eugene Fama: efficient market hypothesis, experimental economics, experimental subject, Fall of the Berlin Wall, financial deregulation, financial innovation, financial intermediation, fixed income, Flash crash, Fractional reserve banking, framing effect, Gordon Gekko, greed is good, Hans Rosling, Henri Poincaré, high net worth, housing crisis, incomplete markets, index fund, interest rate derivative, invention of the telegraph, Isaac Newton, James Watt: steam engine, job satisfaction, John Maynard Keynes: Economic Possibilities for our Grandchildren, John Meriwether, Joseph Schumpeter, Kenneth Rogoff, London Interbank Offered Rate, Long Term Capital Management, loss aversion, Louis Pasteur, mandelbrot fractal, margin call, Mark Zuckerberg, market fundamentalism, martingale, merger arbitrage, meta analysis, meta-analysis, Milgram experiment, money market fund, moral hazard, Myron Scholes, Nick Leeson, old-boy network, out of africa, p-value, paper trading, passive investing, Paul Lévy, Paul Samuelson, Ponzi scheme, predatory finance, prediction markets, price discovery process, profit maximization, profit motive, quantitative hedge fund, quantitative trading / quantitative finance, RAND corporation, random walk, randomized controlled trial, Renaissance Technologies, Richard Feynman, Richard Feynman, Richard Feynman: Challenger O-ring, risk tolerance, Robert Shiller, Robert Shiller, short selling, sovereign wealth fund, statistical arbitrage, Steven Pinker, stochastic process, survivorship bias, The Great Moderation, the scientific method, The Wealth of Nations by Adam Smith, The Wisdom of Crowds, theory of mind, Thomas Malthus, Thorstein Veblen, Tobin tax, too big to fail, transaction costs, Triangle Shirtwaist Factory, ultimatum game, Upton Sinclair, US Airways Flight 1549, Walter Mischel, Watson beat the top human players on Jeopardy!, WikiLeaks, Yogi Berra, zero-sum game

These mathematical methods spawned an unprecedented wave of innovation in finance, just as they did in physics. Sophisticated quantitative models, pioneered by academics and the academically trained, quickly spread throughout the financial industry. These new quantitative models became part of the standard financial toolkit for traders, bankers, risk managers, and even regulators. The quantitative revolution triggered an evolutionary change on Wall Street. The old boys’ network was replaced by the computer network. What you knew became more important than who you knew. And for the first time in modern history, the graduates of MIT and Caltech found themselves more employable on Wall Street than the graduates of Harvard and Yale. The “quants” who could speak the new mathematical language of the Street—alpha, beta, mean-variance optimization, and the Black-Scholes/Merton option-pricing formula—were given great status and even greater compensation.

Rainbow Six by Tom Clancy

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active measures, air freight, airport security, centre right, clean water, computer age, Exxon Valdez, Live Aid, old-boy network, Plutocrats, plutocrats, RAND corporation, rent control, rolodex, urban sprawl

The FBI has cordial relationships with all manner of businesses. Visa and MasterCard were no exceptions. An FBI agent called the headquarters of both companies from his desk in the Hoover Building, and gave the card numbers to the chiefs of security of both companies. Both were former FBI agents themselves-the FBI sends many retired agents off to such positions, which creates a large and diverse old-boy network-and both of them queried their computers and came up with account information, including name, address, credit history, and most important of all, recent charges. The British Airways flight from London Heathrow to Chicago O'Hare leaped off the screen-actually the faxed page-at the agent's desk in Washington. "Yeah?" Gus Werner said, when the young agent came into his office. "He caught a flight from London to Chicago late yesterday, and then a flight from Chicago to New York, about the last one, got a back-room ticket on standby.


pages: 1,445 words: 469,426

The Prize: The Epic Quest for Oil, Money & Power by Daniel Yergin

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anti-communist, Ayatollah Khomeini, bank run, Berlin Wall, British Empire, colonial exploitation, Columbine, continuation of politics by other means, cuban missile crisis, energy security, European colonialism, Exxon Valdez, financial independence, fudge factor, informal economy, joint-stock company, land reform, liberal capitalism, megacity, Mikhail Gorbachev, Monroe Doctrine, new economy, North Sea oil, oil rush, oil shale / tar sands, oil shock, old-boy network, postnationalism / post nation state, price stability, RAND corporation, rent-seeking, Ronald Reagan, shareholder value, Thomas Malthus, Yom Kippur War

"For the first time in the economic history of Italy," the United States embassy in Rome reported with some wonder in 1954, a government-owned entity in Italy "has found itself in the unique position of being financially solvent, capably led, and responsible to no one other than its leader." ENI's future would be profoundly shaped, the report continued, by "the limitless ambition evidenced in the person of Enrico Mattei." Mattei himself became a popular hero, the most visible man in the country. He embodied great visions for postwar Italy: antifascism, the resurrection and rebuilding of the nation, and the emergence of the "new man" who had made it himself, without the old boy network. He also promised Italians their own secure supply of oil. Italy was a resource-poor country that was not only very conscious of its shortages but also blamed many of its woes, including its military reverses, on them. Now, with Mattei, these problems, at least in the energy realm, were to be solved. He appealed to national pride and knew how to capture the imagination of the public. Along the roads and autostradas of Italy, AGIP built new gas stations that were larger, more attractive, and more commodious than those of the international competitors.