hiring and firing

232 results back to index


pages: 317 words: 101,475

Chavs: The Demonization of the Working Class by Owen Jones

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

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

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

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


pages: 89 words: 29,198

The Big Secret for the Small Investor: A New Route to Long-Term Investment Success by Joel Greenblatt

backtesting, discounted cash flows, diversified portfolio, hiring and firing, index fund, Sharpe ratio, time value of money, Vanguard fund

Even professional allocators of capital seem to chase recent good performance and run from underperforming managers. Several research studies tracked the investments of these large, “professionally” managed fund allocators (such as foundations, endowments, and pension plans) and analyzed their decisions to hire and fire investment managers. The results weren’t pretty.1 Most managers were hired due to good recent performance. Most managers that were fired had recently underperformed the market averages.2 In short, these “professional” fund allocators would have been better off staying home! In the years following hire and fire decisions, the recently fired managers significantly outperformed the market while the recently hired didn’t show any outperformance at all. And that’s how the “professionals” did at picking managers! Individual investors make even worse decisions.

Since most clients can only evaluate performance results (rather than the quality of the work that went into each investment decision), there have been a million ways developed over the last few decades to slice and dice these performance data into all kinds of ratios and statistics. The only thing is that evaluating past performance data for even a several-year period may be unhelpful when it comes to predicting future success. Yet almost all hire-and-fire decisions made by clients (both individual and professional) are based on a manager’s performance during the last couple of years. While this is perhaps understandable, it forces most managers to concentrate on short-term performance. As we’ve already discussed, even if a manager has a healthy long-term perspective and is willing to wait out short-term underperformance, most clients are not!


pages: 257 words: 71,686

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

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

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

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

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


pages: 491 words: 77,650

Humans as a Service: The Promise and Perils of Work in the Gig Economy by Jeremias Prassl

3D printing, Affordable Care Act / Obamacare, Airbnb, Amazon Mechanical Turk, Andrei Shleifer, autonomous vehicles, barriers to entry, call centre, cashless society, Clayton Christensen, collaborative consumption, collaborative economy, collective bargaining, creative destruction, crowdsourcing, disruptive innovation, Donald Trump, Erik Brynjolfsson, full employment, future of work, George Akerlof, gig economy, global supply chain, hiring and firing, income inequality, information asymmetry, invisible hand, Jeff Bezos, job automation, John Maynard Keynes: Economic Possibilities for our Grandchildren, John Maynard Keynes: technological unemployment, Kickstarter, low skilled workers, Lyft, Mahatma Gandhi, Mark Zuckerberg, market friction, means of production, moral hazard, Network effects, new economy, obamacare, pattern recognition, platform as a service, Productivity paradox, race to the bottom, regulatory arbitrage, remote working, ride hailing / ride sharing, Robert Gordon, Ronald Coase, Rosa Parks, Second Machine Age, secular stagnation, self-driving car, shareholder value, sharing economy, Silicon Valley, Silicon Valley ideology, Simon Singh, software as a service, Steve Jobs, TaskRabbit, The Future of Employment, The Market for Lemons, The Nature of the Firm, The Rise and Fall of American Growth, transaction costs, transportation-network company, Travis Kalanick, two tier labour market, two-sided market, Uber and Lyft, Uber for X, uber lyft, union organizing, working-age population

He famously identified the bilateral contract of employment as the secret behind entrepreneurs’ tight control over their workforce: in return for regular wages, employees submit- ted themselves to the employer’s orders.2 Employment and social security law responded to ensure that these powers were exercised responsibly. A contract of employment gives employers the right to control everything from how work is done and paid to hiring and firing employees. It also regulates how these powers might be exercised. An employer cannot force its workers to labour all day long, must pay them a minimum wage, and may not illegally discriminate against particular groups in hiring and firing.3 Employers deduct payroll taxes, and contribute to pensions and insurance payments; independent contractors can set higher rates in return for being responsible for their own tax returns and long-term economic security. * * * Playing by the Rules 95 Some strands of gig-economy doublespeak suggest that platform compli- ance with employment law is impossible.

Business models within which control is dispersed amongst platforms and users can cause problems for legal systems, including, notably, the English one, which thinks of employment as a bilateral relationship—that is, as a contract between two individual parties: the worker and her employer.23 How can we recognize the fact that there might be more than one employer? The solution lies in adopting a more flexible approach to determining who should be responsible. * * * Playing by the Rules 101 A Functional Concept of the Employer In legal terms, we can analyse employers’ powers—and the law’s control over them—as ‘functions of the employer’. In a previous book exploring The Concept of the Employer, I identified five such functions, from hiring and firing to control over work and pay.24 Traditionally, a single party—Coase’s famous ‘entrepreneur-coordinator’— would have exercised all of these functions, controlling her employees through the contract of employment. Independent entrepreneurs, on the other hand, set their own wages, determine which work they are willing to do, and take the risks (and reap the rewards) of engaging in market competition.

Oxford Professors Paul Davies and Mark Freedland have long criticized the ‘constant and increasing counter-factuality’ of the traditional approach: Paul Davies and Mark Freedland, ‘The complexities of the employing enterprise’, in Guy Davidov and Brian Langile (eds), Boundaries and Frontiers of Labour Law (Hart 2006), 274. In a world of fissured work, outsourcing agencies, and, now, on-demand platforms, it can be difficult to identify a single employer exercising control over its employees. 24. The five employer functions are: (1) hiring and firing (which category includes all powers of the employer over the very existence of its contract with a worker, from initial vetting to dismissal); (2) work (when working, employees owe duties to their employer, including, in particular, a duty to provide labour and its results); (3) pay (one of the employer’s fundamental obligations, this also includes social security and pension contributions); (4) control (employers tell their workers what to do—and sometimes how to do it); and (5) profits and losses (employers are entrepreneurs—they are in the business of making a profit, whilst also being exposed to any losses that may result from the enterprise).


pages: 497 words: 150,205

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

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

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

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

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


pages: 423 words: 92,798

No Shortcuts: Organizing for Power in the New Gilded Age by Jane F. McAlevey

affirmative action, Affordable Care Act / Obamacare, Albert Einstein, anti-communist, call centre, clean water, collective bargaining, feminist movement, hiring and firing, immigration reform, informal economy, Mark Zuckerberg, mass incarceration, Naomi Klein, new economy, Occupy movement, precariat, Right to Buy, Ronald Reagan, Silicon Valley, Silicon Valley startup, single-payer health, The Chicago School, union organizing, Upton Sinclair, women in the workforce

The law was sold as a pro-community decentralization effort, and in many respects it was. It resulted in several key changes to longstanding policy: Local school councils (LSCs), consisting of one principal, six parents, two teachers, and two community members, were created and empowered to hire school principals and make budgetary decisions; principals no longer received tenure; and principals were empowered to hire and fire teachers. Hiring principals, hiring and firing teachers, and setting budgets had previously been centralized functions of the Board of Education. The law explicitly barred teachers from running for the council as either parents or community members, despite the vast number of teachers who were both. Part of what makes teachers and teachers’ unions so interesting in the educational production process is that they are also parents, meaning community members with children of their own.

As Edelman tells the story, in his workshop on how to bust teachers’ unions even in Democratically-controlled states: “So in this intervening time, Rahm Emanuel is elected mayor, he won on the first ballot, and he strongly supports our proposal … that was another shoe that dropped on the Chicago Teachers Union because they didn’t support him.”54 The Stand for Children legislative proposal would again strip teachers of the right to collectively bargain over schedules—an item that had been negotiable historically, had been stripped away by the 1995 Amendatory Act, and then reinstated in 2001 as a negotiable item, but under a compliant union that quickly negotiated a deal to lengthen the teaching day. Now, because a less compliant teachers’ union was in power, it was taken off the table again. And the Stand for Children legislation did far more than that: It included a frontal assault on tenure that would empower principals to hire and fire teachers, and mandated that at least one-quarter of the decision to fire be based on student test scores. Each of these measures took aim at unions. The final provision of the proposed legislation attempted to bar teachers from striking. Stand for Children started the bargaining with an outright ban, and counted on “compromising” with a deal that would allow a strike, but dependent on what they believed would be an impossible criterion: 75 percent of all teachers would have to show up at the polls for a strike authorization vote to be valid (a rather amazing criteria given that turn out in typical elections in the United States hovers in the 20 to 30 percent range).

I argue that MRNY is not an advocacy group. By advocacy, as I defined it in Chapter Two, I mean groups like the Center for Constitutional Rights, the American Civil Liberties Union, or Greenpeace—groups that merely campaign on behalf of some broad societal goal and/or on behalf of a constituency or constituencies. By contrast, Make the Road’s members are active players in campaigns and have decision-making in such key areas as hiring and firing staff, approving budgets, and deciding on the direction and priorities of the organization. They also understand that mass collective action is a key source of leverage. Another sign that Make the Road goes beyond a pure advoacy approach is that they are not simply trying to win specific legislation or material benefits, but also trying to make long-term, structural changes in the power structure of the wider society, shifting the balance of power toward the organization’s base constituency and away from the forces that oppress them.


pages: 403 words: 105,431

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

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

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

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

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


pages: 283 words: 73,093

Social Democratic America by Lane Kenworthy

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

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

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

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


pages: 425 words: 112,220

The Messy Middle: Finding Your Way Through the Hardest and Most Crucial Part of Any Bold Venture by Scott Belsky

23andMe, 3D printing, Airbnb, Albert Einstein, Anne Wojcicki, augmented reality, autonomous vehicles, Ben Horowitz, bitcoin, blockchain, Chuck Templeton: OpenTable:, commoditize, correlation does not imply causation, cryptocurrency, delayed gratification, DevOps, Donald Trump, Elon Musk, endowment effect, hiring and firing, Inbox Zero, iterative process, Jeff Bezos, knowledge worker, Lean Startup, Lyft, Mark Zuckerberg, Marshall McLuhan, minimum viable product, move fast and break things, move fast and break things, NetJets, Network effects, new economy, old-boy network, pattern recognition, Paul Graham, ride hailing / ride sharing, Silicon Valley, slashdot, Snapchat, Steve Jobs, subscription business, TaskRabbit, the medium is the message, Travis Kalanick, Uber for X, uber lyft, Y Combinator, young professional

Sometimes a reset is the only way forward. EMBRACING THE LONG GAME Playing the long game requires moves that don’t map to traditional measures of productivity. Strategy is nourished by patience. Break the long game down into chapters. Just stay alive long enough to become an expert. Do the work regardless of whose work it is. OPTIMIZE OPTIMIZING YOUR TEAM BUILDING, HIRING, AND FIRING Resourcefulness > Resources Initiative > Experience Diversity drives differentiation. Hire people who have endured adversity. Seek people with whom discussions evolve by a step function. If you avoid folks who are polarizing, you avoid bold outcomes. Cultivate your team’s immune system, and occasionally suppress it. Grafting talent is just as important as recruiting talent.

In an entrepreneurial environment, you must prioritize your team over your goals and tend to your team before your product. If your team is not in a good place or your office culture is lacking, your most valuable resources will not be able to make great products or execute well over time. Your team genuinely needs to be as important to you as what you’re making. I have met many founders who obsess over product and steamroll their team. Most of them have failed. Team comes first. BUILDING, HIRING, AND FIRING Resourcefulness > Resources As your business grows and your plans become more ambitious, you will want to grow your team. When it comes to scaling, the easiest path most leaders default to is to hire. More heads, more hands, more work done. But the best managers know that growing the team is not always the answer. Too many teams hire when they should be optimizing the people they’ve already got.

Twitter, January 28, 2018, 5:25 P.M., https://twitter.com/jasonfried/status/957786841821802496. DO THE WORK REGARDLESS OF WHOSE WORK IT IS. “The best way to complain”: James Murphy, “The Best Way to Complain Is to Make Things,” Startup Vitamins, accessed March 22, 2018, http://startupquotes.startupvitamins.com/post/41941517470/the-best-way-to-complain-is-to-make-things-james. OPTIMIZE BUILDING, HIRING, AND FIRING RESOURCEFULNESS > RESOURCES Their first satellite: James Temple, “Everything You Need to Know About Skybox, Google’s Big Satellite Play,” Recode, June 11, 2014, www.recode.net/2014/6/11/11627878/everything-you-need-to-know-about-skybox-googles-big-satellite-play. “I’ve seen many startups shift”: Jessica Livingston, “Subtle Mid-Stage Startup Pitfalls,” Founders at Work, April 29, 2015, http://foundersatwork.posthaven.com/subtle-mid-stage-pitfalls.


pages: 317 words: 89,825

No Rules Rules: Netflix and the Culture of Reinvention by Reed Hastings, Erin Meyer

Airbnb, Downton Abbey, Elon Musk, en.wikipedia.org, global village, hiring and firing, job-hopping, late fees, loose coupling, loss aversion, out of africa, performance metric, Saturday Night Live, Silicon Valley, Skype, Stephen Hawking, Steve Ballmer, Steve Jobs, subscription business

Generally, I believed that if the dilemma is linked to an incident at work, everyone should be informed. But if the dilemma is linked to an employee’s personal situation, it’s up to that person to share details if he chooses. QUIZ SCENARIO 4: WHEN YOU SCREW UP You are still the founder of a start-up with one hundred employees. This is a tough job, and despite your best efforts, you make a series of serious mistakes. Most notably you hire and fire five sales directors within five years. You keep thinking you’ve found a good candidate. But each time, as you begin to work together, you realize the new recruit doesn’t have what it takes to do the job. You realize that these mis-hirings are entirely due to your poor judgment. Do you admit this to your workforce? No! You don’t want the group to lose confidence in your ability to lead.

Answer from Reed: whisper wins and shout mistakes My response to Quiz Scenario 4 is (b): Yes! Admit that you screwed up. Earlier in my career, in the early days of Pure Software, I was too insecure to talk openly about mistakes with my staff, and I learned an important lesson. I was making a lot of leadership mistakes and it weighed on me heavily. Beyond my general incompetence at people management, I had indeed hired and fired five sales directors in five years. The first two times, I could blame the person I’d hired, but by the fourth and fifth failures, it was clear the problem was me. One thing I have always done is put the company before myself. Certain my own incompetence was bad for the organization, I went to the board and, as if in the confessional, detailed my inadequacies and offered my resignation.

Approval policies, decision making by committee, and contract sign-offs all put hurdles in front of your employees so that they can’t move quickly. Many of these items keep the organization from changing quickly when the environment shifts. Pay-per-performance bonuses, Management by Objective, and Key Performance Indicators motivate employees to stay on a preset path, making it difficult to quickly dump one project and pick up another. Whereas Performance Improvement Plans (along with any hiring and firing processes) make it difficult to swap out and in employees quickly as business needs change. If your goal is to build a more inventive, fast, and flexible organization, develop a culture of freedom and responsibility by establishing the necessary conditions so you can remove these rules and processes too. We began this book with a couple of questions: Why do so many companies such as Blockbuster, AOL, Kodak, and my own first company, Pure Software, fail to adapt and innovate quickly as the environment morphs around them?


How Will You Measure Your Life? by Christensen, Clayton M., Dillon, Karen, Allworth, James

air freight, Clayton Christensen, disruptive innovation, hiring and firing, invisible hand, Iridium satellite, job satisfaction, late fees, Mahatma Gandhi, Nick Leeson, Silicon Valley, Skype, Steve Jobs, working poor, young professional

If you recount our discussion of emergent and deliberate strategy—the balance between your plans and unanticipated opportunities—then you’ll know that getting something wrong doesn’t mean you have failed. Instead, you have just learned what does not work. You now know to try something else. It also goes without saying that there are some tools available to businesses that we just can’t use in our personal lives. For example, organizations have the ability to hire and fire employees to shape the culture they want. You can’t hire your kids for cultural fit. You don’t get to choose how they’re wired. And much as you might want to sometimes, you can’t fire them. (Thankfully, they can’t fire you, either.) Nevertheless, what I offer you in the following chapters can help because many of the problems we encounter in the workplace are often fundamentally the same in nature as the problems we encounter at home.

Together, these capabilities are crucial in order to assess what a company can and, perhaps more important, cannot accomplish. Capabilities are dynamic and built over time; no company starts out with its capabilities fully developed. The most tangible of the three factors is resources, which include people, equipment, technology, product designs, brands, information, cash, and relationships with suppliers, distributors, and customers. Resources are usually people or things—they can be hired and fired, bought and sold, depreciated or built. Many resources are visible and often are measurable, so managers can readily assess their value. Most people might think that resources are what make a business successful. But resources are only one of three critical factors driving a business. Organizations create value as employees transform resources into products and services of greater worth. The ways in which those employees interact, coordinate, communicate, and make decisions are known as processes.


pages: 519 words: 155,332

Tailspin: The People and Forces Behind America's Fifty-Year Fall--And Those Fighting to Reverse It by Steven Brill

2013 Report for America's Infrastructure - American Society of Civil Engineers - 19 March 2013, activist fund / activist shareholder / activist investor, affirmative action, Affordable Care Act / Obamacare, airport security, American Society of Civil Engineers: Report Card, asset allocation, Bernie Madoff, Bernie Sanders, Blythe Masters, Bretton Woods, business process, call centre, Capital in the Twenty-First Century by Thomas Piketty, carried interest, clean water, collapse of Lehman Brothers, collective bargaining, computerized trading, corporate governance, corporate raider, corporate social responsibility, Credit Default Swap, currency manipulation / currency intervention, Donald Trump, ending welfare as we know it, failed state, financial deregulation, financial innovation, future of work, ghettoisation, Gordon Gekko, hiring and firing, Home mortgage interest deduction, immigration reform, income inequality, invention of radio, job automation, knowledge economy, knowledge worker, labor-force participation, laissez-faire capitalism, Mahatma Gandhi, Mark Zuckerberg, mortgage tax deduction, new economy, obamacare, old-boy network, paper trading, performance metric, post-work, Potemkin village, Powell Memorandum, quantitative hedge fund, Ralph Nader, ride hailing / ride sharing, Robert Bork, Robert Gordon, Robert Mercer, Ronald Reagan, shareholder value, Silicon Valley, Social Responsibility of Business Is to Increase Its Profits, telemarketer, too big to fail, trade liberalization, union organizing, Unsafe at Any Speed, War on Poverty, women in the workforce, working poor

That stems from a civil service system that has been overwhelmed by a web of due process restrictions that, as with those “fully successful” ratings, holds few accountable for poor performance. (Most of the managers at the hospitals with the doctored waiting lists had consistently received thousands of dollars in performance bonuses.) In other words, the civil servants have a moat, too. As with much of what now ails America, protecting government workers with a civil service system began as sensible reform. Since the Revolution, hiring and firing federal workers had been corrupted by politics and cronyism. What had been an unspoken practice was institutionalized by the populist president Andrew Jackson, who openly championed what became known as the spoils system in 1829. Following the assassination of President James Garfield in 1881 by a former government worker apparently enraged at being the victim of the spoils system, a growing movement for change produced the Civil Service Reform Act of 1883.

Following the assassination of President James Garfield in 1881 by a former government worker apparently enraged at being the victim of the spoils system, a growing movement for change produced the Civil Service Reform Act of 1883. The law required that workers be hired on the merits after competing in qualifying tests. Initially, only about one in ten jobs were covered, but coverage grew rapidly. A series of statutes and court decisions gradually expanded the hiring protections to include limits on firing workers, too. A reform, initiated by President Carter in 1978, applied more rules to the hiring and firing process through a new Office of Personnel Management and a Merit Systems Protection Board, set up to adjudicate claims of unfair personnel practices. The law also added a “senior executive service” category intended to select and encourage the best workers, and attempted, with no success, to improve the rigor of performance reviews across all job categories. At the same time, the legal reform movement sparked by Yale Law professor Charles Reich—whose book The Greening of America had been attacked so harshly by Lewis Powell—was catching on in the courts.

If other potential recruits in priority areas, such as cyber security or fixing the VA’s customer service IT systems, do consider government service, it is likely to involve working for the private contractors that ring the Beltway doing outsourced work for the government at exorbitant rates that are typically based on how many hours of staff time it takes to do the job. The contractors’ performance has been so bad, yet so expensive, that the same Paul Light who attacked the government’s hiring and firing system in 2000 has written that the government also “lacks any system at all for managing the government’s vast, hidden workforce of contractors and consultants who work side-by-side with civil servants.” THRIVING IN THE SWAMP Those contractors have thrived, powered by a network of lobbyists and former or future employees working at the agencies that give them contracts, and by members of Congress pushed by lobbyists to reward them and ignore their failures to produce on prior contracts.


pages: 561 words: 114,843

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

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

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

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

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


pages: 384 words: 112,971

What’s Your Type? by Merve Emre

Albert Einstein, anti-communist, card file, correlation does not imply causation, Frederick Winslow Taylor, God and Mammon, Golden Gate Park, hiring and firing, index card, Isaac Newton, job satisfaction, late capitalism, means of production, Menlo Park, mutually assured destruction, Norman Mailer, p-value, Panopticon Jeremy Bentham, Ralph Waldo Emerson, Socratic dialogue, Stanford prison experiment, traveling salesman, upwardly mobile, uranium enrichment, women in the workforce

.), 17–18 childish function (in Personality Paint Box), 46, 47 child psychology, 9–10, 16 child-rearing, see baby-training laboratory Christianity, 1, 3, 23, 84–85, 95, 105 churches, personality testing in, xvi, 208–9, 251 Clark, Rosamond, 73 Clark University, 35, 38 class divisions and individuality, 125–26, 156, 158 Cleveland, Grover, 5 cognitive testing, 202, 203, 204, 214 Cold War, 180, 187, 189, 202, 232 College of Saint Benedict, 247 colleges, see universities, personality testing at Commission of Human Resources, 202 commodification of workers, 179, 248, 253–55, 258–59 “Complaint” (Williams), 195 computers, use of, 195, 208, 213, 233, 249 consultants, personality testing, xix, 120, 251, 252–56 Consulting Psychologists Press (CPP), xv, 186, 241–44, 248–49, 252, 257 Cook, Albert J., 1, 2, 3, 5, 13 Cook, Bert, 1, 2, 3 Cook, Mary, 1, 2, 3 Cordray, Richard, 213–14 corporations: assessment of culture in, 255 hiring and firing in, xvi, 120, 159, 168 job performance in, 121 management of personalities in, 123, 164–65, 253–54 matching of jobs to workers in, 135–36, 160–61, 161–62, 166–67, 264 social control in, 161, 166–67, 170, 264 worker as commodity of, 179, 248, 253–55, 258–59 Country Life, 63 Cox, James M., 31 CPI (California Psychological Inventory), 203, 240–41 CPP (Consulting Psychologists Press), xv, 186, 241–44, 248–49, 252, 257 creativity: Barron’s theory of, 189, 200 as hope for the world and America, 176–78, 187–88 and research on Capote, 190–93 and research on women, 197–98, 199 Crowe, Cindy, 247 Darwin, Charles, 1, 6, 13, 37 Davis, Junius “Jay,” 210, 211, 212, 216–17, 219, 221–23 Death Calls for Margin (Myers), 65–66 Debs, Eugene, 31 “Diary of an Introvert Determined to Extravert, Write, & Have a Lot of Children” (Myers), 51–52, 53, 56, 118 “Diary of an Obedience-Curiosity Mother, The” (Briggs), 11, 13, 16, 18, 62 Dickinson, Emily, 43 discrimination: as consequence of type testing, xx, 122, 125–26, 267 in expectations, 167–68 at IPAR, 182, 194–200 Dissociation of a Personality, The (Prince), 97 domestic institutions, as “laboratories,” xx, 6–7, 8, 24–25, 43, 66, 123, 127–30, 207, 230 see also family, as origin of MBTI “dominant” function (in Isabel’s system), 131 Donovan, William, 141 Dostoyevsky, Fyodor, 121 dream analysis: on Capote, 191, 193 of Helson, Ravenna, 194, 199 Isabel’s use of, 169–70 on Katharine, 36–37, 90 in Katharine’s dream club, 74, 90–91 on Lyman, 71–73, 72, 74–75 on Mary (Tucky), 77–78, 79 racialized, 78–79, 169–70 “Earning It: Personal Trainers to Buff the Boss’s People Skills” (New York Times), 254–55 educational “experiment,” 15 see also baby-training laboratory Educational Testing Service (ETS), see ETS (Educational Testing Service) Edward N.

.: and Briggs-Myers Type Indicator, 134–35, 137, 159, 163–64, 166, 228 Isabel as employee of, 121, 122, 124, 125, 159 personality testing of workers by, 120–21 Helson, Henry, 194, 196, 198, 199 Helson, Ravenna: confusion about name of, 179, 194 family-independence juggling by, 194, 196–97, 198–99 at IPAR as assistant, 179, 194–96, 241 research on creativity in women by, 197–200 Herman Miller (office furniture), 249 hiring and firing of workers by type, xvi, 120, 159, 168 Hitler, Adolf: Adorno on, 125, 155–56 and Jung, Carl, 101–2 Katharine on, 105–6, 110–11, 113, 116–17 Murray on, 105–6, 107–11, 111–15 sexual abnormalities of, 107–8 Home Life Insurance Company, 164 home-schooling, 15 Honolulu Star-Bulletin, 62 Hoover, Herbert, 63, 91 hospitals, personality testing in, xx, 168, 230, 231, 233, 235–36, 252 “house-party” assessment at IPAR, 178, 182–87 How to Win Friends and Influence People (Carnegie), 118 Humm, Doncaster G., 121 Humm-Wadsworth Temperament Scale, 121–22, 124, 125, 127, 135 imagery game (word pairs), 81, 214, 242 images as prompts for stories, 99–100, 265–66 imagination, 4, 5, 10–11, 55, 59 “Improvisations” exercise, 150–53 index cards, 43, 74, 93, 127, 207, 213, 214 indicator, see Myers-Briggs Type Indicator (MBTI) individuality: assessment for, 127, 156–58 vs. belonging to “type” group, xviii as capitalist fiction, 126, 170, 260 vs. classification, xvi–xvii, 124–26, 260 vs. commodification, 179, 248, 253–55, 258–59 empowerment of, xix, 127 and IPAR’s research, 177–80, 186–88 in marriage, 25 as source of religious experience, 23–24 type as threat to, xvi, xviii, xxii, 124, 125–26, 170, 260 see also personality individuation process (Jungian), 38, 126 industrial modernity, 126–27, 133, 156, 179, 264 see also capitalism inequality of people, Katharine’s views on, 3, 31 “inspection house” (Panopticon), 184–85 insurance companies, MBTI and, 164, 214, 228 intelligence quotient (IQ) test, 167 Interpretation of Dreams, The (Freud), 38, 44 Introvert-Extravert Club (New York), 96–97 introvert type: as (I) in MBTI, xiii, 131 examples of, 40, 42, 76, 79, 92, 95, 129, 132, 152, 164, 236 Jung on, 39, 44, 215 in table, rubric, and profile, 47, 138 intuition, Jung on, 46, 48, 49 intuitive type: as (I) then (N) in MBTI, xiii, 131, 205 examples of, 49, 92, 95, 129, 164, 175, 236 Jung on, 40–41, 44, 46, 48 with perception type, 138 vs. sensing type, 40–41, 131, 138 in table, rubric, and profile, 47, 138 IPAR (Institute of Personality Assessment and Research): and creativity, 187–93, 195–200 “house party” surveillance methods, 178, 182–87 mission, 176–80, 181–83, 186–87 questionnaires at, 183–84, 185, 188 test design at, 186 women at, 182, 194–200 Ireland, Mardy, 260 James, William, 22, 23–24, 37, 45, 95 Jastrow, Joseph, 44 Jewish persecution, 106, 109–10, 114, 121, 125–26, 155 jobs, see workers Johnson, Lyndon, 187 judging type: as (J) in MBTI, xiii, 131 examples of, 249, 256, 268 as Isabel’s addition to Jung’s types, 131, 135 in table, 138 with thinking type, 138 Jung, Carl Gustav, 230 vs.

., 161, 162, 170–73, 264 Williams, William Carlos, 195 Wilson, Sloan, 171 Wilson, Woodrow, 27 Wisconsin, University of, 248 Wolfe, Dael, 202 Wolff, Toni, 95 Woman’s Home Companion, 18 women: creativity research on, 197–98, 199 as feelers, 67, 89, 128, 136–37 intuition of, 48 at IPAR, 182, 194–200 limitations on, xix, 5, 7 as lovers, 84, 94–95, 101 as man’s empowerer, 68, 98–99 in workforce, 122–23, 168–69 see also family, as origin of MBTI; marriage word pairs, 81, 214, 242 workers: alienation of, 166 and class divisions, 125–26, 156, 158 as commodities, 179, 248, 253–55, 258–59 hiring and firing of, xvi, 120, 159, 168 men vs. women, 29–30, 67–69, 119, 123, 134 motivation of, xx, 135, 161–62, 166–67, 264 and “soft skills,” 253–54 white-collar, 120–21 with good “job match,” see specialization “work-life balance,” 166–67 workplace aptitude tests, 120–21 workplace culture, improving, 255 World War I, 27, 28 World War II, 92, 101–2, 115–17, 119, 141 see also Germany; Hitler, Adolf Zimbardo, Philip, 155 Illustration Credits Page 47 Reproduction of the New Republic (December 22, 1926) Page 72 Courtesy of the Katharine Cook Papers at Michigan State University Page 138 (top and bottom) Courtesy of the Edward N.


pages: 257 words: 68,143

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

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

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

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


pages: 253 words: 65,834

Mastering the VC Game: A Venture Capital Insider Reveals How to Get From Start-Up to IPO on Your Terms by Jeffrey Bussgang

business cycle, business process, carried interest, digital map, discounted cash flows, hiring and firing, Jeff Bezos, Kickstarter, Marc Andreessen, Mark Zuckerberg, Menlo Park, moveable type in China, pattern recognition, Paul Graham, performance metric, Peter Thiel, pets.com, risk tolerance, rolodex, Ronald Reagan, Sand Hill Road, selection bias, shareholder value, Silicon Valley, Skype, software as a service, sovereign wealth fund, Steve Jobs, technology bubble, The Wisdom of Crowds

In this capacity, they are bound by two important factors: the duty of care (be informed, diligent, and prudent) and the duty of loyalty (serve the interests of the company and its shareholders). The board of directors does not run the company. The CEO runs the company. The best entrepreneurs recognize the important and valuable role that the board can play and provide them with the transparency they need to do their job effectively. In their capacity as agents for the shareholders, the board of directors has the power to hire and fire the CEO and approve major transactions that materially affect the value of the company’s equity, such as selling the company, buying another company, or agreeing to a new round of financing. This role has other important areas of oversight, including serving on the audit committee, which liaises with the company’s auditors to confirm the integrity of the financial records and books, or compensation committee, which sets the compensation of the CEO and other senior executives.

The founder agrees to this deal in order to secure funding, but never fully buys into the notion that he will need to “let go.” From the day the CEO first arrives at the company, it is obvious the two will never get along. The founder questions the CEO’s every decision. The CEO wants to change all of the founder’s original processes and blames the company’s poor performance on the founder’s original decisions. The two can’t agree on strategy, organization structure, client management, or whom to hire and fire. The founder thinks the CEO is out to wreck the company and will ruin the culture and “soul” he created. The CEO thinks the company can never grow with the founder on the scene looking over his shoulder, looking backward rather than forward. The board members realize they have to do something, but they’re not sure what. Should they fire the CEO? But then how could they ever hire a new CEO when the story of the founder’s undermining behavior gets out?


pages: 227 words: 71,675

Rules for Revolutionaries: How Big Organizing Can Change Everything by Becky Bond, Zack Exley

battle of ideas, Bernie Sanders, call centre, centre right, cognitive dissonance, crowdsourcing, declining real wages, Donald Trump, family office, fixed income, full employment, hiring and firing, hydraulic fracturing, immigration reform, income inequality, Kickstarter, mass incarceration, Naomi Klein, Occupy movement, oil shale / tar sands, plutocrats, Plutocrats, randomized controlled trial, Skype, telemarketer, union organizing

There was a lot of criticism about that round of layoffs, but it was true that at that point in the primary calendar the campaign needed to downsize and reallocate cash. I supported the idea of layoffs at that scale and was absolutely okay to be among those getting the ax. In fact, I stayed in touch and continued to volunteer as I was able. The revolution could definitely use more and better management! Changing the world is hard work. And when it’s funded by small-dollar donations, it’s important to make every little bit help. That means hiring and firing quickly when needed but also taking the time you need to do it right. We can be tough competitors, highly accountable managers, and still be humane partners in our shared struggle. No matter what your role is, as a staffer or volunteer, seek mentors and other resources to help make you a better manager and a better member of your team. Reading the book Managing to Change the World is one place to start.

Every couple of years I would find myself in a taco place in San Francisco, where Becky has lived since graduating from college in 1992, dutifully giving updates about what I’d been doing and my latest wacky plans for projects that only rarely ever happened. As I was chaotically jumping from thing to thing, Becky was staying put at Working Assets/CREDO learning how to make big visions come true by managing, planning, hiring, and firing. Once she was on the Bernie campaign—bringing in an amazing team of people she had worked with or watched in action over the years, giving them clear roles, and managing them toward clear objectives—it all felt a bit providential. I think that part of the reason typical political staffers don’t often work as colleagues alongside volunteers is that the typical progressive staff culture is often close to a monoculture of a very particular subculture.


pages: 222 words: 75,778

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

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

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

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


pages: 77 words: 18,414

How to Kick Ass on Wall Street by Andy Kessler

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

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


pages: 772 words: 203,182

What Went Wrong: How the 1% Hijacked the American Middle Class . . . And What Other Countries Got Right by George R. Tyler

8-hour work day, active measures, activist fund / activist shareholder / activist investor, affirmative action, Affordable Care Act / Obamacare, bank run, banking crisis, Basel III, Black Swan, blood diamonds, blue-collar work, Bolshevik threat, bonus culture, British Empire, business cycle, business process, buy and hold, capital controls, Carmen Reinhart, carried interest, cognitive dissonance, collateralized debt obligation, collective bargaining, commoditize, corporate governance, corporate personhood, corporate raider, corporate social responsibility, creative destruction, credit crunch, crony capitalism, crowdsourcing, currency manipulation / currency intervention, David Brooks, David Graeber, David Ricardo: comparative advantage, declining real wages, deindustrialization, Diane Coyle, disruptive innovation, Double Irish / Dutch Sandwich, eurozone crisis, financial deregulation, financial innovation, fixed income, Francis Fukuyama: the end of history, full employment, George Akerlof, George Gilder, Gini coefficient, Gordon Gekko, hiring and firing, income inequality, invisible hand, job satisfaction, John Markoff, joint-stock company, Joseph Schumpeter, Kenneth Rogoff, labor-force participation, laissez-faire capitalism, lake wobegon effect, light touch regulation, Long Term Capital Management, manufacturing employment, market clearing, market fundamentalism, Martin Wolf, minimum wage unemployment, mittelstand, moral hazard, Myron Scholes, Naomi Klein, Northern Rock, obamacare, offshore financial centre, Paul Samuelson, pension reform, performance metric, pirate software, plutocrats, Plutocrats, Ponzi scheme, precariat, price stability, profit maximization, profit motive, purchasing power parity, race to the bottom, Ralph Nader, rent-seeking, reshoring, Richard Thaler, rising living standards, road to serfdom, Robert Gordon, Robert Shiller, Robert Shiller, Ronald Reagan, Sand Hill Road, shareholder value, Silicon Valley, Social Responsibility of Business Is to Increase Its Profits, South Sea Bubble, sovereign wealth fund, Steve Ballmer, Steve Jobs, The Chicago School, The Spirit Level, The Wealth of Nations by Adam Smith, Thorstein Veblen, too big to fail, transcontinental railway, transfer pricing, trickle-down economics, tulip mania, Tyler Cowen: Great Stagnation, union organizing, Upton Sinclair, upwardly mobile, women in the workforce, working poor, zero-sum game

“Trying to prevent this creative destruction from happening is a recipe for less economic growth and less productivity.”6 As economists at the OECD have explained, there is awareness now in countries such as the Netherlands that “strict employment protections reduce labor market fluidity and prolong unemployment.”7 That appreciation has inculcated a culture of labor market experimentation and continual reform in recent decades in northern Europe with names like “flexicurity.” First coined in Scandinavia, flexicurity describes steps to enhance labor market flexibility by pairing an enhanced employer ability to hire and fire with greater unemployment support and incentives for jobless workers to upskill and recycle rapidly back into the labor force.8 Examples include German reforms that made it easier to hire and fire employees beginning in 1998. How deeply are the objectives of flexicurity ingrained in the culture of northern Europe now? Here is how Steffen Kampeter, parliamentary state secretary in the German Ministry of Finance, described the intensity of that culture: “We have learned that reform is not only a 10-year program but an everlasting challenge.”9 That commitment to flexible labor markets explains why the European Central Bank demanded reduced labor market protections in Greece, Portugal, and Spain as a condition for support during the sovereign debt crisis.

Explanations such as language barriers were given, but the Institute for Labour Market and Employment Research (IAB) in Nuremberg figured it out. They fingered the German labor model, which prioritizes worksite performance over wage compression: only the highly skilled need apply.12 Herbert Brucker of the IAB explained the outcome was the consequence of the explicit German rejection (because it hobbles productivity growth) of the American-style “hire-and-fire” labor model. How are nationwide wage increases set by the family capitalist countries? Recall that we reviewed the process in Australia in Chapter 3, including this explanation from that government’s Bureau of Statistics: “In Australia, the 1983 Wage Accord established a centralized wage fixing system that took into account economic policies and the Consumer Price Index. By 1987, the replacement was a two-tier system that distributed a flat increase to all workers and made further increase provisional on improvement in efficiencies.”13 This Australian-style approach with its roots reaching back to 1894 is common in the other family capitalism countries, where economy-wide parameters for wage gains are devised and applied to the vast majority of jobs.

Employees have a stake in striving for wage increases, of course, but not at the expense of firm survival because they have long-term attachments to employers; they covet enterprise success and that moderates wage demands. For their part, keenly sensitive to the urgency of productivity growth, employers have a stake in maintaining an energetic workforce while avoiding strikes. Yet employers also prioritize flexibility to hire and fire workers, to control labor costs while meeting sudden market changes, to optimize low labor turnover, and to be profitable for their shareholders and thereby able to invest in new technology to meet competition.21 Wages do not rise beyond a cost-of-living adjustment if productivity growth is poor: “Salaries in France should be increased only if there is an increase in productivity,” is how Reuters quoted former Economic Minister and now IMF chief Christine Lagarde in March 2011.22 Here is how this system worked in France in 2006.


pages: 72 words: 21,361

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

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

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


pages: 365 words: 88,125

23 Things They Don't Tell You About Capitalism by Ha-Joon Chang

"Robert Solow", affirmative action, Asian financial crisis, bank run, banking crisis, basic income, Berlin Wall, Bernie Madoff, borderless world, Carmen Reinhart, central bank independence, collateralized debt obligation, colonial rule, corporate governance, Credit Default Swap, credit default swaps / collateralized debt obligations, David Ricardo: comparative advantage, deindustrialization, deskilling, ending welfare as we know it, Fall of the Berlin Wall, falling living standards, financial deregulation, financial innovation, full employment, German hyperinflation, Gini coefficient, hiring and firing, Hyman Minsky, income inequality, income per capita, invisible hand, joint-stock company, joint-stock limited liability company, Joseph Schumpeter, Kenneth Rogoff, knowledge economy, labour market flexibility, light touch regulation, Long Term Capital Management, low skilled workers, manufacturing employment, market fundamentalism, means of production, Mexican peso crisis / tequila crisis, microcredit, Myron Scholes, North Sea oil, offshore financial centre, old-boy network, post-industrial society, price stability, profit maximization, profit motive, purchasing power parity, rent control, shareholder value, short selling, Skype, structural adjustment programs, the market place, The Wealth of Nations by Adam Smith, Thomas Malthus, Tobin tax, Toyota Production System, trade liberalization, trickle-down economics, women in the workforce, working poor, zero-sum game

Inflation control is emphasized because many financial assets have nominally fixed rates of return, so inflation reduces their real returns. Greater capital mobility is promoted because the main source of the ability for the holders of financial assets to reap higher returns than the holders of other (physical and human) assets is their ability to move around their assets more quickly (see Thing 22). Greater labour market flexibility is demanded because, from the point of view of financial investors, making hiring and firing of the workers easier allows companies to be restructured more quickly, which means that they can be sold and bought more readily with better short-term balance sheets, bringing higher financial returns (see Thing 2). Even if they have increased financial instability and job insecurity, policies aimed at increasing price stability may be partially justified, had they increased investment and thus growth, as the inflation hawks had predicted.

Especially in the last few decades, businessmen and policy-makers around the world have wanted, and often tried, to emulate the US economic model. Its free enterprise system, according to admirers of the US model, lets people compete without limits and rewards the winners without restrictions imposed by the government or by misguided egalitarian culture. The system therefore creates exceptionally strong incentives for entrepreneurship and innovation. Its free labour market, with easy hiring and firing, allows its enterprises to be agile and thus more competitive, as they can redeploy their workers more quickly than their competitors, in response to changing market conditions. With entrepreneurs richly rewarded and workers having to adapt quickly, the system does create high inequality. However, its proponents argue, even the ‘losers’ in this game willingly accept such outcomes because, given the country’s high social mobility, their own children could be the next Thomas Edison, J.


pages: 291 words: 90,771

Upscale: What It Takes to Scale a Startup. By the People Who've Done It. by James Silver

Airbnb, augmented reality, Ben Horowitz, blockchain, business process, call centre, credit crunch, crowdsourcing, DevOps, family office, future of work, Google Hangouts, high net worth, hiring and firing, Jeff Bezos, Kickstarter, Lean Startup, Lyft, Mark Zuckerberg, minimum viable product, Network effects, pattern recognition, ride hailing / ride sharing, Silicon Valley, Skype, Snapchat, software as a service, Uber and Lyft, uber lyft, women in the workforce, Y Combinator

Scale Coaches Adam Hale; Alex Depledge; Alex Gayer; Amir Kfir; Andrew Crump; Andrew Graham; Anthony Fletcher; Asi Sharabi; Benjamin Grol; Brad Feld; Brent Hoberman; Bryan Tookey; Cian Weeresinghe; Claire Martin; Dan Hynes; Daniel Campion; Dave Shappell; David Norris; Devin Hunt; Divinia Knowles; Doug Monro; George Berkowski; George Bettany; Greg Marsh; Ian Meyers; Ian Sutherland; James Bilefield; James Routledge; Jerry Collona; Jessica Butcher; Jonathon Southam; Julien Callede; Luke Lang; Malcolm Locke; Matt Buckland; Meri Williams; Niklas Zennstrom; Patrick Campbell; Placid Jover; Romain Bertrand; Sarah Wood; Shane Corstorphine; Sian Keane; Simon Wright; Sophie Miller; Steven Dunne; Steven Rose; Thor Mitchell; Toby Moore; Tracy Doree; Verne Harnish; Will McInnes Advisors Andy Young; Davor Hebel; Dominic Jacquesson; Eileen Burbidge; Jamie Coleman; Jon Bradford; Katy Turner; Nic Brisbourne; Reshma Sohoni; Russell Buckley; Simon Calver; Saul Klein; Sitar Teli; Suranga Chandratillake; Tak Lo; Wendy Tan White Tech Nation Ashley Hough; Barbara Peric; Becky Smith; Ben Wackett; Caroline Rae; Davina Yanful; EJ Quinn; Gerard Grech; Jos Smart; MB Christie; Orla Browne; Parveen Dhanda; Reiz Evans; Ryan Proctor; Sinead Daly; Tia Mcphee; Ugne Sapezinskaite; Vicki Shiel; Will Dolby; Zheela Qaiser CONTENTS INTRODUCTION Gerard Grech, CEO Tech Nation. Part One: People CHAPTER 1: ‘Why hiring slow and firing fast is one of the hardest things founders have to do.’ Greg Marsh, co-founder and former CEO of onefinestay, on hiring and firing. CHAPTER 2: ‘There is no such thing as a perfect culture - that’s known as a cult.’ Neil Rimer, co-founder of Index Ventures, alongside key figures from some of the leading VC firm’s portfolio companies, on scaling values and making culture count. CHAPTER 3: ‘The age of one brain holding all a company’s knowledge is over.’ Unruly co-founder Sarah Wood on the changing role of leadership (and her company’s scaling challenges).

The days of having to go to the Valley to stand a chance of success are over; the vision of being able to grow a world-class digital business in the UK is now a reality. Scale-up nation is here to stay. London, October 2018 part one PEOPLE CHAPTER 1 ‘Why hiring slow and firing fast is one of the hardest things founders have to do.’ Greg Marsh, co-founder and former CEO of onefinestay, on hiring and firing. The hardest decision CEOs have to make is who to keep and when to fire, says Greg Marsh, co-founder of high-end hospitality firm onefinestay, which was sold to AccorHotels for a widely reported £117m (€l48m) in April 2016. Speaking to a roomful of entrepreneurs as part of Tech Nation’s Upscale programme at the Goldsmiths’ Centre in Clerkenwell, London, he went on to cite Andy Grove, the late, legendary Intel CEO, to bolster his case.


pages: 475 words: 155,554

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

Asian financial crisis, asset-backed security, balance sheet recession, bank run, banking crisis, Basel III, Ben Bernanke: helicopter money, Berlin Wall, Big bang: deregulation of the City of London, Boris Johnson, British Empire, capital controls, carbon footprint, Celtic Tiger, central bank independence, centre right, collapse of Lehman Brothers, credit crunch, Credit Default Swap, crony capitalism, dark matter, deindustrialization, Deng Xiaoping, disintermediation, energy security, Eugene Fama: efficient market hypothesis, eurozone crisis, financial deregulation, financial innovation, financial repression, floating exchange rates, forensic accounting, forward guidance, full employment, G4S, ghettoisation, global rebalancing, global reserve currency, hiring and firing, inflation targeting, Irish property bubble, Just-in-time delivery, labour market flexibility, light touch regulation, London Whale, Long Term Capital Management, margin call, market clearing, megacity, Mikhail Gorbachev, mini-job, mittelstand, moral hazard, mortgage debt, mortgage tax deduction, mutually assured destruction, Myron Scholes, negative equity, North Sea oil, Northern Rock, offshore financial centre, open economy, paradox of thrift, Pearl River Delta, pension reform, price mechanism, price stability, profit motive, quantitative easing, quantitative trading / quantitative finance, race to the bottom, regulatory arbitrage, reserve currency, reshoring, Right to Buy, rising living standards, Ronald Reagan, savings glut, shareholder value, sovereign wealth fund, The Chicago School, the payments system, too big to fail, trade route, transaction costs, two tier labour market, unorthodox policies, uranium enrichment, urban planning, value at risk, WikiLeaks, working-age population, zero-sum game

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

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

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


pages: 346 words: 89,180

Capitalism Without Capital: The Rise of the Intangible Economy by Jonathan Haskel, Stian Westlake

"Robert Solow", 23andMe, activist fund / activist shareholder / activist investor, Airbnb, Albert Einstein, Andrei Shleifer, bank run, banking crisis, Bernie Sanders, business climate, business process, buy and hold, Capital in the Twenty-First Century by Thomas Piketty, cloud computing, cognitive bias, computer age, corporate governance, corporate raider, correlation does not imply causation, creative destruction, dark matter, Diane Coyle, Donald Trump, Douglas Engelbart, Douglas Engelbart, Edward Glaeser, Elon Musk, endogenous growth, Erik Brynjolfsson, everywhere but in the productivity statistics, Fellow of the Royal Society, financial innovation, full employment, fundamental attribution error, future of work, Gini coefficient, Hernando de Soto, hiring and firing, income inequality, index card, indoor plumbing, intangible asset, Internet of things, Jane Jacobs, Jaron Lanier, job automation, Kenneth Arrow, Kickstarter, knowledge economy, knowledge worker, laissez-faire capitalism, liquidity trap, low skilled workers, Marc Andreessen, Mother of all demos, Network effects, new economy, open economy, patent troll, paypal mafia, Peter Thiel, pets.com, place-making, post-industrial society, Productivity paradox, quantitative hedge fund, rent-seeking, revision control, Richard Florida, ride hailing / ride sharing, Robert Gordon, Ronald Coase, Sand Hill Road, Second Machine Age, secular stagnation, self-driving car, shareholder value, sharing economy, Silicon Valley, six sigma, Skype, software patent, sovereign wealth fund, spinning jenny, Steve Jobs, survivorship bias, The Rise and Fall of American Growth, The Wealth of Nations by Adam Smith, Tim Cook: Apple, total factor productivity, Tyler Cowen: Great Stagnation, urban planning, Vanguard fund, walkable city, X Prize, zero-sum game

Figure 2.8 shows the share of business-sector GDP accounted for by tangible and intangible investment, plotted against an index of what the OECD calls “employment strictness,” where a high value of the index, such as in countries like Italy, means that it is costly to hire and fire workers and a low value, for example, in the United States and the UK, means that it’s relatively cheap. Figure 2.8. Tangible and intangible investment and regulation (shares of sector value added, average 1999–2013). Countries are Austria (AT), Denmark (DK), Finland (FI), France (FR), Germany (DE), Italy (IT), Netherlands (NL), Spain (ES), Sweden (SE), UK (UK), USA (US). Source: authors’ calculations based on INTAN-Invest database (www.intan-invest.net) and OECD data. The figure shows something interesting. Countries with more restrictive hiring and firing invest more in tangibles, but less in intangibles. The effect of labor market rules on tangible effect is intuitive: if hiring and managing staff is a real pain, then businesses may invest in machines instead.


pages: 284 words: 92,688

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

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

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

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


pages: 298 words: 95,668

Milton Friedman: A Biography by Lanny Ebenstein

"Robert Solow", affirmative action, banking crisis, Berlin Wall, Bretton Woods, business cycle, Deng Xiaoping, Fall of the Berlin Wall, fiat currency, floating exchange rates, Francis Fukuyama: the end of history, full employment, Hernando de Soto, hiring and firing, inflation targeting, invisible hand, Joseph Schumpeter, Kenneth Arrow, Lao Tzu, liquidity trap, means of production, Mont Pelerin Society, Myron Scholes, Pareto efficiency, Paul Samuelson, Ponzi scheme, price stability, rent control, road to serfdom, Robert Bork, Ronald Coase, Ronald Reagan, Sam Peltzman, school choice, school vouchers, secular stagnation, Simon Kuznets, stem cell, The Chicago School, The inhabitant of London could order by telephone, sipping his morning tea in bed, the various products of the whole earth, The Wealth of Nations by Adam Smith, Thorstein Veblen, zero-sum game

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


pages: 302 words: 95,965

How to Be the Startup Hero: A Guide and Textbook for Entrepreneurs and Aspiring Entrepreneurs by Tim Draper

3D printing, Airbnb, Apple's 1984 Super Bowl advert, augmented reality, autonomous vehicles, basic income, Berlin Wall, bitcoin, blockchain, Buckminster Fuller, business climate, carried interest, connected car, crowdsourcing, cryptocurrency, Deng Xiaoping, discounted cash flows, disintermediation, Donald Trump, Elon Musk, Ethereum, ethereum blockchain, family office, fiat currency, frictionless, frictionless market, high net worth, hiring and firing, Jeff Bezos, Kickstarter, low earth orbit, Lyft, Mahatma Gandhi, Mark Zuckerberg, Menlo Park, Metcalfe's law, Metcalfe’s law, Mikhail Gorbachev, Minecraft, Moneyball by Michael Lewis explains big data, Nelson Mandela, Network effects, peer-to-peer, Peter Thiel, pez dispenser, Ralph Waldo Emerson, risk tolerance, Robert Metcalfe, Ronald Reagan, Rosa Parks, Sand Hill Road, school choice, school vouchers, self-driving car, sharing economy, short selling, Silicon Valley, Skype, smart contracts, Snapchat, sovereign wealth fund, stealth mode startup, stem cell, Steve Jobs, Tesla Model S, Uber for X, uber lyft, universal basic income, women in the workforce, Y Combinator, zero-sum game

She handles all the work I need done but can’t get to, she anticipates what the business needs and acts accordingly, and she has supported me through some very tough professional (and personal) challenges. I remember saying things like, “Do you remember that guy who…?” and before I said another word, she would respond with, “Yes, John Smith from Acron Systems.” And she would be spot on. But I have made some mistakes in hiring (and firing) and funding too. Over my years as a venture capitalist, I have had to fire quite a few CEOs, founders, employees, and several partners in the DVN. In most cases, I believe that it is important to do it immediately, so that the person who is fired has as much time as possible to find his or her next job, and so that rumors do not circle. It should also be done with sensitivity and tact, and with finality.

Bob hired Tom Riley, a solid Harvard MBA, who knew how to run a business. Tom became frustrated with Bob, who kept odd hours, made absurd declarations, and wasn’t managing his people. Tom came to the board and asked to replace Bob as CEO and to throw Bob out. It was a tough decision at the time. I was new to the business and deferred to the more senior investors in making the call. The board has one job—to hire and fire the CEO. And given the ultimatum, we went with Tom, the wise Harvard MBA. What we should have done was somehow keep both of them. Bob was the heart of the business and Tom was the mind. Bob left the company with the same passion he came into it with. He was bitter, angry, and although still a large shareholder, he almost didn’t want the company to succeed without him. To this day, I believe that the spirit of the company left with Bob.


pages: 299 words: 92,782

The Success Equation: Untangling Skill and Luck in Business, Sports, and Investing by Michael J. Mauboussin

Amazon Mechanical Turk, Atul Gawande, Benoit Mandelbrot, Black Swan, Checklist Manifesto, Clayton Christensen, cognitive bias, commoditize, Daniel Kahneman / Amos Tversky, David Brooks, deliberate practice, disruptive innovation, Emanuel Derman, fundamental attribution error, Gini coefficient, hindsight bias, hiring and firing, income inequality, Innovator's Dilemma, Long Term Capital Management, loss aversion, Menlo Park, mental accounting, moral hazard, Network effects, prisoner's dilemma, random walk, Richard Thaler, risk-adjusted returns, shareholder value, Simon Singh, six sigma, Steven Pinker, transaction costs, winner-take-all economy, zero-sum game, Zipf's Law

Knittel, and Jeffrey Heisler, CFA, “Absence of Value: An Analysis of Investment Allocation Decisions by Institutional Plan Sponsors,” Financial Analysts Journal 65, no. 6 (November/December 2009): 34–51; Amit Goyal and Sunil Wahal, “The Selection and Termination of Investment Management Firms by Plan Sponsors,” Journal of Finance 63, no. 4 (August 2008): 1805–1847; Jeffrey Heisler, Christopher R. Kittel, John J. Neuman, and Scott D. Stewart, “Why Do Plan Sponsors Hire and Fire Their Investment Managers?” Journal of Business and Economic Studies 13, no. 1 (Spring 2007): 88–118; Diane Del Guercio and Paula A. Tkac, “The Determinants of the Flow of Funds of Managed Portfolios: Mutual Funds Versus Pension Funds,” Journal of Financial and Quantitative Analysis 37, no. 4 (December 2002): 523–555; and Andrea Frazzini and Owen A. Lamont, “Dumb Money: Mutual Fund Flows and the Cross-Section of Stock Returns,” Journal of Financial Economics 88, no. 2 (May 2008): 299–322. 23.

., and Elizabeth J. Meinz. “Limits on the Predictive Power of Domain-Specific Experience and Knowledge in Skilled Performance.” Current Directions in Psychological Science 20, no. 5 (October 2011): 275–279. Harford, Tim. Why Success Always Starts with Failure. New York: Farrar, Straus and Giroux, 2011. Heisler, Jeffrey, Christopher R. Kittel, John J. Neuman, and Scott D. Stewart. “Why Do Plan Sponsors Hire and Fire Their Investment Managers?” Journal of Business and Economic Studies 13, no. 1 (Spring 2007): 88–118. Henderson, Andrew D., Michael E. Raynor, and Mumtaz Ahmed. “How Long Must a Firm Be Great to Rule Out Luck? Benchmarking Sustained Superior Performance Without Being Fooled By Randomness.” Strategic Management Journal 33, no. 4 (April 2012): 387–406. Hendricks, Darryll, Jayendu Patel, and Richard Zeckhauser.


pages: 296 words: 98,018

Winners Take All: The Elite Charade of Changing the World by Anand Giridharadas

"side hustle", activist lawyer, affirmative action, Airbnb, Bernie Sanders, bitcoin, Burning Man, Capital in the Twenty-First Century by Thomas Piketty, carried interest, cognitive dissonance, collective bargaining, corporate raider, corporate social responsibility, crowdsourcing, David Brooks, David Heinemeier Hansson, deindustrialization, disintermediation, Donald Trump, Edward Snowden, Elon Musk, friendly fire, global pandemic, high net worth, hiring and firing, housing crisis, Hyperloop, income inequality, invisible hand, Jeff Bezos, Kibera, Kickstarter, land reform, Lyft, Marc Andreessen, Mark Zuckerberg, new economy, Occupy movement, offshore financial centre, Panopticon Jeremy Bentham, Parag Khanna, Paul Graham, Peter Thiel, plutocrats, Plutocrats, profit maximization, risk tolerance, rolodex, Ronald Reagan, shareholder value, sharing economy, side project, Silicon Valley, Silicon Valley startup, Skype, Social Responsibility of Business Is to Increase Its Profits, Steven Pinker, technoutopianism, The Chicago School, The Fortune at the Bottom of the Pyramid, the High Line, The Wealth of Nations by Adam Smith, Thomas L Friedman, too big to fail, Travis Kalanick, trickle-down economics, Uber and Lyft, uber lyft, Upton Sinclair, Vilfredo Pareto, working poor, zero-sum game

It had to accept the “challenge of change.” Renzi dropped a casual aside in talking about his labor-market reforms that reflected another aspect of the globalist consensus. He said Italy’s rewriting, the previous year, of its hiring-and-firing laws had finally caught the country up to the standards of Germany and Britain. He added, “Obviously, U.S.A. arrived to this point twenty years ago.” The globalists believed that there were “right answers” in public policy—answers that made a place safe for the foreign investors that Macri had been worried about—and having a very flexible labor market, in which it is easy to hire and fire people, is one of those right answers. The right answer, then, was not arrived at democratically: It was not the answer the people of Italy had chosen, by action or inaction, during those twenty years of “delay.”


pages: 371 words: 101,792

Skygods: The Fall of Pan Am by Robert Gandt

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

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

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


How an Economy Grows and Why It Crashes by Peter D. Schiff, Andrew J. Schiff

Bretton Woods, business climate, currency peg, hiring and firing, indoor plumbing, offshore financial centre, price stability, Robert Shiller, Robert Shiller, technology bubble

Desperate to offset the effects of fishflation, many more islanders decided to risk thier savings with Manny Fund, whose promise of oversized returns gave investors the best hope of overcoming these losses. When unemployment reached a crisis level, people demanded that the government do something. In response, the Senate set strict limits on how much companies could pay workers, under what circumstances the workers could be hired and fired, and how much the businesses could charge for their products. The resulting constraints made it more difficult to do business, and limited the ability of businesses to grow. As time passed, a new senator, Lindy B., saw another electoral opportunity…this time to make a Great Society! Lindy promised that if elected not only would he furnish the canoe navy with bigger spears, but he would also help the sagging economy by providing emergency unemployment fish notes to all laid-off workers.


pages: 1,009 words: 329,520

The Last Tycoons: The Secret History of Lazard Frères & Co. by William D. Cohan

activist fund / activist shareholder / activist investor, bank run, carried interest, cognitive dissonance, commoditize, computer age, corporate governance, corporate raider, creative destruction, credit crunch, diversification, Donald Trump, East Village, fear of failure, fixed income, G4S, hiring and firing, interest rate swap, intermodal, Joseph Schumpeter, late fees, Long Term Capital Management, Marc Andreessen, market bubble, offshore financial centre, Ponzi scheme, Ralph Nader, Ralph Waldo Emerson, rolodex, Ronald Reagan, shareholder value, The Nature of the Firm, the new new thing, Yogi Berra

Michel was to be the first chairman of the supervisory board for an initial five-year term. The board would enjoy a myriad of powers, among them the ability to hire and fire the CEO and to approve the sale, merger, or initial public offering of the firm. During the first five years of Michel's chairmanship, though, he would have the unilateral right to veto such an event. Under Steve's construct, there was also to have been a nine-member management committee that would meet weekly and be chaired by the CEO. The management committee would make all compensation decisions as well as all decisions regarding promotion, hiring, and firing. The initial officers of the Lazard Group would be Michel, as chairman, Steve, as president and CEO, and Eig, Gullquist, Mezzacappa, Verey, and Braggiotti. Steve anticipated a formal announcement of the agreement to merge the three houses by Christmas 1998 and set the start of the new millennium as the "target date for full implementation."

The ostensible reason for the change, according to Michel, was the need to legally separate the French partnership from the New York partnership in the event that the Germans took control of Lazard in Paris--which they eventually did--and endeavored to run the New York firm (which they did not). The change in the agreement was designed to prevent such an event. But the main reason for the rewrite was to create a highly authoritarian management and governance structure--found in section 4.1 of the agreement--that would endow one person alone with the absolute power to unilaterally hire and fire partners and other employees and to unilaterally set annual compensation. In investment banking, as in most businesses, there is no more absolute power over employees than the authority to set their compensation and determine if they will still have a job. The December 31, 1938, partnership agreement became the firm's Rosetta stone, and the "partner under section 4.1" became the firm's absolute monarch.

Almost immediately, he began discussing with Michel and Felix ways to improve "organizational discipline." Loomis was partial to writing detailed, often passionate memos to Michel and Felix about his ideas for the firm. In an early missive, he made the heretofore-unheard-of argument that Michel needed to appoint one partner to coordinate the assignments for and evaluations of the junior professionals, including the making of all hiring and firing decisions for these bankers. This task, Loomis supposed, would take about half of the chosen partner's time. He volunteered for the job. As he saw it, his mandate would be to coordinate all staffing of associates on M&A deals, requiring partners to go through him--Felix's recommendation--as new assignments came up, as opposed to going directly to their favorite associates, as had been the custom.


pages: 124 words: 36,360

Kitten Clone: Inside Alcatel-Lucent by Douglas Coupland

British Empire, cable laying ship, Claude Shannon: information theory, cosmic microwave background, Downton Abbey, Hibernia Atlantic: Project Express, hiring and firing, Isaac Newton, Jeff Bezos, Marshall McLuhan, oil shale / tar sands, pre–internet, Richard Feynman, Silicon Valley, Skype, Steve Jobs, Turing machine, undersea cable, upwardly mobile, urban planning, Wall-E

In the 1990s I remember interviewing a coder who designed complex flight simulators. His only home furnishings were a folding beach chair and a card table. When I asked how long he’d been living in the place, he told me eight years. As for Shawn Brennan, we start by discussing the tangledness of the computing universe after five decades of relentless growth. Brennan began with Newbridge in 1989. Since then, he’s seen many rises and many falls and many mass hirings and firings and downsizings, and says that, in the end, whether someone is kept on is based purely on their contribution, reinforcing my perception that the tech universe is as close to a pure capitalist intellectual meritocracy as our species has ever created. Brennan remembers a Nortel recruiting truck showing up at a Newbridge mass termination meeting at the local hockey arena and offers this practical advice: “If all the meeting rooms are booked at the same time, it means something’s up.”


pages: 128 words: 38,187

The New Prophets of Capital by Nicole Aschoff

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

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


pages: 109 words: 39,462

Do You Mind if I Cancel?: (Things That Still Annoy Me) by Gary Janetti

hiring and firing, index card, rent control, Triangle Shirtwaist Factory

It is a dehumanizing experience where the first step is a cursory glance of your looks that results in either moving to the next step or going home. I’m, thank fucking God, directed to the next step (my entire self-worth now hinging on two middle-aged women with clipboards and one vicious gay man), which basically involves a closer scrutiny of your looks and some slight speaking. (This was during a simpler time when you could hire and fire someone based on looks, weight, age, and no one would so much as bat an eye). A few hours later and I’m still there and our numbers have dwindled down to about a dozen and I’m having my final interview. At this point I’m so desperate to be selected I’d let them strip me naked and put me on a revolving turntable until I remember that what I’m competing for is not a modeling contract or a part in a major motion picture but the chance to work behind the front desk of a midtown hotel.


pages: 401 words: 112,784

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

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

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

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


pages: 388 words: 125,472

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

anti-communist, Asian financial crisis, bank run, battle of ideas, Big bang: deregulation of the City of London, bonus culture, Boris Johnson, 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

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

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


pages: 401 words: 119,488

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

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

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

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


pages: 550 words: 124,073

Democracy and Prosperity: Reinventing Capitalism Through a Turbulent Century by Torben Iversen, David Soskice

Andrei Shleifer, assortative mating, augmented reality, barriers to entry, Bretton Woods, business cycle, capital controls, Capital in the Twenty-First Century by Thomas Piketty, central bank independence, centre right, cleantech, cloud computing, collateralized debt obligation, collective bargaining, colonial rule, corporate governance, Credit Default Swap, credit default swaps / collateralized debt obligations, deindustrialization, deskilling, Donald Trump, first-past-the-post, full employment, Gini coefficient, hiring and firing, implied volatility, income inequality, industrial cluster, inflation targeting, invisible hand, knowledge economy, labor-force participation, liberal capitalism, low skilled workers, low-wage service sector, means of production, mittelstand, Network effects, New Economic Geography, new economy, New Urbanism, non-tariff barriers, Occupy movement, offshore financial centre, open borders, open economy, passive investing, precariat, race to the bottom, rent-seeking, RFID, road to serfdom, Robert Bork, Robert Gordon, Silicon Valley, smart cities, speech recognition, The Future of Employment, The Great Moderation, The Rise and Fall of American Growth, too big to fail, trade liberalization, union organizing, urban decay, Washington Consensus, winner-take-all economy, working-age population, World Values Survey, young professional, zero-sum game

It is often wrongly thought that the knowledge of the company is a technology which can be codified and patented; but technology is almost always cospecific with the tacit skills of the workforce (Teece, 1986). The level of skills and education is relative to the prevailing technology, but management in the advanced sectors has always had to secure the cooperation or motivation of the labor force, because of the significant costs of hiring and firing. This is as true of semiskilled workers under Fordism as of contemporary software engineers: they could easily stop the line, and replacing them involved both strikes and significant retraining costs, especially if training new workers required the tacit cooperation of existing semiskilled workers. Thus we can think of this skilled workforce as gaining rent from advanced capitalism above the competitive market value of their skills.

Because Fordist mass production relied on both skilled and semiskilled workers in a continuous production process where interruptions were costly, different skill groups made up complementary factors in the production function. As noted, Fordism took more or less skill-intensive forms, and economies of scale were important to different degrees, but in one crucial respect Fordism had the same effect everywhere: it empowered semiskilled workers to hold up production and hence potentially influence relative wages and hiring and firing decisions. This potential gave semiskilled workers a powerful incentive to organize, and it made employers and skilled workers receptive to demands from below. The importance of complementarities in production for wage setting is set out in an overlooked article by Michael Wallerstein (1990) (although he does not explicitly discuss Fordist technology). He argues that if skilled and semiskilled workers are strong complements in production, and both groups of workers are represented by separate unions, these unions will have bargaining leverage over each other.


pages: 740 words: 217,139

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

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

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

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

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


pages: 172 words: 46,104

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

activist fund / activist shareholder / activist investor, barriers to entry, commoditize, creative destruction, disintermediation, hiring and firing, Joseph Schumpeter, Marc Andreessen, Mark Zuckerberg, Marshall McLuhan, Silicon Valley, Steve Jobs, telemarketer, the medium is the message, zero-sum game

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


pages: 221 words: 46,396

The Left Case Against the EU by Costas Lapavitsas

anti-work, banking crisis, Bretton Woods, capital controls, central bank independence, collective bargaining, declining real wages, eurozone crisis, Francis Fukuyama: the end of history, global reserve currency, hiring and firing, neoliberal agenda, offshore financial centre, post-work, price stability, quantitative easing, reserve currency, Ronald Reagan, Washington Consensus, Wolfgang Streeck

In practice, ordoliberalism has been in retreat in Germany in the face of rising Anglo-Saxon neoliberalism that does not rely on the legal grounding of the market to motivate government intervention.11 Last but not least in this respect the path of German society since the adoption of the euro has been marked by anything but greater social cohesion. During the last two decades and more, class differences have been sharply exacerbated in Germany, inequality has increased, and precarious employment has swept across the labour force.12 The Schröder government’s so-called ‘Agenda 2010’ promoted deregulation of the labour market, giving enterprises greater freedom to hire and fire. At the same time rules were loosened to permit the increase of part-time and temporary jobs, leading to an extraordinary rise of precarious employment. Even more consequential was the introduction of the so-called ‘Hartz Reforms’, particularly those referring to unemployment benefits (Hartz IV). A guaranteed minimum living allowance was introduced, but the unemployed were also forced to seek and take work that hitherto might not have been considered.


pages: 545 words: 137,789

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

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

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

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


pages: 432 words: 127,985

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

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

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

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


pages: 407 words: 135,242

The Streets Were Paved With Gold by Ken Auletta

British Empire, business climate, clean water, collective bargaining, full employment, Gunnar Myrdal, hiring and firing, invisible hand, Jane Jacobs, job satisfaction, Joseph Schumpeter, mortgage debt, Norman Mailer, North Sea oil, offshore financial centre, Parkinson's law, Ponzi scheme, price stability, profit motive, Ralph Nader, RAND corporation, rent control, Ronald Reagan, The Death and Life of Great American Cities, union organizing, Upton Sinclair, upwardly mobile, urban decay, urban renewal, War on Poverty, working-age population

There is poor morale because people don’t know there is a plan. And they don’t know there is a plan because there isn’t one.” That requires sensitivity and leadership, and not just from commissioners and middle managers. If New York is in a wartime-like crisis, only the chief executive can inspire people to “shared sacrifice.” Only the mayor can command people’s attention, define the challenges, set the goals. Only the mayor can hire and fire commissioners. Only the mayor receives a mandate from the electorate. Good management also requires a system of measuring managers. Goaded by the Emergency Financial Control Board and the Management Advisory Board—not to mention the new City Charter passed in 1975—the city initiated a management-by-objectives program. Each agency was to commit to paper its yearly and monthly goals, and be measured by their results.

It didn’t matter that he was doing a good job, that his bosses were pleased with his work. The system had taken over. “Civil Service makes it difficult for managers to perform,” said Jacob Ukeles of the Management Advisory Board. “For example, we have thousands of titles in the Civil Service, so it’s difficult to transfer people. The number of steps in the grievance system takes nine or more months. To manage, you need the ability to hire and fire, to redeploy, to change responsibilities. And you don’t have those things.” Commissioner Russo uses saltier language: “You could have the worst possible banana and still not be able to bring him up on charges.” The Mayor’s Management Advisory Board, in 1977, counted more than 3,900 different Civil Service job titles, in 243 occupational groups. The federal government has only 22 occupational groups.


pages: 177 words: 50,167

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

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

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


pages: 193 words: 47,808

The Flat White Economy by Douglas McWilliams

"Robert Solow", access to a mobile phone, banking crisis, Big bang: deregulation of the City of London, bonus culture, Boris Johnson, Chuck Templeton: OpenTable:, cleantech, cloud computing, computer age, correlation coefficient, Edward Glaeser, en.wikipedia.org, Erik Brynjolfsson, eurozone crisis, George Gilder, hiring and firing, income inequality, informal economy, Kickstarter, knowledge economy, loadsamoney, low skilled workers, mass immigration, Metcalfe’s law, Network effects, new economy, offshore financial centre, Pareto efficiency, Peter Thiel, Productivity paradox, Robert Metcalfe, Silicon Valley, smart cities, special economic zone, Steve Jobs, working-age population, zero-sum game

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


pages: 172 words: 49,890

The Dhandho Investor: The Low-Risk Value Method to High Returns by Mohnish Pabrai

asset allocation, backtesting, beat the dealer, Black-Scholes formula, business intelligence, call centre, cuban missile crisis, discounted cash flows, Edward Thorp, Exxon Valdez, fixed income, hiring and firing, index fund, inventory management, Mahatma Gandhi, merger arbitrage, passive investing, price mechanism, Silicon Valley, time value of money, transaction costs, zero-sum game

Also, in 1994, Manilal took a second job at a Texaco gas station. He now worked from 8:00 AM until 5:00 PM at Cherokee and then from 5:30 PM until 11:00 PM at the gas station. The Persian gas station owner recognized Manilal’s integrity and hard work ethos, and he made him the defacto manager of the gas station. Besides his wages, he gave Manilal 10 percent of the gas station’s net profit. Manilal managed the place like an owner. He hired and fired staff as required and made sure the gas station ran without a hitch. Manilal became intimately familiar with the gas station business, the margins on various items, the overheads, how much money the business made, and so on. By 1998, the Chaudharis’ had bought a condo for his sister’s family and another home in Foothill Ranch for $169,000. They continued to live very simply. From the beginning, the four sibling families had agreed to put $500 a month per family into a common savings account.


pages: 184 words: 54,833

Why Orwell Matters by Christopher Hitchens

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

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


The Rules of Work, Expanded Edition: A Definitive Code for Personal Success (The Rules by Richard Templar) by Richard Templar

double entry bookkeeping, hiring and firing, job satisfaction, supply-chain management

Having a good time at work means not achieving much, talking a lot, winding up colleagues, and drinking champagne all afternoon. There is a difference, I’m sure you will agree. Having a good time at work 20 THE RULES OF WORK RULE 9 is a temporary thing. It lasts while the fun lasts but quickly flags once the excitement, the elation, has worn off. Work being good means enjoying the negotiating, the hiring and firing, the day-to-day challenges, the stresses and disappointments, the uncertain future, the testing of one’s mettle, the new learning curves. A surprising number of people die within a year of retirement—this suggests that work is more important to our existence than we think. If you ain’t enjoying all this and appreciating that it is enjoyable, then you are doomed to be one of the moaners, one of life’s victims.


pages: 196 words: 53,627

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

affirmative action, business cycle, creative destruction, David Ricardo: comparative advantage, declining real wages, deindustrialization, desegregation, guest worker program, hiring and firing, illegal immigration, immigration reform, income inequality, labor-force participation, longitudinal study, low skilled workers, mass immigration, open borders, RAND corporation, Ronald Reagan, school choice, Silicon Valley, trade liberalization, War on Poverty, working poor, working-age population, zero-sum game

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


End the Fed by Ron Paul

affirmative action, Bernie Madoff, Bernie Sanders, Bretton Woods, business cycle, crony capitalism, currency manipulation / currency intervention, fiat currency, Fractional reserve banking, hiring and firing, housing crisis, illegal immigration, invisible hand, Khyber Pass, Long Term Capital Management, market bubble, means of production, moral hazard, Ponzi scheme, price mechanism, reserve currency, road to serfdom, Robert Gordon, Ronald Reagan, too big to fail, tulip mania, Y2K

The economist Michael Boskin estimates that all of this will lead to $163,000 in new taxes for the typical American family—that is, if it is not inflated away. 6 Even mainstream economists like Joseph Stiglitz are calling this a robbery of the American people. And the more bailouts there are, the more government gets involved in running companies like General Motors, firing and hiring CEOs. Does anyone really think that the federal government should be in the business of hiring and firing CEOs of companies? The U.S. debt obligations are unfathomable, approaching $12 trillion. You might say that the entire federal government is one giant toxic asset at the moment. It certainly has no business telling the private sector how to run its affairs. It is in worse financial shape than all the companies in the private sector put together. And yet someone is getting the money. Mostly it is powerful players in the market, institutions that are regarded as essential to national well-being, such as Goldman Sachs and AIG insurance.


pages: 487 words: 151,810

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

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

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


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

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

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

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


pages: 187 words: 58,839

Status Anxiety by Alain de Botton

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

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


pages: 196 words: 57,974

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

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

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


pages: 177 words: 60,412

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

hiring and firing

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


pages: 197 words: 59,946

The Thank You Economy by Gary Vaynerchuk

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

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


pages: 207 words: 63,071

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

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

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


pages: 202 words: 62,901

The People's Republic of Walmart: How the World's Biggest Corporations Are Laying the Foundation for Socialism by Leigh Phillips, Michal Rozworski

Berlin Wall, Bernie Sanders, call centre, carbon footprint, central bank independence, Colonization of Mars, combinatorial explosion, complexity theory, computer age, corporate raider, decarbonisation, discovery of penicillin, Elon Musk, G4S, Georg Cantor, germ theory of disease, Gordon Gekko, greed is good, hiring and firing, index fund, Intergovernmental Panel on Climate Change (IPCC), Internet of things, inventory management, invisible hand, Jeff Bezos, Joseph Schumpeter, linear programming, liquidity trap, mass immigration, Mont Pelerin Society, new economy, Norbert Wiener, oil shock, passive investing, Paul Samuelson, post scarcity, profit maximization, profit motive, purchasing power parity, recommendation engine, Ronald Coase, Ronald Reagan, sharing economy, Silicon Valley, Skype, sovereign wealth fund, strikebreaker, supply-chain management, technoutopianism, The Nature of the Firm, The Wealth of Nations by Adam Smith, theory of mind, transaction costs, Turing machine, union organizing

This unpredictability in either direction is a major contributing factor to economic crisis as companies struggle (or fail) to cope with situations of overproduction, having produced much more than they predicted would be demanded and being unable to sell what they have produced above its cost. Insufficient stock can be just as disruptive as overstock, leading to panic buying, reduced trustworthiness by customers, contractual penalties, increased costs resulting from training and layoffs (due to unnecessary hiring and firing), and ultimately loss of contracts, which can sink a company. While there is of course a great deal more to economic crisis than the bullwhip effect, the inefficiencies and failures produced by the bullwhip effect can be key causes, rippling throughout the system and producing instability in other sectors. Even with modest cases of the bullwhip effect, preventing such distortions can allow reduced inventory, reduced administration costs, and improved customer service and customer loyalty (“The product you want is right here, ma’am!


pages: 210 words: 63,879

Cold Hands by John J. Niven

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

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


pages: 216 words: 61,061

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

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

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


pages: 256 words: 60,620

Think Twice: Harnessing the Power of Counterintuition by Michael J. Mauboussin

affirmative action, asset allocation, Atul Gawande, availability heuristic, Benoit Mandelbrot, Bernie Madoff, Black Swan, butter production in bangladesh, Cass Sunstein, choice architecture, Clayton Christensen, cognitive dissonance, collateralized debt obligation, Daniel Kahneman / Amos Tversky, deliberate practice, disruptive innovation, Edward Thorp, experimental economics, financial innovation, framing effect, fundamental attribution error, Geoffrey West, Santa Fe Institute, George Akerlof, hindsight bias, hiring and firing, information asymmetry, libertarian paternalism, Long Term Capital Management, loose coupling, loss aversion, mandelbrot fractal, Menlo Park, meta analysis, meta-analysis, money market fund, Murray Gell-Mann, Netflix Prize, pattern recognition, Philip Mirowski, placebo effect, Ponzi scheme, prediction markets, presumed consent, Richard Thaler, Robert Shiller, Robert Shiller, statistical model, Steven Pinker, The Wisdom of Crowds, ultimatum game

Luck clearly plays a large but elusive role in how much money you’ll make from any investment, especially in the short term. But even though industry pros intellectually understand the importance of luck, they consistently fail to incorporate that knowledge into their decisions. Amit Goyal, a finance professor at Emory University, and Sunil Wahal, a finance professor at Arizona State University, analyzed how thirty-four hundred retirement plans, endowments, and foundations (plan sponsors) hired and fired firms that manage investment funds over a ten-year period. The researchers found that plan sponsors tended to hire managers who had performed well in the recent past. And the number one reason to fire a manager was poor performance. Consistent with reversion to the mean, the researchers noted that in subsequent years, many of the managers who were fired went on to outperform the managers who were hired (see figure 8-2).8 Individual investors behave similarly.


A Clearing in the Distance: Frederick Law Olmsted and America in the 19th Century by Witold Rybczynski

California gold rush, City Beautiful movement, clean water, David Brooks, Golden Gate Park, hiring and firing, joint-stock company, Louis Pasteur, New Urbanism, place-making, transcontinental railway, urban planning, urban renewal

They appreciated Olmsted’s achievements. The southern half of the park, now largely complete, was unquestionably a success. The problem was that it was expensive—or, at least, more expensive than anyone had expected. Green promised to control costs. And costs, not aesthetics, were uppermost in their minds. Finally, in June, they decided—on Green. Henceforth the comptroller would oversee expenses, hire and fire park employees, and have overall supervision of construction. Olmsted’s three-year tenure as architect-in-chief of Central Park was at an end. The board had called Olmsted’s bluff. For bluff it was: he did not resign. He remained as superintendent, continuing to oversee “finishing, planting and maintenance.” The board did agree to some of his demands. He could requisition the staff he needed from among the park employees.

They now met daily (in New York) and issued directives for the acting general secretary to carry out. The Executive Committee continued its overseeing role even after Olmsted returned. He hated being second-guessed. “If Jenkins or Knapp ask me for instructions, instead of taking hold to answer them, I think, ‘What have the Committee said about that?’ ‘How is that under the rule of the Committee?’ ‘What will the Committee think about it?’ ” The Committee questioned his decisions about hiring and firing. In December it passed a resolution limiting the general secretary’s discretionary spending to one thousand dollars, except in emergencies. This drove Olmsted to consider resigning. Only the exhortation of Bache, the vice president of the board, who had become a close friend, persuaded him to stay. It was starting to be Central Park all over again! Yet this was different. There was no dark shadow of Green; Olmsted’s personal relations with the members of the Committee were good.


pages: 218 words: 67,330

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

Charles Lindbergh, hiring and firing, RAND corporation, Ronald Reagan

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


pages: 288 words: 64,771

The Captured Economy: How the Powerful Enrich Themselves, Slow Down Growth, and Increase Inequality by Brink Lindsey

"Robert Solow", Airbnb, Asian financial crisis, bank run, barriers to entry, Bernie Sanders, Build a better mousetrap, Capital in the Twenty-First Century by Thomas Piketty, Carmen Reinhart, Cass Sunstein, collective bargaining, creative destruction, Credit Default Swap, crony capitalism, Daniel Kahneman / Amos Tversky, David Brooks, diversified portfolio, Donald Trump, Edward Glaeser, endogenous growth, experimental economics, experimental subject, facts on the ground, financial innovation, financial intermediation, financial repression, hiring and firing, Home mortgage interest deduction, housing crisis, income inequality, informal economy, information asymmetry, intangible asset, inventory management, invisible hand, Jones Act, Joseph Schumpeter, Kenneth Rogoff, Kevin Kelly, knowledge worker, labor-force participation, Long Term Capital Management, low skilled workers, Lyft, Mark Zuckerberg, market fundamentalism, mass immigration, mass incarceration, medical malpractice, Menlo Park, moral hazard, mortgage debt, Network effects, patent troll, plutocrats, Plutocrats, principal–agent problem, regulatory arbitrage, rent control, rent-seeking, ride hailing / ride sharing, Robert Metcalfe, Ronald Reagan, Silicon Valley, Silicon Valley ideology, smart cities, software patent, too big to fail, total factor productivity, trade liberalization, transaction costs, tulip mania, Uber and Lyft, uber lyft, Washington Consensus, white picket fence, winner-take-all economy, women in the workforce

Foundations have put considerable resources into supporting mayoral control of schools8 (which has pulled decision making away from teacher-controlled venues like school boards) and charter schools (which move the venue of decision making away from school boards).9 Foundations have actively supported litigation, such as the lawsuit Vergara v. California brought by the advocacy group Students Matter to challenge protective rules for hiring and firing teachers, the core of teacher union interests.10 In just the past few years, these same foundations have put millions of dollars into grassroots organizing and lobbying, funding state-based organizations like 50CAN and Stand for Children, parent organizations such as Families for Excellent Schools, leadership pipelines like Leaders for Educational Equity and Students for Education Reform, and the advocacy efforts of charter school operators like Success Academy in New York.11 This broad range of third-party-supported education-reform organizations has at least partially evened the playing field in education policy, to the point that some observers are starting to worry that it is the reformers who have captured the political system.12 Regardless of whether you favor the current approaches to environmental protection or education reform, these examples show that it is possible to create an organized and effective opposition in even deeply entrenched, rent-addled policy areas.


pages: 237 words: 67,154

Ours to Hack and to Own: The Rise of Platform Cooperativism, a New Vision for the Future of Work and a Fairer Internet by Trebor Scholz, Nathan Schneider

1960s counterculture, activist fund / activist shareholder / activist investor, Airbnb, Amazon Mechanical Turk, barriers to entry, basic income, bitcoin, blockchain, Build a better mousetrap, Burning Man, capital controls, citizen journalism, collaborative economy, collaborative editing, collective bargaining, commoditize, conceptual framework, crowdsourcing, cryptocurrency, Debian, deskilling, disintermediation, distributed ledger, Ethereum, ethereum blockchain, future of work, gig economy, Google bus, hiring and firing, income inequality, information asymmetry, Internet of things, Jacob Appelbaum, Jeff Bezos, job automation, Julian Assange, Kickstarter, lake wobegon effect, low skilled workers, Lyft, Mark Zuckerberg, means of production, minimum viable product, moral hazard, Network effects, new economy, offshore financial centre, openstreetmap, peer-to-peer, post-work, profit maximization, race to the bottom, ride hailing / ride sharing, SETI@home, shareholder value, sharing economy, Shoshana Zuboff, Silicon Valley, smart cities, smart contracts, Snapchat, TaskRabbit, technoutopianism, transaction costs, Travis Kalanick, Uber for X, uber lyft, union organizing, universal basic income, Whole Earth Catalog, WikiLeaks, women in the workforce, Zipcar

BREAK THE BANK AND LIBERATE THE PLATFORM It might be tempting to conclude that, given the domination of private finance in society as a whole, building a cooperative platform would require something like a revolution. But this is not true, and every cooperative in the world proves this every day. Consider a worker-owned factory. In the “standard” investor-owned factory, finance gets pooled together; it buys the labor and materials to build and run the factory, it hires and fires workers, and it keeps whatever profit comes in. In a worker cooperative, however, the workers gather together; they borrow the money to build and operate the factory, they pay it back when they don’t need it, and they keep whatever profit comes in. This worker cooperative turns the platform of finance on its head. It was in Mondragon, the great mecca of cooperatives in northern Spain, that the workers declared that capital must be subordinate to labor to allow cooperatives to flourish.


pages: 237 words: 64,411

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

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

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


pages: 236 words: 67,953

Brave New World of Work by Ulrich Beck

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

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


pages: 224 words: 71,060

A Time to Build: From Family and Community to Congress and the Campus, How Recommitting to Our Institutions Can Revive the American Dream by Yuval Levin

affirmative action, Airbnb, assortative mating, barriers to entry, Bernie Sanders, conceptual framework, David Brooks, demand response, Donald Trump, hiring and firing, Jane Jacobs, Mark Zuckerberg, Menlo Park, Silicon Valley, Snapchat, Steven Pinker, The Death and Life of Great American Cities, the scientific method

Scholars of our democracy who constantly harp on the ignorance of the individual voter should think about this point: the answer to that ignorance is not to empower experts to rule over us; it’s to allow the structure of our constitutional system—with its checks and balances and overlapping majorities and institutions—to guide our government’s decision-making.6 This is also the case with formalized processes of making consequential decisions in many other kinds of institutions—decisions about hiring and firing, spending, building, and otherwise doing our work throughout society. In this sense, in a functional institution, what is required for good judgment is integrity more than a high IQ. Institutions can allow us to substitute character for calculation. In their absence, we have to substitute calculation for character—which often doesn’t end well. THIS TURN TOWARD THE POWER OF INTEGRITY BEGINS TO POINT US away from the purely functional appeal of healthy institutions and toward their even more significant advantages as social forms.


pages: 237 words: 66,545

The Money Tree: A Story About Finding the Fortune in Your Own Backyard by Chris Guillebeau

"side hustle", Bernie Madoff, Ethereum, financial independence, global village, hiring and firing, housing crisis, passive income, race to the bottom, rent-seeking, ride hailing / ride sharing, Steve Jobs, telemarketer

Most people would call that “fired,” or if they were being more charitable, “laid off.” “Just like that? What about the assessment tool?” Preena asked. “Yeah,” added Sloan. “I thought everything was riding on that secret algorithm.” He shook his head. “We learned, ah, that the algorithm had some quirks. For example, it recommended eliminating our entire HR department, and since they do the hiring and firing, we weren’t sure how to handle that. In the interest of saving time, we decided to move on manually.” Only one person was being let go. That seemed like good news, but who was it? Jake figured the odds were good that it would be him. It could also be Sloan—but given Sloan’s ability to ingratiate himself (at least before the previous day’s transformation), Jake didn’t hold out much hope for his own survival.


Termites of the State: Why Complexity Leads to Inequality by Vito Tanzi

"Robert Solow", accounting loophole / creative accounting, Affordable Care Act / Obamacare, Andrei Shleifer, Andrew Keen, Asian financial crisis, asset allocation, barriers to entry, basic income, bitcoin, Black Swan, Bretton Woods, business cycle, Capital in the Twenty-First Century by Thomas Piketty, Carmen Reinhart, Cass Sunstein, central bank independence, centre right, clean water, crony capitalism, David Graeber, David Ricardo: comparative advantage, deindustrialization, Donald Trump, Double Irish / Dutch Sandwich, experimental economics, financial repression, full employment, George Akerlof, Gini coefficient, Gunnar Myrdal, high net worth, hiring and firing, illegal immigration, income inequality, indoor plumbing, information asymmetry, Intergovernmental Panel on Climate Change (IPCC), invisible hand, Jean Tirole, John Maynard Keynes: Economic Possibilities for our Grandchildren, Kenneth Arrow, Kenneth Rogoff, knowledge economy, labor-force participation, libertarian paternalism, Long Term Capital Management, market fundamentalism, means of production, moral hazard, Naomi Klein, New Urbanism, obamacare, offshore financial centre, open economy, Pareto efficiency, Paul Samuelson, price stability, principal–agent problem, profit maximization, pushing on a string, quantitative easing, rent control, rent-seeking, Richard Thaler, road to serfdom, Robert Shiller, Robert Shiller, Ronald Coase, Ronald Reagan, Second Machine Age, secular stagnation, self-driving car, Silicon Valley, Simon Kuznets, The Chicago School, The Great Moderation, The Market for Lemons, The Rise and Fall of American Growth, The Wealth of Nations by Adam Smith, too big to fail, transaction costs, transfer pricing, Tyler Cowen: Great Stagnation, universal basic income, unorthodox policies, urban planning, very high income, Vilfredo Pareto, War on Poverty, Washington Consensus, women in the workforce

The intellectual property has been made more valuable by the existing technology. In any case it is the government’s protection that contributes to the existence and often to the size of those incomes. Remove that protection and many of these large incomes would vanish. (c) Establishing many market rules in labor markets, such as those that limit the role and the power of unions, as well as rules on the hiring and firing of workers, on minimum wages, on working hours, and on requirements to use unionized workers for public works, national ships for some operations, or national firms for government procurement operations. (d) Perhaps more importantly, establishing rules about the formation and the market power of corporations; about the consequences of bankruptcy; about the limited responsibilities and liabilities of shareholders and managers of corporations; about inheritance of property; about the power of managers to choose members of the executive boards of enterprises; about the operations of corporations; and about the power that banks have acquired in remaining “too big to fail,” power that is allowed by the government and that, in some ways, distorts the operation of the market and creates high incomes for some banks.

(f ) Guarantees the availability and the good conditions of essential physical infrastructures (roads, canals, bridges, airports, fresh water, sewer systems, electricity, and others) in the areas where the enterprises operate. (g) Provides basic security for the areas and the social environments in which the enterprises operate, reducing the enterprises’ own costs to protect their assets and their workers from criminal elements. (h) Guarantees to the entrepreneurs the freedom to negotiate the conditions for hiring and firing workers, for buying necessary inputs domestically and internationally, and for getting needed credit and funds from banks, shareholders, and other sources, without the need to get authorizations and permits from government offices or from other organizations, such as labor unions. (i) Guarantees that the entrepreneurs will face and expect to continue to face a stable regulatory and legal framework.


pages: 249 words: 77,027

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

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

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


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

hiring and firing, index card, Jeff Bezos, Leonard Kleinrock, Mikhail Gorbachev, Ronald Reagan, zero-sum game

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


pages: 261 words: 79,883

Start With Why: How Great Leaders Inspire Everyone to Take Action by Simon Sinek

Apple II, Apple's 1984 Super Bowl advert, Black Swan, business cycle, commoditize, hiring and firing, John Markoff, low cost airline, Nick Leeson, RAND corporation, risk tolerance, Ronald Reagan, shareholder value, Steve Ballmer, Steve Jobs, Steve Wozniak, The Wisdom of Crowds, trade route

WHAT now comes first and all their systems and processes are in pursuit of those tangible results. The reason the change happened is simple—they suffered a split and their WHY went fuzzy. The single greatest challenge any organization will face is . . . success. When the company is small, the founder will rely on his gut to make all the major decisions. From marketing to product, from strategy to tactics, hiring and firing, the decisions the founder makes will, if he trusts his gut, feel right. But as the organization grows, as it becomes more successful, it becomes physically impossible for one person to make every major decision. Not only must others be trusted and relied upon to make big decisions, but those people will also start making hiring choices. And slowly but surely, as the megaphone grows, the clarity of WHY starts to dilute.


pages: 251 words: 76,225

The Geek Feminist Revolution by Kameron Hurley

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

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


pages: 326 words: 74,433

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

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

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


pages: 244 words: 79,044

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

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

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


pages: 270 words: 79,068

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

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

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


pages: 260 words: 77,007

Are You Smart Enough to Work at Google?: Trick Questions, Zen-Like Riddles, Insanely Difficult Puzzles, and Other Devious Interviewing Techniques You ... Know to Get a Job Anywhere in the New Economy by William Poundstone

affirmative action, Albert Einstein, big-box store, Buckminster Fuller, car-free, cloud computing, creative destruction, en.wikipedia.org, full text search, hiring and firing, index card, Isaac Newton, Johannes Kepler, John von Neumann, lateral thinking, loss aversion, mental accounting, new economy, Paul Erdős, RAND corporation, random walk, Richard Feynman, rolodex, Rubik’s Cube, Silicon Valley, Silicon Valley startup, sorting algorithm, Steve Ballmer, Steve Jobs, The Spirit Level, Tony Hsieh, why are manhole covers round?, William Shockley: the traitorous eight

Employees cling to jobs like limpets to wet rocks. The more marginal the employee, the stronger his suction. The only way to get rid of a questionable hire is to fire him. That’s a fraught process. “There’s been gradual erosion over the past 30 years of pure employment-at-will as more and more people have come under employment protection laws” explains Levenson. “It’s become more and more difficult for companies to… hire and fire. Even if 100 people are eligible to sue, only one or two might, but that’s all it takes.” Hiring today is like marriage used to be: for the duration. Despite the concern with false positives, “you can totally bomb an interview,” Carlisle insists, “and that’s not the end of your candidacy.” Google is aware that interviews are a noisy signal. There is some evidence that candidates who get an enthusiastic thumbs-up from one interviewer perform better, on the average, than candidates who get merely favorable grades from all the interviewers.


pages: 193 words: 19,478

Memory Machines: The Evolution of Hypertext by Belinda Barnet

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

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


pages: 247 words: 74,612

For the Love of Money: A Memoir by Sam Polk

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

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


pages: 232 words: 71,965

Dead Companies Walking by Scott Fearon

bank run, Bernie Madoff, business cycle, corporate raider, creative destruction, crony capitalism, Donald Trump, Eugene Fama: efficient market hypothesis, fear of failure, Golden Gate Park, hiring and firing, housing crisis, index fund, Jeff Bezos, Joseph Schumpeter, late fees, McMansion, moral hazard, new economy, pets.com, Ponzi scheme, Ronald Reagan, short selling, Silicon Valley, Snapchat, South of Market, San Francisco, Steve Jobs, survivorship bias, Upton Sinclair, Vanguard fund, young professional

Like how I signed the lease on a location in downtown Mill Valley, California, exactly one week after the 9/11 attacks (not exactly a propitious time to open an eatery). Or how I guaranteed a credit card for my first chef and wound up on the hook for $10,000 for what I later learned were hair plugs (even though, as far as I could remember, he had a healthy mane of hair!). Then there was the time another of the five different chefs I went through decided to get into a good old-fashioned fistfight with one of the five different general managers I hired and fired in the place’s three years of existence. Thankfully, the altercation took place after closing, but it didn’t do much for the staff’s already low morale or mine. Neither did the time the overnight cleaning crew set off the building’s sprinkler system. After being called by the fire department at 3 a.m., I watched the sun come up while standing in ankle-deep water in the middle of our dining room.


pages: 241 words: 75,417

The Last President of Europe: Emmanuel Macron's Race to Revive France and Save the World by William Drozdiak

Berlin Wall, bilateral investment treaty, Boeing 737 MAX, Boris Johnson, centre right, cloud computing, Donald Trump, failed state, Fall of the Berlin Wall, hiring and firing, illegal immigration, immigration reform, income inequality, New Urbanism, offshore financial centre, reserve currency, Silicon Valley, Socratic dialogue, South China Sea, UNCLOS, working poor

Macron was coming under rising pressure at home, even from his political allies, for investing so much time and effort in trying to convince Germany to support his European reform proposals. The grand bargain that he had pursued so assiduously since coming to power seemed to be slipping away. The handshake deal he had struck with Merkel called for France to show greater discipline over its finances, shrink its bloated public sector, and make it easier to hire and fire workers. In return, Germany would back Macron’s plans to integrate Europe with a Eurozone budget, an EU finance ministry, and more cohesive foreign and defense policies. Within his first year as president, Macron had managed to push through a series of unpopular measures that cut social benefits significantly and reined in France’s finances, yet Germany had responded by giving him next to nothing.


pages: 237 words: 72,716

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

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

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


pages: 284 words: 85,643

What's the Matter with White People by Joan Walsh

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

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


pages: 252 words: 80,636

Bureaucracy by David Graeber

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

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


pages: 309 words: 81,975

Brave New Work: Are You Ready to Reinvent Your Organization? by Aaron Dignan

"side hustle", activist fund / activist shareholder / activist investor, Airbnb, Albert Einstein, autonomous vehicles, basic income, Bertrand Russell: In Praise of Idleness, bitcoin, Black Swan, blockchain, Buckminster Fuller, Burning Man, butterfly effect, cashless society, Clayton Christensen, clean water, cognitive bias, cognitive dissonance, corporate governance, corporate social responsibility, correlation does not imply causation, creative destruction, crony capitalism, crowdsourcing, cryptocurrency, David Heinemeier Hansson, deliberate practice, DevOps, disruptive innovation, don't be evil, Elon Musk, endowment effect, Ethereum, ethereum blockchain, Frederick Winslow Taylor, future of work, gender pay gap, Geoffrey West, Santa Fe Institute, gig economy, Google X / Alphabet X, hiring and firing, hive mind, income inequality, information asymmetry, Internet of things, Jeff Bezos, job satisfaction, Kevin Kelly, Kickstarter, Lean Startup, loose coupling, loss aversion, Lyft, Marc Andreessen, Mark Zuckerberg, minimum viable product, new economy, Paul Graham, race to the bottom, remote working, Richard Thaler, shareholder value, Silicon Valley, six sigma, smart contracts, Social Responsibility of Business Is to Increase Its Profits, software is eating the world, source of truth, Stanford marshmallow experiment, Steve Jobs, TaskRabbit, the High Line, too big to fail, Toyota Production System, uber lyft, universal basic income, Y Combinator, zero-sum game

In the end, you’ll have everything you need to step confidently into the future of work. HOW I GOT HERE In 2007 I was part of the founding team of a company that created digital strategies for some of the biggest brands in the world. A few years later I became the CEO. While I thought of myself as progressive, in truth I managed the company in a somewhat traditional way. I weighed in on all the hiring and firing decisions. I gave annual performance reviews and set compensation. I kept the firm’s finances and salaries under lock and key. I told people what to work on, and how to do it well. I designed the organization as I thought it should be. Now, to be fair, our culture was more permissive and flexible than most. We put new people in the deep end with important clients and let them figure out how to swim.


pages: 348 words: 82,499

DIY Investor: How to Take Control of Your Investments & Plan for a Financially Secure Future by Andy Bell

asset allocation, bank run, buy and hold, collapse of Lehman Brothers, credit crunch, diversification, diversified portfolio, estate planning, eurozone crisis, fixed income, high net worth, hiring and firing, Isaac Newton, Kickstarter, lateral thinking, money market fund, Northern Rock, passive investing, place-making, quantitative easing, selection bias, short selling, South Sea Bubble, technology bubble, transaction costs, Vanguard fund

Emerging market top performers First State, Baillie Gifford and Lazard have all soft-closed some of their funds in recent years. But there are still several quality funds open to emerging market investors. Multi-manager funds If you like the idea of fund investing but do not want to have to work out which fund managers to go for, you can always choose a fund that does all of that for you. Multi-manager funds source what they believe are the very best managers in the market, hiring and firing them whenever they believe their performance merits it. But while multi-manager funds sound a great idea in theory, they introduce a whole new layer of charges into your fund management costs. You end up having to pay the multi-managers’ charges as well as the charges on the funds they select, which in turn can damage your returns. Research carried out by Money Management magazine in November 2011 found that the average annual growth rate for multi-manager funds in the IMA Active Managed sector over five years was a dismal 1.6 per cent, compared to an average of 2.3 per cent for all of the funds in the sector.


pages: 252 words: 78,780

Lab Rats: How Silicon Valley Made Work Miserable for the Rest of Us by Dan Lyons

Airbnb, Amazon Web Services, Apple II, augmented reality, autonomous vehicles, basic income, bitcoin, blockchain, business process, call centre, Clayton Christensen, clean water, collective bargaining, corporate governance, corporate social responsibility, creative destruction, cryptocurrency, David Heinemeier Hansson, Donald Trump, Elon Musk, Ethereum, ethereum blockchain, full employment, future of work, gig economy, Gordon Gekko, greed is good, hiring and firing, housing crisis, income inequality, informal economy, Jeff Bezos, job automation, job satisfaction, job-hopping, John Gruber, Joseph Schumpeter, Kevin Kelly, knowledge worker, Lean Startup, loose coupling, Lyft, Marc Andreessen, Mark Zuckerberg, McMansion, Menlo Park, Milgram experiment, minimum viable product, Mitch Kapor, move fast and break things, move fast and break things, new economy, Panopticon Jeremy Bentham, Paul Graham, paypal mafia, Peter Thiel, plutocrats, Plutocrats, precariat, RAND corporation, remote working, RFID, ride hailing / ride sharing, Ronald Reagan, Rubik’s Cube, Ruby on Rails, Sam Altman, Sand Hill Road, self-driving car, shareholder value, Silicon Valley, Silicon Valley startup, six sigma, Skype, Social Responsibility of Business Is to Increase Its Profits, software is eating the world, Stanford prison experiment, stem cell, Steve Jobs, Steve Wozniak, Stewart Brand, TaskRabbit, telemarketer, Tesla Model S, Thomas Davenport, Tony Hsieh, Toyota Production System, traveling salesman, Travis Kalanick, tulip mania, Uber and Lyft, Uber for X, uber lyft, universal basic income, web application, Whole Earth Catalog, Y Combinator, young professional

In 2014, when Hoffman was touting his book The Alliance: Managing Talent in the Networked Age, he even borrowed McCord’s language when he published an article in the Harvard Business Review titled “Your Company Is Not a Family.” Like McCord, Hoffman has positioned himself as a management oracle who can teach non-techies how to mimic the success of Silicon Valley. He takes the Netflix code and pushes it further, imagining a new compact in which companies can hire and fire at will, and where there are no “careers,” only short-term gigs. Some tech start-ups use job insecurity and the fear of being fired as a management tool. In this effort they have enlisted a powerful weapon: stock options. Most workers forgo part of their salaries in order to get stock options. Pick the right company, and your options might one day be worth millions. But you need to survive for four years in order to get your full option grant.


pages: 304 words: 85,291

Cities: The First 6,000 Years by Monica L. Smith

clean water, diversified portfolio, failed state, financial innovation, hiring and firing, invention of writing, Jane Jacobs, New Urbanism, payday loans, place-making, Ponzi scheme, South China Sea, telemarketer, the built environment, The Fortune at the Bottom of the Pyramid, The Wealth of Nations by Adam Smith, Thorstein Veblen, too big to fail, trade route, urban planning, urban renewal, wikimedia commons

Hiring people can be a fraught and tense process in which employees’ shortcomings may not appear until after they have signed on the dotted line, whereupon their problems become your problems, too. Sometimes people are hired onto your team without your knowledge, and you have to figure out how to integrate them. When the hiring doesn’t go well, and sometimes when it does, you might have to fire the employee, which provides another kind of stress. In between hiring and firing, there are all of the other challenges of management, from absenteeism and slacking to subterfuge and pilfering to abrupt changes of company policy, that you have to defend and implement to those working under your supervision. Yet none of these challenges are new. Compare your experiences of middle management with those of your counterpart four thousand years ago in Mesopotamia, a person named Kibri-Dagan who sent this message to the boss: My lord has sent me an order to get to Mari to appear before the junior ugbabtum-priestess.


pages: 348 words: 83,490

More Than You Know: Finding Financial Wisdom in Unconventional Places (Updated and Expanded) by Michael J. Mauboussin

Albert Einstein, Andrei Shleifer, Atul Gawande, availability heuristic, beat the dealer, Benoit Mandelbrot, Black Swan, Brownian motion, butter production in bangladesh, buy and hold, capital asset pricing model, Clayton Christensen, clockwork universe, complexity theory, corporate governance, creative destruction, Daniel Kahneman / Amos Tversky, deliberate practice, demographic transition, discounted cash flows, disruptive innovation, diversification, diversified portfolio, dogs of the Dow, Drosophila, Edward Thorp, en.wikipedia.org, equity premium, Eugene Fama: efficient market hypothesis, fixed income, framing effect, functional fixedness, hindsight bias, hiring and firing, Howard Rheingold, index fund, information asymmetry, intangible asset, invisible hand, Isaac Newton, Jeff Bezos, Kenneth Arrow, Laplace demon, Long Term Capital Management, loss aversion, mandelbrot fractal, margin call, market bubble, Menlo Park, mental accounting, Milgram experiment, Murray Gell-Mann, Nash equilibrium, new economy, Paul Samuelson, Pierre-Simon Laplace, quantitative trading / quantitative finance, random walk, Richard Florida, Richard Thaler, Robert Shiller, Robert Shiller, shareholder value, statistical model, Steven Pinker, stocks for the long run, survivorship bias, The Wisdom of Crowds, transaction costs, traveling salesman, value at risk, wealth creators, women in the workforce, zero-sum game

Managing tracking error often requires mirroring the market and generally entails short-term trading.5 In a sense, reducing tracking error is rational for money managers because there’s no use worrying about how the portfolio will perform over the next three years if you’re out of a job along the way. But closet indexing is not ideal for shareholders. The concern about a flightier investor base is well founded. In the 1950s, the average holding period for a mutual fund was over fifteen years. By 2006 the holding period had shrunk to about four years.6 Pension fund administrators, too, are becoming more active in hiring and firing fund managers. For example, in 2001 the state of Florida sacked Alliance Capital in part because of losses in Enron and despite Alliance’s good long-term performance.7 I believe the perceived loss of predictability and control is causing many money managers chronic stress. And the predictable reaction to stress can lead to suboptimal portfolio-management decisions. Shortening Horizons What are the physical responses to stress?


pages: 286 words: 82,970

A World in Disarray: American Foreign Policy and the Crisis of the Old Order by Richard Haass

access to a mobile phone, anti-communist, Berlin Wall, Bretton Woods, carbon footprint, central bank independence, colonial rule, cuban missile crisis, currency manipulation / currency intervention, deindustrialization, Doha Development Round, Donald Trump, Edward Snowden, energy security, European colonialism, failed state, Fall of the Berlin Wall, floating exchange rates, global pandemic, global reserve currency, hiring and firing, immigration reform, invisible hand, Mikhail Gorbachev, Monroe Doctrine, moral hazard, mutually assured destruction, open economy, quantitative easing, RAND corporation, reserve currency, Ronald Reagan, South China Sea, special drawing rights, Steven Pinker, UNCLOS, UNCLOS, uranium enrichment, Yom Kippur War

Dealing with this gap between political and economic realities may require a future EU that offers several levels of membership, possibly a version of what already exists in terms of an inner core of countries participating in the Eurozone. Such flexibility could prove essential if the EU is to remain intact. There is a limit to what the EU can do if it is forced to operate in a context of low economic growth. Reforms that promote growth, including increased flexibility for employers when it comes to hiring and firing workers, targeted tax and entitlement reductions, and increased infrastructure spending, are worth exploring and arguably adopting. Politics permitting, one initiative the United States could advance that would help Europe and bolster U.S.-European ties is a transatlantic trade pact. More broadly, there is a compelling case for close U.S.-European consultation and coordination on the full agenda of global and regional issues as well as relations with China and Russia.


pages: 403 words: 87,035

The New Geography of Jobs by Enrico Moretti

assortative mating, Bill Gates: Altair 8800, business climate, call centre, cleantech, cloud computing, corporate raider, creative destruction, desegregation, Edward Glaeser, financial innovation, global village, hiring and firing, income inequality, industrial cluster, Jane Jacobs, Jeff Bezos, Joseph Schumpeter, knowledge economy, labor-force participation, low skilled workers, manufacturing employment, Mark Zuckerberg, mass immigration, medical residency, Menlo Park, new economy, peer-to-peer lending, Peter Thiel, Productivity paradox, Richard Florida, Sand Hill Road, Silicon Valley, Skype, special economic zone, Startup school, Steve Jobs, Steve Wozniak, thinkpad, Tyler Cowen: Great Stagnation, Wall-E, Y Combinator, zero-sum game

Phone and e-mail are great ways to transmit information and keep a research project going once the key creative ideas are in place, but they are not the best way to come up with those ideas. New ideas arise in mysterious and unpredictable ways from free and unstructured interactions. It would be ridiculous to schedule a phone call with a distant colleague to come up with a new idea. My guess is that most researchers share this view. After all, the reason we spend so much time in academia discussing whom to hire and fire is that our colleagues affect our own productivity. Being around smart people tends to make us smarter, more creative, and ultimately more productive. And the smarter the people, the stronger the effect. Pierre Azoulay, Joshua Graff Zivin, and Jialan Wang quantified this by focusing on what happens to medical researchers when they work with an academic superstar. It is difficult to establish the causal relationship here because of self-selection: superstars tend to work with strong researchers, so the fact that their collaborators are especially prolific may just happen because they are better, not because they are benefiting from knowledge spillovers.


pages: 301 words: 89,076

The Globotics Upheaval: Globalisation, Robotics and the Future of Work by Richard Baldwin

agricultural Revolution, Airbnb, AltaVista, Amazon Web Services, augmented reality, autonomous vehicles, basic income, business process, business process outsourcing, call centre, Capital in the Twenty-First Century by Thomas Piketty, Cass Sunstein, commoditize, computer vision, Corn Laws, correlation does not imply causation, Credit Default Swap, David Ricardo: comparative advantage, declining real wages, deindustrialization, deskilling, Donald Trump, Douglas Hofstadter, Downton Abbey, Elon Musk, Erik Brynjolfsson, facts on the ground, future of journalism, future of work, George Gilder, Google Glasses, Google Hangouts, hiring and firing, impulse control, income inequality, industrial robot, intangible asset, Internet of things, invisible hand, James Watt: steam engine, Jeff Bezos, job automation, knowledge worker, laissez-faire capitalism, low skilled workers, Machine translation of "The spirit is willing, but the flesh is weak." to Russian and back, manufacturing employment, Mark Zuckerberg, mass immigration, mass incarceration, Metcalfe’s law, new economy, optical character recognition, pattern recognition, Ponzi scheme, post-industrial society, post-work, profit motive, remote working, reshoring, ride hailing / ride sharing, Robert Gordon, Robert Metcalfe, Ronald Reagan, Second Machine Age, self-driving car, side project, Silicon Valley, Skype, Snapchat, social intelligence, sovereign wealth fund, standardized shipping container, statistical model, Stephen Hawking, Steve Jobs, supply-chain management, TaskRabbit, telepresence, telepresence robot, telerobotics, Thomas Malthus, trade liberalization, universal basic income

Politics is a fine art involving inspiration and leadership as well as concrete policies, but whatever they use, our political leaders will have to find ways of sharing the gains and pains, or at least offering a perception that everyone has a fighting chance of being a winner. While tax-and-redistribute policies undoubtedly have to be part of this package, they cannot be the only thing, or even the main thing. People’s lives are too tied up with their jobs to allow it. The challenge is ensuring labor flexibility doesn’t mean economic insecurity for workers. What is needed are policies like those in Denmark. The government allows firms to hire and fire freely but then commits to doing whatever it takes to help the displaced workers find new jobs. The good news is that once we make it past the upheaval, the world will be a much nicer place. A MORE HUMAN, MORE LOCAL FUTURE Automation and globalization displaced jobs in the nineteenth and twentieth centuries. Human creativity—being boundless—invented “needs” that we did not even know we needed.


pages: 292 words: 85,151

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

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

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


pages: 269 words: 78,468

Kill Your Friends by John Niven

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

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


pages: 561 words: 87,892

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

Admiral Zheng, asset-backed security, barriers to entry, Berlin Wall, Bernie Madoff, Bretton Woods, BRICs, British Empire, business cycle, capital controls, Celtic Tiger, central bank independence, collateralized debt obligation, corporate governance, credit crunch, crony capitalism, currency manipulation / currency intervention, currency peg, David Ricardo: comparative advantage, demographic dividend, demographic transition, Deng Xiaoping, Diane Coyle, Fall of the Berlin Wall, financial deregulation, financial innovation, fixed income, Francis Fukuyama: the end of history, full employment, G4S, George Akerlof, German hyperinflation, Gini coefficient, hiring and firing, income inequality, income per capita, inflation targeting, invisible hand, Isaac Newton, knowledge economy, labour market flexibility, labour mobility, liberal capitalism, low skilled workers, market clearing, Martin Wolf, mass immigration, Mexican peso crisis / tequila crisis, Naomi Klein, new economy, old age dependency ratio, Paul Samuelson, Ponzi scheme, price mechanism, price stability, purchasing power parity, rent-seeking, reserve currency, rising living standards, Ronald Reagan, savings glut, Silicon Valley, Simon Kuznets, sovereign wealth fund, spice trade, statistical model, technology bubble, The Great Moderation, The inhabitant of London could order by telephone, sipping his morning tea in bed, the various products of the whole earth, The Market for Lemons, The Wealth of Nations by Adam Smith, Thomas Malthus, trade route, transaction costs, Washington Consensus, women in the workforce, working-age population, Y2K, Yom Kippur War

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


pages: 312 words: 84,421

This Chair Rocks: A Manifiesto Against Ageism by Ashton Applewhite

affirmative action, Affordable Care Act / Obamacare, Airbnb, Albert Einstein, Atul Gawande, Buckminster Fuller, clean water, cognitive dissonance, crowdsourcing, desegregation, Downton Abbey, fixed income, follow your passion, ghettoisation, Google Hangouts, hiring and firing, income inequality, informal economy, Internet of things, invention of the printing press, job satisfaction, labor-force participation, life extension, longitudinal study, Mark Zuckerberg, Naomi Klein, obamacare, old age dependency ratio, RAND corporation, Ronald Reagan, Rosa Parks, sensible shoes, Silicon Valley, Skype, smart cities, Snapchat, stem cell, the built environment, urban decay, urban planning, white picket fence, women in the workforce

The dance between strangers is different, both simpler and more complicated, arguably all the more moving, reminding us of our common humanity and the fact that no one actually goes it alone. Asking empowers. A further, marvelous paradox is that asking empowers. Sociologist Meika Loe describes this process many times over in Aging Our Way, her five-year study of how thirty of the “oldest old” (ages 85–102, in this case) meet the ever-increasing challenges of living as independently as possible. Many manage their own care, hiring and firing paid assistants as necessary, and also provide important assistance to friends and neighbors. Most spend the majority of their time alone, but also reach out to a network of friends, relatives, and assistants for help with shopping, transportation, and caring for their homes and themselves, and for company. “Perhaps the most profound, even ironic, lesson from their stories is this: asking for help enables autonomy and control—as long as it is on the elder’s terms,” Loe wrote.18 As these octo- and nonagenarians scaled back and asked for help from family and friends, they constructed a “safety net” that enabled them to retain control over most aspects of their daily life and also improved its quality.


pages: 285 words: 86,174

Twilight of the Elites: America After Meritocracy by Chris Hayes

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

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


pages: 318 words: 82,452

The End of Policing by Alex S. Vitale

Affordable Care Act / Obamacare, anti-communist, Broken windows theory, citizen journalism, Columbine, deindustrialization, desegregation, Donald Trump, Edward Snowden, equal pay for equal work, Ferguson, Missouri, ghettoisation, hiring and firing, illegal immigration, immigration reform, income inequality, mandatory minimum, mass immigration, mass incarceration, moral panic, Occupy movement, open borders, rent-seeking, Ronald Reagan, strikebreaker, The Bell Curve by Richard Herrnstein and Charles Murray, white flight

Early in this period, much of this work was done by private security companies such as the Pinkertons, who were implicated in numerous beatings, shootings, and infiltrations of unions including the Homestead strike of 1892, in which guards and workers squared off in a gun battle that killed several on both sides, prompting the calling out of the local militia who crushed the strikers and their union. By the 1930s the Pinkerton agency had over 1,300 spies embedded in various unions in an effort to disrupt their activities on behalf of employers. In most places, local police played a major role in suppressing strikes. Often this was done through a process of political corruption in which police were beholden to local elected officials who did much of the hiring and firing of police, especially at the top ranks. In many places in the nineteenth and early twentieth centuries, police were directly appointed by local politicians on the basis of political services and substantial bribes. These local officials were often beholden to large employers through bribery and political favors. When these employers were faced with labor unrest, they need only call on local police to suppress the strike, break up meetings, and intimidate and brutalize alleged “ring leaders.”


pages: 322 words: 84,580

The Economics of Belonging: A Radical Plan to Win Back the Left Behind and Achieve Prosperity for All by Martin Sandbu

"Robert Solow", Airbnb, autonomous vehicles, balance sheet recession, bank run, banking crisis, basic income, Berlin Wall, Bernie Sanders, Boris Johnson, Branko Milanovic, Bretton Woods, business cycle, call centre, capital controls, carbon footprint, Carmen Reinhart, centre right, collective bargaining, debt deflation, deindustrialization, deskilling, Diane Coyle, Donald Trump, Edward Glaeser, eurozone crisis, Fall of the Berlin Wall, financial intermediation, full employment, future of work, gig economy, Gini coefficient, hiring and firing, income inequality, income per capita, industrial robot, intangible asset, job automation, John Maynard Keynes: technological unemployment, Kenneth Rogoff, knowledge economy, knowledge worker, labour market flexibility, liquidity trap, longitudinal study, low skilled workers, manufacturing employment, Martin Wolf, meta analysis, meta-analysis, mini-job, mortgage debt, new economy, offshore financial centre, oil shock, open economy, pattern recognition, pink-collar, precariat, quantitative easing, race to the bottom, Richard Florida, Robert Shiller, Robert Shiller, Ronald Reagan, secular stagnation, social intelligence, TaskRabbit, total factor productivity, universal basic income, very high income, winner-take-all economy, working poor

Take skills first: the five Nordic countries are in the top six on the OECD league table for the share of national income spent on education, from primary to tertiary. The Danish and Norwegian governments both spend more than 6 per cent of gross domestic product on education; all the others come in above 5 per cent.20 These countries have a broadly skilled population because they pay for it (Figure 6.2). The same can be said for job-to-job mobility. The Nordic economies are characterised by what Denmark calls “flexicurity”—flexible rules for hiring and firing, but with policies and institutions in place to improve the chances of getting a new job. In Sweden, for example, employers’ organisations are held responsible for worker reallocation schemes to find new jobs for workers who are let go. But above all, governments put significant resources into helping people into work. Denmark has by far the highest rate of public spending on “active labour market policies” among rich economies: the government spends about 2 per cent of national income on helping workers find new jobs, mostly on training and on creating sheltered or supported job opportunities or rehabilitating workers.


pages: 627 words: 89,295

The Politics Industry: How Political Innovation Can Break Partisan Gridlock and Save Our Democracy by Katherine M. Gehl, Michael E. Porter

Affordable Care Act / Obamacare, barriers to entry, business cycle, capital controls, carbon footprint, collective bargaining, coronavirus, COVID-19, Covid-19, David Brooks, deindustrialization, disintermediation, Donald Trump, first-past-the-post, future of work, guest worker program, hiring and firing, illegal immigration, immigration reform, Joseph Schumpeter, Kickstarter, labor-force participation, Menlo Park, new economy, obamacare, pension reform, Ronald Reagan, Silicon Valley, stem cell, Steve Jobs, Upton Sinclair, zero-sum game

But representative democracy in the modern era, a system in which people elect representatives who make decisions on their behalf, was ushered onto the world stage by the American Revolution. After the Americans defeated Great Britain, the Founders rightly feared the kind of monarchical rule they had recently rejected. But they also feared direct democracy, or a “tyranny of the majority,” where the people would directly decide policies. Their solution was to devise a system of intermediaries—of legislators and government leaders whom we hire and fire to do the work of governing. Electing our representatives may seem intuitive and obvious now, but it certainly wasn’t always the case. The list of innovative elements in our heritage goes on. The US Constitution provided the first formal blueprint for democracy. It codified a system of government that was nothing short of an outlier among nations, enshrining an elaborate structure of checks and balances that limited the power of any particular branch and prioritized the role of citizens in the revolutionary concept of self-government.


pages: 223 words: 10,010

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

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

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


Saving America's Cities: Ed Logue and the Struggle to Renew Urban America in the Suburban Age by Lizabeth Cohen

activist lawyer, affirmative action, Albert Einstein, anti-communist, British Empire, Buckminster Fuller, car-free, charter city, deindustrialization, desegregation, Edward Glaeser, garden city movement, ghettoisation, Henry Ford's grandson gave labor union leader Walter Reuther a tour of the company’s new, automated factory…, hiring and firing, housing crisis, income inequality, indoor plumbing, Jane Jacobs, land reform, megastructure, new economy, New Urbanism, Peter Eisenman, postindustrial economy, race to the bottom, rent control, Robert Gordon, rolodex, Ronald Reagan, the built environment, The Death and Life of Great American Cities, union organizing, upwardly mobile, urban decay, urban planning, urban renewal, Victor Gruen, Vilfredo Pareto, walkable city, War on Poverty, white flight, white picket fence, young professional

“I’d send a guy over to Redevelopment for a job … The least I expected was that Logue would talk to him. Instead, the guy would come back to me complaining, ‘What the hell is this city coming to? That damned Logue just about threw me out of his office.’”56 Once qualified staff were recruited, Logue determined to keep them outside of civil service, which further aggravated local politicians. He wanted the freedom to set salaries competitive nationally, not locally, and to hire and fire at will. By origin, civil service had aimed at insulating public employees from the old patronage politics of party machines. But in most American cities by the post–World War II era, the job security offered through civil service employment had become integral to the reward structure of entrenched local politicians.57 By separating urban renewal staffing from the city’s business as usual, Logue was able to bring top talent into city employment.

Lewis, October 21, 1942, YULocal35, Box 1, Folder 3: “It is my belief that the labor movement in general can gain nothing by a policy of redbaiting. I don’t like Communists, but there are other ways of getting them out of their positions of power than crying ‘Bolsheviks’ to the general public.” For his efforts to expose Yale’s discriminatory quotas against blacks, Jews, Catholics, and other minorities, as well as politically motivated hiring and firing, see EJL, Series 1, Box 6, Folder 101; Logue to Margaret DeVane, April 23, 1946, EJL, Series 1, Box 3, Folder 31; also Ellen W. Schrecker, No Ivory Tower: McCarthyism and the Universities (New York: Oxford University Press, 1986), 67–68, 250–53; and Seymour quote, Crimson, June 4, 1949, 111.   26. On factionalism in the AVC: Logue, “Citizens First, Veterans Second,” Progressive 10, no. 48 (December 16, 1946): 4, 11; Logue, Elkin interview, 32–33.


pages: 328 words: 92,317

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

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

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


pages: 209 words: 89,619

The Precariat: The New Dangerous Class by Guy Standing

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

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


pages: 309 words: 96,434

Ground Control: Fear and Happiness in the Twenty First Century City by Anna Minton

Albert Einstein, Berlin Wall, Big bang: deregulation of the City of London, Boris Johnson, Broken windows theory, call centre, crack epidemic, credit crunch, deindustrialization, East Village, energy security, Francis Fukuyama: the end of history, ghettoisation, hiring and firing, housing crisis, illegal immigration, invisible hand, Jane Jacobs, Jaron Lanier, Kickstarter, moral panic, new economy, New Urbanism, race to the bottom, rent control, Richard Florida, Right to Buy, Silicon Valley, Steven Pinker, the built environment, The Death and Life of Great American Cities, The Spirit Level, trickle-down economics, University of East Anglia, urban decay, urban renewal, white flight, white picket fence, World Values Survey, young professional

British research also cited evidence from the US, drawing on a comparative study in California looking at gated communities and non-gated areas which found no difference in crime rates between the gated and non-gated places.30 In Dallas a police captain went further, claiming that gates actively hinder law enforcement because walls mean criminals are hidden from passers-by and police patrol cars.31 Paradoxically, Simon Ashwell feels that despite the obsession with security, fear of crime is not the main reason why his wealthy City buyers want to live behind gates, in what is in any case a very low-crime area. But he does think security is an issue, although not so much as far as crime is concerned. From what his buyers tell him, the appeal is that living behind gates promises a more abstract sense of psychological security, which contrasts favourably with an unstable work environment in the hiring-and-firing culture of the City. ‘There’s not a great fear of crime, but you do get a sense of security. You drive in and the gates shut behind you and you’re in your own little environment,’ he said, making me think of how I felt when I drove into a gated community for the first time and heard the gates click satisfyingly shut behind me. This feeling of relief at arriving back home into one’s own safe space is the one clear piece of evidence which runs through all the research into why people want to live in gated communities, in Britain and America.


The Manager’s Path by Camille Fournier

failed state, fear of failure, hiring and firing, hive mind, interchangeable parts, job automation, Larry Wall, microservices, pull request, risk tolerance, Schrödinger's Cat, side project, Steve Jobs, WebSocket

We get better at debugging by doing it often, and learn which areas tend to break first and which indicators provide the most value for understanding issues. We become better leaders by pushing ourselves and our management teams to really get to the bottom of organizational issues, searching for why so that we can more quickly resolve such issues in the future. Without the drive to understand why, we rely on charm and luck to see us through our management careers and to make our hiring and firing decisions. As a result, we have a huge blindspot when it comes to truly learning from our mistakes. MANAGING MANAGERS | 149 Setting Expectations and Delivering on Schedule One of the most frustrating questions that engineering managers get asked regularly is why something is taking so long. We’ve all been asked this question before. We’ve been asked it as hands-on engineers, as tech leads, and as managers of small teams, but the question takes on a whole new level of intensity when you’re managing team managers, because answering it is significantly harder when you aren’t embedded deeply in the details.


pages: 285 words: 86,853

What Algorithms Want: Imagination in the Age of Computing by Ed Finn

Airbnb, Albert Einstein, algorithmic trading, Amazon Mechanical Turk, Amazon Web Services, bitcoin, blockchain, Chuck Templeton: OpenTable:, Claude Shannon: information theory, commoditize, Credit Default Swap, crowdsourcing, cryptocurrency, disruptive innovation, Donald Knuth, Douglas Engelbart, Douglas Engelbart, Elon Musk, factory automation, fiat currency, Filter Bubble, Flash crash, game design, Google Glasses, Google X / Alphabet X, High speed trading, hiring and firing, invisible hand, Isaac Newton, iterative process, Jaron Lanier, Jeff Bezos, job automation, John Conway, John Markoff, Just-in-time delivery, Kickstarter, late fees, lifelogging, Loebner Prize, Lyft, Mother of all demos, Nate Silver, natural language processing, Netflix Prize, new economy, Nicholas Carr, Norbert Wiener, PageRank, peer-to-peer, Peter Thiel, Ray Kurzweil, recommendation engine, Republic of Letters, ride hailing / ride sharing, Satoshi Nakamoto, self-driving car, sharing economy, Silicon Valley, Silicon Valley ideology, Silicon Valley startup, social graph, software studies, speech recognition, statistical model, Steve Jobs, Steven Levy, Stewart Brand, supply-chain management, TaskRabbit, technological singularity, technoutopianism, The Coming Technological Singularity, the scientific method, The Signal and the Noise by Nate Silver, The Structural Transformation of the Public Sphere, The Wealth of Nations by Adam Smith, transaction costs, traveling salesman, Turing machine, Turing test, Uber and Lyft, Uber for X, uber lyft, urban planning, Vannevar Bush, Vernor Vinge, wage slave

The computational turn means that many algorithms now reconstruct and efface legal, ethical, and perceived reality according to mathematical rules and implicit assumptions that are shielded from public view. As legal ethicist Frank Pasquale writes about algorithms for evaluating job candidates: Automated systems claim to rate all individuals the same way, thus averting discrimination. They may ensure some bosses no longer base hiring and firing decisions on hunches, impressions, or prejudices. But software engineers construct the datasets mined by scoring systems; they define the parameters of data-mining analyses; they create the clusters, links, and decision trees applied; they generate the predictive models applied. Human biases and values are embedded into each and every step of development. Computerization may simply drive discrimination upstream.15 As algorithms move deeper into cultural space, the pragmatic definition gets scrutinized more closely according to critical frames that reject the engineering rubric of problem and solution, as Pasquale, Golumbia, and a growing number of algorithmic ethics scholars have argued.


Industry 4.0: The Industrial Internet of Things by Alasdair Gilchrist

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

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


pages: 295 words: 90,821

Fully Grown: Why a Stagnant Economy Is a Sign of Success by Dietrich Vollrath

"Robert Solow", active measures, additive manufacturing, American Legislative Exchange Council, barriers to entry, business cycle, Capital in the Twenty-First Century by Thomas Piketty, central bank independence, creative destruction, Deng Xiaoping, endogenous growth, falling living standards, hiring and firing, income inequality, intangible asset, John Maynard Keynes: Economic Possibilities for our Grandchildren, Joseph Schumpeter, labor-force participation, light touch regulation, low skilled workers, manufacturing employment, old age dependency ratio, patent troll, Peter Thiel, profit maximization, rising living standards, Robert Gordon, Second Machine Age, secular stagnation, self-driving car, Silicon Valley, The Rise and Fall of American Growth, total factor productivity, women in the workforce, working-age population

I’ll review the evidence that economic profits—the extra income that is earned from selling goods and services over and above the cost of producing them—have risen steadily since at least the early 1990s. Those economic profits are the outward sign of increased market power. It’s possible that market power could explain the slowdown in turnover. With market power, firms react less to shocks that occur to the costs of, or the demand for, their products. They won’t hire and fire workers, or shutter and open new locations, as quickly as firms in more competitive markets. And there is some evidence to back this up. But that isn’t the whole story with market power. Some of the rise in market power comes from a shift in our spending away from firms and industries with little market power, and toward firms and industries with a lot of market power. The shift in market power may have been driven by forces similar to the ones that caused the shift from goods to services.


pages: 313 words: 95,077

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

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

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


words: 49,604

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

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

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


Alpha Girls: The Women Upstarts Who Took on Silicon Valley's Male Culture and Made the Deals of a Lifetime by Julian Guthrie

Airbnb, Apple II, barriers to entry, blockchain, Bob Noyce, call centre, cloud computing, credit crunch, disruptive innovation, Elon Musk, equal pay for equal work, fear of failure, game design, glass ceiling, hiring and firing, Jeff Bezos, Louis Pasteur, Lyft, Mark Zuckerberg, Menlo Park, Mitch Kapor, new economy, PageRank, peer-to-peer, pets.com, phenotype, place-making, Ronald Reagan, Rosa Parks, Sand Hill Road, Silicon Valley, Silicon Valley startup, Skype, Snapchat, software as a service, South of Market, San Francisco, stealth mode startup, Steve Jobs, Steve Wozniak, TaskRabbit, Tim Cook: Apple, Travis Kalanick, uber lyft, unpaid internship, upwardly mobile, urban decay, web application, William Shockley: the traitorous eight, women in the workforce

He’d had a similar come-to-Jesus talk with Benchmark VC Bob Kagle, who told him, “The people who are saying that this is just a blip are wrong. This is not a blip. This is a permanent shift. Just assume you can never raise more money.” Theresia and Rosenzweig strategized over how to keep PeopleSupport alive. It helped that she was a board observer, not a board member. A board member had the authority to hire and fire, while a board observer was more ally than boss. In Theresia’s experience, entrepreneurs were often more candid with board observers. Fortuitously, in the weeks before the downturn began, Theresia and Rosenzweig had been working on securing a new round of funding with Paul Madera, of the late-stage VC firm Meritech. As markets declined, Rosenzweig worked frantically to close quickly. The deal was signed on April 14.


pages: 324 words: 93,606

No Such Thing as a Free Gift: The Gates Foundation and the Price of Philanthropy by Linsey McGoey

activist fund / activist shareholder / activist investor, Affordable Care Act / Obamacare, agricultural Revolution, American Legislative Exchange Council, bitcoin, Bob Geldof, cashless society, clean water, cognitive dissonance, collapse of Lehman Brothers, colonial rule, corporate governance, corporate social responsibility, crony capitalism, effective altruism, Etonian, financial innovation, Food sovereignty, Ford paid five dollars a day, germ theory of disease, hiring and firing, Howard Zinn, income inequality, income per capita, invisible hand, Jane Jacobs, Joseph Schumpeter, liquidationism / Banker’s doctrine / the Treasury view, M-Pesa, Mahatma Gandhi, Mark Zuckerberg, meta analysis, meta-analysis, microcredit, Mitch Kapor, Mont Pelerin Society, Naomi Klein, obamacare, Peter Singer: altruism, Peter Thiel, plutocrats, Plutocrats, price mechanism, profit motive, Ralph Waldo Emerson, rent-seeking, road to serfdom, Ronald Reagan, school choice, selective serotonin reuptake inhibitor (SSRI), Silicon Valley, Slavoj Žižek, Steve Jobs, strikebreaker, The Wealth of Nations by Adam Smith, Thorstein Veblen, trickle-down economics, urban planning, wealth creators

The system bears a strong resemblance to the Gates Foundation’s Thomas Kane’s suggestion for teachers: any teachers ranking in the bottom quarter of a pre-established cohort after their first two years teaching should be let go. Most teachers, parents, and policy-makers agree that teacher performance needs to be monitored, with persistently poor performers subject to penalty or dismissal. But are policies grounded in Microsoft-style hiring and firing practices – practices widely denigrated by many CEOs outside Microsoft – the best model for school districts to emulate? Barkan has described the proactive steps that school districts in Toledo (since 1981), Cincinnati (since 1985), and Montgomery County (since 2001) – to name just a few districts – have taken towards identifying teacher effectiveness. They each implemented ‘Peer Assistance and Review’ (PAR) systems, consisting of two features: a panel made up of seven to twelve teachers and administrators, and a corps of Consulting Teachers (CTs).


pages: 321 words: 92,828

Late Bloomers: The Power of Patience in a World Obsessed With Early Achievement by Rich Karlgaard

Airbnb, Albert Einstein, Amazon Web Services, Apple's 1984 Super Bowl advert, Bernie Madoff, Bob Noyce, Brownian motion, Captain Sullenberger Hudson, cloud computing, cognitive dissonance, Daniel Kahneman / Amos Tversky, deliberate practice, Electric Kool-Aid Acid Test, Elon Musk, en.wikipedia.org, experimental economics, fear of failure, financial independence, follow your passion, Frederick Winslow Taylor, hiring and firing, Internet of things, Isaac Newton, Jeff Bezos, job satisfaction, knowledge economy, labor-force participation, longitudinal study, low skilled workers, Mark Zuckerberg, meta analysis, meta-analysis, Moneyball by Michael Lewis explains big data, move fast and break things, move fast and break things, pattern recognition, Peter Thiel, Sand Hill Road, science of happiness, shareholder value, Silicon Valley, Silicon Valley startup, Snapchat, Steve Jobs, Steve Wozniak, theory of mind, Tim Cook: Apple, Toyota Production System, unpaid internship, upwardly mobile, women in the workforce, working poor

Fleck of the Minnesota Gophers became the youngest head football coach in Big Ten history at thirty-six. Lincoln Riley became head football coach of the Oklahoma Sooners—a perennial top-twenty team—at thirty-three, with an annual paycheck of $3.1 million. And at thirty, Sean McVay of the Los Angeles Rams became the youngest head coach in modern NFL history. What about general managers, those cigar-chomping, backroom dealmakers who control rosters and hire (and fire) coaches? As I write, no fewer than ten Major League Baseball general managers are under forty, with David Stearns, of the Milwaukee Brewers, the youngest at thirty-one. Stearns is downright old, though, compared to twenty-six-year-old John Chayka, the general manager of the National Hockey League’s Phoenix Coyotes. Chayka is the youngest general manager in major professional sports history.


Hiding in Plain Sight: The Invention of Donald Trump and the Erosion of America by Sarah Kendzior

"side hustle", 4chan, Berlin Wall, Bernie Sanders, borderless world, Chelsea Manning, Columbine, corporate raider, desegregation, don't be evil, Donald Trump, drone strike, Edward Snowden, Ferguson, Missouri, Francis Fukuyama: the end of history, hiring and firing, illegal immigration, income inequality, Jaron Lanier, Jeff Bezos, Jeffrey Epstein, Julian Assange, Mohammed Bouazizi, Naomi Klein, Nelson Mandela, new economy, payday loans, plutocrats, Plutocrats, QAnon, Robert Hanssen: Double agent, Ronald Reagan, Silicon Valley, Skype, Thomas L Friedman, trickle-down economics, unpaid internship, white flight, WikiLeaks, Y2K, zero-sum game

In the Trump administration, people are hired to dismantle the departments they lead, and the main quality for which they are valued is blind and total fealty. The Trump administration is, in fact, very competent in achieving its main goal: stripping America down for parts and selling those parts to the highest bidders. That is not kakistocracy but kleptocracy, with elements of burgeoning authoritarianism. Like most kleptocracies, the Trump administration has carried out an enormous number of hirings and firings. Kleptocracies like to move players around to create the illusion of debate and dissent. Changes in personnel give the impression that power is distributed equitably rather than consolidated around a dictator, while also distracting the press from the regime’s more substantive flaws. As during his reality television days, Trump shakes up the status of players, and positions are cast more than filled.


pages: 340 words: 91,745

Duped: Double Lives, False Identities, and the Con Man I Almost Married by Abby Ellin

Bernie Madoff, bitcoin, Burning Man, business intelligence, Charles Lindbergh, cognitive dissonance, Donald Trump, double helix, dumpster diving, East Village, feminist movement, forensic accounting, fudge factor, hiring and firing, Internet Archive, longitudinal study, Lyft, mandatory minimum, meta analysis, meta-analysis, pink-collar, Ponzi scheme, Robert Hanssen: Double agent, Ronald Reagan, Silicon Valley, Skype, Snapchat, telemarketer, theory of mind, Thomas Kuhn: the structure of scientific revolutions

This entire section is based on in-person interviews with the author. 38. Ronald Kessler, “Spies, Lies, Averted Eyes,” New York Times, March 8, 1994, https://www.nytimes.com/1994/03/08/opinion/spies-lies-averted-eyes”.html. 39. Sean Robinson, “What Made Ridgway Kill Still a Riddle,” News Tribune, November 9, 2003, http://archive.is/FWnyS. 40. “Polygraphs in the Workplace: The Use of ‘Lie Detectors’ in Hiring and Firing,” Hearings Before the Subcommittee on Employment Opportunities of the Committee on Education and Labor, House of Representatives, 99th Cong., 1st sess., on H.R. 1524 [and] H.R. 1924, July 30 and September 18, 1985, https://babel.hathitrust.org/cgi/pt?id=pst.000019083421, 279. 41. There is video footage of all of this on Polygraph.com. 42. Telephone interview with author. 43. In-person interview with author; Eli Wolfe, “Catching the Brain in a Lie: Is ‘Mind Reading’ Deception Detection Sci-Fi—or Science?


pages: 297 words: 93,882

Winning Now, Winning Later by David M. Cote

activist fund / activist shareholder / activist investor, Asian financial crisis, business cycle, business process, hiring and firing, Internet of things, Parkinson's law, Paul Samuelson, Silicon Valley, six sigma, Steve Jobs, Toyota Production System, trickle-down economics

HR IS TOO IMPORTANT TO BE LEFT TO HR PEOPLE If you haven’t thought much about leadership quality, you should—whether you lead a team of ten or an organization of one hundred thousand. In larger organizations, you might be tempted to nod your head at the tactics described in this chapter and then task HR with executing on them. That would be a huge mistake. As the decision-maker in your organization, you must become intimately engaged with leadership development, hiring, and firing. I’ve mentioned that my global HR leader and I personally interviewed final candidates for our two hundred senior-most leadership positions. But that was only the beginning. I personally reviewed the compensation plans for our top six hundred leaders to confirm that it was fair and that it corresponded with what we had heard during our annual, cross-functional MRR review, which I also led.


pages: 934 words: 232,651

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

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

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

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


pages: 339 words: 100,075

Pump Six and Other Stories by Paolo Bacigalupi

Columbine, hiring and firing, price stability, profit maximization

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


pages: 328 words: 100,381

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

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

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


pages: 364 words: 99,613

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

back-to-the-land, Bernie Sanders, Black Swan, Bretton Woods, BRICs, British Empire, business cycle, 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, disruptive innovation, 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, Kickstarter, 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

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


pages: 313 words: 101,403

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

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

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


pages: 416 words: 100,130

New Power: How Power Works in Our Hyperconnected World--And How to Make It Work for You by Jeremy Heimans, Henry Timms

"side hustle", 3D printing, 4chan, Affordable Care Act / Obamacare, Airbnb, augmented reality, autonomous vehicles, battle of ideas, Benjamin Mako Hill, bitcoin, blockchain, British Empire, Chris Wanstrath, Columbine, Corn Laws, crowdsourcing, David Attenborough, Donald Trump, Elon Musk, Ferguson, Missouri, future of work, game design, gig economy, hiring and firing, IKEA effect, income inequality, informal economy, job satisfaction, Jony Ive, Kibera, Kickstarter, Lean Startup, Lyft, Mark Zuckerberg, Minecraft, Network effects, new economy, Nicholas Carr, obamacare, Occupy movement, profit motive, race to the bottom, ride hailing / ride sharing, rolodex, Saturday Night Live, sharing economy, Silicon Valley, six sigma, Snapchat, social web, TaskRabbit, the scientific method, transaction costs, Travis Kalanick, Uber and Lyft, uber lyft, upwardly mobile, web application, WikiLeaks

But asking nurses to own the whole start-up process is a very intentional step. It is part of building a culture that feeds individual agency, and builds collective bonds among the nurses. This culture continues in their daily operation. Like start-up founders, the nurses on Madelon’s team find themselves doing a bit of everything, juggling nursing, making care plans, managing the office, hiring and firing, budgeting and connecting with the local doctors and hospitals: “Sometimes you find out about new talents of your colleagues or about yourself. Someone might say, ‘Oh, no, I don’t want to do the planning. I’m no good at it.’ We’ll say, ‘Just try it,’ and then maybe she’ll find out that she really likes it and she’s really good at it.” Every member of the team can freely view its budget and billable hours (with help from Buurtzorg’s own “nurse-friendly” software, which makes this transparent across the whole network).


pages: 572 words: 94,002

Reset: How to Restart Your Life and Get F.U. Money: The Unconventional Early Retirement Plan for Midlife Careerists Who Want to Be Happy by David Sawyer

Airbnb, Albert Einstein, asset allocation, beat the dealer, bitcoin, Cal Newport, cloud computing, cognitive dissonance, crowdsourcing, cryptocurrency, David Attenborough, David Heinemeier Hansson, Desert Island Discs, diversification, diversified portfolio, Edward Thorp, Elon Musk, financial independence, follow your passion, gig economy, hiring and firing, index card, index fund, invention of the wheel, knowledge worker, loadsamoney, low skilled workers, Mahatma Gandhi, Mark Zuckerberg, meta analysis, meta-analysis, mortgage debt, passive income, passive investing, Paul Samuelson, pension reform, risk tolerance, Robert Shiller, Robert Shiller, Ronald Reagan, Silicon Valley, Skype, smart meter, Snapchat, stakhanovite, Steve Jobs, Tim Cook: Apple, Vanguard fund, Y Combinator

As Wikipedia has it: “The transformation stage means that digital usages inherently enable new types of innovation and creativity in a particular domain, rather than simply enhance and support traditional methods[92].” That’s all very well. However, for the midlife careerist, who’s already busy, such innovation is seen more as a threat than an exciting opportunity: the last thing they have time to do is “get with the digital programme”. Whether you’re a lawyer, accountant, PR, chief executive, engineer or scientist, the fundamentals of your job haven’t changed. You still have to hire and fire people, motivate your staff, hit targets, be good at maths, be able to state your case, be able to lead. But digital has given those who have grasped them, opportunities to do many tasks quicker and better. Yet it’s in the field of personal reputation and profile that digital change has had most impact. And it’s this aspect of digital that creates the most threats and opportunities for the midlife professional.


pages: 362 words: 99,063

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

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

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


pages: 290 words: 98,699

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

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

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


Gaming the Vote: Why Elections Aren't Fair (And What We Can Do About It) by William Poundstone

affirmative action, Albert Einstein, business cycle, Debian, desegregation, Donald Trump, en.wikipedia.org, Everything should be made as simple as possible, global village, guest worker program, hiring and firing, illegal immigration, invisible hand, jimmy wales, John Nash: game theory, John von Neumann, Kenneth Arrow, manufacturing employment, Nash equilibrium, Paul Samuelson, Pierre-Simon Laplace, prisoner's dilemma, Ralph Nader, RAND corporation, Ronald Reagan, Silicon Valley, slashdot, the map is not the territory, Thomas Bayes, transcontinental railway, Unsafe at Any Speed, Y2K

The Dukakis campaign decided not to cry racism over the Horton ads, consultant Susan Estrich said. "'We can't afford to alienate white voters,' I was told by many in my party and my campaign; whites might be put off if we 'whine' about racism." One difference between the Bush and Dukakis campaigns was the tenure of their consultants. Atwater and Ailes remained firmly in charge of Bush's campaign. Dukakis hired and fired a whole stable of consultants. In fact, he hired Estrich twice and fired her once. (He hired her the second time after deciding he couldn't fire his campaign's highestranking woman.) The number of people giving Dukakis advice kept increasing. Dukakis called Mario Cuomo, a mentor, to ask him what to do about Atwater's attacks. Cuomo's advice was "Hey, don't pay any attention to that stuff. Just let it go."


pages: 320 words: 96,006

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

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

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


pages: 336 words: 95,773

The Theft of a Decade: How the Baby Boomers Stole the Millennials' Economic Future by Joseph C. Sternberg

Affordable Care Act / Obamacare, Airbnb, American Legislative Exchange Council, Asian financial crisis, banking crisis, Basel III, Bernie Sanders, blue-collar work, centre right, corporate raider, Detroit bankruptcy, Donald Trump, Edward Glaeser, employer provided health coverage, Erik Brynjolfsson, eurozone crisis, future of work, gig economy, Gordon Gekko, hiring and firing, Home mortgage interest deduction, housing crisis, job satisfaction, job-hopping, labor-force participation, low skilled workers, Lyft, Marc Andreessen, Mark Zuckerberg, minimum wage unemployment, mortgage debt, mortgage tax deduction, Nate Silver, new economy, obamacare, oil shock, payday loans, pension reform, quantitative easing, Richard Florida, Ronald Reagan, Saturday Night Live, Second Machine Age, sharing economy, Silicon Valley, sovereign wealth fund, TaskRabbit, total factor productivity, Tyler Cowen: Great Stagnation, uber lyft, unpaid internship, women in the workforce

Some of this was enforced by law—especially Japanese laws making it harder than in many other developed countries to fire workers, and courts that are especially likely to force companies to rehire workers deemed to have been unfairly dismissed. But a lot of it was cultural. Workers and companies alike faced significant social stigma for breaking the deal. The economic crisis of the early 1990s changed things. Companies realized they could no longer afford not to have the flexibility their foreign competitors did—to hire and fire as needed to reconfigure the business in light of changing market conditions. And the government realized it needed to loosen the laws that had helped to cement the old lifetime employment system. So Tokyo created new types of employment, making is possible for more employers in more industries to hire nonregular workers. But the lifetime model has never gone away. In fact, the number of regular workers has held more or less steady over the past several decades.


pages: 371 words: 98,534

Red Flags: Why Xi's China Is in Jeopardy by George Magnus

3D printing, 9 dash line, Admiral Zheng, Asian financial crisis, autonomous vehicles, balance sheet recession, banking crisis, Bretton Woods, BRICs, British Empire, business process, capital controls, carbon footprint, Carmen Reinhart, cloud computing, colonial exploitation, corporate governance, crony capitalism, currency manipulation / currency intervention, currency peg, demographic dividend, demographic transition, Deng Xiaoping, Doha Development Round, Donald Trump, financial deregulation, financial innovation, financial repression, fixed income, floating exchange rates, full employment, Gini coefficient, global reserve currency, high net worth, hiring and firing, Hyman Minsky, income inequality, industrial robot, Internet of things, invention of movable type, Joseph Schumpeter, Kenneth Rogoff, Kickstarter, labour market flexibility, labour mobility, land reform, Malacca Straits, means of production, megacity, money market fund, moral hazard, non-tariff barriers, Northern Rock, offshore financial centre, old age dependency ratio, open economy, peer-to-peer lending, pension reform, price mechanism, purchasing power parity, regulatory arbitrage, rent-seeking, reserve currency, rising living standards, risk tolerance, smart cities, South China Sea, sovereign wealth fund, special drawing rights, special economic zone, speech recognition, The Wealth of Nations by Adam Smith, total factor productivity, trade route, urban planning, Washington Consensus, women in the workforce, working-age population, zero-sum game

State enterprises learned to operate a ‘dual-track’ system under which they had price and production obligations under the planning system, but also an opportunity to learn about market operations, and sell surplus production at a price above that decreed by the state. Surplus production transactions became a steadily more important part of their operations, subject to contracts set by China’s state planners. Entry barriers were lowered, allowing greater competition, and managers were given more leeway to hire and fire middle-level staff, pay bonuses and establish direct links with suppliers. New ownership The first change of ownership of a state-owned enterprise (SOE) occurred in 1986, when three individuals put up 34,000 yuan as collateral to lease the Wuhan Motor Engine factory. In the same year, three Guangzhou-based SOEs introduced private shareholding by allowing employees to purchase 30 per cent of their companies’ shares.


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

addicted to oil, American energy revolution, Berlin Wall, British Empire, business cycle, Carmen Reinhart, crony capitalism, deglobalization, energy security, Exxon Valdez, fixed income, full employment, global supply chain, hiring and firing, hydraulic fracturing, Induced demand, Intergovernmental Panel on Climate Change (IPCC), Kenneth Rogoff, manufacturing employment, oil shale / tar sands, oil shock, peak oil, RAND corporation, Ronald Reagan, Silicon Valley, South China Sea

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


pages: 346 words: 97,330

Ghost Work: How to Stop Silicon Valley From Building a New Global Underclass by Mary L. Gray, Siddharth Suri

Affordable Care Act / Obamacare, Amazon Mechanical Turk, augmented reality, autonomous vehicles, barriers to entry, basic income, big-box store, bitcoin, blue-collar work, business process, business process outsourcing, call centre, Capital in the Twenty-First Century by Thomas Piketty, cloud computing, collaborative consumption, collective bargaining, computer vision, corporate social responsibility, crowdsourcing, data is the new oil, deindustrialization, deskilling, don't be evil, Donald Trump, Elon Musk, employer provided health coverage, en.wikipedia.org, equal pay for equal work, Erik Brynjolfsson, financial independence, Frank Levy and Richard Murnane: The New Division of Labor, future of work, gig economy, glass ceiling, global supply chain, hiring and firing, ImageNet competition, industrial robot, informal economy, information asymmetry, Jeff Bezos, job automation, knowledge economy, low skilled workers, low-wage service sector, market friction, Mars Rover, natural language processing, new economy, passive income, pattern recognition, post-materialism, post-work, race to the bottom, Rana Plaza, recommendation engine, ride hailing / ride sharing, Ronald Coase, Second Machine Age, sentiment analysis, sharing economy, Shoshana Zuboff, side project, Silicon Valley, Silicon Valley startup, Skype, software as a service, speech recognition, spinning jenny, Stephen Hawking, The Future of Employment, The Nature of the Firm, transaction costs, two-sided market, union organizing, universal basic income, Vilfredo Pareto, women in the workforce, Works Progress Administration, Y Combinator

Large multinationals based in the Global North, like British Airways, carved up and handed over chunks of their business operations to small firms in their English-speaking former colonies in the Global South. By doing so, they shed the obligations, costs, and worker safety nets that accompany traditional employment classifications. Nation-states like India sweetened the deal for conglomerates with state-funded expansion of global satellite systems and tax-free IT industrial parks. These new links in the global supply chain hired and fired locals at will to process everything from airline schedules and insurance audits to full-time employees’ paychecks. India’s economic liberalization, in 1991, included the development of the Software Technology Parks of India (STPI) in every major city in the country.38 Finance minister Manmohan Singh, a Cambridge- and Oxford-trained economist who would later be prime minister, argued that India’s socialist economy, long propped up by its trading partner the Soviet Union, would need to liberalize and to deregulate its markets to survive the fall of the Iron Curtain.


pages: 366 words: 109,117

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

buttonwood tree, California gold rush, Charles Lindbergh, Everybody Ought to Be Rich, hiring and firing, margin call, market bubble, Ralph Waldo Emerson, transcontinental railway, Works Progress Administration

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


pages: 350 words: 107,834

Halting State by Charles Stross

augmented reality, Boris Johnson, call centre, forensic accounting, game design, Google Earth, hiring and firing, illegal immigration, impulse control, indoor plumbing, Intergovernmental Panel on Climate Change (IPCC), invention of the steam engine, lifelogging, Necker cube, Potemkin village, RFID, Schrödinger's Cat, Vernor Vinge, zero day

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


pages: 370 words: 112,602

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

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

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


pages: 471 words: 109,267

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

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

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


pages: 376 words: 109,092

Paper Promises by Philip Coggan

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

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


pages: 383 words: 105,021

Dark Territory: The Secret History of Cyber War by Fred Kaplan

Cass Sunstein, computer age, data acquisition, drone strike, dumpster diving, Edward Snowden, game design, hiring and firing, index card, Internet of things, Jacob Appelbaum, John Markoff, John von Neumann, kremlinology, Mikhail Gorbachev, millennium bug, national security letter, packet switching, pre–internet, RAND corporation, Ronald Reagan, Silicon Valley, Skype, Stuxnet, uranium enrichment, Y2K, zero day

The DNI, a cabinet-level post carrying the additional title of special adviser to the president, was envisioned as a sort of supra-director who would coordinate the activities and findings of the entire intelligence community; but many saw it as just another bureaucratic layer. When the position was created, President Bush offered it to Robert Gates, who had been CIA director and deputy national security adviser during his father’s presidency, but Gates turned it down upon learning that he would have no power to set budgets or hire and fire personnel. McConnell had no problem with the job’s bureaucratic limits. He took it with one goal in mind: to put cyber, especially cyber security, on the president’s agenda. Back in the early- to mid-1990s, as NSA director, McConnell had gone through the same roller-coaster ride that many others at Fort Meade had experienced: a thrilled rush at the marvels that the agency’s SIGINT teams could perform—followed by the realization that whatever we can do to our enemies, our enemies could soon do to us: a dread deepened, in the decade since, by America’s growing reliance on vulnerable computer networks.


pages: 405 words: 109,114

Unfinished Business by Tamim Bayoumi

algorithmic trading, Asian financial crisis, bank run, banking crisis, Basel III, battle of ideas, Ben Bernanke: helicopter money, Berlin Wall, Big bang: deregulation of the City of London, Bretton Woods, British Empire, business cycle, buy and hold, capital controls, Celtic Tiger, central bank independence, collapse of Lehman Brothers, collateralized debt obligation, credit crunch, currency manipulation / currency intervention, currency peg, Doha Development Round, facts on the ground, Fall of the Berlin Wall, financial deregulation, floating exchange rates, full employment, hiring and firing, housing crisis, inflation targeting, Just-in-time delivery, Kenneth Rogoff, liberal capitalism, light touch regulation, London Interbank Offered Rate, Long Term Capital Management, market bubble, Martin Wolf, moral hazard, oil shale / tar sands, oil shock, price stability, prisoner's dilemma, profit maximization, quantitative easing, race to the bottom, random walk, reserve currency, Robert Shiller, Robert Shiller, Rubik’s Cube, savings glut, technology bubble, The Great Moderation, The Myth of the Rational Market, the payments system, The Wisdom of Crowds, too big to fail, trade liberalization, transaction costs, value at risk

A second criterion is the degree to which divergent shocks can be absorbed by other economic buffers that obviate the need for monetary support. The initial work on optimum currency areas by Robert Mundell in the 1960s focused on the importance of labor mobility in cushioning differing shocks.5 If labor can move easily between Chicago and Los Angeles, then differences in underlying shocks would be solved by workers moving out of slumping Chicago and into booming LA. This is also linked with the ease of firms to move and hire and fire, since labor mobility only works if firms are sufficiently flexible to create new jobs. In addition, fiscal policy can help to cushion the shock. Indeed, a federal fiscal system automatically provides more demand to regions in a downswing and withdraws it from regions in an upswing since federal tax revenues fall and spending rises in a slump while the opposite occurs in a boom. This is a regional equivalent to national automatic stabilizers.


pages: 408 words: 108,985

Rewriting the Rules of the European Economy: An Agenda for Growth and Shared Prosperity by Joseph E. Stiglitz

Airbnb, balance sheet recession, bank run, banking crisis, barriers to entry, Basel III, basic income, Berlin Wall, bilateral investment treaty, business cycle, business process, Capital in the Twenty-First Century by Thomas Piketty, central bank independence, collapse of Lehman Brothers, collective bargaining, corporate governance, corporate raider, corporate social responsibility, creative destruction, credit crunch, deindustrialization, discovery of DNA, diversified portfolio, Donald Trump, eurozone crisis, Fall of the Berlin Wall, financial intermediation, Francis Fukuyama: the end of history, full employment, gender pay gap, George Akerlof, gig economy, Gini coefficient, hiring and firing, housing crisis, Hyman Minsky, income inequality, inflation targeting, informal economy, information asymmetry, intangible asset, investor state dispute settlement, invisible hand, Isaac Newton, labor-force participation, liberal capitalism, low skilled workers, market fundamentalism, mini-job, moral hazard, non-tariff barriers, offshore financial centre, open economy, patent troll, pension reform, price mechanism, price stability, purchasing power parity, quantitative easing, race to the bottom, regulatory arbitrage, rent-seeking, Robert Shiller, Robert Shiller, Ronald Reagan, selection bias, shareholder value, Silicon Valley, sovereign wealth fund, TaskRabbit, too big to fail, trade liberalization, transaction costs, transfer pricing, trickle-down economics, tulip mania, universal basic income, unorthodox policies, zero-sum game

It is especially important to provide these protections when there is high unemployment. Box 9.2: Employment Security: The Danish Model Nordic countries have performed much better in ensuring employment security. The Danish model, for example, has traditionally consisted of four major components: ■ Macroeconomic policies that ensure full employment ■ Flexicurity: The combination of flexibility for companies to hire and fire with income security for workers through robust systems of social protection*** ■ Collective bargaining processes that ensure extensive worker protection while taking into account changing production and market conditions for companies††† ■ Employment subsidies and active labor market programs that help workers in transition and promote full employment A European Unemployment Compensation Program Europe today does not have an EU-level unemployment scheme, but there are strong arguments for creating the program.


Capital Ideas Evolving by Peter L. Bernstein

Albert Einstein, algorithmic trading, Andrei Shleifer, asset allocation, business cycle, buy and hold, buy low sell high, capital asset pricing model, commodity trading advisor, computerized trading, creative destruction, Daniel Kahneman / Amos Tversky, David Ricardo: comparative advantage, diversification, diversified portfolio, endowment effect, equity premium, Eugene Fama: efficient market hypothesis, financial innovation, fixed income, high net worth, hiring and firing, index fund, invisible hand, Isaac Newton, John Meriwether, John von Neumann, Joseph Schumpeter, Kenneth Arrow, London Interbank Offered Rate, Long Term Capital Management, loss aversion, Louis Bachelier, market bubble, mental accounting, money market fund, Myron Scholes, paper trading, passive investing, Paul Samuelson, price anchoring, price stability, random walk, Richard Thaler, risk tolerance, risk-adjusted returns, risk/return, Robert Shiller, Robert Shiller, Sharpe ratio, short selling, Silicon Valley, South Sea Bubble, statistical model, survivorship bias, systematic trading, technology bubble, The Wealth of Nations by Adam Smith, transaction costs, yield curve, Yogi Berra, zero-sum game

Amit Goyal and Sumil Warhal of Emory University studied some 3,700 corporate pension funds from 1994 through 2003 to determine their skill in selecting external investment managers. The 3,700 funds transferred a total of over $700 billion to external investment managers during the period covered by the study. These pension funds hired new managers showing large positive excess returns up to three years prior to hiring and fired existing managers after they had underperformed. The result was essentially the same as for Odean and Barber’s individual investors: “If plan sponsors had stayed with fired investment managers, their excess returns would be larger than those actually delivered by newly hired managers.” In addition, the funds would have saved all the brokerage costs involved in management changes.10 In short, we are human beings.


pages: 431 words: 106,435

How the Post Office Created America: A History by Winifred Gallagher

British Empire, California gold rush, centre right, Charles Lindbergh, City Beautiful movement, clean water, collective bargaining, glass ceiling, hiring and firing, indoor plumbing, Monroe Doctrine, New Urbanism, Ralph Waldo Emerson, Republic of Letters, Silicon Valley, The Wealth of Nations by Adam Smith, transcontinental railway, traveling salesman, upwardly mobile, white flight, wikimedia commons, women in the workforce, Works Progress Administration

The act ended this long, tarnished tradition by downgrading the department to an agency and removing the postmaster general from the cabinet. The USPS would be run by a board of governors, nominated by the president and confirmed by the Senate (later, with the Senate’s advice and consent), which would appoint a qualified professional to serve as postmaster general and chief executive. Instead of including a legion of appointees hired and fired on the basis of partisan loyalty, the huge workforce would consist of civil service employees selected and retained on the basis of their merit. The spoils system was already on the wane, but few politicians could relish eliminating it altogether when their own party occupied the White House. (Postmaster General J. Edward Day, a Washington neophyte when appointed by President John F. Kennedy in 1961, was amazed when Robert Kennedy, his brother’s political operator, who served as attorney general rather than as postmaster general, nevertheless phoned him three times during a single afternoon about a job for one letter carrier in rural Mississippi.)


pages: 300 words: 106,520

The Nanny State Made Me: A Story of Britain and How to Save It by Stuart Maconie

banking crisis, basic income, Bernie Sanders, bitcoin, Boris Johnson, British Empire, cognitive dissonance, collective bargaining, Corn Laws, David Attenborough, Desert Island Discs, don't be evil, Downton Abbey, Elon Musk, Etonian, failed state, Francis Fukuyama: the end of history, full employment, G4S, Gordon Gekko, greed is good, helicopter parent, hiring and firing, housing crisis, job automation, Mark Zuckerberg, market fundamentalism, Marshall McLuhan, North Sea oil, Own Your Own Home, plutocrats, Plutocrats, rent control, Right to Buy, road to serfdom, Silicon Valley, The Chicago School, universal basic income, Winter of Discontent

survey grading customer satisfaction for the UK’s top 100 companies found that Npower, BT, EDF Energy, British Gas and E.ON (each one a provider of essential utilities which were publicly owned before Margaret Thatcher’s ‘reforms’) all appear in the Top Ten Worst Companies according to the British people. The capitalist myth of the swashbuckling, risk-taking, dynamic and virile entrepreneur – hiring and firing, living on his wits as an alphamale king of the boardroom jungle – is just that; a myth. These are supposedly virile alpha males very much reliant on the Viagra of the nanny state via grants, subsidy and bailouts. For the most part, outsourcing has been a calamitous, universal failure. It has damaged our social services, eaten into taxpayers’ money, made life generally harder for most of us.


pages: 1,152 words: 266,246

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

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

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

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


pages: 870 words: 259,362

Austerity Britain: 1945-51 by David Kynaston

Alistair Cooke, anti-communist, British Empire, Chelsea Manning, collective bargaining, continuous integration, deindustrialization, deskilling, Etonian, full employment, garden city movement, hiring and firing, industrial cluster, invisible hand, job satisfaction, labour mobility, light touch regulation, mass immigration, moral panic, Neil Kinnock, occupational segregation, price mechanism, rent control, reserve currency, road to serfdom, Ronald Reagan, shared worldview, stakhanovite, strikebreaker, the market place, upwardly mobile, urban planning, urban renewal, very high income, wage slave, washing machines reduced drudgery, wealth creators, women in the workforce, young professional

It was a harmony that may have owed something to Luton’s location – well away from other major car plants or indeed any local engineering tradition – but undoubtedly there was a key individual involved. This was Sir Charles Bartlett, managing director from 1929 to 1953, a highly intelligent paternalist who liked his workforce to call him ‘The Skipper’. Given considerable autonomy by his American masters, and inheriting a fairly brutal, hire-and-fire regime, he presided through the 1930s and 1940s over a gradual, quiet and almost entirely successful revolution – in which, crucially, workers were treated as human beings rather than Stakhanovite extras in a remake of Metropolis. Bartlett’s approach to industrial relations had several main features: avoiding lay-offs wherever possible, so that the workforce became more stable; paying good wages; using what was known as the Group Bonus System in order to enhance motivation and give the workforce at least a limited sense of control; introducing a profit-sharing scheme; developing an impressive range of social and welfare amenities; and, at the very core of Bartlett’s strategy from 1941, promoting the Management Advisory Committee (to which each area of the factory sent a representative elected by secret ballot) as a forum for meaningful rather than fig-leaf consultation.

Soon afterwards, amid a sharp, pervasive divide between those who had left to fight and those who had stayed, he became a shop steward in the erecting-and-wiring shop: Most if not all charge hands, foremen, superintendents, managers and company directors had worked in the factory throughout the whole war. Morris men through and through, whatever Lord Nuffield said or did it was OK by them. They were now dealing with mainly young ex-Servicemen [about 75 per cent of the workforce in Gurl’s shop] who were looking for improvements in the factory way of life away from the hire and fire and the charge hands’ pets, the men who came in regularly with the bag of garden products which they left by the charge hands’ desks. Of course we had to be wide awake to the fact that if these old hands would bring in vegetables to get in with the bosses, then they would also run to them with any tales about the union or steward. By the time he came to write his recollections in the mid-1980s, Gurl was convinced that a more understanding attitude on the part of the company in these early post-war years would have made a huge long-term difference: Simple things were forced up into major problems because Mr Moore [the shop foreman] would seldom make the effort to solve our grievances.


pages: 440 words: 117,978

Cuckoo's Egg by Clifford Stoll

affirmative action, call centre, Golden Gate Park, hiring and firing, John Markoff, Menlo Park, old-boy network, Paul Graham, Richard Stallman, Silicon Valley, undersea cable

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


pages: 349 words: 114,038

Culture & Empire: Digital Revolution by Pieter Hintjens

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

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


pages: 403 words: 111,119

Doughnut Economics: Seven Ways to Think Like a 21st-Century Economist by Kate Raworth

"Robert Solow", 3D printing, Asian financial crisis, bank run, basic income, battle of ideas, Berlin Wall, bitcoin, blockchain, Branko Milanovic, Bretton Woods, Buckminster Fuller, business cycle, call centre, Capital in the Twenty-First Century by Thomas Piketty, Cass Sunstein, choice architecture, clean water, cognitive bias, collapse of Lehman Brothers, complexity theory, creative destruction, crowdsourcing, cryptocurrency, Daniel Kahneman / Amos Tversky, David Ricardo: comparative advantage, dematerialisation, disruptive innovation, Douglas Engelbart, Douglas Engelbart, en.wikipedia.org, energy transition, Erik Brynjolfsson, Ethereum, ethereum blockchain, Eugene Fama: efficient market hypothesis, experimental economics, Exxon Valdez, Fall of the Berlin Wall, financial deregulation, Financial Instability Hypothesis, full employment, global supply chain, global village, Henri Poincaré, hiring and firing, Howard Zinn, Hyman Minsky, income inequality, Intergovernmental Panel on Climate Change (IPCC), invention of writing, invisible hand, Isaac Newton, John Maynard Keynes: Economic Possibilities for our Grandchildren, Joseph Schumpeter, Kenneth Arrow, Kenneth Rogoff, Kickstarter, land reform, land value tax, Landlord’s Game, loss aversion, low skilled workers, M-Pesa, Mahatma Gandhi, market fundamentalism, Martin Wolf, means of production, megacity, mobile money, Mont Pelerin Society, Myron Scholes, neoliberal agenda, Network effects, Occupy movement, off grid, offshore financial centre, oil shale / tar sands, out of africa, Paul Samuelson, peer-to-peer, planetary scale, price mechanism, quantitative easing, randomized controlled trial, Richard Thaler, Ronald Reagan, Second Machine Age, secular stagnation, shareholder value, sharing economy, Silicon Valley, Simon Kuznets, smart cities, smart meter, Social Responsibility of Business Is to Increase Its Profits, South Sea Bubble, statistical model, Steve Ballmer, The Chicago School, The Great Moderation, the map is not the territory, the market place, The Spirit Level, The Wealth of Nations by Adam Smith, Thomas Malthus, Thorstein Veblen, too big to fail, Torches of Freedom, trickle-down economics, ultimatum game, universal basic income, Upton Sinclair, Vilfredo Pareto, wikimedia commons

Economic theory says it is their relative productivity, but in practice it has largely turned out to be their relative power. The rise of shareholder capitalism entrenched the culture of shareholder primacy, with the belief that a company’s primary obligation is to maximise returns for those who own its shares. There’s a deep irony to this model. Employees who turn up for work day-in, day-out are essentially cast as outsiders: a production cost to be minimised, an input to be hired and fired as profitability requires. Shareholders, meanwhile, who probably never set foot on the company premises, are treated as the ultimate insiders: their narrow interest of maximising profits comes before all. No wonder that, under this set-up, the average worker has been losing out, especially since trade unions in many countries were stripped of their bargaining power from the 1980s onwards. But this set-up is, of course, just one among many possible enterprise designs.


pages: 434 words: 114,583

Faster, Higher, Farther: How One of the World's Largest Automakers Committed a Massive and Stunning Fraud by Jack Ewing

1960s counterculture, Asilomar, asset-backed security, Berlin Wall, cognitive dissonance, collapse of Lehman Brothers, corporate governance, crossover SUV, Fall of the Berlin Wall, full employment, hiring and firing, McMansion, self-driving car, short selling, Silicon Valley, sovereign wealth fund, Steve Jobs

Before becoming chancellor, Schröder had been prime minister of Lower Saxony and a member of the Volkswagen supervisory board. He knew Hartz. A clever politician, Schröder realized that Hartz’s working-class roots and track record dealing with Volkswagen workers made him an ideal person to find a compromise. Schröder’s faith in Hartz proved to be well founded. The program worked out by the Hartz Commission, as it came to be known, loosened some restrictions on hiring and firing and made it easier for companies to hire temporary workers or part-time employees who were exempt from most job protections. The program also set a time limit on unemployment benefits. After a maximum of two years—and as little as six months for younger people—jobless people received a subsistence allowance that came to less than €400 ($540) a month for a single person. The relatively meager welfare payment, instead of open-ended unemployment benefits based on the person’s last paycheck, created a stronger incentive for jobless people to accept lower-paying jobs.


pages: 359 words: 115,701

Educated by Tara Westover

Affordable Care Act / Obamacare, hiring and firing, Mason jar, obamacare, Rosa Parks, white picket fence, Y2K

I let her words settle, then started the engine and pulled onto Main Street. At the intersection I turned west, toward the mountain. Before I left the valley, I would set eyes on my home. Over the years I’d heard many rumors about my parents: that they were millionaires, that they were building a fortress on the mountain, that they had hidden away enough food to last decades. The most interesting, by far, were the stories about Dad hiring and firing employees. The valley had never recovered from the recession; people needed work. My parents were one of the largest employers in the county, but from what I could tell Dad’s mental state made it difficult for him to maintain employees long-term: when he had a fit of paranoia, he tended to fire people with little cause. Months before, he had fired Diane Hardy, Rob’s ex-wife, the same Rob who’d come to fetch us after the second accident.


pages: 359 words: 113,847

Siege: Trump Under Fire by Michael Wolff

Bernie Madoff, Boris Johnson, conceptual framework, cuban missile crisis, currency manipulation / currency intervention, Deng Xiaoping, Donald Trump, forensic accounting, gig economy, high net worth, hiring and firing, illegal immigration, immigration reform, impulse control, Jeffrey Epstein, Julian Assange, oil shale / tar sands, Potemkin village, Saturday Night Live, sovereign wealth fund, Steve Jobs, WikiLeaks

That list was generated inside the campaign and included a largely random group of relative unknowns, notably Carter Page and George Papadopoulos, both of whom would later help ensnare the campaign and the future White House in the Russia mess.) But no matter how solid the Federalist Society’s list or how well the selection of Gorsuch had worked out, Trump yet rebelled. This was a plum job; why couldn’t he give it to a friend? He may not be a lawyer, but he knew more than most lawyers. After all, he had hired and fired lawyers for almost fifty years. And in New York, this was standard operating procedure: you wanted judges who owed you. Trump had pushed to nominate Giuliani (also, as it happened, a Catholic) as his first Supreme Court pick, but he was quietly talked down from this idea—Giuliani was pro-abortion. Now Kavanaugh, like Gorsuch, was presented as a done deal. There were runners-up, such as Barrett, but Kavanaugh was the McGahn-Federalist choice, the establishment choice.


pages: 385 words: 118,901

Black Edge: Inside Information, Dirty Money, and the Quest to Bring Down the Most Wanted Man on Wall Street by Sheelah Kolhatkar

Bernie Madoff, Donald Trump, family office, fear of failure, financial deregulation, hiring and firing, income inequality, light touch regulation, locking in a profit, margin call, medical residency, mortgage debt, p-value, pets.com, Ponzi scheme, rent control, Ronald Reagan, short selling, Silicon Valley, Skype, The Predators' Ball

— By the mid-1980s, Cohen was generating so much in commissions with his trading that Goldman and the other big firms had no choice but to try to work with him. Finally, he was starting to get some respect. As his stature on Wall Street grew, Cohen realized that he could make even more money by getting away from Aizer and going out on his own. He saw himself as destined for bigger things than Aizer. In 1985 Cohen negotiated a deal with Gruntal that put him in charge of his own trading group, which gave him authority to hire and fire his own traders and negotiate their compensation directly, excluding Aizer completely. Cohen’s status as Gruntal’s most lucrative trader allowed him to bargain for an unprecedented 60 percent share of his profits, plus a 2 to 4 percent “kicker” at the end of the year, depending on how well he did. This brought him one step closer to his dream of running his own fund—and keeping all of the money he made for himself.


pages: 446 words: 117,660

Arguing With Zombies: Economics, Politics, and the Fight for a Better Future by Paul Krugman

affirmative action, Affordable Care Act / Obamacare, Andrei Shleifer, Asian financial crisis, bank run, banking crisis, basic income, Berlin Wall, Bernie Madoff, bitcoin, blockchain, Bonfire of the Vanities, business cycle, capital asset pricing model, carbon footprint, Carmen Reinhart, central bank independence, centre right, Climategate, cognitive dissonance, cryptocurrency, David Ricardo: comparative advantage, different worldview, Donald Trump, Edward Glaeser, employer provided health coverage, Eugene Fama: efficient market hypothesis, Fall of the Berlin Wall, fiat currency, financial deregulation, financial innovation, financial repression, frictionless, frictionless market, fudge factor, full employment, Growth in a Time of Debt, hiring and firing, illegal immigration, income inequality, index fund, indoor plumbing, invisible hand, job automation, John Snow's cholera map, Joseph Schumpeter, Kenneth Rogoff, knowledge worker, labor-force participation, large denomination, liquidity trap, London Whale, market bubble, market clearing, market fundamentalism, means of production, New Urbanism, obamacare, oil shock, open borders, Paul Samuelson, plutocrats, Plutocrats, Ponzi scheme, price stability, quantitative easing, road to serfdom, Robert Gordon, Robert Shiller, Robert Shiller, Ronald Reagan, secular stagnation, The Chicago School, The Great Moderation, the map is not the territory, The Wealth of Nations by Adam Smith, trade liberalization, transaction costs, universal basic income, very high income, working-age population

They also reduce or eliminate your options if you’re mistreated: quit because you have an abusive boss or have problems with company policy, and you may have real trouble getting a new job. But what can be done about it? Corey Robin says “socialism”—but as far as I can tell he really means social democracy: Denmark, not Venezuela. Government-mandated employee protections may restrict the ability of corporations to hire and fire, but they also shield workers from some very real forms of abuse. Unions do somewhat limit workers’ options, but they also offer an important counterweight against corporate monopsony power. Oh, and social safety net programs can do more than limit misery: they can be liberating. I’ve known many people who stuck with jobs they disliked for fear of losing health coverage; Obamacare, flawed as it is, has noticeably reduced that kind of “lock in,” and a full guarantee of health coverage would make our society visibly freer.


pages: 349 words: 113,575

One Flew Over the Cuckoo's Nest: 50th Anniversary Edition by Ken Kesey

financial independence, hiring and firing, post-work

And, worse, she knows he knows it and reminds him every chance she gets. Every time she finds he’s made a little slip in the bookwork or in, say, the charting you can just imagine her in there grinding his nose in it.” “That’s right,” Cheswick says, coming up beside McMurphy, “grinds our noses in our mistakes.” “Why don’t he fire her?” “In this hospital,” Harding says, “the doctor doesn’t hold the power of hiring and firing. That power goes to the supervisor, and the supervisor is a woman, a dear old friend of Miss Ratched’s; they were Army nurses together in the thirties. We are victims of a matriarchy here, my friend, and the doctor is just as helpless against it as we are. He knows that all Ratched has to do is pick up that phone you see sitting at her elbow and call the supervisor and mention, oh, say, that the doctor seems to be making a great number of requisitions for Demerol—” “Hold it, Harding, I’m not up on all this shop talk.”


eBoys by Randall E. Stross

barriers to entry, business cycle, call centre, carried interest, cognitive dissonance, disintermediation, edge city, high net worth, hiring and firing, Jeff Bezos, job-hopping, knowledge worker, late capitalism, market bubble, Menlo Park, new economy, old-boy network, passive investing, performance metric, pez dispenser, railway mania, rolodex, Sand Hill Road, shareholder value, Silicon Valley, Silicon Valley startup, Steve Ballmer, Steve Jobs, Y2K

Though he was salutatorian of his high school class and an active leader in student government, it was one fortuitous event, not the hydraulic workings of a meritocracy, that ultimately delivered Kagle to a college campus, the first person in his family to make it there. He first needed one big break. The only college he was aware of that offered full scholarships was a local engineering school, General Motors Institute. Its name was not just a polite nod to an institutional benefactor; the college was literally owned by General Motors. Faculty members were hired and fired by the corporation, received paychecks from the same source, were given the same health benefits—and the same employee discounts on GM cars—as were the assembly-line workers. The students received stipends from the same giant corporation. A GMI education took five years and consisted of alternating six-week stints in the classroom and in the workplace, in actual GM plants. The students were paid for the work, thus covering their living expenses; they also began accumulating credits toward the ultimate prize: a pension, the cynosure of everyone—even teenagers—in working-class Flint.


The Road to Unfreedom: Russia, Europe, America by Timothy Snyder

active measures, affirmative action, Affordable Care Act / Obamacare, American ideology, anti-globalists, Bernie Sanders, centre right, Charles Lindbergh, crony capitalism, Dissolution of the Soviet Union, Donald Trump, hiring and firing, income inequality, John Markoff, means of production, Mikhail Gorbachev, New Journalism, obamacare, offshore financial centre, Robert Mercer, sexual politics, Transnistria, WikiLeaks, women in the workforce, zero-sum game

In the half year between his nomination as the Republican candidate and his victory in the general election, some 70% of the units sold in his buildings were purchased not by human beings but by limited liability companies. * * * — Russia’s “boy” existed in the American mind thanks to a popular American television program, The Apprentice, where Trump portrayed a mogul capable of hiring and firing at will. The role came naturally to him, perhaps because pretending to be such a person was already his day job. On the show, the world was a ruthless oligarchy, where an individual’s future depended upon the capricious whims of a single man. The climax in each episode came when Trump brought the pain: “You’re fired!” When Trump ran for president, he did so on the premise that the world really was so: that a fictional character with fictional wealth who ignores law, despises institutions, and lacks sympathy can govern people by causing pain.


pages: 363 words: 28,546

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

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

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


pages: 320 words: 87,853

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

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

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


pages: 504 words: 126,835

The Innovation Illusion: How So Little Is Created by So Many Working So Hard by Fredrik Erixon, Bjorn Weigel

"Robert Solow", Airbnb, Albert Einstein, American ideology, asset allocation, autonomous vehicles, barriers to entry, Basel III, Bernie Madoff, bitcoin, Black Swan, blockchain, BRICs, Burning Man, business cycle, Capital in the Twenty-First Century by Thomas Piketty, Cass Sunstein, Clayton Christensen, Colonization of Mars, commoditize, corporate governance, corporate social responsibility, creative destruction, crony capitalism, dark matter, David Graeber, David Ricardo: comparative advantage, discounted cash flows, distributed ledger, Donald Trump, Elon Musk, Erik Brynjolfsson, fear of failure, first square of the chessboard / second half of the chessboard, Francis Fukuyama: the end of history, George Gilder, global supply chain, global value chain, Google Glasses, Google X / Alphabet X, Gordon Gekko, high net worth, hiring and firing, Hyman Minsky, income inequality, income per capita, index fund, industrial robot, Internet of things, Jeff Bezos, job automation, job satisfaction, John Maynard Keynes: Economic Possibilities for our Grandchildren, John Maynard Keynes: technological unemployment, joint-stock company, Joseph Schumpeter, Just-in-time delivery, Kevin Kelly, knowledge economy, laissez-faire capitalism, Lyft, manufacturing employment, Mark Zuckerberg, market design, Martin Wolf, mass affluent, means of production, Mont Pelerin Society, Network effects, new economy, offshore financial centre, pensions crisis, Peter Thiel, Potemkin village, price mechanism, principal–agent problem, Productivity paradox, QWERTY keyboard, RAND corporation, Ray Kurzweil, rent-seeking, risk tolerance, risk/return, Robert Gordon, Ronald Coase, Ronald Reagan, savings glut, Second Machine Age, secular stagnation, Silicon Valley, Silicon Valley startup, Skype, sovereign wealth fund, Steve Ballmer, Steve Jobs, Steve Wozniak, technological singularity, telemarketer, The Chicago School, The Future of Employment, The Nature of the Firm, The Rise and Fall of American Growth, The Wealth of Nations by Adam Smith, too big to fail, total factor productivity, transaction costs, transportation-network company, tulip mania, Tyler Cowen: Great Stagnation, uber lyft, University of East Anglia, unpaid internship, Vanguard fund, Yogi Berra

As in other European countries, large companies in Italy are more productive than smaller ones.17 If the size distribution of firms in Italy resembled Germany’s, its exports would have been about 25 percent higher.18 When they were surveyed about the most important factors behind financial success, Italian managers did not suggest hard work, education, or innovation as the top factors but ranked “knowledge of influential people” as the surest way to success.19 Far too often small businesses stay small to avoid the crony culture and regulations that apply only to companies of a certain size (such as hiring and firing regulations), but that comes at a heavy cost to the economy. Small companies simply lack the resources to scale up production and turn innovations that can be imported from others into products and production processes. Italy does not have many firms competing to stretch the technological frontier, but a greater problem for its economy is its wrecked diffusion machine, which prevents Italians from adapting to technological and organizational change.


pages: 456 words: 123,534

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

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

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


Hedgehogging by Barton Biggs

activist fund / activist shareholder / activist investor, asset allocation, backtesting, barriers to entry, Bretton Woods, British Empire, business cycle, buy and hold, diversification, diversified portfolio, Elliott wave, family office, financial independence, fixed income, full employment, hiring and firing, index fund, Isaac Newton, job satisfaction, margin call, market bubble, Mikhail Gorbachev, new economy, oil shale / tar sands, paradox of thrift, Paul Samuelson, Ponzi scheme, random walk, Ronald Reagan, secular stagnation, Sharpe ratio, short selling, Silicon Valley, transaction costs, upwardly mobile, value at risk, Vanguard fund, zero-sum game, éminence grise

GROUPTHINK = GROUPSTINK AND SOLOTHINK: INVESTOR MEETINGS NEED A LITTLE AGITATION AND CONTENTION Recently as a favor to a friend I attended an investment committee meeting at a big foundation. It is almost always frustrating to observe such a meeting because with the best of intentions they are implementing wrong judgments about equity ratios, the role of alternative asset classes, spending levels, and manager hiring and firing. Groups of highly intelligent, sincere people are reaching bad decisions that reflect the easy, prevailing current consensus of what has worked recently, despite compelling evidence that there is a mean to revert to. The most important investment judgments at most big institutions and for most large portfolios are made by committees, but few realize the negative dynamics of group interaction.


pages: 385 words: 123,168

Bullshit Jobs: A Theory by David Graeber

1960s counterculture, active measures, basic income, Berlin Wall, Bernie Sanders, Bertrand Russell: In Praise of Idleness, Bretton Woods, Buckminster Fuller, call centre, cognitive dissonance, collateralized debt obligation, David Graeber, Donald Trump, equal pay for equal work, full employment, global supply chain, High speed trading, hiring and firing, informal economy, Jarndyce and Jarndyce, Jarndyce and Jarndyce, job automation, John Maynard Keynes: technological unemployment, knowledge worker, moral panic, post-work, precariat, Silicon Valley, Silicon Valley startup, single-payer health, software as a service, telemarketer, The Future of Employment, Thorstein Veblen, too big to fail, Travis Kalanick, universal basic income, unpaid internship, wage slave, wages for housework, women in the workforce, working poor, Works Progress Administration, young professional, éminence grise

For instance, perhaps fewer of them hang around on Twitter, or maybe the ones that do are more inclined to lie. I should add as a final note there was really only one class of people that not only denied their jobs were pointless but expressed outright hostility to the very idea that our economy is rife with bullshit jobs. These were—predictably enough—business owners, and anyone else in charge of hiring and firing. (Tania appears to be something of an exception in this regard.) In fact, for many years, I have been receiving periodic unsolicited communications from indignant entrepreneurs and executives telling me my entire premise is wrong. No one, they insist, would ever spend company money on an employee who wasn’t needed. Such communications rarely offer particularly sophisticated arguments. Most just employ the usual circular argument that since, in a market economy, none of the things described in this chapter could have actually occurred, that therefore they didn’t, so all the people who are convinced their jobs are worthless must be deluded, or self-important, or simply don’t understand their real function, which is fully visible only to those above.


pages: 468 words: 123,823

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

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

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


pages: 402 words: 126,835

The Job: The Future of Work in the Modern Era by Ellen Ruppel Shell

3D printing, affirmative action, Affordable Care Act / Obamacare, Airbnb, airport security, Albert Einstein, Amazon Mechanical Turk, basic income, Baxter: Rethink Robotics, big-box store, blue-collar work, Buckminster Fuller, call centre, Capital in the Twenty-First Century by Thomas Piketty, Clayton Christensen, cloud computing, collective bargaining, computer vision, corporate governance, corporate social responsibility, creative destruction, crowdsourcing, deskilling, disruptive innovation, Donald Trump, Downton Abbey, Elon Musk, Erik Brynjolfsson, factory automation, follow your passion, Frederick Winslow Taylor, future of work, game design, glass ceiling, hiring and firing, immigration reform, income inequality, industrial robot, invisible hand, Jeff Bezos, job automation, job satisfaction, John Markoff, John Maynard Keynes: Economic Possibilities for our Grandchildren, Joseph Schumpeter, Kickstarter, knowledge economy, knowledge worker, Kodak vs Instagram, labor-force participation, low skilled workers, Lyft, manufacturing employment, Marc Andreessen, Mark Zuckerberg, means of production, move fast and break things, move fast and break things, new economy, Norbert Wiener, obamacare, offshore financial centre, Paul Samuelson, precariat, Ralph Waldo Emerson, risk tolerance, Robert Gordon, Robert Shiller, Robert Shiller, Rodney Brooks, Ronald Reagan, Second Machine Age, self-driving car, shareholder value, sharing economy, Silicon Valley, Snapchat, Steve Jobs, The Chicago School, Thomas L Friedman, Thorstein Veblen, Tim Cook: Apple, Uber and Lyft, uber lyft, universal basic income, urban renewal, white picket fence, working poor, Y Combinator, young professional, zero-sum game

Provost’s company, Studio Neat, is based in Austin, Texas, and its products are manufactured at Premier Source, a small firm based in Brookings, South Dakota. “Just because Apple makes their stuff in Shenzhen doesn’t mean we have to,” Provost told me. Provost said two friends discouraged him from even considering a foreign manufacturer. The friends, both designers, also launched a product on Kickstarter, a stainless-steel writing implement called “Pen Type A.” They then hired—and fired—two different Chinese manufacturers, neither of which met their quality standards. They moved on to a Vermont manufacturer who shared their vision. “Manufacturing is hard,” they wrote in a note to Provost. “There are no shortcuts. No magic, no secrets, and always lots of surprises.” Products crafted in small batches and for a specific purpose tend to be more durable than mass-produced products and are often better suited for the job that needs to get done.


pages: 394 words: 124,743

Overhaul: An Insider's Account of the Obama Administration's Emergency Rescue of the Auto Industry by Steven Rattner

activist fund / activist shareholder / activist investor, affirmative action, bank run, banking crisis, business cycle, centre right, collapse of Lehman Brothers, collective bargaining, corporate governance, corporate raider, creative destruction, credit crunch, David Brooks, David Ricardo: comparative advantage, declining real wages, friendly fire, hiring and firing, income inequality, Joseph Schumpeter, low skilled workers, McMansion, Mikhail Gorbachev, moral hazard, Ronald Reagan, Saturday Night Live, shareholder value, supply-chain management, too big to fail

Shortly afterward, I got a call from Bob Joffe, the tall, bespectacled sixty-five-year-old former presiding partner at the law firm of Cravath, Swaine & Moore, who had been advising the GM board for many years. Bob was a good friend; we had labored together in the political vineyard as ardent Democrats. He was also a terrific lawyer and counselor who conveyed gravitas and judgment. "The board is pretty upset," Bob reported. "They feel that you've taken away their most important responsibility," by which he meant the hiring and firing of the CEO. There was talk of a mass resignation, Bob said. "I think it would mean a lot if you would be willing to get on the phone with them tonight," he suggested. By the time I joined the conference call that evening, the GM board members weren't as enraged as I'd feared. Still, I was glad not to be with them in person. There were a number of hostile questions, particularly from some of the longest-serving directors who had been most complicit in GM's decay.


pages: 430 words: 140,405

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

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

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


pages: 462 words: 142,240

Iron Sunrise by Stross, Charles

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

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


pages: 493 words: 145,326

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

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

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


pages: 372 words: 152

The End of Work by Jeremy Rifkin

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

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


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

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

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


pages: 455 words: 133,719

Overwhelmed: Work, Love, and Play When No One Has the Time by Brigid Schulte

8-hour work day, affirmative action, Bertrand Russell: In Praise of Idleness, blue-collar work, Burning Man, business cycle, call centre, cognitive dissonance, David Brooks, deliberate practice, desegregation, DevOps, East Village, Edward Glaeser, epigenetics, fear of failure, feminist movement, financial independence, game design, gender pay gap, glass ceiling, helicopter parent, hiring and firing, income inequality, job satisfaction, John Maynard Keynes: Economic Possibilities for our Grandchildren, knowledge economy, knowledge worker, labor-force participation, meta analysis, meta-analysis, new economy, profit maximization, Results Only Work Environment, Richard Feynman, Ronald Reagan, Saturday Night Live, sensible shoes, sexual politics, Silicon Valley, Skype, Steve Jobs, Thorstein Veblen, women in the workforce, working poor, Zipcar, éminence grise

The Danish government is rated as among the most transparent, efficient, trusted, and least corrupt by civil society organizations.33 Denmark is moving toward energy independence, with renewables accounting for 40 percent of the country’s supply.34 And its pro-business policies land Denmark in the top rankings of the conservative Heritage Foundation’s global Index of Economic Freedom.35 The same safety net, which funds universal child care, heath care, generous unemployment benefits, and a robust free public education system through college and graduate school, gives businesses enormous flexibility in hiring and firing workers, called the “flexicurity model.”36 That makes everybody happy. As Rikke, a teacher I met while she was on parental leave, put it, “I don’t have to worry, whatever may happen to my job, my partner, or to me. I know I’ll never have to say, ‘Oh, too bad, I’ve got to go sleep in the park.’” Denmark is also rated as one of the best places to be a mother (the United States ranks twenty-fifth)37 and has one of the highest fertility rates in Europe.38 It is one of the best places to be a woman, ranking in the top ten in the World Economic Forum’s Global Gender Gap Index (the United States ranks twenty-second).39 So important is gender equity that in 1999, the government appointed a cabinet-level minister for gender equality to monitor it.


pages: 457 words: 143,967

The Bank That Lived a Little: Barclays in the Age of the Very Free Market by Philip Augar

activist fund / activist shareholder / activist investor, Asian financial crisis, asset-backed security, bank run, banking crisis, Big bang: deregulation of the City of London, Bonfire of the Vanities, bonus culture, break the buck, call centre, collateralized debt obligation, corporate governance, credit crunch, Credit Default Swap, credit default swaps / collateralized debt obligations, family office, financial deregulation, financial innovation, fixed income, high net worth, hiring and firing, index card, index fund, interest rate derivative, light touch regulation, loadsamoney, Long Term Capital Management, Martin Wolf, money market fund, moral hazard, Nick Leeson, Northern Rock, offshore financial centre, old-boy network, out of africa, prediction markets, quantitative easing, Ronald Reagan, shareholder value, short selling, Sloane Ranger, Social Responsibility of Business Is to Increase Its Profits, sovereign wealth fund, too big to fail, wikimedia commons, yield curve

The idea that you might hire a search firm to fill a vacancy rarely occurred to British business leaders in the early 1980s. Bycroft and his firm helped to break this mould. He was one of the pioneers of executive search in Britain, patiently building his contacts and explaining his trade to a bemused audience. Once he was asked, ‘Is this kind of thing legal?’ But as British industry in the 1980s deregulated, de-unionized and became more results orientated, hiring and firing became routine and search took off. One sector above all depended on head hunters to find qualified staff. As we have seen, the end of the Stock Exchange’s closed shop triggered a scramble for qualified people among the many financial institutions trying to build investment banks. The partner-run firms that would seed these new trading factories were tiny relative to the ambitions of the banks.


pages: 493 words: 136,235

Operation Chaos: The Vietnam Deserters Who Fought the CIA, the Brainwashers, and Themselves by Matthew Sweet

Berlin Wall, British Empire, centre right, computer age, Donald Trump, energy security, Fall of the Berlin Wall, game design, Haight Ashbury, hiring and firing, Howard Zinn, Kickstarter, Mikhail Gorbachev, planetary scale, Ralph Waldo Emerson, Richard Feynman, Ronald Reagan, Saturday Night Live, Skype, South China Sea, Stanford prison experiment, Thomas Malthus, Triangle Shirtwaist Factory, WikiLeaks, Yogi Berra, éminence grise

It was an undeclared world war, fought between the representatives of two opposing ideologies to spare them the agony of adding Moscow, Peking, and Washington to a list that had begun with Hiroshima and Nagasaki. Nothing about it was clean or uncomplicated. In 1954, the Geneva Accords split Vietnam into two zones, the Communist north, administered from Hanoi by the revolutionary leader Ho Chi Minh, and the non-Communist south, ruled from Saigon by a succession of Western-backed leaders, who were advised—and sometimes hired and fired—by the hidden hand of the Central Intelligence Agency. From 1960, the National Liberation Front, a Communist insurgency also known as the Viet Cong, added its firepower to the argument. Away from the bullets, the war’s foreign stakeholders invested their millions. China and the Soviet Union supplied expertise, money, and guns. The United States matched that commitment and, from 1965, sent roughly 2.7 million ground troops into the territory.