The Science and Philosophy of Friendship: Lessons from Aristotle on the Art of Connecting; “Friends hold a mirror up to each other; through that mirror they can see each other in ways that would not otherwise be accessible to them, and it is this mirroring that helps them improve themselves as persons.”

The Science and Philosophy of Friendship: Lessons from Aristotle on the Art of Connecting

“Friends hold a mirror up to each other; through that mirror they can see each other in ways that would not otherwise be accessible to them, and it is this mirroring that helps them improve themselves as persons.”

“A principal fruit of friendship,” Francis Bacon wrote in his timeless meditation on the subject, “is the ease and discharge of the fulness and swellings of the heart, which passions of all kinds do cause and induce.” For Thoreau, friendship was one of life’s great rewards. But in today’s cultural landscape of muddled relationships scattered across various platforms for connecting, amidst constant debates about whether our Facebook “friendships” are making us more or less happy, it pays to consider what friendship actually is. That’s precisely what CUNY philosophy professor Massimo Pigliucci explores in Answers for Aristotle: How Science and Philosophy Can Lead Us to A More Meaningful Life (public library), which also gave us this provocative read on the science of what we call “intuition.” Read more of this post

Hong Kong Braces For Worst Storm In 34 Years As Typhoon Usagi Approaches, “Astronomical” Storm Surge Forecast

T8 signal raised in Hong Kong as Typhoon Usagi closes in

Hong Kong Observatory has issued No 8 storm signal for Typhoon Usagi

Sunday, 22 September, 2013 [UPDATED: 6:52PM]

Tanna Chong, Ada Lee and Joanna Chiu

eb54e579c687a9f873e248852252f0fb_0

The Hong Kong Observatory issued the T8 Tropical Cyclone Warning Signal at 6.40pm today. The government advises members of the public with long or difficult journeys home or having to return to outlying islands to begin their journey now. “The water level may rise and cause flooding in the evening,” said Sandy Song Man-kuen, the observatory’s senior scientific officer. The Macau Observatory said the No 8 northwest storm signal would be hoisted before 7pm. The Hong Kong Obsevatory said that Usagi would make landfall to the east of Hong Kong and will skirt the territory at around 100km or less to the north later tonight and early tomorrow morning.  Read more of this post

Global lockmaker seeks key to future profits in the cloud; Electro-mechanical locks like key cards in hotels now account for almost half of Assa Abloy’s sales compared with 13 percent a decade ago

Global lockmaker seeks key to future profits in the cloud

6:18am EDT

By Alistair Scrutton

STOCKHOLM (Reuters) – Despite the rapid pace of technology that has overhauled many consumer goods, the front door lock and key is little changed since the 1800s. That is about to change – to virtual keys in data clouds, if the world’s biggest lockmaker gets its way. Assa Abloy, which makes one in ten locks worldwide, is the muscle behind brands such as Yale. But the lock technology it is now developing means consumers will be able to open doors with a tap of their mobile phones, visitors will be able to download a key online and business owners will be able to lock and unlock their premises remotely. “I think most people will go digital. People will rely more on a secure identity than a physical key, provided over the net into your mobile phone,” says Johan Molin, Assa Abloy’s lean 54-year-old chief executive. Electro-mechanical locks like key cards in hotels now account for almost half of Assa Abloy’s sales compared with 13 percent a decade ago, and the company believes this is just the start of growing demand from consumers for more flexible, high-tech locking mechanisms. Read more of this post

China milk makers including Yili, Mengniu to get state support: report

China milk makers including Yili, Mengniu to get state support: report

5:15am EDT

SHANGHAI (Reuters) – Chinese milk powder makers, including Inner Mongolia Yili Industrial Group Co Ltd (600887.SS: QuoteProfileResearchStock Buzz) and China Mengniu Dairy Co Ltd (2319.HK: QuoteProfile,ResearchStock Buzz), are set to get 30 billion yuan ($4.90 billion) in official funds to support sector consolidation, media said. As well as Yili and Mengniu, the first group of firms to benefit would include Feihe International Inc (ADY.BE:QuoteProfileResearchStock Buzz), Heilongjiang Wondersun Dairy Co Ltd and Treasure of Plateau, the official China Business Journal said in its Saturday edition, citing an unidentified source. Authorities have said they want to consolidate the domestic milk powder sector to increase the ability of companies to compete with international rivals who dominate the lucrative premium end of China’s $12.4 billion infant formula market. Read more of this post

China Development Bank Pulls Back From Commercial Push; Bank Keeps Low Profile After Financing Some of Asia’s Biggest Deals

September 21, 2013, 10:27 p.m. ET

China Development Bank Pulls Back From Commercial Push

Bank Keeps Low Profile After Financing Some of Asia’s Biggest Deals

PRUDENCE HO

HONG KONG—China Development Bank Corp, the government-owned policy bank, made waves last year lending billions of dollars to private companies ranging from Alibaba Group Holding Ltd. to Hong Kong Exchanges & Clearing Ltd. 0388.HK +0.69% But after a high profile blowup in January when it tried to fund the sale of a stake in insurer Ping An Insurance 601318.SH -0.24% (Group) Co. of China, the bank has been noticeably absent from big deals this year. If this year is any indication, CDB’s move into going commercial, along the way financing some of Asia’s biggest deals, is over. Last year, investment bankers around the region said they often lost out to CDB, which could either afford to charge lower interest rates or could lend a huge amount of money. This year, CDB has kept its profile low. Read more of this post

Farid: A guide to investing in developing economies around the world

http://www.paydayangels.co.uk/guide-investing-developing-economies-around-world/

A GUIDE TO INVESTING IN DEVELOPING ECONOMIES AROUND THE WORLD

Author: Muhammad Farid, Published: September 16, 2013

Ever since the financial crisis, developed economies have failed to recover as they would have liked to. Investors are reluctant to invest, consumers are wary of spending and macroeconomic indicators have not been very encouraging. In such times, an investor needs to be proactive rather than reactive, and find new places to invest in order to get enough returns to cover himself against financial fluctuations. This sounds like a good idea but it is very difficult to keep finding new territories to make good, high-returning investments. It may seem difficult, but it is certainly not impossible. All it needs is a bit of researching – finding out trends – and using common sense. Before the financial crisis hit the world, the developed economies were booming; investors were investing, consumers spending and economies growing. But after the crisis, the developed economies were no longer investors’ ‘safe havens’ that they once used to be. Investors needed to switch to better places.

farids-graph-1 Read more of this post

15 Things Inspiring Leaders Do Differently

15 Things Inspiring Leaders Do Differently

LEE COLANINC. 14 MINUTES AGO 19

Over the past fourteen years, I have worked, coached, trained and studied well over 20,000 leaders. In that time, there are some common practices that I’ve observed from inspiring leaders at any level in any size of organization. Think of this as a to-do list if you aspire to inspire.

Inspiring leaders…

Install a rigorous selection process to ensure they hire only the best and brightest.

Set a clear and compelling vision.

Collaborate with their team to define a plan for realizing that vision.

Keep the plan visible.

Keep score along the way to keep the team energized and accountable.

Look for people doing something right and recognize it.

Eliminate barriers to getting work done.

Address even minor performance issues with proactive coaching.

Listen more than they talk.

Uncompromisingly uphold the team’s values by using them to make big and little decisions.

Give credit for and reward successes.

Get to know the person behind the employee.

Care about their people as much as their people’s performance.

Focus on the organization’s purpose as much as (if not more) than profits.

Consistently and frequently communicate even when they is apparently no news. Read more of this post

The economics of equity research: The old model of stockmarket research is changing

The economics of equity research: The old model of stockmarket research is changing

Sep 21st 2013 |From the print edition

EQUITY research is meant to benefit both providers and recipients. It ought to help investors to allocate money more profitably. And the banks that give their clients free access to research hope that it will help them generate revenues from equity trading. But neither party is much satisfied by the conventional model. Start with the banks. A fall in trading revenues makes the economics of providing research less attractive. Between 2009 and 2013, total equity-trading commissions paid to brokers fell from $13.9 billion to $9.3 billion in America, and from €4.2 billion ($5.6 billion) to €3 billion in Europe, according to Greenwich Associates, a consultancy. The rise of passive investing and the spread of algorithmic trading have both reduced margins and dampened demand for research produced by and for humans. Read more of this post

‘Fee-Only’ Financial Advisers Who Don’t Charge Fees Alone

Sep 20, 2013

THE INTELLIGENT INVESTOR

‘Fee-Only’ Financial Advisers Who Don’t Charge Fees Alone

JASON ZWEIG

BF-AF823A_INVES_G_20130920161621

You might think a “fee only” financial adviser will never charge you commissions or other sales charges that could induce him to favor selling you something that is better for him than for you. Think again. Consider the coveted “certified financial planner” designation, which requires an adviser to complete a thorough course of study and pass a rigorous exam. Investors can search for one on LetsMakeAPlan.org, a website run by the CFP Board, which administers the program. Over the past week, my colleague Rob Barry analyzed the descriptions of 33,949 certified financial planners who were then listed in CFP.net’s public-search area. He found that 8,122, or 24%, described their compensation method as “fee only.” A mere 3% called themselves “commission only,” while 59% said they earn “commission and fee”; 14% didn’t specify how they are paid. Read more of this post

Fitch: China’s credit is not just big, it’s growing way too fast

Fitch: China’s credit is not just big, it’s growing way too fast

Sep 18, 2013 11:08am by Rob Minto

Some more fuel to the China-credit-is-out-of-control fire. Fitch Ratings (which, don’t forget, downgraded China’s debt rating last year) has published a report which argues that “talk of deleveraging, or contracting credit, is misplaced” and warns that “no financial system can sustain rising leverage indefinitely”. And Fitch has a few scary numbers and charts to show the extent of the problem. The report starts by looking at how debt is still climbing: Leverage continues to rise rapidly in China’s economy. The rolling 12- month sum of net new credit hit CNY 21trn in August 2013, based on Fitch Ratings’ measure of broad credit (2012: CNY19trn), marking the fifth year that net new credit will exceed a third of GDP. Certain forms of credit are shrinking, but overall extension remains high, a substantial portion of which is appearing in channels excluded from official data. Talk of deleveraging, or contracting credit, is misplaced, with the stock on pace to rise 20% in 2013. This chart illustrates that growth:

Fitch-China-TSF-Sep-2013 Read more of this post

China Inc’s balance sheet is flashing danger signals

China Inc’s balance sheet is flashing danger signals

Friday, 20 September, 2013, 12:00am

Tom Holland

Mainland’s recent lending boom has pushed corporate leverage into a potentially perilous state in terms of ratio of operating cash flow to debt

be50c1e74187c7bfdf39a6b20437fac0

If you want to know whether a recession is coming, don’t look at the top-down macroeconomic numbers like gross domestic product. Instead, focus on the bottom-up analysis of consumer, corporate and government balance sheets. They make a far more reliable warning system. In emerging Asia, where consumer debt is generally modest and government finances relatively sound, it is corporate balance sheets that we should be looking at. Read more of this post

IMAX CEO Richard Gelfond’s Empire

September 20, 2013, 10:59 a.m. ET

EMPIRE BUILDER

IMAX CEO Richard Gelfond’s Empire

His past might not sound like the making of a movie-industry giant, but Richard Gelfond is now the CEO of IMAX, a $1.7 billion empire with a presence in more than 700 theaters

RACHEL LOUISE ENSIGN

OB-YT078_money0_DV_20130901120708

Shoeshine boy. A young sports-paper boss. And a 99-cent dry-cleaner owner. His past might not sound like the making of a movie-industry giant, but Richard Gelfond is now the CEO of IMAX, a $1.7 billion empire with a presence in more than 700 theaters—and part of the movie-going experience for millions of 3D-glasses-wearing film buffs. Now 58 and close with marquee Hollywood figures like director Christopher Nolan, he tells us he made it big because he “was always obsessed by business.”

1. 1963: Launches a shoe-shining business at the age of 8 in a barbershop in his Long Island, N.Y., hometown, using his dad’s shoeshine kit.

2. 1971: Co-founds New York Ball, a newspaper focused on local sports, as a teen. Publication boasts a circulation of 25,000. Uses the experience to land a job at Newsday in college.

3. 1978: As a law student at Northwestern University, he gets an option on a million pounds of coal with a professor in a bid to make money on a local coal-worker strike crimping supply.

4. 1980s: Works at New York law firm Cleary Gottlieb Steen & Hamilton in mergers and acquisitions. Leaves to start a 99-cent dry-cleaning chain, which becomes “a logistical nightmare.”

5. 1988: Joins financial-services firm Drexel Burnham Lambert, where he meets future business partner Brad Wechsler.

6. 1993: Gelfond and Wechsler win a bid on IMAX with an offer of around $100 million. “Fortunately for me, I didn’t understand all of the obstacles,” says Gelfond.

7. 1998: Becomes chair of Stony Brook University’s philanthropic arm. Later donates $1 million so his alma mater can research mercury poisoning after being stricken by the illness himself.

8. 2000: IMAX struggles as many movie-theater chains file for bankruptcy. Its co-owners consider a sale but don’t pursue one. “We had to downsize IMAX dramatically to save it.”

9. 2002: Opens first IMAX venue in China. In a key move, IMAX films later transition from film to digital, reducing the cost of shipping a film from around $30,000 to $150 per theater.

10. 2012: Nolan’s Batman film, “The Dark Knight Rises,” is released with more than one hour of IMAX-shot footage, the most ever for a Hollywood feature. It rakes in about $110 million in IMAX theaters.

Sadness is an emotion we usually try to avoid. So why do we choose to listen to sad music? Aristotle famously suggested the idea of catharsis: that by overwhelming us with an undesirable emotion, music (or drama) somehow purges us of it

September 20, 2013

Why We Like Sad Music

By AI KAWAKAMI

SADNESS is an emotion we usually try to avoid. So why do we choose to listen to sad music? Musicologists and philosophers have wondered about this. Sad music can induce intense emotions, yet the type of sadness evoked by music also seems pleasing in its own way. Why? Aristotle famously suggested the idea of catharsis: that by overwhelming us with an undesirable emotion, music (or drama) somehow purges us of it. But what if, despite their apparent similarity, sadness in the realm of artistic appreciation is not the same thing as sadness in everyday life? Read more of this post

Recognize Intrapreneurs Before They Leave

Recognize Intrapreneurs Before They Leave

by Vijay Govindarajan and Jatin Desai  |   10:00 AM September 20, 2013

Any CEO can tell you that finding ideas is not the always the problem. The real issue is selecting and spreading the best ideas, testing quickly, and executing flawlessly. An “innovation engine” is an organization’s capability to think and invest in long-term opportunities along with the competence to drive continuous innovations for top-line growth each year. To build your innovation engine, your firm must excel at operationalizing ideas from your energized people who are willing to do everything they can to fight off internal resistance without creating chaos. This is your bench of corporate innovators: your intrapreneurs. You already have natural intrapreneurs in your company. Some you know about, but most are hiding. These individuals are not always your top talent or the obvious rebels or mavericks. But theyare unique and certainly the opposite of “organization men.” When you find them and support them correctly, and magic will occur. Read more of this post

Why Swedish People Are So Quiet

Why Swedish People Are So Quiet

LOLA AKINMADE AKERSTRÖMSLATE SEP. 20, 2013, 2:03 PM 5,287 5

Each Friday, Roads & Kingdoms and Slate publish a new dispatch from around the globe. For more foreign correspondence mixed with food, war, travel, and photography, visit their online magazine or follow @roadskingdoms on Twitter.

STOCKHOLM, Sweden—Eight of us—six Swedes, one Finn, and me, the Nigerian-American—are gathered in a modest city-center studio apartment in Stockholm’s eclectic Södermalm district. Next to our dinner table is a small window with a gorgeous view of Stockholm’s history-rich old town, Gamla stan, with its narrow red clay, melon, and burnt-sienna-colored structures. The location alone makes this modest studio as coveted as a New York penthouse with direct views of Central Park. Read more of this post

The Best, Brightest, and Least Productive? In the US, 7.4% of total compensation of employees in 2012 went to people working in the finance and insurance industries; the share is even higher among the most educated and accomplished people, whose activities may be economically useless, if not harmful

The Best, Brightest, and Least Productive?

In the US, 7.4% of total compensation of employees in 2012 went to people working in the finance and insurance industries. Whether or not that percentage is too high, the real issue is that the share is even higher among the most educated and accomplished people, whose activities may be economically useless, if not harmful.

Robert J. Shiller

20 September 2013

NEW HAVEN – Are too many of our most talented people choosing careers in finance – and, more specifically, in trading, speculating, and other allegedly “unproductive” activities? In the United States, 7.4% of total compensation of employees in 2012 went to people working in the finance and insurance industries. Whether or not that percentage is too high, the real issue is that the share is even higher among the most educated and accomplished people, whose activities may be economically and socially useless, if not harmful.

Read more of this post

A Former Goldman Banker Walks His 8-Year-Old Through Her Very First Investment — And It’s Intense

A Former Goldman Banker Walks His 8-Year-Old Through Her Very First Investment — And It’s Intense

MICHAELBANKERS ANONYMOUS SEP. 20, 2013, 4:23 PM 5,508 5

As a father of two daughters, I know I’ll never forget certain special times: their birth, Day 1 of Kindergarten, baby’s first piano recital, menacing the punk who is picking her up to go to the prom, and the police report I’ll file when she quits college to run off with the lead singer of that Norse Death Metal Band.[1] Moments you never forget, like a first stock market investment. As an ex-banker with a daughter, however, other unforgettable milestones also stand out.  Like, for example, when the eldest first beats me at Monopoly, when she makes her first stock market investment, and when she learns how to program Excel to calculate discounted cash-flows.[2] Dear readers, that stock market investment moment has arrived, so I thought I would bring you along with us on this beautiful father-daughter bonding journey. Grab your spreadsheets, and your handkerchiefs. Read more of this post

Creating content that gets everyone talking

Updated: Saturday September 21, 2013 MYT 7:43:54 AM

The viral factor

MALA’S FEED BY MALATI SINIAH

Creating content that gets everyone talking.

“WHAT does the Fox say?” Two minutes into the video and I still don’t know if I should turn it off or keep on watching the grown man in a bird costume going “Cheep Cheep”. Similar to perhaps 90% of today’s Internet users, my decision to click on a video or article link depends on the frequency it appears on my Facebook feed. I do question this decision-making process sometimes, like two weeks ago when the Internet exploded with the music video by two Norwegian brothers called Ylvis. The video showed adults dressed in animal costumes dancing in the forest churping, quacking and mewing. The main question in the video centred around the question “What sound does a fox make?” Read more of this post

A Nation Built for Immigrants: Will the recent surge of newcomers tear the U.S. apart? Not if history is any guide: From the beginning, America was made to unite citizens, even those with deep differences,

September 20, 2013, 7:51 p.m. ET

A Nation Built for Immigrants

Will the recent surge of newcomers tear the U.S. apart? Not if history is any guide: From the beginning, America was made to unite citizens, even those with deep differences.

MICHAEL BARONE

In a single generation, between 1980 and 2007, more than 10 million people migrated, legally or illegally, from Mexico to the U.S. Today there are more than 12 million Mexican-born people in the U.S. and millions of American children who are their offspring—amounting to almost 10% of the nation’s population. That is exponentially larger than in 1970, when there were less than one million Mexican-born people in the country, or 1980, when there were two million. The Mexican migration, and the similarly large migration of others from the rest of Latin America, has in just one generation reshaped the nation. Hispanics have replaced blacks as the largest officially recognized minority group. Read more of this post

Singapore elites: “..class of people who do not understand the problems faced by ordinary Singaporeans, and are only interested to pursue their ‘elite’ interests”

Updated: Saturday September 21, 2013 MYT 8:28:50 AM

Singapore relooks elitist policy

BY SEAH CHIANG NEE

Recent measures show that the government is not aiming to eliminate, only to remake, elitism, which exists everywhere.

AS Lee Kuan Yew celebrated his 90th birthday last week, one of his legacies – an elitist leadership – was given a few hard jolts. Whether the founding leader had intentionally devised it or simply encouraged it through his scholars-as-leaders policy or eugenics theory, a form of elitist environment has taken a grip on Singapore. It created a new breed of highly-paid civil servants, some of whom became dominating and arrogant, who helped to govern a questioning middle-class population – not the best of combinations. A number of them are accused of having lost touch with the common folk because of their high salaries and lavish living. As a result, the class rift has worsened, aggravated by a widening gap between the rich and poor. It has also reduced support for the People’s Action Party (PAP). Read more of this post

Once an $18,000 Home on a Decaying Street, Now a $5 Million Gem

September 16, 2013

Once an $18,000 Home on a Decaying Street, Now a $5 Million Gem

By ELIZABETH A. HARRIS

APPRAISAL1-sub-articleLarge

Jennifer Houlton-Vinyl outside the brownstone on West 94th Street that her parents bought in 1960, when the block was seedy.

“Who plants flowers on this crummy street?” protested Carlos, the hero of a young adult novel called “The Street of the Flower Boxes,” which told of the rejuvenation of a trash-strewed, gang-infested block in Manhattan of the 1960s: West 94th Street between Central Park West and Columbus Avenue. Carlos was fiction, but the events in the book were based on the real-life experience of its author, Peggy Mann Houlton, who bought a brownstone on that street in 1960 with her husband, William Houlton. The couple paid $18,000 for their home and then spent decades meticulously restoring and nurturing the brownstone and the neighborhood. Until one day the house began returning the favor. Read more of this post

The Journey of ‘Taper’ From Old English to the Fed; The economic buzzword of the day is derived from a word meaning wax candle

September 20, 2013, 8:46 p.m. ET

The Journey of ‘Taper’ From Old English to the Fed

The economic buzzword of the day is derived from a word meaning wax candle.

BEN ZIMMER

This week, the word on every financial commentator’s lips was “taper.” For the past year, the Federal Reserve has been buying billions of dollars of bonds each month in its “quantitative easing” program to lower long-term interest rates. Many predicted that the Fed would announce on Wednesday that it would begin “tapering,” or easing up on the bond-buying stimulus. So intense was the speculation over the past few months that many observers started calling the looming announcement “Septaper.” But on Wednesday, Septaper never came. Rather than “tapering,” Fed Chairman Ben Bernanke announced that the bond-buying would continue at its current pace. “Octaper,” anyone? Read more of this post

China’s Fallen Mighty: A Timeline of Toppled Communist Party Leaders, 1976-2013

China’s Fallen Mighty

A Timeline of Toppled Communist Party Leaders, 1976-2013

OUYANG BIN, ZHANG MENGQI, DAVID M. BARREDA, YOUYOU ZHOU

09.19.13

chart_yearschart_Hua_Guofengchart_Hu_Yaobangchart_Zhao_Ziyangchart_years2chart_Wang_Dongxingchart_Hu_Qilichart_years3chart_Wu_Dechart_Chen_Xilianchart_Ji_Dengkuichart_Chen_Yongguichart_Chen_Xitongchart_Chen_Liangyuchart_Bo_Xilaichart_Legend (1)

Political infighting and purges have been hallmarks of the Chinese Communist Party since its earliest days but came to a peak during Mao Zedong’s Cultural Revolution, damaging the country and paralyzing the Party itself. When Mao died in 1976, it was agreed by Party survivors that the constant and ruthless upheaval must end. But the struggles continued, albeit at a slower pace and in a less radical fashion. The timeline below gathers the details of the toppling of the Party’s highest-level leaders from the time of Mao’s death to the trial, in August 2013, of Bo Xilai—the fallen Chongqing Party Secretary whose sentencing for corruption, bribery, and abuse of power is expected to be delivered on September 22.

Read more of this post

Indonesia and India, the two emerging markets hardest hit in recent weeks by falling currencies and other financial troubles, took opposite tracks as both countries struggled to balance growth with the threat of inflation

September 20, 2013

Amid Economic Stress, Differing Strategies Emerge

By KEITH BRADSHER and JOE COCHRANE

JAKARTA — Indonesia and India, the two emerging markets hardest hit in recent weeks by falling currencies and other financial troubles, took opposite tracks on Friday as both countries struggled to balance growth with the threat of inflation. In an interview here, the vice president of Indonesia characterized higher interest rates and a weakened currency as the “new normal.” Boediono, the country’s vice president, who uses only one name, said that Indonesia would face a tougher international financial environment in the coming months and should give greater emphasis to a stable currency, stable prices and a stable trade balance and not just pursue economic growth. Read more of this post

The American Dream, RIP? An economist asks provocative questions about the future of social mobility

The American Dream, RIP? An economist asks provocative questions about the future of social mobility

Sep 21st 2013 |From the print edition

20130921_USD000_0

COULD America survive the end of the American Dream? The idea is unthinkable, say political leaders of right and left. Yet it is predicted in “Average is Over”, a bracing new book by Tyler Cowen, an economist. Mr Cowen is no stranger to controversy. In 2011 he galvanised Washington with “The Great Stagnation”, in which he argued that America has used up the low-hanging fruit of free land, abundant labour and new technologies. His new book suggests that the disruptive effects of automation and ever-cheaper computer power have only just begun to be felt. Read more of this post

The world’s biggest firms: American private enterprise dominates the corporate premier league again, thanks to waning valuations of state-backed firms

The world’s biggest firms: American private enterprise dominates the corporate premier league again, thanks to waning valuations of state-backed firms

Sep 21st 2013 |From the print edition

20130921_FBD001_020130921_FBC416 20130921_FBC376 20130921_FBC417

BACK in September 2009 it seemed that America Inc was being crushed. Of the world’s ten largest quoted firms by market value, only three were American—Exxon Mobil, Microsoft and Walmart. The list was dominated by state-controlled giants such as PetroChina, China Mobile and ICBC, a Chinese bank. Petrobras, an oil-and-gas firm run by the Brazilian government, had just made it into the ninth slot. It all fitted an easy story. America was in decline after the subprime crisis. The private firm was being displaced by state capitalism. There was an inexorable shift in power to the emerging world. Read more of this post

Boom Time for Broadcast Stocks

SATURDAY, SEPTEMBER 21, 2013

Boom Time for Broadcast Stocks

By ALEXANDER EULE | MORE ARTICLES BY AUTHOR

Local broadcasters control valuable spectrum that could be leased to wireless operators. Why Sinclair and Nexstar could be worth as much as twice their current quotes.

BA-BC993C_TV_Pa_G_20130921010702

Something quaint is happening in TV land. Amid all the talk about new technologies for delivering video, it’s the local broadcasters—the companies that carry local news and sitcom reruns—that are stealing the show. Shares of Nexstar Broadcasting Group (ticker: NXST), an operator of 72 local TV stations, are up 254% in 2013. The surge bests even the torrid pace of Netflix (NFLX), the leading proxy for TV’s hyped future. Sinclair Broadcast Group (SBGI), with 149 stations, is the largest of the pure-play broadcasters; its shares are up 133%. Read more of this post

Cable Fights Netflix to Feed ‘Binge’ TV Viewers

Updated September 20, 2013, 8:09 p.m. ET

Cable Fights to Feed ‘Binge’ TV Viewers

Comcast, Verizon FiOS Vie With Netflix, Amazon for Rights to Show Complete Series

SHALINI RAMACHANDRAN And AMOL SHARMA

BF-AF836_BINGET_G_20130920182720

The battle for the binge TV viewer is on. Big pay-TV operators including Comcast Corp. CMCSA -0.02% and Verizon Communications Inc.’s FiOS are taking steps to vastly expand their on-demand TV offerings. In doing so, they are edging toward turf occupied by online players likeNetflix Inc., NFLX +2.73% creating a tug of war over where people turn when they want to “binge” on a full season’s worth of programming. Consumers are watching less programming as it airs on TV and increasingly seeking on-demand entertainment. Netflix and some other online players have largely popularized binge-viewing, and pay-TV companies want to keep pace. Comcast struck a deal to offer all episodes of some 21st Century Fox Inc. broadcast and cable shows on its on-demand service this season, people familiar with the matter say.

Read more of this post

Cracking the Mobile Advertising Code; Real-Time Exchange Poised to Help Advertisers Find Target Audience

September 20, 2013, 11:59 a.m. ET

Cracking the Mobile Advertising Code

Real-Time Exchange Poised to Help Advertisers Find Target Audience

JOHN JANNARONE

Madison Avenue has been slow to follow consumers onto mobile devices, but it’s about to get a helping hand. As advertisers try to track target audiences on smartphones and tablets, there has been a persistent problem: In many cases, app developers simply show all consumers the same images rather than attempt to match them with relevant ads. But this week, advertising-technology firms AppNexus and U.S.-listed Millennial MediaMM -0.26% launched a real-time exchange aimed at that problem. The exchange will compile information about a user such as their location and activity on an app, then let advertisers bid for an ad space—all in milliseconds. If effective, apps will show more relevant ads, such as a pair of skis for someone browsing a travel app for a holiday in the Alps. Read more of this post

Auto industry: Look no hands; Robotic cars offer untold advantages but they might not be enough to convince people to give up driving

Last updated: September 20, 2013 7:25 pm

Auto industry: Look no hands

By Henry Foy and Richard Waters

Robotic cars offer untold advantages but they might not be enough to convince people to give up driving

It is just after 11 o’clock on a warm July morning in Parma, Italy, and a silver Hyundai sedan is cruising the city’s ring road in light traffic. As the car turns towards the centre of the city, the two men in the front are in animated conversation. Neither has his hands on the wheel or is watching the road. The car slows to a stop as a pedestrian steps out into the road. The men in the car gesture to him to cross. He hesitates, bemused that the car brought itself to a stop. The man in the driving seat gets out, walks over to the pedestrian and moves him to the pavement. Then something amazing happens. The car accelerates off along the now clear road. The man previously in the driving seat stands on the pavement and watches the future drive by. Read more of this post

<span>%d</span> bloggers like this: