Greed and Hustle Have Become Virtues: While many of us believe in honest work, we also see that wealth is mostly acquired via hustles and scams, and so we relate to stories that validate this

Why We Like to Watch Rich People

INTRODUCTION

Several Academy Award contenders like “The Wolf of Wall Street” and “American Hustle” glorify white-collar criminals and scammers, and many reality TV shows embrace the wealthy, too. A new series, “#RichKids of Beverly Hills,” is the latest example of our enthusiasm for “ogling the filthy rich.” Why are we so obsessed with watching the antics of the 1 percent?

Greed and Hustle Have Become Virtues

Bruce E. Levine is a clinical psychologist who writes and speaks on how society, culture, politics and psychology intersect. His most recent book is “Get Up, Stand Up: Uniting Populists, Energizing the Defeated and Battling the Corporate Elite.”

UPDATED JANUARY 16, 2014, 8:48 PM

The lives of the outlandishly rich are so unreal and so bizarre for most of us that watching their self-indulgence, careless spending and decadence can be an escape from the unpleasant reality of our own constant money worries. Read more of this post

Forget annual reports. Go to the canteen for what makes a company tick

Forget annual reports. Go to the canteen for what makes a company tick

Jan 11th 2014 | From the print edition

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Leverage: The CEO’s Guide to Corporate Culture. By John Childress. Principia Associates; 353 pages; $24. Buy from Amazon.com

IN JULY 2012 the treasury committee of Britain’s House of Commons summoned the boss of Barclays, Bob Diamond, to face the music. Barclays had been caught taking part in an industry-wide conspiracy to fix Libor, a benchmark interest rate, and the members of parliament wanted to know what was going on. Why had friendly high-street banks been transformed into financial casinos? And why did scandals keep piling upon scandals despite outrage from the public and promises to mend their ways from banking CEOs? Much of the answer, according to both Mr Diamond and his interrogators, lay in a phrase that was used more than 50 times during the hearing: “corporate culture”. Read more of this post

This Is What Happens To Your Body When You Pull An All-Nighter

This Is What Happens To Your Body When You Pull An All-Nighter

LINETTE LOPEZ

JAN. 16, 2014, 10:52 AM 72,508 4

There’s been a lot of talk on Wall Street lately about the grueling hours that junior staff, interns, and analysts, have to work in order to get ahead. Bank of America, Goldman Sachs, and JP Morgan have all announced that they’ll start encouraging their young employees to take more time off. It’s an effort to improve their quality of life so they don’t jump ship for other companies in and out of the financial space once they’ve been trained. It could be hard to make this new policy stick, because on Wall Street, the all-nighter is almost a rite of passage. Read more of this post

The dark side: Founder’s blues; Are startups just for workaholics? Ask founders why they put up with the hardships, and they reply with predictable enthusiasm. But beneath this fervour there is often a world of uncertainty. In essence, a founder’s job is to create something out of nothing

The dark side: Founder’s blues; Are startups just for workaholic white male lumpen-preneurs?

Jan 18th 2014 | From the print edition

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A YEAR AGO Jody Sherman shot himself. His online shop, Ecomom, which sold eco-friendly and health products for children, was running out of cash. A few weeks later the business closed its virtual doors. A new owner relaunched it in June. Read more of this post

Chinese Use Mobile Apps to Move Savings Into Money-Market Funds

Chinese Use Mobile Apps to Move Savings Into Money-Market Funds

By Bloomberg News January 16, 2014

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Rebecca Ning can improve the yield on her savings by tapping her phone. Using Alipay, an Internet payment system, she pokes a silver icon on her screen to transfer money from her bank account in Beijing to a money-market mutual fund via a service called Yu’E Bao. She earned 430 yuan ($71) in interest on 30,000 yuan in a little less than three months last year. Had she left the money in her checking account earning 0.35 percent, her take would have been 26 yuan. “I put any spare cash I have into Yu’E Bao,” says Ning, 24, a graduate student in finance at Hong Kong Baptist University. “I’m basically losing money if I leave it as a bank deposit, as it’s depreciating in value every day.” Read more of this post

Why Top Graduates Still Want To Work 90-Hour Weeks On Wall Street

Why Top Graduates Still Want To Work 90-Hour Weeks On Wall Street

MAX NISEN

JAN. 16, 2014, 7:10 PM 3,657 4

A lot of people seem to think that Wall Street is losing its hold on top graduates.

The thinking, outlined in a recent article in The New York Times, is that the falling prestige of Wall Street means that banks are having to compete for talent with other industries, the perk- and stock-option-laden tech sector in particular. That banks are reevaluating their internship programs and curbing famously long weekend hours is cited as more evidence for the trend. Read more of this post

The art market: Fairly popular; The rapid growth of art fairs is changing the way galleries operate

The art market: Fairly popular; The rapid growth of art fairs is changing the way galleries operate

Jan 18th 2014 | From the print edition

SHORTLY after The Economist went to press, about 25,000 people were expected to turn up at the London Art Fair. Your correspondent visited just before, as 128 white booths were being filled with modern paintings and sculptures. Dealers clutched mobile phones to their ears or gathered in small groups. They seemed nervous—as well they might be. “I can earn a year’s living in one fair,” said one harried dealer while stringing up a set of lights. Read more of this post

Tales from an overworked City

January 16, 2014 4:44 pm

Tales from an overworked City

By Emma Jacobs

During an internship at Goldman Sachs, one undergraduate, who prefers not to be named, learnt a great deal about banking – and himself. “I know that I can work 15 to 20-hour days without collapsing,” he says, although he admits to nodding off in the toilet a couple of times. Such stamina “is a useful skill to have”, the student reflects. Read more of this post

Local Government Financing Platforms in China: A Fortune or Misfortune?

Local Government Financing Platforms in China: A Fortune or Misfortune?

Yinqiu Lu International Monetary Fund

Tao Sun 

International Monetary Fund (IMF)
December 2013
IMF Working Paper No. 13/243

Abstract: 
China’s rapid credit expansion in 2009–10 brought local government financing platforms (LGFPs) into the spotlight. This paper discusses their function, reasons behind their recent expansion, and risks they are posing to the financial sector, local governments, and sovereign balance sheet. This paper argues that LGFPs were a fortune for China in the past, but would turn out to be a misfortune if the causes of the rapid expansion of LGFPs are not addressed promptly. In this context, the paper proposes ways to avoid misfortune by: acknowledging and addressing the revenue and expenditure mismatches at the local government level; establishing a comprehensive framework to regulate and supervise local government budgets; ensuring the sustainability of the financial resources obtained from the sale of land use rights; and developing local government bond markets and promoting financial reforms.

JPMorgan Sees Asian Currencies Extending Rout on Economy

JPMorgan Sees Asian Currencies Extending Rout on Economy

Asian currencies are poised to extend declines amid concern an increase in borrowing costs in China and a weakening yen threaten economic growth in the region, JPMorgan Chase & Co. said. Read more of this post

Lui Becomes Asia’s Richest Person With Six Macau Casinos

5 December 2013

How sleep makes your mind more creative

Tom Stafford

It’s a tried and tested technique used by writers and poets, but can psychology explain why first moments after waking can be among our most imaginative?

It is 6.06am and I’m typing this in my pyjamas. I awoke at 6.04am, walked from the bedroom to the study, switched on my computer and got to work immediately. This is unusual behaviour for me. However, it’s a tried and tested technique for enhancing creativity, long used by writers, poets and others, including the inventor Benjamin Franklin. And psychology research appears to back this up, providing an explanation for why we might be at our most creative when our minds are still emerging from the realm of sleep. Read more of this post

Chinese shadow banks face major test after ICBC refused to bail out investors in a dud $500m issue. Chinese Stocks Tumble On Contagion Concerns From First Shadow-Banking Default

Last updated: January 16, 2014 6:45 pm

Chinese shadow banks face major test

By Josh Noble in Hong Kong, Jamil Anderlini in Beijing and Sam Fleming in London

China’s vast shadow banking sector is facing its biggest test after ICBC, the world’s biggest bank by assets whose branches sell many of these wealth products, refused to bail out investors in a dud $500m issue. Read more of this post

China rules out promotion for officials with family overseas

China rules out promotion for officials with family overseas

Friday, January 17, 2014 – 12:24

Reuters

BEIJING – Chinese officials whose spouses and children have emigrated will not be considered for promotion, state media reported, in the latest move to crack down on pervasive corruption. Read more of this post

How To Win Over Customers: Lessons From 8 Rock-Star Brands

How To Win Over Customers: Lessons From 8 Rock-Star Brands

ZIBA EXECUTIVE CREATIVE DIRECTOR PAUL O’CONNOR, WHO HAS WORKED WITH COMPANIES SUCH AS HEINZ, INTEL, AND PROCTOR & GAMBLE, LOOKS BACK AT SOME OF THE MOST INNOVATIVE BRANDS OF 2013, AND OFFERS A GLIMPSE OF WHAT BRANDS WILL NEED TO SUCCEED IN 2014.

The things that make us care about goods, services, and brands are shifting. It used to be that a successful brand conveyed authority and reliability (think General Motors or IBM); now it’s all about empathy. Technology used to attract us through specs and features; today it has to enable an experience. Even our perception of what makes a product valuable has shifted, to the point where a brand-new sound system or a dress like the one on the magazine cover is actually less desirable than something with a strong story attached. That can take many forms: a revived speaker from the ‘80s, a box of mystery items curated by a favorite brand, or an outfit chosen with the help of a trusted expert. It’s these stories–coupled with basic functionality that’s absolutely dialed in–that win people over in the long run. Here, we look at the innovation stories of eight key brands and reveal what, exactly, they got right in 2013–and what you can learn from them in 2014. Read more of this post

Home help: The government wants you to have a comfortable (and cheap) death

Home help: The government wants you to have a comfortable (and cheap) death

Jan 18th 2014 | From the print edition

DEATH comes to all, but some are more sure of its timing, and can make plans. Kate Granger, a 32-year-old doctor suffering from an incurable form of sarcoma, has “very strong ambitions” for her last hours. She plans to avoid hospital emergency departments and die at her parents’ house—music playing, candles glowing, family by her side. Read more of this post

5 Morning Rituals That Will Keep You Productive All Day

5 Morning Rituals That Will Keep You Productive All Day

JAMES REINHARTENTREPRENEUR
JAN. 15, 2014, 3:30 PM 129,078 16

Most of us work long hours: 40, 50 or even 60 hours each week. But chances are, given distractions like online entertainment, office snacking habits and ill-designed time management, we’re only churning out high-quality work a portion of each day. Read more of this post

Bankers and lawyers are on an unhealthy treadmill; While long hours are not worth the effort, those able to effect change do not care

January 15, 2014 6:56 pm

Bankers and lawyers are on an unhealthy treadmill

By John Gapper

While long hours are not worth the effort, those able to effect change do not care

For years, getting a job at a Wall Street bank, a Magic Circle law firm or a blue-chip management consultancy was a route to a very rewarding career in return for an awful lot of work. Lately, the bargain has lost some of its appeal to the best and the brightest. Read more of this post

Believe in your dream and choose investing partners who share your vision

Updated: Tuesday January 14, 2014 MYT 7:54:46 AM

Believe in your dream and choose investing partners who share your vision

BY JEANISHA WAN

After I wrote the article about not giving up (Star MetroBiz, Oct 22, 2013), a number of people wrote to me echoing similar sentiments and suggested meeting up to continue to spur and inspire each other in our journey of entrepreneurship. And so we did. A small group of us met up several weeks ago and I was encouraged by their stories. Read more of this post

Australian scientists microchip bees to map movements, halt diseases

Australian scientists microchip bees to map movements, halt diseases

Wed, Jan 15 2014

By Thuy Ong

SYDNEY (Reuters) – Australian scientists are gluing tiny sensors onto thousands of honey bees to track their movements in a trial aimed at halting the spread of diseases that have wiped out populations in the northern hemisphere. Read more of this post

Anheuser-Busch InBev: Here’s to payday; Sell assets, win bonuses. Buy them back, keep bonuses. Nice work

Anheuser-Busch InBev: Here’s to payday; Sell assets, win bonuses. Buy them back, keep bonuses. Nice work

Jan 18th 2014 | From the print edition

PAYING $4 billion for a business you sold for $1.8 billion five years ago is not much of a way to make money. But Anheuser-Busch InBev (ABI), a giant brewer, may be about to do just that. It is reported to be negotiating to buy Oriental Brewery of South Korea from its private-equity owners, including KKR, to which it had sold the firm in 2009. The sale helped ABI hit financial targets which unlocked $2.5 billion of bonuses for its executives, including $289m for its boss, Carlos Brito. Although the sale may now be reversed, it appears that the bonuses will not. Read more of this post

Corporate culture: Learning the lingo; Forget annual reports. Go to the canteen for what makes a company tick

Corporate culture: Learning the lingo; Forget annual reports. Go to the canteen for what makes a company tick

Jan 11th 2014 | From the print edition

Leverage: The CEO’s Guide to Corporate Culture. By John Childress. Principia Associates; 353 pages; $24. Buy from Amazon.com

IN JULY 2012 the treasury committee of Britain’s House of Commons summoned the boss of Barclays, Bob Diamond, to face the music. Barclays had been caught taking part in an industry-wide conspiracy to fix Libor, a benchmark interest rate, and the members of parliament wanted to know what was going on. Why had friendly high-street banks been transformed into financial casinos? And why did scandals keep piling upon scandals despite outrage from the public and promises to mend their ways from banking CEOs? Much of the answer, according to both Mr Diamond and his interrogators, lay in a phrase that was used more than 50 times during the hearing: “corporate culture”. Read more of this post

Business communities: All together now; What entrepreneurial ecosystems need to flourish

Business communities: All together now; What entrepreneurial ecosystems need to flourish

Jan 18th 2014 | From the print edition

BLOCK 71 HAS long been slated for demolition. A look at the tenant list for the seven-storey industrial building on Singapore’s Ayer Rajah Crescent helps explain why it is still standing: nearly 100 startups live there officially and perhaps as many again informally. Their often strange monikers are interspersed with the more conventional names of venture-capital firms, accelerators and the like. Read more of this post

Build it and they may come: Management schools are on a building spree. That is a risk for some

Build it and they may come: Management schools are on a building spree. That is a risk for some

Jan 18th 2014 | From the print edition

BUSINESS-SCHOOL students are a pampered bunch. Scholars sipping a glass of red in the posh rooftop bar of Oxford’s Saïd Business School could be forgiven for thinking they had wandered into the nearby Randolph Hotel by mistake. Stanford students can view an impressive modern-art collection housed in its own museum. Harvard Business School MBAs can book a masseuse to relieve the stress of a hard day slaving over case studies. Read more of this post

Cryptography: Unsafe and sound; Ciphers can now be broken by listening to the computers that use them

Cryptography: Unsafe and sound; Ciphers can now be broken by listening to the computers that use them

Jan 18th 2014 | From the print edition

EAVESDROPPING, be it simply sticking an ear against a door or listening to and analysing the noises made by tapping different keys on a keyboard, is a stock-in-trade of spying. Listening to a computer itself, though, as it hums away doing its calculations, is a new idea. But it is one whose time has come, according to Adi Shamir, of the Weizmann Institute, in Israel, and his colleagues. And Dr Shamir should know. He donated the initial letter of his surname to the acronym “RSA”, one of the most commonly used forms of encryption. Acoustic cryptanalysis, as the new method is known, threatens RSA’s security. Read more of this post

Come home, son! Guangzhou mom buys front page of Melbourne paper

Come home, son! Guangzhou mom buys front page of Melbourne paper

Staff Reporter 2014-01-17

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A Chinese mother bought the entire front page of the Chinese Melbourne Daily to urge her son to come home from Australia for the upcoming Lunar New Year, promising that she will not pressure him to get married this time. “(I) have called you several times and you did not take my calls. Maybe the only way to get my message to you is here. Mom and Dad will not pressure you to get married ever again. Please come back home for New Year! Love, Mom,” read the front page ad in the Chinese-language newspaper on Jan. 14. L)

Read more of this post

Business strategy and technology: The Big Bang Theory; How to identify threats—and then see them off promptly

Business strategy and technology: The Big Bang Theory; How to identify threats—and then see them off promptly

Jan 11th 2014 | From the print edition; Ya Kun ko[o?

Big Bang Disruption: Strategy in the Age of Devastating Innovation. By Larry Downes and Paul Nunes. Portfolio; 278 pages; $29.95 and £14.99. Buy fromAmazon.comAmazon.co.uk

FOR years Sleep HealthCenters, an American company that ran clinics at which people with sleep disorders could stay overnight to have their ailments diagnosed, grew nicely and steadily. But in 2012 its dream business turned sour as folk began using cheap, wearable devices that let experts monitor them while they snoozed in the comfort of their homes. Sleep HealthCenters closed some of its facilities as its revenue fell, but its fortunes faded rapidly and the following year it threw in the towel. Read more of this post

New year, new tricks: scams to steer clear of

New year, new tricks: scams to steer clear of

January 17, 2014 – 1:19PM

The new year has brought fresh warnings for consumers to be on the lookout for fraudsters who are trying various ways to separate us from our money. Many scams are old tricks – but updated with new twists or technology. Other cons have emerged in response to better detection and policing. Financial Fraud Action UK says fraudsters are targeting consumers directly through “deception” crimes – where they try to dupe people into parting with information – because the security features on payment cards have improved. The frauds listed here have been recorded in the UK – but criminals are ingenious and creative, so don’t think they won’t try them in Australia. Read on – and beware. Read more of this post

Measuring management: It is no longer just a plausible theory that good management boosts productivity

Measuring management: It is no longer just a plausible theory that good management boosts productivity

Jan 18th 2014 | From the print edition

MANAGEMENT is one of the most successful industries of the past century. In 1914 it was a mere infant. The Harvard Business School (HBS) was just six years old. Management literature consisted of Frederick Taylor’s “The Principles of Scientific Management” (1911) and a few other scraps. Today it is a loud-mouthed adult. A quarter of American graduate students study business. Some of the world’s most profitable businesses peddle the modern equivalent of Taylor’s “Principles”.

Read more of this post

How to build companies from a kit

Building companies: Rocket machine; How to build companies from a kit

Jan 18th 2014 | From the print edition

WHY BOTHER WITH accelerators? Why not just hire a bunch of clever youngsters, provide them with the necessary cash, support and technology, and tell them to pursue a business idea with a proven success record? That should make it possible to start a new company in weeks, not months or years. Read more of this post

Tales from an overworked City

January 16, 2014 4:44 pm

Tales from an overworked City

By Emma Jacobs

During an internship at Goldman Sachs, one undergraduate, who prefers not to be named, learnt a great deal about banking – and himself. “I know that I can work 15 to 20-hour days without collapsing,” he says, although he admits to nodding off in the toilet a couple of times. Such stamina “is a useful skill to have”, the student reflects. Read more of this post

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