VW chief warns carmakers must prevent the connected vehicle of the future turning into a “data monster” that aids snooping on customers

March 10, 2014 8:30 am

VW chief urges carmakers to fight the rise of the ‘data monster’

By Chris Bryant in Frankfurt

Carmakers must prevent the connected vehicle of the future turning into a “data monster” that aids snooping on customers, the chief executive of Volkswagen has warned.  Read more of this post

Wison Engineering Says Chinese Police Arrested Billionaire Chairman

Wison Engineering Says Chinese Police Arrested Chairman

Chinese Company Says Hua Bangsong Arrested on Bribery Allegations

WAYNE MA

Updated March 10, 2014 3:37 a.m. ET

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Hua Bangsong, founder and chairman of Wison Engineering Services at a news conference in Hong Kong in this Sept. 15, 2012, file photo. Reuters

BEIJING—Chinese police have arrested the founder and chairman of Chinese oil-engineering provider Wison Engineering Services Co. on allegations of bribery, the company said in a statement to the Hong Kong Stock Exchange. Read more of this post

China’s dangerous need for speed; Growth target risks being prelude to another credit binge

March 9, 2014 5:37 pm

China’s dangerous need for speed

Growth target risks being prelude to another credit binge

Since taking power last year, the new leadership in Beijing has insisted that it will place less emphasis on how fast China expands, and put a greater focus on the quality of its economic growth. Xi Jinping, president, and Li Keqiang, premier, have both stressed that China must reduce its addiction to cheap credit, lower its reliance on business investment and pay more attention to the quality of life of its citizens, for example by taking concrete steps to reduce pollution levels. Read more of this post

The Future of the Mind: The Scientific Quest to Understand, Enhance, and Empower the Mind

The Future of the Mind: The Scientific Quest to Understand, Enhance, and Empower the Mind [Hardcover]

Michio Kaku (Author)

Book Description

Release date: February 25, 2014 | ISBN-10: 038553082X | ISBN-13: 978-0385530828

NOW A #1 NEW YORK TIMES BESTSELLER
“Compelling….Kaku thinks with great breadth, and the vistas he presents us are worth the trip”
—The New York Times Book Review Read more of this post

The Dalai Lama’s Capitalist Contradictions: The longtime Marxist doesn’t seem to realize markets are the best way to ‘take care of others.’

The Dalai Lama’s Capitalist Contradictions

The longtime Marxist doesn’t seem to realize markets are the best way to ‘take care of others.’

MOLLIE ZIEGLER HEMINGWAY

March 6, 2014 7:14 p.m. ET

The Dalai Lama is wrapping up more than two weeks in the U.S. with a speech Friday at the National Cathedral in Washington. The spiritual leader of the Tibetan people has had a packed agenda, including leading the Senate in prayer, a meeting with President Obama at the White House, and a speech for a Los Angeles crowd that included newly minted Academy Award winner Lupita Nyong’o. But meeting with heads of state is nothing new for the Buddhist leader. Meeting with free-market capitalists is another story. Read more of this post

Britain needs a strategy to make the best use of its shrinking military capabilities. It isn’t getting one

Britain needs a strategy to make the best use of its shrinking military capabilities. It isn’t getting one

Mar 8th 2014 | From the print edition

WHAT kind of armed forces does Britain need? In a dangerous and unpredictable world, how should the country spend its shrinking defence budget? Worryingly, it has put off answering these questions—and time for thinking is short. The next 18 months could determine whether the country remains a global military power or settles for inexorable military decline and growing irrelevance to its French and American allies. Read more of this post

Gambling machines are controversial-and increasingly unpopular

Gambling machines are controversial—and increasingly unpopular

Mar 8th 2014 | From the print edition

BOOKMAKERS are an easy target for politicians seeking a quick win. On March 2nd Maria Miller, the culture secretary, promised tougher regulation of high-stakes gaming machines, which allow betting-shop punters to wager up to £300 ($500) per minute. Her proposed rules, which include forcing customers to set a cap on the amount they will spend each time they start a gaming session, did not much impress many Labour bigwigs, who would prefer to see big-money machines banned. But, racing to dominate an increasingly heated debate, the three main parties have long left the facts behind. Read more of this post

Nuclear power in Japan: Start ’em up; The government and voters are putting economics before atoms, opening the way for Japan to restart its nuclear power plants

Nuclear power in Japan: Start ’em up; The government and voters are putting economics before atoms, opening the way for Japan to restart its nuclear power plants

Mar 8th 2014 | TOKYO | From the print edition

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JUST three years on from the catastrophic meltdown in March 2011 of three reactors at the Fukushima Dai-ichi plant, Japan is taking steps to revive its nuclear dream. A rush to restart some of the country’s 48 mothballed commercial nuclear reactors is well under way. Hundreds of technicians from utility firms are camped out in downmarket Tokyo hotels, working at the beck and call of the Nuclear Regulation Authority (NRA), the country’s new nuclear watchdog, in hopes of meeting new safety requirements. On February 25th the government published a draft energy plan which put nuclear power at the core. It is a sharp reversal of the previous energy strategy, devised by a former government in 2012, eventually to eliminate nuclear power altogether. Read more of this post

The smog of war: China’s prime minister opens parliament by declaring pollution the enemy

The smog of war: China’s prime minister opens parliament by declaring pollution the enemy

Mar 8th 2014 | BEIJING | From the print edition

THE annual session of China’s rubber-stamp parliament, the National People’s Congress, is rarely remarkable for the rhetorical flourishes of the leaders who address it. But at the opening on March 5th of this year’s nine-day meeting the prime minister, Li Keqiang, in his maiden speech, deviated at least a little from the usual stodgy fare. China, he said, must “declare war” on pollution. The blanket of smog that often shrouds much of the country, he said, was nature’s “red light”, warning about the risks of “blind development”. Growing public furore about pollution has at last goaded China’s leaders into admitting the urgency of the problem. Read more of this post

String Theory Genius Explains The Coming Breakthroughs That Will Change Life As We Know It; Keep the flame of curiosity and wonderment alive. That is the well from which we scientists draw our nourishment and energy

String Theory Genius Explains The Coming Breakthroughs That Will Change Life As We Know It

GUS LUBIN SCIENCE  MAR. 10, 2014, 4:36 AM

String field theory co-founder Michio Kaku did not even try to explain his controversial yet undeniably brilliant cosmological theory of everything during his interview on Reddit, beyond this analogy: Read more of this post

LEGENDARY VC Ben Horowitz: Here’s The Number One Thing I look For In An Entrepreneur: The willingness to think for yourself

LEGENDARY VC: Here’s The Number One Thing I look For In An Entrepreneur

STEVE KOVACH TECH  MAR. 10, 2014, 6:12 AM

AUSTIN, TEX — Ben Horowitz, partner at legendary VC firm Andreessen Horowitz, spoke at the South By Southwest Interactive conference Sunday in a fireside chat with rap star Nas to go over some entrepreneurship advice in his new book, “The Hard Thing About Hard Things.” Read more of this post

Reckitt Benckiser to Buy K-Y Brand from J&J

Reckitt Benckiser to Buy K-Y Brand

K-Y’s 2013 Sales Exceeded $100 Million

ED BALLARD

March 10, 2014 5:04 a.m. ET

LONDON—U.K. consumer-goods company Reckitt Benckiser Group RB.LN -0.35% PLC said Monday that it bought the K-Y brand of intimate lubricants from Johnson & JohnsonJNJ +0.46% Read more of this post

Infosys co-founder enters India politics with a bang as a candidate for the governing Congress party in Bangalore in the coming general election, a rare boost for a party whose popularity has collapsed after a decade in power

March 9, 2014 4:11 pm

Infosys co-founder enters India politics with a bang

By Victor Mallet in New Delhi

Nandan Nilekani, one of India’s best-known businessmen, will stand as a candidate for the governing Congress party in Bangalore in the coming general election, a rare boost for a party whose popularity has collapsed after a decade in power. Read more of this post

Currency Zone Defies Mainstream Economics Profession With Continued Controversial Policies

Why Euro-Zone Chiefs Buck the Trend

Currency Zone Defies Mainstream Economics Profession With Continued Controversial Policies

SIMON NIXON 

March 9, 2014 4:58 p.m. ET

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The euro zone is used to being criticized by the mainstream economics profession.

Since the start of its debt crisis, the currency union has been attacked for imposing too much fiscal austerity, for failing to create jointly guaranteed euro-zone bonds and for refusing 
to directly recapitalize weak banks from common euro-zone funds. Read more of this post

Economists’ obsession over GDP gives the concept an unnecessary air of mystification

March 9, 2014 5:37 pm

‘GDP’, by Diane Coyle

Review by Samuel Brittan

Economists’ obsession over gross domestic product gives the concept an unnecessary air of mystification

GDP: A Brief but Affectionate History, by Diane Coyle, Princeton University Press, RRP$19.95/£13.95

What does an economist do? Ask this question in a normal gathering and one of the least offensive responses is that they obsess over gross domestic product. Yet the mere mention of GDP is enough to stir up a hornet’s nest of misunderstandings. To some it is a supreme goal of national policy; to others an obsession of a degenerate culture. In fact it is neither. Read more of this post

Opting Out of Good Governance

Opting Out of Good Governance

C. Fritz Foley, Paul Goldsmith-Pinkham, Jonathan Greenstein, Eric Zwick

NBER Working Paper No. 19953
Issued in March 2014
Cross-listing on a U.S. exchange does not bond foreign firms to follow the corporate governance rules of that exchange. Hand-collected data show that 80% of cross-listed firms opt out of at least one exchange governance rule, instead committing to observe the rules of their home country. Relative to firms that comply, firms that opt out have weaker governance practices in that they have a smaller share of independent directors. The decision to opt out reflects the relative costs and benefits of doing so. Cross-listed firms opt out more when coming from countries with weak corporate governance rules, but if firms based in such countries are growing and have a need for external finance, they are more likely to comply. Finally, opting out affects the value of cash holdings. For cross-listed firms based in countries with weak governance rules, a dollar of cash held inside the firm is worth $1.52 if the firm fully complies with U.S. exchange rules but just $0.32 if it is non-compliant.

Drought, funding hurting Australia’s ‘food bowl to Asia’ dream

Drought, funding hurting Australia’s ‘food bowl to Asia’ dream

March 10, 2014 – 8:14AM

Australia’s lofty ambitions to become a “food bowl” for a rapidly growing middle-class in Asia are in danger of falling at the farm gate due to the country’s harsh, drought-prone climate and a lack of investment in agricultural innovation. Read more of this post

Chiquita Brands to Merge With Ireland’s Fyffes to become the world’s largest banana company, with sales of more than 160 million boxes annually

Chiquita Brands to Merge With Ireland’s Fyffes

Fruit Companies Agree to All-Stock Deal Valued Around $1.1 Billion

ED BALLARD

March 10, 2014 4:33 a.m. ET

Fruit companies Fyffes

FFY.DB +23.60% PLC and Chiquita Brands International Inc.CQB -0.18% said Monday they have agreed to combine in an all-stock transaction valued at about $1.07 billion. Read more of this post

Car Makers Try to Make Bigger Profits on Smallest Models; Toyota, a brand known in most markets for solid, reliable cars, is taking a crack at humor in its campaign for the Aygo. The catchphrase: “Go fun yourself.”

Car Makers Try to Make Bigger Profits on Smallest Models

They Share Some Costs, Offer Customized Features

GILLES CASTONGUAY And DAVID PEARSON

Updated March 7, 2014 2:25 p.m. ET

Mini cars, such as the Renault Twingo, above, and the Toyota Aygo, were being showcased at the Geneva auto show the past week. The car makers are rolling out new versions but still trying to figure out how to make money on these vehicles, which often sell for less than $14,000. ITAR-TASS/Zuma Press Read more of this post

“When Does The Party End?”” – Goldman Finds Revenue Multiples Have Never Been Higher; the median company’s EV/sales ratio is now the highest in 35 years, surpassing even the dot com bubble

“When Does The Party End?”” – Goldman Finds Revenue Multiples Have Never Been Higher

Tyler Durden on 03/08/2014 13:23 -0400

With stocks rising to record high after record high, and with even Goldman’s clients now asking “When does the party end?” as noted by Goldman’s David Kostin overnight, the answer is simple: nothing has changed. Specifically, between the Fed’s ongoing monetization of tens of billions monthly in bonds, the missing piece to the equation is also a known one – corporate buybacks. In fact as Goldman admits, “February was the busiest month in our buyback desk’s history.” (which surely is Chinese walled off from Goldman’s prop trading desk). Why? Because as Reuters reported previously, this was the second-busiest week ever recorded for high-grade bond issuance. And with the use of proceeds certainly not going to capex, companies continue to buyback their shares in record amounts to mask the decline in actual cash earnings by lowering the amount of shares outstanding and thus keeping EPS rising or flat. Read more of this post

Tencent to buy 15 pct stake in JD.com in challenge to Alibaba

Tencent to buy 15 pct stake in JD.com in challenge to Alibaba

9:58pm EDT

* Tencent buys 15 pct stake in e-commerce firm JD.com for $215 mln

* Plans to buy additional 5 pct stake on post-IPO basis

* Investment will challenge China’s No. 1 e-commerce firm Alibaba

JD.com e-commerce business to be integrated with Tencent’s WeChat

By Paul Carsten

BEIJING, March 10 (Reuters) – Tencent Holdings Ltd will buy a 15 percent stake in e-commerce firm JD.com for $214.7 million, as the two seek to challenge Alibaba Group Holding’s dominant position in online shopping in China. Read more of this post

Design for a New College: Arizona State’s President Says It’s Time to Rethink Tenure and Other Academic Traditions

Design for a New College

Arizona State’s President Says It’s Time to Rethink Tenure and Other Academic Traditions

DOUGLAS BELKIN

March 9, 2014 7:47 p.m. ET

‘No matter what ideas you come up with in academic institutions, there will be people opposed to it.’Arizona State University Read more of this post

At Popeyes, Recipe for a Turnaround: CEO Cheryl Bachelder Says Rebuilding Trust With Franchisees Was a Key Ingredient

At Popeyes, Recipe for a Turnaround

CEO Cheryl Bachelder Says Rebuilding Trust With Franchisees Was a Key Ingredient

JULIE JARGON

March 9, 2014 7:47 p.m. ET

‘We came back with a new store design, and we laid out all the costs.’ Popeyes Louisiana Kitchen

Cheryl Bachelder, chief executive of Popeyes Louisiana Kitchen Inc., PLKI -0.02% joined the company at a less-than-ideal time. Read more of this post

Dell’s CIO on the Company’s Transition; Adriana Karaboutis Talks About Managing Acquisitions and Role of Women in Technology

Dell’s CIO on the Company’s Transition

Adriana Karaboutis Talks About Managing Acquisitions and Role of Women in Technology

CLINT BOULTON

March 9, 2014 7:47 p.m. ET

Adriana “Andi” Karaboutis, chief information officer of Dell Inc., has her hands full.

Her biggest task right now: integrating technology assets from roughly eight of the 19 acquisitions Dell has made in the past few years. Culling duplicate technologies and figuring out what new technologies might be needed going forward are among her key responsibilities at the Round Rock, Texas, company, which went private last year as it seeks to pivot from PC maker to provider of enterprise hardware, software and services. Read more of this post

Edward Doheny: Joy Global Is Committed to Mining; The CEO’s Take on the Slumping Industry-and His Own Beginnings

Edward Doheny: Joy Global Is Committed to Mining

The CEO’s Take on the Slumping Industry—and His Own Beginnings

JAMES R. HAGERTY

March 9, 2014 7:47 p.m. ET

Edward “Ted” Doheny, chief executive of the mining-equipment maker Joy Global Inc.,JOY -0.53% Read more of this post

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