Tag Archives: Business

Here’s what it will take to trigger the next stock market correction


By Anatole Kaletsky – Sometime in the not-too-distant future, investors are certain to suffer some big and painful losses — even if I am right in expecting equity prices to continue rising in the long term.

What kind of event is most likely to end this bull run, or at least interrupt it with a setback of 20 percent or more?

If stock market valuations are not yet high enough to cause a big correction — and if monetary and economic conditions are likely to remain benign for the next year or two — then the unavoidable conclusion is that equity prices will just keep rising until they really do become over-extended.

At that point, negative news events of the kind that investors can shrug off today as almost irrelevant will prove sufficient to trigger a serious correction. more> http://tinyurl.com/lgsbgyd

Free Money for Germany Is Bad News for Euro


By Mark Gilbert – Germany yesterday (Aug 20) sold 4.04 billion euros ($5.3 billion) of notes that pay no interest, repayable in September 2016.

Investors, it seems, are willing to forgo income for the safety of stashing their cash in the AAA-rated government debt of Europe’s biggest economy.

That’s a huge vote of no-confidence in the region’s growth prospects. more> http://tinyurl.com/qzkdneo

How CEOs Became Takers, Not Makers


By Steve Denning – The situation is one of fundamental institutional failure. CEOs are extracting value from their firms.

Business schools are teaching them how to do it.

Institutional shareholders are complicit in what the CEOs are doing.

Regulators do no more search for individual wrongdoers, usually those below the C-suite, while remaining blind to overall systemic failure.

In a great betrayal, the very leaders who should be fixing the system are complicit in malfeasance.

Unless our society reverses course, it is heading for a cataclysm. more> http://tinyurl.com/q4d75vk

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Old Debts, Shady Collectors and Your Rights


BOOK REVIEW

Paper Boys, Author: Jake Halpern.

By Megan McArdle – The problem is enforcement.

The Federal Trade Commission, which is in charge of regulating this stuff, is not really equipped to rid the world of a bunch of fly-by-night collection shops operating out of temporary office spaces or the back of some guy’s warehouse; it’s good at wrangling with corporations that have big, marble-floored headquarters that can’t easily be moved to a nearby shed if the government comes knocking.

It’s easy to see why enforcement would be a low priority when shutting one fishy operation down just means that someone else will pick up the paper and do the same thing — maybe even the owner, operating through a brand-new shell company. more> http://tinyurl.com/qaefsmn

The Ways Food Tricks Our Brains


By Derek Thompson – Simply labeling a food as “healthy” makes it taste worse. But what tricky qualities make unhealthy food taste healthy?

Researchers asked participants to eat bite-sized brownies while watching TV (fun!). Some of the brownies were hard and some were soft. Subjects ate more soft brownies when they weren’t prompted by any questions. But when they were told to think about calorie content, they switched and suddenly ate more rough brownies.

To the eating brain, harder-to-eat equals healthier-to-eat. more> http://tinyurl.com/nmnqfl8

How Verizon lets its copper network decay to force phone customers onto fiber


By Jon Brodkin – Not everyone wants fiber, because, when it comes to voice calls, the newer technology doesn’t have all the benefits of the old copper phone network.

In particular, fiber doesn’t conduct electricity, where copper does. That means when your power goes out, copper landlines might keep working for days or weeks by drawing electricity over the lines, while a phone that relies on fiber will only last as long as its battery. That’s up to eight hours for Verizon’s most widely available backup system.

“Verizon’s efforts to force people off copper in my area of Rhode Island rise to the level of harassment,” Verizon customer Karen Anne Kolling of North Kingstown, Rhode Island, told Ars. more> http://tinyurl.com/o5jvv5n

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Thomas Piketty, climate change and discounting our future


BOOK REVIEW

Never Let a Serious Crisis Go to Waste: How Neoliberalism Survived the Financial Meltdown, Author: Philip Mirowski.

By David Hodgkinson – Emissions trading is a an elaborate “bait-and-switch” strategy, in which politicians are diverted from an original intention to reduce emissions into the endless technicalities of instituting and maintaining markets for carbon permits. The not unintended consequence is that the level of emissions continues to grow apace.

It’s well understood, Mirowski continues, that emissions trading stifles technological innovation to curb emissions. Funds that ordinarily might have been used to alter energy infrastructure are “pumped into yet another set of speculative financial instruments, leading to bubbles, distortions of capital flows, and all the usual symptoms of financialization”. more> http://tinyurl.com/o68vvsa