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    Four communication lessons we learn from Casey Affleck’s Oscar speech

Four communication lessons we learn from Casey Affleck’s Oscar speech

Casey Affleck has delivered fine performances in the past, many as supporting roles. He was nominated eight years ago for “The Assassination of Jesse James by the Coward Robert Ford,” but he has never portrayed a lead with such sadness, anger and depression as in “Manchester By the Sea”.

I watched his acceptance speech intently. It was a valedictory that serves as […]

February 27th, 2017|Ben Laker|0 Comments|
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    The price Asian venture capitalists pay to work in Silicon Valley

The price Asian venture capitalists pay to work in Silicon Valley

Do ethnic minority investors behave differently from more mainstream investors? This study on venture capitalists (VCs) in Silicon Valley over the period 1976-2004 found that they were, perhaps unsurprisingly, more likely to invest in immigrant Asian entrepreneurs than mainstream VCs. What is surprising, however, is that when Asian venture capitalists did invest in mainstream ventures, they paid higher valuations than mainstream […]

LSE Lit Fest 2017: Platform Capitalism

Platform Capitalism. Nick Srnicek. Polity. 2016. 
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Capitalism, when a crisis hits, tends to be restructured. New technologies, new organisational forms, new modes of exploitation, new types of jobs and new markets all emerge to create a new way of accumulating capital. Since the 2008 crisis, the dominant narrative in advanced capitalist countries has been one of change. In […]

We don’t need the alcohol industry for a strong economy

In 1850, the French economist Frederic Bastiat wrote the parable of a shopkeeper whose window is smashed. Aghast at the damage, the shopkeeper is consoled with the idea that at least his broken windows are good for the economy, since “Everybody must live, and what would become of the glaziers if panes of glass were never broken?”

The alcohol industry is, in […]

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    Slow economics: shifting the focus to sustainability and quality of life

Slow economics: shifting the focus to sustainability and quality of life

This post explores the relationship between some relatively new concepts in economics – slow living, slow food, slow writing and the green economy. The goal is twofold – discussing the possibilities opened by these exciting new concepts, in terms of an increase in the quality of life combined with an environmentally sustainable lifestyle, as well as ascertaining what they […]

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    If Trump’s ‘America First’ takes hold, expect disruptive innovation

If Trump’s ‘America First’ takes hold, expect disruptive innovation

Policymaking often creates unintended consequences. But can disruptive innovation actually be spurred by President Donald Trump’s version of protectionism? Using the language of disruptive innovation, we observe that the long-term negative consequences of isolationism are actually an acceleration of US companies losing their own industries. Perhaps not even protectionism is what it used to be.

When it comes to economic […]

How to reap the benefits of flexible work time

Flexible working time arrangements are becoming increasingly popular around the globe – but do they really work? In Europe, up to 40 per cent of employees may schedule their working hours at their discretion. This ‘flextime’ is thought to help meet ever-increasing job demands and strike a balance between work and life. Yet, researchers know surprisingly little about the […]

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    Companies that do better by their customers also do better in the stock market

Companies that do better by their customers also do better in the stock market

A debate about whether firms with superior customer satisfaction also earn better-than-average stock returns has been persistent in the academic business and marketing literature (Fornell, Mithas, Morgeson, and Krishnan 2006). Proponents of the customer satisfaction-stock market relationship make a simple, intuitive argument that is highly relevant to both consumers and investors: Companies that do better by their customers also […]

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    The big data revolution: embrace it but proceed with caution

The big data revolution: embrace it but proceed with caution

The combination of a number of amazing advances in technology (resulting in faster computer processor speeds, increased density and capability of computer storage, and higher bandwidth network connections) has opened up a new world for big data – the application of smart algorithms to large quantity and/or high velocity data.

Big data techniques enable us to infer patterns and preferences, […]

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    There’s no innovation without anger (think Lars von Trier and Steve Jobs)

There’s no innovation without anger (think Lars von Trier and Steve Jobs)

Despite having different professions, the entrepreneur Steve Jobs and the film director Lars von Trier have one thing in common: they are both notorious for their outbursts of anger or irritation and for bringing about shifts in mood between disturbance and enthusiasm. Far from being a coincidence, this appears to be a result of their extraordinarily creative and innovative […]

How beneficial are benefit corporations?

Benefit corporations are a new, fast-growing legal form of for-profit incorporation. They are under no legal obligation to maximise shareholder value. Instead, they are legally bound to pursue social benefit. At present, Benefit corporations (or some variant thereof) exist in the UK, Italy, and 31 of the 50 states in the US. Legislation is advancing in Australia, Argentina, Chile, Colombia […]

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    When board interlock fell apart, so did political moderation in the boardroom

When board interlock fell apart, so did political moderation in the boardroom

Throughout the twentieth century, business elites in the United States were bound together by a dense interlock network — a network of directors connected by serving on the same corporate boards, and of boards connected by shared directors. A few dozen directors served on five or more boards, and this inner circle kept the informational pathways among corporations short. […]

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    Performing Politics: Media Interviews, Debates and Press Conferences – Book Review

Performing Politics: Media Interviews, Debates and Press Conferences – Book Review

Performing Politics: Media Interviews, Debates and Press Conferences. Geoffrey Craig. Polity. 2016.

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Media – electronic and print as well as social – plays a major role in contemporary politics, not just in ‘orchestrating’ but also in shaping public and political discourse. It has radically altered the ways politicians interact and communicate with the public, and also how the […]

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    The UK needs free trade in low-carbon technologies with the EU

The UK needs free trade in low-carbon technologies with the EU

The Government has made it clear in its White Paper that the UK will not be seeking membership of the Single Market after it leaves the European Union, but it will pursue “an ambitious and comprehensive Free Trade Agreement”.

The White Paper also states: “The UK’s climate action will continue to be underpinned by our climate targets as set out in the […]

Reducing the effects of insomnia on the workplace

Researchers and media outlets have expressed growing concern about the widespread harmful effects of insomnia on health. More recently, this research has examined how these effects spill over into the workplace as well. The Rand Company estimates that the economic impact of insomnia costs the United States $411 billion a year. A growing body of research indicates that poor […]

Inflation is back

What’s at stake: After years of deflationary pressures and anaemic economic performance, inflation seems to be on the rise again, both in the US and the euro area. Does this comeback mark a return to target? Will it be sustained, and what should central banks be thinking? These are among the questions raised in the blogosphere.

Dieter Wermuth is happy […]

February 17th, 2017|Economics, Pia Hüttl|0 Comments|

Taking uninformed consumers for a ride

Let me begin with a thought experiment. Imagine you have a Platinum health plan, meaning that your insurance covers (almost) all the costs for a very large variety of treatments and diagnostic tests – in exchange, of course, for a high monthly premium. After years of paying the premium without ever needing to use medical insurance, eventually the day […]

Don’t give up on Europe as an investment destination

“Europe is uninvestable,” a fund manager declares, while carving a slice of roast lamb over dinner in Mayfair, London. “With Marine Le Pen in France, Brexit and populists all over the place, we prefer to avoid any Eurozone risk.” The other fund managers in the room nod, in silence. The case for investing in Eurozone assets has never been […]

Business accelerators: A user’s manual for entrepreneurs

Does participating in a business accelerator offer a shortcut to startup success? It can help, but it’s no guarantee, according to Peter Kirby, the CEO of Factom Inc. He spent three months in 2015 under the wing of Plug and Play, a Silicon Valley accelerator program, despite a colleague’s warning that he would be wasting his time. The colleague […]

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    The ethics of New Zealand selling citizenship to tech investor Peter Thiel

The ethics of New Zealand selling citizenship to tech investor Peter Thiel

Billionaire Peter Thiel has never lived in New Zealand and has no intention of doing so. In fact, Thiel has only visited New Zealand four times. But he has New Zealand citizenship. How did he get it? Basically, he bought it.

More precisely, New Zealand’s minister of internal affairs waived the normal requirements for naturalization in Thiel’s case. You normally need to […]