Economic Bloggers

Here’s a video just released by the Kauffman Foundation covering their economic bloggers conference from earlier this year.  While I am one of the people in this video, I think it takes a very good look at the emerging role of economic bloggers in both the media and our culture.  It’s also a delight to see such high production values, though I sure need a haircut.

Neutron Bomb

neutronReaders have lately been asking me to write about IBM.  It seems the BBC has been on the case somewhat over imposed changes to Big Blue’s UK pension scheme.  These mirror similar — though more draconian — changes imposed on IBM’s U.S. workers a couple years ago.  Alas, this just seems to be a trend we’ll be seeing more and more of.  The problem isn’t in IBM per se, it’s in the distorted reward structure perceived by most public companies.

Two years ago when I covered IBM’s yet-to-be-announced layoffs in some detail it sent the company into a tizzy of denial.  Why?  “Because you were right,” said a source who still works at IBM.  […]

Is Technology Evil?

evil_technologyThis column started out being titled “Is Goldman Sachs Evil?” until I realized the issue is far more broad.  It began with a blog post by my old boss Jim Casella, who now runs Asset International, a financial publisher.  Jim concludes after a review of some recent and very negative press that Goldman isn’t evil, per se, just cocky.  But by comparing the investment bank to sports teams and players I think Jim makes a grave error.  Goldman Sachs isn’t evil, just stupid.  And that stupidity comes in the form of their witless abuse of technology.

Jim’s sports analogies are misplaced because while sporting events must inevitably have winners and losers economies don’t. TRADING […]

Back in Orbitz

airplaneA couple weeks ago you may recall a column I wrote about how Orbitz, the Internet travel service, lost all my personal data including my on-file credit cards.  Well most of this lost information is now back and I want to update the story.

I’m a long-time Orbitz user with enough frequent flier miles that they ought to care about keeping me happy.  And it turns out a number of Orbitz employees are also my readers, so that helps, too.  After that column appeared the company put some real effort into figuring out what had gone wrong and trying to fix it.

What happened, it turns out, is that I had tried to book a […]

(Mal)practice Makes Perfect

bad-doctorI live in Charleston, South Carolina, which is a regional health care center with a local medical school and a lot of doctors, some of them my neighbors. So I hear a lot of doctors bitching about their professional lives.  And that bitching generally comes down to a single argument: “I’m bringing home less money than I used to: if this medical system is so out of control, why isn’t my income out of control, too?”

One of my doctor neighbors who does a lot of surgery spends $70,000 per year on medical malpractice insurance premiums.  I asked him if an extra $70,000 per year in income would stop his complaining.  He said it would.

So let’s […]