Thanks to Ron Zappolo for letting me be one of his people.
Archive for August, 2011
People / Comments Off
I often read about how brilliant and visionary some CEOs are and then when I hear them speak I am sourly disappointed.
I guess I should remember that most of them are just highly evolved salesmen with a pocketful of platitudes.
On this count Meg Whitman was no exception.
She built eBay into an e-commerce powerhouse and has put her finger prints on some of the most successful companies in America. But when she appeared at the Global Business Travel Association last week to share her thoughts on “innovation” she actually said “think outside the box.”
Click here to read my column on MarketWatch.
Economy / Comments Off
Maybe it’s finally time for America to wake up and face the ugly truth: We are in a prolonged economic slump with no end in sight.
I, for one, have grown weary of cheerleading economists who’ve declared a recovery is at hand with every little uptick they find in the otherwise abysmal economic news. I also find it hard to believe the recession ended in June 2009. And that if economic growth turns negative, they’ll just call it another recession, as if we got out of the last one.
This is not your father’s recession, according to Dimitri B. Papadimitriou and Greg Hannsgen of the Levy Economics Institute of Bard College, who’ve recently released a paper by that title. Click here to read it. It’s a quick,one-pager. Here are some excerpts:
“The mainstream economics profession has been resistant to the very idea that growth in a market economy could stagnate over a protracted period.”
“Considering the already severe slump in job creation, it hardly matters whether such a downturn would constitute the second dip of a double-dip’ recession, a continuation of the ‘Great Recession,’ or a confirmation that the economy has entered a Japanese-style ‘lost decade.’
“The recession has turned into a prolonged and very unusual slump in growth, preventing a labor-market recovery. The government has barely begun the task of creating the new jobs needed to deal with this disaster.”
Washington / Comments Off
Texas Gov. Rick Perry has said it would be “almost treasonous.” Governments around the world haven’t been thrilled about it. And it’s not even clear if it even works. But the Federal Reserve has left the door wide open for further monetary easing – essentially printing billions and billions of more dollars to bailout the stubbornly sluggish economy.
Click here for the details from MarketWatch.
Every new effort by the Fed to shore up the economy is a tacit admission that the last efforts didn’t really work.
At least a few members of the Fed have come to the realization that the Fed may be out of bullets and can do little else at this point, besides promise to keep interest rates ridiculously low through 2013. And the politics of further bailouts have gotten, well, toxic.
The Fed’s unprecedented moves to prevent a banking system collapse in 2008 have been an interesting experiment in centrally planned economics. Supporters can’t really prove these efforts averted a Great Recession. They may have only delayed one, or sent the nation into a lost decade similar to Japan.
Maybe it’s time for the Fed to quit pumping up the stock market and the banks, and let free market forces do what they’re going to do, one way or the other. Maybe it’s time to realize it’s not the Fed’s job to keep juicing the economy. This, actually, is what got us into trouble in the first place.
Companies / Comments Off
What’s Apple without Steve Jobs? I talk about it with Matt Flener of Denver’s NBC affiliate 9News.
Corporate Blunders / Comments Off
Hewlett-Packard wants out of the personal computer business?
It wants out of the smart phone and tablet business, too?
Any wonder it’s stock is down more than40% over the past year?
Since losing CEO Mark Hurd in a dispute over expense reports and a sexual harassment allegation, H-P has made one corporate blunder after the next.
Click here to read my column in the Sunday Wall Street Journal .