Dive into the archives.

  • Redefining corporate self-interest

    The tumult of North Africa’s rising threw unexpected light on the defining qualities of corporate self-interest. Jacob Weisberg, writing in Slate, examines the three strategies of Facebook, Google, & Twitter in relation to Arab Revolt. And the upshot is that very different corporate “values” really do affect companies; and that acting on values may have [...]

  • Too much good stuff to contribute

    Just got off the phone with my friend Bob. And the subject got around to making a “contribution” to human-kind across the relatively short lifespans we’re allotted. We’d got past the part about the relativity of what we’d done; and the part about the challenges of the present and future; and even the part about [...]

  • Displacement & Externalization: psychology, economics, and social science

    A twitter contact tells me about the disappointment in Ireland, when candidates canvassing for Fine Fail push election materials under the door and then, disappear. The disappointment is in not being able to “give them a piece of my mind” she says. Fine Fail’s long-tenured government guaranteed the debt of dodgy banks as a sovereign [...]

  • Corporations are/are not People

    Catchy title. Reminds me of “Soylent Green”, that sci-fi predictor of things to come. And there are some similarities. Thanks to the marginalia of some diligent law clerk 100 years back, US corporations acquired the legal status of people. But, unlike people, corporations are encouraged to indulge in bad behavior: the kind that families recognize [...]

  • The Dynamics of Public Blame: BP (and Groupon)

    I’ll be discussing the dynamics of blame and BP at the weekly case conference of the William Alanson White Institute, NYC; on February 22 at 10 AM. Here’s the announcement: February 22, 2011 – Blaming BP: Examining the Psychodynamics of Blame Ian Miller, Ph.D., NYU Postdoc & WAWI Org. Prog. The psychodynamics of blame will [...]

  • The Long and Short in Investing

    Market participation by investors embodies the short term. Even if one intends to follow an issue for the long-term, trades are made short term, when market forces are advantageous. The short term conforms to the timeline in the corporate and finance world where the next quarter is the horizon and year on year growth suggests [...]

  • Proprietary Information: What Owners Don’t Own

    Adam Smith noted a simple disconnect in the Wealth of Nations: managers in joint stock corporations have the inside track relative to owners. Today, we call this the problem of agency. Were Adam Smith around for our information age, he would surely note, as well, that the information we call “proprietary”- which a corporation holds [...]

  • The Psychology of Investment “Value”

    Warren Buffett has famously said about equities that “price is what you pay, value is what you get”. Hearing this, the investor nods: yes, it sounds correct— buy cheap, sell dear. But buy cheap, sell dear isn’t so easy. Something must transpire in order for this to happen. That something is the market’s attention and [...]


This is the archive for February, 2011.


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