Blog

TRADING DOWN?

Many people think the news media are biased. In some cases, I’m sure that’s so. Far more widespread is the problem of unexamined assumptions and beliefs, a mindset maintained over time in the face of obvious changes in circumstances. It’s not so much a question of misreporting as of misunderstanding the reality about which the […]

By |January 22nd, 2009|Blog|0 Comments

THE WORK OF REMAKING AMERICA

On the pre-Inaugural weekend, two polls appeared that gave Barack Obama about as high a rating as a mere mortal should be permitted. One showed 52 percent with high hopes for Obama, 80 percent as approving his transition, and 72 percent as confident his economic program will help. Another poll had 79 percent as optimistic […]

By |January 20th, 2009|Blog|0 Comments

SAY, WHAT?

I’m perplexed. The powerful president and ceo of the US Chamber of Commerce, Tom Donohue, on January 16 chose Tokyo of all places as the venue to deliver a strong but garbled message on the dollar. Apparently he was upset by the strength of the Japanese yen which has reached a 13-year high against the […]

By |January 17th, 2009|Blog|0 Comments

ACTIVISIONARIES

My recent post on “Slacktivism” struck a responsive chord with some readers. In fact, one called with feigned defensiveness to ask whether he should take the criticism personally. I assured my friend that I had others – many others – in mind, not him.Ever since, I’ve been pondering what the opposite of a slacktivist might […]

By |January 14th, 2009|Blog|0 Comments

WHO AUDITS THE AUDITORS?

The Wall Street Journal ran a story on January 14 containing more disturbing details of the truth about Satyam, the misnamed Indian company that is being brought down by its own fraudulent behavior. In an article headlined “Satyam Probe Scrutinizes CFO, Audit Committee,” the Journal reported that the company’s audit committee has not been meeting […]

By |January 14th, 2009|Blog|0 Comments

TOO MUCH OF A GOOD THING

In a remarkably off-kilter story in the January 14 Wall Street Journal (“China’s Capital Outflow Forces Country’s Officials to Try to Rebuild Confidence in Yuan”), Andrew Batson reports sympathetically on Chinese officials’ professed concerns over recent capital outflows and their consideration of a depreciation of its undervalued currency. The article is notable in several ways.

First, […]

By |January 14th, 2009|Blog|0 Comments

THE TRUTH CAN HURT — OR SET YOU FREE

Few Americans had ever heard of B. Ramalinga Raju before last week, but most people think they know what to expect of PriceWaterhouse. Raju’s Indian firm, Satyam (from the ancient Sanskrit word for “truth”), built a sterling reputation in providing consulting and outsourcing services to Indians and clients around the world. Ironically, Satyam was no […]

By |January 11th, 2009|Blog|0 Comments

FREE TRADE FANTASIES

The January 5 Washington Post editorial, “Terms of Trade” Why the U.S. lost manufacturing jobs, and how it can replace them,” illustrates what’s wrong with the establishment’s rote cheerleading for “free trade.” The editorial is a commentary on a recent report by the Congressional Budget Office that had concluded that “much of the relative decline […]

By |January 7th, 2009|Blog|0 Comments

SLACKTIVISM

Slacktivism. The term refers to the “feel-good” illusion that many people (the slacktivists) get from lending support to worthy causes in some painless, often costless way involving minimal effort. Signing a petition, wearing a bracelet, sending a contribution are three stand-bys for the slacktivist. Nothing wrong with any of those except the smug sense that […]

By |January 5th, 2009|Blog|0 Comments