The Politics of Pizza

We think of pizza by the slice, sometimes a whole pie, so we haven’t noticed how big an industry it has become. But Big Pizza is as big as virtually anything else in our economy – and as political.

Negative Interest

This is odd: “about $3 trillion of assets in Europe and Japan … now have negative interest rates.”

Banking Reform Comes Through the Back Door

​After many high profile failures to reform banking, thwarted by the power of the banking lobby, including efforts to break up banks “too big to fail,” it now seems that a simple and obvious rule has made a significant difference.

Corporate Succession

There are a lot of ways to get it wrong

Our Hidden Oligarchs

Awareness of our still growing income inequality has spread widely, and new accounts are accumulating weekly in the media. But this growing consensus is now starting to obscure something even more ominous,

Finding Meaning in Terrorism

Faced with yet another massacre of innocents, we all too readily think of it as “senseless” or “insane.” If the acts are horrifying we sometimes think of them as “evil;” if just random they seem crazy.

Everything is PR

We have gotten used to authoritarian regimes imposing “reality” on their subjects.... But this is a step beyond that.

Good Consumers, and Bad

Most of us are unaware of how relentlessly and extensively we are being watched and evaluated as consumers – and how dangerous our ignorance of that practice can be.

False Positives

We tend to assume the opposite of a negative is a positive. The opposite of unemployment, for example, is employment. But it turns out the relationship between the two is more peculiar than that.

Yet More Corruption in Banks

The rule was strict in banking. There was a firewall between analysis and sales — for good reason: to protect customers. But that now seems a thing of the past.

Bankers More Likely to Lie

When bankers are reminded they are bankers, a new study has found, they are more likely to lie.

Investors Following the Crowd

The wisdom of crowds doesn’t apply to picking stocks. A new study published in the Journal of Portfolio Management shows that “hot stocks,” those that generate a lot of buzz and, as a result, move a lot, generally do not do well.

The Super Rich

Most of us may not have noticed, but the rising tide of income inequality is engulfing the super rich as well.

Why Corporate Boards Pay CEOs More

Presumably corporations would not want to overpay their CEOs, which is why they hire “compensation consultants.” The consultants study the publically available information on comparable CEO compensation so that they can benchmark their peers. But it doesn't seem to work.

The Decline of Investment Banking

MBA’S no longer flock to investment banking, according to the Economist in 2007. But why?

Creating the Next Financial Crisis

We know how to prevent it, but we don’t seem to want to pay the price. It’s like our dependency on fossil fuel.

Becoming Conscious

Contrary to our subjective beliefs, we make most of our decisions automatically, unconsciously. Professor Michael S. A. Graziano at Princeton recently reminded us of this.

A Slip of the Chip

An accident on the internet last month exposed a hidden form of political corruption known as “dark money.” It allows corporations to donate funds to “social welfare groups” set up specifically to support their political interests while circumventing legal limits. What does it mean?

Another "Law" of Economics Bites the Dust

“Since the 1970s, economic orthodoxy has argued for low tariffs, free capital flows, elimination of industrial subsidies, deregulation of labor markets, balanced budgets and low inflation.” But does it work?

Celebrity Culture

The proliferation of celebrities in our culture is relatively recent. In the past, writers and actors sometimes became celebrated, well-known, even famous, but it was seldom something they aspired to. But now, what does this mean?

The Hedge Fund Mystique

Hedge funds have been cloaked in mystery from the start, starting with the name. “To hedge” means to protect or limit, but in fact the funds have been among the more risky and obscure investment vehicles Wall Street has to offer.

Coming Clean on Employment

Economists are beginning to question their jobs data. They had been focusing on the percentage of workers looking for work, and that news has gotten slightly better. But now they realize that the work force itself has been shrinking. That’s troubling and strange. It also changes their conclusions.

What's the Problem with Jobs?

If you Google “Why companies don’t hire,” you get a flood of responses — and an interesting sidelight on the disappointing job news.

The End of Opportunity

Inch by inch, bit by bit, the American Dream has faded away

Two Truths on Taxes

We can usually handle two sets of opinions, without having to conclude that one is wrong. But what about two truths, two conflicting sets of facts? We have that with employment figures and corporate taxes.

The Toothbrush Test For Avoiding Bankers

It’s a crude idea, an inelegant metaphor, but it makes a lot of sense. At a time when the financial industry appears to have a lock on mergers and acquisitions, the technology industry is taking another path. Larry Page calls in the "Toothbrush Test".

The Police and the Military

In the aftermath of the violence in Ferguson, Missouri, we have the beginnings of a long-overdue national discussion about the militarization of local police forces. But what is the difference between the police and the military?

Mergers: A Boom With Many Busts

Mergers are hot again: According to Thompson Reuters, “so far this year, $2.2 trillion in deals has been announced globally.” But nothing brings home the irrational frenzy of today’s Investor Capitalism so much as the impressive scale of some of the failures.

Can Experts Agree?

Should it surprise us when experts actually agree? They frequently are invoked to express clashing points of view

The Empathy Gap

The powerful don’t empathize with those less powerful, according to new research reported in "The New York Times." The reason offered is that, “when people experience power, their brains fundamentally change how sensitive they are to the actions of others.”