What Motivates Workers

It’s Not Just Money Conventional wisdom tells us what motivates most employees is money. Classical economics confirms: the bigger the salary, the more work an employer can expect to get — and better work too. But a new book challenges this....

The End of Privacy

Our minds are being read and our impulses and habits analyzed and exploited without our knowing it.

Fostering Creativity

If a person is forced to speak his own words, he gives a more reliable sense of the validity of his ideas. He also makes a connection with the person he is speaking to, and out of that connection new ideas can flow.

Boss Zuckerberg

In all the attention given to Facebook’s public offering, it has been repeatedly emphasized that Mark Zuckerberg will retain complete control. Can he handle it? ....

The Two Faces of Facebook

Who doesn't know that Facebook is about to go public, with a projected market capitalization of one hundred billion dollars? That's the new face of Facebook, an economic blockbuster. But where is all that money going to come from? And why?

Too Big to Be Liable

The accountability banks don’t want to face.

The Secret of Credit

Most of us view trust as valuable and desirable, something that improves the quality of our personal lives. We seldom take the next step and view it as indispensable, a vital ingredient in society — and in the economy.

Problems Without Answers

Our Need for Fictions. We like to think that all problems have solutions. The reasons may be complex and difficult to grasp, but our faith is that if we understand the causes, we can cure the effects.

Bankruptcy, Default, Debt — and Being a Person

In the eyes of the law, a corporation is a person, but when a real person, that is, a person of flesh and blood, declares bankruptcy or defaults on his or her debt it is usually considered a moral failure....

Beta Wealth

Preoccupied as we are with the 1% at the top, we lose sight of how volatile all wealth today has become....

What Do Banks Add to the Economy?

What justifies the bloated expenses of the finance industry, the exorbitant salaries, percentages taken off the top, the finder’s fees, the bonuses? We have to wonder what do bankers do that justifies the added cost of their services?

Are We All Connected?

Here Comes Not Quite Everybody It is a cliché that the Internet connects everyone, so it probably has escaped consciousness that many actually cannot afford the high-speed service the rest of us now take for granted.

Political Desperation and Hatred

“Anyone But Mitt” Democratic politics, in theory, is about people choosing leaders to guide the country. But lately it has come to seem in the U.S. that the process has become vindictive and charged with hatred.

The New Look of Retirement

Retirement used to be thought of as an ideal goal, almost a right. After 30 or 40 years of productive work, people expected to be able to take it easy. But that idea has now become obsolete - and maybe it is undesirable as well.

The Contradictions of Inequality

Though Americans pay lip service to the idea that “all men are created equal,” as Jefferson put it in the Declaration of Independence, we have always taken huge inequalities for granted.

Truth, Faith, and Evangelical Truth

The line between religion and science seems to be increasingly sharp and abrasive these days, which is bit of a puzzle if you know something about history. Scientists have not been atheists, by and large, and believers have not always been so certain of their beliefs.

We the People and Fraud

How could anyone object to a campaign against fraud? In a society mesmerized by the presence of fraud everywhere – on Wall Street, in corporate headquarters, in politics and, of course, on street corners – it looks all too plausible for government to mount a campaign against voter fraud as well.

Occupy Wall Street Revisited

Those who took the "carnival" on Wall Street seriously seem to have been right. The protesters camping out in lower Manhattan and other financial sites around the world have struck a deep chord that continues to resonate.

Jobs or Good Jobs?

Focusing on the unemployment crisis alone can cause us to ignore the quality of the jobs we need to create.

Occupy Wall Street: Carnival or Protest?

Over the Edge of Politics The “Occupy Wall Street” demonstration that has grown over the past few weeks has attracted growing media attention, but not always much respect. Reporters are captivated by the odd assortment of protestors that keeps showing up. Commentators sense it is important, but they don’t know what to make of it.

"Rogue" Traders

Or How to Avoid Blame I have no inside knowledge about Kweku Adoboli, the UBS trader arrested last week after he reportedly lost over two billion dollars. But common sense suggests that the way it is being played in the press is misleading. This cannot be just about the occasional individual “rogues” who run wild.

The Biggest Elephant in the Room

The Growing Gap Between the Rich and the Poor The full story is never on the front pages of our newspapers. You have to piece it together, but the evidence is everywhere -- and it adds up to important and frightening news about how our social fabric is being pulled apart.

Myths of Regulation

Conservatives have embraced the truism that businesses are hurt by government regulation. Ideologically, they argue, rules infringe on individual freedom, but they have also persuaded themselves that they are actually bad for the bottom line.

Seeing CEOs Without Halos

The idealized glow of a halo makes it hard to see clearly – and to think straight. We are reminded about this now as Steve Jobs has stepped down as Apple’s CEO, and the press is full of dire warnings about the company’s future.

Dr. Doom and Risk Aversion

The Wrong Rebound Armies are notorious for fighting the last war. Struggling to prepare for new threats, they are blinded by the former threats they faced, the last war they finished learning to fight. We all tend to have the same problem. It is the other side of learning from experience....

Understanding Why People Riot

We hear it all the time about riots: “hooliganism” or, as David Cameron put it last week, “criminality, pure and simple.” But riots are complex events, hard to reduce to something as simple as that.

Privatizing Justice And Outsourcing Oversight

Only a handful of bankers or brokers have been indicted for criminal actions during the frenzy that led up to the credit crisis, and yet there is widespread agreement that hundreds if not thousands are to blame...

The American Way of Unemployment

According to a recent report in Newsweek: “In the last decade layoffs have become America's export to the world.” It’s a quick and dirty way for businesses to cut back on expenses, but like many quick fixes it conceals a host of unintended costs.

Why the Government Won't Default on Its Debt

The Politics of Blame While the media are obsessed with the prospect of a debt default, very few people in America take it seriously. Even financial markets are calm.