“[Rudolf Elmer] accepts that he faces an uphill struggle. He argues that the government’s case against him is driven by political considerations as much as legal principles, and that it is supported by a “morally corrupt” judicial system that “bends and stretches the law” to protect financial secrecy, even when it is used to shield those who knowingly break other countries’ laws.”
“The “winner-takes-all” nature of modern economies may amplify the substitution effect. The scale of the global market means businesses that innovate tend to reap huge gains (think of YouTube, Apple and Goldman Sachs). The returns for beating your competitors can be enormous. Research shows that the same is true for highly skilled workers. Although they do not immediately get overtime pay for “extra” hours, the most successful workers, often the ones putting in the most hours, may reap gains from winner-takes-all markets. Whereas in the early 1980s a man working 55 hours a week earned 11% more than a man putting in 40 hours in the same type of occupation, that gap had increased to 25% by the turn of the millennium.”
The Economist, Nice work if you can get out
“If you look behind the jobs report, the 288,000 jobs created, Tom, you find many of the jobs came in terms of part-time jobs. Full-time jobs actually went down in the month compared with the previous month. Second, wages increased by a mere 2 percent year-on-year. When you count inflation, wages have gone down in real terms. These are not people who are going to support the economy during the coming months. I’m not optimistic on consumption.”
— Komal Sri-Kumar, via Bloomberg
“To advance the public interest, the department should consider, among other subjects, how antitrust law applied to Amazon might assure greater diversity of economically workable authorship and publishing—cultural and democratic competition, that is, not just price competition. To argue that antitrust should focus merely on price and market numbers is to ignore the law’s deeply political and public-minded history.”
— Steve Coll, ‘Citizen Bezos' via New York Review of Books
“The book industry is overwhelmingly the repository of our nation’s culture. To destroy it is to destroy the culture.”
— Andrew Wylie, ‘Citizen Bezos' via New York Review of Books
“In Europe’s democracies, small producers and retailers have proven to be more resilient politically. The Czech Republic, Marc Levinson notes, passed a law in 2010 requiring minimum price markups by retailers to prevent “chains from undercutting mom-and-pop stores.” The patisseries and florists of Paris benefit from regulation with similar intent. The conviction within Europe that a thriving culture depends on small, diverse enterprises that may warrant special economic protection is exemplified as well by France’s ardent defense of its film industry. Crucially, these patterns of resistance to the digital age’s speed-of-light patterns of creative destruction have a political foundation—they are popular at election time. This is not the case in the United States, which lacks a politics favoring small- and medium-sized cultural producers, whether these are authors, journalists, small publishers, booksellers, or independent filmmakers.”
— Steve Coll, ‘Citizen Bezos' via New York Review of Books
“From the Reagan presidency onward, the right succeeded remarkably. Large corporations perfected their lobbying power in Washington while small businesses like bookstores and corner grocers watched their political influence and their hold on the American imagination fade. The United States today presents a more bifurcated economic landscape of empowered, atomized, fickle, screen-tapping consumers and the globalized, often highly profitable corporations that aspire to serve them.”
— Steve Coll, ‘Citizen Bezos' via New York Review of Books
“The predictability of having robots turn data into business news will certainly make life easier for one group of people: algorithmic traders developing robots that turn business news into data. Already, quantitative analysts run news stories through computer programs that parse them for information relevant to the day’s market sentiment. Soon, instead of trying to understand humans, these programs will just have to understand other robots.”
“Financial shadows are dangerous. Even more dangerous are interactions between poorly understood shadows and essential financial intermediation activities. And most dangerous is when officials and private sector executives encourage a class of transactions that supposedly provide modest risk mitigation, while really building a disguised form of systemic risk on a grand scale.”