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Saturday, February 2, 2013

Facebook's Fatal Flaw: Mobile Ad Revenue?

As the largest of the social-media companies, Facebook has gone into uncharted waters. Adding to Wall Street’s analytical headache, the company’s strategy at least since its IPO has been to be oriented more to the long term than is customary on Wall Street. Put another way, estimating Facebook’s long-term viability has been notoriously difficult, particularly for Wall Streeters who apply their traditional criteria nonetheless. Looking beyond Wall Street’s lenses, there is indeed reason to regard investments in the company as very risky.
                Social connections are notoriously fluid. The networks themselves are so as well. This puts Facebook in a highly uncertain place.       Washington Post.

The full essay is at "Taking the Face Off Facebook."

Friday, February 1, 2013

Excessive Standardization Pushed by the European Commission?

The E.U.’s internal market is not typically construed in terms of federalism. Whereas the market connotes homogeneity or at least easy transfers across state lines, a union of states wherein both are semi-sovereign implies diversity within certain commonalities. The economic and political systems are not mutually exclusive, or inert, however. Put another way, too much economic standardization begins to run up against the heterogeneity that is inherent in an empire-level union of republics.

The full essay is at Essays on the E.U. Political Economy, available at Amazon. 

Monday, January 28, 2013

Carbon Allowances: Merkel's E.U.?

Fundamentally, a union of states is in trouble when any federal action is predicated on consent from the governor of the largest state. The U.S. Senate was proposed precisely to give the smaller states a means to thwart the domination of a few large ones in legislating at the federal level. The European Council’s qualified majority vote mechanism and the unanimity requirement on “big ticket items” such as taxation permit a supermajority of states to reject the proposal of a few large ones. The U.S. House of Representatives and the European Parliament offer no such avenue for small states because those chambers are based solely on population. California and New York, and France and Germany, can through their peoples’ representatives have great clout in those bodies. Therefore, bicameral (i.e., two chambers) legislatures are distinctly advantageous at the federal level of a union of states.

                            Jose Barosso, President of the European Commission, conferring with Angela Merkel, chancellor of the state of Germany. Was she giving Barosso his marching orders? Vielleicht, ich glaube.  
The full essay is at "Essays on the E.U. Political Economy," available at Amazon.