“Well written and an interesting perspective.” Clan Rossi --- “Your article is too good about Japanese business pushing nuclear power.” Consulting Group --- “Thank you for the article. It was quite useful for me to wrap up things quickly and effectively.” Taylor Johnson, Credit Union Lobby Management --- “Great information! I love your blog! You always post interesting things!” Jonathan N.

Thursday, August 25, 2016

Global Markets and London Overreact to the British Vote to Secede from the E.U.: Missing the Bright Spots

The world’s financial sector may be excessively sensitive to increasing uncertainty associated with major changes—that is, changes that impact how large institutions, including governments, relate to each other. In such cases, so much is at stake that forces (i.e., the major powers) tend to manage the large-scale change with a minimum of disturbance. In short, the status quo has too much at stake for the market’s feared uncertainty to actualize. The British referendum on whether the E.U. state should secede is a case in point.

The full essay is at "Global Markets and London."



Big Soda Campaigning against a Proposed Tax in San Francisco: A Vested Interest Thwarting Democracy?


With a proposed 1-cent per ounce tax on sweetened beverages such as soda-pop on the 2016 ballot in Oakland and San Francisco, the effected industry reserved about $9.5 million in television-ad time.[1] As of August 10th, the American Beverage Association had already spent $747,267 on campaign consultants and advertisements against the proposed tax in Oakland, whereas supporters of the proposal had spent only $23,297.[2] The imbalance itself could mean that business was subverting democracy by overwhelming voters. If big-soda’s ads were unethical as the pro-tax camp contended, the subversion would be especially harmful.

The full essay is at "Big Soda Campaigning."



1. Michael McLaughlin, “Big Soda Spends Millions on ‘Unethical’ San Francisco Area Ads Fighting Drink Taxes,” The Huffington Post, August 24, 2016.
2. Darwin Graham, “Big Soda Is Spending Big Money Against Oakland Surary Beverage Tax Proposal,” East Bay Express, August 10, 2016.

Wednesday, August 24, 2016

Apollo Global Flew Too Close to the Sun: Personal and Institutional Conflicts of Interest


I submit that people tend to get more upset over the exploitation of personal conflicts of interest than the institutional sort. That is to say, our blood boils when we learn of another person contravening a duty in order to gain financially, yet we don’t mind when a CPA firm falsely gives a qualified opinion on an audit so the company being audited will continue with that audit firm the following year. Logically, as the money involved is more in the case of the CPA firm and individuals within the firm stand to benefit personally as the firm is enriched by the continued business, yet even so, we cannot stand direct personal enrichment resulting from a conflict of interest. In August, 2016, Apollo Global, a large private equity firm, settled with the SEC. Both personal and institutional conflicts of interest brought on the $53 million fine. Hence, this case is useful in comparing the two sorts of conflicts of interest.

The full essay is at "Apollo Global Too Close to the Sun"

Monday, August 22, 2016

Homeless “Campers” Starting Wildfires: Outside the Social Contract


Nederland, Colorado. A town in Boulder County that had embraced marijuana dispensaries for profit, found itself just outside a wildfire that burned 600 acres in July, 2016. Two homeless men were charged with fourth-degree arson for failing to put out their camp fire. The townsfolk reacted in anger, pointing to the increasing number of homeless people in the nearby national forest. Officials had been forced to deal with “more emergency calls, drug overdoses, illegal fires and trash piles deep in the woods.”[1] Some residents urged the U.S. Forest Service to crack down on the homeless by imposing tighter rules on camping, or banning it altogether in certain parts of the woods most popular with the homeless. An analysis drawing on the political philosophy of Thomas Hobbes, a seventeenth-century English philosopher can be employed to reveal a broader perspective on the problem.
The full essay is at "Homeless Campers."
 



1. Jack Healy, “As Homeless Find Refuge in Forests, ‘Anger is Palpable’ in Nearby Towns,” The New York Times, August 21, 2016.