Peter Thiel’s new book sets out possible features of the next world-changing startup that will earn its founders a monopoly – another Google, say. Ben Horowitz’s focuses on running a tech company amid fierce competition. One is about vision, the other – for most people – reality.
Growing ties to China are a source of anxiety but the lop-sided relationship is here to stay. As Chinese buyers widen their horizons from resources to property and education, Australians have a chance to show they’re pragmatic. Beijing could help too, with a touch of soft power.
The U.S. football league has thrown its weight around to grow into a $10 bln entertainment colossus. Victims of the sport’s violence get trampled until the likes of Anheuser and Nike play offense. Corporate America may be all that keeps the NFL from going the way of boxing.
Despite higher university enrollment, wages are falling for young Americans. Research from the New York Fed shows higher education isn’t always a good investment. Some degree programs aren’t paying off. Loading up on debt to pay soaring tuition fees is riskier than it seems.
Some share repurchases get Warren Buffett’s seal of approval. But the great investor is on the wrong track. Buybacks are really dividends by another name. The price doesn’t matter. Besides, the practice is unfair to some shareholders and to governments. The world would be better without them.
British financial assets will face a rough ride if Scotland secedes. But a weaker sterling has economic benefits and the Bank of England can resist higher gilt yields. UK banks aren’t likely to be frozen out of money markets. Investors may panic, but a real crisis is unlikely.
Former partners are resurrecting the name in a display of hubris. It perpetuates a fiction that a few bad apples spoiled the firm and that Enron was an isolated event, says former practitioner Francine McKenna. Though Andersen’s conviction was overturned, the brand is tainted.
As the Chinese e-commerce giant launches its IPO, investors must decide what the shares are worth. Growth, profitability and stock market multiples are a factor. So are potential new businesses, though shaky governance merits a discount. Breakingviews spells out the key numbers.
Mario Draghi expects investors to come if he builds a market that he admits barely exists. Purchases of asset-backed securities might help growth and boost inflation. Yet the obstacles are substantial, and regulation is a thorn. Government aid would help.
Financial Times writer Martin Wolf’s new book is partly a cogent review of what went wrong in the 2008 crisis. But the message economists and policymakers should focus on, especially from a centrist intellectual, is that the best ideas for the future are far from the mainstream.