A new book uses the nose-horned beasts as a metaphor for obvious threats ignored by corporate and political leaders. Myriad examples enlisted by author Michele Wucker are engaging, but the solutions come off oversimplified. The gray rhino may not keep pace with the black swan.
The UK is voting on whether to leave the European Union. In many ways, Britain is already a euro-anomaly. No matter which way the public votes, the referendum will leave scars, and usher in big changes that go beyond the EU’s borders – whatever shape those may take.
Arthur Kroeber’s guide to the Chinese economy punctures the myth that it is governed from on high. He describes the competing interests and political bargains that underpin its growth in layman’s terms. It’s a valuable source for anyone trying to make sense of People’s Republic.
The distributed-ledger concept is linked to the bitcoin cryptocurrency, and more recently potential financial uses have taken wing. A new book, “Blockchain Revolution,” explores democratic and humanitarian applications. It’s both eye-opening and, at times, a bit wide-eyed.
Facebook’s board is proposing curbs on Mark Zuckerberg’s future power, while investors in Swiss Sika are fighting a sale of control. A Tribune Publishing vote may be a mere protest, but at T. Rowe Price an error is costing hard cash. Corporate ballots are more than lip service.
UK competition authorities are investigating price-fixing at London’s top model agencies. Creating a cartel from a market that has apparently low barriers to entry sounds tricky. But setting up a new entrant isn’t that easy – and antitrust tsars only need to prove intention.
Jim Koch’s tale of brewing Samuel Adams is refreshingly candid about battles with Budweiser, a controversial IPO and other troubles. Unlike many stale business books, “Quench Your Own Thirst” reads like a pub chat. Only Koch’s pride in bad governance leaves a bitter aftertaste.
Elon Musk’s SpaceX just broke the monopoly on military satellite launches enjoyed by the defense contractors’ alliance. Congress may help the pricey venture by allowing it to buy more sanctions-tainted Russian rocket engines. That’d be a strike against efficiency and innovation.
Telco operators, a conglomerate and a startup backed by China’s Alibaba are getting ready to launch new banks to serve the country’s poor. Tight regulation and fierce competition mean it will be hard to make money. Deep pockets will determine who survives.
Shinzo Abe has spent more than three years pushing for higher growth, faster inflation and a nimbler economy. But success eludes the Japanese prime minister, who has been too timid with the public purse. Keeping the project going calls for extra spending and even easier money.