My longer form weekend reading:

• Amazon’s Dominant Strategy (Stratechery)
• Corporate investment: A mysterious divergence (
The evolution of knowledge: Science, Right and Wrong (The American Scholar)
• The rise of Promontory Financial Group: The DC-based consulting firm known by financial institutions the world over as the ultimate fix-it shop. (Washington Post)
Bugger: Perhaps the true state secret is that spies are not very good at what they do  (BBC)
• Conservative economic arguments since the crisis: A review (Noahpinion)
• Slow Ideas: Some innovations spread fast. How do you speed the ones that don’t? (New Yorker)
• Dirty Medicine: America’s dangerous and expensive health care system (Washington Monthly)
Adjusting the Picture: Why Modern Television Programming is so good (Morning News)
• Star Script Doctor Damon Lindelof Explains the New Rules of Blockbuster Screenwriting (Vulture)

Whats up for the weekend?


Old media outlets’ web traffic growth trails the upstarts
Source: Economist

Category: Financial Press

Please use the comments to demonstrate your own ignorance, unfamiliarity with empirical data and lack of respect for scientific knowledge. Be sure to create straw men and argue against things I have neither said nor implied. If you could repeat previously discredited memes or steer the conversation into irrelevant, off topic discussions, it would be appreciated. Lastly, kindly forgo all civility in your discourse . . . you are, after all, anonymous.

14 Responses to “10 Weekend Reads”

  1. winstongator says:

    Perhaps the true state secret is that spies are not very f(g)ood at what they do

    Hearing a story about closed embassies, how we need to be ‘on the ground’ in other countries, and how ambassadors need to interact with government officials, drove home a major mission of embassies and consulates – spying. This is not a secret. It’s in all sorts of thriller/action fiction books. It’s also something that makes our embassies more dangerous places than they need to be. Spies working out of embassies are also only half-spies. They are protected, and if found, they are expelled as ‘persona non grata’.

    The story also mentioned that our not having an embassy in Tehran hurts the US, without mentioning why we don’t have an embassy. It heavily involves 1979, but has real roots in 1953. Perhaps one big problem with our spies is that politicians & gov’t officials give them bad goals to work towards.

  2. scottinnj says:

    I’ve been reading the Ackman/JCP Board feud. I’m not quite sure I’ve seen such a ‘jump the shark’ moment as what Ackman is currently doing. Near as I can tell Ackman is complaining that Mike Ullman (who to be fair is not the reincarnation of Steve Jobs) isn’t cleaning up the mess than Ackman’s buddy Ron Johnson made fast enough. The Business Media spend too much time on people like Ackman, reason #3,312 that financial media is mostly a waste of time.

  3. alexeck says:

    “spies are not very food” ?

  4. RW says:

    On the subject of The Post purchase (ht AR)

    A new Babylon and the rise of the tech tycoon

    A lot of ink (pun intended) has been spilled on why Jeff Bezos bought the Post, how much Jeff Bezos loves reading and what Jeff Bezos will do with the media company. The right question to ask is: What does it all mean? Find out!

    Dunno about anyone else but the POTUS succeeded in pegging my BS meter out WRT:

    American surveillance: The Snowden effect

    …Obama laments that the debate over these issues did not follow “an orderly and lawful process”, but the administration often blocked such a course.

  5. Bob is still unemployed   says:

    I need to build up my reputation for all the ad firms that are tracking me via my smartphone, so I think I’ll go visit some choice neighborhoods, restaurants and shopping districts. I need to be sure that the targeted advertising shown to me in public spaces doesn’t give up my liking for scrapple.

    So what’s wrong with being tracked by advertisers?
    Companies are getting more aggressive about using your phone to track you. So what?

    ” A London startup has equipped 12 public recycling bins in the city to track passersby via their smartphones. The bins display advertising that’s customized for each phone tracked. You know, like in Minority Report.

    Not only do they not have the option to opt in, the tracked pedestrians aren’t even notified that they’re being tracked. In an early test, the devices tracked more than 750,000 individual phones in a 24-hour period. …”

  6. denim says:

    Re dominant strategies.
    What is the new definition of predatory pricing? I am under the impression that reducing the price of one’s product or service below one’s competitor(even to zero or “free”) in order to essentially run them out of business is predatory and a violation of anti trust laws. Yet the behemoths seem to cause the closing of many mom and pop sized competing businesses.

  7. hue says:

    Silverado: Nate Talks About New Gig (B.S. Report, PodCenter) ding dong the witch ain’t dead; Malcolm Gladwell also joins Silver to puntificate about new site, Brooklyn, Bezos WaPo & more … no more rhyming, i meant it, doesn’t anyone want a peanut?

  8. willid3 says:

    2 tier bank system in the US?
    not really sure

    dont we already have credit unions that sort of fit the community banks description? why not limit the insured deposits to just individual and commercial accounts (maybe already this way). so if the bank collapses only the deposits get taken care of, the rest of the banks goes away. and the banks executives could end up with prison terms depending on how they ended crashing and burning? and if nothing else their assets are used to help pay for the deposits and if any is left over, its used to pay off other creditors. and any non core banking functions (those that dont deal with bank account, loans, excluding investment accounts) get sold off to any one that might buy it. payments processing by the bank gets taken over by the treasury, and maybe sold later to another bank.

  9. willid3 says:

    has Amazon ever made a profit (total costs vs total revenue)? just curious. and there aren’t exactly many workers art Amazon, compared to old line businesses. but they seem to get a lot of play on wall street

  10. Was reading about “Emerging Markets Price-to-Book Ratio & Forward Returns”

  11. mpetrosian says:

    Re dominant strategy. Very awesome article, and has me thinking about Amazon in a whole new way. But it’s also an apple vs amazon story, and he left out some radical plans/products going on at Apple in making his case. Also, Sony never had an ecosystem feeding hardware.