" /> Stylized Facts: August 2016 Archives

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August 16, 2016

You can work long, hard, or smart ? Yes $AMZN.

"You can work long, hard or smart, but at Amazon.com you can't choose two out of three," Jeff Bezos wrote in his 1997 letter to shareholders.

August 15, 2016

Finance industry must restore fairness and honesty without diminishing profit ?

Many of the founders of modern finance -- families whose names have been dragged through the mire of Libor and other scandals -- built their banks on Protestant principles. Their aim was simple: encourage thrift and enterprise to deter sin and sloth. They were not promoting get-rich-quick schemes and did not have corporate social responsibility departments.

These pioneers taught a crucial lesson: that saving was a route out of poverty and enterprise could be rewarded. It was a social responsibility in itself. And they realised an essential truth: financial institutions serve a society, they do not command. As these banks succeeded, so did the country.

Napoleon's jibe that Britain is a nation of shopkeepers was true because sober financiers helped people buy stock and start businesses. The Industrial Revolution transformed the nature of labour but the financial revolution democratised opportunity. That is why capitalism matters: no other system of economic organisation has liberated more people.

-- Tom Tugendhat

August 6, 2016

Happiness studies

Is happiness a purely subjective feeling, or can it be somehow measured? Can you be happy without knowing it? Can you only be happy without knowing it? Could someone be thoroughly miserable yet be convinced they were in ecstasy?

-- Asking for William Davies.