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OpenMarket: Business and Government

  • Best Books of 2019: Humanomics by Vernon Smith and Bart Wilson

    December 27, 2019
    Smith and Wilson combine insights from their experimental economics research with insights about human character from Adam Smith’s "Wealth of Nations" and especially his 1759 book "The Theory of Moral Sentiments."
  • Best Books of 2019: Expert Failure by Roger Koppl

    December 26, 2019
    Koppl uses the role of experts to explain the difference between approaching social problems from the top down versus from the bottom up. Koppl defines an expert as anyone who is paid for their opinion. This is not tied to any credential, degree, affiliation, or any objective measure of knowledge. If someone sees fit to pay you for your opinion on something, you’re an expert on that something.
  • Weighing Bad Capitalism and Good Socialism

    December 24, 2019
    Recently economics professor Walter Block of Loyola University New Orleans wrote a great op-ed for The Wall Street Journal titled “Bad Capitalism and Good Socialism.” It helps clarify some confusion about the relative merits of different economic systems and the ostensible aspects of capitalism and socialism that people most often object to.
  • Best Books of 2019: The Enlightened Capitalists by James O’Toole

    December 24, 2019
    James O’Toole, a professor emeritus at the University of Southern California’s Marshall School of Business, has assembled an impressive collective history of dozens of innovative—and even visionary—business leaders in his new book, "The Enlightened Capitalists: Cautionary Tales of Business Pioneers Who Tried to Do Well by Doing Good."
  • Best Books of 2019: The Anarchy by William Dalrymple

    December 20, 2019
    How did a joint stock company founded in Elizabethan England come to replace the glorious Mughal Empire of India, ruling that great land for a hundred years? William Dalrymple’s splendid history, The Anarchy, tells that story—and purports to warn us about the perils of corporate power.
  • Best Books of 2019: The Narrow Corridor

    December 19, 2019
    Predatory governments with high corruption, that don’t respect political and economic freedoms, are extractive. Countries with these sorts of institutions tend to be both poor and repressive. Countries with inclusive institutions, such as strong property rights, democratic accountability, and the rule of law, tend to be both wealthy and free.
  • Department of Justice Wrong to Block Sabre Acquisition of Farelogix

    December 18, 2019
    On January 27th, the United States Department of Justice (DOJ) will attempt to block travel technology company Sabre Corporation from purchasing communications protocol innovator Farelogix, Inc. This will be the DOJ’s first time back at bat after striking out in June 2018 against AT&T’s ultimately successful acquisition of Time Warner. Unfortunately, it’s a good example of overzealous antitrust regulation.
  • Attorneys General Shouldn't Hold Mergers Hostage

    December 3, 2019
    Last week the attorneys general of Texas and Nevada announced the withdrawal of their support of a multistate lawsuit to block the merger of cellular telephone and Internet service providers T-Mobile and Sprint. This follows similar announcements from the attorneys general of Mississippi and Colorado earlier this year. With these announcements, more state attorneys general now support the merger than oppose it.
  • Negative Interest Rates' Impact on Public Pensions

    November 27, 2019
    One of the main responsibilities of pension fund managers is to work to maximize investment returns in order to grow the plan’s assets and thus meet payout obligations to future retirees. Given the fixed nature of the payout obligations, achieving that requires for a substantial share of investment to go toward relatively safe assets, such as government bonds, for which gains are steady and mostly reliable, rather than spectacular. But what happens when interest rates go negative?
  • Corporate 'Social Responsibility' Must Be Voluntary, Not Mandated

    November 19, 2019
    The Bipartisan Policy Center (BPC) just wrapped an event on corporate governance titled “The Role of a Corporation: The Shareholder versus Stakeholder Debate,” and it covered some interesting territory. BPC president Jason Grumet led a discussion with former Securities and Exchange Commission members Dan Gallagher and Roel Campos.

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