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jerryking : policymakers   33

Opinion: Ottawa seems to be out of ideas on devising a new kind of China policy
JUNE 19, 2019 | The Globe and Mail | by DAVID MULRONEY. SPECIAL TO THE GLOBE AND
David Mulroney was Canada’s ambassador to China from 2009 to 2012.

A new approach is needed to managing Canada’s relationship with China – one that’s alive to Canadian vulnerabilities as well as our national interests.....There are many smart reasons for engaging China, but flattering the leadership in Beijing isn’t one of them. Good ideas emerge from hard thinking about long-term Canadian interests. Even summoning the vision and courage to think strategically would mark a significant improvement over our current China policy, which appears to be conjured up from equal measures of wishful thinking and parliamentary politics.....Thinking strategically requires asking why China is being so assertive, (e.g. building a blue-water navy, militarizing rocks and shoals in the South China Sea)....These are part of a patient and persistent Chinese effort to push the U.S. out of Asia and achieve regional dominance – and that is clearly not in Canada’s interest. The U.S.’s commitment to Asia enabled regional balance and, with it, peace and rising prosperity. More to the point, a China-dominated Asia would hardly be friendly to Canadian values and ideas.
(1) Abandon our current policy of “comprehensive engagement” – the notion that we should say yes to just about anything related to China. Cancel the commitment of $256-million over five years to the Beijing-based Asian Infrastructure Investment Bank.
(2) reassessment of our relationship with Taiwan.
(3) move from talking about human rights in China to actually doing something about them. We normally count on the United Nations to address major human-rights abuses, but the UN, anxious to avoid offending Beijing, has been silent in the face of the government’s mass detention of Uyghurs and its brutal assault on their religion, language and culture.
(4) do the same for China’s beleaguered Tibetans. Canada’s commitment would be a welcome signal to both communities that they haven’t been forgotten.
(5) investment at home, too. Put more money into domestic security, combatting Chinese interference more effectively. And we shouldn’t be afraid to name and shame perpetrators when we discover examples of meddling; Beijing won’t like it, but it will also probably tone down its more egregious activities.
(6) invest in China competence in Ottawa, where the commodity is alarmingly scarce. Future leaders in key departments, in the security agencies and in the Canadian Forces need to be far more aware of how China works and how it thinks. This isn’t about agreeing with China, but about understanding it – something that we’re having a hard time doing at present. To do so, Ottawa should create a special “China School” that not only offers language training but also exposes top people across government to the best thinking on China’s politics, economics and security issues.
AIIB  Beijing  bootcamps  Canada  Canada-China_relations  Canadian_Forces  China  China_rising  David_Mulroney  DND  human_rights  ideas  idea_generation  maritime  national_interests  op-ed  policymaking  policymakers  political_staffers  reinvention  security_&_intelligence  South_China_Sea  strategic_thinking  Taiwan  Tibet  Uyghurs  values  wishful_thinking 
june 2019 by jerryking
Lina Khan: ‘This isn’t just about antitrust. It’s about values’
March 29, 2019 | Financial Times | by Rana Foroohar.

Lina Khan is the legal wunderkind reshaping the global debate over competition and corporate power......While still a student at Yale Law School, she wrote a paper, “Amazon’s Antitrust Paradox”, which was published in the school’s influential journal..... hit a nerve at a time when the overweening power of the Big Tech companies, from Facebook to Google to Amazon, is rising up the agenda......For roughly four decades, antitrust scholars — taking their lead from Robert Bork’s 1978 book The Antitrust Paradox — have pegged their definitions of monopoly power to short-term price effects; so if Amazon is making prices lower for consumers, the market must be working effectively.....Khan made the case that this interpretation of US antitrust law, meant to regulate competition and curb monopolistic practices, is utterly unsuited to the architecture of the modern economy.....Khan's counterargument: that it doesn’t matter if companies such as Amazon are making things cheaper in dollars if they are using predatory pricing strategies to dominate multiple industries and choke off competition and choice.....Speaking to hedge funds and banks during her research, Khan found that they were valuing Amazon and its growth potential in a way that signified monopoly power..." I’m interested in imbalances in market power and how they manifest. That’s something you can see not just in tech but across many industries,” says Khan, who has written sharp pieces on monopoly power in areas as diverse as airlines and agriculture. " Khan, like many in her cohort, believes otherwise. “If markets are leading us in directions that we, as a democratic society, decide are not compatible with our vision of liberty or democracy, it is incumbent upon government to do something.” Lina Khan has had a stint as a legal fellow at the Federal Trade Commission, consulted with EU officials, influenced competition policy in India, brainstormed ideas with presidential hopeful Elizabeth Warren and — recently joined the House Subcommittee on Antitrust, Commercial and Administrative Law. The 2008 financial crisis she thinks “about markets, and the government’s response to them, and certain forms of intervention that they do take, and that they don’t take”.....Khan, Lynn and others including the Columbia academic Tim Wu have developed and popularised the “new Brandeis” school of antitrust regulation, hearkening back to the era in which Louis Brandeis, the “people’s lawyer”, took on oligarchs such as John D Rockefeller and JP Morgan.....Lina sees Amazon as not just a discount retailer but as a marketing platform, delivery and logistics network, a payment service, a credit lender, auction house, publisher and so on, and to understand just how ill-equipped current antitrust law was to deal with such a multi-faceted entity......a Columbia Law Review paper out in May 2019 will explores the case for separating the ownership of technology platforms from the commercial activity they host, so that Big Tech firms cannot both run a dominant marketplace and compete on it. via a host of old cases — from railroad antitrust suits to the separation of merchant banking and the ownership of commodities — to argue that “if you are a form of infrastructure, then you shouldn’t be able to compete with all the businesses dependent on your infrastructure”....“The new Brandeis movement isn’t just about antitrust,” .... Rather, it is about values. “Laws reflect values,” she says. “Antitrust laws used to reflect one set of values, and then there was a change in values that led us to a very different place.”

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21st._century  Amazon  antitrust  Big_Tech  digital_economy  financial_crises  FTC  lawyers  Lina_Khan  monopolies  multifaceted  paradoxes  platforms  policymakers  predatory_practices  Rana_Foroohar  regulators  Robert_Bork  Tim_Wu  wunderkind  Yale  values  value_judgements 
march 2019 by jerryking
Andrew Marshall, Pentagon’s Threat Expert, Dies at 97 - The New York Times
By Julian E. Barnes
March 26, 2019

Andrew Marshall, a Pentagon strategist who helped shape U.S. military thinking on the Soviet Union, China and other global competitors for more than four decades, has died. He was 97. Mr. Marshall, as director of the Office of Net Assessment, was the secretive futurist of the Pentagon, a long-range thinker who prodded and inspired secretaries of defense and high-level policymakers.......Marshall was revered in the DoD as a mysterious Yoda-like figure who embodied an exceptionally long institutional memory.......... Marshall's view of China as a potential strategic adversary, an idea now at the heart of national defense strategy....Through his many hires and Pentagon grants..... Mr. Marshall trained a coterie of experts and strategists in Washington and beyond.....he cultivated thinking that looked beyond the nation’s immediate problems and sought to press military leaders to approach long-term challenges differently......His gift was the framing of the question, the discovery of the critical question..... always picking the least studied and most strategically significant subjects....Marshall’s career as a strategic thinker began in 1949 at the RAND Corporation, where his theory of competitive strategies took root. Borrowing from business school theories of how corporations compete against each other, Mr. Marshall argued that nations are also in strategic competition with one another. “His favorite example was if you can pit your strengths against someone else’s weakness and get them to respond in a way that makes them weaker and weaker, you can put them out of business without ever fighting,”....He had early insight into the economic troubles the Soviet Union was having, and helped develop strategies to exacerbate those problems and help bring about the demise of the Soviet Union....In 2009, Robert M. Gates, the defense secretary at the time, asked Mr. Marshall to write a classified strategy on China with Gen. Jim Mattis, the future defense secretary.
adversaries  assessments_&_evaluations  China  China_rising  classified  economists  éminence_grise  future  futurists  inspiration  institutional_memory  long-range  long-term  obituaries  Pentagon  policymakers  problem_framing  RAND  rising_powers  Robert_Gates  SecDef  security_&_intelligence  strategic_thinking  threats  trailblazers  uChicago 
march 2019 by jerryking
Why further financial crises are inevitable
March 19, 2019 | Financial Times | Martin Wolf.

We learnt this month that the US Fed had decided not to raise the countercyclical capital buffer required of banks above its current level of zero, even though the US economy is at a cyclical peak. It also removed “qualitative” grades from its stress tests for American banks, though not for foreign ones. Finally, the Financial Stability Oversight Council, led by Steven Mnuchin, US Treasury secretary, removed the last insurer from its list of “too big to fail” institutions.

These decisions may not endanger the stability of the financial system. But they show that financial regulation is procyclical: it is loosened when it should be tightened and tightened when it should be loosened. We do, in fact, learn from history — and then we forget.....Regulation of banks has tightened since the financial crises of 2007-12. Capital and liquidity requirements are stricter, the “stress test” regime is quite demanding, and efforts have been made to end “too big to fail” by developing the idea of orderly “resolution” of large and complex financial institutions.....Yet complacency is unjustified. Banks remain highly leveraged institutions.....history demonstrates the procyclicality of regulation. Again and again, regulation is relaxed during a boom: indeed, the deregulation often fuels that boom. Then, when the damage has been done and disillusionment sets in, it is tightened again........We can see four reasons why this tends to happen: economic, ideological, political and merely human.

* Economic
Over time the financial system evolves. There is a tendency for risk to migrate out of the best regulated parts of the system to less well regulated parts. Even if regulators have the power and will to keep up, the financial innovation that so often accompanies this makes it hard to do so. The global financial system is complex and adaptable. It is also run by highly motivated people. It is hard for regulators to catch up with the evolution of what we now call “shadow banking”.

* Ideological
the tendency to view this complex system through a simplistic lens. The more powerful the ideology of free markets, the more the authority and power of regulators will tend to erode. Naturally, public confidence in this ideology tends to be strong in booms and weak in busts.

* Political

the financial system controls vast resources and can exert huge influence. In the 2018 US electoral cycle, finance, insurance and real estate (three intertwined sectors) were the largest contributors, covering one-seventh of the total cost. This is a superb example of Mancur Olson’s Logic of Collective Action: concentrated interests override the general one. This is much less true in times of crisis, when the public is enraged and wants to punish bankers. But it is true, again, in normal times.

Borderline or even blatant corruption also emerges: politicians may even demand a share in the wealth created in booms. Since politicians ultimately control regulators, the consequences for the latter, even if they are honest and diligent, are evident.

A significant aspect of the politics is closely linked to regulatory arbitrage: international competition. One jurisdiction tries to attract financial business via “light-touch” regulation; others then follow. This is frequently because their own financiers and financial centres complain bitterly. It is hard to resist the argument that foreigners are cheating.

* Human
There is a human tendency to dismiss long-ago events as irrelevant, to believe This Time is Different and ignore what is not under one’s nose. Much of this can be summarised as “disaster myopia”. The public gives irresponsible policymakers the benefit of the doubt and enjoys the boom. Over time, regulation degrades, as the forces against it strengthen and those in its favour corrode.

The cumulative effect of these efforts is quite clear: regulations erode and that erosion will be exported. This has happened before and will do so again. This time, too, is not different.
boom-to-bust  bubbles  collective_action  complacency  corruption  disaster_myopia  entrenched_interests  economic_downturn  financiers  financial_crises  financial_innovation  financial_regulation  financial_system  historical_amnesia  Mancur_Olson  Martin_Wolf  policymakers  politicians  politics  procyclicality  regulatory_arbitrage  regulation  regulators  stress-tests  This_Time_is_Different  U.S._Federal_Reserve 
march 2019 by jerryking
Jim Balsillie: Dragging Canada into the 21st Century | TVO.org
Technological innovation at the outset of this millennium has been nothing short of revolutionary. And it shows no signs of slowing down. Jim Balsillie, the former co-CEO of Research In Motion, says Canada is not keeping up. Worse, that policymakers and businesses still don't seem to fully appreciate the scope of the change underway. He's now chair of the Council of Canadian innovators, and he joins The Agenda to discuss his ideas.

#1 job. Accumulate valuable intangible assets. which you then commercialize. You acquire a lot of IP and data assets.
Jim_Balsillie  Canada  Steve_Paikin  policymakers  priorities  digital_economy  innovation  knowledge_economy  ideas  intangibles  intellectual_property  competitiveness  protocols  Sun_Tzu  under-performing  under_appreciated  21st._century 
february 2019 by jerryking
Canada doomed to be branch plant for global tech giants unless Ottawa updates thinking, Balsillie warns | Financial Post
James McLeod
November 16, 2018
7:27 PM EST

Canadian governments need to radically rethink their approach to the knowledge economy if the country is to be anything more than a branch plant for global technology giants,.......“I think they confuse a cheap jobs strategy … (and) foreign branch plant pennies with innovation billions,” .........Balsillie has argued that the “intangible” economy of data, software and intellectual property is fundamentally different from the classical industrial economy built on the trade of goods and services, and that because Canadian policymakers fail to understand that difference, they keep being taken for rubes.......Balsillie was particularly critical of the federal government’s policy when it comes to “branch plant” investments in Canada in the technology sector.

He said that in the traditional economy of goods and services, foreign direct investment (FDI) is a good thing, because there’s a multiplier effect — $100 million for a new manufacturing plant or an oil upgrader might create $300 million in spinoff economic activity.

But if you’re just hiring programmers to write software, the picture is different, he said. It’s a much smaller number of jobs with fewer economic benefits, and, more importantly, the value created through intellectual property flows out of the country.

“Our FDI approaches have been the same for the intangibles, where, when you bring these companies in, they put a half a dozen people in a lab, they poach the best talent and they poach the IP, and then you lose all the wealth effects,”....“Don’t get me wrong. I believe in open economies. They’re going to come here anyway; I just don’t know why we give them the best talent, give them our IP, give them tax credits for the research, give them the red carpet for government relations, don’t allow them to pay taxes, and then have all the wealth flow out of the country.”...if small countries such as Canada make a point of prioritizing the intangible economy, there are huge opportunities. He pointed to Israel, Finland and Singapore as examples of how smart policies and specialization can reap big rewards.

“I could literally see enormously powerful positions for Canada if we choose the right places. I mean, there are some obvious ones: value added in the food business, and precision data and IP in agriculture; certainly in energy extraction and mining, which are data and technology businesses,” he said.

“We actually have enormous opportunities to build the resilience and opportunity,” he said. ”And how can you threaten a country with a picture of a Chevy and 25 per cent tariffs when you’ve built these kinds of very powerful innovation infrastructures that you can’t stop with a tariff because they move with the click of a mouse?”
agriculture  branch_plants  Canada  data  digital_economy  energy  FDI  Finland  food  GoC  industrial_economy  IP_retention  intangibles  intellectual_property  Israel  Jim_Balsillie  mining  policymakers  property_rights  protocols  Singapore  talent  technology  wealth_effects 
november 2018 by jerryking
The Bank of England future-proofs itself – MainStreetEcon
June 26, 2018 | Financial Times | by mainstreetecon 14 hours ago14 hours ago

[Future-proofing is the process of anticipating the future and developing methods of minimizing the effects of shocks and stresses of future events. ]
anticipating  Bank_of_England  central_banks  frameworks  future-proofing  monetary_policy  policymakers 
june 2018 by jerryking
Canada needs an innovative intellectual property strategy - The Globe and Mail
JAMES HINTON AND PETER COWAN
Special to The Globe and Mail
Published Friday, May 19, 2017

Canada has never before had a national IP strategy, so getting it right will set the stage for subsequent innovation strategies. Here are some factors that our policy makers must take into account:

(1) Canadian innovators have only a basic understanding about IP

Canadian entrepreneurs understand IP strategy as a defensive mechanism to protect their products. In reality, IP is the most critical

(2) Focus on global IP landscape, rather than tweak domestic IP rules

Canada’s IP regime, including the Canadian Intellectual Property Office, needs a strategy that reflects global norms for IP protection, protects Canadian consumers and shrewdly supports Canadian innovators.l tool for revenue growth and global expansion in a 21st-century economy.

(3) Canadian businesses own a dismal amount of IP

Although IP has emerged as the most valuable corporate asset over the past two decades, it is overlooked by Canadian policy makers and businesses.
(4) Building quality patent portfolio requires technically savvy experts

A high-quality patent portfolio needs to include issued and in-force patents, including patents outside of Canada in key markets such as the United States and Europe. Strong portfolios will also have broad sets of claims that are practised by industry, spread across many patents creating a cloud of rights with pending applications.
(5) IP benefits from public-private partnerships are flowing out of country.

Canada’s innovation strategy must consider ownership and retention of our IP as one of its core principles. Are we satisfied with perpetually funding IP creation while letting foreign countries reap the benefits?
21st._century  Canada  Canadian  defensive_tactics  digital_economy  digital_savvy  digital_strategies  high-quality  intangibles  intellectual_property  IP_generation  IP_retention  Jim_Balsillie  overlooked  patents  policymakers  portfolios  portfolio_management  property_rights  protocols  strategic_thinking 
may 2017 by jerryking
Yale to Build Tool Offering Real-Time Lessons on Financial Crises -
May 9, 2017 | WSJ | By Gabriel T. Rubin.

Yale University will launch an online platform to provide real-time support to policy makers dealing with financial crises, with the help of a $10 million gift from business leaders and philanthropists Bill Gates, Jeff Bezos, Bloomberg Philanthropies and the Peter G. Peterson Foundation.

The gift represents a major expansion of the Yale Program on Financial Stability, a degree-granting program in the university’s school of management that aims to train early- and midcareer financial regulators from around the globe.

The new resources will support a small staff of researchers, led by Professor Andrew Metrick, as they build a database of “lessons from hundreds of interventions from past crises,” the university said. The effort is the first of its kind, according to Yale, and reflects a need for more research on “wartime” situations, rather than the preventive sort of regulatory research done by central banks around the world. Central banks often avoid extensive crisis preparations out of reluctance to promote moral hazard, leaving policy makers to reinvent the wheel each time a new crisis arises.....Mr. Geithner, who serves as the chairman of the Program on Financial Stability, said that he and other policy makers would have been able to act faster and with greater confidence during the financial crisis with access to the tools that Mr. Metrick’s team will build.

“There were probably four or five periods when the crisis was escalating, the panic was spreading, sitting on the phone for 20 hours a day trying to figure out how to do things,” Mr. Geithner recalled. “And we hadn’t had to do some of those things since the Great Depression. That took us a lot of time, and that can be costly.”

The open online platform will include descriptions of specific interventions—for example, the use of a “bad bank” to hold distressed assets—and will detail what did and didn’t work well in each case.
Yale  Colleges_&_Universities  crisis  regulators  Walter_Bagehot  central_banks  real-time  databases  lessons_learned  policy_tools  Peter_Peterson  reinventing_the_wheel  policymakers  confidence  economic_downturn  decision_making  speed  the_Great_Depression  crisis_management  crisis_response  Tim_Geithner  moral_hazards  financial_crises 
may 2017 by jerryking
National Black Caucus of State Legislators: Preparing for the Age of Trump
BY: CHARLES D. ELLISON
Posted: December 4, 2016

As bad as that may look, however, don’t sleep on the NBCSL. With those numbers, none of the above eliminates the NBCSL’s truly massive importance as an august national body of black political power. Even if we can’t link to its website at the moment, it still manages to somehow connect and coordinate these 700 legislators, occasionally corralling crucial policy coordination on a wide range of issues when needed.

Black state legislators are like a first line of defense standing between national sanity and the global tempest that is Donald Trump, plus a fully decked GOP Congress. Need to change police-conduct standards? Call your local black state rep or senator because that’s in their wheelhouse. When Trump’s proposed $1 trillion infrastructure plan rolls out and trickles to states, black state officials will be key on oversight. And issues like education reform, charter schools and vouchers can’t really move without black state legislators’ eyes on them....."expressing frustration that the census woefully undercounts the national black population and that, unfortunately, many black constituents don’t help the situation by avoiding it. The significance of redistricting and racial gerrymandering cannot be underestimated: It plays a central role in structurally consolidating Republican political power to a gargantuan and potentially tyrannical degree."....New Jersey state Sen. Ron Rice (D-Newark), argued that’s why black elected officials must press aggressively for more collaboration among the state-, local- and federal-level groups, like NBCSL, the Congressional Black Caucus, the African American Mayors Association and the National Black Caucus of Locally Elected Officials. “This day and age, we can’t be playing around,” said Rice.

“We have to acknowledge the need to coordinate on a number of issues, like jobs, crime, education, and know what the other is doing,”
African-Americans  politicians  redistricting  constituencies  census  under-representation  undercounting  gerrymandering  organizational_capital  collaboration  coordination  policymakers  policymaking 
december 2016 by jerryking
One Firm Getting What It Wants in Washington: BlackRock - WSJ
By RYAN TRACY and SARAH KROUSE
Updated April 20, 2016

The Problem: BlackRock believed that the U.S. Federal Reserve was leaning towards designating it as a source of financial system risk, like other big banks, and as such, be “too big to fail”.

What Was At Stake: the designation “systemically important” would draw BlackRock in for greater oversight by the Federal Reserve which would mean tougher rules and potentially higher capital requirements from U.S. regulators.

The Solution: BlackRock didn't take any chances. The company began spending heavily on lobbying and engaging policymakers. Executives at the firm began preparing for greater federal scrutiny of their business in the months following the 2008 financial crisis. BlackRock aggressively prepared a counter-narrative upon discovered a Treasury Department’s Office of Financial Research report that asset-management firms and the funds they run were “vulnerable to shocks” and may engage in “herding” behavior that could amplify a shock to the financial system. The response took the form of a 40-plus-page paper rebutting the report. The firm suggested that instead of focusing on the size of a manager or fund, regulators should look at what specific practices, such as the use of leverage, might be the source of risks. While other money managers such as Fidelity and Vanguard sought to evade being labeled systemically important, BlackRock’s strategy stood out.
BlackRock  crony_capitalism  Washington_D.C.  risks  lobbying  too_big_to_fail  asset_management  advocacy  government_relations  influence  political_advocacy  policy  U.S._Federal_Reserve  systemic_risks  Communicating_&_Connecting  U.S.Treasury_Department  counternarratives  oversight  financial_system  leverage  debt  creating_valuable_content  think_differently  policymakers  policymaking 
april 2016 by jerryking
From terrorism to technological disruption: Leaders need to tackle risk - The Globe and Mail
DAVID ISRAELSON
Special to The Globe and Mail
Published Wednesday, Jan. 27, 2016

“Not only do they have to think about and worry about economic changes and what their competitors are going to do, they now have a whole new level of political and regulatory risk,” Ms. Ecker says.

“You can’t predict in some cases how a policy maker is going to move. We’re seeing that in China now.”

At the beginning of 2016, as markets began a steep slide in China, that country’s regulators twice activated a “circuit breaker” mechanism to halt trading, only to abandon it after it appeared to make the drop in the market even worse.

The lesson is that sometimes “business practices and even business products that seem acceptable today, for whatever reason, when something happens can be considered things you shouldn’t be doing. There’s more policy unpredictability than ever before,” Ms. Ecker says.

“In an increasingly risky world, a CEO needs to be increasingly flexible and adaptable. You also need to have a team and know what the latest threat might be.”

That isn’t necessarily easy, she adds. “There’s no rule book. When I was in politics, people used to ask me what we should anticipate. I’d tell them, ‘Read science fiction books.’ ”....CEOs in today’s risky world also need people skills that may not have been necessary before, says Shaharris Beh, director of Hackernest, a Toronto-based not-for-profit group that connects worldwide tech companies.

“CEOs have always needed strong skills around rapid decision-making and failure mitigation. In today’s hypercompetitive startup business climate, leaders need two more: pivot-resilience and proleptic consensus leadership,” he says.

“Pivot-resilience is the ability to tolerate the stress of gut-wrenching risks when dramatically shifting strategy. In other words, be able to take the blame gracefully while still warranting respect among your team members.”

Proleptic consensus leadership is especially important for startups, Mr. Beh says. “It’s the ability to garner the team’s support for taking big risks by giving them the assurance of what backup plans are in place should things go sour.”

This consensus building “is how you keep support,” he adds. In a volatile economy, “people can jump ship at any time or even unintentionally sabotage things if they’re not convinced a particular course of action will work.” So you have to constantly persuade.
science_fiction  law_firms  law  risks  CEOs  risk-management  disruption  BLG  leaders  pivots  resilience  consensus  risk-taking  contingency_planning  unpredictability  political_risk  regulatory_risk  policymakers  flexibility  adaptability  anticipating  people_skills  circuit_breakers 
february 2016 by jerryking
What Scented Candles Say to an Economist - The New York Times
By DIANE COYLE NOV. 7, 2015

We need a wider variety of indicators to help us take a more accurate reading of the economy. Some of these might seem frivolous, but paying close attention to worldly detail could make forecasting more reliable.
(1) height of hemlines
(2) the number of cranes visible on the skyline
(3) Spending on luxury items is another example. During a boom, sales of fast cars, expensive paintings, prime real estate and diamond necklaces all soar, as do their prices.

Less obvious are trends in retailing. When the good times roll, people decide that their great idea for a specialty store is viable. Thus booms bring all those boutiques selling just one type of good: socks or scented candles or freshly squeezed juices. But like flowers that display the behavior known as nyctinasty — opening to the sun’s light and warmth — they close as soon as the skies darken and things start to cool.

(4) how easy, or otherwise, it is to get restaurant reservations or tickets for shows.
(5) how many “help wanted” signs appear in the windows of stores and restaurants.

....G.D.P. almost certainly fails to capture newer areas of economic activity, such as today’s digital innovation — so other sources of information are needed to fill the gap....economic policy makers usually scrutinize tens, or even hundreds, of indicators, covering different industries and assets, different parts of the country, different groups of people. They monitor jobs reports, advertising rates, wage settlements, the cost of shipping freight, asset prices, sales of consumer durables and much, much more.
economics  economists  forecasting  non-obvious  GDP  indicators  trends  retailers  boutiques  detail_oriented  economic_data  information_sources  policymakers  policymaking 
november 2015 by jerryking
An Elizabethan Cyberwar - NYTimes.com
May 31, 2013 | NYT | By JORDAN CHANDLER HIRSCH and SAM ADELSBERG.

Instead of trying to beat back the New World instability of the Internet with an old playbook, American officials should embrace it. With the conflict placed in its proper perspective, policy makers could ratchet down the rhetoric and experiment with a new range of responses that go beyond condemnation but stop short of all-out cyberwar — giving them the room to maneuver without approaching cyberconflict as a path to Defcon 1.

In these legally uncharted waters, only Elizabethan guile, not cold war brinkmanship, will steer Washington through the storm.
cunning  cyber_warfare  China  China_rising  U.S.  security_&_intelligence  guile  lessons_learned  contextual  Elizabethan  cyber_security  instability  resilience  perspectives  tools  frenemies  espionage  risk-mitigation  policy_tools  cyberweapons  U.S.-China_relations  policymakers  policymaking  playbooks 
june 2013 by jerryking
Chrystia Freeland | Analysis & Opinion
May 23, 2013 | | Reuters.com |By Chrystia Freeland.

Daron Acemoglu of the Massachusetts Institute of Technology and James Robinson of Harvard University.

In their seminal 2012 book, “Why Nations Fail,” Acemoglu and Robinson offered a powerful new framework for understanding why some societies thrive and others decline – those based on inclusive growth succeed, while those where growth is extractive wither.

Their new study, “Economics Versus Politics: Pitfalls of Policy Advice,” will be published later this year in the Journal of Economic Perspectives and is available now in draft form as a National Bureau of Economic Research working paper. It tackles an essential subject in the age of technocracy: the limits of technocratic thinking as a basis for policy.

Their critique is not the standard technocrat’s lament that wise policy is, alas, politically impossible to implement. Instead, their concern is that policy which is eminently sensible in theory can fail in practice because of its unintended political consequences.
Chrystia_Freeland  books  economists  unintended_consequences  failed_states  Non-Integrating_Gap  policymakers  policymaking 
may 2013 by jerryking
Jonah's Dilemma - WSJ.com
September 21, 2007 | WSJ | By MICHAEL B. OREN and MARK GERSON.

This is the tragedy of leadership. Policy makers must decide between costly actions and inaction, the price of which, though potentially higher, will ultimately remain unknown -- a truly Jonah-like dilemma.
cost_of_inaction  leadership  policymakers  unknowns 
july 2012 by jerryking
The Limits of Intelligence - WSJ.com
December 10, 2007 | WSJ | By PETER HOEKSTRA and JANE HARMAN.

On one of our several trips together to Iraq, a senior intelligence official told us how she wrote her assessments -- on one page, with three sections: what we know, what we don't know, and what we think it means.

Sound simple? Actually, it's very hard....The information we receive from the intelligence community is but one piece of the puzzle in a rapidly changing world. It is not a substitute for policy, and the challenge for policy makers is to use good intelligence wisely to fashion good policy.

In fact, the new NIE on Iran comes closest to the three-part model our intelligence community strives for: It carefully describes sources and the analysts' assessment of their reliability, what gaps remain in their understanding of Iran's intentions and capabilities, and how confident they are of their conclusions....Nevertheless, Congress must engage in vigorous oversight -- to challenge those who do intelligence work, and to make site visits to see for ourselves.

Intelligence is an investment -- in people and technology. It requires sustained focus, funding and leadership. It also requires agency heads that prioritize their constitutional duty to keep the intelligence committees informed. Good intelligence will not guarantee good policy, but it can spare us some huge policy mistakes.
security_&_intelligence  critical_thinking  Iran  memoranda  policy  sense-making  unknowns  interpretation  interpretative  information_gaps  oversight  rapid_change  think_threes  assessments_&_evaluations  policymakers  policymaking  intelligence_analysts 
june 2012 by jerryking
A failure in generalship
May 2007 | Armed Forces Journal | By Lt. Col. Paul Yingling.

Prussian military theorist Carl von Clausewitz noted that passion, probability and policy each play their role in war....generals must provide policymakers and the public with a correct estimation of strategic probabilities. The general is responsible for estimating the likelihood of success in applying force to achieve the aims of policy...“Learning to Eat Soup With a Knife,” by John Nagl
leadership  politics  war  warfare  strategy  strategic_thinking  organizational_culture  civilian-military_relations  Prussian  books  Carl_von_Clausewitz  generalship  probabilities  contextual  militaries  policymakers  policymaking 
may 2012 by jerryking
Why Intelligence and Policymakers Clash
Summer 2010 | POLITICAL SCIENCE QUARTERLY
Volume 125 · Number 2 | by ROBERT JERVIS
security_&_intelligence  spymasters  policymakers  policymaking 
december 2011 by jerryking
The Untapped Talent That Can Juice the Economy - BusinessWeek
September 30, 2011, 4:25 PM EDT

...Trying to stimulate the economy by encouraging more people to go into business for themselves doesn’t appear to work. That’s because entrepreneurial talent can’t be quickly built by giving people a short class in writing a business plan or using QuickBooks. If we can influence entrepreneurial talent at all—an open question—it takes long-term investments in education.....The levers policymakers can influence in the short term—giving entrepreneurs more access to credit or training people in business startup skills—also do little because these factors are only a small part of what limits the supply of entrepreneurial talent. .... Instead of trying to increase the amount of entrepreneurial talent in the economy, policymakers should provide incentives to reallocate that talent from unproductive or destructive forms of entrepreneurship to more productive forms.
To Baumol, entrepreneurship takes three forms: productive, unproductive, and destructive. Productive entrepreneurship is the kind we all want. ...policymakers will get more bang for the policy buck if they concentrate instead on encouraging those who have entrepreneurial talent to use it for productive purposes.

Examples of incentive are: tax earnings from business activities that merely shift wealth from one party to another at a higher rate than money made from productive entrepreneurship. We could forgive student loans of productive entrepreneurs, but not the unproductive ones. We could even make credit cheaper for productive entrepreneurs than for the wealth-shifting types.

Efforts to encourage anyone to start a business have done little for growth. Getting skilled professionals to focus on "productive" ventures makes more sense

By Scott Shane
entrepreneurship  policymaking  policymakers  economists  small_business  productivity  talent_allocation  gazelles  incentives 
october 2011 by jerryking
Rumsfeld: Know the Unknowns - WSJ.com
APRIL 4, 2011| WSJ | By L. GORDON CROVITZ. Before 9/11,
Rumsfeld distributed to colleagues a comment about Pearl Harbor by
economist Thomas Schelling: "There is a tendency in our planning to
confuse the unfamiliar with the improbable." Rumsfeld focuses on
unknown unknowns in order to encourage more "intellectual humility" ."It
is difficult to accept—to know—that there may be important unknowns."
"In the run-up to the war in Iraq, we heard a great deal about what our
intel community knew or thought they knew," he writes, "but not enough
about what they knew they didn't know." Policy makers can't afford to
be paralyzed by a lack of info., inaction by the world's superpower has
its own risks. Instead, Rumsfeld says the known known of info. gaps
should force a more robust give-and-take between policy makers &
intelligence analysts, allowing analysts to understand what policymakers
need to know & policymakers to understand what info. they can and
cannot get from intelligence.
Donald_Rumsfeld  superpowers  L._Gordon_Crovtiz  memoirs  decision_making  security_&_intelligence  information_gaps  humility  uncertainty  cost_of_inaction  unknowns  Thomas_Schelling  improbables  quotes  unfamiliarity  SecDef  policymakers  policymaking  intelligence_analysts 
april 2011 by jerryking
Foreign Policy's Second Annual List of the 100 Top Global Thinkers | Foreign Policy
DECEMBER 2010 | The FP Top 100 Global Thinkers. Foreign Policy
presents a unique portrait of 2010's global marketplace of ideas and
the thinkers who make them.
thought_leadership  best_of  lists  globalization  foreign_policy  booklists  policymakers  policymaking 
december 2010 by jerryking
More mileage to gain from bikes and B-52s
January 10, 2007 | Financial Times pg. 9 | By Alan Cane who
reviews "The Shock of the Old: Technology and Global History Since
1900," by David Edgerton. Oxford University Press

Edgerton pursues three propositions:

First, that conventional histories of technological progress are partial, incomplete and weighted towards innovation and invention.

Second, that older technologies – the guillotine, the rickshaw, corrugated iron and the horse among them – have an importance in the modern world that is often overlooked by “innovation-centric” pundits.

Third, that “to rethink the history of technology is necessarily to rethink the history of the world”.
.....Edgerton targets what he perceives as sloppy and clichéd thinking that celebrates the new and innovatory and ignores the old and useful..... Edgerton attacks authors who treat the history of technology as a succession of “boys toys”, who laud their innovators and inventors as heroes, and who play down the importance of copying, adapting and transferring......Edgerton argues that Ikea, the Swedish retailer, is a “wonderful” example of his arguments. “First, of the continuing significance of what we take to be old, in this case, not just furniture, but wooden furniture, supplied obviously by forests. In terms of industry, it exemplifies beautifully the extension rather than the retreat of mass production, and its globalisation, producing fantastically cheap outputs. In terms of service industries it is an example of mass retailing and mass consumption of identical goods.”......not all technologies are successful, that economics and culture play a big part in the rate at which technologies are adopted by particular countries and how long they continue to be useful, and that innovation is not a sure road to prosperity.....investments in research and development does not necessarily lead to economic growth and that change is more frequently the result of the transfer of technologies between companies and countries.
book_reviews  reverse_innovation  think_threes  Ikea  furniture  R&D  books  policymakers  technology_transfers  copycats  technology  adaptability  mass_production 
february 2010 by jerryking
To outsmart the bad guys, CSIS's next boss must play it smart
April 29, 2009 | The Globe & Mail | by WESLEY WARK. CSIS'
current director is set to retire. Wark lays out what's required by his
successor to ensure that the agency's "product" gains relevance amongst
Canadian policymakers. "The more radical challenges lie elsewhere. They
have to do with people, thinking skills, and transformative
capabilities". CSIS has to improve it record on analysis. Too much of
its past product has been superficial, irrelevant and driven by
ill-thought-out demands. Climate security, failed states, environmental
degradation, natural disasters, pandemics, cyber crimes, people
smuggling, international drug trafficking--which should CSIS be focused
on?
security_&_intelligence  CSIS  succession  Wesley_Wark  Canada  Canadian  threats  policymakers  policymaking 
may 2009 by jerryking
Summers Crafts Broad Role in Reshaping Economy - WSJ.com
FEBRUARY 7, 2009 WSJ article By MONICA LANGLEY profiling Larry
Summers' settling into, and shaping, his new role as chief White House
economic adviser.
policy  economics  profile  Larry_Summers  policymakers  policymaking 
february 2009 by jerryking

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