An Extraordinary Time: The End of the Postwar Boom and the Rise of the Ordinary Economy, Author: Marc Levinson.
By Marc Levinson – Between 1948 and 1973, Australia, Japan, Sweden and Italy had not a single year of recession. West Germany and Canada did almost as well. The good times rolled on so long that people took them for granted.
Governments and the economists who advised them happily claimed the credit. Careful economic management, they said, had put an end to cyclical ups and downs. Governments possessed more information about citizens and business than ever before, and computers could crunch the data to help policymakers determine the best course of action. In a lecture at Harvard University in 1966, Walter Heller, formerly chief economic adviser to presidents John F Kennedy and Lyndon B Johnson, trumpeted the success of what he called the ‘new economics’. ‘Conceptual advances and quantitative research in economics,’ he declared, ‘are replacing emotion with reason.’
The Golden Age was wonderful while it lasted, but it cannot be repeated. If there were a surefire method for coaxing extraordinary performance from mature economies, it likely would have been discovered a long time ago. more> https://goo.gl/oQN8FL
Posted in Book review, Broadband, Business, Economic development, Economy, History, Leadership, Media, Net
Tagged Business improvement, Government, Industrial economy, Jobs, Leadership
By E J Spode – We need to talk about trust and its place in the fabric of our lives. Trust seems to be in short supply these days, although we have no choice but to rely on it.
We trust schools and babysitters to look after our children. We trust banks to hold our money and to transfer it safely for us. We trust insurance companies to pay us should we meet with some disaster. When we make a large purchase – such as a house – we trust our solicitors or an escrow company to hold the funds until the transaction is complete. We trust regulators and governments to make sure these institutions are doing what they are supposed to be doing.
A good way to wrap our minds around ‘blockchain’ concept is to think of its most famous application: Bitcoin. And the best way to think about Bitcoin is not in terms of coins at all but rather as a giant ledger.
Bitcoin is just one version of the blockchain. The fundamental technology has the potential to replace a much wider range of human institutions in which we use trust to reach a consensus about a state of affairs. It could provide a definitive record for property transfers, from diamonds to Porsches to original Picassos. It could be used to record contracts, to certify the authenticity of valuable goods, or to securely store your health records (and keep track of anyone who’s ever accessed them).
But there’s a catch: what about the faithful ‘execution’ of a contract? Doesn’t that require trust as well?
What good is an agr’ement, after all, if the text is there but people don’t respect it, and don’t follow through on their obligations? more> https://goo.gl/rW7huO
Posted in Banking, Broadband, Economic development, Economy, Education, Net, Technology
Tagged Banking reform, Blockchain, Broadband, Business improvement, Capital, Government, Internet, Technology
By Leonid Bershidsky – In 2016, the Munich Security report noted almost in passing that the absence of the U.S. from discussions about the eastern Ukraine conflict would have been unthinkable before, and that the U.S. didn’t appear to be particularly interested in resolving the Syria crisis on its terms, either.
In 2017, all bets are off on what the U.S. will ultimately do: Donald Trump and members of his team have made so many conflicting statements on foreign policy (and some of them are quoted in the report, side by side) that nothing is clear except that they intend to keep their cards close to the chest as they “put America first.” more> https://goo.gl/he7BeX