Economist

We Were Surprised To Learn Which Country Dominates The World In Natural Gas-Fueled Cars

Source: http://www.businessinsider.com/natural-gas-fueled-cars-chart-2012-7

In the Economist’s report on America’s energy revolution this week is an astonishing chart showing which countries lead the world in cars running on compressed natural gas.  And it may surprise you.

cngv 

It’s apparently not a new trend — Khodro, Iran’s main auto manufacturer, has staked its fortunes on churning on CNG-based autos.

T. Boone Pickens has even evidently claimed that the Iranians have strategically made the switch to immunize themselves from the oil markets. 

Whatever the case, the U.S. is getting lapped.

Read more at Economist.com.

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Monday, July 16th, 2012 Uncategorized No Comments

The Most Overpaid CEOs In America (OXY)

Source: http://www.businessinsider.com/obermatt-overpaid-underpaid-ceos-america-2012-2


oil occidental irani

Executive compensation is one of the most ironic hotly-debated topics out there.  It’s hotly debated because people often complain that CEOs are overpaid.  It’s ironic because most of the people who complain about excessive pay have the capacity to do something, yet they do nothing.

You see, every year shareholders of a company are mailed a Form DEF 14A, also known as the proxy statement. In the proxy are the details of the company’s executive compensation plans, and they are typically written plain English.  If shareholders don’t like the plan, they vote it down.

But many shareholders will receive the proxy in the mail and throw it right into the trash. And by default, they vote in favor of whatever plan is recommended by the Board.

Anyways, research firm Obermatt (via The Economist) computed the excess pay of CEOs of the S&P 100 companies.  Excess pay is calculated as deserved pay less actual pay.  Deserved pay is measured considering earnings growth and shareholder return and the compensation practices of peer group companies.

On the top of the “Most Overpaid” list is Occidental Petroleum’s Ray Irani. Irani is widely considered the poster child of excessive pay.

On the bottom are fan favorites Steve Jobs and Warren Buffett.

Here’s a chart of Obermatt’s rankings courtesy of The Economist:

chart

SEE ALSO: These CEOs Were Paid $100+ Million To Quit >

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Tuesday, February 7th, 2012 news No Comments

I Read 21 Books About The Financial Crisis And They Explained Nothing

Source: http://www.businessinsider.com/andrew-lo-21-books-financial-crisis-2012-2


andrew lo

Ever thought you would have to read 21 books to get to the bottom of what caused the financial crisis?

Andrew Lo, an economist at MIT, has some bad news: it’s going to take at least 22.

Lo, a leading expert on hedge funds and financial engineering, has written a paper (h/t NPR) for the Journal of Economic Literature describing his experience reading 21 books on the crisis — nine by journalists, 11 by academics and one by a former Treasury Secretary.

His conclusion: In a field that prides itself on its scientific rigor (however dismal), the books reveal that alarmingly few facts about the crisis have been agreed upon. Was there too little or too much regulation? How much of a factor were low interest rates? No one’s been able to say conclusively.

“After each book, I felt like I knew less,” Lo told NPR’s Planet Money.

Economics, he says, has fallen well short of that standard when it comes to understanding the crisis:

“Many of us like to think of financial economics as a science, but complex events like the financial crisis suggest that this conceit may be more wishful thinking than reality.”

Read Andrew Lo’s Reading About the Financial Crisis: A 21-Book Review >

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Monday, February 6th, 2012 news No Comments

Entrepreneurs Can See The Future, And Here’s What The Future Looks Like

Source: http://www.businessinsider.com/ron-conway-startups-trends-future-2012-1


Ron Conway

SV Angel’s Ron Conway has been an investor since 1994.  In this month’s issue of The Economist, Conway writes his 2012 startup predictions.

First he says the social web has hardly reached maturity. We’ve only seen the beginning of what’s possible via Facebook. “Some 90% of the world’s data have been generated in the past two years,” he writes.

Conway thinks social interactions will be at the heart of most new products moving forward. They’ll influence everything from search results to how mom and pop shops conduct their businesses.

Conway also notes how quickly startups are seeing success at the local level. Groupon built a multi-billion-dollar business in three years. Conway wonders if we’ll see a startup become a true $1 billion business in 12 months in 2012.

The biggest trend Conway sees is something he calls “collaborative  consumption.”  By that he means people area willing to share or rent things instead of buy them. Airbnb and ZipCar are good examples of this.

Conway concludes by saying why he loves startups. “The answer is quite simple: these entrepreneurs share their vision of the future with me. And every so often, their vision becomes the future. What could be more interesting than that?”

To read the full article, head over to The Economist >>

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Tuesday, January 3rd, 2012 news No Comments

Check Out The Correlation Between Market Volatility And Google Searches For ‘Gold’

Source: http://www.businessinsider.com/awesome-google-labs-chart-shows-gold-and-volatility-go-together-2011-12


This chart from The Economist shows just how correlated popular interest in gold and market craziness are.

A great reminder that market data has a broad definition and comes from diverse sources.

(H/t to Ben Malbon at Google Labs.)

Fear Indices By Ben Malbon

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Thursday, December 29th, 2011 news No Comments

You Watch More TV (and Less YouTube) Than You Think

Source: http://gizmodo.com/5534061/you-watch-more-tv-and-less-youtube-than-you-think

You Watch More TV (and Less YouTube) Than You ThinkAs part of a special report on the state of couch potatoes in the year 2010, the Economist collected data on perceived vs. actual media consumption. People are in denial about their TV addictions and overconfident in their YouTube cool.

Maybe not consciously, but that seems to be the case. The chart shows that to some extent YouTube is still a media event—something we’re aware of ourselves watching—whereas TV just washes over us and seeps into our rotting brains without us even realizing it.

These numbers are from 2008, though, and it would be interesting to see how the balance has shifted over the last 2 years. Personally, my YouTube watching is way up, my TV watching is way down, and the only time I hear the radio is when someone drives by with their windows down. Because honestly, who needs Treme when you have this. [The Economist]

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Sunday, May 9th, 2010 news No Comments

Dr. Augustine Fou is Digital Consigliere to marketing executives, advising them on digital strategy and Unified Marketing(tm). Dr Fou has over 17 years of in-the-trenches, hands-on experience, which enables him to provide objective, in-depth assessments of their current marketing programs and recommendations for improving business impact and ROI using digital insights.

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