January 05, 2010
Farewell, and Happy Twelfth Night!
Posted by Trey Drury

I've had a great time the last few weeks.  I made it to over 50% of my "to blog" list, so that must be some sort of success.  Thanks to all of the permanent Glommers for giving me a microphone for a little while.

Tomorrow is the twelfth day of Christmas, making tomorrow night Twelfth Night.  For those of you missing the significance, twelfth night marks the transition from the Christmas season to the Carnival season.  Carnival season is a glorious time in the Drury household, marked by king cakes, costumes, parades, and, eventually, Mardi Gras.  Safe travels to all of you headed to New Orleans.  I hope to catch up with old friends and meet some new ones this week!

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May 23, 2005
Carnival of the Capitalists. . .
Posted by Christine Hurt
May 16, 2005
Carnival of the Capitalists. . .
Posted by Christine Hurt
April 25, 2005
Posted by Gordon Smith

This week's Blawg Review is up at Appellate Law & Practice.

Meanwhile, the Carnival of the Capitalists stops at Peaktalk.

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April 04, 2005
Carnival of the Capitalists is up. . .
Posted by Christine Hurt

here, at Law & Entrepreneurship News.  Great picture!

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January 03, 2005
Carnival of the Capitalists: January 3 Edition
Posted by Gordon Smith

Lisa at Management Craft is hosting Carnival of the Capitalists this week. Lisa has gone not only one extra mile by creating a theme ("Brains and Hearts - How we Use our Brains and Hearts as Tools of Progress and Meaning"), but she has gone several miles beyond that by composing a poem around that theme. Christine's entry on stock options falls under the category "What is wrong with this picture?" Check it out.

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December 20, 2004
Carnival of the Capitalists
Posted by Gordon Smith

This week's Carnival of the Capitalists is at Xtreme Blog. Oracle/Peoplesoft was the topic of two posts, mine from last week, and this one at Enterprise System Spectator. An expert on enterprise application systems believes that IBM is the true loser in the deal.

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December 05, 2004
Carnival of the Capitalists -- December 5 Edition
Posted by Gordon Smith

Jeff Cornwall is hosting this week's Carnival over at The Entrepreneurial Mind.

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November 01, 2004
The Carnival is Up!
Posted by Gordon Smith

This week's Carnival of the Capitalists is up at willpate.org. Will did a terrific job, and I am thrilled to see the Carnival debut of Law & Entrepreneurship News.

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May 10, 2004
Carnival of the Capitalists -- May 10 Edition
Posted by Gordon Smith

Clay Whittaker is hosting this week. Christine's post received top billing (after Clay's own post ... there's no trumping self-promotion), but there is a lot more worth reading.

In a move too long delayed, I have added Catallarchy to my blogroll. The post that put me over the top was this one on Wal-Mart, which argues that "the only thing that meaningfully separates Wal-Mart from its competitors is its incredible success." If you are hoping to make inroads against the current system (i.e., capitalism), go after its biggest proponents. I won't defend Wal-Mart on all of the substantive issues -- mainly because I don't have the deep knowledge that would be required to do that -- but I believe that success breeds contempt.

Wayne over at Blog Business World, who also received a placement on my blogroll today, struck a chord with his post on blogs for non-profits. Ann and I have been discussing the benefits of blogging for the law school. The jury is still out on that, so to speak, but I have noticed an increasing number of students reading my blog. I'm not sure it means a lot, but I think there is some increase in community when a group of students come into my office, spot of block of cheese on my desk and ask, "Is that the Arina?" That happened this morning. (By the way, it wasn't. The cheese on my desk was cave-aged Gruyere ... for later.)

Corante is a great site, and my first visit to Zack Lynch's Brain Waves blog has left an impression. In this post, Lynch discusses "neurofinance," described by a website on the topic as "the new financial science that applies the techniques of neuroscience and psychology to financial markets." If I were a young professor of securities law, I would be tempted to look into this when framing my research agenda.

Professor Bainbridge discusses a topic that has arisen fairly often on this site of late, namely, doing good. Indeed, I just wrote about this topic this morning. Steve view this from the standpoint of scarcity: "the tools of economics are far better suited for determining whether a particular state of affairs is allocatively efficient than for deciding whether such a state achieves other important values like distributional justice, virtue, or morality."

The Ventilator is a new blog to me, and a post on productivity has won my heart. The post is actually a summary of the first chapter of The Power of Productivity. The money quotation from the blog post: "In searching for common factors among countries and industries that experienced fast productivity growth, he found the most important contributor: the level of competition and the lack of government regulation."

Of course, the Carnival has much more than that, but I am out of time today.

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April 26, 2004
Carnival of the Capitalists!
Posted by Gordon Smith

Welcome to the Carnival of the Capitalists! I am thrilled to be hosting this week and invite you to take a look around Venturpreneur as long as you are here. (Apologies to Netscape users, as I am still trying to fix a testy stylesheet problem.) As usual, the Carnival has attracted a wide variety of interesting entries, which I catalog below (with the usual editorial comments).

Host's Choice for Post of the Week

It has become fashionable for Carnival hosts to choose their favorite posts of the week. Mine comes from Simon World, who addresses the unsustainable growth of the Chinese economy, a topic of great interest to me, since I am headed for China next month. The root problem: "China does not allocate its capital efficiently."

Government & Business

The Interested Participant has another interesting take, this time on the hiring policy at Dayton Power and Light Co. (DPL). Although the policy had been in effect for years without much notice, IP suggests that DPL got on the Labor Department's list for a "soup-to-nuts administrative colonoscopy." To see what happens next, you'll have to read the rest yourself.

"Aunty Goob" at goobage relies on Thomas Sowell to shed light on the recent kerfuffle over CalPERS' attempts at corporate governance reform (and other government-business interactions) in a post entitled "Gummint Good, Bidness Bad."

I hadn't planned to make an entry in this week’s Carnival, but my report on the nomination of Myron Steele as the new Chief Justice of the Delaware Supreme Court might be of interest to some here. You don’t have to be a lawyer to appreciate the importance of Delaware corporate law, and (Chief) Justice Steele will inevitably be a central figure for years to come.


Tennessee blogger Les Jones offers "Tuesday E-Commerce Report #8," which includes a discussion of a new technology for credit card authentication, and asks the question we have all been too scared to ask: can you sell carpet on the Web?

Frank Scavo at The Enterprise System Spectator describes and comments on an article from the Harvard Business Review, which discusses IT decisions that the IT people in your firm should not be allowed to make. The money quotation: "senior management must collaborate with IT in setting IT strategy; and they must also learn to deal with IT at the level of execution."

Photon Courier is writing about the state of hospital automation, which is behind where is should be if patient care were our only concern. PC muses about the possible causes of the reluctance to embrace new technologies, including physician acceptance, money, and reliability. As luck would have it, I just heard an excellent discussion of this issue last week by Mark Suchman of the University of Wisconsin Sociology Department. Mark has been studying this issue for several years and is particularly interested in how technology changes the control structure of health care. This promises to be a big issue for years to come.


Arnold Kling provides his usual thought-provoking post on the "Drug Tax," inspired by an Instapundit post and a talk by USC Law Professor Charles Whitebread. The money sentences: "In his blog post, Reynolds discusses the point that if drug prohibition were ended, then this would call into question the requirement for prescriptions for medication. I think that economists would support getting rid of that requirement, although huge opposition would result from rent-seeking physicians and pharmacists."

Micha Ghertner at the group blog Catallarchy applies a tip learned from an economics professor -- "when in doubt, the answer is opportunity costs" -- to law enforcement and the illegal drug trade.


The Big Picture describes the implosion of the music industry. The culprit: overpricing relative to other entertainment options, most importantly, video. Add to that inferior sound from an "outmoded format," and you have a recipe for decline.

Matt Stichnoth is blogging at bankstocks.com about the obsession of American managers with quarterly earnings. While he thought this attitude might abate somewhat in the way of Enron, Tyco, Freddie Mac, etc., it hasn't. The problem is that managers who focus on the short-term attract investors who are focused on the short-term, a reinforcement that makes change difficult.

Craig Henry at Lead and Gold compares the Marine Corps' approach to instilling a common doctrine among the troops and corporate attempts to regulate employees through "fad surfing." As you might imagine, corporations come off badly.

Anita Campbell at Small Business Trends uses an article from The Times to ponder the "hollow corporation." Anita rightly notes that this concept is not new in the U.S., where we have been talking about "virtual corporations" for at least a decade. Unfortunately, this concept took a hit with a little company called Enron. You can also catch Anita over at The RFID Weblog writing about farmers and Palm Pilots (do we still call those things Palm Pilots?).

Fouroboros is ready to do a Fahrenheit 451 on his collection of business books: "Good to Great is The Fifth Discipline is The Lunar Men. They say the same things in different words. We nod at the answers when we read them. But not because we've had an epiphany, but because we recognize a pattern, a thread, a sensibility already parked in our heart and our head. We recognize, we aren't discovering. We already had it. It was right under our nose. It wasn't 'new.' Silly, isn't it? Go on. Go 'burn' a book."

Steve at Deinonychus antirrhopus takes on the issue of health insurance for the Wal-Mart employee who has HIV: "I think it is rather foolish to expect behavior from a firm that is antithetical to the purpose of a firm. Firms maximize profits. As such it is silly to expect a firm to be run as a charitable organization. We don't expect firms to set their prices to zero, and we shouldn't expect them to give away their profits either." For a (much longer) follow-up post, see here.


Jeff Cornwall at The Entrepreneurial Mind discusses "The Changing Face of Equity Investors." He describes two types of angel investors -- organized and informal -- and cautions entrepreneurs to understand the difference. If this topic interests you, check out the New York Times story described in my short report on Google’s investors.


Timothy Grayson at Recursive Progress rants against marketing executives who are trying to reverse the waning effectiveness of advertising "the bottom line is MORE advertising volume less advertising effect. It's simple physics."

Abnu at Wordlab wonders whether Campbell Soup's new can labels might be Andy Warhol's next 15 minutes of fame.

Wayne Hurlbert at Blog Business World offers a useful primer on that perpetual hot topic for bloggers: search engine optimization. If you have wondered how to get more Google traffic (haven't we all?), but haven't done anything about it, this would be a good place to start.

Something Completely Different

Rich at Sharp Blue offers a post on the economics of interface transportation.

Thanks to all for playing. Next week's Carnival will be hosted by Brian Brew Radio. See you there!

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April 21, 2004
Carnival of the Capitalists -- April 19 Edition
Posted by Gordon Smith

I am a few days behind on this week's version, but this is catchup day. One of the great things about the Carnival is that it is a great place to find new sites. I am not sure why it has taken me this long to find Knowledge Problem, but it is an obvious link for those of us who like to read economists. Here are some other nuggets from this week's Carnival:

* The Entrepreneurial Mind may have the best of the week with thoughts on the costs of paying taxes:

The tax industry is quite duplicitous with the source of all of their business: the government. Whenever “tax reform” or “tax simplification” legislation is proposed, hold on to your wallets. Most of this legislation is written by the very professions, accountants and lawyers, who run the tax industry. Tax law is purposely vague. Audits, and the tax law they create through IRS court cases, creates billions of dollars more for this industry. We pay this industry to create new tax law by defending us when faced with audits that are the result of ambiguous tax code they helped to draft.

* The Interested Participant is another new addition to my blogroll. Not just because of his thoughts on the Canadian garbage issue, but various other topics, like this. And this. And this. O my, I could spend all day on this site.

* The Enterprise System Spectator thinks that an improving job outlook in the IT sector will shift the media's attention from outsourcing. I sure hope so, because this topic has become very tiring.

* BusinessPundit reflects on life as an introverted entrepreneur. Those are two words we don't see linked very often. Perhaps the thing that fascinated me most about this entry was all of the comments. Does everyone know their personality type on the Briggs-Myer scale? I passed on an opportunity to find out a few weeks ago. Why would I care? (Other than the fact that I could post a comment on BusinessPundit.) Do I have to be a Jungian?

* Fouroboros (did I spell that right?) has some thoughtful commentary on the USDA, small business/big business, and beef exports. A cautionary tale about white and black hats.

* Ego from Sweden has an interesting discussion of blogvertising, a practice that he heartily endorses: "I think that the Blogads idea will catch on in the future and create a paradigm shift of the advertising business. A new dimension of social networking will emerge and give room for the exchange of ideas, services and products."

* The American Mind calls Neal Stephenson "practically Hayekian." One big difference: Hayek's books were short.

* Finally, the Idea Shop writes about economists who write well about regulation: "The big problem with regulation isn’t that it’s inefficient. It’s that it’s boring. Most regular people don’t notice—or care about—how regulations impact daily life. Partly, this is economists’ fault. Many of us have forgotten that ideas—just like goods in the marketplace—need marketing. With just a little improved story-telling, economists can make a big difference in helping people see why regulation matters in practical, concrete terms."

Boy, that was a good week! Next week look for the Carnival here!

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April 13, 2004
Carnival of the Capitalists -- April 12 Edition
Posted by Gordon Smith

The Carnival came to The Chicago Report yesterday. Here are some favorites:

* Bill Fusz at Bull Moose Republicans is spot on about Wal-Mart: "Walmart improves the lives of consumers (who are workers as well), and specifically consumers of lower economic status." He also get justifiably indignant over the fact that "the battle against Walmart is at its most pitched in areas that are desperate for jobs and development."

* Jeff Cornwall at The Entrepreneurial Mind describes an UN Report called "Unleashing Entrepreneurship." The gist of the report appears to be a bureaucracy reduction, always a worthy goal. It should be noted, however, that entrepreneurs don't just pop out of the ground when regulatory burdens are reduced. Indeed, the states in the US with the heaviest regulatory burdens (California, Massachusetts) tend to be the most entrepreneurial, at least in some industries. Low-regulation states, like North Dakota, would rank low on the entrepreneurship scale. In short, the drivers of entrepreneurship are complex.

* Professor Bainbridge is predictably insightful, this time on white-collar crime prosecutions worldwide. He speculates: " wonder whether we're seeing a reaction to the over use of criminal law against conduct that is more appropriately addressed through intra-corporate remedies." I think he is onto something.

* Speaking of white collar crime, New Dog Old Trick is writing about Computer Associates and is more bullish on prosecutions than Bainbridge, especially in this case, where NDOT appears to have some personal insight. The first-hand account of Charles Wang is worth reading.

Finally, as someone who is about to pay a big chunk of taxes based on the sale of a rental house last year, I just couldn't stomach reading the tax entries this week. Next week will be better.

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April 05, 2004
Carnival of the Capitalists -- April 5 Edition
Posted by Gordon Smith

I have been a no-show for recent editions of Carnival of the Capitalists, but I am scheduled to host soon, so I am getting my act together. This week's edition is up over at Crazy Pundit. The big topic: outsourcing. The Outsourcing Weblog, The Bully Pulpit, and Offshore Outsourcing World are all outsourcing apologists, but the best of the bunch, in my view, is over at Unpersons. Stephen Hodgson writes in response to a Salon article:

The running theme amongst all the talk of American and European jobs 'moving' to east Asia seems to be that whilst India and China are increasingly embracing capitalist principles such as property rights and free markets, Western nations like the UK and the US are falling into the trap of engaging socialist ideas such as 'minimum wage' schemes, all-pervasive government regulation in the name of 'safety' and 'fairness' and the concept of 'fair' pricing (through irrational but increasingly publicised ideas like 'fair trade'). Globalisation is not the monster it is made by out to be by some elements of the media but for those who insist on 'saving' existing jobs in Western nations the answer lies not with more government intervention (in the form of tariffs, quotas and so on) but with additional emphasis being placed on the importance of the traditional capitalist principles that made nations like the US and the UK the most wealthy and powerful in the world. More level-headed individuals will come to realise that the answer to remaining employed in the IT industry in somewhere like California is not to fight over the off-shoring of jobs but to adapt to the changes by 'moving up the food chain', so to speak, and entering managerial roles.

Some other gems from this week's Carnival:

* Arnold Kling is always worth a read. His entry is about bundling: "Is it wrong for an operating system to come bundled with a media player? Then why is it not also wrong for a car to come bundled with a media player (i.e., a radio)? Is it wrong for two cable channels to be bundled? Then is it not also wrong for CNN to have a bundle that includes Lou Dobbs and Larry King, given that some people want to watch one but not the other? Bundling is everywhere.... Regulators could argue that bundling by Microsoft or the cable companies needs to be regulated because those companies have monopoly power. But I would rather see product specifications and pricing set in a market, however imperfect, than set by a government bureaucrat. At best you are exchanging one uncompetitive decision process for another. I do not see any way to preserve the free market system if you decide that bundling provides a rationale for regulation." Amen.

* Professor Bainbridge also is consistently rewarding, but you know that already if you read this blog. Here is his Carnival entry on the Martha Stewart trial.

* I am a big fan of TJ's Weblog, which has an entry about blog search engines, a topic that has been much on my mind of late (as I wonder why my blog doesn't rank higher on Google when I search "entrepreneurship blog," for example). The conclusion: Feedster, Waypath, Blogdex, Technorati, and Daypop notwithstanding, Google is still the best. Now, if I could just get that ranking up. (But I am trying the suggestion from Blog Business World, just in case.)

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December 14, 2003
Carnival of the Capitalists #11
Posted by Gordon Smith

The new entries are up at samablog. (Careful, as samablog has decided to make the Carnival R-rated.) This thing is really gaining in popularity, so there is a lot to choose from. I will have to sort through them tomorrow ...

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