"The School of Money, First Grade"

David Merkel:

Most books dealing with money tend to be too advanced for average people.  If you’ve read me long enough, you know that I am pretty conservative with my finances.  That conservatism has generally worked well for me, my family, and the church that I help lead. It’s possible this post could lead to a series of posts; let me know what you think. . . .

I think it's pretty good.

Somewhere around age 15, young people need to see what areas in the economy need talent, and what sort of skills are needed.  In addition to specific skills, remember that in much of life mathematical reasoning, verbal skills, and genuine curiosity for solving problems will apply to a wide number of situations.  Remember, the economy will be different 20 years from now in ways that we do not presently fathom.  Being able to think creatively and critically, and being able to express it well in oral and written ways will never go out of fashion. (As an aside, that is one of the criticisms I hear in the local money management community.  Young people come out of college, but cannot express themselves well in writing.)

Informational interviewing at younger ages could be useful.  Even at older ages, when you get the chance to ask business owners or managers questions, ask them what are the biggest problems that they face, what keep them up at night, etc.  If nothing else, you’ll get a better perspective on what it is like to be in charge, and the headaches thereof.

"Book Review: Tom Stossel's 'Pharmaphobia'"

"Yet, despite the book's extraordinary well-documented and indisputable examples of real progress, the negative impact of the "anti-innovation"  industry—which has used every trick in the book to slow progress—becomes just as clear. By far, the most potent weapon in the arsenal of the conflict-of interest-movement is the fabrication of the myth that the process that leads to innovation is inherently dishonest and corrupt."

"Female Managers Do Not Reduce the Gender Wage Gap, [UC Berkeley B-School] Study Finds

So it's not just The Man keeping women down? Apparently not:

Working women are “leaning in” and supporting more females in leadership roles, but a new study finds that having a female manager doesn’t necessarily equate to higher salaries for female employees. In fact, women can sometimes take an earnings hit relative to their male colleagues when they go to work for a female manager.

"Detroit pays a price for clinging to the Big Three"

Dan Calabrese op-ed in the Detroit News.

GM and Chrysler, perpetually in boom/bust cycles, are turning in respectable performances at the moment. This has has certain political and media types yelping that anyone who opposed the bailouts should apologize. But companies that benefited from billions in taxpayer money while having their debts and long-term obligations wiped out might be expected to enjoy some short-term profitability. Michigan’s economic position will remain perilous as long as we rely so heavily on companies with such erratic track records.

Creative destruction is a necessary element of long-term prosperity. No one had to destroy GM and Chrysler’s dinosaur business practices. They were destroying it on their own. We just had to let them do it.

"This Is How Long Your Business Will Last, According to Science"

Very surprising. I suspect, at a minimum, omitted variables, but I haven't read the study yet.

Daepp, now a graduate student at the University of British Columbia, analyzed Standard and Poor’s Compustat — a database of every publicly traded company since 1950 — using a statistical method called survival analysis. What she and her advisers found is that a company’s mortality rate was not affected by it’s past performance or even its products.