Public Goods, Private Uses?

By | 2018-02-20T08:04:08+00:00 February 20th, 2018|Global Market Update|

What is a public good? Photo: Ed Yourdon. Source: Wikimedia Economics is at the heart of financial capitalism. After all, companies can’t pay their debts and grow if they can’t make sustainable, economic profits. Financial engineering may redirect where their cash goes, but without economic growth, we won’t see financial growth or improvement in market values. As a result, it’s crucial that we understand some economic principles in order to understand today’s market. And one key element in economics today is the notion of [...]

A Mature Orchard

By | 2018-02-07T07:03:17+00:00 February 7th, 2018|Global Market Update|

Is the Apple tree getting old? Photo: Sita Magnuson. Source: Morguefile Companies have life cycles. They get started, expand, mature, and get old. Different life stages have different needs. Start-ups need to prove that their business model works; growing firms have to find the right people and markets for their products; mature companies maximize their profitability and may use excess cash to make targeted acquisitions; and older companies have to either re-invent themselves or prepare for a shrinking annuity business. The question for investors [...]

Copyrights (and Wrongs)?

By | 2017-08-31T07:31:14+00:00 August 31st, 2017|Global Market Update|

Who owns your software? Photo: Viktor Hanacek. Source: Picjumbo It’s an important question. Because under Federal copyright law, software is like any piece of writing. The author of a line of code is the owner of the copyright to that code. The person who physically types out the words and symbols is the “author” and enjoys the same rights as most other authors – the right to copy the code, distribute it, post it, and modify it to create derivative works. This makes some [...]

War, Peace, Inflation, and Software

By | 2017-07-17T12:21:17+00:00 June 8th, 2017|Global Market Update|

Is inflation dead? Source: Morguefile Growing up in the ‘70s, inflation was a fact of life. Sometimes we would see prices rise four or five percent in a single month. Persistent, high inflation was a problem, economically. The purchasing power of our savings was depleting at a rapid rate. Federal regulations kept interest rates low; banks couldn’t pay more than 4.25%, even while inflation was running at 10% per year. Gerald Ford declared a war on inflation. Annual change in CPI. Source: St. Louis [...]

Autonomous Autos?

By | 2017-07-17T12:22:23+00:00 October 21st, 2015|Global Market Update|

Are self-driving cars in our future? Photo: Steve Jurvetson. Source: Wikipedia I sure seems like it. Self-driving cars have been in the news. Honda, Toyota, and Nissan all recently announced that they plan to sell cars with automated highway driving functions by the year 2020--the year of the Tokyo Olympics. Traditional automakers are trying to get ahead of tech firms like Google, which has been testing a prototype. There are also reports that Apple is studying the technology. Inventors have been experimenting with autonomous [...]

Getting Updated

By | 2017-07-17T12:23:09+00:00 December 19th, 2014|Global Market Update|

Why does software need to be updated all the time? Source: I recently went through another update on my iPhone and it was excruciating. After it was done—and you never know how long that will take—it wouldn’t synch properly with my computer. It would sit connected by its little white cord and stay on the step six of six forever, never finishing. After trying all the interim options—checking message boards, rebooting the phone, rebooting my computer—I succumbed to the inevitable, and restored my [...]

Hard and Soft

By | 2017-07-17T12:34:19+00:00 April 25th, 2014|Global Market Update|

Hardware makes it possible. Software brings it. That’s what I thought when I read about the robotics innovations that are poised to change our lives: drones, driverless cars, virtual assistants. These technologies are build around things we already know pretty well—the car, the helicopter, and the PDA. But by adding sophisticated software, they are about to make a big difference in the world. Take driverless cars. I had a driver once, and loved it. I had broken both of my elbows in a bicycle [...]