Wednesday, April 30, 2014

How to Use the Wall Street Journal

The Wall Street Journal is still probably the best source for substantive financial journalism.

Learn how to use it to maximum effect.

So read the the Irwin Guide to Using the Wall Street Journal.

We also get it in an online version.

Everyday, the Journal prints a lot of data on everything from international balance of payments, to call options, to the performance of mutual funds.

A good guide like this can show you where to find that information, why you should pay attention, and the connections between the numbers.

Here's a complete list of our Wall Street Journal links

Thursday, April 24, 2014

Why Second Life Failed

You may not have even heard of Second Life, but around 2006 are so everyone thought it was going to be the next big thing. You dressed up like an anime raver in a virtual environment so you could conduct business with virtual dollars.  Yes, some people actually thought this was a professional environment that would be used for actual business transactions.

Good blogger explanation here.

"Second Life was originally developed in 2002-2003 on two reasonable but ultimately wrong assumptions: That the desktop computer market would continue growing, and that dedicated broadband lines would be the main way people would access the Internet. Instead, the market largely shifted to laptops, and now to tablets, and also to smartphones, all of which depend on wireless Internet connectivity. The most popular platforms for accessing the Internet now are the least conducive to using Second Life, which performs poorly on wireless laptops, and can't fully perform on smartphones or tablets at all. At the same time, social networks, especially Facebook, provided many of the features that Second Life offered, but in a way that was much less resource and time-consuming."

Why Second Life Failed from Slate

Article digresses into predictive model of which social media will succeed , but still interesting.

Monday, April 14, 2014

Making Ranked Lists of Companies in Lexis Nexis

Here's a great way to rank companies by sales, employees, deposits (if they are banks) or other parameters (including company financials like assets, liabilities, earnings per share, etc.) . 

You will use Lexis Nexis. 

Go to LexisNexis and click on search by content type. You want to choose the following option.


Now you get to CREATE A COMPANY LIST and define your parameters: sales, place of incorporation, employees, and more:

After getting some results, choose customize list

Now, you get to choose the way the list is sorted, or, you can do the search and then order your results by clicking on the parameter (employees, sales, etc...) and the database sorts it for you.

Wednesday, April 9, 2014

The Trans-Pacific Partnership: Is Democracy Bad for Business?

Sometimes corporations and democracy can come into conflict.  The Trans-Pacific Partnership is an example.  The proposed treaty is controversial because it would give corporations the right to overturn national regulations.  This would actually formally elevate corporate power above sovereign democracy.

Basically, democratically elected leaders could no longer regulate their own country.  An unelected, international panel of experts would do that. And if any country manage to pass regulations that impacted a business, it would be assessed a fine.

Those in favor of the TPP argue that it would allow American competitiveness in emerging markets by extending patent laws, among many other details (more info in the links below).  Their overall point is that national regulations are misguided and damage corporate competitiveness which slows economic growth and prevents rising living standards for all.

Articles below require sign in with Texas State ID.

Anti-TPP article

Here is a pro-TPP article.

Tuesday, April 8, 2014

Most Accessed Articles in a Journal

In case you wanted to see the most accessed articles in a particular journal, go to JSTOR and you can select this option. You'll have to do a search first and click on a record and then you'll see this.

Purpose: to see what the greatest hits of economics are!