Tag Archives: Business

My Story at The New Yorker: Unseen Hands and The Prices of Things

For The New Yorker‘s business blog, I interview Kate Kelly, a reporter for CNBC, and author of the new book “The Secret Club That Rules the World.”

Why is it important that the public pay more attention to the commodities markets?

The contract market in commodities is analogous to the stock market for public corporations, essentially this unseen hand playing a role in setting the price for actual commodities: corn, copper, oil, gasoline, wheat, and so on. I think the connections between the trading community and the actual cash prices are not fully understood, and I think it’s something we all need to be concerned and upset about.

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Wall Street Rewired: Apple, Icahn, and the $17 Billion Tweet

“With just two tweets, Carl Icahn raised the value of the Apple empire by $17 billion. That’s $8.5 billion per tweet, and about $62 million per character — including spaces,” writes Cade Metz of Wired.

Indeed, the Securities and Exchange Commission has recently said that companies can use social media to disclose financial information — provided they warn investors that it might happen. Icahn’s investment outfit, Icahn Enterprises, did warn the market, saying — in a notice filed with the SEC a day earlier — that he intended to “use Twitter from time to time to communicate with the public about our company and other issues.”

And even that may not have been necessary. With his Tuesday afternoon tweets, the only thing Icahn revealed about his own company is that it owns some Apple stock. You could argue that such a basic disclosure didn’t require formal notice with the SEC.

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The Rise Of Walled Gardens And The Future Of The Web

“In many ways, Google’s shutdown of its RSS reader is just a small part of a larger move away from open web standards and towards closed, proprietary platforms that are easier to control and monetize,” observes Mathew Ingram of GigaOm.

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How Yahoo Can Make Money From Tumblr

This week Yahoo acquired the popular blogging service Tumblr for $1.1 billion. Writing for the business and investment site Minyanville, Carol Kopp discusses the likely business model for Yahoo’s newest content creator.

“Here’s a little dose of financial reality for Tumblr users who are upset that their free-to-use, nearly ad-free little corner of the Internet has been bought by big, bad corporate Yahoo: One way or another, probably sooner rather than later, you’re going to pay for your free blog,” she remarks. And that dose of financial reality will come in the form of ads.

“Advertisers are willing to pay a premium to advertise to a small but self-selected group of people with an expressed interest in golf or puppies or movies.”

It’s important to mention that in March Yahoo gobbled the start-up Summly for $30 million. That company offered readers computer generated summaries of news articles, another kind of content that helps Yahoo boost its traffic.

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LinkedIn Continues To Evolve

Mathew Ingram writes at paidContent

The site now offers “channels” or categories of news, much like a magazine would, and users can follow or subscribe to those channels, as well as to individual authors who are part of LinkedIn’s Influencer program, another relatively new addition.

When a user clicks on the News heading in their LinkedIn toolbar, they now get a splash screen that outlines the different categories or channels of news they can subscribe to. There are some fairly obvious examples such as Economy, Entrepreneurship and Leadership, as well as broader categories such as Healthcare, Technology and Social Media — and a few somewhat more unusual channels too, like “Things I Carry” and “My Best Career Mistake.”

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