My understanding of what it means to be a publisher has been skewed ever since I first heard the word. My mom was reading A Wrinkle in Time to me—I must have been around 8—when she explained that my great-grandfather had published the book. She told me how Madeleine L'Engle had taken the story of Meg Murry, Charles Wallace, and Calvin O’Keefe to publisher after publisher, only to repeatedly be rejected. After being turned down by 26 or so houses, the book came to my mom’s grandfather, who read it and loved it, but "was afraid of it," L'Engle later said. He did say he would buy the book, [...]
"When banks make loans, they create money. This is because money is really just an IOU. The role of the central bank is to preside over a legal order that effectively grants banks the exclusive right to create IOUs of a certain kind, ones that the government will recognise as legal tender by its willingness to accept them in payment of taxes. There's really no limit on how much banks could create, provided they can find someone willing to borrow it. They will never get caught short, for the simple reason that borrowers do not, generally speaking, take the cash and put it under their mattresses; ultimately, any money a [...]
I have a theory about money in this age of financial services and valueless commodities which is essentially that there is one big pile of money on the table and the people who are in charge of things let you move the pile around. Sometimes it stops in front of you for a bit before you pass the pile on to someone else. If you're lucky a couple of coins fall into your lap for you to keep, but mostly you push the pile to the next person. For a while the memory of the money in front of you keeps you warm and happy, and when that finally [...]
Post-publication update, January 9th: According to Roxanne Palmer at the IBT, the founders of the library are certainly lying about this situation. ("The funding scenario the library describes in no way comports with the open and transparent way in which we make charitable and philanthropic donations," an ExxonMobil spokesperson told her.) In our fact-checking email to Mellow Pages Library earlier this week, we wrote: "So, I guess the first appropriate question is: ExxonMobil reached out to you and offered 10x of your donations for your November benefit?" They responded: "The situation is, generally, how you summarized it. Obviously it's a little more complicated than that. We [...]
"A Montana man who pieced together the remnants of five $100 bills eaten by his one-eyed dog last year is sporting a $500 check he says he received this week from the U.S. Department of the Treasury to replace the digested funds."
Oh my word, Marina Abramovic is totally gonna get her $600,000 on Kickstarter to like put a roof on the bare wrecked shell of a building that she bought in Hudson for almost a million dollars. That thing is a disaster! But soon it will be a beacon, a pillar, a dark crystal of longform time-based performance art. (That's like taking a train ride up the river, but with intentionality.) The performance artist who put the fun back in fundraising is up against a deadline of this weekend, but surely she'll get there. After all, this happened?
I would need a Kickstarter to raise money to pay someone [...]
I didn't know what I would get paid to write this article. I didn't ask. It doesn't matter. It won't make a tangible dent in paying the rent on my apartment in Brooklyn, or, for that matter, rent on an apartment in any other city. By the time I finish the research, the interviews, the writing, and the editing, whatever small sum—$30, $125, $200—this site pays me will pale in comparison to the effort. It's not "worth it" in a traditional monetary sense. I'm doing it for exposure (maybe hire me?), because I'm interested in the topic, and because it's immediately relevant to my so-called career as a [...]
"You know what’s been the biggest job creator over the last few decades? Financial bubbles. The labor demand created by the dot-com bubble in the 1990s and the housing bubble of the 2000s created millions of jobs and sent the unemployment rate below 5 percent in both cases."
It is once again time for the NCAA "March Madness" basketball tournament. The eventual champions will get to bask in the national spotlight. And sure, winning a basketball title is worth bragging about—but we all know the real champion is the institution of higher education that can charge the most tuition and still have enough students to keep its rejection letter printer warm. It's The Awl's annual NCAA bracket by tuition, using the college information resource Peterson's. (Where available, in-state tuition was used.) Since we first began March Madne$$ in 2009, the winning tuition has risen from $38,622 to [...]
TWC goes to Comcast. This chart helps put it in to perspective. pic.twitter.com/XmlAZvOE3Y
— James Gross (@James_Gross) February 13, 2014
That chart above went around a bit last night, with the news of the purchase of Time Warner by Comcast for $45.2 billion. It compares the "market value" of LinkedIn, Twitter, Facebook and Google v. the "market value" of CBS, Viacom, Disney, Comcast and Time Warner Cable. You know, the new establishment v. those stupid old dinosaurs. Hmm, how else could we compare these companies?
Oh right, how about by that crazy out-of-fashion metric: by the money they make? I made you a chart! Here's that [...]
The promise of this country used to be if you worked hard and played by the rules you would be okay and your kids would be a little bit better off than you were. Now we live with the hope that maybe we'll find free money in a box of junk food. Oh well, we had a good run.
Do you know what kind of heat twenty-five billion dollars puts out? Large concentrations of money have always been surrounded by thick walls. Most people think the walls are there to protect the money from us. The secret is that the walls are there to protect us from the money.
I am Jeff Bezos's robot butler. I cannot harm Jeff Bezos, or through inaction allow Jeff Bezos to come to harm. Mr. Bezos is kind of a traditionalist. But I'm sitting in the money room, deep in the lowest levels of the Flying Dragon Lair, and wondering what exactly constitutes harm.
Is it good for anyone's soul to [...]
Kanye West and J. Cole have a new found similarity: June 18th. After confirming Mr. West will release his sixth studio album "Yeezus" on June 18th, Cole decided to push up the release of "Born Sinner," his sophomore album. And the young artist may be building a bit of competition for Mr. West. Yesterday Cole released the third single from his album, "N***az Know," and the lyrical demeanor of the single is flawless.
Cole is right. Mr. West is one of the greatest. The man cannot be ignored. He has 21 Grammys and five platinum albums and Cole is displaying immense confidence to even go up against that. [...]
"Borrowing sustained the mass consumption model for a few decades. Non-rich households borrowed to buy cars, buy food, pay medical bills, buy ever-more-expensive houses, and so on. Conveniently, rich households had plenty of spare cash to lend them. That model broke apart in 2008 and has not — and cannot — be revived."
"A few weeks ago, over dinner with half a dozen entrepreneurs and venture capitalists, the question came up again. The table, which included a few people already worth more than $100 million, went quiet. One man in his late 30s twirled the stem of his wine glass as he thought. Then he tipped back his head, downed his pinot noir and said, 'one billion,' his glass landing back on the table with a thud. 'That’s it. That’s my number. One billion dollars.' The others nodded." —How much money would you take to [...]
"Shawn Ryan recalls the hungry years, before his first big strike. The prospector and his family were living in a metal shack on the outskirts of Dawson, the Klondike boomtown that had declined to a ghostly remnant of its glory days. They had less than $300 and no running water or electricity. One night, as wind sneaked through gaps in the cladding, Ryan’s wife, Cathy Wood, worried aloud that their two children might even freeze to death. Today the couple could buy—and heat—just about any house on Earth." —National Geographic reports that if you make like 1896, you can [...]
"I don’t think we’ll all be paying in bitcoin for tickets to Kanye West’s 2024 presidential victory tour."
You can’t use bitcoin for much today besides gambling in online casinos and reserving seats on Virgin Galactic spaceflights, and a vast majority of it is held by speculators. Even with the imprimatur of government regulation, the promise of bitcoin seems to end with helping online retailers avoid credit-card processing fees. Bitcoin is mainly innovative in the way of credit default swaps: new ways to gamble with money.
This is a pretty good editorial in the Times about the insanity that went through the House of Representatives yesterday—the great planned evisceration of food stamps. But not, apparently, a great evisceration of farmer welfare? Hmm. Good news though: Congress is hosed. In any event, whatever mangled bill makes it through the House and the Senate then gets vetoed and then… ??? Maybe "no more government." In any event, you know what we're not going to have less of over the next decade? Underemployed and food-insecure people. The Louis Vuitton monogram tote is $4000 exactly.
We didn't learn that much from the massive "Economic Impacts of Tax Expenditures" study that gets a big spread in the Times today, except: if you want them to be rich, have your children in Seattle, Salt Lake City or New York City, and don't have them in Atlanta, Miami or Memphis. But we already knew that.