Monthly Archives: July 2011

Repressed core assumptions, and other links

A marvel of concision by Sandwichman. Aaron Bady on civic priorities in California, and on the rise of the Dystopic Surveillance School, where he concludes: The fact that schemes like these seem reasonable — seriously, armoring and bugging students? – at … Continue reading

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A strange coincidence at Reuters

Special Report: Goldman’s New Money Machine: Warehouses Reuters, July 28, 2011 (Reuters) – In a rundown patch of Detroit, enclosed by a cyclone fence and barbed wire, stands an unremarkable warehouse that investment bank Goldman Sachs has transformed into a … Continue reading

Posted in Finance and capital markets | Leave a comment

A couple of thoughts on the potential portfolio impact of a US downgrade

There has been some attention to the potential fallout of the downgrading of US Treasuries in terms of the follow-on impact on institutional investors that I wanted to expand on. In particular, a New York Times article from July 20th … Continue reading

Posted in Finance and capital markets, Public finance | 1 Comment

Organization as tool case study: Standard & Poor’s

The ratings agencies have been the story of the day, so I thought it would be interesting to take a closer look at Standard & Poor’s (S&P) using some of the ideas from my earlier post on Perrow’s concept of … Continue reading

Posted in Organizations | 1 Comment

Organizations, tight couplings and crisis

In addition to being a not-so-thinly veiled comment on our current ruling class, the Perrow quote in the previous post introduces his concept of the organization as a tool. In Perrow’s view (which I share), organizations are a mechanism for … Continue reading

Posted in Coercive aggregation, Organizations | 5 Comments

Perrow on the attribution of incompetence

Viewing organizations as tools should reduce our tendency to cry incompetence when they do not do what we think they should. Incompetence certainly exists; organizations must contend with the distribution of incompetence in the general population, as well as the … Continue reading

Posted in Organizations, Politics | 4 Comments

A small victory

One of the things most people who haven’t experienced our glorious legal system don’t realize is that “winning” is a deeply misleading word. The costs (especially when the government is involved) are enormous no matter which way the case goes. … Continue reading

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