The modern corporation is broken, says Colin Mayer, an Oxford University business professor whose provocative new book, “Firm Commitment,” is aimed at overhauling what is in my view the world’s most important institution.
Clive Palmer, the Australian entrepreneur planning to build a replica of the Titanic, will set up a new political party and run for parliament, pledging to boost employment as a strong currency curbs the economy.
A brief walk with Jeff Mitton and Scott Ferrenberg through the pine forests of Niwot Ridge, nearly a mile above the town of Boulder, Colorado, makes it easy to understand why people are worried about climate change. The world has been getting hotter, and so has Niwot Ridge.
Oil skeptics like to point out that the U.S. consumes 20 percent of the world’s oil but owns only 2 percent of global reserves. Such lopsided numbers, they insist, destine the U.S. to depend on foreign crude -- unless it slashes its consumption and embraces alternatives. Lately, though, a surge in U.S. oil production appears to have turned the tables.
Let’s start with the bad news: The North Korean problem has no simple or quick solution. The North’s weapons-grade plutonium and nuclear devices have already been manufactured, and are now safely hidden in underground facilities. China, and to a lesser degree Russia, remains unwilling to support a truly rigorous (read: efficient) sanctions regime. More narrow financial sanctions that target the money used to reward regime insiders with perks, like bottles of Hennessy cognac and Mercedes cars, won’t have much impact. Most of the North Korean elite believe that regime stability is a basic condition for their survival. No doubt, they would be willing to put up with locally produced liquor and used Toyotas if the alternative was being strung from the lampposts.
From time to time, newspapers shower readers with predictions of a looming mass starvation in North Korea, usually in springtime. In March 2011, the New York Times wrote: “North Korea: 6 Million Are Hungry.” One year earlier, in March 2010, the Times of London warned: “Catastrophe in North Korea; China must pressure Pyongyang to allow food aid to millions threatened by famine.” In March 2009, a Washington Post headline read: “At the Heart of North Korea’s Troubles, an Intractable Hunger Crisis.”
To an outside observer, the behavior of the North Korean leadership often appears short- sighted and irrational. There seems to be a tested and easy way out of their predicament -- the path of Chinese-style economic reforms. While such gradual capitalist reforms might be good for the country, however, they would be far too dangerous for the current North Korean elite. As a consequence, they’re unlikely to be implemented anytime soon.
Apple Inc., which won more than $1 billion after a jury found Samsung Electronics Co. infringed six of seven patents for its mobile devices Aug. 24, sought a ban on eight models of the South Korean company’s smartphones, including its Galaxy S devices.