In 1907, Bonito, Italy, 9-year-old Salvatore Ferragamo could often be found intently watching the town cobbler tan leather skins, cut patterns, shape them around a wooden foot-shaped “last” and stitch the pieces together.
Having proposed more than my fair share of bad ideas during more than 20 years in government service, I know one when I see it. And the proposal by various media commentators and politicians to create safe zones inside Syria for refugees and rebels is one bad idea.
Did the slick animations in the Girl Effect video that’s been viewed 3.6 million times compel you to buy soccer cleats for a South African girl? Maybe Matt Damon persuaded you to invest in Water.org so you can supply clean water and toilets to the world’s poor. Perhaps you’ve bought something (RED) to fight AIDS?
With rare exceptions, marketing designed to create or enhance brand preference over competitors in established product categories changes nothing. No matter how big the budget or how clever the execution, “my brand is better than your brand” marketing rarely results in sales growth.
For more than half a century, the Kennedys were a force in U.S. politics. Their dominance began with John F. Kennedy’s 1960 presidential run and lasted until the death of Senator Edward M. Kennedy in 2009.
How gloomy should we be about the European Union? Are its problems manageable, or is it headed for systemic collapse? My answer is yes -- the problems are manageable, and the EU’s leaders are behaving so recklessly that collapse is all too possible. I don’t know whether that makes me an optimist or a pessimist.
Investors sent Europe’s politicians a painful message last week when Germany had a seriously disappointing government bond auction. It was unable to sell more than a third of the benchmark 10-year bonds it had sought to auction off on Nov. 23, and interest rates on 30-year German debt rose from 2.61 percent to 2.83 percent. The message? Germany is no longer a safe haven.