Points And Figures

Do not fear mistakes, you will know failure, continue to reach out.-Ben Franklin

“We think markets are better than any other alternative. To believe that markets work, to believe that free enterprise works, believe it works better than government bureaucrats, you do not have to believe it’s perfect. You need to believe it works better than a panel of 20 experts making industrial policy.”

Hilarious Weblink

Every community has rivalries.  Rivalries arise out of competition, and most of the time they are healthy.  Good rivalries engender respect for the other side.  Army vs Navy.  They compete voraciously when they go at each other, but there is a huge amount of respect for one another.  

In Chicago, there is a rivalry between Northwestern and the University of Chicago.  Two great schools.  Very strong academically. They compete on law schools, med schools, business schools.  One on the north side, one on the south side.  One school started by Methodists, the other by a Baptist.  The cultures at each school are not the same at all.  Northwestern is probably more “corporate” and UChicago more nerdy and academic.  

For a taste of the rivalry, see this website:  http://www.uchicagorejects.com

I laughed out loud at this web site.  I was rejected by NU’s Kellogg School of Business because they didn’t know what study group they would put me in.  At the time, their executive program was highly populated by corporate employees.  I was accepted by ChicagoBooth.  When I was interviewed, I asked, “Are you worried about what study group I am going to be in?”.  They didn’t know how to respond.  ”People choose their own study groups here.”  

Free market culture at Chicago.

“Since opening in 1999, Fieldglass survived two market crashes and four investor rounds. Shekhawat (shek-HA-wat) explains.”

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http://bluesky.chicagotribune.com/originals/chi-fieldglass-jai-shekhawat-bsi-20140421,0,0.story?track=bluesky-ct-head

Fieldglass was acquired by SAP.  Their founder talks about how they survived.

“A good trade to consider: welding. I recently visited Pioneer Pipe in the Utica and Marcellus shale area of Ohio and learned that last year the company paid 60 of its welders more than $150,000 and two of its welders over $200,000. The owner, Dave Archer, said he has had to turn down orders because he can’t find enough skilled welders.”

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http://online.wsj.com/news/articles/SB10001424052702303663604579501801872226532?mg=reno64-wsj

The question becomes, how can an internet tech company enable the trades to make money faster and create more value.  Etsy certainly can.  But there needs to be more.

“The average compensation at the Office of the Comptroller of the Currency (OCC), the Federal Deposit Insurance Corp. (FDIC) and the Consumer Financial Protection Bureau (CFPB) exceeded $190,000 in 2012. The staff at the Federal Reserve is likely even better compensated, but the Fed refuses to release employee salaries.”

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http://online.wsj.com/news/articles/SB10001424052702304311204579507512375765276?mod=trending_now_3

Amazing salaries in government.  Nothing against the people working there but we need to shrink the size and scope of government.  We cannot afford this largesse.

chicagobusiness:

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Congrats to the NBA’s Defensive Player of the Year, Joakim Noah of the Chicago Bulls! 

He joins Michael Jordan as the only Bulls players to win the title. 

Entrepreneurship in American History

The following is adapted from a speech delivered in San Diego, California, on November 15, 2013, at a Hillsdale College Free Market Forum on the topic “Markets, Government, and the Common Good.”

“Venture capital is a really hard and competitive business. It’s competitive to get into good deals. It is hard to sniff out which are going to be winners and which won’t. Most people don’t have the risk appetite for VC. It’s extremely risky with highly variable returns. That’s why Second Market has become a popular place to offload some risk or assume risk in VC backed companies. But don’t mistake competitive markets and a listed market for an efficient marketplace.”