Posts tagged money
Posts tagged money
The coolest free stuff on the Internet actually comes at a notable price: your privacy.
For more than a decade, tracking systems have been taking note of where you go and what you search for on the Web — without your permission. And today many of the personal details you voluntarily divulge on popular websites and social networks are being similarly tracked and analyzed.
The purpose for all of this online snooping is singular: Google, Microsoft, Yahoo, Apple, Facebook and others are intent on delivering more relevant online ads to each and every one of us — and bagging that advertising money.
by EYDER PERALTA January 25, 2012 for npr
The big change is that Google will now track you across its services. In other words, Google will now, for example, be able to pair information it collects on its email service with information it collects on its search service to really target its advertising. In a blog post explaining the changes, Google says it will make the experience across its suite of products “more intuitive.”
But here’s how Danny Sullivan, a search expert, explains it for Marketing Land:
In many ways, this is Google growing up into the new portal it has become. Rather than people signing up for individual products, Gmail, YouTube and so on, they’re now signing-up for Google — or at least a single set of terms (in most cases) for all the company’s products. It’s similar to how you sign-up for Facebook, rather than individual products within Facebook.”
Simplifying is good, said Sullivan. But then, he adds, you start thinking about what information Google can now use. In a Gmail account, Google can use your personal details, your contact list and your actual emails.
“We’re used to that being used to show us ads within Gmail,” he writes. “But does this now mean that information can be used to show us ads in regular web search? Or at YouTube? Or as we surf the web?”
In its story, The Washington Post answers yes to all those questions. They say this would mean that Google for example could surmise you are a basketball fan by all those YouTube videos you watch and then pair that with the Miami location you’ve set in Gmail. They would then serve ads for the Miami Heat.
“Google’s new privacy announcement is frustrating and a little frightening,” Common Sense Media chief executive James Steyer told the Post. “Even if the company believes that tracking users across all platforms improves their services, consumers should still have the option to opt out — especially the kids and teens who are avid users of YouTube, Gmail and Google Search.”
Still Rep. Ed Markey (D-Mass.) told USA Today that the move opens questions about how much control users have over personal information. The paper adds:
“Critics worry the tech giants will open fresh opportunities for cybercrooks to prey on users of the sites.
“‘Both are racing to monetize our private information and in doing so creating collateral damage,’ says Alisdair Faulkner, chief product officer at security firm ThreatMetrix. ‘They are essentially indexing more and more private information and, in doing so, serving it up on a platter to cybercriminals.’”
Available at Mises Institute Bookstore here »
Hans Sennholz was a great champion of the Austrian Theory of the Trade Cycle and also the Misesian view of money. He was a proponent of the gold standard, and this is his aggressive defense of Austrian theory against monetarism and supply-sideism. In fact, this is the most systematic Austrian criticism of the supply siders available. He uncloaks their free-market rhetoric to expose an inflationist core that is really Keynesian in its heritage.
The core of his argument concerns the centrality of the money question to the future of freedom, and here he is at his most eloquent.
Most striking for Austrians is a subtle change in Sennholz’s thinking on sound money itself. Instead of a centralized solution that would convert the very definition of the dollar—a solution he favors but regards as politically impossible—he proposes something very different and challenging: complete decontrol of laws concerning money production and use. With the repeal of coinage restrictions, legal tender laws, and decontrol of monetary contracts, he imagines new currencies circulating alongside the dollar.
The monograph is short and powerful—and his solution is worth taking a very careful look at. It might have more plausibility now than ever before.
January 17, 2012
So no, Mitt Romney, when we say that Americans are waking up to the reality that inequality matters, we’re not guilty of “envy” or “class warfare,” as you claimed to Matt Lauer on NBC’s Today. Nor are we talking about everybody earning the same amount of money – that’s the straw man apologists for inequality raise whenever anyone tries to get serious.
We’re talking what it takes to live a decent life. If you get sick without health coverage, inequality matters. If you’re the only breadwinner and out of work, inequality matters. If your local public library closes down and you can’t afford books on your own, inequality matters. If budget cuts mean your child has to pay to play on the school basketball team, sing in the chorus or march in the band, inequality matters. If you lose your job as you’re about to retire, inequality matters. If the financial system collapses and knocks the props from beneath your pension, inequality matters.
There may be 147 companies in the world that own everything, as colleague Bruce Upbin points out and they are dominated by investment companies as Eric Savitz rightly points out. But it’s not you and I who really control those companies, even though much of our money is in them. Given the nature of how money is invested, there are four companies in the shadows that really control those companies that own everything. [Forbes]
JANUARY 16, 2012
In other words, while crazy volatility may be great for traders (who live for the chance to make two per cent a day), it’s lousy for the rest of us, and for the economy as a whole. It isn’t just that volatility costs ordinary investors money. It also makes them more likely to give up on the stock market entirely: over the past three years, investors have pulled almost two hundred and fifty billion dollars out of equity funds, even though stock prices have almost doubled since the lowest point of the crash. And, while some of that money has gone into exchange-traded funds, most of it has just left the market. This flight from stocks is probably not a good thing for people’s retirement accounts—after all, in a capitalist country owning some capital is usually a smart way to make money. But it may well be a good thing for investors’ psychological well-being. In effect, they’ve decided that, in a market as volatile as this one, the only way to win the game is simply not to play- In this week’s issue, James Surowiecki writes about market volatility: http://nyr.kr/zGq3Jr
Human nature and the stock market, yeah not all that well.