amaah + business   237

GM white-collar job cuts: How layoff process is happening
spending a anxious part of the day monitoring Skype, knowing which of her colleagues weren't so lucky when she read, "Presence unknown" next to their name.
jobs  work  life  unemployment  Economics  GM  Business 
february 2019 by amaah
India still a vast informal economy
on the value and endurance of the informal sector
development  strategy  economics  informal  business  India 
october 2013 by amaah
The check is rarely in the mail: The dark side of freelance journalists trying to get paid for their work
“Let me be clear here. Fuck you! You either have $5890.00 wired and in my my account by the close of business day Wednesday August 7, or you will, I assure you, regret you were ever under the profound miss-impression that retaining my professional services could be had without living up to your end of the pretty simple arrangement—pay me my fucking money! This is not a matter of discussion, little less negotiation.”
journalism  crime  hatchetjob  fraud  business  China  rogues 
august 2013 by amaah
Why do Africans pay the most to send money home?
Western Union and the banks are prime for some disintermediation... the only thing is that post 9-11 American policy likes these organizations
technology  development  immigration  Africa  banking  strategy  economics  middlemen  business  remittances 
february 2013 by amaah
When the smartest guys in the room go bankrupt?
The oddest was Younghoon Park, a Cornell professor who is on the list of Monitor’s top 30 creditors. Bankruptcy documents say Park is owed $44,949. But Park insists he has never done business with Monitor. He can’t figure out why they keep sending him letters.

“I would love to get some money for sure,” Park told me on the phone. “But I’m not part of this story. It’s very strange.”

OK, I thought. I get it. This is a story about brilliant people who think big thoughts but failed to master the little details that matter most, like who they actually owe money.
hubris  bankruptcy  economics  business 
january 2013 by amaah
Does Management Matter? Evidence From India (pdf)
A long-standing question is whether differences in management practices across firms can explain differences in productivity, especially in developing countries where these spreads appear particularly large.

We find that adopting these management practices raised productivity by 18% through improved quality and efficiency and reduced inventory. Since these practices were profitable this raises the question of why firms had not previously adopted them. Our results suggest that informational barriers were the primary factor explaining this lack of adoption. Since reallocation across firms appeared to be constrained by limits on managerial time, competition did not force badly managed firms to exit.
culture  strategy  business  productivity  india  adoption  technology  organization  economics  management 
february 2012 by amaah
Internet Pawn
pawnbroking in the internet age... hubris and self promotion
hatchetjob  pawnbroking  economics  web  business  bubble  strategy  technology 
january 2012 by amaah
Inflation diet: same price, less product
At some point, the units of measure became units of packaging, where consumers ask for a “pound of coffee” but don’t recognize that the package holds just 12 ounces.
inflation  food  packaging  fraud  economics  strategy  capitalism  measurement  standards  business 
may 2011 by amaah
Chinese chicken farmers ruffle Zambian feathers
ohh. two of my favourite topics, chicken farmers and the Chinese in Africa..

"Simple," Mr Pan told me with a gentle smile, "because it is so much easier to make money here in Africa than back home in China."
china  africa  Zambia  economics  chicken  farming  entrepreneur  business  culture  competition  agriculture 
february 2011 by amaah
In praise of the dead
There is no question about there being no money to pay the hospital bills once the man has died... In nine cases out of 10 when you see a house being painted, it means there is a death in the family.
funerals  culture  Ghana  Africa  economics  business  grief  mourning  death  mum  social  pathology  humour  observation 
april 2010 by amaah
Shellgame watch: Tropicana Orange Juice Raising Prices
"The 64-ounce container of orange juice will drop to 59 ounces. The suggested retail price will remain at $3.59." Part of an interesting trend of manufacturers increasing prices but retaining the same size packaging. Bottles or containers are made more convex, given revamped designs, the spouts shaped to pour out more than previously, the sticker price remains constant all in order to fool the indiscriminate consumer that they are receiving the same product... literal bean counting and nickel and diming
packaging  economics  business  strategy  pricing  austerity  capitalism  cynicism  advertising  shellgame  USA 
march 2010 by amaah
Bringing it all back home
remittances... interesting piece on the equivalent of susu collectors servicing Filipino immigrants in Dubai
remittances  payment  systems  culture  economics  microfinance  immigration  money  finance  middlemen  development  business  phillipines  dubai  uae  informal  social  communities  glue  susu  banking 
february 2010 by amaah
On MicroSD Problems
a hardware whodunit... investigating the murky world of counterfeit manufacturing of memory chips...
hardware  technology  economics  memory  engineering  manufacturing  counterfeit  electronics  forensics  business  china  process  systems  cool 
february 2010 by amaah
Wall Street's Bailout Hustle
one of the better opening sentences I've read in a while...

On January 21st, Lloyd Blankfein left a peculiar voicemail message on the work phones of his employees at Goldman Sachs. Fast becoming America's pre-eminent Marvel Comics supervillain, the CEO used the call to deploy his secret weapon: a pair of giant, nuclear-powered testicles.
hatchetjob  economics  politics  usa  policy  business  banking  crisis  fraud  finance  power  shellgame 
february 2010 by amaah
Doctors as Bankers: Evidence from Fertility Markets
Jim Hawkins investigates how doctors act as shills for credit companies and banks who they recommend to patients seeking expensive treatments that aren't normally covered by insurance

"doctors play an important role in patients’ decisions about credit, discussing credit with patients and even recommending and promoting specific lenders to patients while excluding consideration of other potential lenders."
economics  banking  health  credit  debt  values  standards  USA  business  decisions  doctors  shellgame 
february 2010 by amaah
A lethal business model targets Middle America
Among the idiosyncrasies of Xalisco dealers is that they generally do not sell to African Americans or Latinos. Instead, they have focused on middle- and working-class whites, believing them to be a safer and more profitable clientele, according to narcotics investigators and former dealers. "They're going to move to a city with many young white people," Chavez said. "That's who uses their drug and that's who they're not afraid of."
drugs  Mexico  USA  crime  networks  organization  strategy  economics  business  distribution  adaptability  groups  systems  280sd 
february 2010 by amaah
Zain Accepts Bharti's $10.7 Billion Bid for Africa Assets
the great price for telecom companies is Africa, that is where the greatest profits come from hence the unseemly rush for guaranteed cash flow - this time the Kuwaitis have greater need for cash than the Indians...
telecom  technology  economics  business  finance  strategy  Africa  Ghana  Kuwait 
february 2010 by amaah
'What Is Bad About It': Top African Banker Defends Investment from China
We should try to bring newcomers like China or India and others into the same framework of thinking as the OECD countries. But simply pointing fingers is not the best way to do that. We should set incentives to convince them. But if we stand on the pulpit, they can just as easily point back at the traditional donor nations. For a long time, many badly governed places, like the Mobutu regime were getting aid for strategical reasons. Aside from that, I think that good governance can only become anchored in a country when it is something that is owned by the citizens themselves.
Africa  investment  economics  strategy  business  China  infrastructure  development  BlackGold 
january 2010 by amaah
A fast track to your wallet
Andrew Odlyzko has long said the same: automated toll collection payment systems are not only a great means of price discrimination but also enable tolls to be raised with less of a public outcry. Pricing power is shifted by automation away from the consumer. And human factors matter too, having to come up with 2 more quarters each time you cross the bridge is much more galling than facing the monthly bill on your credit card (a disembodied infrequent number as opposed to a tactile and regular reminder of a transaction)
pricediscrimination  tolls  middlemen  strategy  pricing  business  economics  money  networks  systems  technology  transactions  processes  humanfactors 
january 2010 by amaah
New Ships Idle, Waiting for Cargo to Fill Them
spare a thought for the container... Slump in World Trading Costing Container Shipping Lines Billions
containers  shipping  economics  depression  business  strategy  fall  decline  trade  globalization  transportation 
january 2010 by amaah
Subscription Artists
outlines an escrowed street performer business model used by kickstarte. The missing thing is how the middlemen make their money. I would be content simply living off the float.
business  modeling  economics  markets  strategy  middlemen 
january 2010 by amaah
Cocoa price highest for 32 years
fascinating how these commodities markets work... first, speculation on the impact of weather: will the harmattan be bad this year in West Africa, and what of El Nino? Then throw in geopolitics: Ivory Coast's political problems since 2002 has stalled all investment in the farms and the uncertainty of unresolved conflict looms large... My prediction: there will be more smuggling from across the border in Ghana which has invested substantially in the past 8 years in agriculture... constrained supply and huge demand would imply a potential bounty if the government and farmers play their cards right, they have pricing power... On the other hand Ghana's new government only seems interested in oil... sigh
cocoa  agriculture  economics  strategy  pricing  development  farming  policy  politics  investment  ivorycoast  Ghana  commodities  business  Africa  coted'ivoire  markets 
december 2009 by amaah
Attack of the one-foot sandwich
No, the secret of Subway's success rests, in my view, on two things alone: first, there's the very fact that it is a chain, offering a modular eating experience that can be simply replicated from Bloemfontein to Bangor. Nothing succeeds like ubiquity, and the more Subways there are, the more the sandwiches they serve approach the Platonic ideal. Then there's the store-baked bread. I'm not sure what the actual mechanics of this are, but most probably the bread arrives in the form of pre-kneaded and portioned dough, and is simply popped in the ovens. No matter: the by-product is that warm, yeasty stench that wafts from the door of every Subway, selling the scurrying punter the idea that here be Mama.
food  review  sandwich  taste  business  economics  globalization 
november 2009 by amaah
Cheaper fares, Web access draw many to bus travel
the low end theory.. It was the Chinatown bus services, Fung Wah prime among them, which revitalized this whole segment, undercutting Amtrak, Greyhound and Peter Pan and of course the airlines, targeting students with minimal fuss. Now the entire segment is growing. Get on the bus.
transportation  bus  boston  nyc  strategy  economics  business  lowendtheory 
november 2009 by amaah
Small Business Financial Diaries (pdf)
study of small business entrepreneurs in South Africa and the ways in which they manage cash and investment... Because small businesses usually work on a cash basis, money is on hand all the time, making it more difficult to create disciplined savings behaviours than those who receive regular income from a job or a grant. Yet because business income is so irregular and partners are so unreliable, the need for a savings buffer is even more acute for businesses owners than regular income receivers. Many businesses favour stokvels, particularly ones that require daily or weekly pay-ins, as a means to save, but the partners they save with are not always stable or reliable. A safer, but equally effective savings mechanism would improve the ability of small business owners to accumulate usefully large lump sums of cash.
poverty  business  research  economics  SouthAfrica  Africa  strategy  development  banking  finance  money  investment  filetype:pdf  media:document 
november 2009 by amaah
Japan's technology champions: Invisible but indispensable
typical Economist survey of the smaller companies that have cornered certain parts of the electronics manufacturing world. Damning with faint praise.
technology  manufacturing  Japan  economics  process  strategy  business  electronics  lowendtheory 
november 2009 by amaah
France jails 'Angolagate' power players
from Pasqua to Jean-Christophe Mitterand, the nexus of arms smuggling to Angola... The interesting thing is that they sold to both sides although they've been only convicted for their ties to the eventual winners... they had themselves a field day of collateral damage
weapons  arms  corruption  Angola  France  war  business  economics  strategy  rogues  history  politics  gremlins  oil  energy  blackgold 
october 2009 by amaah
‘Boneless’ Wings, the Cheaper Bite
more fodder for the Chicken Bone Theory piece and further notes on our great depression... All this is happening because wholesale chicken prices have turned upside down. The once-lowly wing is selling at a premium over what has long been the gold standard of poultry parts, the skinless boneless chicken breast.
chicken  economics  taste  culture  observation  strategy  usa  depression  food  agribusiness  business 
october 2009 by amaah
Chasing Alpha
more notes on our great depression, this time from an anthropologist... Of course, therein lies a tale: the problematic assessment of risk. Perhaps we can begin to assess risk through local knowledge or by extrapolating from the past. But how does one assess the risk of an asset’s price that has no history, such as a mortgage issued to a subprime borrower? Yet, risk was computed, sliced off, and outsourced, and we have seen the disaster wrought by this financial revolution. Its effects have cascaded down on the rest of us, and we are calling on community in its governmental form to save us from this excess market expansion. (Should we refer to this botched specialization as core incompetence?).
social  anthropology  culture  economics  observation  bubble  depression  capitalism  strategy  USA  finance  business  debt  risk  shellgame 
october 2009 by amaah
U.S. firms look to sell wares in emerging markets
"more of the products of the future need to be designed, built and marketed in those local markets, with decision-making power placed in local hands." Who would have thought it?
economics  strategy  business  investment 
october 2009 by amaah
Closing Time
What does the demise of the car salesman mean?

It means the death of another of our types, mythological figures who represent some quality suddenly on the point of vanishing
culture  usa  history  cars  decline  economics  manufacturing  sales  business  observation  bubble  depression 
september 2009 by amaah
The Return to Capital in Ghana (pdf)
It seems that it pays to invest. "For farmers, we find real returns in the range of 250 −300% p.a. in the new technology of pineapple cultivation, and 30−50% in well-established food crop cultivation."
economics  investment  research  farming  business  Ghana  Africa  agriculture  filetype:pdf  media:document 
august 2009 by amaah
Network Neutrality, Search Neutrality, and the Never-ending Conflict between Efficiency and Fairness in Markets (pdf)
Some more musings by Odlyzko... This pithy table of the Value of bits: Approximate price per megabyte of various services makes a great point about price discrimination. Also interesting anecdotes from the history of railways
Service / Revenue per MB
Wireless texting $1,000.00
Wireless voice 1.00
Wireline voice 0.10
Residential Internet 0.01
Backbone Internet 0.0001
networks  economics  systems  telecom  statistics  analysis  technology  coordination  policy  strategy  competition  pricediscrimination  pricing  optimization  business  lowendtheory  filetype:pdf  media:document 
august 2009 by amaah
Cutthroat Capitalism: An Economic Analysis of the Somali Pirate Business Model
since everyone is sending me this link... pretty graphics I suppose and obviously more readable than the economic research paper... still not going to renew my subscription to wired
piracy  pirates  Somalia  strategy  economics  incentives  business  capitalism  rogues 
july 2009 by amaah
In the Pits of the Recession at Martin Stein's Kenilworth 66 Garage
notes from a recession... a colour piece with suitably colourful personalities
life  economics  observation  resilience  class  USA  immigration  poverty  business  strategy  depression  bubble 
may 2009 by amaah
Meeting, Then Eating, the Goat
immigrant titillation. I remember during the 80's when the British press would write similar articles about the 'strange' food habits of immigrant Others. This is the third in this vein from the New York Times in the past year... Next up I'm sure will be the story about how the Arab guys ate little Timmy the goat that the kids in the neighbourhood had adopted. I'll give good odds on that one. Dig also the obligatory photo of the 'free range' chicken. Bonus points for the tie in to trendy 'locavore' urban sustainable food trends.
food  culture  perception  immigration  media  goat  chicken  meat  business  taste  titillation  USA  cuisine 
may 2009 by amaah
Newspaper Classifieds: A franchise lost.
Funny how Bob Wyman was writing about this years ago but Shirky is the one who everyone latches onto
economics  web  internet  business  strategy  journalism  disintermediation  technology 
april 2009 by amaah
Technology Adoption Trends
interesting graphic of adoption trends for various technologies from electricity, telephone, refrigerator and more
technology  adoption  economics  trends  visualization  usa  business  consumption  via:jkottke 
april 2009 by amaah
Fairtrade and a new ingredient in business
a different take on the prospects for the Ghanaian cocoa farming industry. Farming is hard work and farmers aren't encouraging their offspring to stay in the profession, combine this with the ongoing process of urban migration and you have unproductive farms (not enough weeding etc) except, that is in this reading, for Fairtrade farms... Of course this is a delusional take on things, ignoring the emphasis on the cocoa farming industry of the last 8 years, the mobilization programs sending youth to weed (solving unemployment and agricultural productivity and stemming some of the rural to urban migration). For the first time in a generation farmers were the focus of sustained government policy and investment to the extent that urban youth are complaining about the coddling of cocoa farmers and apparently all the gains are because of "Fairtrade"?... self-congratulatory pablum, apparently the locals had nothing to do with the turnaround of the cocoa industry in ghana.. sigh...
ghana  africa  agriculture  agribusiness  cocoa  chocolate  food  business  finance  economics  strategy  history  policy 
march 2009 by amaah
Management Genius Jack Welch Gets a New Idea
Neutron Jack gets a touch of buyer's remorse... much like Alan Greenspan there's a mixture of disingenuous posturing and preemptive reputation ass-covering... but it won't work, the tide has gone out and is exposing those who were swimming in the nude. Moreover we are all dealing with their dubious legacy.
buyer'sremorse  economics  business  finance  shellgame  gremlins 
march 2009 by amaah
Ghana's juicy economic lesson
as a failed pineapple farmer I can only look on and sigh that I was too early, that my failures in 2000 paved the way for the new crop of ghanaian entrepreneurs who are selling our glorious fruit successfully for export and now even stimulating local demand. This was a no-brainer but why did it take so long.
ghana  food  entrepreneur  agriculture  agribusiness  marketing  taste  culture  fruit  economics  business  strategy  africa  trade  health  via:ethanz 
march 2009 by amaah
Le microcrédit contre la crise
"L'énergie du désespoir" On immigrants using microfinance, family and community resources to start business in France. Il commente l'histoire de Fatiha – My Beautiful Laundrette, de Stephen Frears, version Marseille Nord. "Beaucoup de parcours ressemblent au sien. A Marseille, nous sommes confrontés à une forte précarité, à de grandes poches de pauvreté. Et cela ne s'arrange pas avec la crise qui arrive. Partout on licencie. Nous voyons passer beaucoup d'immigrés de la première génération naturalisés français proches de l'exclusion, des jeunes au chômage, des RMistes, des gens en grande difficulté.
microfinance  credit  economics  business  immigration  France  entrepreneur  strategy  culture  banking  crisis  debt  policy  development  poverty 
february 2009 by amaah
Economic Trends In U.S Health Care: Implications For Investors (pdf)
Uwe Reinhardt's hilarious presentation on our economic predicament... A gospel cum folktale full of zingers... e.g. The Definition Of A "patient"... 2. A biological structure yielding cash [BSYC] . Modern banking: morphing manure into perfume... Odorous manure goes into the barrel and Fragrant Rosewater ® comes out of the taps. And, under the time-honored mantra of American rugged individualism "When The Going Gets Tough, The Tough Run To The Government"
economics  humour  analysis  bubble  mortgage  USA  shellgame  crash  crisis  health  business  zingers  observation  credit  debt  banking  filetype:pdf  media:document 
february 2009 by amaah
Listening to the System
Ben Hyde is profound as usual... I have a rule of thumb that data in motion is more interesting than data at rest. Both from a business architecture point of view and when designing, managing, or diagnosing a system.
systems  networks  design  architecture  technology  middlemen  intermediaries  patterns  business  strategy  software  reliability  performance  data  analysis  monitoring 
february 2009 by amaah
The High Road and the Low Road to Fibre
It's the low end theory of networks again. Musings about infrastructure development and adoption... and a nice photo essay to boot... Need to publish that piece about routine maintenance
lowendtheory  networks  systems  technology  adoption  design  architecture  telecom  infrastructure  strategy  fiber  wiring  deployment  complexity  business  communication 
january 2009 by amaah
A City That Shopped Till It Dropped
Emeryville drank the retail kool-aid, the jury is still out on whether it will weather the downturn
bubble  economics  credit  business  retail  strategy  California  debt  USA  city  urban  development 
january 2009 by amaah
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