I’m a big fan of podcasts. When you see me walking my dog, Sam, in Stockholm, I’m not listening to music. I’m listening to podcast lectures on current events, politics, art, books, etc.
Check out this recent podcast lecture from Stanford’s Technology Ventures Forum Entrepreneurial Thought Leader Lecture Series . The lecturer, David Rothkopf, is the author of SUPERCLASS: The Global Power Elite and the World They are Making. It’s a fascinating insight into the few people who hold nearly all of the world’s power and how they’re using it.
I’m not posting it with any leftist political agenda in mind — it’s just INTERESTING.
I just added the podcast to Rothkopf’s bio on Wikipedia.
The Financial Page
Sovereign Wealth World
by James Surowiecki
Another excellent essay from Surowiecki (link above). Living in Sweden, it is always fascinating to me that the “Kingdom of Sweden” owns some 250 for-profit companies, including Absolut Vodka, one of the top 10 spirits brands in the world in sales; it is remarkably efficiently run, and while the government is speculating on selling it to convert it to cash and ease the government into owning fewer assets, the truth is that despite Absolut being a government-owned company, it has defied the free market cynics and performed phenomenally — perhaps better than it might have were it publicly traded or privately held. When I asked the Chairman whether he would recommend selling the company now as the government intends to, were it not now owned by the government, he speculated that it would be unwise to sell. Basically, the company performs so well and generates so much cash flow that it has no strategic reason to sell, and it is possible that the highest bidder out there will not be paying what the company is really worth. Ironic, or simply a vindication for the free market cynics, that Absolut will likely be sold for political, rather than sound business reasons, at a price less than it might have been worth were it not owned by the government? A red herring of mine, as this article is about the implications of foreign governments buying private or publicly traded American companies . . .