Category Archives: Books

The Great Deformation

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This is going to be a review of David Stockman’s 768-page tome The Great Deformation, and 0831-deform
although I never thought it was possible, it makes me angry to write this book review.

I’m not angry because I don’t like the book. On the contrary, this is the best economics book I’ve ever read. Indeed, it may be the best and most influential book I’ve ever read in my life. I only wish I had read it the moment it was published in April 2013. I only finished reading it today, and for the entire time I’ve been plowing through it, I’ve been trying to think of what I would say in this review.

Why am I angry, then, to write this? Bluntly stated, because nothing I can say will make what I want a reality. And what I want is for every literate person in the United States to read this book, cover to cover. I want them to read it. I want them to understand it. I want them to agitate for the changes that it recommends. (more…)

Amazon vs Hachette: Why An Axe May Beat A Hammer (Part 2)

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(For Part One Click Here)

Just a scant 15 years ago the internet and everything we now take for granted was almost unimaginable. If you were placed in hibernation then only to wake now it would be the equivalent of being a Quaker suddenly transported to the deck of the Enterprise.

Smart phones alone are only 8 years old and the Blackberry™ (a what?) was at the time a marvel of marvels. Today? What is the same is Amazon’s business model. i.e., Sell at break even if not a loss, for as long as it can till they are the dominant (if not only) choice.

The “for as long as it can” part of that statement is what I believe is now jeopardizing that model. Amazon is still if not more convenient as ever as a first go to place to check prices and more. But (and it’s a very big but) it is far from the absolute price dominator on all items it was in respect to just 4 or 5 years ago. (more…)

Amazon vs Hachette: Why An Axe May Beat A Hammer (Part 1)

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For those not up to speed on the war of words (quite literally) between Amazon™ and Hachette™, it basically revolves around one central theme: Amazon believes a price should be X, and Hachette believes it should be Y. So the question everyone is asking is, “Who’s right?” In my view that’s the wrong question to even begin with.

The reason being is this (and I’m not trying to be coy) both are correct if you understand what the real question and answer should be, and that is: Whomever owns the product owns the right to price. Whomever owns the distribution point (or the store) owns the right to carry it or not. Period. (more…)

Did We Miss That Fourth Turn?

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The markets aren’t exactly a rich, loamy soil for planting prose these days, so I was trying to think0628-fourth of something to write about this weekend. I glanced at my bookshelf and noticed a favorite of mine, The Fourth Turning: An American Prophecy – What the Cycles of History Tell Us About America’s Next Rendezvous with Destiny, which a couple of readers have mentioned to me again recently. I grabbed the book on the way out the door, thinking it would be a terrific thing to write about.

With the thousands upon thousands of posts I’ve done on Slope, I often forget what I’ve written about in the past, and this was no exception. Before I started putting together my long post on the book, I did a search for “Fourth Turning”, and voila – - been there, done that.

On re-reading what I wrote nearly two years ago, I noticed a few things: (more…)

The Whirled Connection

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In 1982, I wrote my first book, The World Connection, which was published by Howard Sams 0603-twcPublishing in early 1983 when I was still 16 years old. (I had already been writing for national computer magazines for about a year). I would go on to write a couple dozen more books, including those listed here on the blog, but “TWC” would always have a special place in my heart, sort of like a first child. 

The reason this topic came up is because my sister must have been cleaning out an old closet, and she found a copy of this book that I sent her over three decades ago. I hadn’t read the book since it came out, and I was curious to see how my writing had changed and how accurate my prophecies were. (more…)

From The Upcoming Book: The Business Of I

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This is a passage we thought we’d share from Mark’s upcoming book. It’s not in its fully edited form but we thought readers of the blog would like to see parts in the process.
V.V. StreetCry Media

From the chapter with the working title “You Think You’ve Been Screwed!”

Many entrepreneurs as well as C-level executives believe (fool heartily) that once the formality of a signed agreement is completed that both sides are now in agreement. Nothing could be further from the truth. (more…)

Inside the Writer’s Mind

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I’m terribly preoccupied with trading (of all things), so I don’t have time for a “real” post right now. I did want to share this, however. I’m kind of obsessed with Truman Capote and In Cold Blood these days, so I was delighted to find the interview below. When you have time, check it out. It’s an astonishing window into the man and his time.