Oct 022008

While a money-economic downturn would have happened anyway, it need not have hit with the precipitousness it did. That has to be blamed quite substantially on the combination of cupidity and stupidity of the elite bankers. Here’s why. The sub-prime mortgage meltdown began months ago. As more foreclosures are instigated, the adjacent homes lost value, helping lead to still further foreclosures — thus lowering the value of the collateralized debt obligations that include “tranches” of […]

Sep 292008

It seems to me unlikely that the financial crisis now will not lead to a full-fledged economic crisis, nor that there is much the government can really do about it. The Paulson plan was at best a Hail-Mary  pass that incidentally preserves much of the hyper-inflated Wall Street which gave him his own half-billion dollar nest egg. I will write more about all this and its connection with the rising Attention Economy soon. Meanwhile here […]

Apr 122008

Crash-free No Longer In a recent post, I discussed the current problems re sub-prime mortgages and the credit crunch in connection with ignorance in high finance and in general. The complex entities that are investment banks, which were supposedly highly knowledgeable as organizations, actually were quite in the dark, quite ignorant in fact, when it came to the mortgage problems. I argued that someone has to be knowledgeable and interested for a problem to be […]

Jun 272007

It probably does no good at this late stage, but let me cry foul one more time. I coined the term “Attention Economy” twenty years ago to refer to a completely new kind of economic system — one not based on material goods nor money but rather on the passing around of what is both unavoidably scarce and desirable in unlimited amounts, namely  ….TA DAA… the attention that can come only from other human beings. […]

Jun 072007

In a recent op-ed in the New York Times , “A Great Idea Lives Forever. Shouldn’t Its Copyright?” novelist Mark Helprin proposed stretching the already incredibly long period of copyright (the life of the author plus seventy years) to…well….always. Now Google is again facing opposition from publishers for scanning in books in university libraries. In the unlikely event that anyone would honor copyright in another few decades, authors would be still be most foolish to […]

May 142007

An article in the NY Times magazine yesterday, “Sex, Drugs and Updating Your Blog” by Clive Thompson, demonstrates many of the realities I have predicted about the Attention Economy. 1. Fans feel a personal relationship with stars, even though they can only maintain such contact in reality when the number of fans is very small. 2. Fans are also eager to help stars, in and do their bidding quite generally. 3. The fans closest to […]

May 112007

I just sent off the following letter to The New Yorker regarding the new economy: Steven Shapin, reviewing David Edgerton’s The Shock of the Old, (May 14, 2007)  cites the revenues of the largest corporations to argue there is no new economy. Sorry, that’s an old-economy measure, not unlike pointing to Queen Elizabeth II’s descent from ancient royal families to prove the old feudal system still dominates in England. People who measure economies don’t know […]

May 022007

I have been discussing the Attention Economy as new economy, but it seems that many readers still do not quite get what I mean by a new economy. If we think back to prehistory, it is obvious that the economy which is generally studied in school or university economics courses (which I reefer to as the MMI economy — see below) did not exist. There were no markets, no money, and little or nothing that […]

Apr 202007

The other night, eight million Blackberries suddenly stopped functioning, and many users (or abusers) of this portable e-mail and instant messaging device apparently felt bereft.  About the same time a friend told me she was in a bad mood because her Internet service was down. That had happened to me a week earlier, and I knew what she meant. Cell-phone users can easily feel the same. Just what is going on with us? An infant […]

Apr 152007

I am frankly peeved. These days I’m noticing more and more that people use the term “Attention Economy,” which I introduced in the late 1980’s, in all too superficial and erroneous a way. It is taken to be about advertising or marketing, or somehow related to ways to make money. It is taken to be just a nonce term – a fad. In reality, as I have tried to emphasize, The Attention Economy is a […]