Good morning

The headlines:

  1. Let’s begin with a little more about free speech.

    Link: oh Koch.

    The Koch brothers are the most recent in a list of CEOs to exercise their “free speech” in a company email to promote support of Mitt Romney. The line between “free speech” and “intimidation” seems to be an arbitrary construct that’s entirely influenced by the skill of your legal team, I would say.

    The Koch Brothers

    Some samples:

    “[Voters not voting for Mitt Romney could] suffer the consequences, including higher gasoline prices, runaway inflation and other ills” – the Koch Bros*.

    If any new taxes are levied on me, or my company… I will be forced to cut back. This means fewer jobs, less benefits, and certainly less opportunity for everyone” – David Siegel, owner of Westgate Resorts**.

    If the US re-elects President Obama, our chances of staying independent are slim to none… I don’t want to hear any complaints regarding the fallout that will most likely come” – Arthur Allen, CEO of ASG Software Solutions***.

    Ah well, as Mr Romney himself has said:

    I hope you make it very clear to your employees what you believe is in the best interest of your enterprise and therefore their job and their future in the upcoming elections. Nothing illegal about you talking to your employees about what you believe is best for the business, because I believe that will figure into their election decision, their voting decision.

    Because that doesn’t sound manipulative at all.

    *owners of Koch Industries, the second largest privately-held company in the US.

    **famous for its timeshare.

    ***famous for its cloud computing.

  2. Wal-Mart gets a suit dismissed.

    Link: “Yes, we said ‘suit’ not ‘dress’.”

    Wal-Mart doesn’t have to face a class action suit in Texas for gender discrimination.

    The reason is that the suit was filed “too late”. Something about a statute of limitations and such.

    The market reacted with delight:

  3. The “Nobel” prize for economics.

    Link: awarded for matching theory.

    The Nobel prize for economics, which isn’t really a Nobel prize (it’s awarded by the Swedish Central bank), goes this year to Alvin Roth and Lloyd Shapley, for their working in Matching Theory.

    The idea behind it is coming up with the most efficient way of allocating scarce resources. Mr Shapley is famous for coming up with the theoretical bases and designing algorithms. Mr Roth is famous for actually doing it in practice.

    As a basic summary (from what I understand), the general mechanism for matching supply and demand is price. But there are economic markets that function without price – like the allocation of donor organs, or the allocation of doctors to city hospitals. And it’s there that their research has become important.

That’s all for now.

Have a good day.