Steve Cotler

Steve Cotler

Category Archives: Business/Economics

Enhanced Geothermal Energy and Man-Made Earthquakes

Drill down just a few miles into the earth’s crust, and the temperature will rise substantially. This heat comes from three sources: emissions from radioactive minerals, the compressive force of gravity, and to a lesser extent, solar energy absorbed at the earth’s surface. Although such energy is not truly renewable (radioactive elements do eventually decay […]

Bank of America’s Bad Marketing

Do they even come close to knowing what’s going on? Today I mailed the letter below to Barbara Desoer, President of Bank of America Home Loans, in Charlotte, NC. According to Money magazine, she received $9.6 million in compensation in  2007, and was one of the 25 highest-paid women in America. Dear Barbara: I begin […]

The Future of Book Marketing?

Movies have previews. Why not books? Yesterday, the Avon Books division of HarperCollins Publishers released a short promo video for Julia Quinn‘s soon-to-be-released novel, What Happens in London. The promo is so professionally done, I would probably have commented on it even if best-selling novelist Quinn (her last book hit #1 on The New York […]

The Babson Boulders of Dogtown

In his 1905 book, The Protestant Ethic and the Spirit of Capitalism, German economist and sociologist Max Weber theorized that capitalism’s ascendancy owed much to Protestantism’s emphasis on hard work and worldly success. Whether or not Weber was actually right, the term he coined, “Protestant ethic,” has, to many, become accepted as part of our […]

Too Big to Fail? Or Too Big to Exist?

AIG is saved once, and then resuscitated again, because it is judged “too big to fail.” Billions are pumped into General Motors because it also is “too big to fail.” I say step back and look at what “too big to fail” should have suggested long before the current financial cliff edge was reached: If […]

Lincoln Head Cents: 1909-2009 and Beyond…

These days Americans accept and expect famous faces on our coins: Washington quarters (first minted in 1932), Jefferson nickels (1938), Roosevelt dimes (1946), Franklin (1948) and Kennedy (1964) half-dollars, Eisenhower (1971), Susan B. Anthony (1979), and Sacagawea (2000) dollars. But from first United States coinage in 1793 until 1909, no coin had the image of […]

Innovative Auto Marketing from Hyundai

Hand it to Hyundai. You can sell anything to some people some of the time (think Hummer), but sooner or later, if you value corporate survival, you have to market a truly competitive product. Staying competitive, especially in industries with long lead-time R&D or complicated and expensive manufacturing tooling, requires attention to those new product […]

Keep Your Head Down, Bernie

For most of a decade I worked for San Francisco’s Montgomery Securities (which became Banc of America Securities after a purchase).  I was a securities analyst and then an institutional salesman. We called ourselves investment bankers, but no one ever asked for a definition of that title. I joined in 1986, staggered through the 1987 […]

Madoff Made Off With My Money

Bernard "Ponzi" Madoff When a con man is caught, his victims are often too embarrassed to press charges. I’m not. But the Madoff case is so big, with so many losers, I may be far back in a very long line. Take a number. Bernard Madoff, former chairman of NASDAQ and renown money manager whose […]

InTirely Nitrogen

“Are you N2 your tires?” asks Ingersoll Rand, marketers of Nitrogeneration™, a new way to inflate your tires…and Ingersoll Rand’s bottom line. By filling your tires with pure nitrogen instead of air, Ingersoll Rand, one of the various nitrogen-into-tires purveyors, contends that you will: (1) enhance safety because pressure decreases more slowly, (2) lengthen tire […]