Category: Business/Economics

Steve Cotler in Harvard Business School Alumni Bulletin

For fairly obvious reasons, Harvard Business School keeps very good track of and contact with its alumni. One of the best things they do is their magazine, HBS Alumni Bulletin. Some of the articles are interesting, okay, uh-huh, but the real reason alumni turn this mag’s pages is the Class Notes. Every class that still has a living member has someone who actively solicits personal stories about those individuals. Much of the blather is routine stuff: “My wife sits on the hospital board. I golf whenever I can. And the kids are struggling to make ends meet in NYC on traders’ salaries.”

I skim those entries, looking for the unusual. Like this in the September 2011 issue from Continue reading “Steve Cotler in Harvard Business School Alumni Bulletin”

The Market Falls–Then and Now

I glance at the headline of an old newspaper that had been used to insulate one of the old log cabins that make up the museum in Frisco, CO.

“Bankers Blame Tax Laws for Securities Drop” (The Denver Post…November 7, 1937).

The Great Depression had been ongoing for over eight years.

Yesterday the Dow fell over 500 points. The more things change, the more they stay the same.


Evaluating Charities

charity nav logoNow, as at the end of every calendar year, we are besieged by charities asking for support. Incoming mail brims with urgent and passionate pleas. Your phone will ring at dinner time. Even with a “Do Not Call” prohibition installed on your phone number, you can still expect calls from non-profits you have previously supported (and from scofflaw telemarketers calling from Canada). How do you decide which charities to support?

There is a website devoted to answering this question: Charity Navigator.

Continue reading “Evaluating Charities”

Is It Really Extra Virgin Olive Oil?

On July 14, the UC Davis Olive Center, part of that school’s College of Agricultural and Environmental Sciences, released a paper reporting that 69% of randomly selected imported Extra Virgin Olive Oil (EVOO) brands had “defective flavors such as rancid, fusty, and musty” and “did not meet international and US standards.” This compares to a failure rate of only 10% for the California-produced EVOO they sampled. The North American Olive Oil Association (NAOOA), a trade organization that represents the foreign producers whose oils flunked the UC Davis exam, promptly released a statement claiming the tests were flawed.

Continue reading “Is It Really Extra Virgin Olive Oil?”

AltaRock Abandons Geothermal Energy Project at The Geysers

Since July, I have been studying and following the progress of a technology called Enhanced Geothermal Systems (EGS) as it has been tested by Sausalito-based AltaRock Energy at The Geysers, an active geothermal field just 12 air miles from my home in Northern California.

A week ago, New York Times reporter James Glanz wrote that Altarock Energy “has removed its drill rig and informed federal officials that the government project will be abandoned.” Only one day before this report, the controversial Basel, Switzerland, project that was supposed to lead the EGS technology parade was also abandoned.

Obama’s Department of Energy was a financial sponsor of the AltaRock venture. Google and others had invested. Yet AltaRock’s website makes no mention of this major corporate setback.

There will be more news, I suspect.

My earlier posts are:

Enhanced Geothermal Energy and Man-Made Earthquakes—7/2/09
Enhanced Geothermal Energy and Man-Made Earthquakes (Part 2)
Enhanced Geothermal Energy Project Halted in The Geysers
Is the Production of Geothermal Energy in The Geysers a “Public Nuisance”?