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Book Review: What Matters Now by Gary Hamel

Interview of Eric Schmidt by Gary Hamel at the MLab dinner tonight. Google's Marissa Mayer and Hal Varian also joined the open dialog about Google's culture and management style, from chaos to arrogance. The video just went up on YouTube. It's quite entertaining. (Photo credit: Wikipedia)Cover of The Future of ManagementMy list of must-read business writers continues to expand.Gary Hamel, however, author of What Matters Now, with the very long subtitle of How to Win in a World of Relentless Change, Ferocious Competition, and Unstoppable Innovation, has been on the list for quite some time.Continuing his thesis on the need for a new approach to management introduced in his prior book The Future of Management, Hamel calls for a complete rethinking of how enterprises are run.

Fundamental to his recommendation is that the practice of management is ossified in a command and control system that is now generations old and needs to be replaced with something that reflects an educat…

Sperando - Hyper-inflation?

There was an interesting and thought-provoking article in January 3rd Barron's by long-time trader Victor Sperando. Mr. Sprerando's core thesis is that there is a level of current government borrowing to spending (e.g. borrowing to fund a deficit) that is associated with hyper-inflation. And, more specifically, the U.S. is now running at that level.


Let's suspend that discussion for a moment and focus on the accumulated debt, which is approximately $14 trillion. If those notes and bills were to carry an interest rate of 5%, which is certainly not outlandish, the annual carry would be a whopping $700 billion. That, of course, wouldn't be amortizing the loan (paying any principal), but rather would be analogous to paying the minimum on one's credit card bill.

How could this debt ever be repaid? There are four ways:

1. The method that Republicans seem to be placing their hopes on: that the economy grows so fast while spending remains so constrained that our current $1…

New Research on How to Use Exercise to Grow a Bigger Brain

The Good News We’re swamped with research on how to grow and maintain a bigger brain into old age. Much of the research emphasizes exercise as essential to brain health at every age. Here’s a summary of relevant baseline research, then we’ll move to some new, interesting and thought-provoking research. Background Dr. Carl Cotman and Dr. Nicole Berchtold of the University of California Institute for Brain Aging and Dementia performed research on aerobic exercise and brain health. Cotman and Berchtold concentrated on “brain-derived neurotrophic factor” (BDNF). Because, in their words “it supports the survival and growth of many neuronal subtypes, including glutamatergic neurons”. In our (very) layman understanding, BDNF is a protein that helps nerve cells do, well, a lot. Grow in particular, as well as get stronger and avoid premature cellular death. Cotman and Berchtold learned that the act of consistent exercise increased levels of BNDF in the hippocampus. This finding was important, b…