Economics & Finance

Economics & Finance

SNS has redefined global economics theory through an IP-centric view, with strong results in prediction success, from companies to countries. SNS provides a unique focus on finance subjects, including venture capital and technology funding, with additional attention to global equity markets.

 

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Topics in This Focus Channel

  • Flows and the Big Shift in Business Models

    September 29, 2016

    With John Hagel III, Director and Co-Chair, Deloitte Center for the Edge LLP; and Paul Sallomi, Vice Chairman, Global TMT Industry Leader, and US & Global Technology Sector Leader, Deloitte Tax LLP; hosted by Ivy Estabrooke, Executive Director, Utah Science, Technology and Research Agency (USTAR)


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  • Intellectual Property Theft Flows: Mapping Future Wealth

    September 28, 2016

    With Kevin Montgomery, Founder and Chief Evangelist, Collaborate.org; and Evan Anderson, INVNT/IP Director of Research, Strategic News Service; hosted by Russ Daggatt, Founding General Partner, Denny Hill Capital


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  • Redefining Country GDP: National Business Models and IP Flows

    September 28, 2016

    With William Ribaudo, Managing Partner, Technology, Media and Telecommunications Industry, Deloitte & Touche LLP; Evan Anderson, INVNT/IP Director of Research, Strategic News Service; and Mark Anderson; Hosted by Ed Butler, Presenter and Senior Broadcast Journalist, BBC


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  • Global Flows and Disruptions: From the Economy to the Environment

    September 27, 2016

    The Power of Flows Opening Night Dinner "Global Flows and Disruptions: From the Economy to the Environment": William Janeway, Managing Director and Senior Advisor, Warburg Pincus (London and New York)


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  • Stealth Japan: The Surprise Success of the World’s First InfoMerc Economy

    October 8, 2015

    FiReBooks' First e-Book Release: "Stealth Japan: The Surprise Success of the World's First InfoMerc Economy": An interview with Scott Foster, author of this first FiReBooks e-Book, SNS Ambassador for Asia Research, and Private Equity Partner, TAP Japan Hosted by Russ Daggatt, Founding General Partner, Denny Capital Partners


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  • Financing Innovation: Are Huge Private Tech Company Valuations Leading to a Meltdown?

    October 7, 2015

    A discussion with Ken Goldman, CFO, Yahoo; and Douglas Jamison, CEO, Harris & Harris Group and Nathan McDonald, President, Keiretsu Forum Northwest


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  • Patterns in Disruption and Market Value Creation

    October 7, 2015

    "Patterns in Disruption": John Hagel III, Director and Co-Chair, Deloitte Center for the Edge LLP "Patterns in Market Value Creation": Bill Ribaudo, National Technology, Media and Telecommunications Industry Leader, Deloitte & Touche LLP Hosted by Marcel van Hulle, Senior Vice President, Info-Tech Research Group


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  • SNS: The Christmas Quarter

    August 27, 2015

    Volume 18, Issue 32
    Week of August 24, 2015

    In This Issue
    Feature: The Christmas Quarter
    Quotes of the Week
    Takeout Window
    • Earth II, Part II: DSCOVR/Triana
    • China's GDP
    • Reading the Politburo Through the Central Bank
    • China Targets Japan in Cyber Theft
    • Chinese Attacks by Type: An Academic View

    Ethermail

    ----
    I was tempted to write something more on China this week, given the effect of that nation's destabilizing economic situation on global equity markets; and in fact, it now seems that we should offer perhaps two future issues: The SNS CEO's Guide to China and The SNS Investor's Guide to China. We are pleased to have warned members about the Chinese collapse before the markets fell, only to see subsequent mainstream headlines such as the Wall St. Journal's "China's Economy Is a Black Box." We have no doubt that, for the WSJ, yes, it is; but we are happy that, for our members, it isn't.This week, however, we are bowing to tradition, and for many of the reasons that have investors on the edge of their chairs. Every August we write about the coming Q4 - the most important quarter, financially, for the technology community. It isn't hard to guess that every technology product manager in the world is suddenly even more worried than investors when it comes to considering what is coming up. After all, this is the time - while consumers are still vacationing - when purchasing managers, retailers, wholesalers, and vendors are all ramping up (or down) their plans for who will buy what, and how much of it, in the Christmas Quarter. 


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  • SNS: Unlocking The Value in the IoT Ecosystem

    August 6, 2015

    Volume 18, Issue 29
    Week of August 3, 2015
    In This Issue
    Feature: Unlocking The Value In The Iot Ecosystem
    • A Conversation with Eric Openshaw and John Hagel III
    • About Eric Openshaw
    • About John Hagel III
    • About Huw Morgan

    ----
    Note: This week, as we complete our agenda for FiRe 2015, seemed a perfect time to publish Eric's and John's most recent FiRe conversation, perhaps more relevant now than ever, on the security and technology behind the growth of the (Industrial) Internet of Things. I have no doubt that all of our members will benefit, as Cloud, Security, and IoT merge into a single source of business and risk. - mra.


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  • SNS: Asia Letter, Q3 2015: Asia On The Move

    June 17, 2015

    Volume 18, Issue 23
    Week of June 15, 2015

    In This Issue
    Feature: Asia Letter, Q3 2015: Asia On The Move
    • Renminbi Top Currency in Asia-Pacific
    • Why the TPP Is Important
    • Cellular Dynamics
    • Free (Tokyo) Electron
    • Samsung Invests in South Korea
    • About Scott Foster

    ----

    Publisher's Note: In a week when the president's own party has turned against his most important geopolitical and economic project, the Trans Pacific Partnership, SNS Asia Editor Scott Foster has done us the terrific service of providing context from the Asian side of the Pacific.SNS members will find themselves both fascinated and smarter than others at the negotiating table, on issues ranging from stem-cell production techniques and Japanese industrial pivots into medicine to South Korean plans to dominate the chip industry, after reading this week's Asia Letter.The ASEAN world is ramping up in a new age of competition in technological development, while China seems to daily hack the top secrets of the US government - and its corporations - and companies around the Pacific Rim find government and cross-industry support for moving forward in new areas, often pioneered by US companies or US universities.When the pope is smarter about science than the Republican Party, when the president fails to deal honestly with his own party about the potential job loss in a free trade treaty that pits InfoMercantilism against the free-market model, and when the Democrats torpedo their own president's key project without understanding its role in protecting US jobs from the Chinese, well - it's time for a complete review of American Principles. This quarter's Asia Letter underlines each of these problems. Maybe it's time to move beyond anti-science, Twitter, and Facebook. - mra.


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  • SNS: Special Letter: Frictionless Commerce

    June 3, 2015

    Volume 18, Issue 21
    Week of June 1, 2015

    In This Issue
    Feature: Special Letter: Frictionless Commerce
    • The Problem: Transactions Today Need to Be Frictionless
    • We Have Already Failed
    • Uber Rules: The E-Commerce Relationship Has Changed
    • The Smart Response?
    • Your Voice Is Your Identity
    • Voice Biometrics: Much More Than a Recording
    • The Transforming Value of Voice Biometrics
    • What Does the Future Hold?
    • About Shawn Edmunds

    ----

    Publisher's Note: We know what the problem underlying e-commerce is, in broad terms: technical security is increasingly difficult, and users are increasingly needful of simpler solutions. As we all know, this provides a goldmine for thieves and fraudsters.

    In this discussion, SNS members will learn how our voices can become the centerpiece for e-commerce security. Is this achievable? Indeed, it is more likely inevitable. - mra.


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  • SNS: 10 Global Economic Trends Off The Mainstream Radar

    May 6, 2015

    Volume 18, Issue 17
    Week of May 4, 2015

    In This Issue
    Feature: 10 Global Economic Trends Off The Mainstream Radar
    Quotes of the Week
    Upgrades and Numbers
    • Adobe Gets "Hackers' Best Friend" Award

    Ethermail
    ----

    Last week, we looked at technology trends that were important, and likely off the radar of SNS members; this week, we are going to do the same with the economy. At SNS, we have developed a bit of a mantra over the years. It goes like this: "Technology drives the global economy, and Intellectual Properties are its assets." As the author of the Flow Economics Theory, I also often talk about the necessity of watching flows rather than static balance sheets in order to make accurate economic predictions.

    Just understanding these two ideas will put any member light years ahead of "trained economists" in having a clear view of how money is made and lost, and nations enriched or hollowed out, during this post-Information Age. With this in mind, here are 10 economic trends I am currently following, which are (mostly) off the mainstream radar.


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  • SNS: Asia Letter, Q2 2015: The UK and Germany Go with China

    March 25, 2015

    Volume 18, Issue 12
    Week of March 23, 2015

    In This Issue
    Feature: Asia Letter, Q2 2015: The UK and Germany Go with China
    • Industry 4.0 + Made in China 2025
    • Many More Robots
    • Europe Joins China's Infrastructure Bank
    • About Scott Foster

    ----

    Publisher's Note: In this issue of the quarterly Asia Letter, Scott Foster has captured the new momentum shift happening as China moves to expand its influence and the UK and Germany jump on board. It's difficult to overestimate the importance of this new Chinese push, or to overstate the almost craven eagerness of nations already victimized by China's trade practices as they move to do China's bidding. If you care about shifting geopolitical and economic landscapes, this issue has what matters.Who cares if China has completely compromised the security of British national infrastructure? So what if China is using stolen IP from Japan and Germany to put its high-speed rail companies out of business? Hey, there's money to be made ---Smart SNS members will forget the 7th-century struggles in the Middle East and focus on the real 21st-century battle at hand. - mra.


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  • SNS: Currency Wars II: The Isolated Dollar

    March 18, 2015

    Volume 18, Issue 11
    Week of March 16, 2015

    In This Issue
    Feature: Currency Wars II: The Isolated Dollar
    • The Game
    • The Media
    • Currency Wars
    • Honesty vs. Wealth
    • Additional Dollar Drivers
    • Is a Strong Dollar Good or Bad?
    • The Domestic Economics and Equity Markets
    • What Can Go Wrong
    • Summary

    Quotes of the Week
    Takeout Window
    • The US Dollar: Last Man Standing, or the Only Honest Player?

    Upgrades and Numbers
    • The Russians Out the NSA
    • Turning Insects into Cyborg Drones

    Ethermail

    -----
    The Game

    You're playing poker. It's quite late in the evening, the room is full of smoke, and your 19 fellow players are starting to fade. It's about time: almost all of the money is in their piles, not yours.It wasn't supposed to end this way. Although everyone started out the night with different amounts of cash, it's a gentleman's game - or, at least, that's what you thought earlier in the evening - and anything could happen. Then, it does. On a trip to the restroom, you find a chip on the floor and realize it has fallen from a shelf in the hall. A box on that shelf is stuffed with more chips, just sitting there: hundreds of chips in 10, 100, even 1,000-dollar denominations. You close the box, leave the first chip on the floor, and go back to the table.Over the next few hours, you notice your friends taking restroom trips more and more often. Even though they've had losing hands, their funds have been increasing; they have to be taking chips from the hall. Everyone, it seems, is doing it. OK, you took a few, too, but then it just seemed too - well, too sleazy. So you stopped. Now the night's over, and for whatever reasons, their piles are larger than ever - much larger than yours. Welcome to the modern G20 game called "international trade."


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  • SNS: From Social to Science: The Next Trends in Investing

    December 11, 2014

    Volume 17, Issue 45
    Week of December 8, 2014
    In This Issue
    Feature: From Social to Science: The Next Trends in Investing: A Conversation with Doug Jamison
    • About Douglas W. Jamison

    ----

    Publisher's Note: Last week, during our 10th Annual Predictions Dinner in New York, I had the good fortune to be able to talk with Doug Jamison, CEO of Harris & Harris Group, about his firm's commitment to investing in deep science - quantum computing, new materials like graphene, and much more - as compared with going for a quick hit on the next social networking add-in micro-app. This is a subject that is getting increasing attention around the Valley, and perhaps the world, as people like Peter Thiel espouse the need for more attention to deep-science investing, and to investing in more than the next chat-room. While no one would criticize investors for seeking a quick or large return, the real basis of the following conversation comes from a shared belief that Doug and I found as we went along, that deep-science investment is a good idea not only for business and the planet, but for shareholders as well. - mra.


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  • SNS: Japan: Arms Dealer To The Cellphone Wars

    December 3, 2014

    Volume 17, Issue 44
    Week of December 1, 2014
    In This Issue
    Feature: Asia Letter, Q1 2015: Japan: Arms Dealer To The Cellphone Wars
    • Japan's Snap Election
    • Arms Dealer to the Cellphone Wars
    • A Wearable Key Device
    • The Blue Laser Diode
    • India's Oil Buying Binge
    • Myanmar's New Banks
    • About the Author

    ----

    Publisher's Note: If you are reading this from the US, the UK, or the EU, it is easy to think that Asian trade is all about us, on one end or the other. Even as China grows, Germany, the UK, and the US consider Asia in a self-centric trading frame.

    In this issue, Asia Editor Scott Foster brings us a clear picture of how Japan and other Asian nations are building new partnerships and programs around the hottest technology platforms in the world (smartphones) and the newest markets (Myanmar).

    Will Abe win his just-announced snap election this month? And what should we expect if he doesn't? How do Japan and South Korea fare as their currency wars continue? Whose model will prosper, at a time when the two models look almost identical?

    As always, our Asia Letter provides information SNS members will need to make strategic decisions about their own plans and products in the coming year. - mra.


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  • SNS: The Christmas Quarter

    October 8, 2014

    Volume 17, Issue 37
    Week of October 6, 2014
    In This Issue
    Feature: The Christmas Quarter
    • Chips
    • GDP, and Markets As Psychology
    • Consumer Confidence
    • Devices

    Quotes of the Week
    Takeout Window
    • Global Chip Sales, July
    • Global Chip Sales, August
    • Worldwide Semiconductor Revenues
    • IMF Global Growth Projections
    • Consumer Sentiment
    • The "SNS Big Shift" Hits Samsung Korea

    Upgrades and Numbers
    • HP Split: The Horns of Meg's Dilemma

    Ethermail
    In Case You Missed It...
    SNS Members Making News
    ----

    It's hard to believe it's that time again, as we enter the most important quarter in finance and sales for the world's technology companies. One obvious lesson that comes out of the coming quarter is this: as the world changes, so does this quarter change. In a real sense, Q4 is an acutely sensitive lens on technology sales trends worldwide over the past year.

    In addition to documenting this new level of change, I thought I would take a slightly different approach to this year's Q4 outlook. Rather than just make predictions, it struck me that it might be more helpful to SNS members to have a view into the process regarding how I come to these conclusions.

    While pattern recognition is always at the beginning of this work, various types of questions involve different parameters and approaches - so the description in this week's issue is not intended to fit every other type of prediction set. On the other hand, it is intended to serve all of you in making Q4 predictions, from now on.


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  • SNS: Australia: Dancing in the Deadly Embrace

    October 2, 2014

    Volume 17, Issue 36
    Week of September 29, 2014
    In This Issue
    Feature: Australia: Dancing in the Deadly Embrace
    • Behind the Dance
    • The National Broadband Network
    • Telstra
    • Summary

    Quotes of the Week
    Takeout Window
    • Behind the Dance

    Upgrades And Numbers
    • Australia's Top 25 Exports, Goods, and Services
    • Australia's Top 10 Trading Partners
    • China's Iron Imports, 2009-2014
    • Peak Pricing, Not Peak Oil

    Ethermail
    In Case You Missed It...
    SNS Members Making News

    ----

    In the post-WWII era, Australia has generally had a booming, resource-based economy, driven by everything diggable or drillable, but mostly coal and iron. As China has moved from the Maoist days of a Communist business model with 1.2B dirt farmers into its current Communist Party-controlled Infomercantilist model, the effects of the change on Australia have been dramatic.

    Australia's plans and politics were always driven by the big-money companies involved in resource extraction, but China's dramatic rise in demand for Australia's resources has accelerated payments in cash to this sector, while arguably slowing the country's attempts to diversify - or to do anything the major resource firms don't like.

    In recent history, this has included: responding to global warming with a carbon payments scheme and windfall profits tax on resource firms to diversify the economy (not popular with resource firms: end of Labor government), repeal of same (payback for support: new Liberal administration), and an endless dance with China over resource pricing, deliverables, and ownership.


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  • SNS: Asia Letter, Q4 2014: Nation Building

    September 24, 2014

    Volume 17, Issue 35
    Week of September 22, 2014
    In This Issue
    Feature: Asia Letter, Q4 2014: Nation Building
    • BRICS Banks
    • India, Japan, and China
    • The Industrialization of Bangladesh
    • Sri Lanka, China, and the Maritime Silk Road
    • What Does "SCO" Stand For?
    • About Scott Foster

    ---

    Publisher's Note: It isn't impossible to understand what's happening in Asia right now; it's just difficult. More important, it is almost impossible to find the truth about these changes, in print or on the Web. For these reasons, we have Asia Editor Scott Foster to thank for delivering something a bit different in this issue: an on-the-ground tour around many of Asia's key countries, looking at economic, political, and military issues as they see them. - mra


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  • SNS: The Alibaba IPO: The Other Side

    September 11, 2014

    Volume 17, Issue 34
    Week of September 8, 2014
    In This Issue
    Feature: The Alibaba IPO: The Other Side

    Quotes of the Week
    Takeout Window
    • The 2014 Ebola Outbreak in Western Africa

    Upgrades and Numbers
    • The "Unnovation" Economy: Copying the Thieves
    • T-Mobile Sues Huawei
    • An Open Letter to Petro O. Poroshenko: How Putin Thinks
    • An Open Letter to David Cameron
    • Ebola: Out of Control

    Ethermail
    In Case You Missed It...
    SNS Members Making News
    ----

    Sometime in the next week or two, the most important event since global plates drifted apart will take place - if media coverage is any indicator. I refer, of course, to Alibaba's over-hyped initial public offering (IPO).

    For months now, during a time when most firms in a similar position would be in "quiet period," the company has been running what looks like an intercontinental public relations campaign to make sure it is in the headlines day-in, day-out. No doubt, most of our members are asking: "Should I invest?"In this issue, we won't answer that question (directly). But, unlike all of the major business media, we'll take a colder look at the company and its new offering: no breathless hype, no sycophancy, but a more systematic view of what's happening in, and around, this event.

    Let's look at this story from a number of different viewpoints, and then judge the overall picture when we're done.


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  • SNS: The SNS Big Shift Part II

    July 11, 2014

    Volume 17, Issue 28
    Week of July 28, 2014
    In This Issue
    Feature: The SNS Big Shift Part II
    • The SNS Big Shift, Part I
    • The SNS Big Shift, Part II
    • Smartphones vs. Pads
    • India, Asia, and Purchasing Parity
    • Emerging vs. Developed Nations

    Quotes of the Week
    Takeout Window
    • The New BlackBerry Passport
    • SNS Big Shift: Demographics vs. Income

    Upgrades And Numbers
    • Carbon Goes Solar
    • Forbes Sells Out

    Ethermail
    In Case You Missed It...
    SNS Members Making News
    ---

    The SNS Big Shift, Part I

    In my original predictions regarding the SNS Big Shift ("SNS: The Big Shift," August 8, 2013), I described the effects of the commercial pressures flowing out of Chinas national business model (and, to a lesser degree, those of South Korea and Japan) on future sales of technology hardware. I suggested that companies from Inventing Nations with quarterly reporting requirements would have difficulty competing with companies from Infomercantilist Nations, as the former had to show real net and operating profits, with good operating margins, while the latter had little-to-no pressure to do the same....

    The SNS Big Shift, Part II

    In this issue, we'll look at another aspect of this tectonic shift in markets and shares. Now, we'll be interested not in the national business models driving these trends, but in demographics, which are the second most powerful set of influencers in product acceptance.


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  • SNS: Asia Letter, Q3 2014

    June 25, 2014

    Volume 17, Issue 23
    Week of June 23, 2014
    In This Issue
    Feature: Asia Letter, Q3 2014
    • Automating China
    • Politics vs. Economics
    • Hydrogen Infrastructure
    • Vegetable Factories
    • About Scott Foster

    In Case You Missed It...
    SNS Members Making News
    ---

    Publisher's Note: More often than not, the trends and investments happening in Asia take months or years to show up in volume in the US. Often, one suspects this is because they are piloted locally, bugs are worked out, and then they're brought into the export stream once the products, services, organization, and plan are all in place for scale.Certainly this is true for hydrogen infrastructure and fuel-cell vehicles. We've been covering Japan's (and now South Korea's) stealth strategy on this roll-out for almost a decade; now it's happening in real time, according to SNS Asia Editor Scott Foster in this week's issue. Similarly, the idea of food factories still seems a bit distant from the US perspective, but somehow I suspect that, having read about them here, we'll soon read about them in the US, the UK, and the EU.As is consistently true of our quarterly Asia Letters, this is another that our members will not want to miss. Thanks to Scott, it remains my best read regarding trends and events in Asia that we all should be watching closely. - mra.


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  • Commercializing Space: From the Moon to Mars

    May 21, 2014

    FiRe 2014: "Commercializing Space: From the Moon to Mars": Patti Grace Smith and Michael Sims; hosted by Larry Smarr


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  • Unlocking Value in the Internet of Things Ecosystem

    May 21, 2014

    With John Hagel III, Director and Co-Chair, Deloitte Center for the Edge LLP; and Eric Openshaw, Vice Chairman and US Technology, Media and Telecommunications Leader, Deloitte LLP; hosted by Huw Morgan, VP Research Strategy, Info-Tech Research Group


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  • SNS: Special Letter: The Second Internet Revolution: Bringing Democracy Up To Speed

    May 1, 2014

    Volume 17, Issue 16
    Week of April 28, 2014

    In This Issue
    Feature: Special Letter: The Second Internet Revolution: Bringing Democracy Up To Speed
    • Mobile and Messaging in Democracy
    • The Second Internet Revolution, and Real Change in Democracy
    • $3.9 Billion on Outdated Election Technology
    • Voting As a "Mission-Critical" Industry: A Business Concept Is Born
    • The First Internet Revolution and Mobile Drive Adoption
    • The First Security Challenge
    • Raising the Bar of Security and Reliability for Mission-Critical Cloud Solutions
    • Internet Security Is Not Enough
    • The Reality of SaaS and Mobile in Elections Today
    • What's Next?

    ---

    Publisher's Note: Although most Americans probably missed it, many others outside the US took notice when the Carter Institute, the world's most respected arbiter of free and fair elections, failed to certify the Bush v. Gore 2000 presidential election. The US election system had fallen behind much of the rest of the democratic world in its most important political process.

    This week's issue describes how we might bring elections and voting into the 21st century, enabling increased fairness and objectivity in the ongoing struggle for real democratic government. Everyone Counts has just been selected as a FiReStarter Company for 2014, and this is largely because of the vital need to get the voting process "right." The importance of egality, inclusion, and security in the election process is central to the process of democratic government.

    Getting this done is the prime focus behind the company.I think our members will be impressed with CEO Lori Steele Contorer's approach to the critical security issues behind past, current, and future voting regimes. The ability to conduct secure elections in real-time may well be the most important political enabler of our time, as we move past Arab Spring-like events into the shadowy world of the Ukraine crisis. Would this technology, and its ability to roll out secure voting quickly, have saved Ukraine from its now-obvious demolition at the hands of Russia? Perhaps not, but - perhaps so, as the Russians rush to cast another Crimea-like independence vote, prior to voting for another Crimea-like annexation (or something like it) with Russia.I know our members will find this week's issue, and the economic, technical, and political tides that surround it, fascinating and important. - mra.


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  • SNS: Asia Letter, Q2 2014

    March 12, 2014

    Volume 17, Issue 10
    Week of March 10, 2014
    In This Issue
    Feature: Asia Letter, Q2 2014
    • Smart Cities: Urban Development Planning in Asia
    • Environmental Social Governance: Why Not?
    • Turkey and East Asia
    • Japan and Russia
    • China and Ukraine
    • Chinese Agricultural Imports: Abandoning Self-Sufficiency
    • Fukushima: The Problem That Won't Go Away
    • About Scott Foster

    ---

    Publisher's Note: Everyone knows that energy drives global politics - unless something else does that week. As the planet watches Vladimir Putin send masked Russian infantry into Ukraine, the strategists are calculating natural gas supplies, prices, and pipelines to figure out the endgame.

    This week, SNS Asia Editor Scott Foster takes a close and detailed look at country plans and hopes in the worlds of sustainability and energy, from vendor to customer, supply source to demand center. While some may find too much detail here, others will delight in their first exposure to who and what are really running things today in Asia, and which other parts of the world are involved.Whether you are watching China in Turkey, Singapore's lead in Smart Cities, or the Japan-Russia defense pact, all of it ultimately keys off energy, all of it matters, and, in my view, all of it is fascinating and useful. - mra.


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  • SNS: Balkanizing The Net: Benefits and Costs

    February 19, 2014

    Volume 17, Issue 7
    Week of February 17, 2014
    In This Issue
    Feature: Balkanizing The Net: Benefits and Costs
    • Benefits
    • Costs
    • Summary

    Quotes of the Week
    Upgrades
    • China Hitting the Great Wall
    • Redefining the Human Immune System: The Most Exciting Idea of the Decade?

    Takeout Window
    • Abenomics: The End of the Sugar High

    Ethermail
    In Case You Missed It...
    Members Making News
    ---

    My friend and SNS member Vint Cerf, in a terrific interview by Larry Smarr at FiRe 2013, described the experience of launching the Internet. And while he addressed many of the changes and pressures involved in its evolution, the idea that any country would just take it over was never part of the plan. (I am happy to announce that Vint will be returning to FiRe 2014.) When politicians from democratic countries first considered the effects of the Net on China, their naive assumption was that more information would be brought into this closed society, and thereby increase the ultimate chances for democracy and free speech. Very quickly, it became clear that just the opposite was true: the leaders of China used the "Great Firewall" to shut off all contact between citizens and any websites, stories, even words deemed not in the national interest. Worse, the system became the perfect surveillance tool to detect, and then often detain, political dissidents of even the most mild nature.Instead of promoting freedom, ChinaNet became the primary tool in an increasingly repressive society, under both Hu Jin Tao and now Xi Jinping.


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  • SNS: The Future of Bitcoin

    December 19, 2013

    Volume 16, Issue 45
    Week of December 16, 2013
    In This Issue
    Feature: The Future of Bitcoin
    • Benefits of a Digital Currency
    • Dangers of a Digital Currency
    • The Country View: What Is a Currency For?
    • The Valley Goes Bitcoin

    Quotes of the Week
    Takeout Window
    • Diagram of a Bitcoin Transaction

    Ethermail
    In Case You Missed It...
    Members Making News
    ---

    If you've never heard of Satoshi Nakamoto, that's no excuse, even if the likelihood of his existence is close to zero. There is an exponentially growing crowd of investors in the Bitcoin system who hope - and perhaps believe - that this digital currency will prove more substantial than the pseudonymous name of its inventor. Hardly a day passes when I am not asked what I think about Bitcoin - as a technology, as an investment, as a currency for transactions, perhaps even as the coolest thing to talk about over this year's turn at holiday cocktail parties. But, as news comedian Jon Stewart once pointed out to over-the-top TV stock-picker Jim Cramer after listing his failures and statistical losses: "It's not a game." At least, not to the newbies now piling into Bitcoins without a much better chance of understanding what they own, or what to expect, than if they were purchasing shares of neutrinos.


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  • SNS: Asia Letter, Q1 2014

    December 3, 2013

    Volume 16, Issue 42
    Week of December 1, 2013
    In This Issue
    Feature: Asia Letter, Q1 2014
    • Farewell to the Ministry of TEL: Japan Loses Its Grip on Semis
    • Lessons for Boeing and Mitsubishi: Building for Quality vs. Diplomacy
    • 400 Years of Roast Beef: East India, the First Mercantilist in China
    • George and Boris Do China
    • Rendezvous at Hinkley Point
    • Who Needs Friends?
    • About Scott Foster

    ---

    Publisher's Note: In this quarter's report, Asia Editor and SNS Ambassador Scott Foster has found some delightful nuggets that reveal planet-scale stories just under the ground. The departure of chip dominance from Japanese shores, a half-century after taking the tech from Intel and kicking it out of the business, is a mammoth event. More important to the Japanese themselves: losing this edge, in equipment and chips, has to be a blow to many future domestic business plans.

    Of equally large scale is the now-obvious pivot of the UK into Chinese arms. While the US and most of the rest of the world are trying to deal with China's new military threats around power grabs in the East China Sea, Britain's top officials are kowtowing to China's leaders, in return for a few checks. Scott tells us exactly what it cost to buy Britain's love, at a time when the country seems to have run low on other plans for money. Hint: It wasn't enough.

    As Xi Jinping pointed out in an interview with the Wall Street Journal this week: "The world, as a whole, is not tranquil." Mr. Xi is fully aware of his personal role in making it so.Tonight, at our annual Predictions Dinner, I'll be discussing how China's ramping up threats relates to its economic situation and national business model, and why no one - really, it seems, no one - has noticed that the new China defense zone threatens Taiwan most of all. Oh yeah, Taiwan ---

    I know our members will find Scott's quarterly report as helpful as ever in understanding the increasingly fraught poli-techonomy that is Asia. - mra.


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  • SNS: Q4 2013: The Christmas Quarter

    October 24, 2013

    Volume 16, Issue 38
    Week of October 21, 2013
    In This Issue
    Feature: Q4 2013: The Christmas Quarter
    • The Role of Texas in the Global Economy
    • The Technology View

    Quotes of the Week
    Upgrades
    • Apple Without Steve: The Line Extension Company
    • Silicon Valley vs. Redmond

    Takeout Window
    • The SIA Statistics on Global Sales
    • Another Leading Indicator
    • Apple's New iPads, Q4 Likely Sales Leaders

    In Case You Missed It...
    Members Making News
    ---

    Every year, we put out an issue on what to expect in the fourth quarter, the most important in the year to technology executives and the investors who follow them. While every end-of-year has its unique twists and challenges, few will be surprised to hear my perspective this time around: this is perhaps the most confused set of forces at work that I have seen in a long time. While the surface of the waters is relatively calm, there are currents moving in every possible direction just beneath the surface, each with the potential to cause serious volatility.


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  • SNS: Asia Letter, Q4 2013 Abenomics Update

    September 18, 2013

    Volume 16, Issue 32
    Week of September 16, 2013
    In This Issue
    Feature: Asia Letter, Q4 2013 Abenomics Update
    • Apocalypse Not Now
    • Good Numbers
    • Different Perspectives
    • Devil's Advocate
    • Asian IPO Market
    • iPS Clinical Research
    • High-Speed Trains
    • How Bertha Got to Seattle
    • About the Author
    • About Jonathan Epstein

    ---

    Publisher's Note: Most smart international observers have been puzzled by Japan's economic behavior over the last few decades. The country was supposed to be in recession, but didn't really seem to be. Now, with the advent of Abenomics, the economic hoi polloi are mostly praising the results of increased spending, without being too critical of how it works in the long run. True enough, as Scott Foster points out in this quarter's Asia Letter, it's hard to be critical when all short-term metrics are up. On the other hand, there is always the long term.In this Letter, Scott describes the missing pieces in this story: the economic benefits that have been accruing to Japanese export titans for decades, without showing up on the (domestic GDP) books. This is one of the biggest stories in global economics, and, as far as I know, it has only come out to date in past SNS issues, and in Scott's writings. If you want to understand Japan's present and future - on and off the official balance sheet - you need to read Scott's Letter this week. I think Japan is the sleeping tiger, and China the over-fed house pet. What do you think? - mra.


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  • SNS: Special Letter: Solving the IP Crisis and Enabling Global Economic Growth

    September 11, 2013

    Volume 16, Issue 32
    Week of September 9, 2013
    In This Issue
    Feature: Special Letter: Solving the IP Crisis and Enabling Global Economic Growth
    • The Scale and Scope of Loss
    • Geographic Findings
    • Policy Recommendations
    • What's Next, What's Needed?
    • About the IP Commission
    • About Rich Ellings

    ---

    Publisher's Note: SNS members are well aware of the alarms we have raised over the last six years or so regarding what we now call Infomercantilism: national business models fueled by the theft of other nations' crown jewel intellectual property.At SNS, the result has been the creation of the INVNT/IP (Inventing Nations vs. Nation-sponsored Theft of IP) Global Consortium and Global Network (www.invntip.com). Today, that group includes many of the leading international technology firms, working with Cabinet-level leaders from Australia, the US, and the EU.In pursuing INVNT/IP's goals, I was recently at the Aspen Security Forum, where I met with the Hon. Dennis Blair, past director of National Intelligence. Admiral Blair is the co-chair, with Gov. Jon Huntsman, of the Commission on the Theft of American Intellectual Property, known as the IP Commission.

    Perhaps aside from (or including) the work we have done at SNS, the IP Commission's recently published report is the best and most detailed description to date of the economic damages resulting from this problem set. I offered Admiral Blair our assistance in getting more attention and support for the Commission Report, knowing that the more global leaders who read it, the better our chances of achieving a successful resolution.Denny was kind enough to introduce me to Rich Ellings, president of the National Bureau of Asian Research, which published the report, and program director for the IP Commission. Rich agreed to write this Special Letter condensing the group's understanding of the problem and some paths for solving it.

    I think this issue, and the IP Commission Report behind it, should be required reading for every CEO whose company depends upon technological advance.To my mind, that's every CEO in the world. - mra.


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  • SNS: Special Letter: India’s Challenges

    August 28, 2013

    Volume 16, Issue 31
    Week of August 26, 2013
    In This Issue
    Feature: Special Letter: India's Challenges
    • The Currency Story
    • The Story of Trade
    • The Gang Rape of a Photojournalist
    • Explaining the Currency Mess
    • Nurturing the New India
    • About Rafiq Dossani

    ---

    Publisher's Note: The world economy is in a very strange place today, with national economics the result of powerful, and at times conflicting, pressures. The ongoing Currency Wars first noted here have created artificial lending rates and inflationary pressures everywhere. So-called Quantitative Easing (central banks printing huge amounts of fiat money) has created false temporary lifts in turn around the globe, with Japan's Abenomics just the most ridiculous and most recent example. An offshoot of this irresponsible fiscal behavior has been a flood of "hot money" trading in global markets, as total liquidity rises to dangerous new levels. With bankers trained to watch for the opposite, there are no alarms going off on the problem - just as there were none in 2007. In turn, we've seen bubbles showing up all over again in global markets; no surprise there. And, as in 2007, we are seeing the result of massive investor use of the "carry trade." Then, it was mostly through Japan. Today, with artificially low central-bank lending rates in every major country, large global funds face a cornucopia of choices regarding where to get their "free" leveraged money. As far as I can tell, the US is likely the carry-trade lender of first resort today, taking over Japan's role in this tragicomedy.And then we have the charade of Chinese banks, a group of cash pipelines that we pointed out years ago had as much resemblance to Western banks as a grasshopper has to a fork. Day by day, we see the increasing instability of this system, as new bad loans surface that had been hidden under the state umbrella (and secondary-market "shadow banking" empires). Finally, with all of this bad behavior by leaders comes a predictable bad outcome. How would we expect to see this in its first stages? Most investors have been looking for hyperinflation, which certainly would normally be the problem. Today, we are seeing a free-fall in many currencies, with India in every day's lead news. Luckily for us, Rafiq Dossani has again delivered a timely insider-view of this cascade of events and their local causes, which each of our members will want to read closely. - mra.


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  • SNS: The Big Shift

    August 8, 2013

    Volume 16, Issue 28
    Week of August 5, 2013
    In This Issue
    Feature: The Big Shift
    Quotes of the Week
    Upgrades
    • Abenomics Deconstructed
    • German Pols vs. German Business: Chinese Solar Panel Dumping Rewarded

    Takeout Window
    • Top 5 Smartphone Vendors by Volume
    • The Inventing World's New Billboard?

    In Case You Missed It...
    Members Making News
    ---

    I ran into Todd Bradley from Hewlett-Packard at Brainstorm last week. He, perhaps alone among the many participants, had the hardest time coming up with a business card. This is understandable: Todd has just been reassigned from running what had been the world's largest PC operation to trying to fix things in China. The words "daunting" and "fraught" come to mind...

    ...Is it possible that we are not running out of great inventors, but rather, the business models to enable them?


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  • Increased Fragmentation and Concentration Caused by Massive Increases in Data

    May 22, 2013

    "Increased Fragmentation and Concentration Caused by Massive Increases in Data" and "The Economic Activity and Institutional Effects of Massive Increases in Data": Conversations with John Hagel III, Director and Co-Chair, Deloitte Center for the Edge LLP; and Eric Openshaw, Vice Chairman and US Technology, Media and Telecommunications Leader, Deloitte LLP - Hosted by Ed Butler, Senior Broadcast Journalist, BBC


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  • SNS: Six Smartphone Killer Apps

    April 4, 2013

    Volume 16, Issue 13
    Week of April 1, 2013
    In This Issue
    Feature: Six Smartphone Killer Apps
    • Wireless Micro Maps
    • The Self-Contained Locator
    • Mesh Networks
    • The Quantified Self
    • The Internet Assistant III: Meta Biometrics
    • Food Knowledge

    Quotes of the Week
    Upgrades
    • The Real Problem with North Korea
    • Another Invisible-Cloak Breakthrough

    Takeout Window
    • Smartphone Night Goggles?
    • Graphene Loudspeakers, Earphones, Microphones

    Ethermail
    In Case You Missed It...
    Members Making News
    ---

    Last week I made the case that the smartphone OS was the (pre-global warming) waterfront real estate of the technology asset business. Students of technology history already know that: a) platform winners at the small-format end of the ladder almost always climb up to larger, more expensive platforms (witness the Surface on W8, Android pads, PC OS's devouring minicomputers, etc.); and b) those who control the OS generally control the applications ecosystem.

    When I first created the concept of Hyperstructural Economics, I based it on the personal-computer ecosystem of the time. From our new website's "Insights and Analysis" area (www.stratnews.com/innovations/), we have this definition: A theory using strategic product component design and related supply chains to reveal corporate alliances and to predict economic outcomes in global technology markets. In other words, the product's (in today's case, the smartphone) technical structure dictates the economic outcome of those in the supply chain, starting with the inner keiretsu of cooperating allies. (Foxconn is currently proving this theory, thanks to its role supplying Apple, while Wall Street does its best to ferret out, and short, the other iPhone suppliers.) These principles continue to provide the best illumination for understanding the technology economy. But every rule set has an exception, and this one is no exception: Killer apps.


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  • SNS: Asia Letter, Q2 2013: Japan Back in Gear

    March 27, 2013

    Volume 16, Issue 13
    Week of March 25, 2013
    In This Issue
    Feature: Asia Letter, Q2 2013: Japan Back In Gear
    • Japan Back in Gear
    • Soft Power
    • Faith in Technology
    • Economics of Whaling
    • "The Canada of Asia" Revisited
    • About the Author

    ---

    Publisher's Note: This week, Asia Editor Scott Foster has again provided SNS members with a strategic insight they are unlikely to find elsewhere, and which, on its own merits, may decide the near-term economic future of Asia. Specifically, the "new Meiji Restoration" Scott describes would, if real, mark the dramatic shift of Japan's position as the leading postwar mercantilist nation into one of free trade. This would be accompanied by a desertion of the farm lobby and concomitant of a degradation of the Rice Lobby's political hold on the LDP, a revolution within that political party, and a new willingness by government to allow the gutting of multi-generational protected industries, in return for fairly won international profits.I am not holding my breath.

    But Scott is virtually always spot-on in his observations, so I'm also going to enter a period of "watchful waiting" to see whether, in fact, we are about to see a real economic revolution in Japan. - mra


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  • SNS: Special Letter: India In 2013

    January 16, 2013

    Volume 16, Issue 2
    Week of January 14, 2013
    In This Issue
    Feature: Special Letter: India In 2013
    • India in 2012
    • The Politics of Coalitions
    • The Politics of Frequent Elections
    • Indian Federalism and Governance
    • Can Rage Help?
    • India in 2013
    • About Rafiq Dossani

    ----

    Publisher's Note: SNS members will note that our long-time India Editor, Rafiq Dossani, has now moved from Stanford University to the RAND Corp. Given his inside contacts in India, and his deep, on-the-ground understanding of India's prospects and challenges, it is no surprise that RAND wanted Rafiq. Luckily for us, he is now continuing his work in sharing real insights into India's status and workings with the rest of us.In this Special Letter, Rafiq provides an amazingly detailed account of the internal political workings of the country that may well be the Next Big Thing in global economics. From political structures and their inherent weaknesses to the votes that matter, Rafiq has outlined the key constraints and promises that describe India's mid-term future.

    Each time I read one of Rafiq's missives on this amazing nation, I think he can't later out-perform himself in combining inside knowledge with pragmatic understanding of this hamstrung, exciting, fascinating nation. And then, as here, he does just that. - mra.


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  • SNS: The Globalization Issue: Labor vs. Intellectual Property

    January 6, 2013

    Volume 16, Issue 1
    Week of January 7, 2013
    In This Issue
    Feature: The Globalization Issue: Labor vs. Intellectual Property
    • The Declining Importance of Cheap Labor
    • Commodity and Energy Costs
    • Pro-Business Political Systems, Trade, and Industrial Policies
    • Company vs. Country
    • Top-Down vs. Democratic Economies
    • Reverse Globalization and Merc II: Offshore Companies Onshoring

    Quotes of The Week
    Upgrades
    • Whales vs. Ranchers
    • UK Sees the Graphene Vision

    Takeout Window
    • National Economic Destinies: The Household Download Index

    Ethermail
    In Case You Missed It...
    Members Making News


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  • SNS: Asia Letter, Q1 2013: Japan-India Cooperation

    December 19, 2012

    Volume 15, Issue 49
    Week of December 17, 2012
    In This Issue
    Feature: Asia Letter, Q1 2013: Japan-India Cooperation
    • Infrastructure Development
    • Challenges
    • Private-Sector Expansion
    • Security Ties
    • Appeasement, Anyone?
    • About the Scott Foster

    ----

    Publisher's Note: For almost a decade now, we have been writing about the economy called "ChinaPan": the interesting duopoly created with Japan's capital, China's workforce, and a shared - and competitive - mercantilist national business model. In addition to desperately needed capital during China's early days of moving into the 20th-century (post-Information Age) economy, Japan brought something even more important: a treasure trove of Intellectual Property - much of it stolen in turn from Inventing Nations - and the even more valuable IP of efficient manufacturing, much of this developed by Japan itself.

    If a nation ever needed an economic kick-start, this was it, and Japan was the place to get it.OK, those days are over. China has chosen to dump its top source of Foreign Direct Investment as a serious partner for its own reasons. It is already obvious that Xi Jinping was behind the recent acceleration in military activities surrounding China's specious South China Sea territorial claims, beginning months before his recent ascension to the presidency. It is also now clear that Xi's regime will be more tilted toward military solutions than Hu Jintao's. This has cleared away any confusion about China's behavior in the SCS and its treatment of its neighbors. Indeed, many Chinese now see the re-taking of the Senkaku islands as a rewind of WWII history, when Japan did the same to China as the first step toward a brutal war.

    The result of all this is a reduction in interest among Chinese consumers in things Japanese, not the least of which are cars. Much of the world, based as it is on free trade, has no understanding of how the Chinese national buying habits can be turned on a dime by the government's propaganda machine. Today, the Japanese understand.They also understand the new military situation; and the expected election of Shinzo Abe, and the political success of Ishihara's new party, have underlined this process. All of this speaks to the destruction of the ChinaPan economic machine. What will take its place? This week's issue provides the answer. - mra


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  • SNS: Global Landscapes in 2013: Technology and The Economy

    December 14, 2012

    Volume 15, Issue 48
    Week of December 10, 2012
    In This Issue
    Feature: Global Landscapes in 2013: Technology and The Economy
    • The Economic Landscape
    • Theme: "A Flip in Growth Rates"
    • The Technology Landscape
    • Theme: "The Great Contest"

    Quotes of The Week
    Upgrades
    • Not Your Father's Pyro
    • A New FiRe

    Takeout Window
    • Pyroelectrics

    Ethermail
    In Case You Missed It...
    Members Making News


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  • “Capability Leverage: A New Toolset and Mindset for Tomorrow”

    October 9, 2012

    An SNS Special Letter, written by guest author John Hagel III


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  • “Asia Letter, Q4 2012: The Canada of Asia?”

    September 27, 2012

    An SNS Special Letter, written by SNS Asia Author Scott Foster


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  • “Chinese Banks: An Economic Fantasy?”

    September 5, 2012

    An SNS Weekly Report: The economic rise of China is the most important financial event in this century. What if it, like so many other Chinese products, is counterfeit?


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  • “The SNS Programme in Technology and the Economy”

    August 22, 2012

    An SNS Weekly Report on the SNS Programme, including Avoiding the Lies, The Programme, Seeing It at Work, Corruption, Culture, and the Rule of Law, and Flow IS Economics


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  • “Device Battles, IP Wars”

    July 11, 2012

    An SNS Weekly Report on Device Battles, IP Wars, including Inventing the Computer Industry; Smartphones: Strategic Fulcrum of the Computer Industry; Committing Strategic Hara-Kiri; Sidebar: Pirates and Trolls; Asia Moves In; Carriers: The Willing Accomplices; Device Battles Heat Up; and The IP Wars


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  • “Privacy Protection: Going Global”

    May 24, 2012

    A conversation with David Vladeck, Director, Bureau of Consumer Protection, U.S. Federal Trade Commission; hosted by Jonathan Ewert, President, TransforMedia LLC


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  • “Shifts in Technology Investing”

    May 24, 2012

    With Jason Spievak, Co-founder and CEO, RingRevenue, Inc.; Gary Rieschel, Founder and Managing Director, Qiming Venture Partners (Shanghai); and Bruce Dines, VP, LGI Ventures, Liberty Global; hosted by John Petote, CEO, CIO Solutions


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  • “Doing Capitalism in the Innovation Economy”

    May 23, 2012

    A conversation with Bill Janeway, Senior Advisor, Warburg Pincus, NYC and Cambridge, U.K., and author of a new book of the same title; hosted by Mark Anderson


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  • “Huawei I and II, A Case Study”

    April 5, 2012

    An exclusive SNS Special Report on Huawei, including The National Broadband Network; Ren Zhengfei: The Invisible Man; Control vs. Ownership; Sun Yafang: The Missing Puzzle Piece; Follow the Money; Foreign Intellectual Property: Beg, Borrow, or Steal; Champions “Going Out,” or Market Killers?; Global Market Effects; Other Countries, and the Charm Offensive; and The Problem with Cyber Security


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  • “How IP Drives the Global Economy”

    January 17, 2012

    A Centerpiece Conversation with: Robert Hormats, Under Secretary of State for Economic, Business and Agricultural Affairs and host Mark Anderson, CEO, Strategic News Service, at the SNS Annual Predictions Dinner, Waldorf=Astoria Hotel, New York


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  • “Rewriting Economics: It’s All in the Flow”

    November 15, 2011

    An SNS Weekly Report on Rewriting Economics and Flows Are Real


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  • “Global Investing”

    May 26, 2011

    With Kamran Elahian, Founder, Global Catalyst Partners; Gary Rieschel, Founder and Managing Director, Qiming Ventures (Shanghai); Ricardo Salinas, Founder and Chair, Grupo Salinas; Patrick Severson, Managing Director, Warburg Pincus; and Christie Simons, Partner, Chinese Services Group, Deloitte & Touche LLP; hosted by Russ Daggatt, Founding General Partner, Denny Hill Capital


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  • “Tolerating Waste: From Keynes to Schumpeter”

    May 25, 2011

    A conversation with Bill Janeway, Senior Advisor, Warburg Pincus, NYC and Cambridge, U.K.; hosted by Mark Anderson


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  • “Economic Cyberwar and the New Security Mandate”

    May 24, 2011

    A conversation between Mark Anderson and Richard Marshall, Past Director, Global Cyber Security Management, Department of Homeland Security


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  • “Technology Driving Economics”

    May 23, 2011

    A conversation with John Hagel III, Director and Co-Chair, Deloitte Center for Edge Innovation; and Ira Kalish, Director of Global Economics, Deloitte Research; hosted by David Willis, Senior Foreign Correspondent, BBC


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  • “China and Intellectual Property: What Is the Long-Term Plan?”

    November 11, 2010

    An ongoing conversation between Sidney Rittenberg, Founder, Rittenberg Associates; and Mark Anderson


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  • “In Search of Economic Redemption”

    May 20, 2009

    A conversation with Bill Janeway, Senior Advisor, Warburg Pincus; hosted by Mark Anderson


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