Monthly Archives: October 2008

Peter Thiel On Why We Have So Many Bubbles

Went to a very well-run panel discussion this morning at CUNY graduate school of journalism on the future of financial economy. Sponsored by Booz & Co and the new Web video site BigThink. Speakers included Larry Summers, George Soros and Robert Merton. One former Treasury secretary, a Nobel laureate and a billionaire. Well done. Things were kicked off by PayPal cofounder Peter Thiel (who is an investor in Big Think, as is Summers). Thiel is a savvy investor, and gave a four-point explanation of why we suffer so many asset bubbles, which was a pretty good analysis until he got to the end when he suggested that maybe we have all these bubbles because there is not enough underlying fundamental growth in the U.S. economy. That’s a tough one to prove, given the strong U.S. track record in growth in productivity overall (despite inequal distribution of wealth and income). But Thiel lays blames on our underinvestment as a nation in science and technology. His evidence for that assertion was rather weak, citing the disappointment of our not meeting the futuristic forecasts from the late 1960s of a nation vacationing in space and enjoying a 7-hour work week. We’ve not achieved those so we must be falling behind. Hogwash. What about the microprocessor, the Internet, DWDM, the browser, the PC? Theil should know better than most that America still is THE place to take risks and enjoy the rewards.

Quantum of Solace

This looks like the winner the weekend of 11/14 and probably into Thanksgiving weekend. Daniel Craig is the best Bond by far. The trailer rocks. And it has the silly but decipherable name.

Faberge Eggs on Instructables

I encourage you all—all six of you reading this blog—to get up out of your chairs, get up and go to the window and come on back and sit down again and go to Instructables and vote in the contest there for your favorite DIY Faberge-style Easter egg. We at Forbes put on a contest with the great people at Instructables (Eric Wilhelm and Christy Canida especially) to see who in their community of crafters could make the best eggs in the Faberge style, trad or steampunk or otherwise. The contest ended for new entries yesterday and we got 90+ eggs. More than I expected but no Facebook numbers. The entries open for public voting now. Some of the eggs are unbelievable. Some are faithful to the russian artist's style and some have Darth Vader inside. The idea was to have the contest's start coincide with this summer's Forbes E-gang profile on DIY-tech leaders back in late August. Long story short, I had a hard time getting the project off the ground in time (editors make terrible project managers except when it involves whipping writers along). But the contest went up, went off so far without a hitch and I'd love for everyone to vote their favorite egg into the final judging round. Five finalists will get their egg displayed at the Forbes galleries in NYC in November.