economics

The flow of signals and the paths we choose

The #amazonfail furore made me angry, but not for the reasons you might expect. I'm angry at the sheer numbers of people who put their energy into mobilising against Amazon. The whole affair showed us just how easily Twitter and blogs can be used to spread a message about a company's unacceptable actions (in Amazon's case, removing LGBT-themed books from their sales rankings) and to generate massive amounts of negative publicity. Perhaps a month after the problem was first spotted, the complaints reached a tipping point; after that, it took just a few days to give Amazon the PR headache of a lifetime.

And I'm furious that it happened this way. Perhaps I should explain why.

The law of averages

Submitted by kate on Thu, 2008-08-21 11:01

Sometimes it seems as if we are a nation obsessed with house prices. Barely a day goes by without there being an item in the newspapers about house prices – are they going up or down? Is the market too volatile, or perhaps too stagnant? What is happening to interest rates?

But we are in danger of knowing the price of everything and the value of nothing. There is a bigger picture to be considered; the sustainability of house price growth, of course, but also the dangers inherent in a constantly rising market.

Publication date
Winter 2004