Hour 1: Phil Simon
Phil Simon joins Amerika Now during the first hour of the show to discuss his latest book, The Age of the Platform: How Amazon, Apple, Facebook and Google Have Redefined Business.
Over the last five to seven years, four companies have ascended to absolutely astounding heights. They are Amazon, Apple, Facebook, and Google, aka The Gang of Four. These companies excel via their superior use of technology. They have built incredible ecosystems. They’ve embraced partnerships and external innovation. Beyond all of this, The Gang of Four has embraced an entirely new way of doing business: The Platform.
A platform is simply a set of integrated planks. The most powerful platforms today have two things in common:
- They are rooted in equally powerful technologies—and their intelligent usage. In other words, they differ from traditional platforms in that they are not predicated on physical assets, land, and natural resources.
- They benefit tremendously from vibrant ecosystems.
While platforms inhere a great deal of potential commercial appeal and applications, they do not exist simply as a means for companies to hawk their wares. At their core, platforms today are primarily about consumer utility and communications. Finally, because consumer tastes change much faster than business’ tastes, platforms today must adapt very quickly—or face obsolescence.
Phil is a recognized technology and management expert. He consults with companies on how to optimize their use of technology and has written four books including The Age of the Platform, The New Small, The Next Wave of Technologies, and Why New Systems Fail. His contributions have been featured on NBC, CNBC, Huffington Post, The Globe and Mail, the American Express Open Forum, Fast Company, Technorati, ComputerWorld, ZDNet, abcnews.com, Forbes.com, The New York Times, ReadWriteWeb, and many other sites. Phil also lectures about emerging trends and technologies, and writes for a number of technology-oriented media outlets. He holds degrees from Carnegie Mellon University and Cornell University.
If you would like more information about Phil Simon and all of his books, please visit his website at www.theageoftheplatform.com.
Hour 2: Vern McKinley
Vern McKinley joins the show during the second hour to discuss his book, Financing Failure: A Century of Bailouts.
During the recent financial crisis no issue has aroused more passion than financial institution bailouts. The standard rationale for the bailouts has been one of necessity and fear: federal regulatory agencies must have more authority in order to respond to the crisis, or else the public will face terrible consequences. But does this rationale hold up to close inspection?
Vern McKinley approaches the topic by examining the policy decisions behind the bailouts and by showing their connection to previous government interventions. He brings under scrutiny the policy decisions made by the Treasury Department, the Federal Reserve, and the FDIC during the crisis of the 2000s and links them to policies that go back as far as the 1930s. This history of bailouts reveals that the genesis of financial crisis is government policy, be it the mismanagement of monetary policy during the 1930s or the political push to expand home ownership that helped cause the 2000s crisis.
The nation’s federal financial regulators and the politicians claim to have saved the American economy. In truth they have done everything within their power to expand their own influence—often far out of view from the public and media. Instead of openly explaining their actions, the bailout agencies have attempted to prevent the public from reviewing their decision-making, often at tremendous cost to taxpayers. McKinley’s painstakingly researched and clear-headed analysis of bailouts and government intervention shows that the American public has accepted too many official pronouncements at face value, and that reining in the federal regulators is a necessary step toward truly promoting the safety and soundness of the financial system.
Vern McKinley is a Research Fellow at the Independent Institute. From 1985 to 1999 Mr. McKinley worked with the Board of Governors of the Federal Reserve, Federal Deposit Insurance Corporation, Resolution Trust Corporation and Department of the Treasury’s Office of Thrift Supervision. In 1995, McKinley graduated with honors from George Washington University School of Law. Since 1999, McKinley has served as a legal advisor and regulatory policy expert for governments on financial sector issues in the United States, China, Nigeria, Indonesia, Ukraine, Kazakhstan, Latvia, the Philippines, Yugoslavia (now Montenegro), Kenya, Morocco, Sudan, Libya, Afghanistan, Armenia, Kosovo, and Tajikistan.
For more information about Vern McKinley and his research, please visit his website at www.independent.org/store/book.asp?id=94
Hour 3: Yalman Onaran
Yalman Onaran joins Amerika Now during Hour 3 to discuss zombie banking and his book, Zombie Banks: How Broken Banks and Debtor Nations Are Crippling the Global Economy.
Zombie banks are insolvent financial institutions whose equity capital has been wiped out so that the value of their obligations is greater than their assets. Instead of “dying,” these banks are allowed to “stay alive” through capital infusions from the government, loans from central banks, or put another way, bailouts. They are a large part of the global economic crisis.
Yalman Onaran is a veteran financial reporter at Bloomberg News and has studied bank insolvency for decades. One of the first reporters to break the news of the collapse of Lehman Brothers and Bear Stearns, Yalman also opened the Istanbul Bureau of Bloomberg News and exposed 13 insolvent Turkish banks which the government was allowing to continue to operate. Onaran’s work has appeared in the New York Times, Washington Post, Chicago Tribune, Bloomberg, Businessweek, Frankfurter Allgemeine Zeitung, and numerous other news outlets around the globe.
Find out why Yalman believes there is a strong need for better rules to prevent financial institutions from getting to the point of insolvency, or becoming “zombie banks.” Even if they’re not zombies now, the biggest global banks are in danger of becoming zombies in the next crisis or the one after.
For more information on Yalman Onaran, please visit his website at www.zombiebanks.org.
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