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carnival of the capitalists with a brain- September 17, 2007

                

Welcome to the September 17, 2007 edition of carnival of the capitalists.

First, a puzzle. Why do we have the brains we have? specifically, why do humans have proportionally bigger and better connected frontal lobes (the blue area behind our foreheads) than any other species? The answer: to be able to learn and adapt to changing environments during our lifetime. Neuroscientists say that the frontal lobes are the “CEO of the brain”, and that we need that type of frontal lobes to exercise our so-called “Executive Functions” that enable us to 1) Understand our environments, 2) Set goals and define strategies to accomplish our goals, 3) Execute those strategies well.Frontal Lobes

Now, let’s see how all these carnival contributors are putting their frontal lobes to good use. Given the volume of submissions received, we had to be really selective. Enjoy!

 

1) Understanding our environment: macroeconomy, real estate slowdown, and lobbying.

James wonders, “Can the Fed begin as it must to cut the target rate and still avoid Tim’s slippery slope? I think so, and here’s how.”

Ian presents a forceful case that No, Greenspan Doesn’t Get To Rehabilitate His Reputation, at Firedoglake. Very timely post, given that Greenspan is releasing his book today. 

“The recent sub-prime mortgage fiasco and its effect on our investments prompted us to reconsider our portfolio’s risk tolerance capability”, says FIRE Finance, outlining these Investment Risks at a Glance. Along similar lines, we can read that “I am not hoping for the market to get worse. I just know it will, because that is the nature of market cycles” at Is The Housing Crisis and Stock Market Decline Bad Enough Yet?, by My Wealth Builder.

If you wonder what may have contributed to the real estate mess growing so big, you may enjoy reading Pork: Wha’ss On The Barbeque In Congress Is Your Future. The Agonist says: “In the United States today, the simplest, easiest and safest way to make money is to bribe the government to pass laws or subsidies favourable to you. So let’s take a closer look at the intersection of capitalism and political corruption, American-style.”

Matthew presents the optimistic side of the coin: Why the Real Estate Market Slowdown is great for Consumers posted at Getting Green. “The housing correction we’re seeing will actually be quite healthy for the country, because it will move the country back to a place where home prices are more affordable for the average person.”

 

2) Setting goals and defining strategies:

Strategy Vs Tactics by Alvin: “Without a well thought out strategy, your business is merely like a person walking aimlessly in the dark.”

 

3) Executing those strategies: what to do, and what not to do.

a) At the Organization Level: systems, marketing messages and promotions, sales comissions.

Wally asks, “What do Toyota and the Roman Army have in common? They both rely on systems instead of heroes and talented geniuses to produce results. They both created systems that enabled ordinary people to produce world-conquering results.”. More on Romans, Toyotans, and Taylorians at his great post here. 

Ever thought “OK, enough corporate blah blah blah”? Charles presents When On-message Marketing Makes for Off-trust Sales at Trust Matters, saying, “When you let your marketing department control your sales messaging you are likely to harm your sales because sales requires conversations, not “on message” robots who don’t engage with their prospects.” Pity that Al Gore didn’t read this post years ago.

Silicon Valley Blogger, over at The Digerati Life, dissects an example of a bad marketing promotion. Don’t do that-use your brain.

There is no business without revenues. There are little revenues without sales efforts. Still, Wayne needs to make the case for Sales commissions: Expense or investment? posted at Blog Business World.

 

b) At the Individual Level: words, puzzles, decision-making under fear, training our brains.

Edith presents 7 Phrases Successful People Would Never Say. This is is probably a stupid question, and you probably don’t have time for this, but can I go to the bathroom?. I hope I may.

Dawn at The Journal Blog has a thoughtful post titled This game of business: “running my business is a lot like Frontal Lobes fMRIsolving a puzzle…just like the way I play Mahjongg, I’ll keep doing that over and over again until I win.” She may well be exercising her brains more than her five boys (fMRI picture shows active frontal lobes).

Brett at TraderFeed helps us Make Sound Financial Decisions Under Conditions of Fear. “Quite simply, our brains function differently under conditions of fear (and greed!) than under cooler emotional conditions. As a result, we can make decisions with our money that later (in our more calm modes) seem puzzling to us.” He suggests some great techniques.

Finally, I interviewed Dr. Judith Beck on How to Train Your Brain to Think Like a Thin Person. Even if you are not interested in weight loss, you will enjoy her insights on how to train our mindset to acomplish our goals…including managing that fear that Brett talks about.

That concludes this edition. Submit your blog article to the next edition of carnival of the capitalists, which will be hosted at The Virtual Handshake Blog, using this carnival submission form. Past posts and future hosts can be found on the blog carnival index page.

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9 Responses

  1. FIRE Finance says:

    Great carnival! Thanks for hosting and including our post on Investment Risks.
    Excellent Blog! Keep it up.

  2. Alvaro says:

    Fire Finance: thanks for your nice comment. You had a great article.

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