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Best of the Blogs: What Do Publishers Have to Fear From Amazon?

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Minyanville's daily roundup of some of the best financial commentary from around the Web.

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This column highlights the most interesting and useful business and financial commentary from around the Web each day. Feel free to send along your own suggestions for blog content that you've read or written.

Bits
Link: Amazon, Up in Flames
"'If you want a picture of the future, imagine a boot stamping on a human face - forever,' George Orwell wrote in 'Nineteen Eighty-Four.' In 'Animal Farm,' he concluded that revolutions are inevitably betrayed by their leaders. His novel 'Burmese Days' ends with the hero killing himself because he is unfit to live in this sour world. He shoots his dog too. As a rule, modern civilization disappointed Orwell when it did not actually sicken him. But in at least one respect he was way too optimistic. Bookselling, he wrote in Fortnightly in November 1936, 'is a humane trade which is not capable of being vulgarized beyond a certain point. The combines can never squeeze the small independent bookseller out of existence as they have squeezed the grocer and the milkman.' (For related content, see Amazon Misses Revenue Forecasts Twice in a Row, Calling Long-Term Growth Potential Into Question.)

Economix
Link: Supporting Bad Habits With Public Money
"Florida and a few other states are considering additional restrictions on food stamp and welfare payments to the poor, such as prohibiting the purchases of snacks and sweets with food stamps and prohibiting withdrawals of welfare cash at casinos and strip clubs. Economists have two basic principles they use in these cases: fungibility and screening, and both point to unintended consequences of the sin-based restrictions."

All Things D
"In a three-story building in Palo Alto, Calif. - formerly occupied by Danger, the developer behind the T-Mobile Sidekick - Groupon has been trying to build out a Silicon Valley technology center, one acquisition at a time. The pursuit was kicked off two years ago with the purchase of mobile app development shop Mob.ly. Mihir Shah, the company's CEO, started recruiting for the social buying company, and then became the Groupon's VP of mobile." (Also Read Congratulations, Groupon, You've Silenced Your Critics -- For Now.)
China Realtime Report
Link: Watch: China's CCTV Now Broadcasting in North America
"China put a key element of its global soft-power push into play this week with the official launch of state broadcaster CCTV's American service. The service will eventually offer four hours of programming a day, produced by roughly 100 journalists in 15 bureaus spread throughout the Americas, according to a press release. Among the initial offerings CCTV's American venture is a daily business program, Biz Asia America, produced out of the service's Washington D.C. hub and anchored by Phillip Yin, ex of Bloomberg Television and CNBC. That will be joined by a weekly interview show called The Heat and a weekly magazine program called Americas Now focusing on news out of Central and South America." (For related content, see China Turns Against Baidu, Ulterior Motives Hide in Plain Sight.)

FT Report
And with that rather tantalising intro - Stephane Deo of UBS blows the lid off something we've been wondering about Greece for a while. Quasi-money. Critical shortages of euros. Payments of taxes, wages, pensions etc., coming due in those euros, becoming increasingly desperate. Avenues to Notgeld?

Twitter: @Minyanville

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