Must Read Financial Blogs: Google+ Gains Traction, Researcher Says
Minyanville's daily roundup of some of the best financial commentary from around the Web.
Link: Google+ Gains Traction, Researcher Says
"Google's mission to compete with Facebook in social networking may be gaining speed. On Tuesday Paul Allen, a researcher, published an analysis saying that Google+, the company's social networking service, has reached 62 million registered users. More important, one-quarter of all users signed up in December alone, he said, putting it on a path to sustained global growth." (For related content, please see Did Saudi Prince Alwaleed Just Kill Twitter?)
All Things D
Link: Groupon Acquires Campfire Labs to Light Up Social Products
"Groupon has acquired the pre-launch social communication start-up Campfire Labs, the companies confirmed today. Word of the deal had first been reported on TechCrunch. Campfire CEO and co-founder Naveen Koorakula said his company's full team - which I believe is seven people - would be joining Groupon to head up its social efforts. He did not disclose a price. Groupon had been actively trying to buy other social start-ups such as Gowalla, sources had said in recent weeks. That particular deal went to Facebook. Another would-be Groupon acquisition target, Clever Sense, went to Google instead." (Also check out 10 Comeback Companies for 2012.)
Link: Goldman Says Good Riddance to 2011
""Not many market participants will lament the passing of 2011" is how Goldman starts a brief note today looking back at a year full of adverse shocks in order to judge the year-ahead's potential to destroy forecaster's perspectives. The 'shocks' as well as the known unknowns are summarized effectively as the experience of 2011 suggests that the global economy remains at a delicate juncture as we head into 2012. They note that by definition, shocks are unpredictable. But slowing growth (and in places outright contraction), public sector cuts, and a renegotiation of the social compact between state and society in different parts of the world is an environment ripe for political turmoil, and this may well be a source of more shocks as the year progresses." (See Minyanville's 2011 Year in Review.)
Real Time Economics
Link: What Is Money and How Do You Destroy It?
"One thing Republican presidential candidates agree on is that Ben Bernanke's Federal Reserve is wrecking America and its currency. In response to the financial crisis, the Fed has pushed short-term interest rates to near zero and created trillions of dollars to pump into the financial system by buying vast new holdings of U.S. Treasury bonds and mortgage-backed securities. One Republican front-runner, Newt Gingrich, has declared Mr. Bernanke's Fed the most inflationary and dangerous in history. He has vowed to fire him. Mitt Romney says Mr. Bernanke's policies have "over-inflated" the currency. Ron Paul's pledge to replace the Fed with an 1800s-style gold-backed financial system once looked odd, if not quixotic. Now, Mr. Paul's words resonate. His views have devotees on Wall Street, where gold-buying, at least until very recently, has been among the latest investment booms. Even at Occupy Wall Street camps around the U.S., the title of Mr. Paul's book, "End the Fed," shows up on placards."
The Curious Capitalist
Link: What the Banda Islands Tell Us About World Trade
"...In fact, the Bandas can tell us quite a bit about economics. The lessons these islands offer have to do with the impact of global trade and how that trade shapes and defines the fortunes of nations and peoples. They also provide a cautionary tale, of the damage trade can do– if, and here's the key point, those in charge don't adapt to the change trade inevitably creates. Though it is hard to tell by visiting the Bandas today, these miniscule islands played a pivotal role in global economic history. That's because of what grows on them: nutmeg. For centuries, the Bandas were the primary source of the world's nutmeg, once the condiment equivalent of gold. Prized for its supposed medicinal powers, nutmeg commanded outrageous prices inEurope, and awarded outrageous profits to anyone who controlled its supply."
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