Sunday, October 18, 2009

Noreena Hertz & Hulu Pieces from Fast Company

Two very good (and very different from one another) feature pieces in the November issue of Fast Company Magazine.

The first was a fairly long profile on economist Noreena Hertz titled "How an Economist's Cry for Ethical Capitalism was Heard." A well-written piece by Danielle Sacks, it delves into Hertz's work and writings around capitalism at both a government and corporate level. She first came to prominence with her 2001 book "The Silent Takeover" and followed that up with "The Debt Threat" in 2004.

Sacks describes the first book as being "about the unsustainability-environmentally, socially and economically-of laissez-faire capitalism and the idea that markets are stable." This tying into Hertz's notion that corporations simply acting in the sole interest of shareholders eventually leads down a path detrimental to all. Her second book focuses on the idea of 3rd World debt forgiveness and the idea (often trumpeted by Bono) of 1st World countries wiping out the debt obligations from less developed nations.

It's interesting stuff from Hertz... in part due to the credence in her idea held by capitalist firms such as ING, McDonald's and It makes one take note when statements are paid attention to by the very people you'd think would reject them. The idea that Hertz is now espousing is one of co-op capitalism... a model in which companies, NGOs and governments work together.


I also found interesting from this issue the piece titled "Can Hulu Save Traditional TV?" This fairly long profile on the network-owned video sharing site examines the growth of the company and how it both has and could impact television in the future.

It's not as important as the topics Hertz talks about, but Hulu as a medium is intriguing.