Don Marti

Sun 21 Oct 2012 06:50:07 AM PDT

Sunday reading: agency problems

Charles Stross writes, Corporations do not share our priorities. They are hive organisms constructed out of teeming workers who join or leave the collective: those who participate within it subordinate their goals to that of the collective, which pursues the three corporate objectives of growth, profitability, and pain avoidance. But it's a little more complicated than that...

Chris Dixon: Agency problems If you are selling technology to large companies, you need to understand the incentives of the decision makers. As you go higher in the organization, the incentives are more aligned with the firm’s incentives. But knowledge and authority over operations often reside at lower levels.

Agency problem showing up in corruption and foreign land ownership: China's food security plan in Africa.

Steve Randy Waldman: Forcing frequent failures (via Felix Salmon and Stumbling and Mumbling) Squirrels don’t lobby Congress, when the ranger decides to burn down the bit of the forest where their acorns are buried. Banks and their creditors are unlikely to take “controlled burns” of their institutions so stoically. If we are going to periodically burn down banks, we need some sort of fair procedure for deciding who gets burned, when, and how badly.