goldcoinage.jpgWell, here it is. The 120th Edition of Carnival of the Capitalists. Our hat tip to Jay Solo for letting the Baristas host this week. We have to admit, this was a very difficult task given the lack of sunlight around the Midwest in January – hence, our dire need for coffee. We’d rather just stay in and watch movies instead.

We tried to include most posts but not everyone made the cut-off. No offense is meant here to anyone and we’ll be happy to refund your full price of admission. Try as we might, our attempts to label, rank, sort or otherwise filter the posts just seem to fall flat. We tried to group the posts based on some loosely-affiliating, thematic elements but even that turned out to be lame. I hope you can enjoy this as it is.

We must first note that the opinions expressed herein are those of the bloggers cited and are not presented as those of anyone associated with Patent Baristas, nor are they endorsed by this site or its affiliates. We hereby legally disclaim any and all responsibility, warranties and representations, whether expressed or implied. Nothing herein is to be mistaken for business, investment or legal advice. Be careful out there.

So, without further ado, grab a stiff cup o’ joe, sit back and enjoy some Capitalistic fun while the Baristas go to the movies:

The Color of Money

37Singnals points out that meetings are harmful to your health. A study shows that the amount and length of meetings correlate with negative effects (burnout, anxiety, and depression) on participants.

While over our heads, David Daniels, of Business & Technology Reinvention fame, talks up effective sales management methodology in a post on the physics of sales management.

Brian Gongol uses some excellent charts and graphs to show how the rule of law enabled the U.S. would prosper. He shows that foreign aid shouldn’t just be a matter of direct aid; without structural reforms, it just creates dependency.

Jack Yoest at ponders the first two actions a new (Female) manager must take? According to the former head of the Office of Personnel Management, she should fire someone and cut someone’s budget. Apparently, in order to strike terror in all the underlings.

Neelakantan at interim thoughts… notes that in a corporate setting, everybody has to “Justify Their Existence” (or JTE to you) for the salary they receive. Do some survive only by default?

Mover Mike draws our attention to the implication that the opening of the bourse where oil will be traded in Euros is a very serious threat to the USD as a reserve currency and, by implication, brings a threat of war.

Mo’ Money

Okdork (self-described as an “ultra-sexy business blog”) relates how customer service is what sets a business apart from its competitors, not just size or price. Noah Kagan knows when you’re desperate for a critical item, like tire chains, you go with the person who delivers.

Wayne Hurlbert at Blog Business World takes on the issue of blog awareness by pointing out that as hard as it may be to believe, not everyone is a blogger. Hurlbert puts us all to task suggesting that this week, when you’re at work, visiting clients, socializing, or just talking to people on the street, why not ask them about blogs and blogging. The blog you save may just be your own.

Also, gapingvoid explains the Ten reasons why no one reads your blog. And others are pointing out that “There’s no such thing as blogging anyway” and the whole blogging v. traditional media is oversold

Free Money Finance, a blog dedicated to a free and simple discussion on money and finance, offers some guiding principles to having a successful– and widely read– blog. Step One is “Pick the Right Topic.” What’s the right topic for your blog? Find the answer here. On another note, a quick scan of the blog reveals a site packed with useful information — Must-Know IRA Terms, 8 Common Household Hazards, and The Hidden Costs of Homeownership. A good site to visit often.

A recent post at Marketing Monger reminds us that the “norm” in business and marketing is not necessarily scripture. The post offers that sports teams that think outside the box can be a good source of inspiration, offering as an example the Oakland A’s in the book Moneyball. Pointing to successes in sports achieved by changing the status quo (for example, basketball teams who win by focusing on three-point shots and a strong defense), this post at Marketing Monger posits that some of the best successes come from challenging conventional methods.

Different River offers a commentary blog on economics, politics, history, law, science, medicine, technology, religion, mathematics, and “some other things”. A Ph.D. in economics, the author questions the logic of Whole Foods’ recent advertising campaign. The ad goes something like this: “We might possibly use wind energy sometime in the future, so since you’re an environmentally-enlightened customer, drive past three or four other stores to shop with us.” We’re paraphrasing, of course. An interesting comment on an interesting ad campaign nonetheless.

The SuperBowl is coming, so it must be time for another offensive, blatantly over-sexed, male-oriented GoDaddy ad. The Retail Store Blog looks at the ads using 3 tests for evaluating such ads – along with pictures of Candice Michelle. We’re not sure why, though.

Other People’s Money

Henry Stern looks at whether a recent Ohio court case may have serious repercussions for those seeking damages relating to personal injury on InsureBlog. He thinks it may be especially troublesome for health insurers. This case is important because it will establish whether a defendant in a personal injury case can use evidence about how much the victim’s insurance company actually paid.

Looking for a little discourse on politics, current events, or trivia related to Akron, Ohio? Look no more. At The Boring Made Dull, your hosts will deliver. The latest post tackles eminent domain, Kelo and the Lost Liberty Hotel — a possible development that could take the home of Justice Souter by, no coincidence, eminent domain.

Below the Beltway offers an interesting update on the bankruptcy reform laws and the (lack of) impact on the number of people filing for bankruptcy.

AutoMuse offers info on all things that meet at the automotive-legal intersection. In this particular post, the author addresses the conflict of interest of an Illinois Supreme Court Justice in the Avery v. State Farm Mutual Ins. Co. case.

Kevin Thompson at Cyberlaw Central reviews the FBI’s 2005 Computer Crime Survey, pointing out a few caveats.

Bruce MacEwen, host of Adam Smith, Esq. explores the economics of law firms. In “Your Money or Your Reputation,” MacEwen cites Adam Smith, Esq., an 18th century economist, as the source of sound business advise. The author highlights a few essentials: obtain your client’s trust, use praise and status as motivational tools, and don’t forget about the importance of a good reputation. Good advice, indeed.–

Douglas Sorocco over at Rethink(IP) lays out his final installment of a six part series on the 6 Life Stages of Inventors written by Dr. Bill Meade, the former director of IP for HP.

J. Craig Williams at May It Please The Court talks about what happens when a property owner spends money cleaning up contamination and then sues Unocal to recover the cost of doing do – whenever didn’t have the opportunity to participate in the evaluation phase or make recommendations about alternative cleanup methods. The short answer: Unocal was off the hook.

Playing off the lyrics of a Randy Newman’s song, Tom Collins at morepartnerincome once wrote that “blended rates got no reason”. He noted that: “Blended rates never made sense to me. I just didn’t understand how they could benefit anyone.” He now feels that proposing a blended rate might add encouragement for the attorney to move work to the associate and spend more time looking for higher-valued work. The firm would increase its effective rates for associate work. The client would experience a lower cost. The attorney would devote more time to rainmaking. Everyone would be a winner! We like that outcome.

Denise Howell of Bag and Baggage asks whether publishing an RSS feed affects the publisher’s copyrights? The debate on this continues and the issue seems destined for litigation — particularly given the current population explosion in syndication-focused business models.

Matt Homann at the [non]billable hour asks: “Will All Our Future Clients be Stupider?” According to a study funded by the Pew Charitable Trusts, more than half to students at four-year colleges – and at least 75 percent at two-year colleges – lack the literacy to handle real-life tasks such as understanding credit card offers.

And don’t miss the Lawyer Coloring Book highlighted by Tech Law Advisor Kevin Heller.

Fist Full of Dollars

Marketplace Monitor looks at the role of unemployment in civilization showing that if you see unemployment (and the market is left free to function) it shows that the ability for labor to shift from low demanded production to high is still possible. It still sucks being unemployed, though.

NOTR at ROFASix looks at Why is Discrimination Against Wal-Mart OK? ROFASix argues that in America, successful people are discriminated against at every turn by the federal, state and local levels.

Ed at Daily Dose of Optimism has some thoughts on real estate start-ups and notes that if you really wanted to cause trouble in the real estate market, you could take my cues from the evolution of the stock market, and this post looks at how you could do that.

In Big Picture Small Office, an unnamed blogger writes about his position as a senior vice president, offering to readers potential business-advice tidbits.

Econbrowser, your source for analysis of current economic conditions and policy, brings an analysis of the world oil markets after the decline of U.S. production.

Jeff Cornwall at Bellmont University give tips on how entrepreneurs can create order from chaos by having a clear and compelling vision for their business. In a nutshell, keep these points in mind: Have a mission statement, define your core values, and know what outcome you’re hoping for.

The Worker Bees blog is dedicated to helping small business, arts and other non-profit organization leverage the online world. In the post “Customer Service Lost & Found” the author points out that inconveniencing the customer can be fatal where the service isn’t necessary.

Et Tu Bloge offers political opinions that run the left-to-right gamut. In a recent post, the author challenges the reasoning of a NYT article supporting minimum wage hikes. Et Tu covers both sides of the economic issue, taking “morality” out of the equation.

Josh Cohen at Multiple Mentality has a few thoughts on logos — mainly that they are all becoming oval.

Escape from Cubicle Nation offers up advice for those interested in becoming an entrepreneur. A recent post gives greater meaning to the term “targetmarket.” The advice aims to help you find the people your business is meant to serve.

Jim Logan thinks that being the best often isn’t enough. To grow your business, you need is a compelling offer. That is, give ’em something free. We like free and Jim provides some good examples.

Evelyn Rodriguez at Crossroads Dispatches wanted to do an innovation post on global fusion this week. But after reading Paul Graham’s new essay, “How to Do What You Love”, she decided that addressing the “doing what you love” theme was an all-important business topic. Even if you don’t care, your employees may be plotting their escape right now.

Critical Mastiff highlights Japan’s contracting population (due to a low birthrate) will have dire effects on everyone noting that a declining workforce will reduce tax revenue, making it harder to pay back the nation’s 800 trillion yen ($7 trillion) debt.

Paul Kedrosky’s Infectious Greed writes about the Venture Capital mood this week. It looks like while some geographies are seeing oodles of deal flow (even if much of it is whimsical and suspect), many areas are seeing virtually nothing, especially in information technology, the former stalwart of venture investing. Kedrosky notes that if you don’t see the deals you want, then originate more deals.

For a Few Dollars More

In this installment of Sitting Pretty, Nina Smith shares her temptation to buy a franchise, cut short by an accidental meeting with an article in a Fortune magazine. In a well-written post, Smith pulls highlights from the Fortune article, adding her own commentary and perspective.

The TaxUpdate blog has a clever and interesting post about the taxes Ben Franklin would be paying if he were alive today, pointing out that even though Franklin did a lot of stuff harder than taxes, if alive today he would no doubt be appalled at the diversion from inventions and civic work created by filing taxes.

Searchlight Crusade takes on consumer issues. In this post, blog author Dan Nelson addresses who gets the deposit when escrow falls through. In addition to some good content, the reader is referred to in a whopping 77 other posts related to the topic.

In Soccer Dad: A Dollar Short, the author questions the economic impact of minimum wage hikes, and questions the basic economic skills of reporters.

On the Business of America is Business blog, the author questions the market-based approach to organ donation to remedy the shortage of donors. Shunning the pay-the-estate-for-the-organs approach and the “presumed consent” approach suggested by the AMA, the author aptly navigates the proposed alternatives to the traditional method of appealing to one’s sense of morality.

Jim Glass at Scrivener points out the paradox of how a tax credit can increase the cost of hybrid cars. Millions of people won’t be able to use it because they will be subject to the Alternative Minimum Tax (AMT) … while the rest will find sellers raise prices to take part of the credit for themselves … meaning for most people the credit will be worth less than it appears — while for those subject to the AMT the credit will make hybrids *more* expensive than they would have been without the credit. Nice.

Jonathan at MyMoneyBlog helps pathetic non-savers like me learn how to estimate the size of retirement nest eggwe’ll need to live comfortably.

The Personal Finance Advice blog recommends staggering your free credit reports so that you stand a better chance of detecting fraud early.

Gab, a/k/a lecentre, over at Centrerion shows how Canadians can calculate one’s GST tax break under a potential Conservative government, especially when spending more than you make. I guess over-spending is not just an American phenomenon.

The big news this month has been Apple’s switch to Intel brand chips. I’ve been eyeing the MacBook Pro myself (though not for the name). Intel Chips Are Far More Expensive For Apple. Now, Michael Weinstein at the Consumer Electronics Stock Blog looks at the more expensive chips Apple is using and wonders if the Apple marketing machine can make up for the difference?

Are college costs soaring because productivity is dropping at U.S. universities? Ironman at Political Calculations outlines a recent report on the factors driving college costs from the Federal Reserve.

For Love or Money

Interested in small businesses? Small Business Trends blog highlights what’s happening. In a recent blog, author Anita Campbell discusses offshore outsourcing’s “neglected sibling”– homeshoring. The trend is growing as the benefits of employees working from home become apparent.

Author Thomas Warfield gives a thorough and well-written review of the book “Micro-ISV,” a book about starting your own small software company.

No Speed Bumps is a blog dedicated to preserving freedom and “good government.” In this post, Texas resident Dan Morgan highlights Texas Instruments’ latest accomplishment — a new manufacturing facility just north of Dallas that pushed forward the limits of eco-friendliness, creating a factory that minimizes both energy consumption and waste production.

Joshua Sharfon from View From a Height comments on the Boston Scientific-J&J bidding war for Guidant, wondering if it might just qualify as a “deal from hell.”

George at Fat Pitch Financials is on a quest to “find dollar bills for 40 cents”. His latest post is a review of the offshore IT service provider Cognizant Technology Solutions. The post is interesting, informative and well-written, concluding with some persuasive thoughts about investing in this type of company.

The Big Picture offers a macro perspective on capital markets, economy and geopolitics. The latest installment looks at the pitfalls of the single variable analysis. While I took statistics in graduate school, this still makes my vision blur.

Rob, self-proclaimed business junkie at BusinessPundit, talks a bit about ethics. In this post, the author considers two very different approaches to making ethical business decisions: ends-focused and means-focused.

Growing up Online by Steven Silvers

Power of Interruption by Harry Jointer.

Also note that the Carnival of the Capitalists has launched a new project called Jotzel. It’s a daily version of the CotC, in which you can submit posts and then vote on what gets published. Each week, any CotC entry that was submitted to Jotzel and scored high enough to make it to the front page will be flagged so that readers will know that many other readers found it to be an excellent post. This will help those of you that only have time to read a handful of posts each week, and want the best of the best. You can read more about Jotzel here, or check out the FAQ.

Million Dollar Baby

 nicole_barista.gifAnd finally, this weeks’ post represents the debut of our newest Barista, Nicole Tepe. Barista Nicole is an associate with Frost Brown Todd LLC, practicing in the area of intellectual property law, with an emphasis on the prosecution of biotechnological patents. She has a Ph.D. in Pharmacology and Cell Biophysics. A big thank you goes out to Nicole for tolerating her intro to blogging by being thrown head-first into the Carnival of the Capitalists.

That’s it for this week. Thanks for dropping by and visiting our place. We’ll meet at your place next time. Carnival of the Capitalists has information about next week’s host, and instructions how to get your blog posts reviewed in upcoming issues.

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