Monday, January 31, 2011

01 February 2010

AxSA Factoid of the Week

The National Football League hosted its most successful season in 2007 with more than 17 million game attendees. Unfortunately, since that time, attendance has dropped at a rate of 2.4%. What could be leading to the decline in ticket revenue for such a popular sport? The answer, after a moment, may not surprise you; it is the proliferation of high-definition televisions in the homes of so many sports fans—33% of all households in the United States in 2009.

News & Commentary


Stop Blaming Your Culture
Strategy + Business

Some leaders are quite reluctant to admit it, but the culture of an organization matters. Culture, after all, can determine the success or failure of all strategic endeavors. For that reason, a leader has to master the culture of his organization and harness that control to deliver optimal results…Read More

HBS Cases: Terror at the Taj
Harvard Business School

While facing an unthinkable terror attack in November of 2008, employees of the Taj Mahal Palace & Tower bravely remained at their posts to assist the guests. Their heroism may speak voluminously about a rare, customer-centered culture in business…Read More

Diffusing the Uncivil Workplace
Globe & Mail

Fostering a policy that allows employees to talk through their issues in an open forum is one way to maintain civility…Read More


Small Bookstores Struggle for Niche in Changing Times
New York Times

In the age of the e-book, indie bookstores are trying to retool themselves and their offerings to remain relevant…Read More


E&P Buoyed Texas Economy in 2010
The Houston Chronicle

The state saw a year of strong growth, thanks to oil and natural gas…Read More

The Crisis in the Middle East

Curfew Creates Lawless Suez When Night Falls
Financial Times

Suez is an oil-rich city near the Suez Canal, and it is also the hotbed for much of the violence affecting Egypt…Read More

China Censoring Egypt Protests, Are They Afraid?
International Business Times

Leaders in Beijing appear to be concerned about the influence that events in Egypt could have on their own people…Read More

Egypt Spurs Jump in Developing Money-Market Rates

Central bank officials from many developing nations are concerned that violence might spread throughout the Middle East, ultimately impacting oil prices and imposing painful consequences on the global economy…Read More

AxSA Recommends…

Book Description
They were a band of outsiders unable to get jobs with New York's gilded financial establishment. They would go on to corner the world's multitrillion-dollar oil market, reaping unimaginable riches while bringing the economy to its knees.

Meet the self-anointed kings of the New York Mercantile Exchange. In some ways, they are everything you would expect them to be: a secretive, members-only club of men and women who live lavish lifestyles; cavort with politicians, strippers, and celebrities; and blissfully jacked up oil prices to nearly $150 a barrel while profiting off the misery of the working class. In other ways, they are nothing you can imagine: many come from working-class families themselves. The progeny of Jewish, Irish, and Italian immigrants who escaped war-torn Europe, they take pride in flagrantly spurning Wall Street.

Under the thumb of an all-powerful international oil cartel, the energy market had long eluded the grasp of America's hungry capitalists. Neither the oil royalty of Houston nor the titans of Wall Street had ever succeeded in fully wresting away control. But facing extinction, the rough-and-tumble traders of Nymex—led by the reluctant son of a produce merchant—went after this Goliath and won, creating the world's first free oil market and minting billions in the process. Their stunning journey from poverty to prosperity belies the brutal and violent history that is their legacy...

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