American Equity – Sam Altman

Source: American Equity – Sam Altman

I’d like feedback on the following idea.

I think that every adult US citizen should get an annual share of the US GDP.

There are historical examples of countries giving out land to citizens (such as the Homestead Acts in the US) as a way to distribute the resources people needed to succeed. Today, the fundamental input to wealth generation isn’t farmland, but money and ideas—you really do need money to make money.

I think we could start very small—a few hundred dollars per citizen per year

Money Changing – The Disruptors – BBC News

Source: Money Changing – The Disruptors – BBC News

Everything we knew about money is up for grabs. So will we end up smiling?

Who controls currency – governments or networks of computers? Who controls our payments – technology companies, payment card providers, or banks?

Arguably most importantly of all, who controls all the data about our financial transactions – you or them?

The future of banking is within software companies. It’s not going to be your traditional banks. It is who owns the data and who owns the experience.

— Barney Hussey-Yeo
founder and chief executive of Cleo AI

But who can you trust? Consumers will be bombarded with confusing marketing, they will quickly give away and lose control of their personal information, and only the tech-savvy will benefit, according to Mick McAteer, of the UK’s Financial Inclusion Centre.

Instead, there is a danger, he says, of these consumers being exploited, either through businesses offering a new form of expensive payday loan, or abuse of data alongside other personal information revealed on social media and elsewhere by unscrupulous individuals.

License to Work – Institute for Justice

Source: “License to Work: A National Study of Burdens from Occupational Licensing” – Institute for Justice, by Dick M. Carpenter II, Ph.D., Lisa Knepper, Kyle Sweetland and Jennifer McDonald

The share of American workers needing a license to work has climbed steadily in recent decades, from 1 in 20 workers in the 1950s to roughly 1 in 4 today, … Research suggests this growth is not primarily due
to more workers leaving the farm and the factory for traditionally licensed fields like medicine and law. Instead, the main driver is new laws expanding licensing into previously unlicensed occupations.

The U.S. Constitution protects the right to earn an honest living free from unreasonable government interference, yet courts have often been reluctant to enforce this right by striking down arbitrary or irrational licensing laws. In fact, under the prevailing legal standard, licensing laws are presumed valid when challenged in court, and individuals must prove that they are unconstitutional. This gets it exactly backward. Governments should have to prove that licensing laws advance legitimate health and safety concerns to justify restrictions on the right to earn a living.

The End of Generation Rent?

Source: Say Hello to $3 Trillion in Forgotten Debt | Bloomberg Gadfly, by Chris Bryant Andrea Felsted

New accounting rules called IFRS 16 will force companies to include operating lease commitments as part of their reported debt and assets. U.S. companies will apply a new FASB standard that’s broadly similar to IFRS 16, albeit not in all respects.

At the very least, the rule change should give armchair investors, not to mention a company’s customers, employees and suppliers, a much better idea of how risky a business is compared to rivals.

Accounting reform can also affect corporate behavior. When British companies had to start recognizing the full liability for defined benefit pensions on financial statements, a lot of those “final salary” plans ended up closed.

It’s conceivable therefore that IFRS 16 will affect corporate decisions on whether to rent or purchase an asset. Consider sale and lease-back arrangements. These were once a popular way for companies to get their hands on some cash and a quick chance for executives to make themselves look like geniuses. All of a sudden, return on assets improved.

Now, if all that rented floor space has to sit on the balance sheet anyway, selling off the corporate silverware might become less attractive. Buying big ticket assets, rather than leasing, is also cheaper now because of low interest rates.

Business questions engineers should ask when interviewing at ML/AI companies

Source: Business questions engineers should ask when interviewing at ML/AI companies

But really the questions are broadly applicable.

  1. Why does anyone need this?
  2. How was this problem being solved before?
  3. How many users have you spoken to? What have you learned from them?
  4. How do you make money?
  5. How will you grow? How will anyone find out about you?
  6. How big is this market?
  7. What is defensible about the business?