A reminder of the dot-com bust: What I’m reading, April 18, 2016

The Economy

The subheading on Scott Martin’s article is, “Quarterly decline in venture-capital funding is largest since dot-com bust,”[1] which is certain to grab my attention. The dot-com bust in 2001 ended what seems to have been my last hope for gainful employment. Since then, we’ve suffered the financial crisis of 2007-2009 and now I can’t help but feel we’re headed into yet another recession when I still haven’t recovered from the one in 2001.

As to Martin’s story, it appears the “gig” economy is taking a hit as other start-up companies fail to replicate the success of Uber and Lyft.[2] The larger lesson that no one will draw from this is that any quantitative valuation is arbitrary but because these companies’ stocks aren’t traded on public exchanges, capitalists will insist that the problem is limited to the private valuations used by investors prior to an initial public offering (IPO).

Scott Martin, “Startup Investors Hit the Brakes,” Wall Street Journal, April 14, 2016, http://www.wsj.com/articles/startup-investors-hit-the-brakes-1460676478


The Horse Race

All of the remaining contenders are losing popularity except one: Bernie Sanders (figure 1). And while Donald Trump’s approval rating is farthest underwater, Hillary Clinton’s trend looks especially bad and John Kasich, who appears least likely to be nominated, appears to be the most popular of all.[3]

Attitudes toward remaining presidential candidates, Wall Street Journal, April 17, 2016, fair use.
Fig. 1. Attitudes toward remaining presidential candidates, Wall Street Journal, April 17, 2016, fair use.

Janet Hook, “Both Parties’ Presidential Front-Runners Increasingly Unpopular,” Wall Street Journal, April 17, 2016, http://www.wsj.com/articles/both-parties-presidential-front-runners-increasingly-unpopular-1460898001


Texas secession

Given that Donald Trump and Texas Senator Ted Cruz are on top of the Republican race for the presidential nomination, I wouldn’t expect Texas Republicans to be especially disenchanted with the Union this year. I might be wrong.

Dylan Baddour, “In Texas, some local GOPs call for statewide vote on secession,” Houston Chronicle, April 15, 2016, http://www.chron.com/news/politics/texas/article/texas-secession-independence-nationalist-movement-7248746.php


Footnotes

  1. [1]Scott Martin, “Startup Investors Hit the Brakes,” Wall Street Journal, April 14, 2016, http://www.wsj.com/articles/startup-investors-hit-the-brakes-1460676478
  2. [2]Scott Martin, “Startup Investors Hit the Brakes,” Wall Street Journal, April 14, 2016, http://www.wsj.com/articles/startup-investors-hit-the-brakes-1460676478
  3. [3]Janet Hook, “Both Parties’ Presidential Front-Runners Increasingly Unpopular,” Wall Street Journal, April 17, 2016, http://www.wsj.com/articles/both-parties-presidential-front-runners-increasingly-unpopular-1460898001

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