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Tennessee as Argentina 

“The only reason Tennessee doesn’t look like Argentina right now is that it isn’t a sovereign nation.” Paul Krugman dissects that cooked books of state administrations and reckons the federal government is now heading down the same, disastrous path.

Thinking the unthinkable 

“Think the unthinkable: turn off 3G.” Peter Martin (subscription only) wants telecoms and other CEOs to spend their holidays pondering difficult business questions. I agree with a lot of his conclusions, but I don’t think hard-pressed executives should spend their holidays worrying about them.

Holidays are precisely for getting away from the everyday. I once worked in an organisation where the CEO annually returned from his August break with new strategic insights. Some were good, others less good. But I felt, as did many of my colleagues, “Why can’t he get a life outside his work?”

So pace Peter Martin, here’s my advice for leaders heading off for their holidays. Read books that have nothing to do with your job. Real novels (not airport blockbuster rubbish) and poetry are particularly good. Spend undistracted time with your family. Don’t check into the office or email. Learn that your organisation will be fine in your absence, that the world doesn’t stop when you go away.


The Financial Times is usually a sober newspaper, so I was unprepared to read an article about research into anti-gravity devices. Surely some mistake?

It seems not. According to Nick Cook from Jane’s Defence Weekly, Boeing and others are funding research into “gravity modification”. As the article points out, if anti-gravity devices were possible we would have a limitless source of energy. Never say never where science is concerned, but I am sceptical that this research will produce results in my or my children’s lifetimes. It just seems too much of a stretch from what we (or at least I) know about physics.

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