February 19th, 2014 Brian Herzog
After shoveling until 11pm last night, today's post was going to be about the relentless tyranny of snow - but happily, here's something more interesting.
Yesterday, BoingBoing pointed to a new comic book called The Transpacific Partnership and "Free Trade," that explains, in understandable comic book fashion, the secretly-being-negotiated-behind-closed-doors Transpacific Partnership trade treaty. If you've been picking up on the snippets of news about the TPP that have been leaked in the past months, you may have a general feeling that the TPP is A Bad Thing. Not unlike the relentless tyranny of snow.
Bad, but how? Well, this comic does an excellent job of explaining - not only why it's bad, but how. And how bad. Here's one example, about Intellectual property:
The 27-page comic is by Michael Goodwin and illustrated by Dan E. Burr, and really is excellent. Even for someone with no economics knowledge, it helps breakdown how international trade works, what "free trade" is and is not, and how the TPP would fit in. It also examines the current political environment in which things like this can exist.
Even if you don't read the whole thing, at least read up to the part where corporations can dictate laws in other countries by suing those governments that have laws the corporations don't like.
Spoiler alert: this already happens under NAFTA. Also under NAFTA, it snows. A lot.
March 15th, 2008 Brian Herzog
A patron walked up to the desk and asks for a resource that tells him how the world financial markets are doing.
At first, this seemed like an easy question. But after I thought about it a minute, I realized we don't have any print resources in the library devoted to world financial markets - just the domestic markets.
So, we tried a few different internet searches, and "global market index" seemed to yield the greatest number of reputable websites, such as:
Plenty of other websites referenced international indices, but I couldn't tell how reliable they were. Also, some only did currency exchange, but that wasn't what the patron was after.
The patron was happy with this list of urls, so he jotted them down to bookmark when he got home.
The financial world is still mostly a foggy mystery to me, so every time I do get a question about it, I try to poke around and keep looking until I learn something.
In this case, I soon found myself at the About.com page for Foreign Stock Exchange Quotes. Listed as one of the links on this page was Google Finance, and since I use Yahoo Finance for various things, I thought I'd check out how Google compared.
While searching here, I think it was me using the term "world" that led me to the World Wrestling Entertainment, Inc.'s financial statements. Of course I was curious, so I took a look, and here are some interesting facts from their 2007 annual data:
- revenues: $485.65 million
- expenses: $417.22 million
- net income: $52.14 million
- they paid $24.33 million in taxes
- they also had a line item for "Research & Development" but no monies charged to it
Sadly, the reports weren't very detailed, so I couldn't tell how that $417.22 million was spent. Also sadly was their lack of research and development - but at least they had a line item for it. Now this was worth learning, wasn't it?
Tags: financial, global, index, indexes, indicies, international, libraries, Library, market, markets, money, public, Reference Question, world, wwe