Tag Archives: economics

What’s Cooler Than a Million Dollars?

Facebook employees are about to find out what turned their boss on about a billion dollars. The company is looking to unload around $1 billion in employee-owned stock, as the worker bees who have sacrificed cash for years look for a bit of upside. And, Facebook is doing it in style.

The social media company is looking to help its devoted employees cash out of some shares at a valuation of $60 billion … that’s “cool” 60 times over. It’s also a 20 percent jump over the company’s previous valuation of $50 billion.

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Export your way to a healthier economy, says Volcker

grocerystoreThe U.S. economy is too reliant on consumers, according to White House economic advisor Paul Volcker. He told President Barack Obama on Monday that trimming our dependence on the consumer could come in the form of boosting exports, enhancing the national infrastructure and investing in green technology. Volcker, who used to be chairman of the Federal Reserve, believes that with consumer spending responsible for 70% of the U.S. economy, it requires “the magic of financial engineering” to keep it afloat. Simply, he said, “We cannot have so much consumption.”

If we try to rebuild the economy in its previous image, Volcker believes, “It will just break down again,” he told a global financial conference in Naples, Florida.

[Via Reuters, photo by Jeff Keen via Flickr]

GreenHunter Divests Chinese Wind, Picked up by Local VCs

wind turbine green

Caveman 92223, via Flickr

Clearly, the Chinese venture capital market is hot right now. In addition to sinking some hefty scratch into local ventures — along with the Chinese and provincial governments — the VC community is on the prowl for more. When U.S. renewable energy producer GreenHunter Energy was ready to sell off its minority stake in Guangdong MingYang Wind Power Technology, it found a buyer in Chinese growth venture firm DT Capital Partners, which agreed to play for $9.1 million.

GreenHunter Energy picked up its stake in the Chinese manufacturer of industrial-scale wind turbines back in late 2007. It seems pretty safe to infer that the company made the move back then because the U.S. equivalent wasn’t far enough along. Now, says CEO Gary Evans, the U.S. wind turbine biz is far enough along, making it preferable to owning a piece of a Chinese company.

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China launches $1.32 billion VC fund

chinese flagThe Chinese government is committing $1.32 billion to launch venture capital funds jointly with several of its provinces, according to a Reuters report. Private investors will also be involved in the effort, the purpose of which is to bolster the growth of the high-tech sector across China. Specific sectors that will benefit include information technology, energy, pharma and environmental.

China isn’t spending all its money in one place. Rather, it’s spreading the cash across 20 venture capital funds. One billion yuan (slightly more than 10% of the capital) will come from the Chinese government, with 1.2 billion yuan coming from the local governments. The rest is being kicked in by the private sector.

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Gotta Love the Ayn Rand Crowd

lens1521675_resizejohngaltThe so-called “Objectivists” are easy to manipulate. All you need to do is post a story with the slightest dig at Ayn Rand, and they mobilize online, rewarding your rudeness with plenty of traffic and comments. Whenever one of my sites needs a little surge, I write about Ayn Rand (as I’m doing now). So, when I had the chance to cover a private equity fund named for Howard Roark for DailyFinance, I jumped at the opportunity.

It didn’t take long for me to pick up a few Ayn Rand-related followers on Twitter, and several comments materialized on the website almost immediately. Fun stuff.

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Canada Tells U.S. to Step Up

Our neighbors to the north are trying to bring the heat on us. When I was up in Montreal two weeks ago, I did hear the usual “mine is bigger” argument going on in the lobby of the Opus Hotel, as a Canadian went on and on and on about healthcare. The day before, a bit of channel surfing brought me to Prime Minister Stephen Harper, talking about how Canada had fared better than the United States through the worldwide financial crisis. Now, the Canadians are saying that the U.S. has to do a better job of managing its financial system, because when Americans sneeze, the rest of the world blames us for giving them a cold.

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