The luxury car manufacturer generated $13.5 BN in pre-tax profit, and sold a record 98,652 automobiles -- a staggering $136K profit per car sold. Even for a luxury brand, the numbers seemed nearly impossible.
Upon closer inspection, $11.5 billion dollars of that profit wasn’t from selling cars -- it was from speculating on financial derivatives: Porsche was furtively amassing a sizable position in call options to buy up Volkswagen shares. As a report from the BBC put it, Porsche was “a hedge fund with a carmaker attached.” In 2008, the car business was good, but the financial engineering business was even better.
In Japan there is even a word to describe the various limits in innovative thinking. Taga, which literally describes the metal hoops which keep a tight hold on the wooden boards which make a barrel, is used to describe the current state of Japanese innovation. Taga is what causes organizations to decide unconsciously and automatically what is possible and what is not based on current circumstances, not future predictions, hopes or opportunities. It stops completely the ability of a company to adopt a positive attitude towards any change or new idea. Taga is usually fostered in a tacit agreement to, or unspoken understanding of, customary rules or organizational paradigms within a company. When new people join a company (usually it’s the hope that new people bring new ideas) they tend to quickly become unconsciously accustomed to thinking along the lines of the existing organization paradigm. This means that it can be extremely difficult for a company to be aware of taga limiting creativity and implementation of new ideas within your own company.
Demographics are changing - and ultimately the fate of political parties. The Republicans have been concentrating their efforts on their core at the cost of the exclusion of others. That will bite them - probably not in this election, but down the road. The Altantic on a major shift of the right wing core.
Politics influences your perfection of the physical attractiveness of leaders
Voters were shown photos of familiar and unfamiliar politicians in two different samples. Familiarity and partisanship significantly influenced how candidates were perceived - Democrats rated Barack Obama as more physically attractive, and Republicans rated Sarah Palin as better looking. Then participants viewed unlabeled pictures of unfamiliar political leaders from other states. This time the results showed no party-based favoritism.
The authors comment on future directions looking outside of politics and into the workplace (I would imagine religion is interesting too).
Beauty is in the in-group of the beholded: Intergroup differences in the perceived attractiveness of leaders
Kevin M. Kniffina, Brian Wansinka, Vladas Griskeviciusb, David Sloan Wilsonc
a Cornell University, Dyson School of Applied Economics and Management, USA b University of Minnesota, Carlson School of Management, USA c SUNY Binghamton, Departments of Biological Sciences and Anthropology, USA
Physical attractiveness is most commonly presumed to be an exogenous characteristic that influences people's feelings, perceptions, and behavior across myriad types of relationships. We investigate the opposite prediction in which feelings toward other people influence the perceptions of others' attractiveness. Focusing specifically on subordinates' perceptions of leaders of in-groups and out-groups, we examine whether group membership moderates familiarity in relation to ratings of physical attractiveness. Studies 1 and 2 show that subordinates rate the leaders of their in-groups as significantly more physically attractive than comparably familiar out-group leaders. Our findings have relevance for understanding the interactive roles of physical attractiveness within contemporary organizational environments and help to account for variance in interpersonal perceptions on the basis of group membership. In contrast with research traditions that treat physical attractiveness as a static trait, our findings highlight the importance of group membership as a lens for perceiving familiar leaders' physical attractiveness