Climbing a Wall of Worry — John DeTore

MIT Sloan Sr. Lecturer John DeTore

The U.S. stock market is now at new highs. So why are average Americans continuing to struggle and not feeling this prosperity? What causes this apparent disconnect between market highs and citizen well-being?

As the expression goes, stocks are climbing a wall of worry. And by our estimates, despite economic malaise, the stock market hasn’t peaked, and we’re still on the way up. Here are some reasons why:

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Spender or Saver? The Choice May Not be Yours — Joshua Ackerman

MIT Sloan Asst. Prof. Joshua Ackerman

From WSJ Marketwatch

During a recession, why do some people spend money while others save?

Money issues can be grounds for conflict in relationships. One person may be a spender while the other is a saver. Throw in financial stress such as an economic recession and one person’s preference can seem completely irrational to the other.

How can people be so different when it comes to the “right” decisions? Recent research shows that our childhood economic environments have a lot to do with how we make financial decisions and handle financial risk later in life

Read the full post at Marketwatch

Joshua Ackerman is assistant professor of marketing at the MIT Sloan School of Management and co-author of “When the Economy Falters, Do People Spend or Save? Responses to Resource Scarcity Depend on Childhood Environments,” published in the Feb. 8 issue of Psychological Science.

Increasing manufacturing jobs in the U.S. requires innovation and variety — Donald Rosenfield

MIT Sloan Sr. Lecturer Don Rosenfield

In the last 10 years, there has been a dramatic reduction in manufacturing jobs in the U.S. due to a combination of factors, such as the economic crisis and foreign competition. But manufacturing jobs can return to the U.S., and a key component of that return involves innovation to facilitate product variety.

Companies that manufacture products abroad typically do not offer significant product variety, as the support costs — like inventory, markdowns and returns — are too high. It’s more economical to produce a narrow product line when you’re shipping to warehouses from across an ocean. Read More »

Containing Contagion: ‘There is no replacement for good macro-fundamentals’ — Kristin Forbes

MIT Sloan Prof. Kristin Forbes

What began as a singular sovereign debt problem in Greece in 2009 quickly spread to the rest of Europe. First Ireland; then Portugal and Spain and Italy. Today—only three years after the first signs of trouble—virtually all Europeans have felt the destructive effects of the euro zone turmoil, and its impact is being felt around the world.

Contagion, a phenomenon where financial tumult in one country or region spreads to another country, is now a fact of life. The globalization of finance has, in many ways, made contagion inevitable. The world has become much more integrated through trade, investors, and banks, and these ties have caused countries’ financial markets to move together more closely during good times and bad. Read More »

Deborah Ancona — Occupy Wall Street: Where are the leaders?

MIT Sloan Prof. Deborah Ancona

From CBS News

The President of the United States, major news media, bloggers, bankers, stand-up comics, and people all around the world are shaking their heads and wondering what the Occupy Wall Street (OWS) protest is all about. Is it a display of leadership or anarchy, revolution or Sunday in the park? And the answer is, we just don’t know yet. This is a new form of drama that is just beginning to play itself out.

Many pundits argue that this is a leaderless protest. But this view of leadership is stuck in the old model of the single heroic leader in command and control mode. What we are witnessing is a different leadership model-distributed leadership. Here multiple leaders take on various leadership activities in an attempt to move toward the collective good. Read More »