June 18 (Bloomberg) -- This is one of the topics that becomes absurd almost as soon as you begin trying to discuss it, and yet the numbers show that still, in 2014, we have to discuss it: women in the workplace, notably Silicon Valley.
You know, there are no “diversity reports” for most family households, which, before and after the job, is where our hearts and minds exist in constant awareness. Labor, management, productivity, leadership, ingenuity -- these are all attributes that women somehow manage just fine when paychecks aren’t included.
Humankind has placed the burden on women to help it survive and, look -- it has. Men went to war, women somehow figured out how to build the tanks and bombers, run the shops, drive the buses -- while also making sure little Timmy brushed his teeth. What makes you think they can’t figure out your stupid project?
Moms don’t need Jesse Jackson’s help to increase the visibility of their role in management. But apparently they do in Silicon Valley, and probably everywhere else, and for that, the rest of us -- you know who you are -- should be just thoroughly embarrassed.
We’ll skip past the proportion of women on the payroll in yesterday’s report from Yahoo, 37 percent, and those at LinkedIn and Google. Although at 30 percent, Google had better start having some discussions with itself.
Because maybe some of the women out there are where they want to be. If this sounds dumb, keep an open mind. Maybe they don’t want to work in some dork factory.
To turn the mirror inward for a moment, diversity is one of the things we wrestle with constantly in journalism. There are not a lot of black journalists in our newsroom at Bloomberg. But it’s not for our lack of effort, and it’s not just Bloomberg’s newsroom that lacks this diversity. So maybe it’s the news business.
As for women, without hard numbers, we’re proud to say there seems to be a pretty balanced representation in the newsroom and in its management.
Instead of the number of women total, it’s the number of women in the important jobs at Yahoo and other technology companies that should give pause.
Yahoo said 77 percent of its leaders -- defined as vice presidents or higher -- are men. Fifteen percent of the technically focused jobs are held by women. We’re not sure but we take that to mean positions that require a brain.
Maybe it takes more smart women at the top to get more smart women in the door. That’s just what we think.
What would your mother think?
Economic indicators today include the current-account balance at 8:30 a.m. EDT, and there’s the FOMC at 2 p.m., followed by Yellen’s press conference, where one might find her a little more disciplined. Here’s the Fed-Watcher’s Guide to FOMC Day.
Following yesterday’s report on a survey of economists in the U.S., who predicted rates will rise faster than some investors are expecting, the Bank of England’s Monetary Policy Committee was coming to roughly the same conclusion about its rates during its June 4-5 meeting.
FedEx and Red Hat report earnings today. Annual meetings include Men’s Wearhouse, Celgene and IAC/Interactive, among others.
+ Brent crude rose as high as $113.85 a barrel after Islamist insurgents seized the Baiji refinery north of Baghdad. + GE’s coming back with enhanced terms for Alstom. + The bombing of a World Cup viewing party in Nigeria has killed at least 14. + Attacks that killed 58 in Kenya June 15-16 and were blamed on al-Qaeda offshoot al-Shabaab were in fact a matter of local politics, Kenyan President Uhuru Kenyatta said. + Enbridge’s Northern Gateway pipeline from Alberta through British Columbia was approved by Harper’s government. Now for the British Columbians. + Harvard Management’s Apoorva Koticha has quit, the third executive to leave the endowment fund recently. + Rajat Gupta, the former Goldman Sachs director, lost his appeal with the SEC over a fine tied to his insider trading with Raj Rajaratnam, did not pass Go and went directly to jail. + GM’s Mary Barra testifies at 10 a.m. Washington time before the U.S. House Subcommittee on Oversight and Investigations on the automaker’s faulty ignition switches, her second appearance before the panel. That’s late enough to get a copy of this story to all the lawmakers before they start. + Markit Ltd. is expected to price its IPO today and to start trading on Nasdaq tomorrow under the symbol MRKT. + Paul Simon and Edie Brickell won’t be prosecuted for the domestic-violence incident at their home in New Canaan, Connecticut. + Katy Perry’s portrait goes on display at the National Portrait Gallery, joining Beyonce, Madonna and Michael Jackson. + Elon Musk hopes that there will be people on Mars in 10 to 12 years. Do we get to choose the people?
Well, we can’t compete with Bloomberg View’s Matt Levine when it comes to rehashing yesterday’s hearing on high-frequency trading and market structure, even if we were working on the same schedule. The bio alongside his columns make us shrivel a little. Ivy League, Goldman Sachs, Circuit Court clerk and former Latin teacher? He works here? His parents must be pretty disappointed.
Besides, there’s not much to report. These hearings often (usually?) devolve into the lawmakers telling us and their witnesses what they know instead of the other way around, and this time wasn’t much different. We heard what Nick Baker wanted to hear about -- payment for order flow, and maker-taker and the devices that have sprung up between exchanges and wholesale trading desks and retail brokerage about how to divide the money.
There’s another hearing today. Senator Mark Warner, the Virginia Democrat and chairman of the Senate Banking Committee’s Subcommittee on Securities, Insurance and Investments, will lead a hearing on HFT and its impact on the economy. They’ll hear from Hal Scott, Nomura Professor of International Financial Systems at Harvard Law School; Jeffrey Solomon, chairman and chief executive officer of Cowen Group; and Andrew Brooks, head of U.S. equity trading at T. Rowe Price.
Wake us when they start writing laws.
The job market is picking up, as you know, but it’s also improving for teenagers seeking summer employment, teenagers who spent most of the past Great Recession years doing God knows what. We don’t even want to know.
Still too early to say if this is a lasting gain. Like last year, there was an increase in May, but last year’s uptick didn’t have staying power, and by the end of the season the total number of teens hired for summer work had dropped 3 percent from 2012. So we’ll need June through mid-July to get the full sense of it, Jeanna Smialek reports today.
The Catch-22 in a working life -- can’t get a job without experience, can’t get experience without a job -- starts early, and the importance of getting a sense of the working life early translates later in life.
“It helps you learn how to communicate with coworkers and get along with other people,” Dwane Holloman, 17, told Smialek.
This kid gets it. Someone hire him.
The devout Christian with dreams of the big strike needed the intimidating grifter and vice versa, a yin and yang that would move as one to the wealth both sought in the Bakken shale-oil region of North Dakota.
Before too long, there were strains in the partnership, each wanted the other out of the drilling venture, and eventually one would be dead.
The story of murder today from Alex Nussbaum and David Voreacos reveals an angle to the fracking boom away from the protests and the allegations of flammable tap water and other environmental complaints.
As money flows like gushing crude in the Dakotas, it’s attracting the criminal element. Prostitution, drug abuse and killings not far from an area already known as the Badlands are transforming the once-desolate, windswept plains where the bison roam.
Mix the elements of money coming in too fast and from all directions with a “two-fisted business,” as one oilman termed it in the story, and you get, as its headline suggests, a little bit of “Fargo,” some “Breaking Bad” and perhaps a cup of “There Will Be Blood.”
“If I disappear or wake up with bullets in my back, promise me you will let everyone know” who did it, the dead man had written.
You think Jeff Bezos knew what a monster he would be creating from his earliest days as an online bookseller when he named it Amazon.com? Because with the addition of a smartphone, the company is really starting to live up to the name.
They weren’t exactly the fastest on the draw, though. People are already starting to speculate about the end of smartphones and what comes next.
“Imagine a home screen of all Amazon apps -- that’s kind of what they are looking for,” Yankee Group’s Carl Howe told Adam Satariano.
Seriously? Seven years late to a market that’s already shifting to wearable devices -- and, who knows, chips implanted in your brain -- and Amazon is going build its own phone from scratch and its own community of apps and everything?
Whose operating system will run these phones -- or is Amazon branching out into that area as well? Maybe manned space flight?
Is this so we can learn more quickly whose products they’re holding hostage next?
How about turning a real profit?
Leave it to Manuela Hoelterhoff to take a history of institutionalized murder, suicide, incest and insanity in Nero’s Rome and make it bright reading. First there’s the parallel to the current-day defeat of Eric Cantor, who back then would be expected not only to give up his security detail but also pretty much all the blood he contains. Your joke goes here.
Sounds like “Dying Every Day: Seneca at the Court of Nero” is pretty grim, with chapter titles like “Suicide,” “Regicide,” Fratricide,’’ “Maritocide” (whatever that is) and “Suicide” again, just for good measure. Yet the absurdity of it all is so over the top that you can’t help but marvel at how the disregard for life was almost comic. As long as you were living.
Seneca was Nero’s tutor from a young age until, well, his services were no longer required. Hoelterhoff describes the books descent into the perversions of moms marrying uncles and sons marrying step-sisters and people spending a lot of their time (the rest of their time?) in a bathtub and everyone winds up dead and, well, it’s a riot.
She speaks with the book’s author, Bard College classics professor James Romm, who arrives at the conclusion that Seneca failed to make much of a Stoic out of Nero, who, by the way, played a lyre.
Johnny Manziel is officially a member of the Cleveland Browns after agreeing to a contract yesterday. Based on the rookie wage scale, he’ll be paid about $8.25 million over four years. Based on the endorsement deals he’s already lined up, don’t be surprised if he leaves his rookie wages as a tip for some bartender in Vegas.
World Cup yesterday: Brazil 0, Mexico 0 Belgium 2, Algeria 1 Russia 1, South Korea 1
Today’s matches: Australia vs Netherlands at noon EDT Spain vs Chile at 3 p.m. EDT Cameroon vs Croatia at 6 p.m. EDT
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