Monday, November 5, 2007

Will transparency save the world?

Another entry where 3 separate stories came together for me to make a point.

For starters, just in case you're keeping score at home, the commercial paper market shrank again, making this the 12th consecutive week. This week's shrinkage was a little over 1% of the market. Do that over 12 weeks and you're starting to take a haircut.

And while I don't pay as much attention as I probably should to those who insist that the world is ending, (at least financially), there is more than one person who's shouting very loudly that the sky is falling. (I can't help but think many of these are giving their money to Ron Paul for President.) Roger Ehrenberg of Information Arbitrage seems more grounded than most of the writers I'm reading, and he points out that there are some very serious potential outcomes to the subprime meltdown, and that at the bottom, they involve a root cause of secrecy and and abuse of trust.

Then, in one of those happy Internet coincidences, I came upon this article from a local Kansas City blog, with the lovely name of Tasty Data Goodies. Without giving the whole article away, the idea is that the future of business is in instant and accurate data exchange. The problem with the subprime meltdown wasn't a lack of information, it was a lack of good data, and also, if you believe some stories, an active disinterest in good data.

Being able to tell what's really happening would go a long way towards preventing another meltdown, and it would create more jobs in a new field that's only really bloomed since 1997 -- knowing how to find and synthesize the world's open secrets.

No comments: