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Brainstorming Doesn’t Really Work. In the late nineteen-forties, Alex Osborn, a partner in the advertising agency B.B.D.O., decided to write a book in which he shared his creative secrets. At the time, B.B.D.O. was widely regarded as the most innovative firm on Madison Avenue.

Born in 1888, Osborn had spent much of his career in Buffalo, where he started out working in newspapers, and his life at B.B.D.O. began when he teamed up with another young adman he’d met volunteering for the United War Work Campaign. By the forties, he was one of the industry’s grand old men, ready to pass on the lessons he’d learned. His book “Your Creative Power” was published in 1948. An amalgam of pop science and business anecdote, it became a surprise best-seller. “Your Creative Power” was filled with tricks and strategies, such as always carrying a notebook, to be ready when inspiration struck.

Jeffrey Goldberg

The Nigerian Harmattan? In the New York Times, Jeffrey Sachs thinks Nigeria has a historic opportunity… to do more or less what he has been telling countries like Nigeria to do for decades now: liberalize their economies, share the pain, and achieve prosperity.

The Nigerian Harmattan?

Shock Therapy! “I’ve watched nations on the eve of economic takeoff, in Latin America, Eastern Europe and Asia,” he writes. “Optimism is in the air in Abuja, and for good reason”: “The people feel it. After a sometimes agonizing half-century since independence, Nigeria is on the verge of a takeoff. Oh, rapture! “I really don’t know what’s the matter with the Poles,” the economist, Jeffrey Sachs, said later in a telephone interview. Those Poles! Meanwhile, in Nigeria, optimism in the air: Can you feel it!? “I will not say it is easy, but we are trying to contain it,” said Moses Onireti, a police spokesman in Oyo state, where a dusk-to-dawn curfew was imposed to try to control violence.

Jeff Sachs

Adam Davidson, the 1%’s Lord Haw-Haw, Fellates Wall Street. Although I endeavor to treat high dudgeon as an art form, it is difficult to find words adequate to convey the level of ridicule and opprobrium that Adam Davidson’s latest New York Times piece, “What Does Wall Street Do for You?”

Adam Davidson, the 1%’s Lord Haw-Haw, Fellates Wall Street

Deserves. I had the vast misfortune to come across it late last week, and have gotten an unusually large volume of incredulous reader e-mails about it. Ms. G’s e-mail headline “NYT – Not a Parody” was typical: This one is so bad, even for NYT, I’m wondering if the paper wasn’t secretly sold to Murdoch, Bloomberg & the Fed Reserve sometime in the past few days. The problem with the piece isn’t that it’s propaganda. Things have now gotten so bad that we now need official propaganda ratings, maybe on a crowd sourced or an Intrade model. You really need to read this train-wreck of a piece to understand how vomititiously bad it is.

Davidson asserts that the big financial firms: play the crucial role of intermediation — matching borrowers with lenders. From Bhide: National Security Spending, Not Entitlements, "Run Amok" Once again, Jeff Sachs takes on the editorial page of the WSJ and tries to expose the "big lie of our time" (or one of them anyway): How the Wall Street Journal Misleads About Federal Jobs, by Jeff Sachs: The editorial board of Rupert Murdoch's Wall Street Journal has a simple game.

National Security Spending, Not Entitlements, "Run Amok"

They want to cut taxes for the rich and government services for the rest, and end regulations of banks and the environment. They support taxpayer-financed bailouts of Wall Street when needed. They will twist any facts in the service of these goals. Today's lead editorial, with its graph of "Obama's Growing Payroll," is a perfect example... The Journal neglects the fact that today's 2.1 million workers is actually identical to the number of Federal employees in 1981 at the start of the Reagan Administration, 1989 at the end of the Reagan Administration, and 1993 at the end of the Bush Sr. The Journal endlessly tries to portray the "growth of government" as a social welfare system run amok.

Thomas Friedman

Francis Fukuyama.