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Stephanie Dychiu
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“The logic of doing business in Japan is a logic of commitment rather than a logic of choice,” Whittaker says, stressing that owners privilege longevity over the present moment. In other words, Japan’s business culture is not one to obsess over quarterly reports. “Family-owned enterprises are always going to have a lot more persistence,” Weinstein says. “They continue in the same sense that the name continues.”

Keeping business in the family is often aided and abetted by adult adoption, in which the company head legally adopts the right person to run his firm and then passes it on. (These adult adoptions are sometimes facilitated by a marriage between the heir presumptive and the owner’s daughter.)  Firms run by adopted heirs, research shows, outperform those run by “blood” heirs—and both adopted and blood heirs outperform non-family firms.

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Design lessons for Manila's MRT from the London Underground:
- build shorter (not longer) carriages, and more of them
- build bigger doors
- it's not about the volume of people, but how quickly they can get in and out of the trains

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Interesting times.  China insurance company acquires Waldorf Astoria for USD 1.95 billion (less than a tenth what Facebook just paid for WhatsApp).

Insurance companies in China are allowed to invest directly in commercial real estate in first world countries.

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"Should you be living your life or living it for others to see it?"

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"在竟争中强大自我" ("In struggle/competition, build your strength")
- Rule #7 on Jack Ma's 22 Laws of Entrepreneurship 马云创业22律

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Will a floating platform the size of a football field out in open sea keep this power plant safe from tsunamis and earthquakes in Japan?

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"I think the World Bank has made many, many mistakes over the years it has been led by Wall Street, by bankers and politicians. It has not been led by development experts. This has caused it to make truly consequential blunders of huge proportions." - Jeffrey Sachs to Al Jazeera

Why Jeffrey Sachs wants to be the next World Bank president:  "The World Bank is adrift. It is spread too thin. It has taken on too many fads."

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Worst case of climate migration in recent memory -- Kiribati is sunk. Government buying land in Fiji to evacuate all 113,000 citizens before sea washes away country's 32 atolls.

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Not everything that was once useful should be saved.

Of animals, Darwin said, "In the struggle for survival, the fittest win at the expense of their rivals because they succeed in adapting themselves best to their environment."

Of companies, Carnegie said, "While the law of competition may sometimes be hard on the individual, it is best for the race, because it ensures the survival of the fittest in every department."

Therefore, let the market decide the fate of Kodak, the post office, and other private or publicly owned sheep that need to be put to pasture.

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2012's most significant New Year message by a head of government belongs to Angela Merkel, who called on reluctant Germans to support the plan to defend the euro.

"We have to support the euro. It's not just about our money. The euro is far more than just a currency. A united Europe is our guarantee for peace and freedom. The euro is the foundation of our prosperity. Germany needs Europe and our common currency for our own well-being, and to respond to challenges around the world. We Germans take our responsibility seriously, even if it is sometimes very difficult."

Angela Merkel New Year's Address 2011
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