Friday, October 24, 2014

Economic Growth

A reasonable NYT article on economic growth (in particular, growth in China) but relevant on a variety of fronts.

There is one aspect that sticks out.  The article (and cited sources) suggest that growth reverts to the mean and that superior growth will inevitably decline over time.  And notes that the USSR and Japan were both expected to surpass the US but never did.  This seems to gloss over the US's high growth over a long period.

My thumbnail view on growth, in particular, growth in the US:

1) huge natural endowment;
2) significant immigration and high birth rate; and
3) most importantly, strong property rights and rule of law.

#1 helped to give a head start and encourage #2 but, ultimately, it is #2 and #3 that allowed above trend growth to continue.  As a nice example, see the eventual stumbling of the USSR and Japan for #3 and #2, respectively (notwithstanding the large #1 of USSR).

Wednesday, October 22, 2014

Apple Pay and Target

Someone at Target is not paying attention.

Target revised its iOS app to let shoppers use Apple Pay to buy on-line.  However, they neglected to work with their bank partner/issuer (TD Bank, I think) to allow their own store branded Visa card to be registered with Apple Pay.  I know Target can't direct their partner and that Target is not that interested in the Visa card at this point, but one would think they could cajole TD and/or delay the adoption of Apple Pay until they could avoid this conspicuous gap.  This is on top of not being able to use Apple Pay at the register (which is understandable as Target has not yet installed NFC devices at the register).