12.29.12

The Week’s Best Business Longreads: Business Beast’s Picks for Dec. 30, 2012

It was a good year for Chinese electronics workers and a bad year for one of America’s highest flying energy tycoons. The Daily Beast brings you the best business and finance journalism for the week of December 30, 2012.

High-Speed Traders Race to Fend Off Regulators
Jenny Strasburg and Scott Patterson, The Wall Street Journal 
 
Regulators have been circling the new, high speed wizards of the markets for years. To fend them off, the hyper-traders have brandished academic research showing that they’re a force for good. Research they’ve helped fund. 
 
How One Woman Made Budget Scolding Chic
Noam Scheiber, The New Republic


The story of how an obscure think-tanker manage to unite the Washington and business elite around the cause of “balanced” deficit reduction through the power of dinner parties.

What Turned Jaron Lanier Against the Web?
Ron Rosenbaum, Smithsonian Magazine 
 
Jaron Lanier was one of the creators of the virtual world. Now he’s the leading critic of all things digital.

Signs of Changes Taking Hold in Electronics Factories in China
Keith Bradsher and Charles Duhigg, The New York Times 
 
Largely thanks to the Times, the supply chains of electronics manufacturers has been the biggest labor story of the year. Now, it seems, companies—even Apple—are starting to change.

Chesapeake, McClendon Endure Rocky Year; More Uncertainty Ahead
Brian Grow, Anna Driver and Joshua Schneyer, Reuters 
 
At the beginning of this year, Chesapeake Energy CEO Aubrey McClendon was the head and chairman of the country’s second largest energy company. He was a billionaire. Now, his net-worth has been cut in half, he’s no longer chairman, and he’s using his wine collection as collateral for a personal loan.