Explaining Southern California's economy

DeBord Report Live: Felix Salmon edition

A sign announcing Facebook IPO is flashe

EMMANUEL DUNAND/AFP/Getty Images

The Facebook IPO announced on the NASDAQ stock exchange. Did it's inability to live up to the hype doom the IPO revival?

We welcomed Reuters finance blogger — and recent Loeb Award winner — Felix Salmon to the Crawford Family Forum last Thursday to talk IPOs, as part of my "DeBord Report Live" series. Specifically, whether the IPO is D-E-A-D. Felix has lately been making a very strong case against the traditional IPO, in Wired and elsewhere. He's outlined an alternative model, of sorts. So we got to engage in some lively conversation on the topic, and we enjoyed some excellent contributions and questions from the audience.

We also got more mileage out of the three terrible slides I grabbed to contribute to the conversation than I ever thought possible.

An interesting product of the evening's discussion was our kind of shared realization that the business of Silicon Valley (broadly defined, but basically the Bay Area tech scene) isn't necessarily the creation of new companies — it's the creation of venture capitalists. 

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Dylan Ratigan and the DeBord Report in Pasadena, January 17

I'll be having a conversation with MSNBC's Dylan Ratigan on January 17, at Southern California Public Radio's Crawford Family Forum. Ratigan has a new book out, "Greedy Bastards: How We Can Stop Corporate Communists, Banksters, and Other Vampires from Sucking America Dry," which is just as peppery as it sounds. We'll probably be talking LOTS about it. 

You can RSVP for the event here (it's free) if you're planning to be in Pasadena that night. Believe me, Ratigan has a strong point of view on how we wound up in our current financial mess and how we can get ourselves out. He's well worth listening to.

As a taste, I've posted his now-legendary rant on "The Dylan Ratigan Show." He speaks disparagingly of "extraction" and how it's killing the economy. What's extraction?

Come down to the Crawford Family Forum next Tuesday night at 7 p.m. and find out!

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Building a business, one family member at a time

Last night, KPCC presented a really terrific panel discussion at the Crawford Family Forum, "All in the Familia: L.A. Latino Business in the 21st Century," moderated by my blogging colleague Leslie Berestein Rojas. The four panelists — and their extended families — represented four well-known LA-region family businesses: Portos Bakery & Cafe, Gaviña Gourmet Coffee, Guelaguetza Restaurante, and Tapatio Hot Sauce.

I've heard plenty of discussions about business, but this one was special. Business leaders, even family business leaders, are usually more than happy to talk about how they built their enterprises. But they don't usually talk about the process in such moving, personal ways. 

I think everyone who aspires to start a company, in any industry, should listen to what the panelists have to say. And, lo, they can. The CFF team has made the panel's conversation available online. Check it out!

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