Explaining Southern California's economy

Reportings: College isn't worth it; Silicon Valley is doing great!; Digital Domain goes bankrupt

Mercer 19344

Toshifumi Kitamura/AFP/Getty Images

Autobot 'Bumblebee' is shown during the 'Transformers - Revenge of the Fallen' world premiere in Tokyo, on June 8, 2009. The company that did the visual effects has declared bankruptcy after a precipitous stock slide.

Megan McArdle considers the exploding cost of college. "The price of a McDonald’s hamburger has risen from 85 cents in 1995 to about a dollar today. The average price of all goods and services has risen about 50 percent. But the price of a college education has nearly doubled in that time. Is the education that today’s students are getting twice as good? Are new workers twice as smart? Have they become somehow massively more expensive to educate?" (Newsweek/The Daily Beast)

Facebook aside, Silicon Valley is standing out as the place to send your venture capital dollars. "Silicon Valley startups raised $3.2 billion from venture capitalists during the April-June quarter, far more than in any other part of the U.S as tracked by the National Venture Capital Association. Venture capital flowing into Silicon Valley increased by 4 percent from the same time last year, while it dropped 12 percent nationwide." (Businessweek/AP)


Tupac Shakur hologram company is basically going down the tubes

Kevin Winter, Christopher Polk / Getty Images

Dr. Dre (left) and (hologram) Tupac Shakur appeared at Coachella. The company behind the visual effect may soon disappear, however.

Digital Domain Media Group, the Florida-based digital effects company behind the Tupac Shakur hologram that wowed 'em at Coachella, has been in a downward spiral since spring. After staging an IPO last year, the company peaked at around $9 a share. It's now fallen below $1. The CEO, John Textor, resigned today.

The entire Florida operation is going to be effectively shut down, but studios in California and Canada will remain in business, according to a statement from the company.

DDMG has been an integral part of the visual effects of "Transformers" and "Tron," as well as "Thor." The company's market capitalization has plunged to about $24 million, making it worth less than its apparent total debt of $35 (debt that was just extended by bondholders). 

The company is miles from where it was in late May, when executives rang the bell at the New York Stock Exchange.