Explaining Southern California's economy

Slide Show: A glimpse of things to come for LA's new football stadium

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Matthew DeBord

In the Lexus Club, the system can provide a appropriately luxurious stream of HD content.

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Matthew DeBord

If the new football stadium gets built, the big screens will be a lot more impressive.

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Matthew DeBord

Lexus sponsors its own club in the Staples Center. More of this type of branding will be on tap for Farmers Field.

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Matthew DeBord

The menu screens at concession areas can be dynamically updated and themed according to who is playing that night.

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Matthew DeBord

In the luxury Suites, the HD screens can be used to order food, buy merchandise, and tap into various video feeds from around the stadium.


Earlier this week, I took a tour of the Staples Center to check out a substantial technology upgrade throughout the facility (it's called StadiumVision). AEG joined with Cisco and Verizon to improve the way that programming and information can be displayed on HD video screens around the stadium. This ranged from theming and special offers on menu displays at concessions to e-commerce possibilities in the luxury suites. 

It was all very interesting and a pretty fair example of high-level business collaboration. AEG, Cisco, and Verizon are hardly small players. 

But it was also a glimpse of things to come. I can certainly remember the good old days of sports venues, when advertising, branding, and marketing was far more limited. Now, LA and AEG could very well be on the verge of building a state of the art football stadium Downtown, called Farmers Field. Ambitions for technology to "enhance the fan experience" are running high. The screens could be more numerous and much larger. And there could be a lot more mobile interaction, right down to the level of watching the game via a dynamic live feed to an iPhone app. From what I heard, that's the Holy Grail — you're at the game, but you can hold the game in your hands.

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Visual Aid: The Occupy Movement gets the Shepard Fairey treatment

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Obey Giant

See if you can figure out the model for Obey Giant's contribution to the Occupy Movement's graphic identity.

Yesterday, KPCC's new blog editor, Tony Pierce, and I were discussing the lack of any truly iconic Occupy Movement images. They've got plenty of signs and slogans. "But where's...noted LA public artist and occasional graphic agitator Shepard Fairey in this?" We asked. 

Well, ask and you shall receive. Fairey's Obey Giant site now has five supportive posters available for free download. I've respected Fairey's desire to have these used only by participants in the Occupy Movement and have depicted just one here. The rest can be seen at the site.

It will be easy enough to figure out which public figure served as the model for the poster that's pictured, once you check out the entire selection. But see if you can guess, without looking at the entire lineup.

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The dark side of the the Occupy Movement

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Matthew DeBord

Not what you want to see at a protest about banking and finance in Downtown LA.

At the outset, I think it's important to remember that the Occupy Movement, from Wall Street to Downtown LA and everywhere in between, has been rational and peaceful. But there will be some cranks who worm their way into any happening of this scale. I spotted the sign above as I was leaving Occupy LA a few days ago. I wasn't happy to see it. But I wasn't surprised, either.

It gets worse. ReasonTV found someone at the Downtown LA protest who was willing to actually talk out loud about the Zionist banking conspiracy. In front of a camera. 

She got fired.

Ever since there have been banks and international finance, there have been crackpot conspiracy theories about the intermingling of money, Jewishness, Zionism, UFOs, secret underground labs, black helicopters, the world government, vampires...

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Bullet Points: The Federal Reserve's latest Beige Book

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AP Photo / J. Scott Applewhite

The Federal Reserve Building in Washington, DC.

The Federal Reserve publishes its so-called "Beige Book," a snapshot of the economy taken through the lens of the Fed's district banks, eight times per year. It is booor-ing. You may not even want to read the executive summary of the latest version. Luckily, you don't have to, because I've broken it down into bullet points. And I've assigned my own grades, on how the various parts of the struggling economy are doing. (The Fed, needless to say, doesn't hand out grades.)

•The Big Picture

"...overall economic activity continued to expand in September, although many Districts described the pace of growth as 'modest' or 'slight' and contacts generally noted weaker or less certain outlooks for business conditions."

Translation: Stuckflation, an economy going nowhere, for the rest of the year.

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Backtrack: All the Hermanomics you can handle

Florida Holds GOP Presidential Straw Poll

Mark Wilson/Getty Images

Republican presidential candidate Herman Cain speaks prior to Florida's President 5 straw poll at the Orange County Convention Center on September 24, 2011 in Orlando, Florida. Cain won the straw poll with 37.11% of the vote.

Yesterday, the Patt Morrison Show took a closer look at Herman Cain's now-celebrated 9-9-9 plan. If you're curious about how a flat income, sales, and corporate tax would all work together, check out my post on the topic:

What's wrong with Herman Cain's 9-9-9 plan?

And if that's not enough Hermanomics for you, I've also provided a useful rundown on his plan to reform Social Security along the lines of what he calls the "Chilean Model":

Herman Cain says his plan to reform Social Security worked for Chile, but can it work in the USA?

There's no question that with his mantra-like tax plan, Cain has captured the attention of his opponents in the Republican presidental-candidate race, as well as the national media and no small number of voters — and taxpayers — who find taxes bewildering and would like an easy fix.

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