Die-Hard Mets (and Rockets and Bears) Fans Are Going Extinct

Wide access to bite-sized sports videos is creating “fluid fans” willing to shift loyalty.

When our son switched his NBA allegiance from the Houston Rockets to the Golden State Warriors, my wife, a lifelong Rockets fan, was aghast. But a new report suggests this type of disloyalty is about to become commonplace, with enormous implications for the sports market.

The business of sports is no longer a sideshow to the sports themselves. In 2018, the value of the global sports market reached almost $500 billion, with more than 100 sports franchises worth $1 billion or more.

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Guess What’s Holding Back Wind Power in the U.S.

One man’s failed attempt to build a transmission line illustrates a unique American obstacle to clean energy.

The cost of wind energy has dropped drastically over the past several decades as the technology has advanced, especially in the size of turbines. Since 2009, the unsubsidized average cost of onshore wind-energy production has fallen to 4.2 cents per kilowatt hour, from 13.5 cents in 2018, according to an analysis by Lazard, the company I work for. After including U.S. tax subsidies, the cost of building wind capacity is often lower than the marginal cost of generating electricity with existing coal-powered plants. Thus wind energy now offers great opportunities for lowering carbon-dioxide emissions.

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Don’t Blame the Stock Market for Corporate Myopia

Public ownership and public borrowing are diminishing at U.S. companies. Research has unearthed some worrisome consequences of this trend.

Publicly listed companies have been disappearing, especially in the U.S., where the number of public firms has fallen to about 3,500 today from more than 7,500 in 1997. The trend is familiar, but there’s still plenty of disagreement over whether it’s a cause for concern.

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One Book Explains the Rise of Globalization: It’s All in the Box

Container shipping standardized a chaotic industry and brought the world closer together.

At the top of my most interesting reads this year was Marc Levinson’s “The Box: How the Shipping Container Made the World Smaller and the World Economy Bigger,” the second edition of which was published in 2016. The book tells the story of container shipping, which revolutionized international trade over the past 60 years.

How container shipping came to dominate global trade may not sound like a gripping read, but Levinson intersperses the story with colorful business characters like Malcom McLean and exacting operations researchers such as Foster Weldon. And the story itself is both historically important and also central to many of the ongoing debates still raging about globalization.

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