Daily Archives: March 5, 2012

John Gapper

The FT’s story about the alleged torture of a billionaire businessman in the Chinese city of Chongqing under Bo Xilai’s populist administration is an explosive reminder of how high are the stakes in the leadership transition.

The story of Li Jun, who was allegedly tortured in a detention centre in Chongqing after falling out with the city’s administration, also shows the roughness of the internal battles among China’s political factions.

As Mr Li says of his alleged arrest and maltreatment, after being arrested for refusing to hand over some former People’s Liberation Army property in the city to be turned into a park:

“When they told me I’d breached the contract and would have to pay for my freedom, I felt I had been kidnapped by a group of bandits. But I didn’t have any other choice.”

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Andrew Hill

The latest study from the American Finance Association’s Journal of Finance reaches a counterintuitive conclusion: perhaps over-confident CEOs are better innovators. Here’s what it says:

CEO overconfidence is associated with riskier projects, greater investment in innovation, and greater total quantity of innovation as measured by patent applications and patent citations even after controlling for the amount of R&D expenditure. In other words, the R&D investments of overconfident CEOs are more productive in generating innovation [my emphasis].

David Hirshleifer, Angie Low and Siew Hong Teoh rightly point out that this may go against the grain for most business commentators (myself included), who “often point to examples of headstrong, overconfident CEOs who made disastrous decisions”. Read more