Calls for Romney Shakeup; Mining Big Data; Hoops at Harvard; Goldman Sachs ‘Toxic’: Today on Here and Now

by Brad Yost on March 14, 2012

Some highlights from today’s show:

1:06:  Calls For Romney Shakeup After Southern Primary Losses: A growing number of political observers, including Mark Halperin of Time, are saying there needs to be changes in Mitt Romney’s campaign, after his disappointing third place finish in primaries in Alabama and Mississippi yesterday. Democratic pundit Paul Begala even goes so far as to write — drop out now, Romney!

1:15: “Data Boom Is The Big Innovation Of Our Age,” Says MIT Professor: Data – your emails, the lovely lady giving you directions in your smart phone, the latest political polls. It may be overwhelming, but it is revolutionizing all aspects of our world. Take baseball: Computer-generated analysis is allowing coaches to project how well players will perform — like we say in the movie Moneyball. In health, researchers troll the web looking for spikes in Google searches of the flu, because they know this means in a couple of weeks patients will be heading for the emergency room. And what about jobs in data crunching? The McKinsey Global Institute says the U.S. will need up to 200,000 analysts and a million and a half data-literate managers just to understand all the data swirling around us in the “age of big data.”

1:35: March Madness Invades Harvard Yard: For the first time since 1946 Harvard is in the NCAA tournament. The Ivy league champion and number 12 seed in the East Regional will play number 5 seed Vanderbilt tomorrow in Albuquerque. Doug Tribou from NPR’s “Only A Game” has been in Harvard Yard to gauge the mood there. He also managed to find a member of the 1946 team who remembers playing the NCAA tournament game at the original Madison Square Garden in New York.

1:40: Goldman Sachs Executive Resigns, Calling Firm ‘Toxic And Destructive.’  A Goldman Sachs executive is taking a potentially damning parting shot at the firm:  by resigning in a New York Times op-ed piece. Greg Smith, of the firm’s London office writes: Today is my last day at Goldman Sachs. After almost 12 years at the firm — first as a summer intern while at Stanford, then in New York for 10 years, and now in London — I believe I have worked here long enough to understand the trajectory of its culture, its people and its identity. And I can honestly say that the environment now is as toxic and destructive as I have ever seen it. Smith says Goldman has created a culture that cares more about making money than helping clients.

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