Will the next bubble be narratives?
Green shoots! Now, if only we could collateralize them....
NOTE Although Krugman links to three narratives proffered by DeLong, DeLong actually has a fourth!
UPDATE But see this abstract from HBR:
This HBR Case Study includes both the case and the commentary. For teaching purposes, this reprint is also available in two other versions: case study-only, reprint R0809X, and commentary-only, reprint R0809Z.
Since the mid-1990s, management-metaphor boutique Serendipity Associates (SA) has been offering clients sizzling similes and snappy sound bites. But the head of SA, Barton Brady, gets word that someone is now poaching in his territory. It's the low-rent operation Tropes R Us, which has started offshoring production to Ireland and will soon flood the market with high-quality, low-cost metaphors. Does this move confirm Brady's fear that the U.S. is losing its competitive edge in right-brain work? Four experts comment on this fictional case study in R0809A and R0809Z. Daniel H. Pink, an author and consultant, says SA should move to higher ground--to find new ways to differentiate itself on the basis of right-brain capabilities that will be difficult to offshore. Doing this, he writes, requires an education system that nurtures creativity. John Chuang, CEO of talent consulting firm Aquent, writes that Brady could rally U.S. citizens to protest the country's current immigration policy, which makes it difficult for companies to import top talent. Brady should also broaden the definition of SA's business. Richard Phelps, a human resource executive at PricewaterhouseCoopers, argues that contrary to the prevailing view of many in the West, workers in emerging economies are equal to the demands of creative work. SA should assemble the best right brains on the planet and either hire them or contract with them to represent the SA brand. Charlie Wrench, the CEO of brand and design consulting firm Landor Associates, advises Brady not to worry about his country--which Wrench believes will continue to attract a disproportionate share of the world's creative talent--but about his multinational clients, who need service providers to display a powerful combination of right-brain and left-brain skills.
See? Even the creative class can be outsourced offshore... Even if the case study is a parody, why not?