No Jets For You: Agency Problems in Public & Private Firms

From a new paper:

Agency Problems in Public Firms: Evidence from Corporate Jets in Leveraged Buyouts

Abstract: This paper uses rich, new data to examine the fleets of corporate jets operated by both publicly traded and privately held firms. In the cross-section, firms owned by private equity funds average jet fleets at least 40 percent smaller than observably similar publicly-traded firms. Similar fleet reductions are observed within firms that go private in leveraged buyouts. I discuss assumptions under which comparisons across and within firms provide estimates of lower and upper bounds on the average treatment effect of taking a firm from public to private in a leveraged buyout. Both censored and standard quantile regressions suggest that results at the mean are driven by firms in the upper 30 percent of the conditional jet distribution. Results thus suggest that executives in a substantial minority of public firms enjoy more generous perquisites than they would if subject to the pressures of private equity ownership.


San Francisco Jobs Approach Dot Com Peak — in Less Space

Lots of stories this weekend about the improvement in the California jobs picture, especially in the technology community. The number of tech jobs in San Francisco is finally regaining the dot-com peak, albeit in less office space, which is an interesting augury for the future of commercial real estate.


Related news:

  • High tech industry on hiring binge (Source)
  • Hiring perks in Silicon Valley’s engineer fervor (Source)


Time to Swap Out My Nail Polish Car For A Gas Model

Fluids by the gallon

[via Autoblog]

Today in Body Fat

Riveting reading on macable differences in body composition among fighters in Afghanistan, by an ER doctor working there:

RECENTLY I WORKED as an internist-intensivist at the Canadian Combat Surgical Hospital in Kandahar. Most of our casualties were Afghans: National Army soldiers, National Police and civilians caught in crossfire. They were diminutive men, almost always less than a hundred and forty pounds. I cannot comment on the body masses of the Taliban—they were never brought to us. But they are not likely larger than those of the soldiers and the police. And because, in war, soldiers are fed first—prospering right up to the moment they are pierced—the civilians were even thinner.

For someone used to the life and the pathologies of the rich and settled, much about practicing medicine in Afghanistan felt unfamiliar. One of the striking differences was the way gunshot victims’ abdomens looked in CT scans. Back home, I was used to seeing organs stand out with some prominence from the abdominal fat. In fact, in Canadians, the state of the kidneys can be partly assessed by the degree of inflammation in the perinephric fat that envelops them. It’s the same with the pancreas, and the liver often looks like it belonged to a French goose fattened for foie gras. Indeed, the idea of “normal” in a Canadian body proceeds from the assumption that it might be normal to spend one’s days tied to a grain spout, beak pried open, being filled with cracked corn.

Not the Afghans. The surgeons, in fact, often commented on how the abdominal contents spilled out once the abdominal wall was opened; every loop of bowel immediately visible, unobscured by mesenteric fat, which, in Canadians, would cling to every organ like yellow oily cake. Excessive fattiness is precisely why, when caring for the critically ill in North America, glucose levels are tightly controlled with insulin—a procedure necessary even for those not thought to be diabetic. Stressed by the infection, or the operation that has brought us to the intensive care unit, our sugar levels rise, paralyzing our white blood cells and nourishing the bacteria chewing upon them. But it was never necessary to give the Afghans insulin, no matter how shattered they were.

More here.


Three Disaster Videos of the Day

Japanese ship rides over tsunami:

Man films tsunami approach from harbor

Dust storm approaches Kuwait today

Field Notes: Marrakech, Ice, News, GE, Y Combinator, etc.

  • Another bad winter for Arctic ice (Source)
  • What can we learn from Facebook reactions to online news? (Source)
  • DocumentCloud (Source)
  • G.E.’s Strategies Let It Avoid Taxes Altogether (Source)
  • The Anatomy of a Y Combinator Demo Day Pitch (Source)
  • Marrakech Four Seasons now taking reservations. (Source)

Powder Stoke

Recent video from Jackson Hole on powder day:

Field Notes: Electricity, Ozone, Spreadsheets, Walks, Crops, etc.

  • Electricity Losses in Northeastern Japan (Source)
  • Random walk lengths of about 30 years in global climate (Source)
  • First North Pole Ozone Hole Forming? (Source)
  • Google Spreadsheets gains filtering (Source)
  • Long Term Crop Prices (Source)
  • Really? Must we? “Meet the ‘First Social Media Analyst on Wall Street’” (Source)

Lessons from Metafilter

Great re-mixed talk by one of Metafilter’s creators about the lessons of his wildly-popular service.

Lessons from 11 years of community (my SXSW 2011 talk) from Matt Haughey on Vimeo.

Field Notes: Big Ideas, Obesity, Metafilter, Wind, P2P, Startups, Nukes, etc.

  • Americans Are Now Fat Enough to Need Bigger Buses (Source)
  • Inside the Bloomberg machine (Source)
  • Recession Caused Sharp Decline in Start-Ups (Source)
  • Lessons from MetaFilter (Source)
  • Reflections on Fukushima: A time to mourn, to learn, and to teach (Source)
  • With Limewire Shuttered, Peer-to-Peer Music File Sharing Declines Precipitously (Source)
  • [Selfishness, fraternity, and other-regarding preference in spatial evolutionary games (Source)
  • Early Warning: US Wind Energy Installations Collapsed in 2010 (Source)
  • Kathryn Schulz on the trouble with Big Idea books  (Source)
  • What is working for 9-1-1 really like? (Source)
  • MITEI | Research Major studies (Source)