Jamie Martin

  • Full Metal Racket

    The aim of venture capital is to bet on the long tail: Invest in many different start-ups, knowing most will fail but hoping at least one big success will more than offset the losses. For this reason, the business has always been focused on technology companies, which offer the greatest potential for fast growth and outsize returns. Most venture capital firms today are located in Silicon Valley, and nearly all the major tech companies, including Amazon, Apple, and Google, relied on venture capital funding to get off the ground. The playbook is simple: Raise capital from institutional investors

  • Capital Punishment

    For as long as people have written about capitalism, they've been fascinated by its fragility. Many of the first theories of capitalism, which appeared in the early nineteenth century, focused on its crises, which had, many noted, a mysterious tendency to return on a strict schedule—every five, seven, or ten years. At first, most political economists saw capitalism's more-extreme fluctuations as economic reactions to non-economic events, like wars or bad harvests, and assumed their cyclical recurrence must have an astronomical explanation. But by the end of the century, a new consensus had