Global Economics

Wouldn't You Really Rather Have a Bezos

“Every time you borrow a book, the author gets paid – and we have an inexhaustible supply of each title so you never have to wait in a queue for the book you want. Kindle is the bestselling e-reader in the world by far, and I assure you we’ll keep working hard so that the Kindle Store remains yet another reason to buy a Kindle!”

–Jeff Bezos, CEO of, 26 April 2012, Earnings Release by Business Wire

I have heard the collective scream of the book industry. It is…less-creative destruction.

The buggy whip industry as a major economic entity ceased to exist with the introduction of the automobile, and is cited in economics and marketing as an example of an industry ceasing to exist because its market niche, and the need for its product, disappears. In discussing market regulation, it is often held that the economy would be disadvantaged as a whole if the automobile had been banned to protect the buggy-whip industry.


The public (driving) will choose. And seem to be choosing with a vengeance. The public whispers, “Wouldn’t you really rather have a Bezos.” Discuss.

Keene hosts Bloomberg Surveillance 7-10 a.m. ET on 1130 AM in the New York metro area and nationally on SiriusXM 113.
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