Saturday, February 18, 2017

Town and Gown Technology and Economic Development

This writer was once a visiting scholar at the Public Policy Center at SRI International in Palo Alto California.  SRI was once the Stanford Research Institute and it was begun by some faculty at Stanford offering applied research and consulting to all sorts of organizations.  Over the years it evolved into a very involved research and consultancy organization with international reach, which explains its current name.

The Public Policy Center at SRI offered consulting services to local and regional governments.  It specialized in strategic planning around an economic development theme.  SRI believed that if communities partnered with their local universities and colleges they could identify industries that may be attracted to the area.  As an example, if a university had a great biological sciences program, then the city could identify an area of land close to the university where a pharmacological or biotech companies could locate.  The university graduates would be a ready source for employees and the faculty could partner for research opportunities.  

In 1985, the city of San Antonio developed a strategic plan in which it partnered with Austin to develop the area along the I-35 with high-tech industry.  It was successful.  Graduates from several University of Texas campuses help populate the area and develop new high-end communities in the area.  

The new businesses are from a class of industries called knowledge-based industries.   The people who work in these fields make a lot of money.  Salaries for database administrators, biotech researchers, systems designers and the like often have salaries in the comfortable six-figure income levels.  We created an educational elite.  The impact is that we have a new class of worker and the income distance between these workers and our traditional production worker is very significant.  Many people criticize the income distances between the financial people and the rest of us as the haves and have-nots.  In reality the knowledge-based worker needs to be included the “haves” category.   If one is a non-college graduate, or even a college grad in a non-STEM discipline, which includes science, technology, engineering and math, that person has a far less chance of achieving the income heights of a STEM graduate.

There are a number of conclusions that can be drawn from this effort to promote high-tech industry through governmental planning.  The first is that high-tech industry pays better than other industries on average. 

The second is more complicated.  In order to enjoy the benefits of high-tech industries, a community has to be within the area occupied by a high-tech university.  The more advanced and important the high-tech industry, the more the university is a research university, which narrows the areas that can enjoy the benefits of the new town and gown relationship.  The idea is that as new academic research produces new ideas for products, those faculty who develop them can move into businesses at a nearby university associated business park.  Most of these town and gown business relationships exist on the coasts, and in the case of key cities in select states such as Texas, Illinois, and others.  Clearly, rural areas and central cities rarely enjoy this new high-tech relationship between business and academic communities.

The third follows from the second.  Those people who work in these new industries tend to want to live in the new high-end gated communities with large homes, grass filled islands along highways and main streets, and new shopping centers anchored with Nordstrom and Saks Fifth Avenue stores.   Clearly, the rural areas and central cities of our daily life tend not to enjoy the wealth generated by these new town and gown relationships.

The forth is more of an insight than a conclusion.  It is that these new industries tend to group the responsibilities of development, engineering, and product definition and leadership in these new town and gown communities within the United States.  Production and support services tend to be in areas with lesser incomes, if here at all. 

The fifth follows from the forth.  Production of these new products is often shipped overseas.  Up until now, Apple has built all of its products in China.   It just announced that it is transferring production of the iPhone to India.   Many chips that empower our computers and communication devices are produced overseas. 

The sixth follows from the fifth.  Knowledge is fleeting.  Simply because a university and business develop an idea into a product doesn’t mean that they will always enjoy the fruits of their efforts without some type of intellectual protection.  There is something called technology capture.  Solar panels were the invention of creative people in the United States but China has become their largest manufacturer.  Simply developing an idea does not ensure one’s long-term success.

This is the basis of the new economy, the new growing economy. 

There are a few problems with this.  One is that the new economy is not the whole economy.  In fact, high-tech jobs do not even represent a majority of all jobs in the US workforce.  It is a growing sector and other, more traditional sectors, are decreasing.  One interesting fact is that though the US economy has grown over the last several years by only 2% annually, it can be divided into 5% for the top 20% of the country and zero percent for the remaining 80%.   The inference is that a small part of the of the country is growing and the rest is not.  This is not the formula for political stability.

It is important to note is that the high-technology sector along I-35 between Austin and San Antonio is only a few hours away from Cleburne and other poor communities along the State Highway 67 corridor.  A previous post cited the business and employment problems of poor communities such as Cleburne.  The success of the I-35 high-tech sector is geographically constrained, and economic problems close to but outside that area are not benefitting from the I-35 success.  That means that the people who live just outside the I-35 corridor are not sharing in its promise.  The hopes of the residents have gone unmet. 

The point is that the town and gown approach to transforming America’s workforce has its limitations.  Economic dislocations remain.  The economic benefits of town and gown effect the town and gown area itself.  Outside the area, say 30 to 45 minutes, there are displaced people with lives and hopes that remain unimproved.  In fact, they are worse off because the investment has gone to new industries, not to old.  The economic separation between the upper and lower levels of society is larger.  And not everyone can transfer into the new industries, a subject that will be discussed in the next post.    

So, there are places of significant poverty in the United States that are within a hour of some of the most successful high-tech communities populated with children whose parents cannot afford new houses and cars, and who definitely cannot afford the education that will transport their children an hour away to their regional town and gown.

Friday, January 27, 2017

How Many Potato Chips Can You Eat?

NBC’s cable business channel, CNBC, once had a program on Frito Lay, the leading potato chip provider in the United States.  Apparently, there is a handful of Frito Lay processing plants on the continent.  The show visited the southeast area plant that is staffed by just a few people.  The plant is fully automated.  One person inspects large batches of potato trucks before their potatoes are accepted for processing.  There is a small group supporting the machines and some more getting the product out the door.  The point is that just a handful of people can feed almost about a quarter of our population’s needs for potato chips.   It is a pristine example of automation in our society, and the appropriate economic question to ask of these dedicated men and women at the Frito Lay plant is how many potato chips can they eat?

Before we talk about automation in the modern day, lets trace its development from its beginnings and that starts with Henry Ford. 

Ford was a pioneer.  He developed the beginning of modern day mass production processes.  He implemented the moving assembly line that brought the product to each worker, each of whom did a repetitive task on the product.   They did their respective tasks over and over again until they were bored, and sore, and achy. 

Ford believed in his workers.  He developed a town with houses they could live in that was a short distances to the plant.  A famous story is a worker who spent all day on his back attaching some part of the drive train to the chassis of each car.  The worker would come home day after day and stare into the fire in his fireplace and just try to recover.  He did nothing else.  He was physically exhausted.  What Ford did not know is that each worker became a machine when in reality they were humans.  Walter Reuther would realize this fact and organized the United Auto Workers.  This led to a lot of violence on the UAW’s path to full recognition in the 1940’s when Henry Ford II took over.

Ford believed in Taylorism, or what we know as Scientific Management, which is defined as one best way to perform each task.  The process that was most efficient was also the most profitable.  Again, the worker became like a machine through the eyes of Ford and his application of Scientific Management.  Ford also believed in sourcing parts to companies that were in the neighborhood of the plant.  The beginnings of just-in-time parts inventory had its intellectual foundations at Henry Ford’s production plants in Dearborn Michigan.

But Ford also realized something that his peers at the other car companies did not.  The workers had to be paid enough to afford what it is that they were building.  He paid each worker $5 a day, which was a lot for a laborer in those days.  Ford workers could afford to buy Ford cars.  This is a major economic reality.  One must have economic consumption in order to have economic production.  Ford could not get rich unless his workers and others bought his cars.  Ford’s business model provided for this.  Hence, each worker could afford to buy a least one car. 

The Japanese studied Henry Ford’s production processes when they began manufacturing in the 1950’s.  They took the organization practices of Ford and his protégé, William Knudsen, and applied them to their own situation.   Soon they advanced local suppliers into JIT.  They also noted that humans producing things was problematic, especially when it came to quality.  So they adopted the quality management philosophy of W. Edwards Deming in the 1980’s, and used sensors and computers to collect statistical information on quality parameters in their cars and other products they manufactured.  This allowed them to identify problems in their products that were in the most need of fixing and they fixed them.  During the 80’s, people would marvel at the fit and finish of Japanese cars and they cursed the problems with American ones.  Fortunately, American car companies have become leaders in production techniques in the last couple of decades.

In 1969 American Machine and Foundry purchased Harley-Davidson, America’s premiere motorcycle manufacturer.  They streamlined production, failed to observed quality, and developed a reputation for bad bikes.  Sales plummeted.  In 1981, the company was sold to a group of 13 investors that included Willies G. Davidson, a grandson of one of the H-D co-founders.  JIT was introduced, inventory was strictly observed, and robots and computer driven processes were introduced.  Quality was improved and H-D was profitable again.  Prior to the buyout, fifty plus people machined the transmission housings with quality problems in a substantial portion of the product.  After the buyout, the housings were manufactured by 3 people using computerized machines with quality problems in less that 0.01% of the product.

Now we come to a Frito Lay plant that is run by a handful of people who can supply the needs of at least 20% of the country.  Can they consume all that they produce?  The Ford workers could consume a good chunk of what they produce, but I am not so sure of the Frito Lay workers.  Their collective salaries couldn’t even buy a small chunk of the product.  People need to produce in order to consume.  Computers and robots can’t consume what they produce.  This disconnect has tremendous economic implications.

CKE President Andrew Puzder has been appointed to the post of Labor Secretary.  CKE runs the Carl’s Jr. and Hardy’s fast food restaurants.  Apparently, Puzder does not believe in a $15 an hour minimum wage, and in order to cope with the coming wage standard, Puzder was moving CKE towards automating many of food preparation and serving functions in its restaurants.  In short, CKE is adapting to higher labor costs with higher capital investment.  In today’s economic culture, this is understandable.  It also begs the question that is can those most likely to consume a CKE product, namely CKE’s own employees, more easily or less easily afford to buy that product?

Dick Durbin is the current senior Senator from Illinois in the US Senate.  He was preceded by the legendary Paul Simon, who was preceded by Charles Percy, who was preceded by Paul Douglas, a very notable individual outside the Senate.  He enlisted in the US Marines at the age of 50 during the Korean War, one of the oldest recruits in its history, and rose from a private to the rank of Lieutenant Colonel, eventually earning a purple heart.  But the experience I want to discuss is his contributions to economics.  Paul Douglas was an economics professor for years at the University of Chicago, and a good one too, capping his career as President of the American Economic Association in 1947.

In 1928, Paul Douglas and Charles Cobb published an article that proposed a production function that is widely used today.  The Cobb-Douglas Production Function reads as follows.

Y = ALaK1-a

The statement reads as follows.  Total production is equal to a scalar factor (A) times labor (L) to an exponent of less that one (a) times capital (K) to a complementary exponent (1-a).  What is important about this relationship is that capital and labor can be viewed on a continuum.  The more labor you use to produce an item, the less capital you need.  The reverse is also true.  The more capital you use in production, the less labor you need.  Economists often graph this function with labor placed on the horizontal axis (X) and capital on the vertical (Y).  If you can imagine an inverse quarter circle hugging the two axes at their end points, then you can see how an increase in capital reduces the use of labor graphically.

Even though there are other production equations that economists use, the Cobb-Douglas function is the most commonly used function.  If one draws a Cobb-Douglas production graph, it is important to take the labor number from the labor axis into a separate calculation.  Total labor hours times average wage gives total consumption from the everyday workforce.   When you shrink total labor hours due to automation, you shrink consumption, which eventually shrinks production, even if it is automated.

This whole explanation brings us back to the basic question at the top of the post.  When firms like Frito Lay and CKE automate their production, they inherently reduce the amount of consumption that the public can support.  When Frito Lay automates their plant, then other potato chip providers will automate theirs since they need to match Frito Lay in cost structures.  If CKE automates, then other fast food chains will also automate.  The loss of purchasing power and consumption at the lower levels of our workforce will continue to widen the wealth effects between lower and upper level strata in our economy at an accelerated rate.

In essence, companies are shooting themselves in the foot when they automate at the expense of local jobs.  In the case of Frito Lay, a few people can provide enough product for a quarter of the US population.  If the few people who operate the plant could physically eat all the product they make then we could visualize sufficient trades of chips for televisions, iPhones, computers, cars, houses, and other baskets of products.  But there are not enough wages within this small group of high earners to support these product baskets when we factor in the larger population.  If all our industries replicated Frito Lay and CKE, then we as a population will be basically poor.  The excess product from all the automated plants will have to be exported or be scrapped because we, as a population, could not afford the product. 

There are lots of lost plants that were moved overseas to take advantage of low-cost foreign labor.  If we are repatriating these plants because we can produce an equal or better product due to automation, then we can add a handful of new employees for each new automated plant we place online thereby marginally increasing our workforce each time.  But if we are reducing our existing workforce with automated plants, then we are reducing our purchasing power, our consumption, and eventually the markets of those manufacturers that want us to buy their products.  In short, they could be shooting themselves in the foot through all the automation.

This is just one issue with the new labor economics that Trump is proposing.  Additional issues will be discussed in future posts, and these issues cannot be isolated from one another.   Some posts will discuss their independencies with one another.  For now, it is fair to conclude that not all automation is good, and that we have to understand where the labor will come from to buy all the goods that the automated plants produce.

Sunday, December 18, 2016

We Did Not See You

One of the greatest mind expanding events of my life came when some of my in-laws moved to a small little town in Texas called Cleburne.  This town of somewhere around 30,000 in population is about thirty minutes south of Fort Worth.  It is a very different place than my surroundings in Southern California.  Experiencing Cleburne changed my worldview.

Like many small towns in America, Cleburne has a main street.  I traveled down its Highway 67 and marveled.  Store after store was vacant.  The streets had so many potholes that it made Los Angeles look pristine.  Real estate prices are minuscule compared to Southern California prices.  One can buy a large home for less than one can buy a condo in California.

During one of my visits, I visited a donut shop.  I walked in and was amazed that the inventory was extremely low and the selection very narrow.  I noticed that the heating and air conditioning was off.  The lights were off as well.  I was helped by the owner.  No employees appeared on the premises.  This shop was barely making it.  I made my purchase and walked out of the shop and looked at vacant store shop after vacant store shop and wondered where did everyone go?   The stories that I did not know about those who left concerned me.  Where did they go?

Cleburne’s stories are not isolated to Cleburne.  My wife and I once traveled from Cleburne to Waco along the back roads and went through small town after small town, all with lots of vacant storefronts.    

My experience with California is not the same.  The closet situation existed twenty years ago with a town called East Palo Alto.  The main highway in the Bay Area Peninsula is Hwy 101.  On the west side is Palo Alto, the homes of Stanford University and Silicone Valley.  But on the east at the time was East Palo Alto, a depressed area with a high crime rate.  It had small shops similar to those of Cleburne.  Then a number of large box stores, such as Ikea, came in and the area changed.  People who avoided the area started to shop in East Palo Alto.  New homes were built there and Silicone Valley employees began to buy there.  The area was reborn and the question became where did everyone who lived there before go?

In California suburban areas when storefronts go bust, some developer comes in and reconstructs a strip mall.  The new investors tend to be corporations and wealthy investors.   

Fiat Chrysler has announced that the Dodge Viper will be discontinued.  That has great meaning for Detroit.  The home of the automobile will loose its last manufacturing assembly plant within Detroit proper within the next year.  That raises a key question for all the auto assembly workers from Detroit.  Where did they go?

I shared these experiences with my sister-in-law from Cleburne.  She told me the story of a machinist she met.  He works two jobs and supports a family and has barely enough.  He has not voted in many a presidential election, but this November he made sure he voted, and he voted for Trump.

The people who are the subject of the many dislocations that our economy has experienced over the last twenty to thirty years are still there.  An analysis of the voting patterns of rust belt and other mid-western states indicate that those who we may wonder where they went are still there.  It also appears from the voting data that they came out from wherever they went and voted for Trump.

RealClearPolitics tracked sixteen battleground states.  Hillary Clinton won six of them.  The average percentage difference or spread from the last polls and her actual results among all six was a negative 0.2%.  In essence, she underperformed her predicted wins in these six states by 0.2 percentage points.  Though she bettered her predicted performance in Nevada by 3.2% and Colorado by 2.0%, she barely won the Democratic stronghold of Minnesota by 1.5% when she was supposed to win it by 6.2%, a swing of 4.7% in Trump’s favor and a swing larger than the margin of error of most polls.

This swing towards Trump was replicated in other battleground states.  He won the remaining ten by an average swing of 3.65%.  In essence, the pollsters predicted that his margin would be 3.65% less than it turned out to be.  Trump was predicted to win Missouri by 11.0% and he won it by 19.1%, a difference of 8.1%.  Wisconsin had a 7.3% difference and Iowa had a 6.5% difference.  Again, many of these results were greater than the margin of errors in the underlying polls.  Therefore, the probability that the polls reflected late deciders may not adequately explain why the polls fell short on election eve.  The real explanation is that people came out to vote for Trump who normally would not vote in a Presidential election. 

Understand that this voter is not in the voting models of contemporary pollsters.  Current voting models start with a base from the last election and project off this base.  If a major voting block failed to vote in the last election, pollsters assume that they won’t vote in the coming one.  But this election had a major voting block that did not register with the pollsters.

Trump appealed to this voter by talking about the American blue-collar worker.  He blamed their troubles on bad trade deals, automation, and a host of other things.  They came out from wherever they are to vote for him.  He is now their hero. 

Jennifer Rubin of the Washington Post called this voter the “angry white voter.”   There is a problem with the term “white” since Trump got more Blacks and Hispanics than Romney and some of these groups share the “angry” characteristic.  But if this is true then the question to ask is why?  There is one significant difference between this voting group with others.  This voter lost and lost a lot.  This voter is not wealthy or part of a corporation.  These are individuals with not a lot to support a family.   Other emerging voting blocks have unmet aspirations such as college for kids and some semblance of economic promise, much of which has now been delayed.  But the angry voter lost much of that and disappeared waiting for someone to speak to them directly, and that person turned out to be Trump.  They hurt, and he reminded them that they are in pain.  Whether you like him or not, Trump knew they were there and what to say to them. 

This voter is from the old economies of the Midwest and rustbelt states.  Without the electoral college we may never have known about this voter, and Trump would have returned to his penthouse in Trump Towers.  Our future would be in the new economies of the coasts, and the last hope for the angry voter would have been lost.  But it was not to be, and now Trump has to mend two economies, one new and one old into a single national economy.   

In the final analysis, this election was about economics and not about character.  Clinton appealed to her voters on the basis of race and gender politics, and Trump handed her the evidence that supported her argument on a silver platter.  It was a strong argument.  And a great many people bought into it with all of their emotions and hopes, and these people are crushed.   They do not see the wisdom of the Electoral College and believe that the plurality of four million votes in California and its high-tech economics should overcome Trump’s two million vote plurality in the other forty-nine states, many with an old rust-belt economy.   One person I met distinguished it as the United Peoples of American versus the United States of America. 

In the end Clinton failed to see the economic pain of what should have been her constituency.  These are Democrats with a large “D”.   Her staff advised her to go to these people and reassure them that they were being heard, and she did not.

This country is divided and each side feels extraordinary pain.  And each side should respect the pain of the other.

Here is the rub.  If Trump fails to give this lost and hurting voter that is still there the economic promise that he promised, they will come out from wherever they came from and vote again.  Only this time, they will vote against him out of lost hope and even greater anger.    

Monday, September 22, 2014

The Possible Return of Jason Bourne

This blog has become very dusty as of late due to its author being absent from its pages.  I have been deeply engaged in a graduate program in economics as well as keeping up with the demands of life.  Regrettably, I have not been able to contribute to this ongoing commentary.  Yet, what would draw me out and away from my studies?  Would it be the growing war on ISIS?  The Fed's moves on tapering QE and possible increases in interest rates?  The midterm elections and the Republicans efforts to once-again snatch defeat from the jaws of victory?   No.  None of these are so important.  But the possible return of Jason Bourne to the silver screen is.

I am a major fan of the Bourne movies and in the past week it was announced that Matt Damon and Paul Greengrass are in discussions to return to the franchise.  I wish I had time to read the Bourne novels by Robert Ludlum.  However, at the end of the day when my brain is fried and I need something to pass the time, I will watch any Bourne movie when opportunity affords me the chance to watch.  I cannot count the dozens of times I have seen each one. 

When the Bourne 4 movie with Jeremy Renner debuted, my wife and I had to see it in one of the new luxury movie theaters that have been trending in the last few years.   In a small room with 20 other people, I sat in a luxury recliner and had food brought to me as I watched this new character in the Bourne genre try to capture my imagination.  The only problem is that it did not.   If fact, it made me angry at the studio who made the movie. 

I felt manipulated and resentful as I watched The Bourne Legacy, the latest in the series.  The studio did a number of things that were bound to put the audience on edge.  Mostly, the plot was contrived.  There wasn’t a natural story that caused the audience to feel connected to the main character, Aaron Cross, who is genetically modified to have the skills of a Jason Bourne, someone who came by his skills naturally.  The science of genetics is only on the verge of curing cancer, and it is not plausible that science would be producing super human people at this stage of genetic development.  Further, it is not plausible for one of its key scientists, namely the Rachel Weisz character Marta Shearing, to be ignorant of the unethical application of her science.  

But the contrivances did not stop there.  As the movie was drawing to a close, I remember sitting in the theater thinking “this film is rather formulaic.  We are close to the end and there has been no chase scene.”  Sure enough, as soon as I thought that a chase scene appeared.  Every Bourne film has a chase scene and this one showed some invention with motorcycles.   Regardless, it was still a formulaic contrivance that echoes the days when action films were about Cowboys and Indians. 

The most blatant contrived plot twist was really bait for Jason Bourne to re-enter the series.   The Tony Gilroy story includes scenes from Capital Hill that potentially flips the intended outcome of the first three movies in the series.  Jason Bourne spent the screen time in these films chasing down bad guys and exposing the Treadstone and Blackbrier CIA programs that concentrated on assassinating world leaders.  His main ally in this was a CIA Deputy Director Pamela Landy, played by Joan Allen, who brought the assassination plots to the attention of the Senate’s Intelligence Committee.   Now, with Bourne 4, all that work is potentially up in the air to where the tables have turned and Pamela Landy is viewed by the public as the potential villain.  The implication is that Jason Bourne needs to return and set things straight in the next Bourne film or the heroin Pamela Landy will go to jail.    Oh come on Universal Pictures!  Give me a break!   Are you saying that the six hours of movie running time in the first three Bourne films was for naught?    That we, the audience, wasted our time?   Do you think we are really that dumb?????

Well, you are a movie studio, so I guess the answer to all the above is yes.

So, what does the movie studio do now?  The problem is that once you have a contrivance in a story line, you need another contrivance to correct it.  The only problem is that one more contrivance is too much and the audience will not believe it.  Or to put it in terms that studios understand, ticket sales will go down – a lot!  

Years ago, the producer of the James Bond films, Albert Broccoli, transferred control of the Bond franchise to his daughter, Barbara Broccoli, and advised her to go back to the Ian Fleming novels whenever the franchise got into trouble.  After four movies with Pierce Brosnan in the title role the producers did not know where they wanted to go next.  This led to a revisit to Casino Royale, a new Bond lead in Daniel Craig, and a more revealed Bond character.  We found out where he came from, something we did not know before. 

The writer of the screenplay for Star Trek II: The Wrath of Khan, Jack Sowards, said that films are about people.  When you write a film you start by completing the sentence “this film is about a guy who”, or “a gal who”.  A film is not about bad people chasing good people.  Such chases are tools that should expose the character of good people in an action film.  Films are not about chases per se.   

The Bourne Legacy film had a strong element upon which to build a sequel and that is the relationship between the main characters of Aaron Cross and Marta Shearing.  The next film should develop that relationship, and the bad people who threaten that relationship should be believable.  Further, genetic science behind the Aaron Cross should be downplayed.  The Legacy film was a little too reminiscent of Blade Runner.  The authors need to remember that Bourne is not a Sci-Fi picture, at least, not as Robert Ludlum envisioned it.

I and anyone else who ever saw the first three films will applaud the return of Jason Bourne to the series.  Matt Damon has declined up to now to return.  He wants a good script and Paul Greengrass to direct it.  Greengrass was director of the second and third films of the franchise.  One or both of these demands have been absent up until this point.  There is a lot of potential material for the new Jason Bourne film to explore.  When we last left Bourne we had learned that his real name is David Webb.  Shouldn’t we see him finding out who that is?   What about the Nicky Parsons character played by Julia Stiles?  She helped Bourne fight the CIA and was declared an enemy.  Bourne put her on a bus and helped her run.  Will Bourne get together with her and if yes, why?   There could be an immense story line here too.  But with the CIA exposed, the reason why the CIA will continue to chase him needs to be plausible.  Simply because the CIA is bad and Jason Bourne is good is not enough of a reason.  Matt Damon and Paul Greengrass spent years exploring plot alternatives and they failed to come up with something that solved all the problems that have been discussed here.    I want to see the next film, but I also want to see a good film.

As a final thought I think a good film might be made in about ten years about the mess surrounding the Bourne film franchise.  It would be a docudrama that explores the promise of the original Bourne series and how it came to be, and all the moves and machinations engaged by the studio to persuade principled and highly creative people to compromise by making the Legacy sequels and trashing the original series and the Ludlum tradition.  Hopefully, both the forthcoming Cross and Bourne films will come to us uncompromised negating the need for any such docudrama.