Briefing: America’s Public Debt – Tomorrow’s Burden. An up to date review of the dire situation we find ourselves in. You need to stay on top of this to appreciate the pickle we are in re politics and economics. Our children will be materially impacted by this.
Schumpeter: The Three Habits…of highly irritating management gurus. Somewhat tongue-in-check look at how management gurus, over the years, peddle, then re-peddle, their skills. How is it that a book that hails the new business models and leaders, less than 2 years later, have little credibility as industry winners succumb to the next cycle? Why is it that no single tenant remains universally dominant? Is it that traits that lead to winning are, by definition, dynamic and changeable? If so, what value is in reading a book or consulting with a guru who will be out of date by the time you get to the last page, or he has cashed the last payment? Why indeed.
Silvio Berlusconi and Italy’s Judges: Injudicious – The prime minister’s worrying plans to promote judicial reform in Italy. You have to read this article. It highlights what a farce the Italian prime minister is making of Italian politics. The guy is a crook (a Brit had been found guilty of receiving a bribe from someone – everyone knows it is from a dealing with Mr. Berlusconi) that owns a sizable chunk of the press and TV media in Italy, who keeps changing the law to ensure he, and his political cronies, cant be prosecuted for any wrong doing. It is amazing that in 2009 this can go on.
INTERNATIONAL: The Roman Catholic and Anglican Churches – Unleashing the Counter-Reformation. Quite amazing article on the offer, by the Catholic Church, to allow disaffected Anglicans, who are torn by their own inability to reconcile itself to the social fractures, divisions, and sub groups (we call progress) in our society, to join the Catholic Church. More importantly the offer is not for individuals, but for whole churches! The vary fractures in society that are creating stress faults in the Anglican Church are being used as reasons to allow for them to “return” to the Catholic Church. As the article quotes at the conclusion: “As Richard Chartres, the Anglican bishop of London, commented, the pope’s initiative “sounds to me like a vindication of the idea of married priests, which was one of the achievements of the Reformation.” He was being ironic. Probably.”
Unconventional monetary policy: Loose thinking – Japan’s sobering experience of quantitative easing. A draw on the Japanese experience of the last 20 odd years whereby “quantitative easing” (what we in the west are undertaking) has not worked, so the Japanese recessions has long endures and low-growth is the norm. I have a book on my reading-list on this topic which I need to get too soon before this is old news. The idea is that Japan, when their economy hit the wall, took too long to respond in this fashion, and never stuck with it as long as they should have. The result is an anemic economy that never quite get’s going again. The US, UK and some other western nations responded to their own recent crisis much faster, and much more quickly, and though the risk of a “slow growth” period looks pretty sure, it seems the west might survive the risks the east did not. Well, that’s the hope.
Buttonwood: The Nature of Wealth – The World confused financial assets with real ones. Interesting if all together brief review of how assets are defined, and measured. And how we collectively respond to signals for managing and getting value from them.
Sport and Game Theory – Common-room Quarterbacks. One of my favorite topics, game theory, explained in terms of how teams play (American) football. Specifically, how particular responses to few or frequent interactions, can be leverage in order to maximize value…or not…