Prieur’s readings (September 2, 2009)

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This post provides links to a number of interesting articles I have read over the past few days that you may also find enjoyable.

• Ambrose Evans-Pritchard (Telegraph): Our quarter-century penance is just starting, August 29, 2009
Never in modern times has there been such a flat contradiction between the euphoria of markets and the stern warnings of officialdom at central banks and financial watchdogs.

• Robert Shiller (The New York Times): An echo chamber of boom and bust, August 29, 2009.
The global signs of a recovery in economic confidence seem puzzling. It is a large and diverse world, after all, so why should confidence have rebounded so quickly in so many places? Government stimulus and bailout packages have generally not been big enough to have such a profound effect.

• Phil Thornton (Times Online): Worst of slump yet to come, September 1, 2009.
Ann Pettifor predicted a painful end to the good times. Now she says that only radical action can prevent further gloom.

• John Kay (Financial Times): In magic or in markets, it is never rational to be wrong, September 1, 2009.
Consistency is a characteristic to be prized in a world simpler, more predictable and better understood than the one that we live in – the world described by certain kinds of economic model.

• Ian Bremmer and Nouriel Roubini (The Wall Street Journal): The yin and yang of US-China relations, September 1, 2009.
American and Chinese officials said all the right things during this summer’s inaugural round of their Strategic and Economic Dialogue. President Barack Obama pledged to “forge a path to the future that we seek for our children”. Chinese State Councilor Dai Bingguo wondered aloud whether America and China can “build better relations despite very different social systems, cultures and histories”. He answered his own question, in English, with a “Yes we can.” They can, but they probably won’t.

• Eric Talmadge (myway): Opposition wins landslide in Japan election, August 30, 2009.
Japan’s ruling conservative party suffered a crushing defeat in elections Sunday as voters overwhelmingly cast their ballots in favor of a left-of-center opposition camp that has promised to rebuild the economy and breathe new life into the country after 54 years of virtual one-party rule, media projections said.

• Willem Buiter (Financial Times): Forget Tobin tax – there is a better way to curb finance, September 1, 2009.
The solution is clear, and it is not a tax on financial transactions: bring default risk back into the calculations of unsecured creditors and other counterparties of the financial sector.

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