Prieur’s readings (September 22, 2009)

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This post provides links to a number of thought-provoking articles I have read over the past few days that you may also find of interest.

• Dan Holland (RealClearMarkets): An interview with Doug Kass, September 21, 2009.
Hedge fund manager Doug Kass has been called many different names over the course of his storied and successful, nearly forty-year investing career. Names like the “Bear of Boca”; “The Peerless Prognosticator of Palm Beach”; as well as the “Anti-Cramer.” He’s earned them all. As a noted short seller unafraid to swim against the tide of consensus, he seems to relish his self-appointed role bucking Wall Street groupthink and profiting handsomely from betting against the crowd.

• Intelligent Investing Transcript (Forbes): Jean-Marie Eveillard, September 14, 2009.
An interview by Steve Forbes of Jean-Marie Eveillard, is senior adviser of First Eagle Funds.

• Peter Boone and Simon Johnson (The New York Times): The recession is over – for now, September 19, 2009.
Speaking at the Brookings Institution last week, the chairman of the Federal Reserve, Ben Bernanke, remarked that the recession in the United States is “very likely over.” He’s surely right that a recovery is under way; in fact, the short-term bounce back may actually turn out to be faster than he thinks – rapid growth is not uncommon right after a severe financial crisis.

• Patrick Jenkins (Financial Times): BIS chief calls for evolution not revolution, September 20, 2009.
Jaime Caruana, general manager of the Bank for International Settlements, argues that Basel II, the regulations that specify the level of capital that banks in dozens of countries, should be improved, not abandoned.

• Clive Crook (Financial Times): Deal with the banks while they are down, September 20, 2009.
With an economic recovery under way, the finance industry’s reticence, such as it is, will disappear – as that happens, the G20 governments must stick together in facing down the pressure for a less onerous bank capital regime.

• William Cohan (Financial Times): Bank chiefs owe a personal debt to taxpayers, September 21, 2009.
While many chief executives have eschewed bonuses, the smorgasbord of government programmes and initiatives has boosted the value of their stock holdings.

• Paul Krugman (The New York Times): Reform or bust, September 20, 2009.
Putting limitations on how bankers are compensated is a populist idea, but it is also good politics and good economics.

• Jeremy Siegel (Business Week): The Lehman crisis – an unhappy anniversary, September 20, 2009.
In looking at the causes of the panic, Wharton’s Jeremy Siegel says the Fed shares some of the blame for its creation – and most of the credit for keeping things from spiraling out of control.

• Wolfgang Münchau (Financial Times): Much is at stake in the German election, September 20, 2009.
There seems little enthusiasm for the forthcoming poll but there are matters of great importance to be decided.

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