Prieur’s readings (November 11, 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 enjoy.

• John Arlidge: (Times Online): I’m doing “God’s work”. Meet Mr Goldman Sachs, November 8, 2009.
The Sunday Times gains unprecedented access to the world’s most powerful, and most secretive, investment bank.

• Martha White (The Big Money): The Dow is too high, November 9 2009.
What’s holding up the stock market? (It’s not the economy.)

• Rob Smyth, Bill Ryder and Ken Liu (Riverfront): Ten conditions for a sustainable recovery, November 9, 2009.

• The New York Times: Jobless recovery, November 7, 2009.
We know that more stimulus spending and government programs are a fraught topic. But they are exactly what the country needs. It may be the only way to prevent a renewed downturn. And the only way to create the jobs needed to put Americans back to work. Those are the essential – and missing – ingredients of a sustained recovery.

• Robert Samuelson (Real Clear Politics): The next big bubble?, November 9, 2009.
How deftly the Fed navigates from its present policy matters for the world as well as the United States. If it’s too fast, it may kill the economic recovery; if it’s too slow, it may spawn bubbles — and kill the recovery.

Terry Macalister (Guardian): Key oil figures were distorted by US pressure, says whistleblower, November 9, 2009.
The world is much closer to running out of oil than official estimates admit, according to a whistleblower at the International Energy Agency who claims it has been deliberately underplaying a looming shortage for fear of triggering panic buying.

• James Quinn (Telegraph): Barack Obama pledges to tackle Beijing on yuan, November 10, 2009.
Barack Obama, the US President, will confront Chinese officials on the divisive subject of the yuan next week in a bold move which could anger America’s largest creditor.

• Willem Buiter ( Gold – six thousand year-old bubble, November 8, 2009.
I don’t want to argue with a 6000-year old bubble.  It may well be good for another 6000 years.  Its value may go from $1,100 per fine ounce to $1,500 or $5,000 for all I know.  But I would not invest more than a sliver of my wealth into something without intrinsic value, something whose positive value is based on nothing more than a set of self-confirming beliefs.

• Giles Keating (Credit Suisse):  Financial industry after the crisis, November 6, 2009.
In the aftermath of the credit crisis, the world is becoming multipolar, and this is likely to be clearly reflected in many aspects of the financial system. The dominant role of the dollar and of the US banks is set to give way to a world in which the US is still important, but in which other countries, their currencies, their capital markets and their banks, all play a greatly enhanced role. As with all great changes, this structural shift will offer both threats and opportunities for investors.

• Martin Wolf (Financial Times): Victory in the cold war was a start as well as an ending, November 10, 2009.
Has capitalism failed, as communism did? No. Some transition countries are in crisis; but transition itself is not. Liberal democracies and market economies can reform and adapt. They have shown these qualities before. They must do so again.


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