Prieur’s readings (January 7, 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.

• Keren Blankfeld (Forbes): Billionaires predictions 2010, January 4, 2010.
The world’s wealthiest share their thoughts and concerns for the economic year ahead.

• Mark Hulbert (Barron’s): Top market timers give their 2010 outlook, January 6, 2010.
Five investment-newsletter soothsayers with solid track records discuss how they are allocating assets in the new year.

• Todd Harrison (MarketWatch): Ten themes for 2010, January 6, 2010.
As we edge into this twelve-month stretch, pundits have furiously offered fresh predictions, price targets and prophecies. In addition to those observations, Todd Harrison submits ten themes that could bear fruit by the time 2011 arrives.

• John Curran (TIME): Pimco’s Bill Gross sees 2010 as year of reckoning, January 5, 2010.
Not only does Pimco managing director Bill Gross oversee the world’s biggest bond fund, his views often sway markets. In a late December interview with TIME’s John Curran, Gross pointed to the second half of 2010 as a period when investors large and small will reckon with a new reality of poor economic growth and a Federal Reserve that is hard-pressed to offer much help.

• Peter Goodman (The New York Times): Divergent views on signs of life in the economy, January 4, 2010.
If the Great Recession has indeed relaxed its grip on American life, it has been replaced by something that might be called the Great Ambiguity – a time of considerable debate over the clarity of economic indicators and the staying power of apparent improvements.

• David Leonhardt (The New York Times): Fed missed this bubble. Will it see a new one? January 5, 2010.
If only we’d had more power, we could have kept the financial crisis from getting so bad. That has been the position of Ben Bernanke, the Federal Reserve chairman, and other regulators. It explains why Mr. Bernanke and the Obama administration are pushing Congress to give the Fed more authority over financial firms. This article considers what an empowered Fed might have done during the housing bubble, based on the words of the people who were running it.

• Daniel Gross (Newsweek): Snap out of it! December 31, 2009.
The Great Panic of 2008 may have destroyed blind optimism. But if excessive optimism was the near-fatal pose in 2008, blind pessimism has emerged as the reflexive post-bust crouch. And it has led the economic establishment to miss yet another inflection point. While we were wringing our hands about America’s financial and industrial crisis, we ignored a parallel narrative that was emerging: the repairing of balance sheets, an embrace of reality, a nascent recovery. The same folks who chased the recession down now are likely to chase the recovery up.

• Jeremy Siegel (Bloomberg): Crisis lessons learned bring economic recovery, January 6, 2010.
The evidence is building that the world economy is headed for a substantial recovery from the worst financial crisis since the Great Depression. While pessimists see either another downturn or rapid inflation ahead, Siegel believes neither will occur. The Federal Reserve has taken the proper measures to promote a stable economic recovery. To paraphrase Santayana: Those who ignore history are doomed to repeat past mistakes, but those who learn from history can act to avoid them.

• Neil Record (Financial Times): How to make the bankers share the losses, January 6, 2010.
The old partnership banks had the right approach: the partners had unlimited liability. That cannot work in today’s banking system, but receiving a big bonus should create a liability if the bank fails.

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