Prieur’s readings (March 5, 2010)

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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.

• Jim Jubak (MSN Money): The No. 1 key to long-term investing, March 1, 2010.
Let the profitability of a company’s investment in itself guide your stock picking.

• David Serchuk (Forbes): Fed fights deflationary demons, March 4, 2010.
In the wake of a credit collapse with unemployment at double-digit rates, what Ben Bernanke fears most is deflation. It’s here.

• Uri Dadushe and Moisés Naím (Financial Times): End this “inflation fundamentalism”, March 4, 2010.
In a recession, ultra-low inflation easily becomes deflation, but this is only one way the policy can be harmful.

• Edmund Conway (Telegraph): We have to learn from Japan’s lost years, March 4, 2010.
The turbulence in the currency markets is a welcome warning sign.

• Robert Skidelsky and Marcus Miller (Financial Times): Do not rush to switch off the life support, March 3, 2010.
The fragility of the British economy in face of the Great Recession demands a rethinking not just of macroeconomic policy, but of the balance between consumption and investment, between finance and industry.

• Mort Zuckerman (Financial Times): America must do more to help its homeowners, March 4, 2010.
As falling prices begin to hit the middle to higher ends of the housing market, we are looking at another foreclosure wave.

• George Magnus (Financial Times): Markets look for political leadership, March 3, 2010.
The fundamental, and at times, passionate debate about sovereign debt is a predictable part of the sequencing of the financial crisis rumbling through the West. The crisis has exposed three major fault lines in our fiscal systems. First, it broke the banking system, the fixing of which has extracted a heavy cost. Second, it shocked western economies, depriving governments of significant tax revenues. Third, it exposed the fragility and unsustainability of public finance arrangements, by reminding us of the existing and enormous future budgetary costs associated with rapid ageing. It is no accident that the sovereign debt crisis has come to roost in four OECD economies facing the largest expansion of age-related spending: Greece, Portugal, Ireland and Spain.

• Nelson Schwartz and Graham Bowley (The New York Times): Traders seek out the next Greece in an ailing Europe, March 3, 2010.
Even as Greece pledged anew on Wednesday to rein in its runaway budget deficit, briefly easing the anxiety over its perilous finances, traders on both sides of the Atlantic weighed the risks – and potential rewards – posed by the groaning debts of other European governments.

• The Economist: Now comes the pain, March 4, 2010.
Greece’s new austerity measures may prove to be enough – if they are fully implemented

• Nouriel Roubini, Bertrand Delgado and Juan Maldonado (Forbes): The outlook for South America, March 4, 2010.
Despite a major earthquake and electoral squabbles, the financial picture is looking bright in South America.

• The Economist: The data deluge, February 25, 2010.
Businesses, governments and society are only starting to tap its vast potential

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