Smart Links 02 May 2012

Commentary on investment research, shaky Asia, education intergenerational mobility, France’s citizen king, and the decline of Canada's Parliament.

Morgan Stanley’s OVERWEIGHT on Lehman Brothers 60 days before it went bankrupt.

Pdf below -- Lehman Brothers Bruised Not Broken

Why the economic crisis that started in the housing market in the United States, is passing through Europe, will end up in Asia.

The Eclectia Fund
We see the global economy as grotesquely distorted by the presence of fixed exchange rates …


Soltas – Could India Implode?
Slowdown now, and the specter of financial crisis.

Children who have a higher level of education than their parents.

Education: OECD Intergenerational Mobility

Electing the king.

New Yorker -- Vive la France
The Presidency of France’s Fifth Republic is a monarchical role, shaped to the elongated scale and the grand manners first of Charles de Gaulle and then of François Mitterrand.

Quote worth noting.

“The former I.M.F. chief’s continuing fall brings to mind Michel Houellebecq’s gloomy, obsessive novel of more than a decade ago, “The Elementary Particles,” with its insistence that the neo-liberal model of material acquisitiveness would lead in the end only to nihilistic sexual compulsion.”

Let’s just pass one big bill.

National Post -- Bill C-38 shows us how far Parliament has fallen
You know, this is the sort of thing people used to make quite a bit of a fuss over.


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Twin Virtues: Inequality of Outcomes & Equality of Opportunity©

Twin Virtues

Ultimately, the most successful societies find the balance between the twin virtues of inequality of outcomes and equality of opportunity.

The new politics must marry the twin virtues of unequal outcomes and equality of opportunity.

When too few get too much everybody loses.

Feminism is about women living their lives on their own terms, marshalling the resources of the society to make that possible, and men embracing this as vital to a successful society and their own liberation.

Can it be that striving for equality of opportunity however imperfect the process not only benefits the individual but also creates benefits for the society that are unintended but wonderful?

Economics must be a 'moral enterprise' as much as politics claims to be. Economic outcomes need to be framed in terms of right and wrong not just efficiency if only because these often align in surprising ways that are good for society and the economy.

My vision of Canada is that any Canadian child from a family of limited circumstance can expect to have a chance at lifetime of unlimited opportunities.

Free trade is a wonderful thing. Time and time again economists have proven that free trade creates enormous wealth for each country 'on the whole'. Historians have shown that free trade is usually associated with rising political, social and cultural liberty. The perennial problem is that free trade always creates tremendous disruption for thousands even millions of individuals often concentrated in one geography, and where the state is idle, not investing in best in class instruments of social justice, free trade can be a permanent ticket out of the middle class, down, not up.

Tax policy should be founded on the principle of generating steady tax revenues sufficient to maximise environmentally sustainable economic growth in order to fund fair government.

Public policy should be designed to decrease inequality before the law and increase equality of opportunity.

Capitalism is not the problem; the problem is what we do with capitalism.

Content is always more difficult to argue than conspiracy.

Let the state regulate and the market operate (most things).

Welfare strategies are best designed as a hand up, not as a hand out.

Political debate should not be fact free fighting.

Explanation lasts longer than eloquence.

Always favour empowerment over dependency.

The most enduring public figures are embraced for the causes they fought for and not the concept of themselves they hoped others would remember them by.

Find your voice and don't be the echo of somebody else.

It is possible to operate on two different levels: the practical, cautious and conservative; and the realm of ideas, open, free, and radical.