Amartya Sen and Adam Smith, Point of Justice, Digital Me, California Razor Blade, Greek Games, Auto Outlook
The University of British Columba awarded an honorary degree recently to Harvard Professor Amartya Sen who was the recipient of the 1998 Nobel Prize in Economic Sciences.
This gives us the welcome excuse to post two videos where among other things Sen discusses the message of Adam Smith’s political economy.
In particular he touches on the keys to the successful human condition, societies that are inclusive, non-sectarian, and centre on human freedom.
Articles also on what the assassination of bin Laden tells us about justice, what your smartphone tells others about you, PIMCO’s curious move into equities, the mind-numbing risks in Greek debt, the outlook for the North American automotive market, and a strategy piece that sees opportunity in this week’s commodity sell off.
Amartya Sen’s remarkable lecture quietly reminds us that ultimately economics is a social science that can benefit everyone.
We have argued elsewhere that for Adam Smith the idea of the ‘invisible hand of social justice’ is more important than the ‘invisible hand of the state’.
Sen’s analysis of Adam Smith’s idea of the market where Smith was highly skeptical that the ‘market’ could and could not do.
Adam Smith, Sen neatly shows, never thought that the profit motive and the market economy were sufficient to deliver successful societies, necessary most certainly, but not sufficient.
youtube -- "The Uses and Abuses of Adam Smith" (69 minutes)
Harvard Professor and Nobel Laureate Amartya Sen speaks on "The Uses and Abuses of Adam Smith" at Duke University as part of a celebration weekend of the 40th anniversary of the History of Political Economy Journal.
Quote worth quoting.
“How selfish soever man may be supposed, there are evidently some principles in his nature, which interest him in the fortune of others, and render their happiness necessary to him, though he derives nothing from it except the pleasure of seeing it.” -- Adam Smith, first sentence of Theory of Moral Sentiments
youtube – Conservation with History (58 minutes)
Conversations host Harry Kreisler welcomes Nobel Laureate Amartya Sen, Lamont University Professor, Harvard University, for a discussion of the interplay of economic theory and political philosophy in his work on public choice, development, and freedom. Sen recalls his own intellectual odyssey, commenting on some of the factors that shaped his thinking.
Victor Davis Hanson raises the need for rules for killing bad people as the slope will start to get very slippery.
National Review – Rules for Killing Rogues
The welcome end of Osama bin Laden at the hands of helicopter-borne American military commandos raises a number of issues.
The Atlantic – The Slippery Story of the Bin Laden Kill
The White House Tuesday blamed "the fog of war" for conflicting statements in its recounting of the events surrounding the Abbottabad raid that killed Osama bin Laden, but the history of misstatements from U.S. government officials about various combat operations raises questions about whether briefers also were subjecting us to a counterterrorism strategy and not just completely confused in their initial statements.
Truthout – What Has Bin Laden’s Killing Wrought
As America’s morbid celebrations over the killing of Osama bin Laden begin to fade, we are left with a new landscape of risks – and opportunities – created by his slaying at the hands of a U.S. Special Forces team at a compound in Abbottabad, Pakistan.
Related. Thanks to David of London for sending this in.
National Post -- Bin Laden’s killing a reminder that times have changed
This past week, the NDP’s Thomas Mulcair became a figure of ridicule for suggesting that the United States doesn’t have photos of Osama bin Laden’s body — presumably, in his imagination, because the al-Qaeda leader isn’t really dead.
A fascinating article that discusses how digital technologies are enabling companies to use every bit of data that you generate, and how this may impact your ability to get a mortgage.
Financial Times – Technology: A Binary Goldmine
Displaying up-to-the-minute information on everything from train times to cinema schedules, apps have in short order become a ubiquitous feature of smartphones. To most users, they are simply useful and entertaining tools.
In praise of PIMCO.
Financial Times – Asset Management -- Conga Contemplation
As he surveyed Pimco’s empty trading floor one weekend last summer, Bill Gross was struck by the thought that the office atmosphere was too quiet.
If something is unsustainable it will end. Greek debt.
New York Times – Inevitability of a Greek Default
A Greek debt restructuring — a polite term for default — is unthinkable, according to the Greek finance minister.
TD Economics' summary of the North American automotive industry.
Pdf below -- The North American Auto Outlook
Quote worth quote.
“Meanwhile, incremental demand is driven by the rise in the share of the driving age population, the rise in population and the rise in vehicle ownership rate. The former two drivers are solely dependent upon the demographical composition of a country, which are determined by birth rates and immigration policies.” – TD Economics
Useful strategy piece making the argument that the commodity sell off will represent a buying opportunity. Thanks to Russell of Victoria for sending this in.
Pdf below -- Macro Strategy Correction Continues Good Entry Point
|The North American Auto Outlook.pdf||784.5 KB|
|Macro Strategy Correction Continues Good Entry Point.pdf||333.51 KB|
|Theory of Moral Sentiments Adam Smith.pdf||904.68 KB|
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