Smart Links -- 13 June 2011

Articles on the uncertain impact of QE2, Bob Rae’s budget rebuttal framed by Will Hutton’s devastating commentary on the right’s mindless attack on the state, the power of Deutsche Bank, the challenges facing Canadian cities, and Mayor Dean Fortin’s economic strategy for the city of Victoria.

Also how soldiers deal with killing, a new documentary on Alan Greenspan’s disastrous leadership, the Turkish election, the risk underlying the US dollar, Russia’s politics get interesting again, and the prospect of a 21st century war on North American soil.

Financial Times – Investment: The Fed Flood Slows to a Trickle
Global markets for the past nine months have experienced their version of a sugar high.


Liberal Party of Canada -- Speech by Liberal Leader Bob Rae in response to the budget.
Mr. Speaker, I appreciate the opportunity to participate in this debate. Thanks to David of Victoria for sending this in.


Guardian – With a Little Bit of Fairness, State and Capitalism Can Live Together
It could be the farmer in East Anglia concerned that there are too few reservoirs to guarantee a secure water supply, despite ever more frequent droughts.

New York Times – Deutsche Bank’s Chief Casts a Long Shadow In Europe
LATE one night in September 2008, as the financial world trembled,  Josef Ackermann, received an urgent call from Berlin. Thanks to Ken of Tokyo/Hong Kong for sending this in, and helping me get my first job at Deutsche Bank in 1988.

Economist – Poor Relations
WITH glistening office towers rising between broad beaches and forested mountains, big parks and waterfront residences, Vancouver often comes at the top of lists of the world’s best cities in which to live.


City of Victoria -- Economic Development Strategy
The City of Victoria is developing a comprehensive Economic Development Strategy to guide business recruitment and retention, infrastructure investments, development incentives, strategic partnerships and marketing of the Capital City over the next 10 years.


Pdf below -- Strengthening Victoria's Economy

BBC – How Soldiers Deal with the Problem of Killing
Soldiers kill. It goes with the job, and they do it on our behalf. Thanks to David of London for sending this in.

Newsweek – Flawed Titan of the Fed
In the fall of 2008, with the global economy in shambles and panic spreading throughout the financial system, a seemingly humbled Alan Greenspan—the former chairman of the U.S. Federal Reserve—appeared before Congress and admitted the unimaginable: there was a “flaw” in his world view that had prevented him from foreseeing the worst credit crisis in American history.

Wall Street Journal – The Wisdom of the Turks
Turkey put on a democratic clinic yesterday for the rest of the Muslim world with another free and spirited national election. In their wisdom, the Turks chose to reward Prime Minister Recep Tayyip Erdogan for their recent run of good economic fortune, while putting a check on his largest political ambitions.

Project Syndicate – How to Kill a Dollar
The dollar has had its ups and downs, but the downs have clearly dominated of late.

Telegraph – Russia: The Race is On
In the sunshine of a Moscow summer, the two men pictured cycling through a park on the outskirts of the capital at the weekend looked for all the world like a couple of pals on an informal bike ride.

Global Brief – Changing Luck and North American Wars
In the 20th century, North America was the world’s luckiest continent. While every other continent endured significant warfare on its territory, ‘core’ North America – Canada and the US – was, exceptionally, exempt from battles on the home front.


Strengthening Victoria's Economy.pdf185.54 KB
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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.