Smart Links 28 February 2012

Commentary on investing, investing in energy, evacuating Tokyo, how the Euro will be dismembered, teacher's salaries, and how to apologize.

The 10 investment lesssons.

Market Watch -- 10 investment lessons from Jeremy Grantham
The chief investment strategist of Boston-based institutional money manager GMO LLC doesn’t mince words.


The sky scraper index. (ed’s note – it’s not looking good in China).

PIMCO likes energy.

PIMCO – Game Changer
America is fortunate to have abundant energy resources. Combined with technological advancements and increasing capital investment, these vast resources are helping to create employment, expand private sector business investment and grow secure onshore U.S. energy supplies.

How many companies have been the largest (in terms of market capitalisation).

New York Times -- Confronting a Law Of Limits
These days, it’s hard to find a superlative that adequately describes Apple.

The plan to evacuate Tokyo. Thanks to Jeremy of Tokyo.

New York Times -- Japan Weighed Evacuating Tokyo in Nuclear Crisis
In the darkest moments of last year’s nuclear accident, Japanese leaders did not know the actual extent of damage at the plant and secretly considered the possibility of evacuating Tokyo, even as they tried to play down the risks in public, an independent investigation into the accident disclosed on Monday.

The Euro end game.

A Primer on the Euro Breakup

Teachers aren’t happy. (ed’s note – is a national comparison of teacher’s salaries relevant?).

Globe and Mail -- Crosscheck: How B.C. teachers rank in Canada
Teachers across British Columbia are voting on Tuesday and Wednesday on whether to walk off the job just as the provincial government is expected to impose a contract.


Toronto Star -- Dirty tricks: Liberal leader Bob Rae shows how to take responsibility
Bob Rae, the interim Liberal leader, showed on Monday how a political leader needs to respond when it becomes clear there’s been wrong-doing in his ranks.


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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.