Smart Links 28 January 2013

Commentary on fraud in financial markets, the bear market, Apple, spend less or earn more, protecting food security, and another benefit of legalising cannabis.

Buyer beware.

Economist -- Just who should we be blaming anyway?
WHY have so few gone to jail for the financial crisis?


Project Syndicate -- Financial Stars Behind Bars?
Hardly a day goes by without a settlement between a bank and a US government agency or regulator.

Still in a bear market.

Pragmatic Capitalist – About That Global Secular Bear Market
There was a bit of pushback in my recent article regarding the end of the recession in the USA. 


What next Apple? Time to bite?

Financial Times -- Perspective on Apple amid the clamour
It is hard to think of a company whose influence has been so profound.

As the bills pile up the options remain the same, spend less or earn more.

Independent -- 'My inner bourgeois soul has re-emerged'
Are we in fuel poverty?" Victoria asked me the other day.

Preventing global hunger.

Guardian -- Global food crisis: hunger games
For War on Want, food sovereignty is the only way to develop food security.

Legalise it and they will come.

National Post -- Legalize pot and reap the benefit from influx of toking tourists: Liberals
Canada’s economy could benefit from an influx of toking tourists if weed is legalized, the Liberal Party of Canada says in a new analysis that backs the party’s 2012 policy convention resolution.

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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.