Gustavo Ballvé on June 14th, 2011
Food for thought, Home, Investment Themes, Mental models, Portfolio Management, Signal or Noise

The Financial Times has published several columns over the last week written by their own staff and by big-name guests such as Mohamed El-Erian, Larry Summers and Nouriel Roubini. When we say “big names” there’s no endorsement involved – we’re merely acknowledging the fact that these writers have high profiles. The danger in “big names”, “experts” etc. is pre-judging their opinions, always a bad idea – especially so when the subjects involved are economics, fiscal policy, governance structures, financial crises and so on. In fact, the comments sections of these stories show that the “debate” is nowadays more personal than factual, scientific and, well, rational…

Before we list the links, we must say that the collective challenges presented in the articles are directly linked to governance structures. We’ve been discussing this subject here for a while, and its relevance is increasing by the day… In this May 14th post there are links to previous posts on the subject.


America’s new politics of Republican sanity – June 14th – Jacob Weisberg of Slate discusses the relative improvement – albeit from a very low base – of the political debate in the US.

America prefers fiscal idiocy to intelligent choices – June 12th – Clive Crook of the FT staff, well, one probably gets the point from the article’s title… He blasts Democrats and Republicans alike, in contrast to Mr. Weisberg.

How to avoid our own lost decade – June 12th – Larry Summers (understandably, since he was there) praises the Obama govt.’s initial crisis management policies, highlights his current pessimist view and then says more of the same is needed. Even so, the level of personal attacks in the comments section defies logic.

Turning to Europe…

The Eurozone heads for breakup – June 13th – Nouriel Roubini’s doomsday machine keeps firing and the subject now is Europe.

In praise of Stanley Fischer – June 12th – Mohamed El-Erian praises Stanley Fischer for the top post at the IMF, blasting Europeans for not giving him a fighting chance.

Europe: the hidden economy – June 8th – The best piece of the bunch, about Europe’s “black”/informal economy, how to measure it, its usefulness (really) and so on. Well-known (and painful) subject for countries with highly regulated and highly taxed economies, such as Brazil.

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