Samir’s Selection 04/25/2014 (p.m.)
The musings of a star Democrat leave a big question unanswered
Her aversion to Wall Street has a history: back in the 1980s she did some research on why people go bankrupt. She “was on the lookout for cheaters and deadbeats”. Instead, she found that most people who go bankrupt do so as a result of bad luck: a spouse gets ill, someone loses a job, a family breaks up. Such events, Mrs Warren and her co-authors estimated, lay behind 90% of bankruptcies…
Life after Warren
Mr Buffett’s proven formula has been to seek solid firms with good defences against competitors, leave their managers to run them as before, and hang on to them for the long term. His success over the past half-century makes him living disproof of the “efficient-markets hypothesis”, which argues that even the shrewdest investor cannot, over the long term, buck the collective wisdom of the market and consistently outperform it.
Wally Olins was a high priest of the religion of branding
Mr Olins recognised two great truths about the modern capitalist economy. The first is that the most precious resource in a noisy, crowded market is people’s attention. The second is that consumers are not just looking for utility in the things they buy. They are also looking for meaning. “In the absence of a spiritual mentor,” he once declared, with his signature nonchalance, “the idea of what the brand stands for—‘Just Do It’, or whatever it is—is a substitute.”
Why James Madison really matters
Madison’s great insight—“brilliant and prophetic”, writes Mrs Cheney—was that stability can never be achieved by a retreat to smaller and smaller units, peopled by citizens of common views and virtues. No society can be truly homogeneous, nor any group wholly avoid factions, he saw. Madison’s solution was a large, diverse republic, in which parties and interests check one another, lessening the risk that a majority will find common cause to gang up on others.
The Piketty Panic – Paul Krugman – NYTimes.com
What’s really new about “Capital” is the way it demolishes that most cherished of conservative myths, the insistence that we’re living in a meritocracy in which great wealth is earned and deserved…
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