Monthly Archives: March 2012

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The Austerity Games

by Mitch Feierstein about 2 years 8 months ago

Teen hit The Hunger Games tells of a world where starving children in a post-apocalyptic world are forced to battle each other to the death, for the entertainment of a small coterie of the wealthy and powerful. The book is by Suzanne Collins, who published her novel one day before Lehman Brothers collapsed: the moment [...]

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Goldman & Friends

by Mitch Feierstein about 2 years 8 months ago

Doing God’s Work: Can you spot the difference?  It’s OK for firms to make money. That’s what they’re there to do. But real firms, durable ones, the ones who care about their reputation, their future, and the generations that come after, have figured out that you need to take care of yourself by taking care [...]

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Election 2012: Rhetoric, Confusion and Spin

by Mitch Feierstein about 2 years 8 months ago

The Obama campaign has launched a new film. It’s beautifully shot. (No wonder: Davis Guggenheim was the director.) It’s beautifully narrated. (No wonder: Tom Hanks is behind the mike.) It’s got a beautiful story arc. Lighting’s great. Hey, I’m no judge of these things, but whoever they got to do hair and make-up probably did a great job [...]

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Vampire Squids, Transparent Tanks

by Mitch Feierstein about 2 years 8 months ago

The financial turmoil of recent years has produced an outpouring of op-eds, news stories, books and essays seeking to document and analyze the unfolding disaster. Some of the material has been written by insiders, some by those from the outside. Some by experts, some by astonished laypeople. It’s a mass of material which can, remarkably, [...]

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Budgets are overhyped. Half serious policy announcement, half political theatre. Truth is, almost everything that matters in the government’s fiscal policy was set out in June 2010. Back then, George Osborne announced the pace of the fiscal tightening which would dominate the next five or seven years. The events of today have, very largely, simply [...]

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Planet Ponzi Book Review by Ian Mann

by Mitch Feierstein about 2 years 8 months ago

Planet Ponzi by Mitch Feierstein CHARLES Ponzi, an Italian, landed in Boston in 1903 with $2.50 in cash. He died in in poverty in a charity hospital in Rio de Janeiro, but he left a legacy – the Ponzi scheme. Desperate to get rich, Ponzi discovered that Italian prepaid stamps – the sort used to [...]

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The Lion that Turned into a Rat

by Mitch Feierstein about 2 years 8 months ago

What is it? Is it something in the water of Downing Street? Some as-yet-unnamed version of Stockholm Syndrome where the victims fall in love with their captors? Or is hypocrisy in fact a contagious disease? Something passed on by one government to the next, along the with the grace-and-favour mansions and the limousines.   I [...]

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The Banks Fiddle… and You Lose

by Mitch Feierstein about 2 years 9 months ago

One of the permanent problems in writing about financial matters is that the issues at stake seem so technical, so arcane. It’s hard for any ordinary reader to get interested in these things. Hard not to think, Why does any of this matter to me? The trouble is you probably thought the same about the [...]

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Why the Greek ‘Rescue Deal’ is Neither a Rescue Nor a Deal

by Mitch Feierstein about 2 years 9 months ago

Most of the time, George Osborne, has the least enjoyable job in Britain. He’s got to squeeze taxpayers for more money, cut jobs and wages in the public sector, slash benefits… and his only reward will be that in five years time his government might not be bankrupt. The more rigorously he does his job, [...]

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The Faux Bull Market in Equities

by Mitch Feierstein about 2 years 9 months ago

It might not feel that way to you, but we’ve just lived through one of the greatest bull markets in history. Almost exactly three years ago, the S&P 500 stood at 683, a decline of more than half from its highs of 2007. It wasn’t hard to understand that decline. Wall Street was bust. General [...]

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