The Whole Truth, Happy Landing, Commodity Shift, Our Game, Global Differences, Israel’s Choice, Market Bumps, Canadian Back Pain

Gee, did those guys at Goldman Sachs fib to the Senate Homeland Security and Governmental Affairs Investigations Subcommittee on Capitol Hill on April 27, 2010 in Washington, DC?

Read all about it.

Articles also about the global economy from ex-Goldman Sachs' chief economist, Jeremy Grantham’s warning about commodity prices, why Canadians play hockey tough, Samuel Brittan argues that policy makers are worrying about the wrong things, and the case for Greece and Portugal to exit the Euro.

Also Roger Cohen on the need for a two state solution to the Israeli-Palestinian struggle, why the markets are bumpy, and the problem with how Canada deals with the agonies of back pain.

The case against Goldman Sachs.

Rolling Stone Magazine – The People vs. Goldman Sachs
They weren't murderers or anything; they had merely stolen more money than most people can rationally conceive of, from their own customers, in a few blinks of an eye.

Jim O’Neil of ‘BRIC’ fame looks at the global economy and thinks China is slowing sharply but the landing will be happy (ed’s note – it rarely is) and says why he’s worried about Europe.

Wall Street Journal -- Goldman’s Jim O’Neill on China’s Slowdown, ‘BRIC’ lobbying
Jim O’Neill, Goldman Sachs Asset Management’s chairman and former chief economist for the investment bank, was in Hong Kong Thursday and gave a briefing to reporters.

Thoughtful uber-investor Jeremy Grantham’s analysis on why this time the commodity boom is different. Thanks to Balkar of Vancouver for sending this in.

Pdf below – Time to Wake Up
The world is using up its natural resources at an alarming rate, and this has caused a permanent shift in their value. We all need to adjust our behavior to this new environment. It would help if we did it quickly.

Related.

Seeking Alpha – You Should Short Silver and Gold and Silver
For the long term investor, both gold and silver are undoubtedly heading higher. But for a swing trader, silver will pose an excellent buying opportunity to get long at lower prices in coming day or two. I think silver and gold, both will settle the week lower.

Interesting musings on whether how Canadians play hockey tells us anything about Canadians. (ed’s note – yes Bobby Clark did break Valery Kharlamov’s ankle in the 1972 Summit Series, and Canada lost 2-1 Thursday in the World Championships). Thanks to David of London for sending this in.

National Post -- What does hockey say about Canada’s national identity?
Hockey’s national identity wars are currently on display at the world championship in Slovakia. On Monday, Canada beat Sweden 3-2 in a game that featured a controversial body check by Canadian captain Rick Nash.

Samuel Brittan argues that the real risk to the global economy is policy makers worried about the wrong things like inflation and some of the PIGS exiting the Euro.

Financial Times – Who Is Winning in the Race for Recovery?
It is far too early for a final assessment of the relative behaviour of the different parts of the industrial world in the recent nearly unprecedented recession, but it is not too early for a preliminary examination.

Related.

Financial Times – Greece and Portugal Should Both Go Gracefully
Even as the ink is drying on Portugal’s European Union and International Monetary Fund bail-out agreement, evidence is mounting that last year’s bail-outs of Greece and Ireland have failed.

Peoples without a home.

New York Times – The Tony Awards
Every few years along comes a brilliant Jewish writer called Tony with challenging views on Israel, and this great city — on all other matters the most open in the world — gets tied in knots over what can or cannot be said.

Quote worth quoting.

“Amos Oz, the Israeli author, has noted that, “When my father was a young man in Vilna, every wall in Europe said, ‘Jews go home to Palestine.’ Fifty years later when he went back to Europe on a visit, the walls all screamed, ‘Jews get out of Palestine.”’ A Jewish refuge is just and necessary.”

Quick read on why markets are rolling over. Thanks to Roman of Victoria for sending this in.

Pdf below—Market Intelligence Report: China, Copper and Repression

Good article on how relying on specialists and the expectation that surgical intervention is the best form of care in Canada is becoming a real pain in the back.

Globe and Mail – Canada’s Costly Spine Backlog
Thousands of Canadians with severe back and neck pain face agonizingly long waits to see spine surgeons, only to learn they didn’t need to go in the first place, creating mounting frustration and costing millions of dollars.

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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.