PUBLIC ADVOCACY: On my way to Tel Aviv, all the news from my companion, THE FINANCIAL TIMES. Topical news on Iran and Finance, still relevant
1. FT 10/26/13. Iran’s middle classes hit by inflation and declining Rial? The sanctions are hard on them as detailed in the FT, they have a higher cost of living, they’ll be forced to rent and, sell their carpets? According to Nobel prize winner, in exile, Ebadi, detente with the West hasn’t changed Iran’s human rights situation. Another complex society?
Is it possible, The sanctions are less hurtful then the drain on Iran’s economy due to the Iranian leaders Nation Building ? Curtailing the nuclear program may be desirable, but first get the Iranians out of Syria along with all foreign fighters. That is humane. Give the Syrian people back their lives. Once that is accomplished, you can focus on the Iranian sanctions. War drains a country’s resources.
After 30 years, maybe it’s time for the entire ” neighborhood ” to sit in on the Iranian talks? Hey, you never know, something is usually accomplished by speaking and listening to all concerned?
2. FT 10/26/13. QE froth is great for asset prices, less so for the real world. Why are they coupling unemployment with continued Fed bond purchases? Actually unemployment is inversely proportional to the Fed purchases. The more the Fed pumps the market, the less likely, investors will turn to solving the underlying economic problems plaguing our country. This stimulus is bad for the middle and lower classes as everyone else, still holding onto a portfolio , continues to party on. Even the B of A is concerned that the longer it takes to feed liquidity through the economy, the more excess valuations will persist in financial assets. Irrational Exuberance once again? What’s our choice?
3. FT book reports! Are western democracies losing their ability to learn from their mistakes? ( Three books reviewed By Mark Mazower. ) (1. David Runciman’s The Confidence Trap) ( 2. Stein Ringen Nation of Devils : Democratic Leadership and the problem of Obedience ( and ( 3. Phillip Coggan ‘s The last vote: The threats to Western Democracy ). All three authors approach the same topic in different ways, while responding to their anxiety over the loss of ideas. All three are concerned that Democracy as we know it has evolved into a nightmare inhabited by Billionaires and the unemployed hoards leading to the ever narrowing vision of the collective good . Coggan and his fellow authors want to rouse us, but as de Tocqueville warned, this is the kind of nightmare from which Democracy may never awake.
4. LOL. CRASH COURSE, 6 years from the start of the credit crisis , former FEDERAL RESERVE chief Alan Greenspan, states that he got it wrong, at least in part….The ” maestro” relied upon mathematical models rather then behavioral psychology. That’s the problem, in a perfect world. Mathematics may work, but human nature can not be ignored. It seems that the level of greed escaped most people’s vision and led to the financial collapse of 2008.
Have we changed? We still have choices, including closing our eyes to reality and hoping for the best?