Thursday, September 25, 2008

Reads of the Week

Steve DeAngelis, Enterra Solutions blog captures must read for two posts, one that begins with optimism and the other which sounds a cautionary note.

Steve begins:
In the New Testament, one of the Apostle Paul's letters to the Corinthians says, "For now we see through a glass, darkly." Over recent weeks the glass, it seems, has grown darker. Financial and insurance institutions are failing, the situation in Afghanistan is deteriorating, hurricanes and earthquakes have caused destruction across the globe, Russian/U.S. relations are increasingly tense, and the list goes on. Newsweek columnist Fareed Zakaria, however, reminds us that looking through dark glass can falsely color the world ["The World Isn't So Dark," 13 September 2008].

Looking at the World Optimistically

And in this post Steve warns of letting the innovation advantage that America enjoys slip away.

Before Hurricane Ike threatened oil production and refining facilities in the Gulf of Mexico, oil prices had begun to creep down from their record setting highs. The reason, as even politicians now admit, is that there appears to be a global economic slowdown in work. To help stop the bleeding, the U.S. Government has taken over Fannie Mae and Freddie Mac and seeking $700 billion for a bailout plan following the collapse of Lehman Brothers. Claire Cain Miller, writing in the New York Times last month, reports that at least Silicon Valley entrepreneur is concerned that there is also an innovation slowdown brewing ["Another Voice Warns of an Innovation Slowdown," 31 August 2008].

Another Slowdown to Worry About -- Innovation?

And economist Martin Wolf sounds caution amid the pages of the Financial Times

Desperate times call for desperate measures. But remember, no less, that decisions taken in haste may shape the financial system for a generation. Speed is essential. But it is no less essential to get any new regime right.

No doubt, the crisis has long passed the stage when governments could leave the private sector to save itself, with just a little help from central banks. For the US, the rescue of Bear Stearns was the moment when that option evaporated. But the events of the past two and a half weeks – the rescues of Fannie Mae and Freddie Mac, the failure of Lehman Brothers, the sale of Merrill Lynch, the rescue of AIG, the flight to safety in the markets and the decisions by Morgan Stanley and Goldman Sachs to become regulated bank holding companies – have made a comprehensive solution inevitable.

Paulson’s plan was not a true solution to the crisis

And from Fabius Maximus A solution to our financial crisis

Michael Yon has been reporting from Afghanistan and files this final report of his time with British troops.

Great opening photo, reminiscent of Tommies on the line in past wars, sans the pants!
Death in the Corn: Part III of III

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