September 2012

Book Review: Finance and the Good Society

Finance and the Good Society

Robert Shiller contends that the recent financial crisis was caused not by greed and dishonesty but by the structural shortcomings of financial institutions. He suggests that the financial industry can serve the common good through financial innovation that creates the kind of inclusive society in which all can benefit. Read more

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Weekend Reading for Equity Investors: Focusing on Fundamentals

Equity Investments

Equity investors liked what they heard from central bankers Mario Draghi and Ben Bernanke earlier this month and have pushed most global indices higher. Chinese stocks, coping with a steady flow of skepticism and negative economic news, have been a notable exception. Looking ahead, as corporate earnings come back into focus, bullish sentiment may very well fade without meaningful signs of a sustained economic recovery. Read more

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After the Unrest: Five Key Trends Reshaping the Geopolitics of the Middle East

Protests in the Middle East have spilled into another week. But as Harvard University international affairs professor Meghan O’Sullivan reminded attendees in an opening keynote address at the CLSA Investor Forum in Hong Kong — just a day after four US embassy personnel, including the ambassador, were killed — the unrest should not distract from more fundamental geopolitical tensions in the region that hold important long-term implications for investors. Read more

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European Sovereign Debt Crisis: Up Next, a German Real Estate Bubble?

Luxury apartments in Berlin

Germany may well be experiencing a real-estate bubble — and the explanation is straightforward: the European Central Bank has lowered rates in response to the global financial crisis that began in 2008, and then dropped rates dramatically in response to the euro crisis, which didn’t gain steam until late 2009, and then pushed rates near zero in late 2011 — where they have remained. Read more

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