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Wednesday, March 07, 2018

Interesting Readings 07 March 2018

What do you guys think could be a good name for these posts - they have links to articles I read and some bits of commentary. Please write with your suggestions.
Here are some interesting readings for today:

Global readings
If you have read the old 1998 paper it is quite a refreshing reading. Read both if you have been following Japan.

Another paper this time by Federal Reserve Board papers

Yves Smith from naked Capitalism writes about Elizabeth Warren fighting the deregulation of big banks. It highlights the lobbyist-driven establishment that governments have become, globally. Try getting a meeting with local representative, Senator, Member of Parliament, anyone and you will be hounded by gatekeepers. For democracy to work better, this has to change. This is part of the issues I have highlighted in Subverting Capitalism and Democracy.

Part 2 of the Gaius Publius article. First was linked here. Part 1 looked at the Why question — Why should all student loans be canceled? — and answered it in economic terms, since ending student loan debt would benefit not just the students affected, but the economy as a whole. It also answered the Why question in moral terms: Ending the practice of parasitism, humans preying on humans, is a good thing in itself. This piece looks at the How question — How should ending student loans be implemented? A future installment, the last, will address the What Next and What If We Don’t questions. (Hint: Extreme parasitism is not a stable system, and the social consequences of extreme human suffering aren’t limited to the ballot box.) I agree with students being saddled with debt that cannot be reneged was wrong. But the solution is too crude and not imaginative. I would like the solution to put some cost on the borrowers, since they were minor party to this, also helps in moral hazard problem. Second, the lenders have to bear the costs too. Only tax payer cannot be left holding the bag at all times. If we burden the tax payer then we should not wonder why she does not pay her fair share of tax.

Tyler Cowen explains why as incomes and wealth grows birthrate tends to drop. Quite interesting set of explanations he has put. Short but must read.

Austerity by Design. Yanis Varoufakis's lessons for reasserting European social democracy.
J. W. Mason writes about new book by Yanis Varoufakis called "Adults In The Room: My Battle With Europe’s Deep Establishment". V Ananthnageswaran has a few comments on this article and some additional links for related readings. I read Yanis Varoufakis' book "And the weak must suffer what they must". Interesting books. But Yanis is a great speaker. In fact, if you want to know the deconstructed leftist thought on current affairs it is better to read Yanis' views and better still watch him presenting. Note the parallel between student loans and greek loans as conveyed by Yanis.

The person is Albert Wenger, partner, Union Square Ventures. He suggests that we need to relook at intellectual property rights in the current era. It is a topic close to my heart. We need to reinvent intellectual property rights. I was in the process of writing a short book on it, had done all the research for that and stopped it. Need to revive that project.

Bank fraud India

Mint talks about RBI actions in wake of Nirav Modi fraud. I like the third suggestion:
Third, PSBs need urgent governance reforms. The Punjab National Bank fraud is the consequence of a complete collapse of governance. Governance in PSBs needs an overhaul and government interference in appointments should be minimized. In this context, the P.J. Nayak committee (2014) rightly noted: “Government officers and regulators may not possess the skills to appoint the top management of commercial banks. Banking is a very specialised activity, and top management needs to combine strategic foresight with a good commercial knowledge of sectors to lend to, prudent risk management and human resource skills.” The outcome of establishing the Banks Board Bureau has also not been as desired. Therefore, the government needs to revisit the way appointments are made in PSBs, starting with the board. Only a professional board will be in a position to take the right decisions. It is important for banks to continuously improve operational efficiency by making the right investments in technology and human resources. This is a good time to initiate reforms as the government is in the process of recapitalizing PSBs.


World War Watch

They are saying something but not saying everything. I hope some mobile phone experts explain the possibilities in greater detail.
Article explores variety of developments in the Indo-Pacific region.

Others
Supreme Court of India has made available the roster i.e. assignment of judicial benches to subject of petitions. This comes in the wake of the crisis earlier this year/late last year. I am surprised that this was not the case earlier. It is a prudent practice and should be encouraged across courts.

One smart guy’s frank take on working in some of the major tech companies
Tyler Cowen shares an email from one smart guy who has worked in tech. Read it for organisational issues and some industry view.

The sad story of Maplin Electronics
Frances Coppola analyses the bankruptcy of Maplin Electronics a retailer. Very interesting to read. Must read for investors who read financial statements. Note how the analysis goes right back to history 1987 to know where the mess started.

CONFLICT OF BENCHES: The SC’s February 8 Judgment in Indore Development Authority Is Not Supported By Text Or Intent Of The Act, Says Namita Wahi, Expert On Land Acquisition...
Namita Wahi interprets two controversial judgements of Indian Supreme Court in teeth of the Five-bench

Damodaran Online: There is an App for that!
Aswath Damodaran links to App for mobile access to website. Also uValue App that explains valuation concepts and other data which users can use.