Friday, 23 April 2010

Worth a read #7

- I'd love to hear Andrew Bolt explain the graphic on the left (click to enlarge) from "State of the Climate Global Analysis March 2010" by the US National Oceanic and Atmospheric Administration's National Climatic Data Center

"Nearly 300 allegations of sexual abuse have been substantiated by church investigations since 1996, ... perpetrated by approximately 100 priests... Just one priest has been defrocked as a result". And that's just Victoria they're talking about!! From The Age

-  See also: Seven key facts about the Vatican, the Pope and child sexual abuse by Catholic clergy by Dr Ben Mathews,  Associate Professor in Law, QUT in OnLineOpinion
-  Other forms of corruption - The Goldman Sachs Phenomenon by Eric J. Fry at TheDailyReckoning

-  And in a similar vein ... from Gary Sauer-Thompson at Public Opinion
In his The Non-Existent Hand in the London Review of Books Joseph Stiglitz says that he shares the view that most of the blame for the crisis should reside with those in the financial markets, who did such a poor job both in allocating capital and in managing risk (their key responsibilities), a considerable portion of it lies with the economics profession.
He adds:

The notion economists pushed – that markets are efficient and self-adjusting – gave comfort to regulators like Alan Greenspan, who didn’t believe in regulation in the first place.
They provided support for the movement which stripped away the regulations that had provided the basis of financial stability in the decades after the Great Depression; and they gave justification to those... Treasury secretaries under Clinton, who opposed doing anything about derivatives...
We should be clear about this: economic theory never provided much support for these free-market views. Theories of imperfect and asymmetric information in markets had undermined every one of the ‘efficient market’ doctrines, even before they became fashionable in the Reagan-Thatcher era.
He adds that the present crisis should lay to rest any belief in ‘rational’ markets. The irrationalities evident in mortgage markets, in securitisation, in derivatives and in banking are mind-boggling; our supposed financial wizards have exhibited behaviour which, to use the vernacular, seemed ‘stupid’ even at the time.

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