Diary of a Financier

Bookshelf Update: Top Newsstuffs (February 20-26)

In Bookshelf on Sun 26 Feb 2012 at 16:00

Good reads this week…

~~~~

The Longest Quarterly Letter Ever | Jeremy Grantham
“[I]f you have patience, a decent pain threshold, an ability to withstand herd mentality, perhaps one credit of college level math, and a reputation for common sense… In my opinion, you hold enough cards and will beat most professionals…
“Karl Marx went on and on about the tendency of capitalism to so fixate on growth that in time it would forget the need to put on a friendly face for society and would drive home too clearly and brutally its advantage over labor… Capitalism, by ignoring the finite nature of resources and by neglecting the long-term well-being of the planet and its potentially crucial biodiversity, threatens our existence…
“The industry so much prefers bullishness. It is much, much better for business. So, in general, does the press, and I do sympathize–optimism really does make for more compelling reading.”
 
This Week in Europe: A Harsh Future Chosen, Greece Led into Darkness | Fabius Maximus
“This week, Europe’s leaders faced a choice somewhat similar and perhaps equally momentous as America’s leaders faced in 1787.  But they chose a path that looks punitive and short-sighted, pursuing European unification but likely to generate discord and eventually fragmentation.  Seldom does one act determine the future, but they might find it difficult to undo what’s been done this week.  The only certain result is much suffering and humiliation for the Greek people.  We can only guess at how this will work for Europe as a whole.” With reference to Lord Keynes.
 
Bull market in Sugar: you ain’t seen nothing yet! | Peter Brandt
 
Hugh Hendry: Keeping an Eye on Wealth-Creation | Barrons Interview
“The three most important principles when it comes to investing are Albert Camus’ principles of ethics: God is dead, life is absurd and there are no rules… You own your own decisions.”
 
Why The Core Needs To Save The Periphery | ZeroHedge
European banking sector exposure to peripheral sovereign debt relative to Tier 1 Capital.
 
Socrates’ Advice to Today’s Greece | The Financial Philosopher
“I do nothing but go about persuading you all, old and young alike, not to take thought for your persons or your properties, but and chiefly to care about the greatest improvement of the soul. I tell you that virtue is not given by money, but that from virtue comes money and every other good of man, public as well as private. This is my teaching, and if this is the doctrine which corrupts the youth, I am a mischievous person.” –Socrates
 
Midwest Farmland Prices Update for the Year 2011 | Big Picture Agriculture
Largest gain in farmland prices since 1976, up a 19% inflation adjusted average for the year 2011. States with the highest increase were Nebraska (up 37.8%), Iowa (up 28%), and Indiana (up 27%). Net farm income was up 24%.
 
Charts Fed POMOs, which correlate exactly with SPX performance. POMO purchase/sale schedules are released a month in advance and suggest a market swoon until net purchases again Feb 28.
 
A Eurozone commissioned “sustainability” report finds that Greek economy will not survive, even including PSI and another bailout. Private markets expected to shun Greece; Debt/GDP 160% by 2020, compared to IMF target 120%. Baseline assumption for €110B more funding needed.
 
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