links for 2010-05-13

13 May
  • The right time to be tough…is when asset prices are going up. But in a strange asymmetry, governments don't do this…the villains are only sought after the crash.
    As early as 2004, insiders were warning of a housing bubble in the US…But…Alan Greenspan, believed that ordinary people should not be part of the debate, which would make it "possible to lose control of a process that only we understand."
    Oh, the vanity of power. Greenspan stuck to his guns – low interest rates were driving a growing economy, inflation was under control, and there was no housing bubble.
    Everybody, it seemed, was riding the housing boom…
    When housing prices crashed, those on the wrong side of the bet lost money. They are now being portrayed as 'unwitting investors'…
    By setting the SEC on Goldman…his administration staged a piece of political theatre, with the villain brilliantly, if predictably, cast.
  • Even to an occasional TV viewer such as myself, our favourite programmes clearly demonstrate how we continue to hold dear many of our oldest and fondest social practices. Swayamvars where spirited suitors undergo tests of skill to win the hands of potentially abusive, evidently useless but undeniably wealthy life partners. A soap opera based on the theme of 'child marriage for fun and profit'. Sundry talent shows that elegantly elucidate the rather medieval idea that a woman's place is the kitchen, and within arm's reach of her trusty value-for-money detergent bar…
    I boldly predict that, in about a decade from now, rather than disappearing completely, our strongest customs and traditions will become stronger. In fact, some of the more entertaining ones that are near extinct will enjoy a revival, saved in the nick of time by TV executives in search of the next big idea. Here's what the prime-time line up could look like in 2020.
  • It was around that time that Viswanathan Anand broke through to establish himself as one of the best players in the world, and a potential successor to the great Garry Kasparov. This week he successfully defended his World Championship title against Veselin Topalov. His achievements, which I do not need to summarise, are greater than they would have been if they belonged to a Russian or East European player. They are beyond stupendous. In the context of where he came from, it's like a guy takes a Maruti 800 into a Formula 1 race and wins the championship. That guy, frankly, is more than just the best driver in the world.
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Posted by on May 13, 2010 in Uncategorized


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