Saturday Readings

Is A Globalized Financial System A Thing Of The Past?
A new report from the McKinsey Global Institute report posits that the decisions policy makers make in coming years could determine the future path of global investment. McKinsey analysts also say their findings indicate that whatever decisions are made, the face of global finance has been changed by the financial crisis.

Global Finance Could Travel Two Distinct Directions
According to the report, one path leads to “a balkanized structure that relies more heavily on domestic capital formation.” While this path could certainly reduce the risk of another financial crisis, “it may provide too little financing for long-term investment” and certainly slower growth.

Conversely, the second scenario envisions “a more sustainable approach to financial-market development and global integration, avoids the excesses of the past but supports robust economic growth.”

The Recovery That May Never Be Realized
“While some of the correction is healthy, if we see a continuation of these trends, it threatens recovery,” Susan Lund, one of the report’s authors, tells The Washington Post that global banking has experienced “a significant retrenchment” that raises concerns that it might be the case that “we will ever see a recovery.”

Record Decline In Incomes, But Consumers Continue To Spend
The Commerce Department reported this week that consumer spending rose 0.2% in January despite the fact that incomes declined 3.6 percent after rising in December – largely a consequence of companies accelerating payments before the expiration of Bush-era tax cuts.

Goupon’s CEO Shows The Frank Way Of Resigning
The start of Andrew Mason’s resignation letter began in a similar fashion as most public figures stating that he had “decided that I’d like to spend more time with my family.”  But the similarities ended there. He continued: “Just kidding – I was fired today. If you’re wondering why… you haven’t been paying attention.”

He may not have achieved success in the business world, but he certainly wins when it comes to honesty.

Basketball Diplomacy Ignores Reality Inside North Korea
Former NBA star Dennis Rodman traveled this week to North Korea as part of a group engaged in so-called basketball diplomacy. He expressed his affection for the people and reflecting the modernity that exists outside of the rogue nation, tweeted his experiences. His trip inspired many punchlines, but it also ignored the reality inside.

Writing in Canada’s National Post, Jonathan Kay provides a glimpse inside North Korea’s gulags through the recollections of a former prisoner, Jung Kwang Il.


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