Wednesday, January 11, 2012

From Paul Krugman to Freakonomics to the Consumerist, we compiled a list of the most influential (and useful) finance blogs out there and then asked some of the best-known bloggers to review one another's work The 25 Best Financial Blogs

Where can you find the smartest, savviest takes on the markets and the economy? Financial Blogs: Still The Best of the Bunch

Today, I’d like to share with everyone blogs that I read and think you should check out. For each blog, I will provide details on what is great about it so that you can understand better which blogs might be best for you. Best Economic & Financial Insight Blog

Monday, January 09, 2012

Dragon years in the 12-year Chinese zodiac are typically popular for births because the icon of China's emperors symbolizes power and wealth …

This is my personal blog. It does not reflect the views of any organisation I work for, have previously worked for, or may work for in the future. In my day job I put crumbs of bread on the table. Here I comment on the bread and the table. Most people understand that difference… This year is the year of the Media Dragon and it is not difficult to argue that blogging has done more to spread scary knowledge and even scarier ideas than any other publishing innovation since the printing press. Printer and photocopier salesmen of the late 20th century frequently peddled their wares with the pitch that a personal printing device could turn anyone—schools, neighborhood associations, churches, individuals with a message to get out—into small time publishers. Yet the revolution they hinted at didn't come about on their watch

A brilliant article in Quarterly Conversation offers a fresh take on Lev Loseff‘s much-discussed Joseph Brodsky: A Literary Life. Marbled with impressive insights, it represents the finest standards of literary journalism, and should establish a new highpoint for the rapidly disappearing genre … let me dissemble no further, dear reader, I myself wrote the review ; Joseph Brodsky

Watch Out: Year after year, these literary gems and websites deliver the goods Feeling rejected? Read these
Take heart, rejected writers everywhere!
This is too delicious to pass up: Flavorwire has 10 nasty rejection letters to eminent writers. (We wrote about famous rejection letters some time ago here.)
Here’s a 1912 rejection for Gertrude Stein by publisher A.C. Fifield:
Dear Madam,
I am only one, only one, only one. Only one being, one at the same time. Not two, not three, only one. Only one life to live, only sixty minutes in one hour. Only one pair of eyes. Only one brain. Only one being. Being only one, having only one pair of eyes, having only one time, having only one life, I cannot read your M.S. three or four times. Not even one time. Only one look, only one look is enough. Hardly one copy would sell here. Hardly one. Hardly one.”
Sincerely Yours,
A.C. Fifield
Here’s another for the manuscript that eventually became Nobel laureate Isaac Bashevis Singer‘s The Estate and The Manor, rejected by Knopf editor Herb Weinstock in 1959:
It’s Poland and the rich Jews again.
With endless editorial work and endless serpentine dealings with Moshe Spiegel, the willing translator-adapter, this might be turned into an English novel nearly as good and nearly as salable as The Family Moskat. I honestly do not think it worth Knopf’s time and effort … Personally, I’d reject.
"You are scum."
Have to agree with the Guardian Books Blog on this one, which isn’t technically a rejection letter. It’s Hunter S. Thompson‘s letter to his biographer, William McKeen, following the biography’s publication in 1991. It opens: “McKeen, you shit-eating freak.”

• The Guardian blog noted that McKeen now has the letter, framed, on his wall: That’s one way to deal with rejection [It’s January 6th – the epiphany. According to folklore, La Befana visited all the little children in Italy last night, bringing toys and candy to the good ones, and lumps of coal to the bad ones. (Yeah, I know. We get a kindly fat man dressed in red, and Italian kids literally get an old hag. On the plus side, they get to live in Italy, so don’t feel too sorry for them). While I search my home for some lumps of black carbon (surely she wouldn’t forget Italian Americans, right?), you enjoy these links. According to Italian folklore, ; Good King Wenceslas In Prague, Father Christmas is known as Mikulas and he’s usually flanked by the devilish Cert and an angel. According to Czech folklore]
• · One of the best blogs out there on white-collar crime is the White Collar Crime Prof Blog ; Annual blog extravaganza features 25 fresh picks, from politics and pop culture to travel, tech and beyond The Time ; Some tech blogs are fueled mostly by snark and rumor. AllThingsD, by contrast, is powered by old-fashioned hard work. A Web-based spin-off of the Wall Street Journal's swanky annual conference, it features Journal tech columnist Walt Mossberg, ace investigative reporter Kara Swisher and a growing lineup of writers who specialize in meaty, dependable coverage of consumer gear, Web trends, mobile communications, business computing and more The Best Blogs of 2011
• · · This is not good enough Media Dragon Seen As too Bohemian rather than Antipoedian ; Kim's writing is insightful, informed and topical. She also has an acerbic wit and is not afraid to criticise the media in Australia The news with nipples
• · · · The mainstream media isn’t giving us the information we need. It is giving us what they think is good enough for people like us, gathered by people that mainstream media organisations regard as competent; but this is not the same thing at all. George Megalogenis; Kevin Donnelly has written for ABC’s The Drum for the last two years, regularly warning us of the dangers posed by: the Gillard government, poor people, Islam and textspeak. He’s a former teacher as well as serving as senior Liberal Kevin Andrew’s chief of staff. Most of the time he’s inspired derisive snerking from me. Occasionally he’ll draw a ‘yoooou idiot’ (articulate, I know) from a piece. Usually, however, I’m content to leave him alone. That is until today’s piece, in which he advocates that the Bible be included in the National Curriculum. It is so bone-headed, wilfully ignorant and petulant that I just had to say something.; THE competition watchdog has banned imported biscuits which use logos featuring a koala, gum leaves and an Australian flag to disguise their Indian origin Ozdownunder Super Sandwich Cream Cookies ; The land of surfing, barbies... and dope ;
• · · · · Alexa Global Traffic Rank, and U.S. Traffic Rank from both Compete and Quantcast."*#*" ; E leventh Annual Weblog Awards
• · · · · · thebattleoftheblogs ; Sara Shaw and Sam Jewler met while living at Occupy D.C. in McPherson Square. They have been dating for six weeks and even moved in together, sharing a tent on the north side of the park 99% of Love; Collection

Friday, January 06, 2012

"The doers cut a path through the jungle, the managers are behind them sharpening the machetes. The leaders find time to think, climb the nearest tree, and shout 'Wrong jungle!' Find time to climb the trees."
-Peter Maxwell, director of the Leadership Trust, writing in the "Guardian", 6 October 1999

Now it's time for real cultural, ethical, governance and management reform at HMRC
Dec 162011
A little over a year ago UK Uncut began its protests, and the world looked on, bemused. Unsurprisingly, I wasn’t: I knew they’d hit the zeitgeist, although they and Occupy have done so in ways I could never have imagined. It’s been my pleasure to support both movements in the last year.

Tomorrow is a mass day of action by UK Uncut. Vodafone remains a rightful target. And the pressure is working. As the Mail reports:

Deals struck with the tax authorities to wipe billions of pounds off company bills are to be investigated by a former high court judge.

Sir Andrew Park will scrutinise the tax settlements of ten companies – including Vodafone and Goldman Sachs – following allegations that agreements were made between the firms and Her Majesty’s Revenue and Customs to write off unpaid tax bills.

That’s the good news.
And it’s the right news we need to hear.
But we need do more than that. I’ve been interviewed a number of times this week on this them and my message is always the same. HMRC has been corrupted from the top down.

It’s been corrupted by neoliberal corporate thinking. It’s been corrupted into thinking taxpayers are customers. They’re not.

It’s been corrupted as a result into thinking that tax law is just a contract for services. It’s not.
It’s been corrupted into thinking that a contract can be varied by consent of the parties, so the operation of tax law is optional at its whim. It’s not.

It’s been corrupted by people who do not know about tax but do come, especially in the case of some non-execs, from environments where tax abuse is normal, and even rewarded.

It’s been corrupted by a cult of personality around Hartnett, that he came to believe.
It’s been corrupted by cowardly politicians who do not believe in the state and its right to tax.
And it has to be reclaimed, from the top down for the people of this country so it does its job properly.
So that it collects as much as possible of the missing £95 billions that could pay for the services we need.
So that it creates a level playing field so that all businesses can compete in this country knowing their competition can be expected to pay tax and not undercut them by tax abusing, unlike now where a deliberate competitive advantage is given to the tax cheats.

So that it is seen to offer fair play, and have enough staff to ensure that this is seen to be done in the communities it serves and supports.

So that never again is it captured by big business in its interests.
So that never again does it try to avoid its duty to parliament.
So that never again does it serve the interests of its board.
This can be done.
The question is – will it be done?
The answer is key to our economic, social and cultural future in this country.
It’s a choice between prosperity, ethics and fairness and living in a criminogenic state