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Punish the Bankers! | Foreign Policy

Timely article given recent article in NY Times (An S.E.C. Settlement With Citigroup That Fails to Name Names) wherein Citi agrees to pay a $180 million settlement plus $726 million in investor compensation and yet the SEC not only doesn’t hold any individual responsible – it doesn’t even name them. Talk about moral hazard.

The sentencing of the trader Tom Hayes for his part in the Libor scandal caused many a sharp intake of breath on London’s Canary Wharf.…

Source: Punish the Bankers! | Foreign Policy

Justin Trudeau says Liberals plan 3 years of deficits to push infrastructure – Politics – CBC News

Finally someone gets it. Borrow when rates and debt are low to invest in future growth – duh! Just ask any CEO or anyone for that matter – except politicians and knee-jerk anti-government types (unless they’re the beneficiaries of course.

Liberal Leader Justin Trudeau says a Liberal government won’t balance the books for another three years, but will double spending on infrastructure to jump-start economic growth.

Source: Justin Trudeau says Liberals plan 3 years of deficits to push infrastructure – Politics – CBC News

Introducing ‘treeconomics’: how street trees can save our cities | Cities | The Guardian

In Toronto, researchers recently found that people living on tree-lined streets reported health benefits equivalent to being seven years younger or receiving a $10,000 salary rise. As well as studies revealing benefits from everything from improved mental health to reduced asthma, US scientists have even identified a correlation between an increase in tree-canopy cover and fewer low-weight births. And economic studies show what any estate agent swears by: leafy streets sell houses. Street trees in Portland, Oregon, yielded an increase in house prices of $1.35bn, potentially increasing annual property tax revenues by $15.3m.

Source: Introducing ‘treeconomics’: how street trees can save our cities | Cities | The Guardian

Keynes on Capitalism

Capitalism is the extraordinary belief that the nastiest of men for the nastiest of motives will somehow work for the benefit of all.

 

John Maynard Keynes

Not NY-London 2015 But Paris 1700

They built fortunes and Paris:

In the seventeenth century, all these factors came together, and Paris became the European capital of conspicuous consumption when a new kind of wealth began to be very ostentatiously exhibited…All through the century, incalculably ostentatious displays of opulence were rolled out by non-Parisians of humble birth. The most publicized cases involved your men from poor families in the French provinces who, once they reached the French capital, had managed to amass fortunes. To a man, they owed their rags-to-riches stories to their instinct for the working of the age’s equivalent of high finance…

Guidebooks presented this financial elite’s impact on the cityscape as a noteworthy feature of modern Paris; their authors never failed to point out when a residence they recommended as particularly fine belonged to a man of finance. And indeed more than half the homes new to Paris in the seventeenth century and considered then and now to be of architectural significance were built by men who made their fortunes in finance rather than inheriting them. These men, who early in the century became known as “financiers,” were more than three times as likely as the scions of the great old families to build a home in seventeenth-century Paris and thereby to have helped create the original modern French architecture. And, as a 1707 work explained, this was evident to all: “Everyone knows that it’s because of the financiers that [Paris] has the special glow for which it is so renowned at present.”

The financiers were not the only group responsible for the “special glow” with which memorable modern architecture enveloped the city. A second profession also made a meteoric rise to prominence in the city on the move: the real-estate developer….

In the seventeenth century, Paris became a city in which to many the lure of money seemed omnipresent… a city that was “paradise for the rich and hell for the poor”…

Writers of every stripe… spoke of men of new wealth in the same way, as “leeches” who were bleeding the country dry and making paupers of honest citizens…..

The stories of Parisian financiers inspired the creation of other new words… nouveau riche… “the plague of our century”…”absolutely teeming with nouveaux riches, flaunting the fruit of their plundering of widows and orphans.”…

Parvenue, “one day a servant, the next, master of the house.”…

Millionnaire was initially a synonym for nouveau riche and parvenu, and individual of humble origins whose vast wealth was both sudden and ill-gotten….

Read the book – well worth the time.

How Paris Became Paris – The Invention of the Modern City by Joan DeJean, Bloomsbury Publishing