The cover story on this week's The Economist is Save the City, a love-note to London's legendarily corrupt, self-governing financial district, ground zero of the global financial collapse, and home to some of the world's top-compensated crooks, whose pay is totally disconnected from their performance.
Naked Capitalism rounds up a ton of online reaction to this puff-piece:
Yes, the City did once fulfil the function of efficiently allocating capital, but that stopped some ten to 20 years ago when the ‘zero sum’ game of financial speculation for the self-enrichment of the participants took over.
As I have said before the City has, with a few exceptions, become the cuckoo in the nest of the UK economy.
It has become gigantic skimming machine/casino. In addition to making taxpayer-underwritten bets, however absurd, it largely serves to diminish the savings and pensions of UK citizens, though outrageous fees, spurious and unwarranted trading and an intermediated structure that favours the interests of the people that work in its own, often-conflicted institutions (plus the people in their various suppliers including brokerages, law firms, accountancy firms, investment and actuarial consultancies, etc, etc) over and above the long-term interests of savers and the needs of the wider economy.
Ian Fraser: The Economist Loses the Plot With This Shallow, Pro-City Propaganda
In a new paper in Progress, Oxford economist Vuk Vukovic argues that the key to re-election in local politics is to be just corrupt enough: giving lucrative contracts and other benefits to special interests who’ll fund your next campaign, but not so much that the people refuse to vote for you.
Xnet, a wonderful Spanish activist group, has created the Anti-Corruption Complaint Box, a whistleblowing platform for the city of Barcelona that allows people to file anonymous claims in a Globalleaks repository, with their anonymity protected by Tor.
The new data-sharing rules enacted by the Obama administration will allow the NSA to lawfully share the unredacted, full take of its surveillance databases with sixteen other US government agencies — meaning that, for example, Trump’s door-to-door deportation squads could use that data to figure out who’s doors to break down, and his Muslim surveillance […]
You know as well as I that writing complex, long-long form text requires significant organization. You’re probably also well aware that Word just isn’t up to the task. That’s why I’m a huge fan of Scrivener, the software suite used by best-selling authors and technical writers alike.Scrivener is much more than another digital typewriter. With a […]
Looking to upgrade your weekend? Here are three randomly awesome products on my mind this week.#3 FRESHeBUDS Pro Magnetic Bluetooth EarbudsAs more and more phones and gadgets switch to Bluetooth-only compatibility, you’ll need to get Bluetooth headphones like the rest of us. I’ve been super impressed with these affordable magnetic headphones. Pull the magnetic earbuds apart to auto-connect […]
Traditional folding wallets are designed for paper bills—but these days, carrying cash is rarely a necessity. More often than not, I don’t carry cash at all. This Bogui Clik Wallet is the best answer I’ve found for avoiding the hassle of those tight-fitting credit card pockets.This attractive, minimalist wallet features a protective lip, so my cards don’t […]