Must Read: politics & imperfect knowledge, lobby, health care debate, collaboration, online journalism & blogging.
Consider what happened in September , when the insurance industry released a study purporting to show that reform would cause insurance premiums to skyrocket. The Senate Finance Committee—the logjam in the legislative process—was set to vote on its bill in less than 48 hours. The study, commissioned by the insurance lobby and conducted by a private accounting firm, represented a clear effort to undermine support. It was the kind of move that lobbying groups make all the time—and, in the old days, it might have worked, since nobody would have seen through the study’s tilted assumptions until, as with McCaughey’s old article, the damage had been done. But within hours of its publication, several blogs, including this one, had published critiques showing just how flawed the study was. The critiques circulated in Washington and provoked a backlash against the insurers. Wavering Democrats said they were offended by the effort at political sabotage; the Finance Committee went on to pass the bill, as it had originally planned.
Not that fact-checking was the media’s sole job over the last year. Speaking for myself, I certainly spent far more time on the more mundane task of explanation—whether it was describing how a particular policy proposal might work or laying out the political dynamics of a particular moment. Occasionally this writing got a lot of attention, because it included a reporting tidbit that qualified as a scoop. More often, it didn’t. But over time I came to realize that the mere sharing of information has enormous value—even to people in Washington who, you might suppose, already know what they need to know.
Indeed, one of the many lessons I learned over the last year is that, even at the very highest levels of power, people frequently operate with limited knowledge and perspective. That’s true of how they think about policy and that’s true of how they think about politics. As one high-ranking official memorably told me in February, while everybody was scrambling to salvage reform after the Massachusetts Senate race, nobody really sees the whole playing field.
[via The New Republic - Finishing ‘The Treatment’]
In nature - failure doesn’t occur. The error is within us. And we have to correct our course time and time again.
The weak are always hit hardest first!
Our ‘once-idyllic existence had turned into a kind of bad dream, […] all changed so quickly, and life has become very hard.
“As a chief, I have to have vision and look down the road, but I don’t know what will happen to my children and grandchildren.”
That people (tribes, whole ancient old cultures) who are living in the Amazon area are forced to move somewhere else because the change in climate conditions changed their habitat (living room). The deforestation, drier and hotter weather, less fish to catch - all combined forcing them to find a new place.
They are the first - because they have no developed supporting systems like you and me take for granted. Tap water, the super market, heating, electricity, shelter and so forth.
But things will catch up even on us. Catch up on us who are living well and reading this.
There is no time, no market where you can not make money!
… this should be the slogan for capitalism and free markets.
Some bet on a housing bubble in America and made a ton of money (well deserved). Some didn’t see it coming at all (the drunk guys at the party). And some know that there is always a good party somewhere in the city to hang out. You just need to know the fundamentals, have some insights, be sharp, stay positive, and know what you are doing. And good to know too - how much you can drink and when to go home.
After spending most of 2008 and the first quarter of this year fleeing from volatile areas of the market, investors are now racing toward them. A newly released survey by Russell Investments, taken at the end of May, shows that money managers are most bullish on emerging-market stocks.
“It’s the opposite of panic selling — it’s panic buying,” said Greg Schultz, a principal at Asset Allocation Advisors, a financial planning firm in Walnut Creek, Calif.
For now, though, many investors are counting on a robust recovery.
“That’s the bet,” Mr. Eibel said.
[…] there is a growing sense among economists and market watchers that investors have moved stock prices far ahead of the economic fundamentals.
In a recent report, Stephen Biggar, director of global equity research at Standard & Poor’s, noted that in a recovery, stocks typically anticipate how the economy is likely to be faring six months down the road. Today, he wrote, “the market is already discounting the level of improvement we likely won’t see until mid- to late 2010.”
Mike Scarborough, the president of Scarborough Capital Management, an investment advisory service in Annapolis, Md., warns that even if this rally is real, history shows that recoveries don’t send stock prices straight up.
Unfortunately, Mr. Scarborough said, “just as the sun rises and sets, people are going to chase returns.”
The complete NYT article here.