dinsdag 24 november 2009

Merci d'avance, Yves!

FRANSTALIG BELGIE VERWELKOMT DE NIEUWE LETERME — Is er dan echt geen alternatief voor een terugkeer als premier van Yves Leterme? Natuurlijk wel, CHRISTOPHE DEBORSU kan er zo twee noemen. Maar het valt hem ook op dat geen enkele Waalse partij een veto uitsprak tegen Leterme. Lees het volledige opiniestuk van Christophe de Borsu hier.

Payback time The European Union lashes out at hedge funds and private equity

WHEN a fight breaks out in a bar, you don’t hit the man who started it. You clobber the person you don’t like instead.” That is the cynical verdict of a fund-management executive on the European Union’s proposed Alternative Investment Fund Managers directive. Even though the credit crunch was largely the fault of (highly regulated) banks, politicians seized the chance to have a pop at the unpopular hedge-fund and private-equity industries. Read the complete article in The Economist here.

Europe's public finances Weighed down

THE BAD thing for politicians about good news on the economy is that they can no longer avert their eyes from the state of public finances. Figures released on November 13th showed that the euro-area economy crawled out of recession in the three months to the end of September. GDP rose by 0.4%, the first quarterly increase for more than a year. Given the scale of the downturn, the recovery is modest: GDP was still 4.1% lower than a year earlier. Read the complete article in The Economist here.

The Coming Deficit Disaster

The president says he understands the urgency of our fiscal crisis, but his policies are the equivalent of steering the economy toward an iceberg. President Barack Obama took office promising to lead from the center and solve big problems. He has exerted enormous political energy attempting to reform the nation's health-care system. But the biggest economic problem facing the nation is not health care. It's the deficit. Recently, the White House signaled that it will get serious about reducing the deficit next year—after it locks into place massive new health-care entitlements. This is a recipe for disaster, as it will create a new appetite for increased spending and yet another powerful interest group to oppose deficit-reduction measures. Read the complete column in the WSJ here.

Technology Is Stranger Than Fiction

In a time of great change, fiction can sometimes provide better understanding than facts alone. "As the pace of technological change accelerates, the job of the science fiction writer becomes not harder, but easier—and more necessary," he writes. "After all, the more confused we are by our contemporary technology, the more opportunities there are to tell stories that lessen that confusion." Read the complete column in the WSJ here.