Links of the Week
29 May 2011
Here are the links for the week of 5/29 - 6/4:
- Salon has an article on how hydraulic fracturing ('fracking') can contaminate food supplies.
- Harvard Business Review has a great article on the ways businesses try to maintain an advantage, by creating barriers to competition.
- The Boston Review has an intriguing article on what systemic economic, business, and governmental factors are hurting the middle class.
- Lender Processing Services, a company that services (read: manages) the loans of over half the mortgages in this country, apparently has a fantastically high error rate. Yves Smith explains why. Rortybomb has another great breakdown of why their business is tailor-made for fraud due to bad incentives.
- Here's a very interesting narrative on what is happening in Europe. The bottom line? The core raison d'etre of government is becoming 'of the banks, for the banks, by the banks' instead of 'of the people, by the people, for the people'. Also, Too Rich to Pay is becoming the new Too Big To Fail.
- In honor of Prince Phillip's birthday, here are 90 gaffes from his 90 years in the Royal Family. I particularly like 53, 65, and 82.
- Yves Smith of Naked Capitalism looks at an idea for bankers to have incentives to take only appropriate levels of risk. Right now they have incentives to take dangerous risks and then leave governments (read: taxpayers) holding the bag.
- Chris Martenson over at ZeroHedge has a somewhat-terrifying post about why he thinks we are past peak oil, why incentives to develop alternate energy sources are insufficient, and what the implications are.
- ProPublica has a great, easy-to-read piece on what potentially criminal activities were done by financial institutions during the housing boom. This has some interesting implications for society, since we haven't successfully prosecuted any financial institution for what could easily be massive amounts of fraud.
- Google Advisor looks interesting. At first blush, it seems to be an intuitive way to find and compare different financial products (like CDs or checking accounts).