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Tuesday's Top 10 with NZ Mint: Is 2012 just like 1937?; Train lovers vs Rodney Hide; Texas' secession movement; Niall Ferguson on China; Playing poker with trillions; Dilbert
Here's my Top 10 links from around the Internet at midday today in association with NZ Mint.
As always, we welcome your additions in the comments below or via email to firstname.lastname@example.org.
My must read is #3 from Der Spiegel.
1. Just like 1937 - Bloomberg's Amity Shlaes looks at the parallels between 1937, when FDR was re-elected, and 2012.
She points to 'fear fearsome ways' in which 2012 is looking like 1937, a point when the US government tightened its spending and tipped the US economy into the next phase of the Depression.
This fiscal cliff debate will be crucial.
As will the outcome of the mess in Europe where the Germans are driving through big austerity throughout Europe.
It's too early to say yet. But the signs aren't good.
It’s hard to imagine stock indexes dropping by half today, or unemployment rising past 15 percent, as they did in the “depression within the Depression.” But the parallels are visible enough to be worth tracing. They have to do with the danger of big government, and can be captured in a few categories.
2. Trainlovers vs Rodney Hide - Here's the Auckland Transport blog arguing against Rodney Hide on urban sprawl.
4. Where China goes - Niall Ferguson talks with Alasdair McLeod about China's outlook. A fascinating discussion of Chinese history.
5. The Europeans are coming - New York Times reports on how European governments are ganging up on the 'cloud-based' multinationals such as Google, Amazon and Apple that avoid paying tax in Europe.
6. In China, to get rich is not so glorious - Businessweek looks at how rich people in China are not so happy.
7. Here come the Chinese - Anne Gibson reports on an anecdote I talked about in a speech last week in Melbourne.
Ian Thornhill of Barfoot & Thompson said one wealthy Chinese buyer paid top dollar for a Market Rd, Epsom, house which had since stood empty for weeks as the deal was "just offloading some surplus funds".
Thornhill said that type of activity was not unusual and he fears for the effects.
"I don't think it's a good thing at all. Kiwis are getting really upset. They can't compete with Asians who have the money and they pay more. You can see Kiwis only have a certain amount of money to spend but they do stretch themselves. This is all having an impact on us. It's as plain as the nose on your face, what's happening in the auction rooms each week."
8. 'Don't worry about the cliff - Politico's Ben White says the Fiscal Cliff is not really a problem because the Republicans don't want to be blamed for going over it.
There seems little chance the cliff battle will go near or past the December 31 deadline. Nearly every signal from Republicans suggests they understand they have lost the war over taxes going up on the wealthiest Americans and are just trying to figure out how to get the least objectionable deal that includes real spending cuts and a trigger for tax and entitlement reform. It’s clear from polling that the GOP will get the blame if taxes go up on everyone on Jan. 1 and any subsequent damage to the economy and markets will fall squarely at the party’s feet. Republicans are no longer ignoring such polls. And there is simply no way, after getting wiped out by last summer’s debt ceiling fight, losing terribly at the presidential and Senate level and barely hanging on to their House majority, that Republicans can afford or will allow themselves to be saddled with a politically disastrous fiscal cliff crash. So while talks will continue and the public kabuki will play out for a few more weeks, we are really just waiting on a final score.
9. Let's secede - Some people in Texas want to secede from the United States after Obama won again...