It’s been a bonkers week in global financial markets. How else would you describe a market that loses $2.5 trillion after the US avoided a catastrophic default? Sure, US growth isn’t what we thought and downgrades loom for a variety of OECD countries, but $2.5 trillion? Gone?
Anyway, I’m sure some among you will be quite happy to put this week behind and take a much deserved break from the ups and downs in the markets this weekend. And, while you are relaxing, if the desire to do some educational reading should strike, here are two rather interesting papers for you:
First, Sarah Bagnall and Ted Truman have just published an interesting new article entitled “IFSWF Report on Compliance with the Santiago Principles: Admirable but Flawed Transparency.” It’s worth a read to see where Bagnall and Truman find fault with the recent IFSWF exercise. Here’s a blurb:
“We commend the IFSWF for undertaking the surveys on which the report is based, for the later decision to publish the results, and for the detail included in the report. However, as with many self-assessments, the report has some flaws. The principal flaw is that the characterization of the extent of compliance with the Santiago Principles is exaggerated.”
“Oil wealth has transformed Kuwait within decades from a modest, trade-based desert emirate into a modern city-state. It has also created a relatively egalitarian economy based on an extensive distributive system that provides Kuwaiti citizens with essential services including free healthcare, education and social security. Therefore, the most important fact about Kuwait’s oil wealth is that it has been successfully used to benefit its citizens. This feat has been achieved through a broad distributive welfare state. Nevertheless, Kuwait’s policies of rent distribution have developed in an ad hoc manner into an uncoordinated system. Some of Kuwait’s policies of rent distribution, such as subsidizing utilities and providing public employment, have resulted in substantial distortions, inefficiencies and institutional deficiencies, and thus there remains substantial scope for improvement.”
Anyway, try to enjoy your weekend by doing something less stressful than following the financial markets; such as riding one of these…