Thursday, December 20, 2007

Forget auld lang syne; let's sing capitalism's praises

Peter Saunders writes in today's Sydney Morning Herald:

Every year, as we mill around the shops buying presents, commentators warn that the "true meaning" of Christmas is being eroded. Queuing at the bottle shop, we hear how Christmas has become "too commercial"; gorging on seafood and turkey, we chide ourselves for our gluttony. We tell each other how Christmases in the past were simpler, that children nowadays are spoiled and that we have all become too materialistic.

This sense that we have lost sight of the more important things in life is not new. The Marxist critic, Raymond Williams, believed every generation expresses a nostalgic yearning for a more "authentic" past that it thinks has just been lost. He thought this feeling of emptiness was caused by capitalism. Excessive materialism leaves us feeling that something important is missing in our lives, and we project this missing humanity onto a romanticised ideal of the past...

...But is it true that capitalism creates empty and meaningless lives?

Read the full article here.

Tuesday, December 18, 2007

Investment Advisor to The Rolling Stones

From Dimensional's December Newsletter...
How did a hotshot Wall Street broker, Hollywood playboy and former investment advisor to The Rolling Stones give away stock picking to become an advisor that embraces asset class investing? This colourful piece from Conde Nast's upmarket Portfolio magazine profiles the exotic life and times of Blaine Lourd:

Blaine Lourd got rich picking stocks. But then he realized that everything he thought he knew about the markets was wrong. And he's not alone.

Read the full article here.