Friday, June 19, 2009

Worthy of Note (19 Jun 2009)

The following letter to the editor in the June 13 edition of The Economist:

Financial terms

SIR – I must be a Luddite. I wince when I hear the word “innovation” used in finance, as if bankers are on a par with those who found cures for diseases, invented the internet or decoded the human genome (Special report on international banking, May 16th). They are not. Much of what passed as financial innovation in recent years and which helped trigger the near-collapse of the financial industry, such as collateralised-debt obligations, was little more than an ingenious sleight of hand. A global economy needs the efficient movement of money. Bankers can help provide this, but let’s not indulge their hubris.

James Schofield
The Hague

Jeff Nolan's retort to a quote out of context in the Wall Street Journal article "The Daily Start-Up: It’s Time To Mark Up The SBIR Bill":

11:10 am June 18, 2009
Jeff Nolan wrote:

I may have “tossed up my hands” about the survey itself, but went on to describe in detail major policy issues that are obstructing innovation in the U.S. Personally, I would hope that we would stop being a “survey nation” where random people are asked about complex topics. Imagine the absurdity of asking 3,000 people by phone whether or not angioplasty is an effective countermeasure for atherosclerosis… the underlying issues that drive or obstruct innovation are no less complex.

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