Showing posts from August 6, 2014

Venture Capitalists Get Paid Well to Lose Money

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[An interesting piece on the under-performance of venture capital funds. Two thoughts: a) simply invest in a diversified portfolio of low-cost index funds, and b) perhaps government intervention isn't as horrid as the corporatocracy claims (or no more harmful than the flailings of the corporatocracy itself). The squawking ad hominem comments following the original article are entertaining to read. *RON*]
by Diane Mulcahy, Harvard Business Review Blogs, 5 August 2014

2013 had all the signs of being a comeback year for venture capital. Booming public equities and a recovered IPO market generated record portfolio company exits and distributions from VC funds. The industry realized its highest returns since the Internet boom.

Yet 2013 annual industry performance data from Cambridge Associates shows that venture capital continues to underperform the S&P 500, NASDAQ and Russell 2000.

The industry’s persistent inability to outperform public equiti…

Glenn Greenwald: U.S. Media Coverage Of Israel-Gaza Conflict Gets An 'F'

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[The pro-Israeli bias in US media. *RON*]
By Emily Tess Katz, HuffPost Live, 4 August 2014

Glenn Greenwald lambasted the U.S. government's approach to the Gaza conflict in an article published Monday by The Intercept, but his criticism extends to America's media practices -- for which he gives U.S. journalists a failing grade.

"There's no question that the way that the American media covers this conflict is based on the principle that Israeli lives are just inherently more valuable than Palestinian lives," he told HuffPost Live's Marc Lamont Hill in an interview Monday. "It takes probably 50 Palestinians being killed to get anywhere near the attention of, say, an elderly Israeli woman being frightened in her home and having some kind of a medical problem because of the trauma."

According to Greenwald, almost as many Palestinians have been killed as Americans on 9/11, and the media has remained "essentially ca…

British Columbia's carbon tax: The evidence mounts

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[Solid evidence that the BC Carbon Tax is working is rejected by prime minister Harper, darling of the oil patch. *RON*]

by P.F., The Economist, 31 July 2014

UNTIL recently, British Columbians consumed as much fuel per head as their fellow Canadians. Nothing remarkable distinguished their use of fossil fuel until, in 2008, they began paying a carbon tax. Six years later the province remains the only jurisdiction in North America to levy a charge on fossil-fuel consumption.

BC’s levy started at C$10 ($9) a tonne in 2008 and rose by C$5 each year until it reached C$30 per tonne in 2012. That works out to 7 cents of the C$1.35 per litre Vancouver residents pay at the pump to fill up their vehicles. Because the tax must, by law in BC, be revenue-neutral, the province has cut income and corporate taxes to offset the revenue it gets from taxing carbon. BC now has the lowest personal income tax rate in Canada and one of the lowest corporate rates in No…

Understaffing, deregulation to blame for Mount Polley tailings pond disaster: critics

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[On the bright side a spokesperson for Business in Vancouver said on TV this morning that this will set back all mining applications currently before the province. This story shows that, because of cutbacks the government relied on Imperial Metals to self-regulate, and the province's enforcement programs are weak and more or less randomly applied. A 2011 assessment showed that the company had neither an adequate monitoring plan nor a detailed emergency contingency plan for a breach of the tailings pond but nothing was done about this. Also see this report which relates that specific warnings had been given about dangerous unsustainable water levels in the pond. *RON*]
Jenny Uechi, Vancouver Observer, Aug 5th, 2014

Deregulation and staffing cutbacks to BC government regulators may be partially to blame to Imperial Metals' Mount Polley tailings pond disaster, which dumped five million cubic metres of toxic waste near the Quesnel and Cariboo…

Redford’s out: With audit looming, ex-premier quits politics

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[Less than one day before the auditor's report comes out on the investigation into her travel expenses, Alberta premier Alison Redford retires from politics entirely. *RON*]
By Kelsey Johnson,, Aug 6, 2014

Former Alberta premier Alison Redford has resigned, effective immediately.

In an opinion piece published in both the Edmonton Journal and the Calgary HeraldWednesday morning, Redford relinquished her seat in the provincial legislature.

“I am stepping down immediately as MLA for Calgary-Elbow to start the next chapter of my life, teaching and resuming work in international development and public policy,” Redford wrote, adding she and her family will continue living in Alberta.

Redford’s resignation comes less than a day before Alberta’s auditor general is expected to release more information about the 49-year old lawyer’s travel expenses.