5 insightful op-eds or articles to help make sense of today’s world

Adair Turner, “The Great Credit Impediment”
(Project Syndicate, June 7, 2014)
Lord Turner – a powerful voice on global financial matters – ponders whether low credit growth reflects low demand or constrained supply (the official interpretation). He claims that it is the former, and presents the evidence that backs it. This matters a great deal because economic growth can continue “to be severely depressed by a debt overhang even when credit supply is unrestricted and cheap”.

Axel Weber, “Prepare for the Tremor as Europe and America Drift Apart”
(Financial Times, June 2, 2014 – metered paywall)
An important article as it comes from the chairman of UBS (and former President of the Bundesbank). Weber explains why investors should prepare for more volatility this year. As the Fed and ECB monetary policies are now diverging, they will progressively lead to important moves in the financial markets, likely to affect all asset classes.

Kevin Roose, “Is Silicon Valley the Future of Finance?”
(New York Magazine, June 2, 2014)
Disruptive banks are coming! This article reviews the landscape of financial start-ups, almost all located in the Silicon Valley, and all wanting “to usurp the giants of Wall Street by offering better services, lower fees, or both”. There are great opportunities, but also plenty of obstacles.

Carlo Invernizzi Accetti, “The real threat to Europe isn’t a fascist revival, it’s the end of politics”
(Quartz, June 1, 2014)
Following the recent European parliamentary elections, the political scientist explains why the fear of a fascist revival in Europe is overdone. The real cause for concern – that also applies to many non-European countries around the world – is the rise of anti-establishment parties. Might it herald the end of politics?

T3 Risk Management, “”Quality Hacking at a Reasonable Price”
(June 1, 2014)
A must-read very short blog post for those still in denial about the severity of the threat of unauthorized access to e-mails, social media accounts, etc. Despite (company) claims of the contrary, no account is safe, and the cost of hacking is coming down. Hiring a hacker to break into someone’s Facebook or gmail account now costs less than $100.