Gongol.com Archives: March 2013
Brian Gongol

March 4, 2013

Business and Finance Swiss vote on executive pay could be more complicated than at first glance
Just because the people want something doesn't mean the government knows how to effectively implement it. The feeling of aggravation at high executive pay is understandable -- but the rational way to manage it probably isn't to turn over the power to manage C-suite compensation to the government.

The United States of America Federal recognition of gay marriage could mean higher tax receipts
The marriage penalty can be mitigated, but never completely erased

Business and Finance Is there a better way to do mutual funds?
Bruce Berkowitz is an exceptional long-term investor, and he's managed mutual funds for a long time (and to great success). But he's had a lot of trouble with investors who panic and run for the exits when things turn downward -- even though those downturns present the greatest opportunities to buy stocks at discounted prices in order to get great returns later, when the price rises to match the true intrinsic value of the underlying company. It's the problem of finding "patient capital". The transparency and flexibility of mutual-fund ownership certainly benefits investors to some extent, but the ease with which some people can leave funds makes it difficult for managers to think and operate for the long term...which is fundamentally what's gone wrong with a lot of the financial sector in America. The long-term approach has made lots of money for Berkowitz and his investors, but it's hard under current rules to ensure that the same patience is rewarded in the future. Patience matters in the private sector -- and in the charitable sector, too, where the Acumen Fund is an example of a charity that uses market-oriented principles to show just a little more patience than the private sector usually supplies in order to get great results for improving the quality of human life. The really, really great results (in charity, in the private sector, and in the public sector as well) come from long-term investment.

Iowa Iowa's gas-tax debate rolls down the road
The state Republican party chairman took the unusual step of sending a letter on party letterhead to a state legislator with a request to change his position on the subject

News What happens if Scotland leaves the UK?
One has to wonder if the legendary stereotype of Scottish thrift would play out in such a way that Scotland would end up with a better credit rating than England

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