Friday, April 30, 2010

Quotes of the day

... the architects of the euro assumed that it would foster political unity, in much the same way as some couples think that having a baby will help to save their marriage.--Felix Salmon

... the coffeemaker or entertainment system of a commercial aircraft is not supposed to bring down the plane, but both have done so in the past. An airliner is a perfect example of what Ben calls a complex system: a large mass containing explosive fuel, flying at high speeds and operating along a fine boundary between stability and instability. Small forces can upset the system, causing a chain of events that results in the destructive release of the large amount of energy stored in the system. Interestingly, sometimes efforts to make those systems safer can make the systems more complex and therefore more prone to accidents. It does not take too much imagination to adapt this analogy to the world of finance, does it? ... Banks ... were and are the most heavily regulated industry on the planet. You might as well blame bank regulation. A couple of years ago there was the joke that the traders occupied the large trading floor and the compliance officers occupy the small corner office and that soon the two would switch offices. It stopped being a joke.--Alexander Ineichen

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