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Reuven Brenner

Warren Buffett and Tech Stocks: Why Doesn't the Oracle's 'Common Joe' Portfolio Include Apple or Google?

Fri, 2014-05-09 15:20

With Mr. Buffett's annual celebration last weekend and some grumbling about his failure to beat the market in four of the last five years, people keep reminding me of a piece I wrote in 1996 for Dow Jones about Buffett's portfolio. 

... Reuven Brenner holds the Repap Chair at McGill's Desautels Faculty of Management, serves on the Board of McGill's Pension Fund, and is a member of its investment committee. Brenner's last book is World of Chance (2008).

Source Site: /desautels

The 'Why' Of When Family Businesses And Countries Prosper

Tue, 2014-04-29 09:39

“And so, my fellow Americans, ask not what your country can do for you; ask what you can do for your country,” is the saying now famously associated with John F. Kennedy, though Oliver Wendell Holmes said it eight decades before.
This same statement is the precise recipe for the survival and success of family businesses too, though as far as I know, nobody put it quite this way: “And, so, my dear relatives, ask not what the business can do you for you; ask what you can do for the business.”

Source Site: /desautels

6 Economists Every Entrepreneur Should Know About

Tue, 2014-01-07 16:18

For years I’ve rejected the false choice that entrepreneurs are forced to make when it comes to the subjects of political science and comparative economics. First is the offer to buy in to the notion that there exists no natural connection between the underlying motivations and incentives which inspire entrepreneurs and their political and electoral choices.

Source Site: /desautels

Match of the Day

Wed, 2014-03-19 15:35

Demographic changes and increased mobility of people and ideas are posing significant challenges for global commerce, with even emerging economies struggling to match capital with talent. But, in spite of the glacial pace at which the West is adapting to the new realities, there may be cause for cautious optimism. 

-Article by Reuven Brenner

Read full article: Quantum, April 2014 

Source Site: /desautels

Why Bitcoins Lack Currency to be 'Money'

Mon, 2014-02-17 09:24

Milton Friedman, in his book Money Mischief, reported the well-known story of the monetary system of a small island in Micronesia. At the end of the 19th century, the inhabitants used stone wheels as a medium of exchange and as a store of wealth. The colonial government imposed "fees" on disobedient district chiefs by painting black crosses on these stone wheels, thus "confiscating" them. This induced the locals to change their ways and work harder, paving roads they were previously reluctant to pave, in order to have these marks erased and get their wealth back.

Source Site: /desautels

Reassessing History from Two Continents

Fri, 2013-12-13 16:41

Günter Bischof ist aus der österreichischen zeitgeschichtlichen Forschungslandschaft nicht mehr wegzudenken. Als Leiter des Centers Austria und Marshall Plan-Professor an der Universität von New Orleans bekleidet er einen wichtigen Außenposten der österreichischen Wissenschaft und der österreichisch-amerikanischen Beziehungen. Als Historiker leistet er wesentliche Beiträge zur Aufarbeitung des breiten Feldes der österreichischen und europäischen transatlantischen Beziehungen, insbesondere der Nachkriegsjahre. Die anlässlich seines 60.

Source Site: /desautels

Central Banks and Illusions of Independence

Fri, 2013-09-13 18:36

While much attention is now paid to personalities of incoming central bankers, far less attention is paid to debating central banks' mandates in light of the unusual fiscal and financial intermediary roles they have been fulfilling since 2008.

The crisis revealed institutional voids that the central banks filled quickly. Such ventures by central banks have been tolerated in the past too: there is nothing new about quantitative easing (QE). The Fed practiced it during the 1940-51 under the Treasury's explicit command, though the technique had no name then.

Source Site: /desautels

As English Football Season Starts, Burma’s Gamblers Play the Odds

Fri, 2013-08-23 11:18

On a TV above the blue neon-lit bar in Rangoon’s Tamwe Township, the hapless-looking Arsenal manager Arsene Wenger grimaced, sputtering an indiscernible obscenity, his hands resting forlornly on his hips.

Source Site: /desautels

Forget Pacquiao In Macau, It's Time For Floyd Mayweather To Leave Las Vegas

Mon, 2013-11-25 16:33

Last night’s fight between Manny Pacquiao and Brandon Rios interested me from a boxing perspective but its real intrigue was what it suggests might be possible for another man – Floyd Mayweather, Jr.

... This is nothing new – in fact, gambling, centuries ago in Europe, was in the same position that boxing is in today– subsidizing another non-profitable sector.  In their outstanding book A World Of Chance: Betting On Religion, Games, Wall Street, Reuven Brenner, Gabrielle A. Brenner and Aaron Brown write:

Source Site: /desautels

Entrepreneurship, Innovation and Prosperity

Sat, 2013-10-05 11:23

What is the common ground between the economic successes of the Netherlands in the XVII-XVIII centuries, nineteenth century England, twentieth century U.S. and, more recently, countries such as South Korea, Singapore and Israel? Although the question could be answered from different angles, fundamentally it can be inferred: in their own time, these countries promoted economic systems where resources were efficiently channeled to the most competent entrepreneurs and endeavors.

Source Site: /desautels