Best of the Moment
Rebecca Flint Marx | Modern Farmer | 5th June 2013
Hobbyist farmers drive booming market in "heritage" breed chickens. "They’ll pay $1,000 for a chicken if they know they’re getting the best". Top breed of the moment: American Bresse, whose French forebear is generally reckoned "the best-tasting chicken on the planet". Export of the French birds is banned. “The French are nutty about them. They will give nuclear secrets to Iran, but god forbid you export a live Bresse chicken”
James Rubin | New Republic | 5th June 2013
Policy is pretty much set by now, for the time that remains. The hard choices — get out of Iraq, get out of Afghanistan, stay out of Syria — have already been made. The second-term appointments that mattered were those of Hagel and Kerry, a formidable quartet with Obama and Biden: "There is no group that senators trust and respect more than other senators". There's work to be done with China, but that's for Biden and Kerry
Justin Vela | Roads & Kingdoms | 5th June 2013
Lovely note on Turkish protests, Turkish food — tantuni is "a sort of wrap with spiced greasy meat inside thin bread" — and how they mix at a street-food café near Taksim Square. "The Beyoglu neighborhood where Taksim is located has forever been the throbbing heart of Istanbul: messy, boozy, fashionable, and cliché all at once. But over the past few years, Erdogan has been busy remaking it in his image: prim, rich, abstemious"
Norman Stone | Spectator | 6th June 2013
Tayyip Erdogan totters. "The world wanted a Muslim version of German or Italian Christian Democracy, and for years he gave it. Rival parties destroyed themselves in silly bickering and corruption, and Erdogan’s party was very successful, with reforms in health and housing that improved the lives of ordinary Turks no end." But Turkey's eastward turn has upset the domestic balance, and Islamic absolutism is taking hold
Anat Admati & Martin Hellwig | Bankers' New Clothes | 3rd June 2013
If you have the slightest interest in bank regulation, this is a gripping read. If not, pass by. Admati and Hellwig, authors of The Bankers' New Clothes, list the main objections levelled by the banking industry against their argument that banks should be required to hold much higher levels of capital — and demolish each one of them. "There is a large cost, and no benefit to society, from having banks funded with as much debt as they can"
John Gapper | Financial Times | 5th June 2013
Tech giant is focused, far-sighted, and way ahead. "The best comparison for Google seems to me not Microsoft in the 1980s but General Electric in the late 19th century – the age of electrification. Like GE, Google is a multifaceted industrial enterprise riding a wave of technology with an uncanny ability not only to invent far-reaching products but also to produce them commercially" (Metered paywall)
Thought for the day:
"Nobody has ever been happy in a job they obtained by first handing in a resumé"— Douglas Coupland