Newsletter 975

Hic sunt camelopardus: this historical edition of The Browser is presented for archaeological purposes; links and formatting may be broken.

Margaret Thatcher’s Dark Legacy

Hugo Young | Guardian | 8th April 2013

Hugo Young, political columnist for the Guardian and biographer of Margaret Thatcher, wrote this assessment of Mrs Thatcher's 11 years in power, shortly before his own death in 2003. "The sense of community evaporated. Whether pushing each other off the road, barging past social rivals, beating up rival soccer fans, or idolising wealth as the only measure of virtue, Brits became more unpleasant to be with. This regrettable transformation was blessed by a leader who probably did not know it was happening because she didn't care if it happened or not."

Where Did All The Money Go?

Buttonwood | The Economist | 6th April 2013

Much-needed explainer. "When share and house prices collapsed in 2008, Buttonwood’s father-in-law asked what happened to the trillions of dollars of wealth that had disappeared. Uninsured Cypriot bank depositors are asking the same question about the money that is likely to vanish from their accounts. The answer to both questions is remarkably similar". In brief: it was never there in the first place

The Iraq War: A Cost-Benefit Analysis

Noah Smith | Noahpinion | 27th March 2013

Admirers of Mark Steyn will not enjoy the tirade in the first paragraph, nor perhaps this piece in general. But otherwise it's a useful and straightforward attempt to provide an inventory of the costs and consequences of America's war in Iraq — human, political, economic. Perversely, the "benefits", to a liberal at least, may be said to include a revival of American liberalism. But that hardly counts. "You should never start a war in the hope that you'll be defeated and that your defeat will invigorate the forces of good"

Mick Philpott Jailed For Life – Judge’s Sentencing Remarks In Full

Mrs Justice Thirlwall | Guardian | 4th April 2013

Sensibility alert: The crime here is the manslaughter of six children, by a man with "no moral compass", and a history of violence against wives and girlfriends. Terrifying throughout. Read it and weep. "The plan was to set fire to your home, making it look as though the fire had been set from outside. You would then rescue the children from upstairs via an external ladder. You would be the hero of the hour. Lisa Willis would be arrested and you would have achieved your aim"

Cyprus Reaches End Of Long And Sleazy Road

David Gardner | Financial Times | 7th April 2013

Shed no tears. Cyprus is reaping the foreseeable consequences of a deliberate plan, hatched 40 years ago, to create a lightly-regulated financial centre and capture restless offshore money. Finance moved en masse from Beirut to Cyprus when Lebanon collapsed into civil war. Milosevic's Serbia banked and traded through Cyprus to evade sanctions during the Yugoslav wars. Russian billions round-tripped through Cyprus to evade tax. Real earnings in Cyprus quadrupled in 1975-2011. Victims? Hardly (Metered Paywall)

Video of the day: Andrew Sullivan, on Iraq

Thought for the day:

"If there is anything unique about the human animal it is that it has the ability to grow knowledge at an accelerating rate while being chronically incapable of learning from experience" — John Gray

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