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What I'm reading

August 10th, 2003

The Passions and the Interests by AO Hirschman. Hirschman is always worth reading – his Exit, Voice and Loyalty is a classic. The Passions and the Interests, is a piece of intellectual history describing the development of ideas about rational self-interest and the invisible hand.

I’m also reading Watershed by Ticky Fullerton. She’s an ABC reporter and the book is about Australian water issues, mainly, but not exclusively, the Murray-Darling. She gives a summary of blogger Chris Sheil’s excellent book Water’s Fall, including an appealing adjectival characterisation

Water’s Fall is eloquent and convincing, but should carry a health warning for any investment banker in the CBD. Such people would soon find themselves frothing uncontrollably at the mouth with outrage at a Quigginesque thesis, which blames almost all incompetence on greed and a general bias in favour of the shareholder over the consumer.

I’m not sure if ‘Quigginesque’ is an original coinage (I have the feeling Henry Ergas has used something similar) but I like it anyway.

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  1. Steve Edwards
    August 11th, 2003 at 15:13 | #1

    That’s funny, I thought the whole problem of corporate governance was shareholders not having nearly enough power to review the actions of hostile and arrogant directors.

  2. August 11th, 2003 at 19:33 | #2

    While I loved the association, I was disappointed with the substance John, and would have much preferred something like this:

    … should carry a health warning for any investment banker in the CBD. Such people would soon find themselves frothing uncontrollably at the mouth with outrage at a Quigginesque thesis, which takes both the policy and the underlying economics at their word, and explores the contradictions till they utterly implode.

    .. or some such. I was disappointed with Ticky’s (what kinda name is ‘Ticky’?) book overall for accepting so much of the policy status quo, and also displaying something of a penchant for back-patting businessmen on white horses.

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