New intellectual ventures

Having a little more mental space –a major paper on the Robson Reports is currently under review with an academic journal and work is still in summer mode– I have had some time to think about new potential intellectual ventures, or “future ideas”, as this category on the blog is called. Continue reading

21st-century capital

Seldom does a book create such buzz as Thomas Piketty’s “Capital in the 21st Century” and rarely has a book faster been lauded as one of the decade’s defining books on economics. Much of the silence on this blog can be explained by engaging with Piketty’s magnum opus. I wanted to wait before posting anything before I would see the French economist speak at Columbia yesterday. What follows are some notes on the book and on issues beyond.

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Thomas Piketty (left), with panelists Suresh Naidu, Victoria de Grazia and Thomas Edsall

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Integral architecture

As forewarned, I am going to jot down further notes from inspiring readings that have made me enter 2014 on a more thoughtful note. After pondering a radical article on the failure of “green capitalism”, herewith unsorted reflections on Peter Buchanan’s “Big Rethink” on architecture, published on Architectural Review over 2012 and 2013.

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Montreal real estate development

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Green capitalism

A few articles have got me thinking over the past couple of weeks. Ideologically, they have made this year kick off on a slightly “disorienting” foundation. Of particular note have been a long piece on ecology as well as a series on architecture. Yet also polemics on work ethic and class have been pondered long after putting them aside. Herewith a few scribbles.

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Man walking in front of Shimizu HQ, the most eco-friendly office in Japan, so they say…

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Hiatus, update

It’s been a while since I last posted anything. There is really no sole reason to blame for this hiatus – just a variety of things coming together. To make use of the diary aspect of blogging and to bridge the time until my focus returns, herewith some personal updates and thoughts just ahead of the holidays.

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Zooming along the Den-en-toshi Line

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Global Frontiers Inc.

One of my favourite aspects of working in emerging market fund management was the frequent travel across the world for on-the-ground research. I would meet thoughtful people and return home with lateral insights, helping our team invest more profitably at less risk. A former business contact of mine set up a business that designs such trips for institutional investors. I joined him a few weeks back.

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Impact investing

Triggered by a visit to a recent meet up here in New York, I have been thinking about the impact investing industry. In one way or another, much of my finance career had something to do with it. The question now – is it the future and worth much more of my personal focus? I can’t help but being skeptical of the industry. Some pointers on why below the jump.

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For lack of a better photo (?) – Kashgar cattle market, western China, 2004

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