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Affluent Investor | June 26, 2017

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AboutProf. Reuven Brenner, Author at Affluent Investor

Prof. Reuven Brenner

Prof. Reuven Brenner

Reuven Brenner holds the Repap Chair at McGill’s Desautels Faculty of Management, serves on the Board of the McGill Pension Fund and is member of its investment committee. He worked with Bank of America, Knowledge Universe, EEN, Bell Canada, Repap Enterprises and with investors in Canada, Mexico, the US and Europe. He has been involved in the private equity markets as partner in Match Strategic Partners, has been investing in start-ups across Canada, as part of an "angel group," and also created his own start-up, "e-mortal.com." He has also been serving on boards of companies and institutions. He was expert witness in cases covering anti-trust, bankruptcy and financial matters. In other spheres, Quebec’s government asked him in 1995 to be member of a commission whose mandate was to examine all aspects of Quebec’s possible separation. He was also asked to testify before US Congressional Commissions and Canada’s Senate’s Banking and Finance Committee, and worked with Poland's central bank during the recent crisis. His recent books are A World of Chance (2008) and Force of Finance (2002). His regular columns appeared in Forbes, The Wall Street Journal, Asia Times and other financial press around of the world. Forbes’ journalists put two of his earlier books in their all time recommended list, and Forbes Global dedicated a cover story, titled “Leapfrogging,” to his works and endeavors. Brenner also received the Killam Award (1992), the Royal Society elected him as “Fellow”(1999), and he received a Fulbright Fellowship Grant (1976). Brenner was born in Rumania and immigrated to Israel in 1962. He served in the Israeli army between 1966-69, during the Six-Day War, and again during the 1973 Yom Kippur War. The Fulbright fellowship brought him in 1977 to Chicago, after completing his PhD at the Hebrew University and working at the Bank of Israel, where he received the First Prize from Israeli banks (for work with Saul Bronfeld, designing indexed securities). He lives in Canada since 1980. He is fluent in English, French, Hebrew and Hungarian.

Posts By Prof. Reuven Brenner

April 24, 2017 |

Blood Libels in Europe, Asia, Africa, and Recently the US

With Passover and “fake news” in the news, consider the “blood libels” that Jews and other groups have long been subjected to. The accusations against Jews first appeared during the 12th century AD. They spread during the 13th and … Read More

April 27, 2016 |

Lost in Translations: If Only People Read the Bible in Original, There May Have Been No Subprime

The Bible does not prohibit lending or borrowing: It prohibits asking interest from the poor, which makes sense. Poor people have no collateral. They have no income, no jobs, no assets, no prospects – this is what defines being “poor.”

Read More

April 15, 2016 |

Obama: ‘No Difference Between Capitalism and Communism’

Hard to know what is more shocking: A president of the United States stating in a Buenos Aires speech last week that there is “no difference between capitalism and communism, choose whatever works” (see video link in the endnote) or … Read More

April 12, 2016 |

How Government Destroys Parenthood

Learning from their whooping crane failure?

Birth rates in western countries have declined to far below replacement levels of 2.1. Why did these countries’ last few generations give up having kids?

Conventional reasons given are that people can now rely … Read More

October 23, 2015 |

Canadian Elections: Why Did Inexperience Triumph?

As in the United States, Canadians voted for “Hope and Change” on Oct. 19, 2015.

These are exactly the words Justin Trudeau, the 43-years old elected head of the Liberal party, repeatedly used in his victory speech in both English … Read More

September 28, 2015 |

How Many Immigrants Can Europe Accommodate?

Europe is now facing a prospect similar to what the US has been facing for decades: the march of millions upon its borders. But whereas the US got millions of immigrants fleeing Mexico for a better life, the potential … Read More

August 27, 2015 |

What The Chinese Stock Bust and US Productivity Decline Have In Common

Though it was recently announced that productivity in the US rose 1.3% from the previous quarter, Alan Greenspan is worried about the collapse in productivity:

“I think it’s the most serious problem that confronts not only the United States … Read More

July 31, 2015 |

Short Seller Scapegoating is Just Another Form of Censorship

In light of the Chinese, and also Japanese and US governments’ direct interference in their stock and bond markets, the following historical reminders may be in order:

On May 26, 1896, the Dow Jones Industrial Average, an index of a … Read More

June 8, 2015 |

Modern Politics: A Circus Run By Clowns

Even if Peter Schweizer’s “Clinton Cash: The Untold Story of How and Why Foreign Governments and Businesses Helped Make Bill and Hillary Rich,” will prove to be just partially in the ballpark, and even if the transactions he lists … Read More

May 11, 2015 |

This is How a Pseudoscience is Born

Instead of relying on his predecessor’s experience, and calling his policy by name as being fiscal in nature, sustaining government credit (though politically this is not so palatable during peacetime), Mr. Bernanke appears to have his mind trapped by … Read More

April 21, 2015 |

Bernanke, Summers & Krugman: Astrology Priests

During the last few weeks, Larry Summers came up repeatedly with speculations that what’s happening today is “secular stagnation,” meaning a lasting diminished “aggregate” demand in the world, in the US in particular.  In contrast, Mr. Bernanke brings up … Read More

March 19, 2015 |

The Potentially Devastating Consequences of Negative Rates

Unless increased taxes are paid for the cost of present government spending and interest on the accumulating debts – which is now impossible – parts of the burden must be met by other means. It can be done either through … Read More

October 24, 2014 |

The Boom-and-Bust Fed’s Rental Society

Now, as during World War II and up to 1951, the US Federal Reserve practiced what is now called quantitative easing (QE). Then, as now, nominal interest rates were low and the real ones negative: The Fed’s policy did not … Read More

June 12, 2014 |

A Europe Losing Cohesion

Ever since France’s defeat in 1870-1 in the Franco-Prussian war, when military strength was identified with numerical superiority, demography, language, and culture have become permanent parts — and, at times, the focus — of French politics.

Marine Le Pen’s Front … Read More

May 8, 2014 |

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

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. They … Read More

April 25, 2014 |

The ‘Why’ Of When Family Businesses And Countries Prosper

“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 … Read More

February 17, 2014 |

Why Bitcoins Won’t Become “Money”

In his book Money Mischief, Milton Friedman 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 … Read More

November 8, 2013 |

The Middle Class is Disappearing Because the Vital Few are Under Attack

In an interview over the summer, Mr. Obama correctly emphasized both that “upside mobility was part and parcel of who we were as Americans” and also that such mobility has been “eroding over the last 20, 30 years, well … Read More

September 4, 2013 |

Lessons from Israel on How to Bring Back the Vital Few and the US Middle Class

Picking up where we left in my previous article: The U.S. does have options. One is to offer a package of taxes and benefits sufficiently exceeding what’s offered elsewhere in order to bring more talent and capital to its shores. … Read More

March 22, 2013 |

Accelerated and Selective Learning

It is not difficult to further illustrate that restructuring post-secondary education would not affect the quality of learning. Consider this: in many years over the last few decades, accounting is among undergrads’ top choices at business schools. Do students specializing … Read More

March 22, 2013 |

How Our Education System Fell into Decline

Sixty-three percent of employers said that recent college graduates don’t have the skills they need to succeed, the Association of American Colleges and Universities found in 2010. A separate survey showed that 25 percent of employers say that entry-level writing … Read More

March 22, 2013 |

Accelerated Learning Would Add Trillions of Dollars in Wealth

If students could complete their education a year faster, the many benefits would include increased personal wealth, decreased government spending, and more sustainable entitlement programs.

Political discussion today is dominated by a pessimistic tone about government deficits, taxes, and our aging population. But, … Read More

March 16, 2013 |

China’s Future of Neurotic Prosperity

If there is validity in the parallels drawn in my previous articles, China should prosper, though  we do not know how long it would take. Recall Shakespeare’s Shylock. Below its dramatic surface, that play is about trust versus contracts. Members … Read More

March 16, 2013 |

How China’s Small Businesses Can Expand and Exchange Outside of Law

In my previous article, we saw one of the consequences of human population regulation, drawing parallel between present-day China and 18th century Austria. European Jews faced and adapted to another consequence: A wide range of other regulations and expecting less … Read More

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