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Features of the week

We've got a lot of information to share in this Friday's edition of our "Features of the week".

And while I'm definitely a proponent of being selective when it comes to information, I do hope you'll all take some time to check out these article features which cover a number of different, and fascinating, topics. Having said that, enjoy!

1. "Good Companies, Bad Karma". A Q&A discussion with marketing guru Jagdish Seth.

2. "Freedom, not climate, is at risk". An FT comment by Vaclav Klaus.

3. The cost of gasoline around the world. Excellent graph and analysis from The Oil Drum.

4. There's a downside to Alberta's oil boom and it comes in the form of soaring rents and shortages in education, recreational opportunities, and medical services.

5. Building cities in the desert sand. Prince Fahd bin Sultan and construction mogul Bahaa Hariri hope to build megacities in Saudi Arabia where desert now stands.

Will their long term plans be hampered by the onset of peak oil and higher energy prices?

6. Is there a bubble in the Chinese stock market? Are valuations in India too high? Will a market plunge in China spread to other Asian stock markets or is the speculative mania confined to the Chinese mainland?

These, and other important questions, are hashed out by noted investors such as, Mark Mobius, Jim Rogers, and Marc Faber, in "Chinese Checkers".

7. Political turmoil creates a buying opportunity in Thailand.

8. A Motley Fool interview with value investor Mohnish Pabrai. Parts one and two of "Pabrai's Perspectives on Investing". Thanks to David Hui Lau for sharing these links.

9. The Financial Philosopher wonders if financial blogs are making the markets more efficient.

10. John Rubino interviews Bill Laggner and Kevin Duffy of Bearing Fund LP, and the talk turns to "value traps" in the market.

11. Richard Russell remembers when a dime bought a loaf of bread, but then, "I'm an old-timer...".

12. Doug Wakefield and Ben Hill discuss debt, the economy, and the outlook for the markets as seen through the viewpoints of two fictitious investors in, "Ed 'N' Earl".

Further to the points made in the Wakefield/Hill article about the Great Depression, some reference links courtesy of the Mises Institute:

*America's Great Depression, by Murray N. Rothbard.
*Banking And The Business Cycle (PDF), by C.A. Phillips, T.F. MacManus, and R.W. Nelson.

13. "Toxic Debt: The Poison In Your Pension". Bloomberg Markets reports that banks are selling the riskiest part of collateralized debt obligations (CDOs) to public pension funds. You know what they say, "Caveat Emptor".

14. Newsweek reports on a $3 gadget that provides safe drinking water. Hat tip to The Kirk Report for this article.

15. Fintag and friends worry about an upcoming June correction and the possibility of a fall crash. Are they jivin'?

16. NYMEX explores a sale as the CME sweetens its offer for the hotly pursued CBOT.

17. Americans are less happy today than 30 years ago, according to an Italian study.

18. Whitney Tilson shares some not-to-be-missed tips for value investors.

19. Edward Chancellor takes an imaginary look back at Blackstone Group's tenure as a publicly traded company. Hat tip to Abnormal Returns.

That's all, friends! Enjoy your weekend.

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