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Features of the week

Lots to share in this Friday's edition of, "Features of the week". Let's get started!

1. International equity returns YTD. Nice table and world map courtesy of TickerSense.

2. Iceland is the best place to live, according to a UN study.

3. Bloomberg crafts a lengthy profile of hedge fund star James Simons, founder of Renaissance Technologies LLC.

4. Paulson & Co. earnings beat those of Citadel, as John Paulson tops Bloomberg's list of highly paid hedge fund managers.

5. Death of inflation is a dangerous delusion, writes John Kemp.

6. Who really pays the taxes in America? The rich, baby.

7. Financial Sense Junior Gold Mining Index review, by Frank Barbera.

8. Robert Prechter talks to Bloomberg about the markets and inflation/deflation.

9. Capitalism: Derailed, Dumbed-down, or Deceased?, asks Rob Kirby.

10. Is art a good investment? Matisse Capital reviews recent speculative returns.

11. China is not decoupling from the US, according to CLSA economists.

12. Does the current financial crisis vindicate the economics of Hyman Minsky?

13. Bear Mountain Bull tips us to some not-so-free-market aspects of the recent home lending accords.

14. Peter Munk, founder and chairman of Barrick Gold, speaks with FT.com's "View from the Top" about gold, mining, sovereign wealth funds, the world economy, and investors Steven Schwarzman and Oleg Deripaska.

Watch the interview here. Parts one and two.

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