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Features of the week

We have a lot of great stuff to share with you in this weekend's edition of, "Features of the week".

From the high price of platinum, to a sit down with investment author and historian Peter Bernstein, you're sure to find something of interest here. So read, watch, and enjoy!

1. Warren Buffett's bid for municipal bond contracts guaranteed by MBIA, Ambac, and FGIC was one of the biggest business news stories this week. Some say the plan will save the muni market, and doom MBIA & Ambac.

2. Jim Chanos talks to Bloomberg News about regulations constraining investment managers in the midst of the ongoing credit crisis.

3. Investor, author, and historian, Peter Bernstein is interviewed for FT's View from the Markets program.

4. Will the UK housing market follow the US? UK house prices have surpassed US prices both in absolute terms and relative to income.

5. China spurs coal-price surge. Yes, this is likely to affect Europe and the US; some background info on this topic.

6. New era dawns for rail building, at least in America.

7. The Frightful Face of Stimulus. The return of populism and New Deal politics.

8. Essential texts on Austrian economics? Ten books to read, for free.

9. Did you miss part of the recent 2008 Barron's Roundtable series? No sweat, we've got you covered, courtesy of Barron's Online.

10. Very high quality gems and diamonds continue to bring high prices from rich buyers in Asia, Middle East, Russia, and the West.

Fears of inflation and a preference for tangible assets have driven the trend in recent years, much like the diamond boom of the late 1970's and early 80's.

Still, many say would-be investors should beware. For instance, take this 1982 article in The Atlantic, entitled, "Have you ever tried to sell a diamond?".

11. Platinum hits a new record high. Platinum keeps outpacing palladium in terms of price gains.

12. Jim Rogers interview with Resource Investor: Where to Put Your Money. Hat tip to Kaspar's Market Insights.

13. A profile of the renowned trader and forecaster, W.D. Gann, published in 1909 by "The Ticker and Investment Digest" (later known as the Wall Street Journal).

14. Dumb and dumber: are Americans hostile to knowledge?

15. Is college a waste of time and money? Fascinating discussion of James Altucher's recent FT column at Controlled Greed.

16. Who am I? The Financial Philosopher on emotional intelligence and learning.

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Enjoy your weekend.

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