One lesson we have learned from blogging is that some topics keep coming up. The following include a number of items on which we have previously noted.

Japan has been a favorite topic of the financial press coinciding with the strong move up in its equity markets. Yesterday we highlighted some conflicting views on the subject . Martin Fackler in the New York Times writes on rising optimism about the Japanese economy.

“The economy has finally crawled out of its 1990’s misery,” said Richard Jerram, chief economist in Tokyo for Macquarie Securities. “This is the first time since the late 1980’s that I’ve seen signs of a broad domestic revival.”

We have been discussing for quite some time the issue of the folly of forecasting economic and financial data. A recent piece pointed to a review of a new book focused on the poor track record of forecasting in the political arena. A direct link to the Louis Menand piece in the New Yorker can be found here.

Tom Peters points to a review of Expert Political Judgment: How Good Is It? by Philip Tetlock noting that experts are less likely to be correct than a coin toss. The Stalwart weighs in as well with the belief that the financial industry pays too much attention to forecasts and too little attention to risk.

Barry Ritzholtz contributes part two of his Apprenticed Investor article at on the best investment books. Included are books on economics, technical analysis, short selling, fundamentals, and behavioral finance. You can read our coverage on book reviews here.

Another topic we have been covering is the seeming undervaluation of megacap stocks versus their small cap cousins. weighs in on the future of small caps.

Daily Dose of Optimism points to an interview with noted value investor Seth Klarman. Klarman is uneasy with the rise in value investors and the lack of good investment opportunities. Note an earlier take on Klarman here

The PowerShares Value Line Timeliness Select Portfolio (PIV) is now trading. If you are interested in investing, read Mark Hulbert’s piece at on the differences (and similarities) between this ETF and a previously issued closed-end fund, First Trust Value Line 100 Fund (FVL), that invests in a similar manner.

Last but not least, Greg Ip in the Wall Street Journal garners some insight into the new Federal Reserve Chairman, Ben Bernanke, by examining his academic interest in the Great Depression. Although the Depression seems like ancient history to many, Bernanke has learned a number of lessons from that period that he will apply in his new role.

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