Welcome back from the Independence Day holiday. A smattering of items to get you back into the swing of things.

In response to a discussion on indexing Greg Mankiw looks at the question: Are you the next Warren Buffett?

The Daily Dose of Optimism draws some important lessons on investing from some of our favorite investment commentators including (no surprise) Warren Buffett.

James Surowiecki in the New Yorker looks at Ben Bernanke and Fed openness.

Our longtime readers know have a longstanding interest in stock market seasonality. Barry Ritholtz points to some election cycle statistics on bond market seasonality, although the results are not decisive.

Tim Middleton at MSN Money jumps on “scarce water” as a viable investment theme.

Katie Benner at TheStreet.com notes the pressure ETFs are putting on open-end sector mutual funds.

Claudia H. Deutsch in the New York Times reports on another example of how higher energy prices are directly leading to economically viable conservation projects.

Also on the energy front, Matthew L. Wald in the New York Times looks at some projects slated to convert abundant coal into various fuels.

Dennis K. Berman at the Wall Street Journal notes the growing trend of private equity funds paying themselves big dividends from their holdings.

Given the previous news it should not be surprising that investment banks are falling all over themselves to obtain private equity business. (via DealBook)

Bloomberg.com reports on the latest huge fund raising effort from a European private equity fund.

Chad Brand at the Peridot Capitalist parses some shareholder “unfriendly” remarks from the chairman of Citigroup (C).

John Cassidy in the New Yorker reviews the long-awaited book from Chris Anderson on The Long Tail.

Adam Warner must be bored given these “random thoughts.”

Brett Steenbarger at TraderFeed (via The Onion) may have found the perfect contrarian indicator.

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