Relevant and even prescient commentary on news, politics and the economy.

Controlling spending through price

Tufts Health HMO, rated best in the US by US News, just sent a note that included changes in co-payments on procedures. Co-pays go from $25 to $600 for Cat scans, MRI scans, pet scans, breast biopsies (which can consist of removal of a cysts with a BIG needle), colonoscopies and other procedures. Where the […]

Little things that count in standards of opportunity

PLoS Neglected Tropical Diseases Issue Image Vol. 1(3) December 2007 (Public Library of Science) Shown are 1,659 adult Schistosoma mansoni worms obtained by live surgical perfusion of an 18-year-old patient. In this issue of PLoS Neglected Tropical Diseases, Daniel G. Colley and W. Evan Secor present an agenda for schistosomiasis research (see Colley et al., […]

Thoughts on responsibility instead of blame

Sammy suggested avoiding the blame game and focus on future regulations. So I noticed others talking about regulating ‘looters’ in the narrow sense of the word. I learned a few things. Naked Capitalism pointed to Econbrowser where Menzie Chin discussed what needed to be done to deal with our current ‘crisis’ in solvency. Worth reading […]

Trolls spend a lot of time online

I am new at this part of the forum as part of Angry Bear. Please let me know if I have the basics correct. Knowing how much time posting takes, I am amazed at the quantity of time necessary to troll. 1. A classic troll is trying to make us believe that he is a […]

Another viewpoint on the economy

The UK Telegraph has an interesting set of charts regarding issuance of bonds and such. Glance at the more or less healthy stock markets in New York, London, and Frankfurt, and you might never know that this debate is raging. Hopes that Middle Eastern and Asian wealth funds will plug every hole lifts spirits.Glance at […]

It Can’t Happen Here.

J Edgar Hoover, former FBI Director Sinclair Lewis wrote a book with the ironic title It Can’t Happen Here. (hat tip to Bruce Webb from comments here). There is a strain of thought in American politics that prefers to consider the Constitution as an impediment. Another example comes to mind from this new information about […]

Update about Antigua and WTO

The NYT reports on WTO and Antigua: In an unusual ruling on Friday at the World Trade Organization, the Caribbean nation of Antigua won the right to violate copyright protections on goods like films and music from the United States — an award worth up to $21 million — as part of a dispute between […]

Political appointees to control promotions in the military?

The International Herald Tribune reports: Six years ago, the first prisoners from the war against terrorism arrived at the U.S. military detention center at Guantánamo Bay. The Bush administration refused to grant prisoner-of-war status to inmates there and denied them the protections of the Geneva Conventions, and has brought criminal charges against only three of […]

Barclay versus Bear Stearns: Suits begin work to apportion blame

Bloomberg reports: Barclays PLC, the U.K.’s third- biggest bank, sued Bear Stearns Cos. over losses caused by the implosion earlier this year of a hedge fund that invested in subprime mortgages.Barclays Bank PLC, a unit of London-based Barclays, claimed the New York-based securities firm hid negative financial information about the collapsed fund, according to a […]

Slavery by another name

The Independent reports: Fruit-pickers, who typically earn about $200 (£100) a week, are part of an unregulated system designed to keep food prices low and the plates of America’s overweight families piled high. The migrants, largely Hispanic and with many of them from Mexico, are the last wretched link in a long chain of exploitation […]