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

Advice from a Grand Master

Former Dallas Fed President Bob McTeer lists the “bad thinking habits” that cause people to make irrational economic decisions. It promises to be a series of posts. The first might be subtitled “Never Look a $10 tie in the local currency.”

Finance Quote of the Day

“This isn’t a matter of dissing Microsoft, but Intel information technology staff just found no compelling case for adopting Vista,” the person said. From here, h/t Felix.

Renegotiating NAFTA: It’s not just for the US any more

It’s no secret that I am no fan of NAFTA, which is to free trade what George W. Bush is to entrepreneurship. So when Barack Obama and Hillary Clinton were talking about changes needing to be made, I yawned. (save the rustbelt, by contrast, looked up and said, “Now they understand?”) Then changes they want […]

No data for Munich but…

The Healthcare Economist notes that you are more likely to die in a New York hospital than one in London or Paris. But London is less safe for “avoidable” mortality. (I believe the English translation of that is “Dying when you shouldn’t have had to do so.) Unfortunately, there is no solution to the problems […]

Where are the Household Entrepreneurs?

Glancing through the CBO survey that only checked one side of the ledger, and therefore made Greg Mankiw happy, I came across the data on Corporate Taxes paid, by Quintile of Income. Now, there has been a groundswell of declarations that people aren’t “leaving the job market”; instead, they are supposedly being “entrepreneurs,” starting their […]

More on Home Ownership

Tom already hit this Paul Krugman column, so I’ll just put together a list: “I.R.S. lets you deduct mortgage interest from your taxable income but doesn’t let you deduct rent” But not mortgage principal. And the interest deduction still leaves an owner out of pocket for at least 65%—probably more. “[I]f the market value of […]

Ancient History

Celebrating a past era, probably in the late 1980s: Celebrating a War of Consensus, early 1992: Also early 1992 (for me), more than any other, the symbol of a firm (before Alan Raised a Cayne): Extra credit: Name the book used as background for the 1973 Mets tribute card and the unopened Desert Storm card […]

Valuing "Women’s Work"

One of the hardest things in the world is to value that which is not otherwise measured. The old observation that a man who marries his housekeeper reduces GDP is both sexist and accurate. Still (via Erin), the estimate that being an at-home parent is worth $117,000 p.a. seems a bit high. And we […]

The WSJ version of History

An article on Che Guevara becomes surreal: For many Argentines, he evokes painful memories of the bloody 1970s, when young Che-wannabes took up arms in the name of revolution. The ensuing turmoil gave rise to a brutal right-wing military dictatorship. Yes, the families of the “desaparecidos” all consider Che the reason their family tree is […]

Defining "uprooted"

It rained and stormed a bit yesterday. After speaking with my insurance company, I am told the following: This is considered an “Act of G-d” (clearly, the OT version of same) Since the damage is almost all on my neighbor’s property (their fence, their swing set, their garage), it’s not covered under my policy. Since […]