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

Toxic Sludge Inc

There are three reasons that the give Paulson $700,000,000,000 to play with plan might save world finance 1) the value of a pool of all the mortgage based assets is easier to determine than the value of particular assets — making a huge pool of all the toxic sludge will cause it to melt, that […]

What is the point of credit default insurance ?

I stress again that I am technically an economist, but I have focused on everything except for money and banking (OK everything but money, banking and Neo-Austrian theory) so I am ignorant on this topic. I am interested in understanding why financial innovation is profitable. I can think of two key reasons for new instruments. […]

More on the McCain Health Care Plan

I have posted a deliberately unsophisticated discussion at my other blog After the jump, I try to add something to Tom Bozzo’s post below (which you should read first because he actually knows something about the issues). Here I take as fact Buchmueller et al’s assertion (as summarized by Bozzo but at least I admit […]

Dynamically Inconsistent Preferences and Money Demand

Emanuele Millemaci and Robert Waldmann This paper focuses on two main issues. First, we find that, on average, households’ discount rates decline. This implies dynamically inconsistent preferences. Second, we calculate an indicator of the degree of dynamic inconsistency that may help us to understand how households overcome their self-control problems. We use a micro dataset […]

Why Doesn’t Europe Have Financial Crises ?

Kevin Drum asks But here’s a question for one of the serious econ-bloggers out there: Have lots of big non-U.S. banks collapsed? There was Northern Rock, but anyone else? Are any European financial systems in danger of meltdown? Why not? I like to think of myself as a serious econ-blogger, but don’t claim the title […]

More on infant mortality: What’s with the USA

A post based on joint work with Tilman Tacke got 45 comments which is a lot for one of my posts. Many were excellent. One weak point is that people seem a bit obsessed with the USA. The post discussed cross country regressions with 71 countries (The first comment started “Why only 71 countries?”). The […]

Public and Private Health Care Spending and Infant Mortality in 71 countries

by Tilman Tacke and Robert Waldmann We don’t know if someone else has noticed this amazing fact: in a cross country regression, the ratio of public health care spending to GDP is negatively correlated with the infant mortality rate as one would expect, but the share of private health care spending in GDP is positively […]

Foreign films, Western Cultural Influence, and Divorce in Japan.

by Tilman Tacke and Robert Waldmann Globalization has caused a decrease in cultural distinctiveness. We find indications of a link between the divorce rate in Japan after 1955 and the market share of foreign films. Foreign films in Japanese cinema, including Hollywood productions, may act as importer of Western values. The market share of foreign […]

The Silver Standard

Poblan Unico jamás será vencido Extremely regular readers of AngryBear will have noticed that I became a guest contributor a while ago. Then I vanished. The reason is that I have become obsessed with Presidential Polling and don’t have much original to say about it. A dialog from last night between me and my 11 […]

Petroleum Speculation Thread N+1

I wrote something about crude oil, inventories and contango below and there were 57 comments including one, from Aaron which refered to this post in the future indicative. A lot of the discussion is Krugman pro and con (mostly con). I think I will review my take on his arguments here as an introduction. I […]