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

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 […]

Petroleum speculation without contango or growing inventories ?

As I’m sure AngryBear readers know, Paul Krugman does not believe that the spot price of petroleum shot up due to speculation. His argument is that the only way future expected prices can affect demand for crude or supply of refined products to final consumers is via inventory accumulation and inventories haven’t increased. Also he […]

He’s Baaack

After a long long week, Matthew Yglesias has finally returned to the web at

Wang and Silver on electoral projections

Sam Wang explains why he reports a 99% probability of an Obama win and has only a 62.4% probability. I learned a lot from his post due to my incredible ignorance. I go to often enough that Firefox proposes it first when I type www, but I had never bothered to read the […]

What’s dumb about a windfall profits tax?

The always smart Kevin Drum writes The windfall profits tax is a dumb idea, and I wish Obama didn’t support it, but I guess politics is politics. It’s not the biggest deal in the world. I asked in comments what’s so dumb about a windfall profits tax. I haven’t checked how many commenters responded to […]