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

A Brain-Dead "Financial Reporter" at NPR Defines the Problem

Via Doctor Black, who printed the answer but not the question: PIGNAL: This is actually the second bailout for Dexia. In 2008, it had to be bailed out after exceptionally imprudent investing, including in U.S. subprime mortgages. This time around, it was basically dealing with the legacy of the past, and it was trying to […]

Why Are You Out There?

When someone attempts to impede democracy actions are good things: Writer and naturalist Henry David Thoreau was once locked up for refusing to pay a poll tax. He opposed the tax on moral grounds – in a democracy, he argued, a man shouldn’t have to pay to vote…. That night, so the story goes, Thoreau […]

Weekend Reflection Points

The lead article in the current AER is available here (gated, apparently, though the link isn’t working; h/t Tom Bozzo [on FB] and Brad DeLong; I was using the paper copy). The most interesting part so far: the authors only considered the documented costs of air pollution—not land, not water—in deriving the (embarrassingly negative) ROI […]

Notes Toward Modeling a Risk-Free Rate with Default Possibilities

Brad DeLong asks why it hasn’t been done, if it hasn’t been done.  The biggest problem I can see is that you don’t know how insane the participants are—and that will have a major effect on how much damage is done when. Don’t get me wrong; the damage is already being done; it has been […]

The 30-Year Amortizing Mortgage is a Win-Win (Part 1 of a Series)

Even the normally level-headed Buce—who knows better and lets us know he knows better—tries to give Tyler Cowen’s broadside at Fannie and Freddie the benefit of some (contrived) doubt.  I’ve already screamed about the legerdemain of Cowen’s post elsewhere, so let’s go for the philosophical underpinnings. Let’s give some ground first.  Buce is spot-on with: […]

Some People Call Me Mau-rice

It’s not that the data is different; it’s the interpretation. For instance, Brad DeLong’s What Obama Needs to Do is three(or four) fine suggestions, one point (2) that hasn’t worked yet but bears repeating, and a moment (5) of hope that really does required Congressional action, as Stan Collender noted today. But the three good […]