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April 17, 2014

Tom Sargent's list of 12 valuable lessons economics teaches

From a 2007 Berkeley graduation speech. (Link via Utopia--You Are Standing On It.)

"Untold Tales of the 1%"

"The Top 1% of Recording Artist Superstars Capture 77% of All Revenues From Internet-Based Sales; the Remaining 99% Divide the Remaining 23% of Revenues".

Who's up for taxing the hell out of those filthy rich musicians?


April 15, 2014

Economics "Yo momma" jokes

Two years old, but still good.

Yo mamma so dumb she thought marginal analysis was about butter.

"Want A 70 Percent Tax Cut? A Libertarian Government Could Deliver It"

The author well knows--as do the readers--that this is, currently, but a dream

But a journey of 1,000 miles begins with the first step. 


April 14, 2014

And so it begins (maybe)

Sooner or later, most Americans will get tired of paying so much in taxes for such poor results. Maybe this is the beginning of "sooner": "New York Legislators Just Did The Unthinkable, And Voters Will Love It".

(Maybe this map hints at future developments.)

"The Essence of Antitrust and Regulation"

Don Boudreaux summarizes the unpleasant truth about antitrust:

Antitrust began in 1889, with the enactment of a dozen or so state statutes, as an effort to protect economically inefficient but politically influential producers (chiefly, local butchers) from the competition of more economically efficient but politically less popular producers (chiefly, the newly emergent Chicago meatpackers with their newfangled refrigerated railroad cars).  (See also here.)  The 1890 Sherman Act, at the national level, reflected this populist reaction against market-unleashed creative destruction.  The absurdity of antitrust reached its legislative zenith with the 1936 Robinson-Patman Act.

April 09, 2014

"Redefining the Problem of Our Time"

Arnold Kling, as he virtually always is, right on the money:

If you had asked me, I would have said that the defining issue of our time is unsustainable government finance. Most major national governments have made promises that they are unlikely to keep. Our state and local governments are cutting back on services, and in a few cases going bankrupt, in order to pay pensions to former employees. The outlook for politics is grim.

Three recent pieces on the status of Obamacare

"The ACA: Still Falling Short".

"6 Big Unanswered Questions About Obamacare".

"Survey: US sees sharpest health insurance premium increases in years".

April 08, 2014

"A Guide to Congress's Gimmicks"

It would be so good if they would just stop lying

See also Ruth Marcus, most definitely not a member of the vast-right-wing-conspiracy: "The budgetary fix we’re in".

Two answers to MIchael Lewis's new book and the HFT panic

"Michael Lewis’ high-frequency bull".

It’s easy to bash Wall Street as the root cause of all financial problems (and some non-financial ones), which is why Michael Lewis is getting away with blowing so much smoke about the latest supposed ripoff of the “little guy.”

Easy, but completely and utterly disingenuous.

"Michael Lewis’s HFT Book: More of a Dark Market Than a Lit One".

In sum, there doesn’t appear to be a lot new in Lewis’s book. Moreover, the morality tale doesn’t capture the true complexity of the markets generally, or HFT specifically. It has certainly resulted in the release of a lot of heat, but I don’t see a lot of light. Which is kind of fitting for a book in which a dark pool is the hero.

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