One of the more conservative of the Fed's regional banks, the Dallas Federal Reserve, says "too-big-to-fail" banks must be broken up. Now. An interesting and important essay(pdf) from a most unlikely source.(via)
posted by AElfwine Evenstar
on Apr 2, 2012 -
The New Priesthood
- "The hapless economist uses the same tools as acclaimed physicists and astronomers. She has trained for years to speak precisely the same language as them, to understand the same advanced mathematics, to deploy most complex statistical methods
which are an essential part of the scientific toolbox. It is, understandably, incredibly difficult to accept that her work is a form of higher order superstition
; a religion couched
in the language of mathematics and statistics. Tragically, this is precisely what it is." [more inside]
posted by kliuless
on Apr 2, 2012 -
Why Nations Fail
- In a nutshell
: "Proximately, prosperity is generated by investment and innovation, but these are acts of faith: investors and innovators must have credible reasons to think that, if successful, they will not be plundered by the powerful
. For the polity to provide such reassurance, two conditions have to hold: power has to be centralised and the institutions of power have to be inclusive." [more inside]
posted by kliuless
on Mar 15, 2012 -
A new working paper
by economists Charles Courtemanche (University of Louisville) and Daniela Zapata (UNC-Greensboro) shows that Massachusetts 2006 uniform healthcare coverage caused improvements for numerous health outcomes
. To the degree that the Massachusetts experiment is a guide for the federal Affordable Care Act, this study provides some guidance for guessing which individuals and approximately how much the benefits of the program will be. [more inside]
posted by scunning
on Mar 14, 2012 -
Opportunity Cost: The Eric Clapton and Bob Dylan Problem.
Think you understand the fundamental economic concept of opportunity cost? Answer this:
"You won a free ticket to see an Eric Clapton concert (which has no resale value). Bob Dylan is performing on the same night and is your next-best alternative activity. Tickets to see Dylan cost $40. On any given day, you would be willing to pay up to $50 to see Dylan (because he's so cool!). Assume there are no other costs of seeing either performer. Based on this information, what is the opportunity cost of seeing Eric Clapton?
D. $50" [more inside]
posted by storybored
on Mar 4, 2012 -
"consists of a multitude of insecure people, living bits-and-pieces lives, in and out of short-term jobs, without a narrative of occupational development, including millions of frustrated educated youth who do not like what they see before them, millions of women abused in oppressive labour, growing numbers of criminalised tagged for life, millions being categorised as ‘disabled’ and migrants in their hundreds of millions around the world". [more inside]
posted by hydatius
on Mar 4, 2012 -
I ﬁnd that speakers of languages with little to no grammatical distinction between the present and future (weak-FTR ["Future Time Reference"] language speakers) engage in much more future-oriented behavior. Weak-FTR speakers are 30% more likely to have saved in any given year, and have accumulated an additional 170 thousand Euros by retirement. I also examine non-monetary measures such as health behaviors and long-run health. I ﬁnd that by retirement, weak-FTR speakers are in better health by numerous measures: they are 24% less likely to have smoked heavily, are 29% more likely to be physically active, and are 13% less likely to be medically obese. [more inside]
posted by gauche
on Feb 11, 2012 -
Felix Salmon muses on why art prices keep rising.
On the way, he discusses why some art becomes super-popular:
"Fine art has become the billionaire’s-club equivalent of a Louis Vuitton bag, slathered in logos. It’s not connoisseurship which drives values, so much as recognizability. Which in turn helps to explain why the most prolific artists (Picasso, Warhol, Hirst) are also the most expensive: the more of their work there is, the more exposed to it people become, the more they’ll recognize it, and therefore the more desirable it is."
posted by benbenson
on Feb 8, 2012 -
“You need a thousand rubber gaskets? That’s the factory next door. You need a million screws? That factory is a block away. You need that screw made a little bit different? It will take three hours.
” Charles Duhigg and Keith Bradsher of the NY Times give an in-depth report on Apple's migration of electronics manufacturing to Asia and its impact on middle class Americans.
posted by Blazecock Pileon
on Jan 21, 2012 -
is a movement that takes a different view of economic expansion. Mostly it focuses on how value is created and what happens to the excess value. Proponents can be very aggressive
or very mellow
but a key part of their philosophy is that we must recognize the value we've inherited from the past. In other words, we don't start our lives with an empty ledger but have inherited many physical and intellectual gifts from previous generations. Recently I began wondering whether we shouldn't look at the other side of the ledger, particularly when it comes to ecological impacts - i.e., the messes we inherit. It turns out that in the early 90s, some social credit economists
were writing about this and were even talking about climate change as something that needed to be added to the equation. Is this an idea whose time has finally come?
posted by BillW
on Jan 7, 2012 -
This is the story of one cut. Back in October 2010 George Osborne announced £95 billion in cuts to public services, saying he’d leave it to councils to choose what to shut down. Inevitably most of the casualties ended up being unrenowned places, unlikely to stir up much protest - drop-in centers in housing estates, inner-city park rangers, community theatres, etc. I wanted to write about just one of them, about the ripples created by a single closure. I made my selection quite randomly. I chose a place called Youthreach. I didn’t know much about them, only that they offered weekly counseling sessions to young people, aged 11–25, in Greenwich, South East London.
posted by fearfulsymmetry
on Dec 29, 2011 -
Feminism's Uneven Success
: "Class and racial and ethnic differences among women have intensified over time. The higher earnings of college-educated mothers make it possible for them to purchase child care and help with housework (typically performed by low-wage women workers)... the number of low-skill immigrants living in a large city reduces the tradeoff between employment and fertility for women college graduates. Outsourcing of care responsibilities can have many positive effects, but it reduces the potential for cross-class gender coalitions. Emphasis on changes in women’s average or median earnings relative to men often conceals growing inequality among women." (via)
posted by flex
on Dec 29, 2011 -
is a nice little collection of curated and tagged economic news stories, 5-8 every day. It is edited in part by the admirable (and MetaFave) financial journalist Felix Salmon
posted by shothotbot
on Dec 22, 2011 -
A presentation by Dr. Heiner Flassbeck,
a former deputy secretary in the German Ministry of Finance and currently chief economist the UN agency for World Trade and Development in Geneva. He talks about EMU and interest rates, and then links it all to class war and America.
posted by marienbad
on Dec 13, 2011 -
Divided We Stand: Why Inequality Keeps Rising
is the latest report from the OECD Directorate for Employment, Labour and Social Affairs. It finds:
In the three decades prior to the recent economic downturn, wage gaps widened and household income inequality increased in a large majority of OECD countries. [...]Launching the report in Paris, OECD Secretary-General Angel Gurría said “The social contract is starting to unravel in many countries. This study dispels the assumptions that the benefits of economic growth will automatically trickle down to the disadvantaged and that greater inequality fosters greater social mobility. Without a comprehensive strategy for inclusive growth, inequality will continue to rise.”
Links to Overview [.pdf]
; press release
; notes [.pdf format] for Australia
, the UK
, the USA
; data link
posted by wilful
on Dec 5, 2011 -
I was Wrong and So are You. I needed to retract the conclusions I’d trumpeted in The Wall Street Journal. The new results invalidated our original result: under the right circumstances, conservatives and libertarians were as likely as anyone on the left to give wrong answers to economic questions. The proper inference from our work is not that one group is more enlightened, or less. It’s that “myside bias”—the tendency to judge a statement according to how conveniently it fits with one’s settled position—is pervasive among all of America’s political groups. The bias is seen in the data, and in my actions. [more inside]
posted by storybored
on Dec 3, 2011 -
Critics of the Occupy Wall Street movement have complained that the protestors have no clear goals, so WE DON'T MAKE DEMANDS
composed a list of 12 concrete, specific suggestions focusing on economic reform, stronger regulation, and closing loopholes.
posted by The Whelk
on Nov 30, 2011 -