EconoMonitor

Economics Blog Aggregator

    Global Macro

  • Brad DeLong's Grasping Reality

    Links and Tweets

    Links: Jody Shenn: "Thanks to a push by President Barack Obama's administration, more and more student-loan borrowers are signing up for income-driven repayment programs, allowing them to pay a fraction of what they would otherwise owe..." Ben Thompson: "Twitter has such a significant hill to climb: not only do they need a new CEO, they probably need a new board as well. Having a mixture of former CEOs and folks who don’t use Twitter doesn’t exactly suggest that the CEO decision will be based on what is best for the product. And that makes me pretty pessimistic." LizardBreath: Rough Rider Greases Up William Gale: State income tax cuts: Still a bad idea Martin Feldstein: The U.S. Underestimates Growth Links: Must-Read: Mark Thoma: The Politics of Economics ...more

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  • International Political Economy Zone

    Financial Adventure Time...and Now for Iran Bonds

    Isfahan, one of the potential beneficiaries of international bond issuance.First Kurdistan bonds, now Iran bonds! What's the world coming to? With yields so low for developed (especially reserve currency-issuing) countries' official debt, bond investors are looking at some fairly exotic places for higher returns. With normalization of Iranian relations with the rest of the world on the cards, relaxation of sanctions will mean its banks will again be able to conduct SWIFT transfers. More exciting though is the prospect of Iran offering bonds to global investors, which is not as far off as you think should relations indeed normalize:As Iranian officials were in Vienna hammering out terms of the nuclear accord, [Hans] Humes, a New York-based hedge fund manager, traveled t...more

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  • Brad DeLong's Grasping Reality

    Noted for Your Evening Procrastination for July 29, 2015

    Must- and Should-Reads: Martin Feldstein: The U.S. Underestimates Growth William Gale: State income tax cuts: Still a bad idea Jody Shenn: "Thanks to a push by President Barack Obama's administration, more and more student-loan borrowers are signing up for income-driven repayment programs, allowing them to pay a fraction of what they would otherwise owe..." Must-Read: Kevin Hjortshøj O'Rourke: Moving on From the Euro Must-Read: Mark Thoma: The Politics of Economics and ‘Very Serious People’ Simon Wren-Lewis: The F story about the Great Inflation Must-Read: Cathy O'Neil: Greek Debt and German Banks Must-Read: Daniel Davies: The Verjus Manifesto Must-Read: Mark Thoma: 12 Good and Bad Parts of Online Education Must-Read: Matthew Yglesias: The Amazing Persistence o...more

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  • naked capitalism

    Mark Ames of Pando Interviews Your Humble Blogger on Greece

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  • Brad DeLong's Grasping Reality

    Why Americans Are Nostalgic About Manufacturing

    Over at Equitable Growth: Last month the sharp and hard-working Jeff Spross wrote: Jeff Spross: Why Americans Are so nostalgic About the Manufacturing Industry: "The U.S. still manufactures a lot of stuff, but most of it isn't stuff average American consumers buy... ...These days, we mostly make heavy industrial equipment, circuitry, aircraft, and other big and expensive goods and high-end products.... A lot of manufacturing went overseas... so we get imports for a lower cost, which improves our standard of living. People in other, less developed nations get new jobs, which... improves theirs. A win-win, theoretically speaking. Same goes for rising automation.... But the 1950s economy was also a delicately balanced ecosystem... where wages were good, health and pen...more

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  • TIME

    The University of Phoenix Is Under Federal Investigation

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  • The Big Picture

    MiB: Dambisa Moyo on Why China Can’t Afford a Slowdown

    This week on our Masters in Business radio podcast, we speak with international economist Dambisa Moyo. Moyo, named by Time magazine as one of the “100 Most Influential People in the World,” says that China’s slowdown creates a challenge for the government: if it wants to double per-capita income over the course of a generation it needs to sustain growth of 7 percent. The author of three New York Times bestselling books, including “Dead Aid: Why Aid Is Not Working and How There Is a Better Way for Africa,” Moyo is critical of the way Western aid has led to corruption while failing to improve living standards for most Africans. You can hear the full podcast on iTunes, SoundCloud and on Bloomberg. Earlier podcasts can be found on iTunes and ...more

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  • TIME

    Mobile Is Facebook’s Cash Cow

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  • TIME

    Whole Foods Sales Hurt By Overcharging Allegations

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  • Beat the Press

    Wealth Gap by Age: A Big Thing Not to Worry About

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  • Economist's View

    Fed Watch: FOMC Recap

    Tim Duy: FOMC Recap, by Tim Duy: The July FOMC meeting yielded the widely expected outcome of no policy change. Very little change in the statement either - pulling out any useful information is about as easy as reading tea leaves or chicken bones. But that won't stop me from trying! On net, I would count it was somewhat more hawkish as the Fed gears up to hike rates later this year. By no means, however, did the statement make any definitive signal about September. The Fed continues to hold true to its promise to make the next move about the data. The era of handholding fades further into memory. The first paragraph contained nearly all of the changes in the statement. Using the Wall Street Journal's handy-dandy Fed tracker: In my opinion, this repres...more

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  • Marc to Market

    Fed Hike Moving into Focus

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  • Economist's View

    What Is 'Price Theory'?

    Glen Weyl at Marginal Revolution: What Is “Price Theory”?: ... I have an unusual relationship to “price theory”. As far as I know I am the only economist under 40, with the possible exception of my students, who openly identifies myself as focusing my research on price theory. As a result I am constantly asked what the phrase means. Usually colleagues will follow up with their own proposed definitions. My wife even remembers finding me at our wedding reception in a heated debate not about the meaning of marriage, but of price theory. The most common definition, which emphasizes the connection to Chicago and to models of price-taking in partial equilibrium, doesn’t describe the work of the many prominent economists today who are closely identified with price t...more

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  • Marginal REVOLUTION

    *Money and Soccer*

    The subtitle for this one suffices for a review: A Soccernomics Guide: Why Chievo Verona, Unterhaching, and Scunthorpe United Will Never Win the Champions League, Why Manchester City, Roma, and Paris Saint-Germain can, and why Real Madrid, Bayern Munich, and Manchester United Cannot Be Stopped I haven’t even read the full subtitle yet (I used Control C), much less the book.  But the author is the highly regarded Stefan Szymanski, and John Foot gave it a very positive review in the 24 July 2015 TLS. ...more

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  • Economist's View

    FOMC Press Release

    Not much to say about this, policy is unchanged, and not as much guidance on what to expect going forward as some expected (i.e., to get people ready for a rate increase in September): Press Release, Release Date: July 29, 2015: Information received since the Federal Open Market Committee met in June indicates that economic activity has been expanding moderately in recent months. Growth in household spending has been moderate and the housing sector has shown additional improvement; however, business fixed investment and net exports stayed soft. The labor market continued to improve, with solid job gains and declining unemployment. On balance, a range of labor market indicators suggests that underutilization of labor resources has diminished since early this year. Infla...more

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  • naked capitalism

    2:00PM Water Cooler 7/29/15

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  • Beat the Press

    The Bubble Boys: Jeb Bush and Bill Clinton

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  • Marginal REVOLUTION

    A very good sentence

    We care about African animals and British people, but ignore African people and British animals. That is from Andrew Pearson, via Ben Southwood.  And here is an interesting WaPo Lindsey Bever article about the economics of hunting big game. ...more

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  • Beat the Press

    The Washington Post Wants to Cut Disability Benefits

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  • Marginal REVOLUTION

    Wednesday assorted links

    1. The ingenuity of evil? 2. Brink Lindsey: Low-hanging fruit guarded by dragons. 3. Prospective markets in everything: a vegetarian patty so similar to meat that it appears to bleed.  And will one device change how we cook forever? 4. Amazon’s plan to fill the sky with drones and end the great stagnation. 5. The White House report on occupational licensing (pdf). 6. The game theory of Uber? (speculative) ...more

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  • The Big Picture

    China’s Share of Foreign Investment

    Click through to see the whole exhibit. Source: NYT

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  • Free exchange

    On the economics of the end of the world as we know it

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  • Cafe Hayek - Article Feed

    Some Links

    (Don Boudreaux) TweetMy Mercatus Center colleagues Veronique de Rugy, Nita Ghei, and Michael Wilt argue that that great geyser of cronyism, the U.S. Export-Import Bank, should not be resurrected. The market is a process – a reality that, by encouraging market-improving innovations, reduces the alleged need for government intervention to improve the operation of markets.  Fred Foldvary and Eric Hammer explain in this new paper from the Mercatus Center. I thank my colleague Alex Tabarrok for putting up at Marginal Revolution my recent Everyday Economics video on so-called ‘fair trade’ – and for the accompanying quotation from William MacAskill. At Philly.com today I argue that Uncle Sam should abolish his prohibition on oil exports from the la...more

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  • naked capitalism

    How Big Corporations Are Starving Public Schools of Billions of Dollars

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  • Paul Krugman

    State Growth Versus National Growth

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  • Marc to Market

    Great Graphic: Unit Labor Costs in EMU

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  • Cafe Hayek - Article Feed

    Quotation of the Day…

    (Don Boudreaux) Tweet… is from page 152 of the 1991 Liberty Fund edition of Bruno Leoni’s brilliant 1961 volume, Freedom and the Law: History evidences the fact that legislation does not constitute an appropriate alternative to arbitrariness, but that it often ranks alongside the vexatious orders of tyrants or of arrogant majorities against all kinds of spontaneous processes of forming a common will…. From the point of view of the supporters of individual freedom it is not only a question of being suspicious of officials and rulers, but also of legislators. ...more

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  • The Big Picture

    10 Wednesday AM Reads

    Our midweek explainer on just about everything will make you smarter by the time your morning train commute is over: • 6 Great Investors Explain What Makes Stocks Rise (Barron’s) • Nobody Knows How Much Bonds Cost (BV) • Gold: Is it really likely to hit 5,000 an ounce? (MutualFunds.com) • Are Home Prices Again Breaking Records? Not Really (Real Time Economics) • It’s Not Climate Change — It’s Everything Change (Medium) Continues here   ...more

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  • Marc to Market

    Markets are Hopeful for Fed Clues

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  • Fabius Maximus website

    The 97% consensus of climate scientists is only 47%

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  • VoxEU.org: Recent Articles

    Stock markets, banking crises, and economic recoveries

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  • VoxEU.org: Recent Articles

    Financial frictions, product quality, and international trade

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  • Cafe Hayek - Article Feed

    Mencken Understood Politicians

    (Don Boudreaux) TweetHere’s a letter to the Wall Street Journal: The opening of Holman Jenkins’s most recent column – “Hillary Clinton would string syllables together in any order if she thought it would get her to the White House” – is reminiscent of (if a bit less graphic than) H.L. Mencken’s observation about FDR seeking reelection in 1936: “If he became convinced tomorrow that coming out for cannibalism would get him the votes he needs so sorely, he would begin fattening a missionary in the White House yard come Wednesday.”* It must never be forgotten that the typical politician’s first and foremost – and too often only – object is to gain and keep office.  Honesty, decency, and genuine civility and humility be d...more

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  • Econbrowser

    Median Household Income Trends: Wisconsin vs. Minnesota

    No surprise, Minnesota beats Wisconsin, again. Some individuals have touted trends in Wisconsin’s median household income relative to Minnesota and the Nation. The Census Bureau warns researchers from doing intertemporal comparisons using the standard series (e.g., on FRED), given data breaks due to different methods of interpolation. Here I plot the American Community Survey (ACS) series for Minnesota, Wisconsin and US, which are not subject to the same problem of comparability, and are estimated with greater precision due to larger sample sizes. Figure 1: Median household income for Minnesota (blue), Wisconsin (red), and US (black). Source: American Community Survey/Census Bureau, and author’s calculations. Use of this series reverses the impression from...more

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  • Worthwhile Canadian Initiative

    Open borders vs forced emigration

    Let's start simple. There are two physically identical islands, Alpha and Beta. There are two agents, A and B. Initially, A lives on Alpha, and B lives on Beta. Under "Open Borders", each agent has the right to move to either island, if he wishes to. Under "Forced Emigration", each agent has the obligation to move to either island, if the other agent wishes him to. Which is better? If you like, you can assume they take turns to play the game, with one play per year. Framing sucks....more

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  • Paul Krugman

    Second-best Macroeconomics

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  • Free exchange

    Peaks and valleys

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  • Free exchange

    Are landlords to blame for Britain’s housing crisis?

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  • Greg Mankiw's Blog

    The Conservative Heart

    Click here to read my piece in this coming Sunday's NY Times Book Review.

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  • Paul Krugman

    Trumped Again

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  • Fabius Maximus website

    For 50 years Republicans have fought against treaties that brought peace

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  • Econbrowser

    The US in Recession? The World?

    This headline “US Recession Imminent – Durable Goods Drop For 5th Month, Core CapEx Collapses”, following on “Forget Recession: According To Caterpillar There Is A Full-Blown Global Depression”, impelled me to check to see if I’d missed something. Term Spreads The first thing that I wanted to inspect was the term spread, in this case the 10 year-3 month spread. Figure 1: Ten year-three month term spreads, as of 7/27/2015 (blue bar). China observation is Five year-three month term spread. Euro ten year rate is for Germany. Source: Economist accessed 7/27/2015, and author’s calculations. Interestingly, the US spread is larger than it was in April when I last examined the spreads, which seems to suggest that a US slowdown is not imm...more

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  • VoxEU.org: Recent Articles

    Innovation, income inequality, and social mobility

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  • Econbrowser

    Who Am I to Disagree?

    From WaPo: “Wisconsin’s doing terribly. It’s in turmoil. The roads are a disaster because they don’t have any money to rebuild them. They’re borrowing money like crazy. They projected a $1 billion surplus, and it turns out to be a deficit of $2.2 billion. The schools are a disaster. The hospitals and education was a disaster. And he was totally in favor of Common Core, which I hate!” I can’t say I agree with much of what Mr. Trump says, but even a broken clock is right twice a day. (I don’t hate common core, but he is right that Governor Walker was for common core before he was against it…) And the WaPo article goes through some material documenting the correctness of several of the assertions. As Jon Peacock at Wisconsin Budget Blog notes...more

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  • The Skeptical Speculator

    Stock market plunge in China may have "profound impact" on economy

    After plunging 8.5 percent on Monday, there could be more losses to come for the Chinese stock market. From Bloomberg: Chinese stocks will decline by an additional 14 percent over the next three weeks as the market demonstrates a trading pattern that mimics that of the U.S. crash in 1929, according to Tom DeMark, who predicted the bottom of the Shanghai Composite Index in 2013. Bank of America strategist David Cui also thinks that there could be more falls for Chinese stocks. This would the result of excessive leverage, which "means relentless selling pressure", and that "A-shares ex. banks could at least halve". Cui concluded that "what just happened in the A-share market will likely have profound impact on China’s economy and financial system"....more

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  • John Quiggin

    Back to the Deutschmark

    The debt crisis has upended lots of my assumptions about European politics, so it’s perhaps not surprising that I find myself agreeing with just about everything in this piece from The Telegraph by Mehreen Khan, advocating a German exit from the euro. Less surprisingly, I also agree in general with this NY Times article by Shahin Vallee, who also concludes that the (virtually inevitable) breakup of the euro would be better achieved by an orderly German departure. One point made clear by the Greek disaster is that the mechanics of exit from a currency union are feasible only if the new (or, in this case, revived) currency is stronger than the old one. So, the appropriate way to break up the euro is for Germany, and other countries that want to remain in a German c...more

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  • Fabius Maximus website

    News! Journalists doing their job, critically reporting on rising seas & the bee-pocalypse.

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  • The Skeptical Speculator

    Chinese stocks plunge

    China’s stock market plunged on Monday. The Shanghai Composite Index fell 8.5 percent to 3,725.56 at the close, the biggest decline since 27 February 2007. Recent economic data from China had been negative. On Monday, a report showed that profit at China's industrial firms fell 0.3 percent in June from a year earlier, reversing a 0.6 per cent rise in May. Data on Friday showed that China's factory sector contracted the most in 15 months in July as shrinking orders depressed output. In recent weeks, China's stock market had been recovering after sufferring heavy losses in June and early July. The Shanghai Composite Index fell by a third in the latter period but had rebounded 16 percent since the low on 8 July....more

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  • John Quiggin

    Sandpit

    A new sandpit for long side discussions, idees fixes and so on. Unless directly responding to the OP, all discussions of nuclear power, MMT and conspiracy theories should be directed to sandpits (or, if none is open, message boards). ...more

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  • John Quiggin

    Monday Message Board

    Another Monday Message Board. Post comments on any topic. Civil discussion and no coarse language please. Side discussions and idees fixes to the sandpits, please.

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  • International Political Economy Zone

    China Buying America: From Tech to Flicks

    China funding Hollywood...what's the deal? Two new articles in the WSJ illustrate China's ambitions in terms of acquiring Western technology--we've always known about this, but they've frequently been frustrated over trumped-up national security concerns--and bankrolling entertainment. Let's start with a new venture capital firm formed by technology entrepreneurs in China with blessings from the Communist Party:The quest by Chinese firms to acquire global technology is about to get $5 billion boost. Chinese venture-capital firm GSR Ventures is raising a $5 billion fund to buy overseas assets, according to people familiar with the situation. The fund, which is expected to be announced Monday, will target deals to acquire companies in technology, Internet, and bi...more

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  • Worthwhile Canadian Initiative

    Maybe profs should haggle over textbook prices?

    Mark Perry shows that textbook prices have been increasing, a lot. I don't know why that is. But maybe there's something that profs could do about it. The publisher's rep drops by your office. She asks which book you will be adopting for your course. She really wants the sale. You say: "I like your book, but if the students don't buy it and don't read it, it won't do them any good. And whether they buy it depends on the price. If you can ensure the University bookstore sells it at a price of $[X], I will adopt your book. If not, I'm going to see what another publisher can do, before I decide." [Try to pick something sensible for X, or just let X = "reasonable", and see what she comes back with.] Just trying to make the dem...more

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  • Worthwhile Canadian Initiative

    Greece's Plan B

    Very interesting. But was it also stupid? [Update: Here's Hugo Dixon's "snap analysis". (He also deserves a HT.)] Leave aside the political/legal aspects. How would it work? In theory, at least. (Did I really need to add that?) Here are some very quick thoughts: If I hold $20 in paper currency, it is as if I have a chequing account at the central bank that issued that currency, with a positive balance of $20. And if I buy something from you for $20, and give you that $20 note, it is as if I give you a cheque for $20, and that cheque is an instruction to the central bank to transfer $20 from my account at the central bank to yours. And there is no reason why that same instruction couldn't be sent over the internet, rather than written on paper. The...more

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  • Alpha.Sources

    The Market who "Cried Top"

    "This shows how liars are rewarded: even if they tell the truth, no one believes them" Most of my readers will be familiar with the story about the boy "crying wolf." A young sheep herder repeatedly tricks people in the village into believing a wolf is attacking the flock, and on the day his claim is true, no one believes him, no one comes to his aid, and his sheep are eaten. In the original story, the boy ultimately falls victim to his own devious behavior. But even armed with good intentions picking tops—or bottoms—too hastily in financial markets can lead investors and analysts down the same path as the unfortunate protagonist in Aesop's fable.  At first glance the chart above should look ominous to even the most hardened equity bull, telling a stor...more

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  • International Political Economy Zone

    The West: Punishing PRC for '$483B' Stock Market Intervention

    Shenzen, where the finest stocks state funds can buy are traded.Nobody knows for certain how much the PRC has sunk into propping up its faltering stock markets. The FT totted up the figures and said that state-owned banks have been forced to cough up $209B to provide brokerages for buying up A shares:According to the latest revelations, the big state-owned banks have lent a combined Rmb1.3tn ($209bn) in recent weeks to the China Securities Finance Corp, for lending on to brokerages to finance their investment in shares and to purchase mutual funds directly. Meanwhile, Bloomberg said that, actually, it's more like the $483B quoted in the title after you include the contributions of the People's Bank of China (PBoC):China has created what amounts to a state-run margi...more

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  • Smart Economy

    16 signs of Russian Collapse

    Thinking like Zbigniew Brzezinski ? 16 Russian Hot spots/ tension zones or fronts against PUTIN Putin may someday have to fragment his army (which is understaffed, undertrained and is facing increasing desertions) to all regions of the Russian Federation and beyond to quell growing tensions and hot spots that, if erupted simultaneously or with some help, could splinter his defenses and threaten the territorial integrity of the Russian Federation and lead to regime collapse. ... 16 fronts /hot spots against PUTIN: 1) Crimean Tartars and all Crimeans in general, 2) Eastern Ukraine, 3) Chechnya, 4) Chinese in Siberia, 5) Japanese territorial island disputes 6) Canada & US assert control in the Arctic 7) Cossacks Seek Greater Role in Southern Russia’s Economic and Politi...more

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  • iMFdirect - The IMF Blog

    From Windfall to Windmill: Harnessing Asia’s Dynamism for Latin America

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  • The Skeptical Speculator

    European stocks in favour after bailout deal

    In the wake of the bailout agreement for Greece last week, Goldman Sachs has upgraded its view on European stocks. "European equities have been one of the key asset classes to benefit from a fading of Greek risks following their drawdown," Goldman Sachs wrote in its Global Opportunity Asset Locator report published on Monday. It upgraded its three-month view on European equities to "overweight" while downgrading US stocks to "underweight". It expects the STOXX Europe 600 to return 1.9 percent, 5.1 percent and 12.9 percent in local currency terms on a three-month, six-month and 12-month basis respectively. The Bank of America Merrill Lynch Fund Manager Survey for July published last week also found that views on European stocks were positive. "Despite the Greek news flo...more

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  • iMFdirect - The IMF Blog

    The Key to Raising Business Investment: Keep Pushing the Accelerator

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  • Greg Mankiw's Blog

    The Mess in Europe

    Click here to read my column in Sunday's NY Times.

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  • iMFdirect - The IMF Blog

    The Global Impact of Lower Oil Prices

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  • Greg Mankiw's Blog

    :)

    Click on graphic to enlarge

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  • Alpha.Sources

    Peace for our time in Greece?

      Greece is on everyone's mind at the mind. In this podcast, I try to add counterweight to the growing criticism against the EU/ECB which has, predictably, risen in tandem with the desperation in Athens. I argue that a major part of the responsibility lies with the Greek government, and that the discussion on whether the Euro is fundamentally flawed is uninteresting, and essentially boring. The opening reference to Chamberlain is different from, but still inspired by, Polemic's reference here.  Articles quoted/used: Paul Krugman, June 2015 - The awesome gratuitousness of the Greek crisis Steven Randy Waldman, July 2015 - Greece Bloomberg Views July 2015, Clive Crook - Europe wants to punish Greece with Exit -- The intro music is courtesey of the Lino Rise Proj...more

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  • Alpha.Sources

    Did A Butterfly Flap Its Wings In Corporate Bond Markets Last Week?

    In this podcast I continue to discussion from last week on corporate bond market bubbles and liquidity, what the risks are, and how worried we should be. I take my point of departure in the decision, last week, by Aberdeen Asset Management to set up a $500M credit line, as a precaution, to fund redemptions from its bond funds. I also give a brief overview, in numbers, of the increase non-financial corporate bonds outstanding since 2007*.  Articles quoted/used: The FT Jun 15th 2015, David Oakley - Aberdeen takes safety measures against risk of bonds sell-off The FT Jun 18th 2015, Robin Wigglesworth - Liquidity pitfalls threaten parched markets FastFT - Investors flee US junk debt for second week Notes from the Hedge Jun 17th 2015 - Fund Manageme...more

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  • TheMoneyIllusion

    Bankrupt Greece breaks promise, rehires 15,000 public employees

    That’s equivalent to about 450,000 new public employees in the US.  Here’s the FT: Opposition lawmakers accused Syriza of violating that agreement with the new laws, which could expand the government payroll by as many as 15,000 employees. But government ministers remained defiant. “We aren’t going to consult [bailout monitors], we don’t have to, we’re a sovereign state,” Nikos Voutsis, the powerful interior minister, told parliament. Yes, and other sovereign states “don’t have to” give Greece any more money. The municipal police force, which was disbanded 18 months ago, will be revived and several thousand caretakers at state schools, known as “guards”, are to be rehired. Kyriakos Mitsotakis, who — as the previous governme...more

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  • TheMoneyIllusion

    Xenophobia plus cognitive illusions = mass ignorance

    Don’t be offended by the title of this post.  I’d guess 99.9999999% of people don’t understand currency manipulation or quantum mechanics.  So I’m using the term ‘ignorance’ loosely. And of course since I’m in the tiny minority (of seven people, based on the percentage above), there’s always the small chance that I’m the stupid one.  This post is to organize my thoughts, as I’m going to be interviewed on “currency manipulation” tomorrow. Let’s start with the term ‘currency manipulation.’  That’s what central banks do.  They manipulate the nominal value of currencies.  Period. End of story.  On the other hand: 1.  Monetary policy has no long run effect on real exchange...more

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  • TheMoneyIllusion

    The Economist dispels some China myths

    A few years back I commented on a “Ghost Cities” story on 60 minutes: They pointed to a “ghost town” development in Zhengzhou, which is capital of a province of 90 million people.  I’d expect its current population (4 million in the urban area) to grow to 10 to 20 million in a few decades.  How much longer will that development seem unneeded? Here’s The Economist: WHEN “60 Minutes”, an American television news programme, visited a new district in the metropolis of Zhengzhou in 2013, it made it the poster-child for China’s property bubble. “We found what they call a ghost city,” said Lesley Stahl, the host. “Uninhabited for miles and miles and miles and miles.” Two years on, she would not be able to say the same. The empty streets ...more

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  • Dani Rodrik's weblog

    The War of Trade Models

    There is an interesting debate going on in Europe about the likely consequences of the TTIP (Transatlantic Trade and Investment Partnership). Much of the real debate is (or should be) about the proposed Investor-State dispute resolution (ISDS) and the desirability of regulatory harmonization when nations have different preferences about how these regulations should be designed. But there is also a fascinating numbers game going on, with alternative quantitative estimates deployed by pro- and anti-TTIP groups. The studies used by the pro group tend to show positive, if small, GDP effects. Probably the best known among these is a study by Joseph Francois and his colleagues, according to which EU and US GDPs will rise by 0.5% and 0.4%, respectively, by 2027 (relative to th...more

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  • Smart Economy

    Oxidative stress and Cancer Metastasis

    Oxidative stress and Cancer Metastasis Research has shown that 90% of all cancer deaths are due to cancer metastasis. Cancer can only spread in the body when we have an environment of excess free radicals or oxidative stress. An ultra-high, universal, antioxidant like Carbon 60 hydrated fullerenes neutralize free radicals and prevent cancer metastasis.   Factsheet #6 Link between Oxidative Stress, Free Radicals and Cancer v4   https://www.academia.edu/12211177/Factsheet_6_Link_between_Oxidative_Stress_Free_Radicals_and_Cancer_v4 ...more

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  • Smart Economy

    Longevity and Healthy Aging

    Aging Gracefully without Chronic Human Diseases Time Magazine and National Geographic both recently ran cover stories with a baby on the cover. The tagline reads: This baby could live to be 142 years old. So the question that immediately comes to mind  is: Is this possible  and can everyone age gracefully without chronic human diseases? And can we do it with today’s technology ? To explore this question we first need to compare the mortality in 1900 versus today. In 1900, half of the deaths were caused by pneumonia, influenza, tuberculosis, gastrointestinal infections.  These diseases were cured largely with antibiotics and antivirals after world war two. Cancer, diabetes, coronary  heart disease, and Alzheimer’s were present but  not near the rates we see tod...more

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  • Dani Rodrik's weblog

    Turkish economic myths

    Preparing for a panel discussion on Turkey gave me the opportunity of putting together some notes and slides on the country’s economy. That Turkey is not doing well at the moment, economically or politically, is well known. But the roots of the problem remain misunderstood. Many analysts blame the weakening of “structural reforms” (on economics) and the turn towards authoritarianism after the Gezi protests in 2013 (on the politics). See for example here. In truth, Turkey’s problems on both fronts predate the recent slowdown in growth and have been long ingrained in the governing party’s (AKP) strategy. I have discussed the politics before at length. Here I focus on the economics. First, let’s dispense with some misconceptions about how well the Turkish econo...more

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  • Dani Rodrik's weblog

    Premature deindustrialization in the developing world

    Mention “deindustrialization,” and the image that comes to mind is that of advanced economies making their way into the post-industrial phase of development. In a new paper,[1] I show that the more dramatic trend is one of deindustrialization in the developing countries. This is a trend that is appropriately called premature deindustrialization, since it means that many (if not most) developing nations are becoming service economies without having had a proper experience of industrialization. Latin America appears to be the worst hit region. But worryingly similar trends are very much in evidence in Sub-Saharan Africa too, where few countries had much industrialization to begin with. The only countries that seem to have escaped the curse of premature industrializati...more

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  • CIPE Development Blog

    Outcry Against Corruption Helps Drive a Change of Leadership in Sri Lanka

    While it is hard to identify all of the issues that drove Sri Lankans during the country’s recent – and for many observers, surprising – elections, a cry for change was evident. Voters had clearly grown tired of corruption, cronyism, and authoritarianism, and there have been widespread calls for investigations into a range of alleged human rights abuses. Continue reading → ...more

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  • CIPE Development Blog

    Technology and Democracy in Burma

    Burma's upcoming elections will be a major test for its fledgling democratic reform process. Technology, more specifically mobile phones, will have a large role to play for both citizens and candidates. Continue reading → ...more

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  • CIPE Development Blog

    Beyond “Doing Business”: The Economic Implications of Public Opinion in Afghanistan

    In early November, the World Bank published its annual “Doing Business Report,” which assesses government regulations that support or constrain business activity across 189 countries. This year, Afghanistan again ranked near the bottom, down one spot from last year, in the 183rd position. The full report on Afghanistan can be found here. Continue reading → ...more

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  • CYNICONOMICS

    2014 Most Viewed Posts

    We posted sporadically this year – with nothing at all after July – but added up our page views anyway. Here are the five most widely read posts, based on page views on CYNICONOMICS as well as three other sites that publish our articles and report our stats (Zero Hedge, Market Oracle and Seeking Alpha): #5 with 41,690 views: “Why You Shouldn’t Fall For These Corporate Capex Fallacies.” We critique four popular arguments about capital expenditures, while showing that history contradicts all but one of the four. #4 with 44,509 views: “Reviving the ‘Real World’ Scenario That’s Disappeared from Government Reports.” We adjust the CBO’s official budget projections for glaring deficiencies in its “baseline scenario,” from an overly optimistic economi...more

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  • Rick Bookstaber

    Ex Ante versus Ex Post Social Policy

    I have written various posts on social policy related to the question of whether and how we redistribute income. One argument of equal opportunity and social egalitarianism is that it is fair to control for the randomness of life. For example, take the luck of the draw in who your parents are. If your best career choice was to be born into a wealthy family, if you got ahead because your father could pull strings to get you an internship at a big investment bank; because you built up your high school resume by spending a summer building houses in Tibet while a classmate had to spend the summer working at the 7-11; or because you could afford two years of one-on-one tutoring for the SAT, the result might be to score higher in an objective standard of selection and have a ...more

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  • Rick Bookstaber

    On Death with Dignity

    We take the will to live as a positive attribute, and naturally so; it is, of course in our genes.  Whatever subset of our species took a lackadaisical view toward the prospect of death was screened out long ago. We look with admiration on those who battle against terminal illness --  “She’s a real fighter” -- and look down on those who take their own lives. Fighting for your life is the genetic prime directive.   Thus the recent death of Brittany Maynard spurred a flurry of news articles and posts on the Death with Dignity movement. There will be a lot more to come on this topic, and the movement will gather steam because whatever is in the crosshairs of the baby boomers weighs down on society as a whole. Soon the baby boomers will come to the...more

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  • Rick Bookstaber

    Uber: What could possibly go wrong

    Uber at the core is nothing more than a bunch of guys who came up with a clever app for streamlining the way you call for a car.  Rather than phoning or texting, you tap on the app.  Rather than paying with cash or credit cards, you have an account.  And rather than depending on the reputation of the car company, you depend on the ratings-based reputation of the specific driver. (Another feature, the pre-determined fare, with that fare essentially including all fees including tip, is nothing new for car services). And, by the way, it is readily replicable by any other car services, including those that already have a reputation and experienced drivers.  So it seems to me that it is only mildly innovative.  How do you build a successful world-wid...more

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  • Institutional Economics

    Capital Gains Tax Reform in Canada: Lessons from Abroad

    The Fraser Institute has released a new volume on international experience with capital gains taxes. I wrote the chapter on New Zealand, with some reference to Australia. Australia was deemed too similar to Canada to warrant a chapter in its own right....more

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  • The Street Light

    Transfer Pricing Economics

    I'd like to announce that after a long hiatus from blogging, I'm taking it up again in a new forum.  The new blog, Transfer Pricing Economics, is primarily devoted to exploring my particular area of professional specialty, namely "transfer pricing".  If that term doesn't mean anything to you, then feel free to check out my brief explanation of transfer pricing. My aim is to expose and analyze the connections between the arcane world of transfer pricing and broader developments in the economic and financial world. And the connections are significant: the rules and economic logic of transfer pricing have a direct impact on trillions of dollars of international trade every year. So please feel free to check in on and contribute to the discussions about these...more

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  • Institutional Economics

    I am leaving CIS and returning to financial markets

    This is my last week at CIS. I will be returning to financial markets from whence I came back in 2008. Thanks to Greg Lindsay for giving me a platform to participate in the public policy debate over the last few years. Thanks also to those who contributed to Policy while I was editor over the last 18 months. Policy will continue under a new editor. My new employer won’t be paying me to blog or tweet during business hours, so you will be hearing even less from me on what is already a very low frequency blog. I will still post material here from time to time and link to what I am doing when appropriate. Needless to say, nothing on this web site should be attributed to current or previous employers. This blog has followed me around in various roles since 2003, back whe...more

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  • Institutional Economics

    Wayne Swan on Monetary Offset and the GFC

    Former Treasurer Wayne Swan is releasing some of his briefing notes from the GFC ahead of the launch of his upcoming memoir, The Good Fight. The first instalment from a meeting at the Prime Minister’s residence with the Prime Minister, Treasury Secretary and other senior officials on 4 August 2008 is remarkable for its acknowledgement of monetary offset. Indeed, the notes could just as easily have been written by Scott Sumner: There are three broad considerations the Government would need to keep in mind in taking a decision to engage in discretionary [fiscal] action: • The Reserve Bank through its control over interest rates, determines the overall level of aggregate demand in the economy, and the Bank would likely take account of any fiscal stimulus in its monet...more

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  • CYNICONOMICS

    Technical Notes for ‘Never Mind Their Distrust of Data and Forecasts…’

    This is a short appendix for our earlier post, “Never Mind Their Distrust of Data and Forecasts; Austrians Can Help You Predict the Economy,” in the usual Q&A format. Why do you show three different series in the first chart? We show “Net Private Debt from Census Bureau” because it has the longest history. We use it later to calculate 5-year credit growth figures for the period before the Fed’s “flow of funds” becomes available. We deduct financial and real estate corporation debt in the second dotted line to show that private debt growth in the late 1920s wasn’t skewed by financial debt (as it was in the 2000s). We can only back out financial debt from 1926 (not enough data to use in the “savings rates and credit growth” chart), but this series...more

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  • CYNICONOMICS

    Never Mind Their Distrust of Data and Forecasts; Austrians Can Help You Predict the Economy

    [O]f all the economic bubbles that have been pricked, few have burst more spectacularly than the reputation of economics itself. – From The Economist, July 16, 2009. It’s been five years since the The Economist magazine published the critical commentary  excerpted above. In hindsight, the noted reputational damage was neither lasting nor spectacular. As of today, we’d say it’s almost non-existent. Mainstream economists continue to dominate their profession and wield huge influence on public policies. They merely needed to close ranks after the financial crisis and wait for people to forget that their key theories and models were wholly discredited. Meanwhile, heterodox economists who stress credit market risks and financial fragilities – the Austrians, the Mi...more

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  • The Becker-Posner Blog

    Farewell

    In memoriam: Gary S. Becker, 1930-2014. The Becker-Posner blog is terminated. Richard A. Posner

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  • Felix Salmon

    Post Felix

    By Shane Ferro Today is Felix’s last day at Reuters. Here's the link to his mega-million word blog archive (start from the beginning, in March 2009, if you like). Because we’re source-agnostic, you can also find some of his best stuff from the Reuters era at Wired, Slate, the Atlantic, News Genius, CJR, the NYT, and NY Mag. There’s also Felix TV, his personal site, his Tumblr, his Medium archive, and, of course, the Twitter feed we all aspire to. Counterparties may have been the brainchild of Felix and the recently departed Ryan McCarthy, but the blog, site, newsletter, and Twitter feed will continue to exist in their absence. It will be run by Ben Walsh and Shane Ferro, with some non-trivial amount of snark. Today we focus on the reason Felix started Counterparti...more

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  • Felix Salmon

    The Piketty pessimist

    By Felix Salmon This chart comes from the World Economic Forum’s 2014 Global Risks Report, which came out just before Thomas Piketty’s book started becoming the topic of discussion in economic and plutocratic circles.* You can clearly see what you might call the rise of inequality-as-an issue: before 2012 it’s nowhere to be found, but since then it’s been consistently in the top spot. My prediction is that in 2015, thanks to Piketty, the WEF will start talking less about income inequality, and more about wealth inequality. The big question, though, is whether inequality is really much of a risk at all. After all, from the point of view of the average billionaire WEF delegate, inequality would seem to look much more like a reward. Chrystia Freeland has a hopeful...more

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  • Felix Salmon

    The most expensive lottery ticket in the world

    By Felix Salmon No Exit, the new book from Gideon Lewis-Kraus, should be required reading for anybody who thinks it might be a good idea to found a startup in Silicon Valley. It shows just how miserable the startup founder’s life is, and raises the question of why anybody would voluntarily subject themselves to such a thing. A large part of the answer is that Silicon Valley is gripped by a mass delusion, compounded by a deep “fake it til you make it” attitude toward success. Why do so many people in Silicon Valley want to be founders? Because every founder they meet is always killing it, crushing it, having massive success, just about to close a huge round, etc etc. At some level, they must know this is impossible: if 90% of startups fail, it simply can’t be the...more

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  • The Becker-Posner Blog

    Sabbatical Notice

    Starting this weekend, we will be taking a one-month sabbatical from blogging. We will resume at the end of that period.

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  • The Becker-Posner Blog

    The Embargo of Cuba: Time to Go- Becker

    The US embargo of Cuba began in 1960, a year after Fidel Castro turned this island toward communism. It was extended to food and medicines in 1962, the same year as the showdown with Russia over the installation of missiles there. The embargo has prevented American companies from doing business with Cuba, and discouraged tourism to Cuba. The American government also tried with quite limited success to prevent other countries from trading with Cuba. In general economic embargoes are undesirable because they interfere with free trade among countries. Yet a case could be made for an embargo against Cuba. Castro not only allowed Russian missiles to be installed in Cuba, just 90 miles from Florida, but was also actively trying to interfere in other countries by sending troop...more

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  • Stefan Karlsson's blog

    New Blog Address: http://stefankarlssoneng.wordpress.com/

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  • Stefan Karlsson's blog

    Ukraine Crisis Isn't Over

    So now the so-called protestors have overthrown democratically elected President Yanukovich in what is in effect a coup. It is unclear what will happen, and how Russia and Yanukovich and his supporters will act, but this is almost certainly not the end of it.Indeed, how could it be the end? Some people argue that protestors were motivated by anger over corruption and abuse of power from Yanukovich. But while Yanukovich is no doubt corrupt and some protestors may indeed have been motivated by anger over that fact, the opposition movement led by Yulia Tymoschenko is just as corrupt as Yanukovich, so if they prevail, that won't mean less corruption and abuse of power.No, what this conflict is really about is that today's Ukraine is an artificial state created by Soviet com...more

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  • Stefan Karlsson's blog

    How Old Posts Can Become Popular Again

    Suddenly, my post about why Ukraine should be divided between its anti-Russian and pro-Russian parts has seen a dramatic increase in page views. That is no doubt related to the latest escalation of Ukraine's political crisis with both government forces and the neo-Nazi elements of the opposition increasingly using violent means in the confrontation. Ukraine is dangerously close to a full scale civil war. Let's hope that it doesn't come to that. Ukraine has been ravaged for a century by wars, German Nazis, Communism, corruption and ethnic conflict, to add a(nother) civil war would be really cruel. I remain convinced that secession is the best way to solve the conflict peacefully....more

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  • The Oil Drum - Discussions about Energy and Our Future

    The Oil Drum writers: Where are they now?

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  • International Political Economy at the University of North Carolina

    Why US Financial Hegemony Will Endure

    Will and I have a piece, now ungated, over at a fantastic new online magazine called Symposium. Our article translates much of the main points of our Perspectives Piece (co-authored with Thomas and Andy Pennock) for popular consumption. We are also blogging over there this week in support of the article. Please do check out our writing this week on the magazine's website, as well as the other great content on the site....more

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  • International Political Economy at the University of North Carolina

    Foreign Direct Investment, Human Rights, INGOs

    One of the major areas of underdeveloped research within political science is the interaction between non-state actors. From an international political economy perspective, the literature has largely ignored the interaction of various non-state actors that are growing in importance, and its effects on different forms of trade. In a recently published article "Avoiding the Spotlight: Human Rights Shaming and Foreign Direct Investment" by Colin Barry, Chad Clay and Michael Flynn, they lay the foundation for examining this interaction. They examine the interaction between non-state actors (INGOs) and multinational corporations (MNCs) and the extent to which private actors' choices to invest in countries are affected by the reputational costs of doing business in those...more

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  • The Oil Drum - Discussions about Energy and Our Future

    The Last Post

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  • The Oil Drum - Discussions about Energy and Our Future

    The House That Randy Built

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  • International Political Economy at the University of North Carolina

    Verizon, Vodafone, and Measuring FDI

    Recently back from APSA in Chicago, I've been reflecting on the state of our knowledge about FDI (or perhaps more accurately, cross-border management stakes in enterprises). That, and working on my dissertation, applying for academic jobs, and teaching. Oh, and telling everyone who'll listen about my Optimus Prime sighting on Michigan Ave.Anyway, I find a post-conference review of the discipline is generally a good way to consider potentially fruitful lines of new inquiry. In my experience, the quality of papers at conferences can be rather hit-or-miss. This generally fits into my view of conferences as important sources of external deadlines for getting drafts done as well as interacting with other scholars in more informal settings such as the hotel bar/lobby/over-cro...more

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  • Paul Kedrosky's Infectious Greed

    Twitter Digest: 2013-06-09

    Given that I block NSA & PRISM tweets, was entertaining tuning into twitter & trying to figure why everyone was on about Lord Snowdon -> Turned on GoT tonight just in time to catch Daenerys reenacting her Level 2 YMCA gymnastics pageant. -> How Not to Be Alone | Jonathan Safran Foer – http://t.co/HMFxg75lfh http://t.co/DzAtvWBQJr -> Excellent, but fellow sports-med geeks only: Sports and exercise-related tendinopathies: a review – http://t.co/WGkhRlO6Uz -> ...more

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  • Paul Kedrosky's Infectious Greed

    Twitter Digest: 2013-06-07

    Photo-set: Flooding Across Central Europe – http://t.co/8G6j8teCbd -> CDC Update: Severe Respiratory Illness Associated with Middle East Respiratory Syndrome Coronavirus – http://t.co/hWqN1338VN -> Col Flagg: Have you ever heard of Malaysian Chest Implosion Torture? Radar: No. Coll Flagg: Good. It hasn’t been invented… yet. -> tl;dr: There are Manchurian Candidate engineers at large tech cos that have stolen SSL root cert and NSA is using it for cattle mutilation. -> Brian: …Will you please listen? I'm not the Messiah! Do you understand? Honestly Woman: Only the true Messiah denies his divinity! -> ...more

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  • Paul Kedrosky's Infectious Greed

    Twitter Digest: 2013-06-05

    FRED: Free Energy Data – http://t.co/90H7GVDazO -> Solipsisms ‘r’ us, courtesy of my friends at @thinkup: I apparently mention me a lot – http://t.co/9rTRXvBM9D -> Almost 10,000 words on soccer/Italy/economics/racism by @wrightthompson? Yes, & it’s super. Go. http://t.co/g4sgEFLkIC -> When The Beautiful Game Turns Ugly: A journey into the world of Italy's racist soccer thugs http://t.co/nckrbeLPfs -> Can’t remember last time I read an OpEd or column. Do those still exist? -> ...more

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  • The Street Light

    Cyprus and Eurozone Bank Deposits

    To me, the central issue raised by this week's Cyprus debacle is how it has affected confidence across the eurozone.  To what degree has the possibility of insured depositors at a eurozone bank losing a portion of their deposits affected the mindset of depositors?  To what degree has ECB acquiescence to this possibility undermined the notion that deposit insurance in the eurozone means the same thing in all countries?  And to what degree has the ECB's direct threat to end support for Cyprus's banking system in the event that the government of Cyprus can not arrange sufficient funds to meet its conditions made a farce of its earlier promise to "do whatever it takes to preserve the euro"?These, to me, are the interesting questions prompted by this week's ev...more

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  • London Banker

    Chop Off Their Hands . . .

    President Truman famously called for a one handed economist. The Carolingian kings of France would have accommodated him. They realised that a kingdom required a common currency under the control of the king and well regulated markets to sustain the confidence of the people. At first mints were established widely, spread across the kingdom. Local barons began to profit from debasing the coinage, undermining confidence in the monetary system. So Charles the Bald established mints under his direct control and regulated the issue of coins: C.12. Following the custom of our predecessors, just as it is found in their capitularies, we decree that in no other place in all our kingdom shall money be made except in our palace, and in St. Josse and Rouen, which right in th...more

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  • The Street Light

    When the Fed Chair is an Academic

    The big economic news of the week was, in fact, big economic news: the Fed's announcement of significant changes from past practice in the the quantity of its next round of large scale asset purchases ("unlimited"), and in the timing of any future reversal of this expansionary policy ("a considerable time after the economic recovery strengthens").I view this as a pretty fundamental shift in how the Fed hopes to affect the economy.  Rather than trying to push economic activity one way or the other through its management of interest rates (which can alter economic activity through its portfolio-rebalancing and wealth effects, for example), the Fed is now quite explicitly trying to affect economic activity by altering interest rate and inflation expectations.  As...more

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  • London Banker

    For Want of a Nail, the Ship Was Lost

    Imagine a great ship dominating the skyline on a distant sea. Imagine the complexity of that ship: keel, ribs, planks, masts, spars, and an infinite number of less readily named components. Each component was hand-crafted by a craftsman skilled in his trade, to precise requirements, and secured in position to take the stress and strain of a life at sea.Now imagine a crew. They didn't build the ship. The crew are told that the one and only purpose of the ship is to realise a profit for every man jack aboard. Any hand not contributing a profit will be turned ashore. Down below in the ship are nails. Thousands and thousands of nails. Nails are useful. Nails are much sought after in every port the ship enters. Nails can be readily sold and never traced. The crew h...more

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  • London Banker

    Lies, Damn Lies and LIBOR

    I've been hesitant to write about the LIBOR scandal because what I want to say goes so much further. We now know that Barclays and other major global banks have been manipulating the calculation of LIBOR through the quotation data they provided to the British Bankers Association. What I suspect is that this is not a flaw but a feature of modern financial markets. And if it was happening in LIBOR for between 5 and 15 years, then the business model has been profitably replicated to many other quotation-based reference prices.Price discovery is not a sexy function of markets, but it is critical to the efficient allocation of scarce capital and resources, and to the preservation of the long term wealth of investors and the economy as a whole. If price discovery is compr...more

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Aaron Menenberg Policies of Scale

Aaron Menenberg is Foreign Policy and Energy analyst, and a Future Leader with Foreign Policy Initiative. He also co-hosts Podlitical Risk (@podliticalrisk). He is a graduate student in international relations at The Maxwell School of Syracuse University. Previously he has worked at Praescient Analytics, The Hudson Institute, for the Israeli Ministry of Defense, and at the IBM Corporation. The views expressed are his own, and you can follow him on Twitter @AaronMenenberg. He welcomes questions and comments at menenbergaaron@gmail.com.