EconoMonitor

Economics Blog Aggregator

    United States

  • Calculated Risk

    BEA: Real GDP increased at 3.5% Annualized Rate in Q3

    From the BEA: Gross Domestic Product, Third Quarter 2014 (Advance Estimate) Real gross domestic product -- the value of the production of goods and services in the United States, adjusted for price changes -- increased at an annual rate of 3.5 percent in the third quarter of 2014, according to the "advance" estimate released by the Bureau of Economic Analysis. In the second quarter, real GDP increased 4.6 percent....The increase in real GDP in the third quarter primarily reflected positive contributions from personal consumption expenditures (PCE), exports, nonresidential fixed investment, federal government spending, and state and local government spending that were partly offset by a negative contribution from private inventory investment. Imports, which are a subtr...more

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  • Marginal REVOLUTION

    Sentences to ponder

    Here is Jody Lanard and Peter M. Sandman on the risks of an Ebola pandemic in the developing world: The two of us are far less worried about sparks landing in Chicago or London than in Mumbai or Karachi. Do read the whole thing, via Andrea Castillo. ...more

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  • Cafe Hayek - Article Feed

    Quotation of the Day…

    (Don Boudreaux) … is from pages 38-39 of the manuscript of Deirdre McCloskey‘s extensive and insightful review of Thomas Piketty’s Capital in the Twenty-First Century; (quoted here with Deirdre’s kind permission) (original emphasis; footnote excluded): The usual way, especially on the left, of talking about poverty relies on the percentage distribution of income, starting fixedly for example at a relative “poverty line.”  As the progressive Australian economist Peter Saunders notes, however, such a definition of poverty “automatically shift[s] upwards whenever the real incomes (and hence the poverty line) are rising.”  The poor are always with us, but merely by definition, the opposite of the Lake Wobegon effect – it’s no...more

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  • The Big Picture

    1933: Colombia Experts Oppose Gold Plan

    Source:NYT

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  • naked capitalism

    Links 10/30/14

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  • The Housing Bubble Blog

    When Appreciation Slows, There’s No Call To Action

    The Merced Sun Star reports from California. “Merced County’s property value increase of 9.3 percent to $19.5 billion ranked as the second highest increase in California from the same time last year. Stanislaus County property values had the highest year-over-year increase, rising 11.4 percent to $39.7 billion for the 2014-15 tax year, and San Joaquin County’s 8.8 percent increase to $61 billion was the fourth highest percentage gain among California’s 58 counties. Terry Ruscoe, owner of Merced Yosemite Realty in Merced, said Merced’s property values are being pushed up by continued interest from Bay Area investors and having many more homes in escrow compared to a year ago. ‘The market’s moving and the market’s pushing prices up,’ he said....more

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  • The Big Picture

    Fed’s Grand Experiment Draws to a Close

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  • naked capitalism

    Wolf Richter: The Wrath of Draghi – First German Bank Hits Savers with Negative Interest Rate

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  • Beat the Press

    Washington Post Offers Lesson in Bad Public Opinion Polling

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  • The Big Picture

    Parenthood and Productivity of Highly Skilled Labor

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  • naked capitalism

    Germany Turning Sour on the Transatlantic Trade and Investment Partnership

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  • The Housing Bubble Blog

    Bits Bucket for October 30, 2014

    Post off-topic ideas, links, and Craigslist finds here.

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  • Economist's View

    Fed Watch: FOMC Recap

    Tim Duy: FOMC Recap, by Tim Duy: In broad terms, the FOMC meeting concluded as I had expected. To the extent there were any surprises, they were on the hawkish side. Or, I would say, hawkish mostly if you believed the events of the last few weeks justified a radical revision of the Fed's anticipated policy path. I didn't, but was too busy those same past few weeks to scream into the wind. As I anticipated, the Fed dismissed the decline in market-based inflation expectations. They clearly believe financial markets over-reacted to the decline in oil prices, and that that decline would ultimately prove to be a one-time price shock rather than the beginning of a sustained disinflationary process. This is why we watch core-inflation. And note that the Fed sent a ...more

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  • Economist's View

    Summers: Reflections on the new 'Secular Stagnation hypothesis'

    In case you just can't get enough of Larry Summers talking about secular stagnation: Reflections on the new 'Secular Stagnation hypothesis', by Larry Summers, Vox EU: The notion that Europe and other advanced economies are suffering secular stagnation is gaining traction. This column by Larry Summers – first published in the Vox eBook “Secular Stagnation: Facts, Causes and Cures” – explains the idea. It argues that a decline in the full-employment real interest rate coupled with low inflation could indefinitely prevent the attainment of full employment. Here's the end of a relatively long discussion: 3 Conclusions and Implications  The case made here, if valid, is troubling. It suggests that monetary as currently structured and oper...more

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  • Economist's View

    Links for 10-30-14

    The untold story of the Eurozone crisis - mainly macro Evolution of competitiveness (in nature) - EurekAlert Prosecutors Suspect Repeat Offenses on Wall Street - NYTimes.com Enough With European Austerity, Bring on the Stimulus - Alan S. Blinder That which is not dead doth sleeping lie (RBC edition) - Noahpinion Monetary policy: Tight, loose, irrelevant - The Economist Material Well-Being in America since 1979 - Brad DeLong A (Larger) National Debt Would Indeed Be a National Blessing - Brad DeLong Tony Abbott can finally move on from doomed tribalism - John Quiggin The Economics of Water in the American West - Tim Taylor What Is This ‘BEPS’ Thing, and Should I Care? - Transfer Pricing Economics Transfer Pricing Economics - The Street Light Bad Data Can Make Us Smar...more

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  • Marginal REVOLUTION

    Everyone in development economics should read this paper

    It is by Eva Vivalt and is called “How Much Can We Generalize from Impact Evaluations?” (pdf).  The abstract is here: Impact evaluations aim to predict the future, but they are rooted in particular contexts and results may not generalize across settings. I founded an organization to systematically collect and synthesize impact evaluations results ona wide variety of interventions in development. these data allow me to answer this and other questions across a wide variety of interventions. I examine whether results predict each other whether variance in results can be explained by program characteristics, such as who is implementing them, where they are being implemented, the scale of the program, and what methods are used.  I find that when regressing an e...more

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  • The Capital Spectator

    Is The Latest VIX Decline A Trick Or Treat?

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  • Fabius Maximus

    Prof Botkin gives us good news about our changing climate

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  • Marginal REVOLUTION

    The East 25 Years After Communism

    That is the new Foreign Affairs piece by Andrei Shleifer and Daniel Treisman, and they argue that matters have gone strikingly well and are relatively normal.  Here is one excerpt: Newspapers overflowed with accounts of soaring mortality amid the stress of transition. On average, however, life expectancy rose from 69 years in 1990 to 73 years in 2012. The speed of improvement was two thirds faster than in the communist 1980s. Russia’s life expectancy today, at 70.5, is higher than it has ever been. Infant mortality, already low, fell faster in percentage terms than in any other world region. Eastern Europe is infamous for unhealthy binge drinking. However, average alcohol consumption fell between 1990 and 2010 from 7.9 to 7.6 liters of pure alcohol a year per residen...more

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  • The Capital Spectator

    Initial Guidance | 30 October 2014

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  • Tim Duy's Fed Watch

    FOMC Recap

    In broad terms, the FOMC meeting concluded as I had expected. To the extent there were any surprises, they were on the hawkish side. Or, I would say, hawkish mostly if you believed the events of the last few weeks justified a radical revision of the Fed's anticipated policy path. I didn't, but was too busy those same past few weeks to scream into the wind. As I anticipated, the Fed dismissed the decline in market-based inflation expectations. They clearly believe  financial markets over-reacted to the decline in oil prices, and that that decline would ultimately prove to be a one-time price shock rather than the beginning of a sustained disinflationary process. This is why we watch core-inflation. And note that the Fed sent a pretty big signal along the way. In contra...more

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  • ProfessorBainbridge.com

    Using employment agreements to gag whistleblowers

    Alison Frankel has an interesting article on the issue and the apparently looming SEC crackdown. [[ This is a content summary only. Visit my website for full links, other content, and more! ]] ...more

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  • Calculated Risk

    Thursday: Q3 GDP, Unemployment Claims

    From the Atlanta Fed GDPNow: The GDPNow model forecast for real GDP growth (seasonally adjusted annual rate) in the third quarter of 2014 was 2.7 percent on October 28From Chico Harlan at the WaPo: Tomorrow’s GDP numbers will give a better read on the U.S. economyMany economists now say that the first quarter slide stemmed from a horrid East Coast winter that kept consumers indoors. They say that the second quarter was buoyed by a bounce-back effect, a release of all that pent-up demand for cars and homes. But this quarter? We’ll probably get something in between, confirmation of a recovery that’s yielding more jobs but little wage growth.According to economists surveyed by Bloomberg, the GDP probably rose around 3 percent in the latest quarter. ... Three percent ...more

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  • Calculated Risk

    Lawler on Housing Vacancy Survey for Q3: Reported Household Growth Remained Muted; “True” Homeownership Rate Probably Lowest Since the 1960’s

    From housing economist Tom Lawler:Yesterday the Census Bureau released the “Residential Vacancies and Homeownership” Report (commonly referred to as the Housing Vacancy Survey, or HVS) for the third quarter of 2014. The HVS is based on a relatively small sample of housing units, still uses an outdated “sampling frame,” and does not perform adequate follow-ups to surveyed units, and for well over a decade the HVS has overstated the housing vacancy rate and overstated the US homeownership rates. The HVS is a supplement to the monthly Current Population Survey, which also suffers from sampling “issues.”Here are a few summary statistics from yesterday’s report.Housing Vacancy Survey "Results"  Q3/14Q2/14Q3/13Gross Vacancy Rate13.5%13.6%13.6%Rental Vacanc...more

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  • All HW content

    Fidelity National Q3 revenue rises over 3Q13

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  • All HW content

    Trulia’s 3Q revenue surges as unique visitors soar 89%

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  • Brad DeLong's Grasping Reality...

    Anyone Still Supporting Mitch McConnell for Senate Has No Shame at All: Live from teh Roasterie

    Mitch McConnell: Study shows Kentucky among national leaders in lowering uninsured rate because of Affordable Care Act: "As you know, Medicaid existed before Obamacare... ...The state operated Medicaid before Obamacare. The state can continue to operate Medicaid after Obamacare. There were online health insurance marketplaces before Obamacare. There are several non-Obamacare insurance sales websites now that are not part of Obamacare. There can be online insurance sales without Obamacare. Obamacare did not create the ability to buy insurance online—people have been doing that for years. Obamacare did not create Medicaid. Medicaid has been available for nearly (50) years... Of course, repealing ObamaCare would immediately shrink Kentucky Medicaid enrollment by ne...more

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  • All HW content

    Ocwen gets a bounce on rumors of possible settlement

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  • Econbrowser

    Philadelphia Fed: Wisconsin and Kansas Growth Gaps Forecasted to Increase

    And California and Minnesota surge ahead of the US. I know this sounds like a broken record, but the numbers are the numbers. And reader Patrick R. Sullivan suggests I move to Kansas (based on a Tax Foundation analysis). Here’s at least one reason why I don’t plan to. From today’s release of leading indices by the Philadelphia Fed, combined with last week’s release of coincident indices. Figure 1: Log coincident indices for Minnesota (blue), Wisconsin (red), Kansas (green), California (teal), and US (black), and forecasted levels for March 2015, all seasonally adjusted, normalized to 2011M01=0. Numbers in [square brackets] are ALEC-Laffer rankings from Rich States, Poor States 2014. Source: Philadelphia Fed leading indices, coincident indices, ...more

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  • Brad DeLong's Grasping Reality...

    Over at Equitable Growth: Suppose--Counterfactual World--That the U.S. Had Avoided Large-Scale QE since the Start of 2010...

    Over at Equitable Growth: ...and that the employment, inflation, and future breakeven outcomes realized in that counterfactual world had been those seen in our world. Is there any question that in that counterfactual world the FOMC would right now be actively and aggressively on the point of a massive QE program--that the only questions would be "how much" and "how quickly"? Today, with the ending of QE, we live in that counterfactual world--with three differences: READ MOAR Since the start of 2010 the FOMC has already done $2.2 trillion of QE--and has thus taken duration risk of a magnitude that the private market requires $2 billion a month to bear off of private-sector balance sheets. As a result, whatever risks are involved in QE start from a baseline in w...more

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  • Brad DeLong's Grasping Reality...

    Over at Project Syndicate: Material Well-Being in America since 1979

    Material Well-Being in America since 1979 J. Bradford DeLong Over at Project Syndicate: Over at Project Syndicate:The story goes: since 1979, the peak of the last business cycle before the inauguration of Ronald Reagan, economic growth in America has been overwhelmingly a rich-only phenomenon. America's poor and the middle class, it is often said, have at best only trivially higher inflation-adjusted real wages, incomes, and living standards send their predecessors who occupy the same slots in the income distribution back in 1979. While real GDP per capita in America has grown from $29 thousand per year to $50 thousand per year in 2009-value prices--total growth of 72%, or 1.6% per year--all or almost all of this growth has gone to those who now occupy the rich ...more

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  • Cafe Hayek - Article Feed

    A Note On the Empirics of Minimum-Wage Studies

    (Don Boudreaux) Bill Hill (who has no Facebook account), after reading this post, asks a sensible question.  I’ll paraphrase his question.  (Mr. Hill: If I paraphrase mistakenly, do let me know ASAP.) You [Boudreaux] say that minimum-wage legislation blocks the creation or discovery of economic opportunities that might well, had there been no such legislation, employed many low-skilled workers.  That claim might be true.  But even so, why would not empirical studies of changes in the minimum wage, and of differences in minimum-wages across political jurisdictions, fail to pick up these disemployment effects? The answer is that such legislation likely blocks the creation or discovery of kinds of enterprises that differ greatly from existing enterprises in their...more

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  • Cafe Hayek - Article Feed

    The True Nature of the State

    (Don Boudreaux) I challenge anyone to justify, or even to excuse, such an abuse of power.  (HT a dear and wise and passionate friend.) Words normally do not escape me, but I can find none that adequately convey the anger and sense of injustice that course through me when I read of seizures such as this one.  Best to let the matter speak for itself, which it surely does to anyone this side of Frank Underwood in decency and civility.  Fortunately, the great Institute for Justice is on the case. If it weren’t so appalling and dangerous, the conclusion – drawn by many (especially by those who consider themselves to be gentle and liberal) – that the same institution that performs inexcusable aggressions such as this one is fit and trustworthy enough to o...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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  • ProfessorBainbridge.com

    Edward Rock on "Institutional Investors in Corporate Governance"

    Edward Rock has posted Institutional Investors in Corporate Governance (October 15, 2014). U of Penn, Inst for Law & Econ Research Paper No. 14-37. Available at SSRN:... [[ This is a content summary only. Visit my website for full links, other content, and more! ]] ...more

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  • Beat the Press

    Economists Who Saw the Housing Bubble Were Not Worried About a Depression

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  • The Housing Bubble Blog

    Many Homeowners Expect Values To Keep Soaring

    The Orlando Sentinel reports from Florida. “Orlando’s housing market ranked fifth for year-over-year improvement among top U.S. metro areas but the shorter-term picture for the region showed softening, according to a new report by Freddie Mac. ‘The Orlando housing market is weak and declining,’ stated a report on Freddie Mac’s Multi-Index Market Indicator. Orlando continues to lag far behind nationally in terms of homeowners paying their mortgage on time. Of the mortgaged homes within the Orlando area, only 30 percent had been paid on time by homeowners. Nationally, homeowners’ rate of keeping current on mortgage payment was more than double Orlando’s rate.” The Boston Globe in Massachusetts. “The median selling pric...more

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  • The Capital Spectator

    REIT Yields In A Low-Rate Environment

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  • Greg Mankiw's Blog

    National Economists Club

    If you are in the DC area, you can hear me speak on November 13.  Click here for more information.

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  • Beat the Press

    WaPo Touts the Expansion of Oil Supply, Apparently Unable to Get Projections from Energy Information Agency

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  • ProfessorBainbridge.com

    Eric Talley on "Corporate Inversions and the Unbundling of Regulatory Competition"

    Eric Talley has posted Corporate Inversions and the Unbundling of Regulatory Competition (October 15, 2014). USC CLASS Research Paper No. CLASS14-32. Available at SSRN:... [[ This is a content summary only. Visit my website for full links, other content, and more! ]] ...more

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  • Tim Duy's Fed Watch

    FOMC Meeting

    I have been buried the past few weeks.  So blogging has been, and will be, at least for a little longer, light. That said, I have trouble letting an FOMC meeting pass without at least few words before and after - even if there already exist broad agreement on the outcome. The general expectation is that the Fed ends its bond buying program at the conclusion of the meeting tomorrow. That alone promises to knock down the FOMC statement to a more manageable size. While St. Louis Federal Reserve President James Bullard offered up the possibility of retaining the program for another meeting, there is little indication that other FOMC members are similarly inclined. They have long wanted to get out of asset purchase business, and see no shift in activity sufficient to delay...more

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  • Paul Krugman

    Lars Svensson 1, Sadomonetarists 0

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  • Paul Krugman

    Notes on Japan

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  • Dr. Housing Bubble Blog

    Rental rates are outpacing wage growth: What are the implications of rising rents when wages are simply not keeping up?

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  • Robert Reich

    Empathy Deficit Disorder

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  • Econbrowser

    Ed Lazear Comments on Government Forecasts

    Or, the self-rehabilitation effort continues. In a WSJ op-ed entitled “Government Forecasters Might as Well Use a Ouija Board”, he writes: My analysis of 1999-2013 reveals that the CBO’s real GDP growth forecasts for the next year were off, on average, by 1.7 percentage points, either too high or low. Administration forecasts were similarly off by a slightly larger 1.8 percentage points on average, also to high or too low. Given that the average growth rate during this period was only 2.1%, errors of this magnitude are substantial. Perhaps most damning: History is a better predictor of annual growth than government forecasts. Simply assuming that GDP growth will be 3.1% in each year — the average annual rate for the 30 years that precede the study p...more

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  • Paul Krugman

    Open Letters of 1933

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  • Econbrowser

    Conference in San Francisco

    I’m a little late in mentioning a wonderful conference in San Francisco last month. Thanks so much to Oscar Jorda and Francisco Ruge-Murcia for organizing the event and to all those who participated to help make this a truly exceptional gathering. Here’s a link to some photos from the event. ...more

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  • Dr. Housing Bubble Blog

    The myth of buying a home and staying put: Tiny home in Pasadena reaching peak prices as square footage decreases.

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  • Greg Mankiw's Blog

    Profile of an Ec 10 Student

    An amazing story, from the NY Times.

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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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  • Robert Reich

    Berkeley vs. Big Soda I got a call the other day from a stooge...

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  • Fabius Maximus

    The truth emerges about Afghanistan, an indictment of our war. Now comes the hard part: learning from failure.

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  • Dr. Housing Bubble Blog

    Time to make it easier for people to get loans with lower credit and lower down payments: FHFA looking seriously at making it easier for cash strapped Americans to take on mortgages.

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  • Fabius Maximus

    We awake from fears of an Ebola pandemic in America. Now let’s ask who’s responsible…

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  • Robert Reich

    Getting a Grip on Ebola

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  • macroblog

    What's behind Declining Labor Force Participation? Test Your Hypothesis with Our New Data Tool

    .citation { font-style: italic; } .byline { font-style: italic; } .centeredImage { display: block !important; margin-left: auto !important; margin-right: auto !important; } The share of people (age 16 and over) participating in the labor market—that is, either working or looking for work—declined significantly during the recession. As many researchers have noted (see our list of supplemental reading under "More Information"), there is clearly a cyclical component to the decline. When labor market opportunities dry up, it influences decisions to pursue activities other than work, such as schooling, taking care of family, or retiring. However, much of the decrease in the overall labor force participation rate (LFPR) could be the result of the...more

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  • Greg Mankiw's Blog

    Charles Murray on Ayn Rand

    A great and balanced essay.  Thanks to Alex Tabarrok for the pointer.

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  • Paper Economy - A US Real Estate Bubble Blog

    New Residential Construction Report: September 2014

    Today’s New Residential Construction Report showed mixed results with total permit activity and total start activity improving while single family permit activity declined since August.Single family housing permits, the most leading of indicators, declined 0.5% from August to 624K single family units (SAAR), but increased 1.1% above the level seen in September 2013 and still remained well below levels seen at the peak in September 2005. ...more

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  • The Baseline Scenario

    No, You Can’t Get a Drink at 5 AM

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  • Rick Bookstaber

    My Recent Work on Agent-based Modeling

    As is obvious by looking at the time span between recent posts, I have not been active in blogging. I am planning to get back into things.  As a start, to help catch up on what I have been doing, here are a couple of papers and a presentation I recently made on the area of my focus, using agent-based modeling to help assess financial vulnerabilities.The model is presented here.For a concise presentation on the model and its application you can look at a talk I did in August at the Newton Institute for Mathematical Sciences at Cambridge University.  (Despite what is suggested by the venue, I did the presentation mathlessly).Related to the model is work I have been doing to develop a map of sorts for the key agents in the financial system and the ways in wh...more

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  • Paper Economy - A US Real Estate Bubble Blog

    Retail Sales: September 2014

    Today, the U.S. Census Bureau released its latest nominal read of retail sales showing mixed results in September with sales dropping 0.3% from August but rising 4.3% on a year-over-year basis on an aggregate of all items including food, fuel and healthcare services. Nominal "discretionary" retail sales including home furnishings, home garden and building materials, consumer electronics and department store sales declined slightly, falling 0.14% from August but rising 2.16% above the level seen in September 2013 while, adjusting for inflation, “real” discretionary retail sales declined 0.38% on the month but rising 0.33% since September 2013. ...more

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  • Dani Rodrik's weblog

    Services, manufacturing, and new growth strategies

    I gave a talk yesterday on New Growth Strategies at the World Bank, which was more or less an elaboration of this short piece. I argued that industrialization had pretty much run out of steam as a growth strategy, that services would need to be the focus going forward, and that this required in turn a different policy mindset about how to increase productivity. In particular, I argued that policies focusing on generating a sequence of sectoral “winners,” which worked so  well in manufacturing (garments to car seats to cars to electronics), would have much smaller payoff in services, in view of the non-tradability of most service segments. I suggested further that, even under the best of circumstances, a services-oriented strategy would yield lower growth than ...more

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  • Paper Economy - A US Real Estate Bubble Blog

    Reading Rates: MBA Application Survey – October 15 2014

    The Mortgage Bankers Association (MBA) publishes the results of a weekly applications survey that covers roughly 50 percent of all residential mortgage originations and tracks the average interest rate for 30 year and 15 year fixed rate mortgages as well as the volume of both purchase and refinance applications. The purchase application index has been highlighted as a particularly important data series as it very broadly captures the demand side of residential real estate for both new and existing home purchases. The latest data is showing that the average rate for a 30 year fixed rate mortgage (from FHA and conforming GSE data) decreased 9 basis points to 4.08% since last week while the purchase application volume decreased 1% and the refinance application volume ...more

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  • Tim Duy's Fed Watch

    The Methodical Fed

    Just a few months ago the specter of inflation dominated Wall Street. Now the tables have turned and low inflation is again the worry du jour as a deflationary wave propagates from the rest of the world - think Europe, China, oil prices. How quickly sentiment changes. And given how quickly sentiment changes, I am loath to make any predictions on the implications for Fed policy. The very earliest one could even imagine a possible rate hike would be March of next year, still five months away. But since that month is the preference of Fed hawks, better to think that the earliest is the June meeting, still eight months away. Eight months is a long time.  We could pass through two more of these sentiment cycles between now and then.  Or maybe the story breaks decisively o...more

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  • Piggington's Econo-Almanac

    September 2014 Housing Data Rodeo

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  • The Baseline Scenario

    Cultural Capture and the Financial Crisis

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  • Jeffrey Frankel's Blog

    The Return of Voodoo Economics

    Paul Krugman’s column in the New York Times today talked of the revival of “Voodoo economics” by some Republican politicians.  This refers to the Laffer Proposition that a cut in income tax rates stimulates economic activity so much that tax revenue goes up rather than down.   Gov. Sam Brownback, who is running for re-election in Kansas, has had to confront the reality that tax revenues went down, not up as he argued they would, when he cut state tax rates. I disagree with one thing that Krugman wrote in his column: the idea that there was a long break,  particularly after George W. Bush took office, during which Republican politicians did not push this line.  To the contrary, I have collected many quotes from George W. Bush and his top officials claiming the...more

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  • The Baseline Scenario

    Game of Thrones, The Wire, and the New York Fed

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  • macroblog

    On Bogs and Dots

    Consider this scenario. You travel out of town to meet up with an old friend. Your hotel is walking distance to the appointed meeting place, across a large grassy field with which you are unfamiliar. With good conditions, the walk is about 30 minutes but, to you, the quality of the terrain is not so certain. Though nobody seems to be able to tell you for sure, you believe that there is a 50-50 chance that the field is a bog, intermittently dotted with somewhat treacherous swampy traps. Though you believe you can reach your destination in about 30 minutes, the better part of wisdom is to go it slow. You accordingly allot double the time for traversing the field to your destination. During your travels, of course, you will learn something about the nature of the field, a...more

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  • Richard's Real Estate and Urban Economics Blog

    How the price of a Martini reveals the property value of a city

    A Hendricks Gibson is basically a commodity (although the bartender does need to know what she is doing). But a good Gibson at the Starlight Lounge in LaCrosse, Wisconsin is $8; at the Roof Garden at the Peninsula Hotel in Beverly Hills is $16; at the King Cole Bar of the St. Regis Hotel in New York is $22. Let's say the cost of the cocktail, including labor, but exclusive of real estate, is $7. Then the implicit rent you are paying for sitting in a bar in LaCrosse is $1; in Beverly Hills on a rooftop is $9; and in NYC is $15. If one consults Zillow, one will find that this ratio of 1:9:15 for real estate in LaCrosse, BH and Manhattan is pretty close to the truth.One key thing--all these drinks are served in competitive markets--there is true thickness in bars in t...more

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  • Richard's Real Estate and Urban Economics Blog

    How Piketty's care with language can improve economics

    When I was a freshman in college, I read Fogel and Engerman's Time on the Cross.  I loathed the book, because it implicitly endorsed the idea that it is OK, "in the interested of science," to dehumanize those African-Americans that were placed in bondage by viewing them as capital (I loathed it for other reasons as well, but that is for another time.) It also contributed to the broad view currently within much of mainstream economics that it is (1) acceptable to treat human beings as objects, and (2) that it is embarrassing to embrace humanity.  I was embarrassed that the book helped Fogel ultimately won the Nobel Prize in economics.I thought of Fogel and Engerman again when a recent review in the Economist of Edward Bishop's The Half Has Never Been Told compl...more

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  • Macro and Other Market Musings

    The Love Affair Conservatives Should Be Having

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  • Jeffrey Frankel's Blog

    Piketty’s Fence

    Most of the reviews of Thomas Piketty’s book Capital in the Twenty-First Century have already been written.  But I thought it might be best to read it all the way through before offering my own thoughts on this book, which startlingly rose to the top of the best seller lists last April.  It has taken me five months, but I finished it. One of the things the book has in common with the Karl Marx’s Das Capital (1867) is that it serves as a rallying point for the many people who are passionately concerned about inequality, regardless whether they understand or agree with the specific arguments contained in the book in question.  To be fair, much of what Marx wrote was bizarre and very little was based on careful economic statistics.  Much of what Piketty says is ba...more

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  • Piggington's Econo-Almanac

    August 2014 Housing Data Rodeo

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  • macroblog

    The Changing State of States' Economies

    Timely data on the economic health of individual states recently came from the U.S. Bureau of Economic Analysis (BEA). The new quarterly state-level gross domestic product (GDP) series begins in 2005 and runs through the fourth quarter of 2013. The map below offers a look at how states have fared since 2005 relative to the economic performance of the nation as a whole. Learn About Tableau It’s interesting to see the map depict an uneven expansion between the second quarter of 2005 and the peak of the cycle in the fourth quarter of 2007. By the fourth quarter of 2008, most parts of the country were experiencing declines in GDP. The U.S. economy hit a trough during the second quarter of 2009, according to the National Bureau of Economic Research, but 20 states an...more

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  • Dani Rodrik's weblog

    Back to sanity on economic convergence

    It’s been interesting to watch how the conventional wisdom on rapid convergence – developing countries closing the gap with the advanced economies – has been changing over the last few years. It wasn’t so long ago that the world was in the grips of emerging-markets mania, projecting wildly optimistic growth numbers decades into the future. For the last 4-5 years, I have been writing that the pace of convergence we have experienced over the last two decades is unsustainable. There were temporary factors (cheap capital, low interest rates, high commodity prices, rapid Chinese expansion) which would begin to reverse themselves. And perhaps most importantly, export-oriented industrialization was running out of steam much earlier, even in the relatively successful co...more

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  • Macro and Other Market Musings

    Another Bond Market Conundrum?

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  • Macro and Other Market Musings

    About the Fed Not Trying Hard Enough To Hit Its Inflation Target

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  • Jeffrey Frankel's Blog

    Modi, Sisi & Jokowi: Three New Leaders Face the Challenge of Food & Fuel Subsidies

    In few policy areas does good economics seem to conflict so dramatically with good politics as in the practice of subsidies to food and energy.  Economics textbooks explain that these subsidies are lose-lose policies. In the political world that can sound like an ivory tower abstraction.   But the issue of unaffordable subsidies happens to be front and center politically now, in a number of places around the world.   Three major new leaders in particular are facing this challenge:  Sisi in Egypt, Jokowi in Indonesia, and Modi in India. The Egyptian leader is doing a much better job of facing up to the need to cut subsidies than one might have expected.  India’s new prime minister, by contrast, is doing worse than expected – even torpedoing a long-anticipated ...more

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  • Piggington's Econo-Almanac

    July 2014 Housing Data Rodeo

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  • Dani Rodrik's weblog

    My moonlighting career of the last 4 years

    At long last, Turkey's consitutional court has reversed the conviction of the more than 200 officers previously found guilty in the bogus Sledgehammer coup plot, leading to the release on June 19th of all those in jail (including my father in law). Even though a retrial is to take place, the ruling is a coda to the last four-and-a-half years during which my wife and I moonlighted as criminal investigator, forensic analyst, and political activist. It has been a truly surreal and bizarre experience, given how so many intelligent people bought into -- and refused let go of -- a coup plot that was patently fictitious.     So I thought this would be a good time to post a longish account of my involvement in the story. I wrote it as much to make sense of it to...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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  • Rick Bookstaber

    Piketty Myopia

    Thomas Piketty's book Capital in the Twenty-First Century has been lauded for its detailed analysis of data and for the end result of that analysis, a sweeping statement of an inexorable widening of the distribution of wealth between those with capital and those without. There is unabashed glee among those who have bemoaned the plight of the middle class as the one percent has pulled away, waving the book as the gotcha ya for income redistribution.  As should be clear from some of my previous posts, I am one of those people bemoaning the plight, but I am a little slower than many others to take up the Piketty banner. The book's argument looks at wealth and growth data over the past three centuries, and takes its implications forward with a similar, historical scope...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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  • Stan Collender's Capital Gains and Games

    Capital Gains And Games Now Being Published By Forbes

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  • Stan Collender's Capital Gains and Games

    Big Changes Are Coming To Capital Gains And Games

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  • Stan Collender's Capital Gains and Games

    Camp Plan Puts Nail In Tax Reform Coffin For This Year, And Next, And...

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  • Richard's Real Estate and Urban Economics Blog

    Hannah Harris Green in The Guardian on Race, Crime and Television

    She writes:The First 48 is an A&E true crime reality show that documents real police investigations for the first 48 hours after a homicide report, including what happens inside interrogation rooms. If this sounds dangerous and ethically questionable, that's because it is. Police accidentally killed a child as A&E's cameras rolled, and a legally innocent man came to beknown as a murderer after of his appearance on the show. Catastrophes like these have led to lawsuits, and now many cities refuse to work with The First 48.......This portrayal is not representative of American crime statistics. Although homicide arrests are disproportionately high among African Americans, about the same total number of white people are arrested i...more

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  • democracyarsenal.org

    Can the F-35 Replace the A-10?

    by Nickolai Sukharev  One of the big decisions the United States Air Force has considered over the last few months is whether to retire the A-10 Thunderbolt II fleet as a cost saving measure while developing and procuring the F-35A Lightening II. Given the Budget Control Act caps on Pentagon spending and the need to better allocate funds, officials have expressed their preference to prioritize multi-mission platforms in the inventory. But the problem is that the F-35A is not a replacement for the A-10’s close air support. The reason is simple: it lacks comparable capabilities despite a higher operating cost. Given the constrained budgetary environment, the comparative cost to maintain and operate the two aircraft should be a decisive consideration. The A-10 is a...more

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  • democracyarsenal.org

    After Geneva Talks A Consensus on Moving Forward

    By Homa Hassan The two-day round of P5+1 negotiations with Iran just concluded in Geneva and Western diplomats are carefully reviewing a detailed proposal presented by Iran. As this proposal is being reviewed ahead of the follow-on meetings in November it is important to look at what the realistic prospects of a deal will look like. Going into this week’s talks, a number of commentaries came out attempting to set negotiations up for failure. However, it is widely agreed that a negotiated solution to Iran’s controversial nuclear program is the best way to achieve a sustainable solution and a recent survey of reports and recommendations from bipartisan think tanks and high-level experts demonstrates a broad consensus on how to approach negotiations a...more

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  • democracyarsenal.org

    TPP, TTIP and Getting America's Competitiveness Back on Track

    By Marcela Heywood Last week’s Asia-Pacific Economic Cooperation summit in Bali, Indonesia marked further progress for the Trans-Pacific Partnership (TPP) and set an ambitious goal to finish negotiations by the end of the year. Although the U.S. government shutdown – and President Obama’s absence in Bali – did not hinder the trade talks, it did call America’s credibility into question. Government shutdown could threaten both TPP and Transatlantic Trade and Investment Partnership (TTIP) negotiations by displaying uncertainty in U.S. economic and foreign policy priorities. Congress needs to reach an agreement and prioritize TPP and TTIP, as they are necessary policy initiatives to boost American competitiveness, stimulate the economy, and exert soft power to cr...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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  • 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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  • TPMCafe

    Message to world government: Don't govern the Internet

    You could think of the Aspen IDEA report published today as a letter to the head of the International Telecommunications Union, Hamadoun Touré, suggesting that he should reconsider his intent to put the "light touch" of government on the Internet's operations. M. Touré will be running a major meeting of world governments in Dubai at the end of this year. The Dubai meeting, known as WCIT 12, may have an agenda that is a light touch only if that's what you can call a grab for the jugular vein of the Internet. The issues may include a "per click" tax on international Internet traffic, individual nation state regulation identities to online activity, national encryption standards to allow government surveillance, and multinational governance of the Internet. Russia, Chi...more

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  • TPMCafe

    Obama and Romney on Foreign Policy - Drawing the Contrasts

    The political battle lines are being drawn for the general election debate over foreign policy and national security, and you can't do much better than my fellow Democracy Arsenal blogger Michael Cohen for a guide. One key theme of Michael's latest column for ForeignPolicy.com is what a difference it makes for a candidate to bear the responsibility of governing, or on the other hand, campaign to be commander in chief on the basis of self-serving pot shots. My only quibble regards how Romney's reed-thin foreign policy argument will fare with voters. Take Michael's analysis of Romney's potential advantage in the debate on Iran: He can simply lob rhetorical haymakers that hype up the threat of an Iranian bomb or offer Churchillian declarations about his intention to stop...more

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  • TPMCafe

    Will Yale's Alumni Save Liberal Education?

    Hoping to head off alumni resistance to the brand-new "Yale-National University of Singapore" college that the Yale Corporation has created somewhat stealthily in collaboration with the government of that authoritarian city-state, Association of Yale Alumni chairman Michael Madison has inadvertently demonstrated one of the ways Yale College is being transformed from a crucible of civic-republican leadership, grounded in liberal education, into a global career-networking center and cultural galleria for a new elite that answers to no polity or moral code: STATEMENT OF THE OFFICERS OF THE AYA BOARD OF GOVERNORS, Michael Madison, Chair of the Board "All Yale-NUS College graduates will be warmly welcomed as a part of the Yale alumni community. They will also be invited...more

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Dan Steinbock

Dr Dan Steinbock is a recognized expert of the multipolar world. He focuses on international business, international relations, investment and risk among the major advanced economies (G7) and large emerging economies (BRICS and beyond).

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