EconoMonitor

Economics Blog Aggregator

    United States

  • ProfessorBainbridge.com

    College and university administrators demolishing freedom of religion and association

    Harry Silvergate in today's WSJ: Earlier this month the California State University System "de-recognized" 23 campus chapters of the InterVarsity Christian Fellowship (IVCF). This decision stems from... [[ This is a content summary only. Visit my website for full links, other content, and more! ]] ...more

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  • ProfessorBainbridge.com

    Will CalPERS kill hedge funds?

    Timothy Spangler teaches the Hedge Funds and Private Equity Funds course and the Investment Companies and Investment Advisors course at the UCLA School of Law. He is the author of several books on... [[ This is a content summary only. Visit my website for full links, other content, and more! ]] ...more

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  • naked capitalism

    2:00PM Water Cooler 9/18/14

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  • All HW content

    RPM Mortgage expands to East Coast

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  • Calculated Risk

    Mortgage Equity Withdrawal Still Negative in Q2 2014

    Note: This is not Mortgage Equity Withdrawal (MEW) data from the Fed. The last MEW data from Fed economist Dr. Kennedy was for Q4 2008.The following data is calculated from the Fed's Flow of Funds data (released this morning) and the BEA supplement data on single family structure investment. This is an aggregate number, and is a combination of homeowners extracting equity - hence the name "MEW", but there is little MEW right now - and normal principal payments and debt cancellation.For Q2 2014, the Net Equity Extraction was minus $45 billion, or a negative 1.4% of Disposable Personal Income (DPI).  Click on graph for larger image.This graph shows the net equity extraction, or mortgage equity withdrawal (MEW), results, using the Flow of Funds (and BEA data) compare...more

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  • All HW content

    HUD, administration announce Promise Zone competition

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  • Brad DeLong's Grasping Reality...

    For the Weekend: The Original Four Yorkshiremen

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  • Marginal REVOLUTION

    New York (Texas and Tennessee) fact of the day

    The median household income in the city of New York is a few hundred dollars a year more than the median household income in the state of Texas, but in practical terms the average New York City household is much worse off.The most obvious issue is the cost of housing, which for New Yorkers is about four times what it is for Texans. That is from Kevin Williamson, who stresses that New York City is actually a relatively poor place. By the way, New York and DC have Ginis reflecting more inequality than what we find in Mexico or Nigeria.  Manhattan and Putnam County, Tennessee have Ginis almost as high as that of South Africa. Have I mentioned that a Gini coefficient isn’t a very good measure of inequality for most purposes?  It does not command much loyalty from pe...more

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  • Brad DeLong's Grasping Reality...

    Noted for Your Morning Procrastination for September 19, 2014

    Over at Equitable Growth--The Equitablog The Contractionary[?] Federal Reserve Policies of 2013-2014: Friday Focus for September 19, 2014 - Washington Center for Equitable Growth Lunchtime Must-Read: James Pethokoukis: Is it time to retire the most important chart in the world? - Washington Center for Equitable Growth Lunchtime Must Read: Paul Krugman: Could Fighting Global Warming Be Cheap and Free? - Washington Center for Equitable Growth Lunchtime Must-Read: Reuters: U.S. House Speaker Boehner Bemoans Notion 'I Don't Have to Work' - Washington Center for Equitable Growth Lunchtime Must Read: Joe Romm: NOAA: Hottest August On Record - Washington Center for Equitable Growth Lunchtime Must-Read: Peterson Institute: Labor Market Slack: Assessing and Addressing in ...more

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  • All HW content

    Progress Residential prices first REO-to-rental securitization

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  • Brad DeLong's Grasping Reality...

    Liveblogging World War II: September 19, 1944: Arnhem

    James Sims: 19 September 1944: Arnhem becomes a desperate battle for survival: After the failure of the ‘Grand Prix’ attack the Germans withdrew a short distance and began to mortar and shell our positions systematically for the first time. The very air seemed to wail and sigh with the number of projectiles passing through it. The enemy had also brought up some self-propelled artillery, heavy stuff, and against this we were virtually helpless. One by one the houses held by the paratroopers were set alight. There was nothing to fight the fires with, even if we had been able to. The airborne soldiers kept on firing from the blazing buildings even with the roof fallen in; then they moved to the second floor, then to the first, and finally to the basement. Only...more

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  • The Big Picture

    Whiteout in Finance

    Of the many profession that seems to be disproportionately white, I cannot help but note that Finance is amongst the whitest:     More after the jump Source: Chief Investment Officer ...more

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  • Marginal REVOLUTION

    Assorted links

    1. Megan McArdle watches Srugim. 2. An orangutan learns how to fish. 3. The historic Timothy Leary debate at MIT. 4. How to discriminate against preexisting conditions. 5. Optimistic vs. pessimistic dogs. 6. How people have tried to stop lava, with a little more success than I would have thought, though not a lot. 7. The best movies of 2014 so far? ...more

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  • Calculated Risk

    BLS: State unemployment rates little changed in August

    From the BLS: Regional and State Employment and Unemployment SummaryRegional and state unemployment rates were generally little changed in August. Twenty-four states and the District of Columbia had unemployment rate increases from July, 15 states had decreases, and 11 states had no change, the U.S. Bureau of Labor Statistics reported today. Forty-five states and the District of Columbia had unemployment rate decreases from a year earlier, three states had increases, and two states had no change. ... Georgia had the highest unemployment rate among the states in August, 8.1 percent. North Dakota again had the lowest jobless rate, 2.8 percent. Click on graph for larger image.This graph shows the current unemployment rate for each state (red), and the max during the recess...more

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  • Economist's View

    'The Political Economy of a Universal Basic Income'

    Since I posted the original, it's only fair to post the response: The political economy of a universal basic income, by Steve Waldman, Interfluidity: So you should read these two posts by Max Sawicky on proposals for a universal basic income, because you should read everything Max Sawicky writes. (Oh wait. Two more!) Sawicky is a guy I often agree with, but he is my mirror Spock on this issue. I think he is 180° wrong on almost every point. ......more

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  • Economist's View

    'Home Free?'

    James Surowiecki: Home Free?, by James Surowiecki: In 2005, Utah set out to fix a problem that’s often thought of as unfixable: chronic homelessness. The state had almost two thousand chronically homeless people. Most of them had mental-health or substance-abuse issues, or both. At the time, the standard approach was to try to make homeless people “housing ready”: first, you got people into shelters or halfway houses and put them into treatment; only when they made progress could they get a chance at permanent housing. Utah, though, embraced a different strategy, called Housing First: it started by just giving the homeless homes. Handing mentally ill substance abusers the keys to a new place may sound like an example of wasteful government spending. But it turned ...more

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  • naked capitalism

    An Accident Waiting to Happen: The $1 Trillion Leveraged Loan Market

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  • The Big Picture

    Playboy Bunnies, Mila Kunis and the Myth of the Celebrity Stockpicker

    Last week, I came across the following headline: “As music sales fall, sax player Kenny G turns to stockpicking.” My immediate reaction: Uh oh. The last thing any bull market needs is for celebrities to be featured in the financial press. As soon as that starts, it means the bull market must be near a top, right? Before you nod your head in agreement, let’s do some digging to see if the contrary-indicator idea is right and not just a trading-desk anecdote. A search shows that the stock-trading celebrity is a regular feature of what is obviously a bored financial press. If only there were anything important going on that might be worth their attention, then journalists wouldn’t have to bother with this sort of fluff. But hey, nothing really important has been...more

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  • The Capital Spectator

    Chicago Fed Nat’l Activity Index: August 2014 Preview

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  • Calculated Risk

    Fed's Q2 Flow of Funds: Household Net Worth at Record High

    The Federal Reserve released the Q2 2014 Flow of Funds report yesterday: Flow of Funds.According to the Fed, household net worth increased in Q2 compared to Q1, and is at a new record high:The net worth of households and nonprofits rose $1.4 trillion to $81.5 trillion during the second quarter of 2014. The value of directly and indirectly held corporate equities increased $1.0 trillion and the value of real estate expanded $230 billion.Net worth previously peaked at $67.9 trillion in Q2 2007, and then net worth fell to $55.0 trillion in Q1 2009 (a loss of $12.9 trillion). Household net worth was at $81.5 trillion in Q2 2014 (up $26.5 trillion from the trough in Q1 2009).The Fed estimated that the value of household real estate increased to $20.2 trillion in Q2 2014. Th...more

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  • Fabius Maximus

    America and the Islamic State both hope to change the world with rivers of blood

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  • The Big Picture

    10 Friday AM Reads

    Is it Friday already — how did that happen so quickly? Before we send you off to work, some morning train reads to round out your week: • Dirty Secret of $1 Trillion Loans Is When You Get Your Money Back (Bloomberg) • A History of Misses for RadioShack (DealBook) • The Darwin Economy: Why Smith’s Invisible Hand Breaks Down (Farnam Street) • ‘Buy and hold’ investors: You’re doing it wrong (USA Today) Continues here     ...more

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  • Cafe Hayek - Article Feed

    Quotation of the Day…

    (Don Boudreaux) … is from page 287 of the 1975 HarperPerennial printing of the third (1950) edition of Joseph Schumpeter‘s magnificent 1942 treatise, Capitalism, Socialism, and Democracy: The incessant competitive struggle to get into office or to stay in it imparts to every consideration of politics and measures the bias so admirably expressed by the phrase “dealing in votes.”  The fact that in a democracy government must attend primarily to the political values of a policy or a bill or an administrative act … is likely to distort all the pro’s and con’s.  In particular, it forces upon the men at or near the helm a short-run view and makes it extremely difficult for them to serve such long-run interests of the nation as may require...more

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  • naked capitalism

    Links 9/19/14

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  • The Housing Bubble Blog

    Investors Engulfed By The Tidal Wave Of New Supply

    It’s Friday desk clearing time for this blogger. “The vacancy rate for single-family homes was 10.7 percent in 2013, up from 10.6 percent in 2012 and near its 2011 peak of 11 percent. That’s far above the vacancy rate during the bubble (8.6 percent in 2005) and before (7.4 percent in 2000). In 2013, household formation was just 321,000, much lower than the 1.2 million baseline implied by current population growth. The number of owner-occupied single-family homes actually fell by 184,000. ”We’re still building single family homes faster than we can fill them,’ argues Trulia’s chief economist Jed Kolko.” “DR Horton announced it would have to use incentives to sell its homes. It last reported it had 10,000 unsold homes,...more

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  • Beat the Press

    News for New York Times: Affordable Care Act Affects Women

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  • The Housing Bubble Blog

    Bits Bucket for September 19, 2014

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

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  • Economist's View

    Paul Krugman: Errors and Emissions

    Don't pay any attention to "the prophets of climate despair": Errors and Emissions, by Paul Krugman, Commentary, NY Times: This just in: Saving the planet would be cheap; it might even be free. But will anyone believe the good news? I’ve just been reading two new reports on the economics of fighting climate change: a big study by a blue-ribbon international group, the New Climate Economy Project, and a working paper from the International Monetary Fund. Both claim that strong measures to limit carbon emissions would have hardly any negative effect on economic growth, and might actually lead to faster growth. This may sound too good to be true, but it isn’t. These are serious, careful analyses. ... Enter the prophets of climate despair, who wave away ...more

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  • Marginal REVOLUTION

    The new Obama plan to combat antibiotic overuse

    The Obama administration on Thursday announced measures to tackle the growing threat of antibiotic resistance, outlining a national strategy that includes incentives to spur the development of new drugs, tighter stewardship of existing ones and a national tracking system for antibiotic-resistant illness. The actions are part of the first major federal effort to confront a public health crisis that takes at least 23,000 lives a year. The full story is here. The Hill has more detail.  It is an executive order: The president’s directive creates the Task Force for Combating Antibiotic-Resistant Bacteria, co-chaired by the secretaries of Defense, Agriculture and Health and Human Services. The group is charged with implementing a plan to track and prevent the spread of ant...more

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  • The Capital Spectator

    US Economic Profile | 19 September 2014

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  • Cafe Hayek - Article Feed

    Some Links

    (Don Boudreaux) Citing Ilya Somin, one of my GMU colleagues from over in the law school, George Will explains that Barack Obama is violating his oath to uphold the Constitution.  (To be fair, all presidents since Grover Cleveland – and many before him – have done so.) Sandy Ikeda writes about the causes of rising wages (which emphatically do not include labor unions, minimum-wage mandates, or tariffs).  A slice: The historical trend in per-capita real income since the year 1800 has been unambiguous. Per-capita real income around the world has been rising at an accelerating rate, which coincides with the spread of and respect for free-market ideas and practices. Deirdre McCloskey refers to this phenomenon as the “hockey stick” of economic growth. Wri...more

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  • Econbrowser

    Wisconsin Private Nonfarm Payroll Employment Declines in August

    DWD released August employment figures today. Attainment of Governor Walker’s 250,000 net new private sector jobs continues to be unlikely. Figure 1: Private nonfarm payroll employment, s.a., in ‘000s (red), forecast from March 2014 Wisconsin Economic Outlook, interpolated from quarterly, using quadratic match (green), and linear trend consistent with Governor Walker’s pledge to create 250,000 net new private sector jobs by end of first term (gray). Source: Department of Workforce Development, Wisconsin Economic Outlook (March 2014), and author’s calculations. Total employment did increase, attributable to a large increase in local government employment. Since August is related to the beginning of the school year, the government employment prel...more

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  • Fabius Maximus

    It’s not too soon to worry about the US economy. There are things worse than slow growth.

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  • Beat the Press

    The Fed and Inequality

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  • Cafe Hayek - Article Feed

    Quotation of the Day…

    (Don Boudreaux) … is from page 128 of Roger Koppl’s outstandingly good 2014 monograph, From Crisis to Confidence: Macroeconomics after the Crash (link added): [I]f regulators are human, their decisions may be biased towards self-serving ends.  An obvious bias to fear and expect is one towards greater centralisation and greater state control over the decisions of financial institutions (Higgs 1987: 159-95).  Such control serves the bureaucratic interests of the regulators in general.  Thus regulators may have an interest in more control, as well as a cognitive bias in that direction that develops regardless of any particular self-interest.  Moreover, regulators will be loath to blame themselves when things go wrong.  They will sincerely protest that they need mo...more

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  • The Housing Bubble Blog

    A New Breed Of Investor Moving Into A New Paradigm

    The National Post reports on Florida. “Lured mostly by cheap prices, Canadians spent $2.2-billion on Florida real estate last year, easily making them the Sunshine State’s No. 1 international buyer of real estate. ‘We went down there on a holiday and prices were so damn low, I said to my wife ‘let’s buy,’ said Jerry Jarson, a 74-year-old retiree from Shanty Bay, Ont. The former air force officer and lawyer bought a condo two years ago in Cape Coral for US$79,900. He estimates its value has risen US$39,000 in two years. Mr. Jarson said he was able to use the equity in his Canadian home to buy his condo. ‘We never had any money but the bank has lots,’ he said about the line of credit on his Canadian home he was able to use to financ...more

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  • Beat the Press

    Europe Is Already Suffering From the Bad Story With Deflation

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  • Econbrowser

    Further Deterioration in Wisconsin Structural Budget Surplus

    Wisconsin Department of Health Services indicates additional $760 million Medicaid expenditures for FY15-17. [1] This implies a further worsening of the 2015-17 biennium structural budget balance from -$1.8 billion (discussed here) to something like -$2.56 billion. Figure 1: (Negative of) General Fund Amounts Necessary to Balance Budget, by Fiscal Year, in millions of dollars (blue bars); and estimate taking into account shortfall of $281 million for FY2013-14 (red square), and adding $380 million to each of the fiscal years in the 2015-17 biennium (green squares). “Structural” denotes ongoing budget balance, assuming no revenue/outlay change associated with economic growth. Source: Legislative Fiscal Bureau (September 8, 2014), Wisconsin Budget Project, ...more

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  • The Capital Spectator

    A Day In New York…

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  • ProfessorBainbridge.com

    In case you were wondering how my fantasy football season is going

    I am the Unseen Academicals: [[ This is a content summary only. Visit my website for full links, other content, and more! ]]

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  • Dr. Housing Bubble Blog

    The destruction of traditional mortgage demand: Applications for mortgages hits a 14 year low and affordability for housing continues to decline.

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  • Piggington's Econo-Almanac

    August 2014 Housing Data Rodeo

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  • Greg Mankiw's Blog

    Follow or Break the Rule?

    Lars Christensen plots with recent data a version of the Taylor rule I proposed some years ago (published here).  I suggested this rule as an approximate description of Alan Greenspan's monetary policy in the 1990s. Here is Lars's plot:Click on graphic to enlarge  I based this rule (the green line) on data only from the 1990s, but notice that it does reasonably well until 2009.  The red line is the rule with parameters estimated from the later period.Taken at face value, the rule suggests that it is time for the Fed to start raising the federal funds rate.  If you believe this rule was reasonably good during the period of the Great Moderation, does this mean the Fed should start tightening now, as the economy g...more

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  • Greg Mankiw's Blog

    Just for Fun

    A friend sends the following puzzle.  Find the X that fits in this sequence:16  06  68  88  X  98For those who don't get it, I will post a hint in a few days.Hint: Try looking at the problem upside down....more

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  • Fabius Maximus

    Today’s crop of fear-mongering. Watch and enjoy, but don’t succumb.

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  • Econbrowser

    From October 2013: “The Obamacare implosion is worse than you think”

    That’s a title from an oped by former GW Bush speechwriter and current AEI scholar Marc Thiessen nearly a year ago. We can now evaluate whether in fact the implementation of individual insurance mandate component of the ACA did implode. From “New Data Show Early Progress in Expanding Coverage, with More Gains to Come,” White House blog today: Source: “New Data Show Early Progress in Expanding Coverage, with More Gains to Come,” White House blog (9/16/2014). From the post: …today’s results from the NCHS’ National Health Interview Survey (NHIS) show that the share of Americans without health insurance averaged 13.1 percent over the first quarter of 2014, down from an average of 14.4 percent during 2013, a reduction corresponding t...more

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  • Paper Economy - A US Real Estate Bubble Blog

    Industrial Production: August 2014

    Yesterday, the Federal Reserve released their monthly read of industrial production and capacity utilization showing a decrease in August with total industrial production falling 0.10% since July but still rising 4.12% above the level seen in August 2013. Capacity utilization also declined falling 0.37% from July but rising 1.23% above the level seen in August 2013 to stand at 78.81% ...more

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  • Paul Krugman

    More Than My Head Talks

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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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  • Paul Krugman

    Replaying the 30s in Slow Motion

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  • Paul Krugman

    Cosmic Cato Koch Convergence

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  • Dr. Housing Bubble Blog

    SoCal housing market so hot, sellers finding the need to cut prices: One third of sellers in Orange County have found the need to cut asking price.

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  • Greg Mankiw's Blog

    The Case for Civility

    Noah Smith puts it well:most of our arguments are over things like Obamacare, or antipoverty programs, or financial regulation-- issues on which reasonable people can and do disagree. If you’re uncivil in this sort of situation -- if you call your opponent an idiot, or a liar, or a nastier name simply because you think his or her argument is bad -- you’re basically being overconfident. You’re assuming that there’s essentially no chance that you’re in the wrong, so it’s in the public interest for you to rail against your opponent and score points with the crowd. If you do this, there’s no chance that you yourself will learn anything from the encounter....more

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  • Robert Reich

    Harvard Business School's Role in Widening Inequality

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  • Dr. Housing Bubble Blog

    Examining the net worth of renters and homeowners: Most Americans stash their wealth in home equity. Many housing markets affordable, just not the area you are looking at.

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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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  • Robert Reich

    Berkeley vs. Big Soda

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  • Tim Duy's Fed Watch

    Forward Guidance Heading for a Change

    The lackluster August employment report clearly defied expectations (including my own) for a strong number to round out the generally positive pattern of recent data.  That said, one number does not make a trend, and the monthly change in nonfarm payrolls is notoriously volatile.  The underlying pattern of improvement remains in tact, and thus the employment report did not alleviate the need to adjust the Fed's forward guidance, allow there is a less pressing need to do so at the next meeting.  In any event, the days of the "considerable time" language are numbered. Nonfarm payrolls gained just 142k in August while the unemployment rate ticked back down to 6.1%.  In general, the employment report is consistent with steady progress in the context of data that Fed Ch...more

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  • The Baseline Scenario

    An Elizabeth Warren for New York

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  • Robert Reich

    The Bankruptcy of Detroit and the Division of America

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  • Paper Economy - A US Real Estate Bubble Blog

    Employment Situation: Nonfarm Payrolls and Civilian Unemployment August 2014

    Today's Employment Situation Report indicated that in August, net non-farm payrolls increased by 142,000 jobs overall with the private non-farm payrolls sub-component adding 134,000 jobs while the civilian unemployment rate declined to 6.1% over the same period.Net private sector jobs increased 0.11% since last month climbing 2.12% above the level seen a year ago and climbing 1.34% above the peak level of employment seen in December 2007 prior to the Great Recession. ...more

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  • Paper Economy - A US Real Estate Bubble Blog

    Employment Situation: Total Unemployment August 2014

    Today's Employment Situation report showed that in August “total unemployment” including all marginally attached workers declined to 12.0% while the traditionally reported unemployment rate also fell to 6.1%.The traditional unemployment rate is calculated from the monthly household survey results using a fairly explicit definition of “unemployed” (essentially unemployed and currently looking for full time employment) leaving many workers to be considered effectively “on the margin” either employed in part time work when full time is preferred or simply unemployed and no longer looking for work.The Bureau of Labor Statistics considers “marginally attached” workers (including discouraged workers) and persons who have settled for part time employm...more

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  • Tim Duy's Fed Watch

    August Employment Report Tomorrow

    Tomorrow morning we will be obsessing over the details of the August employment report with an eye toward the implications for monetary policy.  Time for a quick review of some key indicators.  First, initial unemployment claims continue to track at pre-recession levels:  The employment components of both ISM reports where solid:   The ADP report, however, was arguably lackluster with a gain of just 204k private sector jobs:   The consensus forecast is for nonfarm payroll growth of 230k with a range of 195k to 279k.  I am in general agreement with that forecast:   I am somewhat concerned that I should be downgrading the importance of the ADP number and upgrading the strong claims and ISM data, leading me to conclude that the balance of risks lies to the upside...more

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  • Tim Duy's Fed Watch

    Solid Start to September

    The ISM manufacturing report came in ahead of expectations with the strongest number since 2011: Moreover, strength was evident throughout the internal components: Note too that the report is consistent with other manufacturing numbers:  If this is a taste of the data to expect this fall, it is tough to see how the Fed will be able to maintain their "considerable period" language much longer. ...more

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  • Macro and Other Market Musings

    Another Bond Market Conundrum?

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  • macroblog

    What Kind of Job for Part-Time Pat?

    As anyone who follows macroblog knows, we have been devoting a lot of attention recently to the issue of people working part-time for economic reasons (PTER), which means people who want full-time work but have not yet been able to find it. As of July 2014, the number of people working PTER stood at around 7.5 million. This level is down from a peak of almost 9 million in 2011 but is still more than 3 million higher than before the Great Recession. That doesn’t mean they won’t ever find full-time work in the future, but their chances are a lot lower than in the past. Consider Pat, for example. Pat was working PTER at some point during a given year and was also employed 12 months later. At the later date, Pat is either working full-time, still working PTER, ...more

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  • macroblog

    Seeking the Source

    As the early data on the third quarter begin to roll in, the (very tentative) conclusion is that nothing we know yet contradicts the consensus gross domestic product (GDP) forecast (from the Blue Chip panel, for example) of seasonally adjusted annualized Q3 growth in the neighborhood of 3 percent. The latest from our GDPNow model: The GDPNow model forecast for real GDP growth (seasonally adjusted annual rate) in the third quarter of 2014 was 3.0 percent on August 19, up from 2.8 percent on August 13. The nowcast for inventory investment ticked up following the Federal Reserve's industrial production release on August 15 while the nowcast for residential investment growth increased following this morning's new residential construction release from the U.S. Census Bureau...more

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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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  • Macro and Other Market Musings

    Talking About the Past Five Years

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  • Jeffrey Frankel's Blog

    Has Italy Really “Gone Back Into Recession”?

     Has Italy Really “Gone Back Into Recession”? Italians and the world have now been told that their economy slipped back into recession in the first half of 2014.  This characterization is based on the criterion for recession that is standard in Europe and most countries:  two successive quarters of negative growth.  But if the criteria for determining recessions in European countries were similar to those used in the United States, this new downturn would be a continuation of the 2012 recession in Italy, not a new one.  A common-sense look at the graph below suggests the same conclusion: the 2013 “recovery” is barely visible. Worse, Italy under U.S. standards would probably be treated as having been in the same horrific six-year recession ever s...more

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  • Piggington's Econo-Almanac

    July 2014 Housing Data Rodeo

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  • Jeffrey Frankel's Blog

    US Monetary Policy and East Asia

    I visited Korea earlier this summer and gave a talk on effects of U.S. Tapering on Emerging Markets.  (This was also the subject of comments at an Istanbul conference sponsored by the NBER and the Central Bank of Turkey in June.) An interview on the effects of policy at the Fed and other advanced-country central banks on East Asian EMs now appears in KRX magazine (in Korean), August. Here is the English version: Special Interview with  Jeffrey A. Frankel <KRX MAGAZINE> August Q: On 10 June 2014, Federal Reserve Bank of Boston President Eric Rosengren said in a speech that the Fed’s “new” monetary policy tools, including forward guidance and large-scale asset purchases, were “essential” in ensuring the economic recovery in the Unite...more

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  • Piggington's Econo-Almanac

    June 2014 Housing Data Rodeo

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  • The Baseline Scenario

    How to Get Thrown Out of a Luxury Hotel

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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 Baseline Scenario

    Corporate Political Contributions and Bad Faith, Whatever That Is

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  • Dani Rodrik's weblog

    Joining Global Policy as general editor

    David Held is one of the most thoughtful researchers and commentators on global issues, so I am thrilled and honored to be joining forces with him as joint general editor of Global Policy. The journal publishes a range of exciting academic and policy oriented pieces. Check it out here....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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  • Rick Bookstaber

    Big Data versus the SAT

    In a recent Time Magazine article, the president of Bard College, Leon Botstein, joined a chorus of criticism of the SAT, going so far as to call it “part hoax and part fraud.”  Criticism is coming fast and furious because the SAT has just unveiled a new, improved product to try to fend off a trend among competitive colleges to downplay the role of the SAT, and even to eliminate its use entirely.  (The not-for-profit status of the College Board, which produces the SAT, does not put the company beyond reacting to a profit motive; not-for-profit does not exactly mean you don’t get benefits from pulling in more revenue). Among the critiques are that performance during one afternoon in the junior year of high school should not govern a student’s future (th...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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  • Rick Bookstaber

    Live to Eat, Eat to Live

    In a recent New York Times opinion piece, Paul Krugman assessed the possibility that the economy is in a new, constant state of mild depression, and suggests several reasons why this might be occurring, including slowing population growth and a persistent trade deficit. To this I would like to suggest another one, which has been a topic of some of my previous posts: We simply demand less in terms of the consumption of produced, brick and mortar types of goods because that is not where we are spending our lives. Granted, we need a place to live, food to eat, a car to get around, but now we are not living to eat, we are eating to live; we are living to do things that do not require a huge industrial machine. (I won't even get into the point that insofar as we require the...more

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  • Richard's Real Estate and Urban Economics Blog

    UW-La Crosse Chancellor Joe Gow has issues with sifting and winnowing.

    A geography professor at the University of Wisconsin-La Crosse, Rachel Slocum, made the mildly controversial point in an email to her students that Republicans in the House of Representatives had brought about the partial closure of the US government, and had therefore brought about the closure of the US Census web site.  This closure prevented her students from completing their assignments.  She never used abusive or offensive language.Her point raised howls among the conservative blogasphere and media; when confronted with this, her boss, UW-La Crosse Chancellor Joe Gow, publicly reprimanded her for expressing a factually based opinion to her class.  In my view, it was his job to back her--not to agree with her opinion, but rather to defend he...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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  • Richard's Real Estate and Urban Economics Blog

    The Windy City and The Foggy City

    Hannah Green writes:ERNEST HEMINGWAY famously wrote of Paris, “If you are lucky enough to have lived in Paris as a young man, then wherever you go for the rest of your life, it stays with you, for Paris is a moveable feast." For half a century, Hemingway’s nostalgic vision of the city of lights has made undiscovered literary geniuses wish that they could be unemployed in Paris in the 1920s instead of unemployed wherever they live, now. Last year, Teju Cole’s debut novel, Open City, offered a different kind of literary city. The main character, Julius, who resembles Cole, wanders the streets of New York, conversing with the city’s residents and falling into reveries about music, history, and literature. Most of the people he speaks with are immigrants, ...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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  • The Street Light

    Government Job Destruction

    Another jobs report in the US, another month where part of the private sector's job creation was undone by continued job destruction by the government sector. The 15,000 additional jobs lost in April brings total job losses in the government sector since January 2010 to over 500,000. While the US has not quite been experiencing European-style austerity over the past two years, that's still a pretty tough headwind to fight as it emerges from recession. ...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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Otaviano Canuto

Otaviano Canuto is Senior Advisor on BRICS Economies in the Development Economics Department, World Bank, a new position established by President Kim to bring a fresh research focus to this increasingly critical area. He also has an extensive academic background, serving as Professor of Economics at the University of Sao Paulo and University of Campinas (UNICAMP) in Brazil.

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