Re-Reading My Weblog: September 2005

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Looking for something I had written relevant to Ken Rogoff's attempt to explain the current constellation of asset prices, I found it on my weblog for September 2005.

And then I went on the reread the whole month:

The highlight was what I was looking for--the extremely sharp-witted Robert Barro had a very interesting but, I concluded, ultimately unpersuasive paper on "Rare Events and the Equity Premium". The problem is that any rare catastrophe large enough to permanently crash the U.S. stock market almost surely crashes the real returns on Treasury bonds as well--hence cannot explain the ex-ante equity return premium vis-a-vis Treasuries:

Elsewhere in that month's postings, I found myself defending the loathsome Bill Bennett against a pre-Twitter TwitterRage mob:

I continued to worry about the possibility of a financial crisis--albeit not the financial crisis we were going to have:

The thoughtful Timothy Burke mistook what I regard as one of the extraordinary intellectual successes of Adam Smith's economics for a failure:

The Old New Republic sneered at the fact that Bill Clinton is interested in and seeks to improve the lot of poor people in the developing world:

Andrew Sullivan looked forward, in a rather innumerate way, to what he believes to be the prospect of a human race divided into differently-intelligent subspecies--and looked forward to it a little too eagerly in a highly creepy way:

Left-wing academics suffering from injelitance continued to misrepresent--or perhaps simply continued to fail to read--Jared Diamond's Guns, Germs, and Steel:

It seemed to me past time to impeach George W. Bush:

And math is hard:

The big news worldwide was, of course, Hurricane Katrina and New Orleans:

The nadir of Katrina coverage--even worse than Amity Shlaes--came from Michael Kinsley.

Michael Kinsley outed himself as the only person living on the West Coast of the United States who had not "given much thought to the risk of a big earthquake along the West Coast":

Two feel-good pieces for the month:

The mixing of the human genome via intermarriage occurs remarkably fast--we are and are likely to remain one single human race, and should treat one another as such:

And Adam Smith's economics is indeed capable of shedding a lot of light on the phenomenon of commodity money: