Weekend Reading: Why Do Democracies Fail?: David Frum on Dan Ziblatt

Ten Years Ago in Grasping Reality: June 22-24, 2007

Four worth remembering: George Borjas behaving badly in being unable to get the economic theory right in his head; Stuart Taylor, Jr., behaving very badly in his desperate desire to torture somebody; editor Len Downie of the Washington Post behaving very badly indeed; and high finance breaking the ceiling of bad behavior in its valuation of mortgage derivatives:

  • John Succo on Pricing CDO Mortgages http://www.bradford-delong.com/2007/06/john-succo-on-p.html: John Succo: "Minyanville : Actual prices where traders can really buy and sell is substantially lower than where investors are marking their positions..."
  • Why Oh Why Can't We Have a Better Press Corps? (Yet Another Washington Post Edition) http://www.bradford-delong.com/2007/06/why-oh-why-ca-1.html: War and Piece: "A veteran newspaper editor friend has some sharp observations about the Post Cheney piece: 'A careful reading of the story of Cheney's coup against a feeble executive reveals that paragraphs 7 through 10 were written and inserted in haste by a powerful editorial hand [Len Downie]. The banging of colliding metaphors in an otherwise carefully written piece is evidence of last-minute interpolations by a bad editor whom no one has the power to rewrite...'"
  • Stuart Taylor, Jr. Is a Psychotic Creep http://www.bradford-delong.com/2007/06/stuart-taylor-j.html: Most people who salivate at the thought of torture and construct "ticking bomb" hypotheticals to make it seem reasonable work a little bit harder than Taylor to keep their hypotheticals from being completely and transparently silly. Not Stuart Taylor, Jr...
  • Ottoviano-Peri and the CEA vs. George Borjas on the Distributional Consequences of Immigration http://www.bradford-delong.com/2007/06/ottoviano-peri-.html: George Borjas... is simply wrong: "capital adjusts fully" means that more future investments are made in high-productivity areas to which migrants move and fewer in low-productivity areas from which migrants came. Returns on savings are thus higher--and because the pre-existing population are savers, they benefit. So do the migrants...