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Fairly Recently: Must- and Should-Reads, and Writings... (March 26, 2019)

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  1. Shelly Hagan and Wei Lu: San Francisco's `Super Rich' Lead a Widening U.S. Wealth Divide: "The Income Gap Is Getting Worse in American Cities. U.S. income gap between top 5% and middle 20% grew by 118,000. Boise City, Idaho, and Knoxville, Tennessee, have robust gaps: The tech hub’s 'super-rich versus middle-class' gap swelled by $118,000 to $529,500 over the past five years, as the top 5 percent of households earned $632,310 in 2017, compared with $102,785 for the middle class, according to the Bloomberg analysis of U.S. Census data...

  2. Richard Samans: Better Labor Standards Must Underpin the Future of Work: "As technology and deregulation continue to shape the labor market, maintaining strong worker protections is as important as ever...

  3. Hess Chung and Eric Engen (20134): Identifying the Sources of the Unexpectedly Weak Economic Recovery Using the FRB/US Model

  4. Abhijit V. Banerjee and Esther Duflo: The Economic Lives of the Poor

  5. Daniel Alpert: What the Federal Reserve Got Totally Wrong about Inflation and Interest Rate Policy: Getting Real About Rents

  6. Jared Bernstein: On the Economy

  7. Katrin Gödker, Peiran Jiao, and Paul Smeets: Investor Memory: "Self-serving memory bias... distorts beliefs and drives investment choices. Subjects who previously invested in a risky stock are more likely to remember positive investment outcomes and less likely to remember negative outcomes. In contrast, subjects who did not invest but merely observed the investment outcomes do not have this memory bias. Importantly, subjects do not adjust their behavior to account for the fallibility of their memory...

  8. Wired: How Animators Created the Spider-Verse

  9. Mark Thoma: Links (3/24/19)

  10. Ben Thompson: Apple’s Services Event: "The problem, though, is that there will never be a product like the iPhone again; Apple may have found its product future (good for developers and customers), but its financial future is less certain (not so good for Wall Street)...

  11. Data For Progress: A Green New Deal. New Consensus: Green New Deal

  12. Menzie Chinn: "Stop Stephen Moore from being appointed to the Fed. Here is a non-exhaustive recounting of Moore’s reign of error...

  13. Marina Hyde: Get Set for Brexit: Indicative Day–The One Where the Grand Wizards Turn on Each Other: "On Sunday it was all looking so good for the Brexit ultras. Then came Monday, and that parliamentary vote.... Like all initiatives handled by Oliver Letwin since the 1980s, it promises to go spectacularly wrong in ways we haven’t even thought of yet, but let’s pretend otherwise before the shitstorm gets properly under way on Wednesday...

  14. Catherine Rampell: The Op-Ed that Got Stephen Moore His Fed Nomination Is Based on Two Major Falsehoods: "Trump has nominated to the world’s most powerful central bank a guy who has trouble telling whether prices are going up or down, and struggles to remember how the most famous Fed chair in history successfully stamped out inflation. But hey, Republican senators still seem keen on him because 'the establishment' keeps pointing out how inept he is...

  15. Nick Timiraos: @NickTimiraos: "Ben Sasse supports Moore: 'Steve’s nomination has thrown the card-carrying members of the Beltway establishment into a tizzy, and that says little about Steve and his belief in American ingenuity, but a lot about central planners’ devotion to groupthink'...

  16. Catherine Rampell: Stephen Moore Could Inflict More Long-Term Damage than Any of Trump’s Other Nominations: "President Trump has made a lot of ill-advised nominations. But perhaps no single choice could inflict more long-term damage than the one he announced Friday: Stephen Moore, Trump’s pick to join the Federal Reserve Board...

  17. Jo Walton (2010): The Suck Fairy

  18. Martin Cahill: A Stunning Debut: Arkady Martine’s "A Memory Called Empire"

  19. UCL Institute for Innovation and Public Purpose: @IIPPUCL_: "Watch as @bankofengland Chief Economist Andy Haldane explores 10 monetary myths that will help present and future generations to rethink and reframe the way we organise our economies, our financial systems and our societies https://www.youtube.com/watch?time_continue=1&v=Ul0pTVl8l98...

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The Fed Board Unmoored: Live at Project Syndicate

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Live at Project Syndicate: The Fed Board Unmoored: "In December 2015, the right-wing commentator Stephen Moore, US President Donald Trump’s pick to fill a vacancy on the US Federal Reserve Board of Governors, savagely attacked then-Fed Chair Janet Yellen and her predecessor, Ben Bernanke, for maintaining loose monetary policies in the years following the 'Great Recession'.... On December 26, 2018, he savagely attacked Yellen’s successor, Jerome Powell, for raising interest rates to unwind the very approach that he had condemned three years earlier. 'If you cut engine power too far on a jetliner', he warned, 'it will stall and drop out of the sky'. Moore complained that after having 'risen by 382 points on hopes that the Fed would listen to Trump and stop cutting power', the Dow Jones Industrial Average had “plunged by 895 points” on the news of another interest-rate hike. This, he concluded, was evidence that 'the Fed’s monetary policy has come unhinged'...

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Fairly Recently: Must- and Should-Reads, and Writings... (March 25, 2019)

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  1. Margaret Leslie Davis: The Quest to Acquire the Oldest, Most Expensive Book on the Planet: "The price of the book when it left the printer’s workshop was believed to be about thirty florins, equivalent to a clerk’s wages for three years...

  2. George A. Akerlof: Sins of Omission and the Practice of Economics: "Economics, as a discipline, gives rewards that favor the 'Hard' and disfavor the 'Soft', Such bias leads economic research to ignore important topics and problems that are difficult to approach in a 'Hard' way—thereby resulting in 'sins of omission'.... Greatly increased tolerance in norms for publication and promotion... [is] one way of alleviating narrow methodological biases...

  3. Wikipedia: Quantum Logic Gates

  4. Andy Matuschak: "I want to expand the reach of human knowledge and ability...

  5. Michael Nielsen: Neural Networks and Deep Learning

  6. Michael Nielsen: Interesting problems: The Church-Turing-Deutsch Principle: "Deutsch... propose[d] a revision of the Church-Turing thesis... that every physical process can be simulated by a universal computing device...

  7. Alain Aspect: The future of Quantum Technologies: The Second Quantum Revolution

  8. Barbara Tuchman: “A Single British Soldier…”: "'What is the smallest British military force that would be of any practical assistance to you?' Wilson asked. Like a rapier flash came Foch’s reply, 'A single British soldier—and we will see to it that he is killed'...

  9. Michael Andersen: Six Secrets From the Planner of Sevilla’s Lightning Bike Network: "Sevilla, Spain: It went from having about as much biking as Oklahoma City to having about as much biking as Portland, Oregon. It did this over the course of four years...

  10. I wish it were so, but I see only one professional Republican economist—Greg Mankiw—coming out in opposition to Moore. The rest are very quiet. All honor to Greg Mankiw, yes, but where are the others?: Brendan Greeley: Swift Pushback on Stephen Moore, Trump's Latest Pick for the Fed: "Stephen Moore drew swift and unusually pointed criticism after President Donald Trump picked him to be a governor of the U.S. Federal Reserve, with at least one prominent Republican economist calling on the Senate to block the appointment. 'He does not have the intellectual gravitas for this important job', Greg Mankiw, a Harvard professor who was chairman of the White House Council of Economic Advisers under President George W. Bush, wrote in a blog post on Friday. 'It is time for senators to do their job. Mr. Moore should not be confirmed'...

  11. Paul Krugman Twitter: https://twitter.com/paulkrugman/with_replies

  12. Stephen Moore Twitter: https://twitter.com/search?vertical=default&q=Stephen%20Moore&src=typd

  13. Wikipedia: Battle of Mycale

  14. Wikipedia: Battle of Plataea

  15. Roman expeditions to Sub-Saharan Africa

Continue reading "Fairly Recently: Must- and Should-Reads, and Writings... (March 25, 2019)" »


Monday Smackdown/Hoisted from Others' Archives from Six -and-a-HalfYears Ago: Dan Drezner on Chuck Lane

Clowns (ICP)

Every time I try to get out, they drag me back in...

Now I am being told that nobody with any audience ever thought 15/hour in California was a really bad idea. So time to recall this:

Monday Smackdown/Hoisted from Others' Archives: A correspondent asks me for help: Chuck Lane is being used as an authority on the California's 15/hr by 2023 minimum wage proposal. And Chuck Lane says:

A hot concept in wonkdom these days is “evidence-based policymaking.”… Gov. Jerry Brown and the state’s labor leaders have announced legislation to raise the state’s minimum wage… to $15 per hour…. Whatever else might be said about this plan, it does not represent an exercise in evidence-based policymaking. To the contrary: There’s a total lack of evidence that the potential benefits would outweigh potential costs—and ample reason to worry they would not…

Dan Drezner: Why I Don’t Need to Take Charles Lane Seriously: "The Washington Post’s Chuck Lane wrote an op-ed arguing in favor of Jeff Flake’s amendment...

...to cut National Science Foundation funding for political science. In fact, Lane raised the ante, arguing that NSF should stop funding all of the social sciences, full stop. Now, I can respect someone who tries to make the argument that the opportunity costs of funding the social sciences are big enough that this is where a budget cut should take place.  It’s harder, however, to respect someone who: 

Continue reading "Monday Smackdown/Hoisted from Others' Archives from Six -and-a-HalfYears Ago: Dan Drezner on Chuck Lane" »


The Fed Should Buy Recession Insurance: Now Not Quite so Fresh at Project Syndicate

Hundred Dollar Bill Peel and Stick Jumbo Size Removable Wall Decal 100 Dollar Bill Google Express

Now Not Quite so Fresh at Project Syndicate: The Fed Should Buy Recession Insurance: If the United States falls into recession in the next year or two, the US Federal Reserve may have very little room to loosen policy, yet it is not taking any steps to cover that risk. Unless the Fed rectifies this soon, the US–and the world–may well face much bigger problems later.

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This Has Certainly Been One Crazifying Fed Tightening Cycle...

FRED Graph FRED St Louis Fed

This has certainly been one crazifying Fed tightening cycle.

The 10-year nominal Treasury rate is only 0.2%-points higher than it was back in mid-2015, when liftoff appears imminent. the 10-year real rate is back where it started at 0.65, after having gone as low as zero and as high as 1.1%. And—unless it is triggered by strong good growth news—any further increase in the federal funds rate would invert the yield curve, which the Federal Reserve has decided not to do.

I really wish I had some idea of just what the Federal Reserve plans to do to fight the next recession, whenever the next recession come along. It has know since at least mid-2010 that the bond market believes that secular stagnation—at least in its effect on long-term interest rates—is a very real thing.

Presumably the Fed still believes that when the next recession comes it has one job: to drop the 10-year real Treasury rate so that expanded construction and exports can take up some of the emerging labor-market slack and so cushion the downturn. But I have no idea what policies it thinks it will pursue that will accomplish that...

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A Baker's Dozen of Books Worth Reading... (2019-03-21)

The Vela

  1. The Vela https://www.serialbox.com/serials/the-vela
  2. Barbara Chase-Ribaud: Sally Hemings; A Novel https://books.google.com/books?isbn=1569766797
  3. Annette Gordon-Reed: Thomas Jefferson and Sally Hemings: An American Controversy https://books.google.com/books?isbn=0813933560
  4. Kevin O'Rourke: A Short History of Brexit https://books.google.com/books?isbn=0241398339
  5. E.M. Halliday: Understanding Thomas Jefferson https://books.google.com/books?isbn=0060957611
  6. Guy Gavriel Kay: A Song for Arbonne https://books.google.com/books?isbn=1101667435
  7. Harriet Beecher Stowe: A Key to Uncle Tom's Cabin https://books.google.com/books?isbn=1557094934
  8. Keri Leigh Merritt: Masterless Men https://books.google.com/books?isbn=110718424X
  9. Gareth Dale: Karl Polanyi: A Life on the Left https://books.google.com/books?isbn=0231541481
  10. Philip Auerswald: The Code Economy: A Forty-thousand-year History https://books.google.com/books?isbn=0190226765
  11. John Judis: The Nationalist Revival: Trade, Immigration, and the Revolt Against Globalization https://books.google.com/books?isbn=099974540
  12. Richard Baldwin: The Globotics Upheaval: Globalization, Robotics, and the Future of Work https://books.google.com/books?isbn=0190901772
  13. Patricia Crone: Pre-Industrial Societies: Anatomy of the Pre-Modern World https://books.google.com/books?isbn=1780748043

Continue reading "A Baker's Dozen of Books Worth Reading... (2019-03-21)" »


Fairly Recently: Must- and Should-Reads, and Writings... (March 21, 2019)

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  1. David Warsh: Austerity is Defunct: "Long-term stagnation is a real possibility...

  2. Wikipedia: Gregor MacGregor

  3. Andy Matuschak and Michael Nielsen: Quantum Computing for the Very Curious: "Presented in an experimental mnemonic medium, which makes it almost effortless to remember what you read...

  4. Remaniacs Podcast

  5. Laura Tyson and Susan Lund: The Blind Spot in the Trade Debate: "Digital flows and services.... As governments assess their external balances and competitive positions, hammer out trade deals, and set national policy agendas, they need to look beyond manufacturing and agriculture...

  6. Notice anyone missing from Clive Crook's list of Brexit villains? That's right: no Johnsons, no Farages, no ERGs. Somehow the right-wing nutjobs whom he has spent so much of his career carrying water for have no agency, and so are not worth mentioning as bearing responsibility. Bless their little hearts: Clive Crook: Britain’s Next Great Brexit Mistake: "No great regard for the EU.... Cameron’s bungling.... Rarely... did May miss a chance to make things worse.... This pitiful result... the Remain majority in Parliament chose to let it happen...

  7. Casey Newton: Instagram's Reckoning Arrives

  8. Petitions: Revoke Article 50 and remain in the EU: "The government repeatedly claims exiting the EU is 'the will of the people'. We need to put a stop to this claim by proving the strength of public support now, for remaining in the EU. A People's Vote may not happen-so vote now...

  9. Robert Shrimsley: No words: "We're close to a gangrene moment" said one senior European Commission official...

Continue reading "Fairly Recently: Must- and Should-Reads, and Writings... (March 21, 2019)" »


Fairly Recently: Must- and Should-Reads, and Writings... (March 20, 2019)

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  1. Jennifer Jensen Wallach (2002): The Vindication of Fawn Brodie: "Julian Bond... articulated the feelings of many black Americans when he said: 'Through all my life, as long as I have known there was a Thomas Jefferson, I have known there was a Sally Hemings. And I have known, not in a... scholarly way... I know this relationship existed and while, I cannot prove it, I don't find it at all odd that it might have, or could have, or actually did happen. A man who owns slaves is not far away from one who will sleep with his slave.... Brodie noted that: /The unanimity with which Jefferson male biographers deny him even one richly intimate love affair after his wife's death suggests that something is at work here that has little to do with scholarship, especially since they are so gifted in writing about every other aspect of his life'...

  2. Fawn M. Brodie (1971): Jefferson Biographers and the Psychology of Canonization: "The women who have written about Jefferson in Paris see neither inhibitions nor 'hangups', nor an absurd preoccupation with the god of reason; they also read the Cosway letters without preconceptions about Jefferson's lack of masculinity.... One could continue, in describing the varied biographical treatment ofJefferson's intimate life, by discussing the ancient, controversial story of Sally Hemings. The documentation is so scattered and complicated, however, that it deserves a small volume in itself, and simply cannot be adequately reported in this essay.... Malone, who finds the story even more abhorrent than does Peterson, devotes a whole appendix in his new volume to a discussion of the evidence. He holds that the father of Sally Hemings's children may have been Peter Carr, but that it was more likely to have been his dissolute brother Samuel. 'It is virtually inconceivable', he writes ofJefferson, 'that this fastidious gentleman whose devotion to his dead wife's memory and to the happiness of his daughters and grandchildren bordered on the excessive could have carried on through a period of years a vulgar liaison which his own family could not have failed to detect'.... The unanimity with which Jefferson male biographers deny him even one richly intimate love affair after his wife's death suggests that something is at work here that has little to do with scholarship, especially since they are so gifted in writing about every other aspect of his life...

  3. E. M. Halliday (2001): Understanding Thomas Jefferson https://books.google.com/books?isbn=006175546X

  4. The very sharp John Lukacs on what I call "fascism"—proletarian ethnoi that need to fight enemies foreign and domestic with economic cleavages within the ethnoi papered over, rather than proletarian classes that need the economic system unrigged. For some reason he calls it "nationalism", which I think is properly something different: there may well be elective affinity between belief in the nation-state as a political and sociological community and fascism, but it is certainly not an identity: John Lukacs: The Duel: The Eighty Day Struggle Between Churchill and Hitler: "The principal force of the twentieth century is nationalism...

  5. Brilliant from my freshman roommate Robert Waldmann: Robert Waldmann: The Transformation of Left Neoliberalism: " We should want a small state, but the key is a small surface area not a small volume. Shrinking the state by drilling so there are private-sector salients worsens the problem...

  6. David Brooks: The Case for Reparations: "Sitting, for example, with an elderly black woman in South Carolina shaking in rage because the kids in her neighborhood face greater challenges than she did growing up in 1953...

  7. Brishen Rogers: Beyond Automation: The Law & Political Economy of Workplace Technological Change: "Companies are, however, using new information technologies to exercise power over workers in other ways, all of which are enabled by existing employment laws...

  8. Phil Lord and Rodney Rothman: Screenplay: Spider-Man: Into the Spider-Verse

  9. Abhijit V. Banerjee and Esther Duflo (2007): The Economic Lives of the Poor

  10. Wikipedia: Greek to me: "It may have been a direct translation of a similar phrase in Latin: 'Graecum est; non legitur'...

  11. Daniel Davies: One-Minute MBA

  12. David Leonhardt: Trump’s Trade Grade: "'He set out to fix a non-problem (a trade deficit) and created real ones including international conflict, higher consumer prices and gross inefficiency'...

  13. George Magnus: China Leadership Monitor: "Before the 1980s and again since 2012, when reforms were suppressed or stifled and inputs were boosted, but without any improvements...

  14. Jonathan Bernstein: 2020 Elections: Far Left Won’t Take Over the Democratic Party: "It lost five of six presidential elections through 1988. The Democratic Leadership Council of that era was split...

  15. SF Eater: Ginto Izakaya Japonaise

  16. Ramen Shop

  17. Iyasare

  18. *Gregory Travis *: 737 MAX Article

  19. Juliane Stockman: @JulianeStockman: "If you haven't subscribed to @tressiemcphd https://thefirstand15th.substack.com, you need to.... I'm gonna have to journal about this months' essay. Hell, I'm probably gonna take it into therapy to process it. It packs a wallop...

  20. John Harwood: @JohnJHarwood: "Trump/GOP promised lasting 3+% growth from self-financing tax-cuts. Mainstream economists predicted brief deficit-fueled growth burst...

Continue reading "Fairly Recently: Must- and Should-Reads, and Writings... (March 20, 2019)" »


The Disjunction Between Production and Distribution: An Outtake from "Slouching Towards Utopia?: An Economic History of the Long Twentieth Century 1870-2016

Il Quarto Stato

KILLING YET MORE OF MY DARLINGS! (sob!)


In the world as it stood in 1870–and even more so in 1914—there was a huge disjunction between the growing effective economic power of the human race and the proper distribution of this potential wealth. Science, technology, and organization were clearly wreaking miracles. The rewards, however, were not going to the scientists and the engineers and the workers, but to the landlords and the financiers and to the organizer-entrepreneurs. The sociological contribution of this latter group in creating organizations and setting them in motion was mighty. Best friends Karl Marx and Friedrich Engels probably put it best in 1848:

The business class, during… scarce 100 years, has created more massive and more colossal productive forces than have all preceding generations together. Subjection of Nature’s forces to [hu]man[ity], machinery, application of chemistry to industry and agriculture, steam-navigation, railways, electric telegraphs, clearing of whole continents for cultivation, canalisation of rivers, whole populations conjured out of the ground—what earlier century had even a presentiment that such productive forces slumbered in the lap of social labour?…

However, the benefits of greater human power to harvest fruits from nature and organize persons did not trickle down. There were, broadly speaking, as of 1870 three views about why it did not trickle down; and about what, if anything, ought to be done about it:

Continue reading "The Disjunction Between Production and Distribution: An Outtake from "Slouching Towards Utopia?: An Economic History of the Long Twentieth Century 1870-2016" »


Fairly Recently: Must- and Should-Reads, and Writings... (March 17, 2019)

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  1. Jason Furman: Review of Kim Clausing: "Open: The Progressive Case for Free Trade, Immigration, and Global Capital": "If I had to assign policymakers one up-to-date guide to the latest economic policy issues on taxes and trade it would be this one...

  2. Facundo Alvaredo, Lucas Chancel, Thomas Piketty, Emmanuel Saez, and Gabriel Zucman: World Inequality Report 2018: "The World Inequality Lab seeks to fill a democratic gap...

  3. This Federal Reserve interest-raising cycle: not just an ex-post but an ex-ante mistake: Adam Ozimek and Michael Ferlez: The Fed’s Mistake: "The Fed made a numerically significant error in underestimating the amount of labor market slack...

  4. Wikipedia: Philip Auerswald

  5. Langston Hughes: Let America Be America Again

  6. Wikipedia: Metric

  7. Dmitry Grozoubinski: Dmitry's Guide To Writing A No-Deal Is Project Fear Article: "Are you a Tory Lord who once had to share a cab with a Hungarian? An Oxbridge chancer who wants to be on telly? Just write an article about No-Deal being 'Project Fear.' How? This guide can help!...

  8. Dan O'Sullivan: Pigs (A Million Different Ones): "The internet is now the world’s largest subduction zone, where an endless column of young, mostly white males are overtaken and crushed by the unstoppable force of far-right extremism. Violent misogyny, Islamophobia, anti-Semitism, gay-bashing, anti-black racism-you name it, you can find it, in ever more plentiful amounts online. The biggest tech platforms you can name-Facebook, Google, YouTube, Twitter, Reddit-serve up this kind of poison on an industrial scale, mushrooming and expanding at a rate that makes catching up with the spread almost impossible. The early neo-Nazi webforum Stormfront is on life support, largely because there is no need for the far-right to stay in an online cul-de-sac.... We as a society are going to be living with the effects of this radicalization for the rest of our lives...

  9. Maria Lawton: Bacalhau à Gomes Sà

  10. Dan Murphy: The Entire Economy is Fyre Festival.: "Izabella Kaminska: 'Search LinkedIn.... 41 results for 'chief future officer', 44 for 'chief joy officer', 52 for 'chief happiness officer', 63 for 'chief thinking officer', 170 for a 'chief vision officer', 197 futurists and 354 futurologists...' [155 Retweets, 363 Links] Does this many likes and retweets make me an influencer, an evangelist, or a thought leader?...

  11. Karl Rodbertus (1850): Overproduction and Crises

  12. The Points Guy: JetBlue Mint From New York to San Francisco

  13. Impossible Burger

  14. Wikipedia: Jack o' Kent

Continue reading "Fairly Recently: Must- and Should-Reads, and Writings... (March 17, 2019)" »


The Fed Should Buy Recession Insurance: Fresh at Project Syndicate

Hundred Dollar Bill Peel and Stick Jumbo Size Removable Wall Decal 100 Dollar Bill Google Express

Fresh at Project Syndicate: The Fed Should Buy Recession Insurance: If the United States falls into recession in the next year or two, the US Federal Reserve may have very little room to loosen policy, yet it is not taking any steps to cover that risk. Unless the Fed rectifies this soon, the US–and the world–may well face much bigger problems later. The next global downturn may still be a little way off. The chances that the North Atlantic as a whole will be in recession a year from now have fallen to about one in four. German growth may well be positive this quarter, while China could rebound, too. And although US growth is definitely slowing–to 1% or so this quarter–this may yet turn out to be a blip. Let’s hope so. Because if the next downturn is looming, North Atlantic central banks do not have the policy room to fight it effectively... Read MOAR at Project Syndicate

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Fairly Recently: Must- and Should-Reads, and Writings... (March 13, 2019)

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  1. Marne Levine: How Did I Get Here?

  2. Sean Illing: "Fascism: a Warning" from Madeleine Albright

  3. Neil Cummins: The Missing English Middle Class: Evidence From 60 Million Death And Probate Records: "Despite the great equalisation of wealth over the 20th century, most English have no significant wealth at death...

  4. David H. Autor: Work of the Past, Work of the Future: "A disproportionate polarization... shunting non-college workers out of specialized middle-skill occupations into low-wage occupations... diminishing the set of non-college workers that hold middle-skill jobs in high-wage cities... attenuating... the steep urban wage premium for non-college workers...

  5. Paul Krugman (2015): On Econoheroes: "Look at hits on Google News. If you put in “mankiw economy” you get about 5200 hits, many of them involving debates at the recent economics meetings. If you put in “stephen moore economy” you get 65,700 hits. If you put in “stiglitz economy” you get 43,800. I see this as a real asymmetry...

  6. Sanjiv Das, Kris Mitchener, and Angela Vossmeyer: Bank Networks and Systemic Risk in the Great Depression: "The Global Crisis brought attention to how connections among financial institutions may make systems more prone to crises. Turning to a major financial crisis from the past, this column uses data from the Great Depression to study risk in the commercial banking network leading up to the crisis and how the network structure influenced the outcomes. It demonstrates that when the distribution of risk is more concentrated at the top of the system, as it was in 1929, fragility and the propensity for risk to spread increases...

  7. Alicia Sasser Modestino: Is the "Skills Gap" ReaL?: "Since the Great Recession, employers have cited a skills gap in which workers lack the education and experience needed to fill vacant jobs. While job requirements increased for many openings during the recession, the inverse has happened as the labor market has recovered...

  8. Lee Harris: Murderbot Will Return in… "Network Effect". A Full Novel by Martha Wells

  9. Matthew Yglesias: Great Tariff Debate of 1888: Trump’s Love of the McKinley Tariff: "Trump’s side won, and it was an unpopular disaster...

  10. Karl Smith: [Why Centrists Have to Become More Partisan(https://www.bloomberg.com/opinion/articles/2019-03-11/why-centrists-have-to-become-more-partisan): "In America’s polarized political climate, credibility within the party is a prerequisite for getting anything done...

  11. James Fallows: ET302: Is the Boeing 737 Max 8 to Blame?: "No one knows for sure—but here is where experts will be looking for clues...

  12. Herman Melville: Moby-Dick: "Ahab: 'Aye, aye! and I’ll chase him round Good Hope, and round the Horn, and round the Norway Maelstrom, and round perdition’s flames before I give him up. And this is what ye have shipped for, men! to chase that white whale on both sides of land, and over all sides of earth, till he spouts black blood and rolls fin out. What say ye, men, will ye splice hands on it, now? I think ye do look brave'...

  13. Ernst Renan: What Is a Nation?: "The essence of a nation is that all of its individual members have a great deal in common and also that they have forgotten many things. No French citizen knows whether he is a Burgund, an Alain, a Taifala, or a Visigoth. Every French citizen has forgotten St. Bartholomew’s Day and the thirteenth-century massacres in the Midi...

  14. Wikipedia: Cauchy Distribution

  15. Anna Mikusheva: Weak Instrumental Variables

  16. Max Roser and Esteban Ortiz-Ospina: Global Extreme Poverty

  17. Isaiah Andrews and James H. Stock: Weak Instruments and What to Do About Them

  18. Philip Auerswald: The Code Economy: A 40000-Year History

  19. Absolute lunacy from a politician who is the essence of a twit: Nigel Farage: The Betrayal of Brexit Is One of the Most Shameful Chapters in Our Country’s History: "498 MPs voted to trigger Article 50.... They all knew that the consequence was that the UK would leave the EU on March 29 2019, with or without a deal. And yet now they have decided to claim the vote was meaningless.... We are living through one of the most shameful chapters in our country’s history...

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Modern Economic Growth: Eagle's-Eye View Slides

https://www.icloud.com/keynote/0uV-761YfOFH171v7LfWSara


#teachingeconomics #teachinggrowth #teachinghistory #moderneconomicgrowth #highlighted #berkeley
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Fairly Recently: Must- and Should-Reads, and Writings... (March 11, 2019)

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  1. KJV: John 5: "Now there is at Jerusalem by the sheep market a pool, which is called in the Hebrew tongue Bethesda, having five porches. In these lay a great multitude of impotent folk, of blind, halt, withered, waiting for the moving of the water. For an angel went down at a certain season into the pool, and troubled the water: whosoever then first after the troubling of the water stepped in was made whole of whatsoever disease he had...

  2. Edward Luce: Ivanka Trump and the Rise of the Stepford Daughter: "The first daughter’s drive to improve the skills of American workers mainly involves photo-ops. Washington’s most surreal event this week—an absurdly high bar—was Ivanka Trump’s roll-out of her workforce development council. It opened with her father calling the chief executive of America’s largest smartphone company 'Tim Apple'. Tim Cook barely flinched...

  3. Madeline Peltz: Tucker Carlson's interviews on 'Bubba The Love Sponge'...

  4. Benjamin Dreyer: Jeanine Pirro was permanently banned from Leonard’s of Great Neck after she tried to walk out with a table floral arrangement from a bat mitzvah she wasn’t even attending. So grain of salt on the constitutional scholarship...

  5. The Vela: A Leisurely Extinction

  6. Paul N. Van de Water: [More Evidence of Post-ACA Slowdown in Health Care Spending(https://www.cbpp.org/blog/more-evidence-of-post-aca-slowdown-in-health-care-spending): "In early 2010 we projected that federal debt would reach 289 percent of gross domestic product (GDP) by 2048; we now project 113 percent of GDP. Over half of that improvement stems from lower health care costs; the rest largely reflects lower interest rates. Although health care costs remain a major driver of future increases in federal spending, that shouldn’t obscure how much their projected costs have fallen in recent years...

  7. Nyum Bai: Our Menu —

  8. August (1) Five: Menu

  9. Marica Restaurant: Current Food & Drink Offerings

  10. Pete Buttigieg: On Pence's support of Trump: "How could he allow himself to become the cheerleader of the porn star presidency. Is it that he stopped believing in scripture when he started believing in Donald Trump?...

  11. Tobias S. Buckell: What Tools Does a Professional Fiction Writer Use?

  12. Microeconomic Insights: About: "Microeconomic Insights is a home for accessible summaries of high quality microeconomic research which informs the public about microeconomic issues that are, or should be, in the public’s eye...

  13. Emma Hyman

  14. KJV: Song of Moses and Miriam

  15. Wikipedia: Al Hunt

  16. Alfred, Lord Tennyson: Ulysses: "Tho' much is taken, much abides; and tho'/We are not now that strength which in old days/Moved earth and heaven, that which we are, we are...

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Carville-Hunt "Two Old White Guys" Podcast

Carville-Hunt "Two Old White Guys" Podcast:

Albert Hunt

Edited for Coherence and Clarity

https://www.pscp.tv/w/1OwxWOzBQgkxQ?q=alhuntdc

Al Hunt: Brad Delong, a Rubin Democrat, a mainstream, a Clinton-Obama Democrat, if you will, has said in the [intra-]democratic wars: My side has lost. We can't form any coalitions with [even] a handful of moderate Republicans. Cap-and-trade was a Republican idea. Every single Republican basically turned their back.

Uh, Brad, are you there?...

As soon as you're with us, let us know.

Brad, you hit the smiley face.

We are going to ask Brad what this means for the Democratic Party’s [position] on major economic issues.

I think we have Brad, right?

Brad DeLong: [The Machine] says I am here.

Al Hunt: Terrific. I'm talking about your vox[.com] interview. I also note that you are one of the 750 most influential economists. James and I hope to be one of the 70,000 most influential podcasters at some point. We once again have been elevated by our guests.

James [Carville], let me turn it over to you to ask the first couple of questions to Brad about his new thesis.

Brad DeLong: May I first compliment the two of you?

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Fairly Recently: Must- and Should-Reads, and Writings... (March 10, 2019)

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  1. John Quiggin: Monopoly: Too Big to Ignore: "Two hundred years after the birth of Karl Marx and fifty years after the last Western upsurge of revolutionary ferment in 1968, the term 'monopoly capitalism' might seem like a relic of outmoded enthusiasms. But economists are increasingly coming to the view that monopolies, and associated market failures, have never been a bigger problem...

  2. Mary Beard: The Public Voice of Women: "As Homer has it, an integral part of growing up, as a man, is learning to take control of public utterance and to silence the female of the species.... Telemachus... says ‘speech’ is ‘men’s business’... authoritative public speech (not the kind of chatting, prattling or gossip that anyone–women included, or especially women–could do)...

  3. Fear of Reese Witherspoon Look-Alikes on the Pill

  4. Who Will Donald Trump Turn Out To Be?: "We have very little indication of what policies Donald Trump will try to follow or even what kind of president he will be. The U.S. press corps did an extraordinarily execrable job in covering the rise of Trump—even worse than it usually does. Even the most sophisticated of audiences—those interested in asset prices and how they are affected by government policies—have very little insight into Trump's views or those of his key associates...

  5. Yes, it is time for the center-left to pass the baton. But what does that mean, concretely, for policies? Paul Krugman gives his opinion: Paul Krugman: "A few thoughts inspired by @delong's 'Brad is really saying two things...

  6. Noah Smith: Book Review: The Revolt of the Public, by Martin Gurri: "A new framework... to... think about the political chaos...

  7. Sam Bowles (2011): Is Liberal Society a Parasite on Tradition?: "Markets and other liberal institutions... enhance rather than erode... values...

  8. CPPC: Senate Finance Committee Grills Drug Executives on Rising Prices, Criticize Them for Terrible Practices: "Grassley... Wyden... bipartisan investigation into the high price of insulin...

  9. Chye-Ching Huang: Fundamentally Flawed 2017 Tax Law Largely Leaves Low- and Moderate-Income Americans Behind: "A restructuring... can fix these flaws...

  10. Andrei Markevich: Russia in the Great War: Mobilisation, Grain, and Revolutio: "The economics and politics of the Russian grain and labour markets.... It was impossible simultaneously to mobilise 15 million males into the Russian army, procure the grain to feed them as soldiers, and avoid revolution...

  11. Wikipedia: Posset: "A posset (also historically spelled poshote, poshotte) was originally a popular British hot drink made of milk curdled with wine or ale, often spiced, which was often used as a remedy...

  12. Wikipedia: IBM 1620 - : "Many in the user community recall the 1620 being referred to as CADET, jokingly meaning 'Can't Add, Doesn't Even Try', referring to the use of addition tables in memory rather than dedicated addition circuitry.... The internal code name CADET was selected for the machine. One of the developers says that this stood for 'Computer with ADvanced Economic Technology', however others recall it as simply being one half of 'SPACE-CADET', where SPACE was the internal code name of the IBM 1401 machine, also then under development...

  13. Wikipedia: Charles, Duke of Orléans: "24 November 1394 – 5 January 1465: Now remembered as an accomplished medieval poet owing to the more than five hundred extant poems he produced, written in both French and English, during his 25 years spent as a prisoner of war and after his return to France...

  14. Alexandria Ocasio-Cortez: Automation Is a Good Thing: "In a talk at SXSW, the New York Congresswoman notes that automation is a net positive when the government offers a social safety net...

  15. Marcy Wheeler: @emptywheel: "There's a belief among Russian denialists that bc there's not a Tower in Moscow w/Trump's name on it, the conspiracy didn't happen. That's now how conspiracy law works...

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Fairly Recently: Must- and Should-Reads, and Writings... (March 8, 2019)

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  1. Dana Goldstein: What’s a Flâneuse?

  2. Robert E. Scott: Record U.S. Trade Deficit in 2018 Reflects Failure of Trump’s Trade Policies

  3. Wikipedia: Confidence and Supply

  4. Gmail Help: Search Operators You Can Use with Gmail

  5. Michael Kades testified on Capitol Hill on Thursday March 7: Michael Kades: To Combat Rising U.S. Prescription Drug Prices, Let’s Try Competition

  6. Cathy Young: Who’s Afraid of The Bulwark?: "I don’t know what The Bulwark’s endgame is, but right now, it’s among a deplorably small number of outlets that get high marks for intellectual diversity and integrity...

  7. Wikipedia: Genetic History of the British Isles

  8. Publius Baebius Italicus: Ilias Latina

  9. Marcos Zapata: Guinea Pig Last Supper: "In this historic cathedral in the heart of Cusco, Peru, hangs a one-of-a kind religious and cultural painting that depicts a very unordinary twist on an otherwise common image... https://delong.typepad.com/.a/6a00e551f0800388340240a490f815200b-pi

  10. Bill Black and Mark Steiner: Clinton-Era Official Says Left Should Lead Following Center-Right Failures

  11. Ursula Vernon: An Unexpected Honor,: "Now, you’re probably all asking what whalefall has to do with awards ceremonies, or science fiction novelettes, and the answer is: absolutely nothing. But how often do I get to tell an audience this size about whalefall? So, thanks to my publishers, my husband Kevin, and thank you all. I’m glad you liked my story. Y’all have a good night...

  12. WebPlotDigitizer: Extract Data from Plots, Images, and Maps

  13. Barry Rice: The Carnivorous Plant FAQ: "Q: How did the Venus flytrap get its name? A: Heh heh heh. Heh heh heh heh. Heh heh heh heh...

  14. Rudyard Kipling.: The Merchantmen

  15. Paolo Gerbaudo: The Age of the Hyperleader: When Political Leadership Meets Social Media Celebrity: "In an era of profound suspicion towards party bureaucracies, digital media has delivered a new type of politician.... Political influence is now measured in part through social media metrics: likes, followers, and shares. A politician’s Twitter prowess–or lack thereof–can make or break a political career...

  16. Erik Tarloff: The Woman in Black https://books.google.com/books?isbn=1947856979

  17. Doug Jones: Nature Red in Tooth and Claw: "339-321 million years ago...

  18. Doug Jones: Devonian Days: "401-380 million years ago... the Devonian: Forests are spreading. The first tree, Wattieza, is kin to ferns and horsetails. It stands 10 meters tall. No leaves yet, just fronds. The first forests will absorb carbon dioxide, and cool the planet. Life is moving onto land... the 'fishapod' discovered in 2006... with both lungs and gills...

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An Antiplatonic Twitter Dialogue on What the Wish to "Preserve a Cultural Centrism" Actually Means

As Noah Smith says: "Please stop I give up you can have all my money":

School of Athens

Noah Smith: 🐇: Write another post! I'd be interested to know how you think Obama abandoned the cultural centrist ground, specifically.

#MMT: Moral Money Tao: @samvega: "Obama abandoned the cultural centrist ground" by moving ever further right to appease Republican leaders. Who doesn't know this?

Brad DeLong: 🖖🏻: Obama abandoned the "cultural centrist" ground because he decided to be a Black person, unlike Clinton, who decided to be a white person. See?

Noah Smith: 🐇: But his race did not change AFAIK. What did change? Did he start acting more culturally "black" in his second term? I detected no change.

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Lying Liar Kevin Hassett Lies Again...

Unnamed

I have here a transcript from a week or so ago of Kevin Hassett on Fox Business telling transparent lies. Seriously: why does he bother? What does he gain? Is it really the case that AEI will have him back after things like this? WILL banks like JPM Chase will pay him to speak to conferences?

If so, they have really really really really bad judgment:

7:38:49 BARTIROMO: The Atlanta Federal Reserve on Friday issued its GDP forecast for the first quarter, it’s three-tenths of a percent. What was your reaction to this? I know that this changes a lot, by the way...

7:38:59 HASSETT: Sure it does, yeah...

7:39:00 BARTIROMO: You’ll probably revise it umpteen times, but 0.3%, obviously not great for the first quarter...

7:39:05 HASSETT: Right, well there are two things going on. The first is that we started the quarter out with a 300,000 jobs number, north of 300,000. And most of the time when you do that, you end up with a 3% quarter. And so we’re gonna get jobs again this week, and if we get another really big number, and I think we’ll have a lot of confidence that something as low as three-tenths isn’t gonna happen. But there is this weird pattern in the data all the way back to 2010, that the first quarter tends to be about 1% below the average for the year. So if we think as we do at the White House that we’re gonna have about a 3% year, then right now, if you wanted me to put a number on the table, I’d say it’s probably gonna be about a 2% first quarter.

7:39:38 BARTIROMO: Okay, so is that largely because of the shutdown, or what happened in the first quarter...

7:39:41 HASSETT: No, it’s because of the seasonality thing, they don’t seasonally adjust the data correctly in Q1, it’s a weird technical thing. And you know, we could go to the blackboard, I know you’d love it, but your viewers would probably never get me invited back again...

These are lies.

2019 03 08 First Quarter GDP Seasonals numbers

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On "On Falling Neutral Real Rates, Fiscal Policy, and the Risk of Secular Stagnation:

I have been thinking about this by Łukasz Rachel and Lawrence H. Summers this week: On Falling Neutral Real Rates, Fiscal Policy, and the Risk of Secular Stagnation.

It says an awful lot of true things. The average "neutral" 10-year safe real interest rate consistent with full employment in the Global North does look like it has fallen from 4% per year in the 1990s to -0.5% per year today. That does pose a huge problem for central banks that seek to use monetary policy s as the principal depression-fighting tool: a small negative shock that reduces this rate by only a little bit more would drive an economy into territory where the central bank cannot do its job. During this period of decline, increased government debts have put perhaps 2%-points of upward pressure on the neutral rate: the actual decline has been 6.5%-points.

But I find myself uncertain on what conclusions to draw from their paper. They focus on only one of what I think are three key interest-profit-discount rates in play here:

  1. There is the (short or long) real safe interest rate on the securities of governments that issue reserve currencies and thus possess exorbitant privilege. This is down to today's -0.5% from 3% 20 years ago and 4.5% 40 years ago.

  2. There is the long-term real risky discount rate at which the cash flows accruing to owners of capital are discounted in the market—the expected return on financial investments in stocks. This is at to 5% today, up from 4% 20 years ago, down from 12% 40 years ago, and down from 6% 50 years ago.

  3. There is the societal profit rate earned by new investments in physical or intellectual capital. This is ??? to today's ???, from ??? 20 years ago and from ??? 40 years ago.

This third social profit rate is in some sense the fundamental opportunity-benefit-of-investment ground out by the real economy of production and distribution on top of which the financial superstructure is built.

The second is the quotient of profit flows over the market value stock, and takes the societal profit rate returns to society's capital and adds to them the amount of monopoly rents captured by enterprises, subtracts from them labor rents and spillover benefits, both organizational and technological, that are not captured by those who undertake the actions that generate those spillovers, and then values those cash flows at the long-term risky discount rate.

The first of safe interest rate is the second minus the liquidity and safety terms that lower the required rate of return on safe assets.

Https www brookings edu wp content uploads 2019 03 On Falling Neutral Real Rates Fiscal Policy and the Risk of Secular Stagnation pdf

Łukasz Rachel and Lawrence H. Summers focus on rate (1): the (short or long) real interest rate on the safe securities of governments that issue reserve currencies and thus possess exorbitant privilege. The problem is that the wedge between this (1) safe interest rate and the risky discount rate (2)—the rate at which risky cash flows are discounted—is worse than poorly understood by economists: it is not understood at all.

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Fairly Recently: Must- and Should-Reads, and Writings... (March 6, 2019)

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  • The Weak Instruments Problem: "This is the weak instruments problem. As you get more and more data, wz/vz is not heading for zero, and even if it were your estimated βIV0 is not headed for β, but is rather headed for β+δ...

  • I Concede: The Haters and the Trolls and the Botnets of Macedonia Have Rendered Their Verdict, and I Accept It: @AustanGoolsbee has won,_ and will represent Neoliberal Economic Academia in the next round of the 2019 Chief Neoliberal Shill Twitter Challenge. Austan Goolsbee will face off against noted ex-academic and San Francisco flaneur @Noahpinion in the semifinals of the meetup region...

  • Can I pull it out at the last minute?: I'm still behind 53-47, in spite of a million-twitter-impression day yesterday: Neoliberal: @AustanGoolsbee (5) Former CEA Chair and Professor at U Chicago vs. @delong (4) Economic Historian at Berkeley...


  1. Greg Sargent: A Centrist Democrat Explains Why It’s Time to Give The Left a Chance

  2. Assiah: "Also known as Olam Asiyah, עוֹלָם עֲשִׂיָה in Hebrew, literally "the World of Action") is the last of the four spiritual worlds of the Kabbalah —Atziluth, Beriah, Yetzirah, 'Asiyah—based on the passage in Isaiah 43:7...

  3. Wikipedia: Almost Famous: "Almost Famous is a 2000 American comedy-drama film written and directed by Cameron Crowe and starring Billy Crudup, Frances McDormand, Kate Hudson, and Patrick Fugit. It tells the story of a teenage journalist writing for Rolling Stone in the early 1970s, his touring with the fictitious rock band Stillwater, and his efforts to get his first cover story published... four Academy Awards nominations, including a win for Best Original Screenplay... 2001 Grammy Award for Best Compilation Soundtrack Album.... Roger Ebert hailed it the best film of the year as well as the ninth-best film of the 2000s. It also won two Golden Globe Awards, for Best Motion Picture–Musical or Comedy and Best Supporting Actress–Motion Picture (Hudson). In a 2016 international poll conducted by BBC, Almost Famous was ranked the 79th greatest film since 2000...

  4. KJV: Isaiah 6: "In the year that king Uzziah died I saw also the Lord sitting upon a throne, high and lifted up, and his train filled the temple. Above it stood the seraphims: each one had six wings; with twain he covered his face, and with twain he covered his feet, and with twain he did fly. And one cried unto another, and said, "Holy, holy, holy, is the Lord of hosts: the whole earth is full of his glory". And the posts of the door moved at the voice of him that cried, and the house was filled with smoke. Then said I, "Woe is me! for I am undone; because I am a man of unclean lips, and I dwell in the midst of a people of unclean lips: for mine eyes have seen the King, the Lord of hosts". Then flew one of the seraphims unto me, having a live coal in his hand, which he had taken with the tongs from off the altar: And he laid it upon my mouth, and said, "Lo, this hath touched thy lips; and thine iniquity is taken away, and thy sin purged". Also I heard the voice of the Lord, saying, "Whom shall I send, and who will go for us?" Then said I, "Here am I; send me"...

  5. KJV: Luke 10:25: "And, behold, a certain lawyer stood up, and tempted him, saying, Master, what shall I do to inherit eternal life?...

  6. hilzoy: "If Hans von Spakovsky says it, then surely it must be true! (Dissolves in giggles): 'Hans Von Spakovsky, “I haven’t seen any evidence of actual violations of the law, which is usually a basis before you start an investigation. Adam Schiff seems to be copying Joseph McCarthy in wanting to open up investigations when they don’t have any evidence of wrongdoing”...'

  7. SPECIES: "This is my personal favorite animal video of all time...

  8. Paul Waldmann: The Dishonest Smearing of Ilhan Omar: "this punishment of criticism of Israel is exactly what the freshman congresswoman was complaining about, and has on multiple occasions. The fact that no one seems to acknowledge that this is her complaint shows how spectacularly disingenuous Omar’s critics are being...

  9. Mark Milian: @markmilian: "Coinbase says it accidentally hired a group of mercenaries, who sold cyberweapons to Saudi Arabia and Sudan, and is now firing them...

  10. Robert Reich: @RBReich: "In less than a week, we've learned that the President of the United States: --Tried to block a merger to punish a news outlet --Knew about the release of illegally obtained email --Paid off a mistress, violating election law --Demanded security clearance for a family member...

  11. Bret Stephens's claims that although "people" do, he would never never use an official position to retaliate against someone who had annoyed him are worth what you think they are: Laura McGann: NYT Columnist Bret Stephens Inadvertently Explains Why Women Don’t Report Sexual Harassment...

  12. Sean Illing: Mortal Republic: Edward Watts on what America can learn from Rome’s collapse: "The Roman republic destroyed itself. Are we on a similar path?...

  13. Anna Mikusheva: What Are Weak Instruments?

  14. Charles Moore: Will the Daily Mail’s volte-face on Brexit make the slightest difference? | The Spectator: "My guess is that Mail readers will find it less fun hating the European Research Group than the ‘metropolitan liberal elite’, but the traditional key to tabloid success is the Glenda Slagg principle of kicking someone, then praising them, then kicking them all over again. My only concern for the Mail’s future lies in the fact that Geordie Greig comes from the officer class. This violates ancient Mail rules by which the Harmsworth family are remote, regal figures beloved by their serfs, and the actual dirty work is done by foul-mouthed NCOs who never leave the office. Geordie goes out to dinner, has many friends, enjoys life, and wishes to win the respect of peers (in both senses of that word). He is a talented journalist, but these are severe handicaps to running Associated’s charnel-house...

  15. Alan J. Auerbach, Martin N. Baily, Dean Baker, Robert J. Barro, Ben S. Bernanke, Jared Bernstein, Alan S. Blinder, Michael J. Boskin, Arthur C. Brooks, John H. Cochrane, Karen Dynan, Janice Eberly, Douglas W. Elmendorf, Martin S. Feldstein, Jason Furman, William G. Gale, Ted Gayer, Austan D. Goolsbee, Alan Greenspan, Robert E. Hall, Douglas J. Holtz-Eakin, R. Glenn Hubbard, Randall S. Kroszner, Alan B. Krueger, Edward P. Lazear, Lawrence Lindsey, N. Gregory Mankiw, Donald B. Marron, Peter R. Orszag, Adam S. Posen, James Michael Poterba, Christina D. Romer, Harvey S. Rosen, Cecilia Elena Rouse, Jay C. Shambaugh, Robert J. Shapiro, Betsey Stevenson, James H. Stock, Michael R. Strain, Phillip Swagel, John B. Taylor, Laura D. Tyson, Justin Wolfers, and Mark M. Zandi: Letter in Support of the Nomination of Kevin Hassett to be Chairman of the Council of Economic Advisers: "As economists we all agree that the Nation would be well served if Kevin Hassett is confirmed as Chairman of the Council of Economic Advisers...

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Fairly Recently: Must- and Should-Reads, and Writings... (March 5, 2019)

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  1. Broadway World: Review Roundup: Berkeley Rep's "Metamorphoses"

  2. Scott McGreal: DMT, Aliens, and Reality: "Dimethyltryptamine (DMT) is a naturally occurring psychedelic drug... striking for the brevity and intensity of its effects. When smoked, for example, hallucinogenic effects begin almost immediately and resolve within 30 minutes.... One of the most remarkable features of the DMT experience is the frequency with which users encounter non-human intelligences, often resembling aliens. Even more remarkably, some users come away from these encounters convinced that these entities are somehow real (Strassman, 2001). The psychological aspects of such experiences have not yet been adequately explored by scientific researchers...

  3. Sean Carroll: Mindscape Podcast

  4. Steering by the Socialist Idols in the Heavens Leads Us to Sail Not Towards but Away from the Shores of Utopia: (Early) Monday Corey Robin Smackdown

  5. Robert Waldmann: MMT: "I am kicking myself for deciding to read the article to find if it is as horrible as he asserts. I think it is...

  6. Tom Nichols: The (New) Screwtape Letters: "A view of our political foibles from a highly placed assistant to Our Father Below...

  7. Samuel Bowles, Alan Kirman, and Rajiv Sethi: Friedrich Hayek and the Market Algorithm

  8. Rage Against the Machine: Testify

  9. Jane Coaston: Jacob Wohl, Explained: "Why a failed teen hedge fund manager showed up at CPAC to hold a press conference on a conspiracy theory...

  10. FSB: Global Monitoring Report on Non-Bank Financial Intermediation 2018 - Financial Stability Board: "The Global Monitoring Report on Non-Bank Financial Intermediation 2018 presents the results of the FSB’s annual monitoring exercise to assess global trends and risks from non-bank financial intermediation. The annual monitoring exercise is part of the FSB’s policy work to enhance the resilience of non-bank financial intermediation. It focuses on those parts of non-bank financial intermediation that perform economic functions which may give rise to bank-like financial stability risks (i.e. the narrow measure of non-bank financial intermediation)...

  11. Irene M. Pepperberg (2002): Cognitive and Communicative Abilities of Grey Parrots

  12. Matthew Yglesias: Allen Weisselberg: House Democrats’ Next Target: "The Trump Organization CFO knows things President Trump would prefer kept secret.

  13. (December 2012): Back When I Feared the Bond-Market Vigilantes: Maundering Old-Timer Reminiscence Weblogging: "There had been an attack—or, rather, not an attack but rather bond-market vigilantes visible on the horizon and gunshots in the air—earlier.... Throughout 1992 there was a 4%-point gap between the 3-Month Treasury rate and the 10-Year Treasury rate. Those of us in the Clinton-administration-to-be read this as market expectations that the uncontrolled federal budget deficit would lead people to expect higher inflation and the Federal Reserve would then feel itself forced to raise short-term interest rates far and fast.... I think we were right then to fear and take steps to ward off the bond-market vigilantes—or perhaps only right to fear and take steps to ward off any Federal Reserve decision that it needed to fear and take steps to deal with bond-market vigilantes. In any event, our policies were right. But that was then, with a 4%-point gap between 10-Yr and 3-Mo Treasury yields. Today we only have a 1.6%-point gap between 10-Yr and 3-Mo Treasury yields. 1.6% < 4%...

  14. Ed Kilgore: A New Role for Democratic Centrists: Helping the Left Win: "Democratic centrists need to accept that the Donkey’s moving in a new direction now; fighting it by demonizing the left just makes the calamitous prospect of a second Trump term more likely. And perhaps a new synthesis of left and center-left thinking on politics and policy can emerge, once the scourge of today’s Republicanism is overcome. It’s a more productive occupation than endlessly relitigating the 2016 election...

  15. Teddy Roosevelt: "We Have Traveled Far...": How to Look on Our Predecessors with Charity and Justice: “We have traveled far...“ said Teddy Roosevelt, looking back at the Puritans. And we today, looking back at Teddy Roosevelt, have reason to say the same thing. We can hope that, were Teddy with us today and were he given an opportunity for sober reflection and consideration, he would agree...

  16. William Hogeland: “The National Review,” Racist Writing, and the Legacy of William F. Buckley, Jr. – William Hogeland: "Writing in 1957, Buckley insisted that whites in the South were 'entitled to take such measures as are necessary to prevail, politically and culturally, where they do not prevail numerically'...

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On MSNBC Right Now... As Always, Much More to Say than I Could...

Berkeley png

2019-04-05 12:30 PM PST: Ali Velshi: MSNBC Live

TALKING POINTS

Greetings:

I bring you greetings from Laura Tyson, whose office I was hanging out here for an hour or so this morning.

The background is a green-screened one:

  • That is not what it looks like here right now.
  • It is a very grey, rainy, foggy day—the latest in more than a month of storms that have come down on us from the north.
  • This is the first time in my life Berkeley has had this early-spring weather pattern
  • Global warming is going to be much more than just the-climate-marches-north-by-three-miles-a-year and we need stronger air conditioners.

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"Passing the Baton": The Interview

Bernie Sanders news a Clinton era Democrat makes the case for the left Vox

I would say that Zack has it slightly wrong here. There is not one core reason for passing the baton. There are three reasons: a political reason, a policy-implementation reason, and a we've-learned-about-the-world reason:

Here's Zack Beauchamp: Zack Beauchamp: A Clinton-era Centrist Democrat Explains Why It’s Time to Give Democratic Socialists a Chance: “The Baton Rightly Passes To Our Colleagues On Our Left”: "DeLong believes that the time of people like him running the Democratic Party has passed.... It’s not often that someone in this policy debate — or, frankly, any policy debate — suggests that their side should lose. So I reached out to DeLong to dig into the reasons for his position: Why does he believe that neoliberals’ time in the sun has come to an end?...

...The core reason, DeLong argues, is political. The policies he supports depend on a responsible center-right partner to succeed. They’re premised on the understanding that at least a faction of the Republican Party would be willing to support market-friendly ideas like Obamacare or a cap-and-trade system for climate change. This is no longer the case, if it ever were.... The result, he argues, is the nature of the Democratic Party needs to shift. Rather than being a center-left coalition dominated by market-friendly ideas designed to attract conservative support, the energy of the coalition should come from the left and its broad, sweeping ideas. Market-friendly neoliberals, rather than pushing their own ideology, should work to improve ideas on the left. This, he believes, is the most effective and sustainable basis for Democratic politics and policy for the foreseeable future....

Here's me: We are still here, but it is not our time to lead.... Barack Obama rolls into office with Mitt Romney’s health care policy, with John McCain’s climate policy, with Bill Clinton’s tax policy, and George H.W. Bush’s foreign policy. And did George H.W. Bush, did Mitt Romney, did John McCain say a single good word about anything Barack Obama ever did over the course of eight solid years? No, they f---ing did not.... While I would like to be part of a political coalition in the cat seat, able to call for bids from the left and the right about who wants to be part of the governing coalition to actually get things done, that’s simply not possible...

And: Our current bunch of leftists are wonderful people.... They’re social democrats, they’re very strong believers in democracy. They’re very strong believers in fair distribution of wealth. They could use a little more education about what is likely to work and what is not. But they’re people who we’re very, very lucky to have on our side. That’s especially opposed to the people on the other side, who are very, very strange indeed. You listen to [Never Trump conservatives]... about all the people they had been with in meetings, biting their tongues over the past 25 years, and your reaction can only be, “Why didn’t you run away screaming into the night long ago?”...

And: We learned more about the world. I could be confident in 2005 that [recession] stabilization should be the responsibility of the Federal Reserve. That you look at something like laser-eye surgery or rapid technological progress in hearing aids, you can kind of think that keeping a market in the most innovative parts of health care would be a good thing. So something like an insurance-plus-exchange system would be a good thing to have in America as a whole. It’s much harder to believe in those things now. That’s one part of it. The world appears to be more like what lefties thought it was than what I thought it was for the last 10 or 15 years. ..

Read MOAR


#politics #politicaleconomy #moralresponsibility #highlighted #orangehairedbaboons

Fairly Recently: Must- and Should-Reads, and Writings... (March 1, 2019)

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Note to Self: Neoliberal: The 2019 Neoliberal Shill Bracket: "The round of 64 polls will be published tomorrow and will remain up for 48 hours. Each round will have its own thread with all the polls in it. There will be a 24 hour cool off period between rounds for tasteful smack talk...


  1. Jeanne Reames: Hephaistion Philalexandros: in Praise of That Guy behind the Throne

  2. Wikipedia: Folie à Deux

  3. David Bandurski: The Dawn of the Little Red Phone | China Media Project

  4. Federal Reserve Bank of New York: Nowcasting Report

  5. Matt O'Brien: The Important Way the 2008 Crisis Was Worse than the Great Depression

  6. Jacob Levy: The Defense of Liberty Can’t Do Without Identity Politics | Democracy for Republicans | Two Hundred Years of the Liberty of the Moderns | Why I Am Not a Moderate

  7. Spencer Strub

  8. Dylan Riley

  9. Anne Case: Deaths of Despair and the Future of Capitalism

  10. The Unreasonable Effectiveness of Mathematics in the Natural Science: This 'what if we took this equation seriously?' factor... is... the spookiest thing.... Take the h in Max Planck's equation seriously, and you have the quantum principle—something that was not in Planck's brain when he wrote the equation down. Take seriously the symmetry in Maxwell's equations between the force generated when you move a magnet near a wire and the force and the force generated when you move a wire near a magnet, and you have Special Relativity—something that was not in Maxwell's brain when he wrote down the equation.Take Newton's gravitational force law's equivalence between inertial and gravitational mass seriously and you have General Relativity—something never in Newton's mind. And take the mathematical pathology at r = 2M in the Schwarzchild metric for the space-timemetric around a point mass seriously, and you have event horizons—and black holes...

  11. Sean Carroll (2009): Boltzmann's Universe: "I wanted to emphasize something Dennis says quite explicitly, but (from experience) I know that people tend to jump right past in their enthusiasm: 'Nobody in the field believes that this is the way things really work, however.' The point about Boltzmann’s Brains is not that they are a fascinating prediction of an exciting new picture of the multiverse. On the contrary, the point is that they constitute a reductio ad absurdum that is meant to show the silliness of a certain kind of cosmology...

  12. Charlie Stross (2008): : The Fermi Paradox Revisited; Random Despatches from the Front Line

  13. Theodor W. Adorno and Max Horkheimer (): _[Dialectic of Enlightenment https://books.google.com/books?isbn=1859841546

  14. Dylan Riley: The Third Reich as Rogue Regime Adam Tooze’s "Wages of Destruction"

  15. Olivier Blanchard: Public Debt: Fiscal and Welfare Costs in a Time of Low Interest Rates

Continue reading "Fairly Recently: Must- and Should-Reads, and Writings... (March 1, 2019)" »


Fairly Recently: Must- and Should-Reads, and Writings... (February 28, 2019)

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  1. Thomas Jefferson: A Chronology of His Thoughts: "From candlelight to early bedtime, I read...

  2. Max Roser: Light

  3. Erik Loomis: "This Day in Labor History: February 27, 1869: The great workplace safety reformer Alice Hamilton is born. Let's talk about her amazing work and what workers faced in the early 20th century...

  4. Thomas Jefferson: VI. Salary Account of the Department of State, [1 April 1791]

  5. Measuring Worth

  6. *The First Foot Guards Reenactment Group: The Cost of Living: "London, mid 1700s...

  7. William Savage: The Cost of 18th-Century Lighting

  8. Karl Marx (1853): The Future Results of British Rule in India: "All the English bourgeoisie may be forced to do will neither emancipate nor materially mend the social condition of the mass of the people, depending not only on the development of the productive powers, but on their appropriation by the people. But what they will not fail to do is to lay down the material premises for both. Has the bourgeoisie ever done more? Has it ever effected a progress without dragging individuals and people through blood and dirt, through misery and degradation?...

  9. Thomas Jefferson: Statement of Debts, Expenses, and Income, 1 April 1823

  10. Branko Milanovic, Peter H. Lindert and Jeffrey G. Williamson (2011): Pre-Industrial Inequality

  11. Wikipedia: Pareto Distribution

  12. Dev Patel, Justin Sandefur, and Arvind Subramanian: Everything You Know about Cross-Country Convergence Is (Now) Wrong | PIIE

  13. David Roberts: Green New Deal Critics Are Missing The Bigger Picture: "Green New Deal critics are missing the bigger picture...

  14. INET: Global Commission Discusses Tech + the Future of Work in San Francisco: "The latest meeting of INET’s Commission on Global Economic Transformation addressed the impact of technological change on jobs and society—and how best to harness the power of tech...

  15. World Bank: Trouble in the Making? The Future of Manufacturing-Led Development

  16. Joe Studwell: How Asia Works: Success and Failure In the World's Most Dynamic Region

  17. Saveur: La Louisiane Cocktail

Continue reading "Fairly Recently: Must- and Should-Reads, and Writings... (February 28, 2019)" »


The Lighting Budget of Thomas Jefferson

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On December 21, the sun sets at Monticello at 4:57 pm. Civil twilight—when there is still enough light to conduct normal activities—ends at 5:27 pm. By March 21, the sun sets at 6:26 eastern standard time—Monticello is west of the center of America's eastern time zone—and civil twilights ends at 7:52. And on June 21 the sun sets at Monticello at 7:39 pm. Civil twilight ends at 8:11 pm (standard time). Even in the summer, moreover, Thomas Jefferson was unlikely to want to go to sleep when it got dark, with the chickens.

Hence his concern with candles:

1791 September 15: I will now ask the favor of you to procure for me, in the proper seasons 250 lb. of myrtle wax candles, moulded, and of the largest size you can find...

1792 January 24: Myrtle candles of last year out...

1792 November 4: I must now repeat to you my annual sollicitation to procure and send me 200 ℔ myrtle wax candles. I do not know whether the mixing tallow with the wax be absolutely necessary. If not, I would wish them of the pure wax; but if some mixture be necessary, then as little as will do...

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Fairly Recently: Must- and Should-Reads, and Writings... (February 27, 2019)

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  1. Sean Illing: "Fascism: A Warning" from Madeleine Albright: "The former secretary of state is sounding the alarm about rising fascism around the world—and in America...

  2. David Goldenberg: The Famous Photo of Chernobyl's Most Dangerous Radioactive Material Was a Selfie - Atlas Obscura: "at first glance, it’s hard to know what’s happening in this picture. A giant mushroom seems to have sprouted in a factory floor, where ghostly men in hardhats seem to be working. But there’s something undeniably eerie about the scene, for good reason. You’re looking at the largest agglomeration of one of the most toxic substances ever created: corium...

  3. Neil Irwin: How America Learned to Stop Worrying and Love Deficits and Debt: "The old rules are being rejected, among liberals and conservatives, politicians and economists...

  4. James Fallows: @jamesfallows: "If you have any experience in government, you will find these 78 seconds stupefying. And if you don’t, let me tell you: this is stupefying. (Lighthizer is right about how international trade agreements work): JM Rieger: @RiegerReport: 'TRUMP: I don’t like MOUs because they don’t mean anything. LIGHTHIZER: An MOU is a contract. TRUMP: I disagree. I think that a memorandum of understanding is not a contract to the extent that we want. CHINA’S VICE PREMIER: [Chuckles] Okay...

  5. Jason Zengerle: The Series of Historical Mistakes That Led to Trump: "Tomasky proposes a raft of reforms to get us out of the polarized mess we find ourselves in. Some, like ending partisan gerrymandering and getting rid of the Senate filibuster, are familiar. Others, like reviving 'moderate Republicanism', are probably futile. But some of his proposals—including... exchange programs... so students from rural areas spend a semester at a high school in a city, and vice versa—are both realistic and novel. Indeed, the most helpful—if sobering—point Tomasky makes is that while our current troubles created the conditions that brought us a President Trump, those troubles would exist no matter who was in the White House. And it will take much more than a new occupant to fix them...

  6. Wikipedia: The Act of Killing: "Directed by Joshua Oppenheimer and co-directed by Christine Cynn and an anonymous Indonesian.... The Act of Killing won the 2013 European Film Award for Best Documentary, the Asia Pacific Screen Award, and was nominated for the Academy Award for Best Documentary Feature at the 86th Academy Awards. It also won best documentary at the 67th BAFTA awards...

  7. BWW: Review Roundup: Critics Weigh In On Berkeley Rep's Paradise Square: An American Musical

  8. Yannay Spitzer: Research Papers

  9. Yannay Spitzer: Bits and Pieces of My Work and Interests

  10. Philip Klotzbach: @philklotzbach: "Supertyphoon #Wutip has now generated the most Accumulated Cyclone Energy for any Northwest Pacific #typhoon during February on record (since 1950), breaking old record set by Nancy (1970). #SuperTyphoonWutip...

  11. Wikipedia: Supertyphoon Wutip: "Early on February 25, Wutip reached its peak intensity as a Category 5-equivalent super typhoon, with maximum 10-minute sustained winds of 195 km/h (120 mph), 1-minute sustained winds of 260 km/h (160 mph), and a minimum central pressure of 915 hPa (mbar). As of 12:00 UTC on February 25, Typhoon Wutip is located near 14.2°N 140.1°E, also about 280 nautical miles (520 km; 320 mi) north-northeast of Yap. Maximum 10-minute sustained winds are at 105 knots (195 km/h; 120 mph), while maximum 1-minute sustained winds are at 130 knots (240 km/h; 150 mph), with gusts up to 150 knots (280 km/h; 175 mph)...

  12. Shushman Choudhury, Michelle Lee, and Andrey Kurenkov: In Favor of Developing Ethical Best Practices in AI Research

  13. Miniver Cheevy: DeLong's Principles Of Neoliberalism

  14. No s---: Economist: How Welfare Reform Has Had a Negative Effect on the Children of Single Mothers: "Any short-term gains from welfare reform may have come at a cost to the next generation, leading to more of the type of behaviour associated with a “culture of poverty” that the reform was meant to combat...

  15. Simon Potter: Models Only Get You So Far: "My remarks will focus on some insights from the book Superforecasting by... Tetlock and... Gardner.... What are some of the underlying reasons individuals and organizations fail to predict? What should we change about our mindsets and practices to improve the chances that we 'notice it' next time, whenever that may be?... Be humble, always question, listen to alternative views, and—very comfortingly for Bayesians like me—always express your forecast as a distribution rather than a point forecast, and crucially update that forecast when new information arrives. Further, constantly assess why forecasts worked and didn't work...

  16. Wikipedia: The Hunters of Kentucky

Continue reading "Fairly Recently: Must- and Should-Reads, and Writings... (February 27, 2019)" »


The State of America's Political-Public Sphere

Il Quarto Stato

One of my twitter threads from yesterday: I think it is fair to say that the already-broken American political public sphere has become significantly more broken since November 8, 2018.

On the center and to the left, those like me in what used to proudly call itself the Rubin Wing of the Democratic Party—so-called after former Treasury Secretary Bob Rubin, and consisting of those of us hoping to use market means to social democratic ends in bipartisan coalition with Republicans seeking technocratic win-wins—have passed the baton to our left. Over the past 25 years, we failed to attract Republican coalition partners, we failed to energize our own base, and we failed to produce enough large-scale obvious policy wins to cement the center into a durable governing coalition.

We blame cynical Republican politicians. We blame corrupt and craven media bosses and princelings. We are right to blame them, but shared responsibility is not diminished responsibility. And so the baton rightly passes to our colleagues on our left. We are still here, but it is not our time to lead.

Continue reading "The State of America's Political-Public Sphere" »


Debt-Derangement Syndrome: No Longer Fresh at Project Syndicate—Long Version

Debt Derangement Syndrome by J Bradford DeLong Project Syndicate

Debt-Derangement Syndrome: Standard policy economics dictates that the public sector needs to fill the gap in aggregate demand when the private sector is not spending enough. After a decade of denial, the Global North may finally be returning to economic basics.


For the past decade the public sphere of the Global North has been in a fit of high madness with respect to its excessive fear of government debts and deficits. But this affliction may be breaking. In the past two weeks I have noted two straws in the wind.

Continue reading "Debt-Derangement Syndrome: No Longer Fresh at Project Syndicate—Long Version" »


Fairly Recently: Must- and Should-Reads, and Writings... (February 23, 2019)

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  1. Against Alasdair Macintyre's "After Virtue"...: Alasdair Macintyre, at least in his _After Virtue _mode, believes that good civilizations are ones with moral consensus led by prophets, rather than ones with moral confusion managed by managers... Trotskys (less preferred) or St. Benedicts (more preferred), but... [not] managerial Keyneses.... Trotsky says that History speaking through Marx and him knows how to build a Communist utopia. What is a Communist utopia? It is a society... well-fed, well-clothed, well-housed, and well-entertained.... We can see that Keynes was totally correct in wanting to reduce the influence of a Trotsky in the public square, because a Trotsky’s ideas about good organization of the economy were seen immediately by Keynes as, and turned out to be a horrible disaster, even from the perspective of Trotsky’s values—especially from the perspective of Trotsky’s values...

  2. Òscar Jordà, Chitra Marti, Fernanda Nechio, and Eric Tallman: Inflation: Stress-Testing the Phillips Curve: "The increased importance of inflation expectations exposes new risks to standard monetary policy practice. In particular, it suggests that conducting policy consistently to keep expectations well-anchored to the target is key to avoiding large swings in inflation. When policy is set consistently, the public discounts deviations of the unemployment rate from its natural rate and of inflation from its target as transitory...

  3. David Leonhardt: New York Did Us All a Favor by Standing Up to Amazon - The New York Times: "Yes, Amazon’s departure will modestly hurt the city’s economy. But it’s also a victory against bad economic policy...

  4. Joe Heim: Acts of Extreme Vandalism by Students Stun Gonzaga College High School

  5. Meeting of the Federal Open Market Committee on November 1–2, 2011

  6. TBPInvictus (2012): Open Mouth, Insert Foot: Going Viral?: "I had barely finished reading Niall Ferguson’s takedown of President Obama when a flood of takedowns of Mr. Ferguson started hitting the web. This post, then, will not be about his Newsweek piece, but instead about his recent Bloomberg TV interview with Erik Schatzker and Sara Eisen. And, in particular, one very specific part of that interview where Ferguson makes what is well beyond what I could even charitably refer to as a rookie mistake...

  7. Izabella Kaminska: Stuff Elon Says: "Elon Musk is often dubbed a genius. And yet... if the following statement Musk made during the Tesla Q4 earnings call is anything to go by, he has a habit of stating the obvious and thinking it sounds deeply profound and insightful: 'The demand for-the demand for Model 3 is insanely high. The inhibitor is affordability. It's just like people literally don't have the money to buy the car. It's got nothing to do with desire. They just don't have enough money in their bank account. If the car can be made more affordable, the demand is extraordinary...' So, to help introduce Elon to the concept of how demand and supply interacts with price we thought we'd take the above quote and adapt it according to various economic scenarios in classic econ text book style...

  8. Cheddar: How Focus Music Hacks Your Brain

  9. Greg Farrell: Paul Manafort Could Face New York Charges If Trump Pardons Him: "Cy Vance has been investigating ex-Trump aide since 2017. District Attorney sees way to avoid double jeopardy protection...

  10. Maya Gurantz: Kompromat: Or, Revelations from the Unpublished Portions of Andrea Manafort’s Hacked Texts - Los Angeles Review of Books

  11. Pyeong Chang Tofu House: Menus

  12. Now compiling and sending out fewer links than in the past, but still by far the best sorter and selector of what is interesting in economics: Mark Thoma: Economist's View: Links (2/19/19)

Continue reading "Fairly Recently: Must- and Should-Reads, and Writings... (February 23, 2019)" »


The Federal Reserve in 2011 Debates Christina Romer's Ideas About the Need for "Regime Change": Weekend Reading

Weekend Reading: The Federal Reserve in 2011 Debates Christina Romer's Ideas About the Need for "Regime Change": https://www.federalreserve.gov/monetarypolicy/files/FOMC20111102meeting.pdf

I believe that in a generation or two the histories of the Bernanke Fed are overwhelmingly likely to concentrate on two puzzles:

  1. The failure to seek an environment in which inflation was high enough to allow a Federal Funds rate of 5% or so at the [peak of the business cycle, so that Bernanke's successors would have room to respond to a downturn in aggregate demand.

  2. The failure to use the credibility of its commitment to low inflation long and painfully built up by Volcker and Greenspan to support policies to rapidly return prime-age employment to its normal share of the population.

In late 2011, in a context in which prime-age employment was severely depressed and not going anywhere, the failure to see these two as policy priorities that called for, well, "regime change" is likely to appear largely inexplicable, and to be judged harshly:

Employment Rate Aged 25 54 All Persons for the United States FRED St Louis Fed

Continue reading "The Federal Reserve in 2011 Debates Christina Romer's Ideas About the Need for "Regime Change": Weekend Reading" »


Fairly Recently: Must- and Should-Reads, and Writings... (February 21, 2019)

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  • Comment of the Day: Graydon: "I am pretty sure that the theoretical case—that there's secure encryption—has been, in practical terms, backdoored out of existence at the hardware level. It is difficult to find out, one way or the other. So it's 'no one is secure' AND 'no one knows how secure they're not against which adversary' AND 'humans aren't actually generally capable of doing secure things', all together... #commentoftheday #riseoftherobots

  • Comment of the Day: JEC: "I think we should place more emphasis on the fact that the resolution of the Cuban Missile Crisis depended critically on the asymmetry between the American and Soviet political systems. A win-win outcome was possible only because Kennedy needed to 'win' in public, but could 'lose' in secret, while Khrushchev could tolerate a public 'loss' provided he could show CPSU insiders a secret 'win'. As a side note, I think this piece officially qualifies Niall as the 'Eugene Fama of historians', someone who's public polemic demonstrates a deep and profound ignorance of the body of knowledge created by his own discipline. Seriously, the Cuban Missile Crisis has been the subject of intense historical research since the collapse of the Soviet Union, approximately none of which supports Ferguson's 'take'... #commentoftheday #security #gametheory


  1. Mesa Verde National Park

  2. Meteor Crater

  3. *Lynn Schooler * (2005): The Last Shot: The Incredible Story of the C.S.S. Shenandoah and the True Conclusion of the American Civil War https://books.google.com/books?isbn=0060523336

  4. Roger Miller (1965): King of The Road

  5. Wikipedia: Xiaolongbao

  6. Serious Eats: Gong Bao Ji Ding

  7. Wikipedia: Lapsang Souchong

  8. Michael O'Hare: Do Professors Care Whether College Students Are Actually Learning?: "What we need is not a cheap, lazy way to pretend we are improving our teaching, but a real quality assurance program that a Google or Toyota manager, for example, would recognize as such.... Are you a student, paying through the nose with your time and money for the best possible education?... If you don’t get good answers, recruit your classmates to go in the quad with pitchforks and torches...

  9. Wikipedia: Queen

  10. Bruce Schneier: There's No Good Reason to Trust Blockchain Technology | WIRED: "What blockchain does is shift some of the trust in people and institutions to trust in technology. You need to trust the cryptography, the protocols, the software, the computers and the network. And you need to trust them absolutely, because they’re often single points of failure. When that trust turns out to be misplaced, there is no recourse...

  11. Pottery Barn: Cameron Square Arm Upholstered Sofa with Reversible Chaise Sectional

  12. Wikipedia: Electrical Telegraph

  13. Menzie Chinn: Industrial and Manufacturing Production Decline: Whence the Business Cycle?: "The advance and second release of GDP will be releaseed (as an “initial” release) on February 28. Until then, keep on guessing!...

  14. Temi | Trint | Rev

  15. The Mediterranean Dish: Mediterranean Pan Seared Sea Bass Recipe

Continue reading "Fairly Recently: Must- and Should-Reads, and Writings... (February 21, 2019) " »


Fairly Recently: Must- and Should-Reads, and Writings... (February 18, 2019)

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  1. The Market: As an Institution, Its Pros, and Its Cons: People... want to enter into reciprocal gift-exchange relationships.... We devised property as a way of constructing expectations of trust.... We devised money as a substitute for trust.... And so, on the back of these human propensities... we have constructed a largely-peaceful global 7.4B-strong highly-productive societal division of labor... #berkeley #economics #marketfailure #marketsuccess #economicinstitutions 2019-02-18

  2. Modes of Market Failure: At lunch last week Richard Thaler was skeptical that I had managed to identify ten different modes of market failure. I admit that this list has a little too much of the Borges-List Nature, but I do think it holds up. What do you think?: The Market Economy: Modes of Failure: Markets can go wrong—badly wrong. They can... #berkeley #economics #marketfailure 2019-02-18

  3. Still Haunted by the Shadow of the Greater Recession... #presentations #greatrecession #macro #economicgrowth #economichistory #economics #finance #monetaryeconomics 2019-02-16

  4. Hoisted from the Archives: Note: The Ten Americans Who Did the Most to Win the Cold War: "Harry Dexter White... George Kennan... George Marshall... Arthur Vandenberg... Paul Hoffman... Dean Acheson... Harry S Truman:... Dwight D. Eisenhower... Gerald Ford... George Shultz... #hoistedfromthearchives #politics #security #history 2019-02-15


  1. I don't know about this "global middle class from 10 to 100 dollars a day" stuff. That seems much too low to me...: Homi Kharas and Kristofer Hamel: A global tipping point: Half the world is now middle class or wealthier

  2. Wikipedia: European Research Group

  3. Randy Wray: Modern Money Theory: How I Came to MMT and What I Include in MMT

  4. Wikipedia: Steven van Zandt

  5. Deepak Hegde, Kyle Herkenhoff, and Chenqi Zhu: Patent Publication and Technology Spillovers: "Invention disclosure through patents (i) increases technology spillovers at the extensive and intensive margins (ii) increases overlap between distant but related patents and decreases overlap between similar patents (iii) lowers average inventive step, originality, and scope of new patents (iv) decreases patent abandonments and (v) increases patenting...

6.Wikipedia: Valle de Bravo

  1. DIY Cookie Butter Recipe

  2. Wikipedia: Hohenzollern-Hechingen

  3. Wikipedia: House of La Fayette

  4. Wikipedia: Celestial Emporium of Benevolent Knowledge

  5. History Matters: Eight Hours for What We Will!

  6. Octavia

Continue reading "Fairly Recently: Must- and Should-Reads, and Writings... (February 18, 2019)" »


The Market: As an Institution, Its Pros, and Its Cons

Berkeley png The Market as an Institution: “The Market” as an Institution:

  • We start from what look like to us deep truths of human psychology

    • People are acquisitive
    • People engage in reciprocity—i.e., want to enter into reciprocal gift-exchange relationships
      • In which they are neither cheaters nor saps
      • With those they trust…
  • We devised property as a way of constructing expectations of trust…

  • We devised money as a substitute for trust…

Continue reading "The Market: As an Institution, Its Pros, and Its Cons" »


Modes of Market Failure

Berkeley png

At lunch last week Richard Thaler was skeptical that I had managed to identify ten different modes of market failure. I admit that this list has a little too much of the Borges-List Nature, but I do think it holds up. What do you think?: The Market Economy: Modes of Failure: Markets can go wrong—badly wrong. They can:

  1. not fail, but be failed by governments, that do not properly structure and support them—or that break them via quotas, price floors/ceilings, etc....

  2. be out-of-equilibrium...

  3. possess actors have market power...

  4. be afflicted—if that is the word—by non-rivalry (increasing returns to scale; natural monopolies)...

  5. suffer externalities (in production and in consumption, positive and negative; closely related to non-excludibility)...

  6. suffer from information lack or asymmetry...

  7. suffer from maldistributions—for the market will only see you if you have a willingness to pay, which is predicated on an ability to pay…

  8. suffer from non-excludability (public goods, etc.)...

  9. suffer from miscalculations and behavioral biases...

  10. suffer from failures of aggregate demand...

Continue reading "Modes of Market Failure" »


Still Haunted by the Shadow of the Greater Recession...


key: https://www.icloud.com/keynote/0UtILjGfChXSFFUBSCJ3PTf1g
pages: https://www.icloud.com/pages/0eLbd_zXINsC-YRNSL1zQxIdA
html: http://www.bradford-delong.com/2019/02/haunted-by-the-shadow-of-the-greater-recession.html

#highlighted #presentations #greatrecession #macro #economicgrowth #economichistory #economics #finance #monetaryeconomicss

Note: The Ten Americans Who Did the Most to Win the Cold War: Hoisted from the Archives

Berlin No More Walls Pamela Anderson

Hoisted from the Archives: Note: The Ten Americans Who Did the Most to Win the Cold War:

  • Harry Dexter White: Treasury Assistant Secretary* who was the major force behind the Bretton Woods Conference and the institutional reconstruction of the post-World War II world economy. He accepted enough of John Maynard Keynes's proposals to lay the groundwork for the greatest generation of economic growth the world has ever seen. It was the extraordinary prosperity set in motion by the Bretton Woods' System and institutions--the "Thirty Glorious Years"--that demonstrated that political democracy and the mixed economy could deliver and distribute economic prosperity.

  • George Kennan: Author of the "containment" strategy that won the Cold War. Argued--correctly--that World War III could be avoided if the Western Alliance made clear its determination to "contain" the Soviet Union and World Communism, and that the internal contradictions of the Soviet Union would lead it to evolve into something much less dangerous than Stalin's tyranny.

  • George Marshall: Architect of victory in World War II. Post-World War II Secretary of State who proposed the Marshall Plan, another key step in the economic and institutional reconstruction of Western Europe after World War II.

  • Arthur Vandenberg: Leading Republican Senator from Michigan who made foreign policy truly bipartisan for a few years. Without Vandenberg, it is doubtful that Truman, Marshall, Acheson, and company would have been able to muster enough Congressional support to do their work.

  • Paul Hoffman: Chief Marshall Plan administrator. The man who did the most to turn the Marshall Plan from a good idea to an effective aid program.

  • Dean Acheson: Principal architect of the post-World War II Western Alliance. That Britain, France, West Germany, Italy, and the United States reached broad consensus on how to wage Cold War is more due to Dean Acheson's diplomatic skill than to any single other person.

  • Harry S Truman: The President who decided that the U.S. had to remain engaged overseas--had to fight the Cold War--and that the proper way to fight the Cold War was to adopt Kennan's proposed policy of containment. His strategic choices were, by and large, very good ones.

  • Dwight D. Eisenhower: As first commander-in-chief of NATO, played an indispensable role in turning the alliance into a reality. His performance as President was less satisfactory: too many empty words about "rolling back" the Iron Curtain, too much of a willingness to try to skimp on the defense budget by adopting "massive retaliation" as a policy, too much trust in the erratic John Foster Dulles.

  • Gerald Ford: In the end, the thing that played the biggest role in the rise of the dissident movement behind the Iron Curtain was Gerald Ford's convincing the Soviet Union to sign the Helsinki Accords. The Soviet Union thought that it had gained worldwide recognition of Stalin's land grabs. But what it had actually done was to commit itself and its allies to at least pretending to observe norms of civil and political liberties. And as the Communist Parties of the East Bloc forgot that in the last analysis they were tyrants seated on thrones of skulls, this Helsinki commitment emboldened their opponents and their governments' failures to observe it undermined their own morale.

  • George Shultz: Convinced Ronald Reagan--correctly--that Mikhail Gorbachev's "perestroika" and "glasnost" were serious attempts at reform and liberalization, and needed to be taken seriously. Without Shultz, it is unlikely that Gorbachev would have met with any sort of encouragement from the United States--and unlikely that Gorbachev would have been able to remain in power long enough to make his attempts at reform irreversible. *Also, almost surely an "Agent of Influence" and perhaps an out-and-out spy for Stalin's Russia. If so, never did any intelligence service receive worse service from an agent than Stalin's Russia did from Harry Dexter White....


#hoistedfromthearchives #politics #security #history #highlighted

Fairly Recently: Must- and Should-Reads, and Writings... (February 14, 2019)

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  1. Jill Abramson, Formerly of the New York Times, Has Both a Depraved Heart and a Social Intelligence Deficit: She thus made seven changes to Malooley's first sentence, in the process dividing it into two.... She thus made one change to Malooley's second sentence. She then left Malooley's third sentence alone. Clearly the effort of making seven discrete changes to the first sentence had exhausted her...

  2. Note to Self: Thinking About Blanchard's Presidential Address...: Blanchard's calculations of the effect of debt on welfare in his AEA Presidential Address all take the form of evaluating the welfare of a generation of economic agents young in some period t after the resolution of all period-t stochastic elements. That is a fine thing to do. That is not quite the same thing as the effect on expected well-being behind the veil of ignorance...

  3. Note to Self: All of these people are now very, very quiet: Robert J. Barro, Michael J. Boskin, John Cogan, Douglas Holtz-Eakin, Glenn Hubbard, Lawrence B. Lindsey, Harvey S. Rosen, George P. Shultz and John. B. Taylor.... James C. Miller III... Barry W. Poulson... Charles W. Calomiris... Donald Luskin... 95 others... Susan Collins...

  4. Note to Self: Speaker: "We are bursting at the seams! We have more students than robots!...


  1. Jeff Yarbro: @yarbro: "The Constitution anticipates a President like this. It does not anticipate a Congress so indifferent to a President like this...

  2. Abba P. Lerner (1943): Functional Finance and the Federal Debt

  3. Patrick Iber: "I hereby donate 'Reichstag Fyre Festival' to the public domain...

  4. Alex Ward: 25th Amendment: Andrew McCabe says in 60 Minutes Interview that DOJ Discussed Option to Oust Trump: "McCabe is back with a vengeance.... Some top Trump officials feel the president isn’t up to the job...

  5. Wikipedia: 1989 murders of Jesuits in El Salvador: "Ignacio Ellacuría, S.J. Ignacio Martín-Baró, S.J. Segundo Montes, S.J. Juan Ramón Moreno, S.J. Joaquín López y López, S.J. Amando López, S.J. Elba Ramos. Celina Ramos...

  6. The Browser

  7. Michael K. Spencer: The Failure of Crypto Tribalism: "The majority of ICOs aren’t genuine companies, don’t have real products and never were intended to be sustainable business models. That’s a severe problem in ethics of these young engineers and young executives playing with Dapps and investors who are prone to fraud, hype and crypto trafficking of the worst kind-deceit...

  8. Zack Beauchamp: Watch Rep. Ilhan Omar hold Elliott Abrams, Trump Venezuela envoy, accountable - Vox: "A rare example of elite accountability...

  9. John Scalzi: Courtesy of @joshtpm, a principle henceforth to be known as "Trump's Razor": Josh Marshall: Dominance and Humiliation, No Middle Ground: "I’ve been praised in recent months for having some handle on the Trump phenomenon. The truth is a little different. Early on I realized that when it came to Trump if I figured out the stupidest possible scenario that could be reconciled with the available facts and went with it, that almost always turned out to be right. The stupider, the righter.... I just kept following that model and it kept working...

Continue reading "Fairly Recently: Must- and Should-Reads, and Writings... (February 14, 2019)" »


Note to Self: Thinking About Blanchard's Presidential Address...: Blanchard's calculations of the effect of debt on welfare in his AEA Presidential Address all take the form of evaluating the welfare of a generation of economic agents young in some period t after the resolution of all period-t stochastic elements. That is a fine thing to do. That is not quite the same thing as the effect on expected well-being behind the veil of ignorance, from the nunc stans, taken without any knowledge of the resolution of period-t or indeed of any earlier stochastic elements. But I have not yet been able to wrap my head around what the differences are, or how they matter for conclusions. My notes...

Continue reading " " »


Real Gross Domestic Product FRED St Louis Fed

Note to Self: Current forecast for 2018QIV GDP growth: 2.0%. Current forecast for 2019Q1 GDP growth: 1.5%. All of these people are now very, very quiet:

  • Robert J. Barro, Michael J. Boskin, John Cogan, Douglas Holtz-Eakin, Glenn Hubbard, Lawrence B. Lindsey, Harvey S. Rosen, George P. Shultz and John. B. Taylor: How Tax Reform Will Lift the Economy: "A conventional approach to economic modeling suggests that such an increase in the capital stock would **raise the level of GDP in the long run by just over 4%. If achieved over a decade, the associated increase in the annual rate of GDP growth would be about 0.4% per year...

  • Robert Barro (endorsed by Mike Boskin): How US Corporate-Tax Reform Will Boost Growth: "Gauging the effects of the tax-law changes on the costs (referred to as user costs) that businesses attach to investment in equipment and structures. Then I estimate long-run responses of the capital-labor ratio to the changes in user costs.... If we thought of C-corporations as corresponding to the whole economy, the changes in capital-labor ratios would imply a rise in long-run real per capita GDP by about 8.4%.... I made a rough downward adjustment of the long-run level effect from 8.4% to 7%...

  • James C. Miller III, Douglas Holtz-Eakin... Barry W. Poulson... Charles W. Calomiris... Donald Luskin... 95 others: Pass tax reform and watch the economy roar: "A twenty percent statutory rate on a permanent basis would, per the Council of Economic Advisers, help produce a GDP boost 'by between 3 and 5 percent'.... It is critical to consider that $1 trillion in new revenue for the federal government can be generated by four-tenths of a percentage in GDP growth. Sophisticated economic models show the macroeconomic feedback generated by the TCJA will exceed that amount—more than enough to compensate for the static revenue loss...

  • Susan Collins: Twitter: "On @MeetThePress today said that she had talked to [Holtz-]Eakin, Lindsay and Hubbard and they believed that the supply side stimulus would produce an increase on government revenue. This is problem when other side alleged serious people are really hacks.

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Jill Abramson, Formerly of the New York Times, Has Both a Depraved Heart and a Social Intelligence Deficit

At one point, Jill Abramson formerly of the New York Times had something like this—the lead of an written by Jake Malooley—on her computer screen:

Vice cop

She then copied the text from "when..." to the second "...Darfur" and pasted the three sentences it into an editing window in her manuscript:

Vice cop

She then did not:

  1. enclose it in quotation marks,
  2. add "(quoted from Jake Maloolley: https://www.timeout.com/chicago/things-to-do/vice-cop)", or
  3. move it to a "scratch-sources" part of the document.

Instead, she first deleted the word "Jason":

Continue reading "Jill Abramson, Formerly of the New York Times, Has Both a Depraved Heart and a Social Intelligence Deficit" »