Browsing All Posts filed under »Government«

Gun Control & the Belief in Small Numbers

July 22, 2012


There’s a tweet circulating following the terrible events in Colorado this week. It’s been retweeted more than 17,000 times now: “In one year, GUNS murdered 35 in Australia, 39 in England and Wales, 194 in Germany, 200 in Canada, and 9,484 in the United States….” This is exactly the type of fallacy drawn from the “Belief […]

Yes, it’s really like that. The distress, the wailing: Video of North Koreans after the death of Kim Jong Il

December 19, 2011


Check out this video of North Koreans bereaving the loss of Kim Jong Il. (HT to Business Insider) Yes, it is unbelievable.  When you get to 1:20 of the video, watch the kids in the background look around as if it say – “I guess we should do what everyone else is doing.”  Throughout the video, […]

The Education Bubble

May 19, 2011


The gets this one wrong. The education bubble isn’t about a student “selling” their degree in the open market.  Here’s why there’s an education bubble: Student loans are securitized and resold in the same way as residential mortgages.  And the numbers are staggering. Know that whole Fannie Mae/Freddie Mac thing going on right now […]

History Repeating Itself?

October 27, 2010


Pragmatic Capitalism asked the question – “Is this 1937-38 all over again?” 1937 is important because after experiencing economic growth for a  couple of years, the US economy fell sharply into a great recession.  (It’s a topic of debate  as to whether the 1937 slowdown was a new recession or an extension of the Great […]

Sovereign Debt Enforcement

October 26, 2010


A Bloomberg article today reports the view that Greece will assuredly default on their sovereign debt within three years. Serendipitously,  from my reading of “This Time is Different” by Carmen Reinhart and Kenneth Rogoff: In the modern era, however, the idea of using gunboat diplomacy to collect debts seems far-fetched (in most cases). The cost-benefit […]

Robert Reich, Economic Chef

October 24, 2010


Who knew my Sunday morning coffee with the week’s recordings of The Charlie Rose Show would include culinary genius Robert Reich, former Labor Secretary under Bill Clinton? Reich just published his book “After Shock.” While I typically don’t agree with Reich on policy, he made several excellent arguments and one-liners about economic decisions ahead: The […]

Recommended Reading: “The Great Depression” by Benjamin Roth

October 19, 2010


Found the book via Megan McArdle’s recent post – “Should We Just Call a ‘Do-Over’ on the Mortgage Market?“. (The answer is a resounding “no” BTW… There are other more painful, but more effective ways to solve the problem.) Benjamin Roth was a lawyer in Youngstown, OH through the Great Depression and kept a running […]