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Archive for November, 2009

links for 2009-11-26

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links for 2009-11-24

  • Baker: "The collapse of [the housing] bubble has given the economy the worst downturn since the Great Depression. The downturn caused by the collapse of the bubble, not Congress, is also directly responsible for the huge deficits the country now faces. It is remarkable that anyone involved in policy debates does not realize this fact." But Judd Gregg doesn't, or at least doesn't show it in public.
    (tags: economy budget)

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links for 2009-11-20

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links for 2009-11-19

  • Klein lists not inconsiderable provisions to go into effect immediately in the Senate health care bill. Having heard Holy Joe on NPR asking whether it's worth throwing the baby out with the (in his view) bathwater of the 'public option,' he has a point (though not a great one, and it's sharper the more the public option is watered down). An eleven-dimensional chess move may be to pass a bunch of useful reforms w/o Republican support, declare victory in the battle though not the war, use Republican obstructionism as a bludgeon to shift Congress (leftward) towards the center, and then watch as the Liebermans can no longer obstruct more meaningful reforms. OK, a boy can dream…
  • Unfortunately, "policy" is to let telcos' executives and investors decide whether to deploy fiber or try to milk the copper network for a little longer. Meanwhile, most users get expensive connections at second-rate speeds.
  • Welsh observes that buying competitors on the cheap is a better play with free money than the more socially valuable retail lending.

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links for 2009-11-18

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links for 2009-11-16

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links for 2009-11-11

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links for 2009-11-10

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links for 2009-11-09

  • A reminder that the Postal Service approximately broke even and provided generally good service over 38 years of cost-of-service regulation under the Postal Reorganization Act. Figuring out its performance under the new price cap regime will be a challenge thanks to the coincidence of the Great Recession and the extraordinary fiscal responsibilities the Postal Accountability and Enhancement Act placed on the Service.
  • Lengthy report on How Bernie Madoff Did It focusing on his use of computer systems to engage in large-scale fakery. While sophisticated, the fake information was imperfect and would have raised red flags for a diligent examiner of Madoff's records.
    (tags: finance fraud)

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links for 2009-11-06

  • In the archives of Old Marginal Utility among many other places, you can find the likes of Ken and me telling those interested that Stein's Law (that which can't go on forever, won't) must hold, though of course we had to aver on the timing. Remember that there are people who criticize(d) Nouriel Roubini, who had major elements of the crisis largely right at a very early date, for jumping the gun. Meanwhile, the 'folk-efficient markets hypothesis' held by top policymakers (if, in even Eugene Fama's account, nobody else) ensured there would be little useful reflection on whether the path of the economy actually made a lick of sense.

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