Links & Excerpts
February 20, 2011 3 Comments
- The Imaginot Line by Paul Seabright. HT Kling who excerpts the same thing I would:
The reason why it was so easy to sell securities rated triple-A — like the higher tranches of the now notorious collateralized debt obligations — was not that every potential buyer was a true believer in the theory of efficient markets. It was because financial regulators insisted a triple-A rating was necessary for many of the investments made by pension and mutual funds, which the regulators would never have done had they been convinced that the market would take care of these investment decisions by itself. If the market is always right, why insist that investors choose highly rated assets?
Too much ‘unfettered’ free market, eh? Yeah right
Regulation/politics is an iterated game. If you don’t understand that there’s folks with different positions who are playing the iterated game…you lose. See, for instance, financial markets. Anyone who makes regulations without understanding that there are folks on the other side planning to game the regulations is simply doing it wrong.
- Borepatch on what it would take for the left to be intellectually vigorous
- Russ Roberts wants to “get the government out of the banking business”. Yah, good luck with that. He also tries to make a case that Fannie/Freddie may have had something to do with inflating the housing bubble, which everyone knows is obviously completely incorrect, because Paul Krugman told me so.
- But if you’re stupid enough to disagree with Paul Krugman that there was never a single thing wrong with Fannie/Freddie, John Hempton has a decent suggestion on what to do with them.
- Meanwhile, Steven Landsburg destroys Krugman’s favorite ‘baby-sitter’s club’ economic parable.
- I like this from Arnold Kling: “When you think of the economy, think of a rain forest that you live in and study, not a machine that you fix.” But Smart People like thinking of things as machines for them to fix. So let’s just pretend. Also, that way Smart People get lots of good jobs.
- Women prefer larger governments – tell me something I didn’t know.
- Mangan’s zone of arrogance hypothesis is interesting.
- My new favorite rapper Macklemore shows lots of class, and in a just world, is destined for stardom.
- Interesting graph that puts complaints about ‘inequality’ in the U.S. into some much-needed context.
- Foseti cracks me up on DC:
The neighborhood is . . . unique. First, there are lots of young people. Second, unlike other cities, DC isn’t overly expensive – everyone makes some decent money but no one is rich – so the young people can afford to go out. Third, at least 60% of the young people are girls. Fourth, at least half the men are gay. Fifth, virtually all the girls that move to DC do so to “work in sustainability” or some such bullshit.
The thesis is that this leads to a sexual culture particularly suited to Roissy-ness, and it’s pretty convincing.
- I found this post rather poignant: Should I Sell Barry Bonds’ Rookie Card (and the Rest of My Collection)? I still remember when we all thought those little rectangles ‘would be worth a lot some day’. A dream that, like so many other childhood dreams, is dead. In this case, killed by the internet (specifically, eBay).
- Devastating critique of Mad Men, which I have never watched, and this article certainly hasn’t given me any reason to change that. The one aspect I have a feeling is missing from that critique though is how much of the appeal of Mad Men is simply due to its fashion/art design. Which may as well be phrased ‘designed to appeal to gay men’.
- Via Underground Man, an excellent description of the Smart People ideology:
The mainstream elite worldview can best be summed up as “managerial liberalism”, a kind of technocratic oligarchy which sees itself as administrators of a highly complex and pluralistic society with a large, low paid workforce spread across the world.
- Communism was a cargo cult. I’ve made this observation before about other instantiations of left-wing ideology.
- Old news I guess, but new to me that Freeman Dyson is a heretic on climate change. (HT)
- Katja Grace on the strange way we deal with supposed gender inequality, which is essentially to encourage women to become like men.
- Finally – last but certainly not least – do not miss Sheila’s teenage diary entries about seeing concerts ‘from’ the teen-inspirational-say-no-to-drugs rock group Freedom Jam. I think they came to my school too! Thanks to Sheila for those diary postings – they are truly a gift.