Links & comment
December 22, 2012, 12:42 pm
Filed under: Uncategorized

RWCG Errata: I’ve poo-pooed the idea that LIBOR manipulation would have often had big effects, since outliers are thrown out. That logic doesn’t hold however if there was meaningful coordination amongst submitters, which a lot of the leaks from last week seem to indicate was indeed happening via the IDBs.

Easing ‘until unemployment goes down’ basically just means increasing government employment.

Relatedly, QE helps banks and elites and hurts the little guy, and isn’t liberal. Not that most ‘liberals’ are liberal.

Stationary Waves, Fed policy in one graph.

Baseball Crank, why you can’t trade taxes for spending. This is a big part of the reason I just want us to go over the ‘fiscal cliff'; my instincts tell me that any possible ‘deal’ that could be worked out in this environment would inevitably be worse than status quo.

David Henderson on the debate among libertarians over right-to-work. I guess I’d take the libertarian-purist anti-RTW position more seriously if there were a realistic chance of the whole libertarian package being passed: no special role for unions in law, employers can totally racially-discriminate all they want, no minimum wage, etc. This all seems like a non-starter that has nothing to do with reality though

Noah Smith on the omnipotent Fed idea.

Ah, loving socialist Sweden.

Simon Grey on when “cheap labor” is an illusion.

We’re looking pretty good on the real-cost-of-bedding index.

There’s never a shortage of nutty theories about spree shootings, and the idea that the Sandy Hook & Batman shooters are connected to LIBOR is no exception. We are all groping in the dark here about these issues though. Connecting them to white male privilege actually seems slightly less crazy (i.e. both shooters seem like depressed high-achiever types unable to live up to expectations; and this could be connected to the fact that both of their fathers held elite quantitative/finance-related jobs). Closer to the mark is the observation that they (like other shooters) were on antidepressants, depression being caused by not seeing enough faces in the morning? Add this all up: intelligent white males of privilege, with high-achiever fathers who probably left for work early in the morning (or were absent due to divorce), got depressed, tested well, expected to do great things (but didn’t), got more depressed, felt impotent…I dunno. It almost starts to seem like something.

Not for the first time, I must ask: could the sun actually have something to do with how warm or cold the earth gets?

I’ve mentioned the astonishingly-trollish and immature Twitter stylings of “Bret Easton Ellis” [sic] before. So it’s only fair to point out when, unlike the critics,  I find myself in total agreement with one of his trollish Tweets. I mean sure, I liked Hurt Locker as much as the next guy. And I will always have a soft spot for Point Break. But I see no real reason those things couldn’t have just as well been directed by Brett Ratner, and clearly, no one would be talking Oscar in that case.

If you were wondering when/whether anyone would defend the Big Evil Scheming Banks for their chicanery, have no fear, leftist Juan Cole is here, putting “money-laundering” in quotes and everything. (It probably helps that HSBC is a non-US bank, would he have written the same post if it’d been JP Morgan accused of laundering drug/terror/whatever money?) Rare alignment of opinion between anti-American left and libertarians. Anyway, I salute Professor Juan Cole for his observation that bank regulation is too fascistic and onerous!

Are we at peak peak?

You should run, not walk in the rain. I remember trying to do this calculus problem once but can’t remember whether I got the answer, which now seems obvious. I’m such a dummy.

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Of course Ellis is right about Katherine Bigelow, who has made a couple of pretty decent films that appeal to men, which is unusual and good for a woman.

As for ‘liberals’, they’re international socialists. Tying into your Sweden link, one of the things that righties don’t get about Sweden is the type of socialism we have around here (i.e. Sweden, where I am). Under the influence of the post-war hegemon, good little Sweden has shifted in the direction of international socialism, especially since the fall of the Soviet Union and the last gasp of the Swedish ‘third way’, because Swedes play well with others. That has had a variety of ill effects, including what happened to that hapless homeschooler. However, up until the last 20 years of so, Swedish socialism had a decidedly more nationalistic cast. You might even call it ‘national socialism’, except – oops – that term is taken. Sorry. Anyway, Swedish socialism worked surprisingly well in part because old-school Swedish socialism was all about creating a folkhem – a ‘home for the people’. It was corporatist. Goddam I’ve lived here a long time. I wasn’t that big a fan of nationalist folkhem socialism, but it beat the shit out of international socialism.

Comment by Callowman

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