From Calculated Risk
Sunday morning rantMarch 31, 2008
Libertarianism vs formalismMarch 28, 2008
From Mr Moldbug
Bear Stearns and shareholder rightsMarch 28, 2008
There will still be some sort of moral hazard, I think (though the mysterious knzn does have a point), in that bankers will not be as cautious about systemic risk as they should be. Alas, we live in an imperfect world, and the price of preventing catastrophes is that you will have more of them to prevent. Ultimately, that's a price I'm willing to pay. And I think you should be too. The people screaming that we ought to let the banks fail don't seem to realize that they, too, can be thrown out of work in the resulting hideous recession.
League of democraciesMarch 28, 2008
I once thought this was a good idea. I'm not so sure anymore. My guess is that in 5 years it would devolve into being exactly like the UN. I guess it would 5 years of being slightly better though.
The call for a menaissanceMarch 28, 2008
52% said they had to live according to women’s rules 58% said they would prefer to be the main breadwinner, with 34% preferring their wife to be a full-time mother/homemaker, and 24% preferring their wife to work part-time. only 33% felt they could speak freely what they thought 67% felt it safer to conceal their opinion more than half thought society was turning them into “waxed and coifed metrosexuals”
Jury nullificationMarch 28, 2008
From Mr Balko
Wither capitalismMarch 28, 2008
Every time I see a statement like this, I cringe: “The past 10 days will be remembered as the time the U.S. government discarded a half-century of rules to save American financial capitalism from collapse.”
Capitalism’s supporters, the few that there really are, have never successfully given it a definition. Ayn Rand tried, but it never seemed to take. Marx gave it a definition, but it was wrong and is now hopelessly obsolete.
What happened here is that many factors, but mostly government-caused factors, contributed to a housing bubble (here’s a good explanation that’s easy to follow). I assign most of the blame to banking regulations and the Federal Reserve’s monetary policy. Both of these violate capitalism and give us a mixed-economy (a mix between capitalism and socialism). Then the government intervenes to clean up it’s own mess and this is touted as saving capitalism. It could easily be touted as bailing out socialism.
Also, we don’t know what would happen if the government got out of the way and let capitalism work. Perhaps the market for MBS would pick up if investors were confident that the government wasn’t about to intervene and change the payout structure of the asset that they are about to buy. Maybe it would be ugly for a while, but return to normalcy quickly. We won’t know, because government will never try. Instead we’ll have all sorts of economists sound off about how terrible it will be. Unfortunately, I believe the best way to find out how things would work is to try them. Massive government intervention in the economy in the ’30s seems to have extended the Great Depression. Now we’re to believe that economists know better and intervention will work this time, b/c doing nothing (i.e. allowing capitalism to work) would fail (we know this, b/c some smart people have thought about it a lot). Color me skeptical.
Gravel on FDRMarch 27, 2008
Free PhotoshopMarch 27, 2008
Who said limited government was impossible?March 27, 2008
Check out self-limitation in action.