October 31, 2008

What he said – I would probably trade the right to vote for a couple of double cheeseburgers right now while I'm stuck on the plane without any food.

Unintended consequences of bailouts

October 31, 2008

Mortgage payment edition: "The New York Times has a story about borrowers who worry that they are hurting themselves by paying their mortgages and perhaps missing out on a bailout."

Unintended consequences of bailouts

October 31, 2008

Regime uncertainty edition: "I argue that government policy appears to be making things worse and that doing nothing, at least for a time, is probably better"

We’re all socialists now

October 31, 2008

From Mr Buchanan:

If Barack Obama is not a socialist, he does the best imitation of one I’ve ever seen.

Under his tax plan, the top 5 percent of wage-earners have their income tax rates raised from 35 percent to 40 percent, while the bottom 40 percent of all wage-earners, who pay no income tax, are sent federal checks.

If this is not the socialist redistribution of wealth, what is it?

A steeply graduated income tax has always been the preferred weapon of the left for bringing about socialist equality. Indeed, in the “Communist Manifesto” of 1848, Karl Marx was himself among the first to call for “a heavy progressive or graduated income tax.” . . .

Indeed, how do Republicans who call Obama a socialist explain their support for Social Security, Medicare, Medicaid, food stamps, welfare, and the Earned Income Tax Credit? What are these if not government-mandated transfers of wealth to the middle and working class, and the indigent and working poor?

Since August, the Bush-Paulson team has seized our biggest S&L, Washington Mutual, and largest insurance company, AIG. It has nationalized Fannie and Freddie, pumped scores of billions into our banks, bailed out GM, Ford, and Chrysler, and paid the $29 billion dowry for Bear Stearns to enter its shotgun marriage with JPMorgan Chase.


Economist over-reach

October 30, 2008

Want evidence that mainstream economics is bankrupt (besides the credit crisis)?  Try this.

There apparently are no boundaries to economic knowledge.  It can even answer theoretical science questions and then solve the associated problems.  All hail the all-knowing profession that can solve all our problems.  Just be sure to ignore those financial models that the economists built.

Regulatory arbitrage

October 30, 2008

I hadn't heard of this one before, though the connection between regulations and securitization is well known.  Of course, we're being told that "deregulation" is to blame.

Douglass North

October 30, 2008

Besides mentioning my alma mater (and a class that I also took), this is generally a good post about a great Professor.

Conflicted Greenspan

October 29, 2008

I pay a lot to know exactly what Greenspan thinks.  Part of me thinks that he knew all along that being the Chairman of the Fed was eventually going to be a losing game (how can you centrally plan interest rates better than anything else?).  Another part of me thinks this may be true:

The fact that Rand is part of the current intellectual conversation is one reason why I am not quite as gloomy about the state of affairs in this world than I might otherwise have been. Let's face it, had one of her former acolytes, Alan Greenspan, stuck to his early disdain for central banking before he became part of the system, we might not be in this mess today.

I can’t help but agree

October 29, 2008

Even though I am a bureaucrat:

A young man should say what he means and mean what he says. Avoid the demeaning examples of politicians, government bureaucrats, and lawyers.

The Fed will add to its own mandates

October 28, 2008

as it sees fit:

Roach seems blissfully unaware that the Fed has already assigned itself the duty of achieving financial stability without any Congressional authorization