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June 2011

June 30, 2011

"Misundertanding the Greek debts and CDS"

Tim Worstall explains a key difference between the CDS market in 2008 and now.

Everyone who is going to lose money on a CDS has already lost money on that CDS. This simply will not work out like AIG Financial Products. . . . We know who will lose for we can go and count who has already handed over those margin calls. In fact, we know who will lose because we can work out who has already lost. Just look at the cash balances.

For another interesting article related to Greece, see "For Many Greeks, Here's What Austerity Will Look Like".

If you think you’ve got it tough living in America, just be glad you’re not going to be in Greece as that nation begins to confront the true reality of austerity. . . . 

From a 15 percent cut in public wages to cigarette and alcohol taxes to Social Security reductions and means testing, the Greek measures will instill pain, necessary though it may be, for years to come.

"Long-Lost Wallets . . .

. . . turn up more often than you think."

Which is interesting and surprising. Even more surprising, perhaps, is that a lot of them seem to turn up in ceilings.

"Intel Executive Genevieve Bell Tells Us How She Got to the Top"

She may just be modest, but she makes it sound like she gets paid to go to a whole lot of meetings

June 29, 2011

"Seven Questions To Ask About Any Congressional Debt-Limit Deal"

Worth asking, particularly #1 and #2.

Will the deal be real or phony? I'm not optimistic.

Downtown L.A.--wow

Professor Peter Gordon, after taking an incisive shot at the Wilshire-corridor subway--longtime readers know that heavily-subsidized passenger rail is one of this blog's favorite pinatas--observes that there is now a 99-cent store at Wilshire and Fairfax.

Downtown L.A.: "Look on my works, ye mighty and despair!"

"50 State Dinners (Plus One): Food Treks Worth Taking This Summer"

Most of 'em look good.

"Obama Didn't Save Union Jobs, He Saved Union Pay"

"Contrary to popular belief, bankruptcy does not mean companies close their doors and send employees home. This is the false message President Barack Obama tried to sell on his victory tour of Detroit. If General Motors had gone through a normal bankruptcy without taxpayer bailouts, there would still be GM jobs--maybe even more than there are now. We do not know because that was the road not taken."

June 28, 2011

Sometimes, formal education just doesn't seem to pay

Good question:

The Chronicle of Higher Education recently conducted a study finding that California has the most educated Legislature with most legislators earning a bachelor’s degree or higher.  If California’s Legislature is so intelligent and educated, why is the Capitol and the state economy in such bad shape?

Interesting detail:

When comparing the top and bottom 15 states to the Mercatus Center’s Freedom in the 50 States Economic and Fiscal Freedom Indicators, the statistics show that the bottom 15 educated states have a higher economic freedom and fiscal freedom score than the 15 most educated states.  Fiscal Freedom is measured by spending, taxation and fiscal decentralization.  Economic Freedom is a measure of individual liberty, government spending, income taxes and sales taxes. South Dakota, which has one of the least educated legislatures, ranks number one on the economic freedom scale due to its high fiscal decentralization, and low levels of taxation and spending. California, which ranks 47th out of 50 according to the Mercatus study, “not only taxes and regulates its economy more than most other states, it also aggressively interferes in the personal lives of its citizens.”

Yeah, yeah, correlation is not cause. But still, it's . . .  suggestive.

Link via the Big Henry.

"[O]ne of the wealthiest B-school teachers ever"

Author of 10 textbooks translated into a dozen languages and used at more than 1000 universities. The books have sold more than 5 million copies. 

B-school types are invited to guess. Answer below.

Continue reading ""[O]ne of the wealthiest B-school teachers ever"" »

"41 Scary Facts About The National Debt"

I don't need all 41, but I appreciate the effort.

One item on the list I've mentioned in class that impressed my undergraduates is that a branch of the NIH awarded a $2.6 million grant to a Wayne State researcher to "train Chinese prostitutes to drink responsibly on the job." On the list, this item is not sourced well. Here's a source

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