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« July 2012 | Main | September 2012 »

August 2012

August 31, 2012

"Fast Times at Ridgemont High at 30"

From the fine, new-this-month blog, "Senator Blutarsky". 

A question for the ages

"Car Dealers: Why Are So Many of Them So Slimy?"

"Herb Alpert's 'Whipped Cream Lady' now 76, living in Longview and looking back"

This took me back. (Link courtesy of Patrick R. Sullivan.)

August 30, 2012

Vitamin K seems important

One good source is natto. But this is . . . off-putting

I will try this natto . . . what should I expect in flavor?

Diaper pail and sneaker, with notes of nail polish remover and Augean stable. And the texture is . . . unique.

The skills to cure your ills

"10 Tech Skills That Will Instantly Net You A $100,000+ Salary".

Two on the changing economics of popular music

"Tour Bus Confidential: Behind Music's Bumpy Road Show". (Link courtesy of Michael Greenspan.)

Once invited to party with their employers, today's long-haul bus drivers are taken for granted and under threat of extinction as the the music industry continues to slash costs. 

"The 10 Highest-Paid DJs In The World". $250,000/night?!

August 29, 2012

"38 Reasons Why You Should Feel Better About Yourself"

If this doesn't work--at least a little--I can't help you.

"Calling Deirdre McCloskey"

Professor Don Boudreaux points out to yet another Liberal that government-in-practice, here antitrust, usually doesn't resemble government-in-theory.

I mention only in passing Mr. Rukerow’s naive triple assumption that (1) fine-sounding government statutes and agencies actually do what their fine-sounding names suggest that they do; (2) the ostensible missions of these statutes and agencies are pursued in ways that are worth whatever costs and consequences are entailed in the actual pursuit; and (3) the problems that these statutes and agencies were ostensibly created to address were in fact real.

"Restaurant chains have managed to combine quality control, cost control, and innovation. Can health care?"

Interesting in total, but I was especially interested in the brief description of how Cheesecake Factory works

A word on LIBOR

Up until a few years ago, I had no idea what LIBOR was. (Probably no worse than 99.9% of the country's population.) But 2007 and 2008, LIBOR became The Thing To Follow, so I looked up what it was.

And I thought: What? Why would anybody pay one second's attention to this?

But then I thought: What the heck do I know about finance? It must be a sound, smart practice to pay attention to it.

Well, score one for initial impressions:

At its heart, it is an honor system. . . . [How well do honor systems usually work?]

But if LIBOR's rates can be so easily manipulated, why use them? After all, the financial world offers a cornucopia of rates that are set by the marketplace and are therefore virtually impossible to rig. Rates on government and corporate bonds, for example, are governed by supply and demand and can be tracked through trading data, while LIBOR rates cannot.

"It's surprising that LIBOR has become so important, because of the imprecision and the lack of verification" by regulators of the rates that banks report, states Wharton finance professor Jeremy Siegel. . . .

"This may be another good example of Goodhart's Law: Whenever you focus on a rate for policy purposes, you will set up incentives to manipulate the rate," Herring notes.

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