Interesting brief analysis of whether current business buybacks of stock are "too high". With a story about the East India Company I hadn't heard before.
Alex Tabarrok discusses how another clear, simple theory of economic development seems to have failed.
Because reinventing the wheel is a whole lot more fun than citing Friedman yet again?
Fine piece by John Tierney. It puts me in mind of all the yelling and screaming about the price of college textbooks when the really big targets lie elsewhere, but the politics of attacking big bad textbook companies is more appealing to some folks.
"J. Scott Armstrong: Fewer than 1 Percent of Papers in Scientific Journals Follow Scientific Method"
Maybe academic researchers and those who love them shouldn't read this. It's as discouraging as discouraging can be about research.
I would guess that many papers fail to satisfy the third requirement listed by Professor Armstrong: "Full disclosure of methods, data and other relevant information". A small bit of good news is that, at least in economics, that seem to be (slowly) improving.
UPDATE: see Armstrong's "Guidelines for Science: Evidence-based Checklists" for a more general argument. (Thanks to Mike for the comment.)
Washington Post columnist Robert Samuelson discusses a CBO study.
Drill, baby, drill!
But . . . but in the majority of U.S. metro areas, the four-firm concentration ratio for grocery retailing is in the dangerous oligopoly range. But . . . but we've been warned for 50+ years about how U.S. grocery retailing was going to be dominated by a very small number of firms with the resulting enormous prices and restricted choice.
New York Magazine, how can this be??
The problem: service problems lead to drops in ridership which lead to less money to fix the problems which leads to more service problems.. One solution contemplated is raising fares.
But that's a solution for amateurs. Real, professional Liberals will assert that, just like K-12 schools and labor unions and Obamacare, the New York subway system is such a great system and so important and so essential to maintain that people will simply have to be forced to use it.
Remember where you heard it first.
John Cochrane summarizes, and largely agrees with, a recent paper by Larry Kotlikoff ont the cause of the Great Recession.
In my view, the understanding that the crisis was a run, that without a run there would have been no crisis, somewhat like the 2000 tech stock bust, and that lots and lots more capital is the only real answer, has emerged slowly over the last 10 years. Larry's essay is good for putting all the others to rest.
Link via Arnold Kling.
UPDATE: In a short piece Kotlikoff makes his case. But he refers to "leverage and opacity" as the cause and misses a better phrase. A commentator I read once stated that almost all financial crises are the result of "leverage and lies".