Monthly Archives: February 2013

Partisanship is Not the Problem

Mike Riggs writes, the OMB’s September 2012 report says that under sequestration the National Drug Intelligence Center would lose $2 million of its $20 million budget. While that’s slightly more than 8.2 percent (rounding error or scare tactic?), the bigger … Continue reading

Posted in institutional economics | 1 Comment

My Housing Finance Course

Has finally started. My goal is to help mid-level staff at regulatory agencies on the Hill understand some important characteristics of mortgage risk and the mortgage business. As Ed Pinto points out, there is still room for improvement in mortgage … Continue reading

Posted in Housing and housing finance | Comments Off

Jonathan Haidt’s Three-Axis Model

I recommend this half-hour video. He talks about a near-far axis, in which people close to you matter more than people far away. He talks about a hierarchy axis, in which you treat people higher on the totem pole differently … Continue reading

Posted in Libertarian Thought | 3 Comments

Vickies and Thetes

Ross Douthat writes, Yet the decline of work isn’t actually some wild Marxist scenario. It’s a basic reality of 21st-century American life, one that predates the financial crash and promises to continue apace even as normal economic growth returns. This … Continue reading

Posted in Growth Causes and Consequences, labor market, Reihan Salam is the ultimate wonk, Three-Axes Model | 4 Comments

The Role of Banks

1. I write, Franco Modigliani and Merton Miller point out that the real assets in the economy (fruit trees, oil wells, office buildings, and so on) are all owned ultimately by households. That fact is not changed by the way … Continue reading

Posted in books and book reviews, business economics, links to my essays | 15 Comments

Health Care Costs Near the End of Life

Timothy Taylor writes, say for the sake of argument that such cases could be identified, and spending in this area could be reduced by half. If attainable, cuts of this size would be $70 billion in annual savings, which is … Continue reading

Posted in Economics of Health Care, Timothy Taylor is my Favorite Blogger | 1 Comment

The Debt the Italians Owe to Themselves

The Wall Street Journal reports on generational conflict in Italy. Over the past two decades Italy has run €1.3 trillion in such [primary] surpluses, averaging 4% of GDP a year, says Giuseppe Alvaro, an economist in Rome and an expert … Continue reading

Posted in government debt crisis, links to my essays, Tyler Cowen is my Favorite Blogger | 10 Comments

Paul Romer on Separation of Powers

He writes, the evidence suggests that giving citizens the ability to “vote with their feet” will not discipline the leaders of a community. More fundamentally, the evidence shows that while the opportunity to vote is one difference between public and … Continue reading

Posted in Libertarian Thought | 3 Comments

It All Sounds So Simple

Richard Thaler writes, To me, the ideal health care delivery system would include…A fee for health rather than fee for service model. Doctors and hospitals should be paid for keeping their patients well. Paying them for doing more tests and … Continue reading

Posted in Economics of Health Care, Mark Thoma is Indispensable, Tyler Cowen is my Favorite Blogger | 5 Comments

Ben Bernanke, Before and After

1. Before (June 12, 2006): in the area of market risk, advances in data processing have enabled more analytically advanced and more comprehensive evaluations of the interest rate risks associated with individual transactions, portfolios, and even entire organizations. Institutions of … Continue reading

Posted in books and book reviews, Financial Crisis of 2008, links to my essays | Comments Off