Archive for January, 2011

Malthus And Ethanol

I have never been one for Malthusian disaster scenarios given that the humans have proven to be quite adept at engineering around each and every predicted crisis. That’s not to say, however, that shortages of necessities haven’t had an impact on the course of World history which is what Ambrose Evans-Pritchard speculates might be behind […]

Questioning Q4 GDP

Mike Mandel has a new post which might make you a bit uncomfortable. He suggests that the US has been miscalculating its trade gap in a manner which leads to overstating GDP growth. Now, if you believe the official  statistics, it drives your entire interpretation of the past ten years.  If nonoil imports have not grown […]

Words Versus Actions

Some things you might want to keep in mind as you listen to the State of the Union speech this evening. Ezra Klein reckons that the President has effectively turned the talk of spending restraint towards more spending, but the good kind: The president won’t give his annual State of the Union address until later […]

Ignoring The Elephant In The Room

Since Rep. Paul Ryan is going to deliver the Republican response to President Obama’s State of the Union speech, Derek Thompson put up a nice post contrasting the differences between the visions of the two men. It’s a nice balanced analysis which is worth your time. The last paragraph, however, is a poignant example of […]

The State Bankruptcy Debate

Felix Salmon has a very good post on the discussion about state bankruptcies. He points out, correctly, that the states have adequate tools to deal with their problems and that should they ever get the right to avail themselves of a bankruptcy solution the exercise of that option would spell disaster for all municipal borrowers. […]

Reshaping Mortgage Finance

It’s only January but we may already have a winner for sheer audacious rent seeking of the year award. The NYT reports that the nation’s big banks would like to be named as replacements for Fannie and Freddie: Wells Fargo and some other large banks would like private companies, perhaps even  themselves, to become the […]

More Questions Than Answers On The Broken Jobs Machine

Jim Tankersley has an article in the NationalJournal which provides an interesting overview of the unemployment conundrum. He paints a picture of an employment market that has been deteriorating over time and not one which was dealt a devastating blow by the Great Recession from which it inexplicably can’t seem to recover. This isn’t an […]