Assorted links

by on June 14, 2009 at 3:41 pm in Web/Tech | Permalink

1. Markets in everything: strange beds.

2. Lawrence H. White joins our faculty.  In addition to his economics savvy, Larry is an expert on surf music and Bollywood.

3. Will England lead the recovery due to its monetary policy?  I hope you're all still reading Scott Sumner.

4. Secret Ballot: an excellent satirical movie on whether Iranian democracy is savior or farce.

5. $134 billion in bearer bonds; trying to get to the bottom of the story, via Chris Masse.

anonymous June 14, 2009 at 4:38 pm

Maybe you guys can get George Selgin to come back. What a team that’d make. Wasn’t Selgin originally at GMU and left?

Acad Ronin June 14, 2009 at 5:02 pm

Re the bearer bonds. This is almost certainly a very old con. I last came across it about 15 years ago with respect to so-called Japanese bearer bonds supposedly issued by the Japanese government as part of its “hidden debt”. (There was a so-called Japanese “hidden debt” – it just didn’t have anything to do with bonds). When I contacted the Ministry of Finance, they said that a) the bonds were fake, and b) they had heard of this scam before and would appreciate any leads to the scammers.

For a bond to have any value it has to have a maturity date, and a stated coupon. I would be surprised if these bonds have a maturity date, and they may not even have a stated interest rate. (The Japanese bonds had neither.)

The way you make money with these bonds is you pledge them as collateral for a much smaller loan. You then disappear with the loan proceeds. The state bunko squad notified of the Japanese bond scam said that the last time they had seen the scam, some years earlier, it had involved Saudi bonds.

TGGP June 14, 2009 at 5:59 pm

Abel Kerevel recommends more Iranian movies at http://www.foreignpolicy.com/story/cms.php?story_id=5005

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