Assorted links

by on May 12, 2010 at 1:32 pm in Web/Tech | Permalink

1. Why did the ratings agencies mess up so badly?

2. Will Google save the news?, with cameos by Hal Varian.

3. Revealing 1984 interview with Paul and Linda McCartney.

4. Book with a price premium for a Kindle edition.

5. Markets in everything: "the splitter-uppers."

6. Washington Post profile of me and Create Your Own Economy.

David May 12, 2010 at 1:44 pm

What, if anything, does it say that the Kindle price premium is on a book about “Wom-enonomics”?

Adam May 12, 2010 at 2:04 pm

You walked out of Greenberg? Do you enjoy other Baumbauch movies (Kicking and Screaming, The Squid and the Whale?)

anon May 12, 2010 at 2:46 pm

“Cowen differs from many other libertarians in his support for expanding immigration”

I thought practically all libertarians supported free trade, including labor (i.e., little to no restrictions on immigration).

Doc Merlin May 12, 2010 at 3:02 pm

@anon:
Yes, the more partisan left (not all lefties) tends to paint us as anti-immigration because they can use that as an attempt to support their ‘they are racist’ narrative.

Colin May 12, 2010 at 3:08 pm

Throwing away books makes no sense — why not sell them used on amazon and make a few bucks? You’re not preventing anyone from reading a bad book, they’ll just go elsewhere to purchase it (likely at a higher price). It’s just wealth destruction.

Rich Berger May 12, 2010 at 4:16 pm

Maybe the Kindle edition is for men who are ashamed to be seen with a yellow book entitled Wom-enomics.

Shouldn’t it be Womynomics? Or is that too retro?

liberalarts May 12, 2010 at 4:58 pm

Reading the term “drink the Kool-Aid” three times in the abstract does not improve my ex ante estimate of the quality of the argument in the paper.

Nuntius May 12, 2010 at 5:11 pm

Yes, I second Ricardo.

fatback May 12, 2010 at 6:36 pm

Tyler,
Something puzzles me about the so-called ‘subprime’ crisis: large banks such as Lehman Brothers or Goldman Sachs were operating with a huge leverage (up to 1:30) and a significant portion of their assets were invested in high-risk instruments (distressed loans, junior tranches of CDOs†¦). The question is: how one could possibly lend money to such time-bombs? If you just look at it on the paper it looks crazy: they should have paid huge credit spread.
What do you think?

Jay May 12, 2010 at 7:17 pm

“Re #1 – isn’t the fact that the rating agencies haven’t all collapsed and are still treated seriously a definite proof that reputation cost theories are all bunk?”

No, what you have is proof that government protected monopolies can extract rents even after tarnishing their reputations so much. If you want to get a credit rating you have to go with a government approved agency.

Further, by legislation many of the largest investors in this country have to hold securities rated investment-grade by one (or more) of the government approved ratings agencies.

The ratings agencies are effectively subsidiaries of the federal government, which is as culpable as the CEOs.

Colin May 12, 2010 at 7:34 pm

The new definition of Chutzpah: Hire up the splitter-uppers, then sue them for loss of consortium.

William May 12, 2010 at 9:29 pm

Was the word “polymath” so frequently abused before the internet?

kebko May 13, 2010 at 12:18 am

I’ve put up with a lot on this blog, but linking to a Playboy interview in basic html text is the last straw. Consider my subscription cancelled!

zbicyclist May 13, 2010 at 7:24 am

“drink the Kool-Aid” — there’s professional lawyerly jargon for you.

vanya May 13, 2010 at 12:28 pm

I’m just going to rant that Kindles are incredibly overrated. Any scholarly book with footnotes is a pain in the ass with a Kindle, as is any book where you want to jump back and forth easily. I find my Kindle endurable only for reading novels or short stories, trying to read non-fiction on it makes me want to throw it against the wall. Am I alone in this? Seems to me Kindles pray on people’s acquisitive tendencies – “look at me, I’ve got 400 books right here!” – but the fact is, unless maybe you’re Tyler, you rarely need 400 books at your fingertips at one time.

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