Assorted links

by on April 24, 2011 at 1:12 pm in Uncategorized | Permalink

1. Photos of robots.

2. Royal wedding betting markets in everything, which color for the Queen’s hat?

3. Earl B. Hunt, Human Intelligence, a good introduction to current debates.

4. China’s investments in the Caribbean; sign of bubble or not? (e.g., “A 2011 commitment by Beijing to build a $600 million deep-sea harbor, highway and port in Suriname that will link the country to its natural resource rich southern neighbor, Brazil.”)

5. The Canadians do fiscal stimulus the right way.

6. How housing prices enter the CPI.

1 Anthony April 24, 2011 at 2:09 pm

The Chinese investments do not smell of bubble in and of themselves – each of the listed examples seems to have the potential to turn a profit, though some may be a little more indirect. If there is a bubble going on in China right now, then the calculations that show these investments turning a profit may be incorrect, of course.

2 Davis April 24, 2011 at 3:20 pm

The obvious reason for China to invest in the Caribbean is geopolitical. It’s unlikely to matter for a long time, but, someday they could use relationships with Caribbean countries as bargaining chips or to tweak the US’ nose if they don’t like the US’ level of involvement in the South China Sea.

It’s not unlike the Chinese general’s statement on the Arctic in the link Tyler posted last week —

3 Andrew Montgomery April 24, 2011 at 5:14 pm

When “China” invests in the Caribbean, is it the Chinese state or private Chinese companies? If it’s the latter then it could just be a credit bubble, in the same way that Japanese companies in the late 1980s were buying up foreign assets around the world.

This leads to another question. How can China afford all this largesse, as well as new high speed railways and airports and new cities, when it has a much lower tax-to-GDP ratio than the US?

4 Matthew Dutton April 24, 2011 at 5:38 pm

RE #5: I’d like to see them go up against some boys from the hood at stripping that jeep… I don’t know about the reassembly though. :-p

5 Bob Knaus April 24, 2011 at 8:16 pm

Chinese investment in the Caribbean is easy to explain. All of these countries are in the US dollar zone, formally or not. All of them have boneheaded capital control policies left over from the 60’s which make capital scarce… but less so if one is politically connected. The Chinese need to recycle their trade surplus in to US dollar investments. They are simply taking advantage of an arbitrage oppotunity, and using their political clout to amplify it.

6 farmer April 25, 2011 at 8:40 am

the over/under on viewership of the royal wedding is 1.75 billion. this is simply astonishing!

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