During his tenure, the zoning rules for 37 per cent of the city were changed to permit redevelopment by the private sector, and work on some of the biggest projects is just getting started as he prepares to leave office at the end of this month.
“He is going to define the city for the next 25 years,” said Mitchell L Moss, a professor of urban policy and planning at New York University, and a campaign adviser to Mr Bloomberg in 2001. “It doesn’t matter who the next mayors are. They are still going to be attending groundbreakings for projects he started,” he said.
Much of this development is along the waterfront, which Bloomberg calls “the sixth borough.” There is more here, and the pointer is from Paul Romer.
The National Reconnaissance Office (NRO) launched a new spy-satellite, NROL-39, on Dec. 5. When I first saw this I felt sure it couldn’t be real, it must be from The Onion but no, this is the official logo for the satellite which you can see on the rocket and in this NRO press release.
When the history of how the United States became a dystopian, surveillance state is written no one will be able to say that we were not warned.
Man bites dog, but this time it is good news, sort of:
For just over 10 years—121 straight months—there was one constant in the monthly jobs report: Health care jobs would go up.
Health care lost 2,500 jobs in September, the Bureau of Labor Statistics concluded in estimates released last month. And if that number stands, it would be the first net loss for the sector since July 2003.
That is from Dan Diamond.
Addendum: Revising the revision, the BLS now tells us that health care did not lose jobs after all. Dog bites man, once again, though this time with duller teeth.
One of them is gathering steam (and more detail here):
The National Council of the American Studies Association announced Wednesday that it has unanimously endorsed a boycott of Israeli universities and other Israeli institutions — and urged its members to vote to make the boycott official policy of the association.
The move by the council, even if awaiting approval by the membership, is seen as a major victory for the movement for an academic boycott of Israel.
And yet I have a better idea. If one is going to boycott institutions of Israel, should one not also boycott strong, powerful nations which have supported much of what Israel has done, especially strong, powerful nations which stole a lot of land from the original inhabitants, refuse to give it back, and have recently practiced torture, aggressive military intervention, and the murder of innocent civilians, and which spy upon much of the world, mostly without apology?
That’s right, they might consider boycotting the United States, starting with their very own name, which now would read “Council of the Studies Association.” Cynical advocates of “self-deportation” (I am not one of them) might suggest a more general boycott of the nation as it relates to their choices of residence and employment, but I will settle for the group boycotting academic conferences in America.
I am in in Tel Aviv — albeit briefly — and happy to be here. I am reminded of David Brooks’s recent column on the creeping politicization of life. That is one trend we all ought to oppose.
Addendum: Here is a good dissent from the boycott.
…the pace of actual trade settlement in renminbi has failed to keep up [with its role in finance]. It still accounts for just 0.8 per cent of the global total, a lower share than the Thai baht or the Swedish krona.
That is from the FT, via Amni Rusli. The recently reported fact that the renminbi is now the #2 trade financing currency seems to be simply measuring the carry trade, not the true ascendancy of the Chinese currency as a global reserve currency.
…high-tech exports such as machinery, the aerospace sector, computers and electronics accounted for more than 17 per cent of Mexico’s GDP last year, only trailing South Korea and Germany and even ahead of China, according to state trade and investment promotion agency, ProMexico.
Mexico’s central state of Guanajuato, for example, was once a prime New World silver supplier, accounting for nearly a third of global supply at its height.
Now it claims to house the country’s most dynamic car producing and auto parts cluster, netting investment of $7.7bn in the past seven years, and boosting output in the first eight months of this year by nearly 18 per cent, compared with last year, according to regional officials.
That is from Jude Webber at the FT.
From the FT:
The strength of the UK economy is drawing covetous and occasionally envious glances from the eurozone as investors from around the world size up the opportunity presented by Britain’s recovery.
The UK economic revival has taken almost everyone by surprise, confounding domestic and international forecasting groups.
It’s perfectly fair to describe this as an “Average is Over” recovery, but a recovery it is, and far greater than might be accounted for by any slowdown in fiscal consolidation.
Here are some simple numbers:
To grow, Ukraine’s $176 billion economy needs gas imports from Russia to be cheap and its steel exports to be expensive.
The opposite is now the case. The government ends up taking the strain because it subsidizes most of the cost of gas sold to households across the country of 46 million that borders Russia to the northeast and four new EU states to the west.
Yanukovich walked away from the trade deal because it lacked a hoped-for stand-by loan of as much as $15 billion from the International Monetary Fund. The global lender was not prepared to lend new money without gas-price reforms.
Russian President Vladimir Putin has meanwhile made a gas discount conditional on Ukraine joining a Russia-led customs bloc that includes Kazakhstan and Belarus. He has not, however, ruled out possible further funding.
Jacob Nell, a Moscow-based economist at Morgan Stanley, estimates that Ukraine will have to raise external financing of $18 billion for Yanukovich to make it to the 2015 election.
The yield on the June 2014 bond is now closing in on 20 percent. The full story is here.
From the United Kingdom:
Manufacturers enjoyed a jump in demand that pushed growth to its fastest rate for more than two years and saw the sector take on thousands of new staff last month.
New orders were the strongest for almost 20 years and job creation accelerated, according to the Markit/CIPS UK Manufacturing PMI survey.
There is more here, and I will reiterate that this trend was not very well predicted by any macroeconomic school of thought, including liquidity trap theories, recent emphases on long-run secular stagnation, or for that matter the contrasting “of course there is mean reversion” approaches, which don’t tell us much about timing and which would appear to contradict the slow recoveries seen elsewhere. Spain, by the way, does not have an equivalent degree of cheer…
Spain’s conservative government agreed on Friday to toughen penalties for unauthorized street protests up to a possible 600,000 euro ($816,000) fine, a crackdown that belies the peaceful record of the anti-austerity protests of recent years.
Leftists and civil rights activists have labeled the bill the “Kick in the teeth law” because it penalizes a battery of protest measures in what they say is a disregard for democracy in a country that only emerged from right-wing dictatorship in the late 1970s.
But Prime Minister Mariano Rajoy, whose People’s Party (PP) has an absolute majority in parliament, has said the Citizens’ Security Law guarantees freedom and will have the support of a majority of Spaniards.
“Offensive” slogans against Spain will be eligible for fines up to 30,000 euros. There is more here, via Pol Antras.
This picture clarifies a few neglected points:
Since 2010 there has been a marked decline in non-EU net immigration. As a proportion of non-British immigration to the UK, it has dropped from 73% in June 2010 to 57% in June 2013. In the last year alone, it has fallen from 172,000 to 140,000.
Meanwhile, this year, net migration from the EU has gone up by 72,000 to 106,000.
But, as the chart above shows, the recent increase in net EU migration has come from the older, more established (and traditionally more wealthy) EU member states (the EU15), not the new member states from central and eastern Europe that joined in 2004 (the EU8).
That is from Open Europe Blog.
Here is something for you to try out tomorrow with the family, well some families. The Betrayers’ Banquet is a dinner party/event that ingeniously combines the iterated prisoner’s dilemma with good food, bad food and entertainment. Here is their description:
The event works as follows:
A banqueting table is set with 48 chairs, 24 on each side, at which players are seated at random. For a period of two hours, the food is served in small portions every fifteen minutes, and varies in quality; at the top end of the table, it is exquisite – food you could expect at a fancy restaurant. At the bottom end, the food is charitably described as unpalatable. In between, it is a spectrum between these two extremes.
At regular intervals, pairs of opposing diners are invited to play a round of the prisoner’s dilemma with each other; They are each provided with a small wooden coin with symbols on each side representing cooperation and betrayal, which they place on the table concealed under their palms, and then simultaneously reveal:
- If they both cooperate, then they are both moved up five seats towards the good food.
- If they both betray, they are both moved five seats down towards the worse food.
- If one betrays and one cooperates, the betrayer moves up ten seats, and other down ten seats.
The event is presented as an initiation ritual of a freemason–esque secret society; service is run by servers in hooded robes and the game is arbitrated by a dour, unsympathetic master of ceremony, who punctuate the courses with grave speeches describing the discovery of the game in the court of Charlemagne in the eighth century.
From the participant’s point of view, aside from getting to play a game and try a variety of different foods, the main attraction is that they get to move around the table and talk to a variety of people throughout dinner. The iterated prisoner’s dilemma is famous for creating very complex social dynamics, which keeps conversation lively and generates a high eagerness to continue playing.