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A $1B endowment for each of the top 700 US universities? It might be enough to kick-start free colleges in the US.

I'll take that as pragmatic parody. The real point (I think) is that $700B dumped anywhere is a stimulus. $700B dumped as endowments would go immediately to investments, of various sorts. I really don't know where a $700B dump would have the best short and long term events ... but spending it "only" to get back to the same place seems disappointing. It's like spending $700 to fix your car's transmission ... and getting back a car that only works as well as it used to.

odogrph,
"but spending it "only" to get back to the same place seems disappointing."

I agree. isn't it then logical to ask if it is possible that maybe some benefit more than others...like perhaps those who are using scare tactics and the entire media establishment to push this?

and if those questions lead to certain people then shouldn't we then decrease our trust in those certain people and perhaps all participate in public humiliation of these people?

We know that investors hold a lot of Asset Backed Securities (ABS) out there. Some are probably diamonds and some are probably turnips. People who talk about us making back a lot of money (more than we would make investing in education, say) probably have a perception that well get a healthy mix of diamonds in with the turnips.

But just stop and think about it ... assuming that ABS holders know what they hold ... which are they going to off-load? Will the government have as much visibility into or control over what they are getting?

(The mainstream, barely up on what ABS are in the first place, still too much consider them equal, interchangeable, fungible.)

Tyler,

A question I'd love to see you address: Who do you think is the most "underrated" economist in the profession?

I know that term is vague, but it's perhaps better that way, as I'm also interested which concepts/ideas/methods in economics you believe are undervalued.

Shiller and Roubini? I'm pretty sure Feldstein and Fama have to wait another year.

Back from two weeks out of the country. Posted on possible
Nobels before then on Econospeak. Mankiw focuses on heavily
cited and is usually wrong. One of his picks for this year
would be an outrage.

My picks (five groups):

1) Bhagwati and Dixit, probably with another (many possible
choices on that) for the long overlooked internationla trade
in the year that the Doha Round finally collapsed.

2) Baumol, for lots of things

3) Tullock and Krueger, possibly with a third (Kornai?), for
rent seeking (a perennial, but the time may have arrived)

4) Easterlin for fathering happiness studies, if not happiness

5) A combo of Fama-Thaler-Mandelbrot for finance. Fama alone,
or with somebody else equally wrong of his ilk such as French,
would be nearly as bad as the extremely undeserving individual
selected by Mankiw. Mandelbrot does not get on many lists, but
he was the first to point out the very salient this year stylized
fact of fat tails in financial markets (power law distributions),
not to mention volatility clustering. A lot more important than
all the junk Fama has done. Putting the three I mentioned together
would cover the ball park pretty well, with Thaler bringing in the
clearly also very relevant now behavioral finance stuff.

if you use them in correct you will get a lot of knowledge

Is it realistic?

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