Assorted links, second dose

1. Air Genius Gary Leff is hailed by CNN.

2. Good post on interest rates (though I am not sure I agree with it).  Brad DeLong comments.  Critically important stuff and two of the best recent economics blog posts, in some time.

3. The world's first native Klingon speaker?

4. Spider silk tapestry.

5. Via Yana, France's hamster hotel, and here.


Ok, I had a hard time believing it but Krugman convinced me that the establishment is really that dumb. Rates are going to stay at zero and I am selling all bonds and going all in on the natural resource is trash.

2. PK is such a politician. Anyway, I hope these people being employed are honing real skills.

I have read about the father who tries to raise his son as speaking Klingon before and as I recall the practical problem was that Klingon's lexicon was inadequate, which isn't surprising as it was created by one man over a finite span rather than many people interacting with one another over millennia. It's probably a harmless curiosity as the child would surely acquire English through socialization with his peers. The child will probably rebel against the use of Klingon at some point after he begins to realize that nobody else around him speaks it. It would be mildly interesting to know what Klingon-accented English might sound like, but I doubt that we'll have the chance.

The spider's-silk tapestry is remarkable and I would love to have the rare chance to feel it. I wonder if spider's silk has any future in purposes other than such curiosities. I have sometimes heard of efforts to synthesize it, but really wonder if there might be some niche market for luxury goods made of it.


from a non economist at every level:

isnt the point that if you can finance stimulative spending with really cheap long term debt, the resulting gain in economic activity (gdp) will end up bring in more revenues over the long term and prevent real long term damage being done to the economy?

#1 airline miles – did anyone notice that Charles Witt acquired his millions of free air miles “on business† as a “US government employee†? Business? I bet public service explains a good % of the bonanza. Of course this is something that even leftist academics remain totally silent about. 2nd bet – I bet most academics would secretly admit that if it were not for the way in which utterly useless informal networking norms influence job promotions and publication promotions they would not *really* need to go to international conferences and have lots of fun at taxpayer expense. Academe spawned the internet, but it also spawned a huge travel industry. Doth not a contradiction lie therein? You can ‘travel’ perfectly well by internet. Do you really need to eyeball your intellectual peers? For years I had an academic job that demanded travel twice a year to Latin America from Australia to chat personally with aussie students on exchange. It was strange and unnecessary. I dreamed of adventure – I would rescue a few from the clutches of secret service police in a fascist dictatorship or drug traffickers in Bolivia. No, it was often just 30 minutes each in a cafeteria of downtown Mexico City. Santiago, Buenos Aires, etc. But check the map... there is hardly a *longer* journey in the world. I clocked up mucho miles. The worst thing about the frequent flyer thing is that when the bonanza finally peters out the airline – of course – downgrades you. One day they chopped my ‘silver’ luggage label before my eyes, as though it was a disowned credit card! I was grief stricken.

Now we face the prospect of a prolonged period of near-zero short-term rates — I don’t see any reason for the Fed funds rate to rise for at least a year, and probably two — which should mean substantially lower long rates even if you expect yields eventually to rise back to 2005 levels. And if we’re facing a Japanese-type lost decade, which seems all too possible, long rates are in fact still unreasonably high.

But what if we don't get a prolonged period of near-zero interest rates? The reason can be whatever you like -- inflation, economic recovery, some other government issuing cheaper short term debt, or people just getting tired of zero returns. That puts you right back in the original problem of offering more debt than people want to buy.

And one last point: I just don’t think the inner circle gets how much danger we’re in from another vicious circle, one that’s real, not hypothetical. The longer high unemployment drags on, the greater the odds that crazy people will win big in the midterm elections — dooming us to economic policy failure on a truly grand scale.

What if the problem is that the crazy people won the last election, and people are battening down the hatches until they see a return to sanity? You can play this game of politics thinly disguised as economic analysis forever.

The spider's-silk tapestry? I have never heard of such thing althought it sounds very nice.I guess sometimes technology can do wonders.I wonder what more can people invent.easysaver complaints

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