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#2 The Economist says, reasonably enough, that that the informal economy has limits. But the first two of the three "costs" it mentions are:

" Few people pay tax, hurting the public finances. Because so many people rely on moneylenders to borrow, and gold to save, the central bank has little control over swathes of the economy, making it harder to fight inflation."

In both cases the concern seems that the informal economy is not under the thumb of government. There is some nod to explaining why that is a bad thing, but TE doesn't try very hard. Can we expect the various governments of India to actually spend those marginal rupees better than the tax-dodging peasants. And how does hiding money under your pillow increase inflation?

but when the price of gold rises, IT'S INFLATION!!

Err, that was #5, not #2. Now that the comment delay is fixed, can we have an edit button?

#3 is going to go bankrupt once they discover

See also this rollup foot bridge in London - not large, but interesting:

#2 - Prices suggest Bob Dylan is more likely to win the Nobel Prize in Literature than Thomas Pynchon. How could that be?

Seems reasonable knowing Swedish academic tastes. Dylan would be way out there and exciting, Pynchon is less likely to get a Nobel than almost any major American writer, and even quite a few minor ones.

How many American writers write the sort of novels and/or poems that a Swedish intellectual bureaucrat wants to teach? I can tell you there are very very few.

Yes, it's probably is true that I have no idea what the average Swedish intellectual bureaucrat wants to teach. As an aside, I find this to be a very informative response to my post.

Perhaps this also explains why I keep predicting Eugene Fama will win the Econ prize - even though he clearly (to me) should have won it 15 years ago.

My extensive reading of Nordic crime fiction (OK, my intermittent TV watching of same) suggests that Swedes like novels that brutalise women while remaining loathesomely politically correct. So basically they want to torture their mothers and wives to death but don't want people to think they are out of the mainstream.

So on that basis I would have thought Norman Mailer would have appealled to them. Come to think of it there aren't that few. A wife beating Leftist seems pretty much a job description for a great many pre-1990 writers.

#4 - multi page paper to explain what a trader once described to me perfectly as "flight to trash."

Rates go down, investors reach for yield. Doesn't take a rocket scientist (or an economist) to figure it out...

Is betting on what the Fed will do next considered highbrow or lowbrow?

You don't need a bookie to place a bet on that.

Can we expect the various governments of India to actually spend those marginal rupees better than the tax-dodging peasants

LOL, who knows, but regardless of the answer you'll never stop the tax man from taxing. Ideally, India would develop high quality institutions, determine how much money is required to run them and then tax appropriately and fairly. However, there aren't many (any?) nations on Earth that do that very well.

Well these guys are pretty effectively stopping the tax man.

But the question is about whether it would be a good thing to bring these jobs into the formal sector. The fact that formal jobs cam be taxed is not an obvious plus.

One reason a singer-songwriter like Dylan is seriously considered is that many European countries (well, at least Russia and France, the only two I know much about) have for the last 50 years or so idolized, in each generation, 2 or 3 vaguely serious poets who accompanied themselves on guitar and sang lots of love and protest songs on fairly unoriginal but memorable melodies (unoriginal is not an insult here - they would never have claimed to be first class musicians). They had a tendency to die young (establishing one's Bohemian creds day in and out for years ruins your health) and to risk arrest, also bad for your health (the arrests based on their legitimate and illegitimate protests, the jailing not as bad for your health as dying young but still an overall medical negative). So Dylan's longevity makes him a good representative (there are vanishingly few posthumous Nobels) Most Russians would say that "bards" like Okudzhava and Vysotsky had enough literary talent to be considered genuine poets (I would agree, naming Koltsov and Esenin as earlier examples), and since the French, considered from a certain angle, love everything French as the apple of their eye, a Dylan victory to them would be seen almost as a patriotic victory for their own local bards . I guess, without knowing for sure (although I suppose, as a music-lover, that any country with a Karen Carpenter or an Abba can support a Dylan or a Swedish equivalent to Dylan), that Sweden would be no different.

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4."If the Fed’s control of long-term rates depends in substantial part on the induced buying and selling behavior of other investors, our grip on the steering wheel is not as tight as it otherwise might be."
This is certainly comforting. If we could translate the Fed into a car and took it out on the road, it would be veering from side to side, hitting the guardrails and the concrete median and would be a battered mess after a short trip. The belief that you can drive such a car on a precise path is scary.

Self-driving (or at least remotely driven) trains could be built now, but they're not.

Perhaps it's because of the sense that since a runaway train can cause tremendous damage, we're all safer when its driver is on board (and therefore personally at risk if something goes wrong)?

Would the public tolerate self-driving local-delivery trucks? Long-distance trucks? Urban or intercity buses?

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