Sunday assorted links


1. Does Krugman believe that we get "goods" from Santa Claus and the Easter Bunny?

Five years ago I moved to Vietnam for reasons not entirely related to business. My background was finance, computers and pool. I had seen too many people in my field crash and burn, sit and rot or gradually assimilate into their clothing. I opted to duck and run, you could say. I was tired of the cat chase. The women were interested in the cars I drove and the wine I could order, but not much else. Today, however, I am dating a woman one quarter my age who is happy to please me simply because I am a tall American who knows a thing or two. Most of my time is spent on the beach playing high-stakes bridge with European ex-pats.

From my perspective it is obvious that Greece will rally to be the leading economy in Europe by 2030, although it will do so under a military dictatorship.

ESPN. Why do Americans waste so much time thinking about sports?

These parody commentators are so awesome.

"From my perspective it is obvious that Greece will rally to be the leading economy in Europe by 2030, although it will do so under a military dictatorship."
Speaking of Greece, Adenauer (I can't deny he was an insightful man and more) refused to lend Brazil money in its time of need, but I am glad to see the Germans found far worthier objects for their well-known largesse.

Greece had an economic boom under the last military dictatorship.

So did Brazil in the same time frame (late 60's-early 70's), everyone was, back then, you know. A few years later, the Brazilian economy went into a tailspin and the country was unable to service its debt. Maybe the juntas whom the (Greek) gods love die young. But I was asking why "the leading" economy and why he is so sure the man in a white (Trojan) horse will arrive to save Greece.

Don't think he's junior. One quarter age? Age 15 means he's 60, 20 means he's 80.

This is the world of online sports will be like if ESPN continues to dominate this space. Videos that start unprompted as soon as you click on any ESPN page/story. Videos that tease you into thinking that you are going to see key highlights of a match -- sort of what the headline led you to believe -- only to see the video was a (portion of) post-game analysis or an unrelated interview. And every time you hit and missed, you had to put up with a pre-video commercial that (after a few minutes of "watching" exposed you to something like a ratio of 15 sec of commercials for about one minute of "story".


ESPN is pretty lame. I pretty much only check scores on that website now that Bill Simmons is gone.

1. "Before today, I had only ever experienced Krugman via his acerbic, blithely partisan NYT columns. He was much more reasonable—and ultimately, persuasive—in person." It's not so much that Krugman is acerbic, it's that he uses ridicule to criticize those with whom he disagrees. I hate ridicule, and . and I hate sarcasm, whether from the left or the right. Parody? Well. There's an expression that people learn nothing beyond high school. I'm not so sure about that, but it's true that minds close by the time people finish high school. I read Jonathan Haidt's book, The Righteous Mind: Why Good People are Divided by Politics and Religion (Haidt being one of the "top global thinkers"), in an effort to better understand why people close their minds to new or different ideas. Unfortunately, in his book Haidt mocks liberals and praises conservatives by the descriptives he assigns to them, so even academics who address the subject have closed minds. Parody?

I really like pre-Bush Krugman's books.

Pre-Bush Krugman is 1990s Krugman, when he was in his 30s and still an economist.

He was 40 or older for the best part of the 90s, he was born in 1953, but yes, he was different-it was a different time, we all were younger then, weren't we?- criticizing early-Clinton's mercantilist approach to international trade, doubting bigger expenses in infraestructure would have led to much better outcomes, seriously weighting cultural explanations for America's lackluster economic performance. Those were the days.

Today, we live in a world where trade has never been freer and where the average percentage tariff charged on U.S. imports is in the low single digits and where there has been a worldwide depression that has entered its seventh year. Isn't it part of the job of someone who comments on current affairs to, well, actually react to current issues instead of recycling old chestnuts from the 1990s? It seems to me the events in Greece might deserve more attention right now than, say, sugar tariffs.

My point is, he was not a Democratic Party mouthpiece, he actually dare to disagree with democratics when their plans flew in face of economic wisdom.
"It seems to me the events in Greece might deserve more attention right now than, say, sugar tariffs"
I am pretty sure that concernings with the fairly recent Greek crisis were the reason behind his partisan writings between 2000 and 2008. I mentioned a few subjects on which he had deviated from the liberal political consensus in the 90s, I do not think the knee-jerk leftist reaction became evidence of wisdom just because Clinton left the White House.

Haidt is a liberal, by his own admission.
Perhaps you aren't as far above the partisan fray as you thought.

"it’s that he uses ridicule to criticize those with whom he disagrees"

He only uses ridicule on the people who are obvious charlatans. The people he ridicules the most are those who claim to have grand policy proposals but don't disclose the details. All they would need to do to deliver a crushing blow to Krugman would be to provide details - and yet they never do, preferring to just complain that Krugman is being rude for mocking them for the lack of detail.

One of the recent objects of ridicule is the Republican Party over its alleged plan to repeal and replace ObamaCare. All the Republicans need to do is to actually publish a plan and then all say they support the plan. If they did that then we could have a proper debate about the merits. As it is, all there is to do is to ridicule the Republicans for not having a plan.

Charlatans like market monetarists, the current Tory government, and Merkel?

Yet he supports Syriza. Hmm...

Who decides who is a charlatan?

"Charlatans like market monetarists, the current Tory government, and Merkel?"

Yes. But I really had Paul Ryan top of mind.

Actually, I am not sure that I have seen Krugman actually ridicule Merkel although he pretty obviously disagrees with her on how to deal with the financial issues in Europe generally.

Market monetarists and the Tory government deserve to be ridiculed and so do the Bush brothers, the Tea Party, southern conservatives, the conservative justices on SCOTUS and John Boehner. If anything Krugman is too gentle with his criticisms.

No, it is Krugman and the Left who deserves to be ridiculed.

There's nothing ridiculous about Market Monetarism or the Tory government. The conservative justices on SCOTUS are not charlatans, they are national liberators.

Krugman only mocks people who deserve to be mocked, i.e. people I don't like. He is a hero and a national treasure

And John Cochrane as well.

"And John Cochrane as well."

Cochrane treats anyone who disagrees with him with open contempt. He is worse than Krugman.

"The conservative justices on SCOTUS are not charlatans,"

We will have to differ about that. I personally think that Scalia's choice of words was so inappropriate as to be evidence of mental illness.

Pacem, E. Harding.

The major weakness of economists generally is that they haven't a firm grasp on the workings of the real world and make broad-brush statements that are accepted as truth by drooling liberal ideologues. Can you name one economist that was not blind-sided by the 2006 to 2008 financial catastrophe? They didn't because they are ideologues supporting a chimera, not scholars seeking the Truth.

I try to read Cochrane linked off this site. He is better than most.

But, here's a look at a recent Grumpy Econ post.

"How is a Greek default different from a Puerto Rican default?"

"Answer: because Puerto Rico doesn't have its own banking system. It can't shut down banks. Banks in Puerto Rico are not loaded up on Puerto Rico debt, so depositors are not in danger if the state government defaults."

In fact, the Commonwealth Hacienda charters local banks. History shows the PR government revoked scores of local bank charters when said banks became insolvent. The depositors generally were not in financial danger because the deposits are insured up to $250,000 by the US FDIC. In fact, PR banks remain "loaded up" on legacy RE loans from the RE bubble crash and have concentrations in PR Commonwealth debt, local government debt, and PREPA debt. The question is whether the amounts of write-downs will make the banks insolvent or unrecoverable interest payments will severely affect liquidity (the capability to economically - not at sales losses - pay liabilities/depositor withdrawal demands, etc) and cause the need to be closed by the Commonwealth Hacienda (Treasury) and liquidated by the FDIC. In April 2010, the Commonwealth closed three larger banks (Eurobank, RG Premiere Bank, and WesternBank) in PR and the FDIC liquidation were approximately 20% of closed assets. PR's Doral Bank was recently shuttered by the Hacienda at a heavy cost to the FDI Fund.

"Puerto Rico, like Greece, uses a common currency. But there is no question of PRexit, that people wake up one morning and their dollar bank accounts are suddenly PR Peso bank accounts. So they have no reason to run and get cash out."

True. FDIC insurance generally insures against bank runs, except for general creditors and over-the-limit depositors who may need to get their dollars out.

"Banks in New York are also not loaded up on Puerto Rico debt. US bank regulators haven't said that those banks can pretend Puerto Rico debt is risk free." Does Grumpy have evidence? I saw internal US regulator communications allowing a "head in the sand" approach to the PR debt crisis.

"If a Puerto Rican bank fails, any large US bank can quickly take it over and keep it running."

Not really. Over the years the US and PR governments have only once allowed a mainland bank take over a failed PR bank, and that new bank was spurned by the local people. See Girod Trust Company 1983.

"A Puerto Rican government default will be a mess. Just like the default of a large business in Puerto Rico. But it will not mean a bank run, crisis, and economic paralysis."

Probably true because of FDIC and financial reporting conventions (note that I refrain from using the word, "chicanery"). But, will the PR government or PREPA or the banks be able to operate after the debacle? Iduuno, I don't see how it will be so different than the Greece debacle. .

"The people he ridicules the most are those who claim to have grand policy proposals but don’t disclose the details."

No, the article said he supported Obamacare.

Tyler what do you think about the Eurogroup proposal? Even if Tsipras agrees to it, and parliaments votes for it, how can the Europeans be confident that the measures will actually be applied/enforced in practice?

David Boaz also tweeted at couple of at least semi-complimentary things about Krugman:

Krugman, meanwhile, is still his usual charming self:

Yesterday, for my sins, I went to Freedomfest, the libertarian conclave in Las Vegas, to debate Stephen Moore of the Heritage Foundation. It went pretty much as you might expect: evidence, evidence, evidence versus Reagan, Reagan, Reagan.

Classic Krugman. Describes the debate as "evidence, evidence, evidence versus Reagan, Reagan, Reagan" without actually, you know, giving any examples. Then he proves the success of the ACA by showing a graph that shows the rate of uninsured has declined. Wow, who would have expected that? After the government mandated having insurance, more people are insured!

"After the government mandated having insurance, more people are insured!"

And the government gave a lot more insurance away for free (Medicaid expansion) and then subsidized another huge chuck. But yes, giving away "free" stuff and having people take the "free" stuff is a sure sign of success. /Sarcasm

New York Times columnist Paul Krugman and Heritage Foundation economist Stephen Moore faced off in a much-heralded debate over economic policy at FreedomFest on Thursday.

"Columnist" vs. "Economist." Strange choice of terms. Moore is pretty much a clown.

“What my research shows is [with the minimum wage] you get a reduction in the labor force participation rate of teenagers,” said Moore.

Where exactly is this "research" Moore claims to have done?

Moore claimed that “red states,” which have adopted more free-market policies, are performing better, economically speaking, than “blue states.”

Gee. And Krugman has the nerve to ask for evidence.

Before today, I had only ever experienced Krugman via his acerbic, blithely partisan NYT columns.

Then you shouldn't be writing this article.

#1 Is there video, audio, or transcript of the Moore/Krugman debate?

#6: ESPN depends too much on people talking and it's boring to death. Sport clips of 3-5 min long are far more interesting, even for people who is not into sports.

It's awful. Endless debates by stupid people who probably don't even believe the puerile views they are spouting, but their job is to make some argument so they just keep droning on with endless platitudes. Usually about the NFL, even though the NFL is only 4 months long. In March turn on ESPN any time of day and there are two idiots arguing about fantasy football.

I don't think that ESPN makes its money from PTI and Skip Bayless; these are just attempts to fill up airtime instead of showing stale Sportscenters on repeat. ESPN gets its money from broadcast rights to live sports and will do so for the foreseeable future. (For what it's worth, ESPN's TV NBA coverage surpassed the flagging TNT's a few years ago and is now perhaps even good. Grantland is of course a spectacularly good source of NBA writing.)

Steve Moore! It is like Paul Krugman selected the weakest sufficiently well known classical liberal to debate and still he had to backed up to quite reasonable positions. The left should be angry with him IMHO.


What I would pay to see Krugman debate David Friedman about...anything in the world.

4. Bolivia? They killed Butch and the Kid. They can all drown in the mar de lagrimas as far as I'm concerned.

And they killed Che. So a great country all around.

#4 The difference between talkers and doers.

"Landlocked Mongolia's Seafaring Tradition"

"Mongolia, the world's largest landlocked country, with its capital almost 1,000 miles from an ocean beach, is the latest entry in the business of flags of convenience. "


Landlocked Switzerland won international ocean yacht racing the America's cup.

"In the Société Nautique de Genève yacht club, cow bells clanged and champagne flowed as hundreds saw Bertarelli achieve victory not only for a European country for the first time, but for a country without a coastline."

But the Swiss, or at least those around lake Geneva have a long tradition of recreational sailing. Wheras the mongols have the devine wind

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