Andrew Ross Sorkin
has been digging around in the FDIC’s charter, and has discovered that
it is barred from incurring any obligation greater than $30 billion.
Which is a bit inconvenient, seeing as how it’s about to guarantee as
much as $1 trillion as part of the PPIP bank bailout program.
The sneaky way that the FDIC is getting around this obstacle is to
say that the value of those obligations is actually zero, since zero is
the “expected cost to the corporation”.
Or so it seems. There are other co-bloggers from the Earth Institute as well.
Lots of data about what we think and do. Many of us started blogging in 2003, which to me suggests people are either natural bloggers or not. Many of us think that "fix banks" should be Obama's top priority and many of us see health insurance issues as hindering innovation.
Leigh Caldwell offers up some data:
Surprisingly (at least to me), economics bloggers are more
agreeable than not. "Agree" articles (category 3) showed up more than
twice as often as "disagree" (category 4). When measured by titles, the
trend is not so clear, with a majority "agree" articles (category 1)
when measured over the last two months but more "disagree" (category 2)
when taking the last 7 days alone.
So far, so good and indeed Leigh is a smart fellow to see the truth of that. There is, however, a villain in the piece and dear reader it is you:
However, blog readers are
not so magnanimous. On the content measure, the mean number of comments
on an "is right" article (category 3) is 3.66, while there are an
average of 6 comments on an "is wrong" article (category 4).
the title filter is used, the difference is even greater: there are no
comments at all on the category 1 ("genius") articles, and an average
of 21.6 on category 2 ("idiot")!
Are bloggers simply nicer people than readers? (Or should I say "all you idiots"?) How would blog comments change if they were attached to your real name like glue and came up any time someone googled the commentator? Which of us is the real human, the blog reader or the blog writer?
Ben Casnocha theorizes as to which is the most natural "you."
It is the very very smart Jeff Ely and Sandeep Baliga, at cheeptalk.wordpress.com, writing in very readable English. Here is Jeff's post on losing originality to gain influence. Here is a post on a ten patient kidney donor chain. I very much look forward to reading this blog in the future.
…is soon to be Bill Kristol's replacement at The New York Times. This is a Pareto improvement for everyone but The Atlantic Monthly and readers of Ross's old blog (hey, that's a lot of people!). Let's hope that he, like Krugman, continues to blog in addition to writing his column. In the meantime, do you all have advice or requests for Ross?
Addendum: He will still blog!
“Part of the reason we don’t spend a lot of time looking at blogs,” he
said, “is because if you haven’t looked at it very carefully, then you
may be under the impression that somehow there’s a clean answer one way
or another – well, you just nationalize all the banks, or you just
leave them alone and they’ll be fine.”
It does seem, however, he has been reading some other blogs, or at least he is told about them.
Addendum: Alan Blinder has a very good column on the topic.
The Stash, find it here (link now repaired), Noam Scheiber is a major (the only?) contributor.
We are pleased to announce that Fabio Rojas, newly-minted sociologist (Chicago) and intellectual bon vivant now teaching at Indiana University at Bloomington, will be doing a stint of guest blogging with us at the Marginal Revolution. We look forward to his insights!
For his earlier posts on how blogging has evolved, click here and here. He predicts the ascendancy of academic bloggers, who are used to giving away ideas for free. He also argues that blogging promotes excess certainty of opinion. He cites a Rand Corporation document on how easily electronic communications are misunderstood and lead to unnecessary hard feelings.
On corporate law and governance, check out the new Corporation Law and Economics, with occasional discussions of wine as well. Stephen Bainbridge, main blogger, is professor of law at UCLA.
I also learned of a blog on neuroeconomics. Neuroeconomics is a new “movement,” I would define it as trying to better understand economic choice by looking inside the individual brain. Neuroeconomists take the Austrian economists literally in viewing choice as a process. My colleagues Kevin McCabe and Dan Houser are central to this research, they spend much of their time with brain scanners, trying to see which parts of the brain are used for which kinds of economic decisions. Neuroeconomics is a new field, and spans the disciplines, which makes a blog especially useful.
It looks like our short-lived technical difficulties are over (cross fingers!). If all continues to be well we should now be available at our permanent address, www.MarginalRevolution.com which is easier to remember than http://MarginalRevolution.blogs.com (the old address will continue to work just fine of course as they map to the same place). I have a question for the techies. Do different browsers use different DNS servers? I was very puzzled to find that the new address worked from IE at least several minutes earlier (and perhaps longer) than from Mozilla. Email me if you know the answer.