Assorted Links (10/31/2009)

Here’s a list of articles that I have been reading today (organized by topic):

Finance and the Financial Crisis

  • Efficient Market Theory and the Crisis, by Jeremy Siegel

“Neither the rating agencies’ mistakes nor the overleveraging by financial firms was the fault of an academic hypothesis.”

Foreign Policy

  • The Tenacity Question, by David Brooks

“Military experts say that President Obama is intellectually sophisticated, but they do not know if he has the determination needed from a war president.”

  • Obama’s Afghanistan ‘drift’, by Charles Krauthammer

“Is there anything he (Barack Obama) hasn’t blamed George W. Bush for? The economy, global warming, the credit crisis, Middle East stalemate, the deficit, anti-Americanism abroad — everything but swine flu. It’s as if Obama’s presidency hasn’t really started. He’s still taking inventory of the Bush years. Just this Monday, he referred to ‘long years of drift’ in Afghanistan in order to, I suppose, explain away his own, well, yearlong drift on Afghanistan.”

Health Care Reform

  • Updating the legislative scenarios: Reply hazy, ask again later, by Keith Hennessey

Here’s how one of my favorite policy wonks (Keith Hennessey) is handicapping the health care reform legislative “process” that is currently going on inside the Beltway…

Math and Statistics

  • Number-Crushing: When Figures Get Personal, by Carl Bialik

“Real-Estate Developers Factor In Love of 6 and 8, Fear of Unlucky 4 and 13; What Happened to Floors 40 Through 59?”  Mr. Bialik’s blog entry entitled “


  • We’re Governed by Callous Children, by Peggy Noonan

“When I see those in government, both locally and in Washington, spend and tax and come up each day with new ways to spend and tax—health care, cap and trade, etc.—I think: Why aren’t they worried about the impact of what they’re doing? Why do they think America is so strong it can take endless abuse?”

Public Policy

This blog posting by Professor Mankiw shows how the tax burden, expressed in terms of “average marginal” personal tax rates, has changed over time during the period 1912–2006.

  • Why You Can’t Get the Swine Flu Vaccine, by Scott Gottlieb

“U.S. regulations are too cautious. Europe has adopted a more sensible approach.”

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