Assorted Links (11/9/2009)

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



  • Does Your Optimizer Need a Tune-Up?, by Gene Fama and Ken French

“The realized equity premium for U.S. stocks relative to long-term government bonds has been negative for the 5, 10, 15, 20, and 25-year periods ending in 2008 despite substantially greater standard deviation for stocks. How do I use this information to develop a sensible portfolio based on mean-variance optimization?”

Foreign Policy

“Reagan deliberately confronted criminal regimes with what they fear most: the publicly spoken truth about their moral weakness.”

  • Why the Berlin Wall Fell

“From Truman to Reagan, the benefits of moral clarity.”

Health Care Reform

  • Has Additional Insurer Consolidation Increased Premiums?, by Austin Frakt

Austin Frakt provides a useful summary of a new National Bureau of Economic Research (NBER) paper entitled “Paying a Premium on Your Premium? Consolidation in the U.S. Health Insurance Industry”.  Dr. Frakt notes that the “…authors’ main results are that due to increases in insurer concentration: (1) Between 1998 and 2006 premiums increased 2.1 percent. (2) Between 1999 and 2002 physician earnings declined by 2 percent. And (3) over the same period health worker employment declined 2.4 percent.”

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