Assorted Links (5/22/2010)

Here’s a list of articles that I have been reading lately:

Report: Majority Of Government Doesn’t Trust Citizens Either
Source: www.theonion.com
“According to the poll – which surveyed members of the judicial, legislative, and executive branches – 9 out of 10 government officials reported feeling “disillusioned” by the populace and claimed to have “completely lost confidence” in the citizenry’s ability to act in the nation’s best interests.”
From The Onion…

A Pessimistic View of the Health Care System
Source: jeffreymiron.com
“Regarding the changes taking place in health care, from a physician’s perspective I think that our pay will be cut, the patient loads will be much higher, we will continue to face frivolous lawsuits, the …”

Public Pensions Headed for Disaster – Business – The Atlantic

Source: www.theatlantic.com
“The New York Times has a practically libertarian-sounding article on public pensions.”

Edward Jay Epstein: Goldman and Washington’s Wall Street Takeover – WSJ.com
Source: online.wsj.com
“In The Wall Street Journal, Edward Jay Epstein says that the SEC case that Goldman Sachs defrauded investors in its Abacus 2007-AC1 fund is weak, but it has helped the government justify sweeping new powers over the financial industry.”

Peter J. Wallison: Republicans and Obama’s New Deal – WSJ.com

Source: online.wsj.com

“In The Wall Street Journal, AEI senior fellow Peter J. Wallison says that the GOP should have filibustered and never allowed the Dodd bill to reach the Senate floor.”

John C. Goodman: Goodbye, Employer-Sponsored Insurance – WSJ.com
Source: online.wsj.com
“In The Wall Street Journal, John C. Goodman writes that companies are discovering that it’s cheaper to pay fines to the government than to cover workers.”

Mortimer Zuckerman: The Bankrupting of America – WSJ.com
Source: online.wsj.com
“In The Wall Street Journal, Mortimer Zuckerman writes that we have a ruinous collaboration of elected officials and unionized public workers.”

Can you tell the difference between real and “fake” stock prices? New study says that most people can

Source: mindyourdecisions.com

“There’s a neat online video game that tests whether you can identify real stock data from randomized, generated data. The game is called ARORA, an abbreviation for “a random or real array” of prices.”

The Reduced Credit Act – WSJ.com
Source: online.wsj.com
“The Wall Street Journal writes that an amendment to the financial reform bill in the Senate would give banks another reason not to lend.”

Bruised but Not Out: A Bullish View on the Future of Financial Innovation
Source: knowledge.wharton.upenn.edu
“The Great Recession has given a black eye to the tools of financial innovation. Collateralized debt obligations, synthetic derivatives and other once-arcane investment vehicles are now the poster boys …”

Making the Simple Complicated – Economix Blog – NYTimes.com

Source: economix.blogs.nytimes.com

“Domestic legislation to tax the economic damage wrought by greenhouse gases is problematic, an economist says.”

Management: Pithy questions | The Economist
Source: www.economist.com
“This paper presents a market equilibrium model of CEO assignment, pay and incentives under risk aversion and heterogeneous moral hazard. Each of the three outcomes can be summarized by a single closed-form equation.”

An Enduring Culture of Free Enterprise – The American, A Magazine of Ideas

Source: www.american.com
“Despite the bruising it has taken, support for free enterprise and the capitalist system remains robust.”

The Clearinghouse Rescue Plan
Source: online.wsj.com
“As miracle cures go, clearinghouses for derivatives seem to be everyone’s favorite. By requiring that most swap contracts be settled daily through institutions that collect and spread financial risk, Congress and Treasury claim that we can all sleep better at night without fear of more AIGs.  Sorry to break this reverie, but if this is true, why does Senator Chris Dodd’s financial bill give clearinghouses access to the Federal Reserve’s discount window? That’s the special Fed lending facility that is typically available only to banks that can’t get the funding they need elsewhere. Does the Senator know something most Americans do not?”

Obama and the ‘Special Relationship’
Source: online.wsj.com
“In stark contrast to the stratospheric hopes that Mr. Obama would dramatically improve America’s relations with the world in general and the U.K. in particular, a full 74% of the British people now think that their relationship with the U.S. has stayed the same or even worsened since Mr. Obama’s election.”

The IRS Cracks Down on Small Charities
Source: online.wsj.com
“For many small charities in the United States, May 17 may be remembered as the day their tax exemptions died. This was the deadline for charities with annual revenues of less than $25,000 to file Form 990 with the IRS.”

Vanguard’s Bailout Warning
Source: online.wsj.com
“Speaking of too big to fail (see above), Senate Democrats continue to claim that their pending financial reform bill will end bailouts. But when even a potential beneficiary is warning about the financial favoritism that will result, taxpayers have every right to demand that Senators scrap their “resolution process” for too-big-to-fail banks.”

Politicians As Plutocrats

Source: online.wsj.com

“As ‘state capitalism’ grows abroad, state intervention in the economy grows at home.”

Micro-Managing Again!

Source: w4.stern.nyu.edu

Quoting from this article, written by finance professor Robert Whitelaw at NYU, “You might think that the Senate has enough to do attempting to save the country from another financial crisis. Measuring and regulating systemic risk, orderly liquidation of failing financial institutions, Freddie and Fannie, rating agencies–the list of critical issues is long and the problems are complex. However, significant regulatory reform is apparently not enough to keep our diligent Senators busy. A couple of weeks ago Senator Tom Harkin took the time out to propose capping ATM fees, and this past week the Senate approved an amendment put forward by Senator Richard Durbin to reduce the “swipe fees” that banks and other companies charge on credit and debit card transactions.”

Mount St. Helens, 30 years ago – The Big Picture – Boston.com
Source: www.boston.com
“On May 18th, 1980, thirty years ago today, at 8:32 a.m., the ground shook beneath Mount St. Helens in Washington state as a magnitude 5.1 earthquake struck, setting off one of the largest landslides in recorded history – the entire north slope of the volcano slid away.”

Massachusetts Insurers Post Big Losses – Business – The Atlantic

Source: www.theatlantic.com
“When MassCare passed, it was supposed to lower the average cost of healthcare by getting relatively cheap young people into the system, and ending the inefficiencies of caring for the uninsured.  Unfortunately, it hasn’t quite worked out that way.”

Scott Gottlieb: No, You Can’t Keep Your Health Plan – WSJ.com
Source: online.wsj.com
“In the Wall Street Journal, Dr. Scott Gottlieb writes that insurers and doctors are already consolidating their businesses in response to Obamacare.”

Moheb Zaki: Egypt’s Persecuted Christians – WSJ.com

Source: online.wsj.com

“In The Wall Street Journal, Moheb Zaki of the Ibn Khaldun Center in Cairo notes that violence against Copts is on the rise, yet all but ignored by the state.”

John H. Cochrane: Greek Myths and the Euro Tragedy – WSJ.com

Source: online.wsj.com

“John H. Cochrane writes in The Wall Street Journal that the Greek bail-out won’t work. Germany and France simply cannot borrow or tax enough to cover Europe’s debts and looming deficits.”

Why Does Academia Treat Its Workforce So Badly? – Business – The Atlantic
Source: www.theatlantic.com
“A piece on adjuncts in Inside Higher Ed has been attracting a lot of attention among academics of my acquaintance.”

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