Assorted Links (11/5/2010)

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

Tuesday’s story

“Two words: Narrative, schmarrative.”

RealClearMarkets – Why QE2 Won’t — and Can’t — Work

“QE2, to put it simply, does not address the fundamental problems the U.S. economy faces. It is preposterous to think that reducing medium-term interest rates by 25 to 50 basis points is going to lead to a significant increase in gross domestic product and a reduction in unemployment.”

Bastiat’s Petition

“…the special pleading of businessmen to be protected from the forces of competition is nothing new.”

Americans Vote for Maturity

“Obama gets a rebuke, but so do Republicans who seem unqualified, writes Peggy Noonan.”

Next Year’s Gerrymandering Free-For-All

John Fund writes in The Wall Street Journal that after the midterm elections, GOP legislators are in charge of redistricting in 17 states. Democrats won’t stand by passively.

What the Next Speaker Must Do

“In The Wall Street Journal, House Republican leader John Boehner writes that secrecy, arrogance, and the abuse of power have shattered the bonds of trust between the people and their elected leaders. Repairing that trust requires sweeping change, beginning with an end to earmarks.”

Money | FiveBooks 

Princeton’s Burton Malkiel, the author of the famous (an in my opinion, indispensable) book entitled “A Random Walk Down Wall Street” (cf. suggests five books on investing…

Freakonomics Radio: How Much Does the President Really Matter?

“After a throw-out-the-Dems mid-term election on Tuesday, with Republican promises to unwind Democratic legislation like healthcare reform and an economy that refuses to break into anything more than a cautious jog, we use the Freakonomics Radio podcast to pose a tough question: How much does the President really matter?”

George F. Will – A recoil against liberalism

“Voters rejected the expansion of government’s command and controls.”

Why We Can’t Help But Legislate Morality

“You can’t legislate morality” has become a common turn of phrase. The truth, however, is that every law and regulation that is proposed, passed, and enforced has inherent in it some idea of the good that it seeks to promote or preserve. Indeed, no governing authority can in any way be understood to

Meet the Suits

GMU economics professor Arnold Kling gives a glowing review of the forthcoming book (available November 16 on entitled “All the Devils are Here”. I am definitely going to read this book when it comes out. One of the book’s authors, Joe Nocera, published a compelling essay in the New York Times Magazine in… January 2009 entitled “Risk Mismanagement” (located at which I think is one of the best accounts of the financial crisis that I have read.

Milton Friedman vs. the Fed

“In The Wall Street Journal, Carnegie Mellon economist Allan H. Meltzer says that the Nobel laureate would never have endorsed increasing inflation to stimulate the economy, as the current Federal Reserve is going to do.”

Review & Outlook: More Monetary Cowbell

“The Wall Street Journal on another round of Federal Reserve quantitative easing.”

Review & Outlook: The Boehner Evolution

“House Republicans and the challenge of divided government.”

Estate tax, other taxes will rise if Congress doesn’t act

“The Bush tax cuts are due to expire at the year’s end. But count on Congress to do something about taxes after the November election. Here’s what’s likely to happen.”

Freddie Mac Reports $2.5 Billion Loss

“Freddie Mac reported a third-quarter net loss of $2.5 billion and asked the U.S. Treasury to provide a $100 million infusion, raising the government’s tab for its rescue of the mortgage-finance company to $63.2 billion.”

Democratic Coalition Crumbles, Exit Polls Say

“Preliminary exit polls showed that the Democratic party lost ground in Tuesday’s midterm elections among women, middle-income workers, whites, seniors and independent voters.”

Net neutrality is a broken concept

“Tiered services work, and work well. They allow providers to better tailor services to customer needs, and bring the price of services in line with the cost of supplying them…Tiers are an encouragement — not a hurdle — to innovation, and will better allow end-use consumers to decide, through the free market, what they want their internet experience to be.”

Midterm Elections Aftermath: 5 Economic Battles Obama Will Face

“Big Republican wins on Tuesday would set up key showdowns between the party and the president on the Bush tax cuts, financial regulation, and health care. Charlie Gasparino on what to expect. Plus, check out The Daily Beast’s guide to the 2010 election.”

As Bush Tax Cuts End, Some Options for Congress

“Five compromises worth considering as Congress debates the Bush tax cuts, which expire on Dec. 31.”

It’s Time To Regulate The State

“The REINS Act would ensure regulation only with representation.”

The GOP Can Outsmart ObamaCare

“In The Wall Street Journal, Business World columnist Holman Jenkins, Jr. says that Republicans should create a national insurance charter, deregulate health insurance and save ObamaCare from itself.”

Welcome, Senate Conservatives

“Republican Sen. Jim DeMint writes in The Wall Street Journal that incoming tea party movement senators should remember what the voters back home want—less government and more freedom.”

Seven Major Post-Election Themes

Greg Valliere’s “third theme” which he considers to be a “the safest bet” is that “…the (Bush) tax cuts will get extended for everyone in the lame duck session”. I hope he’s right, because if he is wrong, the net, after-tax income of virtually every taxpayer in the USA will drop by an average of 2.26% as of January 1, 2011, according to a study by the non-partisan US Joint Committee on Taxation (cf. The vote (on extending the Bush era tax code) will have to happen very quickly after the election so that corporate payroll departments will have the time that they need in order to re-program their payroll deduction software in time for the new year!

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