Assorted Links (11/12/2011)

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

Moody’s warns Penn State’s bond rating could be downgraded because of sex abuse scandal

“A major credit agency warns that Penn State University’s bond rating could be downgraded because of risks to its reputation and finances from a child sex abuse scandal.”

The Bystander Effect at Penn State: Why Some Witnesses to Crime Do Nothing

“From an interesting article in Time magazine: The grand jury investigation that resulted in 40 counts of child abuse against Penn State’s former defensive coordinator, Jerry Sandusky, has raised profoundly unsettling psychological and moral questions about the actions — or lack thereof — of others involved in the case.”

Generation Jobless: What Hedge Funds Can Teach College Students

“Investors who analyze the student loan market have surprising insights into college graduates’ employment prospects. Tip No. 1: Don’t go to law school.” Quoting further from this article, “Historically, investors have assumed 25% to 30% of student loans bundled into their bonds will default. But today they are baking in between 30% and 40% default rates among the current crop of graduates …Even those assumptions are a best guess and defaults could ultimately go higher if unemployment rises.” On a related note, see for the “Student Loan Debt Clock” (which is closing in on $1 trillion)…

No Business for Old Men

“In The Wall Street Journal, Business World columnist Holman Jenkins writes that the downside of longevity gets a workout at Penn State and Olympus.” Comparing governance (non)practices at places like Penn State and Olympus with most of the rest of the “real” world, Mr. Jenkins makes a compelling argument in favor of “…relying more upon impersonal mechanisms of accountability that actually reinforce the desired behavior, rather than simply demanding it from a pulpit.”

Happy Valley Now the Heart of Darkness

“A firestorm has engulfed what was once a great university — and in the process it has destroyed the reputation of a great coach.”

Pipeline decision signals U.S. not open for business

“So much for the U.S. being the bastion of free enterprise and respecting due process.”

The Government and the Guitar Man

“In The Wall Street Journal, Nancy deWolf Smith interviews Henry Juszkiewicz, as the guitar maker for the stars talks about making instruments, why audio equipment isn’t dead, and watching federal agents storm his office.”

The unions are the worst thing that ever happened to education

According to Steve Jobs, “I’d like the people teaching my kids to be good enough that they could get a job at the company I work for, making a hundred thousand dollars a year. Why should they work at a school for thirty-five to forty thousand dollars if they could get a job here at a hundred thousand dollars a year?”

The Undeserving One Percent? – Raghuram Rajan

“Reading some economists, it might seem that the answer to all current problems is to tax the richest 1% and redistribute to everyone else. But if governments tax their rich more, they should do it with the aim of improving access and opportunity for all, rather than as a punitive measure to rectify an imagined wrong.”

The 2011 elections: A split decision

“Between now and 2012, things can go either way.”

Social Order? There’s No App for That – Forbes

“There is, however, the market process.”

Taxing Stock Trades Will Hurt Main Street

“In The Wall Street Journal, Yakov Amihud and Haim Mendelson say that a securities transaction tax will drive down stock and bond prices and hurt investment.” Professors Amihud and Mendelson are bona fide experts on “market microstructure” (cf., having worked for the past quarter century writing seminal journal articles in this area, so their opinion actually does matter…

Leave a Reply