Assorted Links (12/5/2011)

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

Some Bands Try to Play Forex Market

This is a fascinating article about how bands like Metallica and the Red Hot Chili Peppers take foreign exchange rates into account when booking concert tours, and also actively hedge their foreign exchange exposures by using financial derivatives… I’ll definitely use this article as a case study in my financial engineering course at Baylor this coming spring semester!

‘Arab Winter’ Chills Christians in Mideast

“With political turbulence in many Middle Eastern countries, some Christians in the region are worried that the toppling of autocratic rulers could uncork sectarian violence against them and other minority groups.”

Chávez’s 40-Year Plan to Conquer Vice

“Considering that the human condition hasn’t changed much since we got kicked out of the garden, a 40-year plan to conquer vice seems pretty ambitious.” If British historian Paul Johnson were to update his famous (nearly 25-year old) “Heartless Lovers of Humankind” essay (cf., he would certainly have to include Chavez this time around…

The ObamaCare Recusal Nonsense

“In The Wall Street Journal, former Attorney General Michael B. Mukasey writes that the left doesn’t want Justice Thomas to hear the case to decide whether the health-care overhaul is constitutional, while the right thinks Justice Kagan is too biased—but the full court should decide the case.”

Absolute Certainty Is Not Scientific

“In The Wall Street Journalist, ecologist Daniel Botkin says that Global warming alarmists betray their own cause when they declare that it is irresponsible to question them.”

McDonald’s Outsmarts San Francisco Pols

SF Weekly — “Local McDonald’s employees tell SF Weekly the company has devised a solution that appears to comply with San Francisco’s “Healthy Meal Incentive Ordinance” that could actually make the company more money — and necessitate toy-happy youngsters to buy more Happy Meals.”

Are CEOs paid their value added?

“Remember Paul Krugman’s forays into “the wage reflects what the top earners are really worth” topic, and the surrounding debates? Why should this discussion be such a fact-free zone? Why so little discussion of tax incidence?”

‘We Don’t Face Any Good Options’

“Nobel Prize–winning economist Vernon Smith on the financial crisis, Adam Smith’s underrated insights, and his journey from socialist to libertarian.”

A Recipe for Middle-Class Jobs –

“The U.S. desperately needs middle-skill jobs for people who didn’t go to college. Austin, Texas, has an unlikely answer for how to create them: attract high-skilled people, and watch them create new companies and jobs for lower-skilled people as well.” The Wall Street Journal gives a shout-out to Austin today, calling it a “brain hub” and a model for the rest of the nation concerning how to create middle-class jobs!

America the Difficult

“The Wall Street Journal writes about a new study showing that in tax compliance the U.S. ranks 69 of 183 nations.”

Egypt and the Fruits of the Pharaohs

“In The Wall Street Journal, Fouad Ajami writes that the disorder in Cairo is not the result of democracy but rather of a half-century of authoritarianism.”

The Great Global Warming Fizzle

“In The Wall Street Journal, Global View columnist Bret Stephens writes that the climate religion is fading amid spasms of anger and twitches of boredom.”

Europe’s Currency Road to Nowhere

“In The Wall Street Journal, Austan Goolsbee writes that the euro has punished Southern Europe the way China’s currency has hurt the United States.”

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