Assorted Links (10/29/2012)

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

Mugging our descendants

www.washingtonpost.com

Quoting from this article, “America’s ethos once was… “optimistic Puritanism,” combining an affinity for personal enterprise with a horror of dependency. Nov. 6 is a late and perhaps last chance to begin stopping the scandal of plundering our descendants’ wealth to finance the demands of today’s entitlement mentality.”

President Obama in Shining Armor

www.nytimes.com

“The Obama campaign has been making a weirdly paternalistic pitch to women.”

The Fiscal Duty of Congress’s Lame Duck

online.wsj.com

“In The Wall Street Journal, Steve Forbes notes that the Congressional Budget Office predicts a recession if tax hikes and the sequester are allowed to take effect on Jan. 2.”

Notable & Quotable

online.wsj.com

“Joseph Schumpeter writing in Capitalism, Socialism and Democracy (1942) about how a swelling mass of unemployed and unemployable college graduates sets the stage for anticapitalist radicalism.”

America’s Capsizing Naval Policy

online.wsj.com

“In The Wall Street Journal, novelist and Claremont Institute fellow Mark Helprin writes that China’s maritime power and aggressive posture is rising while the size of the U.S. Navy continues to shrink.”

The Anatomy of Government Failure

online.wsj.com

“In The Wall Street Journal, Michael Boskin writes that a government cure for an economic or social problem may be worse than the disease it purports to fix.”

America’s Religious Past Fades in a Secular Age

online.wsj.com

“In The Wall Street Journal’s Houses of Worship column, David Aikman notes that one in five Americans today has no religious affiliation, which would have been unthinkable to the Founders.”

The Dangers of an Informed Electorate

online.wsj.com

“In The Wall Street Journal, Bradley Smith writes that the left would rather voters remain in the dark than get information from their employers.”

A Chronic Case of Obamnesia

online.wsj.com

“In The Wall Street Journal, Potomac Watch columnist Kimberley Strassel writes that President Barack Obama—who accused Mitt Romney of ‘Stage 3 Romnesia’—has left a long trail of flip-flops during his career.”

Michael Lewis: Obama’s Way

www.vanityfair.com

Fascinating October 2012 Vanity Fair article by Michael Lewis, the author of Boomerang, Moneyball, Liar’s Poker, and various other very fascinating books; I also recommend Terry Gross’s “Fresh Air” interview with Michael Lewis about this article @ http://www.npr.org/2012/09/12/161003362/michael-lewis-studies-obamas-way.

2012 U.S. Electorate Looks Like 2008

www.gallup.com

Interestingly, according to Gallup, 49% of likely voters in 2012 are either Republican or “lean” Republican, compared with 46% being either Democrat or leaning Democrat. This is quite a change from 2008, when 54% of likely voters were Democrat or leaned Democrat, compared with only 42% being or leaning Republican…

What’s Your Magic Retirement Number?

bing.com

This brief video provides some logically coherent and easy-to-follow guidelines concerning how to determine appropriate financial goals and objectives related to saving for retirement, irrespective of whether your 35, 45, or 55 years old…

Obama’s 2nd term plan: Does it add up?

The Obama campaign released a plan detailing his plan for a second term. Does it add up? CNN’s Erin Burnett’s answer is an emphatic no. Boom…

The Island Where People Forget to Die

www.nytimes.com

“Unraveling the mystery of why the inhabitants of Ikaria live so long and so well.”

Poll Addict Confesses

www.nytimes.com

“Is all this 24/7 hysteria over the latest political poll doing us any good?”

Does Killing Bin Laden = Successful Foreign Policy?

reason.com

“Over at the Washington Examiner, the editors note that killing Osama bin Laden does not a foreign policy make.”

It’s Not a Kill List. It’s a “Disposition Matrix.”

reason.com

“Terrifying highlights from The Washington Post’s new report on the Obama administration’s drone-driven targeting killing program…”

Is America Exceptional?

www.hillsdale.edu

I highly recommend Norman Podhoretz’s essay entitled “Is America Exceptional?”

Why I Refuse to Vote for Barack Obama

www.theatlantic.com

“The case against casting a ballot for the president — even if you think he’s better than Mitt Romney…”

YouTube Videos Don’t Kill People

online.wsj.com

“In The Wall Street Journal, Information Age columnist Gordon Crovitz notes that in a speech in Iowa last week, Obama dropped his standard claim that ‘al Qaeda is on the run.’”

The Castros in Winter

online.wsj.com

“In The Wall Street Journal, Americas columnist Mary Anastasia O’Grady writes that Cuba will soon make it easier for some to legally travel abroad—but this is not a sign of liberalization.”

If Ben Bernanke Sought Advice

online.wsj.com

“In The Wall Street Journal, Noam Neusner imagines how a financial analyst might assess the firm of B. Obama & Associates and its Fed funders.”

The Unreality of the Past Four Years

online.wsj.com

“In The Wall Street Journal, Dorothy Rabinowitz writes that the Benghazi fiasco is a brutally illuminating portrait of the Obama White House in crisis mode.”

Mr. Johnson Goes to Washington

online.wsj.com

“In The Wall Street Journal, Allysia Finley interviews Wisconsin Senator and tea party favorite Ron Johnson on the frustrations of his first two years in Washington, his version of the ‘Buffett Rule,’ and what could happen if Mitt Romney wins.”

Assorted Links (10/20/2012)

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

Town-hall brawl

economist.com

“Barack Obama does better, but Mitt Romney does no worse.”

Are recoveries always slow after financial crises and why

johnhcochrane.blogspot.com

Are recoveries always slow after financial crises and why – University of Chicago professor John Cochrane argues here that “… recessions are worse and longer after financial crises… because governments go completely haywire and screw things up after financial crises. They bail out banks. They hike taxes on “the rich.” They transfer wealth. They bail out borrowers. They stomp all over property rights (GM.) Thus, they kill capital markets for a generation. They clamp down on the financial system in horse-left-the-barn efforts to regulate “safety.” … They try big “stimulus” plans. They often end up with unsustainable government debts leading to sovereign default or inflation… So, perhaps recessions are longer and deeper after financial crises, not as a matter of economics, but as a matter of particularly bad policy.”

The Voter-ID Election

blogs.wsj.com

“Researchers are torn about how best to measure the effect that a spate of new state laws requiring identification from voters will have on turnout and on the election.”

10 Federal Food-Policy Issues Obama and Romney Should Discuss

reason.com

“Here are 10 important federal food-policy issues the presidential candidates should be discussing but have ignored until now.”

In Constant Digital Contact, We Feel ‘Alone Together’

npr.org

I was captivated by Terry Gross’s Fresh Air interview of MIT psychologist Sherry Turkle. Professor Turkle is the author of a book entitled “Alone Together: Why We Expect More from Technology and Less from Each Other” which explores the effect of digital media on human interaction and personal identity. Her research investigates how devices are changing the way parents relate to their children, how friends interact, and why many people — both young and old — keep their devices in-hand all the time — even as they sleep.

After the ACA: Freeing the market for health care

johnhcochrane.blogspot.com

After the ACA: Freeing the market for health care. This is a non-technical essay, based on a talk that U of C finance professor John Cochrane gave at the University of Chicago Law School’s conference, “The Future of Health Care Reform in the United States.”

As Goes Janesville

econlog.econlib.org

Excellent essay by University of Chicago finance professor Luigi Zingales…

Why Dilbert Creator Supports Romney

cheaptalk.org

Scott Adams writes on his blog: “[Obama] is putting an American citizen in jail for 10 years to life for operating medical marijuana dispensaries in California where it is legal under state law.”  Even Rolling Stone has complained about Obama on this issue; cf. http://www.rollingstone.com/politics/news/obamas-war-on-pot-20120216

Our Scary Fiscal Future? That Can Wait

www.realclearmarkets.com

“What we heard in the second presidential debate was President Obama and Mitt Romney not discussing the nation’s future.”

Polarizer-in-Chief

professional.wsj.com

“The Wall Street Journal’s Stephen Moore on Obama’s divisive presidency.”

Another Government-Backed Solar Bankruptcy

www.futureofcapitalism.com

“Satcon joins Evergreen, Solyndra, and Abound on the list of government-backed solar energy firms that have filed for bankruptcy. The firm seems to have won a $3 million grant from the Department of Energy and pieces of other federal grants.”

A Sad Green Story

www.nytimes.com

“What happened to the golden days of green technology? It’s a tale of disappointed hopes.”

People Respond to Incentives

gregmankiw.blogspot.com

Expensive real estate can apparently now be had for less as rich French citizens are selling in droves and relocating to more tax friendly domiciles.

Minnesota Bans Free Online College Courses from Coursera. I Give Up.

reason.com

“You know what would be terrible? If someone figured out a way to make the very best college courses available for free online to anyone who wanted them.”

National Geographic Photo Contest 2012

www.boston.com

A feast for the eyes!

Adam Smith and the Follies of Central Planning

www.learnliberty.org

Here’s a quote from this short video: “Architects create blueprints for buildings; could a person create a blueprint for society? Could such a person choose how many people will be lawyers and how many will be policemen? Adam Smith discusses such a designer in his book The Theory of Moral Sentiments (1759). He calls this person the “man of system,” saying that such man is “apt to be very wise in his own conceit; and is often so enamored with the supposed beauty of his ideal plan of government that he cannot suffer the smallest deviation from any part of it.””

A Foreign Policy Failure to Acknowledge the Obvious

professional.wsj.com

“Douglas Feith and Seth Cropsey write that after the Benghazi attack, the Obama administration’s focus on the YouTube video reflected a years-long denial of the Islamist threat.”

Make Way for the Metro-Evangelical

professional.wsj.com

“In The Wall Street Journal’s Houses of Worship column on urban churches, Andy Crouch quotes New York City pastor Timothy J. Keller: ‘You go to the city to reach the culture.’” Good WSJ op-ed by the editor-at-large at Christianity Today, Andy Crouch…

The Year the Debates Mattered

online.wsj.com

“Peggy Noonan asks: Will Obama’s crass presidential style become the rule or prove an exception?”

Damn Lies and Statistics

www.businessweek.com

“If the candidates can’t agree on basic facts, what hope does the U.S. have of coming together to fix the economy?”

Here’s Reuter’s take on the Benghazi controversy…

For Benghazi diplomatic security, U.S. relied on small British firm

uk.reuters.com

“The State Department’s decision to hire Blue Mountain Group to guard the ill-fated U.S. diplomatic mission in Benghazi, Libya, entrusted security tasks to a little-known British company instead of the large firms it usually uses in overseas danger zones.”

Assorted Links (10/17/2012)

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

Is gas “price-gouging” to blame for high gas prices?

blog.garven.com

I originally published this article on my blog 1-1/2 years ago; at the time, there was great concern in the US about “high” (i.e., $4 per gallon at the time) gas prices. Of course, the question concerning why prices are “high” NOW (currently averaging $3.74 per gallon nationally according to gasbuddy.com) came up during last night’s presidential debate. The reasons that I cited back in April 2011 for “high” gas prices remain largely applicable today; i.e., 1) high demand, particularly from emerging markets, 2) risks of supply chain disruptions due to the ongoing political upheavals in the Middle East, 3) domestic supply constraints, and 4) the ongoing depreciation of the value of the US dollar vis-a-vis foreign currencies.

Obama and those ‘acts of terror’

www.aei-ideas.org

Quoting from this article, “In last night’s debate, when the discussion turned to the attack on the diplomatic post in Benghazi and the murder of Ambassador Chris Stevens and three other Americans, President Obama claimed that he called it “an act of terror” in his Rose Garden statement the day after the attack. When challenged by Governor Romney, the president said, “Get the transcript.” And as the president’s supporters were quick to point out after the debate, he did indeed say while standing in the Rose Garden, “no acts of terror will ever shake the resolve of this great nation.” But, as others have also pointed out, there is a difference between a general declaration about “acts of terror” and declaring the attack itself “an act of terror.” Nowhere in his remarks does he specifically tie the murder of Stevens and the others to terrorism. To the contrary, a closer look at the transcript suggests the president was avoiding making that connection pretty assiduously.””

A President Without a Plan

online.wsj.com

Quoting from this article, “Judging by Tuesday’s debate, the President’s argument for re-election is basically this: He’s not as awful as Mitt Romney.” How inspiring!

Another British Healthcare Horror Story, but It’s “False” According to Paul Krugman

danieljmitchell.wordpress.com

“Any healthcare system will involve rationing. The real issue is whether individuals are part of a free society so they can make the choice of how to ration.”

One woman’s lonely death on the NHS’s ‘care pathway’ to the grave: MPs demand action after another patient is chosen to die without doctors telling family

dailymail.co.uk

“Olive Goom, 85, passed away with no one by her side after medics neglected to consult with her family about her treatment at Chelsea and Westminster Hospital.”

France to Ban Homework. Really.

online.wsj.com

“In the name of social justice and equality, François Hollande wants all learning done in school.”

“Will ObamaCare lead to Death Panels?

blogs.baylor.edu

My Baylor colleague, health economist Jim Henderson, explains how ObamaCare contains the elements of full-blown European-style rationing by referencing various recent medical journal articles authored by various Obama health policy advises… (the answer to his question is, yes it will…)

Obamacare vs. the Current Flawed System

reason.com

“The New York Times’ Nicholas Kristof’s tale of woe shows why real health-care reform is still needed.” Quoting from Reason Magazine, “What’s missing from too much of the discussion about health care reform is any sense of how the current employer-based system came into being and how an actual market in the provision of health care might improve the situation.”

Obama’s Big Tax Increases on Small Business

american.com

“It is quite a stretch for President Obama to argue that he wants to cut taxes for small businesses. In reality, he is proposing to increase taxes on small businesses by around $49 billion.”

The Romney Tax Plan: Not a Tax Hike on the Middle Class

american.com

“A report by the Urban-Brookings Tax Policy Center (TPC) has been used to claim that Romney will hike taxes on the middle class. A closer look, however, and the TPC report falls apart.”

Tech Talk: iPhone 5

api.addthis.com

Very funny SNL skit about iPhone 5 which puts things into perspective! 🙂

The Numbers Game with Russ Roberts — The Economic Recovery (Part 2)

“By historical standards, the current recovery from the recession that began in 2007 has been disappointing. As John Taylor of Stanford University’s Hoover Institution and the Department of Economics argues in Part 1 of this discussion on the economy, GDP has not returned to trend, the percent of the population that is working is flat rather than rising, and growth rates are below their usual levels after such a deep slump.

In this episode, Taylor and Number’s Game host Russ Roberts discuss possible explanations for the sluggish recovery: the ongoing slump in construction employment, the effect of housing prices on saving and spending decisions by households, and this recovery’s having been preceded by a financial crisis. Taylor rejects these arguments, arguing instead that the sluggish recovery can be explained by poor economic policy decisions made by the Bush and the Obama administrations.” (7 minute video)

The Numbers Game with Russ Roberts

“According to the National Bureau of Economic Research, the US economy recovered from the recession at the beginning of the summer of 2009. Yet the recovery has been disappointing when compared to other recoveries. In this episode of the Numbers Game, John Taylor of Stanford University talks with host Russ Roberts about the nature of the recovery. How does it compare historically to other recoveries? How can we measure the pace of the recovery? The conversation ends with a discussion of possible explanations for why the recovery has been disappointing.” (12 minute video)

Lloyd Shapley and Alvin Roth win the 2012 economics Nobel

www.economist.com

“THIS year’s Nobel Prize in Economic Sciences has been awarded to Alvin Roth and Lloyd Shapley, “for the theory of stable allocations and the practice of market…””

Wheaton College v. Sebelius and Belmont Abbey College v. Sebelius

www.cato.org

“In January, when the Department of Health and Human Services announced that qualifying health insurance plans under Obamacare would have to cover contraceptives and “morning after” pills, many religious institutions — most notably the Catholic Church — vehemently objected…”

JP Morgan Preps for Fiscal Cliff

www3.cfo.com

“The year-end threat of large government-spending cuts combined with higher tax rates has the financial institution running scenarios on the possible economic damage.”

Russ Roberts: Why Keynesians Always Get it Wrong (and Most Economists Too)

reason.com

“Russ Roberts: Why Keynesians Always Get it Wrong (and Most Economists Too)” is the latest video from Reason TV.

Worst College Majors for Your Career

www.kiplinger.com

According to Kiplinger, the top 10 are: 1. Anthropology. 2. Fine Arts. 3. Film and Photography. 4. Philosophy and Religious Studies. 5. Graphic Design. 6. Studio Arts. 7. Liberal Arts. 8. Drama and Theater Arts. 9. Sociology. 10. English.

Best College Majors for a Lucrative Career

www.kiplinger.com

According to Kiplinger, the top 10 are: 1. Pharmacy and Pharmacology, 2. Nursing, 3. Transportation Sciences and Technology, 4. Treatment Therapy Professions, 5. Chemical Engineering, 6. Electrical Engineering, 7. Medical Technologies, 8. Construction Services, 9. Management Information Systems, 10. Medical Assisting Services.

Banter: An AEI Podcast – Banter #72: A Nation of Takers

media.aei.org

“AEI Scholar Nick Eberstadt discusses how the government’s role has changed, how large entitlements have grown, and how entitlements have changed the American character.”  Eberstadt is a demographer who points out, among other things that so-called “pay as you go” entitlement programs have grown so large that we are borrowing not only from our children, but also from our grandchildren, their children, their children’s children, ad infinitum… Gulp…

Biden: Mr. Malarkey on the economy

www.humanevents.com

“On Thursday night, Paul Ryan showed up to debate Joe. Smiley Joe. Laughing Joe. Subdued Joe. Heartfelt Joe … and many others.”

Assorted Links (10/12/2012)

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

Obama and the L-Word
professional.wsj.com
“WSJ columnist Daniel Henninger writes that ‘liar’ is potent and ugly—with a sleazy political pedigree… Explicitly calling someone a “liar” is—or used to be—a serious and rare charge, in or out of politics. It’s a loaded word. It crosses a line. “Liar” suggests bad faith and conscious duplicity—a total, cynical falsity.”

Corporate Taxes, the Myths and Facts

professional.wsj.com
“U.S. companies don’t get a tax break for moving plants overseas, but they are socked with an extra bill for bringing home earnings.” Former Michigan governor John Engler explains very succinctly what’s messed up about current US corporate income tax policy…

Confusing Strength With Aggression

professional.wsj.com
“A draw on substance, but the vice president loses on style, Peggy Noonan writes.” I agree with Peggy Noonan’s assessment of this rather difficult-to-watch “debate”: “Last week Mr. Obama was weirdly passive. Last night Mr. Biden was weirdly aggressive, if that is the right word for someone who grimaces, laughs derisively, interrupts, hectors, rolls his eyes, browbeats and attempts to bully. He meant to dominate, to seem strong and no-nonsense. Sometimes he did—he had his moments. But he was also disrespectful and full of bluster.”

The Bully vs. the Wonk

professional.wsj.com
“Vice President Joe Biden’s debate strategy was to show contempt for his opponent Paul Ryan. Biden’s marching orders were clearly to steamroll the overmatched moderator Martha Raddatz and dismiss everything Mr. Ryan said with a condescending sneer.”

An Incriminating Timeline: Obama Administration and Libya

“New evidence shows there were security threats in Libya in the months prior to the deadly September 11 attack that killed U.S. Ambassador Christopher Stevens…”

40 Things To Say Before You Die
www.forbes.com
“Before you’re sprawled on your deathbed, there are some things you really have to say. They’re not complicated. They’re not poetry. They’re just short sentences with big meaning.”

The Dangerous Myth About The Bill Clinton Tax Increase
www.forbes.com
“The real lesson of the Clinton Presidency is the way back to prosperity lies not through increased taxes on “the rich,” but through tax and regulatory reform and a return to a rules based monetary policy that produces a strong and stable dollar.”

Big Bird, Small President
professional.wsj.com
“The Wall Street Journal reports that as of fiscal 2011, Sesame Workshop had assets of $289 million.”

Happy Days Are Not Here Again
online.wsj.com
“The Wall Street Journal says you don’t need a conspiracy to know the job market still stinks.”

Why Romney Won
www.nationalreview.com
“Understanding why Mitt Romney so decisively won the first presidential debate is as important as the fact that he did. Why? Because once we know the reasons, almost everything about President Barack Obama and this election becomes clear.”

Hugo Chávez and the 47%
professional.wsj.com
“Venezuela’s election was a statement of national character—as America’s will be.”

Fiscal Policy Report Card on America’s Governors: 2012
www.cato.org
Quoting from this Cato report: “Four governors were awarded an “A” in this report card—Sam Brownback of Kansas, Rick Scott of Florida, Paul LePage of Maine, and Tom Corbett of Pennsylvania. Five governors were awarded an “F”—Pat Quinn of Illinois, Dan Malloy of Connecticut, Mark Dayton of Minnesota, Neil Abercrombie of Hawaii, and Chris Gregoire of Washington.”

The Unemployment Surprise
Investorsinsight.com
John Mauldin thoroughly debunks conspiracy theories related to the government supposedly “cooking the books” on the unemployment number. Quoting from this article, “The unemployment number surprisingly dropped to 7.8% last Friday, and the
shoot-from-the-hip crowd came out in force. To say that the jobs report was met with skepticism would be a serious understatement. The response that got the most immediate airplay was ex-GE CEO Jack Welch (who knows a few things about making a number say what you want it to say) tweeting, “Unbelievable job numbers … these Chicago guys will do anything … can’t debate so change numbers.”

Anyway, Mauldin explains the “forensics” of how unemployment numbers are actually calculated by the Bureau of Labor Statistics (BLS), which is the statistical arm of the US Department of Labor. He also reminds us that BLS conspiracy theories are bipartisan; e.g., in 2003-04 Democrats were constantly deriding the positive statistics coming out of the BLS during the first term of President George W. Bush during the time leading up to the 2004 election…

Assorted Links (10/8/2012)

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

A ‘47%’ Solution for Romney

professional.wsj.com

“In The Wall Street Journal, Arthur C. Brooks writes that when Mitt Romney is attacked for his comments about Americans who don’t pay taxes, he can counter that the president’s policies are stifling opportunity.”

‘Trickle-Down Government’ and Internet Freedom

professional.wsj.com

“In The Wall Street Journal, Information Age columnist Gordon Crovitz writes that while tyrants make a run at global Internet censorship, the Obama administration stands by passively.”

Political Diary: Obama’s Campus Rules

professional.wsj.com

“The Wall Street Journal’s Matthew Payne on Obama’s visit to the University of Wisconsin.”

Ode to a Green Datsun

professional.wsj.com

“In The Wall Street Journal, Michael Judge writes: Who wouldn’t love a car that was part all-terrain vehicle, camper, go-cart, minibar and tank?”

What Percent Are You?

blogs.wsj.com

According to this app (published one year ago on the wsj.com website), it apparently takes total annual household income of $506,603 in order to be a 1 percenter, $200,001 to be a 5 percenter, $154,101 to be a 10 percenter, $97,400 to be a 20 percenter, $42,350 to be a 50 percenter, and so forth…

Breakthroughs in Cancer About to Happen: Mt. Sinai CEO

money.msn.com

“Dr. Kenneth Davis, president & CEO of Mt. Sinai Hospital, says over the decades people have been disappointed with the breakthroughs in cancer treatment. “These big breakthroughs are about to happen,” he tells “Squawk Box.””

A Former Crack Dealer On The Economics Of Drugs

www.npr.org

“Lots of economists write about illegal drugs. One thing missing from their papers: Actual drug dealers.” Fascinating podcast, featuring an interview with “Freeway” Rick Ross was one of L.A.’s biggest crack dealers, who provides a case study for economic theory predictions. Basically, drug prohibition enriches dealers and encourages criminal behavior, without putting much of a dent into the overall level of consumption of illicit drugs…

Calif. gov. takes action as gas prices keep rising

money.msn.com

“Gov. Jerry Brown is taking action in an effort to drive down the cost of gasoline as California drivers cope with record-breaking prices at the pump.”  According to AAA, the statewide average price in California for a gallon of regular rose today (Monday, October 8) to an all-time high, hitting $4.67. Glad to be living in Texas, where the average price per gallon is $3.516 (the national average is $3.798) – source: www.gasbuddy.com.

Are You Bailing Out Your Kids or Grandkids?

blogs.wsj.com

“In a still-fragile economy, individuals and families invariably are turning to those they know best for financial support: older parents and grandparents.”  The “good” news is that we’re not quite yet Spain, where apparently well over half of adult children between the ages of 18-34 live with their parents. In America, “…as many as four in 10 adults ages 18 to 34 are living with their parents now, or moved back in with parents temporarily, because of the economy.”

Another Year, Another $1 Trillion-Plus

professional.wsj.com

“The Wall Street Journal writes that the Obama Presidency goes four for four on record deficits.”

This quote in particular caught my eye: “Another worrisome portent is that annual interest payments on debt held by the public fell 3%, to $258 billion from $266 billion in 2011, even as debt held by the public increased. That’s because the Administration is rolling over its debt sheet in the short term to take advantage of today’s bargain interest rates, which can’t last.”  The problem with paying off debt with debt (particularly with ever shorter maturities) is that this type of financial strategy is unsustainable – at some point, a liquidity crisis (where no one is willing to lend at virtually any price) becomes inevitable. It’s weird that the financing strategies and practices of the US Treasury Department are increasing beginning to resemble Bear Stearns… Bear Stearns failed in March 2008 and was bought by JP Morgan Chase after suffering a liquidity crisis in which their counterparties decided, over the course of a very short period of time, that they weren’t going to continue to enable Bear Stearns to keep rolling their debt over… See Bill Cohen’s book “House of Cards” (@ http://amzn.to/TitiIN) and you’ll see what I mean!

U.S. Companies Remain Wary of Hiring

www.businessweek.com

“Despite positive indicators, companies are cautious with headcount.”

Will Jobs News Boost Obama? History Says No

www.businessweek.com

“Peter Cook looks at the relationship between unemployment numbers and presidential re-elections. He speaks on Bloomberg Television’s “In The Loop.””

John Taylor: The Romney Cure for Obama-Induced Economic Ills

professional.wsj.com

“In The Wall Street Journal, Stanford University economist John B. Taylor outlines Mitt Romney’s agenda for economic growth and job creation.”

The Romney Reboot Arrives

professional.wsj.com

“Daniel Henninger writes that Mitt Romney went on offense and put Barack Obama on defense for 90 minutes.”

What Campuses Can Learn From Online Teaching

professional.wsj.com

MIT’s new president Rafael Reif not only corroborates the ongoing discussion that my colleagues and I are having at Baylor University – i.e., the notion of revolutionizing and improving learning by “flipping” the classroom, but he also holds out the hope that by eventually monetizing online-only courses, this may create a revenue stream which can be used to cross-subsidize residential campus instruction…

The Opening Statement

www.nytimes.com

The New York Times’ David Brooks makes the case for Romney and against Obama by, among other things, heavily citing various (critical) passages from Bob Woodward’s new book entitled “The Price of Politics” (cf. http://amzn.to/T1nqn2). Woodward is associate editor for Washington Post, and is perhaps most famous for collaborating a generation ago with Carl Bernstein on reporting the Watergate scandal which took the Nixon presidency down…