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Archive for July, 2009
Crony Capitalism

News item: Goldman Sachs surprised even optimistic analysts with a $3.44 billion profit for the three months to June, almost 90% more than the previous quarter. Profits were also up at JP Morgan Chase, which announced second-quarter profits of $2.7 billion on July 26th, which were 36% higher than a year ago. (“The World…
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I Agree With Paul Krugman, but This Time Only!

In the last of his three Lionel Robbins lectures at the London School of Economics on June 30 of this year, Nobel laureate Paul Krugman remarked that the macroeconomic theory of the past thirty years has been “spectacularly useless at best, and positively harmful at worst” (“The Other Worldly Philosophers”, The Economist, July 18–24,…
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Let the Market Determine the Best Use of Oakland’s Waterfront

Way back in 2002, as part of the process of closing Oakland’s historic Army Base, 303 acres of Army-owned land were transferred to local government entities—168 acres to the Port Authority and 135 acres to the City of Oakland itself. Located just south of the Bay Bridge, the two properties have remained in limbo…
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Onion News Network on Compulsory Childhood Politics as Community Service

In the following video, “Human Rights Group Campaigns to End Use of Child Politicians in Africa,” the Onion News Network brilliantly satirizes the hypocrisy and shallowness of politics, compulsory education, government-mandated childhood community service, child abuse, and the view that children should be groomed to seek political office. Human Rights Group Campaigns To End…
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The Bush-Obama Spying Regime

The Obama administration is planning to cite “national security” concerns to quash a lawsuit alleging illegal government spying under Bush. This is no surprise. A full year ago, Obama the candidate made it completely clear he intended to break his promise to oppose warrantless spying when he voted for cloture on the 2008 FISA…
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Economists’ Pro-Fed Petition Discredits Its Signers

A passel of bigwig economists has signed a petition urging Congress and the executive branch “to reaffirm their support for and defend the independence of the Federal Reserve System as a foundation of U.S. economic stability.” In support of this defense of the Fed against those now challenging the secrecy of its undertakings and,…
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Stephen Halbrook Testifies Against Sotomayor for Supreme Court

Independent Institute Research Fellow Stephen P. Halbrook testified today before the Senate Judiciary Committee against the confirmation of Sonia Sotomayor for Associate Justice of the U.S. Supreme Court. In his testimony, Dr. Halbrook noted that: Legitimate concerns exist about the selection of Judge Sonia Sotomayor for Justice on the U.S. Supreme Court with regard…
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Re: Blogosphere Star Provides Refreshingly Alternative Ideas

Mary, not everyone is so pleased. Paul Walker pointed me to this item from New Zealand’s National Business Review, which worries that the free-content model of the blogosphere has spawned a huge band of amateur, untrained, unqualified bloggers who have swarmed over the internet pouring out columns of unsubstantiated “facts” and hysterical opinion. Most…
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Goldman Sachs, Best in the Business

[Cross-posted at Organizations and Markets] The business of political capitalism, that is. Like Enron, Goldman operates primarily in the nebulous world of public-private interaction. It is the US’s most politically powerful financial firm, skilled at navigating the byzantine regulations governing the virtually nationalized US financial sector. Goldman’s eye-popping $3.4 billion second-quarter earnings shouldn’t surprise…
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Blogosphere Star Provides Refreshingly Alternative Ideas

Who’s that man in blue? None other than the Independent Institute’s Research Director, Alex Tabarrok, gracing today’s Wall Street Journal’s “Personal Journal” cover as a “New Star of the Blogosphere.” In the “rancorous” blogosphere, Marginal Revolution, Tabarrok’s blog co-written with Independent Institute Research Fellow Tyler Cowan, is singled out as offering a refreshing alternative…
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