10 Weekend Reads

Greeting from Sunny California! Our hand-curated, longer-form weekend reads:

• The austerity delusion: The case for cuts was a lie. So why does Britain still believe it? (Guardian)
• How Technology Has Affected Wages for the Last 200 Years (HBR)
• Lessons From the “Flash Crash” Regulatory Fiasco (Huffington Post)
• The Billionaire, the Dealer, and the $186 Million Rothko (Bloomberg)
• Oklahoma’€™s Key Expert in Supreme Court Lethal Injection Case Did His Research on Drugs.com (ProPublica)
• How to Optimize Your Flesh Prison (The Awl)
• David Letterman Reflects on 33 Years in Late-Night Television (NY Times)
• A Rare, Personal Look at Oliver Sacks’s Early Career (Vanity Fair)
• Smashed Hits: Louie Louie – Jack Ely, singer with the Kingsmen, has died. (BBC)
• A Conservative Case for the Welfare State (Dissent) see also American politics isn’t about who you love. It’s about who you fear. (Vox)

Be sure to check out this weekend’s Master’s in Business interview with Anthony Scaramucci of SkyBridge Capital.


US GDP, quarterly change at an annualized rate

Source: WSJ


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  1. RW commented on May 2

    The Reconnection Agenda is here

    The intro to my new book.

    While there are many uniquely positive attributes about the U.S. economy, something is fundamentally wrong and here’s what it is: economic growth can no longer be counted on to deliver broadly shared prosperity. Moreover, the policy agenda put forth by those with the power to do something about this fundamental problem has either proven to be inadequate to the task or has been blocked by gridlocked politics.

    Like many of my econo-colleagues, much of what I’ve written to address the growth/income disconnect has been 90 percent problem, 10 percent solution. Our diagnostic skills tend to surpass our prescriptive skills.

    For this book, though, I’ve flipped that ratio around. Chapter 2 provides the evidence in support of the fundamental problem I’m setting out to solve, and every subsequent chapter offers policy solutions designed to reconnect growth and prosperity. …

  2. Molesworth commented on May 2

    Great reads today.
    Louie Louie story is amazing. Daily Beast posts the FBI report.
    There are some dirty minds working overtime.

  3. SecondLook commented on May 2

    About GDP:

    Average real GDP growth 2001-2014: 2.4%
    Comparable period:
    Average real GDP growth 1988-2000: 3.93%

    That boys and girls is the bottom line explanation for just about all that matters, economically. We’re growing at a rate roughly 40% slower than we did in the past, and with a high probability that really is the new normal.

  4. RW commented on May 2

    Forbes’ Tim Worstall Is Upset The Trans-Pacific Partnership Bans Export Subsidies

    Actually, I don’t know that he is, but he would be if he were consistent. …The gist of his argument is that if another country wants to deliberately under-value its currency, so that we can buy their exports at a lower price, our response should be “thank you very much.” In effect the currency manipulator is subsidizing our consumption.

    This is of course true and the same logic applies to export subsidies. If Japan, Austrialia, or some other country wants to provide a 20 percent subsidy on exports of cars, computers, or other goods and services, then they are making those items cheaper for U.S. consumers. Worstall would presumably want us to say “thank you very much” and leave it at that.

    But those dunderheads negotiating the TPP are banning export subsidies. They will make it a trade violation if Australia wants to subsidize our consumers. …

    NYT Lets Economic Pundit Disappear TPP’s Economist Critics

    The New York Times (4/24/15) handed its readers an exploding cigar this weekend–in the form of an “Economic View” piece by Greg Mankiw headlined “Economists Actually Agree on This: The Wisdom of Free Trade.” In this piece, Mankiw …put forward an argument in favor of fast-tracking the TPP and TIPP trade pacts whose logic was so tortured it might shock Dick Cheney. …

    You would never know, reading Mankiw’s piece, that many economists in fact oppose TPP and fast track. Or that economists can and do reject the characterization of TPP and the like as “free trade” bills. Or that there is no consensus in the economics field that free trade necessarily benefits most people. ….

    NB: When mainstream corporate media slants its news and commentary and the drumbeat for action sounds off I recall other drumbeats and their consequences and think, okay, never mind the putative merits of the case it’s time to slow down; now. What has been leaked from the TPP makes it sound a lot less like a trade agreement these days regardless.

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