Category Archives: links

Wednesday Doom Parade

Today’s Mises Daily suggests we’re at a tipping point. 

David Stockman predicts and “epochal deflation” in a recent interview at CNBC.

The WSJ also points to China and commodity markets as cause for concern.


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Link Parade: 5.29.15

This is a very old and thoroughly discredited idea, one that dates back to Karl Marx and to the anti-capitalists who preceded him. It is a facet of the belief that free markets are irrational, and that if reason could be imposed on markets — which is to say, if reason could be imposed on free human beings — then enlightened planners could ensure that resources are directed toward their best use. This line of thinking historically has led to concentration camps, gulags, firing squads, purges, and the like, for a few reasons: The first is that free markets are not irrational; they are a reflection of what people actually value at a particular time relative to the other things that they might also value.

People who read Thaler’s list might well just shrug and say, “there isn’t anything here that any good used car salesman doesn’t know.” That’s the point: It’s obvious to anyone who pays any attention at all to himself or his fellow human beings that we are not maximizers, or optimizers, or logical, or even all that sensible. In the early 1970s, when Thaler was a student, his professors didn’t argue that human beings were perfectly rational. They argued that human irrationality didn’t matter, for the purpose of economic theory, because it wasn’t systematic. It could be treated as self-cancelling noise.

  • I’d be a spokesman for the 3M/MT if asked.

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Link Parade: 5.8.15

Quotes of the week:

Here’s the thing. The Bernank thinks the Great Recession happened because teenage girls piled to the rafters in export company dormitories in China went on a savings binge. Purportedly, the Fed had nothing to do with expanding credit market debt outstanding by $22 trillion or nearly 6X the growth of nominal GDP during the short interval between the time he joined the Fed in 2002 and the massive Wall Street meltdown of 2008.

Blogger Ben’s Basically Full Of It – David Stockman

Economics may be a dismal science, but politics is a dismal superstition.

Jakub Bożydar Wiśniewski

Genuine enemy of humanity. A literal malefactor.

Tho Bishop, on this mean lady.

If you’re living high on that cheap credit hog
Don’t look for cure from the hair of the dog
Real savings come first if you want to invest
The market coordinates time with interest

Your focus on spending is pushing on thread
In the long run, my friend, it’s your theory that’s dead
So sorry there, buddy, if that sounds like invective
Prepared to get schooled in my Austrian perspective

Ryan McMaken quotes “Hayek” (with an “H”, pronounced like “high explosives”), for Hayek’s birthday, from Papola’s rap, on Keynes’s economics.

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Link Parade: 5.1.15

U.S. house prices have risen by nearly 25 percent over the past two years, noted Bernanke, currently chairman of the president’s Council of Economic Advisers, in testimony to Congress’s Joint Economic Committee. But these increases, he said, “largely reflect strong economic fundamentals,” such as strong growth in jobs, incomes and the number of new households.

Mises Dailies were saying this (April 2005):

The end of the stock market bubble was followed by the creation of another bubble, this time in housing. Normally during recessions the private sector debt burden falls and household and corporate balance sheets are restored through high net savings. But while corporate balance sheets have been repaired as a result of a sharp decline in business investments and record corporate profits, households have been on an unprecedented spending spree, households are more indebted than ever and saving even less than 5 years ago.

Also, today is the last day of class at Auburn for the Spring semester, so I feel obligated to share this song:

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Link Parade: 4.24.15

Russia is shutting down 2 out of 5 universities. “The majority of cuts will affect private universities that provide a poor standard of education.” Do we need a similar sort of shakedown?

Robert Murphy has a fun little piece on the importance of market prices using karaoke (his, um, specialty) as an example.

Salerno’s War on Cash bit got Rick Santelli’s attention.

Intervention Mad Libs, by Matt McCaffrey. One day I’ll use this exact form for a blog post just to see if anybody notices.

Peter Klein at O&M: “This may be the most useful document ever produced by a government agency“.

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Link Parade: 4.17.15 – Death & Taxes Edition

Taxes – The Charlotte Observer observes: “The paperwork headache aside, tax season generates $300 billion in tax refunds each year, a big boost for Americans’ pocketbooks and for the overall economy.” I propose that we tax even more and refund the increase for an even bigger boost to the economy! Bastiat is turning in his grave.

Death – The FDA’s incentive structure for approving or withholding a drug is lopsided toward making Type II errors because they are (speaking of Bastiat) unseen. Ben Powell brushes this well-known issue aside and just asks why patients and doctors have to ask permission from some uninvolved bureaucrat to use a promising treatment in the first place.

Taxes – NYT op-ed urges us to shame people who avoid taxes. It’s not satire.

Death & TaxesChristine Harbin Hanson surveys the (alleged) pros and (well-cited) cons of the “death tax”, and, well, kills it.

Not Death or Taxes – Louis Rouanet has been working on a paper on Michel Chevalier’s arguments against patents, which predate and anticipate a lot of the contemporary arguments. Some of this work was posted today as a Mises Daily–check it out.

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Link Parade: 4.10.15

Today is the Sound Money seminar at the Mises Institute. Tune in live!

  • 10am – Mark Thornton, “Money and the Development of Human Society: From Barter to Bitcoin”
  • 10:20am – Jeff Deist, “A Free Market in Money”
  • 11am – Dan Sanchez, “War and the Government Control of Money”
  • 11:20am – Jonathan Newman, “Inflation and Business Cycles”

The state government of California has imposed water restrictions on its citizens to combat the drought. Economists everywhere scream, “PRICES!” (Note each word is hyperlinked to a different source. All say the same thing. California needs a higher price of water so that the scarce resource may be allocated where it is most highly valued.)

Speaking of the drought in California, “America’s Finest News Source” has been on top of it: see here, and here. But my favorite thing about The Onion is when people don’t understand that it is satire. Thankfully, there’s a place just for those instances. Here are a couple on recent Onion articles. I especially like the guy that linked the wikipedia page for “Water” in his comment:

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