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S&P's tit for tat

August 6, 2011

Thanks to the time difference, I went to bed last night thinking the markets had stabilized, but woke up to learn that the United States -- the unassailable risk-free issuer -- had been downgraded by S&P. This is embarrassing -- on S&P's part. As we all recall, S&P was blamed squarely for contributing to the […]

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The jobs report, briefly

June 5, 2010

It's become poor form to take the jobs report at face value, and every financial blog out there is doing its best to reveal "the truth" about the misleading numbers. Most recently, the headline is that the 431,000 jobs which were added to non-farm payrolls included 411,000 temporary census-related jobs. Quick arithmetic reveals that this means only 20,000 jobs […]

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The regulation bubble

November 10, 2009

Breaking down Senator Dodd's financial reform bill.

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Iran has a secret nuclear plant

September 25, 2009

I am hardly surprised, and fervently hope this erodes any remaining legitimacy that the present Iranian government has managed to cling to. (Via everyone)

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Cash for who?

August 11, 2009

A visualization from GOOD of the top 10 trade-ins and new vehicles under the "Cash for Clunkers" program reveals an interesting fact: The top 10 trade-ins include 5 Fords, 2 Chevys, 2 Jeeps and a Dodge. You might recognize those names - they used to be powerhouse American brands. Meanwhile, the top 10 new cars […]

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Lies, damn lies...

June 2, 2009

A fascinating look at the politics of government statistics from Carl Bialik's WSJ blog.

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I make this look good

June 1, 2009

A construction crew cuts a secret wire, and men in black arrive within minutes: very cool.

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May 21, 2009 launched today, a surprisingly good-looking archive of government data. It has the potential to be an incredibly powerful resource, but I'll be really exicted when it has more than 47 datasets (and only a handful in CSV; KML is nice, but I don't see Google Earth running any regressions). I'll be patient - the […]

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Quick thoughts: stress tests and such

May 6, 2009

Front page of the NYT tonight: "As Stress Tests are Revealed, Markets Sense a Turning Point." I know I'm a cynic, but my first thought was "...which way?" Is it even possible to turn upward after a 40% rally? Sure enough, the article is quickly laced with the caveat "All of this assumes that the economy […]

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Policy & Depression

April 4, 2009

UCLA Economist Lee Ohanian, who recently published a paper on the role of the New Deal in prolonging the Great Depression (I covered it here), wrote to Professor Mankiw with a preview of his follow-up implicating Hoover's policies as well: I conclude that the Depression is the consequence of government programs and policies, including those […]

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Just answer the questions, Mr. Chairman

February 12, 2009

Barney Frank (D - MA) is the chairman of the House Financial Services Committee, which means he plays quite a role in analyzing the meltdown of 2008.  Yesterday, he led the interrogation of the bank CEO's.  Today, Caroline Baum's Bloomberg column hypothesized what would transpire if the situation were reversed: Chairman Frank, on July 14, 2008, you made […]

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Thoughts on Obama's first primetime press conference

February 9, 2009

Remember this, the controversial "3am phone call" ad? How about this response? Last Thursday, President Obama wrote an opinion for the Washington Post which contained the following paragraph: And if nothing is done, this recession might linger for years. Our economy will lose 5 million more jobs. Unemployment will approach double digits. Our nation will […]

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