Sunday, March 20, 2011

The next financial meltdown

Paul Singer, one of the few who foresaw the sub-prime mortgage meltdown, argues that as the result of Dodd-Frank, the financial system is now more fragile and in danger of runaway destabilizing feedback.
He also see the possibility of serious inflation.

With an out-of-control federal deficit, I think inflation is inevitable. There is no other way to deal with the debt than to inflate it away. The only questions are when and how much. Now if I could just figure out how to insure against it.

Friday, March 11, 2011

Responding to incentives

People respond to taxes, specifically a tax on Internet activity:

"In the meantime, CouponCabin is actively exploring moving to Indiana. It's a shame we have to consider leaving our longtime home in Illinois, but we will do what is best for our business."

Sunday, March 6, 2011

Confounding variables

Iowahawk has a couple of pieces that explain the importance of taking confounding variables into account, here and here.

Thursday, March 3, 2011

Ignore Sarah Palin Week

This is an Ignore Sarah Palin Week:
That's right -- February 27-March 5 is officially, "Ignore Sarah Palin Week."   For just one week, signers of this petition pledge to do the following:
  • Change the channel if she comes on TV
  • Surf to another page if she pops up on the web
  • Turn to another article if she appears in a newspaper, magazine, comic book, etc.
Questions: If you really are ignoring Sarah Palin, why would you go to a web page devoted to Sarah Palin?  Doesn't signing the petition violate point two of the pledge? If you really want to ignore her, wouldn't it be better to just ignore her?

Sarah Palin is frequently in the news because the Left is obsessed with her--they scrutinize everything she says and does. That kind of scrutiny might make sense for an important public official (though Obama does not get it), but it does not for a private citizen.