December 7, 2016 at 10:29 am
Pharmaceutical stocks were down this morning after President-elect Trump gave an interview to Time magazine in which he said, "I'm going to bring down drug prices. I don't like what's happened with drug prices."
December 6, 2016 at 2:13 pm
The Supreme Court this morning handed down a unanimous decision, written by Justice Alito, in the case of Salman v. United States, in which Bassam Salman was sentenced to three years in jail for trading on inside information that originated with a relative who was an investment banker at Citigroup.
A few points are worth initially mentioning in reaction to the decision.
The U.S. attorney for the Southern District of New York, Preet Bharara, is already claiming vindication.
December 6, 2016 at 8:13 am
Pretty interesting Bob Woodward story in the Washington Post about how the Defense Department buried a report showing how it wastes about $25 billion a year, and could save $125 billion over five years by becoming more efficient. One eye-grabber: the Pentagon has 30,000 people working just on "health care management," that is, "health-care policy, oversight and administration, excluding medical care."
December 6, 2016 at 7:52 am
President-elect Trump's decision — on Senator Schumer's advice — to reappoint Preet Bharara as the U.S. attorney for the Southern district of New York is a warning sign, I write in my column this week, which also gets into some other issues where Mr. Trump and Mr. Schumer seem aligned. Please check out the full column at the New York Sun (here), Newsmax (here), and Reason (here).
December 4, 2016 at 12:22 pm
"Eleven Ways Trump Is Like JFK" is the headline of my latest column for the Las Vegas Review-Journal, which you can read in full by clicking here. A former editor at the New York Times described the column as "extremely clever."
November 30, 2016 at 9:04 am
A slickly produced video (embedded below) is promoting the idea that "37 patriots can save this country" — that is, if only 37 Republican members of the 538-person electoral college decline to support Donald Trump, Mr. Trump would lack the majority of electors needed to become president. It seems like a long shot to me, but what really caught my eye were the three images that the video used to go with the phrase "choose an alternative president." They were pictures of Michael Bloomberg, Mitt Romney, and John Kasich. Mr. Bloomberg declined to run and endorsed Hillary Clinton. Mr. Romney declined to run in 2016 and lost the general election when he ran in 2012. Mr. Kasich was roundly defeated by Mr. Trump in the Republican primaries. It seems to me that for the electors to take the presidency away from Mr. Trump and give it to one of these three guys would be not only farfetched, but profoundly unjust and undemocratic.
November 30, 2016 at 8:26 am
General Motors loses $9,000 on each electric Chevrolet Bolt it sells, but it keeps making and selling the cars because of California state laws requiring it to either sell zero-emission vehicles or purchase credits from another company that does so, Bloomberg News reports in a fascinating look at what one expert calls "compliance vehicles."
Nor is GM the only company doing this. Bloomberg reports:
November 29, 2016 at 10:48 am
The rise of non-bank lenders as alternatives to heavily regulated banks is a theme we have been following here (see earlier posts here, here, and here). Now Bloomberg brings news of a firm in Thailand, Muangthai Leasing, whose founders have become billionaires by offering small loans collateralized by cars, land, or motorcycles: "Millions of Thais ...need working capital for small businesses, but lack the credit history required by commercial banks."
November 29, 2016 at 10:26 am
If some hedge fund exhibited a fraction of the public posture of noncompliance toward, say, insider trading law that Harvard University is exhibiting toward immigration law, Preet Bharara would be frog-marching its founder down Park Avenue faster than Usain Bolt. My column this week looks at the rule of law and executive authority under Presidents Obama and Trump. Please check it out at the New Boston Post (here), New York Sun (here), and Newsmax (here).
November 28, 2016 at 8:56 am
Boston magazine doesn't get into it, but New Hampshire is also the New England state with the lowest income tax rate — zero. It's often claimed that lower income tax rates will hurt charitable giving by reducing the incentive provided by the tax deduction for charitable giving. But it's also possible that, by leaving individuals and families with more after-tax money in their pockets, lower tax rates actually encourage charitable giving. After all, you can't give away money that the government has already taken away.
November 28, 2016 at 8:35 am
President-Elect Donald Trump was scheduled to meet this afternoon with John Allison, who is reportedly a candidate for Treasury Secretary or perhaps some other high post in the administration. My review of Mr. Allison's 2012 book that called for eliminating the Federal Reserve and cutting defense spending by as much as 50% is here.
November 27, 2016 at 11:42 am
My latest at the Las Vegas Review-Journal:
Please check out the whole column by clicking here.
November 22, 2016 at 8:14 am
David Brooks is a New York Times columnist with whom I've certainly had my share of differences over the years, but today's column has some very wise passages:
November 21, 2016 at 9:01 pm
A quick trip to Detroit was just what I needed for some perspective on the presidential election. That's what my column is about this week; please check it out at the New York Sun (here), Reason (here), and Newsmax (here).
November 20, 2016 at 9:10 pm
The New York Times manages to write up McDonald's decision to roll out "digital self-serve ordering stations" at all of its 14,000 U.S. restaurants without any mention at all of increases in minimum wages and health care mandates, factors that many of us predicted would accelerate the trend of workers being replaced by machinery.
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