January 30, 2015 at 11:51 am
In the New York Times Book Review over the weekend, the American Enterprise Institute's James Pethokoukis wrote a negative review of James Grant's book The Forgotten Depression. Mr. Pethokoukis wrote:
Steven Rattner, of all people, has a very shrewd response to Mr. Pethokoukis's point (though neither Mr. Pethokoukis nor Jim Grant is mentioned in Mr Rattner's article). Mr. Rattner rejects the stimulus versus austerity debate as overly simplistic. He writes:
January 30, 2015 at 9:46 am
The City of Boston has reportedly slapped John Kerry with a $50 fine for failing to clear the snow off the sidewalks in front of his Beacon Hill mansion.
January 30, 2015 at 9:41 am
In honor of today's Shake Shack initial public offering, here is a link to my 2006 New York Sun story about the Shake Shack. It holds up pretty well nine years later, if not perfectly. The hamburger that cost $3.23 then is now up to $5.19, a 61% price increase (or decline in the value of the dollar, as measured in ShackBurgers) over nine years.
January 27, 2015 at 11:06 pm
The Wall Street Journal's Allysia Finley has a piece pointing out that tennis players move to where they are well-treated tax-wise:
January 27, 2015 at 12:48 pm
Time magazine's Ideas section has posted a piece I wrote drawing some conclusions from the blizzard, or non-blizzard, of 2015. Please check it out here.
January 27, 2015 at 10:42 am
January 26, 2015 at 7:01 pm
New York City's mayor, Bill de Blasio, and New York's governor, Andrew Cuomo, are seizing the opportunity to make what may yet be a large but not terribly exceptional winter snowstorm into a major emergency. For the mayor, it has the advantage of getting the public's mind off his mismanagement of his relations with the police. For the governor, it gets the public's mind, and the press's attention, off of his failure to "clean up" Albany, as exemplified by the recent federal corruption case filed against the speaker of the New York State Assembly, Sheldon Silver. For both Mr. Cuomo and Mr. de Blasio, the storm is well timed, and they seem all geared up to take full advantage of it. That's not to say that they are not genuinely concerned about public safety and motivated in part by that. But it is to say that, from their political perspective, the storm comes at a good moment, and they are going to make the most of it.
January 26, 2015 at 9:48 am
Politico's Mike Allen reports that Hillary Clinton is definitely running for president:
January 26, 2015 at 9:19 am
Cato Institute's Walter Olson has an article in the Washington Examiner jumping off from recent Republican wins in the Massachusetts and Maryland governor's races and headlined "How the GOP wins in the Northeast." I always thought Maryland was the South, not the Northeast, but I guess it all depends on where you're sitting. The whole thing is worth a read if you are interested in politics, but my favorite sentence was this one:
January 23, 2015 at 9:25 am
The New York Times has a news article about the eminent domain seizures involved in the Keystone XL pipeline, which is something that congressional Republicans, if they were principled about property rights, might want to pay some attention to:
January 22, 2015 at 12:32 pm
A reader sent an irate response to point 4 below, suggesting that, in essence, it is ridiculous to suggest on the basis of two cases, Silver and Rapfogel, that there might be anything about Modern Orthodox Judaism worth scrutinizing. Maybe the reader is correct.
January 22, 2015 at 11:49 am
There's so much to say about the federal criminal complaint just filed against the speaker of the New York State Assembly, Sheldon Silver, a Democrat, that it is hard to know exactly where to start, but here are a few preliminary observations:
1. Part of the case is built on the slim reed of "honest services" fraud, the same statute that prosecutors tried to use against Conrad Black and Jeffrey Skilling but that the Supreme Court rebuffed them on.
2. It's the arbitrary regulatory power of the state over business that creates the opportunity for corruption and that makes one of the best cases for modest government with limited power and limited discretion. From the criminal complaint:
January 21, 2015 at 12:26 pm
The New York Times has an update on the state of insider trading law. A professor at Wayne State University Law School, Peter Henning, writes:
January 21, 2015 at 12:33 am
Mr. Speaker, Mr. Vice President, Members of Congress, my fellow Americans:
We are fifteen years into this new century. Fifteen years that dawned with terror touching our shores; that unfolded with a new generation fighting two long and costly wars; that saw a vicious recession spread across our nation and the world. It has been, and still is, a hard time for many.
But tonight, we turn the page. [Well there's some wishful thinking, about turning the page on the war with the terrorists, just as ISIS releases video of Japanese hostages and Islamic militants murder Jews and cartoonists at Paris.]
January 20, 2015 at 1:13 pm
The president of the Club for Growth, David McIntosh, has sent a letter to Speaker Boehner and Majority Leader McConnell laying down some markers for the economic policy agenda in the Congress ahead. The key points:
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