April 13, 2015 at 10:37 am
Tucked at the end of a New York Times article about the possibility that Fox News, the Wall Street Journal, and other Rupert Murdoch-led properties would move to the World Trade Center site as part of a real estate deal comes this:
That will be worth watching. Maybe Mr. Murdoch should make like Buzzfeed and threaten to move to Governor Christie's New Jersey.
April 13, 2015 at 10:30 am
Alan Dershowitz has a piece up at the Gatestone Institute website pointing out some issues with the prosecution of Senator Menendez:
April 13, 2015 at 10:13 am
David Brooks has an interview with the Guardian in connection with the release of his new book The Road to Character. Mr. Brooks on Barack Obama: "I would still say that he is a man of great character. He's more leftwing than I thought he was, so I disagree with him more, but I don't disrespect him more."
I wish the Guardian would have asked Mr. Brooks to expand a bit on this "man of great character" point. But the idea that you can disagree with someone without disrespecting them is Mr. Brooks at his best, and I mean that entirely sincerely. It captures how I sometimes feel about Mr. Brooks.
April 12, 2015 at 10:21 pm
Gordon Crovitz has a characteristically shrewd Wall Street Journal column on how courts are rejecting Preet Bharara's prosecutorial campaign against "insider trading." Mr. Crovitz connects the problem to the SEC's Regulation FD, implemented in 2000. He writes: "As regulations made publicly available information scarce, the unintended consequence was huge incentives for hedge funds to root out company information they use privately for their trades."
There were plenty of misguided insider-trading prosecutions before Reg FD, as Mr. Crovitz knows because he wrote about them for the Journal back in the day. But he's probably correct that Reg FD has made things worse.
April 9, 2015 at 12:19 pm
NPR has a piece suggesting that the profit motive might do more than government or philanthropy to get electricity going in a Haitian village:
April 9, 2015 at 12:05 pm
Two days in a row, the New York Times business section has highlighted non-bank lenders. Wednesday's paper carried an interview with Anthony Hsieh, the CEO of loanDepot, a "nonbank consumer mortgage lender" that says it is funding "well over $2 billion of home loans a month" nationwide. This is another area where regulation is lagging technology. From the Times interview with Mr. Hsieh:
Today's Times has a story about Fundbox. The Times reports:
April 8, 2015 at 3:23 pm
James Dolan, the CEO of Cablevision and the owner of Newsday and the Madison Square Garden, has an interview with the Hollywood Reporter that contains a couple of intriguing passages:
Asked which New York newspaper has run the worst photo of him, his answer:
April 8, 2015 at 2:09 pm
Climate-change activist and major Democratic campaign donor Tom Steyer apparently had a meeting with Treasury Secretary Jack Lew and White House aides Valerie Jarrett, John Podesta, and Jason Furman. The Washington Free Beacon has published Lew's briefing memo for the meeting, which the Treasury Department had to be sued to disclose.
To me one interesting aspect was the involvement at the meeting of "Trevor Houser, Partner at the Rhodium Group (RHG) and Visiting Fellow at the Peterson Institute for International Economics" and of Henry Cisneros, the former secretary of Housing and Urban Development who is now founder and chairman of CityView Capital.
April 8, 2015 at 10:23 am
Support is building on the left for the idea of making April 9, the anniversary of Lee's surrender to Grant at Appomattox, a national holiday.
I tend to think we have enough national holidays already, with Lincoln's birthday lumped in to Presidents Day and Martin Luther King Day commemorating the Civil Rights struggle that came after the Civil War. If there is to be a Civil War holiday, make it Juneteenth, celebrating the emancipation rather than the end of the war.
And if the point is public remembrance, better to focus on improved history education in schools rather than adding another day off from school whose point will inevitably be lost.
April 7, 2015 at 10:01 am
A recent post here flagged two areas — self-driving cars and package delivery by drone aircraft — where regulation is moving slower than technology. A recent Manhattan Institute report flags another one: precision medicine, in which drug treatments are tailored to the biomarkers or genes of individual patients. The FDA, the report says, "has been very slow to act," instead insisting on the old model of large clinical trials that "assume broad areas of biochemical uniformity among patients, where we now know that there is significant variation."
April 7, 2015 at 9:48 am
April 2, 2015 at 8:35 am
As big companies like Walmart and Apple weigh in against religious freedom legislation in Arkansas and Indiana, one voice strangely silent is that of the "Citizens United liberals," by which I mean those on the left, like President Obama and the New York Times editorial page, who after the Supreme Court's Citizens United decision warned that corporate money and involvement in politics would be a terrible evil.
The conclusion I draw is that the objection by the left to corporate involvement in politics has nothing to do with the principle that politics shouldn't be bought or that companies should be neutral. It has to do with the substance. So if it is Koch Industries advocating for lower taxes or less regulation, the left is against it. But if it's Apple and Walmart advocating for gay rights, the left is for it. It's almost enough to make one wonder whether the left's concern about corporate money in politics isn't based on principle at all, but whether it's merely tactical or situational.
March 31, 2015 at 2:07 pm
Newbury College, a private, non-profit school in Brookline, Mass., today announced a three-year, $45,000 bachelor's degree. Colleges are competing on price already with financial aid offers, but the innovations here are the pricing transparency, the predictability, and, so far as I can see, at least, that the price is available no matter how much your family income or assets are. In a sense, the more interesting question is why there hasn't been more such competition already.
March 31, 2015 at 1:24 pm
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March 31, 2015 at 12:15 pm
Capital New York used public records law to get a copy of Buzzfeed's application for $4 million in New York State tax credits. The Buzzfeed website had threatened to move 200 employees to New Jersey if it didn't get the tax breaks. Buzzfeed wrote in its application:
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