May 9, 2013 at 12:43 pm
Clive Crook's Bloomberg view column criticizing Paul Krugman, which we excerpted and linked earlier here, has elicited a ferocious response, including one from a professor of economics at the University of California, Berkeley, Brad DeLong, who, as Mr. Crook summarizes the matter in a follow-up column, posted an item that "exemplifies the intemperance I'm addressing. He illustrates it with a picture of a clown. He also wants me fired. 'Bloomberg has some house-cleaning to do,' he says -- charming, and from a tenured academic, to boot."
May 9, 2013 at 12:32 pm
A New York Times dispatch on the Metropolitan Museum of Art's annual costume gala reports:
It will be interesting to see whether Mayor Bloomberg and his administration come down as hard on the Met as they would on a small business that showed similar disregard for the city's anti-tobacco regulations. If the Museum gets away with no consequences, it sure looks like a double standard.
May 8, 2013 at 10:27 am
From a New York Times article about the fall-off in recent performance by the venture capital firm Kleiner Perkins Caufield & Byers:
I'm not a big fan of anonymous sources, but this line made me chuckle. The ranks of those who "really believed green tech was going to be the next big technology wave" included not only Kleiner Perkins but also President Obama and lots of other investors both private and governmental. There were plenty of journalists, too. That the Times can now admit in a front-of-the-business-section news article that this view was incorrect is a big deal.
That's not to say that no one made any money on this stuff, or to say that no one ever will. But it wasn't as easy or as sure a thing as it seemed at the time.
May 7, 2013 at 2:51 pm
"No matter how hard they try to intimidate us," the chairman of the Manhattan Institute, Paul Singer, said last night, "we will not back down."
The event was the Institute's annual Alexander Hamilton Dinner in Midtown Manhattan. Those attempting the intimidating were identified by Mr. Singer generally as defenders of the status quo, but given the context of a recent American Federation of Teachers report that put money managers whose personnel donated to the Manhattan Institute on a "watch list," it wasn't hard to imagine what he meant.
No backing down at all was evident in the remarks of the two main speakers at the event, Invemed CEO Kenneth Langone and the former governor of Mississippi, Haley Barbour.
Said Mr. Langone, who was honored at the event with the Alexander Hamilton Award: "We need to hold our teachers accountable....They are being paid a fortune and very frankly the results aren't there....We are not getting the results from our teachers for what we are paying."
May 7, 2013 at 8:23 am
Libertarian law professor Richard Epstein's latest column is up at the Hoover Institution's Defining Ideas website. In it, he writes about the collapse of a garment factory in Bangladesh in which hundreds of workers were killed:
May 6, 2013 at 5:17 pm
The Plausibility Plague — the problem of pundits assuring readers that some outcome is impossible — is the topic of my column this week:
May 3, 2013 at 5:08 pm
The recent opening ceremonies for the George W. Bush Presidential Library in Dallas were a reminder of, among other things, the outsize influence the Lone Star State has had on the rest of America.
Texas gave the United States not only George W. Bush and his father George H.W. Bush, but also Lyndon Johnson, Sam Rayburn, Phil Gramm, Tom DeLay, and Ron Paul. The computer company Dell is based there, as is Whole Foods Market. Texas's abortion laws and a Texas plaintiff who opposed them gave rise to the Supreme Court's decision in Roe v. Wade.
Erica Greider reminds us of all this in her new book Big, Hot, Cheap and Right: What American Can Learn From The Strange Genius of Texas. She has an eye not just for the historically significant fact but also for the telling cultural detail — she mentions a Fort Worth restaurant that listed a chicken-fried steak on its menu as "on the lighter side," and a Houston plastic surgeon who had his home swimming pool built in the shape of an augmented breast.
May 2, 2013 at 2:52 pm
The South Mountain Company blog has an update from the anti-fossil-fuel crowd. It runs under the headline "Victory at Hand":
May 2, 2013 at 12:14 pm
Ari Shavit's upcoming book My Promised Land: The Triumph and Tragedy of Israel includes an account of an interview with the governor of the Bank of Israel, Stanley Fischer, that may be of interest to FutureOfCapitalism readers and of relevance to the American economy. From the book:
May 1, 2013 at 10:01 am
Clive Crook has a Bloomberg View column about New York Times columnist Paul Krugman:
May 1, 2013 at 9:50 am
The New Hampshire Union Leader has an editorial pointing out that the Boston Marathon bombing victims who lost limbs and who will be fitted with prosthetic or artificial legs will be stuck paying the ObamaCare medical device tax. The editorial doesn't suggest it, but a fun move for the Republicans in Congress who oppose the medical device tax and the Democrats (including Al Franken and Elizabeth Warren) who also oppose the tax would be to send up a bill waiving the tax for prosthetic limbs for Boston Marathon bombing victims (or, for that matter, for American troops who lose limbs to improved explosive devices). See if President Obama vetos that one!
April 30, 2013 at 9:28 am
The New York Times has a report on how Anthony Weiner, the former congressman from New York who is now considering a run for mayor, is earning hundreds of thousands of dollars a year: "Mr. Weiner said he had reached out to federal officials at the Energy and Agriculture Departments, as well as members of Congress, on behalf of his clients. But he insisted that the work did not meet the legal definition of lobbying, which he said his contracts made clear he would not do."
His clients include an electronic medical records provider, a law firm trying to get the FCC to relax its restrictions on major foreign ownership of broadcast media, and a biofuel company.
April 30, 2013 at 9:00 am
California is moving to join Massachusetts, Vermont, Rhode Island, and the District of Columbia on the list of places where health insurance companies are not allowed to charge higher premiums to smokers, NPR reports. The proposed law in California "has so far encountered no formal opposition from anti-smoking groups, cigarette companies, insurance companies or the American Lung Association," NPR says.
April 30, 2013 at 8:54 am
Libertarian law professor Richard Epstein's column this week, on civil liberties after the Boston Marathon bombing, gets into some of the legal background of the"stop and frisk" practices that have been in the news in New York. He writes:
April 30, 2013 at 8:45 am
Why doesn't the real estate industry attract the same regulatory and press scrutiny that Wall Street does? That's the topic of my column this week, which reports on at least one real estate editor at a major American newspaper who earns income doing freelance writing for a real estate company. Please check it out at Reason here.
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