Quotes & Links #43

1) cer.org: No, we can’t: Why Podemos is not Syriza

Unlike Syriza, which blames Greece’s problems on external decisions taken by the ‘troika’, Iglesias’ party denounces Spain’s internal enemies: the corrupt ‘caste’ – the governing elites. Mirroring Spanish society, Podemos is fairly pro-European.

A good post on Podemos and Spain. For a different (and more focus on Spain’s economy) take: click here.

2) vox.com: The most important urban policy story in the world is happening in India

Mumbai currently has a regulatory ceiling of 1.33 FAR for the central city and 1 for more outlying areas. In the United States, a 1.33 FAR would probably be a neighborhood full of three story row-houses. In other words, a kind of low-density residential urbanism.

3) bloombergview.com: Is Japan Asia’s Next Autocracy?

But the focus on the military issue has drawn attention — especially Western attention — away from the severe blow that the draft constitution would deal to the freedom of the Japanese people.

4) wsj.com: Greece Can Pay Its Debts in Full, but It Won’t

Nonsense, say its creditors; such budget performances aren’t unusual.

In its June 2011 monthly bulletin, the European Central Bank cited four other eurozone countries that did just that or more in recent history: Belgium (1993-2004), Italy (1995-2000), Ireland (1988-2000) and Finland (1998-2003). Even Greece managed it from 1994 to 1999.

A nuanced article on the situation in Greece and their differences with the creditors.

5) timharford.com: Is it possible to just click with someone?

Hannah Fry, author of The Mathematics of Love, expresses the problem neatly. The algorithm, she says, “is doing exactly what it was designed to do: deliver singles who meet your specifications. The problem here is that you don’t really know what you want.”

6) longandvariable.com: Proximate roots of German monetary and fiscal conservatism
Mainly Macro’s comment section has some interesting answers, too. Reminds me how I asked my professor of political economy what his thoughts on core inflation was (back in 2008 or 2009) and he didn’t know what it was…….. basically quit class after that.

7) zeit.de: Mittelschicht – Die Kassierer

Das ist staatlich verordneter Klientelismus und bereits für sich genommen eine als Familienpolitik kaschierte Unverschämtheit, aber die Unverschämtheit lässt sich noch ins Sinnlose steigern.

Ein guter alt-journalistischer Artikel der leider viel zu viele Anekdoten besitzt und deshalb kein guter neu-journalister Artikel ist (Definition natürlich von mir ;).

Er sagt: “Die Erwartungen an den Staat wachsen, und gleichzeitig wächst das Misstrauen gegen ihn.”

Auch wenn die Anekdoten durchaus interessant sind. Die Erwartungshaltung der Bürger war schon immer ein Problem der Demokratie.

8) medium.com/bull-market: Apple just proved that the zero lower bound still exists

There’s a pattern here: companies are pushing out the maturity of their new bonds until the yield becomes positive, and then they issue.

Nobody is getting paid to borrow money (yet).

9) medium.com/sky-news: When crunch talks go wrong

What he didn’t seem to be aware of was that sodium amytal, taken in high enough doses, acts as a truth serum.

A summary of British negotiations with the US just after(?) the end of World War II. Pretty much shows that nobody is going to be generous when it comes to money, too. Interesting parallels to Greece vs. Germany.

10) enlightenmenteconomics.com: Curiosity without borders

They often describe economists, for example, as suffering from ‘physics envy’. Maybe some do, but equations are just symbols for a prism on the world which might permit the testing of hypotheses. Even historians have models – hypotheses about causes and consequences – but they use words as their symbols, and sequences of events as their empirical evidence.

People forget this all too often.

11) medium.com/sky-news: The thin line between victory and defeat

What made the job harder still is the fact that he and the finance ministry were marginalised towards the end of the negotiations. Alexis Tsipras, the Prime Minister, stepped in and carried out some of the talks behind the scenes with his fellow leaders when things looked as if they were breaking down.

Hm. I sometimes wonder if the people negotiating are not a tad too sensitive?

12) newyorker.com: The Attention-Deficit-Disorder Economy

For now, though, our own gray matter remains in the ascendant, and, for some reason, it craves short-term distraction, which Haldane categorizes, along with declining population growth and rising inequality, as “headwinds” that may be limiting the economy’s potential.

I always wonder if I’d be a happier (and maybe even more successful) person with less distraction left and right. I also still have to read the Haldane speech. Not sure I will, though.


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