Judge Jed Rakoff just approved a settlement between the SEC and Bank of America in a dispute about the disclosures made to shareholders during Bank of America’s acquisition of Merrill Lynch. This is significant becasue Rakoff causes a minor kerfuffle last year when he rejected a similar deal (although for only $33 million in fines ... Rakoff, part deux
In the comments to my last post on Mr. Obama’s health proposals (which have gotten worse — price controls!?), “Chris” and I have been having a back-and-forth about what he characterizes as a uniquely Republican disease — obstructionism. He calls Republicans “the Party of No.” I’m not a political scientist, but this seems like a ... The Party of No
The president revealed his last-ditch plan to reform our healthcare system today. (Funny the plan is revealed before the “bipartisan” meeting about health care being trumpeted for political reasons.) One thing I was hoping to see in the proposal is missing — an increase in the eligibility age for Medicare (and, while we are at ... Mr. Obama, go to "China"
I love our national parks as much as the next guy (probably more, having visited every major one and dozens of smaller ones, and loving every minute of nearly every visit), but can someone tell me why the federal government owns so much of our country? Some maps tell the story. See here and here. ... Government ownership of land
I just love the Olympics. Exhibit A for me was the face of American skier Lindsey Vonn in the starting gate last night before her gold-medal-winning race. Vonn was the overwhelming favorite, having proved herself the greatest skier in the world for the past few years. She was, however, plagued by a nasty shin injury ... Some thoughts on the Olympics
Writing in the Weekly Standard, Jeffrey Anderson offers an alternative to Obamacare (or should we call it Pelosireidcare?). The seven provisions in the “Small Bill” seem sensible to this nonexpert. Allowing insurance to be sold interstate is likely to bring down costs and improve service — wouldn’t some competition from Geico Health Insurance be a ... Thoughts on "The Small Bill"
Writing in the Wall Street Journal, Alan Greenspan, who was at the helm of the Fed during the relevant time period, tells us (surprise!) it wasn’t the Fed’s fault. Greenspan notes that short-term interest rates, which the Fed controls, are only loosely correlated with long-term interest rates, which are most relevant to real estate investing ... What caused the crisis?
I have the pleasure of co-leading a seminar this quarter with distinguished philosopher Brian Leiter. The seminar, entitled “Capitalism: For and Against,” (take a guess which side I’m on), meets periodically at either my home or Brian’s. About 12 students join us to discuss a reading. So far, we’ve read “A Communist Manifesto,” (how could ... Do motives matter?
The best gift I got this Christmas – other than my collection of DVDs about the Pittsburgh Steelers six Super Bowl titles – was the chance to overhear a story that beautifully captures what I think is the biggest obstacle to sensible policy making at all levels. I was at a party, attired in snowman ... A Christmas story
Here’s hoping all our readers have a Merry Christmas. (If you don’t celebrate Christmas, I hope your new year is filled with joy and good fortune.) Since I can’t deliver a Christmas present via the Internet, my “gift” to you is a movie recommendation. My father in law (the one with a high beta taste ... Merry Christmas
My brilliant and beloved colleague Brian Leiter refers to Republican voters as “sociopaths, villains, religious zealots, and crazies.” There is much to this – the 50 percent or so of the voting population that traditionally vote for the GOP includes its fair share of misinformed nuts. But is there any reason to believe that Republicans have ... Are Republicans crazy?
Occasionally I read Mr. Krugman’s column for entertainment purposes — sort of like watching Project Runway or Animals Gone Wild. This morning was one of those occasions. The man is a partisan hack of the worst sort. Why does anyone take his political observations seriously? Some thoughts about this morning’s column. 1. Krugman starts by ... Paul Krugman is a partisan hack