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26 июля, 00:27

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**Live from Cyberspace: Metaphors for Programming Department**: Python νB Gandalf the Grey confronting unexpected behavior from a pandas.DataFrame:

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25 июля, 20:48

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**Should-Read**: This is not even sausage-making: this is taking an intestinal casing, putting nothing in it, and saying that you are going to add the meat by-products later: **Leigh Ann Caldwell and Vaughn Hillard**: Senate Considers 'Skinny' Repeal of Obamacare in Tuesday's Voting: "The plan... is for senators to... a 'skinny' repeal... eliminat[ing] Obamacare's individual mandate penalty, the employer mandate penalty, and the tax on medical devices.... The Senate would then go to conference.... Conferees would work out a final bill. Both chambers would then have to vote..."

22 июля, 23:57

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**Should-Read**: _Wall Street Journal_ editorial writer Joe Rago found dead in his apartment. I am very sorry for him and his family. Note, first, that none of his predictions about the effects of ObamaCare have so far shown any signs of coming true. None. But a lot of people have gotten addiction treatment through ObamaCare. Note, second, that when a healthy 34-year-old is found dead when, after missing one day of work, his boss sends the police to his apartment, you gotta think: fentanyl and heroin. And so I am even sorrier for him and his family: **Joe Rago** (2010): The ObamaCare Crossroads: "Once the health-care markets are put through Mr. Obama's de facto nationalization, costs will further explode... >...Soon the public will reach its taxing limit, and then something will have to give on the care side. In short, medicine will be rationed by politics, no doubt with the same subtlety and wisdom as Congress's final madcap dash toward 216 votes.... Government will set the cost-minded priorities and determine what kinds of treatment options patients are allowed to receive. Medicare's price controls will be exported to the remnants of the private sector... leading to shortages and delays of months...

22 июля, 18:29

What Should We Be Ready to Do After the Next Nuclear Fire?...

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I was never able to get anybody interested in publishing this when I wrote it and shopped it around ten years ago. I do wonder why: it is, I think, rather important... After the Next Nuclear Fire... : In the early 1980s the U.S. NSA--or perhaps it was the Defense Department--loved to play games with Russian air defense. They would send probe planes in from the Pacific to fly over Siberia. And they would watch and listen: Where were the gaps in Russian sensor coverage? How far could U.S. planes penetrate before being spotted? What were Russian command-and-control procedures to intercept intruders? And so on, and so forth. Then, one night, September 1, 1983, the pilot of Korean Air Lines Flight 007 to Seoul mispunched his destination coordinates into his autopilot, and sent his plane west of its proper course, over Siberia, where Russian fighters--confident that they had finally caught one of the American spyplane intruders napping--blew it and its hundreds of civilian passengers out of the sky. With some glee the Reagan administration claimed that the Russians had deliberately shot down a civilian airliner because they were barbarians and terrorists and wanted the world to know that they were...

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22 июля, 18:09

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**Should-Read: Jonathan Baker**: Market power in the U.S. economy today: "The U.S. economy has a 'market power' problem, notwithstanding our strong and extensive antitrust institutions... >...The surprising conjunction of the exercise of market power with well-established antitrust norms, precedents, and enforcement institutions is the central paradox of U.S. competition policy today.... The harms from the exercise of firms’ market power may extend beyond individual markets affected to include slower overall economic growth and increased economic inequality. The implications for future economic productivity and welfare are troubling, but before detailing these consequences, it is necessary to understand why market power is a major issue despite well-established antitrust enforcement institutions and legal precedents...

22 июля, 18:08

Procrastination on July 22, 2017

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**Over at [Equitable Growth](http://EquitableGrowth.org): Must- and Should-Reads:** * **Nick Bunker**: Weekend reading: “Boosting the competition” edition: "Since 2000 the concentration of businesses in the United States has increased and the amount of business investment relative to profits has declined... * **Jonathan Baker**: Market power in the U.S. economy today: "The U.S. economy has a 'market power' problem, notwithstanding our strong and extensive antitrust institutions... * **Doug Elmendorf et al.**: Letter from Former CBO Directors on the Importance of CBO’s Role in the Legislative Process: "The undersigned represent every former Director of the Congressional Budget Office (CBO)... * **Ryan Avent**: Making Monetary Policy Great Again: "Obama’s response to the economic crisis... the timidity of his stimulus plan... his failure to provide broad support to struggling homeowners... his premature pivot to deficit cutting... * **Pedro Nicolaci da Costa**: Ex-Bank of England official says Fed has wrong idea on jobs, inflation: "**The Fed's misleading view of the job market reflects 'a huge intellectual failure'**... * **Cosma Shalizi** (2006): Accents, Heritability, Measured IQ, the Flynn Effect, and Intelligence: ">Q: Would you put on your right-thinking left-liberal educated-in-Berkeley-and-Madison hat for a moment?... * **Timothy Garton Ash** (2007): The Road from Danzig: "The offense is that...

22 июля, 18:00

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**Should-Read: Nick Bunker**: Weekend reading: “Boosting the competition” edition: "Since 2000 the concentration of businesses in the United States has increased and the amount of business investment relative to profits has declined... >...Are these two trends connected? New research argues that less competition and increased consolidation is pushing down investment growth. Gene Kimmelman of Public Knowledge and Mark Cooper of the Consumer Federation of America make the case for stronger antitrust enforcement and regulatory oversight in the digital communications industry. The gap between the unemployment rate for black and white Americans may be at a historical low, but the gap still exists. A recent research paper digs into why this gap remains and how it shrinks as the labor market gets stronger. In the latest installment of Equitable Growth in Conversation, Heather Boushey talks with Robert Solow...

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22 июля, 05:36

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**Should-Read: Doug Elmendorf et al.**: Letter from Former CBO Directors on the Importance of CBO’s Role in the Legislative Process: "The undersigned represent every former Director of the Congressional Budget Office (CBO)... >...We write to express our strong objection to recent attacks on the integrity and professionalism of the agency and on the agency’s role in the legislative process.... Over the past 42 years CBO has been firmly committed to providing nonpartisan and high-quality analysis—and that commitment remains as strong and effective today as it has been in the past. Because CBO works for the Congress, and only the Congress, the agency’s analysis addresses the unique needs of legislators. To meet the standard of nonpartisan objectivity, CBO makes no recommendations about policy, regularly consults with researchers and practitioners with a wide range of views (as can be seen in the agency’s panels of advisers and reviewers for major studies), and enhances its transparency by releasing extensive descriptions of its analytic techniques and forecast record. To produce estimates of high quality, CBO uses its detailed understanding of federal programs and economic conditions, ongoing interactions with government officials and private-sector experts, the best academic research, and the latest available data consistent with...

21 июля, 22:16

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**Must-Read: Ryan Avent**: Making Monetary Policy Great Again: "Obama’s response to the economic crisis... the timidity of his stimulus plan... his failure to provide broad support to struggling homeowners... his premature pivot to deficit cutting... >...While Roosevelt’s New Deal programs left an indelible mark on the American economy and society, it was his decisive monetary action that saved America from continuing depression. On just his third day... Roosevelt declared a bank holiday... suspended... the... gold standard... a policy of reflation. The economic response was immediate.... Obama would not pursue any comparably radical policy.... His Administration left the hard work of rehabilitating the economy to the Federal Reserve, while the federal government turned to deficit reduction.... >The decades prior to the crisis taught political leaders that economic management was the Fed’s job, one it could handle ably. Experience since the financial crisis strongly suggests that assumption was mistaken. It should not have taken six years to return the unemployment rate to the pre-crisis level, nor should so much of the reduction in unemployment have come in the form of frustrated workers leaving the labor force. American incomes should not have been allowed to fall below the pre-crisis trend, and at least...

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21 июля, 22:07

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**Live from the Orange-Haired Baboon Cage**: Bradd Jaffy sends us to White House Communications Director Anthony Scaramucci's opinion of Donald Trump: >[Donald Trump] is just another hack politician. That's another hack politician. He's just a hack politician. [Donald Trump] is probably going to make Elizabeth Warren his Vice Presidential nominee, with comments like that. It's anti-American [for him to criticize hedge funds]. It's very divisive. >I can tell you what he's going to be president of—you can tell Donald I said this—the Queens County Bowling Association. You have to cut it out now. Stop all this crazy rhetoric. >I don't like the way he talks about women. I don't like the way he talks about our friend Megan Kelly. You know what? The politicians don't want to go at Donald Trump because he has a big mouth, and they are afraid he is going to light them up on Fox News. >But I'm not a politician. >You are an inherited money dude from Queens County! Bring it, Donald! Bring it! An inherited money dude from Queens County! >Q: Do you think Walker will do attack ads against [Donald Trump]? >I don't. I think that Walker is a smart guy and...

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21 июля, 21:45

Spicey go bye-bye / Boing Boing

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**Live from the Orange-Haired Baboon Cage**: WTFF!?!?!?!? **Xeni Jardin**: Spicey go bye-bye: "Sean Spicer has resigned as President Donald Trump's communications director, and he doesn't like his replacement. From The New York Times... >...Sean Spicer, the White House press secretary, resigned on Friday morning, telling President Trump he vehemently disagreed with the appointment of New York financier Anthony Scaramucci as communications director. Mr. Trump offered Mr. Scaramucci the job at 10 a.m. The president requested that Mr. Spicer stay on, but Mr. Spicer told Mr. Trump that he believed the appointment was a major mistake, according to person with direct knowledge of the exchange. >We'll always have Melissa McCarthy.

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21 июля, 21:05

A Teaching Note on Barro's (2005) "Rare Events and the Equity Premium" and Rietz's (1988) "The Equity Premium: A Solution"

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**J. Bradford DeLong** (2007): A Teaching Note on Barro's (2005) "Rare Events and the Equity Premium" and Rietz's (1988) "The Equity Premium: A Solution" : Robert Barro should have called his 2005 "Rare Events and the Equity Premium" paper something like "Rare Events and the Low Riskfree Rate" instead... Barro's paper follows Rietz (1988) and uses the possibility of future disastrous falls in economy-wide consumption and in payouts on equities to explain the high premium equity return relative to bonds, and the low real return on bonds as well. The primary channel is not what you probably think: it is not that the fear of future catastrophe depresses the price and hence raise the in-sample--we here in the United States haven't seen the real catastrophes the lurk out there--average return to equities. The primary channel is that fear of future catastrophe raises desired savings to carry purchasing power forward in time in case of need. But, since assets are in fixed supply in the Lucas-tree model Barro uses, this outward shift in savings demand drives the prices of real bonds up and the returns on real bonds down. It also--for risk-aversion parameters greater than one--drives the prices up and the...