Monthly Archives: September 2013

Markets Just Don’t Care About Government Shutdowns

(Originally published here.) Nearly all the world’s major stock indexes are down today — the Dow is off by 126 points as I write this — and the cause seems pretty obvious: The U.S. government is on the verge of shutting down … Continue reading

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Harvard and Yale Need Their Giant Piles of Money

It’s the time of year when top-tier universities update us on the state of their endowments, and it hasn’t taken long for misinformed commentary to emerge. Jordan Weissmann writes at the Atlantic that universities have too much money and should be forced to … Continue reading

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Credit Default Swaps Aren’t the Canary in the Debt-Ceiling Coal Mine

(Originally published here.) Almost no one outside of a few trading desks had even heard of credit default swaps before the 2007-2008 financial crisis. Then the hedge-funder John Paulson used them to make a lot of money while AIG used … Continue reading

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Lenin’s Lesson for Frequent Fliers

(Originally published here.) Printing money is easy — getting people to accept it for transactions is the tricky part. (Try it sometime if you don’t believe me. Being a government-backed bank helps a lot.) Although governments have a big advantage … Continue reading

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Has the Fed Been Fooled by Phony Jobs Numbers?

(Originally published here.) James Bullard, the president of the Federal Reserve Bank of St. Louis, is on record as saying the Fed was prepared to start cutting its monthly bond purchases up until “weaker data came in” earlier this month. … Continue reading

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Obama’s Pre-K: Minimal Benefit, Maximum Cost

(Originally published here.) President Barack Obama has a costly plan to provide free preschool to every 4-year-old, and New York mayoral candidate Bill de Blasio is borrowing a page from it. The theory is that participation in “high-quality’” programs at a young … Continue reading

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Fed Repudiates Its Own Economists

(Originally published here.) The Federal Reserve has decided not to reduce the pace of its asset purchases because of concerns that the economy is too weak to handle even the slightest withdrawal of monetary stimulus. At the same time, the Fed refrained … Continue reading

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