Wednesday, February 29, 2012

Mazi's Link O' the Day

There tends to be a marriage bias in female pay. Married women are simply paid less than single women, even when many relevant variables are controlled for. What else could be explaining it? Well, while some of the explanations may seem sexist, the author is not imposing HIS views here. He's just offering forth information in the numbers and in social perception. I'll let you judge how much sexism plays a role:

Tuesday, February 28, 2012

Mazi's Link O' the Day

I'm not sure if I've expressed this sentiment on the lovely blanche pages of this blog, but I have been wary of China's monstrous growth. I think it's unsustainable, and much of my nervousness springs from the country's somewhat cavalier use of monetary policy. For what it's worth, people agree:

Monday, February 27, 2012

Mazi's Link O' the Day

Well, it's no surprise that once Iran started huffing and puffing that oil would begin trudging higher and higher. Here's a more detailed look at what's causing oil prices to rise. It may not feel awful now, but keep in mind, we're not even near summer yet, and that's the season where oil typically peaks:

Sunday, February 26, 2012

Saturday, February 25, 2012

Friday, February 24, 2012

Mazi's Link O' the Day

The Obama administration released its analysis and new proposals for the business tax system. What was wrong with it before, you might ask? Well, this article explains the  "unfairness" that pervades currently:

Thursday, February 23, 2012

Mazi's Link O' the Day

You may remember I posted a link about the need for a Byzantine financial system. In the name of fairness,here's a somewhat opposing view. Does the Fed play favorites?

Wednesday, February 22, 2012

Mazi's Link O' the Day

It's like TED reads my Facebook.... Eerie... Anyway, long live books (not e-readers)!

Tuesday, February 21, 2012

Monday, February 20, 2012

Mazi's Link O' the Day

TED, once again, defends our liberal arts institutions and takes offense at the claim that Wall Street is luring away our bright youngsters to nummamorous lives of servitude:

Sunday, February 19, 2012

Mazi's Link O' the Day

What if they had the Nobel Prize for economics in the early 20th century? Who would have won?

Friday, February 17, 2012

Mazi's Link O' the Day

Surprising results about the correlation between insurgency and unemployment (you'd think it'd be positive, right?):

Thursday, February 16, 2012

Tuesday, February 14, 2012

An EconStu Valentine

Let us assume a basic economy. Economists in Austerios are interested in comparing the levels of investment and unemployment. They already have some basic information.

They know the relationship between u', the rate of change of unemployment with respect to x, the level of consumption with respect to time.


du/dx = (8/15)x


I < (4/5) (x)^2

This last equation tells us, in Austerios, the level of investment must be strictly less than four-fifths the level of consumption-squared in the economy.

We must integrate to find an equation relating u to x.

Solving, we find:

u  = (4/15) (x)^2 + constant

I'm going to assume away the constant here. It is most important when comparing base levels of consumption and unemployment, and I'm not concerned with the extreme case. If both u and x are sufficiently large compared to the constant, we get

u = (4/15) (x)^2

Now, we can find our relationship between the unemployment level and investment.

Plugging in:

I < (4/5)[(15/4)u]

So, it must be the case that...

I <3 u

Happy Valentines Day

Sunday, February 12, 2012

Mazi's Link O' the Day

Tyler Cowen proposes a new form of regulation for "too big to fail." Put sherholders on the hook:

Saturday, February 11, 2012

Mazi's Link O' the Day

Greg Mankiw gives a good explanation of the Obama administration's healthcare shift:

Friday, February 10, 2012

Thursday, February 9, 2012

Mazi's Link O' the Day

In first economics class, I wrote a case study on Turkey. So, you can imagine, that country has a special place in my heart. Here are 3 lessons to take away from it's economy:

Wednesday, February 8, 2012

Mazi's Link O' the Day

Are we cutting debt too quickly? Lower government spending will detract from GDP, and low growth will mean less tax revenues (which makes reaching those deficit targets difficult). Can we really afford more hampers on our growth?

Tuesday, February 7, 2012

Mazi's Link O' the Day

"Implicitly, Republicans... Want everyone to submit to their dogma":

Monday, February 6, 2012

Mazi's Link O' the Day

I think the ending arguments of this piece are my favorite. It really all comes back to the same, staid axiom of finance: The unbreakable link between risk and return. Interestingly, people (bankers, etc..) have seen incredibly profitable investments, and assumed that the risk was low, that the PRICE of risk was low, simply because the models told them so. But, as TED asserts, if your risk falls OUTSIDE of the capital system, say, away from Wall Street and onto the shoulders of government, naturally, risk will appear much cheaper:

Saturday, February 4, 2012

Friday, February 3, 2012

Mazi's Link O' the Day

A pretty vehement attack on Keynesianism. (I try to provide all view points here):

Thursday, February 2, 2012

Mazi's Link O' the Day

This article is a nice follow-up to my post yesterday. If we do wish to get back to a purer, more equitable (that's a loaded phrase, I realize), form of capitalism, one of the big changes that needs to occur is the end of "Too Big Too Fail." As I mentioned, the prospect of failure and of being run out of town by a newcomer encourages even old and large firms to be vigilant and not take unnecessary risks. Simon Johnson writes that we may be moving in the right direction:

Wednesday, February 1, 2012

Angry Masses, Wrong Villians

The Occupy (Fill it in) Protests, the still lingering sting of the financial meltdown, the possibility of ANOTHER financial meltdown, and various iniquities performed by corporations (a la MF Global), have generally ostracized and vilified the apologists of capitalism. What happened to the once mighty (and loved) assembly-lines of Ford, which raised so many poor Michigan-ers to levels of "middle-class?" Who would support this economics system in place NOW? I'll tell you... Republicans... Conservatives.... Mean, Rich, People....

Well... That's not so true. Or maybe it is. We can't have this argument until I clear up an important point. This is not pure capitalism, or even a slightly muddy version of it. In fact, as argued here, there are many components of what we live in now that are stringently non-capitalist.

So, let me proclaim (from ye blog on high), that I am a liberal who supports capitalism (in a slightly revised form). I'll stay away from my political view, not because I am shy to share, but simply because I try to avoid political evangelicalism on these white pages, and prefer to stick with rabid economic evangelicalism. Plus, I imagine, many people know what an "American liberal" believes.

Now, I ought to make the point I've been dancing around ever since the title of this piece. The esteemed 99% are PISSED OFF at somebody or something. And, to avoid the vagueness of  proletarian philosophizing and moralizing, we've all come to the conclusion that they're pissed off at capitalism. Fair enough. Look at all those giant conglomerates, who have lobbyists whispering in the ears of our Congressmen. But these are precisely the non-capitalist elements of society that bother me as liberal and capitalist.

People of my point of view like to toss around the phrase "the free market." That's all fine and dandy, but let me rephrase it as "the competitive market." Here, in its most pure form, firms do not have market power. If they price too high, are inefficient, or betray their customers, they will cease to exist. Of course, it is unrealistic to assume no firms will achieve market power, and perhaps that's a good thing. Natural monopolies arise (for instance cable TV), and this makes for lower marginal costs. But technical issues aside, in the competitive market I like, there is always change. And change is what we lack. I'm not saying, "out with the old, in with the new." But a healthy market should have new firms and innovators challenging the staid ones. Most of these entrants will fail, for sure, but being "under pressure" forces some of our more comfortable heavies to stop resting on their size and influence.

As a liberal and capitalist, I'm happy when someone like Mark Zuckerberg can penetrate the world of technology, because he has a good idea, and his good idea can't be blocked or "lobbied against." And that, my friends, is capitalism. Capital in the hands of private owners. Firms competing against each other to win support and money (which becomes more capital) from consumers, not firms competing to get into Senator Joe's pockets.

The ones who would seek to maintain this status quo are not capitalists. They may have started somewhere there, but they have strayed. I'm not even going to begin to propose solutions to our current methods, as that would require a book, but I'll leave you to consider the possibilities. We do not live in a capitalist society. Getting back to one will not exacerbate our problems, as some would have you believe. It will solve them.

Mazi's Link O' the Day

Here's a job report controversy for you: How many were made last semester? Answer: I have no idea: