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Originally posted on Economics One:
A year ago today, the Hoover Institution and the Brookings Institution held an unusual joint conference on the financial crisis, where twenty-four economists and legal scholars reexamined the crisis, its effect on the US economy, and possible policy reforms. The participants were spread between two venues: Hoover at Stanford and Brookings in Washington. The conference was simulcast so that people at each location could see and hear people at the other location.
This month a book titled Across the Great Divide, containing all the conference papers and edited by Martin Baily and me will be released.
We chose that title because it is symbolic of the wide range of different opinions represented at the conference. As we wrote in the introduction, “while both Brookings and Hoover are proud of the range of scholars within each institution that embrace different politics and economic philosophies, Brookings is often seen as center…
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Originally posted on Truth on the Market:
With all of the attention being given to insider trading by hedge funds and malfeasance by corporate executives, it’s worth reminding ourselves that the politicians who seek to impose discipline are themselves no angels.
An important study published seven years ago revealed that U.S. senators were reaping returns from stock trading that strongly suggested they were trading on an informational advantage. Profits depended on their seniority, and therefore, presumably, power to influence legislation.
This led to a legislative proposal (the STOCK Act) aimed at prohibiting this trading. Steve Bainbridge has written an article supporting this prohibition with some modifications. He argues (footnote omitted):
Congressional insider trading thus is undesirable, in the first instance, because it creates incentives for members and staffers to steal proprietary information for personal gain. The massive increase in federal involvement in financial markets and corporate governance as a result of the financial crisis of…
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Most of these species extinctions bypassed the endangered species act.
Originally posted on Watts Up With That?:
from the World Wildlife Fund | World Wildlife Fund issues 10th edition of ‘The Living Planet Report,’ a science-based assessment of the planet’s health
Washington, DC – Monday, September 29: Between 1970 and 2010 populations of mammals, birds, reptiles, amphibians, and fish around the globe dropped 52 percent, says the 2014 Living Planet Report released today by World Wildlife Fund (WWF). This biodiversity loss occurs disproportionately in low-income countries—and correlates with the increasing resource use of high-income countries.
In addition to the precipitous decline in wildlife populations the report’s data point to other warning signs about the overall health of the planet. The amount of carbon in our atmosphere has risen to levels not seen in more than a million years, triggering climate change that is already destabilizing ecosystems. High concentrations of reactive nitrogen are degrading lands, rivers and oceans. Stress on already scarce water supplies is increasing. And more…
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Originally posted on The PERColator:
Cross-posted at Grist.
A recent post on Gristattempted to dismantle the intellectual foundations offree market environmentalism—the application of markets and property rights to solve environmental problems. But far from toppling a burgeoning movement within modern environmentalism, it succeeded only in misrepresenting the subject.
To recap: Clark Williams-Derry claimed that while free market environmentalism may be effective in some areas of the environment (e.g.,fisheries management), its reliance upon unrealistic assumptions about the real world largely relegates it to useless intellectual theorizing. In particular, the Coase theorem—an important component of market-based environmentalism named for Nobel Prize-winning economistRonald Coase—amounts to “a quirky but not particularly relevant bit of theoretical math.”
While there is certainly much more to free market environmentalism than the work of Coase (see Terry Anderson and Donald Leal’s bookFree Market Environmentalismfor more details), I focus here mostly on the misinformed…
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Originally posted on Pronk Palisades:
How Murray Rothbard Became a Libertarian
A prolific author and Austrian economist, Murray Rothbard promoted a form of free market anarchism he called “anarcho-capitalism.”
In this talk, given at the 1981 National Libertarian Party Convention, Rothbard tells the story of how he came to learn about economics and libertarianism as he grew up in the Bronx and attended Columbia University in the 1930s and 40s. He reminisces about meeting Frank Chodorov, Baldy Harper, George Stigler and Ludwig von Mises, and takes a number of audience questions.