I just stumbled on this interesting discussion between Eugene Fama and Richard Thaler – they talked about whether markets are efficient or not.
Thaler argues that markets are not efficient. Fama agrees, but nonetheless are argue that we have no better model of the world. It shouldn’t be a surprise to my readers that I agree more with Fama than Thaler.
What I particularly notice is just how little evidence Thaler is able to present that markets are not efficient. Yes, he comes up with anecdotes, but that is not evidence. With billions of investors and billions of different markets and prices you will always be able to come up with some example of pricing behavior, which in someway looks inefficient or irrational, but that does not mean that you generally can say markets are inefficient rather than efficient.
My own view is very much based on my experience from…
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With oil prices being at historically low levels, oil exporting countries have been struggling to generate the revenue that was once apparent not so long ago. In Venezuela, for instance, oil accounts for 95 percent of Venezuela’s export earnings and plummeting world prices have severely hit the government’s revenue stream. The Middle Eastern countries with their abundant supply of oil and the ease at which it extracts it, are starting to look at alternative revenue streams as the rent from oil is no longer sufficient to sustain public goods and services. As noted in The Economist the Arab world can be divided into three broad categories:
- Resource-rich, labour-poor – Gulf sheikhdoms with lots of oil and gas but few people;
- Resource-rich, labour-abundant – Algeria and Iraq, that have natural resources and larger populations;
- Resource-poor, labour-abundant – Egypt, that have little or no oil and gas but lots of mouths to feed…
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I recently suggested that conservatives like to associate themselves with the libertarians because it looks cool, even if these groups believe very different things. There is more evidence that the conservative/libertarian fit is bad. From an article about a survey done by the Public Religion Research institute:
Sixty-one percent of libertarians do not identify themselves as part of the Tea Party, the survey showed. About 7 percent of the adult population is consistently libertarian and that includes 12 percent of those who describe themselves as Republicans.
“There’s largely agreement on economic issues – the gap is in how libertarians approach social issues, ” said Robert P. Jones, CEO of PRRI, which conducts an annual “American Values Survey” on political and social issues.
Libertarians are more opposed to government involvement in economic policies than those affiliated with the Tea Party and Republicans overall, the survey found. For instance, 65…
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Over at the Washington Post/Monkey Cage, Michael T. Heaney has an article about what he learned about DNC protesters. A few big points. First, Berners dominated the protest:
We went to demonstrations on many issues, including clean energy, police mistreatment of African Americans, immigration, poverty and peace. Our surveys on the first day of protests, July 24, found that 95 percent of the protesters who said they voted in the 2016 presidential primaries said they voted for Sanders, with only 4 percent voting for Clinton and 1 percent for other candidates. That’s quite a jump from what my collaborators (Seth Masket, Dara Strolovitch and Joanne Miller) and I found at the 2008 Democratic conventions, where protesters had supported then-Sen. Barack Obama (58 percent), Clinton (22 percent), Dennis Kucinich (6 percent), Mitt Romney (4 percent), Ron Paul (3 percent), Ralph Nader (3 percent) and others (4 percent).
Second, they feel Berned:
Of course, people who protest outside national…
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