According to all accounts, Karl Marx was not an easy person. Basically, he had the habit of making the life of all around him miserable. However, as Joseph Schumpeter (himself far from being a Marxist) loved to point out, he was extremely well read. This allowed him to build a complex economic theory focused on factory workers, without ever (or almost ever, at least) stepping into a factory. Life for a factory worker in 19th century Britain was not easy, and Marx was very able in pointing that out. His economic theory, however, was a complete failure, as Ludwig von Mises aptly pointed out.
Marxism should have died in the mid-20th century when it became clear that all socialist countries are poor and oppressive. However, it survived as cultural Marxism. People like Antonio Gramsci, Michel Foucault, Jacques Derrida, and everybody in the Frankfurt School were not interested in economics. Instead, they wanted…
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Even in the $40 billion portfolio of the super fund, this light rail project is still a major exposure to a single high risk investment
There have plenty of stories in the last couple of days about the expressed wish of the New Zealand Superannuation Fund to become owner, or part-owner, of new light rail projects.
There has been a range of reactions, from the gushingingly enthusiastic to the rather more sceptical. Count me at the extremely sceptical end of that spectrum. In fact, it is the sort of story that confirms – again – my longheld fears about NZSF.
Towards the gushing end of the spectrum was Stuff politics journalist Henry Cooke, whose piece ran under the heading “Super Fund gives huge vote of confidence to light rail plans”, when it is nothing of the sort.
This is a massive vote of confidence in the viability of the project from some of the savviest investors in the country.
Their proposal would see another huge sovereign wealth fund – Quebec’s – join them…
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Today would have been Henry Manne’s 90th birthday. When he passed away in 2015 he left behind an immense and impressive legacy. In 1991, at the inaugural meeting of the American Law & Economics Association (ALEA), Manne was named a Life Member of ALEA and, along with Nobel Laureate Ronald Coase, and federal appeals court judges Richard Posner and Guido Calabresi, one of the four Founders of Law and Economics. The organization I founded, the International Center for Law & Economics is dedicated to his memory, along with that of his great friend and mentor, UCLA economist Armen Alchian.
Manne is best known for his work in corporate governance and securities law and regulation, of course. But sometimes forgotten is that his work on the market for corporate control was motivated by concerns about analytical flaws in merger enforcement. As former FTC commissioners Maureen Ohlhausen and Joshua Wright noted…
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