On the Notion of Sacrifice

One of the central messages of President Obama’s inaugural speech was that Americans now must sacrifice in a time of great hardship. This sounds noble, but also is rather vague. What kind of sacrifice is Obama talking about?

It would be fair to venture to guess that sacrifice for Barack Obama means a number . . . → Read More: On the Notion of Sacrifice

Oligopoly or a Free Market – A Realistic Choice?

The study of economics should be clearly divided into its factual, quantifiable aspects (more commonly referred to as “econometrics”) distinct from the more philosophical and abstract study (generally known as ‘normative economics’). This is becoming increasingly important as the world has become ever more interdependent. The global financial crisis attests to this.

The argument . . . → Read More: Oligopoly or a Free Market – A Realistic Choice?

Taxpayers Earn 23% Return on Goldman TARP Investment

Federal taxpayers received a 23% annualized return on their investment in Goldman Sachs. On Wednesday Goldman announced that calculation by combining the interest it paid before repaying the Treasury’s $10 billion principal loan with the warrant buyback payments it made this week.

Goldman as led the way this week with surprise Q2 earnings… profits . . . → Read More: Taxpayers Earn 23% Return on Goldman TARP Investment

What Risk Models are Useful?

Risk management failures have clearly taken place. It has become fashionable to criticise risk models.

A fair amount of the naive criticism is not well thought out. Too many people today read Nassim Taleb and pour scorn upon hapless economists who inappropriately use normal distributions. That’s just not a fair depiction of how risk . . . → Read More: What Risk Models are Useful?

Gold Oil And Your Stomach

Humans eat or humans die and with the Peak Oil specter looming this issue is becoming very pressing for about 923,000,000 people.  The Internet is an amazing series of tubes.  A friend told me that Nate Hagens, MBA, former Managing Director at Salomon Brothers, Lehman Brothers and editor of The Oil Drum, used my . . . → Read More: Gold Oil And Your Stomach

Q2 2009 Earnings Results Continue to Impress

Of the 72 public companies followed by Briefing.com on Tuesday, only 9 stocks missed their earnings estimates. That follows an extremely positive market performance on Monday when only 3 of 30 firms missed their number.

Of the 59 issues that beat their estimates Tuesday, they beat them handily. Those companies provided surprise after surprise . . . → Read More: Q2 2009 Earnings Results Continue to Impress


Received the email “parable” below today. Interesting that I received it just after reading Chris Leithner’s latest newsletter (yesterdays post) – synchronicity?

An economics professor at a local college made a statement that he had never failed a single student before but had once failed an entire class.

That class had insisted that socialism . . . → Read More: Socialism

Conference Board Indicators: Recession Is Over, Recovery Has Begun

Since early June we’ve been observing more and more markers that US economic recovery has started. Monday brought even more data to support that assertion.

A close look at the elements of Monday’s Conference Board report supports the view that the recession ended in June and recovery has indeed begun. The CB’s leading index . . . → Read More: Conference Board Indicators: Recession Is Over, Recovery Has Begun

Leithner and Macfarlane

Interesting newsletter, as always, from Chris Leithner on Crusoe Economics, but not for those who like Kevin Rudd (the Poindexter of the title): Poindexter: Philosophical Mediocrity, Economic Illiterate and Evil Political Genius

Also worth a read is Jame Macfarlane’s article If The Future’s So Bright How Come I Don’t Need Shades?:

“… rumors of . . . → Read More: Leithner and Macfarlane

Free Markets Work

Continuing the theme of my recent posts. This from Troy Schwensen at The Global Speculator:

Australia’s Prime Minister, Kevin Rudd, has recently delivered an address to the nation providing details on his second stimulus package. Within this briefing, there was a number of sniping remarks about the so called “failure of free markets”. This . . . → Read More: Free Markets Work