Privatize Firefighting

Alex Tabarrok, at Marginal Revolution, has a post about firefighters and their work.  In it, he notes that the number of career firefighters has doubled over the last 25 years while the number of fires has halved.  To put it another way, it’s highly probable that the market has reached its saturation point for . . . → Read More: Privatize Firefighting

Economics Question: Does Poverty Force People to Spend More?

Is being poor self-reinforcing because it forces one to spend more on stuff a little bit at a time over time, as opposed to saving up and/or forking over a large sum at once, and eventually spending less?

I don’t consider myself “poor,” but I do have a personal situation that illustrates the question:

. . . → Read More: Economics Question: Does Poverty Force People to Spend More?

Daily Ranking - Most Insured

Daily Beast has Pittsburgh at #11 on a list of most insured places in the nation.

So the question why comes up when this stat pops up and it’s pretty simple.  A combination of Pennsylvania’s CHIP and a lot of folks covered by Medicare together add up for us.  Pennsylvania pops up disproportionately on . . . → Read More: Daily Ranking – Most Insured

How Should We Respond to a Small Risk of Catastrophe?

I try to remember to pay house insurance premiums. Otherwise, I tend to avoid thinking about small risks of catastrophe. There are plenty of other things to worry about.

This avoidance strategy usually helps me to maintain a positive state of mind until someone manages to ambush me with the thought of how dreadful . . . → Read More: How Should We Respond to a Small Risk of Catastrophe?

Missouri Voters Nullify the ObamaCare “Individual Mandate”

As I write this, with 3,035 of 3,354 precincts reporting, Missouri’s voters support “Proposition C” to the tune of 72.7%. Here’s the full text, but the upshot is in the ballot description:

Shall the Missouri Statutes be amended to:

* Deny the government authority to penalize citizens for refusing to purchase private health insurance . . . → Read More: Missouri Voters Nullify the ObamaCare “Individual Mandate”

Independence of Regulators and Independence of the Central Bank

I have a column When should a government agency have autonomy?, in the Financial Express today. This is a hot subject in India today, in the aftermath of the ULIPs ordinance. While on this subject, also see:

An editorial in Mint. Tamal Bandyopadhyay in Mint. Gautam Chikermane in the Hindustan Times. Jayanth Varma in . . . → Read More: Independence of Regulators and Independence of the Central Bank

SEBI, IRDA and ULIPs: Hurried solutions lead to poor law

On 18th June, the President signed an ordinance that would settle the recent spat between SEBI and IRDA over unit linked insurance plans (”ULIPs”). The ordinance makes it clear that ULIPs cannot be regulated by SEBI and places them within the jurisdiction of IRDA. The ordinance also tries to prevent further disputes by setting . . . → Read More: SEBI, IRDA and ULIPs: Hurried solutions lead to poor law

The Cutting Edge of Indian Financial Reform

In recent years, there has been an upsurge of difficulties in Indian finance, rooted in the `financial regulatory architecture’ – the block diagram of which agency does what. A lot of what is found in India’s present block diagram is rooted in obsolete legislation.

On the SEBI/IRDA problem about ULIPs, Vivek Kaul is writing . . . → Read More: The Cutting Edge of Indian Financial Reform

Audit The Fed And Apportionment

Friday 25 September 2009 had two significant events.  First, there was a full committee hearing on Ron Paul’s bill H.R. 1207 to audit the Federal Reserve.  Second, Chief Judge Edith Jones of the United States Court of Appeals for the Fifth Circuit, directly under the United States Supreme Court and covers Florida, Georgia, Alabama, . . . → Read More: Audit The Fed And Apportionment

In Defense of Speculators, Part III: Credit-Default Swaps

Not so long ago, AIG was the world’s largest insurer. In the year 2000, its value peaked at over $265 billion, and just one year ago, the insurance giant was worth nearly $170 billion. But last month, facing bankruptcy, the once-proud AIG—now worth a mere $2.65 billion—became the largest welfare recipient in U.S. history, . . . → Read More: In Defense of Speculators, Part III: Credit-Default Swaps