Article Collection 06/22/13

So I realized I have way too many articles to address each individually its own post, yet I’d also like to keep the links around so I can revisit the best or most applicable ones later. Hence I’ll periodically post categorized anthologies of good articles I’ve found in the last few weeks alongside fuller topical posts. If I’ve linked an article, I liked it and believe it’s worth reading if you’re interested.

Macroeconomics – Contextually this past week has been horrendous in global markets for stocks and US treasury yields exploded as markets realized QE is not infinite, free Central Bank money will end eventually, China is faltering, Abenomics is “meh” and the Eurozone is still completely, I’d even say irreparably, broken.

Why Are Markets Freaking About the Fed? – A quickie on Fed policy and the worry of moving from open ended asset purchases to tapering.

This is why global markets are freaking out – More down-to-earth analysis than the one above.

Financial Sector Thinks It’s About Ready To Ruin World Again – Beautiful piece from The Onion.

Faltering Economy in China Dims Job Prospects for Graduates – If you thought US college grads were having a tough time, China’s got us beat. (Then again Chinese kids probably don’t graduate with double digit debt…)

The Economics of Happiness – Macro but also Micro in the sense that GDP is a horrid measurement and alternatives or revisions, although less practical and more cumbersome, are always worthy of consideration.

Kyle Bass at the Strategic Investment Conference 2013 – A talk on Japan by hedge fund manager Kyle Bass (I’ve linked to him before on the topic). Excellent commentary if you’re a fan of the current global macroeconomic implications on financial economics, note you’ll need some financial literacy for this talk to make sense. (ZH has a concise overview here if you need to read along.)

250 px

(Photo credit: Wikipedia)

Microeconomics – No universal theme, but a variety of interesting micro issues.

Chuck E. Cheese’s Announces New Lower Prices, But The Restaurants Will Be Dirtier – From The Onion. Brilliant.

Starboard Value calls for Smithfield Foods break-up – The Financial Times writes about events close-to-home for Smithfield Foods, at least 122 layoffs already in Portsmouth as a result.

Your 4th Of July BBQ Will Cost A Whole Lot More This Year – Micro in that last years drought is part of the reason, macro in that gasoline is part of the reason; either way this is pretty significant inflation in food prices.

America’s Worst Charities – Shocking really, I had no idea it was this bad. If you’re looking for a scam that is profitable yet legal, solicit for charities. But as an aside this does raise an interesting point: do you only donate for the benefit, e.g. tax write-offs, and not out of altruism, or do you donate altruistically in the pure hope that others will be helped?

How American Health Care Killed My Father – long winded but intriguing article circa 2009; just reading the first page would likely be sufficient to give you a new or abridged perspective on US healthcare.

Blaming Capitalism for Corporatism – Excellent piece that addresses the elephant in the room: state sponsored corporatism and its deleterious effects on everyone else. Only fools confuse corporatism and capitalism.

Profits Without Production – A second equally good look at the problems of corporatism, although focusing more on rent-seeking.

Men are disappearing from the workforce – Shows some interesting statistics, although fails to mention that women are also disappearing! Both the percentage of women working and the total labor force participation rate have been falling since the 2008 crisis  

Sons of Rahm Emanuel’s top union ally John Coli also rise – Chicago’s Teamsters are the definition of corruption, who knew?

Los Angeles Labor Unions Play Politics Like It’s Monopoly – LA’s (and CA’s) unions are spending money they don’t have against members’ wishes in a manner heavily reflective of corruption, who knew?

How Bureaucrats Captured Government – A brief history of bureaucracy and government employees in America – with a focus on incentives.

Op-Ed on Immigration – The mustachioed Peter Kirsanow has a well reasoned piece on the current immigration reform debate and the effect of amnesty on American low-skilled workers. I don’t necessarily agree with him on the long term implications but I’ve included it because (1) this is a major policy issue that needs to be addressed sooner or later, (2) Kirsanow has the probable short term effects right and (3) I’ll always find an excuse to link to a guy with an awesome mustache (seriously).

The Costs and Benefits of Recycling and Recycling Policy – A quick and reasonable read on the opportunity costs imposed by making recycling a legal enforcement issue rather than voluntary. A second article delves into more of the philosophy of this decision, but both are great reads.

Politics, etc

The Secret War – Wired’s analysis on the head of the NSA General Keith Alexander and America’s preparations for cyberwar. This article is a good summary of the more worrying bits.

On the Espionage Act charges against Edward Snowden – Glenn Greenwald is an excellent writer and journalist and while this is out of the normal sphere of economics, government repression of dissent and whistle-blowing certainly does perpetuate internal inefficiencies in that it condones them.

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