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Noel Maurer
Interests: My current research asks whether foreign governments or international institutions can improve economic governance. Is it possible to alter a country’s property rights system from the outside? This research has two prongs. The first is a historical work, tentatively entitled Imperial Experiments: Intervention, Economic Growth, and Property Rights, which tests various hypotheses about the success and failure of American attempts to improve economic governance outside the United States and protect the property rights of U.S. investors before World War II. The second is a series of contemporary case studies about attempts to alter nations’ internal economic governance from the outside: bilateral investment treaties, investor protection clauses in trade agreements, conditional loans, the “mortgaging” of export revenues, vulture funds, and military intervention. I also watch a lot of baseball, enjoy very bad music, and do a lot of travelling. The travel tends to be either in total luxury, or to places where I need to wear body armor and live in constant fear of, well, death.
Recent Activity
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There are other commentators with far more to say. Of course, most of them are filibustering. I would recommend Brad Delong pointing out that the academics who have purported to lay out what the E.U. should do to reinvigorate the... Continue reading
Posted 12 hours ago at The Power and the Money
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The closed road meant we had to turn off Route 360. The detour took us through Scottsburg, which seemed less a town and more a random collection of rather dispersed but also rather nice houses. No people were out and... Continue reading
Posted 2 days ago at The Power and the Money
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I must write something, so I’ll write about the weather! I’m on the road to Alabama. We left D.C. sometime after noon, heading south on I-95. The express lanes out of the city were clear, but they disappear in the... Continue reading
Posted 3 days ago at The Power and the Money
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I’ve recently given a lot of interview on the Panama Canal expansion and forgot to blog about it here. But now there’s a reader request! So I’ll give the short version, since I’m on the road to Alabama. Four points:... Continue reading
Posted 4 days ago at The Power and the Money
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This blog is already on record supporting the accession of Jamaica to the United Kingdom in lieu of reparations for slavery. Sadly, that does not seem to be in the cards. But should the United Kingdom decide to secede from... Continue reading
Posted Jun 18, 2016 at The Power and the Money
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So, we are in the hunt for South Bronx real estate. And what do you know? An advertisement declaring that the area is one of the most “sort after” in NYC! NYC stands for “Noo Yawk City,” obviously. Who says... Continue reading
Posted Jun 17, 2016 at The Power and the Money
From Vanity Fair: “According to several people briefed on the discussions, the presumptive Republican nominee is examining the opportunity presented by the ‘audience’ currently supporting him.” So imagine a Trump television network and Internet multimedia operation in the wake of... Continue reading
Posted Jun 16, 2016 at The Power and the Money
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In another post, J.H. and I had an interesting discussion about Puerto Rico’s political status. Is it a colony in which the U.S. constitution does not apply — what American law calls an “unincorporated territory”? Or is it an old-fashioned... Continue reading
Posted Jun 16, 2016 at The Power and the Money
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Senate Bill S5469 has made it out of the legislature in Albany and awaits the Governor’s signature. Hooray! And what does this bill do? Well, right now, state law prohibits buildings with a floor-area-ratio (FAR) greater than 12 unless they... Continue reading
Posted Jun 15, 2016 at The Power and the Money
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Environmental reviews in the United States have long passed the bounds of reasonableness. European countries, with far-better environmental protections, are still able to build large-scale infrastructure projects. The United States, not so much. California is the biggest offender. But it... Continue reading
Posted Jun 15, 2016 at The Power and the Money
I am in Florida. What happened this weekend horrifies me. I hope all the friends and relatives of the victims can put their lives back together as best as they can. And I hope the State of Florida and the... Continue reading
Posted Jun 14, 2016 at The Power and the Money
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Today Kevin Drum wonders if Pete Wilson and the infamous Prop 187 really killed the California GOP. He points to a graph showing that the state’s Democratic presidential vote has risen with the state’s non-white population. He asks, I answer!... Continue reading
Posted Jun 6, 2016 at The Power and the Money
Just off the top of my head, probably unworkable: a PAC that gives $5,000 or more to any GOP candidate for any office who states that the GOP candidate is not suitable to be President of the United States. No,... Continue reading
Posted Jun 6, 2016 at The Power and the Money
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There is a great new paper that links inequality in infant health to later outcomes across 19th and 20th century Irish history. I wonder if one could use the paper for other countries to back out the impact of direct... Continue reading
Posted Jun 6, 2016 at The Power and the Money
In comments, there is a long discussion about Paul Ryan. There are differences of opinion about the effect of his decision to support the presumed nominee, but everyone agrees why he endorsed nominating a fat crybaby for President. The same... Continue reading
Posted Jun 4, 2016 at The Power and the Money
Gramercy Funds Management is a good operation. Its founder and boss, Robert Koenigsberger, was on the side of the angels in the Argentine debt dispute. It also did good work with Nicaragua, masterminding a 2007 exchange that wrote off 95.5%... Continue reading
Posted Jun 3, 2016 at The Power and the Money
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Rarely do I agree with Conor Friedersdorf. Today, I agree completely with Conor Friedersdorf. What happened in San Jose was a damned disgrace. Everyone who participated should be ashamed of themselves. Many should be arrested. We can expect more of... Continue reading
Posted Jun 3, 2016 at The Power and the Money
OK, the fat crybaby from Queens becomes President and gets upset because Mexico looks at him funny, or something. What can he do? Well, he can cancel NAFTA. It is not 100% clear that doing so will immediately cause tariffs... Continue reading
Posted Jun 2, 2016 at The Power and the Money
The Mexican state offers its citizens a surprisingly low level of social insurance given the country’s relative prosperity (hat tip: David Kaplan): Índice de protección social de México peor comparado con países con PIB per cápita similar https://t.co/hEncQo70ez pic.twitter.com/fYw6GV8oHO —... Continue reading
Posted Jun 2, 2016 at The Power and the Money
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Well, my Marco prediction was wrong. Not gonna be the nominee, not gonna be President. But what further amazes me is how far the man is falling. He could keep his head low, not mention Trump at all. Instead, he... Continue reading
Posted Jun 2, 2016 at The Power and the Money
Short recap: in 2011, President Obama offered to cut Social Security and Medicare in return for tax hikes. The GOP said no. As a result, the tax hikes happened anyway and social insurance was not cut. This was, a Matt... Continue reading
Posted Jun 2, 2016 at The Power and the Money
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We have bemoaned the honking around this city here and here. Now comes Dr. Gridlock at the Washington Post with confirmation. A reader writes in with exasperation to tell her fellow DMV residents to “Stop honking, you are not in... Continue reading
Posted Jun 2, 2016 at The Power and the Money
Well, Foreign Policy just reminded me that people in the Pentagon are taking this book very, very seriously. Sigh. Continue reading
Posted May 31, 2016 at The Power and the Money
This series has not been forgotten; other things have simply intervened. We still owe posts on the implausibility of the naval technology, the outright impossibility of the space battles, and the ridiculousness of the tactics used by the Hawaii occupation... Continue reading
Posted May 31, 2016 at The Power and the Money
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This piece at Slate is worth reading. Short version: Voters are angry. “They just don’t agree on what they’re angry about.” Two key quotes: “On the right, the most important dynamic is racial resentment and white status anxiety tied directly... Continue reading
Posted May 31, 2016 at The Power and the Money
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