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The war on drugs...*sigh*.... So much money, so much violence, so much death. That is what we sacrifice in pursuit of the impossible to obtain goal of prohibiting what would ordinarily be a non-violent series of transactions between manufacturers, retailers and consumers, and inherently non-violent acts, i.e. voluntary ingestion of things people like. None of that diminishes the bravery, honor and sacrifice of those fighting at the frontline of this battle, but I would readily accept Pepsico-brand cocaine and meth products on the shelves of Wal-Mart if it meant drying up the river of cash that currently flows to the pockets of the cartels.
Toggle Commented Jul 21, 2013 on The Border Before The Border at BlackFive
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Is there an example in modern history of a nation emerging from the zero-lower bound and returning to a "normal" interest rate environment? Japan and U.S. are the only two examples I am aware of, and it seems that neither has emerged.
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This is interesting, because I am sure many people (economists and non-economists alike) would not have been surprised if QE 1-4 had caused some noticeable inflation by now (although 10 percent seems a bit high). In other words, the monetarists out there would ordinarily expect some inflation to follow an increase in the money supply. Clearly, Murphy got it wrong. Very wrong. We are currently at (or slightly below) 2 percent inflation. I'm curious as to why inflation has remained so low in the face of money supply increases. Murphy blames flight from the Eurozone crisis to the US dollar. Others attribute the low inflation to the US dollar's reserve currency status. One commenter above suggested that the new QE money increases were offset by decreases to the money supply as a result of deleveraging. Alan Blinder suggested last summer that it was the 0.25% guaranteed return on excess reserves. If you ask a banker, they will tell you that all that new money doesn't do any good because there are not enough credit worthy borrowers to loan money to. What is the right answer?
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Mr. Aguilar's arguments in response to the criticisms of Mr. McAdams are, in my opinion, well taken.
Toggle Commented Dec 7, 2012 on Unspeakably Awful at Washington Decoded
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"If voters mainly want to express moral support for their favorite candidates, why do so many supporters of small parties that are very unlikely to win often vote for candidates of one of the big parties because they do not want to “throw away” their votes?" I think many voters look at national races much like they watch the Super Bowl, i.e. they want to root for one of the teams and they want that team to win, because everyone enjoys the feeling of being on the winning side.
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This article makes very little sense. Under ordinary conditions, there's no such thing as "fitness" or "goodness" in the business world. There is only profit and loss. The businesses that make a profit survive, and the businesses that lose money cannot survive. However, government intervention in the banking industry has created a situation where profit and loss no longer determines whether an institution will survive. For example, in order for a bank to survive it needs short term deposits. Ordinarily, the depositors would demand some level of fiscal responsibility from the bank or they would take their money elsewhere. Now, however, depositors never scrutinize where they put their money because they know it will be protected by Federal deposit insurance. As a result, the banks are given free rein to act recklessly with these deposits and can take risks that they otherwise would not be able to take if the depositors were not guaranteed their money would be returned. (The same dynamic happens every time the Federal government guarantees a loan. See student loans.) It is Federal intervention in the banking industry - not the free market - which causes the moral hazard. The solution should not be more Federal intervention. The solution should be to remove Federal government intervention altogether, and let the free market work.
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May 14, 2012