Hobson’s Choice: (Late) Friday Focus

Paul Krugman: Inequality and Crises: Scandinavian Skepticism: "The ongoing question of whether rising inequality makes countries more vulnerable to financial crises... ...or in some other way degrades performance. I’ve been wary... in part because it appeals so much to my general leanings.... I continue to be skeptical, in part because there have been some pretty bad crises with lousy recoveries in countries that don’t have a lot of inequality. Consider, in particular, the post-1990 Swedish slump.... Just one piece of evidence. But I’m still having... More >

Afternoon Must-Read: Lawrence Summers: Companies on Trial

Lawrence Summers: Companies on Trial: "Lord Chancellor Edward Thurlow... corporations have 'no soul to be damned, no body to kick'.... Garrett’s data and his narrative provide a textured understanding of these trade-offs and many others in dealing with corporate crime.... The current trend towards large fines as the response to corporate wrongdoing seems to promote a somewhat unattractive combination of individual incentives. Managers do not find it personally costly to part with even billions of dollars of their shareholders’ money, especially when fines represent only... More >

Lunchtime Must-Read: Matthew Yglesias: The GOP’s Counterproductive Policy Strategy

Matthew Yglesias: The GOP's political strategy against Obama keeps leading to policies conservatives hate: "Republicans' strategy has been savvy politics, but it's forced them... ...repeatedly — to accept worse policy outcomes than they otherwise could have obtained. Alleged presidential overreach is largely a mirror-image of systematic congressional underreach... deliberately choos[ing] to leave obtainable policy concessions on the cutting room floor.... The clearest example of obstructionism leading to policy costs is probably the Affordable Care Act. Democrats had the votes to get this done, but the... More >

Lunchtime Must-Read: Richard Milne: Central Banks: Stockholm Syndrome

Richard Milne: Central banks: Stockholm Syndrome: "When the global financial crisis broke in 2008... ...Sweden’s central bank seemed to be one of the best-equipped to fight it. The Riksbank was led by Stefan Ingves, a former senior official at the International Monetary Fund whose expertise lay in financial crises and how to avoid them. One of its deputy governors was Lars Svensson, an expert on Japan’s long battle against deflation and a top thinker on monetary policy. With these credentials, the two men seemed ideally... More >

Things to Read on the Morning of November 22, 2014

Must- and Shall-Reads: Dean Baker: Quick, Some Meaningless Budget Numbers from the NYT) Bridget Ansel: Ryan Sakoda and Shayak Sarkar on the changing dynamics of economic inequality and for-profit universities   Alice Rivlin: People Who Wanted Market-Driven Health Care Now Have it in the Affordable Care Act: "That all sounds complicated, inconvenient and unfair. What have these 'socialist Democrats' done to us? But wait a minute: Isn't that how markets are supposed to work? The United States never adopted a simple national health plan to... More >

Morning Must-Read: Alice Rivlin: People Who Wanted Market-Driven Health Care Now Have it in the Affordable Care Act

Alice Rivlin: People Who Wanted Market-Driven Health Care Now Have it in the Affordable Care Act: "That all sounds complicated, inconvenient and unfair... ...What have these 'socialist Democrats' done to us? But wait a minute: Isn't that how markets are supposed to work? The United States never adopted a simple national health plan to cover everyone.... In general, Republicans argued that relying on market forces would give people what they wanted while also putting pressure on the health system to offer more effective care for... More >

Morning Must-Read: Steve Teles: Restrain Regressive Rent-Seeking

**Steven Teles**: [Restrain Regressive Rent-Seeking](http://www.cato.org/publications/cato-online-forum/restrain-regressive-rent-seeking): "The great paradox of the last third of a century is that we have actually had... >...an explosion of regulation in this ‘supposedly deregulatory’ era... regulation that has the effect of redistributing, sometimes dramatically, upward.... Intellectual property protections, especially patents and copyright, have been expanded dramatically.... There is an argument that this expansion has actually reduced innovation, there is no doubt that it has allowed existing firms to use the force of law (rather than the market) to enrich themselves....... More >

Morning Must-Read: Danny Vinik: Peter Schiff: My Inflation Prediction Was Correct. The Stats Are Lying

Danny Vinik: Peter Schiff: My Inflation Prediction Was Correct. The Stats Are Lying: "Peter Schiff... might... be the person most wrong... ...about America's economic struggles. In 2009, Schiff not only warned of impending inflation but said it was already upon us.... In the newest issue of Reason, the libertarian magazine, he ‘responds’ to his critics....'It's hard to ignore the victory chants coming from the White House press room, the minutes of the Federal Reserve's Open Markets Committee, the talking heads on financial television, and the... More >

Afternoon Must-Read: Walt Mossberg and Kara Swisher: Re/code Removes Comments

Walt Mossberg and Kara Swisher: A Note to Re/code Readers: "The biggest change for some of you... ...however, will be that we have decided to remove the commenting function from the site. We thought about this decision long and hard, since we do value reader opinion. But we concluded that, as social media has continued its robust growth, the bulk of discussion of our stories is increasingly taking place there, making onsite comments less and less used and less and less useful.... We believe that... More >

Things to Read at Lunchtime on November 20, 2014

Must- and Shall-Reads: Dean Baker: Quick, Some Meaningless Budget Numbers from the NYT) Jim Landers: Hospitals seek a Texas Way to expand Medicaid | Dallas Morning News Howard Gleckman: Will Obama’s Executive Action on Immigration Kill Tax Reform? Hint: You Can’t Kill Something That’s Already Dead The Growth Economics Blog: The Skeptics Guide to Institutions – Part 1 Paul Krugman: Fiscal Responsibility Claims Another Victim: Japan Giovanni Peri (2012): Rationalizing U.S. Immigration Policy: Reforms for Simplicity, Fairness, and Economic Growth Bill Gardner: The ACA is... More >