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  #1  
Old 04-07-2009, 01:08 PM
Bloggingheads Bloggingheads is offline
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Default Trust Us, We're Experts (Noam Scheiber & Megan McArdle)

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  #2  
Old 04-07-2009, 01:46 PM
claymisher claymisher is offline
 
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Default Re: Trust Us, We're Experts

Never mind the sarcastic comments, look at the title of the episode!
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  #3  
Old 04-07-2009, 02:24 PM
bjkeefe bjkeefe is offline
 
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Default Re: Trust Us, We're Experts (Noam Scheiber & Megan McArdle)

Megan again? What, has it been four days already?
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  #4  
Old 04-07-2009, 03:39 PM
willmybasilgrow willmybasilgrow is offline
 
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Default Re: Trust Us, We're Experts (Noam Scheiber & Megan McArdle)

BJ and Ray's comments - laughing!!

Good ones.

Here's my vote: same topic, Megan and Glenn Greenwald.

PLEASE!!!!
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  #5  
Old 04-08-2009, 04:30 AM
JonIrenicus JonIrenicus is offline
 
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Default Re: Trust Us, We're Experts (Noam Scheiber & Megan McArdle)

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Originally Posted by bjkeefe View Post
Megan again? What, has it been four days already?
make it every 3 days, she is one of my favorites
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  #6  
Old 04-08-2009, 12:21 PM
bjkeefe bjkeefe is offline
 
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Default Re: Trust Us, We're Experts (Noam Scheiber & Megan McArdle)

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Originally Posted by JonIrenicus View Post
make it every 3 days, she is one of my favorites
I direct your attention to a fine post by graz that I wish he had placed in this thread.
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  #7  
Old 04-09-2009, 04:51 AM
JonIrenicus JonIrenicus is offline
 
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Default Re: Trust Us, We're Experts (Noam Scheiber & Megan McArdle)

Quote:
Originally Posted by bjkeefe View Post
I direct your attention to a fine post by graz that I wish he had placed in this thread.
Sometimes I wonder how to beat the idea of zero sum games out of so many people.

bhtv can have as many people at a time as whoever puts something up, it could be 4 people in a day if there was another set of people who made a log.

Oh, and I have a question for you. Which more conservative person do you enjoy listening to on bhtv? Other than Salaam and Ross (they are admittedly more squishy than most).

Last edited by JonIrenicus; 04-09-2009 at 04:58 AM..
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  #8  
Old 04-09-2009, 12:23 PM
bjkeefe bjkeefe is offline
 
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Default Re: Trust Us, We're Experts (Noam Scheiber & Megan McArdle)

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Originally Posted by JonIrenicus View Post
Sometimes I wonder how to beat the idea of zero sum games out of so many people.

bhtv can have as many people at a time as whoever puts something up, it could be 4 people in a day if there was another set of people who made a log.
Does your belief in learning through corporal punishment extend to getting people to stop thinking jargon is a trump card and an imaginary perfect world is the same as the real one? ;^)

Sure, there could be four diavlogs posted daily, but there aren't. For whatever reasons, this site posts one diavlog per day, Monday through Friday, and three, total, on Saturday and Sunday. So, effectively, a given pairing doing a diavlog on a given day means no one else can appear on that day.

Quote:
Oh, and I have a question for you. Which more conservative person do you enjoy listening to on bhtv? Other than Salaam and Ross (they are admittedly more squishy than most).
I suppose if you call Ross and Reihan "squishy" you'll dispute a lot of others who I'd name, but from skimming the list of 'heads, here are some more conservative (than me) people whom I usually enjoy whose names jump out: Andrew Bacevich, William Beutler, Daniel Drezner, Conor Friedersdorf, David Frum, Francis Fukuyama, Tim Harford, Jon Henke, Christopher Hitchens, Kerry Howley, Eli Lake, Daniel Larison, Brink Lindsey, Rob Long, Jim Manzi, Duff McDonald, John McWhorter, Ramesh Ponnuru, Eric Posner, Felix Salmon, Lee Smith, Andrew Sullivan, Eugene Volokh, and Will Wilkinson.
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Last edited by bjkeefe; 04-09-2009 at 12:39 PM..
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  #9  
Old 04-10-2009, 04:06 AM
claymisher claymisher is offline
 
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Default Re: Trust Us, We're Experts (Noam Scheiber & Megan McArdle)

Strike Felix off your list. I have photographic evidence:



http://www.felixsalmon.com/000894.html
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  #10  
Old 04-10-2009, 07:16 AM
bjkeefe bjkeefe is offline
 
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Default Re: Trust Us, We're Experts (Noam Scheiber & Megan McArdle)

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Originally Posted by claymisher View Post
Strike Felix off your list. I have photographic evidence:
That doesn't mean anything. Haven't you heard the new party line? All Real Conservatives hate Bush.

;^)
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  #11  
Old 04-08-2009, 10:32 PM
mikeo mikeo is offline
 
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Default Re: Trust Us, We're Experts (Noam Scheiber & Megan McArdle)

Can we have a four day gap in between your posts? thx man
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  #12  
Old 04-08-2009, 10:42 PM
bjkeefe bjkeefe is offline
 
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Default Re: Trust Us, We're Experts (Noam Scheiber & Megan McArdle)

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Originally Posted by mikeo View Post
Can we have a four day gap in between your posts? thx man
Heh. Sure. If each of my comments are read out loud, and they each get to be 75 minutes long.

[Added] Also, you have to agree that on the day that I post, no one else gets to post for the next 24 hours.
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Last edited by bjkeefe; 04-08-2009 at 11:39 PM..
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  #13  
Old 04-07-2009, 03:21 PM
Ray Ray is offline
 
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Default Re: Trust Us, We're Experts (Noam Scheiber & Megan McArdle)

So...it takes a small group of elite, smart, hard-working people with a very specific skill set to create a calamitous situation that no one is responsible for?

Plus, that old black Congresswoman is crazy! And ignorant!
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  #14  
Old 04-07-2009, 03:46 PM
willmybasilgrow willmybasilgrow is offline
 
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Default Re: Trust Us, We're Experts (Noam Scheiber & Megan McArdle)

In addition to academics, there are people who work in multilateral institutions like the World Bank, IMF and IFC, not to mention overseas organizations, who have financial market experience. Many of them are American citizens. I'm sure Wall Street and universities are not the only places you can draw from.
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  #15  
Old 04-07-2009, 03:51 PM
popcorn_karate popcorn_karate is offline
 
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Default Re: Trust Us, We're Experts (Noam Scheiber & Megan McArdle)

Megan,

your comparison of wall street bankers to heroin junkie, alcohol abusing, homeless people was beautiful!

both sets of people are so hopeless, clueless, and insensitive to incentives that we just need to clean-up their problems and not worry about the moral hazards involved.

now, if we could just get police departments treat bankers like they do the panhandlers...
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  #16  
Old 04-07-2009, 06:15 PM
ginger baker ginger baker is offline
 
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Default Re: Trust Us, We're Experts (Noam Scheiber & Megan McArdle)

At some point it becomes obvious that narrow vocational expertise becomes not just myopic in scope and judgment but willfully impotent and irresponsible. It applies especially to economists and public policy wonks who are blinded by their so-called "pragmatic" obsessions which not only exclude a wider perspective but actually conceal their own politics. "Rules" are operating procedures are endemic to political power....it cannot be denied. It must however be smashed.
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  #17  
Old 04-07-2009, 08:16 PM
pampl pampl is offline
 
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Default Re: Trust Us, We're Experts (Noam Scheiber & Megan McArdle)

Quote:
Originally Posted by ginger baker View Post
At some point it becomes obvious that narrow vocational expertise becomes not just myopic in scope and judgment but willfully impotent and irresponsible. It applies especially to economists and public policy wonks who are blinded by their so-called "pragmatic" obsessions which not only exclude a wider perspective but actually conceal their own politics. "Rules" are operating procedures are endemic to political power....it cannot be denied. It must however be smashed.
I don't think any of that is true. Do you have examples or evidence you could give?
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  #18  
Old 04-07-2009, 09:58 PM
ginger baker ginger baker is offline
 
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Default Re: Trust Us, We're Experts (Noam Scheiber & Megan McArdle)

"I don't think any of that is true. Do you have examples or evidence you could give?"

CEO's who pursue the narrow economic interests of stockholders at the expense of the public good? Scientists doing lab research under controlled environments? Want examples, just look around. More perversely, just think of network news and typical beltway pundits giving us the petty "objective" analysis which is forgotten a week later. Ever read Thomas Kuhn? Max Weber? John Dewey?

The bottom line is that professional requirements tend to constrain the scope of inquiry & discussion. That's what "disciplines" do. So in times of systematic problems, systematic thinking is required.

Last edited by ginger baker; 04-07-2009 at 10:11 PM.. Reason: my reply is not in the reply line....
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  #19  
Old 04-08-2009, 12:56 AM
piscivorous piscivorous is offline
 
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Default Re: Trust Us, We're Experts (Noam Scheiber & Megan McArdle)

How about this one Chinese financier Le Fang Wei indicted in plot to send nuclear materials to Iran I know it is not really on topic but it does show their cluelessness.
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  #20  
Old 04-07-2009, 11:27 PM
osmium osmium is offline
 
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Default Re: Trust Us, We're Experts (Noam Scheiber & Megan McArdle)

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Originally Posted by ginger baker View Post
At some point it becomes obvious that narrow vocational expertise becomes not just myopic in scope and judgment but willfully impotent and irresponsible. It applies especially to economists and public policy wonks who are blinded by their so-called "pragmatic" obsessions which not only exclude a wider perspective but actually conceal their own politics. "Rules" are operating procedures are endemic to political power....it cannot be denied. It must however be smashed.
And here I thought division of labor gave us the 20th century.
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  #21  
Old 04-07-2009, 07:11 PM
Stapler Malone Stapler Malone is offline
 
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Default Moral Hazard

Megan knows the Econ 101 Lexicon better than I, but I feel the need to pick a nit here. The way she glossed "Moral Hazard" seems to me misleading. Starting it off with "if you buy insurance..." obscures the elemental part of Moral Hazard, which is that you do riskier things because someone else is paying the downside risk cost. Yes, buying fire insurance can lead to Moral Hazard, but insurance just transfers some of the downside risk, you still pay for some of it (premiums, etc). You can have Moral Hazard without any of this buy-in. Indeed, that seems to me the purer form (see: the risk-happy way teenagers drive because their parents bought insurance)
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  #22  
Old 04-07-2009, 08:57 PM
nikkibong nikkibong is offline
 
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Default Re: Moral Hazard

"Moral hazard," along with "meme," is one of those formerly elucidating terms that has been used (and abused) far too often by English speaking, um, "intellectuals," so much so, that I nearly wretch every time I hear it.
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  #23  
Old 04-08-2009, 02:51 AM
rfrobison rfrobison is offline
 
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Default Re: Moral Hazard

Quote:
Originally Posted by nikkibong View Post
"Moral hazard," along with "meme," is one of those formerly elucidating terms that has been used (and abused) far too often by English speaking, um, "intellectuals," so much so, that I nearly wretch every time I hear it.
Indeed. And to add to my list of verbal pet peeves, how about: "meta-narrative" (or meta-anything, for that matter)? These are fluff words that people toss out in order to sound intellectual and they end up doing the opposite.

Grrr!

Last edited by rfrobison; 04-08-2009 at 02:54 AM.. Reason: inserted "fluff"; question mark for period
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  #24  
Old 04-08-2009, 12:40 PM
AemJeff AemJeff is offline
 
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Default Re: Moral Hazard

Quote:
Originally Posted by rfrobison View Post
Indeed. And to add to my list of verbal pet peeves, how about: "meta-narrative" (or meta-anything, for that matter)? These are fluff words that people toss out in order to sound intellectual and they end up doing the opposite.

Grrr!
I have to "grrr" back at ya. "Meta" has a specific meaning (it makes a level distinction, and points out degrees of self-reference) and just generally serves an extremely useful purpose. Misuse of the term, on the other hand, is just as irritating as you say. Conflating perfectly well-formed usages with pretense and damning all of it clouds the issue at least as much as the annoying misuse does.
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  #25  
Old 04-08-2009, 08:04 PM
rfrobison rfrobison is offline
 
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Default Re: Moral Hazard

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Originally Posted by AemJeff View Post
I have to "grrr" back at ya. "Meta" has a specific meaning (it makes a level distinction, and points out degrees of self-reference) and just generally serves an extremely useful purpose. Misuse of the term, on the other hand, is just as irritating as you say. Conflating perfectly well-formed usages with pretense and damning all of it clouds the issue at least as much as the annoying misuse does.
That's a perfectly legitimate point, Jeff. I used "moral hazard" the other day in a context (and hopefully) manner that was appropriate. I guess the heart of my complaint is when people use high-fallutin' terms, either because it's part of their professional jargon, or because it sounds impressive, when a simple layman's term will do--though long-winded explanations are a pain in the neck as well. That strikes me as a simple courtesy to the uninitiated.
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  #26  
Old 04-09-2009, 12:19 AM
AemJeff AemJeff is offline
 
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Default Re: Moral Hazard

Quote:
Originally Posted by rfrobison View Post
That's a perfectly legitimate point, Jeff. I used "moral hazard" the other day in a context (and hopefully) manner that was appropriate. I guess the heart of my complaint is when people use high-fallutin' terms, either because it's part of their professional jargon, or because it sounds impressive, when a simple layman's term will do--though long-winded explanations are a pain in the neck as well. That strikes me as a simple courtesy to the uninitiated.
Fair enough. The single biggest influence on how I think (to the extent that that's an issue for anybody... pausing to allow the sound of crickets to assert itself in the silence) was almost certainly Douglas Hofstadter's G鐰el, Escher, Bach, which, among other things, is a pretty detailed study of the idea of self-reference. I've been using and abusing "meta-" for decades, so I may be a little touchy...
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  #27  
Old 04-09-2009, 02:21 AM
Starwatcher162536 Starwatcher162536 is offline
 
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Default Re: Moral Hazard

Quote:
Originally Posted by rfrobison View Post
That's a perfectly legitimate point, Jeff. I used "moral hazard" the other day in a context (and hopefully) manner that was appropriate. I guess the heart of my complaint is when people use high-fallutin' terms, either because it's part of their professional jargon, or because it sounds impressive, when a simple layman's term will do--though long-winded explanations are a pain in the neck as well. That strikes me as a simple courtesy to the uninitiated.
I think it has more to do with people subconsciously emulating the vocabulary of their peers then with anyone really trying to sound impressive.

Take me for instance, when I am talking to a crowd that probably is not into math/physics as much as I am, I routinely use words like exponential, quantum, discreet, impact, etc. incorrectly all the time,even though I know those words correct definitions.

P.S.
I do not think I ever used meme once until I was exposed to bloggingheads...damn you bloggingheads!
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  #28  
Old 04-09-2009, 02:26 AM
Wonderment Wonderment is offline
 
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Default Re: Moral Hazard

Quote:
Take me for instance, when I am talking to a crowd that probably is not into math/physics as much as I am, I routinely use words like exponential, quantum, discreet, impact, etc. incorrectly all the time,even though I know those words correct definitions.
Discrete.
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  #29  
Old 04-09-2009, 09:25 AM
willmybasilgrow willmybasilgrow is offline
 
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Default Re: Moral Hazard

Washington is infamous for these little things, including Arab street (unfortunately not limited to DC and yes, it's old), "it is what it is," (ugh) "going forward." So many others. It's like saying them unlocks something for the listener and you are in.

To hear what is in, just watch This Week with George S. Someone almost always rings every single bell.
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  #30  
Old 04-10-2009, 02:36 AM
rfrobison rfrobison is offline
 
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Default Re: Moral Hazard

Quote:
Originally Posted by willmybasilgrow View Post
Washington is infamous for these little things, including Arab street (unfortunately not limited to DC and yes, it's old), "it is what it is," (ugh) "going forward." So many others. It's like saying them unlocks something for the listener and you are in.

To hear what is in, just watch This Week with George S. Someone almost always rings every single bell.
Yeah, "going forward" is a particularly noxious weed that sprang up in business journalism, the more so since any two-bit "analyst" or stock picker who uses it almost always means the opposite of what he's saying: "Looking backward at today's market gyrations, I predict thus and such.."

Financial marketese also has produced these gems: "visibility" (and the lack thereof), and my all-time favorite (drum roll, please): "negative growth." Armed with these three meaningless verbal tics, you too can become a highly paid financial analyst on TV.

Observe.

"Well, Biff, I'd say that going forward we're likely in for another spell of negative growth due to lack of visibility at the Fed!"

"Thanks for that awesome analysis, JT!"

Yada, yada, yada....
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  #31  
Old 04-10-2009, 05:23 PM
bjkeefe bjkeefe is offline
 
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Default Re: Moral Hazard

Quote:
Originally Posted by rfrobison View Post
Yeah, "going forward" is a particularly noxious weed ...
You bastards. I had just started becoming annoyed by that one, too, but since you and willmybasilgrow griped explicitly, I can't stop seeing/hearing it everywhere.

All right. To be fair in a case like this, we have to remind the verbally lazy of serviceable alternatives. Please add to this starter list: from here on out, in the near term, in the immediate future, and starting now.
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  #32  
Old 04-10-2009, 08:43 PM
rfrobison rfrobison is offline
 
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Default Re: Moral Hazard

Quote:
Originally Posted by bjkeefe View Post
You bastards. I had just started becoming annoyed by that one, too, but since you and willmybasilgrow griped explicitly, I can't stop seeing/hearing it everywhere.

All right. To be fair in a case like this, we have to remind the verbally lazy of serviceable alternatives. Please add to this starter list: from here on out, in the near term, in the immediate future, and starting now.
Thanks for that view from the Bloggingheads street, BJ! It is what it is, of course, and who knows how things will develop going forward given the total lack of jargon visibility? I'd like to try to avoid negative growth in our lexical toolbox by suggesting a few more alternatives:

"Blah, blah 'street'"= the three government agents--or antigovernment agitators--I spoke to for this interview

"(lack of) visibility"=I can't predict the future; we don't know what will happen next, etc., etc.

"negative growth"=shrinkage, contraction, decline, etc. Then please beat senseless the person who said it until they swear never to say or otherwise use those words in combination EVER AGAIN.

Last edited by rfrobison; 04-11-2009 at 11:19 AM.. Reason: added "like to"
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  #33  
Old 04-07-2009, 09:32 PM
bramble bramble is offline
 
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Default Re: Trust Us, We're Experts (Noam Scheiber & Megan McArdle)

These two make a good pair: both fence-straddlers when paired with more partisan interlocutors. Together, they seem to bring out their differences.

On the downside, they are a bit too dull for me to pay close attention to them today.
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  #34  
Old 04-07-2009, 09:57 PM
uncle ebeneezer uncle ebeneezer is offline
 
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Default Re: Trust Us, We're Experts (Noam Scheiber & Megan McArdle)

Yeah, I tried and just couldn't get into this one. I love Noam, and sometimes like MM, but I think I'm just burnt out on financial discussions right now.
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  #35  
Old 04-07-2009, 11:34 PM
claymisher claymisher is offline
 
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Default Re: Trust Us, We're Experts (Noam Scheiber & Megan McArdle)

Quote:
Originally Posted by uncle ebeneezer View Post
Yeah, I tried and just couldn't get into this one. I love Noam, and sometimes like MM, but I think I'm just burnt out on financial discussions right now.
I know what you mean. I'm burnt out too. I've come to the conclusion that the problem is too big for any one person to understand. I've been reading a blog called Economics of Contempt which is written by a securities lawyer, and he's always pointing out howlers by A lister. Same with rortybomb, who's a risk-management guy. Simon Johnson from the IMF too. The best that the smartest and least ideologically pre-committed writers (Felix Salmon, eg) can do is to just link to them. But no obvious solution has emerged so far.
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  #36  
Old 04-08-2009, 02:48 AM
x9#z6 x9#z6 is offline
 
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Default Re: Trust Us, We're Experts (Noam Scheiber & Megan McArdle)

Why not have institutions that are too big to fail and therefore implicitly require government backing pay a fee for this service same way you pay for your car insurance?
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  #37  
Old 04-08-2009, 03:07 AM
x9#z6 x9#z6 is offline
 
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Default Re: Trust Us, We're Experts (Noam Scheiber & Megan McArdle)

I like Megan's drive to explain financial crashes as a stochastic process, however, her implication that we should just throw our hands up in the air (hey it's all random anyway) and forget about regulations is wrong. More or less regulation should, in part, determine the frequency of these events. I for one am for less frequent.
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  #38  
Old 04-08-2009, 11:57 AM
Simon Willard Simon Willard is offline
 
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Default Re: Trust Us, We're Experts (Noam Scheiber & Megan McArdle)

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Originally Posted by x9#z6 View Post
I like Megan's drive to explain financial crashes as a stochastic process, however, her implication that we should just throw our hands up in the air (hey it's all random anyway) and forget about regulations is wrong. More or less regulation should, in part, determine the frequency of these events. I for one am for less frequent.
I'm not sure that's quite the right attitude. I want more frequent crashes, but smaller crashes. I want daily crashes! Daily booms and busts. That's what keeps things in equilibrium, and fairly priced. Regulation can help do this when it promotes transparency.
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  #39  
Old 04-08-2009, 08:31 AM
DenvilleSteve DenvilleSteve is offline
 
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Default finance generals fighting the last war

I think the expression about generals fighting the last war applies here.

Going forward, the fear for the economy is the fed is inflating the money supply and the democrat's government is running $trillion+ annual deficits. I am more interested in a discussion of the crises to come instead of crises past. ( if financial institutions become too big to fail, simply force them to break up when they reach that threshold. done. move on. )

Government deficit spending is immoral. it is an imposition of a debt obligation by the majority democrats on the minority republicans. Republicans from New England have no representation in the house of representatives. What right does the government have to impose a debt obligation on a people who have no say in that government?
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  #40  
Old 04-08-2009, 10:34 AM
bjkeefe bjkeefe is offline
 
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Default Re: finance generals fighting the last war

Quote:
Originally Posted by DenvilleSteve View Post
Republicans from New England have no representation in the house of representatives.
For which they have no one to blame except the Republican Party. You can hardly expect people to vote for an unappealing message, not to mention a track record of incompetence. As much as you might like to blame everything on the "Democrat Party," it's been the GOP since Reagan that has been the party of fiscal irresponsibility, and the current Congressional Republicans continue to show no sign of maturity. Their obsession over trivialities in the stimulus bill and their "alternative budget" proposal were beyond jokes.
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