31 Mar 2015

Anything but water

  1. Think today's capitalism is bad? Read about the violent British and Dutch East Indian Companies (NB: both companies used state military power to increase their profits and take markets share over). Not unrelated: An expat takes on Dutch racism, i.e., their attitudes towards "allochtonen mannen" -- a perspective I sympathize with

  2. Ready for progress? Read and sign the Open Borders Manifesto

  3. What makes a city beautiful? Spaces for people, among other things

  4. An Econtalk on government's (destabilizing) control over money*

  5. Satellite surveillance may save fish from a tragedy of the (open ocean) commons

  6. America's industrialized food system may kill you. Related: McDonald's follows other fast food chains in pledging to buy chicken raised with less antibiotics. Scary fact: Antibiotics were saving consumers 10-15 cents/kg, which seems a small savings when the risk of horrible death is much higher
H/Ts to CD and CE

*Also read Pettis on the Greeks and Debt, i.e.,
Debt can be thought of as a moral obligation when a loan is extended from one individual to another, especially if there is no interest on the loan. But loans to businesses or to sovereign entities are business transactions, and they should be managed as such.


Monetary policy is as much about politics as it is economics. It is about some of the ways in which wealth is created, allocated, and retained. Debt restructuring involves allocating wealth in the most efficient way. It does necessarily not mean, however, defaulting on payments. The only goal of a debt restructuring is to reduce the uncertainty associated with the resolution of the excessive and growing debt burden. There are many ways to do so, and in many cases they require significant debt forgiveness, but pretending that all will be fine if we only grit our teeth and wait longer has almost never turned out to be true.