Monthly Archives: April 2008

Does Measuring Service Productivity Lead Us Astray?

In “Japan may be rigid but it is not inefficient,” David Philig takes issue with metrics that find Japan’s service economy to be woefully inefficient. The commonly used yardstick is labor productivity, and Japan allegedly scores badly due to its tendency to have high staff ratios (for instance, those ladies in hotels who walk you […]

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Links 4/27/08

Still Debating With Plato ScienceNews. Was mathematics discovered, or was it invented? Did Robert Rubin Jeopardize Financial Stability to Protect Goldman Sachs? Dean Baker Tin Cups and Ponzi Boyz Russ Winter Distance Tariffs On Fossil Fuel: Trade Impacts Kent Welton. Another discussion of the topic featured in the New York Times yesterday, the environmental costs […]

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Schedule and Posting and More on Tech Woes

I’m off to Los Angeles Sunday to participate in a first time panel of econbloggers at the Milken Conference. Needless to say, I’m flattered to be in such good company. As a result, my posting may be a bit lighter next week. If you want to help, please send interesting research, scholarly articles, and news […]

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Links 4/26/08

Why do whales beach themselves? PhysOrg Climate ‘fix’ could deplete ozone BBC Happy spamiversary! Spam reaches 30 New Scientist Why Haven’t Existing Home Sales Fallen Further? Calculated Risk. A fascinating little post. CR does not see the not-so-bad existing home sales as a predictor of things to come. Please… No C*#t in the Oval Office […]

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Update on Tech Woes

Loyal readers may know we’ve had tech misery for the last 24 hours. Ed Wright, who among other things, once ran mission critical trading platforms for a major global bank does not take no for an answer and had us operational, albeit by migrating some of our recent content over. Google came around only by […]

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Signs of Improvement in the Credit Markets

Various indicators suggest that the tone of the credit market (save the interbank market) is improving: jck at Alea deems the latest TSLF auction to be a success. Bloomberg tells us that government bond prices are falling, not just in the US but other major economies, signaling a return of confidence: Government bonds worldwide are […]

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Links 4/25/08

Human line ‘nearly split in two’ BBC and Humans nearly wiped out 70,000 years ago, study says CNN. Note the difference in emphasis. Does economics make you selfish? Greg Mankiw. The evidence can be read that way….. The cost of a lifeline: Humbled financial groups brace for more regulation Gillian Tett and Krishna Guha, Financial […]

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Credit Suisse Takes Bigger Than Expected Writedown

Credit Suisse, which heretofore looked somewhat immune to credit market problems, has joined its peers in having a loss-making quarter. A Sf5.3 billion writedown on leveraged loans and mortgage instruments was the proximate cause. Note the quarterly deficit was more than three times the consensus estimate. The CEO was also loath to declare the debt […]

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First, Let’s Kill All the Servicers

As the housing/mortgage crisis has progressed, homeowner advocates and legislator have to get mortgage servicers to offer more loan modifications to struggling borrowers. Even though this housing recession has a far higher proportion of borrowers seriously underwater than past downturns, the logic of loss mitigation is still valid. It’s still better for the bank to […]

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