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 Times. The piece provides a good overview, and also makes clear how hard it will be to achieve meaningful reform in the absence of an uncontrolled meltdown (say a credit default swaps crisis) that would blow away the impediments to a major overhaul.

Mark Hulbert: Contrarian analysis no longer as bullish on gold Marketwatch

Study Shows Suicide Rates Significantly Higher Among Veterinarians PhysOrg

Antidote du jour:

Adapting to the state’s growing role in global equity markets Brad Setser

The case for 2-1/4 James Hamilton, Econbrowser. Hamilton is right, of course, but will the Fed lister?

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  1. Richard Kline

    I have read Jim Hamilton’s blog post on this over at Econbrowser, and I could not agree with him more strongly. But like you all, I think the Fed will cut regardless.

    Separately, Hamilton has a very interesting post regarding potential drivers and conditions leading to the surge in commodity prices over the last four months. I strongly recommend reading this, and all of the comments which contain some very well formed arguments as well. I found there my own unarticulated view to wit: with price and demand curves in the commodities in question being both extremely steep, rather inelastic in the near term (barring sharp economic slowdowns), and potentially nonlinear, speculative purchases small by comparison to the overall market could nevertheless induce nonlinear price spikes. The ‘missing inventory hoarding’ consideration is not well conceived. If you consider a ‘natural baseline’ price for, say oil, at ~$90 a barrel, +/- $5, we only have a 30% run-up. Rice has doubled, but very little of it trades on the open market making for extreme supply inelasticity, so a doubling of price on what is traded is not a WTF event.

    . . . Anyone who is interested, just read the discussion at Hamilton’s fine blog.

  2. Richard Kline

    The news angles on the genetic study of the Khoi-San by the Beeb and CNN are simply focused on different aspects of that paper rather than the same issue. Their respective foci _do_ speak to the distinctly different media strategies of these two organizations, however.

    I should mention that the monograph I am currently struggling to finish editing is a demic model of human Out-of-Africa population spreads using paired mtDNA and NRY cladistic differentiations and modern geographic locations. I don’t do intra-African modeling, but I’m familiar with the issues there. I’m not sanguine on the ‘wholly separate’ argument pushed in this paper as discussed in the BBC report. I think Sarah Tishkoff’s remarks quoted there are a better reading of the issue. And the 70 kya event—a severe human population crash—is one of the most interesting issues in population genetics.

    Yves, I love those pictures in Antidote du jour: yours, or . . . ?

  3. Yves Smith


    No, heavens, I am not even very good at point and click. Readers sent quite a few, and then I also have some PowerPoint shows that were e-mailed to me by non-blog buddies that also have very good pix.

    Separately, I hope you and everyone will bear with me. Blogger has locked my blog. This is really an indictment of what passes for technology at Google; if you look at the characteristics of spam blogs, I don’t see how they could have singled Naked Capitalism out. And they ought to have screened it against my Google ad revenues or my Feedburner traffic, both of which they control. Or better yet, contact me.

    Worse, I am speaking on a first time panel of econbloggers at the Milken Conference next week. This sort of thing never happens at a good time, but this is particularly badly timed.

    If you have any ideas, aside from getting off Blogger and raising hell in Mountain View, they’d be very much appreciated.

    Please keep checking back….

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