Is big tech too big? In the past year, interest has grown in the idea that the giants of Silicon Valley have morphed into monopolies. Tim Wu of Columbia Law School argues they should be broken up: Facebook should relinquish Instagram and WhatsApp; Google should give up YouTube and DoubleClick; Amazon should spin off Amazon Web Services. Such arguments have ceased to be the preserve of progressives. Even President Donald Trump is said to have “wondered aloud if there may be any way to go after Amazon with antitrust or competition law.”
Against what or whom is the contemporary Western public pushing back? The French non-Parisians against new green taxes on already unaffordable gasoline? Broke southern European Union nations against the financial demands of German bankers? The Eastern Europeans against French and German open-border mandates?
For a guy who hasn’t indicated what his plans will be in 2019 and beyond, Joe Biden’s a done a good job of staying in the news. This very early Iowa poll has Biden as the frontrunner in that caucus state (the same poll, done in late 2014, had Jeb Bush in the pole position).
You really know your political career is in trouble when people start comparing you to Gollum. Poor Theresa May was on the wrong end of some Tolkien-inspired satire last week, when the actor Andy Serkis released a spoof video with the title “LEAKED: Footage from Inside No. 10 Downing Street!” Serkis, who played Gollum in Peter Jackson’s film adaptations of “The Lord of the Rings,” had the inspired idea of combining the characters of Britain’s prime minister and Tolkien’s cadaverous, covetous, conflicted villain.
Science journalist and author John Horgan talks about his book, Mind-Body Problems, with EconTalk host Russ Roberts. Horgan interviewed an array of scientists, philosophers, and others who have worked on consciousness, free-will, and what it means to be human.
The Florida Legislature created the Florida Tax Credit Scholarship Program in 2001. Last year, scholarships from the program were awarded to a total of 108,098 students to attend private schools in the state.
Hoover Institution fellow Lanhee Chen discusses the dynamics between the US and China, whether the trade tensions could last until the 2020 election, and how the Huawei drama is weighing on the negotiations.
Hoover Institution fellow David Henderson discusses his recruitment by Harold Demsetz, and how Henderson ended up at UCLA during its glory days. The conversation turns to Henderson's time on the Council of Economic Advisers to Ronald Reagan, as well as Henderson’s position as a professor at the Naval Postgraduate School while he was a columnist for Antiwar.com.
President Donald Trump's administration asked the U.S. Supreme Court this week to suspend nationwide orders by federal judges blocking two of his major policies in an unusual step but one in line with an aggressive White House litigation strategy.
Former Reserve Bank of India governor Raghuram Rajan Friday stressed on the need to do away with farm loan waivers citing “enormous” problems for state finances and investment at a time when the Congress takes the helm in states it has won elections in based on its promise of waiving such loans, especially Chhattisgarh.
California Governor-elect Gavin Newsom (D) will have to deal with a financial mess left behind by outgoing Governor Jerry Brown (D). It’s not just the trillion dollar unfunded pension liability that has metastasized during the Brown administration. Another one of the major challenges that Newsom will confront as chief executive of the world’s fifth largest economy is what to do with the high-speed rail project that Governor Brown has kept on life support and which has been described as “one of the biggest public policy failures in the state’s history.”
You’re kidding yourself if you think uncertainty about the economy is unusually high right now. And you’re doubly kidding yourself if you think current uncertainty is a reason not to invest in the stock market.
Financial Times (Chris Giles and Claire Jones): "When the European Central Bank switches off its money-printing press at the turn of this year and stops buying fresh assets, it will mark the end of a decade-long global experiment in how to stave off economic meltdowns. Quantitative easing, the policy that aims to boost spending and inflation by creating electronic money and pumping it into the economy by buying assets such as government bonds, is on the verge of becoming quantitative tightening.
Billionaire investor Stan Druckenmiller urged the Federal Reserve to pause its “double-barreled blitz” of higher interest rates and tighter liquidity when economies are slowing and markets are falling, in an opinion piece in Sunday’s Wall Street Journal. “We believe the U.S. economy can sustain strong performance next year, but it can ill afford a major policy error, either from the Fed or the rest of the administration,” wrote Druckenmiller and Kevin Warsh, a former member of the Federal Reserve Board.