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In the News

Qualcomm, NXP Gain As Trade Truce Lights A Fire Under Stocks

featuring Raghuram Rajanvia Barrons
Monday, December 3, 2018

Truce! China and the U.S. agreed to go to the negotiating table before additional tariffs hit products bound for the U.S. That’s the good news. The bad news is they have three months to work out a deal. The Wall Street Journal reported that Chinese officials would also consider the previously unapproved merger between Qualcomm (ticker: QCOM) and NXP Semiconductors (NXPI).

Analysis and Commentary

David Warsh On Adam Smith

by David R. Hendersonvia EconLog
Tuesday, December 4, 2018

I’m reading and enjoying David Warsh’s Knowledge and the Wealth of Nations. I hadn’t read it when it came out, but I need to now to write the Paul Romer bio for The Concise Encyclopedia of Economics. Warsh, who was a long-time economics columnist for the Boston Globe, is an excellent writer. Not many people can write a 300+ page book about economic thinking that is a suspenseful page turner. Normally I hate suspense in non-fiction writing; I want the author to tell me the damn point in the first few pages. But Warsh has succeeded in keeping me reading.

Analysis and Commentary

Do I Deserve What I Have? Part I

by Russell Robertsvia Medium
Tuesday, December 4, 2018

How am I lucky to have the career I have and the economic security I have? Let me list the ways. I was born of two parents who loved me but who did not spoil me and who gave me an above average set of inherited skills. They created a love of reading in me as well as some measure of kindness and honesty. I did not choose my parents. I am so lucky.

In the News

Trading On Uncertainty About Tariffs

quoting Steven J. Davisvia The Wall Street Journal
Tuesday, December 4, 2018

Investors supposedly hate uncertainty, but the uncertainty of a 90-day delay to extra tariffs on China turned out to be better than the certainty of extra tariffs. Stocks soared Monday and the dollar weakened as markets welcomed the cease-fire over the weekend in the U.S.-China trade war.


After Spending $5.4 Billion, California’s Bullet Train Is Still Going Nowhere

by Lee Ohanianvia California on Your Mind
Tuesday, December 4, 2018

Governor Jerry Brown will leave office next month with a legacy of presiding over one of the biggest public policy failures in the state’s history. The California High-Speed Rail project began in 2008 at an estimated cost of about $39 billion to build high-speed train service between Northern California, Southern California, and the Central Valley. Despite the project having been significantly scaled back, the price tag for the down-sized system is likely approaching $100 billion.


Larry Diamond: Why German Automakers Benefit From China-US Trade Truce

interview with Larry Diamondvia Bloomberg
Monday, December 3, 2018

Hoover Institution fellow Larry Diamond talks about US Treasury Secretary Steven Mnuchin's comment that China has agreed to eliminate tariffs on imported automobiles and White House economic adviser Larry Kudlow's comment that the US and China are “pretty close” to an agreement on stopping intellectual property theft.

In the News

Worry Less About Inflation And More About Recession

quoting Martin Feldsteinvia Bloomberg
Monday, December 3, 2018

Here are several reasons to be concerned about how the Fed will respond to the next downturn.


Trump Should Send China Flowers, Not Tariffs

by John H. Cochrane via The Hill
Monday, December 3, 2018

President Trump and Chinese President Xi Jinping met and declared a 90-day cease fire. Where will this end? It’s hard to forecast. Our commander in chief is less predictable than the stock market. But we can opine on what should happen. And we can look for interest — what is in everybody’s interest to have happen?

Analysis and Commentary

Financing Innovation

by John H. Cochrane via Grumpy Economist
Monday, December 3, 2018

I went to the Financing of Innovation summit at Stanford GSB last Thursday. Amit Seru presented "Measuring Technological Innovation over the Long Run", joint work with Bryan Kelly, Dimitris Papanikolaou, and Matt Taddy. They ran text analysis of patents, and judge similarity by whether patents use many of the same words. They define an innovative patent as one that doesn't use many of the same words as its predecessors, but many of the same words as its followers.

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Thomas Sowell On The Myths Of Economic Inequality

interview with Thomas Sowellvia Uncommon Knowledge
Monday, December 3, 2018

What are the myths of economic inequality, and why is socialism often posed as the solution?


Economic Policy Working Group

The Working Group on Economic Policy brings together experts on economic and financial policy to study key developments in the U.S. and global economies, examine their interactions, and develop specific policy proposals.

Milton and Rose Friedman: An Uncommon Couple