Monday, March 30, 2009
Saturday, March 21, 2009
Paul Krugman, a nobel prize winner, has led from the interventionist side favoring stimulus on top of stimulus. Apparently, Krugman does not feel like markets can or should correct, nor are massive growth in government and deficit moving in the wrong direction. Barro has commented rather negatively as has many others. Nevertheless, the political economic world is currently moving in concert with Krugman's musing with future consequences uncertain.
As I get ready for the secone day here at the Midwest Economics Association meetings in Cleveland, I hear on the TV "Nobel Economist says do nothing" ... It turns out this is Gary Becker, 1992 Nobel Prize Winner, and a personal hero.
Mary Anastiasa O'Grady writes in online.wsj.com that Now is no Time to Give Up on Markets: "What can we do that would be beneficial? [One thing] is lower corporate taxes and businesses taxes and maybe taxes in general. Particularly, you want to lower the tax on capital so you raise the after-tax return to investing and get more investing going on."
"Gary Becker ... is in New York to speak to a special meeting of the Mont Pelerin Society on the global meltdown. He has agreed to sit down to chat with me (O'Grady) on the subject of his lecture. Slumped in a soft chair in a noisy hotel coffee lounge, the 78-year-old University of Chicago professor is relaxed and remarkably humble for a guy who has achieved so much."
I was brought up on Becker. as a Ph. D. student at Ohio State. I could not read enough of his work. I am thrilled to see the words slumped and humble in that opening to O'Grady's interview, because it impresses me with the genuinuness of this remarkable man. A humble economist that speaks the truth of his convictions instead of the pompousness so comoon from those on the political stage.
Dont give up on Markets
Capitalism is under attack in our country and more important with that attack is the attack on our freedom and liberty. Becker reminds us to hold to our believes and to not fall into the just-do-something mentality. Growing government and restricting markets is not the way to create wealth and growth.
Thanks Professor Becker...
Monday, March 16, 2009
Friday, March 06, 2009
(Thanks for the tip Jim)
However as I posted earlier, you can get Bluebeam Revu for $30, but now it appears that has risen to $75. I hate to see that kind of increase (and yes those are educational prices).
To quote Bluebeam on the benefits of Revu:
- Easily take notes on PDFs during class with laptops or tablet PCs
- Convert papers and assignments to PDF for added security before emailing them to professors
- Read, highlight and add notes to course materials in PDF
- Convert lecture notes and handouts to PDF and upload on class web pages or email to students
- Receive assignments in PDF and add markups electronically
- Convert lecture slides to PDF and markup during class
- Copy and paste text and images from PDFs when creating lecture slides
Over the last couple years I loved to ridicule all the scaremongers who always said this, that or the other thing is "the worst since the Great Depression." I stand by my ridicule, for the most part -- those prophets of doom were mostly broken clocks who look right now just by sheer luck. But there's no question now that things have gotten quite bad in the economy and the markets.
So let me do the preachers of Armageddon one better. Today's stock market isn't just the "worst since the Great Depression," like they're so fond of saying. No, it's even worse than the Great Depression.
Take a look at the chart, below. It shows the daily progress of the S&P 500 in terms of percentage change from the very top. The brown line is the change from the recent all-time highs on October 9, 2007. The blue line is the change from the all-time highs just before the Great Depression, September 6, 1929.
click on the image to see it full size
As of yesterday's close (Thursday, March 5), the S&P 500 has lost 56.4% from its all-time highs 513 days ago. At the same point in the bear market associated with the Great Depression, that is at the 513 day mark, the S&P 500 had only lost -- only! -- 49%.
In other words, to be no worse than the catastrophe that happened to stocks in the Great Depression, the S&P 500 today would have to rally 17%.