Monday, November 23, 2009

From around the blogroll... 

[] A map of housing bubble. Earlier this year we noted that just four states dominated the mortgage crisis -- and so sank the world economy. "Home prices increased in 28 states during the fourth quarter of 2008 ... only nine states had foreclosure rates above the average."

Now comes a national map of changes in home prices during the crisis, and a discussion of what made that handful of states special, at Econbrowser. (Note all the "white area".)

[] "African leaders advise Bono on reform of U2." William Easterly is back from Africa. Just read his whole blog, and keep reading it for what's happening among those with real economic problems.

[] Interesting musing on how IQ is valued in politics and out, at Falkenblog.

[] How helping the poor through means tested benefits traps the poor: They are punished for increasing their income by very high effective tax rates "that can reach or exceed 100 percent" as their benefits are reduced. Via Greg Mankiw

[] Marketing global warming [.pdf]...
"The language we use to describe the challenge of climate change is huge, hyperbolic and almost pornographic; the language of the solutions is often all about ‘small, cheap and easy’. We need to make solutions sound more heroic, use grander terms, and make the scale of the solution sound equal to the scale of the problem."
via voluntaryXchange

[] "Farewell to the worst deal in history", as Time Warner prepares to spin off AOL (says the Telegraph). Ah, but it was the best deal in history if you were an owner of AOL, says Tim Worstall, as what was basically a grossly overvalued gaming/chat room service with a dubious business model acquired one of the great media businesses of the century.

If Steve Case had just declared victory and walked away to become a professor or buy a pro sports team or something -- instead of staying on in the top management of the combined disaster business -- he'd be considered one of the greatest businessman/investors of all time today. Lesson: You've got to know how to quit when you are ahead.

[] At Volokh, amid continuing discussion of the traditional use of the Socratic method in law school education...
The Really Traditional Socratic Method: You ask people hard questions. Then they kill you.