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September 30, 2009

Adaptation of Thai Rice Farmers to Global Warming




A 2009 study of the effects of global warming on Thai rice farmers, finds that most such farmers have been able to fully adapt to milder changes, and to allay the worst effects of extreme changes. The researchers note that for milder changes, the farmers may even benefit from the increased rainfall that often accompanies such changes. The researchers also note that the adaptation would have been greater if they had been able to take account of the full range of adaptations the farmers could make:


(p. 210) Our results illustrate the complexity of climate change effects on rice yields at both the aggregate and individual levels, the scope of farmers' ability to counter climate change, and thus the importance of accurate modeling of farmers' decisions. Overall, farmers are unable to neutralize the adverse effects of the more extreme climate change. However, they are able to cope with milder climate change and even benefit slightly from small increases in rainfall. While most farmers manage to adjust to milder climate change, poor farmers are less able to do so.

It should be noted that in our analysis we consider only farmers' adjustment through input decision rules. We do not model or incorporate possible changes in timing of input usage, nor broader adjustments such as changes in the type of crop grown or migration. As a result, our findings may overstate both yield changes and implied welfare effects of climate change.




Source:

Felkner, John, Kamilya Tazhibayeva, and Robert Townsend. "Impact of Climate Change on Rice Production in Thailand." American Economic Review 99, no. 2 (May 2009): 205-10.





September 29, 2009

Entrepreneur Sees What Others Do Not See





DisneyWaltMickeyMouseDisneyland2009-09-16.jpg




















Walt Disney with Mickey Mouse in Disneyland. Source of photo: http://app2.sellersourcebook.com/users/101907/ebay_125.jpg



One of the characteristics of innovative entrepreneurs is that they have the vision to see possibilities that others do not see, and the perseverance to turn the vision into reality.

When I saw the mug pictured above, I bought one. It shows a frumpy middle-aged Walt Disney in an empty black and white Disneyland looking down at a smiling full-color Mickey Mouse.

By chance, this summer, we were present at the birthday of Disneyland. We attended the brief celebration on Main Street. I found myself getting choked up when they played a recording of Walt Disney at the park dedication, saying that Disneyland was intended to be the happiest place on earth.





September 28, 2009

Feds Ignore Birds Killed by Windmills




(p. A19) On Aug. 13, ExxonMobil pleaded guilty in federal court to killing 85 birds that had come into contact with crude oil or other pollutants in uncovered tanks or waste-water facilities on its properties. The birds were protected by the Migratory Bird Treaty Act, which dates back to 1918. The company agreed to pay $600,000 in fines and fees.

ExxonMobil is hardly alone in running afoul of this law. Over the past two decades, federal officials have brought hundreds of similar cases against energy companies. In July, for example, the Oregon-based electric utility PacifiCorp paid $1.4 million in fines and restitution for killing 232 eagles in Wyoming over the past two years. The birds were electrocuted by poorly-designed power lines.

Yet there is one group of energy producers that are not being prosecuted for killing birds: wind-power companies. And wind-powered turbines are killing a vast number of birds every year.

A July 2008 study of the wind farm at Altamont Pass, Calif., estimated that its turbines kill an average of 80 golden eagles per year. The study, funded by the Alameda County Community Development Agency, also estimated that about 10,000 birds--nearly all protected by the migratory bird act--are being whacked every year at Altamont.

Altamont's turbines, located about 30 miles east of Oakland, Calif., kill more than 100 times as many birds as Exxon's tanks, and they do so every year. But the Altamont Pass wind farm does not face the same threat of prosecution, even though the bird kills at Altamont have been repeatedly documented by biologists since the mid-1990s.


. . .

This is a double standard that more people--and not just bird lovers--should be paying attention to. In protecting America's wildlife, federal law-enforcement officials are turning a blind eye to the harm done by "green" energy.



For the full commentary, see:

ROBERT BRYCE. "Windmills Are Killing Our Birds; One standard for oil companies, another for green energy sources." The Wall Street Journal (Tues., SEPTEMBER 8, 2009): A19.

(Note: the online version of the commentary is dated September 7th.)

(Note: ellipsis added.)





September 27, 2009

Jane Jacobs "Rightly Condemned the ­Arrogance and Elitism of Urban Planners"




WrestlingWithMosesBK.jpg














Source of book image: online version of the WSJ review quoted and cited below.




(A15) In her day, she was a tenacious activist and an ­opponent of powerful interests, courting disfavor in high places. But today everyone loves Jane ­Jacobs, and understandably so. The author of the now-classic "The Death and Life of Great American Cities" (1961) is widely regarded as a common-sense visionary who ­reminded people about what makes ­cities livable.

According to Anthony Flint, the author of ­"Wrestling With Moses," Jacobs's most important ­contribution was the idea that "cities and city ­neighborhoods had an ­organic structure of their own that couldn't be ­produced at the drafting table." Mr. Flint, a former journalist who now works at the ­Lincoln Institute of Land Policy, clearly counts himself as a ­Jacobs fan. His book is a lively and informative ­valentine to her, aimed at showing us especially how she "took on New York's master builder and ­transformed the American city."

The villain of the story is Robert Moses, the ­"master builder" who for four decades--from the 1930s into the 1960s--led several well-funded, quasi-governmental agencies and radically transformed the landscape of New York, ­building roads, bridges, tunnels, parks, ­playgrounds, beaches and ­public housing. Though he never held elective ­office, he was ­powerful indeed, establishing a ­formidable base in the city and state bureaucracies. He might have fallen into obscurity after his death if it were not for Robert Caro, who immortalized ­Moses in "The Power ­Broker" (1974), a massive ­biography that portrays Moses as a despot whose creations helped to destroy the city.


. . .


One roots for Jacobs every step of the way, not least because she rightly condemned the ­arrogance and elitism of urban planners. And Moses was, in fact, a bully who had acquired too much power and disregarded the concerns of local residents. Slum clearance too often targeted functioning working-class neighborhoods, and urban renewal went far beyond what its utopian aims could possibly deliver.



For the full review, see:

VINCENT J. CANNATO. "Not Here, She Said; How Jane Jacobs fought the 'power broker' to save the Village--and a city." The Wall Street Journal (Thurs., July 29, 2009): A15.

(Note: ellipsis added.)


The source of the book being reviewed, is:

Flint, Anthony. Wrestling with Moses: How Jane Jacobs Took on New York's Master Builder and Transformed the American City. New York, NY: Random House, Inc., 2009.





September 26, 2009

Increase Health Insurance Competition by Ending Cross-State Ban




(p. A13) How do we get to a competitive market? The tax deduction for employer-provided group insurance, which has nearly destroyed the individual insurance market, is a central culprit. If we don't have the will to remove it, the deduction could be structured to enhance competition and the right to future insurance. We could restrict the tax deduction to individual, portable, long-term insurance and to the high-deductible plans that people choose with their own money.

More importantly, health care and insurance are overly protected and regulated businesses. We need to allow the same innovation, entry, and competition that has slashed costs elsewhere in our economy. For example, we need to remove regulations such as the ban on cross-state insurance. Think about it. What else aren't we allowed to purchase in another state?



For the full commentary, see:

JOHN H. COCHRANE . "What to Do About Pre-existing Conditions; Most Americans worry about health coverage if they lose their job and get sick. There is a market solution." The Wall Street Journal (Fri., AUGUST 14, 2009): A13.






September 25, 2009

Creator of Cap-and-Trade Now Says Plan is Ineffective and Inflexible




CrockerThomas2009-09-13.jpg











"When he was a graduate student in the 1960s working to reduce pollutants, Thomas Crocker devised a cap-and-trade system similar to one being considered in Congress." Source of photo and caption: online version of the WSJ article quoted and cited below.


(p. A7) In the 1960s, a University of Wisconsin graduate student named Thomas Crocker came up with a novel solution for environmental problems: cap emissions of pollutants and then let firms trade permits that allow them to pollute within those limits.

Now legislation using cap-and-trade to limit greenhouse gases is working its way through Congress and could become the law of the land. But Mr. Crocker and other pioneers of the concept are doubtful about its chances of success. They aren't abandoning efforts to curb emissions. But they are tiptoeing away from an idea they devised decades ago, doubting it can work on the grand scale now envisioned.

"I'm skeptical that cap-and-trade is the most effective way to go about regulating carbon," says Mr. Crocker, 73 years old, a retired economist in Centennial, Wyo. He says he prefers an outright tax on emissions because it would be easier to enforce and provide needed flexibility to deal with the problem.


. . .


Mr. Crocker sees two modern-day problems in using a cap-and-trade system to address the global greenhouse-gas issue. The first is that carbon emissions are a global problem with myriad sources. Cap-and-trade, he says, is better suited for discrete, local pollution problems. "It is not clear to me how you would enforce a permit system internationally," he says. "There are no institutions right now that have that power."

Europe has embraced cap-and-trade rules. Emissions initially rose there because industries were given more permits than they needed, and regulators have since tightened the caps. Meanwhile China, India and other developing markets are reluctant to go along, fearing limits would curb their growth. If they don't participate, there is little assurance that global carbon emissions will slow much even if the U.S. goes forward with its own plan. And even if everyone signs up, Mr. Crocker says, it isn't clear the limits will be properly enforced across nations and industries.

The other problem, Mr. Crocker says, is that quantifying the economic damage of climate change -- from floods to failing crops -- is fraught with uncertainty. One estimate puts it at anywhere between 5% and 20% of global gross domestic product. Without knowing how costly climate change is, nobody knows how tight a grip to put on emissions.

In this case, he says Washington needs to come up with an approach that will be flexible and easy to adjust over a long stretch of time as more becomes known about damages from greenhouse-gas emissions. Mr. Crocker says cap-and-trade is better suited for problems where the damages are clear -- like acid rain in the 1990s -- and a hard limit is needed quickly.

"Once a cap is in place," he warns, "it is very difficult to adjust." For example, buyers of emissions permits would see their value reduced if the government decided in the future to loosen the caps.



For the full story, see:

JON HILSENRATH. "Cap-and-Trade's Unlikely Critics: Its Creators; Economists Behind Original Concept Question the System's Large-Scale Usefulness, and Recommend Emissions Taxes Instead." The Wall Street Journal (Thurs., AUGUST 13, 2009): A7.

(Note: ellipsis added.)





September 24, 2009

Noble Savages Were Not So Noble




(p. A20) The idea that primitive hunter-gatherers lived in harmony with the landscape has long been challenged by researchers, who say Stone Age humans in fact wiped out many animal species in places as varied as the mountains of New Zealand and the plains of North America. Now scientists are proposing a new arena of ancient depredation: the coast.

In an article in Friday's issue of the journal Science, anthropologists at the Smithsonian Institution and the University of Oregon cite evidence of sometimes serious damage by early inhabitants along the coasts of the Aleutian Islands, New England, the Gulf of Mexico, South Africa and California's Channel Islands, where the researchers do fieldwork.

"Human influence is pretty pervasive," one of the authors, Torben C. Rick of the National Museum of Natural History, part of the Smithsonian Institution, said in an interview. "Hunter-gatherers with fairly simple technology were actively degrading some marine ecosystems" tens of thousands of years ago.



For the full story, see:

CORNELIA DEAN. "Ancient Man Hurt Coasts, Paper Says." The New York Times (Fri., August 21, 2009): A20.






September 23, 2009

Scientists Believe Life Emerged from a Process of "Creative Destruction" and Global Warming




CosmicCrashSite2009-09-07.jpgSource of graphic: online version of the WSJ article quoted and cited below.


(p. A9) In a paradox of creation, new evidence suggests that devastating avalanches of cosmic debris may have fostered life on Earth, not annihilated it. If so, life on our planet may be older than scientists previously thought -- and more persistent.

Astronomers world-wide have been transfixed by a roiling gash the size of Earth in the atmosphere of Jupiter, caused by an errant comet or asteroid that smashed into the gas giant last month. The lingering turbulence is an echo of a cataclysmic bombardment that shaped the origin of life here 3.9 billion years ago, when millions of asteroids, comets and meteors pummeled our planet.


. . .


But in their super-heated plunge through the atmosphere, these asteroids and meteors may have helped create conditions ideal for emerging life. "Everyone focuses on the meteor that hits the ground," says geochemist Richard Court at London's Imperial College. "No one thinks about the products of its journey that get pumped into the atmosphere."

As they vented, they collectively could have imported billions of tons of life-sustaining water into the air every year, Dr. Court and his colleague Mark Sephton recently determined. They calculated that these showers of volatile rocks delivered 10 times the daily outflow of the Mississippi River every year for 20 million years. By analyzing the fumes emitted under such extreme heat, they discovered these rocks also could have injected billions of tons of carbon dioxide into the air every year.

Combined with so much water vapor, the carbon dioxide could have induced a global greenhouse effect. That could have kept any life emerging on Earth safely in a planetary incubator at a time when the planet might easily have frozen because the Sun radiated 25% less energy than today. "The amount of CO2 that was produced is about the same we produce today through fossil fuel use and we know that is a climate-changing volume," says Dr. Court.


. . .


"It is literally a revolution in our ideas about how our solar system evolved," says asteroid expert William Bottke at the Southwest Research Institute. "It could be that our form of life today -- every living thing that we see today -- is due to this bombardment that happened 3.9 billion years ago."



For the full commentary, see:

ROBERT LEE HOTZ. "SCIENCE JOURNAL; Some Creative Destruction on a Cosmic Scale; Scientists Say Asteroid Blasts, Once Thought Apocalyptic, Fostered Life on Earth by Carrying Water and Protective Greenhouse Gas." The Wall Street Journal (Fri., AUGUST 14, 2009): A9.

(Note: ellipses added.)





September 22, 2009

In Economic Policy, as in Medicine: "First, Do No Harm"




(p. A13) Consider someone rushed into an emergency room in severe cardiac distress. After starting acute life-support measures, doctors still apply the rule stated by Galen of Pergamum more than 1,800 years ago: primum non nocere, or "First, do no harm." Treatment interventions are selected carefully from a battery of technologies and potent drugs while recognizing that any one of them, or a combination, could hurt the patient if misapplied or given in the wrong dosage. Economic interventions require no less care.


. . .


Our economic doctors should permit America's uniquely effective immune system to take over as companies and financial institutions deleverage their balance sheets. With people and with capitalism, the tincture of time is often the best medicine.



For the full commentary, see:

MICHAEL MILKEN and JONATHAN SIMONS. "Illness as Economic Metaphor; The first rule, as always, is do no harm.." The Wall Street Journal (Sat., June 20, 2009): A13.

(Note: italics in original; ellipsis added.)





September 21, 2009

Feds Force Farmers to Let Tons of Cherries Rot




LigonLeonardCherryFarmer2009-09-07.jpg "Leonard Ligon, a farmer near Traverse City, Mich., stands in mounds of tart cherries that he had to dump because of a price-stabilization program. Mr. Ligon says he discarded 72,000 pounds of the crop." Source of photo and caption: online version of the WSJ article quoted and cited below.


(p. A5) Farmers in Michigan and six other states are harvesting a bumper crop of tart cherries. But the bounty is turning out to be the pits for farmers whose fruit is rotting in orchards instead of bubbling in cherry pies.

Under a Depression-era federal program designed to keep prices from plummeting, tart-cherry farmers are being told by fruit processors to leave up to 40% of their crop unharvested.

"It's kind of heartbreaking," said Rob Manigold, a tart-cherry farmer near Traverse City, Mich. Michigan grows about 75% of all the tart cherries in the U.S.


. . .


The tart-cherry industry operates under a government-sanctioned plan called a federal marketing order that dates to 1933. It allows farmers and processors to legally regulate supply to keep prices stable. Other commodities that operate under similar programs include some types of dates, olives and kiwifruit.


. . .


This year, the industry board, a 18-member panel of growers and processors, determined that there were more than enough cherries in the fields to satisfy demand and to replenish the reserves. So the board limited how much processors can put on the market in the U.S. That leaves farmers with cherries they can't sell and are left to rot.

Bern Kroupa, a 61-year-old fruit farmer outside Traverse City in Michigan's northern lower peninsula, said this year he is going to let about a quarter of his crop -- about 500,000 pounds -- rot.


. . .


Leonard Ligon, another tart-cherry grower near Traverse City, Mich., generated a lot of local press last week when he dumped 72,000 pounds of cherries alongside a country road on his farm. "I wanted to make the public aware of the plight of the tart-cherry farmer," he said. "I could call it a mulch pile."



For the full story, see:

LAUREN ETTER. "Bumper Cherry Crop Turns Sour; Tons of Unharvested Fruit Rots Under Government Program to Keep Prices Stable." The Wall Street Journal (Sat., AUGUST 22, 2009): A5.

(Note: ellipses added.)





September 20, 2009

Global Warming Laws May Increase Food Prices




(p. A5) Some of the nation's biggest food and agriculture companies are planning to release a flurry of studies in coming weeks that scrutinize the potential impact of climate-change legislation, warning that it could lead to higher food prices.


. . .


In a letter sent last month to Sens. Barbara Boxer, the California Democrat, and Republican James Inhofe of Oklahoma, the coalition said the House bill "will increase food and feed prices and reduce the international competitiveness of our businesses."

The letter said Congress "must take extreme care to avoid adverse impacts on food security, prices, safety, and accessibility to necessary consumer products." The letter also criticized the House bill for failing to provide transitional assistance to "low-income households struggling with rising food prices."

When the group's studies are released, possibly by the end of August, they are likely to reignite tensions between food and ethanol producers that have raged since 2007 when Congress passed energy legislation that gave a big boost to the corn-ethanol industry.

The food industry has complained that the energy bill pushed up prices for corn and other key food ingredients that resulted in higher consumer prices as the ethanol industry siphoned more corn to make ethanol.



For the full story, see:

LAUREN ETTER. "Food Firms Fret Over Potential Impact of Climate Bill; Coalition, Including Agricultural Giants, Plans to Draw Attention to Concerns That Legislation Could Lead to Higher Food Prices." The Wall Street Journal (Weds., Aug. 13, 2009): A5.

(Note: ellipsis added.)





September 19, 2009

Omaha's MidAmerican Energy "Is Ready to Assist BYD's Foray into the U.S. Auto Market"




WangChuanfuBYDchairman2009--09-7.jpg "Wang Chuanfu, the chairman of Chinese auto maker BYD, with one of the company's cars at the automobile show in Detroit in January." Source of photo and caption: online version of the WSJ article quoted and cited below.


(p. B5) XIAN, China -- BYD Co., the Chinese auto maker part-owned by Warren Buffett's company, is finalizing plans for an all-electric battery car that would be sold in the U.S. next year, ahead of the original schedule, Chairman Wang Chuanfu said.


. . .


One source of Mr. Wang's confidence in attacking the U.S. car market is BYD's ties with MidAmerican Energy Holding Co., the unit of Mr. Buffett's Berkshire Hathaway Inc. that paid about $230 million for a 9.9% stake in BYD.

MidAmerican Chairman David Sokol, who was also interviewed in Xian, said MidAmerican is ready to assist BYD's foray into the U.S. auto market in "any way we could be helpful." MidAmerican also might invest in BYD's new initiatives in the U.S., which, in addition to automobiles, could involve solar panels and battery technology for power utilities.

Mr. Sokol also said MidAmerican hopes to boost its BYD stake if the chance arises. "If in the future there is an opportunity for us to continue to invest in BYD, we will be happy to increase our stake over time, but we will do it in cooperation with BYD," he said. Mr. Wang said an increase is "negotiable."



For the full story, see:

NORIHIKO SHIROUZU. "BYD to Sell Electric Car in U.S. Market Next Year." The Wall Street Journal (Sat., AUGUST 22, 2009): B5.

(Note: ellipsis added.)





September 18, 2009

Obama Industrial Policy Risks Funding Dead Ends




(p. B1) President Obama has cast himself as a reluctant interventionist in two of the nation's major industries, Wall Street and Detroit. The federal aid, he says, is a financial bridge to a postcrisis future and the hand-holding will be temporary.

Even so, the scale of the government investment and control -- especially by the auto task force now vetting plans at Chrysler and General Motors -- points to an approach that has been shunned by the United States more than other developed nations.

"By any coherent definition, this is industrial policy," said Marcus Noland, a senior fellow at the Peterson Institute for International Economics.


. . .


(p. B7) . . . a more comprehensive, industrial-policylike approach to Detroit carries its own perils, economists say. In trying to manage the industrial shrinkage, they say, there is a fine line between easing the social impact and protecting jobs in ways that inhibit economic change and renewal. In pursuit of new growth, governments risk encouraging overinvestment in areas that prove to be technological dead ends.

In the Japanese experience, economists see evidence of both dangers. Problems, they say, are typically byproducts of what economists call "political capture." That is, an industrial sector earmarked for special government attention builds up its own political constituency, lobbyists and government bureaucrats to serve that industry. They slow the pace of change, and an economy becomes less nimble and efficient as a result.

Economists say the phenomenon is scarcely confined to nations with explicit industrial policies and cite the history of agricultural subsidies in America or military procurement practices.

But going down the path of industrial policy certainly holds that risk. "You have to bear in mind the opportunity costs of these kinds of government interventions, and remember that life is not an economic textbook and that politics can easily override economic rationality," said Mr. Noland, an author, with Howard Pack, of "Industrial Policy in an Era of Globalization: Lessons From Asia."




For the full story, see:

STEVE LOHR. "Highway to the Unknown; Forays in Industrial Policy Bring Risks." The New York Times (Weds., May 19, 2009): B1 & B7.

(Note: the online title is "In U.S., Steps Toward Industrial Policy in Autos.")

(Note: ellipses added.)


The full reference to Noland and Pack's book is:

Noland, Marcus, and Howard Pack. Industrial Policy in an Era of Globalization: Lessons from Asia, Policy Analyses in International Economics. Washington, D.C.: Peterson Institute, 2003.







September 17, 2009

Electric Mitsubishis and Nissans May Leapfrog Hybrid Toyotas




(p. B6) Both Nissan and Mitsubishi have their own reasons for rushing out an all-electric car. Having invested little in hybrids, they hope to leapfrog straight to the next technology.


. . .


"You don't see many competing technologies survive in a key market for very long," said Mr. Shimizu, the Keio University professor.

And more often than not in the history of innovation, a change in the dominant technology means a change in the market leader.

"Electric cars are a disruptive technology, and Toyota knows that," Mr. Shimizu said. "I wouldn't say Toyota is killing the electric vehicle. Perhaps Toyota is scared."



For the full story, see:

HIROKO TABUCHI. "The Electric Slide." The New York Times (Thursday, August 20, 2009): B1 & B6.

(Note: The online version of the article had the title: "Toyota, Hybrid Innovator, Holds Back in Race to Go Electric.")

(Note: ellipsis added.)





September 16, 2009

Four Month Wait for Blood Test in Brits' Government Health Care




(p. 6) Founded in 1948 during the grim postwar era, the National Health Service is essential to Britain's identity. But Britons grouse about it, almost as a national sport. Among their complaints: it rations treatment; it forces people to wait for care; it favors the young over the old; its dental service is rudimentary at best; its hospitals are crawling with drug-resistant superbugs.

All these things are true, sometimes, up to a point.


. . .


Told my husband needed a sophisticated blood test from a particular doctor, I telephoned her office, only to be told there was a four-month wait.

"But I'm a private patient," I said.

"Then we can see you tomorrow," the secretary said.

And so it went. When it came time for my husband to undergo physical rehabilitation, I went to look at the facility offered by the N.H.S. The treatment was first rate, I was told, but the building was dismal: grim, dusty, hot, understaffed, housing 8 to 10 elderly men per ward. The food was inedible. The place reeked of desperation and despair.

Then I toured the other option, a private rehabilitation hospital with air-conditioned rooms, private bathrooms and cable televisions, a state-of-the-art gym, passably tasty food and cheery nurses who made a cup of cocoa for my husband every night before bed.



For the full commentary, see:

SARAH LYALL. "An Expat Goes for a Checkup." The New York Times, Week in Review Section (Sun., August 8, 2009): 1 & 6.

(Note: the online title is "Health Care in Britain: Expat Goes for a Checkup.")

(Note: ellipsis added.)






September 15, 2009

Global Warming Allows Humans to "Skip" Next Ice Age




SundayLakeAlaska2009-09-06.jpg "Researchers use a floating platform to take sediment cores from Sunday Lake in southwestern Alaska." Source of photo and caption: online version of the NYT article quoted and cited below.


(p. A17) The human-driven buildup of heat-trapping greenhouse gases in the atmosphere appears to have ended a slide, many millenniums in the making, toward cooler summer temperatures in the Arctic, the authors of a new study report.

Scientists familiar with the work, to be published Friday in the journal Science, said it provided fresh evidence that human activity is not only warming the globe, particularly the Arctic, but could also even fend off what had been presumed to be an inevitable descent into a new ice age over the next few dozen millenniums.


. . .


In the very long term, the ability to artificially warm the climate, particularly the Arctic, could be seen as a boon as the planet's shifting orientation to the Sun enters a phase that could initiate the next ice age.

As a result of such periodic shifts, 17 ice ages are thought to have come and gone in two million years. The last ice age ended 11,000 years ago and the next one, according to recent research, could be 20,000 or 30,000 years off discounting any influence by humans. The last ice age buried much of the Northern Hemisphere under a mile or more of ice.

With humans' clear and growing ability to alter the climate, Dr. Overpeck said, "we could easily skip the next opportunity altogether."



For the full story, see:

ANDREW C. REVKIN. "Global Warming Is Delaying Ice Age, Study Finds." The New York Times (Fri., September 4, 2009): A17.

(Note: the online version of the article has the title "Global Warming Could Forestall Ice Age.")

(Note: ellipsis added.)


The reference to the full scientific presentation of the research is:

Kaufman, Darrell S., David P. Schneider, Nicholas P. McKay, Caspar M. Ammann, Raymond S. Bradley, Keith R. Briffa, Gifford H. Miller, Bette L. Otto-Bliesner, Jonathan T. Overpeck, Bo M. Vinther, and Members Arctic Lakes 2k Project. "Recent Warming Reverses Long-Term Arctic Cooling." Science 325, no. 5945 (2009): 1236-39.





September 14, 2009

Clunker-Like Subsidies May Mainly Affect Timing of Purchases




(p. A6) The next program to test the effect of government funds comes this fall. Consumers who buy high-efficiency appliances such as refrigerators, washing machines and dishwasher can receive rebates of up to $200 on certain products; no trade-ins would be required. The $300 million program was included in the $787 billion stimulus law.

As with the clunkers program, it's unclear whether the rebate program will offer anything more than a short-term economic boost.

"The people who will most like likely respond to this are the people who need appliances, and they were probably going to buy appliances anyway," said Erik Hurst, an economist at the University of Chicago's Booth School of Business. "If all you've done is move that from tomorrow to today, then the economy is going to lag even more tomorrow."



For the full story, see:

SUDEEP REDDY. "Dealers Get More Time to File for Clunker Rebates." The Wall Street Journal (Weds., AUGUST 25, 2009): A6.





September 13, 2009

Economists "Mistook Beauty, Clad in Impressive-Looking Mathematics, for Truth"




PlanglossianEconomistsCartoon2009-09-06.jpg Source of caricatures: online version of the NYT article quoted and cited below.


Nobel Prize winner Paul Krugman is no friend of the free market, and more importantly, his manner of dealing with opponents is a long way from gracious civility.

But he is not always completely wrong:


(p. 36) Few economists saw our current crisis coming, . . .


. . .


(p. 37) As I see it, the economics profession went astray because economists, as a group, mistook beauty, clad in impressive-looking mathematics, for truth.



For the full commentary, see:

PAUL KRUGMAN. "How Did Economists Get It So Wrong?." The New York Times, Magazine Section (Sun., September 2, 2009): 36-43.

(Note: ellipses added.)


DissentingEconomistsCartoon2009-09-06.jpgThe economist on the left is probably intended to resemble Keynes, but he also bears some resemblance to Hayek. Source of caricatures: online version of the NYT article quoted and cited above.






September 12, 2009

"Axel Springer Has Dared to Compete with Itself"




The European newspaper publisher Axel Springer, discussed in the story quoted below, appears to be following the advice of Christensen and Raynor in their book The Innovator's Solution. In that book, they suggest that incumbent firms need to be willing to set up units that compete with their older business models, if they hope to survive the introduction of disruptive innovations.


(p. B4) PARIS -- As the death toll in the American newspaper industry mounted this month, the German publisher Axel Springer, which owns Bild, the biggest newspaper in Europe, reported the highest profit in its 62-year history.


. . .


Axel Springer generates 14 percent of its revenue online, more than most American newspapers, even though the markets in which it operates -- primarily Germany and Eastern Europe -- are less digitally developed than the United States.

One reason, Mr. Döpfner said, is that Axel Springer has dared to compete with itself. Instead of trying to protect existing publications, it acquired or created new ones, some of which distribute the same content to different audiences.

At one newsroom in Berlin, for example, journalists produce content for six publications: the national newspaper Die Welt, its Sunday edition and a tabloid version aimed at younger readers; a local paper called Berliner Morgenpost, and two Web sites.



For the full story, see:

ERIC PFANNER. "European Newspapers Find Creative Ways to Thrive in the Internet Age." The New York Times (Mon., March 29, 2009): B4.

(Note: ellipsis added.)

The Christensen and Raynor book mentioned above, is:

Christensen, Clayton M., and Michael E. Raynor. The Innovator's Solution: Creating and Sustaining Successful Growth. Boston, MA: Harvard Business School Press, 2003.





September 11, 2009

Aid Dependency "Kills Entrepreneurship"




MoyoDambisa2009-09-03.jpg

Dambisa Moyo. Source of photo: online version of the NYT article quoted and cited below.








(p.11) You argue in your book that Western aid to Africa has not only perpetuated poverty but also worsened it, and you are perhaps the first African to request in book form that all development aid be halted within five years.

Think about it this way -- China has 1.3 billion people, only 300 million of whom live like us, if you will, with Western living standards. There are a billion Chinese who are living in substandard conditions. Do you know anybody who feels sorry for China? Nobody.





Maybe that's because they have so much money that we here in the U.S. are begging the Chinese for loans.


Forty years ago, China was poorer than many African countries. Yes, they have money today, but where did that money come from? They built that, they worked very hard to create a situation where they are not dependent on aid.


What do you think has held back Africans?


I believe it's largely aid. You get the corruption -- historically, leaders have stolen the money without penalty -- and you get the dependency, which kills entrepreneurship. You also disenfranchise African citizens, because the government is beholden to foreign donors and not accountable to its people.


If people want to help out, what do you think they should do with their money if not make donations?


Microfinance. Give people jobs.



For the full interview, see:

DEBORAH SOLOMON, interviewer. "Questions for Dambisa Moyo; The Anti-Bono." The New York Times, Magazine (Sun., Feb. 22, 2009): 11.



DeadAidBK.jpg
















Source of book image: http://media.us.macmillan.com/jackets/500H/9780374139568.jpg





September 10, 2009

Let Venture Capitalists Invest Their Own Money in Entrepreneurs




(p. A17) Venture-capital funds deal solely with privately purchased equity securities in start-up companies, which are not traded in public markets. They have as their limited partners only people who meet the S.E.C.'s definition of a "qualified client" (meaning they possess a substantial amount of money to invest). These investors, who typically allocate a small percentage of their portfolios to venture capital, are familiar with risk, but it is long-term risk, stretching out 7 to 10 years. They put their faith not in publicly traded securities but in entrepreneurs, emerging technologies and new markets.

Because their business is contained within the ecosystem of limited partners, venture-capital funds and the companies in which they invest absorb all the risk: there can be no domino effect in the world financial system.


. . .


It would be a shame to impose any new limits now, when venture capital is the asset class that can best help build and nurture the companies that bring about growth and job creation. The figures are compelling. In 2008, venture-backed companies that went public in previous years accounted for 12.1 million jobs and $2.9 trillion in revenues for the United States Treasury.

The names of companies financed by venture capital are legendary: Cisco, Google, Facebook, Apple, Federal Express, Staples, Yahoo, Amazon, Genentech and on and on. The privately purchased equity securities that helped start these companies supported new technological and scientific ideas, all of which led to new jobs.



For the full commentary, see:

ALAN PATRICOF and ERIC DINALLO. "Stopping Start-Ups." The New York Times (Mon., August 31, 2009): A17.

(Note: ellipsis added.)





September 9, 2009

Congress Takes Exotic, Costly Global Warming Trip




GlobalWarmingGlobeTrottersMap.gifSource of map: online version of the WSJ article quoted and cited below.


(p. A1) WASHINGTON -- When 10 members of Congress wanted to study climate change, they did more than just dip their toes into the subject: They went diving and snorkeling at the Great Barrier Reef. They also rode a cable car through the Australian rain forest, visited a penguin rookery and flew to the South Pole.

The 11-day trip -- with six spouses traveling along as well -- took place over New Year's 2008. Details are only now coming to light as part of a Wall Street Journal analysis piecing together the specifics of the excursion.

It's tough to calculate the travel bills racked up by members of Congress, but one thing's for sure: They use a lot of airplanes. In recent days, House of Representatives members allocated $550 million to upgrade the fleet of luxury Air Force jets used for trips like these -- even though the Defense Department says it doesn't need all the planes. . . .

The South Pole trip, led by Rep. Brian Baird (D., Wash.), ranks among the priciest. The lawmakers reported a cost to taxpayers of $103,000.

That figure, however, doesn't include the actual flying, because the trip used the Air Force planes, not commercial carriers. Flight costs would lift the total tab to more than $500,000, based on Defense Department figures for aircraft per-hour operating costs.



For the full story, see:

BRODY MULLINS and T.W. FARNAM. "Lawmakers' Global-Warming Trip Hit Tourist Hot Spots; Penguins, a Rocket-Propelled Airplane (and Tax Dollars) Also Involved." The Wall Street Journal (Weds., June 10, 2009): A1 & A4.

(Note: ellipsis added.)



RocketAssistedSiEquippedPlane.jpg "The type of rocket-assisted, ski-equipped plane that took the lawmakers to the South Pole." Source of photo and caption: online version of the WSJ article quoted and cited above.





September 8, 2009

Government Regulations Stifle Creative Venture Capital




(p. A9) This is a good time to recall that the venture-capital industry was born as a reaction to New Deal regulations that stifled capital and prolonged the Depression. The country's first venture-capital firm (other than family-run funds) was American Research and Development, planned in the 1930s and launched after World War II in Boston.

Its leader was longtime Harvard Business School professor Georges Doriot, who is the subject of a fascinating recent biography, "Creative Capital," by Spencer Ante. Mr. Ante, a BusinessWeek editor, tells me that as he researched the topic "one of the most surprising things I learned was how concerned financiers and industrialists had become about the riskless economy in direct response to the New Deal. Even in the 1930s, people understood that small business was the lifeblood of the economy."

American Research and Development backed early-stage companies deemed too risky by banks and investment trusts at the time. The firm was an early investor in Digital Equipment Corp., the Boston-area company that revolutionized computing.

Despite financial success, the history of the firm is a reminder that our regulatory system, by its nature focused on avoiding risk, has a hard time dealing with investment firms whose mission is to take risks. Doriot was a well-known name in commerce and academia from the 1940s through the 1970s. He was the first French graduate of Harvard Business School, a founder of the INSEAD business school and a leading adviser to the U.S. military.

But even as a pillar of Boston's commercial and academic worlds, Doriot had many run-ins with federal regulators. Over the years, regulators dictated compensation for the American Research and Development staff, tried to force disclosure of the performance of its early-stage companies, and second-guessed how it tracked the valuations of its investments.

The Securities and Exchange Commission hounded the company so often that Doriot once wrote a three-page memo saying, "ARD has more knowledge of what is right and wrong than the average person at the SEC." He was prudent enough not to send it. He did mail another memo to the SEC enforcement office in Boston, in 1965: "I rather resent, after 20 years of experience, to have two men come here, spend two days, and tell us that we do not know what we are doing."


. . .


No venture capital firm has asked to be bailed out, and none are too big to fail. As hard as it is for regulators to understand, the nature of venture capital is such that it should not even aspire to be a low-risk enterprise

.

For the full commentary, see:

L. GORDON CROVITZ. "No Such Thing as Riskless Venture Capital; New regulations could retard the innovation our economy needs." The Wall Street Journal (Weds., AUGUST 9, 2009): A19.

(Note: ellipsis added.)





September 7, 2009

Government Protects Us from Unlicensed Eight Year Old Lemonade Entrepreneur




DanielaEarnestLemonadeStand.jpgDaniela Earnest at her lemonade stand (left) and in court (right). Source of photo: http://3.bp.blogspot.com/_GGAmzDRA_BY/SnvDbYoMpzI/AAAAAAAAHEg/W1BI2XK8DH4/s400/daniela%2Bearnest.jpg


(p. 5A) THE FRESNO BEE

TULARE, Calif. -- Eight­-year- old Daniela Earnest made lemonade out of lemons in more ways than one last week.

Hoping to raise money for a family trip to Disneyland, the Tulare girl opened a lemonade stand Monday. But she didn't have a business license, so the city shut it down that day.


. . .

Tulare officials said they could not recall ever shutting down a lemonade stand before, though such action is not uncommon. Authorities across the nation have done it.


. . .


Daniela found the situation "pretty weird" but said it hadn't soured her on reopening the lemonade stand.



For the full story, see:

The Fresno Bee. "City puts squeeze on pint-size purveyor of lemonade." Omaha World-Herald (Sun., Aug. 9, 2009): 5A.

(Note: ellipses added.)





September 6, 2009

Mafia Will Get Fed Stimulus Money




(p. A13) Everybody is looking for stimulus money.

From bridge builders to food stamp recipients, from roofers to subway riders, from teachers to housing project residents, people are eager to feel some part of a tidal wave of federal dollars in their lives.

The mob is eager, too.

Federal and state investigators who track organized crime believe that some members have geared up to take advantage of the swift and enormous cash influx -- if they have not already -- looking, as the old Sicilian expression goes, to wet their beaks.

Nimble, innovative and with a seemingly boundless appetite for the taxpayer's dollar, the mob's more sophisticated cadre has plundered municipal, state and federal coffers for generations.


. . .


(p. A14) The distinctiveness of the immediate challenge surrounding the stimulus money is owed in part to the bill's twin imperatives: Get a lot of money out and get it out as fast as possible. And it is compounded by the fact that law enforcement agencies like the F. B. I. and prosecutors' offices are hip deep in the competing priorities of counterterrorism and the explosion of corporate and mortgage fraud cases.

Making matters worse, the money is flowing into familiar territory for those with a history of feeding at the public trough. Two of the largest portions of the stimulus pie in the New York City area are going to sectors of the economy -- Medicaid and infrastructure projects -- where the mob and Eastern European crime groups have flourished for decades, perfecting old schemes and developing new ones.

And it is not just criminals who are causing concern. Several officials noted that in an area where close to two dozen state and city legislators have been indicted in recent years, the flow of stimulus funds through government agencies will provide ample opportunity for corrupt public employees.


. . .


. . . , the speed with which the program has been put in place, along with what many officials have called insufficient oversight, has left some in law enforcement with grave concerns.

"It's coming out without the internal controls in place," said a law enforcement official who spoke on condition of anonymity because he was not authorized to discuss the issue publicly. "It's like putting a bank robber in a toll booth."



For the full story, see:

WILLIAM K. RASHBAUM. "Concern Is High That the Mob May Seek a Cut of the Stimulus Pie." The New York Times (Fri., August 31, 2009): A13-A14.

(Note: ellipses added.)





September 5, 2009

America's "Wealth Culture" is Democratic, Diverse, and Resilient




RichBK.jpg












Source of book image: online version of the WSJ review quoted and cited below.





(p. W6) . . . "Rich" contains an interesting argument, if only one can find it. Mr. Samuel contends that the 20th century has seen the creation of a distinctly American "wealth culture" that is more democratic and more diverse than anything the world has seen before, and consequently more resilient.


. . .


The Reagan revolution, thanks to its lowered taxes and deregulated economy, ­produced a flood of new ­millionaires; it also removed some of the guilt that had come to cling to wealth. ­(President ­Reagan said that he wanted America to remain a country in which people could dare to be rich.) More than the ­Reaganauts, though, it was the computer geeks of Silicon ­Valley who both stimulated and legitimized wealth- ­creation. They not only ­pioneered a productivity ­miracle, they also embodied the "American" values of ­meritocracy and democracy, earning big rewards for big ­innovations and scattering stock options among their ­employees. America Online, Mr. Samuel ­observes, created 2,000 ­millionaires during the 1990s.

The road from the top-­hatted John D. Rockefeller to the be-chinoed Bill Gates is undoubtedly a long one, and yet, remarkably, much of the landscape of American wealth remains the same. The U.S. has a genius for producing entrepreneurs who can turn the latest technology into piles of gold. Less than 10% of today's rich inherited their wealth, for example, and many are ­"instapreneurs," transformed in an instant from ­penury to prosperity.



For the full review, see:

ADRIAN WOOLDRIDGE. "Review; The Evolution of Wealth; Discerning a distinctly American style of affluence." The Wall Street Journal (Fri., July 31, 2009): W6.

(Note: ellipses added.)



Reference to the reviewed book:

Samuel, Larry. Rich: The Rise and Fall of American Wealth Culture. New York: AMACOM, 2009.





September 4, 2009

"Churchillian Steadfastness" Versus "Sullen Paralysis and Futile Efforts"




(p. A15) . . . beyond amelioration and providing the judicial (or in the case of the FDIC, quasi-judicial) procedures for reorganization, there is little more that the government can do to accelerate the unwinding and renewal necessary to put the economy back on an even keel.

The process involves a sequence of negotiations and experiments that cannot be truncated by throwing in more resources. As Frederick Brooks wrote in his celebrated book on software development, "The Mythical Man-Month: Essays on Software Engineering": "When a task cannot be partitioned because of sequential constraints, the application of more effort has no effect on the schedule. The bearing of a child takes nine months, no matter how many women are assigned." "Brooks's Law" suggests that increasing the size of software teams may delay development.

The wide variety of problems and circumstances in an economic downturn precludes the effective use of a single solution. And the federal government doesn't have the capacity to determine adjustments on a case-by-case basis. The late Nobel Laureate Friedrich Hayek taught that the "man on the spot" with the appropriate local knowledge was much more capable of making good investment decisions than a central planner.


. . .


Suppose that, when the financial crisis broke two years ago, our leaders had shown a Churchillian steadfastness and allowed the normal realignment to play out under a predictable judicial and regulatory regime. The prices of stocks, bank debt and houses would still have crumbled and unemployment risen. Although recovery wouldn't have been immediate, we'd at least have progress, instead of a sullen paralysis and futile efforts to turn the clock back.

More loans would have been renegotiated and foreclosed properties auctioned off. The FDIC would already be engaged in finding a good home for the loans and deposits of a megabank or two. That agency, now operating with about one-third the staff it had in the 1980s, could also have used some of the bailout money that helped pay for bonuses at AIG and its counterparties to recruit, train and retain more employees.

Best of all, more entrepreneurs and innovators, who capitalize on the opportunities to be found in the midst of turmoil, could have been building the foundations of a prosperous future.



For the full commentary, see:

Amar Bhidé. "You Can't Rush a Recovery; While small business struggles, Goldman Sachs was protected from its AIG mistakes." The Wall Street Journal (Thurs., APRIL 9, 2009): A15.

(Note: ellipsis added.)





September 3, 2009

When the Berries Are Scarce, Keep Your Eyes Open for Gold




SvenssonWiikSwedishEntrepreneurs2009-08-14.jpg "Harriet Svensson, left, and Siv Wiik, amateur geologists and berry-picking grandmothers, at the site where they found gold." Source of photo and caption: online version of the NYT article quoted and cited below.


Schumpeter focued on entrepreneurial innovation, while Kirzner focused on entrepreneurial alertness.

The article quoted below, presents a neat example of a couple of Kirznerian entrepreneurs:


(p. A9) OVERTURINGEN, Sweden -- It was a lousy blueberry season in 2007, said Siv Wiik, 70, one of a pair of Swedish grandmothers now credited with discovering what experts say may be one of the richest gold deposits in Europe. "That year it was too cold in the spring, so there were few berries," she said.

Berry picking is a serious business to Mrs. Wiik (pronounced VEEK), who was born in this village of 171, and her friend, Harriet Svensson, 69. For 40 years the two, widows with children and grandchildren, have explored every patch of field and forest clearing in the region, hunting for mushrooms and wild berries -- blueberries, raspberries, blackberries, cloudberries.

But the women are also amateur geologists. They never leave home for a stroll in forests or fields without their geologists' hammers, with their 30-inch handles, and their magnifying eyepieces, dangling from ribbons around their necks.

So in that terrible August when the blueberry crop failed, they decided to poke around for minerals. They went to a place called Sorkullen, far down an unpaved logging road, where trees had recently been felled, upending the earth and exposing rock to the air. Using their hammers, they cleared soil from around the stones, digging for about six hours, deeper and deeper, until they found a rock with a dull glimmer.


. . .


A huge Swedish lumber conglomerate, S.C.A., owns the land where they found the gold, but not the mineral rights. So they proceeded to obtain the rights for a large area around the find, then entered into negotiations, alone and without lawyers, with about 20 mining companies from Sweden and abroad, finally choosing Hansa Resources, of Vancouver, Canada.

This month, Hansa began boring at the site to obtain samples to send to Vancouver for analysis. "Whether it's gold or not, even with a high-grade ore, you cannot see it with the naked eye," said Anders Hogrelius, project manager for the drilling. "This was a surprise, and I think it's positive, since it shows that it's worthwhile to go outside the traditional mining areas."

The windfall for the women has until now been modest. Hansa paid the women about $125,000 for the mining rights, and if a second round of boring is authorized this fall, the company will pay an additional $225,000. But the women have also been given a 20 percent stake in any future mining activities, which could yield a bonanza for many years to come.


. . .


Mr. Hogrelius, the drilling project manager, said a fully operating mine would bring jobs. "We usually estimate five jobs created in services for every one in the mines," he said. A first estimate of initial investment, he added, comes to about $15 million.



For the full story, see:

JOHN TAGLIABUE. "Overturingen Journal; Barren Berry Season Leads to Far Richer Discovery." The New York Times (Mon., July 13, 2009): A9.

(Note: ellipses added.)


SwedenMap.jpg











"A mine in Overturingen could provide much-needed jobs." Source of map and caption: online version of the NYT article quoted and cited above.





September 2, 2009

Empathetic Judges Are Unjust to Bastiat's "Unseen"




(p. A15) . . . , a compassionate judge would tend to base his or her decisions on sympathy for the unfortunate; an empathetic judge on how the people directly affected by the decision would think and feel. What could be wrong with that?

Frederic Bastiat answered that question in his famous 1850 essay, "What is Seen and What is Not Seen." There the economist and member of the French parliament pointed out that law "produces not only one effect, but a series of effects. Of these effects, the first alone is immediate; it appears simultaneously with its cause; it is seen. The other effects emerge only subsequently; they are not seen; we are fortunate if we foresee them." Bastiat further noted that "[t]here is only one difference between a bad economist and a good one: The bad economist confines himself to the visible effect; the good economist takes into account both the effect that can be seen and those effects that must be foreseen."

This observation is just as true for judges as it is for economists. As important as compassion and empathy are, one can have these feelings only for people that exist and that one knows about -- that is, for those who are "seen."

One can have compassion for workers who lose their jobs when a plant closes. They can be seen. One cannot have compassion for unknown persons in other industries who do not receive job offers when a compassionate government subsidizes an unprofitable plant. The potential employees not hired are unseen.



For the full commentary, see:

JOHN HASNAS. "The 'Unseen' Deserve Empathy, Too." The Wall Street Journal (Fri., MAY 29, 2009): A15.

(Note: ellipsis added.)





September 1, 2009

BB&T Founder John Allison Speaks for Rand's Free Market Philosophy




AllisonJohn2009-08-14.jpg "John A. Allison IV, chairman of the banking company BB&T, is a devoted follower of Ayn Rand's antigovernment views." Source of photo and caption: online version of the NYT article quoted and cited below.


(p. 1) OVER much of the last four decades, John A. Allison IV built BB&T from a local bank in North Carolina into a regional powerhouse that has weathered the economic crisis far better than many of its troubled rivals -- largely by avoiding financial gimmickry.

And in his spare time, Mr. Allison travels the country making speeches about his bank's distinctive philosophy.

Speaking at a recent convention in Boston to a group of like-minded business people and students, Mr. Allison tells a story: A boy is playing in a sandbox, only to have his truck taken by another child. A fight ensues, and the boy's mother tells him to stop being selfish and to share.

"You learned in that sandbox at some really deep level that it's bad to be selfish," says Mr. Allison, adding that the mother has taught a horrible lesson. "To say man is bad because he is selfish is to say it's bad because he's alive."

If Mr. Allison's speech sounds vaguely familiar, it's because it's based on the philosophy of Ayn Rand, who celebrated the virtues of reason, self-interest and laissez-faire capitalism while maintaining that altruism is a destructive force. In Ms. Rand's world, nothing is more heroic -- and sexy -- than a hard-working businessman free to pursue his wealth. And nothing is worse than a pesky bureaucrat trying to restrict business and redistribute wealth.

Or, as Mr. Allison explained, "put balls and chains on good people, and bad things happen."

Ms. Rand, who died in 1982, has all sorts of admirers on Wall Street, in corporate boardrooms and in the entertainment industry, including the hedge fund manager Clifford Asness, the former baseball great Cal Ripken Jr. and the Whole Foods chief executive, John Mackey.

But Mr. Allison, who remains BB&T's chairman after retiring as chief executive in December, has emerged as perhaps the most vocal proponent of Ms. Rand's ideas and of the dangers of government meddling in the markets. For a dedicated Randian like him, the government's headlong rush to try to rescue and fix the economy is a horrifying re-(p. 6)alization of his worst fears.



For the full story, see:

ANDREW MARTIN. "Give Him Liberty, but Not a Bailout." The New York Times, SundayBusiness Section (Sun., August 2, 2009): 1 & 6.

(Note: the online title is the slightly different: "Give BB&T Liberty, but Not a Bailout.")





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