Random Links LVIV

Nuclear Energy Costs:  What’s unclear from the article is the extent to which these cost issues may be permanent (as opposed to temporary).  Government-imposed delays (e.g., unwillingness to approve rate increases) are removable via proper policy (as the article acknowledges WRT India & China).  Moreover, I wonder how much of Finland’s cost & delay problems are due to the fact that the country hasn’t built a nuclear plant in 30 years (in which case, teething problems are inevitable on the first few plants, owing to lack of skills & experience on the part of those doing the construction).  Again, this latter problem wouldn’t be a long-term issue in a sustained campaign of nuclear construction; the first few plants would of course experience delays & cost overruns, as we scaled the learning curve, but the later ones would not (once we arrived at the maximum of said curve).

Reasoning by Analogy:  “…intelligence is the ability to use analogies validly.”

How & Why to Learn About Everything:

How Oil Pricing Works:

http://www.321energy.com/editorials/banks/banks082608.html

http://www.energybulletin.net/node/47523

http://www.econbrowser.com/archives/2009/05/supply_demand_a.html

http://www.aspousa.org/index.php/2009/05/mr-market-gets-it-wrong-again/

Terror Presidency Watch, Detainee Shell Game Edition:  To have clean hands is to have no hands at all.  A while back, I idly speculated that extending habeas & other rights to terrorist suspects at Gitmo & elsewhere (such it became effectively impossible for the USG to hold them w/o trial anywhere in the world) would result in the USG, military, etc., simply killing such suspects instead of capturing & interrogating them.  The inability to extract information from a dead (potential) terrorist would be (somewhat) balanced by the neutralization of the individual in question.  Looks like that might be happening.

Frannie Duration Mismatch: So long as securitized mortgages are turned into pass-through MBS, duration mismatch is irrelevant, since such MBS basically toss interest-rate risk onto investors.  If, however, these mortgages were purchased using agency debt, & interest rates increase, we could end up w/ a Frannie version of the S&L crisis (recall how the latter got killed when high interest rates both devalued their mortgage portfolios while blowing up their funding costs).  OTOH, if Hempton is to be believed, Freddie was on the lookout for this sort of risk, and acted appropriately to reduce it.

Squid Sight: “…certain squids can detect light through an organ other than their eyes as well.”

Nostalganomics:  So, mass low-skill immigration exacerbated US inequality, both by depressing low-skill wages, and by importing more poor people.  It follows that restricting low-skill immigration would halt/reverse these effects.  (It also suggests that increasing high-skill immigration while restricting low-skill types might actually reduce inequality, by exerting downward pressure on the upper end of the wage scale.)  This needn’t be done for racist reasons, simply out of a recognition that the interests of US citizens outweigh those of foreigners.  Domestic inequality has costs, in polarization, alienation between rich & poor, etc.  We shouldn’t want to import more of these costs just to benefit foreigners.

Megan McArdle on Abortion:  Interesting to see a self-avowed pro-choicer condemning both Tiller’s murder _and_ Roe.

http://meganmcardle.theatlantic.com/archives/2009/06/the_war_on_the_war_on_abortion.php

http://meganmcardle.theatlantic.com/archives/2009/06/a_really_long_post_about_abort.php

http://meganmcardle.theatlantic.com/archives/2009/06/one_more_post_on_abortion.php

http://meganmcardle.theatlantic.com/archives/2009/06/on_political_access.php

Voodoo Correlations in Social Neuroscience: Impressive.

UPC Birthday

GM Downfall Fallout

Wealth Effect Transmission Channels

Interest-Rate Swaps Explained

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