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February 17, 2009

Short Links

Michael Blowhard writes:

Dear Blowhards --

* Weird.

* Naps.

* More.

* Taleb.

* Ron.

* Law. (Link thanks to Bryan.)

* Big. (Link thanks to Charlton Griffin.)

* Graphic.

* AltPorn. (NSFW)



posted by Michael at February 17, 2009


Akerlof and Romer, from 1994: Bankruptcy for Profit.

If so the normal economics of maximizing economic value is replaced by the topsy-turvy economics of maximizing current extractable value, which tends to drive the firm’s economic net worth deeply negative. Once owners have decided that they can extract more from a firm by maximizing their present take, any action that allows them to extract more currently will be attractive - even if it causes a large reduction in the true economic net worth of the firm. A dollar in increased dividends today is worth a dollar to owners, but a dollar in increased future earnings of the firm is worth nothing because future payments accrue to the creditors who will be left holding the bag. As a result, bankruptcy for profit can cause social losses that dwarf the transfers from creditors that the shareholders can induce. Because of this disparity between what the owners can capture and the losses that they create, we refer to bankruptcy for profit as looting.
Posted by: John Emerson on February 17, 2009 10:03 PM

Please avoid the lazy Instapundit-style one word link. At least give me a brief sentence to tell me why I should care enough to click on the link.

Posted by: JP on February 19, 2009 10:02 AM

I liked it Michael, so don't let JP deter you from doing it again. Using short links without "telling me" why I should click on them just made it seem intriguing...especially Weird, which led to, well, one of the weirdest things I've ever seen...who'da thought beetles were so damn tough?

And any regular here at Blowhards is going to know exactly what/whom you mean by Ron or Taleb, so even the thumbsucker links work fine, too, so keep doing those as well.

And speaking of "Ron", damn, wasn't he bang on about how foreign policy never changes from admin to admin? Obama is keeping virtually everything from the Bush administration...and he's getting away with it!

Posted by: PatrickH on February 19, 2009 1:26 PM

Nassim Taleb puzzles me. He's written two books, the basic premise of both being that complex events are difficult to predict. But predict he does.

I don't get it. Can he really see things we can't or is he a broken clock showing 3:15 and it now happens to be 3:15?

Posted by: Bill on February 19, 2009 7:17 PM

"Can he really see things we can't or is he a broken clock showing 3:15 and it now happens to be 3:15?"

Bill, I'm beginning to think that is the case with all prognosticators. We seem to have well over 1440 of them around these days publishing books, so one of them is bound to be right.

Posted by: JV on February 19, 2009 7:40 PM

Read an interesting discussion on about the essence of the scientific method. One side (which I think is the right side) argued that the essence of science is repeatable experiment.

None of the prognosticators, by the nature of their field of inquiry, can do real experiments at all, let alone replicate them. Which means, IMO, that none of the prognosticators is doing anything like real science. Not even close.

We live in a superstitious age whose most powerful superstitions hide themselves behind veils of fake scientific puffery. Pah! I prefer my tea leaf readers to be more upfront about the nature of what they're doing...instead of all this pseudo-quasi-sorta-quantificationalized pontificationisticating.

None of the prophets going on about stuff know what the frack they're talking about.

Bring back tea leaves!

Posted by: PatrickH on February 20, 2009 10:37 AM

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