Author Archives: alecstapp

Why does tapering freak out the bond markets?

Since Ben Bernanke announced on May 22nd that the Fed was contemplating tapering the rate of its asset purchases in the near future, market watchers have been obsessing over how near that future is exactly. With a positive payroll report … Continue reading

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Thomas Babington Macaulay’s Speech to the House of Commons on Jewish Emancipation, April 17th, 1833

Ed. Note: Below the fold is a speech given by Lord Macaulay to the House of Commons in 1833 in which he argued for the rights of Jews in England. I’m reposting this here because there does not seem to … Continue reading

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Should Bill Gates buy health insurance?

Since Covered California, the ACA health care exchange in California, released the premium rates submitted by participating insurance companies, the debate over the future of the ACA┬áhas been heating up, a la summer 2009. The focus of that debate is … Continue reading

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No, Robert Shiller, We Shouldn’t Index Social Security Benefits to Economic Growth

Over the weekend, Robert Shiller wrote a piece in the New York Times arguing that the two political parties should reconsider how they want to approach reforming Social Security. Recently, Republicans and Democrats have started to converge on a compromise … Continue reading

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“The charitable deduction doesn’t benefit the individual.” Right.

Picture: T. Boone Pickens *not* benefiting from his $165 million dollar donation to OSU. That’s the head coach of the football team, Mike Gundy, he is casually chatting up. The prospects for a grand bargain that includes tax and entitlement … Continue reading

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Predicting the Future: Baumol Cost Disease Edition

In one of my first posts on this blog, I discussed a possible method for curing Baumol’s cost disease: turn services into goods. For those of you who didn’t read that post, Baumol’s cost disease describes the situation where wages … Continue reading

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The Risk-Free Rate, Reconsidered

The risk-free rate of return, which is the return on investment that is required as compensation for not having access to the capital for a period of time, is a fascinating theoretical notion from the finance world. In essence, the … Continue reading

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