New York, NY – On Wednesday, March 25, the Museum of American Finance will open “Tracking the Credit Crisis: A Timeline,” to trace the development of the current financial crisis, the most severe and complex economic and financial challenge in modern experience. Presented as a monumental 8’ x 20’ graphical wall accompanied by a video presentation, the timeline begins with the bursting of the U.S. housing bubble in late 2006 through the unprecedented trillions being guaranteed and injected into the private sector in 2008-2009 by the government. President Barack Obama’s stimulus package of almost $800 billion is part of the stabilization effort to forestall a financial collapse, in a global environment in which some $40 trillion in wealth has been lost (on paper) in the last 18 months. The U.S. government’s actions represent a watershed in American economic and political history.But if you want to understand this crisis, you have to go further back than 2006.
Friday, February 27, 2009
Thursday, February 26, 2009
Wednesday, February 25, 2009
In a paper published recently in the International Journal of Astrobiology, the researchers concluded that based on what they saw, at least 361 intelligent civilizations have emerged in the Milky Way since its creation, and as many as 38,000 may have formed.How do we know it wasn't, say, 360?
Tuesday, February 24, 2009
Friday, February 20, 2009
Kudos to my opponent Ryan Sager, who made good arguments, and with whom I agree on a lot of political issues. If I were running for president, I would not choose Ryan as my running mate, since he wouldn't add enough balance to the ticket.
UPDATE: Ryan's take on the evening.
Thursday, February 19, 2009
Wednesday, February 18, 2009
Tuesday, February 17, 2009
On a more-or-less unrelated point, I'd also like to see a debate on whether computers will become smarter than humans (in our lifetime or in this century, say, to leave the unfathomable far future out of it).
Monday, February 16, 2009
Saturday, February 14, 2009
UPDATE: I liked it more on second viewing. Also, I've always thought Boomer would end up being the heroine of the series.
Thursday, February 12, 2009
Wednesday, February 11, 2009
Now, here's Virginia Postrel (who was then editor of Reason) pointing out a dreadful regulatory development in the toy industry that's gotten almost zero attention from right-wing blogs and magazines. One sign of the right's health will be whether it can overcome its boredom and attention deficit problems to grapple with the grim new era of regulatory overreach.
Tuesday, February 10, 2009
He also had some things to say that seemed aimed at discomfiting the assembled financial advisors, such as would their clients, if required to choose only one, opt for a good financial advisor over, say, Google or Facebook? And, he noted, there used to be people who handled the equivalent of finance in Communist countries -- and were smart -- and who vanished as a group.
Monday, February 9, 2009
UPDATE 1/14/10: See here.
UPDATE 7:55 PM: I was just on, and my segment followed Ivan Eland of the Independent Institute, whose ranking of the presidents puts Confederate sympathizer John Tyler at No. 1. I had a chance to comment on this example of small-government ideology turned pathological.
Saturday, February 7, 2009
Friday, February 6, 2009
Thursday, February 5, 2009
Wednesday, February 4, 2009
Tuesday, February 3, 2009
Monday, February 2, 2009
Moreover, as I am the optimist on the right's future in an upcoming Lolita Debate, I suppose some might present PJM's troubles as a counterargument. But if the goal is bringing fresh thinking to the right, it seems to me that PJM has been pretty expendable from the start.
Shares of Ancient Rome?
There is little consensus among scholars as to when corporate stock was first traded. Some see the key event as the Dutch East India Company’s founding in 1602, while others point to earlier developments. Economist Ulrike Malmendier of the University of California at Berkeley argues that a share market existed as far back as ancient Rome.
In the Roman Republic, which existed for centuries before the Empire was founded, there were societas publicanorum, organizations of contractors or leaseholders who performed temple-building and other services for the government. One such service was the feeding of geese on the Capitoline Hill as a reward to the birds after their honking warned of a Gallic invasion in 390 B.C.
Participants in such organizations had partes or shares, a concept mentioned various times by the statesman and orator Cicero. In one speech, Cicero mentions “shares that had a very high price at the time.” Such evidence, in Malmendier’s view, suggests the instruments were tradable, with fluctuating values based on an organization’s success.
The societas declined into obscurity in the time of the emperors, as most of their services were taken over by direct agents of the state.