Category Archives: Regulations

Is Everyone a Little Bit Racist?


By Nicholas Kristof – Joshua Correll of the University of Colorado at Boulder has used an online shooter video game to try to measure these unconscious attitudes (you can play the game yourself).

An uncomfortable starting point is to understand that racial stereotyping remains ubiquitous, and that the challenge is not a small number of twisted white supremacists but something infinitely more subtle and complex:

People who believe in equality but who act in ways that perpetuate bias and inequality. more> http://tinyurl.com/pv5bqlj

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Ferguson: America’s cultural segregation fault lines


BOOK REVIEW

Habits of the Heart (pdf), Author: Robert Bellah.

The Big Sort: Why the Clustering of Like-Minded America Is Tearing Us Apart, Authors: Bill Bishop and Robert Cushing.

By Neal Gabler – We don’t live in America anymore. We live in thousands of Americas, many no farther away than our computer screens and the Internet. These are self-identified Americas.

But there is another, more pernicious effect of cultural segregation. It shrinks the world rather than enlarges it — reinforces what already is, circumscribes people within their own worldview.

In a segregated world, especially the virtually segregated world we now have thanks to the Internet, we need never leave our own cultural ghetto. more> http://tinyurl.com/kewk6pl

Surveillance and the Creative Mind


By T.A. Ridout – Throughout human history, those who question conventional wisdom or existing power structures have frequently made those invested in the status quo vengeful, from Galileo, to Martin Luther King Jr., to Ai Wei Wei.

Despite paternalistic assurances that Americans have no reason to fear their own government, caution is warranted.

The pattern of deception by U.S. executive branch officials makes it hard for reasonable people that are paying attention not to be skeptical of their latest pronouncements. Though the risk is not high, it would be naïve to assume there is no danger at all.

Recent U.S. history paints a clear picture of abuses by law enforcement and intelligence agencies, often with the approval of politicians. Arbitrary and illegal exercise of government power happens in the United States, as it does everywhere. more> http://tinyurl.com/lxscm2l

Here’s what it will take to trigger the next stock market correction


By Anatole Kaletsky – Sometime in the not-too-distant future, investors are certain to suffer some big and painful losses — even if I am right in expecting equity prices to continue rising in the long term.

What kind of event is most likely to end this bull run, or at least interrupt it with a setback of 20 percent or more?

If stock market valuations are not yet high enough to cause a big correction — and if monetary and economic conditions are likely to remain benign for the next year or two — then the unavoidable conclusion is that equity prices will just keep rising until they really do become over-extended.

At that point, negative news events of the kind that investors can shrug off today as almost irrelevant will prove sufficient to trigger a serious correction. more> http://tinyurl.com/lgsbgyd

Argentina’s Exchange Offer May Not Be Clever Enough Yet


By Matt Levine – And the other day Argentina’s government introduced a bill in parliament to do a debt exchange to get around Judge Griesa’s orders, which he specifically told it not to do.

So yesterday (Aug 21) the holdout bondholders went to court to try to get Judge Griesa to hold Argentina in contempt, and Judge Griesa basically said (pdf), well, this is pretty contemptuous, but he still didn’t hold Argentina in contempt.

Because what good will that do? They’ve ignored him so far. more> http://tinyurl.com/ld2uzqs

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Wrecking an Economy Means Never Having to Say You’re Sorry


By Dean Starkman – The megabanks are finally feeling the hurt for the depredations of the mortgage era. That’s what the government, and some in the financial press, too, would have us believe.

There’s a much deeper problem here, however, and one that has received far less attention:

Not only has the Department of Jus­tice (DOJ) failed to build any criminal cases for financial-crisis misdeeds, but it’s also now settling with these banks without even filing civil complaints.

A complaint is the cornerstone of civil litigation, the foundation for even routine lawsuits.

One of its primary benefits—and of adversarial legal proceedings generally—is that a complaint can bring huge amounts of previously undisclosed information into the public record. more> http://tinyurl.com/paqp7yc

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Democracy Versus Republic, Take Two


By Jonathan Bernstein – In France and England, different branches of government, or different chambers of the legislature, represented different estates: the people, but also the aristocracy, or the crown, or the church.

But the U.S. government presented a real challenge: what, exactly, was being balanced?

In the U.S., there would be only the people.

In the brand new polity, all that was needed, perhaps, was the people’s branch; even with a more prominent role for the states, the fact that authority ultimately rested in the people made any other body seem superfluous.

Yet the Articles of Confederation, with only that branch, weren’t working properly. What to do? more> http://tinyurl.com/lj6tlrf