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Dean Baker on Accountability in the Economics Profession

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Just as the bankster CEOs most responsible for the economic meltdown will likely never be held accountable for their actions, neither will their chief shills within the economics profession suffer any lasting damage to their careers or reputations. Still, it's heartening to see professional incompetence--at least at face value-- highlighted once in a while.

Dean Baker on the role played by the IMF: Read below the fold...

How quaint.

A slightly different way to look at the employment situation

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I've always thought the unemployment rate was a poor way to communicate information about the health of the job market. Not only is the percentage of unemployed peopled fudged by under-counting people out of work, but it's too easy to take the number itself for granted. For example, the most recent reading of the unemployment rate is 8.9%. That means fewer than nine people out of one hundred are unemployed or, alternatively, for every 100 people, more than 91 have jobs. That's not so bad, is it? Read below the fold...

Qu'ils mangent de la brioche.

New York Fed president Marie Antoinette William Dudley in Queens this morning:

Dudley tried to explain how the Fed sees things: Yes, food prices may be rising, but at the same time, other prices are declining. The Fed looks at core inflation, which strips out volatile food and energy costs, to get a better sense of where inflation may actually be heading.

So, Dudley sought an everyday example of a price that is falling.

"Today you can buy an iPad 2 that costs the same as an iPad 1 that is twice as powerful," he said referring to Apple Inc's latest handheld tablet computer hitting stories on Friday.

Read below the fold...
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The efficient allocation of capital

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There's an interesting article in Sunday's San Francisco Chronicle about the apparent inflation of a social media bubble. Companies like Facebook, Twitter, LinkedIn, Groupon and Zynga are being valued at many, many times their respective revenues. Nothing could go wrong with this, right? Naw, the professionals are in charge. Read below the fold...

The Financial Crisis Inquiry Commission and its criminal referrals

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Why am I less than sanguine that these referrals will result in banksters doing the perp walk?

Phil Angelides, the FCIC's chair, has kicked off a publicity tour, of sorts, for the published version of the commission's report in his home town of Sacramento. He was interviewed today on the local public radio station: Read below the fold...

Things said in jest

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I'm listening to the radio today when an Intelligence Squared Oxford style debate is broadcast on the motion: Repeal Obamacare. We pick the action up where moderator John Donvan introduces Jonathan Cohn who is arguing against the motion.

(at approximately the 19:21 mark)
Donvan: You also had a blog throughout the debate called The Treatment. And you signed off, after the legislation passed, saying, and I quote you, "The debate has ended." So why are we here?

Read below the fold...

And you thought you already heard the stupidest thing ever uttered by a bankster

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Robert Benmosche, CEO of AIG at an insurance industry conference in Washington DC last week:

All of the states where we’re a leader, where we’re the No. 1 insurer, are red states. All of the states where we’re at the bottom are blue states. Part of what we found out is that our model is about culture, and it’s about the attitude in the public. And what we find is where there’s more of a tendency for people to be more liberal, more that the government is responsible for what happens to me.

Culture, hmmm? He must mean something like this: Read below the fold...

We are all Egyptians now,

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or eventually will be. I wonder if we'll respond with similar levels of courage, character and determination as the Egyptians.

From Nomi Prins (via Washington's Blog):

The ongoing demonstrations in Egypt are as much, if not more, about the mass deterioration of economic conditions and the harsh result of years of financial deregulation, than the political ideology that some of the media seems more focused on.

snip Read below the fold...

Comment of the moment

In which I eventually dump on Obama for appointing Bill Daley

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[Welcome, Naked Capitalism readers! Ya know, somebody in our famously free press really should ask William Daley if he signed off on the program jm describes below -- which Daley must have done if his job as Head of Corporate Responsibility* was for real, and not one of those no-show, "This is s-o-o-o-o not a bribe," reach-around "jobs" so common in our elite. -- lambert] Read below the fold...

Turning over rocks

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and seeing what crawls out. (via Yves)

I haven't seen Inside Job yet, but it seems to be causing some waves within the economics profession. Read below the fold...

Coming and Going

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So, here in northern California the price of a gallon of unleaded gas ranges from $3.19 to $3.45 with a mean of $3.28. The mean price is up $0.12 from a month ago and $0.35 from one year ago.

The price in Sacramento jumped $0.05 per gallon from just last week. Read below the fold...

Which of the following best describes the situation below:

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(a) Denial.
(b) Willful ignorance.
(c) Innumeracy.
(d) Sociopathy.

President Obama this morning:

I want to dispel any notion we want to inhibit your success,” President Obama told 20 CEOs this morning, according to a source in the room. “We want to be boosters because when you do well, America does well.

Read below the fold...

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