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Links 1 through 10 of 125 by Jon Lowder tagged economics

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Krugman explains the health insurance "death spiral" in California.

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This is some truly scary stuff: "We now learn – from Der Spiegel last week and today’s NYT – that Goldman Sachs has not only helped or encouraged some European governments to hide a large part of their debts, but it also endeavored to do so for Greece as recently as last November. These actions are fundamentally destabilizing to the global financial system, as they undermine: the eurozone area; all attempts to bring greater transparency to government accounting; and the most basic principles that underlie well-functioning markets. When the data are all lies, the outcomes are all bad – see the subprime mortgage crisis for further detail.

A single rogue trader can bring down a bank – remember the case of Barings. But a single rogue bank can bring down the world’s financial system."

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Freakonomics' Steven Levitt is an economist at the University of Chicago and the school's magazine asks if he's responsible for ruining economics. It's an interesting article in and of itself, but I got no small measure of pride when the one non-Chicago economist cited was from my alma mater (George Mason University). FYI, GMU's first Nobel Prize was for economics in 1986 and the winner was James Buchanan, Director, Center for Study of Public Choice. I can still remember the buzz on campus the day it was announced.

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From the story: “All of the components of real estate value are going in the wrong direction simultaneously,” said Ross, one of nine money managers participating in a government program to remove toxic assets from bank balance sheets. “Occupancy rates are going down. Rent rates are going down and the capitalization rate -- the return that investors are demanding to buy a property -- are going up.”

h/t to Ed Cone for the link.

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Almost 1,000,000 foreclosures in the US in 3Q 2009. Ouch.

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Lex points to the RH Donnelly bankruptcy case as more proof that our economic system is rigged. Here's a part of a quote that Lex pulls from a Zero Hedge post: "There is one simple reason: The CEO will make more money bankrupting the company than keeping it alive. It takes a year or more for shareholders to elect new board members who in turn elect the CEO. As a result, when the CEO and board of a company feel threatened they may lose their jobs; they can wipe out current equity at any time regardless of the company’s financial condition by declaring bankruptcy. David Swanson, R.H. Donnelley’s CEO, cut a deal with bondholders to keep his job and have management acquire a 10% stake of the Company when it emerges from bankruptcy."

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The case study for this piece was a bordello in Germany:

"But Maison d’Envie has seen its business begin to return since it began offering the euro 5 ($7.50) discount in July, Goetz said.

To qualify, customers must show the receptionist either a bicycle padlock key or proof they used public transit to get to the neighborhood. That knocks the price for 45 minutes in a room, for example, to euro 65 from euro 70."

The author of the blog post points out that this is probably a classic case of someone using green as a cover for price discrimination.

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A game maker did a limited time "pay what you want" offer for a game: "A survey taken by some of the customers on the game’s website reveals the top two reasons customers chose to pay what they did: It’s all they felt they could afford, and they wanted to support the PWYW model. Few paid the amount they thought the game was actually worth."

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A bunch of condo owners in Barefoot Landing have been hosed by the failure of Premier Resorts. Bad times in North Myrtle.

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