Anheuser-Busch Briefing Center, U.S. Chamber of Commerce
1615 H St NW, Washington, D.C.
Registration and Breakfast: 8:00 a.m.-8:30 a.m.
On the question of just how unusually weak our current economic recovery is, John Taylor responds Paul Krugman who responded to Carmen Reihnhart and Kenneth Rogoff who responded to Michael Bordo who responded to … well, you get the picture. The point is that they all agree that growth today is tepid; the question is how unusual that is. Reinhart and Rogoff argue that a weak recovery is par for the course of financial crisis like the one we just experienced, while Taylor, Bordo, and others use slightly different analytical methods to say that, no, in fact this weak recovery is not at all what we should be expecting. Since economists are still debating the root causes and consequences of the Great Depression these many years later, I must admit to having little hope for a resolution to this argument.
Tim Harford of the Financial Times puts forward an interesting rule of thumb when it comes to regulation: when markets are most complex, that’s when rules should be simplest.
Italy loses more to corruption each year than the annual GDP of Serbia. The amount loss would essentially cover Italy’s budget shortfall, by the way.
What are some of the coolest technologies you can think of and why? When you ask Neil DeGrasse Tyson that question, he swoons over the SR-71 Blackbird, the Concorde or the Saturn V rocket. Yet they’re all at least fifty years old and long-since retired. Tyson think there’s an interesting point to be made here. As TidBits summarizes, “Whenever the coolest objects in a particular technology are decades old, that’s an immediate notice that we have essentially abandoned that technology.” I think it’s too much to say that we’ve “abandoned” airplane technology, but it’s true that there are many once-cool technologies that have become routinized and commoditized. We’re still seeing massive churn in the mobile phone market, on the other hand, and we usually cite the most recent products as being the coolest. This, in Tyson’s thinking, is a pretty accurate sign of where we’re focusing our innovative energies today.
A visualization of how information spreads over social networks (video).
Andrew Sullivan wrote an obituary for Newsweek, which announced this week that it was shuttering its print magazine.