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The G-7 Weighs in on
SIFI Designations

American Magazine, by Peter J. Wallison

Original Article

Posted By:EagleBlurst, 6/16/2014 12:43:48 PM

Early in June, in the midst of serious discussions about the global economy, Ukraine, climate change, and dealing with an expansionist Russia, G-7 leaders took time out to express concern about a matter well beneath their usual remit — that progress has been too slow in setting up a framework for regulating the financial firms they call “shadow banks.” In their communique from Brussels, the leaders of the world’s most important countries promised that “2014 will be the year in which we focus on ... relevant shadow banking activities with clear deadlines and actions to progress rapidly towards strengthened and

      


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Most Recent Articles posted by "EagleBlurst"



The G-7 Weighs in on
SIFI Designations
American Magazine, by Peter J. Wallison    Original Article
Posted By: EagleBlurst- 6/16/2014 12:43:48 PM     Post Reply
Early in June, in the midst of serious discussions about the global economy, Ukraine, climate change, and dealing with an expansionist Russia, G-7 leaders took time out to express concern about a matter well beneath their usual remit — that progress has been too slow in setting up a framework for regulating the financial firms they call “shadow banks.” In their communique from Brussels, the leaders of the world’s most important countries promised that “2014 will be the year in which we focus on ... relevant shadow banking activities with clear deadlines and actions to progress rapidly towards strengthened and

   

 

R-G1
  


 
The Natural Gas Boom:
Questions and Complications
American Magazine, by Vaclav Smil    Original Article
Posted By: EagleBlurst- 6/13/2014 10:41:22 AM     Post Reply
America has been buoyed by an abundance of natural gas. The bulk of its vast resources of this precious fuel is locked in shale formations under more than 20 states, unable to escape without drilling horizontal wells through the most promising layers and fracturing the rocks surrounding the bores with highly pressurized mixtures of water, chemicals, and sand. Use of this process, decades in the making, expanded rather suddenly after 2007, and it has become widely known by the rather unappealing term “fracking.” The facts are easy to summarize. Thanks to a rapid expansion of horizontal drilling and hydraulic

Europe in Denial
American Magazine, by Desmond Lachman    Original Article
Posted By: EagleBlurst- 6/11/2014 9:21:01 AM     Post Reply
Among the more glaring weaknesses in European policymaking over the past few years has been the complacency of its political elite. Sadly, today, despite clear evidence that the European political center is crumbling, the European political elite manages to convince itself that this is but a fleeting phenomenon of no great significance. And despite the very real risk that Europe could be drifting towards Japanese-style deflation, the policy reaction of the European Central Bank continues to be too little too late. Tectonic changes are occurring in European politics. In last month’s European parliamentary elections, close to 30 percent

Stanley Cup Blues
American Magazine, by Joseph Epstein    Original Article
Posted By: EagleBlurst- 6/9/2014 11:57:35 AM     Post Reply
The Stanley Cup finals, in which the New York Rangers play the Los Angeles Kings, have begun, and I shall not be at my post — or more precisely, in my chair, footstool at the ready, a glass of ice water on the lamp table to my right. I suffered too greatly watching my home team, the Chicago Blackhawks, lose to the Kings, 5-4 in overtime of the seventh and deciding game for the western conference title. The Blackhawks jumped out to a 2-0 lead in the first period, and the Kings kept tying things up, and

North Korea´s Paradoxical Upswing in Trade
American Magazine, by Nicholas Eberstadt    Original Article
Posted By: EagleBlurst- 6/4/2014 10:53:11 AM     Post Reply
Exceedingly few hard facts are available in the outside world on the performance of the economy of the Democratic People’s Republic of Korea (aka North Korea). Consequently, analyses of the North Korean economy often take place in a sort of data-free vacuum. There is, however, one relatively reliable independent source for an aspect of North Korean economic performance, and its data suggest that the DPRK is more totally dependent upon politically supported trade today than it has been for decades. The reliable source is so-called “mirror statistics” on trade, derived from DPRK trading partners’ reports of what

The Future Electric Grid
American Magazine, by Mark P. Mills    Original Article
Posted By: EagleBlurst- 6/2/2014 9:39:46 AM     Post Reply
It was only a little more than ten years ago that a National Academy of Engineering report ranked the invention of the electric grid at the top of a list of the 20 greatest inventions of the 20th century. Not just one of the great engineering achievements, but first amongst them. The Academy ranked the Internet 13th. Now we hear increasingly that technology is making today’s electric utility model “obsolete” and will put its companies into a “death spiral.” Is it possible that so much has changed so quickly? Post-utility advocates point to three technologies as disrupters: photovoltaics

   

 

R-TA-Wide
  


 
Nader’s Pitch for a
Left-Right Convergence
American Magazine, by James K. Glassman    Original Article
Posted By: EagleBlurst- 5/29/2014 11:30:15 AM     Post Reply
Ralph Nader turned 80 in February and just last month came out with his twelfth book. It’s titled Unstoppable: The Emerging Left-Right Alliance to Dismantle the Corporate State. The book, as he writes, explores “the topic of convergence, which I take to be voluntary alliance for the common good by positive-spirited persons of the Right and the Left.” The very premise is exhilarating. I have recently come to agree with the psychologist Jonathan Haidt that, in politics, we play on teams, and the players on one team generally detest the other team to such a degree that

Al Qaeda Isn’t ‘On Its Heels’
American Magazine, by Reza Jan    Original Article
Posted By: EagleBlurst- 5/28/2014 9:55:13 AM     Post Reply
President Barack Obama told U.S. troops in Afghanistan on May 25, 2014 that the United States has “decimated the al Qaeda leadership in the tribal regions” of Pakistan. While conceding that the al Qaeda network elsewhere in the world poses an increasing threat to U.S. interests, the U.S. government frequently touts the progress it has made in neutering al Qaeda’s senior leadership in Pakistan — as it narrowly defines it. These talking points increasingly seem based on a picture of al Qaeda’s South Asian network that is at least several months out of date, however. They do not appear to

If Detroit´s Not Too Big To Fail...
American Magazine, by Alex J. Pollock    Original Article
Posted By: EagleBlurst- 5/23/2014 10:14:23 AM     Post Reply
About the bonds of Detroit, Barron’s said: “A lot of investors bought this debt because they assumed that the state of Michigan wouldn’t let its largest city default.” In other words, they assumed Detroit was “too big to fail.” Nonetheless, Detroit did default and became the largest municipal bankruptcy in history. This bankruptcy, with unfunded municipal employee pensions among the competing creditors, is a hugely important precedent. Is any city too big to fail? Essential to understanding the record bankruptcy of “Detroit” is that it applies only to a small part of metropolitan Detroit. The bankrupt City of Detroit

California’s New Solar Plant
Burning Up Taxpayer Money,
Land, and Wildlife
American Magazine, by Benjamin Zycher    Original Article
Posted By: EagleBlurst- 5/21/2014 9:37:10 AM     Post Reply
While the federal government receives net payments for electricity-related oil and gas production on federal land, the net subsidy for the new Ivanpah solar plant is almost 300 times greater.The Ivanpah Solar Electric Generating System in the Southern California Mojave desert began operations in February, and it is huge. How huge? Let us count the ways:Huge costs. The Ivanpah capital cost is $2.2 billion for 392 megawatts (MW) of gross generation capacity (potential power output per hour). (That 392 MW is a number not comparable to 392 MW of, say, gas-fired capacity, because of a sharply lower “capacity factor,” discussed below.) Accordingly, the nominal capital cost per kilowatt (kW, one one-thousandth of a MW) of capacity for Ivanpah is about $5600, a figure that ignores some costs

Are the U.S. Dollar´s Day
Really Numbered?
American Magazine, by Desmond Lachman    Original Article
Posted By: EagleBlurst- 5/20/2014 10:26:58 AM     Post Reply
Some years ago, I attended a small luncheon on the outlook for the U.S. dollar. Paul Volcker, the former Federal Reserve chairman, was the guest of honor. In response to a chorus of Cassandras who argued that the U.S. economy’s all too apparent weaknesses would lead to an inevitable dollar collapse, Volcker made a simple observation: For the dollar to depreciate, he said, it would necessarily have to depreciate against another currency. And in Volcker’s view, at that time, the U.S. economy was fundamentally no weaker than that of any competing countries. Volcker’s logic would seem equally pertinent today

   

 



 
Time for a New Contract with America
American, by John Steele Gordon    Original Article
Posted By: EagleBlurst- 5/16/2014 11:36:58 AM     Post Reply
One way to turn probable pick-ups into a 1994-style rout this midterm would be for the Republicans to, once again, nationalize the election with a new Contract with America, positioning themselves credibly as the party of real reform. The 2014 midterm election is less than six months away and much hangs in the balance. While no one can foresee the future, the past is often a good guide. In this case, the history of a midterm 20 years ago sheds much light on the one coming up. That election changed American political history; so could this one.



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