Man has only one tool to fight error: reason.
— Ludwig von Mises
1. Gene Callahan’s new book, Oakeshott on Rome and America, has been published and is available for sale. For a brief glimpse into its contents and thesis, see P.S. Huff’s thoughts and criticisms at Centanium.
2. Three links on Spain. This news came out on Thursday, but Spain’s Santander, Spain’s largest bank, reports a 93-percent fall in profits. This is the question I posed by uncle: what does a depression worse than the current one look like? It would have to be some kind of record, surely. Ángel Martín Oro emphasizes that Spain is not Estonia (in Spanish), namely because while Spain continues to wither, Estonia’s situation has modestly improved. Finally, what had been an elite industry in Spain, gastronomy has taken a beating this recession. Spaniards have decreased their spending on food.
3. While this is technically old news — I don’t follow the Cato Journal close enough, I guess —, the last issue deals mostly with American immigration policy and the politics of immigration.
5. In a paper recently published by the Mercatus Center, David Henderson offers us a brief history of cronyism and its impact. I think one of the tweets advertising the piece puts it the best: “cronyism isn’t zero-sum, it’s negative-sum.”
6. Russ Roberts embeds a video of a short debate between Maria Bartiromo and Barney Frank and discusses the consequences of an ambiguous Dodd–Frank Act, within the context of regime uncertainty. It certainly sounds persuasive, but one of my main concerns with the “regime uncertainty” argument is the little empirical work done to actually find out the actual economic impact. Related, Doug French (who has experience with the banking industry) posts on a similar topic: prospects for small banks are getting bleaker.
7. My Amazon.com wishlist keeps getting longer and longer, but should start shrinking over the following few months. Check out in advance what I might be reading in the near future, and give me some suggestions!
8. Here is part of the Twitter conversation that leads to a bet between Brad DeLong and Noah Smith. The details are: “in the next three years, core inflation will not be above 5%/year for any 12-mo period unless unemployment < 6%.” I’m tentatively (three years is a long time, during which a lot can happen) on DeLong’s side.