• Dealing with the Asset Bubble

    January 8, 2022

    We have been growing an Asset Bubble since the 80s

    The absolute price of housing has been increasing since the 1980s.

    There are a lot of reasons for it, but declining interest rates are a key cause of increasing housing prices.

    For the United States, our estimates for the period from 1970 to the end of 1999 suggest that a 100 basis-point fall in the nominal short-term rate, accompanied by an equivalent fall in the real short-term rate, generated a 5 percentage point rise in real house prices, relative to baseline, after three years

    So it makes sense that people are apoplectic over inflation, but I suspect the underlying cause is...

  • On False Analogies

    January 14, 2013

    On False Analogies

    A fair number of things have intersected over the last few weeks and it's time for me to do a quick exploration of them. There's the Aaron Swartz persecution, robots, RMS and free software, zero bounds and trillion dollar coins, the state is losing control of money, and Kirtsaeng.

    I'm a lawyer by training and I worked in a high tech law firm briefly. The law is a set of creeping analogies and we're at this interesting intersection of how to deal with the radically reduced transaction costs that the Internet and computers/logistics have brought to our doorstep.

    Craig's List and FSF

  • Enough Already

    December 16, 2012

    The long slow slide

    There's been a long slow slide away from the direction of "being a team" to "every man for himself" for a good part of my lifetime. It must stop. The Newtown shooting prompted this post… and don't worry, I'll get there… but please read through the whole piece.

    The Great Depression & WWII

    The Gilded Age gave way to the makings of World War One. The end of WWI saw reparations which were, in effect, a punishment of Germany by transferring great wealth out of Germany to other countries.