- Gene Expression on the educational bubble. I knew about it in academia; I didn't know it had extended back to high school
- Paul Collier: The Dictator's Handbook. HT: EconLog
- Carbon taxes versus carbon trading. HT: Mankiw. I have a hard time seeing how any politically viable mechanism wouldn't involve a big giveaway to current emitters.
- David Yermack's argument of last November for allowing the US automakers to go bankrupt. Great stuff. HT: Volokh
In 1993, the legendary economist Michael Jensen gave his presidential address to the American Finance Association. Mr. Jensen's presentation included a ranking of which U.S. companies had made the most money-losing investments during the decade of the 1980s. The top two companies on his list were General Motors and Ford, which between them had destroyed $110 billion in capital between 1980 and 1990, according to Mr. Jensen's calculations.
I was a student in Mr. Jensen's business-school class around that time, and one day he put those rankings on the board and shouted "J'accuse!" He wanted his students to understand that when a company makes money-losing investments, the cost falls upon all of society. Investment capital represents our limited stock of national savings, and when companies spend it badly, our future well-being is compromised. Mr. Jensen made his presentation more than 15 years ago, and even then it seemed obvious that the right strategy for GM would be to exit the car business, because many other companies made better vehicles at lower cost.
- Will the FDA kill stem cell research? Recall Brad Taylor's prior warning.
- Canadian Parliament unanimously supports the following motion:
"the government should take advantage of the opportunity provided by the 2010 Vancouver Olympic Games to promote seal products, particularly by studying the possibility of using these products in the making of the Canadian Olympic clothing."Sealskin Olympic uniforms? Wow. More on the Canadian seal-hunt here.
- Thank you Julian and Josie Robertson!!
- Inside Higher Ed on the importance of the Liberal Arts in business studies. Our Dean disagrees.