Wednesday, February 10, 2010

Quotes of the day

... we need to hang on to talented people. The best and brightest from around the world come to study at U.S. universities. After graduation, they are forced to leave because they can't get visas. It's ridiculous to export such talent to our competition.--Eric Schmidt

Goldman Sachs helped the Greek government to mask the true extent of its deficit with the help of a derivatives deal that legally circumvented the EU Maastricht deficit rules. At some point the so-called cross currency swaps will mature, and swell the country's already bloated deficit.--Beat Balzli

But while banks with short-term funding and many branches originating different loans have a deep capacity for holding credit risks, they have a limited capacity for holding market risks and little capacity for holding liquidity risk. Insurance companies and pension funds on the other hand have limited capacity for credit risk, but more for market and liquidity risks. The capacity for risk is related to the maturity of funding and not what an institution is called. This idea resonates a little with Paul Volcker’s idea of banks severing their exposure to proprietary trading (market risks), hedge funds, (market risks) and private equity (liquidity risks). But we must be wary of arbitrary distinctions – some hedge funds behave like banks and some banks like insurance companies.--Avinash Persaud

The real danger to markets lies with the DOLTS, or Dangerously Over-Leveraged Triple-A Superpowers. That club currently consists of the U.S.--David Reilly

Maybe [President Obama] should pick “core goals” that are compatible instead of ones that in direct conflict with each other.--Russ Roberts

Yet instead of taking his own advice from 2005 and finding a graceful way to pull the plug, the President insists that the real problem is that the public doesn't understand his proposals, that his biggest mistake last year wasn't explaining them well enough, and he insists on pushing forward and "punching" something through.--Tom Bevan

When has a new bureaucracy reduced bureaucracy? When has it 'cut down on paperwork'? The pages of fine print and endless places to initial are because of our laws and regulations, not in spite them. Will the bureaucracy make people wealthier? Well, government's the main place of employment growth, so I guess things are looking up.--Eric Falkenstein

... state and local government employers spent an average of $39.83 per hour worked ($26.24 for wages and $13.60 for benefits) for total employee compensation in September 2009. Total employer compensation costs for private industry workers averaged $27.49 per hour ($19.45 for wages and $8.05 for benefits), see chart above. In other words, government employees make 45% more on average than private sector employees. According to another BLS report, compensation for private industry workers has increased by 6.9% between December 2006 and December 2009, compared to a 9.8% increase for government workers (state and local) over the same period. According to an analysis by USAToday (thanks to Michael Jahr for the pointer), "The number of federal workers earning six-figure salaries has exploded during the recession, according to an analysis of federal salary data." For example, the number of federal employees making $100,000 or more has increased by 120,595, from 262,163 employees in December 2007 to 382,758 in June 2009, for a 46% increase. The number of federal workers making $150,000 or more has more than doubled since the recession started, from about 30,000 to more than 66,000.--Mark Perry

... if there were no returns to career choices in the marriage market, men would tend to work less, study less, and choose blue‐collar jobs over white‐collar jobs. These findings suggest that the existing literature underestimates the true returns to human capital investments by ignoring their returns in the marriage market.--Journal of Human Capital

Men lied more about their height, and women lied more about their weight, with participants farther from the mean lying more. Participants' self-ratings of accuracy were significantly correlated with observed accuracy, suggesting that inaccuracies were intentional rather than self-deceptive. Overall, participants reported being the least accurate about their photographs and the most accurate about their relationship information. Deception patterns suggest that participants strategically balanced the deceptive opportunities presented by online self-presentation (e.g., the editability of profiles) with the social constraints of establishing romantic relationships (e.g., the anticipation of future interaction).--Personality and Social Psychology Bulletin

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