Wednesday, December 14, 2011

Quotes of the day

There was no point to continue to support an institution [SUNY] that the state was backing away from. Inexpensive access to mediocrity is not doing anyone such a favor.--Jim Simons

No child was ever born without having been conceived.--Filipino

For all of [Jerry] Jones' Hall of Fame accomplishments, his inability to replace Jimmy Johnson remains his greatest flaw. Since Barry Switzer's tenure ended in 1997, a run that included a championship won with Johnson's players, the Cowboys have won only a single playoff game.--Mike Freeman

[Phil] Jackson's NBA impact has been massive, but his ongoing influence will be muted. It appears that he will not be remembered as the NBA coach who ran the Triangle best; in all likelihood, he will be remembered as the only NBA coach who ran it at all. If the Triangle truly dies, it dies with him.--Chuck Klosterman

Data on sales of previously owned U.S. homes from 2007 through October this year will be revised down next week because of double counting, indicating a much weaker housing market than previously thought. The National Association of Realtors said a benchmarking exercise had revealed that some properties were listed more than once, and in some instances, new home sales were also captured.--Reuters

... very vague.--Steven Cohen, on insider trading rules

Conspiracy theories abound with Bernanke, and I’m sure somebody somewhere really thinks that Ben Bernanke intentionally put the U.S. on a path to the Weimar-style hyperinflation that is coming any day now just to save a hundred bucks a month on his mortgage payments, but…I’m with her that it’s an amusing coincidence.
If you like a slightly different flavor of conspiracy, though, you might ask: why wasn’t Bernanke refinancing in, say, July or August? Sure, maybe he was busy with the whole stewardship of the economy and/or after-dinner Kindle reading. Or maybe he knew that the Fed was going to move to lower long-term rates and so abstained from trading based on that. Maybe he was taking advantage of his insider knowledge to make a personal profit, or at least avoid a loss.
Or not, whatever, what a stupid thing to think. But I thought of it again when I read Mr. Steven A. Cohen’s cogent argument that insider trading rules are somewhat more ambiguous than the proper form of address for him.--Matt Levine

If Sarbanes-Oxley did not deter MF Global, did it deter anyone? Or is this a case of a law which obtained compliance (at great cost in terms of scarce executives' time) from honest firms, while doing nothing to deter dishonest ones?--Arnold Kling

So [Donald Trump] was more upset at the Chinese government for giving American consumers a low price than at OPEC for charging Americans too high a price.--David Henderson

Two politicians — President Obama and former New Jersey Gov. Jon Corzine — made pronouncements last week about financial failures. One of them was hiding something, or just didn't understand much about the job that he was supposed to do. The other one was Jon Corzine.
Obama, too, may be clueless rather than disingenuous. In his Kansas speech last Tuesday, Obama had this to say about the Dodd-Frank financial-regulation law: "Now, unless you're a financial institution whose business model is built on breaking the law, cheating consumers and making risky bets that could damage the entire economy, you should have nothing to fear from these new rules."
To the contrary, Americans have plenty to fear. Dodd-Frank took the fatal errors that American politicians and regulators made in their stance toward the financial industry in the years leading up to 2008 — and wrote them all down as a model.
Dodd-Frank's biggest problem is that it treats big, complicated financial firms differently from how it treats littler, simpler firms.--Nicole Gelinas

So why did 6.3 million jobs disappear between September of 2008 and June of 2009?--Russ Roberts

Liberals often point out that public employment has been declining in 2010 and 2011, partly offsetting job growth in the private sector. They bemoan budget cuts that lead to shrinking headcounts. But then they — including President Obama — defend a public-sector collective-bargaining regime that takes non-layoff savings options off the table. If liberals really want state and local governments to be able to maintain their headcounts, they should push to end collective bargaining for public employees, not to strengthen it.--Josh Barro

Graduate from high school, get married before you have children, work at any kind of job, even one that starts out paying the minimum wage. Fewer than 10 percent of families that follow his blueprint live in poverty, while 79 percent of those who don't follow the three-step plan end up poor. There is no redistribution scheme imaginable close to this in reducing poverty.--Eric Falkenstein

We were in New York this weekend, and we took an architectural tour of some recent skyscrapers. The tour guide said that the way to get rich is to be a zoning lawyer. He also said that a lot of zoning issues end up being resolved politically, that is by developers buying off politicians. The result is to make real estate in New York a field for crony capitalism. And it is not surprising that any attempt by anyone to try genuine capitalism is likely to run afoul of the law.--Arnold Kling

"Protesters" named Time Magazine Persons of the Year; SEAL Team 6 not available for comment--Iowahawk
Photo links here, here, here and here.

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