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Sunday, February 22

22nd Feb - W/E: Economics & Off-topic

Previously on MoreLiver’s:

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Martin Sandbu’s Free Lunch: The sources of growthFT
If stagnation continues, blame ageing and finance

Martin Sandbu’s Free Lunch: Inflation, deflation and reformsFT
Things are a bit more complicated than how they're often told

Yellen Confronts Economists’ IgnoranceBB
Productivity is probably the most important measure of economic health that policy makers know the least about.

Andrew G Haldane: Growing, fast and slowBIS
Speech by Mr Andrew G Haldane, Executive Director and Chief Economist of the Bank of
England, at the University of East Anglia, Norwich, 17 February 2015.

Why do non-experts think they know about macroeconomics?Noah Smith

These Are the Econ Blogs You Need to ReadView / BB

Greece and educating economistsSimon Wren-Lewis
Read the comments at the bottom – excellent stuff

Why does financial sector growth crowd out real economic growth? BIS
We examine the negative relationship between the rate of growth of the financial sector and the rate of growth of total factor productivity

The finance sector and growth: too much finance is bad for the economyThe Economist
One of the biggest political issues in recent years has been that Wall Street has done better than Main Street. That is not just a populist slogan.

Finance vs. Wal-Mart: Why are Financial Services so Expensive?Thomas Philippon
The finance industry's share of GDP is about 2 percentage points higher than it needs to be and this would represent an annual misallocation of resources of about $280 billions for the U.S. alone.

Two New Papers Say Big Finance Sectors Hurt Growth and InnovationYves Smith

Endogenous Volatility at the Zero Lower Bound: Implications for Stabilization PolicyFED
At the zero lower bound, the central bank's inability to offset shocks endogenously generates volatility.

Barry Eichengreen: Central Banks and the Bottom LineProject Syndicate
Around the world, central banks' balance sheets are becoming an increasingly serious concern not only for their critics, but also for central bankers themselves. But it is a mistake for monetary policymakers to allow balance-sheet profits and losses to guide their decision-making.

Negative rates as global cash burnFT
At its worst, monetary policy of sub-zero rates could encourage a deflationary spiral. Maybe the only policy left to create inflation is real and not conservative QE.

A lazy central banker's guide to escaping liquidity trapsJP Koning

Can demography affect inflation and monetary policy?BIS
We find a stable and significant correlation between demography and low-frequency inflation. In particular, a larger share of dependents (ie young and old) is correlated with higher inflation, while a larger share of working age cohorts is correlated with lower inflation. The results are robust to different country samples, time periods, control variables and estimation techniques. We also find a significant, albeit unstable, relationship between demography and monetary policy.

Helicopter money and the government of central bank nightmaresSimon Wren-Lewis
One reason why it is taboo among central banks is that they want an asset that they can later sell when the economy recovers. QE gives them that asset, but helicopter money does not. The nightmare (as ever with ICBs) is not the current position of deficient demand, but a potential future of excess inflation that they are unable to control.

Monetary policy and housing prices: Lessons from 140 years of datavox
Potentially destabilising by-products of easy money must be taken seriously and weighed carefully against the stimulus benefits.  Macroeconomic stabilisation policy has implications for financial stability, and vice versa. Resolving this dichotomy requires central banks greater use of macroprudential tools.

Leading indicators of systemic banking crises: Finland in a panel of EU countriesECB
We find that loans-to-deposits and house price growth are the best leading indicators. Growth rates and trend deviations of loan stock variables also yield useful signals of impending crises. While the optimal lead horizon is three years, indicators generally perform well with lead times ranging from one to four years.

Looser credit — and fraud — drove the housing bubbleFT

Asset Bubbles: Re-thinking Policy for the Age of Asset ManagementIMF
IMF Presenting "Rational Bubble-Riding"ZH

Junk the phrase 'human capital' – Branko Milanovic
"Human Capital" and "Land Capital" – Nick Rowe
Where Branko Milanovic Is Going Wrong On Human Capital – Tim Worstall
What Some Conservatives Call Kids Now: "Human Capital" – Elizabeth Bruening
On "human capital" one more time – Branko Milanovic
People Aren’t Androids – Paul Krugman
Is human capital really capital? – Noah Smith

Simon Wren-Lewis: The Austerity ConLondon Review of Books
The austerity story in extensive formSimon Wren-Lewis

Does austerity pay off?vox
Many observers blame austerity for much of the Eurozone’s current economic woes. This column presents new evidence on how financial markets assess austerity. Cutting government consumption raises the sovereign default premium in the short run. However, austerity pays off in the long run.

Does a Real Anti-Aging Pill Already Exist?BB
Inside Novartis’s push to produce the first legitimate anti-aging drug

Breakfast with the FT: Francis Ford CoppolaFT
The film legend talks about switching from making films to making hotels and wine, idealistic movies and ‘traumatic’ business lessons

The Man Who Tried to Redeem the World with LogicNautilus
Walter Pitts rose from the streets to MIT, but couldn’t escape himself.

How YouTube changed the worldThe Telegraph

The beginning of the end of Facebook’s traffic engineNieman Lab

Mass extinctions: Did dark matter do in the dinosaurs?The Economist
One scientific mystery may have caused another

JPMorgan Goes to WarBB
The bank is building a new facility near the NSA’s headquarters to attract new talent

Shark Tank: The lost pitchesFortune

The Bro CodeChina File
Booze, Sex, and the Dark Art of Dealmaking in China

Twelve ways the world could endFT
What are the chances of all human life being destroyed by a supervolcano? Or taken over by robots? A new report from Oxford university assesses the risks of apocalypse

How the CIA made GoogleMedium
Inside the secret network behind mass surveillance, endless war, and Skynet

The Great SIM HeistThe Intercept
How Spies Stole the Keys to the Encryption Castle

News Lab: Jeff Bezos Takes Washington Post into Digital FutureSpiegel
A spirit of enthusiasm has infused the office of the once troubled Washington Post following its purchase in August by Amazon founder Jeff Bezos. He is turning the newspaper into a laboratory for the digital future. Can he save a sick industry?

When crunch talks go wrong: Some lessons from historyMedium
It’s a little-known fact that John Maynard Keynes was dosed up on mind-altering drugs when he carried out one of the most important economic negotiations in British history.

Extraterrestrial life: Yoo-hoo, we’re over here!The Economist
Should humanity keep schtum about its existence?

Will We Ever See Studio 54 Again?The Daily Beast
It might be true that the rich and infamous don’t dance like the high and crazy ’70s and ’80s. They’re still dancing, though cautiously as they wonder who’s watching them.

How to Make Your Life Better by Sending Five Simple EmailsTIME

The Fall And Rise Of U.S. Inequality, In 2 GraphsNPR
Between 1930 and 1970s, only the bottom 90% saw their incomes rise. After 1980, only the top 1% saw their incomes rise.

My Own Life: Oliver Sacks on Learning He Has Terminal CancerNYT
How the real-life doctor of ‘Awakenings,’ announced his impending deathWaPo

How to Read Intelligently and Write a Great Essaybrain pickings
Robert Frost’s Letter of Advice to His Young Daughter

King DavidThe Atlantic
David Carr, a Journalist at the Center of the Sweet SpotNYT
David Carr believed that, through the constant and forceful application of principle, a young knucklehead could bring the heavens to their knees

A Close Encounter With Jon CorzineZH

24 charts every leader should seeAgenda WEF

What ISIS Really WantsThe Atlantic
The Islamic State is no mere collection of psychopaths. It is a religious group with carefully considered beliefs, among them that it is a key agent of the coming apocalypse. Here’s what that means for its strategy—and for how to stop it.

Big Tobacco's Future: Big PotView / BB