The Odd Lots interview of Dan Davies, was fantastic, just pitch-perfect.

The interview with Lev Menand was ... fine, I guess? The observation that Americans prefer "rule-based" regulation in contrast to the "principles-based" regulation in the rest of the anglosphere is hardly original, and while I personally think it is obvious that principles-based regulation has worked out better, there are people of good will who are smarter than me that think the opposite - Matt Levine, for instance. I think Menand would have done a favour to himself to be less tendentious.

I also agree with Menand about "process-focused" regulation, except that on this occasion it seems that it would have worked? Had it been followed through? Here is a Bloomberg quotation from Levine's newsletter yesterday:

"Just over a year before Silicon Valley Bank’s collapse threatened a generation of technology startups and their backers, the Federal Reserve Bank of San Francisco appointed a more senior team of examiners to assess the firm. They started calling out problem after problem.

As the upgraded crew took over, it fired off a series of formal warnings to the bank’s leaders, pressing them to fix serious weaknesses in operations and technology, according to people with knowledge of the matter.

Then late last year they flagged a critical problem: The bank needed to improve how it tracked interest-rate risks, one of the people said, an issue at the heart of its abrupt downfall this month."

Finally, what the everliving heck was Weisenthal thinking when he suggested that a "sophisticated" corporate treasurer would have invested directly in laddered Treasurys ?!?!? No no no no no! The first responsibility of a corporate treasurer is risk management - specifically, matching the risks of assets and liabilities. And also the 2nd, 3rd, 4th and 5th responsibilities. I personally know treasury traders who have been fired after making too much money; for good cause, in my opinion. Weisenthal is telling SVB's customers that they should have taken on the same risks that SVB took directly, in a podcast dedicated to criticizing the risk management of SVB. Absurd.

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Masks: Since, like most of the other recommendations, messages were never clear about whether one was being advised to take self protective actions or admonished to take actions to protect others (and that the benefits of doing so were constantly changing with infection rates and vaccination status), it's not surprising that the results of an ambiguous message was in the aggregate, inconclusive.

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Last: I don't know either. It seems healthier to me to have one party that is mainly animated by promoting the economic interest of the middle/lower class even if it is not too careful about economic efficiently of the taxes, transfers, and regulations used to do it and another that is about protecting the interests of those who did OK from the status quo to say, "Not so fast," "There's a cheaper way." "But X is win-win."

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The 2018 legal change was the key policy error, but were regulators really "defanged?" They did not have authority to prevent the massive interest rate mismatch between the uninsured deposits and the fixed interest bonds? We learned that was risky back during the S&L crisis.

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Regulation plus Tax (including pigou taxes) and transfer driven by economic analysis (cost benefit analysis) -- That Which Has No Name and whose evil twin is Neoliberalism -- does "see" the poor, the overwhelming importance of research and development, and the overwhelming importance of nurturing communities of engineering practice (I guess, although they might evolve organically from a high growth, high savings fiscal policy and high skilled immigration).

[Yes I recognize this as a No True Scotsman/Socialism has never been tried kind of argument.

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And when the direct marketers and prosecutors find the back door to your custom AI you will be utterly defenseless.

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My mental model is evolving but the most obvious truth is an enslaved race of people are then granted what is at best second class citizenship status (all of which encompasses hundreds of years) and then told go compete freely.

It isn't liberty for all or a level playing field. If we believe we are all the same the economic gains from empowering african americans and the economic growth and wealth it generates benefits all.

I don't think reperations are actiomable but prefer economic empowerment. Entreoenurial programs that provide human and economic capital. Governments have powerful purchasing power.

My thoughts are msrket approacj that empowers and creates intergenerational wealth. Even one where shares can be traded the way startups and tax credits are traded.

The most meaningless point is skin complexion. Properly constructed market designs can allocate bandwidth. Why not a market design to counter our nations grratest historical sin?


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I have a bit of a silly question. I am both liberal and conservative although I do not know where the definition of either begins and ends.

Is there a working definitions of neoliberal, woke, critical race theory,...

Advertising media is advertising media and I more than understand the market. I just struggle to find any sort of meaningful definition and it makes any thoughts around society benefits, utility difficult.

That is pretty much the reason I subscribed (per a dear friends suggestion).

Any thoughts, ideas are greatly appreciated.


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