Wednesday, October 13, 2010


Guess who’s doing well? The music business.

Can Indian PM Singh successfully reform the country? Also, India becomes the top destination for foreign investment.

This article about big-ticket weapons items being cut or downsized by the Department of Defense buries the frustration deep:
Any weapons cuts would be on top of the planned shift of $100 billion through fiscal 2015 of overhead savings to weapons and personnel accounts. The goal is to find a way to increase spending on weapons and personnel by as much as 3 percent a year even as the Obama administration seeks to limit overall defense spending to growth of about 1 percent a year after inflation.
What if we just cut the defense budget? Doesn’t that work?

An excellently-written article on the California gubernatorial race from New York magazine. (Well-written in the sense of good technique, style, organization, etc.; it doesn’t exactly offer new insights inasmuch as new impressions of old insights.)

Why Great Britain isn’t worried about inflation.

Are we entering a peak water kind of country? OK, how about peak steel kind of world? (Not really.)

Interesting little development: Chile, Colombia, and Peru are planning a mini-merger of their stock exchanges. I guess you’d call it globalization on the march.

Looking deeper on the decision to combat climate change by investing heavily in green tech (via the industrial policy option). (Klein and Cowen).

It’s Wal-Mart time! Pursuant to that excellent article about the logistics and design about Wal-Mart that I posted earlier, note that Wal-Mart is kicking butt abroad and intends to finally, for sure, definitely win the big cities that have thus far proven resistant to its charms by getting smaller (stores, that is).

Hard-hit areas will continue to lag for a while (decades, even). 

How important is middle management? Would you believe very?

A good Sports Illustrated joint profile of the brothers Harbaugh. (Includes the fascinating what-if tidbit that Jim offered the defensive coordinator job to John after being hired to Stanford. Here's a nice little what-if tidbit that isn't mentioned by the profile: one of the jobs John Harbaugh was interviewed for was the UCLA head coaching job that ended up going to Rick Neuheisel. No way of knowing, of course, how serious the interest was there, but still: imagine one conference, two Harbaughs. Intriguing!)

A provocative article: just how reliable are the studies published in medical journals? (From The Atlantic’s new issue.)

Fred Kaplan and Andrew Sullivan dissect Petraeus’s about face re: drone bombing (and its apparent incongruity with COIN principles).

An excellent interview with Mehdi Karroubi, one of the Iranian reformist candidates who’s now leading the Green Movement, such as it is.

This WSJ article noting a decrease in crime last year is welcome news, but also includes this wonderful line at the end: “Statisticians are most certain of crime trends when the two crime reports show similar results.” You mean…they’re more likely to be convinced when two separate studies give similar results? No way!

Ta-Nehisi Coates has a nice pair of essays on the Harlem Children’s Zone.

Legalizing pot in Marijuana unlikely to dent Mexican cartels:
Much of the analysis rests on the conclusion that drug organizations earn far less from marijuana exported to the United States than previously estimated. Researchers put that income at about $1.5 billion, while federal government reports have set it as high as $14.3 billion.

Iffy benefits from that Visa/MasterCard settlement with the DOJ for consumers?

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