Friday, January 21, 2011


Moqtada al-Sadr has returned to Iran. Curious—he basically showed up in Iraq, gave a couple of fiery speeches, and returned to Iran.

Stephen Breyer recalls airline deregulation from his time as an aide to Ted Kennedy.

Fun with voter fraud: around a third of registered voters in Zimbabwe are dead and more than 2000 have ages between 100 and 110 years old—in a country with a life expectancy of 43.

Why the mafia—the Italian one—is still able to hang on after all these years.

A really fantastic piece in the Financial Times about a strange art forger. Go read it.

Inflation in India.

On Borders’ disintegration.

The economics of scamming and AOL:
I think this sort of issue deserves more attention in part because as the economic pie grows bigger and bigger, the number of hours in the day doesn’t grow. So in many cases the opportunity cost of taking the time to really check things out is rising. That means more and more often it’ll be the case for consumers to be rationally ignorant about what exactly they’re doing, and it’ll more and more make sense for firms to exploit that. Meanwhile, across the developed world the number of scam-prone elderly people is increasing and rapid growth in the developing world is creating a potentially giant class of marks who don’t have generations of inoculation to the panoply of modern marketing techniques.

A piece arguing why Jeff Immelt is unsuited to be Obama’s economic advisor; and one on G.E.’s financialization. (the latter is particularly good).

An interesting profile of Turkey’s foreign minister that is perhaps a bit too admiring.

The Awl imagines what would be the most emailed New York Times article ever.

A nice post on Portugal’s drug experiments.

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