The Andrew Samwick Archives
A new word has entered the lexicon, courtesy of Capital Gains and Games, with a little help from the boys at Bear Stearns:
Jimmy Cayne, a one-time travelling salesman who became a paper billionaire last year as chief executive of Bear Stearns, has sold his entire stake in the investment bank for a little more than $61m.
According to a filing with the Securities and Exchange Commission, Mr Cayne sold 5.6m Bear shares for $10.84 each on Tuesday, a day after after JPMorgan Chase agreed to raise its bid for the stricken investment bank fivefold to $10 a share. Mr Cayne’s wife, Patricia, sold 45,669 shares at the same price.
I try to keep nationalist sentiments out of economic commentary, but Tata's purchase of Jaguar and Land Rover from Ford has to make some folks in India smile. Two of the UK's biggest brands will now be owned by a former colony that is still catching up economically.
Unsurprisingly, Ford lost money on its purchase and subsequent sale of the two companies. In my view, acquisitions seldom lead to big improvements for the firm making the acquisition. The market seems to recognize this, as announcement effects are often negative for the acquiring firms.
This is a site that is long overdue in my profession:
The goal of this site is to encourage instructors to take price into account when shopping for texts.
Like doctors prescribing drugs for their patients, college instructors selecting textbooks for their classes have little incentive to pay attention to prices that they themselves do not pay.
Textbook publishers do not advertise their prices. Often it is even difficult to find prices on their websites. Nowhere have we been able to find current price lists for a full selection of competing texts.
Picking up on Pete's post about the 2008 Trustees Report, I always go first to this table, Table IV.B7, which shows the present value of Social Security's unfunded obligations over an infinite horizon. The number is $13.6 trillion, or 3.2% of taxable payroll or 1.1% of gross domestic product over the same horizon.
I've blogged extensively about these summary numbers over at Vox Baby. For the present post, I'd like to make two quick points.
Monica Prasad, a sociology professor at Northwestern, holds forth on the successes and "failures" of carbon taxes in Europe in an op-ed in today's New York Times. She makes two key points about implementation in Denmark, the country where emissions actually fell after the tax was imposed. I think Prasad is mistaking sufficient conditions for necessary conditions. Here is the main part of her argument:
I suppose I'll have to let ideology slide for the sake of expediency. I will not stand in the way of Stan calling Steve Forbes a capitalist tool.
I would agree with Stan and Pete in their assessment of Steve Forbes' remarks on CNBC today, but only if they agree to drop the word "capitalist" from the title of their posts. His blessedly brief phone interview did nothing to promote a capitalism as a system. It only served to promote the interests of those who are seeking to evade the consequences of making bad choices in a capitalist system.
My commentary on the Bear Stearns bailout aired on NPR's Marketplace this evening. Here's the teaser:
The collapse of Bear Stearns prompted the Fed to once again cut interest rates. Commentator and economist Andrew Samwick says whether you call it a bailout or a rescue, all Americans have a stake in the outcome.
There is some irony to be found in the title of Tamar Levin's excellent article in Friday's edition of The New York Times, "Report Urges Changes in Teaching Math." To do anything other than what the report recommends would hardly qualify as teaching math. Here's the crux of the matter: