- The Left lost yet another election. Its response? Reposting old essays… Chris Bertram, Crooked Timber
- Israel, Syria, and the Kurds Wilkofsky & Zaman, Al-Monitor
- Automation as a colonization wave Robin Hanson, Overcoming Bias
- The geopolitics of liberalism Nicolas Hausdorf, Jacobite
- Who betrayed Syria’s Kurds? Amberin Zaman, Al-Monitor
- How the Physiocrats confronted France’s empire (Smithian-Misesian-Hayekian federation) Pernille Røge, Age of Revolutions
- Strange respect for central banks Scott Sumner, MoneyIllusion
- This is just the beginning of Brexit Tom McTague, the Atlantic
Be Our Guest is an open invitation to NOL‘s readers to participate with us. Pretty much anything is on the table. The latest article comes from the Freeconomist, who is following up on his earlier piece about making Brexit worthwhile via information asymmetries. His new piece is on financial regulation through the prism of Brexit. Check out this excerpt:
I do not want to write a lengthy discussion on the question of which alternative is the least costly in dealing with the incentive problems arising from the implicit subsidy by the taxpayer. There are good reasons to believe an incremental, decentralized and evolutionary system of market-based regulation to be superior to centrally designed government regulation. (4)
But even if this is the case, private regulation arising as a response to the incentive problems resulting from explicit and/or implicit government guarantees is still costly. Indeed, the evolved system of private regulation in the UK banking industry was giving the appearance of a restrictive cartel. If my analysis is correct, this “cartel” served a useful social function, namely to deal with the incentive problems created by the implicit government guarantee. Nevertheless, it also involved costs.
At the root of the problem are the taxpayer guarantees.
Please, read the rest. It’s another excellent piece of work.
And don’t be afraid to submit your thoughts to us.
- What does a post-Putin Russia look like? Jakub Grygiel, American Interest
- A primer on China’s “People’s Armed Police” Joel Wuthnow, War on the Rocks
- How can people be smart consumers, but dumb voters? Chris Dillow, Stumbling & Mumbling
- The imperial myths driving Brexit Alex von Tunzelmann, the Atlantic
Here is the latest installment of NOL‘s new “Be Our Guest” series, this one by the pseudonymous Freeconomist. An excerpt:
Third-party certification provides assurance to consumers that a product or a supplier of professional services meets certain quality standards.
Private suppliers of third-party certification include organisations such as Consumer Reports, the American Automobile Association (AAA), which rates motels, or A.M. Best, rating insurance companies. Examples of third-party certification provided by the government are product safety regulation, food standards regulation or occupational licensure.
Private suppliers of third-party certification can only exist because the product they offer is valued enough by market participants to justify the cost of providing it. And their profits are determined by their credibility.
The same cannot be said for third-party certification provided by the government.
Please, read the rest and do keep submitting your thoughts to us.
In the discussions on Brexit the situation along the Irish-Northern Irish border is pivotal. Nobody wants a return to a ‘hard’ border, even though that is the obvious consequence of the UK leaving the Common Market and Ireland staying in it.
For those unfamiliar with the reason why this is troublesome there are a loads of good reads on what the British called ‘The Troubles’, but what by all standards was a cruel civil war, with 3500 deaths and many more injured. The two recent books I would like to bring to the attention of the readers are different.
Milkman is a novel that won the Man Booker Prize. It is a story about a young woman growing up in Troubled times, and what is particular gripping is the sense you get of the intensity of life in those days. Everything in daily life was somehow drawn into the conflict, you had to think about your moves all the time and everybody lived in fear. Not only for the enemy, but at least as much for the paramilitary group that happened to control your area. They did not just wage their war, but literally wanted to control everybody in their neighborhood.
Say Nothing is narrative non-fiction, well-researched and with hundreds of pages of notes. It is written in very attractive prose, not like any regular history book. The focus is on some of the key-players on the IRA-side, the bombs, and the attacks. Central is the disappearance and subsequent murder of a mother of ten by one of the main people in the story. The book also pays a lot of attention to Gerry Adams’ denial to have played any role in the violent side of the civil war. One of its strengths is also that half of the book tells what happened after the Good Friday agreement, which formally made an end to the Troubles. If only it did…
These are great books to learn more about one of the bloodiest conflicts in Europe in recent times. They also help to understand current debates about Brexit. Hopefully, they will just keep saying something about the past…