Thursday, February 24, 2005

Inflation Targeting

It doesn't look like the fed wil be targeting inflation any time soon. The money quote from the minutes of the Febuary meeting:
At this meeting the Committee engaged in a broad-ranging discussion of the pros and cons of formulating a numerical definition of the price-stability objective of monetary policy. A staff presentation on the topic included a review of the potential costs and benefits of introducing such a definition as well as of other countries’ experiences. In the subsequent discussion, meeting participants uniformly agreed that price stability provided the best environment for maximizing sustainable economic growth in the long run, but expressed a range of views on whether it would be helpful for the Committee to articulate a specific numerical definition for the Federal Reserve's price-stability objective--either a single figure or a range. Those who believed such a move would be on balance beneficial cited, for example, its usefulness as an anchor for long-term inflation expectations, as a vehicle for enhanced clarity of Committee deliberations, and as an additional tool for communications. Several of those who saw greater potential drawbacks were concerned that such a shift might appear to be inconsistent with the Committee’s dual mandate of fostering maximum employment as well as price stability or that it might inappropriately bias or constrain policy at times; in any case, with inflation expectations well-contained over recent years, the benefits of announcing a specific inflation objective were not likely to be large. The Committee decided to defer further discussion.

Keywords: ECO301, Monetary Policy, Inflation Targeting

Monday, February 21, 2005

Sparta and Alcohol

Stories like this make you wonder if there was ever any piece of legislation enacted for the public interest, or is it always only serving some narrow personal interest? Well, this story from the tribune makes me laugh, because the idiot hasn't learned his lesson. When supporting legislation to keep competitors out of your market, you better make sure the ban doesn't include you.

But Eddie Habhegger isn't a referendum supporter. The owner of Fast Eddie's
Beverage, on Hwy. 21 in the town of Sparta, said his business was in city until
1963, when a referendum forced him and another liquor store to leave

A grocery store had sought to sell beer and liquor, so the issue went
to referendum. Habhegger pushed for its defeat, only to learn when he sought to renew his retail sales license that the new referendum excluded his store as well.

"We lost our business and everything," he said. "We had to start all
over again."

Habhegger was able to buy some land on Hwy. 21, and the town of
Sparta granted him a license. The family-run business has been there ever

The city has plenty of bars and taverns that sell beer and liquor for
off-premises consumption, Habhegger said.

"We will continue to maintain very low prices here, and hope the people will vote the same way we will ? no. We're hopin' and prayin' that we win," he said.

Wednesday, February 16, 2005

Turning Japanese

Hopefully the US economy is not turning Japanese. According to the FT, it appears as though things have once again slowed down.

Japan's economy slipped back into recession on Wednesday when newly released data showed its gross domestic product had contracted for three consecutive quarters, bringing an official end to the country's three-year recovery.
Times they have a changed...I don't wish ill on any country, but I did have to suffer through the 80's prognostications of Japanese economic dominance, so forgive me if I don't act like this is the most upsetting turn of events.

Keywords: Japan, ECO120, ECO301, Recession

Thursday, February 10, 2005

Thank God This Ain't Oklahoma

By way of the Volokh Conspiracy: We have this newly proposed law in Oklahoma. The important parts, for purposes of this post are:

Section 1111. A. Rape is an act of sexual intercourse involving vaginal or
anal penetration accomplished with a male or female who is not the spouse of the
perpetrator . . . under any of the following circumstances:

9. Where the victim is an undergraduate student under twenty-one (21) years
of age attending any college or university in this state or the victim is
attending any public or private secondary school in this state, regardless of
the person's age, and engages in sexual intercourse with a person who is an
employee of the same college, university or school system unless the two persons
were legally married prior to enrollment or employment in such college,
university or school. . . . .

Patently absurd.

Monday, February 07, 2005


More stupidity from the obscenity police. This article talks about pictures found on a laptop.

A Manvel couple has been arrested on obscenity charges after authorities
say they found pictures from a swingers group on a laptop the wife had on loan
from Alvin Community College.
The lesson is, learn how to cover your tracks, or is it buy your own computer? Link via the Vicesquad.

Keywords: Obscenity, Porn