27 November 2012

Big business has corrupted economics | Aditya Chakrabortty

The Guardian


In their new book, Economists and the Powerful, Norbert Häring and Niall Douglas trace how the most powerful of all the social sciences became a doctrine for helping the rich – with the aid of huge sums from business. You may be familiar with a version of this critique, thanks to the film Inside Job, which described how some of the best-known economists practising today are in the pay of Wall Street. But the history unearthed by Häring and Douglas is far more disturbing – because they argue that vested interests have slanted some of economics' most fundamental ideas.

20 May 2012

U.S. Worst in Child Abuse : Discovery News

U.S. Worst in Child Abuse : Discovery News
Twenty-seven children under the age of 15 die from physical abuse or neglect every week in America. According to UNICEF, the United States has 2.4 annual deaths per 100,000 children, compared to 1.4 for France; 1 in Japan, and 0.9 in the United Kingdom.

20 November 2011

Inequality and the Estate Tax

Chuck Collins of the Institute for Policy Studies' Program on Inequality and the Common Good gives an entertaining TED talk on the economic and moral rationale for increasing taxes on the wealthy...

12 November 2011

The Situation: An Introduction to Situational Character, Critical Realism, Power Economics, Deep Capture by Jon Hanson, David Yosifon [Deep Capture]

This article introduces an innovative approach to legal theory which the authors call "critical realism." The approach endeavors to integrate insights of social psychology, and affiliated social sciences, together with the methods of conventional economic analysis, as well as traditional methods of legal inquiry. Canvassing robust findings from across the behavioral sciences, the authors articulate a framework for thinking about human agency in legal analysis that the authors call "the situational character," a conception which is meant to provide a more scientifically grounded understanding of the sources of human behavior and decision-making then is provided by the "rational actor" model that has become so prominent in legal scholarship through the influence of the law and economics movement. The authors further explore the extend to which market-actors, such as corporations, have a stake in promoting to consumers and to policymakers the rational-actor model of human agency, even as market pressures are likely to lead such market-actors to understand and exploit the reality of the "situational character." The authors refer to such efforts on the part of market-actors as "deep capture," an extension of the conception of administrative "capture" long understood by public choice theorists. The authors review several historical episodes and scholarly debates through the innovative framework that their article provides, and suggest many avenues of future research and development of the framework.

04 November 2011

Wall St. Helped Greece to Mask Debt Fueling Europe’s Crisis - Goldman Sachs and Greek Economic Collapse


As in the American subprime crisis and the implosion of the American International Group, financial derivatives played a role in the run-up of Greek debt. Instruments developed by Goldman Sachs, JPMorgan Chase and a wide range of other banks enabled politicians to mask additional borrowing in Greece, Italy and possibly elsewhere.

01 November 2011

How did Vioxx debacle happen?

The study, an analysis of a database of 1.4 million Kaiser Permanente members, found that those who took Vioxx were more likely to suffer a heart attack or sudden cardiac death than those who took Celebrex, Vioxx's main rival. Based on their findings, Graham and his collaborators linked Vioxx to more than 27,000 heart attacks or sudden cardiac deaths nationwide from the time it came on the market in 1999 through 2003.

Graham told the finance committee investigators that the FDA was trying to block publication of his findings, Grassley said in a statement. "Dr. Graham described an environment where he was 'ostracized,' 'subjected to veiled threats' and 'intimidation,' " Grassley said. Graham gave Grassley copies of e-mail that appear to support his claims that his superiors suggested watering down his conclusions.