Thursday, February 26, 2015

Responding to hypothetical crises: "what happened to the rare earths crisis?"

Instapundit appropriately and sarcastically responds: "shockingly, markets." From MIT's Tech Review:

Demand appears to have fallen mainly because companies stockpiled these materials in anticipation of shortages, says Hatch. As it turned out, China’s lower export quotas—which were deemed unfair by the World Trade Organization—didn’t constrain the world’s supply, and China recently stopped imposing those limits on rare earths. Hatch notes that while the prices for some rare earth materials remain above 2010 levels and could go up again, a price spike like the one seen in 2011 is unlikely.
As it turns out, net neutrality is another hypothetical crisis that American politicians have decided to take a different approach on: regulation. I predict the phrase "unintended consequences" is going to be used - that were very much and vocally predicted before hand (Reason).

How landlocked Botswana found economic growth

Through 'economic liberty'. Remarkable for a country once the third poorest in the world (dailysignal):

Friday, February 20, 2015

Whither the Greeks...

The entire Greek situation is bizarre... but in the midst of the Greek government demanding that they receive new loans, an oddly lucid piece of journalism (NYT - yes, oddly, the NYT):

Businesses are still stymied by labor rules and tax policies that under the previous government often changed week to week — 2,200 new tax regulations in the last two years alone.

Firms like Mr. Stamatiou’s, as well as investors and start-ups, face high administrative costs and bureaucratic inefficiency that Greek business associations say jeopardize jobs and leach about €14 billion a year from the economy. Corruption remains widespread, and vested interests have fought against opening swaths of the economy to competition.

“The removal of austerity is all fine and well,” said Constantine Mihalos, president of the Athens Chamber of Commerce. “But it will only be the right solution if it is followed by the necessary structural reforms in the public and private sector creating conditions for growth.”