Kenya has gone share crazy. The incredible performance of the Nairobi Stock Exchange (NSE) – which is next to the public auditorium and provides the live share-price feed – is the talk of the country. From 2002 to 2007, the main NSE index rose 787% in dollar terms (see graph above), according to Standard & Poor’s, the investment research firm, making it one of the world’s best-performing markets.
There is now an “investable” index of economic freedom – First Trust announced the creation of the Index of Economic Freedom Portfolio.
The portfolio (IEFP) is made up of country funds or large foreign stocks from the top 20 countries labeled “free” by the annual Heritage/Wall Street Journal Index of Economic Freedom.
Read more about it here.
Thanks to Club for Growth for the tip.
With breakneck growth, an outsourcing industry that leads the world and hundreds of millions of consumers demanding more class and comfort, India has an economy many countries would envy.
But now, after three years of near double-digit growth, signs of a potentially dangerous inflationary spiral are beginning to emerge. Prime Minister Manmohan Singh and his closest economic advisors gathered just last weekend over fears that India’s extraordinary economic expansion was starting to overheat, an issue they labeled as a “key short-term priority.”
From India Finds Its Economy on the Verge of Overheating in today’s NYTimes.
Fund managers love the ETF (exchange-traded funds). But what’s in it for the investor? Vanguard founder John Bogle expresses his skepticism of ETFs in today’s WSJ:
So long as the truism that “the more financial intermediaries take, the less their clients make” remains in effect, serious and intelligent investors ought to beware of moving their investments out of classic index funds focused on low costs, broad diversification and long-term, buy-and-hold strategies into index funds nouveau (ETFs), with their overlay of costs, limited diversification and short-term trading strategies. Industry participants, too, should be concerned. For in the long run, any business that puts the interest of service to self before service to clients will ultimately pay for this contradiction.
Public policy is all about trade-offs. Economists understand this better than politicians because voters want to have their cake and eat it too, and politicians think whatever is popular must also be true.
In the history of trade-offs, never has there been a better one than trading a tiny amount of global warming for a massive amount of global prosperity. Earth got about 0.7 degrees Celsius warmer in the 20th century while it increased its GDP by 1,800%, by one estimate. How much of that 0.7 degrees can be laid at the feet of that 1,800% is unknowable, but let’s stipulate that all of the warming was the result of our prosperity and that this warming is in fact indisputably bad (which is hardly obvious). That’s still an amazing bargain. Life expectancies in the United States increased from about 47 years to about 77 years. Literacy, medicine, leisure and even, in many respects, the environment have improved mightily over the course of the 20th century, at least in the prosperous West.
Given the option of getting another 1,800% richer in exchange for another 0.7 degrees warmer, I’d take the heat in a heartbeat.
From Global Cooling Costs Too Much by Jonah Goldberg.
As Thomas Sowell said, “The first lesson of economics is that we live in a world of scarcity and there are trade-offs. The first lesson of politics is to ignore the first lesson of economics.”
“Yale now is alone among American colleges and universities in failing to provide, at the initial appointment, resources for a potential tenured appointment, should the faculty member eventually qualify.
Current nontenured faculty members at Yale must wait for a colleague to retire, to leave, or to die — or hope that good fortune allows for an additional tenured position to open up in their department. Even then, they may have to compete with more-seasoned scholars in an open search that gives them little to no advantage.”
From The Chronicle for Higher Education article “Yale Plans Overhaul of Tenure Process.”
President Hugo Chavez’s administration blames the food supply problems on unscrupulous speculators, but industry officials say government price controls that strangle profits are responsible. Authorities on Wednesday raided a warehouse in Caracas and seized seven tons of sugar hoarded by vendors unwilling to market the inventory at the official price.
Chavez began regulating prices in 2003 for 400 basic products as a way to counter inflation. Government officials dismiss any problems with price controls, while state TV has begun running tickers urging the public to “denounce the hoarders and speculators” through a toll-free phone number.”
Read more here; thanks to Cafe Hayek.
MP: Didn’t Venezuela learn anything about the painful lessons of price controls in the Soviet Union for decade after decade, and the resulting shortages those price controls caused?
Within hours of her death, Anna Nicole Smith’s listing in Wikipedia was already updated to reflect this information. There is some controversy about vandalism on her Wikipedia entry, and there might be some temporary restrictions on editing.
Bottom Line: What now happens in minutes or hours (updating information in online encyclopedias like Wikipedia) used to take years (annual or bi-annual updates of the Encyclopedia Britanica).
From the American Enterprise Institute:
“To compile our list of the most economically literate members of Congress, we interviewed 22 Capitol Hill aides, think tank experts, senior business lobbyists, and lawmakers. We made no litmus test of ideological views or party affiliation. Whatever you may think of their politics, our experts said, these ten lawmakers do have a strong grasp of the economic fundamentals that guide their work. Many of them hail from a business background. But our selections focus on the legislators’ public records rather than their personal histories.”
Whatever you may think of their politics, these ten lawmakers have a strong grasp of the economic fundamentals that guide their work. Many of them hail from a business background.”
Read more here. (Note: 6 Republicans, 4 Democrats)
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