Friday, October 26, 2012

Morning stuff


  • The Wall Street Journal had an interesting case study on hysteresis. The story is on how new-home construction is just picking up, but prices are quite high because builders seemed to be capacity-constrained because of the layoffs and capital reduction after the bubble-pop.

Timber companies and drywall manufacturers, for example, laid off thousands of workers and idled capacity at plants when the downturn hit and want to see at least six months of rising demand before reversing course. (Lumber shortages are also the result of an infestation of bark beetles that has destroyed millions of acres of pine trees in the U.S. and Canada.)

  • The New York Times reports the creation of a new, right-wing party in Japan by the governor of Tokyo, who is the guy who caused the purchase of the Senkaku islands by the Japanese government last months, rekindling the fire in the sino-japanese relation. After the nomination of Abe at the head of Japan's conservative party (and his recent visit to the Yasukuni war shrine) , the evolution of Japanese politics, with its incessant succession of prime ministers and this rise in nationalism, is worrying  for the future geopolitical issue in South East Asia.
  • Hillary Clinton has had a long career and The Guardian is here to provide the gifs
  • Floyd Norris summarizes some good points about the Euro crisis. The first point is that the euro is still popular, even in crisis countries.
polls in Greece ... still show strong support for the euro, and so do polls in Finland, which has been upset over the need to support the periphery.
          but the most important point is the fact that "The euro zone as a whole is running smaller budget and current account deficits than is the United States. If it were one country, there might be articles about depressed regions, but not talk of collapse."



  • Silvio Berlusconi withdrawal from the national elections next spring might create a complete reshuffle of Italian politics as the right seemed to have been an aggregation of diverse party glued together by the polarizing leader, while the left is embroiled in a conflict between the young mayor of Florence and the current, older, party leader.

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