RE: housing bubbles, miniskirts and market failures

  • We all know what to do about this subprime mess, the credit-crisis, don't we? Hang the bankers, hang them high, banish greed and stupidity from the human soul, usher in a society free from crass consumerism? A little more regulation? A lot more such? That's not necessarily a wonderful solution, considering that over the past few years we've seen the regulators themselves unaware of the disaster unfolding. Robert Shiller's got an argument that will make some peoples' heads explode in his new book "The Subprime Solution" — we need *more* speculation in the housing market.
    If there's a deep and liquid Futures market (and the almost inevitable options on top of that), and futures markets usually end up several times the size of the underlying 'real' market, then you as the holder of an asset in that real market can lay off the risk of a general fall in prices to those speculators…
    (tags: economy)
  • I do not mean to dismiss the many women leaders in the Muslim world who regard veiling as a means of controlling women. Choice is everything. But Westerners should recognize that when a woman in France or Britain chooses a veil, it is not necessarily a sign of her repression. And, more importantly, when you choose your own miniskirt and halter top — in a Western culture in which women are not so free to age, to be respected as mothers, workers or spiritual beings, and to disregard Madison Avenue — it's worth thinking in a more nuanced way about what female freedom really means.
    (tags: islam society sex)
  • An article on Stuff today shows “Social injustice is killing people on a grand scale”. It’s based on research by Dr. Jamie Pearce and indicates that those who live in poor areas are more likely to die early than those in wealthy areas.
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