"It is easy to confuse what is with what ought to be, especially when what is has worked out in your favor."
- Tyrion Lannister

"Lannister. Baratheon. Stark. Tyrell. They're all just spokes on a wheel. This one's on top, then that's ones on top and on and on it spins, crushing those on the ground. I'm not going to stop the wheel. I'm going to break the wheel."

- Daenerys Targaryen

"The Lord of Light wants his enemies burned. The Drowned God wants them drowned. Why are all the gods such vicious cunts? Where's the God of Tits and Wine?"

- Tyrion Lannister

"The common people pray for rain, healthy children, and a summer that never ends. It is no matter to them if the high lords play their game of thrones, so long as they are left in peace. They never are."

- Jorah Mormont

"These bad people are what I'm good at. Out talking them. Out thinking them."

- Tyrion Lannister

"What happened? I think fundamentals were trumped by mechanics and, to a lesser extent, by demographics."

- Michael Barone

"If you want to know what God thinks of money, just look at the people he gave it to."
- Dorothy Parker

Friday, April 15, 2011

The Pains of Being Pure at Heart

Ginia Bellafante:
"Game of Thrones" is boy fiction patronizingly turned out to reach the population’s other half.
I wish the Times had assigned someone who had read the books to review the show. The first book is in part about Eddard (Ned) Stark (played by Sean Bean in HBO's 10 episode series) who took part in a successful rebellion against a King Aerys (called the "Mad King"). His childhood friend Robert Baratheon led the revolt and became the new king. Baratheon is the loutish type of man all right-thinking women hate: a man's man with little introspection and large appetites. In the war which deposed the mad king Aerys, Baratheon cut a heroic and dashing figure but after years of power he has become fat and complacent. He's was better at leading a revolt than being the king.

Ned Stark suffers from being pure at heart. He is loyal and honorable to a fault. He has a code and sticks to it, come what may. The Stark clan rules from a castle far in the north and the saga begins with Baratheon asking Stark to take over as his "Hand" or right-hand man / chief-of-staff. The previous Hand of the King had been poisoned. Stark has no desire to be Hand, which means court politics (i.e. dishonesty and backstabbing) and ruling in effect for a King who has little interest in the more mundane matters of being a King. His wise wife advises against it.

Stark believes one can't be pure at heart and also be successful at ruling and playing the political game, but he agrees anyway to become Hand out of loyalty to his old friend Robert Baratheon.

Wednesday, April 13, 2011

Chicago Fed paper on commodity prices and inflation by Charles Evans.

(via Krugman)

Monday, April 11, 2011

New York article on Peter Orzsag:
And while the crash dented the confidence of the Wall Street-Washington policy elite, the blow was far from fatal. In November 2008, Rubin attended an economic-policy meeting with Obama and senior aides in Chicago. Reich was there, and he told me that after the meeting, he confronted Rubin about the meltdown. "I asked him why did the crash happen? He said, 'It was a perfect storm. It was a once-in-a-lifetime event.'" Reich, like many progressives, sees 2008 as a reassessment of the Rubin way. "Why was there a complete implosion, if Wall Street is so smart, if markets work so well?"
(via Yglesias)

Larry Summers event at Bretton-Woods:

(via DeLong)