"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

Saturday, August 29, 2015

Stannis is alive in the books.

via Salon:
While we never exactly saw Stannis Baratheon die on the show, we did see him get a sword to the head courtesy of Brienne of Tarth before the camera cut away, making it seem pretty clear that the disgraced Lord of Dragonstone was well on his way to a rendezvous with the Many Faced God. As episode director David Nutter said at Comic-Con, “From the beginning, and [through] the script process, that was the intent — he’s dead.”
But according to George R. R Martin, Stannis is alive and well — at least in the books. At the end of “A Dance With Dragons”, Ramsay Bolton sends a letter to Jon Snow saying he has killed Stannis, even though we never witness the actual death take place. But addressing a fan on his LiveJournal who asked whether Stannis was alive or dead, Martin responded definitively: “In my books? Alive beyond a doubt.”
Of course, the books and the show often diverge (remember the whole Lady Stoneheart debacle?) so it’s possible that Stannis is alive in the books and dead in the show. Or it is possible that Stannis somehow survived Brienne’s sword and he has a part to play in the great (onscreen) battle of ice and fire to come. But most importantly, it leaves open the option that Book-Stannis could be redeemed as a character — which would be a nice consolation prize for the fans still reeling from TV-Stannis’ arc at the end of last season.

Friday, August 28, 2015

Chris Giles is the worst, or how to be a bootlicker for the rich and powerful special interests

I'll never subscribe to the FT.

How to be hard left without being stupid by Chris Giles
There is no left-right dividing line in sensible economic policymaking. Everyone needs to define their ambitions, understand how policy might achieve goals and recognise constraints. Mr Corbyn’s ambition is clear: he wants a more equal and a more prosperous society
Since this desire is shared across the political spectrum, the radical left must demonstrate its ability to act where other, more conservative forces, are constrained.
Not true. There is a left-right divide and that desire is not shared. They may say that, but their actions belie what they say.
All of this is economically literate, radical and left wing. Little of this is Corbynomics. For him, there are vast untapped pools of free money, to be accessed via setting up a national investment bank, attacking so-called “corporate welfare”, engaging in quantitative easing “for the people” or simply ending austerity.
Again, not true. This is the guy who attacked Piketty in a vague fashion.

Wednesday, August 26, 2015

Lisa Belkin on the Yonkers Housing Crisis

The Painful Lessons of the Yonkers Housing Crisis by Lisa Belkin
Crime has not increased. Property values have not decreased. Life is pretty much the same for those who lived on these blocks before the townhouses were built. And for those who moved in from the projects? The change of address didn’t solve all their problems, but it did make their lives safer, cleaner and measurably better.

Last month, the Obama administration announced that it would put teeth behind a policy making federal housing funds conditional on a city’s demonstrated efforts to reduce housing segregation. It won’t be easy. 
Already in Westchester County, not far north of Yonkers, local politicians are sounding exactly like those here in the 1980s. Ordered to build 750 units of affordable housing in 31 of its wealthiest, whitest towns, Westchester’s county executive, Rob Astorino, staged a photo op at Hillary Clinton’s front gate in Chappaqua, warning: “This is happening right here in Westchester County, and if you live in Ohio, if you live in Florida, if you live in Maine — wherever you live in the United States — you are next.” 
But if there is a new commitment from the federal government, and the longstanding but deeply frayed rules are actually (and finally) enforced, then perhaps the legacy of Yonkers can be more than Pyrrhic. Maybe we’re a few steps further along than we thought.

Tuesday, August 25, 2015

The Men in Blazers with David Simon

The Men in Blazers Show: David Simon Interview

I've been getting into Premier League Football/Soccer via NBCSN and USA. These guys had a funny interview with David Simon who was promoting Show Me A Hero.

Sunday, August 23, 2015

safe assets and the natural rate

My Quiz for Wannabe Keynesians by Roger Farmer

A Tale of Two Natural Rates by Roger Farmer

Farmer disagrees with Krugman who agrees with Williamson.

The Natural Rate Hypothesis: an ideapast its sell-by date by Roger Farmer

Why financial markets are inefficient by Roger Farmer

Wow Farmer predicts a Great Depression. A little alarmist.