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September 11, 2020
J.P. Koning

Citibank’s $900 Million Mistake and the Finality of Payments

“Cases like Citbank’s $900 million mispayment and $846,000 bank drafts stuck in financial limbo make for interesting stories. But keep in mind that the participants in these transactions are the accidental victims of a payments system that provides hard finality. What is unseen is the huge amount of trade that the certainty of hard finality facilitates.” ~ J.P. Koning

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Robert Hughes

Everyday Prices Pushed Higher by Phone Service and Restaurants

AIER’s Everyday Price Index rose 0.1 percent in August as distortions to the economy from lockdowns and other restrictions impacted prices.

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Adam Kissel

Defund, Defund, Defund

“It is unclear how many grant competitions remain to be adjudicated at ED and other agencies, or how much money is at stake. But when schools, colleges, corporations, mayors, and governors say that ‘health and safety are our highest priorities,’ we should take them at their word. None of them should make any fuss when the federal government withholds funding in the name of health and safety. Otherwise, their statements about their priorities would reek of hypocrisy.” ~ Adam Kissel

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Max Gulker

The Myth of Voting One’s Pocketbook

“‘People vote their pocketbooks’ is a misleading and potentially insidious approximation of voter behavior. A better approximation for modern times is ‘People vote for the candidate or party that provides a better story about themselves.’ That can be problematic itself, but when we bring economic performance along for the ride the problems only multiply. Putting our economic fortunes in the hands of politicians is a recipe for division and stagnation, every time.” ~ Max Gulker

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Ethan Yang

The Sturgis Bike Rally, Sensationalist Reporting, and Broken Disease Models

“By reevaluating the methodology used to report on the Sturgis rally, Black Lives Matter protests, anti-lockdown protests, Trump rallies, and so on, we can reach some more productive conclusions. There are certain things that are so significant and the tradeoffs favorable enough that they are worth braving a pandemic, such as Woodstock.” ~ Ethan Yang

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Robert E. Wright

The Great LARP

“Even more distressingly, 2020 is getting even deadlier. Violence, even murder, has increased of late, portending a potential shift from civil war games to actual civil war. And of course our civil liberties and what little fiscal and monetary discipline the federal government had left also died in 2020.” ~ Robert E. Wright

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