Baum's View on Money

 Here's your daily dose of what I'm reading.

Good morning, all. Here's your daily dose of what I'm reading.

What's a Nobel prize in economics really worth?

Not much, using citations as a metric. The general pattern seems to be a small boost in the winner's citation count after the Swedish Academy bestows the prize. Then it tails off. For academics, I gather citations are key. I suspect some of the free-market Nobel laureates would be more interested in how to monetize the prize.

Just when you thought austerity was toast...

The euro zone emerges from an 18-month recession. The authorities in Brussels gave credit to structural reforms and austerity measures. Here I thought austerity, as a doctrine, had been banished from the realm after economists uncovered a small computational error in Reinhart and Rogoff's eight centuries of data on financial crises.

When was the last time you saw "U.S. economy" and " dynamism " in the same sentence?

A 2010 study by the Kauffman Foundation found that business start-ups, not small businesses in general, are the sole source of job creation in the U.S. Now a new Kauffman study gets more specific. It turns out that not all start-ups are created equal. It's high-tech start-ups -- defined as industries with a high concentration of employees in science, technology, engineering and math -- that play an outsized role in job creation. The next time your kids come to you for advice in choosing a college major, you will know what to tell them.

As if you needed to hea r this again

The U.S. federal budget deficit is shrinking; that's good. The long-term debt outlook isn't any better; that's bad. And Congress, in its infinite wisdom, is focusing on the wrong things: the one-third of the budget that is subject to annual appropriations (and which will shut down the government on Sept. 30 unless lawmakers take action). The rise in health-care spending as a share of the budget and the interest on the debt, once interest rates normalize, are the real threats. If President Obama is interested in a better deal for the middle class, he should start focusing on its future now.

Who said taper ?

It's been a relatively quiet week on the Federal Reserve speaking circuit. Yesterday, James Bullard, president of the St. Louis Fed and a born-again dove, gave a PowerPoint presentation titled, "An Update on the Tapering Debate." Bullard hasn't made up his mind on how he will vote on tapering asset purchases at the Fed's September meeting. He would like to see more data; there is no shortage of data, ever. He urged caution, saying the Fed's forecasts have been consistently too optimistic. Hey, he said it, not me!

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