Weil on Finance: Thomas Piketty Is Everywhere

Jonathan Weil joined Bloomberg News as a columnist in 2007, and his columns on finance and accounting won Best in the Business awards from the Society of American Business Editors and Writers in 2009 and 2010.
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Greetings, kind readers. I'm back from vacation, and back with your daily morning links. Here we go.

Suddenly , Thomas Piketty's name is all over the place .

Steven Erlanger of the New York Times celebrated the liberal French economist and his new book over the weekend, noting favorable mentions by Paul Krugman and Branko Milanovic. Christopher Whalen took shots at Piketty, following on the heels of Kevin Hassett, as did Bloomberg View's own Clive Crook in a column yesterday. So if you're into arguing about economic inequality, get your fill.

John Taylor likes the old normal when it comes to Federal Reserve monetary policy .

The Stanford economist had a good post on his blog over the weekend: "Monetary policy should re-normalize or move back to a predictable rule-like policy that worked in the past, and central banks who have de facto given up some of their independence should take it back." Imagine no QE, I wonder if you can. Click the second link for the wonkier, academic-paper version.

Should you be bearish? Should you be bullish? Other?

In the skeptics' corner, check out John Hussman of Hussman Funds and Jonathan Laing of Barron's. For a look at those who are skeptical of the skeptics, see Barry Ritholtz's most recent Washington Post column and the latest from Ed Yardeni.

There are no new stories , only new writers.

This is an old story, but one that's worth telling again: It's cheap to buy Twitter followers, Facebook friends and other meaningless social-media statistics. New York Times writer Nick Bilton says he bought 4,000 new followers on Twitter for the price of a cup of coffee. (To see how the Times told this same story in August 2012, click here.) So, do any other journalists out there care to admit that they bought their Twitter followers?

The downside of owning a home in a city with a booming real-estate market?

Higher property taxes. This comes from William Selway of Bloomberg News: "Property-tax collections are rising at the fastest pace since the U.S. housing market crash sent government revenue plunging, helping end an era of local budget cuts." But at least there's more money in those cities to hire cops and fix roads again.

Nice Gawker headline here .

It says: "Insanely Rich Reporter Covers White House Meeting of the Insanely Rich." In this instance, the reporter's primary qualification for being invited to the meeting was being an heir to the Johnson & Johnson family fortune.

Violet the Yorkshire Terrier is safe at home again.

From the Daily Record of Parsippany, New Jersey: "A Yorkshire Terrier and a flat screen Samsung television have been safely returned to a Dover woman who reported they were taken Thursday night by a man during their first date, police said Saturday. At 3 a.m. Saturday, the woman called the Dover Police Department to say the dog had been tied, by its leash, to the television and left in the front yard of her Ann Street home, authorities said. The Yorkie appears to be in good health." Phew.

This column does not necessarily reflect the opinion of Bloomberg View's editorial board or Bloomberg LP, its owners and investors.

To contact the author on this story:
Jonathan Weil at jweil16@bloomberg.net

To contact the editor on this story:
James Greiff at jgreiff@bloomberg.net