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Liveblogging World War II: February 10, 1943

Noted for February 10, 2013

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  • Jonathan Chait: Republican Moderates Still Totally Gutless: "Mike Allen and Jim VandeHei report that Republican leaders are looking to purge their party of its most unsightly and off-putting elements. But the scale of the task is underscored by this darkly comic passage from their piece: 'One high-profile Republican strategist, who refused to be named in order to avoid inflaming the very segments of the party he wants to silence, said there is a deliberate effort by party leaders to “marginalize the cranks, haters and bigots — there’s a lot of underbrush that has to be cleaned out.”' In order to purge a party of crankish and bigoted sentiments, you would need to identify what those sentiments are. Climate-change denial? Opposition to gay marriage? 'Self-deportation'? Railing against food stamps? Supply-side economics? (Republican economist Greg Mankiw’s textbook once associated the view that tax cuts increase revenue as a myth promulgated by 'charlatans and cranks', but later excised the slur because of the political sensitivities it provoked.) But the moderates in the party can’t openly challenge their crankish and bigoted ideas. Moderate Republicanism is a secret creed — a set of beliefs that is expressed anonymously, but lacks any public standing to openly engage in a battle of ideas within the party. There are plenty of Republicans who secretly disdain the crankish and bigoted ideas that flourish in right-wing media and have come to be accepted as gospel by the rank and file, but there is almost no public questioning of them. The hilarity here is that the strategist felt he needed anonymity in order to denounce 'cranks, haters and bigots'. Apparently, enough Republicans would hear a line like this and think, He’s talking about me! to make it a dangerous sentiment with which to associate oneself."

  • Sarah Kliff: By one measure, we have the best postal service in the world: "Researchers Alberto Chong, Rafael La Porta, Florencio Lopez-de-Silanes, and Andrei Shleifer sent letters to 10 fake addresses in 159 countries…"

  • The Onion: American Citizens Split On DOJ Memo Authorizing Government To Kill Them

  • MCK: Private equity: Adding value?: "Fidelity, the mutual-fund company, offers something that sounds quite similar to PE (buy smaller companies with lots of debt), but without the 2% management and 20% performance fees… the 10-year returns… are significantly higher than the 10-year returns generated by the PE industry on behalf of their limited partners after fees…. In practice, however, the supposedly lower volatility provided by private equity does not really exist. The problem for investors in PE funds is that they cannot easily cash out of their position. This illiquidity means that investors are still exposed to wild swings in value if they ever try to sell their stakes early…. Putting it all together, it is difficult to see why sophisticated investors choose to allocate such large shares of their portfolios to active managers that fail to outperform cheap replicas."

  • Impact: Earth!

  • Alexis C. Madrigal: And Now Let Us Praise, and Consider the Absurd Luck of, Famous Men

  • Mark Carlson: Lessons from the Historical Use of Reserve Requirements in the United States to Promote Bank Liquidity: "Efforts in the United States to promote bank liquidity through reserve requirements, a minimum ratio of liquid assets relative to liabilities, extend at least as far back as the aftermath of the Panic of 1837. These requirements were quite important during the National Banking Era. Nevertheless, suspensions of deposit convertibility and liquidity shortfalls continued to occur during banking panics. Eventually, efforts to ensure that banks remained liquid resulted in a shift away from reserve requirements in favor of a central bank able to add liquidity to the financial system. This paper reviews the issues raised in the historical debates about reserve requirements along with some empirical evidence on banks' holdings of reserves, to provide some insights and lessons that are relevant today. A key lesson is that individual bank liquidity during stress periods is inherently and intricately tied to the liquidity policies of the central bank."

  • 拉普山小種

  • Antonia Quirke: Portrait of a moment: "Clothes in films can be highly evocative. The coat worn by Richard Burton in ‘The Spy Who Came in from the Cold’ represents the mood of an era"

On February 9, 2013: