Esta, vía marginal revolution
...in 1981 Margaret Thatcher cut UK government spending in the middle of a recession, and against the advice of 391 economists that it would worsen the recession, and UK GDP started its recovery the same quarter. In 1991 Ruth Richardson in NZ cut government spending against the advice of 15 economists, and NZ GDP started its recovery the same quarter. There are a number of other cases of expansionary fiscal consolidations, and there's a causal theory to explain why this can happen - see http://ideas.repec.org/p/cpr/ceprdp/417.html (shortly, it's that cutting government spending improves people's expectations about the future of the economy and taxes, so they start investing more right now). Of course, correlation does not prove causation, and perhaps there is something about the EU countries now that is so different as to the cases I cite as to make those results no longer likely to hold, but Krugman writes as if he has forgotten entirely about the 1980s and 1990s.Esta de Deux ex macciato
A rating can be right last year, and wrong today. This is especially true in structured finance, where deals are typically highly robust for a certain level of stress, but then fail catastrophically beyond it. While a corporate bond might degrade slowly; 100, 99, 98, 97, 96; a structured finance deal is more like 100, 100, 100, 100, 40. If the probability of getting the 40 is low enough, the deal can (and often both was and is) be rated AAA. All this shows is the foolishness of trying to encapsulate the whole CDR/CPR risk space in a single letter grade.
Por qué los derechos de propiedad intelectual no son iguales que los derechos de propiedad sobre bienes materiales
"Si tú tienes una manzana y yo tengo una manzana y nos las intercambiamos, seguiremos teniendo cada uno una manzana. Pero si tú tienes una idea y yo tengo una idea y las intercambiamos, cada uno de nosotros tendrá dos ideas"
George Bernard Shaw