Wednesday, January 16, 2013

What I Am Reading And Why

- Dr. Adam Posen, one of the merry band of Neo-Keynesians who spent the latter half of the 1990s and the early 00's slapping around the degraded intellectual descendants of Milton Friedman, suggests that Dr. Paul Krugman's recent much linked-to praise of Abenomics (Link) is off base. While the Abe government's monetary program may be fathomable (Nota bene: Posen was a member of the Bank of England's Monetary Policy Committee from 2009 to 2012) the fiscal stimulus package is at best pointless. (Link)

Dr. Posen does not mention his more famous comrade-in-arms. Nevertheless he is offering Dr. Krugman a friendly hand that the Nobel laureate might pull himself up out of the swamp of Yglesianism (interim definition: "the act of writing about a largely imaginary Japan in an attempt to influence U.S. policy discussions").

Meanwhile, having dug himself into a hole in earlier praise for Abenomics, Matthew Yglesias just keeps on digging. (Link)

- Robert Manning of the Atlantic Council writes a brief background essay (ostensibly as a frame for the emergency visit of U.S. Assistant Secretary of State for East Asia and Pacific Affairs Kurt Cambpell to Seoul and Tokyo -- Link) highlighting one of the factors driving the Chinese government toward more militant behavior in the East and South China Seas: radical overestimation of exploitable hydrocarbon resources. (Link)

Manning's essay showcases the mismatch in between Chinese and non-Chinese estimates of recoverable petroleum in the seas under dispute. Difference in the estimates of recoverable of natural gas are even starker, with Chinese estimates running 125 to 250 times as high as U.S. Geological Service estimates. (Link - tip of the hat to reader JLK)

Anyone think that a fine little bureaucratic quid-pro-quo -- worked out between the Ministry of Land and Resources and the People's Liberation Army against, let us say, the Ministry of Foreign Affairs -- could be a cause of this extraordinary difference of opinion among geologists?

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