Russ Roberts writes,

Who really writes the latest financial regulations, where the devil is in the details? Who has a bigger incentive to pay attention to their content — financial insiders such as the executives of large financial institutions or you and me, the outsiders? Why would you ever think that the regulations that emerge would be designed to promote international stability and growth rather than the naked self-interest of the financial community?

He says he is channeling me, but I am only channeling Murray Edelman.

Incidentally, a reader forwards me a question:

what do you think it would it take for the Federal Reserve to break up the largest financial institutions?

I think that the insider-outsider distinction gives you that answer. The only thing that would surprise me more than the Fed breaking up the big banks would be the Fed abolishing itself. Only an act of Congress could force the breakup of the big banks.

The WSJ blog has a nice chart showing that housing is still way below par in terms of its contribution to GDP. I predict that the housing depression will end as soon as the government ceases its clumsy efforts to prevent foreclosures. If we had not had these misguided programs, I believe that the market would be functioning by now.

Also from the WSJ blog, a claim that web searches are improving the job-matching process. If this is true, then it implies that the DMP model is not really of much help in explaining today’s high unemployment.

Steven Pinker on the decline in violence over history. Self-recommending, as Tyler would say (although he has not used that phrase recently.)[ UPDATE: link fixed. sorry]