Monday Misc and Stuff

  1. My animus towards Section 230 is about its central tendency, which has been to eliminate from the profit-and-loss statement very real diseconomies of scale associated with interpreting and curating speech well. Given the reality of network effects, eliminating these countervailing diseconomies has bequeathed to us a consolidated information sphere, dominated by massive platforms whose incentives are to promote engagement rather than high quality deliberation. [Interfluidity]
  2. Today there are more city dwellers in Kenya than there were in all of Africa in 1950 [Twitter]
  3. “And that’s fine–we always laughed at them as slightly clueless toffs, not realizing (or wanting to admit) that their field is largely a battle of normative opinions, without any quasi-objective touchstone or clearly right or wrong answers. In contrast, we can point to things like express deadlines and numerical ratios that must be maintained and efficiency principles like “least cost avoider”. That’s what’s made the Supreme Court’s recent jurisprudence so delicious–it shows what every non-con law scholar has long known–that con law is as much politics as it is law. There was a certain joy in watching the con law field realize that the emperor had no clothes. But there’s karma in the universe, and Silicon Valley Bank is sticking it right back the banking law scholars. I don’t usually teach the core prudential regulation banking law class, but I really feel for colleagues who do. The response to Silicon Valley Bank is banking law’s Dobbs moment. In 2010, in the wake of the 2008 crisis, Congress erected an enormous legal edifice to govern financial institutions–the Dodd-Frank Act. And we saw in the course of a weekend that it was all an expensive and wasteful Potemkin village.” [Credit Slips]
  4. With footloose petrodollars, every story is an oil story. [Twitter]
  5. Chinese media and Africa [Foreign Policy]
  6. Inflation take 1: “Given the nature of the economy as a network of input-output relations, once an environment of price-raising has been established throughout firms along the value chain, all firms have continual justification for further price hikes to offset costs. If firms with sufficient market power in systemically significant sectors continue not only to propagate but to amplify cost increases, one can imagine a self-sustaining ‘price-price’ spiral persisting. Furthermore, if labor manages to overcompensate for its losses and increase its share in national income in response to price hikes during the conflict stage, this can create another impulse in the form of a new cost shock that restarts the propagation process, as firms react again by protecting profit margins through price increases. [FT Alphaville]
  7. Inflation take 2: Raise taxes, not rates [Slow Boring]
  8. “It’s a war for the dollar—and the big banks. The rest of us better hold on tight.” [James K. Galbraith]

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