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Reuven Brenner

How government destroys parenthood: Reuven Brenner

Wed, 2016-03-30 14:06

Learning from their whooping crane failure?

Birth rates in western countries have declined to far below replacement levels of 2.1. Why did these countries’ last few generations give up having kids?

Source Site: /desautels

How Donald Trump became Adam Smith’s street-fighting man

Wed, 2016-03-16 14:18

Despite being an icon of economic liberty, Smith did not think that government intervention was always bad: it depended on the circumstances

Source Site: /desautels

Forget What Trump Can Do, Voters Likely Won't Allow It

Thu, 2016-03-03 13:38

What are the main issues that David Cameron negotiated with the EU and put up for the coming referendum?

Source Site: /desautels

Negative rates, deficits and defaults

Mon, 2016-02-15 13:39

Japan’s, the US’s and Europe’s central banks and governments continue to fly by the seat of their pants, since none of their policies restored prosperity since the 2008 crisis.  Incomes stagnate, labor force participation is at historical lows, and though measured unemployment dropped, the fact that there are no pressures whatsoever on compensations suggests that the decline in unemployment rates no longer signals better times.  In Canada, the drastic drop in prices of natural resources and the value of debt backing that industry has brought particular shock-waves to finance, insurance, and

Source Site: /desautels

Australia’s top court decides in favor of trade detention centers

Wed, 2016-02-10 13:16

On a flight back from Moscow in 1992, following meetings with parliament members and the late Mr. Yegor Gaidar, then finance minister, I wrote up the tongue-in-cheek conversation I had with them at the time, when they all complained about Russia having only its natural resources to sell.  Please bear with me how this episode is linked to Australian highest court recent decision to export “asylum seekers” to detention centers in Nauru, a minuscule, isolated island with few thousand inhabitants in the midst of the Pacific.

Source Site: /desautels

What do shareholders ‘own’?

Mon, 2016-02-08 13:52

During a recent roundtable, I was startled when a participant brought me a recent Financial Times (Nov. 10, 2015) article, titled “Shareholders think they own the company – they are wrong,” subtitle elaborating “So whose is the business? No one’s, just like the river Thames.” Eh?

Source Site: /desautels

Why ‘behavioral economics’ is neither ‘behavioral,’ nor ‘economics’

Fri, 2015-12-18 11:02

Written by Reuven Brenner

Over the years, some economists carried out laboratory experiments and argued that people are inconsistent in ways they assess risks and probabilities. They concluded that it is misleading to rely on other economists’ view of risk, and that economics cannot be separated from psychology. This field of study is known today as “behavioral economics” (Kahneman and Tversky its founders), which, as briefly shown here, is neither “behavioral,” nor “economics,” nor makes sense.

Source Site: /desautels

What if economists applied their own theories — to themselves?

Fri, 2015-12-18 10:20

Written by Reuven Brenner

George Akerlof’s and Robert Shiller’s (Nobels in economics) new book, titled Phishing for Phools: The Economics of Manipulation and Deception declares on its first page that people “do not do what is really good for them; they do not choose what they really want.” It appears that a main preoccupation of economists – the self declared “behavioral economists” prominent among them – is to show how dumb people are as consumers and in assessing risks.

Source Site: /desautels

France's national suicide

Thu, 2015-11-19 09:56

Over at Asia Times, I argue that France will do nothing in response to the Paris massacres but round up the usual suspects. 

Source Site: /desautels

Canadian elections: Why did inexperience triumph?

Fri, 2015-10-30 11:30

Article written by Professor Reuven Brenner

As in the United States, Canadians voted for “Hope and Change” on Oct. 19, 2015.

These are exactly the words Justin Trudeau, the 43-years old elected head of the Liberal party, repeatedly used in his victory speech in both English and French.  I could not avoid wondering if Mr. Trudeau’s team used the same public relations firm that Mr. Obama used in his first campaign, or if he just borrowed the slogans.  

Source Site: /desautels