James Wimberley

Bandit Cable

Last month the Rio police, supported by marines in armoured cars and a cloud of TV cameras, stormed the Rocinha favela, unopposed by the drug traffickers. Behind the media theatre, the policy of reoccupation seems to be working. Police stations are followed by social services. Tourists and banks are venturing in. Shopkeepers don´t have to… Read more »

Jane Austen Offers Advice to Italy

The Reinhart-Rogoff paper on the history of debt crises has been boiled down to a self-fulfilling bond-vigilante creed that countries with a debt-to-GDP ratio of over 100 percent (like Italy and Greece today) have entered a zone of trouble. Maybe so. But how then did Britain in 1815 manage a postwar debt-to-GDP ratio that is… Read more »

The Past Is a Foreign Country

They did things differently there. A scary chart from the US Energy Information Administration (via Ezra Klein): The problem is, it’s rubbish, at least as far as renewables are concerned. What they did was lazily take the past growth rate for all renewables (about 3 percent) and project it into the future. The past of… Read more »

Debt Ceiling Hostage Crises Forever?

Senator McConnell gloats over the new template – debt ceiling hostage crises forever, every time there’s a GOP majority in the House or 40 senators for a filibuster, until every Republican dream is fulfilled. (via Ezra Klein): This is just the first step. This, we anticipate, will take us into 2013. Whoever the new president… Read more »

The Axis of Ostriches

A map in a report on the climate negotiations by the Smith Institute at Oxford University (page 3) rates countries by their commitment to reducing carbon emissions: Making all the caveats – the rating is a bit subjective, and applies to public policy stances not actual achievements – the isolation of the USA is remarkable…. Read more »