Wednesday, July 29, 2009

Exotic Internships

Over at the Tuck Admissions blog they have a post up highlighting T'09 Alex Figueroa's crazy summer internship in Nicaragua.

Alex's weekly blog is worth a visit.

Professor French's Nobel Prize odds

Many have suggested (including Dean Slaughter just this past spring) that professor French may someday end up with The Sveriges Riksbank Prize in Economic Sciences in Memory of Alfred Nobel (the economic Nobel Prize). This is more than just Tuck marketing. Each time a short list of possibilities comes out before the award, Professor French is listed. This is due to his work on asset pricing that he has done with Eugene Fama. Last year, the two were running first and second odds-wise by the British betting firm Labrokes

However, I think there is now a snag. The current backlash against financial economics is not trivial and it is very clear to me that the award is often presented in a "faddish" way. Econ blogosphere is awash with financial economics critics. Felix Salmon, Dani Rodrik, Seeking Alpha, and most vocally Nassim Taleb are all critics of the innovations in financial theory and instruments from the past...lets call it 50 years.

Given the politicization of the award (why would you give the award to Hayek and Myrdal in he same year unless it was for political reasons?), I predict that we will have some non-finance awards for several years. Growth, Trade, Behavioral, and (boringly) Labor economics are probably all that will be on the table for legitimate consideration.

Tuesday, July 28, 2009

Preparing yourself for Tuck: Things that are New Hampshire and Vermont

The best things New Hampshire and Vermont:

Film: In many ways State and Main is the best film to prepare for small town life. The setting is only an hour away from Hanover. Lolita, aside from being Kubrick's first real masterpiece, was set in New Hampshire. Also Super Troopers and Dead Poet's Society.

Books: A Prayer for Own Meany is a must read.

Poetry: I read Robert Frost's New Hampshire off and on before I arrived. I plan on reading much more of it this year.

More later...

IRS agents tail UBS bankers, fake mustaches unconfirmed

This is getting a bit silly

US tax agents are tailing UBS bankers in an attempt to identify who their clients are to determine who may be evading taxes, a Swiss newspaper reported yesterday.US tax agents are tailing UBS bankers in an attempt to identify who their clients are to determine who may be evading taxes, a Swiss newspaper reported yesterday.

There is no doubt in my mind that the IRS would spend $200 million to recover $100 million in missing taxes. Given the costs of recovery, strained international relations, and revealed ineptitute, they might let this go. The optimal amount uncollected taxes is definitely non-zero.

Monday, July 27, 2009

Like being the film critic who gives bad movies good reviews

Deans Slaughter and Hansen, and Professors French, Bernard and La Porta have signed the petition to re-establish the Fed's independence.

I sympathize with the sentiment. I'm certain that don't want Nancy Pelosi making monetary policy, but I think I fall closer in line with Allan Meltzer on the subject when I say "what independence"? The Fed has had a long history of being politicized.

Why this blog exists

Tyler Cowen once suggested to Alex Tabbarok that writing too much vis-a-vis reading may be sub-optimal. The idea that there is a balance between the amount one should read and write struck a chord with me and so I've started this little blog. As this is about my time at Tuck, which will only persist for another year, this is a finite life blog. However, if anyone should stochastically stumble upon it, they may find tid bits of information about Tuck seen through the eyes of a Tuckie.

Yes, the name is cheesy. It's on purpose. You grok?