Posts Tagged ‘policy’

green hotels

November 16, 2009

Ever got one of those ‘consider the environment’ cards while staying at an hotel? usually it is on your hotel bed or next to the sink in the hotel bath room asking you to consider mother earth?
And unless you throw the towels in the toilet or write a note on the linen they will not be changed?

Ever saw a hotel:

  • Offer you a $1per day discount for accepting a different standard than contracted, reducing their costs, or making earth a better place?
  • Offer you to watch a free movie (minimal variable costs) instead?
  • Offer to make a  donation to a green charity for the costs saved?

time-out from politics for one bill?

November 11, 2008


reminds him of 87, 98

wide spread crises, credit markets are broken

UK policy read and response was much better. US slow and discrete = per event and not a systematic strategy. article in wsj yesterday re bernanki, polson and their disputes = lack of confidence.

with goldman, TARP/polson, proposal was outrageous. CDOs are complicated to price. in his mind, gov’t equity infusions were right. at the right point in the cap structures.

lack of global cooperation, incredibly disappointing. lack of standard mechanism creates unfair advantages. in a time of need of confidence, moves created the opposite. in terms of TARP and coordination

next position?

interesting and difficult times.

firing mangers is essential. returns july/july 07: 28%, 08: 4-5%, double digit negative. liquidity! tough to generate.

everyone has better opportunities in front of them today, than 6 or 18 months ago. compelling opportunities in credit markets. ones without duration.

altria (philllip morris) t.+6%,  and protection on debt is 1%. should be same. some debt is at 20% 3-4 years of maturity. banks is 60%.

how improbable is the economic armagaddon. nice fiscal stimulus. chinese, obama

looking for stability, or gov’t guarantee to move out of Tbills into market money funds. would like to see unlimited liabilities guarantee. govt needs to stimulate private and move out.

insurance mechanism rather than direct. charge for participation, penalty box for defaulting as a money manager.

banking lobby is strong. banks hate money market funds. that did makeit to the TARP bill. so banks will not let this happen. then, bill was filled with garbage. time-out from politics for one bill

Change. first slowly, then suddenly

November 4, 2008


today the US of A will vote for its first black president. ever.

few would have believed it as little as a year ago.

forty years ago, in the 1968 olympics, 2 athletes, Smith and Carlos, overtly challanged class power in the US. with a short, simple, silent, non-violent Black Power Salute. they were brave, but not liked. 40 years later, within their lifetimes, their previously scorned expression is now viewed as a brave statement.

They received their medals shoeless, but wearing black socks, to represent black poverty. Smith wore a black scarf around his neck to represent black pride. Carlos had his tracksuit top unzipped to show solidarity with all blue collar workers in the U.S. Furthermore, Carlos wore beads which he described “were for those individuals that were lynched, or killed that no-one said a prayer for, that were hung and tarred. It was for those thrown off the side of the boats in the middle passage.”

Today is a day of change

Too many hopes on the unproven shoulders of Obama. will he be able not to disappoint?

Yet, it is important to understand what Obama has already achieved.

Many american blacks voted for the first time in their lives. Lines in the Dixwell neighborhood of new haven today were very long. i suspect we will here more reports about people standing in line for hours, especially hispanic and afro-american neighborhoods, especially in ‘red’ states or districts, but also in very poor ‘blue’ neighborhoods.

things take time to change. the world changes slowly, then suddenly

Today the american republic has become more democratic (and Democratic). many first time voters by virtue of age, many first time voters by virtue of hope and participation. So

  • 220 years after the 3/5th compromise, (in which black slaves counted as 60% of a person for purposes of distribution (not collection) of taxes and apportionment of congressional power to each state),
  • 150 years since the civil war and black suffrage obtained through the XV amendment.
  • 40 years since the civil rights movement lead by Martin Luther King,

today, for many who have suffered for long, is the beginning of an age of hope.

and disappointment.

a new era has begun. perhaps enough change and good is achieved within a reasonable time period, despite great challenges.

but even if not, today is a great proof that all men are created equal.

land of the free and home of the brave.

a model for policy making

November 3, 2008

US elections, statistics, internet

key takeaways:

  • single dimension of political mapping. in the US 1 axis is enough to map the political system.
  • Duverger’s Law – effective number of candidates is district number + 1 = 2 in US. that is why there is just a 2 candidates per territory. this explains 2 party per district, but why 2 all across.
  • internet as new media – people expose themselves more to what they believe rather than plurality. so there is polarization.


policy making:

a spatial model on policy making, single dimension:


  • actors have preferences on the spectrum. when they take action, they do it purely on how far they are away from an ideal point.
  • the median voter ideal point is mapped on the spectrum
  • another point on the spectrum is the status quo
  • assume one chamber, majority role, median voter tilts majority.
  • every bill will move towards the median voter position
  • president has veto, his ideal vote is p, can be over-ridden by member O, 66th on the spectrum
  • any movement away from president beyond O, will be vetoed. if the distance from O to bill is less then O to status-quo, veto will be overturned.
  • the median voter is the agenda setter and they determine how the bill will be proposed
  • introduce: filibuster: 40th most and 60th most conservative member. (because of Cloture). so bill has to be between point 40 and 60.

so have the following points. P president, F1and F2 for filibusters, Sq, status quo, C for median voter. B, the bill has to be, between F1 and F2 and extend to O66 (or O33) towards the president.

during election the following change, P, potentially dramatically, and some movement in points of congress (initally assume no change). still F1 and F2, change. if obama takes, P swings from right to left, F1 does not change much as democrats will not lose a lot of sits in the senate, and F2 will move considerably to towards left. F2 will actually move from republican to democrat.

so changes will change according, new SQ range. depends on P and F60 (which relates).


now spectrum can be changes according to public opinion, (desire to be re-elected), money and power

surprisingly, one dimension predicts very well. liberal vs conservative.

there is more delegation to president re foreign policy

gary cox has some books on strategic voting