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When the gimmicks run out: Part 2, ‘They want us to die’

26 February, 2013 (18:17) | Argentina, Capital markets, Inflation, New York, Pensions, Speculation |

[Continued from yesterday’s Part 1.]   By:David A. Smith                                Yesterday’s post introduced us to New York’s state budget problems (via a this New York Times (December 19, 2012) article), which over the last decade or so have been covered up with ‘fiscal gimmicks,’ all of which have now been exhausted – all but one, […]

When the gimmicks run out: Part 1, whims of the financial markets

25 February, 2013 (17:34) | Argentina, Capital markets, Inflation, New York, Pensions, Speculation |

By:David A. Smith   Though you cannot fix a solvency problem with financing, that doesn’t stop people from trying – especially elected officials.  Perhaps they’re unable to visualize or to believe in the insolvency to come, or perhaps they know their term of office will be shorter than the time horizon when the gimmicks finally […]

If you can’t beat ‘em, build ‘em: Part 2, we fought George III on that

22 February, 2013 (09:00) | Affordable Housing, Chapter 40B, Development, Hingham, Inclusionary zoning, Local issues, MEEs, NIMBY, Rental, Zoning | 1 comment

By:David A. Smith   [Continued from yesterday’s Part 1.]   Yesterday’s post began with the happy ending – eight new homes, two of which are affordable and all eight of which will count as affordable, being developed in bucolic Hingham, Massachusetts, as reported by Jessica Bartlett (who’s covered these developments from the beginning) in a […]

If you can’t beat ‘em, build ‘em: Part 1, sully our aesthetic?

21 February, 2013 (16:12) | Affordable Housing, Chapter 40B, Development, Hingham, Inclusionary zoning, Local issues, MEEs, NIMBY, Rental, Zoning |

By:David A. Smith   As the purpose of laws and money (the two products of our government factories) is to reshape ecosystems and hence to reorient and change market participation behavior, they need to be judged not principally at inception but when the ecosystem has been remade and is in equilibrium, with the ecosystem’s creatures […]

The specter of hyperinflation

20 February, 2013 (09:30) | Capital markets, Currency, Democracy, Dictatorship, Economics, Egypt, Housing, Hyperinflation, Inflation |

By:David A. Smith   Having worked in Egypt multiple times over the last eight years, I have good professional colleagues and friends in Cairo, so I’ve followed attentively the nation’s turmoil after newly elected President Mohammed Morsi started his campaign of grabbing power.  Whatever the politics of it (and I’ve been in the Middle East […]