Tuesday 30 June 2020

Publications, June

Summer is here, and here's this month's breakdown. For more news about my publications, follow my work on Authory and on Twitter.

American Institute for Economic Research
  • [2] 'The Environmentalist's Dream Came True', where I made the commonsense point that despite the largest closure of commercial society in peacetime, emissions did not fall very much. Certainly not enough for environmentalists' most aggressive dreams to be achievable. The craziest experiment they've mused on for years was tried  nobody liked it, and we had almost no positive green changes to show for it. Let's not have more where that came from. 
  • [3] 'Can We Talk About Something Else Now?', another corona rant. Yes, I'm sick of it. Other things matter too  can we please return to talk about those? Zoom out, people. Read a book. Educate yourself. Stop obsessing over this silly virus.  
  • [4] 'Are Humans Naturally Nice?', my review of Rutger Bregman's Humankind: A Hopeful History. This was one of the books I singled out as must-reads for 2020 and I was super excited to finally get my hands on it. But oh, so disappointed. I love the message, I love the writing, the stories, the take-down of famous psychology experiments  but the history sucks. And the econ is absurd. Which made me think the epic things I liked, all in fields I know next-to-nothing about, were perhaps equally sh*t...?
  • [5] 'Don't Mention the Virus', yes, another one. I know, I know, but now I was reflecting over the strange wording I'm increasingly experiencing. People go out of their ways not to mention the virus, but only hint at it. How odd. Are we afraid of it? Sick of it? Afraid that someone else might be out-of-this-world tired of hearing about it?

  • [6] 'Somewhere I Belong – But That's None of Your Business', a much more extensive -- and hostile  review of David Goodhart's book. I really was not happy with a number of things in his book: how is it really any of your concern that your local supermarket sells polish food?
  • [7] 'My Library is Still Sexist', a tongue-in-cheek provocative piece on my reading habits  a follow-up and update to a more incinerating piece from a few years ago. Yes, my growing library is heavily male; and no, that's not a problem. 

Tuesday 2 June 2020

Publications, May

I'm back to spreading my writing around a little more, after some weeks with a heavy focus on covid-19 and AIER.

Hands-down the coolest thing that happened this month was that I was cited, by name in the Financial Times! In an article about cities and the coronavirus, Camilla Cavendish in her column at the FT named me and linked my Sweden-article from a few months back:

Because of it, I was cited in a whole bunch of echo sites in numerous languages. My poor monitoring service went bananas.

Otherwise, here's a round-up of published material:

  • [2] The Rousseauian Myth of a Passenger Pigeon, where I discuss the iconic environmental-decline story of the Passenger Pigeon - the vast natural bounty of North America that mankind in its hunt for forests and riches destroyed. Apparently, that's not the full story! The passenger pigeon was, when colonists started to notice it, an "outbreak population" - a symptom of an ecosystem in complete disarray, as the previously dominant species on the continent (Native Americans) had been eradicated with disease and with colonial warfare. Nothing was left to keep a check on passenger pigeons, and so they multiplied unsustainably. 
    • Translated into Spanish and published at Cato's Spanish-speaking cite "Elcato.org"
    • [4] 'Matt Ridley on Innovation', my review of the great Matt Ridley's latest book How Innovation Works: And Why It Flourishes in Freedom. No words left: just read it. 
    • [5] 'Governments Don’t Have Magic Wands To Ward off Asymmetric Information', where I discuss some reasons for why the "asymmetric information bogeyman is a pretty weak concept. 
    • [6] 'There Will Be No New Bitcoin Man', where I attacked some ideas that prominent bitcoiners often advance. In the Brave New World that bitcoin will remake from the ashes of fiat money bubbling central banks (yes, sarcasm), we will 1) spend less, save more, and use debt less carelessly, 2) be much less bothered by price uncertainty and so be happy to have prices for rents or our wages fluctuate as do portfolio balances:
      "bitcoiners believe that if we just had a better monetary regime, fallen men would see the errors of their fiat ways and reestablish some long-lost monetary Eden"
    That strikes me as unlikely. Fiat monetary regimes are to blame for many things, but not those (or at least not single-handedly). 
    "meat is not the greatest threat to the climate; meat is not a uniform category of emissions, strictly dominated by vegetarian (or vegan) diets; livestock are not a horror, easily and prudently replaced by fields of soy and corn. But ideologues have no patience with nuances like that. It’s “go vegan” or “go home.” It doesn’t matter much what the facts are, as long as The Cause is advanced."
      "If you want to be the one to make decisions about the use of a resource, we have an established system for that: tradeable property rights; If you want to decide whether a plot of land is farmed, deforested, or subdivided for real estate, you must first buy the land. If the archeologists and activists and Aboriginal tribes value the site more than the money offered, giving up the dough is a great gain for them.
    Altogether a pretty good month, with quality and breadth, over quantity concentrated to single outlets. 

    Monday 4 May 2020

    Publications, April

    Premier at Institute for Energy Research, a consistently brilliant outlet that I use a lot in my environmental writing. I'm really happy about this addition and looking forward to hopefully working with the IER staff in the future.

    Apart from that, it's been a month of heavily concentrated writing: AIER and some brief comment on my own Medium page - but a ton of mentions everywhere. The coolest must be that Princeton University Press, publisher of Case and Deaton's Deaths of Despair, added me to their official Reviews page. Holy. Moly.

    • [1] '10,000 Swipes Later', a numerical/personal experience of Tindering in the last few weeks. Not great numbers, but not as awful as I thought either. Still, this app ranks close to the most miserable useless things I've ever encountered (yes, bitterness). 
    • [2] 'The Coronavirus Pandemic is Not Exponential', where I make the commonsensical math claim that the growth of this disease is S-shaped, not exponential. And discuss how rare and how astonishing truly exponential phenomena are in our world. 
    • [3] 'No, Capitalism Did Not Fail', a neat and floridly-written piece laying out how resilient and impressive private enterprise has been during the corona crisis. 
    • [4] 'Prices Should Change in a Pandemic Shutdown', where I argued that as prices contain information about available supply and production capacities and consumer wants, forcing prices not to change when massive things like pandemic shutdowns happen is stupid. Update prices, please, so we can operate on today's information instead of yesterday's. 
      • Republished at WallStreetWindow
      • Shared on News Break, a site I've never heard of. 
      • Picked up by Don Boudreaux's Café Hayek and even got a little paragraph of mine there. I did finish that piece by citing him, so I guess a little reciprocity is OK.  
    • [5] 'Mortality Rates Were Already Rising in America. Why?', where I tried to combine a recount of Anne Case and Angus Deaton's Deaths of Despair with the on-going coronavirus shutdown. There is an economic/social/community connection that I fear: that the sacrifices we do to contain the spread have large unintended consequences, some part of them being Deaths of Despair. That future won't be bright. 
      • Listed on Princeton University PressReview section for Case and Deaton's book. Ye, I'm absolutely stunned:

    • [6] 'The Scandinavian Experiment: Open vs Close', a trade-off piece with lots of provocative heat. I updated my arguments from What Has Sweden Done Right On Coronavirus? by comparing the almost perfect natural experiment of Denmark/Norway vs Sweden along two dimensions. In the media debate right now, the only dimension that matter is NUMBER OF DEAD (only occasionally as a share of population) and once in a while total spread. I placed that analysis in a more economic perspective by adding number of job losses/furloughed workers. As we don't yet have GDP numbers or increases of gov debt, that's the best I can do. When looking at two dimensions instead of one (death matters - but so do losing your job and all the financial and social ills they proxy for), the knee-jerk reaction of most policy-makers of closing their society looks like an exaggeration. As in many things, we should probably be more like Sweden. 
    • [7] 'It's Not Capitalism Bringing Us Deaths of Despair', a follow-up to the Mortality piece above, where I criticized Case and Deaton's surprisingly conspiratorial explanation for why working class Americans have been killing themselves in troves. Health care capitalism did it, the authors claim, in an explanation that makes very little sense. Really, now...
    • [8] 'Individual Freedom Works for Disease Mitigation, says WHO', a short piece where I noted the comment by Michael Ryan at the WHO that Sweden is a model for how to deal with pandemics. For illustration, then, I showed how the Swedish daily deaths had long since peaked, and that apples-to-apples comparison between the U.S. and Sweden (not country-level, but epicenter/metropolitan comparison) should be between New York City and Stockholm. In that light, NYC fares worse.  
    Institute for Energy Research (IER)

    Wednesday 1 April 2020

    Publications, March

    Another solid month with great material. Corona madness has meant that I have had a lot of interesting material to engage with while I keep working through my book list for 2020.

    Happy reading.

    • [1] 'Feeling Good, Not Doing Good', my biggest problem with the environmental movement: they're not really about improving people's lives - they're about feeling good about themselves. In this piece I discuss John Tierney's suburb essay "The Perverse Panic over Plastic"
    • [2] 'Debt vs Government Cash Assistance', a quick and simple comment on so-called stimulus packages following Corona panic: just send cash. Not to "stimulate demand" or some such nonsense, but to fulfil financial obligations taken while presuming a stable future income. Financial insurance for those who most need it; no need for partisanship or complicated loan structures - just send cash. 
    Notes on Liberty
    • [3] '13 Books for 2020 - What a Year!', where I go through the books I'm most excited about for this year. I've already finished two of them, working on a third. I'll come back around discussing these themes, authors and titles as the year progresses. 
    "Killing animals in places where property rights over animals have been established doesn’t actually decimate the species. Instead it usually provides the financial incentive to keep more of them alive"
    • [6] 'The Fed and the Mad Urge to Do Something', a comment on the Fed's second round of emergency stimulus. Crazy - and probably to very little avail. Take-away message: we're done, Treasury. It's on you from now on.  
    • [7] 'The Insoluble Perils of Prediction', where I married my love for writing about failed predictions with counter-signaling the most hysterical of commentators right now. Collateral damage = the ever-gloomy Nouriel Roubini whose clever-sounding predictions were so majestically debunked. Not that he noticed, of course, claiming that he predicted this and that his advice going forward are amazing and impressive. Bitch, please. 
      • Translated and re-published into French (New language, I believe) at the French silver firm CGSP.
    • [8] 'Brazilians Should Keep Slashing Their Rainforest', exactly that - plotting economic well-being against deforestation in some ~135 countries, showing that Brazil is pretty much exactly where we'd expect it to be given its economic development. Indeed, as Brazil's North, where the Amazon is, is much poorer than its urban South, it would make a lot of sense for them to keep slashing relatively unproductive rainforest for more productive agricultural/logging purposes. Also: 
    "It's fair to say that almost everyone wants to preserve nature – but that nobody wants to do it at the expense of their children going cold or hungry. For quite a lot of the world’s remaining poor, planting trees isn’t their main priority – and shouldn’t be.
    Let poor countries grow rich, and in due course they will, too, look after their forests."

    A wonderful month of lots of cool and unfortunate development. Looking forward to April.

    Monday 2 March 2020

    Publications, February

    Glad to report that February saw my first publication at the British site CapX  and a very snarky, anti-bitcoin piece at that. A second piece at HumanProgress, where I got to discuss CPI in economic history. Lovely!

    For the rest of the month: Stats, Harry Potter, Finance & Environmentalism and, of course, a little bit of crypto towards the end of it. Another decent month.

    If you like my work, consider supporting it at Buy Me a Coffee and follow my work at Twitter.

    • [1] 'No Matter the Facts, Bitcoiners Cling to the Crypto Creed': fiat's average life-span is 27 years? Nop. Bitcoin's volatile exchange rate falls with scale? Nop. Bitcoin a better transfer of value across the globe? Nop. None of these facts matter: crypto enthusiasts maintain their creed: "Facts, truth, reality, or science are archaic ideals unsuited to an era of bitcoin supremacy."
    • [3] 'Three Phases of My Personal Finance Journey', where I outlined Richest Man in Babylon creed - always pay yourself first - and how that advice has led me to where I am today. I also featured a shout-out to two of my greatest (non-fictional!) sources of inspiration: DividendMantra and Lundaluppen. 
    • [4] 'Feeling Good, Not Doing Good' a rather vicious piece on environmentalists, fuelled by the excellent John Tierney's "The Perverse Panic over Plastic." Read at your own peril. 
    • [5] 'Making a Living as a Freelancer', a comprehensive outline of my earnings, taxes and expenses over the last 6-7 months, where I always compared benefits of this #nomad lifestyle of mine to the next-best option. I included some discussion of what would entice me to give this up and settle for a Regular Job.
      Notes On Liberty: (see all my posts here)
      • [6] 'The Least Empathic Lot', where I discuss three cool topics: male-female divides, empathy & Jonathan Haidt's moral foundations, and libertarianism!
      American Institute for Economic Research (all my pieces here)
      • [7] 'All Hail Statistics!', a stats-loving piece on a) how empathy can lead us astray, and b) how statistics can help us counteract the very biases and moral mistakes that empathy induce us towards. 
      • [8] 'Search Engines Are Better Than Hogwarts', ah! Man, do I love my cheesy pop-culture pieces. Here's another one: sufficiently advanced technology is indistinguishable from magic, said Arthur C. Clarke. Mhm. And I'm saying that search engines  those magnificent technologies that allow us unlimited access to the sum total of humanity's knowledge  trumps even the magical world of J.K. Rowling's fictional world. 
      • [9] 'The Implausible Claims of Green High Finance', where I discuss green bonds, central banks supporting the *Green Revolution*, and various fund managers and banks around the world signaling their greenwashing virtue. Next bubble: the ESG bubble!
      • [10] 'Are All Cryptocurrencies Pyramid Schemes?', a cheeky piece where I make two claims, at least one of which is bound to annoy everyone I know: (1) all cryptocurrencies are pyramid schemes; (2) that's a trivial statement as all moneys, property and valuable items  like pyramid schemes  rely for their value on the ability to offload them later to another person. 
      Stay tuned and enjoy!

      Friday 31 January 2020

      Publications, January

      Welcome to the next decade! Exciting, isn't it?

      There are some minor changes here too. From now on, I'll post some of my work on Medium particularly work that didn't fit anywhere else or re-edited tweetstorms. I begin, timely enough, with reviewing my best and most important pieces during 2019.

      In terms of quantity, this Medium addition helped - and made it fairly easy to hit the November record of 11.

      Next month, my recent attempts of branching out should be paying off. We'll see!


      Notes On Liberty: (see all my posts here)
      • [5] 'A Lesson in Inventing Your Own Statistics', a typically snarky Joakim-esque piece about economist Daniel Lacalle and his recent attempt at making shit up. No thanks. Contrary to common belief, you can't prove whatever you want with statistics. I mean, you can invent numbers and pretend they're real, but that doesn't really do much, does it? 
        • Claire Jones at Financial Times' Alphaville site appreciated the piece enough to put it in that week's Further Reading - magnificently titled "SIWOTI: Riksbank Edition."
      American Institute for Economic Research (all my pieces here)
      • [6] 'The Hobbit Teaches That We Can't Eat Money', inspired by some holiday LOTR and Hobbit-watching, here's a serious point – and silly mistake – that humans, dwarfs and elves alike make in the last Hobbit movie. When your productive capacity is destroyed, say, after a dragon decimates your village, why would you ever turn to a treasure trove of gold coin for your salvation? Surely, you need to rebuild your societies – as in rebuild your lost capital, make new houses or shelter and quickly get some food. Since we can't eat gold, the treasures of Erebor does nothing for the humans who survived Smaug's attack. Being pretty isolated in the middle of a vast and mountainous area means you couldn't even get real goods from cities or other civilizations far away; your people would die before the goods acquired by gold would reach you. 
      • [7] 'Was Bitcoin the Best-Performing Asset of the Decade?', where I investigated this peculiar 9,000,000% return-argument that seem to be popping up left and right. Perhaps bitcoin was the best-performing asset of the 2010s, but that's statistically trivial as it started from a very, very low base and – more crucially – the suggested prices at the beginning of the decade of $0.07 dollars etc, were not exactly readily available for anybody to buy. That is, there was almost no way anybody could have accessed bitcoin at those prices (in stark contrast to other high-performing assets like Netflix's or Amazon's or Monster's stock, which were publicly listed and tradeable for all). 
      • [8] 'When Perfect Correlations Dissolve Into Dust', where I use some examples from Tyler Vigen's wonderful site 'Spurious Correlations' before illustrating that even the much-hyped yield curve is probably just another such correlations where some numbers happened to align. 
      • [9] 'Should We All Be Flying Less?', a mildly misleading title as I wasn't really assessing that question, but rather telling a story that illustrates the hidden order or airline industry: flying useful, efficient and beneficial routes (reasonable opinion) sometimes require airlines to fly inefficient and less-beneficial routes (seemingly unreasonable opinion) for the simple reason that they need to move the planes in the opposite direction. And some Taleb-esque redundancy stuff. 
      • [10] 'The Economics of Price and Quantity Signals', a comparison between the price signals that economists often use to illustrate markets' impressive ability to convey information - and the quantity of goods and services demanded and sold, as this similarly acts as a signal for entrepreneurs to follow. 
      Mises Institute (see all my writing here)

      Tuesday 31 December 2019

      Publications, December

      Beating November's outpouring (11 articles) was always gonna be hard. For December, I focused on branching out a little bit  adding more outlets to my repository. Despite lots of rejections, I have some valuable trails to work on.

      Travels and Christmas holidays interrupting, I only managed seven publications from December.

      Human Progress: 
      Notes On Liberty: (see all my posts here)
      • [2] 'Confessions of a Fragilista: Talebian Redundancies and Insurance', some reflections from my Taleb spree (see here, here and here) put together into one. It deals with the silly point that insurance is a wasted resource, which Taleb correctly ridicules, and the clash between optimization and redundancies. 
        • While this precise piece only made it into Brandon's nice NoL-review list (and way-too-nice praise) in a roundabout way, many other of my most cherished NoL pieces did. I really appreciate the platform and the kinds of topics I get to explore there. I quote these very nice words in full as they absolutely define me: 
        • "[Joakim] is also beginning to bud as a cultural commentator, too, as you can probably tell from his sporadic notes on opinions [and yes, there are some really great pieces in that series!]. Joakim wants a more rational, more internationalist, and more skeptical world to live in. He’s doing everything he can to make that happen."
      American Institute for Economic Research (all my pieces here)
      • [3] 'Technology Has Made Flexible Work Possible, and That’s Wonderful', where I was pushing back against Izabella Kaminska's FT piece about Uber a few weeks back. She misidentifies trends in the labor market and she forgets the wonders that technology have brought in reducing transaction costs. We should cherish that, not lament it. 
      • [4] 'Jim Simons and his Quants', where I reviewed Greg Zuckerman's latest book, about Jim Simon's firm Renaissance Technologies. For those less-nerdy about finance, RenTech's fund Medallion is considered to be the most profitable hedge fund ever - and how they make their returns has always been clouded in secrecy. Zuckerman does a great job describing the life of Simons and this many colleagues, interviewing countless of old business partners, employees and friends. We don't quite get an explanation for how Simons managed to beat the markets for so long, but we get some hints. Lovely book
        • I received a lot of good feedback from this, for which I'm very grateful!
        • Re-published on Actionable Insight
      • [5] 'What Is Money? It's All About Liquidity', where I argue that money is all around us: gift cards, airplane miles, Uber credits and company-specific cashbacks. While notionally described in "U.S. dollars," this is merely an accounting practice - we could transact in Uber money or Amazon cash, and indeed most airlines allow you to purchase things with acquired miles already, priced and available in those units. "Money is what money does", the old saying goes, and current money does all kinds of things. 
      • My two-pronged piece on Carbon Taxes included
        [6] 'Troubles in the Economists' Case for a Carbon Tax', which was strikingly similar to something my AIER colleague Phil Magness had written about a year ago
        • The most strange rendition of this piece was the audio-version at AIER. My words, created in a written format, sound very strange as they are read back to me. 
        • The site "Pun Salad" discussed it and voiced the common-sense point that revenue-neutral carbon tax schemes allow people to consume their previous bundle, and so won't have any effect. While that's right, it's not quite the full story: as relative prices have changed, I am still disincentivized from consuming goods where the carbon tax applies. 
      • [7] 'More Good Arguments Against a Carbon Tax', where I delve down into the three major reasons carbon tax don't make sense: (1) Perspective: econ growth swamps everything else - including even the worst estimates of climate damage. Whatever trouble the climate gives us, riches and wealth and innovation (you know, standard capitalism) can help us. (2) Externalities are strange, and I wonder why the Pigouvian club jumped on carbon emissions and not some other more profound externality - or, you know, subsidize all the wonders of the world, say my pretty face. Intellectually carries the exact same weight as carbon taxing does. (3) Realism, please. The big conclusion from Public Choice economics over the last few decades is that shit doesn't play out the way some idealizing economist imagines. Nice try, hon, but the carbon tax perfectly rebated to the poor isn't gonna work that way, #politics. 
      I'm starting 2019 at the most extreme pace so far, and November's 11-publication may very well be topped. Happy New Years, everyone!

      Saturday 30 November 2019

      Publications, November

      November is over  Almost Christmas! This month saw lots of work with my editing service, but I still managed to churn out some interesting stuff:

      Notes On Liberty: (see all my posts here)
      • [1] 'You're Not Worth My Time', where I offered some opportunity-cost thoughts on the idea that the perspectives and experiences of random people I meet are valuable. I estimated that I have some 60,000 hours left in life for curious intellectual endeavours: given that the full treasure trove of humanity's work on philosophy, economics, or literature, I simply don't think your half-drunken rant about "bankers", "inequality" or "climate change" is going to cut it. Your unique "perspective" is probably not worth my time. 
      • [2] 'Intellectuals You Should Know About', a piece long in the making, where I originally just wanted to point out one or two intellectuals whose work I believe most people would benefit from – and then it spiralled out of control, ending with 11 different well-known and wonderful writers. Brandon's response was appropriate and added some people I also admire ("why didn't I think of them?!"). If you're wondering what to read for the holidays (or books to gift your loved ones), these two overview posts contain some tips. 
      American Institute for Economic Research (all my pieces here)
      • [3] 'The Real Reason Nobody Takes Environmental Activists Seriously', this piece has everything: fire and fury, bitterness, hypocrites  and turtles!
      • [4] 'What's the Difference Between Michael Burry and Alexander Fordyce?', a follow-up to 'If You Are Early, You Are Wrong' where I elaborate what I mean by *being wrong in financial markets*. I do this by comparing the famous Big Short investor Michael Burry with the very unknown Scottish 18th century investor and banker Alexander Fordyce. They both predicted similar things and put their money behind their conviction. Both were right on paper, but only one escaped hailed as a successful forecaster and investor. 
        • Re-shared at RealClearMarkets, for what I think is my eight appearance on this great site. 
        • Strange comment/twist by Dan Hugger
      • [5] 'Why We Are Getting More For Less', where I review Andrew McAfee's great book More From Less. Completely contrary to common knowledge, economic growth does not rely on us extracting more and more resources from the planet. Indeed, for the past twenty years, the U.S. and UK and most European countries have decoupled their use of resources from their economic growth; our economies keep growing, but our use of materials, metals, agricultural land etc is falling. Surprise! Capitalism is not "wrecking the planet"; it's saving it. 
      • [6] 'Don't Hand Over Your Money to Uncompetitive Banks', which included some anecdotal stuff on how high-street banks screw you over  not only on the up-front fees, but by using seriously uncompetitive rates when exchanging your funds into a different currency. There are solutions.
      • [7] 'The Great Redistribution: Who Benefits from Ruthless Capitalism?', a pretty cool piece where I emphasized three recent instances in which low-interest rate policies and ruthless capitalists benefits consumers  and almost exclusively consumers as these firms happily run their businesses at a loss: the much-lamented venture cap sector, with the plethora of unicorns (most of which are operated at a loss); the airline Norwegian's recent low-cost offering; and the online broker Charles Schwab's recent move to zero-commission stock trading. What these ruthlessly competitive capitalists do is handing over wealth and resources to us consumers. Thank you, kindly!
      Mises Institute (see all my pieces here)
      Finally blowing that old record number of publications/months out of the water! Yes! Let's see what December has in store.

      Thursday 31 October 2019

      Publications, October

      Following last month's exciting change of lifestyle (I launched my freelancing business full-time  check it out!), October has been the first real month of trying my wings. So far, they seem to work.

      Here are all the publications:

      Notes On Liberty: (see all my posts here)
      American Institute for Economic Research (all my pieces here)
      • [3] 'The Mythology of Cantillon Effects', a piece, long in the making. For a while, Austrians' emphasis on so-called "Cantillon effects" (= monetary redistribution) has bothered me a while. I finally found enough time to go through Cantillon's original writing. It turns out not only does every monetary system have Cantillon effects, but Cantillon himself was analyzing an increased money supply coming from gold mines  not money-printing central banks. 
      • [4] 'Gresham's Law Is Not the Reason for the Corruption of Democracy', where I discussed the actual origin of Gresham's Law and the real meaning (no, it doesn't mean anything 'bad' drives out anything 'good'). 
      • [5] 'Yield Curve Inversions Don't Improve Investment Outcomes', a piece that I could have audaciously named "Fama-French vs Harvey"  but then only literature-savvy financial economists would have gotten it. I reported the results that esteemed financial economists (one of which a Nobel Laureate) Eugene Fama and Kenneth French found while investigating the infamously scary inversions of the yield curve: negative relative returns, for 1-, 2-, 3- and 5-year across close to all strategies. In plain English: even if yield curve inversions predict recessions (questionable), switching from stocks to bonds earns you lower returns than simply staying invested in stocks. There is no outperformance by obeying yield curve inversions. 
      • [6] 'The Limits to Hostile Takeovers' So-called Hostile "take-overs" get a bad rap; greedy capitalist investors buy up a company and do all kinds of horrible things to it (like take it apart and sell its subdivisions!), somehow "obviously" destroying wealth in the process. If that's true, I always wondered, why would anybody ever sell? 
      • [7] 'The Rise of Edinburgh, Financial Empire', where I (rather favourably) reviewed Ray Perman's latest book, The Rise and Fall of the City of Money. How could I not like it, 336 pages filled with Scottish financial history?! Banks, insurance companies, financial crises, colourful characters and easy prose. Highly recommended for anyone wanted to get a fairly comprehensive outline of Scottish banks, the 1690s to the present.
      Mises Institute (see all my pieces here)
      On par with my July record of 9 publications in a month, October was as good as can be expected considering the time I spent on editing and proofreading. Next month is going to blow that record out of the water!

      Monday 30 September 2019

      Publications, September

      September was filled with interesting topics (Finance-Finance-Finance-Climate-Monetary History, which pretty much sums up my intellectual life) and at least one interesting development: I have now launched my freelancing business full-time!

      In addition to my writing, I offer copyediting services, proofreading and research assistance. I'm on all the major sites (Fiverr, UpWork, Freelancer) but the easiest way to get in touch with me is to drop me a line at info@joakimbook.com or reach out on Twitter (or contribute to my work via Buy Me a Coffee). All things finance, banking, and money – research reports, blogs or dissertation and manuscripts for journal articles, I'm your guy.

      Despite all the editing work I did this month, I managed the following publications:

      Notes On Liberty: (see all my posts here)
      American Institute for Economic Research (all my pieces here)
      Mises Institute (see all my pieces here)
      While 6 publications is less than the July record of 9, it's still decent all things considered. Overall, a pretty successful month!

      Saturday 31 August 2019

      Publications, August

      August was an intense and heavily concentrated month all writings this month at AIER and Notes On Liberty. Almost exclusively financial history, money and bitcoin!

      Notes On Liberty: (see all my posts here)
      • [1] 'On Translating Earnings From the Past', I illustrated the troubles all economists and economic historians are faced with: how do we show how much a certain sum (income, wage, price) was really worth in the past? Measuringworth.com is a great resource, but be aware of what you're comparing and getting at. 
      • I started a new series that I manage at Notes, 'Financial History to the Rescue', where I attempt to show how a lot of monetary writing on bitcoin does a very poor job in its generalized claims for monetary change. Not to mention erroneously invoking monetary/financial history. The impetus came from the very inspirational debate between Saifedean Ammous and George Selgin at the Soho Forum at the beginning of this month. A few days after the debate, the deep dark corner of the cryptosphere descended upon me. That was fun. Two pieces on Notes: 
      American Institute for Economic Research (all my pieces here)
      Overall, a pretty successful months! It seems like September has some pretty exciting things in store, which I'm definitely looking forward to.