Costs of the War in Iraq

Most analyses of the cost of the war in Iraq fail to take adequate account of the relevant counter-factuals. This paper by academics at the University of Chicago GSB is a notable exception. They conclude that not only are the costs of intervention on a par with the pre-war containment strategy, but that the war will lead to large improvements in the welfare of the Iraqi people.
(via DBRB)

True Confessions of Bill Emmott

The FT interviews the (thankfully) retiring editor of sister publication, The Economist:
One of his most embarrassing covers, according to Emmott, was in March 1999, about a subject that should have been simple Economist territory: the price of oil. It had its roots in a lunch with an oil company executive, where everybody started musing that, with the oil price at $10, what would happen if it fell to $5? A cover saying that the world was drowning in oil, and noting the possibility of a fall in the oil price, duly appeared. But before the end of the year the price had more than doubled. “It was most embarrassing,” he says candidly.
There was also that 2 December 2004 leader on “The disappearing dollar” that said “the [US] dollar could tumble further and further.” The end of 2004 proved to be a major cyclical low for the USD. Contrarian indicators don’t come much better.

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