Black American kids are cheaper

Did you know it is, in average, $8,000 cheaper to adopt a black baby than a white one? And that boys are cheaper by $2,000?

Discount babies

THE market is not politically correct. It often assigns lower values to humans (their wages) based on their race or sex, even after controlling for education and experience. It’s just as cruel to children. A few years ago I was disturbed to learn that it’s cheaper to adopt black American children than white. I recently had lunch with NYU Stern School economist Allan Collard-Wexler, who has estimated adoption price sensitivity. He found just how much adoption fees are sensitive to the race and gender of a baby. It’s about $8,000 cheaper to adopt a black baby than a white or Hispanic child and girls tend to cost about $2,000 more than boys.

What can explain the preference for non-black girls? The preference for girls is interesting because people tend to favour male biological children. The authors speculate this may be because girls are considered “safer” in terms of dysfunctional behaviour. The data also includes same-sex couples, which tend to favour girls (both male and female partners), even more than heterosexual couples. (Source: The Economist)

Ah, sensitive issues. Still interesting though.

How companies are stolen in Russia

Bill Browder, MBA ’89, founder and CEO, talks about Hermitage Capital Management’s investments in Russia and the fall out from the widespread corruption that still pervades Russia’s economy. Recorded Oct. 22, 2009

Hermitage CEO Browder: Don’t Invest in Russia Today

Thought-provoking. If you have an hour to spare, you should watch this video.

Why government throws in money to bailout the country

Rachel Maddow explains why to save the economy is to spend money and not to provide tax cuts and so on. Rachel Maddow Show – “…get out of the way of people who are actually trying to save the country.”

Rachel Maddow Show – “…get out of the way of people who are actually trying to save the country.”

  • $1.00 in non-refundable tax rebates results in $1.02 of economic activity
  • $1.00 in infrastructure spending results in $1.59 of economic activity
  • $1.00 in food stamp spending results in $1.73 of economic activity.

USA dropped a stimulus package that is worth some 800 billion. Now I’m actually wondering what’s “bullpucky”, turns out it is a more polite way to say “bullshit”. Hmm… Then don’t say it! It ruins the whole point of using the word “bullshit”, if you can’t say it, don’t.

Porn industry wants a US$5b bailout

Well if the banking industry gets it, why not the porn industry?

Porn Kings to D.C. – Help Us Through Hard Times

Joe Francis and Larry Flynt claim the economy has made America’s sexual appetite go limp, so they’re going to the one place where sex is always rampant — Congress.

Flynt (the “Hustler” guy) and Francis (the “Girls Gone Wild” dude) are asking the government for a $5 billion bailout, claiming the adult entertainment industry has taken a huge shot to the face because of the downturn — citing the fact that XXX DVD sales are down 22% from a year ago.

“With all this economic misery and people losing all that money, sex is the farthest thing from their mind,” Flynt says. “It’s time for Congress to rejuvenate the sexual appetite of America.”

Francis sees his industry like the big three automakers, only BIGGER: “Congress seems willing to help shore up our nation’s most important businesses; we feel we deserve the same consideration.”

Francis says he’s going to D.C. to personally make the pitch. Sounds like someone has a bone to pick. (Source: TMZ)

Of course I’m not suggesting you should bail out the porn industry. But seriously too much money has been poured to the bailout so US$5b for the porn industry? Perhaps this isn’t that significant after all

Man who predicted USSR collapse unconfident of US

The same guy who predicted collapse of USSR, is predicting the collapse of U.S. That’s a horribly truncated title, I hope you can understand it. Well, didn’t want to break my layout’s look and feel. 😉

As if Things Weren’t Bad Enough, Russian Professor Predicts End of U.S.

MOSCOW — For a decade, Russian academic Igor Panarin has been predicting the U.S. will fall apart in 2010. For most of that time, he admits, few took his argument — that an economic and moral collapse will trigger a civil war and the eventual breakup of the U.S. — very seriously. Now he’s found an eager audience: Russian state media.

In recent weeks, he’s been interviewed as much as twice a day about his predictions. “It’s a record,” says Prof. Panarin. “But I think the attention is going to grow even stronger.”

Prof. Panarin, 50 years old, is not a fringe figure. A former KGB analyst, he is dean of the Russian Foreign Ministry’s academy for future diplomats. He is invited to Kremlin receptions, lectures students, publishes books, and appears in the media as an expert on U.S.-Russia relations.

But it’s his bleak forecast for the U.S. that is music to the ears of the Kremlin, which in recent years has blamed Washington for everything from instability in the Middle East to the global financial crisis. Mr. Panarin’s views also fit neatly with the Kremlin’s narrative that Russia is returning to its rightful place on the world stage after the weakness of the 1990s, when many feared that the country would go economically and politically bankrupt and break into separate territories. (Source: WSJ)

But… US is too big to fail right?

Taleb: Present economy worse than depression

PBS NEWS HOUR Interview with Nassim Nicholas Taleb, famous economist and author of “The Black Swan” and Dr. Mandelbrot, professor of Mathematics. Both say that the present economy more serious than the Great Depression, and the economy during the American Revolution.

The REAL Maverick: Present Economy worse than Depression

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Next to be saved by the government: Citibank

The U.S. government announced multi-billion dollar backstop for Citigroup. Citigroup, with $2 trillion worth of assets, is the largest U.S. bank by assets.

Too big too fail again?

U.S. Offers Citigroup Sweeping Safety Net

The Treasury Department, Federal Reserve and Federal Deposit Insurance Corp. said last night they will protect Citigroup, one of the nation’s largest banks, against potential losses on a $306 billion pool of troubled assets.

Citigroup would absorb the first $29 billion in any further losses on these assets, which are primarily securities backed by mortgages and commercial real estate loans, with the government stepping in to cover most of the losses beyond that amount. In return, the government is to receive $7 billion in preferred shares in the company.

The government also will invest another $20 billion in Citigroup, on top of the $25 billion infusion of taxpayer dollars already made.

This time, though, the company in jeopardy is truly gigantic. Citigroup is the largest U.S. bank by assets, with $2 trillion on its books. (Source: Washington Post)

On other news, Bloomberg reports Goldman, Morgan Stanley May Want Citigroup:

Goldman, Morgan Stanley May Want Citigroup, CreditSights Says

A purchase of Citigroup Inc. would “significantly” add to Goldman Sachs Group Inc. or Morgan Stanley’s earnings as long as the U.S. government absorbed losses on the embattled bank’s assets, according CreditSights Inc.

Buying Citigroup “would be significantly accretive to Goldman and Morgan Stanley’s earnings as the potential buyer would be acquiring a significant future earnings stream for a relatively low price,” David Hendler, an analyst at CreditSights in New York, wrote in a report yesterday. The buyer “would probably receive government support if it was needed.” (Source: Bloomberg)

Erm… As long as what?

Confidence drops for insurers Aviva and Prudential

Shareholders panicked over the effects of an economic downturn on investments held by insurers Aviva and Prudential.

Prudential and Aviva bear brunt as cash call fears hit insurers

Fears that insurers could be forced to call on shareholders to boost their finances sent stock prices tumbling yesterday despite assurances that the industry remained in good shape.

Insurers Aviva and Prudential suffered the biggest falls as shareholders panicked over the effects of an economic downturn on investments held by the two groups.

Aviva lost more than 12% of its value after a similar fall on Thursday, while Prudential fell 10% after a 20% drop the previous day.

Prudential had a surplus of £1.4bn in the summer and it is understood that it would take a fall of more than 40% in the market from the end of September before it needs to consider boosting its reserves. Aviva, which owns Norwich Union, had £1.9bn of surplus capital in June. (Source: Guardian)

If you thinking of ending your policies, don’t.