My ethical conundrum with Frederic Mishkin

So… I’m like… I want to adopt Mishkin’s new macroeconomics textbook for my MBA macro class this summer and in the fall… Why? Because I reviewed a chapter of the new edition for Pearson and I liked the approach.  Sure there were some things that annoyed me, but in macro it is all about the lesser annoyance, and Mankiw is a major annoyance.  But then a colleague and I were talking, and he reminded me about Inside Job… see below… oh does Mishkin look bad….

So I dunno… I tend to think that there is an ethical problem here. Perhaps I am unaware of the facts. But Mishkin’s rebuttal to set the record straight (and maybe there are others) seems unconvincing.  It seems pretty obvious he did a fistpump… at the prospect of receiving $124,000 for a puff-piece article (though I wonder about the conflicts of interest at being paid such a large sum while also being an employee…where exactly? Columbia University?)… and then of course will have to live it down for a long time… probably he hoped nobody would ever even know… and perhaps he wrote and took money for dozens of similar articles… So why should I contribute indirectly to his wealth?  Should I ask him to contribute any royalties to Friends of African Village Libraries? (Where I am a slave labor volunteer for the past 13 years…)

So I think I have decided, dear reader, to adopt the text provisionally, and read it carefully, and see what my MBA students think of the ethical issues.  So stay tuned later this summer when I come back to the issue.

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Music for your weekend… Moon Duo… discovered randomly on WTF!!!!!

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Music for your weekend… Julia Holter… start with Goddess Eyes II then go on to weird stuff… pretty awesome…

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Tarquin Hall’s The Case of the Missing Servant

Back to light reading I guess.  Somewhere I had read this was a wonderful book. But it turned out to be a very pedestrian mystery, and I am sorry but like reading Alexander McCall Smith some of the pleasure of being “immersed” in the dialogue and habits of another culture through the vehicle of a mystery/detective novel is lost when you are constantly wondering whether the non-local author is slipping into expat or just plain politically insensitive yucks (especially sharp in the scenes with the “grinning” Adavasis).  So the charm of the book quickly faded.  Would I have enjoyed it more if the author had been Indian?  One of those interesting questions; in the 21st century, the central notion of “authenticity” is all-pervasive in marketing and identity.  I’ve never been terribly bothered by that, so if I introspect I’d say it must have been the prose rather than the authenticity.

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The results are in: Faculty at SCU officially pissed off

From our Faculty Senate president:

Ballot Measure #1 asked faculty members to approve or disapprove of the following statement:

“The Trustees’ declaration that something as all-encompassing as identity and mission is outside of the shared governance system would break the rules, the culture and the meaning of shared governance at SCU. The issue of shared governance is independent of perspectives on abortion policy. If implemented, the Trustees’ declaration would be incompatible with a meaningful vision of shared governance going forward.”

Ballot Measure #2 asked faculty whether the Faculty Senate should ask for enhanced representation by faculty and staff on the Board of Trustees. The ballot measure stated:
“The Faculty Senate shall ask the Trustees to add some faculty (in addition to the President and the Rector of the Jesuit Community) and staff voices to the Board of Trustees, as was the case 25 years ago in the case of faculty.”

Measure #1 passed 70% to 30%, Measure #2 passed 80%-20%.

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For my Econ 135 students: There is a third gender in India

On Tuesday, India’s Supreme Court ruled that the government had to recognize a third gender, one neither male nor female, as an official category. According to the Associated Press, this means access to social welfare services and minority rights protections for “people who have acquired the physical characteristics of the opposite sex or present themselves in a way that does not correspond with their sex at birth.”

via There is a third gender in India, and the law finally recognized them – Vox.

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CDP and Compaoré pull out all the stops on road to referendum to change the constitution and enable Compaoré to be in power for another term…

So if they succeed Compaoré would have been in power from 1983 (when he co-led the coup with Sankara that brought the two of them into power) until 2022 (if he takes a six year term from 2016-2022. Let’s see… that would be 39 years…pretty much the entire lifespan of 75% of all Burkinabè who will be alive then.

I would much rather see a contest between Roch Marc Christian Kaboré and Zépherin Diabré… they share similar technocratic tendencies… have been part of the regime and certainly are not opponents of basic crony capitalism policies…. they might be far less involved in foreign affairs…. but most important they would likely consolidate mechanisms for peaceful and regular transfers of power.  Exactly the thing that a Compaoré re-election will not get the country.

« Quand il y a un litige politique dans un pays, que certains tirent à gauche, d’autres tirent à droite… Quand il y en a qui veulent appliquer la Constitution et d’autres qui sont rébellion avec la Constitution, qu’est-ce que l’on fait ? Si on laisse les gens se tirailler, on va vers le coup d’Etat. Alors ? Alors, allons vers le peuple. C’est le peuple qui va trancher », a lancé Hermann Yaméogo, président de l’Union nationale pour la démocratie et le développement. Assimi Kouanda, secrétaire exécutif du Congrès pour la démocratie et le progrès, le parti au pouvoir, également ministre d’Etat chargé de mission à la présidence, a réaffirmé la volonté du président Blaise Compaoré d’organiser un référendum pour le « déverrouillage » de l’article 37 de la Constitution. « Le président du Faso pense qu’il n’y a pas d’autre solution », a-t-il affirmé. « C’est un démocrate, un républicain, a-t-il insisté. Son intention est de vous consulter à travers un référendum. Et vous allez vous exprimer à travers de ce référendum. »

via Burkina Faso: les partisans de Compaoré mobilisent – RFI.

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