Looking Back at a Decision

Testifying in 1978, one public official said that economists, citing cost and benefit, recommended using a lower level of levee protection against hurricanes in Louisiana than he thought was necessary. (p. 90 of the Congressional Report on Hurricane Katrina) Similarly,…

A Budget Question

Thought to have saved many lives, a Japanese early warning system sent a media alert seconds before the earthquake struck.  The system took 12 years to implement and cost close to $500 million. A similar warning system for the U.S.…

Japan’s Sovereign Debt

Hoping to sell more Japanese government bonds (JGBs), in a rather novel advertising campaign last June, the Japanese finance ministry said that, “Women have a thing for men who own JGBs.” Their message suggests that women prefer men who are…