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Andy Mukherjee
A financial journalist in Singapore
A financial journalist in Singapore

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Peter Thal Larsen (@peter_tl) tweeted at 10:16 AM on Thu, Mar 14, 2013:
Can Abenomics overcome Japan's ageing demographics? See for yourself with the new @Breakingviews calculator.

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Greece has been rescued -- again. Who will rescue America? I'm fretting about the data that shows employment in US auto and auto parts industry -- down 200,000 from three years ago, and almost half the 2000 level. Hours worked are the lowest since the first anniversary of the Lehman moment. Meanwhile, the US Treasury has announced that taxpayers are off the hook on their investment in Chrysler. On a $12.5 investment, their loss is in the ball park of $1.3 billion. That's great for state capitalism, isn't it? Long live the spirit of Lord Keynes! Let's have more bailouts, cash-for-clunkers... anything to prevent America from getting derated and its assets getting re-priced for what they are truly worth ...

One Tatu Westling at University of Helsinki has managed to stir things up quite nicely with research that claims to link economic growth with, well, well, the male anatomy. He has even worked out an average population penis size that purportedly maximizes economic growth. Greg Mankiw took note of the paper on his blog, and that prompted me to read it. You can find it here:
Is it frivolous? Of course, it is. No penetrating insights here, if you pardon the pun. The survey data used in the study may also have a reporting buas for self-esteem reasons, as Westling notes. But it is a fun read -- with some sizzling prose -- for those who cannot get themselves to browse through yet another research note on debt problems in Europe and the US. At another level, the paper also shows just how much of serious-sounding economic research may be similarly silly. Efficient Market Hypothesis is an obvious candidate. But it is not the only one. 
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